How Toronto's Papers Covered Blue Jays Wild Card Fever
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How Toronto’s Papers Covered Blue Jays Wild Card Fever

Catch the taste.

In Front Page Challenge, Torontoist analyzes the best and worst of Toronto’s major dailies.

Tonight the Blue Jays face a do-or-die game against the Baltimore Orioles to determine who gets to face the Texas Rangers in the divisional series. Does the team’s hashtag #OurMoment refer to our destiny to make it to the World Series this time, or an ironic prophecy of only a brief one-game appearance in the postseason? And which of Toronto’s daily papers are doing their best to fire up a team (and a city) hungry for more October bat flips?

globe oct 4
The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail doesn’t have room for any Blue Jays hype on the front page this morning; they’re too busy covering the latest development in a story they broke a few months ago, with the federal government announcing regulatory changes to the housing market. Those changes are aimed at closing loopholes that benefited foreign investors snatching up Canadian properties without having to pay capital-gains tax. Critics say the government isn’t doing enough, quickly enough, as it fails to address the challenges that see young homebuyers priced out of major markets like Toronto and Vancouver. The other major news out of Ottawa is Justin Trudeau’s ultimatum to the provinces that they must either agree to adopt carbon taxes on their own, or a levy will be imposed. This led to walkouts at the federal-provincial environment ministers’ meeting in Montreal.

post oct 4
National Post

The umbrage at Trudeau’s carbon tax announcement is even more pronounced on the front of the Post this morning, with Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall blowing a headvalve at the stunning “level of disrespect shown by the PM and his government today.” Alberta Premier Rachel Notley indicated Alberta won’t co-operate without conditions of their own being met by the feds.
The Post devotes a sidebar on page one to the Jays’ big wild-card match, with a story on manager John Gibbons’s decision to give last year’s pitching hero Marcus Stroman the ball tonight, though sports columnist Scott Stinson attempts a drive-by on another pitcher on the squad, saying the odds of fading knuckleballer R.A. Dickey getting the start “were about as likely as him sprouting wings.” But two other stories on the front page may give the reader pause this morning. First, a thirsty piece in the Financial Post that adds Aubrey Graham to their “Power List” of Canada’s biggest movers and shakers: “Sure, Drake, 29, can rap and sing, but his performance at Drake Night demonstrates his most lucrative talent: marketing, which has helped make him the world’s fifth-wealthiest rapper.” And in a story that puts the “ew” in “news,” a piece about researchers at U of T who are performing poop transplants, injecting the stool of skinny people into the guts of obese people to see if the gut bacteria introduced can lead to weight loss as an alternative to surgery. Hopefully Post readers aren’t eating as they read this article.

star oct 4
Toronto Star

The Star also covers the carbon pollution tax news but the headlines frame it less as a slap in the face to the provinces and more as a prime minister living up to the accord Canada signed at the Paris climate talks last year. The Star‘s build-up to tonight’s wild-card game acknowledges that the Jays haven’t exactly roared into the playoffs compared to last season and that it could all end tonight. But columnist Bruce Arthur prefers to look at this glass as half-full, that all will be forgiven if the Jays can pass this one-and-done test. Most of the front page this morning is devoted to a not-particularly-surprising investigation supplied by the Associated Press, the news that Donald Trump regularly demonstrated sexist behaviour during the production of The Apprentice, as alleged by over 20 members of cast and crew of the NBC series. It’s also worth noting this morning that despite Toronto’s recent strides at being a world-class city (hey, we even just got our first Uniqlo store!) we are still a small enough town that a video capturing a TTC bus driver eating potato chips while driving can still make the front page of the paper.

metro oct 4
Metro Toronto

Metro is GOING WILD this morning in an attempt to rally the city behind Josh Donaldson and the boys, but the top story of the morning is a new challenge for Mayor John Tory—one even more challenging than riding a hot subway train during rush hour. An area man has challenged Tory to try crossing the wide intersection at Queen & University in one light change without breaking the law (as it is technically illegal to begin crossing from the pedestrian island once the red hand signal has started flashing). Will the mayor accept this citizen’s challenge and run the risk of becoming another casualty of Toronto’s Deadly Streets? And columnist Rosemary Westwood continues Metro‘s week-long special coverage of “Our National Failure,” the lack of a country-wide strategy to fight campus sexual assault.

Toronto Sun

sun oct 4
The Sun finds a little room on page one for their patented Wynne-bashing this morning, but otherwise The Little Paper That Grew has busted out the pom-poms to cheer on Marcus Stroman as he hopes to lead the Jays to victory over the team with the dumb smiling cartoon bird on their caps. Will this be the last hurrah for Toronto’s modern-day sluggers lineup, with Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion eligible for free agency if the season ends tonight? Or is this game mere prologue for another triumphant October? The Sun is putting all their beef on the grill this morning with “8 Jays Pages Inside,” including a column by noted local Firefox enthusiast Joe Warmington, who is hoping the Jays will do what the Raptors failed to do…which is…um…to respect the national anthems played before the game. “Imagine how lucky we are to live in great nations where people are paid to play a game while others get to cheer, boo, have a hotdog and gulp a beer!” writes the Night Scrawler, imploring his patriotic readers: “You know the words. Sing both O Canada and the Star Spangled Banner so loud there will be no mistaking the message. The anthems are about patriotism and freedom and the fallen. Not for hating on police who keep us safe.” And if you don’t know the words, Google them (if Firefox will let you, that is).

Newspaper Number of Wins
Toronto Sun 14
Metro 12
Toronto Star 10
Globe and Mail 7
National Post 6

This week’s winner: This week’s winner: the Blue Jays need all the help they can get tonight, and the paper that is rooting hardest for our boys this morning is the Toronto Sun. In case this is the last Blue Jays game of the season, we’re awarding them this week’s championship victory for showing hometown spirit! This victory adds to their already commanding lead in this column’s weekly standings.

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