Randy Ferbey’s competitive fire is still flickering.
The curling legend is competing in the World Curling Tour’s Red Deer Classic this weekend at the Pidherney Centre. But it’s strictly a one-off for the four-time men’s world champion, who retired from the roaring game in 2011.
“This is my first bonspiel in four years,” Ferbey said Friday, after falling 9-3 to Jason Jacobson of Saskatoon while skipping and tossing third stones for Terry Meek’s Calgary entry.
“It’s just a one-time thing. Terry and I have been friends for awhile and during the Brier last year he kind of cornered me in a weak moment and said we should play together in a ‘spiel. He called me on it and so here I am.”
In the competitive curling world, basically everybody knows everybody. That used to be the case with Edmonton’s Ferbey while he was regularly trading shots with the best, but no more.
“I look across the sheets now and I know fewer and fewer people,” he noted. “It’s not how it used to be. There’s a lot of younger guys out there, which is nice to see. I remember the day. It’s seems like yesterday, but fortunately it’s over.”
Ferbey is still involved in the game as a mixed league player and is also a spokesman for Everest, a funeral planning and concierge company, the title sponsor of the Canadian senior curling championship and the Randy Ferbey National Pro Am, which is open to senior curlers of all skill levels from across Canada.
Winners get a trip to the Canadian seniors set for March 21-28 in Edmonton and also get a chance to play against Ferbey and the likes of Jennifer Jones in the Pro Am.
“I’m actually starting a cross-Canada tour next week,” said Ferbey. “I’ll go to numerous clubs, tell them what it’s all about and get them to sign up. It’s another event for seniors to get involved in.”
Ferbey enjoyed much of his competitive success while playing with Dave Nedohin, Scott Pfeifer and Marcel Rocque. He also won two Briers and a world title with Pat Ryan in the ’80s and was with Brad Gushue in 2010-11 before wrapping up his playing career with Nedohin in 2011-12, the Edmonton foursome consisting also of Ted Appelman and Brendan Melynk.
That was then, this is now.
“My days are over,” Ferbey insisted.
“I miss the game a bit but I don’t miss the practising and the travelling. That’s all necessary no matter what level you’re playing at and I’m not prepared to do that.”
Ferbey received the ultimate honour last year when he was inducted into the World Curling Hall of Fame.
“It’s a great honour and a culmination of things,” he said. “Like I said when I was inducted, it’s not me, it’s the other individuals I played with over the years.
“They should be right alongside me. I wouldn’t have won anything without them. They should be in there too and hopefully they will be one day.”
Ferbey rebounded to defeat Jeff Erickson 6-4 in an evening draw.
A event, 9:30 a.m. — Kin Win Woo 9 Brock Virtue 1; Soo Hyuk Kim 7 Sean O’Connor 1; Dean Joanisse 8 Craig MacAlpine 3; Jeremy Harty 5 Josh Heidt 4; Jason Ackerman 6 Glen Hansen 3; Sean Geall 10 Travis Cooper 9; Ryan Deis 7 Kevin Park 6; Shaun Meachem 8 Charley Thomas 7.
A event, 1 p.m. — Wade White 8 Jeff Erickson 1; Jason Jacobson 9 Randy Ferbey 3; Se Hyeon Seong 8 Scott Smith 2; Warren Cross 7 Grant Dezura 2; Aaron Sluchinksi 6 Harvey Kelts 4; Jamie Koe 5 Thomas Scoffin 3; Mick Lizmore 7 Bruce Korte 5; Brady Clark 9 Lloyd Hill 8.
A event, 4:30 p.m. — Geall 7 Meachem 2; Deis 8 Woo 3; Harty 8 Joanisse 5; Ackerman 6 S.Kim 5.
B event, 4:30 p.m. — Thomas 7 Cooper 2; Hansen 5 O’Connor 1; Park 4 Virtue 3; Heidt 6 MacAlpine 2.
A event, 8 p.m. — Sluchinski 6 Koe 5; Cross 7 Seong 4; White 6 Jacobson 5; Lizmore 5 Clark 4.
B event, 8 p.m. — Dezura 7 Smith 2; Korte 6 Hill 5; Ferbey 6 Erickson 4.
A event, 9:30 a.m. — Lindsay Makichuk 6 Jie Mie 5; Nadine Chyz 8 Brett Barber 1; Nicky Kaufman 9 Teryn Hamilton 2; Kalya Skrlik 9 Kalynn Park 5.
A event, 1 p.m. — Diane Gushulak 4 Lana Vey 3; Chelsea Carey 6 Jodi Marthaller 4; Taryn Schachtel 7 Sijia Liu 6; Robyn Silvernagle 5 Geri-Lynn Ramsey 5.
A event, 4:30 p.m. — Alana Paetz 8 Kaufman 0; Kelsey Rocque 5 Skrlik 2; Chyz 7 Kaufman 4; Makichuk 5 Shannon Kleibrink 3.
B event, 8 p.m. — Satsuki Fijisawa 5 Silvernagle 3; Mie 8 Hamilton 2; Barber 6 Park 2; Casey Scheidegger 7 Gushulak 3.
Jays: Bautista channels inner Joe Carter
The game was played 22 years to the day that Joe Carter’s walk-off home run against Phillies reliever Mitch Williams gave Toronto its second straight World Series title.
Bautista did his best to channel Carter this night.
