Canadian all-stars enjoy friendly rivalry

ST. LOUIS — Not long after Jason Bay hit his 20th homer of the season to help the Boston Red Sox beat the Oakland Athletics 5-2 last Tuesday, a text message came in.

ST. LOUIS — Not long after Jason Bay hit his 20th homer of the season to help the Boston Red Sox beat the Oakland Athletics 5-2 last Tuesday, a text message came in.

“Congratulations on your first home run as an American,” it chided, in the wake of Bay’s naturalization July 2.

The sender was Justin Morneau, who has traded text barbs with his fellow Canadian slugger all year.

They became close during the World Baseball Classic this past spring and have engaged in a friendly rivalry ever since as each enjoys a monster season at the plate.

“He’ll have a good game and I’ll text him,” Morneau, the Minnesota Twins first baseman from New Westminster, B.C., said with a grin Monday.

“We just kind of joke around with each other about the Tip O’Neill Award for the top Canadian player.

“He’ll drive in three runs and I’ll tell him, ‘All right, you’re the leading candidate. Go get that Tip O’Neill.”’

Responded Bay: “Every time he has a good game, I’ll tell him: ‘It’s all yours.’ And he’ll be like, ‘You’re gaining on me. Haha.”’

Morneau and Bay, from Trail, B.C., are certainly leading candidates for the prize handed out by the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame annually.

Each is a two-time winner and each is enjoying a third career all-star selection this week in St. Louis.

Bay will start in left field and bat fifth for the American League in Tuesday’s game while Morneau is available to manager Joe Maddon off the bench.

Their rivalry starts with the Tip O’Neill but doesn’t end there. Bay leads the AL with 72 RBIs, two up on Morneau, who leads his buddy in homers 21-20.

It was that ability to put up big numbers that brought them together in the first place.

They became friendly at the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006 but their bond really took at this year’s event, when both were called upon to carry more of the load.

They did much of the heavy lifting for Canada, and were front and centre with manager Ernie Whitt after the stunning 6-2 loss Italy that eliminated the national team.

Just Posted

Scares and chills await at haunted house in Red Deer

Zed Haunted House helps raise money for Boys and Girls Club of Red Deer District

PHOTO: Renewable Energy Fair at Red Deer College

The Renewable Energy Fair and Workshops event was held at Red Deer… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Red Deer College Queens host third annual Pink in the Rink game

Queens raised $12,035 for the Central Alberta Cancer Centre.

PHOTOS: The Mustard Seed CEO speaks at Seeds of Hope Gala in Red Deer

The first-ever Seeds of Hope Gala was held at the Red Deer… Continue reading

Person airlifted to hospital after collision near Innisfail

One person was airlifted to hospital after a serious collision west of… Continue reading

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Turkey to reveal details of probe into Khashoggi’s killing

ISTANBUL — In a sign of growing pressure on Saudi Arabia, Turkey… Continue reading

Utah truck driver is jailed without bond after crash kills 6

HEBER, Utah — A man suspected of driving under the influence remained… Continue reading

A ragged, growing army of migrants resumes march toward US

TAPACHULA, Mexico — A ragged army of Honduran migrants streamed through southern… Continue reading

Postal workers to begin strikes in 4 Canadian cities Monday if deal not reached

OTTAWA — The union representing 50,000 Canada Post employees says it will… Continue reading

Migrant caravan swells to 5,000, resumes advance toward US

CIUDAD HIDALGO, Mexico — Despite Mexican efforts to stop them at the… Continue reading

“I don’t feel real”: Mental stress mounting after Michael

PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Amy Cross has a hard time explaining the… Continue reading

Toronto residents set to vote Monday on the next four years of civic leaders

Toronto’s municipal election campaign, marked by unprecedented provincial interference, ends Monday when… Continue reading

Former PQ minister Lise Payette remembered as role model for female politicians

MONTREAL — Members from across Quebec’s political spectrum gathered at a downtown… Continue reading

Most Read