December 25, 2011

Baseball is Awesome - It's December 25th

Dear Baseball and Red Sox fans: Today, being the 25th of December, I know most of my readers are thinking of other things.  There is so much going on today.  The NBA season is finally kicking off, there's an NFL game with playoff implications tonight, the sci-fi movie, The Darkest Hour is being released at theatres nationwide, people are concerned about Prince Philip's recovery and there's a myriad of other things for people to be thinking about.

But I'm thinking of something that happened hundreds of years ago.

December 21, 2011

Memorial fund set up for baseball players

By now everyone has heard about the tragedy that took the lives of Mitch Maclean, Tanner Craswell and Tabitha Stepple.  When I first heard about the murder-suicide, my initial reaction was "Shit. Wonder what led to that?" And I assumed it was some kind of domestic family dispute, and didn't think about it much more.  Then a few hours later when I saw on twitter that these were young baseball players who were alumni of Vauxhall, and had played for PBA and the Lethbridge Bulls, my reaction changed to "OH! SHIT!" and my heart sank.  Hey - I'm not a perfect human being.  I know I shouldn't have felt any differently.  A life is a life.  But somehow I felt closer to these young men.  I could relate to their hopes and dreams.  I could only imagine how their families felt. It hit me a lot harder than a random anonymous murder.  The baseball family is a fairly close knit group.   I might have umpired games these boys played in.  I might have cheered for (or against) them from the stands.  In baseball, fans say derogatory remarks about players or teams ("Yankees Suck!"),  teams battle against each other, coaches argue with umpires, umpires eject players, but in the end there are no hard feelings. We all love the game and there is a mutual respect among all the participants.

But this post isn't about me and my feelings.  It's about helping to spread the word on how you can help out. A memorial fund has been set up for these baseball players.  To donate, please visit any Bank of Nova Scotia Branch and tell them you are donating to the "Tanner Craswell and Mitch McLean Memorial Fund" or account number 00059 0157317.   From the comfort of your couch you can also send an email money transfer to  (Please note the spelling. It's the boys initials TC and MM followed by Memorial Fund).   For more information please take a look at the Prairie Baseball Academy, the Lethbridge Bulls  or the Vauxhall Baseball Academy websites.

A trust fund has also been opened for Tabitha Stepple.  Please contact the Northside Scotia Bank in Lethbridge for details.

A trust fund has also been set up for the lone survivor of this senseless massacre, Shanya Conway, who is currently recovering.  You can donate through the TD Canada Trust bank.
Branch #80679

Hope all my readers have a safe holiday season.

December 19, 2011

Yu Darvish

There have been rumours over the last few days that he could be going to one of our rivals.  Among the favourites are the Yankees (who are rarely not favoured to win a bidding war) and the Blue Jays.  If either team wins, it will make our path to the postseason more difficult than it already is.  Rangers and Cubs among others are also supposedly in the mix.  But let me clear up all the confusion for you.

I have breaking news am am glad to be the first to publicly announce this.  An inside source has CONFIRMED that

December 10, 2011

Tim Raines to speak at U of C baseball event

Tim Raines has been announced as the keynote speaker for the 2012 fundraising dinner for the University of Calgary Dinos baseball and fastball clubs. The event will take place on Thursday February 2nd at the Red & White Club at McMahon Stadium.  Tim Raines was one of the most exciting players to ever play in Canada, being a 7 time all-star for the Montreal Expos.

This annual event has seen such stars as Fergie Jenkins, Jack Morris and Bill Buckner in previous years (on the left, with yours truly), and is always an entertaining event.

This is your opportunity to listen to and have a chance to meet a likely future Hall of Famer.

For more details and to order tickets go to the University of Calgary's Recreation page.

December 09, 2011

Baseball is AWESOME! - Monster home run highlights sweep

Manny Ramirez had some memorable moments as a member of the Red Sox.  It started right away when he hit a 3 run home run on the very first pitch he saw at Fenway as a member of the Red Sox.   And of course, nobody will forget the moment pictured on the left, when he hit a walkoff homerun to give Boston a 2-0 ALDS lead over the Angels, whom they then swept en route to winning the 2007 World Series.

But the first time I realized we were watching something special, was on June 3rd, 2001  at the Skydome (as it was then called) in Toronto.  Not only did he hit an awe-inspiring blast, but at the time it looked like it might be a key moment in the season.

At the end of May Boston was tied with the Yankees for the AL East lead, and whoever didn't win the division was already 5 games behind in the wildcard chase.  Boston then went to Toronto, and as I've mentioned before, good things happen to the Red Sox when they cross the border.  Boston beat the Blue Jays the first 3 games and in the 4th game they were down 2-0 in the 4th inning when this happened:

Manny hits a towering home run that was measured at 491 feet, and before the crowd had time to stop ooing,  Dante Bichette hit another one to tie the game.  The Red Sox ended up winning to complete the sweep, and left Canada with a 2 game lead on New York.

Another reason baseball is awesome.  No matter the lack of importance of a game or the score, you should always keep watching because you never know when you are going to see something that makes you go "Wow!".

Epilogue: The Red Sox lead did not last long and by the end of the month they were chasing the Yankees who ended up running away with the division in what turned out to be a disappointing season.