A Bit More Detail

Assorted Personal Notations, Essays, and Other Jottings

Posts Tagged ‘sports

[URBAN NOTE] “‘Old Jays’ are battered and bruised but ready for battle”

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The Globe and Mail‘s Robert MacLeod reports on the aging Toronto Bay Jays as they come into play for the World Series.

Jason Grilli is 39 and proud of it.

The Toronto Blue Jays reliever, a 14-year veteran, wears his longevity like a crown, gracefully enduring ribbing from his teammates about an old coot playing a kid’s game.

The onset of middle age among some Blue Jays has been a running joke in the clubhouse, ever since the likes of Grilli and Joaquin Benoit, who is also 39, joined the team in mid-season trades.

Josh Donaldson, the 30-year-old Toronto third baseman, has been a leading protagonist, even using his Twitter account to poke fun at the so-called “Old Jays.”

Donaldson was at it again Monday, after the Blue Jays swept the Texas Rangers from the American League Division Series to afford them a break before starting the league championship against the Cleveland Indians.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 13, 2016 at 6:45 pm

[URBAN NOTE] Daily Xtra on Striker Sports Bar

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Daily Xtra‘s Aeryn Pfaff writes about Striker Sports Bar, a new gay bar in Church and Wellesley oriented towards a sports-loving demographic.

When Aaron Hewitt walked into Striker Sports Bar as a first-time customer, the first thing he noticed was that the washrooms were gender-neutral. The second was that he had just stumbled upon a place to watch sports without dealing with the hostility that he’s experienced in straight sports bars.

Hewitt played sports as a child, but he says his experiences were negative, a common issue for some LGBT people. “There was a lot of bullying from staff and from other students. It’s awful and it makes you sort of avoid sports altogether,” he says.

As he got older, he realized that he missed both playing and watching sports, and decided he would not let hatred stop him from enjoying what he loved. The next logical step would be finding people with similar interests, so when he heard about Striker, he was excited to visit a new space where he could enjoy watching sports.

Striker’s owners dub it as the first LGBT-specific sports bar in Toronto. It opened on Sept 2, 2016, after a sleek renovation. “We designed it and hand picked every single thing in that place from tiles to floors to the seats,” says co-owner Vince Silva. “We poured our heart and soul into this.”

Expenses don’t appear to have been spared. Striker has 15 TV screens, impressive lighting and a frost-rail — a chilled strip along the bartop meant to keep drinks cold. It also serves pub-style food.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 12, 2016 at 9:59 pm

[URBAN NOTE] “Italy suspends Rome’s bid for the 2024 Olympic Games”

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The Globe and Mail shares the article by the Associated Press’ Andrew Dampf about how Rome is not in the running for the 2024 Olympic Games, and Romans, at least, are happy.

Italy suspended Rome’s bid for the 2024 Olympics on Tuesday, forced to pull the plug because of the staunch opposition of the city’s mayor.

Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Malago said that he had written to the IOC announcing the decision to “interrupt the candidacy.”

While the letter left open a small possibility for a revival of the bid if there is a change in city government, Malago didn’t hold out much hope.

“Today the game is over. But if someone decides that the game isn’t over it’s not up to us. But today we’re ending the game,” Malago told The Associated Press after his announcement at a news conference. “That’s it.”

The move comes after Rome’s city council voted last month to withdraw support of the bid on the recommendation of Mayor Virginia Raggi.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 11, 2016 at 7:00 pm

[BLOG] Some Monday links

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  • blogTO notes that beer cans have been banned at Rogers Centre for the duration of the Toronto Blue Jays’ playoff run.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze notes that the atmospheres of many white dwarfs are polluted with what may be the remains of their old planets.
  • Joe. My. God. notes the warning of Ben Carson that gay marriage will bring mass killings.
  • Language Log parses the recent order to Republican Party workers to no longer work for Trump.
  • Marginal Revolution links to a photo essay about 21st century agriculture.
  • The Power and the Money’s Noel Maurer liveblogged the debate.
  • The Russian Demographics Blog links to a study on HIV’s impact on the world.
  • Strange Maps links to an amazing clickable map of pop music from 1880 on.
  • Window on Eurasia notes how the descendants of the peoples punished by Stalin are commemorating their sufferings under Putin.

[PHOTO] “One photo, less than 1,000 words: Ken Pagan vs. Everybody”

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Colin Horgan’s essay at MacLean’s, meditating on the power of photography and the dynamics of group identity and more in the story of one Blue Jay fan’s thrown beer, caught my attention.

Four rows from the bottom and one row to the left of Canadian Press photographer Frank Gunn’s shot from Tuesday is a woman wearing a backwards baseball cap and a blue sweatshirt. The sweatshirt is a limited Blue Jays run by Peace Collective, a Toronto fashion company. Printed across the front is the phrase it has recently popularized: Toronto Vs. Everybody.

In front of her, head bowed, staring straight ahead, stands a man now identified as Ken Pagan.

In the bottom of the seventh inning of the Blue Jays wild card game against the Baltimore Orioles, someone threw a mostly full king can of Bud Light onto the field during play, narrowly missing Orioles’ left fielder Hyun Soo Kim as he tracked a fly ball. A moment later, this photograph was taken. And in the days that have followed, the picture consumed Toronto—because of what it shows as much as because of what it might not show.

In the hours that followed the incident, the people in this photo came to reflect the city as a whole, the majority of the faces within it marked with either incredulity or confusion. Seconds after the beer can nearly hit Kim, social media filled in equal measure with regret and remorse. When it emerged that during the same game, others had tossed not beer but racial barbs, the apologies redoubled. Toronto, so accustomed to having the finger pointed its way, so accustomed to apologizing for itself, that someone made it into a T-shirt slogan, quickly tread a well-worn path. We are sorry, everybody. But you see, while that crowd is us, also it is not. Only some of us are racists. Only one of us is a beer thrower.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 8, 2016 at 9:59 pm

[BLOG] Some Tuesday links

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  • The Boston Globe‘s The Big Picture shares some of that newspaper’s best papers from last month.
  • blogTO shares Nuit Blanche photos.
  • The Broadside Blog’s Caitlin Kelly talks about the divide between journalism and content creation.
  • Centauri Dreams considers the Rosetta probe.
  • Dangerous Minds shares photos of the suitcases left by patients at an American insane asylum.
  • The Dragon’s Gaze links to a paper suggesting extraterrestrial civilizations could be discovered via leakage from the power-beaming systems of their spacecraft.
  • Far Outliers notes the 19th century feminization of domestic service in the United Kingdom and describes the professionalization of nursemaids.
  • Joe. My. God. notes Wikileaks’ shift of its big reveal to Berlin.
  • Language Log checks to see if there is any way Guiliani’s statement that no woman would be a better president than Trump could be parsed in a way favourable to him.
  • The Map Room Blog links to an article describing an ambitious plan to map the ocean floor.
  • Marginal Revolution looks at an electoral reform proposal in Maine.
  • James Nicoll links to his review of Deighton’s SS-GB
  • .

  • Torontoist reports about the Toronto food bank system.
  • Towleroad features a guest article describing Donald Trump’s misogyny towards his partners.
  • Window on Eurasia considers the cost to Russia of hosting multiple major international sports tournaments.
  • Arnold Zwicky reports on The New York Times‘s Spanish-language editorial.

[URBAN NOTE] “The Indianapolis-Scarborough Peace Games”

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Torontoist’s Chris Bateman describes an odd series of international sports, bringing together athletes from Scarborough and Indianapolis in a cross-border competition for more than forty years.

This is a cute idea, even if the genesis leaves me scratching my head. (Why Scarborough? Why Indianapolis? This does not seem like a natural, or at least inevitable, relationship. Chance goes in interesting directions.)

Despite their geographic and cultural differences, starting in 1973 close to 1,000 athletes from the borough of Scarborough and the U.S. city of Indianapolis participated in a recurring amateur sporting event in the name of friendship and goodwill.

The Scarborough-Indianapolis Peace Games—named in honour of the peace treaty that led to the end of the Vietnam War—were initiated by Gene McFadden, an Indianapolis urban planner and community development specialist, in October 1972.

McFadden was interested in finding a Canadian counterpart willing to compete in a multi-sport event similar to the Olympics, so he contacted George Churchill in Brantford, Ontario.

Churchill had helped organize a similar event between Brantford and Berrien County, Michigan, and, at McFadden’s request, he sent letters to several Canadian cities he thought would be interested in participating.

Scarborough Director of Recreation Jack Keay was first to respond, and he was keen.

Written by Randy McDonald

October 2, 2016 at 7:00 pm