Toronto Blue Jays
I've been blogging here for 14 years, and during that time there were some pretty low times in Toronto sports. Just four years ago I wrote this about the new bottom for Toronto sports teams. Things were very, very bad for the big five.In 2016, things got a whole lot better. In fact, there's something great to report about every team in the big five not nicknamed the Argos. Although we didn't win a championship, we were close!
Ten years after their birth, TFC hosted the MLS Cup final, losing a heartbreaker to Seattle. That second leg against Montreal in the semi-final was absolutely thrilling.
Toronto Blue Jays
For the second year in a row, the Blue Jays played in the ALCS. Unlike the hype train of 2015, this didn't seem likely in September as we sputtered into the playoffs, but an Edwin walk-off against Baltimore in the wildcard game and a sweep of the Rangers in the ALDS helped recapture the joy of the previous year.
For the first time in franchise history, the Raptors won a best-of-seven playoff series. And we did it twice! We even took two games against Cleveland in the conference finals, making this far and away the best Raptors season, ever.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Last season, the Leafs were bad. Very, very bad. This is a good thing, as it helped us land Auston Matthews with the first overall pick in the draft. Now, with Matthews, Marner and Nylander, the future actually looks bright and the present is a lot of fun, too.
Let's not ruin this entry with an Argos update.
In addition to successful developments for the big four teams in this city, Toronto hosted the Grey Cup, World Cup of Hockey and World Juniors. 2016 was a very good year for Toronto sports. Let's hope for a championship in 2017.
A couple of days ago, CBC Toronto news anchor Dwight Drummond dropped by for a chat. Dwight started at City TV and worked on Electric Circus as a security guard. He mentioned the cowboy hat wearing dancer.
Immediately, I remembered a story Maestro Fresh-Wes told me about this cowboy hat wearing dancer on Electric Circus back in the day. Maestro referred to him as "Soul Train meets Dukes of Hazzard". This guy was so notable a commenter referenced him in this comment left here back in 2011.
I'm more curious as to where the cowboy hat wearing guy that used to "dance" on Electric Circus every week is now. He could really hold that cheap cowboy hat and bust-a-move!
Dwight shared a bizarre legend he'd heard that this cowboy hat wearing Electric Circus dancer was Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Dalton Pompey's father. That sounded too good to be true, but I was curious. So I asked Dalton.
@torontomike That he did haha— Dalton Pompey (@DaltonPompey) November 17, 2016
Confirmed! The legend is true! Dalton Pompey's father, Ken Pompey, was a regular dancer on Electric Circus back in the day! Ken Pompey was the Cowboy!
Here's Ken Pompey dancing on EC.
Here's Ken Pompey today.
You can see more of Cowboy Ken Pompey dancing on Electric Circus in this Retrontario clip.
Dalton Pompey's father, a.k.a. Kenrick "Cowboy" Pompey, famed Electric Circus dancer, released a house track in 1992 entitled "Summertime Summertime". It was distributed by Sony Music Canada and included a radio mix, a club mix and a smooth mix.
Deborah Cox is listed as a writer and, according to Dalton Pompey's mother, did the backup vocals. Here's the cover of the album and vinyl:
Here's the radio edit of K. Pompey's Summertime Summertime featuring Deborah Cox. If Dalton doesn't make this his walk up music, I've lost all hope in humanity.
Thank you to Brian McKechnie for getting me the MP3 and Steve Magyari for ripping it from his personal CD collection. Awesome!
The Toronto Blue Jays have signed free agent Kendrys Morales for three-year at $33 million. Morales batted .263 with 30 home runs last season for the Kansas City Royals.
Morales is primarily a DH, which means re-signing Edwin Encarnacion seems highly unlikely to me. Unless Edwin primarily plays first base, which is possible. Personally, I think Edwin is gone, but I also thought Hillary would win easily.
Assuming Bautista and Encarnacion sign elsewhere, and I'm guessing they do, I hope the Jays strike a deal with the Reds to bring Joey Votto home.
- KRLD Texas Radio
- ESPN Radio
- TVA Sports
- Fan 590
Here's the fantastic video written by Stephen Brunt and read by Paul Beeston that aired prior to the game.
