Toronto Blue Jays

War with Canada narrowly avoided

We almost had a political disaster on our hands Saturday night when the Toronto Blue Jays played the LA Dodgers. A Canadian fan was harassed by a Dodger Stadium security guard for waving a Canadian flag. The offending fan was Lee Fraser who is the president of Canadians Abroad, a bunch of expats who attend games together when teams from Canada visit.

The Dodgers have a policy prohibiting signs and banners and that includes any flags, even the U.S. flag. Security officials warned Fraser that he could hold it up during the Canadian national anthem but not to wave it during the game. When he did start waving it during the sixth inning, a security guard tried to confiscate it and that lead to a 100-person brawl heated discussion between security, LAPD, and 100 or so Canadians. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed and nobody was seriously injured, although there was a report of an “inadvertent shove.”

Even though Fraser had the last word (“The whole crew went crazy. They sent down three or four security guards, the LAPD. Because, you know, Canadians are such a big threat.”), we have to side with the security guards in this case. They were just following rules. If the Canadians can wave a flag, next thing you know, those crazy rabid fans from SF will be waving a Giants flag and then we’ll end up with 51 states.

[The Star]: Canadian fan hassled for doing wave with flag

Toronto Blue Jays

The Blue Jays poke fun at the Television Bureau of Canada

What do you do when one of your star players has a commercial pulled from the air by the Television Bureau of Canada. A commercial deemed to be too violent for its portrayal of Frank Thomas in a pillow fight with a young boy? Well, you go ahead and have a Frank Thomas pillow giveaway.

The marketing folks with the Blue Jays took advantage of all the random press and made September 2 Frank Thomas Kids Pillow Night. Brilliant. This certainly beats the Cardinals’ Tony LaRussa Bottle of Whiskey night.

We hope that the pillow doesn’t scare small children like the Ben Wallace throw pillow does.

[SC]: Frank Thomas can swing a mean pillow

Toronto Blue Jays

Frank Thomas can swing a mean pillow

Frank Thomas can do some serious damage with a bat in his hands, but what about a pillow? Well, according to the Television Bureau of Canada, the Big Hurt is too aggressive during a commercial in which he has a pillow fight with a small boy. In the ad, two boys are having a pillow fight when Thomas enters the room and tells the kids to go to bed. One boy hits him with a pillow and then Thomas takes a swing of his own, knocking the kid off the bed.

The TBC has yanked the ad but refused to comment on why. However, their website has this guideline posted, which could be the reason behind pulling the spot off the air.

Advertisers are cautioned that “it is imperative to keep the best interests of young children and youth in mind when producing commercials. Because children and youth are very impressionable, commercials should not contain any visual or audio portrayals which are detrimental to their well-being.”

The TBC’s website goes on to state that acts of violence, “even comedic violence,” can be found to be excessive when included in commercials.

C’mon, does anyone honestly think that a pillow fight promotes violence? Are they terrified that the country’s kids are so impressionable that they are going start ripping pillows off their parent’s beds and attack bums on the streets?

Hello, it’s a commercial! Nobody thinks the kid actually got walloped by Thomas. Of course, this is the same company that refused to air a commercial with AJ Burnett tossing a small bundle of trash off the head of a garbage man until the words “dramatization” was added.


[]: Swing and a miss for Blue Jays’ commercial

Toronto Blue Jays

Oct 23 in Sports History: Joe Carter wins the World Series

In 1993: Joe Carter of the Toronto Blue Jays became only the second player to end a World Series with a walk-off homerun with a 8-6 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 6 at the Skydome in Toronto. The Jays jumped out early on the Phillies by scoring three runs in the first inning and eventually built a 5-1 advantage, only to see Philadelphia retake the lead late in the game on a Lenny Dykstra homer. Trailing 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth, Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams of the Phillies walked Rickey Henderson, gave up a single to Paul Molitor (who was named MVP), and grooved a fastball to Joe Carter which cleared the left field fence and touched off a wild celebration. It was the second straight World Series for the Blue Jays.

In 1988: Dan Marino of the Miami Dolphins had one of the best passing days in NFL history in a game against the New York Jets at Joe Robbie Stadium. Marino completed 35 of 60 passes for a third-best all time 521 yards and three touchdowns. Unfortunately for Marino and the Dolphins (as was the case for most of his career) the defense was awful and the Fish lost 44-30. They would fall to 6-10 in 1988.

Toronto Blue Jays

Congratulations to Shea Hillenbrand on adopting a little girl!

Shea Hillenbrand was designated for assignment (i.e. released) yesterday after he criticized the Blue Jays for not having him in the starting lineup for the second day in a row and for failing to congratulate him on adopting a baby girl. Hillenbrand was particulatly upset with manager John Gibbons for criticizing him in front of the whole team.

According to the Toronto Star, the final straw in a strained relationship between Hillenbrand and Gibbons came when Hillenbrand wrote “This is a sinking ship” on a clubhouse chalkboard. Gibbons confronted Hillenbrand in a team meeting, called him a cancer and a coward and challenged him to a fight.

Gibby called a team meeting and then he stood up and reamed me out in front of my teammates. I’m very disappointed about what he did and I find it very unprofessional.

From the beginning of the season, there were times when I wasn’t playing and there would be no justifiable excuse. He said that if I had a problem with the team or what was going on, I should come into the manager’s office and talk to him.

But then, he would get mad at me when I did that and accuse me of being a selfish player.

The Blue Jays organization has said their version of events differ considerably but won’t elaborate on what happened.

Meanwhile, speaking about the adoption of his baby girl, Hillenbrand somehow managed to insult the reporters out of the blue.

Not one person from the front office has even come up to congratulate me. It’s all the little people like you guys. But nobody from higher up. That’s a disgrace.

Gee, Hillenbrand, I’m sure the beat reporters like to be reminded that they make no money and are just “little people” to you.

[Toronto Star]: Fired Jay blames manager

[ESPN ]: Hillenbrand cut after criticizing Jays front office