Archive for the ‘Baseball’ category

MVP at the WBC

March 26, 2017

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

March 22, 2017

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

March 20, 2017

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

March 5, 2017

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

Commissioner! Commissioner! I know a great way to speed up the game! 

February 26, 2017

Here’s what you do:

Rather than watching a game live, record it on your PVR. The next day, watch the recording and press the fast forward button.

Presto!

Nine innings or more in one hour or less.

Thank me later.

ER 😉

The end of the DNJT Podcast (sort of)

February 23, 2017

I have decided to discontinue the DNJT podcast.

The last two years have been difficult following a bi-weekly production schedule during the MLB season. While I never missed a self-imposed deadline, there were a few close calls.

When I started DNJT, I only worked part-time. So there was plenty of time to work on the show. Over the years, the number of working hours from real-life jobs have increased, as have my adult responsibilities. I love making episodes about baseball and the Blue Jays, but it can never be at the top of my priority list.

It would be a grave error in judgement to put this podcast – which obviously never generated any revenue – ahead of earning a salary, paying bills and taking care of loved ones. Yes, it would be awesome if DNJT led to a relationship with Sportsnet or TSN. But I knew that was a billion-to-one long shot. So in the end, it is and continues to be a really fun hobby.

While the podcast in its current form is stopping, the website will continue. I intend on writing more and trying out a couple of things. I’ll also do an occasional podcast episode if an opportunity presents itself.

And now…time for some self-indulging:

It’s pleasing knowing I was able to produce five baseball seasons worth of episodes.

When DNJT premiered on April 5, 2012, the Jays’ starting rotation ultimately consisted of Rickey Romero, Brandon Morrow, Henderson Alvarez, Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison. The hot-button issue at the time was whether Eric Thames was a better option in left field than Travis Snider.

Since then, there have been blockbuster trades, the rise of Edwin Encarnacion’s stardom, exciting youngsters like Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez, Josh Donaldson’s MVP performance, winning streaks, bat flips and two thrilling playoff runs after a 22-year hiatus.

So thank you to all those who appeared on the show and a huge THANK YOU to those who took time to listen to an episode, whether it was one or several.

Time to start a new chapter.

ER

The Chicago Cubs picked one hell of a way to end their 108-year-old World Series drought. 

October 30, 2016

Two years ago, the Cubs visited Toronto for a three-game series and were soundly swept by the Blue Jays. I was at one of those matches and watched Chicago get completely out-played. Drew Hutchison led the way, while the offence came from several sources. As I left the stadium that night, it never occurred to me that the Cubs would be at the top of the mountain in a mere 24 months. 

Since the final out was recorded, I’ve been thinking about Ernie Banks, Ron Santo and Harry Caray. I’ve been thinking about all the Cub fans who lived thier entire lives without ever seeing them win the World Series. I’ve been thinking about all the former Cub players who are still with us; players like Fergie Jenkins, Ryne Sandberg, Sammy Sosa and Kerry Wood. I’ve been thinking about Steve Bartman and wondering if this championship brought him some closure and inner peace.

I’m fortunate to have watched some of my favourite teams – including the Jays – win championships. It’s impossible to fathom what cheering for a team that has been known as “the loveable losers” feels like. For generations of Cub fans, baseball is clearly more than just stats and standings. 

There are a few things I will recall when looking back at the 2016 World Series. There’s David Ross who couldn’t have picked a better way to retire. In addition, I will never forget the images of people honouring their deceased relatives who were Cub fans. Whether it was writing messages on the walls of Wrigley Field or visiting cemeteries, these acts re-defined passion and what baseball means to people. Never forget the man who sat next to his father’s tombstone and listened to game 7, fulfilling a promise made years ago. 

That’s powerful. 

So congrats to the Cubs and thier fans! I sincerely hope you all continue to savour this great victory. And an extra congrats to these former Blue Jay players on Chicago’s roster and coaching staff: Muninori Kawasaki, Henry Blanco, Eric Hinske and Dave Martinez. 

It has to be nice knowing there’s no longer a need to wait until next year. 

ER



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