By George, Bautista's at 46 - It's Time to Grow Up, Mike

bluejaysJose Bautista is sitting at 46 homers on the season. The Blue Jays face the Tampa Bay Rays at 2:07 this afternoon, so George Bell's single-season Jays home run record could fall over the next several hours.

A few weeks ago, I asked Jose Bautista to slow the fuck down. Ten year old Mike's favourite ball player in the world was #11, George Bell. Every morning I'd grab a copy of the Toronto Star, head straight for the Jays boxscore and see the line for G. Bell. Of course, that wasn't necessary, because I didn't miss an inning of Blue Jays baseball. If I wasn't watching on television, I was listening to Tom Cheek and Jerry Howarth call the game on 1430 CJCL.

I realize now, with 20 games to play, that Bell's record will inevitably belong to Bautista. In fact, Bautista's going to soar past 47, and will become the first Blue Jay to hit 50 in a season. And that's okay. Really. It's time I grow up.

For years and years I've rooted against Blue Jays who have approached 47 dingers in a season. The main threats were Jose Canseco and Carlos Delgado. I did this because I somehow believed I could retain a slice of that sweet innocence if Bell's record remained unbroken. I realize now that's ridiculous, and it's time for Bell's record to fall, for today's ten year old Jays fans, for my 8-year old son, for the die-hard fans who weren't alive when Bell was MVP.

Jose Bautista has taught me a great deal this season. He taught me to let go of the past, to live for the present and that everybody has to grow up sometime.

Good luck, Jose. And George... thanks for 23 years in the Jays record book, and for a life-long passionate love affair with the beautiful game of baseball.


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Comments (11 - click here to join in!)

elvis

I'll take 47 drug free vs. Bautista's 50+ with steroids.

September 12, 2010 @ 11:15 AM

Sarah

I really liked this post, Mike. It brought a little tear to my eye. Well done.

September 12, 2010 @ 11:22 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Related: George Bell Wasn't Named in the Mitchell Report.

Re: Bautista and steroids, I don't mind the question being asked, because there's really no precedent here. His previous career high was 16. The last time he played this many games, 3 seasons ago, he hit 15. Last season, he only hit 13.

The closest case I can think of is Brady Anderson who hit 50 with a previous career high of 21. We still don't know if Anderson used PEDs. We don't know that Bautista is using PEDs.

Let's give Bautista the benefit of the doubt. His body didn't undergo the Barry Bonds transformation... and it's possible his new swing deserves the credit. I choose to believe Bautista is doing this clean.

September 12, 2010 @ 11:33 AM

Jesse

Great post, Mike! If I could cry, I might have a tear in my eye like Sarah.

Elvis = where's your smoking gun on Bautista? Is everyone guilty until proven innocent in your eyes?

September 12, 2010 @ 12:03 PM

Buffalo Boy Mike

Yeah really, Bautista had a great September last year, carried it into the Spring where he was realy good and just kept going, I give credit to bautista for listening to Cito Gaston, Dwayne Murphy and letting them change his swing. This isnt drug induced the guy is still the same size he was last year, this was a legit season for him. IF the players havent gotten the message from guys like Giambi, Clemens, Pettite, ARod and Bonds all getting caught then where are we with this sport, he did it clean unless otherwise noted.
Im rooting for Bautista and damn lets have some fun with it they are exciting team thats going contend if they make some smart moves this offseason and spend a lil money to improve in a few key areas, they ahve the foundation in place to make a move.

September 12, 2010 @ 1:57 PM

Stephanie Wilkinson

I'm glad Sarah and Jesse said it first. So I'll say it third. Nice piece Mike. You need to go to Cooperstown.

September 12, 2010 @ 3:14 PM

Army

Mike,

The "beautiful game" is football! (Soccer for the majority.) That being said, baseball is still, and always will be my favourite game.

Hats off to Bautista if he does it. Interesting year.........too bad about Sportsnet 1. (Why not 2?)

September 12, 2010 @ 5:31 PM

Cheryl

Who cares. I don't. Baseball is so boring. Hockey is the best. Go Habs and Coyotes.

September 12, 2010 @ 8:41 PM

Army

@Cheryl,

I would catagorize hockey as "the ugly game". Lots of fighting, swearing and unsportmanlike conduct in a game that is supposedly a "sport"? More like WWF or that street fighting b.s. Definitely a 4th or 5th rate sport at best.........the ratings prove it!!!

September 12, 2010 @ 8:59 PM

elvis

@Jesse - if you're a professional athlete - YES

September 13, 2010 @ 12:36 AM

elvis

@Jesse - I've been thinking about your question a little more.

Are you freakin' serious dude? Where the hell have you been the past, oh, I dunno, decade? All of a sudden baseball players stopped taking steroids? Really? Really?

September 15, 2010 @ 10:58 PM

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