words are all i have

Okay, first leader who can catch a foul ball gets to be Prime Minister of Canada

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Oh, woe is Canada.

patti dawn swansson

patti dawn swansson

As if we didn’t have enough of an inferiority complex and enough to apologize for due to our lagging loonie, the Biebs and Don Cherry’s wardrobe, along comes the worst and most tragic news possible: We cannot catch a baseball.

To be sure, we Canadians can catch many things. We can catch a cold. We can catch a wave. We can catch fish. We can catch a break. We can catch hell. We can catch a bus, a train, a plane and a cab. We can catch some zzzzzzzzzs. But we are all thumbs when it comes to catching a baseball.

Now you take Americans. They know how to catch a baseball. I imagine Cubans and Puerto Ricans and Dominicans and Mexicans and Japanese also can catch a baseball.

Not us Canadians, though. We see that sphere of stitched horsehide headed our way and it’s like kryptonite to Superman. We are rendered inept. Powerless. We are nothing if not a nation of arm-flailing ninnies at the sight of a foul ball plummeting toward us in the third base bleachers.

foul balls picOdd thing is, we weren’t aware of this grievous shortcoming until Sunday night, when TV gab guy Harold Reynolds was kind enough to enlighten us as to our feeble-fingered ways.

As it happened, Jose Bautista of the Toronto (that’s in Canada, Harold) Blue Jays swatted a pitch into foul territory, along the first base side at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The ball crash landed immediately behind the Texas Rangers’ dugout, whereupon the usual scramble for a souvenir ensued. This is where Reynolds weighed in.

“We were talking about foul balls in the stands up in Toronto,” was Reynolds’ curious take on the Fox Sports broadcast, “and because there’s not a lot of people who grew up playing baseball in Canada, they’re not used to catching a lot of balls hit into the stands.”

So there. We stink at catching foul balls.

The inclination, of course, is to lash out at Reynolds. Tell him that there’ll be no maple syrup, no back bacon and no Timbits the next time he crosses our border and ventures into the Great White North. We’ll have nothing but Nickelback and Celine Dion tunes piped into his igloo. The TV will be fixed on alternating episodes of The Littlest Hobo and Front Page Challenge reruns 24/7.

We could even remind him of his own failings afield, whereby he booted more baseballs than any second sacker in the American League during his Major League career. Oh yes he did. He lead the AL in errors four years running.

We don’t want to go there, though. That isn’t the Canadian way. We’re the kinder, gentler people. At least that’s what we’re always telling ourselves.

So what do we do with the Reynolds slight? We turn it into an election issue, that’s what. Never mind the economy, day care, tax breaks and Justin Trudeau’s nice hair. What this country really needs is a leader who can catch a baseball!

Line ’em up—Trudeau, Stephen Harper, Tom Mulcair and Elizabeth May—in the third base bleachers at the Rogers Centre in the Republic of Tranna. First leader to catch a foul ball cleanly gets to be prime minister.

Sure beats watching another week of attack ads.

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