In light of the recent success of the Toronto Blue Jays, the city has gone absolutely wild. To be quite honest, the Maple Leafs home opener took place and I really don't think Toronto cared. Perhaps it's the rather grim outlook on the upcoming season, or simply existing in the shadow of the Jays' dominance.
Finally, a Toronto sports team is making waves and showing signs of excellence. It may have taken us 22 years to make the playoffs again, but we're a patient city, aren't we? After all, we cheer for the Leafs year after year despite repeated disappointment. Now, the Jays are up to bat for Toronto at large.
Baseball is not my sport; it never has been. That being said, it's absolutely impossible to avoid getting caught up in all the hype. I can't help but get excited about the fact that our baseball team is the top contender to win the World Series. Watching the games with friends who consider themselves diehard fans, you end up learning about the key players and personalities involved. Athletes like Bautista and Donaldson have become household names, and you'd have trouble finding someone who doesn't own at least one piece of Jays merchandise.
Off the field, a few personalities come to mind. If you watch the Jays games on TV with sound, then you've certainly been privy to the overly excited Jays play-by-play commentator, Buck Martinez. Some people love him, some can't stand him, but no one argues the fact that he has the best hair in baseball.
A little closer to the field, we have the Jays head coach, John Gibbons. As a casual baseball follower, watching this man in post-game interviews is just hilarious. He has this trademark slouch that would lead you to believe he thinks he's in his living room instead of on national television.
Just in time for the playoffs, two friends of mine (diehard Jays fans) put together a parody video in which John Gibbons is interviewed by Buck Martinez. The impressions are spot on, and it's a chore not to laugh out loud.
The first two games in the series were tough to watch. Down to the wire action and heavy competition have been sprinkled with some questionable calls thus far. Both games could have easily gone to either team, but the Jays came up just short.
Game two was an exercise in endurance for everyone involved, both on and off the field. I can't imagine the physical stamina necessary to swing a bat and pitch for 14 innings, but it's also worth mentioning the dedication from the fans who stayed the entire duration of the game. Five hours of baseball sitting in a stadium seat with nothing to drink after the seventh inning is the definition of commitment.
Who'd have thought the guy who doesn't care about baseball is now chanting "Go Jays Go"? Someone needs to win a championship for us here in Toronto, and it's not going to be the Leafs.
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