This will be my only blog post of 2013 (sorry for discontinuing last season). This piece of PhotoArt is my representation of the hope I have for this team going into 2013.
So much is riding on this season for the Blue Jays. Fans have been longing for playoff baseball in Toronto for a long, long time now. The team the Jays have assembled has be well documented, but to reitterate (notably we got Reyes, Dickey, Buehrle, Melky, Bonifacio, Josh Johnson!!!!!!!!).
I will burn this image (a Photoshop burnt image technique) if the Jays season falls off the ‘playoff map,’ so to speak. Hopefully, that does not happen and I can add a playoff pennet to the image – or dare I say – a World Series trophy or ring!!! So, in a way, the Jays season is contained metaphorically in this image.
Go Jays 2013! Enjoy the season Southern Ontario!
The Fist Pump
Some years in sports just stick with you, I’m sure many would agree? For me, the 1989 A.L. East pennant race between the Blue Jays and Orioles was one of those years. The image from that year that will always stick with me (and many Blue Jays fans) is the Tom Henke fist-pump as he strikes out Orioles’ Larry Sheets on the next-to-last game of the ’89 season, clinching the A.L. East for the Jays.
It the greatest fist pump in the history of fist pumps, in my opinion. Tiger Woods has nothing on that fist pump. Seriously! Henke was a very tall player, so that added to the drama as he raised his arm all the way in the air and virtually down to ground in the emphatic fashion only a fist-pump can provide. It was like he was putting a nail in coffin of the Orioles (sorry O’s fans). Being very young at the time, I needed that fist pump to help me acknowledge what the Jays had accomplished. It was a long, gruelling race and the Jays had sealed it.
I recently tweeted on my page @talkinhomer about the moment to @MLB, with trend tag #MLBmoments. I even recieved some bitter responses from Oriole fans (unfortunately for them) remembering being on the losing side of the same race. In one instance, the fist-pump even evoked some
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regurgitating out of one Oriole fans mouth. Believe me, it was that good of a fist-pump!
*(my apologies as my internet research skills did not acquire a link to a clip of the ‘Fist Pump,” but believe me it was a beautiful fist-pump in terms of fist-pumps) *
At the age of 7, it was probably the first year that I actually followed a baseball season (and somewhat realized what was going on). The Jays of ’89 were a very competitive team having been to ALCS four years earlier and on the verge of starting something extremely special in the four years that were to come. I was feverishly collecting baseball cards at this time (as were many kids+plus adults), I watched the Buffalo Bills fall apart in the Super Bowl against the New York Giants (the first Super Bowl that I ever watched, creating no chance for me ever to become a Bills fan) and my favorite Jay player the time was easily the Crimedog, Fred McGriff. Unfortunately, the Jays would run into a bunch of drug crazy Athletics in the ALCS that year, beginning a brief rivalry between the two teams in the late 80s to early 90s.
My Favorite Player Back Then
In 1989, McGriff hit 36 homeruns, had a .399 OBP, won the Silver Slugger Award and came 6th in MVP voting. ’89 was also the first year that the Jays played in the Rogers Centre (Skydome) and on June 5th McGriff would hit the stadium’s first homerun. McGriff would consistantly bank balls of the Windows restaurant in center field for some of my fondest, early memories of baseball.
As I watch Roy Halladay do what I always knew he was capable of doing, I’m reminded of the old identity the Jays had with ‘Doc’ as the star. In 2010, Jose Bautista changed all of that.
The Blue Jays, and more specifically the Rogers Centre, is now a scary place to play. Opposing pitchers are coming to another country, and they are being harrassed and assaulted by a lineup with deadly weapons. Entire pitching staffs are being held hostage by Blue Jay bats. The structure of the game is crumbling as we wreak devastation on MLB. Bautista is leading his rebellion army across baseball and (hopefully?!? arbitration?) into 2011.
I’m just back from the WBC game where Team Canada lost to the United States 6-5 in a nail-biter that came down to the last two batters. Those batters, most disappointingly, were arguably the best hitters on the team, Justin Morneau and Jason Bay, and they could not come through with the big hit when Canada needed!
Regardless, it was an amazing game to be at, the Rogers Centre was electric being filled almost to capacity and there were many Canadian players that shined in key moments! The Toronto native, Joey Votto, crushed the ball for Team Canada going 4-for-5 with two RBIs before a lively crowd of 42,314.
One of the highlights for Team Canada, at least one that stood out for me, was young Seattle Mariner prospect Phillipe Aumont. Aumont worked a valiant inning where he saw himself in a bases loaded jam, and managed to get out it – striking out two. I started to feel really bad for the young guy when he got in the jam. Amazingly, he came back and got out some of the best hitters in baseball. This was certainly an extreme positive for Aumont. It will do great things for his pitching confidence going forward. For that reason, the Mariners should be glad that their young pitcher is taking part in the WBC – except he is limited to pitching only one inning for Team Canada as a mandate from the Mariners organization. Don’t they want him to be gaining that kind of experience??? They should be. I don’t get owners sometimes.,
Great game! Awesome atomosphere! I haven’t seen the dome like that ever I think! As promised, here are some pictures from my adventure.
An outstanding showing of people for the game!! The upper deck is hardly ever filled like that!
Team Canada ledgend and one of the greatest names in baseball, Stubby Clapp, is represented in this sign by some guys sitting near me. He actually never got into game, so they must have been disappointed.
Here I am with my cool WBC program. See my Canadian pride – even my eyes are red. They also handed out some pretty sweet Topps baseball cards after the game. I’m thinking they need to be Photoshoped, just like my eyes in this pic!!