By TONY SEED
Canada versus the USA is always a compelling match-up in sports, right? And widely covered by the powerful sports media, right?
Classic matches between the Canadian and American Womens’ team at the London Olympics or the men’s and women’s competitions in ice hockey recorded record TV audiences in Canada. Canadians unite to wish for the defeat of the teams fielded by the superpower to the South and success for their national team over the American overlords. When Canada defeated the USA at the 1999 Pan Am Games in Winnipeg, it was dubbed “miracle on grass” by an incredulous sports media, as was Team Canada’s amazing defeat of the high-priced US professionals in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Continue reading
The two cities share a rich and legendary baseball history but since 1959 have traversed radically different paths in the concept and practice of sport
By TONY SEED*
The 2015 Pan Am Games, being hosted by Toronto and with the celebration of friendship amongst the peoples of the Americas and the Caribbean as one of its positive themes, evokes a memory of the sporting links between the cities of Toronto and Havana, which date back to 1954.
During most of the 1950s the Havana Sugar Kings and the Toronto Maple Leafs were two of the flagship franchises in baseball’s International League, classified as AAA, a rung below US Major League Baseball (MLB). Continue reading
(October, 2014) – The magic of Cuban baseball keeps gaining ground in the world’s major leagues as Cuba has allowed its players to take part in top foreign tournaments under a policy that is being improved constantly. Continue reading
Gourriel sets a political precedent that is in contrast to Major League Baseball’s restrictive practice regarding Cuba. Citing U.S. sanctions against Cuba, Major League Baseball (MLB) still forces Cuban players to defect before joining its teams, reports the CUBA STANDARD
The older brother of Cuban baseball star Yulieski Gourriel signed with the Québec les Capitales minor league team for the summer, making him the first Cuban player to become a professional in Canada with the blessing of his country’s authorities.
The head of the technical staff of Cuba’s U-18 team composed of 33 players, Juan Suárez talked to Hugo Garcia of Juventudo Rebelde about the Friendship Series of eight games between Cuba and Canada starting today.
Canada’s Pete Orr, left, throws over the sliding Mike Costanzo of “Italy” to complete a double play during the fifth inning of Canada’s 14-4 opening loss at the World Baseball Classic. Christian Petersen/Getty Images
PERHAPS Canada should stick to lacrosse and ski cross. While Mexico soundly defeated Team USA 5-2, a second US team posing in the uniforms of the Azzuri drubbed Canada 14-4 at the World Baseball Classic today.
The mercy rule, comprehensive national humiliation is simple enough to explain on the surface: atrocious pitching, lack of key hits from the Canadian major leaguers – especially the two former MLB MVPs in Joey Votto and Justin Morneau (with the notable exception of young Michael Saunders from Victoria, BC who had two hits and a pair of RBIs on the day) – errors of judgment, and aggressive hitting by “Italy” backed up by adequate pitching and defence. Continue reading
The Canadian sports media, by individualizing player “no shows” as the “reason” for the first round exit of Team Canada from the Classic, deliberately overlooks the peculiar and self-serving rules dictated by the U.S. sports empire. This is how the U.S. organizes fair play, writes TONY SEED* in the second article of a two-part series. Part I is here.
HALIFAX (March 15, 2009) – BASEBALL CANADA, which extensively collaborates with the Toronto Blue Jays, capitulated to the U.S. baton in the preparatory meetings of the baseball federations to organize the Classic and became one of its first casualties.
In the wake of Canada’s elimination from the World Baseball Classic (WBC), the sports media in Canada nevertheless spread the news that it was in part due to the bad “attitude” of Canadian professional players such as pitcher Ryan Dempster, whom it alleges had chosen not to participate on Team Canada. The same refrain is struck to “explain” the absence of this and that professional basketball player from the Canadian national team competing for the Olympics. The news is presented in a decontextualized manner so that the weakness of the national teams in different sports is individualized. The players are presented as “selfish,” “me-first” “rogues,” who are completely devoid of “Canadian values” and thus deserve recrimination, scorn and ostracism. The real selfishness of a U.S. sports empire, which owns the contracts of the athletes and makes the decision as to their participation, is rendered obscure. Continue reading
Part I of two articles by TONY SEED*. Baseball Canada, which extensively collaborates with the Rogers-owned Toronto Blue Jays, capitulated to the U.S. baton in the meetings of the baseball federations to organize the Classic and became one of its first casualties. Part II is here.
HALIFAX (March 15, 2009) – TEAM CANADA ignominiously exited the World Baseball Classic in the first round for the second successive time. Playing in a pool with the United States, Venezuela and Italy, it lost successive games to the United States and Italy on March 7 and March 9 respectively. Canada’s overall record in the 2006 and 2009 tournaments is three wins (against South Africa, Italy and the U.S.A.) and four losses.
The Friday March the Thirteenth Prime Time Sports, the Canadian nationally-syndicated TV and radio show, convened its roundtable to assess the emphatic exit. Continue reading
By TIM MARCHMAN, The New York Sun
(9 March 2006) – YESTERDAY’S ESPN-2 broadcast of Canada’s 8-6 upset of the United States in their first-round World Baseball Classic game was tremendous fun. There was the game, which was loosely but enthusiastically played, and quite dramatic in several points. There was the crowd, about which more shortly. And then there were the announcers. At several points throughout the game, colour man Rick Sutcliffe, probably reiterating a talking point a producer was piping into his earpiece, went on about how this would be the biggest WBC upset yet, if Canada managed to pull it off. Continue reading
Miracle on grass: Canada beats US at World Baseball Classic
JEFF BLAIR, Globe and Mail Baseball Reporter
Team Canada’s Adam Sterm highfives infielder Stubby Clapp
PHOENIX (9 March 2006) – WHEN HE LEFT for the World Baseball Classic, Adam Stern’s Boston Red Sox teammates said they’d be waiting for him to return soon.
They thought Canada didn’t have much of a chance of advancing to the second round and that the centre fielder from London, Ont., wouldn’t be absent very long from the team’s spring training in Fort Myers, Fla.
“I guess I have a few phone calls to make tonight now,” said Mr. Stern, who turned in a once-in-a-lifetime performance yesterday in a once-in-a-lifetime win for Canadian baseball: a shocking 8-6 defeat of the heavily favoured United States. Continue reading