Canadian crowds and bank robbers
TORONTO — Happy Canada Day everyone. The Mariners were kind enough to have a nice little pregame ceremony to honor this holiday, complete with a flyover by four NORAD jets, including a pair from the U.S. and a pair from Canada.
Also on the field were military from both nations. On the Canadian side, one of the RCMP officers was a woman named Martha Cormier, who happens to be Matt Stairs’ sister. She’s stationed at the RCMP’s Kelowna detachment.
Hey, if you’re not going to be in Toronto for Canada, this is the place to be. People flood down from Vancouver to see the Jays and actually make this place pretty pro Blue Jays. Honestly, this crowd of Jays fanatics seems louder than the fans who frequent Rogers Centre.
“Happy Canada Day,” Jays skip Cito Gaston said. “It certainly helps that we have some fans here. Hopefully, they’ll be cheering us on like they did last night. If you can’t spend it at home, this is a great place to spend it.”
Did I paraphrase Cito’s quote or what? But, it’s true. On Monday night, there were chants for Cito, a fine rendition of the Mar-co Scu-ta-ro chants, and at one point, there were loud cries of Hall-a-day! Hall-a-day! And believe me, the raucous Toronto fans didn’t go unnoticed.
“It’s kind of a weird thing, especially on the road,” Halladay said. “Obviously, being close to Canada here [will bring out the fans], but it’s a different feeling to go into a road city and be able to hear fans from your own town.”
As for my day today, I enjoyed a nice five-mile run along Puget Sound this morning and as I was heading back into downtown with my earphones in and Arcade Fire blasting from my ipod, I noticed that there were a handful of helicopters overhead, which seemed odd. As I got closer to the street my hotel was on, there were cop cars and ambulances blocking my path.
Turns out that some bozo tried to rob a bank in West Seattle and the chase with the cops ended near my hotel. Last year, I had that huge gas pipe explosion near my hotel in New York. This year I get close to a big shootout in Seattle. While standing by and watching the happenings, I spotted a man wearing a Michigan State hat.
We got to chatting and it turns out that he knows some people in the Tigers organization and he works in the ticket office at MSU. We talked some baseball and he even invited to buy me a coffee so we could talk ball some more, but I was itching to get out of my workout clothes. So it was nice to me you, Richard. I’ll take a raincheck on the coffee.
Also, asked David Eckstein today about a recent report that said he’d been fielding grounders at second base. He said no one told him to work out at second and he never fielded grounders, just turned some double plays. With he and John McDonald and Marco Scutaro splitting time at short, he just rotated over there on his own one day to help out during practice.
“It was funny,” Eckstein said with a laugh. “My wife even called me and said, ‘I read that you were fielding grounders at second base?’ I wasn’t. I did turn a couple double plays, but no one asked me to go over there. I did play second base until I got to the big leagues.”
TORONTO (41-43) at SEATTLE (31-51)
at 10:10 p.m. ET at lovely Safeco Field
David Eckstein, DH
Marco Scutaro, 2B
Alex Rios, RF
Vernon Wells, CF
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Scott Rolen, 3B
Gregg Zaun, C
Adam Lind, LF
John McDonald, SS
PITCHING: RHP Jesse Litsch (8-4, 3.82)
Ichiro Suzuki, RF
Jose Lopez, 2B
Raul Ibanez, LF
Jose Vidro, DH
Adrian Beltre, 3B
Jeremy Reed, CF
Richie Sexson, 1B
Jeff Clement, C
Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
PITCHING: LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith (2-1, 2.66)