By Stewart Grant
There was a wild range of emotions at the Pyramid Recreation Centre on Wednesday night, and I didn’t even go to the Perth-Wellington Federal Election debate nor did I watch the amazing Atom BB hockey team rack up another victory.
I happened to be at the PRC because of my kids’ coinciding hockey and swim team practices. But like dozens of others, on this night my eyes were glued to the small, muted TV in the lobby where the Toronto Blue Jays played the Texas Rangers in a decisive and thrilling game five.
To experience the epic 43-minute seventh inning with so many fellow Stonetowners was something to remember for a long time. The emotions went from confusion, to frustration, to optimism, to absolute elation.
Without sound on the TV (apparently it doesn’t work, so I was told?), it was hard to imagine how the Rangers’ bizarre 3rd run was allowed to count when the home plate umpire had appeared to call the play dead long before Rougned Odor sprinted home from third base.
At the time, the Rangers’ go-ahead run felt like highway robbery, and visions of Wayne Gretzky high-sticking Doug Gilmour on a missed Kerry Fraser penalty call in 1993 danced in my head. This was NOT going to be a cool way to lose, and I was prepared to bitch about this play for the next 20 or 30 years.
But as the Blue Jays entered the bottom of the 7th inning though, it seemed as though karma was on their side. In a series in which FOX broadcaster Harold Reynolds stirred up controversy by mocking the foul-ball catching abilities of Canadian fans, suddenly the Texas Rangers had lost the ability to field a baseball. The Blue Jays tied the game following FOUR separate defensive blunders by Texas, and that brought slugger Jose Bautista to the plate….
KABOOM! After everything the Jays had been through earlier in the inning, it’s hard to imagine a more emotionally-charged home run than the three-run blast that Jose belted deep to left field, and his epic bat flip was appropriately fitting for the occasion. High-fives all around! (No butt-slapping here though)
Everyone left happy from the PRC, and a few celebratory beverages were enjoyed back at home as ace reliever Roberto Osuna recorded the final out to send the Jays to their first ALCS in 22 years. The streaky Blue Jays seem to have found their momentum again, and hopefully they can ride this wave all the way to another World Series. Go Jays Go!