Joey Bats: An Appreciation

When the Blue Jays acquired Jose Bautista from the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2008, I knew nothing about him. I remember thinking his last name reminded me of former Blue Jay shortstop Tony Batista who had a silly batting stance but plenty of power. In 2008, Bautista got into 21 games for the Jays, hitting three home runs.

Six Blue Jays hit more home runs than 28-year old Bautista in 2009: Hill, Lind, Barajas, Overbay, Wells and Rios. That's right, catcher Rod Barajas out slugged Joey Bats back in 2009. None of us saw 2010 coming.

To be honest, I initially resented Bautista. I grew up loving George Bell and took some comfort that he still held the franchise record for home runs in a season. Not even Carlos Delgado ever hit 47 homers in a season for the Jays, but here was Bautista, seemingly coming out of nowhere to set the new standard. Bautista's 2010 season was exceptional, but his 2011 season was even better.

Take a look at Bautista's numbers in 2010 and 2011. No Blue Jays batter has put together back-to-back seasons as stellar as these. He was the best player in baseball.

joeybats

Bautista would put up four more fantastic seasons, culminating in 2015's bat flip in that seventh inning of the ALDS against the Rangers. I can't tell you how many times I've re-watched this 7th inning and every time my heart flips with Joey's bat. It's the greatest Blue Jays moment since Joe touched 'em all in '93 and we'll have it forever.

batflip

I'm going to miss watching Joey Bats suit up for my Jays. He's the best Blue Jay of the past decade and, in my humble opinion, one of the five greatest Blue Jays of all-time.

Thank you, Jose.

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Autumn is the New Summer

weather

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Open Mike

Welcome to this week's Open Mike. I'm Mike and I'll be your master of ceremonies for the day.

Feel free to use this space to vent, rant, share a story and/or ask a question of the hivemind.

Open Mike on Toronto Mike

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 268: Jackie Perez Kicks Out the Jams!

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 268In this 268th episode, Mike and Jackie Perez play and discuss her ten favourite songs. This episode is exactly 1:37:01.

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You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Jackie Perez and me

Toronto Mike'd is proudly brought to you by Great Lakes Brewery and Property in the 6ix

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Jake LaMotta, Dead at 95

Jake LaMottaJake LaMotta was 95. He was the professional boxer known as The Raging Bull who was World Middleweight Champion in 1949 after defeating Marcel Cerdan.

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Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 267: Tim Thompson Kicks Out the Jams!

Toronto Mike'd Podcast Episode 267In this 267th episode, Mike and Tim "Boundless" Thompson play and discuss his ten favourite songs. This episode is exactly 1:49:21.

Become a Patron

You can listen to this episode in a variety of ways:

Tim Thompson and Me

Toronto Mike'd is proudly brought to you by Great Lakes Brewery and Property in the 6ix

Great Lakes Beer propertyinthesix.com

Catch up on all episodes of Toronto Mike'd and subscribe here.

Toronto Mike'd Podcast

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Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, Dead at 73

Bobby Bobby "The Brain" Heenan was 73. He was the professional wrestling manager, wrestler and colour commentator I knew best from his years in the WWF. Young Mike watched many a match called by Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.

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The Ongoing History of All Jams Kicked Out

We've had 13 jam kickers thus far in the Kick Out the Jams! episodes of Toronto Mike'd. You'll find all 13 (and counting) right here.

Listener Tyler Campbell has meticulously documented every jam kicked out and recorded this detail in a shared spreadsheet. Click here to open the KOTJ spreadsheet in Google Sheets.

It's not just which jams have been kicked out by whom, but the frequency in which each artist pops up. The Beatles, for example, have been kicked out seven times, and unbelievably, it's seven different songs.

Knowing the jams before you listen is an obvious spoiler, so I've asked Tyler to wait a week before updating the spreadsheet. Now if you're up to date and have already heard Mike Stafford's jams, click through!

Thanks, Tyler! I owe you a six-pack of Great Lakes Beer.

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Thank You!

This morning's Terry Fox Run at High Park was amazing. I've been participating every year for over a decade now, and I don't remember a morning as warm as this one. Some years I'm wearing my Terry Fox tee shirt over a sweater but this year it was hot when the run began at 9am.

I want to thank every single person who pledged my run. Together we raised $737.

Terry Fox Run 2017

My 2017 Terry Fox Run heroes are:

  • Thomas E.
  • Faunie H.
  • Steve Y
  • Javed Jafri
  • Brian Gerstein
  • Shawn G.
  • Steve L.
  • Stephen B.
  • Troy
  • Cheryl
  • Rick C in Oakville
  • Blind Dave.
  • Dale
  • Paula A.
  • Eric M.
  • Maarten H.
  • Miriam. D
  • Broni
  • markosaar
  • Pete Fowler

I rode with the two older kids to High Park and had to stop and take a picture. It really was a perfect day.

2017-09-17_01-05-30

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Harry Dean Stanton, Dead at 91

Harry Dean StantonHarry Dean Stanton was 91. He was the actor best known for his roles in “Paris, Texas,” “Twin Peaks,” “Big Love,” “Pretty in Pink,” and “Repo Man.”

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