Fringe Friday – the I Believe I Can Fly edition

on April 2017 | in Sports | by Dario Passarelli | @PapaDart | with No Comments

I was going to say it was a strange week and realized…I feel that way every week so I guess it can’t be that strange after all. So let me begin by just stating here a few of the strange things that happened this week. First, fans were cheering for the Toronto Maple Leafs even though they are out of the playoffs and it wasn’t even done in sarcasm. Second, the Raptors won a playoff game in an easy manner Monday Night which is something we rarely see. Finally, we have the sport of baseball where it is doing whatever it can to steal away headlines away from the other leagues. So let’s take a look at baseball this Fringe Friday with the “I believe I can fly” edition.

Flying home

For the past couple of years when you think about flying in the GTA, only one person comes to mind and that is the centerfielder for the Toronto Blue Jays, Kevin Pillar. His acrobatic and athletic plays on the field have rightfully given him the nickname of Superman. Well, Mr. Pillar you may have to step aside for a moment as one of the newest Blue Jays has proven that he too can fly.

I am not sure what Chris Coghlan was thinking as he headed to home but that certainly was a nifty move. I have the feeling this may be the start of something and pretty soon you’ll start to hear, “Hey did you see so-and-so last night? He pulled a Coghlan!” Which I don’t mind at all because soon enough catchers are going to catch on (see what I did there) and then we will have a number of failed “Coghlans” to witness. Those highlights will look more like WWE than MLB!

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s just another home run

Will the real Eric Thames please stand up… and pee into this cup. Unfortunately, it seems to have come to that as when witnessing something so unbelievable (and it really is unbelievable) our first thoughts are that he must be on something. So if you have been neck deep in NHL and NBA playoffs it is perfectly understandable that you might not have heard of Eric Thames before. If you are a Blue Jay fan, you might wonder, “Hey, wasn’t he a Blue Jay once?” Yes, yes he was. But this month he is making headlines as a Milwaukee Brewer (after a period in South Korea) where… and here is the fringe connection, he is making baseballs believe they can fly out of the park with alarming regularity. He has already surpassed the Brewers record for most home runs in the month of April with 11 and there are still three games left.

The poor victims of this vicious home run assault has been the Cincinnati Reds. Thames has played them 7 times this month. In Cincinnati he hit 5 home runs in 4 games and the following week when Milwaukee hosted the Reds he hit another 3 home runs in 3 games. No one, including Thames himself is aware of how long this will last (he is on pace for an 89 home run season by the way) but does it matter? Let’s all just sit on the baseball, put our hands in the air and believe we can fly as Thames hits us out of the park again and again and again. Oh! In case you are wondering, the next time the Brewers and Eric Thames play the Reds is June 27-29. We just might witness the July 4th fireworks a little early this year.

Bumgarner bummed out

I feel I need to state upfront that there is nothing wrong with riding a dirt bike. There may be a little issue if at some point you are no longer riding, but flying off of the bike high into the air and realize how quickly gravity pulls you back down. Having said all of that, there is a huge issue of riding said dirt bike if you’re name is Madison Bumgarner, arguably the best pitcher in all of baseball, and those flying antics lead you straight into the DL.

It certainly wasn’t Bumgarner’s intention to get hurt but the optics on this are not very good. He essentially is going to miss the next 2 months with an injury to his left shoulder (yep, he’s a lefty) and ribs. Thankfully, no surgery is required. You can tell he feels bad because he knows his team, the city and fans are relying on him and here he goes getting injured doing something “dumb” as he has stated. I guess this makes last year’s Russell Martin injury seem not so bad when he injured his knee in the shower or when the Cleveland Indians’ Trevor Bauer had his finger severely lacerated while cleaning his drone. This is so much better than the NHL where the injuries are only as colourful as an upper or lower body injury.

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