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A Milestone Missed

constructionI just realized a couple of things.

This is my 6005th entry. That means I missed a milestone entry yesterday. Instead of making a big deal out if it I treated my 6000th entry the way MLB will treat Barry Bonds' 756th home run.

Moments ago, I was going to add this link as a comment to my Doors Open Toronto entry. Movable Type had other ideas and told me the entry I was commenting on didn't exist. I'll have to figure that out, and until I do your comments will be rejected.

6005th entry.... out!

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Don't Do It, J.P.

bluejaysYou've likely heard the rumour that J.P. Ricciardi is talking trade with the San Francisco Giants. The deal on the table is Alex Rios for Tim Lincecum, and that scares the crap out of me.

I realize the importance of pitching and that Lincecum is a solid prospect, but Alex Rios is young, awesome defensively, hits for power and even steals bases. He's still got great upside and was our only all-star last season. He's the kind of player I want to see patrolling right field at the diamond formerly known as Skydome for the next decade.

I know what Rios is and I know he's only getting better. Lincecum is one big maybe. The good news is this deal likely won't happen if the Giants trade for Hideki Matsui to replace Bonds instead. Let's hope that happens.

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Before The Babe, Hank and Barry, There Was Roger Connor

baseballAny day now, Barry Bonds will catch Hank Aaron and become the all-time home run king. Everybody knows that Hank Aaron caught Babe Ruth, but not many people know who held the record before The Babe.

It was Roger Connor who hit 138 home runs during his 18-year career. Think about that for a moment. Babe Ruth took a record of 138 and stretched it to 714. That's not breaking the record, that's obliterating the record.

For cool audio of Hank Aaron hitting 715 and an awesome quote from the New York Times, go here.

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Dock Ellis and The LSD No-Hitter

baseballI Google+'d this a month ago, but it's just too awesome for Google+. Dock Ellis & The LSD No-No by James Blagden belongs here.

In celebration of the greatest athletic achievement by a man on a psychedelic journey, No Mas and artist James Blagden proudly present the animated tale of Dock Ellis' legendary LSD no-hitter. In the past few years we've heard all too much about performance enhancing drugs from greenies to tetrahydrogestrinone, and not enough about performance inhibiting drugs. If our evaluation of the records of athletes like Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, Marion Jones, and Barry Bonds needs to be revised downwards with an asterisk, we submit that that Dock Ellis record deserves a giant exclamation point. Of the 263 no-hitters ever thrown in the Big Leagues, we can only guess how many were aided by steroids, but we can say without question that only one was ever thrown on acid.

You won't find anything better on the web today.

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Fred McGriff: The Crime Dog

blue jaysI'm featuring 1988 Topps Cards featuring members of my beloved Blue Jays that are featured on this blog.

Fred McGriff was a fantastic first basemen for the Jays who led the American League in homers back in 1989, but he's best known around here as a key part of The Trade.

The Trade, the trade that eventually resulted in two World Series championships, had McGriff and Tony Fernandez shipped off to San Diego Padres in exchange for Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter.

Here's an interesting Fred McGriff tid bit from the 88 Topps Card blog.

From 1988 to 2002, which two players have the most seasons with at least 22 homers? Of course Fred McGriff is one, or else I wouldn't be citing the stat. Barry Bonds is the other.

We already know Rance Mulliniks was the first person to hit an inside the park homer at SkyDome, but who was the first person to clear the fence at SkyDome? It was Fred McGriff, The Crime Dog.

Fred McGriff

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My Thoughts On Tiger Woods

golfI'm not the world's biggest golf fan, but I pay close attention to the major tournaments. For example, I made sure I was in front of a television to watch the last few holes of this weekend's US Open. Why was I interested in watching? Because Tiger Woods was in contention.

People seem to love or hate Tiger Woods. Nobody is indifferent. Freddie P recently wrote about ABT. ABT stands for Anybody But Tiger. Freddie P is rooting for anybody but Tiger the way many of us cheer for anybody but Ottawa during the Stanley Cup playoffs when Toronto isn't there. On the other end of the spectrum is Fred's former on-air partner Humble Howard who is just about the biggest Tiger Woods fan I know. Humble's probably on cloud 9 right now after Tiger birdied the 18th hole to force a playoff. It was a thrilling putt that had this casual fan on the edge of his seat.

You're probably wondering what I think of Tiger and what I was rooting for when Tiger made that putt on 18. Without a doubt, I wanted Tiger to sink it. I hope Tiger finishes the job tomorrow and puts another notch in his belt. If a Canadian isn't going to win a PGA major, I want Tiger to win.

I love the idea that someone we watched, someone during our lifetime is the best there ever was. I rooted for Michael Jordan and I rooted for Wayne Gretzky. Athletes like Tiger come around once in a lifetime and it seems foolish and unnatural to root against them unless they're complete jerks, Barry Bonds style. Hell, for a while I even rooted for him.

Major #14 comes tomorrow. We're closing in on Jack Nicklaus' 18.

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I'm Not a PGA Fan, I'm a Tiger Fan, and this is Crazy

golfI've never been a golf fan. I don't play the sport at all and I don't follow the PGA. Having admitted that, I've been a big Tiger Woods fan since he was an amateur.

I just revisited every entry on this blog that includes the keyword "Tiger Woods". There were 25. That's a lot of entries to be written by a guy who doesn't golf and doesn't give a rat's ass about golf. Heck, in the pre-YouTube era, I was sharing that shot Tiger made on the 16th hole of The Masters in 2005 as a WMV file. That's right, Tiger got me to share a WMV file.

In 2006, I wondered if Tiger Woods might be the greatest athlete of all-time. Not the greatest golfer, but the greatest athlete in any sport. Yes, I spoke of Tiger Woods and Wayne Gretzky with the same honoured tone.

A couple of summers ago, I actually threw all of my Tiger Woods thoughts into an entry I entitled "My Thoughts on Tiger Woods".

I love the idea that someone we watched, someone during our lifetime is the best there ever was. I rooted for Michael Jordan and I rooted for Wayne Gretzky. Athletes like Tiger come around once in a lifetime and it seems foolish and unnatural to root against them unless they're complete jerks, Barry Bonds style. Hell, for a while I even rooted for him.

And hell, I'm still rooting for Tiger Woods. And no, I never bought that car crash story where Elin drags him from the vehicle. Not for a second. And I'm aware of his chronic infidelity and love of the ladies. The man's a dog, but he's the best damn golfer in the history of the world and the only guy who could get me to write 25 entries about a sport I don't care about. Ask me how many entries I've written about rugby or cricket or polo?

Tiger's fall from grace is unprecedented. A month ago, he was a god. Today, his sponsors are dropping like flies and his career is officially on-hold. This is crazy.

Tiger, ya dirty dog, work on that marriage, fix it for your wife and kids, but for heaven's sake, keep golfing. There are records to break, there's history to make, legions of fans to please and me, a Tiger Woods fan who doesn't give a shit about golf.

tiger-woods-out-of-bunker

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