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Hello, hockey fans in Canada and the United States.

I trust we now have your undivided attention?

You might console yourself with the thought that not only are Toronto's other two teams still in action - they're both in first place. The Raptors, who were stomping the crap out of the Bulls while I prepared these notes, are irresistible, of course. They're one of the most attractive and appealing teams I've ever seen in my many, many years of following the local sporting scene. I have seldom seen a team so easy to cheer for. I am incredibly impressed.

And yeah, I'm sure there are other things happening on the local sporting scene besides baseball, the NBA, and the NHL. But they fly under what's left of my radar, and attention span.

And as for the Summer Game... the three way split atop the AL East broke in favour of the Blue Jays yesterday. They took care of business in Tampa while the Orioles actually managed to get through the ninth without letting Alex Rodriguez come to bat. Which brings me the most interesting stats line of Opening Week:
G  GS   W  L  QS    IP    H   R  ER  HR  BB  SO   K/9  P/GS  WHIP   ERA
5 5 0 2 0 21.2 36 27 24 5 13 12 4.98 83.2 2.26 9.97
That's one trip through the Yankees rotation. The relievers have been brilliant, posting a 1.16 ERA in 23.1 innings. But you'll notice that they've worked more innings than the starters, and that can't be the plan Cashman and Torre had in mind. Am I right, Mick? Yesterday Andy Pettite chipped in with his first appearance out of the Yankee bullpen since 1998. Needless to say, they can't go on like this. Even if A-Rod does drive in 175 runs. Scott Proctor's arm will need to be surgically reattached to his body in mid-July....

By the way - I don't recall anybody commenting on this yet - the stats at the utterly fabulous and indispensable are now being updated on a daily basis. As if it wasn't great enough already.

In other New York news, the Mets juggernaut hit a bump in the road and skidded to a halt. The shape of the obstacle looked awfully familiar to longtime observers of the NL East. Something like this.

They're ba-a-ck, kiddies, and I told you, didn't I? (So did Liam, but he's a fan.) Oh, ye of little faith. John Schuerholz looked over his ball club this off season and decided that the good times were not over; that the Braves were a much better team than their record suggested (and Pythagoras agreed most emphatically with that assessment.) He identified his team's most glaring weakness - relief pitching - and aggressively went about the business of addressing that weakness. Very, very aggressively - Schuerholz is nothing if not decisive - he unloaded a young power hitting first baseman and a left handed starter for a couple of relief pitchers.

And so far, so good. Atlanta's relievers this year are 3-0 with 5 saves, and the Braves have the best record in the major leagues. I had the Braves pegged for the Wild Card, but with the way the Phillies are stumbling, and the way the Phils starting pitching, which looked to be their big advantage over their division rivals, is not getting it done....

La plus c'est change, la plus c'est meme chose!

It's the Home Opener tonight, with A.J. Burnett matched up against Odalis Perez. I will be in the house (I haven't worked a Home Opener in a long time, should be fun.) Your correspondent has a busy week ahead, and I fear this will have consequences. I was hoping to unleash upon an unsuspecting public my long-promised historical epic on Home Park Advantage. Alas, it's not quite done. And seeing as how I'm getting up at 6:45 to go to my day job, and going from there to the ballpark when that's done, finally arriving homeward more or less in time for Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert... well, I don't think I'm going to get much done this week.

So after the home stand. I promise!

9 April 2007: We're Number One | 20 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Mike Green - Monday, April 09 2007 @ 09:01 AM EDT (#165407) #
Magpie's Baseball Reference link didn't work for me, so hopefully this link to Troy Glaus' BR card will work. As the man said, it is an invaluable resource and it keeps getting better and better. 
Pistol - Monday, April 09 2007 @ 09:02 AM EDT (#165408) #
By the way - I don't recall anybody commenting on this yet - the stats at the utterly fabulous and indispensable are now being updated on a daily basis.


Seems odd to have opening day at night, but it beats following the game on the radio.  The Jays get another lefty tonight - Odalis Perez. 
Mick Doherty - Monday, April 09 2007 @ 10:59 AM EDT (#165411) #

that can't be the plan Cashman and Torre had in mind. Am I right, Mick?

Sir, I will just say this ... you are as right as you usually are.

That is all.

John Northey - Monday, April 09 2007 @ 12:13 PM EDT (#165415) #
An interesting event today - Rogers bought a stack of channels from CTV (who earlier bought those from CHUM).

This could impact the Jays in the respect of putting games back on 'over the air' channels as well as Sportsnet imo. Since Rogers now will own channels in Victoria BC, Windsor, Wingham, London, Barrie, Ottawa, Brandon MB along with ones they already have (OMNI I and II in Toronto, Winnipeg, Vancouver) that gives them a near national reach (still need AB, SK, QC and east coast channels) and a need for Canadian programming. The Jays count as they are broadcast by a Canadian crew. I suspect this cuts down the odds of CTV/CBC getting games beyond this year too.

So now Rogers will have an over the air network plus Sportsnet to show the Jays on, which might be enough to put them on for all 162 games without TSN/CBC/CTV being involved.
Ryan C - Monday, April 09 2007 @ 01:39 PM EDT (#165417) #
For those keeping track, the Indians doubleheader against the Mariners has been officially snowed out again for the 4th day in a row.  The entire series now has to be re-scheduled.  According to the Indians official website the next series (Indians vs LAAA) will be played in Milwaukee to avoid weather hazards.

For those historians among us, when was the last time something like this happened (entire series post-poned and/or games moved to a third party location)?

