All of Canada is catching Blue Jay fever

This week's Hammertime column discusses Canada's newfound love for the Toronto Blue Jays.

Amidst the beauty of the fall and the daily haze throughout the country from what we hope will result in a bountiful harvest, it would be really nice to be treated to a long Indian Summer, and maybe even a mild winter to follow. Hopefully, we will all look forward to gathering together next weekend to celebrate Thanksgiving Day with family and friends, pausing between that glorious fiest and keen camaraderie to give thanks for all that we have been blessed with throughout the past year, as well as to reach out and share with those who are unable to be with us on this wonderful October day.

Isn’t it extremely exciting that the thrills of baseball’s age-old fall tradition, the World Series, will soon be upon us, and that our Blue Jays, the only Major League Baseball team in Canada will be right in the middle of the action? It doesn’t really matter where you go these days, there are millions of happy-go-lucky people of all ages who have jumped on the Toronto Blue Jays bandwagon, and would love to ride along with their winning wave long into October, with big hopes of them having a great chance to hoist the coveted World Series Championship Trophy for the first time in 22 long and frustrating years. Like so many of you sports fanatics out there, I have found myself in front of the TV with Buck and Greg and the boys on most days, and if not, I have had my iPad close by or even phoned a friend to check up on the score.

The Jays have been on a wild roll since July when the powers to be at Rogers opened up the vault and Mr. Anthopoulous waved the trading wand with great gusto throughout the baseball world, and it was ‘let’s make a really big deal’ to bring in a bunch of new superstars, while brashly making five of the biggest deals in the history of the franchise. The new guys all immediately blended in and inspired the very good team that John Gibbons and the coaching staff had been faithfully running out on the field each and every day. It is really hard to believe that on July 29, 2015 the Blue Jays had 50 wins and 51 losses and were well down in the standings of the American League Eastern Division, but after that wild player shuffle, they went on a spectacular run of 42 wins and 14 losses and wrapped up the division title on September 29 with a 92 win 66 loss record.

Along the way, the average attendance at the Rogers’ Centre zoomed from 29,000 to sellouts of 48,000 over the past wild and wonderful two months. Meanwhile, the big splash of ‘blue and the big bird’ roared across the nation as fans cheered on the Jays every game and invaded the souvenir shops to swoop up the caps, the t-shirts, the balls and bats, the bobble heads, and all the rest that signified their overwhelming spirit and support for our red hot Canadian big league baseball team. So all the World Series action starts on Oct.6, with the first Toronto playoff game set for Thursday, Oct. 8, when that so popular chant ‘LET’S GO BLUE JAYS’ will be heard loud and clear throughout our proud nation and way beyond for as long as they go and then again into next season.

This is by far one of the busiest times of the seasons as the kids are back in school, and people of all ages are transforming into an exciting new season of fall/winter events, including hockey, curling, figure skating, cross-country and big hill skiing, bowling, swimming lessons and all sorts of other sports, courses, games, workout and so many special fun events for the whole family both inside and out. Even though meals, chores, and schedules may get just a little stretched and stressed along the way, it is always great to be able to get out and be a participant, a fan or a volunteer in our chosen activity, while meeting old and new friends, and taking a really big slice out of what we hope will be a mild winter.

How to cook a husband

(Taken from a popular old cookbook)

A good many husbands are spoiled by mismanagement in cooking, and so are not always so tender and good. Some women keep them constantly in hot water, while others freeze them, put them in a stew or keep them really in a pickle. It cannot be supposed that any husband will always be good and tender if managed this way, but they can be truly delicious if they are properly treated. Don’t keep him in a kettle by force as he will stay there by himself if proper care is taken. If he should sputter and fizz, don’t be anxious, as some husbands have been known to occasionally do this. Just add a little sugar and spice, the variety that some confectioners call ‘kisses’, but on no account should one add any vinegar or pepper. A little spice improves him, but it must be used with good judgement along with a strict warning not to try him with something sharp to see if he is becoming tender. Always try to stir him gently lest he should be too long in the kettle and has become flat and tasteless. If you follow these simple directions you will find him very desirable, digestible, and agreeing nicely with you, and he will surely keep as long as you him around.

Always keep the home fires burning, and have a great week, all of you.