Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Damn Yankees! And This, And That

The Red Sox Nation quietly exited the turnstiles from Yankee Stadium last Sunday night. They had been humiliated by the New York Yankees for the fourth game in a row. Strangely, the Bostonians had won the eight previous meetings between the two teams this year.

The win did not come easily for the Bronx Bombers. Nor would it have settled nicely for the Bosox. Boston had spent the entire weekend looking for offense, to no avail. They were outscored 25-8 in the series.

There was a glimmer of hope in the eighth inning when newly-acquired Victor Martinez smacked a two run homer for the Sox to take the lead. But in the bottom of the eighth, the Yankees stormed back on consecutive home runs by Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira. Alex Rodriguez had homered earlier to move into ninth place on the all time list past Harmon Killebrew.

Meanwhile, the Toronto Blue Jays were packing their bags to follow the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. Yikes! The Yankees have had but one loss at home since the All Star break. They had put thirteen wins on the board. Their pitching is hot. They are playing great defence. They are tearing the cover off the ball.

Final score Monday night? Blue Jays 5 Yankees 4. Go figure.

One Blue Jay did not suit up for Monday’s game-Alex Rios. He had been placed on waivers by the Jays, and had been claimed by the Chicago White Sox. The Blue Jays’ Communication blurb stated: “Blue Jays assign Rios to White Sox”. Rather kind, don’t you think? Dump is a word that comes to mind. Sadly, too.

Alex Rios had super star potential, no question about it. Occasionally, he excelled beyond expectations; however, he has been going through a dismal season, and the Jays have freed up many millions of dollars in the “assignment”. Rios signed a long-term contract through the 2015 season.

Rios had been in the Blue Jay organization since 1999, drafted in the first round. He could run, hit, field, throw, and execute with the best in the game. Sometimes. Now it is simply water under the bridge. In the quirky baseball world of drafts, waivers, and trade deadlines, the Jays received no players, no future considerations, no cash, not even any cracked bats for Rios. Just a lot of breathing room.

The National Football League opened its pre-season with its annual Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio. Many local fans tuned into the game to watch their Bills and the Titans from Tennessee. The Titans outlasted the Bills 21-18. Bills’ supporters were thrilled to see Terrrell Owens snagging a couple of first quarter tosses from Trent Edwards. The Bills should be explosive this year, providing the offensive line holds up reasonably well. They are young and inexperienced, and will be tested. But pre-season games in the NFL do not count; little credence should be put on the result.

The Toronto Argonauts have fallen on tough times lately. There are the usual rumblings coming out of Hogtown, especially since the Hamilton Tiger Cats have moved ahead of them into second place in the east. The Ticats have won four games so far this year, lost two. That’s more wins than they had the last two entire seasons!

After all of the dust had settled, the Argos traded Arlin Bruce to the Ticats. He was the leading receiver for the Tabbies last weekend. That does set up an interesting Labour Day Classic between the Argos and the Ticats.

Two Argo players, Bryan Crawford and Steve Schmidt, will be in Belleville on Saturday as part of Ribfest. Look for the enormous RONA display at West Zwick’s Island. Crawford and Schmidt will conduct a clinic for young football players at 11:00am Saturday morning. Parents may sit and chat with the Argo cheerleaders.

The Alouettes stumbled a couple of weeks ago and lost a game. Several pundits were mumbling that they would not lose a game this year. They still remain on top of the league, and will be tough all year. Passes from Calvillo to the elusive Ben Cahoun merit the price of admission to an Alouette game. Simply magic, Jimmy.

And finally, Michael Vick is out of jail and is looking for a home. He likely will back up some NFL quarterback; however, he would fit nicely into a CFL uniform. He can run, throw the ball two hundred miles an hour, and is elusive. Ideal credentials for the Canadian game. Stranger things have happened.

Get your blades sharpened. Training camps are opening.

James Hurst

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