Tag Archives: root for the home team

Happy Father’s Day. Or: Another non-White Sox post

So, for a change, I’m going to talk about a utility player today. :)

(Oh, stop laughing.)

So, this is one of the non-White Sox that holds a special place in my baseball life and is definitely worth a little attention on Father’s Day. This is John MacDonald.

Johnny Mac has played for the Blue Jays for the last 5 years (after a long stint in Cleveland with one Omar Vizquel). He’s your typical super-sub, with gold glove-worthy defense, but a bat that keeps him out of the line-up most days, barring injury to someone in the starting line-up. And, he’s definitely grown to be beloved in Toronto. He’s a generally all-around nice guy (Canadians love that!) and Blue Jays fans know that when he’s at 3rd or SS, it’s going to be an easy day for your left outfielder. And, it’s nice to see that, instead of leaving him on the bench for a possible defensive replacement move today, he gets to start the day at 3B.

In 2010, John MacDonald came back from bereavement leave 5 days after losing his dad to cancer. Before his dad passed away, his dad had told him that John was going to hit his next home run for him. John is not really known for his power-bat and he told his dad that it could happen quite a few years from then in a weekend softball game. He had only 13 home runs in 12 MLB seasons, and hadn’t hit one that year.

His first game back was on Father’s Day. In his first at-bat (a pinch-hit in the bottom of the 9th), he knocked a 2-run homer over the left field wall.

The Jays had too big of a deficit to overcome in that game, so they didn’t win that day, but that’s not the point of this story.

The radio announcers said it best: “We were all up here in the booth, blowing that one out.”

Happy Father’s Day for anyone with something and someone to celebrate or commemorate today.

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If you need me, I’ll be watching the game from behind my hands. Or: This is going to a long four games in T.O.

Watching my childhood team take on my “adulthood” team on the field I spent so much time at as a kid is always so nerve-wracking. This is hard on my sanity. I feel so conflicted (only not really, because I definitely want the Sox to win today) and for some reason these games always feel way more important and significant than they probably are.

But, even though I know it’s just another game, this game is going to exhaust me.

We’re 3 1/2 innings in and it’s 0 – 0, with one hit between the two teams, mostly 1-2-3 halves and we’re seemingly in the middle of a pitcher’s duel.

Also noteworthy, Omar is on the starting line-up, I hope Ozzie sticks with him through the weekend, when I’m going to be there!

Go Sox! I would love to get through the month of May without falling further out of the race. And, not to mention, there’s a war for bragging rights going on in my family and I could use a little help!

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A new barometer for wackyness. Or: I think we were all delerious by the end of last night’s game.

I blame the White Sox for the fact I was a zombie all day today. If I hadn’t checked twitter before going to bed,I wouldn’t have been up half of the night (with a few other crazy diehards on twitter) watching the Sox beat the Rangers.

In the end, though, I’m glad I stayed up for it. Not only was it a win (and, turned out to be our only win this series), but I think everyone lost their minds a little during the weather delay and came back not quite at full capacity afterwards.

  • Josh Hamilton sliding (head first) in to first. And, second. And, third. IN A ROW.
  • Brent Morel swinging and missing when trying to tag Josh Hamilton out at third – after advancing on a wild pitch – or, a terrible call by the umps, one or the other (depends ify you’re drinking the ChiSox or the Rangers’ kool-aid).
  • Santos tagging David Murphy on the way to first for the second-to-last out of the game and a little drama about the call.
  • Adam Dunn improbably hitting a home run.
  • Juan Pierre manages to steal 2nd base AND successfully bunting.
  • The final out of the game also coming on a controversial score, so AJ tagging the batter with his glove while he trotted out from behind home plate – continuing his mission of making friends wherever he goes.
  • The see-saw score (White Sox – Rangers):
    Top 5th: 4-2
    Bottom 5th: 4-4
    Top 6th: 6-4
    Bottom 6th: 6-5
    Top 7th:7-5
    Bottom 8th:7-6
    Top 9th:8-6
  • Somehow, even after letting in two runs and giving up our 4-2 lead for a 4-4 tie, Tony Pena manages to collect the win, giving Jake Peavy a no-decision. As we already knew, the win/loss/hold/save designations could use a little re-vamping.
  • Lets not forget the runway show that was the path between the ChiSox bullpen and the pitcher’s mound. A different reliever started every inning for the ChiSox. When Santos had to bail out Thonton at the bottom of the 8th, we had used our entire bullpen. It was like the auditon for who is getting the boot out of the bullpen (or, at least down the pecking order) when they go back to a 5-man rotation. Holds for Sale, Crain and Thornton and a save for Santos. I wonder if Willl Ohman feels left out.
  • And, finally, being up with about 18 other diehards on twitter, watching all of these shenanigans unfold, right before our (very delerious) eyes.

Kudos to the very small number of fans who stuck it out at the game last night. Sorry it didn’t go your way (well, not really!), but your enthusiasm kept the momentum swinging, early into the morning. There are probably more than a few kids who didn’t have to go to school today in Arlington.

And, beacuse that recap is approximately the size of a small novel, and posting about Gavin Floyd collecting a loss (especially after a good outing), and also posting about a game that I could not watch, I am going to limit my commentary on today’s game to:

The three hits that Gavin gave up are apparently the smallest number ever given up that resulted in a win at the Rangers ballpark. And, the White Sox continuing to be their own undoing, failing on the run support and grounding into double plays like it is going out of style.

And, finally:

These boys need to get their act together. For my brother’s birthday, I am packing up and taking it on the road and we are catching the two weekend games of this weekend’s series in Toronto! I’m going to be one of the lone fans in black and white this weekend, so I’m going need a little back-up from the field.

Go Sox!

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Root for the (old) home team. Or: Why Toronto will always have a little piece of my heart.

It needs to be said:

I grew up with the Blue Jays. As in, we grew up together. I grew up running up and down the bleachers in the nosebleeds at Exhibition Stadium. When the seats were $1 and as long as it wasn’t pouring rain, sleeting, or the middle of a blizzard, it was the easiest way to kill an afternoon and entertain your hyperactive child.

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My mother will tell you many embarrassing stories of me standing on the bleachers, belting out “Take Me Out to The Ballgame”.

Just ask her.

Or, when I was too young to really understand what was going on, cheering very loudly for the opposing team’s successes and being stared at by every Jays fan in the venue.

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I remember the excitement while we were waiting for the SkyDome (“The Dome”) to be built and how incredibly exciting it was when we got to go to our first game in the big, bright, shiny new stadium. The first time rain didn’t mean stopping the game. The long (LONG) walk to the 500 section. The huge (at the time) JumboTron in all of the bright, shiny, full-colour glory.

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And, of course, the season opener where I was sitting in season tickets along the third base line that my father’s colleague had given us (and would continue to share with us for a few years) and spilled my chocolate milkshake all over the guy in the season ticket seats next to us. Not exactly an auspicious start to a friendship.

I remember the entire Cito Gaston era. I can still recite to you the entire line-up from 1990 through 1995.

I remember “Winfield Wants Noise” and his game-winning double to clinch the World Series in ’92. I remember feeling heartbroken when he left. I remember being so excited for Pat Borders when he won MVP. My aunt still makes a dish named after him (involving sweet potatoes and pecans) at major family functions. I remember Roberto Alomar in his prime, and John Olerud and his batting helmet while playing first and Joe Carter’s walk-off homer to win the ’93 World Series. I had a World Series championship jersey that I wore so much it finally fell apart in the wash and I definitely remember the whole school shutting down during both World Series visits so we could watch the game.

There were a lot of things (other than leaving the country) that led me away from baseball and from the Jays, most of which are a bit too complicated to go into. As are the reasons why my heart is firmly with the ChiSox these days.

But, for all the reasons I’ve listed above (as well as countless more). I still keep my ear to the ground and one eye on the Dome (which I will start calling “The Rogers Centre” on approximately the 12th of Never) for the Jays. And why, as long as they’re not playing Chicago, I still want them to pull it out and have a soft spot for them a mile wide.

They are the reason I got into baseball. The reason why I have a huge American League bias and why my view of MLB is shamefully AL-centric. (Though, I am currently taking applications for a National League team to support, so if anyone wants to pimp their NL team, I’m open to suggestions.) They are the reason why I love the DH and why, even to this day, pitchers still look out of place to me at home plate.

And, even though I will be wearing my ChiSox logo with pride when I take my brother to the Dome in May (still a die-hard Jays fan, bless his heart), the Jays were my childhood team and, lest anyone think I’m merely hopping on the bandwagon if they pull out a miracle this year, they will always have a little piece of my heart.

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Watching the entire 9th inning from behind my hands. Or: Can I get off this emotional rollercoaster now?

I know we’re approximately 5 minutes into the regular season, but if the Sox keep doing this to me, I’m going to need an extra-large container of Tums and a handful of valium if I’m ever going to make it past the 8th inning.

Tonight hurt, being so close in so many ways that you could practically taste it. I’ll commend the A’s on a job well done (to make particular mention of the save by Fuentes), but man, this one stung.

But, to digress from the Sox for a moment, what up with Tampa @ Boston tonight?

Fuld, who came to the Rays from the Cubs in the Matt Garza trade, hails from Durham, N.H., and grew up watching Red Sox baseball. By his own estimation, he figured he had seen 40 to 50 games at Fenway Park. Monday night’s game proved to be his first as a Major Leaguer at the historic field, and approximately 30 family members and friends were on hand to watch. They were treated to a performance in which he displayed why he has become an emerging force for the Rays.

… Fuld, who made an extraordinary diving catch Saturday against the White Sox, repeated the feat in the fifth when Dustin Pedroia hit a drive to the gap in left-center field. Fuld raced to the ball and dove at the last second to rob Pedroia of extra bases.

Fuld tripled to lead off the sixth, leaving him a single shy of the cycle. After he flew out in the seventh, he had one final at-bat in the ninth and he appeared to notch the final piece to the puzzle. He lined a ball into left field, but he didn’t stop at first and finished with a stand-up double.

Entire article: http://tampabay.rays.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2011_04_11_tbamlb_bosmlb_1&mode=recap&c_id=tb

This guy is trying really hard to stay on my radar right now and I have to say, my interest is piqued. It’s got to be an exciting night to be a Tampa Bay fan.

And, to make matters worse, I’m pretty sure my brother is going to be able to rub a Jays’ win in my face by the time morning rolls around.

(In reality, I’m only mildly kidding about that. I will have to discuss my historic love affair with the Jays some other time, but that doesn’t mean its any easier to swallow coming off the night at The Cell.)

Well, at least some of us are having a good night. I’m hoping tomorrow’s my turn!

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