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

NDP won’t stop until Trans Mountain is built, says minister

Deron Bilous speaks at Red Deer chamber luncheon

Red Deer officials will allow Calgary to trial alcohol in parks

The result could determine if local rules are relaxed

$25-a-day child care in high demand in Red Deer

Red Deer Child Care Society hopes program will expand

Red Deer city council could provide more clarity around closed-door meetings, says review

Confidential matters were found to be handled appropriately by city

Special lift improves Lacombe patients’ therapy

A new mobility lift is helping physical therapy patients at Lacombe Hospital… Continue reading

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

WestJet plane heading to Victoria slides off Edmonton runway, no injuries

EDMONTON — A WestJet plane has slid off an icy taxiway at… Continue reading

Sam Bennett scores twice, Flames beat Red Wings 6-4

Flames 6, Red Wings 4 CALGARY — Sam Bennett scored twice including… Continue reading

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Company issues lifetime ban after man jumps from cruise ship

Nick Naydev posted the video last week showing him standing on the balcony of the Symphony of the Seas

Unruly passenger forces B.C.-bound flight to divert to Calgary

Police say charges are pending against a woman in her 40s

Inflation rises as higher airfares, veggie prices offset cheaper gas

Statistics Canada says inflation accelerated to two per cent in December

Canadian tattoo artist inks Toronto skyline on Blue Jays pitcher Stroman

Marcus Stroman found a way to show his appreciation for Toronto when… Continue reading

Most Read