Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Oh Canada! Misplaced Drunken Nationalism Finds A New Hero

It went a little bit off the rails there last night, but I still think that was my best post ever even if few people actually read it in full. If socio-economic circumstances, boredom, a creepy Stubby Clapp obsession, or insomnia have similarly inspired you to watch some Team Canada baseball action from Beijing, here's what's coming up this week.

It's pretty much all 6 a.m. or 10:30 p.m. EST starts--CAUTION: everything listed here is Beijing time, which is exactly 12 hours ahead of Toronto--and games aren't moving along any faster than a typical MLB match up despite the lack of enforced commerical breaks. I would strongly suggest watching the commentator/graphic-free online feed at over going with the main network because it won't cut away for random events you probably have no interest in watching. The picture quality is as good as a broadcast and the mic picks up pretty much everything on the field sound-wise, which is kind of cool.

Former replacment player/Sportsnet Jays analyst Warren Sawkiw and veteran anchorman Jim Van Horne do the commentary when the broadcast is on the main network. Sawkiw was panned for his radio work during a brief stint as Jerry Howarth's broadcast partner and Van Horne is probably best known for his impressive mustache, but they're no more annoying than Jamie Campbell and Pat Tabler. Why the CBC doesn't insert commentary/graphics into the online feed when they've already got a team on the ground producing the TV broadcast is a bit odd, but I'll take what I can get.

Next up for Team Canada is Cuba at 6 a.m. on Thursday. The Cubans have won gold at the last three Olympics and are probably more into international baseball than any other country on earth, so I expect they're out to prove something seeing as it's coming off the docket for London 2012. The Cubans kind of slapped Japanese phenom Yu Darvish around a bit this morning, beating the Nipponese side 4-2. And Kenny Williams doesn't look all that bad for signing former Cuban homerun king Alexei Ramirez, now does he? These dudes are for real. Scott Richmond would've got the start for this one, so expect another dose of shitting on JP if Canada loses by a small margin. This should be a good'un for a bunch of reasons

It's another 6 a.m. start for Canada against Good Korea on Friday. The Koreans came back to score 2 in the 9th to beat Team USA 8-7 this morning in what must've been an exciting game. Haven't heard of any of the American hurlers, so it's possible the Yanks underestimated the opposition. From what I recall of the WBC in 2006 the Koreans don't have any conventional relivers, all Mark Eichorn-esque submariners. Cool! Another lost art, like the knuckleball.

Finally, a night game. Double dip Friday as Canada takes on the Americans at 10:30 p.m., which ironically is a night game followed by an (early) morning game. Did that just totally blow your mind? If there's any interest, I'm totally up for live-blogging this one, too. The American side features some interesting prospects like world-destroyer Matt Laporta and Jason Donald, the Phillies AA shortstop I was hoping JP would trade AJ Burnett for...

Sunday is an off-day.


The Tigers show us that there's more than one way to find yourself sniffing .500. Tell me a rickety, unreliable bullpen headed up by the Ghost of Todd Jones isn't just as frustrating as a lineup that's incapable of socking dingers? At least the Jays excel at pitching and defense, whereas our erstwhile enemies in Motown might score runs but have to come to terms with a GM who mortgaged the future by trading for a bunch of aging sluggers and Dontrelle Willis. The future is no brighter on the other side of the St. Clair River.

More awesomeness. One of my poolies (the only Tiger fan in the league) sends this dispatch from Detroit after catching yesterday's game at Comerica:

FYI: The wife and I were in a Detroit shopping mall yesterday at lunch, and spotted AJ Burnett. He was being dragged around by his wife/gf. The tats on his glove arm confirmed it. Apparently his gameday routine includes eating junkfood in mall food courts.

I thought about asking him for his autograph... but then remembered that I'm not 13.


Is anyone surprised by that?

-- Johnny Was


Dan Daoust said...

That is a legitimately incredible and newsworthy scoop. How does the MSM not report things like that?

Navin Vaswani (@eyebleaf) said...

good to see that AJ is taking gameday prep tips from Doc to heart...

The Southpaw said...

Dan, are you trying to be a prick or am I reading that the wrong way?