What wasn’t to like about this Family Day long weekend in Toronto? The birds were chirping, the coffee walks were filled with chatter that didn’t involve it’s fucking cold outside, and, shit - - we all left the Canadian toques behind and pulled out OUR good ol’ Jays caps, eh! It was just an awesome weekend where spring said hello and it felt as good as watching Josh Donaldson surprise the shit out of you rounding third to fly into home plate to put the trash Rangers to bed. It was a cool ‘Joe Biagini style high-five’ kind of weekend that put smiles on the faces of everyone.
Now, here’s the good news baseball folks – we are less than one week away until the sights and sounds of the Jays come through on our LG/4K/HD screens or good old fashion radios – so the sweet fucking sound of ‘PLAY BALL!’ is closer than we think:
2017 Spring Training February Broadcast Schedule on Sportsnet:
• Saturday, Feb. 25, Toronto @ Atlanta, 12:30 p.m. ET (Sportsnet 590 The FAN)
• Sunday, Feb. 26, Philadelphia @ Toronto, 1 p.m. ET (Sportsnet East, Ontario, Pacific, Sportsnet ONE, Sportsnet NOW and Sportsnet 590 The FAN)
• Monday, Feb. 27, Pittsburgh @ Toronto, 1 p.m. ET (Sportsnet, Sportsnet NOW and sportsnet.ca)
This is good news, isn’t it? Actually, it’s the greatest, it’s the best, it’s the most wicked awesome – it’s every fucking positive superlative that could be spoken by Blue Jays fans – or, is it? For us, yes, but I ask this question while I sit here pounding this article out on my four year old MacBook while my girlfriend is having her little girl nap as ‘Rookie of the Year’ plays quietly in the background on Netflix – what? Don’t judge – what’s not to love about (Thomas Ian Nicholas – dude from American Pie) Henry Rowengartner’s pubertal voice for two hours.
All right, all right – I will get back to the original thought. I ask this question, or is it? I know it is for all Jays fans (the word fan stemming from the word fanatic, which means: a person filled with excessive and single-minded zeal). But let’s remember that it isn’t as exciting for the wives or husbands or girlfriends or boyfriends who may not share our excessive zeal for the Blue Jays and baseball season.
It’s been a long offseason for all of us, but even the offseason for the ‘Jay Zealots’ is filled with a ton of baseball reading, chatting, cursing, and ‘fuck yeahs’. It’s a never-ending beautiful obsession that brings us – wait for it, wait for it: happiness. But does it bring the close people we love as much happiness? Probably the fuck not and that’s okay. My girlfriend likes pretty little things: puppies, decorating, and making candles. She does her thing and I do mine. But I think that it’s important fellow Jays fans to take time and say thank you to that other person or persons – if you rock that casbah life and say thank you. Thank you for your patience – we know nine innings of baseball seems too long for you, we know you’d rather have a chat or go for a nice walk from seven-to-ten on those beautiful spring and summer evenings, we know you don’t like to hear ‘FUCK’ when Gibbers signals for Aaron Loup in the bullpen or Justin Smoak strikes out again, we know this – so thank you.
Now, I’m not sure she understood the extent of what it actually meant when I told her that I baseball hard. I don’t think she knew that I would watch a nineteen-inning marathon Canada Day Jays/Tribe game on that rainy day while we were at the Wahwashkesh Lake cottage. She wanted to board game and I wanted to drink beer and baseball. I don’t think she knew that I wouldn’t be able to sit at all while watching all postseason Blue Jays games – or that I’d lose my voice yelling at the TV when Rougned Odor sprinted home because of Martin’s bizarre blunder throw back to the mound that hit Choo and gave the Rangers a 3-2 lead in the seventh. I don’t think she knew I’d be able to get my voice back to scream that loud when Bautista bat flipped us to forever land that same game. I don’t think she ever expected to see me as morose as she did when Ortiz hit his game-winning homer on that Friday night to break a seventh-inning tie which helped the Shit Sox beat the Blue Birds 5 – 3 in a must win game for the Jays that got me thinking we might not even make the fucking playoffs.
I can go on and on, so I will stop haranguing and say this – all you ‘Jay Zealots’ out there take time before this season presses on in the most fucking awesome way to say thanks to that person who doesn’t quite get what we get together, which is that baseball is the greatest sport on the planet and we love to fucking love it.