How Toronto's Papers Covered The Blue Jays On The Brink
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How Toronto’s Papers Covered The Blue Jays On The Brink

With the Blue Jays flailing, Toronto's dailies compete to best capture the drama.

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


It’s do-or-die this afternoon for the Toronto Blue Jays, as last night’s loss to the Cleveland baseball team has pushed them to the brink of elimination in the American League Championship Series. Toronto’s newspapers are aghast that this may be the end of the road for #OurMoment, as winning four games in a row to advance to the World Series is an exceedingly tall order for any team. But as controversy swirls around the presence of the racist logo of the Cleveland team, which of Toronto’s papers best captures the drama?

globe oct 18
The Globe and Mail

The Globe gives the dreaded Cleveland baseball team the front page this morning as they celebrated their win last night over the Jays. But their top story this morning is another instalment in their continuing coverage of housing sector challenges, with the Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation sounding a red alert on skyrocketing prices and overvaluation spilling over from hot housing markets like Toronto and Vancouver into their suburbs. Elsewhere in the news, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is finally starting to nominate judges to fill vacancies in the nation’s highest courts, and the results of Ontario’s 19-month review of the province’s solitary confinement policies in our jails are in: the plan is—another review!

post oct 18
National Post

The war on terror is the top story for the World’s Best-Designed Newspaper™ today, as Kurdish forces continue the fight to retake Mosul, with territorial gains in the region described as a “turning point in the war against terrorism.” But two other stories on the front page command the reader’s attention: “O Cannabis“, the Post‘s week-long feature on the future of marijuana in Canada as the nation supposedly hurtles towards legalization of the drug next year, and Christie Blatchford‘s coverage of yesterday’s court dismissal of a request for an injunction to stop transmission of the Cleveland/Toronto baseball game to ban the racist Chief Wahoo logo from being broadcast on the airwaves. Blatchford thinks critics of Chief Wahoo have a good point, but not one to be debated in our courts. Sports columnist Scott Stinson also reports on Cleveland’s continuing loyalty to the offensive Chief Wahoo logo at their (ironically named) Progessive Field, while still insisting they are phasing out the logo when criticism comes up.

star oct 18
Toronto Star

The Star‘s coverage of the Jays playoff decline is below the fold this morning, with sports columnist Bruce Arthur using Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer’s bleeding finger last night as a metaphor for the “deep wound” inflicted on the Jays against Cleveland’s surprisingly strong pitching, which has managed to silence the Jays’ bats throughout this series. The Star‘s coverage of the battle for Mosul refers to ISIS as “Daesh,” an Arabic-language acronym that translates as an insult that dismisses their claims to represent an Islamic State (ISIS hates to be called Daesh). Their story plays up the coalition’s role in liberating Mosul, including 200 Canadian special forces, though their exact role in the fight is unclear. Donald Trump is at the top of the Star‘s front page today; his speeches have become more consumed with talk of conspiracy theories that the system is rigged as he heads towards a likely election-day thrashing. Daniel Dale interviews some experts on dictatorships who detect fascist overtones in this dangerous rhetoric. And the Star‘s slice-of-life story today is about Joe Gomes, the legendary bartender at the Park Hyatt’s Roof Lounge, a pioneering figure in the city’s cocktail scene, who retires October 28 after 57 years behind the bar!

metro oct 18
Metro Toronto

Metro puts the Jays on the front page today but their main focus is their continuing sharpening of their social advocacy blade, taking the Chief Wahoo controversy head-on with their special coverage “Ending Racism In Sport.” Metro calls yesterday’s Superior Court ruling “a win for free speech, a loss for basic decency,” as well as calling out an insensitive franchise name in our own country: the Edmonton Eskimos. John Tory, a former commissioner of the CFL, added his voice to those calling for Edmonton to rethink the team name, although the team president says they have “no plans” to do so. Tory makes a second appearance on page one today with his pledge to help young people trying to stay in Toronto in the face of rising housing prices: “I don’t want to look a whole generation in the eye (sic) and say you don’t have the option to live in Toronto.”

Toronto Sun

sun oct 18

The Sun hands the front page over to Mom this morning, with a special “Message From Mom” to the people of the Greater Toronto Area. A woman in Pickering shared with the Sun a video of her daughter’s backpack being clipped by a car that failed to slow down in the vicinity of a school bus, in a commendable effort to raise awareness of school bus safety. The Sun also provides panicked front page coverage of the Jays on the brink of elimination, including a column by Night Scrawler Joe Warmington that is sure to offend anyone offended by Cleveland’s name and logo:

“And to think someone actually stirred up the baseball Gods even worse by taking to court the notion of gaining an injunction to force the visiting team to not be able to wear their Indians uniforms with their famous Chief Wahoo crest.

Thankfully the judge had common sense and sent it into the garbage can where it belonged but the damage was done.

Clearly the spirit of the chief did not want to be silenced.”

This week’s winner: It is clear to the Front Page Challenge jury that there is a bitter rivalry brewing between the Sun and Metro to claim first place in our weekly standings, and this week sees the Sun deploying an interesting tactic, muscling in on Metro‘s turf with their front page coverage of Toronto’s Deadly Streets. But our jury has decided Metro‘s coverage of the Superior Court decision over Chief Wahoo is more in line with contemporary thinking as opposed to Warmington’s insensitive metaphor of the Jays suffering the “curse of Chief Wahoo” in retaliation for what he calls the “bizarre” court hearing, which he doesn’t understand was an effort by social activists to raise awareness of the continuing presence of racism against First Nations peoples in sports marketing. This gamble has cost the Sun sole possession of first place in our weekly standings.

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

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