Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Review of the Game in La Belle Province

Last night we had the first game of the leader ball game series and fittingly it was in the home province of baseball in Canada, Quebec.

I tried to watch some of the debate in French. My second oldest son is in late French Immersion now and I am have amazed myself at how much better my French has become. Even Catherine, my ex wife who did a degree in French, has commented at the improvement. Maybe the idea of functionally fluency is not crazy after all. Anyway, I tried catch the debate in French and I managed to get the gist of it what was going on. Watching it without translation helped me get a feeling for how the leaders were in French. I ended up catching more of the debate in transcript and English translation.

So how did they do? They did about as well as I expected them to do, there was nothing surprising happening.

1) Elizabeth May - she had a couple of times at bat, got a walk and some strike outs. She looked like she belonged in the major league, but she did not do anything well enough or badly enough to know if she will stick in the majors. This where I say I am impressed an immigrant has managed to learn to speak French as well as she does. She needs to get a strong hit tonight in the English game to have a chance of staying the majors, I would say she needs a double or better at least once in the game to avoid going back to playing Triple A ball.

2) Gilles Duceppe - he is still a hockey player that could care less about any baseball game. Honestly, why is he bothering to come to the game at all? The Bloc clearly pointed out to everyone last night that their role on the federal level is irrelevant. Giles, in many ways the most engaging and charismatic leader we have seen federally over the last four elections, should take over the PQ in Quebec and bring them into power there.

He will be there for the English game, but I expect him to mess around and not take any of it seriously.

3) Jack Layton - he came up to the plate hoping to show that he was more than a journeyman. He still sounds like an anglo speaking French. He had some nice swings but did not connect with the ball well. One time at bat the crack of the wood sounded strong but with in a moment is was clear it was pop up to left field that was fielded with ease. Best he did on the night was a single but he was left stranded on the base and did not get anyone home with it. If he does the same again tonight I think that there is a good chance the NDP will finish second for the season.

4) Stephen Harper - cool, calm and collected. He knew he needed some runs for his team, he knew that the game was too important for risky anything on something flashy. Three times up at the plate, three times on base. One walk and two competent singles. Nothing for the headlines, but certainly has given his team a much better chance of winning the game.

5) Stephane Dion - why is a curler playing baseball? So many pundits were lowering the expectations of him in the game because he is curler and not a baseball player. The question has to be why is he choosing to play in a baseball game? He was not awful at bat, but he did not reach first base once. His at bats gave nothing for his team. Three strike outs and only once that the wood and ball touched for a foul ball into stands out along the 3rd base line.

The musings on the Liberal Team management is that he needs to be cut from the team. Not just a stint in the minors, but rip up the contract and pay him out. We have seen retired Liberal players being called on to help the team in his place. Paul Martin to be back on the team? He is long past his playing prime and showed everyone just how had weaked as player in the 2004 and 2006 campaigns.

Dion has one last chance tonight to hit a homerun. He really needs it the first time he is at bat and he needs to hit it with a power that is convincing. But who are we kidding, he is a curler and everyone will be amazed if he manages a single.
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