The Blue Jays currently sit in a playoff spot – wow. All of this without their leadoff hitter George Springer at 100%. The team is coming together and winning when they need to. One could see things heading south with Baltimore until the team quickly changed direction and the offence took over. Brandon Hyde, the Manager of the Orioles, thought it was wise to yell at the Blue Jay’s ace from the dugout regarding some possible allegations related to stealing signs. The coaching staff of the Jays did absolutely nothing and this was unacceptable. After that game, the players took it into their own hands and made the Manager pay in a big way. The second game of the double header on this past Saturday is a prime example of why you should never give up until the last out of a game. Anything can happen. And remember not to yell at an opposing team, especially if the team is miles ahead of you in the standings, a CY Young favourite, and a team in your division. You will have to play this team again and they will never forget. Following Hyde’s action, for what he later apologized for (so you know he was wrong), the Jays scored 47 runs in the series.
There are certain world events that help us understand what is important in life. One of those events was the day two planes hit the World Trade Centre buildings. Everyone old enough will remember exactly where they were and what they were doing at the time. I was in grade 8 gym class and the teacher came into the gym with a radio and explained the significance of the event, the act of terrorism and the potential downfall of what may happen next on a world scale. Of course, not knowing much about the big picture, I was extremely worried. Life and sports halted for all – sports were not important, but family and thoughts of those affected were front and present. Major League Baseball canceled its games immediately following the attacks, but league officials and fans knew that sport might be the best way to heal from such a horrid event. As a result, play resumed and baseball’s regular season and postseason were pushed back a bit. President Bush ended up throwing the first pitch of game #3 of the World Series between the New York Yankees and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Bush remarked the following about the experience: “I had never had such an adrenaline rush as when I finally made it to the mound, I was saying to the crowd, ‘I’m with you, the country’s with you’…And I wound up and fired the pitch. I’ve been to conventions and rallies and speeches: I’ve never felt anything so powerful and emotions so strong and the collective will of the crowd so evident.” Sports at the end of the day fail in importance to events like this, but they sure do have the ability to bring people together. The World Series provided an opportunity to go back to what they were used to, and still remember the tragic event that happed twenty years ago, even though it feels like yesterday.
There is a new tennis star in Canada. Tennis as a sport has changed dramatically in a generation, and somewhere along the way Canada caught the wave. At the age of 19, Leylah Fernandez reached her first grand slam title in the US Open and lost to Emma Raducanu. Like anyone who watched or reported on this event, it is easy to see that she will be back in the near future. Tennis is a very different sport since athletes seem to reach their peak at a very young age. What was even more impressive was when she reached for the microphone after losing the biggest game of her life, and spoke about the tragic events of 9/11 to the crowd.
The Simcoe Rural Fastball playoffs are underway this week. In the one semifinal series, the Minesing Mallards will be taking on the Wyevale Tribe. Game times are Monday, September 13th at 8:00 pm at Doran Park, Thursday, September 16th in Wyevale at 7:30 pm and then Monday, September 20th at 8:00 pm at Doran Park (if necessary). The other semifinal features the two-time defending champions, the Victoria Harbour Dodgers and the Vasey Countrymen. Games are scheduled for Monday, September 13th at 8:30 pm in Victoria Harbour, Wednesday, September 15th at 8:30 pm in Vasey and then Monday, September 20th in Victoria Harbour at 8:30 pm (if necessary).
The Barrie Baycats have advanced to the second round of playoffs to face the Toronto Maple Leafs. Game # 2 will be played in Barrie on Saturday, September 18th at 4:05 pm.