March 10, 2009

What the blood...?

Italy. Italy! Team Canada, ousted from the World Baseball Classic, by Italy. No offence to Italy but, well, they're Italy. No matter how much I've been drinking the past few days, that's rough.

The World Baseball Classic tournament just began for Canada. And, just like that, it's over. Ended in our own backyard, no less. Cue immense sadness.

I'll be honest, I drank a lot during Canada's two games. But I'm pretty sure I didn't see Toronto Blue Jay, and The Blue Jay Hunter man-crush, Scott Richmond throw a pitch. Why not? What was he being saved for? I'm off Ernie Whitt. Huge.

It sucked to see the homeland go out like complete bitches, especially to bloody Italy, but the tournament wasn't a complete loss. After all, on Saturday afternoon, I got to experience firsthand what PLAYOFFS!!!!1 baseball would be like at the Rogers Centre.

My man Lloyd at Ghostrunner on First wrote about it, and the Drunks wrote about it, too. The atmosphere was electric. Everyone was on their feet, hanging on to each and every pitch. It was loud. It was, frankly, the opposite experience than you'd expect at the Dome for a baseball game. Sure, Canada lost 6-5, but it didn't matter. Meaningful baseball - for all intents and purposes, playoff baseball - was played at the Rogers Centre, and I was there. It was magical.

Canada may have been eliminated from the World Baseball Classic last night, but let it never be said that Toronto is not a baseball town. My city proved that it was, and is, on Saturday afternoon.

You know, there's still 162 games to be played, but it sure is a good thing the Toronto Blue Jays will be taking part in playoff baseball this October. The Cable Box will be rocking, much like it was over the weekend. The Jays are winning the pennant, after all.

UPDATE: Make sure you read Stephen Brunt's column, Arrivederci, Canada, in today's Globe and Mail.

Excerpt: "On Saturday it felt as if baseball had returned to Canada for real, for the first time in a long, long time.

"A big crowd filled two-thirds of the Rogers Centre. There was a crackle of emotion in a place not known for it in the past decade and a half. And the plucky underdog Canadian national team ... repaid the fans in full by battling to the last out against the all-star Americans. 

"If you love the game, it made your heart sing. All of those wheel-spinning Blue Jays seasons when it seemed as if the sport would never again be first in the city's heart, and still when you give people a reason to really care, it seems they will."

Clearly, that shit made me cry. Read it. Toronto is a baseball town. Believe it. Brunt is a rudey.


Stan the Caddy said...

Saturday was definitely electric in there. Even in the dying moments of the game last night, the small crowd showed its ability to cheer (and cheer louder than I ever thought possible) for our boys. The two WBC games definitely restored my faith in Toronto baseball fans - except for the idiot sitting in front of me and Sue Ellen last night who thought the Jays should DH Marco Scutaro full time. I was like... 'LOL....WUT!?!'

Pension Plan Puppets said...

I don't know that I'd get down on a coach that has gotten so much out of so little talent just because he thought that his team could beat ITALY!!!

Second, Toronto's not a baseball town and it'll get shown again once the Jays are out of the playoffs in April. If the Jays are good then yeah they'll draw but this city is nothing even remotely close to a baseball town. How many showed up for the Venezuela game? 13K?

Ian H. said...

Is that not the saddest picture of Scott Richmond you've ever seen?

I question Whitt's move to not use Richmond, so I guess Canada was a little overconfident with the Italians. I guess if Canada can somehow beat Italy in soccer, then we can call it even.

eyebleaf said...

Stan: I hope you and Sue Ellen were enjoying Oh Henry's throughout the game. And Scoots as full-time DH might be the dumbest idea, ever. Clearly there was someone at the game who was more inebriated than I. And that's always good to know.

PPP: Whitt should have started Richmond. Period. There was no tomorrow. Now there is no tomorrow. You don't tempt fate like that. And Toronto is a baseball town. Trust me, that game on Saturday was unreal. This town just wants to support a winner. I will let you on the bandwagon when the Jays are back on top, PPP, but I will be tempted to kick you off it as well.

Ian: Hopefully Richmond makes the Jays and can forget about this debacle. And you're right, until we beat Italy in soccer, they're on the shit list.

Parth Pandya said...

Let's not beat Italy soccer. Don't want giant riots to erupt in Little Italy.

Seriously though I'm jonsing for some serious Jays "PLAYOFFS!!!!!1" baseball.

Anonymous said...

After reading your post, I'm starting to believe that baseball isn't as bad as I make it out to be. Life owes you for all of these loses. Next year will be huuuge.

Anonymous said...

At least we can take solace that our womens hockey team can beat them Italians.

Granted it was 2006, but hey. ;)

eyebleaf said...

Parth: Beating the Azzurri is the ONLY way we can redeem ourselves. The only way. And, if the Jays make the playoffs, I will be in tears, for sure.

Lori: Baseball is beautiful. And your town has one of the best ballparks in America. And you're right, life does owe me for all these losses. Jesus. So much fail.

Anon: Thank you. I can take solace in that.

Anonymous said...

No problem. Just trying to make the pain hurt less.

As for the WBC, there's still time to cheer for Team USA. Hey, it's the closest thing to Canada winning it. Am I right?

eyebleaf said...

