Potomac's Matt Logan tried to hold onto his Canadian roots while playing in the minor leagues: He spent seven years in the Toronto organization and played for his national team the past four. But his baseball career took a turn away from Canada in the last month.
The Blue Jays dealt Logan to the Cincinnati Reds on June 23, and he was left off the Canadian Olympic team roster announced yesterday.
However, leaving his ties to Canada behind might be the best thing for the Cannons' new starting first baseman. Logan spent three straight seasons at Toronto's Class AA level and was suffering through one of his worst professional seasons this year.
"I just wanted an opportunity to play, and I wasn't getting that over there" at Class AA New Hampshire, said Logan, who played on the 2003 Canadian squad in Olympic qualifying. "I'm just glad to be with someone who has some interest in me, and I'm glad I'm playing every day again."
Logan, 24, was an undrafted free agent in 1997. His troubles this year began in spring training: He broke a bone in his right hand, and the surgery that followed kept him out until after the regular season started.
Once healthy, he never really got on track, hitting just .221 in the Eastern League, and he was often pulled from the starting lineup in the days leading to the trade. Logan also said he and his teammates at New Hampshire had problems with the backdrop at the team's stadium, that bright lights and white signs behind the pitcher made it difficult to see the ball. There certainly was a discrepancy in his .157 home batting average, compared to his .304 mark on the road.
Since coming to Potomac, Logan said he is more comfortable and has gotten into a better rhythm. He starts regularly at first base, usually hits fifth and is batting .268 in his first 15 games with nine RBI.
"The Blue Jays did a lot for me, but this is a new page for me, a new opportunity," he said.