Posted tagged ‘2020’

The two screaming voices are screaming again (NBJR)

June 27, 2020

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

ER

Jays Journaling: Sewage water is cleaner than MLB’s public image

June 24, 2020

Sorry for the graphic title.

Labour negotiations involving professional sports leagues are repulsive. I’ve felt this way since the summer and fall of 1994 when I was forced to endure a baseball strike and a hockey lockout.

The MLB work stoppage that year was awful. Suddenly, everyone turned to my favourite sport. Baseball wasn’t cool anymore and the players were “greedy millionaires.”

And now – along with everything else happening – that feeling from 1994 has returned and this time, the storm clouds are much worse.

For the last few weeks, Major League Baseball has embarrassed itself through this ugly feud with the MLBPA.

Instead of trying to figure out how they can run some form of a season safely, the league and union fought over the all mighty dollar.

They had a deal in place back in March. Then the owners freaked out over the thought of empty stadiums and tore up the agreement. Then they pestered the players to give up chunks of salary, while potentially putting their lives at risk.

And in the end, the March agreement was ultimately upheld.

Nicely done, Commissioner Manfred. Nicely done, owners. You wasted everyone’s fucking time. Could’ve put differences and money aside and figured out multiple health and safety procedures. Instead, you picked a petty fight with the PA, while the world is literally burning.

The players didn’t deserve that and neither did we.

So, we’ve got a 60-game schedule under the threat of COVID-19 and a dysfunctional relationship between the league and its players.

Disputes such as this one yield little sympathy. Most see it as “millionaires vs millionaires.” This sentiment leads to decreased interest and viewership. It gets worse when threats of cancelling the season are made.

Losing the 2020 season because of COVID-19 is one thing. I’ve made peace with this and certain I’m not the only one. And given the disturbing rise of new cases in the United States – including a report of at least 40 players and staff testing positive – it’s a “when not if” situation more than ever. It’s simply not safe right now.

But to lose the season directly because of a financial disagreement would’ve been severely detrimental for MLB.

I love baseball and will live and die with the Blue Jays. Nevertheless, MLB’s public image is a towing inferno of dumpster fires.

Commissioner Manfred and the owners have mishandled this situation. Regardless of whether there is a completed season or not, the league has badly damaged its credibility and stature.

It has been discussed ad nauseam about how MLB can increase ticket sales, viewership and interest. The actions of the owners and Commissioner equate thousands of steps backwards.

It could take decades before the league has regained its integrity.

Sorry for the melodramatic conclusion.

ER

STOP YELLING AT ME! I’M DOING THE BEST I CAN! (NBJR)

June 12, 2020

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

ER

Your services are no longer needed

June 9, 2020

Stay home

But I had
a really good spring.
I can help this club.

You weren’t going to make the roster.

But there might be
extra spots.

Not for you.

The entire
minor league season
might get cancelled.

Blame the pandemic.

Do I still get a stipend?

Team’s losing money.

But the owner is a billionaire.

Blame the pandemic.

Other teams,
other players
are looking after
their farm systems.

We can’t.

There might not
even be a season.
I have bills to pay.

Blame your union.

I have to eat. I need to eat.
I have to live. I need to live.
I have to play. I need to play.

If I can’t eat
and live
and play,
I will…

Not our problem.

ER

Caught between two screaming voices (NBJR)

June 5, 2020

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

Inspired by a nourishing conversation with Launy Schwartz.

ER

Defeatism is such a sad word (NBJR)

May 29, 2020

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

ER

There’s a frown underneath that mask. (NBJR)

May 22, 2020

Inspired by a nourishing conversation with Launy Schwartz.

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

The quality is quite low, but my self-esteem is moderately high.

ER

Jays Journaling: Arizona? Sure, whatever

April 16, 2020

The madness continues.

Friday, April 10 was supposed to be my first attended game of the season.

It was supposed to be against the Royals. I was supposed to watch Vladdy, Bo and – likely – Chase Anderson. I was also supposed to eat a matzah sandwich, while wishing I could visit my favourite hot dog vendor at Front and John.

But it didn’t happen. Instead, my baseball fix currently comes from “classic” and “rewind” matches on Sportsnet. It fills the void, but only temporarily.

Again, COVID-19 can go fuck itself.

A family member recently brought up an important point: Even when this is all over, it will be a while before life fully returns to normal. We have to remember that.

It would be foolish to think that we could go from physical distancing and isolation one day and then pack Skydome the next. There’s no way the province and city would allow that.

So, we have to make peace with the possibility that even when/if baseball returns, fans won’t be allowed inside ballparks for the entire season.

And I’m okay with that.

I’d rather have baseball played in empty stadiums than nothing at all.

The Jays might not even play any games in Toronto. They might be in Arizona for the entire modified 2020 season.

And I’m okay with that too.

I’d rather see big leaguers play in empty minor league facilities (and Chase Field) than nothing at all.

This Arizona plan is certainly unique. But it’s also problematic, not to mention the ambitious mid-May start.

But we are living in unprecedented times; so, it’s worth a shot.

However – and I can’t stress this enough – I don’t want this to happen if it compromises player and personnel health.

Safety is paramount and if the curve is not flattened in Arizona, then no one should step on the field.