Go Jays, Go!
What happened in the 11th inning of last night's wild-card game between the Blue Jays and Orioles can be described in a series of tweets.
Fuck yes!!!!— Toronto Mike (@torontomike) October 5, 2016
I don't believe what I just saw— Toronto Mike (@torontomike) October 5, 2016
Toronto faces Texas in the ALDS. There was never any doubt.— Toronto Mike (@torontomike) October 5, 2016
Edwin Encarnacion's 3-run homer in the 11th inning sealed the deal in a thrilling game at the dome. It was the first playoff walk-off for the Jays since Joe touched 'em all in '93.
While we're on the topic of last night's thrilling game, a dumbass "fan" embarrassed the city by throwing a can of beer at Orioles outfielder Hyun-Soo Kim. I quickly sent the following tweet.
Beer can thrown by this guy pic.twitter.com/U0pHjnmf78— Toronto Mike (@torontomike) October 5, 2016
I thought it was pretty funny and that every Jays fan would get it immediately. I was mostly right about that, but the tweet was RT'd many times and ended up in the feeds of Baltimore fans, less familiar with the Amish looking mafk from KC. Several of them responded as if this was actually the guy who threw the beer can.
I've been a Jays fan since the summer of '83, but I've never seen anything like what I'll see tonight. For the first time in franchise history, the Jays are playing a wild card game to see who advances to the ALDS.
The Jays have won six AL East pennants, only one of which was secured during the wild card era. Tonight is very, very different. It's a one game winner-take-all showdown against the Baltimore Orioles. My stomach is already doing somersaults.
Marcus Stroman gets the start over left-hander Francisco Liriano. Make no mistake, this is a loyalty move by Gibbons. Stroman was our opening day starter, and he'll get the ball tonight, but if you look at everything objectively, you'd likely give the nod to Liriano. I suspect we'll see both tonight.
And that's what makes this one game playoff so different. How Gibbons uses his relievers will mean the world. It's safe to say Stroman will have a very short leash, but if he's pitching well, do you pull him after four? If the first two batters in the second inning reach base, do you go to Liriano then? Is there any chance Stroman faces an Oriole three times tonight?
We're one win away from an ALDS rematch with the Rangers. I'll be watching.... through my fingers as they cover my eyes.
In the world of professional sports, I'm focused on the Jays vs. Red Sox this afternoon. A win and we'll host the wild card game Tuesday. This is a big game.
I was just biking with my two older kids and we were chatting about the Jays. My 14-year old son is more excited about Auston Matthews' debut with the Leafs tonight. My daughter will "follow" the game on Instagram. This led to each of us ranking Toronto's big 6 teams in terms of personal preference.
My 14-Year Old Son's Rankings
My 12-Year Old Daughter's Rankings
Straight from the mouths of babes, as they say. Despite the fact I watch most Jays games and talk about the team often, the team is a distant third on each of their lists.
You can lead a horse to water...
Do you remember this time last year? Exactly one year ago yesterday, this happened.
Holy crap, that was fun. Because that led to this.
I sometimes have to remind myself that we didn't actually make the World Series last year, let alone win it. 2015 was special, despite falling short. One year later, I'm still riding the high.
2016 has felt quite different. Still, we entered September with a chance to defend our AL East title. Then, the wheels fell off.
Tell anyone over the age of 40 that this slide has been the worst and they'll reply with 1987. I remember 1987 vividly, and I assure you that felt much, much worse. The Jays had to lose their last seven to blow it in '87. This collapse has felt less violent, less dramatic, less painful. Maybe it's because I'm older, maybe it's because there's still a chance we qualify for the Wild Card (which didn't exist in '87), or maybe it's because this wasn't a bad week, this felt like a bad month.
1987 really set the bar high for Blue Jays collapses. It was unbearable. We were 3½ games up with a week to play and blew it.— Toronto Mike (@torontomike) September 18, 2016
So here we are, with the biggest game of the season starting in an hour, and the Jays clinging to the last Wild Card spot. I'm hoping we figure this out, but fully prepared for the worst. After all, I remember '87.
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