Posted tagged ‘Quebec’

Damn! I was selfishly hoping the Blue Jays wouldn’t trade Russell Martin

January 14, 2019

I know that’s ridiculous; possibly idiotic. But part of me was hoping Russell would be kept for the sole purpose of mentoring Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire; similar to the role Curtis Granderson played in 2018.

Of course, that would be a very expensive mentor. Given that Mark Shapiro and Russ Atkins are scorching the Earth as part of the rebuilding process, it makes sense to get something in return for Martin. After all, the Jays are paying his salary, despite the trade. I’m sure the front office also doesn’t want a repeat of the Josh Donaldson saga. Martin probably wants to actually play as well.

I have no interest in the numbers. That’s for the insiders, pundits and professional bloggers to crunch. When I think of Russell Martin, the first words that come to mind are confidence and professionalism.

Sitting in the left field seats gave me the opportunity to watch him prepare for a match. I was transfixed by him running from the dugout to the outfield in full catching gear. He’d go through his drills before working with that day’s starter. It’s hard to articulate, but I never had to worry about what was happening behind the plate.

I spent the last few days thinking of my favourite Russell Martin memories. That homerun against the Yankees in late 2015 will probably be his defining moment with the team.

It was Yom Kippur that day. My family and I were breaking our fast at a relative’s house. Normally, we’d sit around the living room chatting. Not this time.

The majority of us gathered in front of the TV. The atmosphere was incredibly tense; but when Russell connected, we all exploded in jubilation! Of course, we weren’t the only ones: “RUSSELL! RUSSELL! RUSSELL! RUSSELL!”

Other moments come to mind:

– The errant throw in game five of the 2015 ALDS that almost flushed a magical season down the toilet; followed by his thanking the heavens for Jose Bautista’s iconic bat flip homerun.

– The hot streak he went on in August 2016 when the rest of the team was struggling.

– Game three of the 2016 ALDS; a first inning dinger, followed by the fielder’s choice that ultimately led to the Donaldson Dash.

Now his career has come full circle as he heads back to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He deserves a chance to play for a contender. Hopefully, he’ll help L.A. finally get over that hump. Having a chance to catch Clayton Kershaw is also a nice bonus.

Maybe it was his connection to Ontario and Quebec. Maybe it was because he’s just a few weeks older than me. Maybe it was using “Courage” as one of his walk-up songs. I’m just thrilled Russell Martin spent four seasons with the Jays. Worth every penny; even the ones that will cover his 2019 season.

ER

Retro Blue Jays – The Best and Worst from ’79

November 29, 2018

Posted by xtHabs789

Based on record alone, 1979 was a hideous season for the Blue Jays.

The team managed to win just 53 games, finishing dead last in the AL East; 50.5 games behind division-winner Baltimore. According to Baseball-Reference.com, the ’79 Jays hold the club record for lowest winning percentage (.327) over a 162-game schedule.

Meanwhile, the Montreal Expos were a stark contrast. They finished the ’79 season with a sparkling record of 95-65, narrowly missing the NL East title by two games.

The vast distance between the two Canadian teams was well-illustrated in this report for the CBC program, NEWSMAGAZINE.

It highlights the nuances of baseball; even touches on the volatile political situation in Quebec at the time. Regardless, reporter Mark Philips conveys the excitement at Olympic Stadium and the subdued atmosphere at Exhibition Stadium.

All the Expo clips are positive; players are flashing big grins. There’s even a small part dedicated to the legendary Bill “Spaceman” Lee.

Different appearance with the Blue Jay clips. They’re mostly negative with beleaguered faces, nicely captured by then-Manager Roy Hartsfield trying to find something nice to say about his team. A valiant effort was also made by then-President Peter Bavasi with his message of “selling entertainment; not a win-loss record.”

If anything, this feature reminds us of a time when the Expos were “Canada’s Team,” while the Jays were simply a punchline.

The metaphoric tide was not even close to turning.

ER

Episode 65: The life and times of John Bateman

May 12, 2016

In addition to playing for the Astros and Phillies, the late John Bateman was an original Montreal Expo. Overall, he was behind the plate in over 1000 big league games during the 1960s and early 70s.

Since 2011, Bateman’s life has been celebrated through a fictitious Twitter account. It was created by a Texas-area artist, who as a child, chose the catcher as his favourite player. The account features diary style tweets, as if the social medium existed during Bateman’s playing day.

Episode 65 Direct MP3 Download

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One of the many tweets from @JohnnyBateman7

Episode 63: They sure love baseball in Montreal

April 14, 2016

Over 100, 000 fans filled the Olympic Stadium for the Blue Jays’ final two spring training games. This outpouring of support and interest has reignited talk of whether MLB will return to Montreal.

Jared Book of BluebirdBanter.com joins DNJT to discuss what needs to happen and how a team in Montreal will affect the Jays.

Episode 63 Direct MP3 Download

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Retro Blue Jays – Baseball en Francais

April 23, 2015

Posted by Retro Quebec.

As a child, I can recall a time when Montreal Expo games would air on Radio-Canada (CBC’s French language service) almost every Saturday night during the summer. I always got a kick out of hearing the play-by-play crew emphasize certain players’ English-sounding names in the middle of their French sentences: “Voici Michael Barrett.”

French-language television and Quebec sports teams always went hand-in-hand. So imagine my surprise when I found out years later that Radio-Canada also aired Blue Jay games at one time.

These days, TVA Sports broadcasts a hand-full of games. But according to Wikipedia (and sadly, I wish I could have found a more credible source), French-language  broadcasts of Jays games also occurred from 1978 to 1980. The video clip featured in this post is proof.

It features an upbeat jazz tune and footage from a late-70s match between the Jays and Mariners at the Seattle Kingdome. My understanding of French is far from exceptional. However, I believe the promo is advertising an upcoming live broadcast of a game between the Jays and Brewers from Milwaukee, as part of the “Baseball 79” schedule.

For an added bonus, here’s a promo for an upcoming 1977 Expos game. It features stock footage of games played at Jarry Park. Again, my fluency in French is poor. However, it appears the clip is promoting the first baseball game to be played at Olympic Stadium.

ER

Retro Blue Jays – Montreal, 8mm Style

March 26, 2015

Posted by Jared Allen.

It’s fitting the Blue Jays will travel to Montreal next week for the final portion of the spring training schedule. Last year’s visit to the Olympic Stadium was a huge success.

Speaking of which…

2014 can’t be considered retro, but the technology used in this 27-minute clip certainly is.

The videographer recorded the March 28, 2014 pre-season contest between the Jays and the New York Mets at the Big O with an 8mm camera. The final product is a lovely combination of contemporary life with old school technology.

Mr. Allen had a perfect POV and captured so much; from travelling to the stadium to the Jays celebrating a walkoff victory. There’s a lot to take in, but it’s worth spending the time. There’s even a clip featuring everyone’s favourite mid-game activity, the wave [sarcasm].

I doubt 8mm cameras will make a comeback and become a trend, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt having more videos like this.

ER

 

Episode 40: Montreal On The Road

August 14, 2014

Montreal’s Gabriel Morissette and Adry Laurin are travelling to every MLB ballpark this summer to draw support for baseball’s return to La Belle Province. The young couple are chronicling their journey on their website, MontrealOnTheRoad.com.

Episode 40 Direct MP3 Download

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mtlontheroad.imgur.com

Adry and Gabriel at Dodger Stadium (Photo: mtlontheroad.imgur.com)


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