Tag Archives: Baseball

Episode #39: Adam Virani: Baseball and Toronto Blue Jays

In today’s episode I speak with the founder of The Real Sports Zone website and podcast, Adam Virani.

In this episode we discuss:
– The first 100 days of the 2016 Toronto Blue Jays season
– Adam’s recent visit to the Dominican Republic to coach and teach baseball

Music by Afraaz Mulji.

Listen here:

Girth Radio
MixCloud 
iTunes
Google Play Music
Stitcher 
TuneIn
You can also subscribe to the podcast via RSS Feed if you’re so inclined.

Blue Jays at the half – 2016

Rogers Media recently released number from Numeris that report on TV and radio numbers of the Toronto Blue Jays.

  • the first 81 games of the season had an average audience of 825,000 viewers on Sportsnet. That’s an increase of 51% over 2015
  • 30 games have been watched by more than one million viewers
  • When it comes to radio, more listeners are tuning in to Jays coverage this year than last as well: on Sportsnet 590 The Fan in the Toronto market up ratings are up 86% for adults 25 to 54, and 32% for men 25 to 54

The success of the Jays gave Sportsnet a 5.9 audience share with an average audience of 216,000 for the month of June, which translates to a year-over-year increase of 29%.

The above numbers were first reported by Media In Canada.

 

Welcome! Episode #27: Arturo Marcano

This podcast was originally published on: May 31, 2016 on Girth Radio.

Arturo Marcano is a Toronto-based author who writes about the problems in Latin American countries caused by the globalization of baseball, specifically Major League Baseball (MLB).

In this hour-plus long conversation Marcano shares with us:
– how MLB has helped shape the cycle of poverty in the baseball-talent rich nations of Venezuela and the Dominican Republic
– why this same problem doesn’t exist in Mexico or Japan
– why there are not a lot of players in MLB from Mexico
– the upcoming battle between Cuban baseball and MLB
and much, much more!

Enjoy!

Listen below:

Girth Radio
MixCloud 
iTunes
Google Play Music
Stitcher 
TuneIn
You can also subscribe to the podcast via RSS Feed if you’re so inclined.

Josh Donaldson joins George Bell

Congrats Josh Donaldson.

Josh Donaldson

According to MLB.com:

Donaldson led the Blue Jays to the postseason for the first time since 1993 with one of the best offensive performances in franchise history. He hit .297 with 41 home runs and led the Majors with 122 runs scored while pacing the AL with 123 RBIs and appearing in all but four games. Donaldson was also first in the AL with 84 extra-base hits, second to Trout with 8.7 WAR and third with a .939 on-base plus slugging percentage.

George Bell was the first Blue Jays player to win the AL MVP in 1987. In the last several weeks, Donaldson has won the Hank Aaron Award, the Players’ Choice Most Outstanding Player Award and an AL Silver Slugger Award as the league’s top offensive third baseman. He finished fourth in voting for the AL MVP in 2013 and eighth last season as a member of the A’s.

 

 

The Culture of Bat Flips

By now you’ve either read my blog post on the topic or seen the gifs or videos of Jose Bautista’s epic home run from Wednesday night’s ALDS Game. And his bat flip.

image

And of course you’ve heard and or read the many opinions of those who know better that Bautista disrespected the pitcher, the Texas Rangers and the game of baseball as a result of his emotional response.

Esquire had a nice piece on the bat flip and it’s place in sports history.

From a cultural standpoint those who had a problem with what Bautista did lack cultural understanding and awareness.

These same people had a problem with his temper over the years. They had a problem with how Jose Reyes played the game and celebrated the game with joy. They don’t like the way Johnny Cueto sometimes does a jig before he pitches. And I’m sure there’s so much more they dislike.

But there are also things they like that I have no patience for. They like hitting batters to send a message. They like it when a veteran assults a younger player to teach them a lesson. They like batters who never celebrate a home run. Lest they anger the baseball gods.

