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So there!

Marco Estrada

Marco Estrada. Photo by Dan Hamilton, USA Today

Dear Baseball fans who support the Blue Jays.

I offer the same condolences you would offer me as a Dodger fan and offer you our time honoured war cry, “wait’ll next year”!

The Jays had a very good year with a talented and exciting team. They have much to be proud of and nothing to be ashamed of.

I still hate the team, in the sports sense of that word. I have hated Toronto teams since I was a child and couldn’t change now even if I wanted to. Which I don’t. I love the city but can’t stand its nauseating Captain Canada complex.

Because of the regular humiliations heaped upon the “Bums” by the Yankees when I was young, I have detested the American League and consider the Designated Hitter rule an abomination and destructive of basic baseball strategy.

But I still congratulate the team, apart from the DH bullshit, they were fun to watch.

Now, to you Johnnies-Come-Lately who still think that the guy who catches the ball from the guy that throws it is the “backcatcher”, I delight in your disappointment. Led by Don Cherry and the Toronto owned media, which we in “The West Beyond The West” must endure, you embraced the greatest game on the planet and turned it into cheap jingoism. Those of us who were loyal to our teams, through thick and thin (for me mostly thin these days) were bad Canadians because, unlike Benedict Arnold, we wouldn’t become traitors to satisfy the glitter of the moment. We were deprived of the ancient right, and rite, of arguing baseball over a couple of suds without our political gonads becoming an issue. I have never ever made an enemy over the most heated debates in the past – in fact baseball wars cemented friendships – but I’m not sure I can say that when the battle wasn’t about players, statistics and the glories of yesterday but patriotism.

The Blue Jays will be back, probably even better next year but I hope you ersatz baseball phonies with maple leaves painted on your bellies go back to hockey, which loses its greatest players to concussions not from accidents but deliberate illegality, faintly punished by tongue clucking and $500 fines on millionaires.

Leave the finest game of them all to those who love and understand it and don’t confuse being a fan with patriotism.

2 Responses to “So there!”

  1. Rafe,
    I had to chuckle. I too am a romantic. Mt childhood heroes were Rocket Richard and the Habs, and Jackie Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodgers.

    I also detested the Toronto Maple Leafs and the New York Yankees. I am still pissed off that they worshipped Yankee hitters Mantle and Maris but shunned one of the greats of the day Duke Snyder.

    How ’bout them Canucks?

  2. Rafe says:

    Richard … I knew you must have some good in you!!! Bless you my son.
    The most underrated Bum in my view was Billy Cox, a superb 3rd baseman.
    Jackie turned out to be the heart and soul of the Club. Everyone forgets that in 1951 the annus horribilis, the Dodgers wouldn’t have made the playoff if Jackie hadn’t homered against the Phillies in the 11th in the last game. Unluckiest Dodgers? Toss up between Don Newcombe and Ralph Branca

    Google Richard Hughes in Cowichan, great online paper

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