The Toronto Blue Jays home opener is less than a week away, and Rogers Sportsnet is kicking it into overdrive. On Saturday afternoon, they aired a Jays spring-training game followed by Game 5 of the 1993 World Series. Hmm, I think they might be trying to suggest something… Sure, the Jays ought to be much-improved this season, but don’t bother trying to buy tickets for Opening Day–they sold out within the hour. And hey, there are 162 games in a Major League Baseball season, so whether or not they beat Cleveland next Tuesday is of very little consequence.
On the other hand, there is a completely consequential comedy competition occurring April 2nd that features yours truly. I’ll be part of a field of eight amateur stand-up artists vying for the princely sum of 30 dollars! OK, so that won’t buy you a pair of nosebleed seats at Rogers Centre, but it is three times what a typical comedian makes in a night. (Sadly, that’s no joke.) Anyhoo, the top four performers will advance to the next round of the Comedy Brawl, so I could really use your vote! In case you’re still on the fence as to whether you should watch baseball on TV or live stand-up comedy on the second of April, I’ll be giving you 10 reasons to choose the latter in the coming days.
Oh, and for more info about the April 2nd edition of the Comedy Brawl, click here.
10. I’m pretty sure I can throw straighter than R.A. Dickey.
9. There won’t be any anti-gay Spanish slurs on my eyeblack.
8. This won’t be anything like last time. I promise.
7. I don’t drink Booster Juice, so I’m not gonna put a baseball through your windshield.
6. I promise I won’t punch you in the face or put you in a headlock. Can John Gibbons guarantee that?
During the off-season, the Jays rehired manager John Gibbons, who had gone 305-305 in his previous four-year stint as bench boss. He might not have won any playoff games during that stretch, but the fiery Texas did win a couple fights… with his own players. In 2006, Shea Hillenbrand allegedly wrote “Gibbons takes too many balls–on Church Street” on the team bulletin board because he was pissed that “no one in the Blue Jays front office had made an attempt to congratulate him on recently adopting a child,” according to Wikipedia. Gibbons then challenged the 3B to a duel, which made Hillenbrand so scared that he promptly demanded a trade to San Francisco… or something like that.
Later in the year, the Gibbster went to the mound to yank Ted Lilly after the lefty got lit up like Josh Todd on a plane with cocaine. Lilly refused to give him the ball, perhaps hearing of his exploits on Church, which led to an altercation in the clubhouse in which Gibbons may or may not have put Ted Lilly in a headlock and Lilly may or may not have given the manager a bloody nose. In any case, Gibbons again got the best of the altercation. A frightened Lilly, fearful of a rematch, signed with the Cubs in the off-season.
So, it’s no question that the new old manager is a scrapper. Hell, he might punch me the next time I’m at the ballpark, just for writing this. But on the other hand, I promise you that no physical violence will occur during my set next Tuesday–provided that John Gibbons doesn’t make an unexpected appearance. ;)
Comedy Brawl Gauntlet #6 Tuesday, April 2nd @ Crown and Tiger, College and Bathurst, 8 pm. $5.