Archer 'admires' Stroman, city of Toronto

Rays righty says he may pursue degree in post-playing career

Archer 'admires' Stroman, city of Toronto

TORONTO -- Chris Archer had nice things to say about Marcus Stroman, the Blue Jays pitcher he'll oppose Tuesday night, as well as Toronto, a city he loves.

Stroman was not with the Blue Jays on Sunday, as he took time off to attend graduation ceremonies at Duke University, where he finished the required work to earn a sociology degree.

"What he's accomplished is pretty cool," said Archer, who has long espoused the virtues of education. "I admire that very highly."

Archer opted to sign with the Indians out of high school in 2006 rather than attend college, a decision he made with the goal of focusing all of his energy into baseball. He did allow that getting a degree has crossed his mind.

Stroman on graduating from Duke

"I've thought about it before," Archer said. "If the next venture in life calls for me having a degree, then I'll do it. But if it's a situation where I can use my own life experience and then surround myself by the right people, then I'll do that as well. But if it's something that, if I am some sort of business owner and I want to be in charge, I probably need some kind of business degree or at least a few classes."

Archer said he would not try to work toward getting his degree while still an active player, though.

He smiled when a reporter asked him if Stroman would outsmart him Tuesday night.

"He has to face our hitters," Archer said. "So hopefully he doesn't outsmart them. It's a very high accomplishment."

As for Toronto, Archer has gushed about how he loves the city. When asked why, he said it was "everything."

"It's clean, it's diverse, the people are extremely friendly," he said. "The weather when we're here is usually really, really nice. ... I read an article today that 51 percent of the people who live in Toronto were not even born in Canada. And there's like 250 different ethnicities. So the diversity is something I love.

"Whether they know I play baseball or not. Everybody is extremely friendly. It's nice. I've only experienced positive things in this country."

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2005. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.