Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Canadian Kawasaki?

Yours truly has been to Toronto a few times (though not lately) and it's a terrific city. Lots of very interesting/entertaining stuff to see and do, and for the most part polite and respectful people. Heading up 401 from Detroit is like leaving Dante's Inferno for a 4 hour drive to Shangrila. Back in the day, I even saw a Leafs game in the old Gardens. No way could anybody buy a pair of tickets through usual channels, let alone a dumb Yank, but it had something to do with a scalper desperate to unload his stuff as game time approached. Alas, the Leafs would lose that game 4-1 to the LA Kings, but yours truly has never been in a more highly charged hockey atmosphere ever since -- and I've been to Red Wing playoff games at the Joe. Let's just say as opposed to Americans, the Canadians take their appreciation of hockey to a whole new level.

So what does this have to do with a Kawasaki? First, we have to shift sports. From the NHL to MLB. The Toronto Blue Jays are putting on quite a show this year. Not only do they (narrowly) lead the AL East division over the dreaded Yanks from Bronxville, they've assembled quite the murderer's row of sluggers in their line up. Far and away, the Jays lead the entire major leagues in home runs. To boot, they acquired some pitcher you may have heard of named David Price from the woeful Detroit Tigers a while back. Price has been lights out since he arrived in Toronto and is right there for Cy Young consideration this year. The fans love him, and well they should.

But for some strange reason, Blue Jay fans have adopted another hero. Enter one Munenori Kawasaki.

He's a 34 year old infielder from Japan, pretty much a scrub called up when teams could expand their rosters from 25 to 40 in September. At that, Kawasaki has less than 700 major league at-bats in his total career. A little dude, standing 5 foot eleven, 175 pounds, that bats left and throws right.

This year? He's hitting about a buck ninety, barely his weight, with zero home runs and one RBI. In other words, he's performing like an aging career "minor leaguer" would be expected to. Not good. He likely wouldn't be there at all if not for the injury to Troy Tulowitzki.

But the fans love him. Could it be our lovable neighbors to the north need to cut back on the Labatt and Molsen because it's making them crazy? Hmm, last time I looked, that pesky Seagram's plant was still on the Canadian side of the Detroit river. Have they been shipping too many cases up 401 as well, with the result being mass drunken lunacy at Blue Jays games? How else to explain their fascination with such a marginal player that would be lucky to hang on in the minor leagues for most other clubs?

Canadians for Kawasaki? Really? Sheer madness.

Then again, they can always look to the south and say one word. Trump. Or Jeb. Or Hillary. Or FOX. Or MSNBC. Or the Detroit Lions. Make that several words they have to choose from, then laugh hysterically.

Hmm. It seems madness is running amok south of the border as well.

All things considered in times like these, maybe I'll have a Labatt blue (or two) tomorrow. Like going to Toronto, it's been a while. Perhaps it will help numb the anxiety that comes with seeing so much insanity all around.

Nevertheless, Blue Jay fans are free to hop on board the Kawasaki of their choice and here's wishing them the best going down the road.

But yours truly would never ride one. It's long been a matter of principle. See my bio to the immediate right.

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