An ugly reality, but it is what it is

Posted August 20, 2018 by The Hek
Categories: Articles, Blue Jays

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Struggling with writer’s block lately. So….some random thoughts:

  • Several times this season, I’ve found myself saying, “Oh, yeah. I forgot about Tulo.”
  • Josh Donaldson and Aaron Sanchez have both missed a signficant amount of time. If this was 2015-16, we’d freak out. Today, such a fact is met with a shrug. It is what it is.
  • Really? Just six games for Jose Urena?
  • I like Ryan Borucki because he models himself after Mark Buehrle. The kid starts his windup as soon as he gets the sign. He’s going to be a treat (hopefully).
  • There (probably) isn’t a single Jays fan who actually thinks Gibby will be back for 2019.
  • Remember, the Blue Jays are a team in transition. That means – if I can borrow the expression – things will get worse before it gets better. Hang in there. It’s going to be okay.

    And now…..back to my battle with writer’s block.

    ER

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    Retro Blue Jays – Whitt and Cheek on Community TV

    Posted August 10, 2018 by The Hek
    Categories: Blue Jays, Retro

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Posted by Home Town Cable Network.

    I’ve always had a fascination with community/public-access broadcasting. For starters, it’s obviously different than traditional commercial media. This particular format was also one of my first forays into the world of media – Ottawa’s CKCU, early-to-mid 2000s.

    It’s hard to explain, but there’s something about the unpolished, raw presentation that seems authentic to me. This is prevalent with the following interviews of former Blue Jay catcher and coach Ernie Whitt and the late Tom Cheek.

    Based on the setting, the footage was recorded at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, likely before the 1985 Pearson Cup.

    The clips are part of the Home Town Cable Network which, according to its website and Facebook page, serves Northern New York State; with their office located in Champlain, New York.

    One of the interviewers – Dick Letourneau – is no Bob Costas and calling Whitt’s team the “Maple Leafs” at the beginning of his interview was far from a smooth start. But he does ask some interesting questions.

    For his part, Whitt answers the questions truthfully; though he seemed a little taken aback by Letourneau’s style of interviewing.

    Tom Cheek – as he always was – told a great story, threw in a joke and always brought an incredible amount of professionalism. I wonder how many people knew he was a fill-in for Expo games before he came to Toronto.

    Despite their rough look, the interviews are unique. They might not shine, but they’re fun to watch.

    x

    As an aside, Home Town Cable Network’s website has dozens of baseball clips. The majority of which involved the Expos.

    ER

    Re. The Roberto Osuna Trade

    Posted August 2, 2018 by The Hek
    Categories: Articles, Blue Jays

    Tags: , , , , , , , ,

    It had to be done.

    Roberto Osuna allegedly committed a heinous act, which is still a matter before the courts. We don’t know the facts; but whatever happened justified a 75 game suspension. We haven’t heard from Osuna since charges were laid agaisnt him. All we know is that he’s appears to be remorseful about circumstances and intends to plead not guilty, according to his lawyer.

    Guilty or not, his reputation is tarnished.

    There was no way the Blue Jays could allow him to pitch for their team. It would’ve been grossly disrespectful to a savvy fan base, victims of abuse and the alleged victim in this case.

    It would’ve also been grossly hypocritical for the team’s parental owner, especially after the broadcasting wing fired Gregg Zaun – and rightfully so – for his inappropriate actions.

    As many have pointed out, this wasn’t a baseball trade. It was about doing the right thing. The path to get here may have been questionable, but the end result was the right action. In the grand scheme of things, what Houston sent in exchange for Osuna is irrelevant.

    It’s a sad ending. It’s a disappointing ending. It’s an awful ending.

    ER

    The Hurler’s Prayer

    Posted July 25, 2018 by The Hek
    Categories: Baseball, Baseball Poetry Project

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Coach in Heaven,
    Fuel my strength.
    Protect my arm.
    Protect my shoulder.
    Protect my ulnar collateral ligament.
    Allow my pitches to find their targets, with the force to move mountains.
    May flyballs land in gloves.
    May ground balls stay in the infield.
    Help me fool the opposition.
    Fuel my strength.
    In Cy Young’s name,
    Amen.

    ER

    Short, scribbled thoughts about J.A. Happ

    Posted July 17, 2018 by The Hek
    Categories: Articles, Blue Jays

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    I’m thrilled Mr. Happ is representing the Blue Jays at the All-Star Game. In a season that’s been on a steep decline since late April, there have been very few positive story arcs. J.A. Happ is one of those arcs.

    As he prepares to stand with the game’s best at Nationals Park, I’ve been reminiscing about his two tenures with the Jays.

    I’ve been thinking about the attempt to put him in the bullpen when he first arrived in 2012. Happ put his foot down and argued he was a starter. Ultimately, he was not wrong.

    I’ve been thinking about that scary night at Tropicana Field when a line drive struck the side of his head. He recovered, thank goodness.

    I’ve been thinking about how some freaked out when he came back to the team as a free agent. Getting Happ instead of resigning David Price was an outrage to certain fans.

    I’ve been thinking about Happ’s 20 wins in 2016. Yes, that stat is no longer a sexy accomplishment. However, that 2016 team would not have succeeded without the triple threat of Happ, Aaron Sanchez and Marco Estrada.

    I’ve been thinking about milk in a bag. 😁😁😁

    The first chapter was noteworthy and the second one – quite successful – will likely conclude before the end of the month. There might even be a third chapter.

    Regardless, I sincerely hope he makes a positive contribution wherever he winds up. Fingers are crossed for a World Series ring.

    ER

    Return of the Right Fielder

    Posted July 10, 2018 by The Hek
    Categories: Baseball Poetry Project, Blue Jays

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    The epicenter of the resurgence returned home as a visitor.

    Odd seeing him wear the uniform of the Metropolitans.

    Standing on the field where he blossomed, there are standing ovations and video tributes.

    All richley deserved.

    I smile at the memories, but feel sadness when he pulls out a defensive alignment card.

    It’s not the same club he once played for.

    It isn’t the same group that captivated the nation.

    This is evolution.

    This is a team in transition.

    He is getting older and that means I am getting older.

    So I cling to the memories and wonder if he does the same.

    ER

    Retro Blue Jays – 2002 Time Capsule

    Posted June 29, 2018 by The Hek
    Categories: Blue Jays, Retro

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Posted by Balsamwoods.

    Thanks to social media, it’s now hard to recall a time when following the Blue Jays was a lonely experience.

    This random item I recently found on YouTube captures that feeling.

    It’s home video of the poster’s trip to Toronto, which included in-stadium clips of – based on the footage – the May 27, 2002 match between the Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox.

    The in-game experience has certainly changed at Skydome over the years. This is evident in the video when one sees the original scoreboards, fireworks after homeruns and the bright green AstroTurf. The J-Force dancers have a completely different look, not to mention Ace and Diamond.

    The video is also a time capsule and reminds us how little attention was given to the team at the time.

    During the late 90s and early 2000s, the Jays were very low on the totem pole of Toronto sports. The Leafs, Raptors and Rock were putting together strong playoff runs from the fancy, new Air Canada Centre.

    Showing interest in the Jays was met with disdain. Free tickets or a chance to go to a game were scoffed at.

    The team’s overall performance on the field didn’t help either. This was especially the case in 2002. At the time of this particular match, the Jays were 17-30 and Manager Buck Martinez was days away from being fired.

    Having said that, don’t treat this video as a cruel reminder. It has some lovely aspects to it as well.

    Roy Halladay was the starter that night. Though it wasn’t his best performance, Doc was in the midst of his breakout season. You’ll also see some familiar faces like Carlos Delgado, Raul Mondesi, Nomar Garciapara and Ugueth Urbina. You might even enjoy the two Leaf fans who run on the field and troll the crowd.

    [Was “troll” a term used in 2002? Maybe I should’ve gone with “punk’d.”] 😝

    ER


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