"I wasn't very impressed with that to tell you the truth ... You figure they could find somebody to come and sing the song. They have a hockey team here, the Canadian teams play here.The rub is, though, getting indignant over such a trifle does not make you patriotic. Shame on media outlets who pander to the Great Canadian Inferiority Complex by running a poll asking the leading question that begins, "Do you think Major League Baseball disrespected Canadians and the Toronto Blue Jays..."
"It's something that didn't really go over too well. I think if it happened the other way around, if they were playing in Toronto and they did that, it would have been a lot bigger deal. But nothing you can do about it."
The reality is there was no outcry in Canada when it happened last year at Yankee Stadium. Secondly, it's nice to be acknowledged, however a country finds validation within, not from Bud Selig and FOX Sports' Americana porn on an idyllic summer night in St. Louis.
Deep-down, a true patriot would not care too much. It stung at first during last year's all-star game when on top of the anthem omission, FOX's Joe Buck mispronounced Roy Halladay's name and Tim McCarver incorrectly identified the Blue Jays' stadium as "the Rogers Dome," but it just doesn't matter. In hindsight, maybe that wasn't a snub, maybe it was just honest mistakes by one man who would rather be mediocre at seven media gigs rather than master one and a colour analyst who is well past his best-before date.
Making this out as even a mild international incident is facts-plus-fiction. The fiction is that MLB has to give Canada any acknowledgement simply because "for now, at least" (fist bump: Bob Costas) one of its 30 teams is based in this country.
Granted, it is a smaller fiction next to the way FOX presents baseball as something uniquely American. The sport would be screwed if it wasn't for players from the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia. They should play the national anthems of the Dominican Republic, Japan and Venezuela.
Using a taped version of O Canada has been standard at the all-star game for some time. The pregame ritual of trotting out sundry baseball legends, topped off last night by President Obama throwing out the first ball and squeezing in a ton of commercials is very tightly scripted. Something has to give. That's the reality. A celebrity speaks up, though, and suddenly everyone's a patriot.
(There is a talking point that should no national anthems played at all, but please. It's a logical, rational thought, especially since the practice is largely limited to North America. However, you live in this world — do you really see a day when that won't happen? Part of loving sports is resisting logic and rationalism.)
B.C. slugger not impressed with instrumental O Canada (CTV.ca; via Circling The Bases)