I saw a familiar face during televised MLB highlights last Saturday night. The Toronto Blue Jays game at Baltimore included a “brawl” which usually means a large group from both sides assembling, squaring off, and doing virtually nothing. Such was the case here, but this time I recognized one of the first to leave the dugout to join the fray. That player became my focus.
Fort Loramie’s Jared Hoying followed one of baseball’s unwritten rules when he led the Canadian delegation toward home plate. I wrote to him later that night to get his side of the disturbance at Camden Yards. Turns out that he was filling the traditional role of non-star performers by arriving first in case the skirmish turned ugly, which it didn’t.
I’ve had several big leaguers tell me that the non-principals in a baseball brawl usually try to grab someone they know from the other team to make it look like they’re fully engaged in the festivities. Somewhat friendly conversation often ensues in what is supposed to look like a tense environment.
Here’s where I have a problem. Hockey is a fighting sport, yet there are penalties for players who leave the bench to join a fight. When things break loose in MLB, benches and bullpens empty with little consequence. I just don’t get it.
Hoying was sent back to the Jays’ top farm team on Sunday when a player returned from the paternity list. An injured outfielder has also since returned. Jared’s position is tenuous. He could be selected to the active roster if a need arises or if performance merits. First, he’d need to return to Toronto’s 40 man master major league roster.
For now, Buffalo needs outfielders, and the Loramie native is one of them. Jared’s status could change by the time you read this. One thing is certain, if he plays well in the minors, there will be a spot for him somewhere, be it Toronto, their Buffalo affiliate, or with another organization.
Major League all-star voting is well underway, and it always reminds me of a good friend who devised a unique method of removing chads from a ballot. Long ago, when smoking was still permitted at old Riverfront Stadium, we were standing in our usual position above the blue seats behind home plate with friends from Cincinnati.
My buddy was smoking, and utilized his lit ember to burn his selections from the ballot. While I admired his creativity, the ember did not match the chad. There’s a very good chance that a computer justifiably disqualified his vote.
Cicada insects were out in full force at the recent Memorial golf tournament near Columbus. Much was said about the noise they made and whether it might distract the players. I was there when they appeared 34 years earlier in 1987. While the noise at Muirfield Village was loud, it was also consistent and didn’t appear to disrupt the world’s top golfers.
Sports Extra appears each Friday. Next week Dave will revisit Sidney High School football from the 1950s including a preseason scrimmage that drew 9,000 fans. His byline first appeared in 1975.