Once in a blue moon, I will re-post something from my brand spanking new sports blog that transcends conversation beyond just the topic of sports. If I feel it’s something interesting and worth discussing with everyone, it’ll get posted here as well.
This article for those who don’t spend any time in the sports loop is about the situation that happened earlier this week with Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Pillar yelling a homophobic slur at a pitcher after being struck out. The article is not about the situation itself, but the outside reaction since the event. Pillar has since been suspended two games for the word he uttered, but as it’s to be expected of the snowflake generation, no punishment is fair enough and now they want him traded away from the Toronto Blue Jays.
My opinions in short for those not wanting to read the full article is that I don’t think people should be taking the word he said to heart at all. It was never intended to be directed at anyone, hell he never intended to say it. I don’t believe Pillar is homophobic and as a member of the LGBT community myself, I took zero offense with him saying the word, because again I understood it wasn’t directed at myself or anyone else in the community. I firmly believe Pillar is not homophobic, he does not hate people in the LGBT community and fully understands that what he said was wrong. So my reactions lie with the ridiculousness of people taking this slip of the tongue way too seriously, when it’s a word that was directed at a single person (who isn’t gay) and a word that isn’t even used towards gay people most of the time now in common dialogue. Just listen to your average Call of Duty online match.
Anyways, if you’re interested in reading further, check out the full article here.
Those words are ringing in my ears over and over again right now. I’m a huge Toronto Blue Jays fan and at the time I’m writing this, their record is 3-12. For a team that us fans anticipated and expected to compete for a playoff spot, this isn’t exactly the start we were looking for. At the same time, it’s even worse in our heads because the offense of the team is extremely lackluster. There are 196 batters currently listed for batting averages and three starters for the Blue Jays are in the bottom ten, in fact they occupy 190th, 191st and 192nd on the list. That is fucking horrendous.
But even worse, after I’m already pissed off about how badly the Blue Jays are playing right now, all I keep hearing in my ears are those two words I mentioned at the start: “It’s early.”, as in there’s 147 games left in the season, calm down, they’ll recover. Here’s the thing, folks, only winning 3 of your last 15 games is never a good thing at any time in the season, so why is it suddenly okay because it’s the start. If this was July and they had a 3-12 run, people would be freaking out, but because it’s April, it’s okay.
Here’s some math for you folks. For the Blue Jays to get back to being a .500 team, they’d have to go 78-69 the rest of the way. Doesn’t sound so bad, right? Let’s add onto that. Last year, the Jays and Orioles were the two wildcard teams in the American League and they both had the same record of 89-73. Assuming that’s the bare minimum to make the playoffs again this year, the Jays now have to go 86-61 the rest of the season. That’s a .585 baseball team from now until the end of the season. Basically, the Jays have to win 2 of every 3 games for the rest of the year. I’m not the best at math, but I can see how difficult being a .585 team is going to be. The best team last season were the Chicago Cubs who were a .640 team at 103-58 and in the entire league, only two other teams played above .585 by the end of the season, the Texas Rangers and the Washington Nationals and guess what? They’re only .001 above that at .586!
So with the lack of offense and the several pitching injuries already this season, I don’t feel like it’s unreasonable for the average baseball fan and Blue Jays fan to think that the season may already be over. Could they recover? Of course they could, but what are the odds now?! They basically have to be the best team in baseball the rest of the way through at this point and each loss that brings them further under being a .500 team alone pushes the bar even higher for the team to have to achieve in response.
In fact, right now the projection for the Jays to make the playoffs is at 15% and let’s be honest, the only reason it’s that high is because the AL East is a weaker division right now. The Chicago White Sox are 7-7 but are at 0.3% because everyone knows it’s either the Indians and maybe the Tigers in the wildcard spot. Upon checking another site, they have the Jays at an even worse 10.5% (they’re nicer to the White Sox at 7.7%) and I fully expect that number to drop further as time goes on here.
Sorry folks, but the Jays ain’t making the playoffs this year. Better pick a secondary team to watch this year. I’ll take Cleveland and watch Edwin Encarnacion actually see a World Series and quite possibly win one.
Look at this picture. Where’s the foul here? This is one of the many things that have happened in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals between the Toronto Raptors and the Cleveland Cavaliers that have made a lot of people, even sportscasters who are usually the last people to start talking about conspiracies. It’s raised a ton of questions, most of them pertaining to how everyone assumes the NBA under no circumstances want the lone Canadian team in the league in the NBA Finals.
