Due to security concerns at the G20 Summit in Toronto the series between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies has been relocated to Philadelphia. The series which is to take place on the weekend of June 25th was to be held at the Rogers Center in Toronto. Many Jays fans, including myself, have been looking forward to this series since December 15, 2009.

This series was going to be Roy “Doc” Halladay’s homecoming. The first time he’d visit Toronto in an opposing uniform, and hopefully pitch. Now it’s not certain if he would have pitched in the series, but the thought of Toronto’s greatest athlete returning home would have brought fans to the ball park. The Toronto Blue Jays’ attendance has been awful this year. Up to this point in the season attendance at the Rogers Center has dropped to levels the likes I have never seen in the 20 years I have lived in Toronto. Many of us were expecting attendance to boost significantly for the series with the Phillies and possibly a sellout on the day Doc pitched.

Upon hearing about the decision to move the series to Philadelphia earlier today, over concerns about security at the G20 summit, I like many other Jays fans were severely disappointed. Listening to the president of the Blue Jays, Paul Beeston, address the media at a press conference I learned, this was a decision made by the Toronto Blue Jays organization and not at the request of the G20 Summit organizers or Major League Baseball. I understand his reasons and agree with the decision, even if it is a very disappointing one.

The security zone for the G20 Summit would include the Rogers Center among many of the surrounding area. It will result in street closures, parking lot closures and even public transportation closures. If that’s not enough, consider the perimeter fence that will be put in  place in the security zone and the countless police checks and security checks. Not to mention only the west end gates will be open to Jays fans to enter the Rogers Center.  This would be chaos.

Consider the following. A family with young kids has to park miles away from the Rogers Center and make a lengthy walk to the park. On approaching the security zone they may be subject to multiple security checks conducted by local police and RCMP officers. No one will be allowed to carry any bags, food or drinks with them into the security zone. They may be subject to searches. Once through all the security checks they would have to line up at one of only two open gates. Now considering it’s Doc’s return to Toronto it’s safe to estimate an attendance over 20,000 per game, and if Doc pitches I’d expect a sell out. Try having 40,000 people enter the Rogers Center through just two gates. I’m no expert, but that may take a few more hours than usual. Remember that family with young kids that has to go through all this, you think they’re going to have a great experience going to the park?

Being of Indian descent, and thanks to the colour of my skin, I’ve been subject to a few security checks at airports over the last 8 years. Security checks are not dreadful. They are long, frustrating, annoying and most of the time make you regret the trip all together, and I consider myself as someone with a lot of patience.

While we will not get to see Doc here in Toronto this year, I hope Major League Baseball will do the right thing and schedule a make up series next year so Toronto can give their beloved Doc another much deserved standing ovation.

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How sweet it is

How sweet it is

 

As I was driving back from grad school in Buffalo last night my radio was glued to the Fan 590. Absolutely nothing was going to take my attention away from Doc Halladay putting on a clinic against former Jay A.J. Burnett. A.J. joined the Dark Side, he is part of the Evil Empire. Doc proved again, that good always triumphs over evil. I only wish I could have been there at the game with the boys enjoying it live. I’m sure my buddy eyebleaf had a few pints on my behalf, while enjoying the meaningful complete e gamfive hitter pitched by the GREAT Doc Halladay.

Seven in a row. The Toronto Raptors have lost seven games in a row. What’s scary is that, this is their 4th such losing streak this season. I mean, four streaks of 5 loses or more. However, I saw one positive last Sunday from the raptors in the fourth quarter. I finally saw some emotion out of Chris Bosh. I finally saw the best player on the team screaming at his team “let’s go”. Then promptly the Utah Jazz went on a 28 – 12 run right after Chris’ emotional outburst to end the game and defeat the Raptors. 

I’ll admit, I haven’t been a the greatest supporter of Bosh this season. However, I wouldn’t like to see Bosh leave. I’ve been big on voicing my opinion that the Raptors should move Bosh. I’ve changed my mind. He’s a 20-10 guy. That’s rare in the NBA. Now at the same time, I don’t think he’s an elite player or a max money player. I don’t think he’s worth 17+ million a year. I would love to see Bosh at around 15 million a year with the Raptors. 

The Raptors are just a horribly put together team. Calderon, while I love his competitiveness couldn’t defend a pylon. Parker’s shot selection is horrible, those spurts where he thinks he’s Jordan are AWFUL. I mean I understand you’re from Chicago AP, but seriously, YOU ARE NOT JORDAN! Marion just isn’t worth 17 million either. Marion truly belongs with Nash, and only Nash. Andrea, he’s still developing, however I see some promise. He’s not going to be the go to guy, but he has made leaps and bounds this year. Honestly, Andrea defends. I don’t see anyone else on this team that puts in the effort that he does on the defensive end every play. Once Andrea develops a bit more of a post game and gets more aggressive, I can see him being a 20-7 guy consistently. The biggest drop off this season has been Jason Kapono. While his interviews are hilarious, his shooting this year is horrible. He’s just been awful. I mean, this is a team where Jason Kapono is your sixth man. That’s pretty scary. Brian Colangelo has a lot of work to do this off season. I mean on a 12 man roster, I only see 3 that are worth keeping, Jose, Chris & Andrea.