I badly need baseball, but not at the expense of anyone’s well-being. It is my hope that the state’s health department will work with MLB and not be afraid to stand up to the league if there’s any kind of threat.

It’s been over a month since baseball and everything else stopped. It stings and the pain feels worse every day. Eventually, this will pass. The problem is we don’t know when.

Therefore, I have to be patient, even though it’s messing with my sanity.

ER

Jays Journaling (Could I could get sued for that title?)

March 23, 2020

I miss baseball.

I miss it so much.

COVID-19 can go fuck itself.

One of the worst things about the Coronavirus is that the items we use for escape have been shutdown. It’s messed up, but we have to move forward. We have no choice.

Anyway, I’ve got a few things swimming around my head. Some of it was written before the shit hit the fan. So please bear with the mish, the mash and the combined mish-mash.

***

So this is baseball amidst a global pandemic.

It was inevitable once the NBA suspended play. I patiently waited for the other sports to follow. Now we are stuck in a hideous holding pattern.

It’s terrible, but it is the right course of action. It would’ve been incredibly selfish and foolish if MLB chose to defy the other leagues and proceeded accordingly.

Not worried about how the schedule will be restructured. That will work itself out. Maybe we’ll experience a World Series in December (not likely).

I am thinking about the part-staff that work at the games: Ushers, security, food and beverage, hype crews, ticket takers, box office staff, etc. Very pleased to see the Jays working with the MLSE clubs to create a fund for those affected. Don’t forget about those working in restaurants and bars around Skydome. And don’t forget about your hot dog vendors either. When this storm clears, I hope prosperity can return.

***

You might’ve heard that Jose Bautista was supposed to be playing for the Dominican Republic at an upcoming Olympic qualifying tournament. From all accounts, he would’ve been at first base. However, it appeared he was also trying to reinvent himself as a two-way player.

That’s right! Joey Bats is/was attempting to become a pitcher and I think that’s BRILLIANT!

I’m sure many scoffed and rolled their eyes at the notion. But to paraphrase Talk Talk, “It’s his life. Don’t you forget.”

So what if he’s turning 40 this fall? So what if the analytics aren’t in his favour? So what if evolution caught up to him on the offensive side?

If Joey Bats wants to pitch, I’m all for it. If he still has that passion, a desire to compete and his body can handle it, then who are we to say no?

It’s silly to expect him to be a Max Scherzer or Mariano Rivera. But I certainly hope he finds success with this endeavour; whether that’s in the majors, indy ball or any league outside of North America.

Besides, transitioning to a pitcher gave Anthony Gose another shot.

***

Could we dial back on the Reese McGuire parking lot jokes?

It’s getting ridiculous.

The kid did something very stupid and (hopefully) feels awful about it.

If there’s one thing our society excels at it’s kicking someone when they’re down. I’m as guilty of it as you are.

I’m not saying we should ignore what allegedly happened, but it would be better to simply acknowledge the situation and let the legal process run its course. There could be a mental health or addiction issue at play.

I realize this request will be in vain, but I figured I’d make it anyway.

***

The cheating scandal involving the Houston Astros is detrimental. Personally, I would’ve stripped them of the 2017 World Series title. Alas, the Commissioner did not feel that was necessary.

What occurred at Minute Maid Park was horrible. However, in a twisted kind of way, it was also a good thing.

A story is more intriguing when there’s a villain.

And the Astros are THE villains of the season. Wherever they go, there will be hype and interest. Such excitement will lead to increased ticket sales and more eyeballs watching the TV.

Remember when A.J. Burnett returned as a New York Yankee in 2009 and faced Roy Halladay? Skydome was nearly packed and the atmosphere appeared to be electric.

All because Burnett was a villain who left the Jays to play for the evil empire.

Why else are we – as Jays fans – obsessed with the Yankees and Red Sox? It’s because they’re villains and we want to witness them fail.

Now Houston’s been added to that mix.

It would not surprise if the Jays’ home series against the Astros – whenever it happens – will be one of the most attended. It’s the best chance for fans to jeer the villains.

And just imagine if Houston embraces the villain-role. Just imagine if they reach the World Series. The ratings and ticket sales will take off like a rocket.

Ca-ching đź’°đź’°đź’°

***

Officially rooting for Patrick Murphy.

I hope you read Arden Zwelling’s article about the young hurler. The poor kid has had an injury setback and a metaphoric breaking ball thrown at him.

Love to see Murphy overcome all these obstacles and find success at the big league level.

Alejandro Kirk has also piqued my interest. Of course, it’s likely we won’t see him at Skydome any time soon.

Nevertheless, he was gaining a lot of traction and attention. Then again, I am a sucker for unique characters.

***

Please be patient with Nate Pearson. The worst thing we can do is set over-the-top expectations.

I’m begging you.

ER

Spring Training Haikus: Now spanning two decades (sort of)

February 10, 2020

strarting rotation
has some new faces and arms
allowing for depth

important question:
who is the centre fielder?
maybe teoscar?

many options at
the designated hitter
spot to consider

giles shall anchor
the bullpen, along with a
cast of characters

the young stars arrive
with higher expectations
and a stronger bond

ER


%d bloggers like this: