N.B.- I haven't been able to post because I've been very low energy in general. I took a B12 and also started taking an iron supplement, because as Rod and Todd Flanders once said, iron helps me play.
So I can maybe invest energy into writing about baseball again.
A hearty congratulations to Marcus Stroman for pitching like a beast in the WBC finale and winning tournament MVP. He actually made me excited about the World Baseball Classic. I was even happy that the US won. It was kind of Stroman’s coming out party. I was pretty heavily in favour of Puerto Rico taking the whole tournament but I can't be mad that Stroman pitched so well and so dominantly because he's our guy.
Stroman's larger than life swagger on the mound make Ian Kinsler's comments about American style baseball versus Puerto Rican or Dominican or Venezuelan or Cuban baseball that much more hilarious because it's obvious that Americans also have passion and are able to demonstrate it in a bunch of different ways. Kinsler's clarified his comments after people reacted negatively to them.
The issue with Kinsler's comments is that they don’t exist in a vacuum but is a continution of a long standing back and fourth about who "owns" the spirit of baseball. And it almost always comes down to race. It's never a black guy or Latino guy that has the hard-nosed hard-working working class attitude and it's never the white guy that is flamboyant or lazy or any of the other things that tend to attribute to non-white baseball players. There is a "right way" to play baseball.
And maybe Ian Kinsler’s comment would’ve been just slightly less irritating had Dan Duquette, GM of the Orioles, not had something incredibly stupid to say about José Bautista this week. He called Bautista a "villain" and then went on to compare Bautista to Mark Trumbo, opening a whole new level of stupidity. Why Duquette compared Trumbo to a working-class construction worker is baffling to me (he grew up in Orange County, C.A.) It’s all so racially coded. Why do your fans identify with Mark Trumbo rather than Adam Jones, Dan Duquette? Why is he not the shining example, the ideal Oriole?
One can say a lot of things about Bautista but I don't think anyone could reasonably argue that he's lazy or he doesn't work hard.
So to all these people who equate hard work with being white,
The other big news this week was that the Blue Jays finalized a deal with John Gibbons giving him a contract extension my appreciation and love for Gibbons is well documented and I'm glad that he's going to be sticking around.
There was a rather hilarious moment with John Gibbons in a scrum earlier this week where Devon Travis and Josh Donaldson crashed it. Gibby can't keep track of who is doing what when.
It just illustrates what people like about John Gibbons. He's loose, creative and asks the players for their input. "Thanks, Dad."
Kevin Pillar announced that he and the Mrs. are expecting a baby girl. Mazel Tov.
(I’m also eager to see whether this baby favours her completely attractive but regular looking mother or her “THIS IS SPARTA!” -faced father. I have problems.)
Finally, I just want to give a shout out to Denis McGrath, TV writer, Canadian TV advocate and baseball fan.
I found out earlier this week via Twitter that he had passed away. Denis was one of the most passionate baseball fans I’ve ever met. He was so passionate that I think he was a lot to take for some people. But he was always very supportive of my blog and loved every aspect of baseball and I always defended his right to be as passionate as he needed to be. The other thing Denis was really great for was when I wanted to complain about something or I wanted a sounding board for something and he would always encourage to speak out, to complain and call bullshit when it was required. It’s probably the thing I’ll miss most about him- the back and fourth complaint DMs on Twitter.
“Is this bullshit, Denis?”
“Oh, it’s bullshit, Joanna.”
I’d met him a few times at events and he was always gracious and funny. And I’ll miss him. Looking at his Instagram feed , it looks like he spent most of February at Spring Training, watching baseball in the sun. I can think of worse ways of spending my last time on Earth.
RIP Denis. You will be missed.