Sept. 12, 2012
Article written by the Canadian Press.
The flight is always a round trip, and the suitcase is always packed the same: a hat, some shirts and jeans, a suit and a couple pairs of shoes.
Mike McCoy never knows how much he'll need, or for how long he'll be gone. The life of a utility player doesn't allow for much certainty.
He understands his role and knows the Toronto Blue Jays will use him as they see fit. One game on the field, the next two on the bench. Up with the Jays for a homestand, sent back down to the minors minutes after a game ends.
It's been a while now since McCoy allowed himself to think he might one day find a better place to sleep than the team hotel.
"I try to stay realistic. You always know someone's coming off the [disabled list], we have to make a move, so you kind of understand the ins and outs of the game," he says.
"I don't have, like, false hope. I understand that it's a business and I'm one of the guys that has options and I'm a utility player so if they need to send to send me down then they're going to do that."
Yet, the 31-year-old McCoy is one of the Jays' most valuable players. His career batting average, in only 297 at-bats and 147 games through three seasons, is a paltry .199. But what he lacks at the plate is made up for in an ability to play virtually every position.
McCoy has played everywhere professionally except catcher and first base -- although he says he could probably play those as well if he tried.