Posted tagged ‘canada’

Retro Blue Jays – Baseball and the Public Broadcaster

June 1, 2017

Posted by Pat French.

I don’t know who Pat French is, but I’m very glad this person created a YouTube account. It’s filled with dozens of retro Canadian sports clips; a portion of which come from CBC broadcasts. If you want to see old baseball promos, black-and-white clips from Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts or even an advertisement for the 1978 Commonwealth Games, make sure to spend some time on Pat’s account.

A previous “retro” post highlighted a couple of clips involving the CBC’s French language service, Radio-Canada. On the English side, the Mother Corp and the Blue Jays have crossed paths at various times. As a kid, I knew CBC was the network to turn to on Friday nights and Saturday afternoons for Speedy Muffler Blue Jays Baseball. Of course, during the NHL playoffs, that schedule was modified.

The public broadcaster aired games at three different points in Blue Jay history: Late 70s/early 80s, early 90s to early 2000s and a handful of games from 2008-2009. Here are some clips from those periods.

From 1977 – Explaining the role of the Third Base Coach.

Also from 1977 – Not sure who the pitcher and catcher are (could be Alan Ashby behind the plate). However, the hitter is the unmistakable Rusty Staub.

From 1978 – Ensuring both Canadian teams get equal screen time.

From 1992 – A pre-game intro featuring Ken Daniels (before he started doing play-by-play for the Detroit Red Wings), the legendary Don Chevrier and former Blue Jay Tommy Hutton. I always loved the opening graphic and theme song.

From 1994 – Can’t promote an upcoming broadcast without a smiling Joe Carter.

From 2000 – Ironically, no one in Quebec was apparently able to watch this Jays/Expos match.

From 2008 – When broadcasting in HD was still a novelty.

ER

Great. Just what the Blue Jays’ online community needs: Another article about the wave

May 22, 2017

I have never had any interest in posting an article about the wave. It was always a topic I would file under “much ado about nothing;” a label that also went to items such as the types of beer being offered at Skydome and the debatable quality of Buck Martinez. In fact, the only time DNJT has done anything related to the great wave debate was an early 2012 podcast episode.

Nevertheless, it does seem like it’s a prerequisite for Blue Jay bloggers and writers to post something about the wave. So in the case of DNJT, the cliché of “better late than never” applies.

Over the past years, there have been passionate statements about the wave. Examples can be found here, here and here.

I am neither pro-wave or anti-wave. There’s a time and place for it; and being at a baseball game should be a fun experience. It doesn’t usually bother me. 

But at a recent match I attended, I made an exception.

It was Friday, April 28. Despite leading 3-1 at one point, the Blue Jays wound up losing 7-4 to Tampa Bay, thanks to an ugly bullpen implosion.

For those who were unaware, it also happened to be “Drunk Idiot Night” at the ballpark. Anyone who pre-drank and showed up tanked was apparently given a ticket in the section my buddy and I were sitting in.

In all seriousness, it was some company’s staff social. Not the worst I’ve witnessed in 20+ years of going to games, but one can never expect proper baseball viewing etiquette to be followed.

Of course, there was the alpha male of the group, who felt it was necessary to scream about everything.

“Where’s my beer?!!!”
“I’m getting some food!!!!”
“You kids are the future!!!!”

If that wasn’t enough, he also turned out to be that fan who shouts at players, not to encourage them, but rather to put attention on him. Not​ surprisingly, he also left before the match ended.

Sure enough, several attempts were also made to get a wave going from my section. Alpha male led the way.

The worst attempt involved a inebriated spectator sitting right behind me. 

To set the scene, I was sitting in a double digit row. This spectator already had a few failed attempts under their hat. Then there was tap on my shoulder.

Spectator: “Hey. We’re doing the wave. You need to tell the people in front of you.”
Me: “You’re doing it wrong. If you want to start a wave, you need to go down to the first row, so everyone can see you. You might want to count down from five instead of 1-2-3.”
Spectator: “No! We are doing it here and you need to tell the people in front of you. Look! They’re on their phones!”
Me: “Don’t worry about about them. You just start and we’ll help.”
Spectator: “1-2-3…”

Yes, it was that kind of ridiculous; and suddenly, I was hating the wave for the very first time.

I hated the countdowns. I hated the visual that always captivated me. I hated the “woooo.” I hated that I still participated, albeit with very little enthusiasm. I hated that alpha male was relentless with his pursuit of getting the wave going. The guy actually went up to a nearby usher and demanded that this usher somehow communicate to the fans sitting below to help alpha male with his next attempt. Clearly, it just wasn’t enough for alpha male to be loud, obnoxious, drunk and the life of the pathetic-ass party.

Maybe this is about more than just the wave. Maybe this is really about my personality. Maybe I was letting the results on the field affect my mood and reaction to the activity in my section. After all, the bombs hit by Evan Longoria, Logan Morrison and Derek Norris that night left me feeling dejected and numb.

The great wave debate could last until this planet is sucked into a black hole. Fans can cry and moan as long as they want. The wave is not going anywhere. Fans will do it when a match is out of reach and some will do it at pivotal moments. For the record, I prefer the former over the ladder.

It’s pointless and selfish of me to give instructions about how and when to do the wave. Human beings are going to be human beings. So instead, I’ll leave this word of advice:

If you’re going to do the wave, do it right.

ER


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

April 17, 2017

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


Obligatory Opening Day Post

April 3, 2017

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

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

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


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