Summing up the Blue Jays’ “regular” season with three haiku poems

Posted September 28, 2020 by The Hek
Categories: Articles, Baseball Poetry Project, Blue Jays

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Many injuries.
Unfortunate losing streak.
Got a playoff spot.

Hard-working bullpen
saved their backsides many times
but it took a toll

And there were moments
where potential was witnessed
with a bright future


Time to hand out the “awards.”

Best hitter: Teoscar Hernandez

Best starter: Hyun Jin Ryu

Best reliever: Anthony Bass


One other item:

It has been a very unique season. It has featured a new, expanded playoff format, which I personally love and hope will continue.

Yes, they only played a third of what they would usually play. Nevertheless and circumstances aside, it is playoff baseball and the Jays are part of it.

Regardless of how far they go, make sure to savour it and do not take it for granted.


Retro Blue Jays: When Buffalo was The Natural for Expansion

Posted September 17, 2020 by The Hek
Categories: Baseball, Blue Jays, Retro

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Posted by nitroradio99.

Turns out Major League Baseball was always destined for Sahlen Field.

According to a 1989 Buffalo News article, plans were drawn up to expand the seating capacity of the stadium – originally known as Pilot Field – to 41,530 seats.

It was all part of the Queen City’s attempt to land an expansion franchise in the early 90s.

While unsuccessful, we are left with this promotional video hosted by Larry King.

The talk show host – who was also an investor in the Buffalo bid – touts the city as “The Natural” for big-league expansion. A fitting nod to the famous Robert Redford film, which was filmed in Buffalo.

The video is what you would expect from something produced at the time. There’s upbeat, electronic music mixed with fast-paced montages.

30 years later, Buffalo finally got what it wanted under very unique circumstances.

However, if being the 2020 home of the Blue Jays continues to be a positive experience, perhaps the city will be inspired to take another shot at landing an MLB team.


Jays Journaling: Halfway through what’s usually a third of the season

Posted September 2, 2020 by The Hek
Categories: Articles, Blue Jays

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The last thing you need is another mid-season review. So, I’ll save you the trouble by using point form notes.

You’re welcome.

Things I’ve liked

– The powder blue uniforms in action. They can wear them every day for the rest of the season. I won’t stop them.

– The gaiter face coverings that go from the neck up. Stylish and safe!

– Sahlen Field’s transformation into a near-replica of Skydome. Kudos to those who made that happen.

– Jordan Romano and most of the bullpen arms.

– Teoscar Hernandez and Randall Grichuk putting up great numbers at the plate. Can’t forget about what Bo Bichette was doing before getting hurt.

Things I haven’t liked

– Injuries to Bichette, Ken Giles and Nate Pearson. Trent Thornton’s elbow is worrying me, as is Matt Shoemaker’s shoulder. You can add Romano’s finger to the list.

– Players touching or not wearing their masks properly. I know it’s silly, but I cringe when Charlie Montoyo touches his face covering or Pete Walker pulls his mask away from his face to say something. Saw Ryan Borucki do something similar and Vladdy once wore a mask below his nose. There are possibly a lot of school-age kids watching right now; so, it would be nice if the Jays set an example when it comes to proper mask etiquette.

– Fake crowd noise. Don’t know if it makes a difference for the players, but it feels like an insult to my intelligence.

– People declaring Vladdy and Pearson busts. This was happening earlier in the season. Still, is nobody patient anymore? The same goes for those demanding Montoyo be fired. Chill out.

– Games postponed due to COVID-19 outbreaks. A bubble setup is clearly a safer way to operate. I pray reports of MLB using a bubble or two for the playoffs are true. Also hope the participating teams are sequestered in warm climates. Don’t like seeing players freeze their butts off.

Things I’m on the fence with

– Seven-inning doubleheaders. I know it’s standard practice in the minors. Truthfully, I’m simply accustomed to day-night doubleheaders.

– Starting with a runner on second during extra innings. I know I shouldn’t like it, but it’s comforting knowing the match will conclude sooner than a typical extra-inning affair with its unpredictability.

– 6:37 pm starts. Figured it would lead to earlier finishes; like 9:00-9:15 pm. Ironically, it seems these start times have yielded the longest games; closer to 3-3.5 hour matches

One other item and it’s an important one

I applaud and fully support all athletes and teams that chose to protest the heinous shooting of Jacob Blake.

Sports do not matter. Jacob Blake matters. Jacob Blake’s family matters, especially his children. Black lives matter. Victims matter. Racism is a horrific disease.

The final word goes to former Jays reliever LaTroy Hawkins.


My Reality vs. My Timeline, Part 2 (NBJR)

Posted August 24, 2020 by The Hek
Categories: nbjr

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A (poorly orchestrated) visual about life during a pandemic.

Design from Meme Generator. Images from…one of the Marvel films.


My Reality vs. My Timeline (NBJR)

Posted August 17, 2020 by The Hek
Categories: nbjr

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Trying something different this week.

A (poorly orchestrated) visual about life during a pandemic.

Design from Meme Generator. Images from…one of the Marvel films.


Initiation on Front Street: A Baseball Microstory

Posted August 14, 2020 by The Hek
Categories: Baseball, Baseball Microstories

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A young man runs across the street, praying he won’t be recognized.

His hooded sweatshirt conceals his identity. A long coat conceals his uniform.

He’s the young rookie who just got called up from Buffalo; tasked with a coffee run by the veterans.

Of all days.

Of all the times the clubhouse coffee machine broke.

“The attendants are busy,” one veteran told him. “Go earn your stripes.”

So, in the middle of the downtown core, there was a touted prospect earning his stripes. For the archaic practice of hazing, things could’ve been worse.

Years from now, he’ll pay it forward…


PS: More “Front Street” microstories can be found here. Thanks to Ari Shapiro for publishing them.

The two screaming voices are going to kill us all. (NBJR)

Posted August 10, 2020 by The Hek
Categories: nbjr

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A (poorly drawn) comic about life during a pandemic.

Dedicated to the pro-mask side, the anti-mask side and all the armchair quarterbacks.


Seriously, why not both? (NBJR)

Posted August 3, 2020 by The Hek
Categories: nbjr

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A (poorly drawn) comic about life during a pandemic.

We don’t ignore. We don’t surrender. We adapt.


Are you smarter than a medical expert? (NBJR)

Posted July 29, 2020 by The Hek
Categories: Uncategorized

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A (poorly drawn) comic about life during a pandemic.


When I was your age, people attended baseball games

Posted July 24, 2020 by The Hek
Categories: Articles, Blue Jays

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Welcome to Opening Day.

This year, we ask the following question: Why is this season different than all other seasons?

But in all seriousness, I’m conflicted.

One side of me is happy to watch live baseball. I/we could use the distraction.

But another side of me opposes baseball and other sports occurring at a very dangerous time.

So, I’m excited, scared and feeling a little guilty too.

Nevertheless, the Blue Jays are about to embark on a season that will be a total write-off.

You simply can’t compare or contrast this abbreviated schedule with previous seasons or ones that will occur in the future.

In fact, whoever turns out to be baseball’s best in October shouldn’t be referred to as the World Series champion.

“League Champs” is fine, as is “2020 MLB champions;” but to award the Commissioner’s Trophy to a team that only played a third of the games it would usually play is disrespectful to previous winners that went through the normal 162-game + playoffs gauntlet. Asterisk or not, there’s always going to be a “yeah, but…” with this year’s winner.

I feel the same way for individual awards.

Awards should be given out to the best players; but the accolades shouldn’t be called MVPs, Silver Sluggers, Gold Gloves or Cy Youngs. Again, it wouldn’t be fair when only a third of the games are being played this year.

As for the Blue Jays, 60 games are not enough to measure the team’s progression. Therefore, I’m following the mantra of whatever happens, happens (as long as everyone is safe and healthy).

I’ll be content if the team picks up 25-35 wins. More importantly, I’ll be relieved if the Jays – and other teams – get through the season without any player sustaining a major injury or illness.

That’s why I was pleased when the Federal Government denied the Jays and MLB an exemption.

The issue was never about playing in Toronto. It was about the team making multiple trips to the United States, which has seen a dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases. It was also about nine other teams coming into our country and city after travelling extensively.

Yes, the location for the home games is a mess. But it’s important to remember that we are living in unprecedented times. Though annoying, the Jays and MLB are walking on a path that’s never been walked before.

Please bear that in mind as we all navigate this unique season. Don’t get too caught up in the stats and standings or jump to any conclusions about the Jays. 60 games are just a page in a novel.

Instead, treat each game as a break from the fires engulfing our world; and try not to worry too much about the boxscore. There are far more important issues currently happening.


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