A “Swing for the Fences” Tale

Who knew I could sew and stitch so good, besides my grandma?

How often does a baseball story play out like the speech Christopher Walken’s gave as Mike in the 2002 film Poolhall Junkies, where he talks about nature documentaries and lions, and how a bunch of jackals and hyenas decide to attack a lion that they perceive to be weak, before the lion munches them all up? Well, readers are in luck because I have just the story for them which involves myself, Twitter trolls, and our baseball federation. Here is how it goes.

The Canadian men’s baseball team recently participated at the World Baseball Classic (WBC) and they were placed in a group with Great Britain, USA, Colombia, and Mexico. The first game was against Great Britain, and the Canadian men’s team played as if they were fighting to break free of the Monarchy, whooping the Brits 18 to 8. After the hype of that first game, I went on the WBC’s website and attempted to order a team Canada baseball jersey, but there were no Canadian jerseys for sale. Italy baseball jerseys, yes, Canada baseball jerseys, no. After a bit of contemplating, I jumped on Twitter to tweet at our baseball federation and ask them about our jerseys, and that is when the Twitter trolls pounced.

My question for our baseball federation was simple, “Where can we go to buy one of those jerseys?” It did not take long for me to get a few notifications, all from trolls, which read, “Walmart. That’s where the team got them.”, “Pretty sure it was Wish.com, actually.”, “Aliexpress.”, and “Discount rack of a gas station a week after July 1.” Funny, right? Well, our baseball federation decided to show the trolls that the joke was on them because they tweeted back saying, “Alex. You don’t need to buy one! Send us a DM and we’ll ship you one!” The beauty of that interaction can be summed up with Johnny Quid’s beautiful monologue in the 2008 film RockNRolla. “That that starts sweet, ends bitter. And that which starts bitter, ends sweet.”

What I struggle to understand in all of this, however, is that there are people who would prefer to root against their country in any way possible, instead of cheering for it. Thankfully for the Twitter trolls and myself, this incident transpired over social media instead of a baseball game, because then I would have channelled my inner-Izzy Alcantara from 2001, which would have left a stain on the game we all love. Somehow, I doubt I could get away with only a 6-game suspension like Alcantara did in 2001, and I feel that baseball would give me the Pete Rose treatment.

Now, since we are still on the topic of baseball and to balance out my self-deprecating jokes, I wanted to share some self-aggrandizing news with readers which is that I am, officially, the first ever inductee into Humongous Entertainment’s Backyard Baseball Hall of Fame after a storied career in Heron Gate’s Cedarwood Drive baseball park.

Humongous Entertainment’s Backyard Baseball Hall of Fame

My Hall of Fame plaque is engraved with the following message, ‘Aleksandar Golijanin was a legendary Canadian backyard baseball player from Ottawa, Canada, who was also known as “Heron’s Hammerin’ Hank”, “Heron Gate’s Griffey Jr.”, “Ottawa Baseball’s Barry Bonds”, “The Municipality’s Miniature Mark McGwire”, and “La Municipalité Mickey Mantle”, and who is the first-ever inductee into the Backyard Baseball Hall of Fame after a storied career in Heron Gate’s Cedarwood Drive Backyard Park. Aleksandar was trained by two legendary backyard baseball trainers, Francophone Matt and Anglophone Peter, enabling him to hit countless dingers over 200 feet. He was scouted by Ottawa South Blues coaches along with his trainer’s parents, but Aleksandar’s parents were afraid of their only child getting hit in the head with a baseball and suffering permanent brain damage. A real-life Pablo Sanchez, pound for pound and inch for inch, had Aleksandar pursued an MLB career, he would have overtaken Jose Altuve, the 5-foot 6-inch 165-pound Venezuelan, and finished as the American League MVP in 2017, and the Houston Astros would have never been able to “signal” their way to a World Series Championship.’

Having the distinction as the first-ever and only inductee (since the studio has gone belly-up and won’t be making any more videogames of the sort) into the Backyard Baseball Hall of Fame, the lesson I want to leave readers with has to do with the importance of swinging for the fences every time and at everything.  The best baseball players have a batting average of just over 0.300, which means they only hit the ball 30% of the time, and only some of those hits end up being home runs. And remember, should you ever get hit by a pitch, if you have Twitter trolls on your team and there is a bench-clearing situation that arises, expect the Twitter trolls to stay seated in the dugout.