Harold Reynolds, a former MLB second baseman and MLB sportscaster, has been catching flak for his comment during the Toronto Blue Jays-Texas Rangers third game in the American League Division Series game held in Arlington at Globe Life Park last night.
After Toronto’s Jose Bautista fired a “missile” foul ball into the crowd above the Texas dugout, Reynolds commented on what he perceives as a lack of participation in the game of baseball in Canada and some type of demonstrated inability on the part of Canadians to catch foul balls at MLB games.
“We were talking about foul balls in the stands, up in Toronto. And, uh, because there’s not a lot of people that grew up there playing baseball in Canada. They’re not used to catching a lot of balls in the stands.” And then there was a moment of silence, and he added, “Not many people catching that one anyway,” to a slow, perhaps somewhat astonished, chuckle from the other announcer.
The really strange thing is that Reynolds has played in Toronto many times, he played for Seattle, Baltimore, and California. People in Canada play lots of baseball. From the looks of it, in the feature photo, most of the people in the line of fire of the so-called missile had white hair. Baseball-Reference lists 239 MLB players since 1871 who were born in Canada.
Canadian seven-time Golden Glove recipient Larry Walker tweeted out his disapproval shortly after Reynolds’ disparaging of Canadians’ foul-ball catching capacities.
Baseball is popular with males and females of all ages in Canada. Canadian softball tournaments might be seen as some type of rite of passage, judging by the number of videos on YouTube.
Granted, the disappearance of the Montreal Expos after the 2004 season didn’t garner any admiration from Canadian MLB fans and attendance at the The Olympic Stadium was dead last among National League peers that year. The franchise found new life in Washington.
The Blue Jays dominated professional baseball for a period in the early nineties and Canada stamped its place in the big leagues. The Expos never quite had so much success, yet “a conversation” concerning Montreal’s former MLB franchise returning continues to circulate, as reported by ESPN.
Toronto won, 5 to 1 against the Texas Rangers, blocking them from a three-game sweep in the best-of-five series, according to the National Post. The Blue Jays had a 54 percent win / loss ratio and were the second-best team in the American League in 2015, according to MLB. The Blue Jays also averaged about 30,517 fans per game in 2015, according to the National Post. Close to 50,000 have been showing up for Jays’ games in the post season, reports the CBC.
All available tickets for the ALDS series were quickly scooped-up by eager Blue Jays fans, and sold-out before noon the first day they were available, reports the Toronto Star.
Besides baseball, Canadians also enjoy sports like surfing:
And even skateboarding and BMX biking.
Canada also produced this guy named Terry Fox, who ran half-way across the country, on one leg, and raised $650 million for cancer research, according to The Terry Fox Foundation. He died from cancer after being forced off of the road by the disease, which by then had spread through his body, near Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Canadians are just as guilty of diminishing the prowess of others on other fronts. Canadian New Democrat Leader Thomas Mulcair was recently met with a surprise when he visited the St. John’s South-Mount Pearl riding and had “Newfie” remarks he made in the National Assembly of Quebec in the 90s come to the forefront, reports the CBC.
And according to Macleans, Canadians are more racist than Americans.
So perhaps Canadians have right to object to their baseball fielding abilities being questioned; Canada certainly appears to have its fair share of active sportspeople. But perhaps Canadians also have their own issues to address that would seem just as, if not possibly more, important.
Harold Reynolds played MLB baseball for 12 years and won two Gold Gloves, according to Fox Sports. Larry Walker played for 17 and received seven Gold Gloves, according to Baseball-Reference. Canada’s federal election is scheduled for Monday, October 19.
[Feature Screenshot Courtesy Papa Longlegs / YouTube]