January 3, 2018

Jersey Gate

Is the Jersey Gold or Blue – I can’t tell.

Misplaced blame is, more times than the inverse, a kevlar vest covering old wounds.  The idea is to hide the open seam in one’s soul with protection that will assure another wound will not be added to the tally of those inhibiting the host.

This week past, many Toronto Blue Jays fans strapped on their kevlar vests and proceeded to talk hockey.

Troy Tulowiztki, Blue Jays shortshop, was spotted at a Vegas Golden Knights game.  A rather innocuous situation when I see it in writing, but it was what he was wearing that stuck in the craw of many fans of Canada’s MLB team.

Troy, and his family, were decked out in Vegas Golden Knights gear. Some Blue Jays fans (take note of “some”) felt that it was an affront to the city of Toronto.

On this week’s episode of MIDWEEK we “sizzle reeled” this topic.  It was a segment that saw me mention underwear in knots and get fairly heated over the stupidity of the outrage.

Aside: The sizzle reel is a hot-take segment wherein Barry or myself goes off on a topic of current controversy.  At the end of the segment, the hot-take is given a “burger rating.”  5 burgers is molten hot.  1 burger is bleeding and undercooked. This hot-take was awarded a 4 out of 5 burgers.

Become a member to listen this week’s sizzle reel:

I proceeded to do some digging about Mr. Tulowitzki’s off-season affairs and my feelings about the subject.

Here are some facts.

Troy lives in Las Vegas, NV, in the offseason. That might have something to do with his choice of jersey. He might also be a fan of sports, considering he’s, you know, an athlete for a living.  Maybe, just maybe, he found himself at a hockey game, cheering for the team with the hottest ticket in the NHL, in the city that he resides in.

What if he’s a season ticket holder?  What if he attends dozens of games during the off-season.  He might have been taking his family to a game, knowing that he will be away for an extended period of time in the very near future.

It’s unfortunate that the Toronto Maple Leafs were the visiting team.  If it had been the Pittsburgh Penguins then this would have been a non issue and a non conversation. However, with the Leafs being the opponent, a faction of fans took it upon themselves to spin this into something it clearly isn’t – a jab at the city whose name adornes the jersey that Mr. Tulowitzki plays for.

What if, for Tulo, this is game 12 out of 33 that he sees every year.  It was just another game…

Barry talked with Canadian actor, Stephen Amell, in an earlier episode of Outta the Park.  During that conversation, Stephen talked about his perception that there is a Canadian inferiority complex when it comes to Canadian teams in predominantly American sporting leagues.

While I think there is some basis in fact to support this notion, I feel like the roots, in regards to the Tulo situation, lie elsewhere.

The Blue Jays have done nothing in the off-season and maybe the fans are pissed.  Is the Tulo outrage misplaced blame from fans that have seen nothing that would make them feel that Blue Jays management has the slightest inclination of competing in a newly prickly and difficult AL East.

I think that’s EXACTLY what’s happening.

Fans dislike Shapiro and Atkins.  Fans loathe Tulo’s albatross a of contract and performance in relation to that binding agreement, and, by wearing Golden Knights jersey, some fans may have felt like they were getting sand kicked in their faces.  Maybe, in this case, snow…

In the segment, I wonder aloud if Tulo was seen wearing an Air Jordan shirt would there be the same type of outrage?  Would Toronto fans feel like he was besmirching the city of Toronto by cheering for the Chicago Bulls, Michael Jordan’s team for the majority of his hall of fame career?

My guess would be no.

Further to this point, Barry interjects during the segment to ask a very pointed and astute question:

If Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez or Roberto Osuna were the player in question, would the reaction be the same?

Our guess would, again, be no.

Tulo’s contract, his performance, the Blue Jays lack of activity in the off-season, the new management regime and the Yankees acquisition of Stanton are real reasons fans are pissed and wearing twisted undies.

The Golden Knights are just kevlar vest, covering the open wound.

My suggestion would be to employ a measure of rationality when dealing with situations such as this.  Feelings are not facts and, unfortunately, many twitter GM’s deal in feelings as currency.

This reminds me of the outrage from a mere 6 weeks ago, when former Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos was hired by the Atlanta Braves.  Remember how upset some Blue Jays fans were that the Braves had made such a savvy hire and Jays fans were left with the faceless automatons currently running Canada’s MLB team?  Another kevlar vest.

One last parting dose of reality.  Anthopoulos, he of much respect and lore in the big smoke, traded for Troy Tulowitzki.  Remember!?  Yeah, the best shortstop in the AL was gonna be a Jay.

That was Alex.

Amazing how contorted situations can be become in such a short period of time.

Much like a pro athlete wearing a jersey….

How do you feel about Tulo wearing a Golden Knights jersey?  Have your say.  VOTE HERE

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