So why is that? It’s pretty obvious, they want the best ratings possible for a NBA Finals matchup. Ideally, if Lebron James, the best player in the league isn’t there, the ratings aren’t as high. To me that’s fucking retarded as it is, I think Lebron’s had enough times in the Finals already, in FIVE STRAIGHT FINALS AND IT’LL BE SIX STRAIGHT IF THEY BEAT THE RAPTORS, as I’m writing this on Thursday and may forget to update this article after Game 6 on Friday. It brings up the talk about dynastys, to which I actually do not like, I have zero love for teams or individuals winning championships a lot over a small period of time. Guys like Tiger Woods, Roger Federer and Michael Schumacher, teams like the New England Patriots, Chicago Blackhawks and the stupid good Miami Heat before Lebron returned to Cleveland, all those dynasty teams or players bore the hell out of me. I think the idea of different teams and people in the top spot make things more interesting. And yes, my favourite teams could win three times in a row and I’d complain about that too, trust me. I’m a wrestling fan, when a good guy I like is champion a little too long, it gets boring. The chase is always better than the defence.
So when it comes to the NBA wanting the better ratings, I’m sorry but you rich motherfuckers can chill the fuck out, you’re already making a shit-ton of money, you just want to make that little extra cause y’know greed and all that. The fact that it’s blatantly obvious in some games you had the referees calling fouls only against the Raptors, Game 4 having an entire first half without the Raptors shooting a free throw, it’s disgusting. I enjoy watching sports because it’s unpredictable, once you try to alter the unpredictability of the game, I don’t care. You may be trying to add the stupid casual viewers who could give a fuck about your sport, but when you alienate the hardcore fans, who buy the expensive tickets, who buy the merchandise, there’s a problem. Don’t think that Canadians are the only ones bitching about the way this series has been called, there are a ton of Americans who hate Lebron James for both similar and different reasons.
As we’ve also learned in Major League Baseball, for some reason Canadian teams seem to be hated more. The Toronto Blue Jays have been the greatest example of this, since the emotional ALDS matchup last year with the Texas Rangers. So let’s get it out of the way, was Jose Bautista wrong for the “bat flip”? Absolutely not and yes, I would’ve said the same thing if Adrian Beltre did a bat flip if he made a huge homerun to take the lead after such a emotional roller coaster of a game. But apparently a celebration akin to what’s normal in the NFL made all of America hate the Blue Jays for some reason. So when the brawl happened earlier this season, the American commentators were acting like the Rangers did nothing wrong and I watched as people where going “Yeah, Jose deserved to get his teeth knocked down his throat!” and saying other stupid shit that made this a blatant national rivalry that’s really non-existent. The solution would’ve been simple for the Rangers, if they hadn’t royally fucked up in that inning during the ALDS, Jose never hits that homerun. You go on to the ALCS against Kansas City and that’s that. But you fucked up, deal with it, don’t be a bunch of fucking crybabies.
Both sides honestly are fucking ridiculous with the whole “Canada vs USA” rivalry in sports. We’ve proven though it doesn’t matter too much, with Canadians still watching the NHL playoffs even though for the first time in forever, no Canadian team was in the playoffs. Americans on the other hand, because the cliche dumbass American has this blind patriotism and thinks they have to make everything that goes outside their borders into a national rivalry. As a wrestling fan it makes me facepalm when it’s as easy as having a non-American get in the ring and say the USA sucks and he’s become public enemy number one. There’s a clear self-conscious issue going on with a lot of Americans where they seem to feel the need to beat everyone at everything and when they don’t, there’s a ton of complaining and excuses. While Canada on the other side (for the most part) doesn’t fall into this spectrum. When Canadian tennis player Milos Raonic loses again Novak Djokovic for the umpteenth time, we don’t turn it into a Canada/Serbia matchup. When the Blue Jays lost against the Royals in last year’s ALCS, we didn’t treat it like America screwed us, we just hated the fan that got in the way and we think a few players on the Royals are assholes. The biggest one is whenever Canada plays the USA in every Women’s Hockey Championship Final. We know this is a rivalry, but we don’t treat it like a national rivalry, at least most of us don’t. If we lose, we’re not going “Fucking Americans!” or some shit, we realize that our team got outplayed. We look at this matchup like Goliath vs Goliath, an even matchup where either team could win.
