Short, scribbled thoughts about the fugly start to the regular season

Posted April 17, 2017 by The Hek
Categories: Articles, Blue Jays

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Wish I could tell you it will get better. But the truth is I can’t. There are few guarantees in baseball, so I can only hope for the best and be positive.

The Blue Jays will either figure it out or they won’t.

You can push as many panic buttons as possible. You can demand they fire Gibby. You can beg for Rowdy Tellez to be called up. You can curse Mark Shapiro and Russ Atkins for all entirety. You can refuse to purchase tickets. Just understand one thing: We have no control over the fate of the team. Like it or not, we have to let the process work itself out and show some – here’s a word you might not like – patience.

Gregg Zaun sometimes criticizes certain fans for wanting instant gratification. It’s a theory I subscribe to as well. We live in a society that values anything quick and aggressive, while discarding items that are slow and can’t instantly capture attention. Baseball clashes with this kind of society; in the game itself and with the length of the season. The adage of the regular season being a marathon and not a sprint certainly applies to the Jays’ situation.

The consensus couldn’t be clearer: There’s nothing fun about how this season has gone so far, especially after Sunday’s 11-4 dumpster fire loss to Baltimore. Greater concern is Aaron Sanchez’s blister problem and J.A. Happ’s elbow; issues that are incredibly alarming. Can’t forget the nightmarish offensive production either. So as much as it sucks – and it really does suck – there is nothing we can do, but to simply let things breathe. It might be painful, but it’s the right course of action.

If that won’t work for you, consider this: If the worst thing in your life is a 2-10 baseball team, then you have a pretty good life.

ER


Retro Blue Jays – Days of the Telemedia Sports Network

Posted April 13, 2017 by The Hek
Categories: Blue Jays, Retro

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Posted by Catch The Taste.

​It’s scary to think how the majority of mainstream Blue Jays content is from one specific channel, streamlined for various forms of consumption. I could get upset about it, but it isn’t the worst thing in the world.

However, there are times when I yearn for the past when the stadium, the team and the broadcast rights were owned and operated by separate parties.

So it brought a smile to my face when I found this old radio intro on YouTube.

At the time – and up until the end of the 1997 season – the radio rights were owned by Telemedia. CJCL 1430 – known today as Sportsnet 590 –  was the flagship station.

Having listened to more games on the radio than watching them on television, the best part of the clip is the theme song. It’s simple, bubbly and has a strong 80s influence. If you were a young Blue Jay fan of the late 80s and early 90s, the tune should be an instant flashback to a simpler, yet exciting time. In addition, it’s much better than the heavy, “armageddon-ish” anthem Sportsnet has churned out over the last few seasons on the TV and radio broadcasts.

Also enjoyable was hearing the late Tom Cheek reading out the sponsors, followed by Jerry Howarth setting the scene.

ER

Obligatory Opening Day Post

Posted April 3, 2017 by The Hek
Categories: Articles, Blue Jays

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Doesn’t it feel like eons since Tulo fouled out to end the ALCS? 

Opening Day is a nice combination of excitement and uncertainty. All the teams are at the same starting point; and despite all the number crunching and prognosticating, nothing is 100% guaranteed. 

As the Blue Jays begin thier 41st season in Baltimore this afternoon, here are some friendly reminders. Most of them will be ignored, but – what the hell – I feel like wearing rose coloured glasses today. 

  • The regular season is a marathon, not a sprint.
  • The regular season is full of peaks and valleys.
  • “Panic buttons” are useless; so is jumping to conclusions.
  • Ryan Goins is the 25th player on the 25-man roster.
  • Justin Smaok deserves a fair shot. He’s not trying to go 0-for-4 on purpose. In other words, let things breathe. 
  • Everyone is entitled to an opinion, regardless of whether you agree or not.
  • Constructive criticism is far greater than villianization. 
  • Trolls just want to get a rise out of you; and I don’t mean #LetsRise 😉
  • Most importantly, savour every pitch, every at-bat and every moment. Sometimes, we fixate so much on stats/standings and miss the beauty of sitting inside Skydome on a goregous Friday night in July.

Enjoy today’s game and the remaining 161.

ER

MVP at the WBC

Posted March 26, 2017 by The Hek
Categories: Baseball, Baseball Poetry Project, Blue Jays

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It mattered the most
so Stroman answered the call
with flare and style

ER

And now, my obligatory prediction/guess for the 2017 World Baseball Classic final between the United States of America and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

Posted March 22, 2017 by The Hek
Categories: Articles, Baseball

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It shall be a day of GLORIOUS triumph for the American squad. 

ER
🇺🇸🇵🇷

WBC predictions (which are really just guesses) and five things I’ve loved about this year’s tournament

Posted March 20, 2017 by The Hek
Categories: Articles, Baseball

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So I’m thinking…

Puerto Rico over Netherlands
USA over Japan

I’m likely wrong about the American/Japanese match. But it is a one-game playoff where anything can happen. Sounds enticing to me. 

And now, five things:

  1. The passion of the Latin American players. Modesty be damned.
  2. Team Israel​’s exciting run. Did not see that one coming!
  3. Jose Bautista’s throw from LF in the DR/Colombia match and the crazy aftermath. Not the first time Joey Bats sent a stadium full of people into bedlam. The only thing missing was commentary from Jim Ross.
  4. Eric Gagne’s 2.1 scoreless innings. The only good thing that came out of Canada’s “performance.”
  5. Adam Jones’ catch and Giancarlo Stanton’s homer. Mercy!

Also giving an honourable mention to Marcus Stroman for his outstanding outing in the first DR/USA match. 

Enjoy the semifinals!

ER


Obligatory post about the 2017 World Baseball Classic

Posted March 5, 2017 by The Hek
Categories: Articles, Baseball

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I quite enjoy the World Baseball Classic. I’ve never been a fan of when the tournament occurs; but to be fair, there really isn’t a perfect time to run it.

There are a few random moments that stick in my mind from the previous WBC tourneys.

2006: Watching Canada on their way to upsetting the USA from Carleton University’s Res Commons cafeteria.

2009: Canada and the USA, this time at Skydome. I was sitting on a stationary bike, in the middle of my cardio (yeah, I work out) as Russell Martin crushes a homerun.

2013: Canada and Mexico drop the gloves. Also…After the Dominican Republic captured the 2013 title, the runners up – Puerto Rico – embraced and shook hands with the victors. Forgive the cheesiness, but it was a beautiful sight. And if memory serves, Mike Aviles initiated the moment.

This year, I’m supporting two countries: Canada and Israel. Subjectively, I hope both nations go far. Objectively, moving on to the second round will be a monumental task for both squads. I’m also excited about the Dominican Republic and the States.

The Canadians are an eclectic bunch. There’s Freddie Freeman and his deep personal connection with our country. There’s Eric Gagne and Ryan Dempster, who couldn’t ignore the thrill of national pride and competition. Dalton Pompey has been presented with a great opportunity and it’ll be great to see Scott Richmond again.

A part of me is also worried about the well-being of the players. What if [insert Blue Jay participating in the WBC] gets hurt? Fortunately, I can take solace knowing every fan for every MLB team likely has the same fear…..right?

ER


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