We asked Koch, released five days ago by the Blue Jays, if he was going to play with another team.
“Nope,” the relief pitcher said firmly.
“I’m going to make the Toronto Blue Jays pay every cent of my salary.”
The Jays are on the hook for Koch’s $950,000 US salary. If a team had an injury and needed an arm, it could add Koch at the prorated major-league minimum of $320,000.
“To be released after four outings? What’s four outings in the spring? Nothing,” Koch said. “They can pay my gas money for my car, they can pay to fill up my 240-gallon tank for my 30-foot Pursuit, they can gas up my jet boat and our three jet skis.”
That’s a lot of gas.
“Nothing against the city of Toronto or Jays fans,” Koch said. “I love the city and the fans treated me well.”
Whether this is bullet-proof bullpen bravado that closers need, or whether Koch will change his opinion a month down the road remains to be seen. But that’s what Koch was saying yesterday.
“I read in the paper they say I didn’t work hard,” Koch said. “Talk to any pitching coach or strength coach I’ve had. I lift, run a little, do agility drills and play long toss.
“I can’t run and haven’t run as much as everyone else in four years. Why? Because my back hurts. Say I threw a horse-bleep pitch, don’t attack my work ethic.”