How long will it be before society pays a steep price for the widening communication gap between generations?

     Will there ever again be a straight-talking, honest politician?

Jerry Howarth

     I listen to a lot of Blue Jay games on the radio, mostly in the car but occasionally with both the radio and TV on and the TV sound muted. This is usually because either Matt Devlin is doing the play-by-play or Pat Tabler’s babbling has reached an intolerable level. I understand that Devlin will not be doing any TV games this coming season, for which I’m positively joyful. But I’m far from joyful that Jerry Howarth will not be in the radio booth.

     I’ve always enjoyed Howarth’s play-by-play, mainly because of his extraordinary ability to describe the action in vividly accurate word pictures. This skill was evident every time I watched the game on TV while listening to Jerry on the radio. Also, his timely and informative recaps meant that fans tuning in during the game didn’t have to wait long to be completely brought up to date. I had the pleasure of spending time with Jerry on two occasions, almost exactly thirty-two years apart. 

     One day in early 1981 I dropped in to radio staton CKFH (predecessor of The Fan 590, the originating Jays broadcast station) to meet my former CFRB colleague Andy Barrie for lunch. Andy was in the lobby chatting with a brand new CKFH employee who turned out to be Jerry. Knowing my love of baseball, Andy introduced us and the three of us chatted for about ten minutes.

     Fast-forward to early 2013. Anne and I were at a dinner party where Jerry and his wife Mary were among the guests. I told Jerry about our initial meeting which, not surprisingly, he didn’t remember. However, he graciously informed me that after he moved to Toronto he had often listened to my commentaries on CFRB. 

     I don’t remember exactly how it came about, but Jerry found out that I’d be celebrating my 75th birthday later that year. When the day rolled around he wished me a happy birthday during the Jays game. Ironically, Anne and I were out of town that night and didn’t hear it.

     At the time of writing, it’s uncertain who will be Jerry’s successor. But what is certain is that whoever it is will have very big shoes to fill.

Retiring Halladay’s Number

     I was quick to criticize the Jays organization for their tepid and completely inadequate handling of Roy Halladay’s tragic death last fall. So, in fairness, I now unreservedly applaud them for their decision to retire his number 32. It’s a fitting honour for a truly legendary Blue Jay.

A Note To Baseball Trivia Nuts

     In most announcements that I’ve read or heard about the retirement of Halladay’s number, reference is made that it’ll be only the second Blue Jays number to be retired, the other being Robbie Alomar’s number 12. This is technically incorrect. In 1997 every team in major league baseball, including the Blue Jays, officially retired Jackie Robinson’s number 42. 

     There’ve been at least six Blue Jays who wore number 42, although Paul Mirabella was the only one to do so for any length of time. Others who wore it briefly were Vernon Wells, Frank Thomas, Shannon Stewart, Royce Clayton and Xavier Hernandez.

An Unusual Night In The NHL

     There were nine games in the NHL last Sunday; that’s not unusual. What was unusual was that the visiting team won every game. 

How Times Change

     I was twelve years old before I lived in a house that had electricity and a bathroom. I was twenty before my living accommodation included a TV set. Now I get upset if I lose my internet connection for two minutes.


     Dale Carnegie had a wonderful attitude when it came to reacting to criticism. He would say, “If my critic had known about all my other faults, he would have criticized me much more severely than he did.” We can take two lessons from this: First, admitting a fault will deprive others of the pleasure of pointing it out; and, secondly, we will have one less fault.