Tag Archives: baseball

What I like about Jose Canseco

So last week I had the chance to meet Jose Canseco.

Glenn Francis photo, via Wikimedia Commons

Jose Canseco was in Ottawa last week.

Canseco was at a local mall signing items for charity. It was $10 per item, and $10 for a photo. The next day, he participated in a home run contest, also for charity. From what I’ve heard and read, all money raised from the home run contest and the autograph signing went straight to the charities.

That was great. The same day as the home run contest, William Shatner was also in town. He was charging $75 per signed item, and $75 per photo taken. I’m pretty sure all proceeds from that didn’t go to charity.

So Canseco deserves to be praised for doing something that may seem like such a small gesture, but it can be pretty rare in today’s society for a celebrity to do.

That got me thinking about Canseco. He’s done a lot of great things over the years. Too often, people focus on the negative. I thought I would give him some credit for what he’s done.

Like most baseball followers, I enjoyed watching Canseco play. The power in which he hit home runs was awesome. Didn’t he once hit a ball into the fifth deck at the Toronto Skydome?

During the late 1980s and early 1990s, there was hardly a baseball player better than Canseco.

He could hit for power. He was fast on the bases (he was the first player to ever hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases in the same season). He won two World Series, and four Silver Slugger Awards.

And yes, he did steroids. So did many other people at the time. Canseco was one of the few (and maybe the only) that openly admitted it. Yes, what he did was wrong, but he deserves some credit for at least coming out and saying he was doing steroids, as opposed to others who claimed they never did it and got caught, or would dodge around the question when asked.

But I’m not here to talk about the steroid use. I’m here to talk about what I like about Jose Canseco.

For me, I really admire the way he’s not scared to tackle new things.

And whether he’s successful or not, it doesn’t stop him from trying fresh experiences.

For example, he wrote a book. Most people know this. But it became a New York Times bestseller. It shook up the baseball world. The people he said did steroids denied it, but no one ever sued. Most of them have since been found out that yes, they did indeed do steroids.

Canseco has done mixed martial arts. He tried celebrity boxing. He became a contestant of the Celebrity Apprentice and The Surreal Life.

And he’s done charity work.

Instead of staying out of the spotlight, he’s willing to take on new challenges.

So yeah, some people don’t like him. I’m on the other side of the fence. I think it’s great he’s willing to keep doing things that entertain himself and others. Or that he’s willing to help raise money and awareness for charity. He deserves some applause for that.

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Roy Halladay traded

I think I became a little bit less of a Blue Jays fan yesterday.

Roy Halladay is now gone from the Blue Jays.

Roy Halladay, my favourite baseball player, who happened to play on my favourite baseball team, was traded.

At first, I was disappointed. Then I heard former Cy Young winner Cliff Lee was involved, so that cheered me up a little bit. But then I found out that Lee was going to Seattle, not Toronto.

No, the Blue Jays were getting a bunch of prospects I’ve never head of before.

This always seems to be the case with the Blue Jays. They don’t trade for major players anymore. They trade for prospects, and sign bit players when their best seasons have passed them by.

I understand the Jays needed to trade Halladay. It’s a business, and Halladay hinted that he wouldn’t resign with the Blue Jays.

But they couldn’t get a superstar, or at least an all-star, in return?

There’s no way they’ll make the playoffs at this rate. Yes, it’s difficult to match up against the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox, with the way that they spend money. But the Jays need to be able to compete with that at some level, whether it be getting one or two superstars to shore up the lineup, or having a bunch of players who can compete at every level (offence and defence).

Until then, they’ll be stuck battling for third place in their division. And now they’ll have to do it without the best pitcher in the game.

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Alex Rios deserves fans scorn

Toronto Blue Jay Alex Rios isn’t having a great year.

My guess is Alex Rios misses this ball.

My guess is Alex Rios misses this ball.

Rios, who makes about $6.4 million a year, is hitting .267 and had 27 RBIs in 56 games. This was puncuated by a 0 for 5 night last week. Not just 0 for 5, but every one of those was a strikeout.

So fans are on him a bit. I get that. But if you make that much money, be prepared for scorn when you don’t perform well. As long as you treat the fans well, don’t act like a putz and give an effort, most fans will recognize that.

But if you are rude to the fans, then they’ll take it out on you back.

So after his bad game last week, Rios went to a charity event. On the way out, a young fan asked Rios for an autograph. Rios didn’t even slow down, ignored the kid, and kept walking.

That’s when another fan yelled out something among the lines of “Hey Rios, you should be thankful anyone wants your autograph the way you’ve been playing.” Rios responded with a couple of f-bombs, and blasted into this guy.

So let’s review:

• Treat the fans well? Nope.

• Give an effort? Nope.

• Act like a putz? Check.

Well, at least Alex is 1 for 3, which is better than his batting average.

Anyways, check out the Youtuve video below for the actual footage.

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Baseball lawsuit

A kid is playing baseball. He is pitching. The hitter hits the ball, the line drive comes back to the pitcher and hits him in the chest. The pitcher’s heart stops beating, and his brain doesn’t get oxygen for 15-20 minutes. He suffers brain damage.

This is a true story. It happened to 12-year-old Steven Domalewski two years ago. It’s a tragedy, no doubt about it.

Now, though, the parents are suing Little League baseball, and the maufacturer of the bat, for, well… making the bat, as well as the store that sold it.

I’m surprised they’re not suing the people who made the ball as well.

Isn’t this a big load on nonsense? I can understand the family is upset. And I could understand the lawsuit if the equipment was faulty. But the bat did what it was designed to do: hit the ball.

I know America is lawsuit-happy, but this is getting silly. The lawyers are contending the aluminum bat isn’t suitable for children’s games. But people get hit with line drives using wooden bats all the time as well.

I once gave my brother a concussion when I hit a pitch, and the ball hit him in the head.

I’m just glad he didn’t decide to take me to court.

(You can read the full story about the lawsuit here)

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Are you ready for some football? No, not yet?

I’m anxious. I keep checking Yahoo to see if it’s up. I’m looking at the magazine section at the bookstores to see if there are any books on the subject yet.

I’m talking about fantasy football. I’m an addict. Even though the football season doesn’t start for another four months, I can’t wait to set up some fantasy drafts.

Fantasy makes the football season more exciting, makes you know the players better, and pays more attention to all the games, even the ones with the worst teams in the league.

Especially now that the NHL playoffs are winding down, I really need fantasy football to start.

It beats following Major League Baseball all summer.

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Baseball

More than any other sport, baseball is one of those sports that’s a lot better to watch in person. On TV, it feels slow. In person though, it’s a lot more fun.

Yesterday, I saw the Toronto Blue jays plays the Boston Red Sox. The Jays won 10-2. The game was exciting from start to finish, whereas if I watched it on TV, I probably would have switched off the game after a few innings.

In between plays, there are things to distract you, such as the scoreboard and other fans. On TV, it just feels too long in between pitches, plus the commercials almost give you an excuse to switch the channel.

If you ever get a chance to catch a game in person, even if you’re not a big fan, I recommend it. 

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