I can’t really blame Chris too much for this season, he has done alright. He’s in the top 10 in the league in scoring, that’s not bad at all. While he isn’t the type of guy to take over games, there aren’t many at his position who can. Although, it’s not the offensive end that worries me about Chris, it’s his defense. He seems to have regressed in his defensive presence this year. That worries me, he has been a horrible one on one defender this year. Maybe it’s the fatigue from a long year of basketball when you include the Olympics. I suggest Chris work on his defense this off season. 

In terms of the Raptors, I really do hope there are some wholesale changes this off season. In a city that is the fourth largest market in North America, to not have one team make the playoffs this season is pretty rough. We knew the Maple Leafs were rebuilding, the Jays play in the toughest division in baseball, TFC is still an expansion team, and the Argos, well who cares about the Argos. The Raptors were supposed to be the team this year. I missed every Raptor game last year while working overseas, so I was extremely excited about this year for the Raptors, and I’ve been severely disappointed. It actually hurts, I feel hurt personally when I see them lose. Especially considering the high hopes I had for this team coming into the season. Yet, I still try and watch every game.

This whole season has just been a disaster, from the performance, to the coaches, to the TSN2 fiasco. I mean why would you make a deal with a network where most of your fan base does not have that network. It’s utterly STUPID! Now some would say, maybe it’s a blessing that we aren’t able to view those games, and the matter in which they lose. Maybe they’re right. Maybe I’ve invested too much into the Raptors emotionally. I feel like I’m in a bad relationship, where I’m more emotional invested, more supportive, more positive, yet none of it is reciprocated. Yet, I just can’t end it, I can’t break up. Maybe the Raptors will change, maybe they’ll see the dedication, the support, the emotional investment that I and all the other fans are putting in realise. Maybe the Raptors will start to change. Maybe.

After spending a long time contemplating starting a blog I finally decided to go ahead and do it.   First and foremost I would like to give a lot of thanks to my friend over at Sports And The City for the encouragement. He pushed me for some time to get on this.  Well eyebeleaf, it has begun and i’m excited.  

After a painstaking two weeks searching for a title, I had another dilemna.  What should be my first post?  I had a few ideas, but what would be worthy of my first ever post.  My first post to the world.  While driving home the other night it hit me.  Oddly enough my most provocative thought process takes place while i’m driving.  I live in Mississauga, I do a lot of god damn lot of driving.

Anyways, back to the subject of the post.  Well, it’s sports.  What about sports?  Everything.  I lived overseas last year without any sort of cable and well… I didn’t catch a single hockey, baseball, basketball, football game for the whole year.   Of course I did follow sports online, but I wasn’t able to watch a single game for an entire year.  It was most definitely the hardest thing i’ve ever had to do.   I’m a sports junkie.  I’m addicted.  I’m a sportsaholic and proud of it.  

What’s worse, I might have possibly  missed one of the greatest sports years in history.  The remarkable undefeated season by the Patriots, who went on to be involved in one of the greatest Super Bowl finishes in recent memory.  The dominating season of the Celtics.  I can’t believe I missed watching them destroy Kobe in the Finals.  It really hurt that I wasn’t able to watch Kobe get dominated.  I missed watching the Boston Red Sox come back from being 3 – 1 down in the ALCS.  Then again, maybe it’s better that I missed that.  I have a bitter dislike for the Red Sox and Sox Nation.  I also missed every single game of my beloved Toronto Maple Leafs.  Many friends said to me that it was a blessing I missed the Leafs painful season last year.  I disagree, win or lose, to miss every game last year was actually very depressing. 

What I missed the most however, was the boys getting together to watch the game.  With everyones busy lives, sports always remained our common denominator.   Sports would bring us together.  I missed the sports road trips, two of them in fact.  One of which was to hallowed Yankee Stadium.  I’ll never get to watch a game in that historical ball park, which is something I always wanted to do.  I missed out on a full year of ball hockey.  Playing between the pipes every Sunday kept me in shape and was something I looked forward to every week.  

Since i’ve been back I’ve been in sports heaven.  The radio is set to Fan 590 on a daily basis.  I’ve made a concious effort to catch every Jays, Leafs, Raps and NFL game possible.  My homepage is yahoo sports.  I’ll be starting ball hockey in about 3 weeks. 

I missed out on sports for a year, but now that i’m home, maybe we can start again.