In the end, I think mostly due to American culture, Canadian teams are automatically behind the gun in any American sport or league. National pride is a thing in the States and for some reason they feel like excluding Canadian teams, but you’re the idiots who gave them a team to begin with. The NHL are fucking retarded for continuing to try and make teams work in places without snow when there is legitimate money to be made with a couple more teams in Canada. The MLB is ridiculous for having the Blue Jays in their first playoff series in over 20 years and not allowing the Canadian broadcast team we all know and love commentate their games. And the NBA is absolutely fucking despicable if they actually are telling the referees to put the game in the Cavs’ favour (I also disagree with the whole “the stars get the calls” ideology of refereeing, call it right down the middle, let the talent level dictate the end result) and trying to screw over the Raptors solely for ratings in the NBA Finals.
Us Canadians all assumed the Raptors would lose this series, hell we thought a single win would’ve been a miracle. Lebron James and the Cavaliers don’t need your help, they’re good enough on their own. Now kindly fuck off!
I saw the events that lead to the bench-clearing brawl during last night’s Toronto Blue Jays/Texas Rangers game.
Now I’m a Blue Jays fan, so I’ll try my best not to be too biased here. Based on what I saw, I saw a team that has no balls and waited until the last possible moment to get revenge on Jose for his bat flip during Game 5 of their ALDS matchup back in October. If you had any amount of guts and/or balls, why didn’t you nail him in Game 1 of the season in Toronto? But no, you decided to wait until has final at-bat in the final game you’ll face off all season. Cowardly.
After Bush drilled Bautista, I think everything that happened was fine and understandable. Jose was pissed that they waited till the very end to drill him, so he decided he wasn’t letting them leave with the last laugh, hence the super-aggressive slide into second on Odor. Then of course Odor’s pissed off cause he nearly got seriously injured, so he took offense to that and ended up drilling Jose with a punch that normally in MMA would knock a motherfucker out, so give Jose credit for staying up on his feet after that shot.
However, after all that I still have a common thought, regardless of what side I’m on with this brawl: I am so sick and tired of professional athletes getting all up in a tizzy over the “sanctity of the game”.
When Jose Bautista did his infamous bat flip in Game 5 of the ALDS, so many players, sports personalities, writers, everyone talked about how unprofessional Jose was and how it’s “ruining” baseball and the sanctity of the game. All I have to say in response to that, is grow the fuck up, especially if you’re a player saying this. You’re making millions of dollars playing a game, grow the fuck up, stop acting like a child by going “I don’t like that!” at something that you deem as unprofessional. And then when someone or an entire team retaliates to that very thing, it doesn’t exactly make you look much better, in fact you’re no longer the “bigger man” in all this. You’re now on Jose’s level, if that’s how you felt about him after the bat flip.
I’m so sick and tired of sports being treated like it’s a wealthy family’s fancy dinner party. You show up in a suit (one thing I despise about hockey, I think it’s a dumb “tradition”), you’re polite, you behave in a professional manner, all that shit. This isn’t a fucking ball like a dance, this is baseball, or maybe football, basketball, hockey, it’s a sport. Do the majority of fans who attend games treat it like a professional, business-class outing? No! They treat it like a fun, rowdy source of entertainment.
It’s all about the bullshit old man’s tradition that they smack into these players when they’re young and not jaded yet. Honestly, I really don’t understand this idea that you show up like you’re about to attend a business conference with the major stockholders of a company and then change into a jersey, striped socks, tons of armor (aka pads) and in the case of hockey, skates as you get ready to go out and play a game where you shoot a piece of rubber into a net while constantly hitting people and once in a while getting into a fight. I’m sorry Don Cherry, I love ya, but I’m 100% on the other side of the fence on this, I don’t care about the young kids looking good and professional in their suits. I’m a sports fan, not a businessman.
Going back to the baseball brawl, the same is true about the bat flip. Who gives a fuck if Jose did that, it was a great moment of pure emotions. Would have I been pissed if that happened with a Texas player instead? Technically no, I would’ve been pissed that we gave up the lead, not because he flipped the bat. These “professionals” need to fucking get over themselves and realize that there’s nothing all that professional about playing a sport, it’s only professional in name.
As a fan, I want to see those emotional moments. You can say whatever you want about the bat flip and the brawl seven months later, but you can’t deny it was entertaining. I want to see teams hate each other, I want to see players celebrate over-the-top, so long as it doesn’t delay the game. Most of all, I want these players to look like they’re having fun playing the sport they love. They’re getting paid a fuck-ton of money to do it too, they have little to no reason to be pissed off about anything.
So quit it with the professional bullshit in sports. It’s hard to find a reason to take you seriously when your sport also relies on alcohol as a major sponsor. Because being drunk is so professional.