By Adam Morisette, Baseball Canada
October 4, 2012, OTTAWA-With Major League Baseball’s 2012 Regular Season in the books, it’s time for some playoff baseball which includes four Canadian players partaking in the post-season.
Former National League MVP Joey Votto (Etobicoke, ON) of the Cincinnati Reds leads a group that includes Ryan Dempster (Gibsons, BC) of the Texas Rangers, Russell Martin (Montréal, QC) of the New York Yankees and George Kottaras (Toronto, ON) of the Oakland Athletics.
Dempster was traded to the Rangers in July and his club will take-on the Baltimore Orioles tomorrow in a one-game, Wild Card showdown. Texas lost their hold on first place in the American League West to Oakland who defeated the Rangers on the last day of the regular season.
Speaking of Oakland, they acquired catcher George Kottaras from the Milwaukee Brewers in a trade at the end of the July and the 29 year-old has clubbed 6 home runs in the two months since arriving on the west-coast.
Oakland will face the AL Central champion Detroit Tigers and Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera in the Division Series which begins on Saturday.
Russell Martin and the AL East champion New York Yankees will await the winner of the Texas/Baltimore Wild Card match-up in the other AL Division Series.
Martin belted a career-high 21 homers during the regular season which placed him fifth amongst catchers in the American League.
In the National League, only one Canadian will take part in post-season play and that’s Joey Votto (Etobicoke, ON) with the Central Division winning Cincinnati Reds.
Votto was on pace to match or better his MVP numbers of 2010 before knee surgery sidelined the All-Star in July which caused him to miss forty-eight games.
Votto did finish the regular season with a NL leading .337 batting average, but was ineligible to win the batting title as he did not have the required 502 regular season at-bats.
The first baseman finished the regular season with 14 home runs and 44 doubles to go along with 56 RBIs.