Biggest Bash of them all

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STRADER: Alomar’s or Carter’s?

Which one was bigger?

By now, every die hard Jays fan knows I’m talking about dingers, not…anyway…

A walk off to win the World Series, at home – that is the stuff of legends.
But Alomar’s was a moment. An undeniable moment. We hadn’t won anything yet. Blue Jay fans remember watching that series and thinking, geez, we’re really giving Oakland a fight. We might, have a chance here? And then Eckersley came in. It was game four. It was game over, and probably series over if Oakland took that 3-1 lead. I mean, come on, it was 51 of 54 during the regular season, it was Eckersley.

Alomar hit that home run and we all had a collective moment. We all put our hands in the air. No dancing. No screaming. Just hands in the air, and a collective moment of disbelief. A breath in that hurt our chest.

He tied the game, and the Jays won the series.

It was something we hadn’t had before.
As fans, we got to live in that space between losing and winning and watch our team be the team that comes back, the team that finishes when it’s ahead.

We were witness to a moment as fans when you realize you’re watching a winner.

I just watched a major league record 16 innings, a three run shot that will be legend because of its timing, and I don’t want to talk about either. I want to talk about moments. A catch, and a simple tap of a manager’s arm.

I watched a major league record 16 innings, and I can’t stop thinking about the bottom of the fifth. Our starter was looking shaky. Romero was rough but he was hanging in there. And then a line shot got laced to centre. It was hooking toward the gap. Last year that ball falls.

It falls, the inning is extended further, and things really fall apart.

Outfield defense was an identified need, and it had been clearly answered.

Colby will be criticized for his average. We can all sense it now, it permeates the city. If he continues to struggle, Rasmus is going to be the name we always hear on the radio. Read in the paper. See on the TV. It’s gonna be a Rasmus summer. But this team didn’t need offense. It needed outfield defense. Romero needed that catch.
In 2012, he’s going to get it.

And my hands went in the air.

Romero couldn’t finish this game. (I was secretly hoping it wasn’t going to be a superstar seven inning comeback performance, ‘cause I’m still hoping to fleece him from my buddy Germain in our fantasy league) Farrell was going to have to make the walk, tap his arm, and call in relief. The comeback was going to be tough. Masterson was showing signs of being unhittable, it should be Mr. 5.65 ERA to hold things down, or dribble a few hits, a few walks here or there, maybe give us a chance. But this time, when Farrell goes to tap his arm, it’s Jason Frasor, Casey Janssen, Oliver, Cordero…

It’s all men we’re used to seeing in one run game eighth innings, two run lead seventh innings. I was excited in the off-season, but it took 16 innings for me to realize the Cadillac this bullpen was going to be. And one tap of the arm to see that it was going to be there all season. None of our games are going to be easy on opposing hitters. What kind of gravy is this?

It was the game with a five man infield, and maybe the biggest double play in Blue Jay history.

A ninth inning comeback, our home run king showing in game one, hey, don’t forget the king.

But I can’t stop thinking, that in the bottom of the fifth and the top of the sixth, I was witness to a couple moments.

A catch, and a tap.

And what moments they were.

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