TORONTO -- It's not uncommon for baseball's bloodlines to extend through multiple teams, with relatives playing for, coaching or working for opposing organizations.Jose Cruz, a longtime Astros player and coach, coached against his son, 12-year former big leaguer Jose Cruz Jr. Detroit general manager Al Avila's son, Alex Avila, once
TORONTO -- It's not uncommon for baseball's bloodlines to extend through multiple teams, with relatives playing for, coaching or working for opposing organizations.
Jose Cruz, a longtime Astros player and coach, coached against his son, 12-year former big leaguer Jose Cruz Jr. Detroit general manager Al Avila's son, Alex Avila, once the Tigers' starting catcher, now plays for the division-rival White Sox.
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There was a time that pitchers Greg Maddux and Mike Maddux played against each other, and eventually, a series could arise pitting the current brother combination of Kyle Seager (Mariners) and Corey Seager (Dodgers) against each other.
From a competitive standpoint, last year's American League Championship Series was much more stressful for the father-son combination of Sal and Drew Butera, who are together in Toronto for the current AL Division Series between the Jays and Rangers, which ended in a three-game sweep Sunday with Toronto's 7-6 win. The Blue Jays will play Game 1 of the American League Championship Series on Friday night in Boston or Cleveland (time TBD). The ALCS will be broadcast on TBS, as well as Sportsnet and RDS (in French) in Canada.
Sal, a pro scout for the Blue Jays, has been with the team as a uniformed instructor since September. Drew, a catcher for the Royals, is spending this part of his offseason with his dad through the Blue Jays' postseason run.
The Buteras leaned against the padded railing behind home plate on Sunday, chatting casually during Toronto's batting practice, a moment they could not have had last year, because Sal's Blue Jays and Drew's Royals were opponents during the ALCS.
"That was a little more intense," Sal Butera said. "This is a lot more relaxing. It's fabulous. Any time you have your family around, it's great."
Drew Butera would rather be playing, of course, but he is spending this October watching baseball as a fan.
"It's fun," he said. "It's cool to be here and cheering him on."
A couple of hours later, those quiet moments during batting practice gave way to a more typical scene at Rogers Centre, where nearly 50,000 towel-waving fans packed the ballpark for the second postseason game in Toronto of 2016.
The pregame ceremony began with player introductions on both sides, followed by the colors being presented by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The Canadian and United States national anthems were performed by local opera singer Douglas Tranquada. The pregame ceremony concluded with the ceremonial first pitch, thrown by former Blue Jays closer Duane Ward, who was part of the 1992 and '93 World Series championship teams and logged 121 saves during nine seasons with Toronto.
Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.