The Toronto Blue Jays entertain the first-place Boston Red Sox again today in the second game of a crucial three-game series that could decide whether the Jays retain ace pitcher Roy Halladay and jump back into the American League wild card race or whether they make a blockbuster trade for future prospects.
The Blue Jays have a rookie of the year candidate in ace lefty Ricky Romero and a number of quality pitchers coming back from injuries, and they could step back into the playoff race if guys like Vernon Wells and Alex Rios ever caught fire.
The Jays have to get on a hot streak right now and what better place to start against the Red Sox, the top club in the American League East.
In local baseball, the Kings County Baseball League offers up a tripleheader Sunday with all games starting at 2 p.m. The Northside Brewers visit the Charlottetown Cannons and this is a great opportunity for baseball fans to see a game at the new Canada Games venue at Memorial Field. Longtime rivals Peakes Bombers and Morell Chevies tangle at Morell while Stratford Murphy's Pharmacy travels to Georgetown to play the Giants.
Hang 'em high!
I thought that hockey was finished for the season, but for some strange reason that Summerside Western Caps story at the Royal Bank Cup is back in the news again.
I am extremely disappointed that the Maritime Junior Hockey League decided to suspend head coach Ken MacDougall and fine him $1,000 without MacDougall presenting his side of the story.
MacDougall is upset about the way the affair has been handled by the league and by the Capitalss and I agree with him totally for the following reasons. First and foremost, due process is the foundation of justice in North America and in most civilized countries, but unfortunately not in the Maritime Junior Hockey League. Secondly, the Capitals should have followed through with their appeal and shown support for MacDougall, but instead they threw him to the lions. Thirdly, the real villains in the Capitals mess out west should have been nailed severely, perhaps suspended for a period of time next year wherever they happen to play.
I've seen guys "hung out to dry" before, but MacDougall's punishment ranks up there with Clint Eastwood's "Hang 'Em High".
Odds and ends
Rugby was once the biggest sport in this province before the advent of the forward pass in Canadian football and it's great to see the game enjoying a huge rebirth in this province.
It's big at the high school level and also at the senior level where the Charlottetown-base rugby club in the Nova Scotia league, the Hunter's Ale House P.E.I. Mudmen, have rattled off three straight wins.
The Mudmen face Enfield, N.S., today at 2 p.m. at the Co-op Field in Charlottetown.
The boxing world lost two of its all-time most popular and colourful performers last week with the sudden passing of Arturo Gatti, 37, and of former world champion Alexis Arguello, 57, who allegedly took his own life.
Gatti, who lost to Oscar Dellahoya and Floyd Mayweather, is best remembered for three fights with Mickey Ward.
Arguello will always be remembered for his wars with Aaron (The Hawk) Prior.
On the links
Canadian golfer Mike Weir fired a sharp 67 in the opening round of the British Open at Turnberry, Scotland, while Tiger Woods had a 71 to stay in contention as round three goes today from the famous course, reputed to be the best course in Europe.
Closer to home, the Boys and Girls Club golf tournament last Saturday at Belvedere drew another packed field and great scores. A foursome of Jeff Ready, Jamie Diamond and company edged out Dr. Bill Stanish's team of "the men in black" and the Pink Panther (Jeff Cooke) by a single stroke to claim bragging rights this year.
The Guardian's Gary MacDougall and Al MacAdam kept their team near the top of the leaderboard with a great display of putting, while Ray Murphy came up with his best putting performance ever, sinking two 40 footers but to no avail as his team faltered again.
At the track
The live harness racing scene shifts to Summerside Raceway tonight for the running of the Governor's Plate, the track's showcase race.
The CDPEC has been the Charlottetown Driving Park since 1897 and with a stroke of the pen, it's now to be called Red Shores Racetrack and Casino. I can just imagine what Catherine Hennessey, Charlottetown's unofficial heritage minister, will say when she finds out about this.
The late Col. Dan MacKinnon, who started Old Home Week and ran the track for 60 years, would turn over in his grave if he could see what is happening.
Everybody in the harness racing world knows about Charlottetown Driving Park and the Gold Cup and Saucer, the name recognition is enormous is North America. The decision to change the name is unbelievable, but I'm not surprised.
In racing up-country, the Meadowlands Pace goes tonight at The Big M in New Jersey. Well Said is the heavy favourite but he will get pressure from Hypnotic BlueChip, Vintage Master and Art Colony among others.
At Mohawk last Thursday, three divisions of OSS Gold trotters went behind the gate at $40,000 and War King Ton, co-owned by Charlottetown's Dan MacIssac, finished second in his division.
In the same race, Duke MacCallum, a 3/4-brother to The Big Fred, came from the back of the pack trotting his final quarter in 28 flat to catch a spot in next Thursday's $130,000 final.