These people can also be found in other sports. Here in Canada you can find them in hockey. And everywhere else.

You know who I’m talking about. They are not necessarily wrong. Nor are they right.

It’s like Harold Reynolds saying that Canadians can’t catch. He’s not right. And he’s not wrong. He’s ignorant. Of course we can catch.

And Jose Bautista is not disrespecting anyone or anything. This is how he displays his passion and love for the game. The same game he’s been playing since he was a kid playing baseball in the Dominican Republic. The same game Cole Hamels had been playing in the States.

And it’s the same game. However people play this game all over the world. I’ve had the opportunity to watch baseball in Taiwan. And to watch an international game played between Canada and the Dominican Republic. And of course Blue Jays baseball.

To expect an homogeneous baseball culture in 2015 is not just ridiculous. But short sighted and ignorant.

image

Let’s enjoy the game and how people doing all over the world play it. On the biggest baseball stage in the world. Major League Baseball.

#PitchTalks turn One – Episode #13

I don’t know if PitchTalks creator, Kevin Kennedy, know this or not but this monthly event has quickly become the must attend event for sports fans (not just baseball) across the Greater Toronto Area. For me, it’s the highlight of my month.

Alexis Brudnicki and Scott Crawford

Scott Crawford is the Director of Operations for the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in St. Mary’s, Ontario. Alexis Brudnicki is the lead writer for the Canadian Baseball Network and former statistician for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Alexis Brudnicki, Ashley Stephenson and Autumn Mills

Ashley Stephenson (a full-time teacher) has been a member of the Canadian women’s baseball team since 2004 and has already participated in five world championships. Autumn Mills (a full-time policewoman) has been with the team since 2005, primarily as a pitcher.

PitchTalks: Pre-Spring Training Edition

Last night, Toronto’s baseball faithful enjoyed one of the most entertaining editions of Pitch Talks to date.

Alexis Brudnicki shared her deep insights and knowledge about Canadian International Baseball. I always appreciate the early speakers and panelists. Most of the time they bring a new and fresh perspective on the sport.

alexis brudnicki | pitchtalks | karimkanji

Alex Seixeiro and Scott Cullen shared their thoughts on the upcmoing fantasy baseball season. I’m not a huge fantasy player. However, there were tons of people in attendance who had their nerd caps on. It was an amazing sight to behold.

alex seixeiro and scott cullen | fantasy baseball | pitchtalks | karim kanji

Finally we had the pre-season Blue Jays banter with Scott MacArthur, Mike Wilner, Jamie Campbell and Gregg Zaun. And this panel DID NOT disappoint. Zaun, in fact, stole the show. He shared stories of his time with the Baltimore Orioles (getting put in his place by Cal Ripkin Jr.), Florida Marlins (World Series champs) and Toronto Blue Jays (helping JP Arencibia learn to become a major league catcher). Zaun was uncensored and in the mood to share with fans of the best sport in the world.

gregg zaun | pitch talks | karim kanji

If you’re a fan of baseball in Toronto (or Canada for that matter) then Pitch Talks is the place to be. What are you waiting for?!

Here are some more photos from last night:


 

#PitchTalks: The Winter Meetings Edition

If you are a hardcore baseball fan living in the Greater Toronto Area then you were probably in attendance last night at the latest Pitch Talks event. Hosted by Kevin Kennedy at the Culture, Art, Media & Education Centre in Toronto, last night’s event featured a short Blue Jays film by Cashew Mirman Videos as well as the Canadian premiere of the Dock Ellis story: No No: A Dockumentary.

Kicking off the festivities was a round table panel discussing the latest Blue Jays move this winter featuring: Megan Robinson (Sportsnet Fan590), Ben Nicholson-Smith (Sportsnet), Shi Davidi (Sportsnet) and Drew Fairservice (NOT Sportsnet – Fangraphs).

Below is a Storify’d summary of the event: