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The Blue Jays’ Crazy, Wonderful, Fantastic Inning

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The Toronto Blue Jays celebrate a hard fought game. Image: Keith Allison
The Toronto Blue Jays celebrate winning a hard fought game. Image: Keith Allison

One of the craziest, most thrilling games in major league baseball history occurred at the Rogers Centre in Toronto last Wednesday.

The Toronto Blues Jays haven’t been in the playoffs since 1993, when they won the World Series, baseball’s ultimate championship.

Toronto fans were excited earlier this year when they learned that some stellar players would be joining the team, including pitcher David Price and shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. The team, fans believed, definitely had a shot at going all the way this year.

The Blue Jays are particularly known for their offense—in other words, its players can really hit the ball well.

So it was exciting—but perhaps not surprising—that the Blue Jays made it to the American League East “division playoffs.” They would play the Texas Rangers five games and the first team to win three of those games would move on.

Texas won the first two games. Texas only needed one more game to knock the Jays out and end the Jays’ season.

But the Jays battled back and won the next two games against Texas.

The fifth game would decide it all. It was to be played on Jays’ home turf at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

At first, it looked like the game would go to Texas. It was the beginning of the seventh inning and the score was 3 to 2 for the Rangers. With less than three innings to go, Jays fans were worried.

Fortunately, the Jays’ John Donaldson drove in a run to tie the score at 3-3.

And then it happened.

Jose Bautista came up to bat for the Blue Jays. And not only did he hit the ball, but he blasted a homer over the fence and into the seats at centre field. It was the biggest hit of his career and for a huge hitter like Bautista, that’s saying something.

That run brought three Blue Jays home and suddenly, the Jays were winning 6 to 3—which was the final score of the game. The Jays won and Texas went home.

When Bautista hit his big seventh-inning home run, he did something that some people thought wasn’t nice—and others thought was awesome. He flipped his bat, high in the air. For major league baseball players, flipping your bat after a home run can seem arrogant. (For younger players, it’s downright dangerous and should never be done.)

But in this case, to win such an important game in front of a tense home-town crowd, in such an exciting way, many people are saying Bautista’s bat-flip just echoed everyone’s excitement.

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS
By Jonathan Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
Many people disagree about whether or not Jose Bautista should have flipped his bat? What do you think? Was he being a show off and disrespectful to the game? Or is he entitled to celebrate anyway he chooses?

Reading Prompt: Comprehension Strategies
How does your previous experience playing baseball, or any other sport, help you understand today’s article more effectively?

Primary & Junior
Extend understanding of texts by con- necting the ideas in them to their own knowledge and experience, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Intermediate
Extend understanding of texts, including increasingly complex or difficult texts, by connecting the ideas in them to their own knowledge, experience, and insights, to other familiar texts, and to the world around them (OME, Reading: 1.6).

Language Feature: Plural Possessive Nouns
When writing that something belongs to someone, writers add apostrophe s ( ‘s ). We call words that show ownership “possessive.” For example, “Leo’s cast is temporary.” When writing that something belongs to a group, it becomes a plural possessive noun. For example, “The children’s teacher wasn’t as funny as he thought.” But the real challenge is figuring out what to do when making a plural noun ending in “s” possessive–words like “lions,” “witches,” or “babies.” The rule is, you do not include the final “s.” For example,

The fifth game would decide it all. It was to be played on Jays’ home turf at the Rogers Centre in Toronto.

Make a list of 5-10 plural nouns and use this rule to make them possessive.