A Truly Great World Series

            I don’t remember enjoying a World Series as much as this one. With the exception of the seventh game, there was never a feeling that the game was over until, as Yogi Berra famously said, it was over.

            Baseball purists won’t agree with me, but I would much rather watch a multi-run slugfest in which the lead changes hands a number of times than a 1-0 pitching duel; the exception being if a no-hitter was involved. Sunday’s 13-12 slugfest was a case in point. I doubt that many baseball fans complained about the length of this home run marathon even though it lasted well over five hours.

            Another reason I immensely enjoyed this series was that I liked both teams, or more accurately, I didn’t dislike either team. I have to confess, though, that as a Blue Jays fan I harboured a slight bias toward the American League’s Astros. I may as well also confess, before any of my friends point it out, that at just under 5’ 4” I’m a staunch Jose Altuve fan. (I actually originally wrote a “big” Jose Altuve fan, but noticed the irony while editing, proving the value of re-reading anything we write.)

            The only downer in the series was, once again, the idiocy of having pitchers hit in games played in the National League park. I don’t understand why Major League Baseball doesn’t make the National League adopt the designated hitter rule. Not doing so is as wrong-headed as it would be to have a rule requiring that a position player must pitch to three or four batters during a game. Maybe I shouldn’t have written that, some dunderhead baseball executive may think it’s a good idea.

Speaking Of Yogi

            One night, after a Blue Jays game at old Exhibition Stadium in Toronto, I had dinner with my client, the late Don Chevrier, and former Yankee great Tony Kubek.  This was in the early 80s when they were the team’s TV broadcast team. I don’t remember the restaurant we went to, but I do remember we were having such a good time that we were still there at closing time.  Anyway, back to Yogi.

            I asked Kubek what his favourite Yogi comment was. After giving it a little thought he told us about this one. The Yankees were flying to the west coast after a night game in New York. A few hours into the flight, Yogi’s seat mate asked him what time it was. Yogi said, “Do you mean right now?”  Kubek went on to explain that, like a lot of Yogi-isms when closely examined, Yogi’s question made sense. What he was asking was whether the inquirer meant New York time, Los Angeles time, or the time in the part of the country over which they were flying.

            My personal favourite was his answer when asked about a particular restaurant: “Nobody ever goes there, it’s too crowded.”  That one always made perfect sense to me.

Exactly What I Was Worried About

            About a month ago, while musing about the content of newly-minted Governor General Julie Payette’s inaugural speech, I expressed concern that she might wander too far off the path traditionally traversed by Canadian Governors General by letting her personal views, or worse still, her apparent sympathy with the Trudeau government’s policies, get in the way of her actual job, which is to represent the Queen in Canada.

            While speaking at a Canadian Science Policy convention last Wednesday in Ottawa, she wandered so far off that path that it would have required a state-of-the-art, satellite-based GPS to find her. She urged her audience to shut down what she characterized as “fake news” and “bogus science,” incredulously covering areas such as health care, religion, climate change, digital media, and horoscopes.

            Even if she was right, and even though she was speaking to former colleagues, her remarks were widely outside her purview. She sounded more like she was channelling Donald Trump than the Queen.

            Ms. Payette needs to re-read her job description and remember two things about it. First, that her job is 99.9 percent ceremonial, not proactive; and, second, that for the next five years she has to keep her mouth shut about any topic that’s even remotely political, no matter which side of it she may be on or how strongly she may feel about it.