The Roman poet Sextus is said to have come up with the much-used proverb “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” I know we’re all probably familiar with that axiom and you likely don’t care who coined it. But it’s my last article for the year and I was excited to get the name “Sextus” into the papers.
Okay, I’m off base already, so let’s get back in the box and deal with the subject at hand: the 2022 Vancouver Canadians’ Baseball season. Something that is sadly at its conclusion after spanning six months, two seasons (spring and summer) and 132 games.
But, as Geoffrey Chaucer is purported to have said, “All good things must come to an end.”
Okay, okay, okay! I promise I’m done with the high school English-class references. Or wait! I’m not! I forgot to tie in why I opened with the Sextus quote. And for those keeping score at home, that’s the second time I’ve got Sextus into the papers. And there was the third.
The 2020 Minor League baseball season was cancelled. And in 2021, the C’s couldn’t play at home. But 2022 brought them back to us, as well as our first look at them as a team at a higher level on the minor league ladder.
It was something to rejoice and I for one realized how much I had truly missed having live baseball in my life. We are lucky to have them here in Vancouver, and that prolonged absence absolutely did make my heart grow more passionate. Or whatever it is that Sextus said (that's the fourth).
As of this writing, the C’s still have at least one game remaining at The Nat as they fight the much hated and decidedly maligned (almost universally so, I’m told) Eugene Emeralds in the playoffs this week. I’ll be there watching, but today I want to discuss the regular season that was and a few of the things I’m thinking about at its sunset.
Firstly, a correction. It has come to my attention that V.I.A.'s well-meaning Editor-in-Chief, Bob Kronbauer, called for the word “bandbox” to be changed to “sandbox” in a couple of articles where I describe Nat Bailey Stadium. He was unfamiliar with the practice of calling small baseball stadiums “bandboxes” and thought I meant “sandbox.” I did not. The Nat is a bandbox and a beautiful one at that. Love ya, Bobby! And thanks for watching so much baseball with me this year!
(A note from Bob: "Ryan and I did, indeed, watch many C’s games together this year and every moment of our time spent at The Nat was filled with pure joy. While he has maintained his very-wrong position that Chef Wasabi is not worth being vigorously cheered for, I am still considering renewing his baseball writing contract for next year’s season.")
Second, it was so amazing to see Spring Baseball at Nat Bailey again. It took me back to my youth when the team was at a higher level. The rainouts were an issue, certainly, but we got through it and it made me realize we can play ball here basically year round. MLB expansioneers take note.
Thirdly, I love the pitch clock. I was ready to hate it, but I quickly fell in love with it. It took nothing away from the romanticism of the game and delivered an on-field product that has a healthy pace and exciting amount of drama. I’m thrilled to see how it will shepherd the Major League Season next year.
And finally. Some schmaltz. It was just so nice to reconnect with baseball fans of every stripe, live and in person at the Nat. Baseball is pure magic and in the words of Canadian Baseball Legend Joey Votto: “You can sit and putter around on your phone. You can have a beer and a hot dog. You can stay locked in on the game and score it. You can stand in the concourse and banter with friends and family and catch up. Come late, leave early, and you can still have a great time.”
Well said, Joey. However, the Cincinnati Reds still suck.
Have a great off-season everyone. Thanks for reading. And as always, see you at the Nat (next year).