Maybe mlb wants to start re-thinking the idea of home games in non-domed wintery locations in early April.  I mean we all love the stories about freezing our butts off at Exhibition Stadium back in the day, but no one wants to see an entire 3 or 4 game series end up post-poned 'til who knows when.
Mike Green - Monday, April 09 2007 @ 01:58 PM EDT (#165418) #
I am pretty sure that this is the first time that a major sporting event has been moved to Milwaukee in April to avoid snow and cold.

Oh, those Indians.  First, old man Pythagoras takes a bite out of them and then old man Winter.
James W - Monday, April 09 2007 @ 02:07 PM EDT (#165420) #
Credit goes to David Pinto's blog for this info (;  in September '04, a Cubs-Marlins series slated for Florida was moved to Wrigley due to a hurricane.
Barry Bonnell - Monday, April 09 2007 @ 03:19 PM EDT (#165421) #
The question was about 3rd party locations...
Jordan - Monday, April 09 2007 @ 03:35 PM EDT (#165422) #

Hello, hockey fans in Canada and the United States.

Magpie, love the Foster Hewitt reference, but to be even more historically accurate, you would have added "...and Newfoundland" at the end, to make the full phrase with which the broadcast began up until 1949.

Excalabur - Monday, April 09 2007 @ 03:43 PM EDT (#165423) #
All ye waterloo-based (and kitchenerites as well):

Would there be an interest in going to watch the home opener somewhere, say Kickoff's or similar, this evening? 

I know there's at least a few of us in town....


Mick Doherty - Monday, April 09 2007 @ 03:44 PM EDT (#165424) #

Friend of mine works in the Indians' front office and he just sent out an e-mail with this in it:

According to the Elias Sports Bureau ... the Florida Marlins played the Montreal Expos on Sept. 13-14, 2004 due to an impending hurricane off the coast of Florida.  Games were played in Chicago's US Cellular Field.  This is the only weather related move of Major League games in the expansion era (since 1961).

Dez - Monday, April 09 2007 @ 03:58 PM EDT (#165425) #
Hey Excalibur,

I actually drove to Toronto for the Home Opener.. So I wouldn't be able to join you in Waterloo. Hopefully you get a gang together, that would have been a blast.
Magpie - Monday, April 09 2007 @ 04:16 PM EDT (#165426) #

the full phrase with which the broadcast began up until 1949.

Whoa, whoa. Just how old do you guys think I am?

Mick Doherty - Monday, April 09 2007 @ 05:18 PM EDT (#165429) #

Whoa, whoa. Just how old do you guys think I am?

Somewhere between Alex Gordon and Joe Gordon, with a lean toward the ageless Tom Gordon. Or maybe Gordon Jump? (Oooh, random WKRP in Cincinnati reference!) ...

Magpie - Monday, April 09 2007 @ 06:43 PM EDT (#165432) #
Coming to you live from the ballpark... the house lights are down... film showing onn the JumboTron on the Glories of Seasons Past....

Spring is here.

Excalabur - Monday, April 09 2007 @ 06:50 PM EDT (#165433) #

As I have gotten no affirmative replies I will defer "sitting at the bar watching the game with Bauxites" until a later date, when I hopefully think of it more than 3 hours before gametime.

(Devin Smith)

VBF - Monday, April 09 2007 @ 11:42 PM EDT (#165438) #
Just back from the game...

The Good:

-The new Jays Shop. I admit I'm a sucker for merchandise (I am a fan, non?), but this place is cool. I think it's the only team shop in the majors with its own retractable roof.

-The crowd. An expected sellout, giving standing ovations to Vernon and Frank after receiving their awards.

-Vernon Wells.

-This new rib and wing place St Louis across from the RC. Great atmosphere, fantastic food.

The Bad:

-Can't really think of many. There's always going to be stupid drunk fans so thats a little cliche. If only every game was like the Home Opener.

HollywoodHartman - Tuesday, April 10 2007 @ 12:14 AM EDT (#165440) #
Also got back. There's a St. Louis near my school, top notch.

The Good

-Sitting next to the guys in the beer hats who won $649. Nice guys.
-The score
-Aaron Hill
-My fly ball perception (my #1 pet peeve at games is when the crowd goes nuts for an infield popup)
-My shiny new starpass (which a friend used)
-My seats, 20th row right behind third base.
-Seeing the actor who played George Michael in Arrested Development while waiting for the subway.

The Bad

-Passover (Couldn't buy any food... it's killing me. Tomorrow 9:30 PM though it's over. You'll recognize me as the kid gorging at the Union McDonalds)
-Randomly sitting next to my English teacher (other side of beer hats)
-Not managing to check out the new shop (I'll get that done tomorrow)
-The wave

I Have No Clue

-AJ Burnett. Stats say he pitched a fine game aside from the first few innings, but he's not looking to great. I can't complain though about the final result.

It was a tremendous game and I think it's going to be a wonderful season.

6-4-3 - Tuesday, April 10 2007 @ 02:39 AM EDT (#165443) #

My notes from the game:

The Good:
Having a Starpass again
Reed Johnson's facial hair, it's even better in person
Winning on opening day

The Sublimely Great:
The Paul Godfrey / Dwight Duncan energy conservation informercial.  Greatest acting ever. 

The Bad:
The Chili race.  Ripping off the Brewers?

The Sublimely Great #2
The highlights of the Chili race, accompanied by sappy Olympic-style music.   Almost redeems the segment. 

The In-Between
Burnett might be the most frustrating pitcher to watch.  Was nice to see him get a good ovation once his outing was over, though, and I can't argue with the results today.

9 April 2007: We're Number One | 20 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.