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C’S: AN ENTERTAINING CHAMPIONSHIP SQUAD
- Updated: September 11, 2011
By Josh Hall
Call me a homer or call me a bandwagoner. Having never been to a Vancouver Canadians baseball game before this season, I wasn’t sure what to expect. A championship helps, but even if the C’s had lost today, I can sum up action at the Nat in one word: Entertaining.
Today, the Canadians faced off in a winner take all game three in the Northwest League Final. Today, the Canadians won their first ever NWL title in 12 seasons as a franchise. It was powered by a 2nd strong post-season performance from Jesse Hernandez who threw 9 K’s, a career high, in 6 innings pitched. Hernandez was signed by the Blue Jays as a free agent in June 2010.
If you’ve followed the C’s all season long, you can attest to the story of two completely different halves. Tying for top spot in the first half, they took 2nddue to an inferior head to head record (5-7) against Eugene. Hoping to take the 2nd playoff spot by winning the 2nd half, they promptly failed at doing so, finishing dead last and yet squeaking into the playoffs as Eugene managed to win the 2nd half as well. Vancouver took said spot by virtue of having the 2nd best overall record. The team used the newspaper headlines saying they, “…backed in,” as bulletin board material.
It sure worked.
Up until today’s Game 3 season ending matchup, the road team had won in all of the C’s playoff games. It was Eugene in fact, who was up 1-0 in the opening series after taking Game 1 in Vancouver. It was all but over on paper, as Eugene not only took both halves in the West Division but the best overall record of all 8 teams in the NWL. Well the C’s gave the Em’s a swift kick in the rump the next night by winning 10-3 in Eugene, and then won a deciding game three after giving up a 5-0 lead only to win 5-4.
Off to the finals they went, taking game one in Pasco, Washington, home of the Tri-City Dust Devils. The Devils had the 2nd best overall record during the regular season. These C’s were for real and weren’t taking “on paper” statistics as legitimate reasons for why they should lose. Alas, it wasn’t going to end easily and TC took game two at The Nat by a score of 5-3.
It should be noted that due to NWL rules, despite Tri-City having a superior regular season record, Vancouver was privy to 2/3 finals games at home.
Finally, as mentioned, the Canadians did take today’s Championship match and handily, topping the Dust-Devils by a score of 9-2.
If there’s one thing I want people take away from this story and this year’s results for the Vancouver Canadians, it’s that baseball does work in Canada and Vancouver, more specifically. Not only have we see a star rising in Brett Lawrie from Langley become a starting 3B for the Toronto Blue Jays, but the Canadians this season became an affiliate of Canada’s only MLB team, said Toronto Blue Jays. It’s even been rumoured the C’s could be promoted to Triple-A ball next season from their current Single-A Short Season status.
The Canucks, Lions and it seems the Whitecaps will always garner more fans due to being in Major Leagues and having larger stadiums, but it cannot be denied the Canadians put out an entertainment value that is basically second to none.
The players come from all over the world to play in our city, so next season, when the 2012 Canadians take the field, go out to the Nat and welcome them with open arms for they really are the Best in the West.