It's been a long Hangover since the 2015 Baseball season has ended. In the past days, David Price had his press conference as the newest acquisition of the Boston Red Sox...(a few expletives)...at $217,000,000.00 for 7 years. At last season's trade deadline day, the Blue Jays acquired this 'Superstar' pitcher from the Detroit Tigers to escalate this team to the top of the American League, usurp the New York Yankees and take a legitimate run for the World Series. Price came to Toronto (Canada's de facto team) under a mass of excitement, and anticipation that I have never before experienced in my time. This was more exciting than the '81 Expo's & '92-'93 Blue Jays; good times ahead.
Since owners Roger's Communications' controversial hiring for their (our?) Blue Jays' new President; Mark Shapiro (pronounced with a long 'i') at the end of this magical season, Blue Jays' fans in this country now feel uncertain and possibly, under appreciated. Gone are the Blue Jays' 2015 venerable and gentleman President Paul Beeston, the lovable and workaholic General Manager Alex Anthopolous, switch hitting back-up Catcher Dioner Navarro and officially, pitcher David Price to the enemy Red Sox.
We still have hope for 2016, with American League MVP, third baseman Josh Donaldson, all stars Troy Tulowitski, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, Russell Martin and R.A. Dicky. There is Marcus Stroman, Roberto Asuna, Kevin Pillar, Aaron Sanchez, Marco Estrada and hopefully, Ben Revere to lead us back to where we were with all the same emotion.
The 2015 Toronto Blue Jays captured the Nation's hearts as never before, people spent more money, more time and more of their emotions and conscience on this team. Sell out games, fans travelling far to follow the team and TV and Radio numbers as never before. Whether it was the local pub, pizza delivery or the most corporate of sports oriented restaurants, the 2015 Blue Jays excited the fan within, gave us all something in common and something to talk about. It was our 'Woodstock,' peace and love baseball wise. We pray that the hiring of Shapiro will not prove to be the 'Altamont' to our 'Summer of Love.'
Yes, gone are Price, Beeston, Anthopolous and Navarro, but we still have our memories. Shapiro just told us that they (Rogers) were not going to spend the 200 + million on Price for seven years...was not within the budget (that we do not know) for their Blue Jays operation. There is much we do not know at present as to Shapiro's direction but, there is something we certainly know, we loved baseball as never before. It has long been now since the soccer fields have been overrun and replaced our local baseball diamonds but hopefully, this will incite a return to the truly 'beautiful game' for our county's youth.
The media did a fantastic job providing us the latest news of the 2015 Blue Jays, we were reading newspapers, reading online (TSN, Sportsnet, ESPN, Fox Sports et al.), watching at home on the net, TV or listening on the radio. In car, the radio is the choice medium but, as someone who grew up with the radio on at home at all times, this was my natural and choice way of following the Blue Jays. The radio is a medium that can be on at all times, tune in when the mood sets or tune out when working or reading. Eight years ago I said there 'was nothing on TV' for the last time. Cable at over $50/month was a waste of money; I turned to the library for DVDs and with the advent of Netflix, there has been no need to pay cable and satellite fees (why do they charge me a $2 fee for paper bill but send be glossy first class mail with TV offers (keep those and I keep my $2)).
I always felt the radio added life to a home, the radio was an integral part of the home and is to the home as a staircase, kitchen, fireplace or the microwave oven. Clock, under-counter radio's sound are a little tinny and that Bose Wave Radio sounds fantastic as is the price. AM radio sound quality has never been FM but that brought me back to childhood. The radio I remember was rich and soulful and that sound came via a circa 1965 RCA cabinet stereo. A beautifully made piece of furniture. It was made from solid wood with a Gerrard turntable. Music was one of my first loves and I can always remember the rich, non-digital, sound that came from those woven faced speakers...that little hum that reverberated as it was switched ON. Scratching my head one day, I wanted that sound again, I wanted to listen to the Blue Jays on a Hi Fi that filled my home with warmth and excitement. Owning an 1890 Semi-Detached Victorian 2 1/2 storey home, a big old stereo would look perfect in the dining room. I searched Kijiji and found a promising 1971 Electrahome Cabinet Stereo in Oakville for $120. After a few quick correspondences I employed my brother-in-law and vehicle and took the short trip to Oakville. With no quibbling, I handed over the cash. This was a very well kept, solid cherry stereo made in Kitchener Ontario with the familiar British Gerrard turntable. A quick trip to Nu-Tech electronics on Parkdale Street in Hamilton and I had a new stylus needle for the record player.
After plugging in this usable piece of furniture, we were amazed at the quality of sound that the stereo delivered. As spring training arrived, this stereo had the pre-game show, the game and the post game call-in programme. The stereo radiates warm in this uber-high tech world of unapologetic digital information overload. The Electrahome delivers the same product, the same way with a little more class, soul and craftsmanship but most of all, it also provides a little more imagination. I did watch the start of a few games at the sports bar but returned home to listen to Jerry, Joe and Mike 'wax poetic' of the game and the action on the field. Baseball is made for the radio and with all of the massive TV screens, tweets, blogs and streaming, the radio make the game more human, more organic and more pleasing. It is now only a few weeks before Christmas and on the sports radio stations locally, baseball and the Blue Jays are still the main topic of conversation even with it being Basketball, Hockey and Football (Canadian just finished, American and European still in full) Seasons. I look forward to pitchers and catchers reporting and I look forward to spring training and the games of the 'Boys of Summer' over my cherry-wood Hi Fi.