While Washington celebrates, we mourn for Montreal. Still
Try as I might and as much as I’d like to, somehow I can’t get too jazzed about the Washington Nationals clinching baseball’s first post-season spot.
Yes, it’s a good young team – I really like the Harper kid – and they have what looks like a very pretty ballpark and the fans have been supportive but given their Montreal history, there’s jus some niggling anger and disappointment that won’t go away.
It’s not the player’s fault at all, I know. They just play where they are told to play but even if you like the way they handle themselves, what that ownership did to Montreal will bug me until the end of time.
I really can’t see a way that major league baseball goes back to Montreal, a great city with a long sports tradition. There’s no stadium, there’s no apparent owner willing to do to another city what was done to it and that’s too bad.
But if carpet-bagging ownership had never allowed them to leave, and I find it impossible to think some resolution couldn’t have been reached, I’d say they’d be one of more successful organizations around. I’d venture to guess they’d be better supported than either of the Florida teams and probably a handful of others in cities far less suited to major league baseball than Montreal.
The Expos were cool for a long time. Loved the logo, loved Youppi (he’s up there with the Chicken and the Philly Phanatic as the all-time great stuffed animals) and the players who ran through that city, from Rusty Staub to Gary Carter to Andre Dawson, were outstanding.
So, yes, you can like Harper and wish Strasburg was still pitching but you can’t hope they win.
Hey, if you’re in Toronto and downtown late Friday morning, you probably could do worse than hanging out and watching this Olympic parade they’ve got planned.
Bay and Albert down to the Air Canada Centre; starts at 11:30 a.m., enjoy.
Yes, we did make eight birdies as a team and had a wonderful day on the links, even if it did rain for the first nine or 10 holes.
But, yes, as well as we played, some shots did go awry.
(And, no, it’s not mine; really)
They’ve got way down the list again at the FAN590 it seems.
Yep, I’m on the round table tonight, 5-7 p.m., with McCown and a coupe of other unnamed bon vivants.
Hope we talk pucks.
So it’s that time of year around most NBA cities where the players get their pre-camp physicals and it’s becoming one of the most important things teams do.
There’s some first-hand knowledge here about the depths of the examinations; remember when they found a slight irregularity in Nathan Jawai’s heart that kept him off the court for a couple of months a couple of years ago?
Well, that pales in comparison to what happened in Phoenix yesterday when Channing Frye, after a routine stress test all NBA players undergo as part of the medical exams leading up to camp, found out he has an enlarged heart and will have to likely sit out the entire season, if not longer.
Frye’s case is the most significant in quite some time, at least to my quick recollection, and underscores just how involved the pre-camp exams are.
There are MRIs and blood tests and stress tests and any manner of physical exams meant to both provide a health baseline for each player for team physicians and training staffs and to ferret out any lingering health problems that would put a player at risk.
I’m not sure how long each team has been doing these extensive examinations before camp even begins but it does provide a much-needed service to both athlete and team.
Way back in the day, players used to just show up and go about their business on the court; now teams are wary and protective and responsible enough to make sure everyone’s 100 per cent healthy and able to withstand the rigors of a camp and a season.
It’s a giant step forward and guys like Frye, and Jawai before him, have to be thankful for it.
Sure. I’ll have a couple of hours somewhere this afternoon to get some done and who knows what the evening holds; maybe I can get enough done that tomorrow can be a coasting morning.
Reason No. 1,301,192 to avoid downtown Toronto on Saturday night:
MMA at the ACC.
Now, most of you know my aversion to the sport (if they held the card on my back deck, I’d go sit on the front porch) but there’s a bigger thing to think about and it’s this:
At one time, all of these cards, even to people like me who don’t appreciate the sport or know much about it, seemed to be big events; they didn’t happen all that often and there was some mystique about it.
Now I seem to see fliers for another card and another pay per view event every other weekend, it’s becoming routine and when you become routine – in any sport – interest wanes, if even only slightly.
Or am I wrong on this?
I do know it still attracts throngs to bars that show the fights – I’m quite able to find one that doesn’t if I have to – but doesn’t it seem that it’s more humdrum now than it ever was?