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In the Star today, Dave Perkins writes about the SARS scare:

It is bad news, though. Bad news for small business. Bad news for big businesses. Bad news for the Blue Jays, who need this like they need, uh, a left fielder who doesn't know which base to throw to after six years in the big leagues. This is one time it's even safe to feel sorry for them.

Hear, hear. Even the snide remark about Stewart, who as a LF is a fine hitter. One of my best friends is a Professor of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology in the Graduate School of Public Health at a large U.S. university. He's shocked at the decision by WHO and we both suspect it might be politically motivated; someone wanted to pin an Advisory on Beijing and when they looked at the criteria they were using, Toronto fit. It's unfair and unneccessary, but the damage is done. I will be at tonight's game, and unlike the Royals, won't be wearing a filter mask and latex gloves.
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Coach - Friday, April 25 2003 @ 08:28 AM EDT (#89857) #
Also on is this (at the moment) unattributed column in a style most of us recognize. Under the circumstances, it's fair:

The Jays haven't just been losing, they've been losing ugly. Observers felt the team would be weak defensively and the Jays were leading the AL as of yesterday with 23 errors.

Critics of the pitching staff are hardly surprised to see the starters ranked 10th and the bullpen a dismal 13th in the 14-team AL. Quality pitching costs money and the Jays have spent their limited budget on bargain-type fourth starters and journeymen relievers.

Some of us remain optimistic. Neither the pitching nor the defence is as bad as they've played so far. The marketing efforts haven't produced results -- how could they? People won't even go to a restaurant or a movie. Maybe by the all-star break, others will realize this is an exciting, promising team and it's safe to go watch them play.
Gerry - Friday, April 25 2003 @ 08:41 AM EDT (#89858) #
I saw this in the paper this morning. It was on page 1 of the sports section. I believe it is a Geoff Baker piece.
robertdudek - Friday, April 25 2003 @ 09:05 AM EDT (#89859) #
Most of the reason the Jays ERA is so bad is the poor defence (I refer to not completing easy double plays, misjudging fly balls and throwing to the wrong base).

The starting pitching has actually been pretty good.
_StephenT - Friday, April 25 2003 @ 12:47 PM EDT (#89860) #
SARS infections are actually trending down, not up, i.e. there's no epidemic. Play ball.
Gitz - Friday, April 25 2003 @ 01:31 PM EDT (#89861) #
The U.S. media is doing its share -- big surprise -- to spread the fear much faster than the virus. A recent poll "revealed" more Americans are afraid of catching SARS than they are of a terrorist attack. Both are ridiculousy low odds, yet more than 50 percent of the people surveyed were afraid of getting a virus which has affected less than .0000001 percent of the world population and which has a 4 percent mortality rate for those who do catch it. You're far more likely to die in a car crash talking on your cell phone telling your friend how afraid you are of caching SARS.

Of course, this comes from a country where a month ago 45 percent thought that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11. Polling numbers are baked in many cases, but any number higher than "zero" for the Iraq situation is unacceptable.

If anyone feels generous enough to send me a plane ticket to Toronto, I'm not scared. As Stephen T. says, play ball.
Dave Till - Friday, April 25 2003 @ 02:28 PM EDT (#89862) #
According to the Globe and Mail, there have been no hospital transmissions of SARS in a week, and no transmissions outside of hospitals for 19 days. I was much more worried about SARS a week ago than I am now.

But the panic and hysteria are just starting to spread: apparently, there are people cancelling trips to Quebec City, even though (a) there have been no reported cases of SARS in Quebec, and (b) Quebec City is a long way away from Toronto. The problem is that many people are ignorant of Canadian geography.

Right now, I would feel uncomfortable leaving the city and identifying myself as a Torontonian. I feel that I would be shunned.
Dave Till - Friday, April 25 2003 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#89863) #
Just to add my voice to the others: play ball!
_benum - Friday, April 25 2003 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#89864) #
Speaking as a Western Canadian, your shunning would have nothing to do with SARS. We shun Torontonians in good times and in bad. ;-)
Gerry - Friday, April 25 2003 @ 05:04 PM EDT (#89865) #
The Blue Jays are considering asking that the Detroit series be played at Skydome. The murder rate in Detroit makes it too dangerous to go there ;-)
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