You're good people, clearly, but you're wrong. I can't support those freedom trumpeting Americans. I just can't. Go Cuba. Go Japan. Viva Italia!

I can't support a team that has Adam Dunn on it. Adam Dunn hates baseball. He hits 40 home runs EVERY SINGLE SEASON, but he hates baseball.

Anonymous said...

I respect your opinion. Personally, I'll be cheering for Venezuala to kick Italy's arse tonight. So then, we can kick their asses. :)

deemovedawayandnowihavenoonetomakefunof said...


slewis said...

It hurt extra hard when Dunn killed that ball, right after he mocked the crowd.

I think the Jays will be surprising this season.

Escaped Lab Rat said...

It was an electric atmosphere for sure--playoff baseball indeed.

Whitt can definitely be second-guessed for not using Richmond, but I also feel that if we couldn't beat Italy without him, then we just didn't deserve it at all--not this year. Hopefully next time we'll have all hands on deck.

eyebleaf said...

Anon: The Dutch knock off the Dominicans. Un-fucking-real. Suddenly, Canada are not the biggest chokers of the tournament. Good times.

KaranMissesDee: There's nothing worse than the good old "USA! USA!" chant. One douchebag was waving his flag after Youkilis hit his home run on Saturday, and we were booing him, and he goes "What, you don't like freedom?" I thought it was a pretty good comeback. Bastard.

Slewis: Yeah, Dunn told the crowd to shutup, and then he did with that jack. What an asshole! And by "surprising," you mean the Jays are going to win the pennant.

Escaped: Everything I've been reading is that Richmond should have been on the bench, but I still don't agree with that. Blair ripped Whitt for his in-game managerial skills. Regardless, Whitt is the best manager the Jays have never had, and let's hope it stays that way.

Escaped Lab Rat said...

I feel better now that the dutch have knocked out the dominicans.

eyebleaf said...

I think all of Canada does. But, oh man, the Dominicans are going to have hell to pay.

Anonymous said...

For anyone who likes schadenfreude, Italy got spanked by Venezuela and are now out. Just wanted to pass that along.

Your Friendly Neighbourhood Anonymous American Baseball Fan.

eyebleaf said...

Shocking that Italy got their asses handed to them. Let's see if Venezuela can pull it off tomorrow. Great game by the Dutch tonight. Fuck, still don't believe it.

And, thanks, Friendly Neighbourhood Anonymous American Baseball Fan.

Stan the Caddy said...

Fuckin eh about the Dutch - this WBC tourney almost makes me forget that Spring Training is like 5 months long this year

eyebleaf said...

The tourney has been pretty boss. If only Canada didn't go out like pure bitches. I've got a ticket to tomorrow's game. I think it might have to be done.

Pension Plan Puppets said...

I don't know. Then what happens when you have a must-win against a real baseball country and Canada has no one left?

Whitt's an idiot for not saving Richmond for the big game!!!1

That's what.

And Toronto is a baseball town. Trust me, that game on Saturday was unreal. This town just wants to support a winner.

Unless it's hockey you better win in this town. If the Jays were good then there would be crowds but they're not so there aren't. Baseball towns support their team and Toronto doesn't.

And you won't be able to kick me off the bandwagon because I'm sneaky. I'll blend in. There will be a tonne of us on it too because this isn't a baseball town.

eyebleaf said...

PPP: In a tournament when there is no tomorrow, you don't save anyone for anything. Period. That's looking past a must-win game. If we got by Italy on Richmond's arm, we hope for a Dutch-style upset of the Dominicans. It's possible. The Dutch pulled it off, didn't they? We looked past the Italians, and I believe that's why we're out of the tournament. Granted, we didn't hit for shit, but the starting pitching was awful.

The Jays still average b/w 20-24 K a season. That's not bad. That's still supporting the team. It's a shame the Dome is so fucking cavernous.

And I will find you on the bandwagon. And I will let the world know about it.

Go Jays.

Don't listen to PPP. Best deal in town, hands down.

karandoesn'tmissdee.....well..yea he does said...

I went to the Colbert Report 2 weeks ago and he started the show off with the chant...brought a tear to my eye.

One day, you too my friend with chant along with me.

eyebleaf said...

Man, the day I'm doing the "USA!" chant is the day it's all over for me.

But next time I'm in NYC, we gotta hit up The Daily Show or Colbert. Those two are straight rudeys. I love how Stewart is ripping apart CNBC these days. Good times.

Anonymous said...

eyebleaf: No problem. Just trying to help out my brothers to the North of us.

And yes, both Colbert and Stewart are great guys. They rock. Hard.

I'd laugh then cry in my beer keg if the Americans lost to Venezuela tonight.

Your Friendly Neighbourhood American Baseball Fanatic

eyebleaf said...

YFNABF: Cheers, mate. Thanks for reading. I hope you'll come around these parts often and share your American insight with us often. I don't know about you, but I can't wait for opening night.

Steve the American Baseball Fan said...

I really can't wait for opening day, too. I want to see if the Rays' run last season was all but a fluke.

I'm curious to also see if any of the A-Rod crap will have any effect on the Yankees early on.

'Til next time, cheers.

Your Friendly Neighbourhood American Baseball Fanatic