Cover photo by Chris Riebschlager, used under Creative Commons license

SweepingJay

Last night I, and the rest of Toronto, watched the Jays beat the Texas Rangers in the bottom of the 10th inning, in just about the most dramatic and poetic way possible. That the winning run was scored on a throwing error by Rougned Odor, infamous for punching out Jose Bautista earlier this year (in retaliation for a hard slide into second, but really for the bat flip in last year’s playoffs), was just about the best possible way for the Jays to complete their first-ever series sweep.

Bring on Cleveland. Or Boston. Or whoever.

.:.

Cover photo by Chris Riebschlager, used under Creative Commons license

Tension grows and the whistle blows

I love sports. The classic match-ups. The iconic venues. The unforgettable moments.

I was lucky enough to be back in Boston last weekend for work. In between conference sessions I had a pretty good steak at Davio’s, made a return visit to Stoddard’s to meet a friend, saw the memorial on Boylston Street, and drank a few good pints of craft beer (Allagash White, Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout, Ommegang Abbey Ale) at the conference’s hotel pub. But mostly I was lucky because I got to experience one of those iconic venues. I got to watch a Red Sox game at Fenway Park, from atop the Green Monster no less.

I ate a ballpark dog and drank a Sam Adams. I leaned out and touched Carlton Fisk’s foul pole. I listened to the crowd sing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame” and, much more emphatically, “Sweet Caroline”. I watched David Ortiz crank a 439-footer to straightaway center not a week after his hilariously inspirational speech following the bombings. I watched the Sox beat Houston 7-2 on a blustery April evening and couldn’t think of anything more Bostonian to do.

The next day I flew back to Toronto, just ahead of my parents who flew in from Moncton for a (not quite) two-day stay. We had dinner at Starfish, explored the Distillery District, and sampled some of the breakfast sausage we made last weekend, but the real reason they were here was to see one of those classic match-ups: the Montreal Canadiens vs. the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night. Nellie had somehow lucked into gold seats for the final game of the season, and gave up her seat so that my dad could watch his first NHL game in 49 (!) years and our first together.

Luckily for me, my Canadiens won. I felt bad that my dad had come all the way from Nova Scotia to watch his beloved Leafs lose, but I’m sure he felt the same way I would have had my team lost: just getting to watch such a big game together is now one of those unforgettable moments that sports can sometimes produce.

Less Joe Mauer. More Ryan Howard.

I’m still trying to get some work done — brilliance often strikes around midnight, right? — so no interesting blog topics tonight. This week has been bad for imagination and insight. Too much happening at work, not enough brain downtime at home, let alone time to get non-work stuff done. We haven’t had groceries in the house since Sunday morning. We’ve been on subsistence pizza for days.

Meanwhile the weather’s turned to shit, which normally would turn my mood black as pitch, but it’s not like I’m paying attention to what’s outside. Still, though…I don’t hate my days. I hate some of what happened at work today, but not most of it. I think having the right co-workers, and especially the right boss, makes up for a lot of down.

That’s it. Enough. I’ve been trying to hit for average all week. Tomorrow I’m swingin’ for the fences.