Blue Jays ALDS Broadcast Offends Canadians


So many eyes and ears were glued to the TV and radio last night as the Toronto Blue Jays fought their way into playing another game in the 2015 American League Divisional Series. While we were all hanging on the edge of our seats, we were following the game via the broadcast by FS1. Their team included Tom Verducci and former major leaguer, Harold Reynolds.

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

Well, Reynolds started a line of thinking that ended up enraging an entire nation. After Jose Bautista sliced a dangerous foul ball into the stands, we held our breath for a moment. It was a screamer just over the Rangers dugout. It you weren’t paying attention, it could have easily hurt you. It looked like everyone was OK. But, then it struck Reynolds that the situation might have been different if this had happened in Rogers Centre, in Canada.

“We we’re talking about foul balls in the stands up in Toronto and because there’s not a lot of people who grew up playing baseball in Canada, they’re not used to catching a lot of balls hit into the stands.”

Harold Reynolds is a former MLB player who enjoyed 12 years in the big leagues, mostly for the Seattle Mariners. He was a second baseman who once stole 60 bases. He’s a 2 time All Star and 3 time Gold Glove winner. But, on Sunday night, none of that mattered. Instead, all folks could talk about was how he had offended an entire country.

Many people in love hockey, that is for sure. Our national sport is lacrosse, not that I’d expect Reynolds to know that. But, what he should be aware of is that there are so many kids growing up in Canada falling in love with baseball. In fact, we’re seeing more and more youngsters playing the game. Baseball is certainly part of life here in Canada. The Toronto Blue Jays have done a great job reaching out to an entire country.

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  • But, perhaps, Reynolds doesn’t know his history all that well. Canada has been home to many minor league teams including the Blue Jays’ current Class A NWL Vancouver Canadians. The Canadian team also won gold at the Pan Am games in 2011 and 2015. Didn’t they eat the Americans to win that? You can trace baseball in Canada back to the 19th century. There is some discrepancy as to whether the first documented game took place in 1886 or even earlier in 1838. Regardless, it is not like the sport is new to Canadians.

    Even without this easily found knowledge, perhaps Reynolds might want to take a look around baseball in the modern age. There is a whole host of Canadians playing in MLB. Joey Votto in Cincinnati is not exactly an unknown commodity. Heck, Reynolds could just take a quick look at the current Blue Jays’ ALDS roster where he’ll find Dalton Pompey and Russell Martin. It seems that there are plenty examples of kids who grew up playing baseball. Perhaps former big leaguer Larry Walker summed this up better than anyone could:

    "I won 7 gold gloves. I think part of winning them was cause I could catch."

    Perhaps, Reynolds simply spoke without thinking. Perhaps, he didn’t mean that Canadians don’t know baseball. Perhaps, he didn’t really mean that we wouldn’t know how to catch a ball if it came to us in the stands. It is hard to imagine what he meant, if not that. The funny part is that Reynolds made 12 or more errors in a season 7 times with 20 in 1987.

    Regardless, the hope is that the Toronto Blue Jays continue to move on through this postseason so we can show Mr Reynolds just how much we know about baseball. And, who knows. Maybe we’ll even catch a foul ball.

    Next: Blue Jays Have Some Arbitration Decisions to Make

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