His solo blast 428 feet in the fourth cut the Royals’ lead to 2-1. Then, with Toronto down to five outs, he slammed a two-run shot 387 feet that tied the game at 3-3.
There was no bat flip this time. He gently dropped the bat, with more work left to do.
It was Toronto’s fifth must-win game of the playoffs and it proved to be one too many for the AL East champions, ending a remarkable season that saw the Jays reload at the trade deadline and dominate after the all-star break.
But they could not dethrone the Royals, who ultimately won with timely hitting from a deep, diverse offence and a better bullpen.
Kansas City claimed its second straight AL pennant — and the fourth in franchise history — while earning a date with the waiting New York Mets in the World Series. The Royals lost the Series in seven games to San Francisco last year.
Ben Zobrist and Mike Moustakas homered for Kansas City. The Royals added an insurance run in the seventh.
Yordano Ventura and Kansas City’s bullpen held Toronto to seven hits.
The Royals had seemed in control after collecting an insurance run in the seventh inning and with its much-vaunted bullpen up and running.
FOX certainly through so. With Kansas City up 3-1, the broadcaster flashed a graphic during the seventh inning that pre-emptively advertised the Royals playing the Mets on Tuesday in Game 1 of the World Series. The graphic pictured Kansas City’s Hosmer and New York’s Daniel Murphy on opposite sides, with the time of the game in between them.
But Ryan Madson walked Revere to open the eighth and, after Josh Donaldson struck out, Bautista sent the ball deep to left.
It was Bautista’s fourth homer of the playoffs, setting a franchise single post-season.
Bautista also tied a franchise record with his fourth straight playoff game with an RBI.
The Jays got Edwin Encarncion to second after the Bautista homer but could not advance him further.
Toronto ace David Price gave up both Kansas City home runs, tying the major-league record for most playoff games allowing two or more homers with four, joining Jaret Wright and Tom Glavine, according to Sportsnet Stats.
Price settled down as the game wore on, putting in a fine shift only to get limited help from his offence.
“I hope that quiets some things down for David, you know what he’s been through this post-season,” Gibbons said. “And it’s like I said before, he’s having a great career, he’s going to go on to have an even better career, and he stepped up tonight, he really did.
“A couple solo home runs early and then he was really as good as we’ve seen him.”
Aaron Sanchez came in for Price with one on and two outs in the seventh. No. 9 hitter Alex Rios greeted him by singling Moustakas home for an insurance run that made it 3-1.
The Jays had refused to quit after falling behind 0-2 in both the ALDS, against Texas, and the ALCS. They won three straight to oust the Rangers in the best-of-five ALDS and then Game 5 against the Royals to cut the deficit to 3-2 in the best-of-seven series.
Toronto won the first four must-win games by a combined score of 26-9. The Jays were outscored 44-23 in the other six contests, going 1-5.
Ventura went 5 1/3 solid innings, exiting after an Edwin Encarnacion one-out double. The 24-year-old Dominican right-hander, who bristled all evening, pointed to the sky as he left the mound to an ovation following a four-hit, 77-pitch outing. He struck out five and walked two
Kelvin Herrera cleaned up the sixth inning, striking out Chris Colabello with a 100 m.p.h. fastball and getting Troy Tulowitzki to fly out. Toronto went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position over the first six innings.
Ventura was dialled in early. He threw 20 pitches in the first inning, with 17 strikes.
“If he’s commanding his breaking ball he’s going to be extremely tough tonight,” manager Ned Yost said prior to the game.
Revere hit Ventura’s third delivery into right field for a double but the Royals starter retired the next 10 Jays. He threw 33 pitches with 26 strikes in the first three innings. Revere’s hit was the Jays’ first of the series in the first inning.
Zobrist, meanwhile, hammered Price’s sixth delivery 372 feet into the Kansas City bullpen for a solo homer. One inning later, Moustakas went 390 feet to right-centre to make it 2-0.
The Jays asked for a review of the play, arguing that the fan who caught the ball had reached into the field of play with his glove, making it a fan interference double. But the video review confirmed the Moustakas home run.
Local media reported the fan was 18-year-old Caleb Humphreys.
The Kansas City Star reported Humphreys did not think he had reached into the field of play to snag the ball. But he admitted “I was praying” during the video review.
Bautista took matters into his own hands in the fourth, slamming a one-out homer 428 feet high over the right-field fence to cut the lead to 2-1. The blast ended Ventura’s run of 10 straight outs.
Umpire Jeff Nelson had to wave Ventura to the dugout after the Royals pitcher, following his strikeout of Tulowitzki to end the inning, glared at the Jays shortstop.
While Ventura showed some nerves as the game wore on, Price settled down. In the fourth he struck out the side. But the Jays were unable to provide him much offence.
Martin and Pillar walked to open the fifth but Ventura kept it together, inducing Ryan Goins and Revere to fly out before Moustakas made an acrobatic grab to rob Donaldson of a hit in an inning that should have produced more for the Jays.
Revere made a spectacular leaping catch in the seventh off Salvador Perez, denying a home run or shot off the wall.
Price gave up three runs on five hits and struck out eight in a 99-pitch outing. He walked two and left trailing 3-1.
Both his post-season wins were out of the bullpen, in 2008 in Tampa and in Game 4 of the ALDS in relief of R.A. Dickey.
“I guess I have to prove that I can pitch at this point in the season in the playoffs,” Price told reporters Thursday. “I get that. But I don’t have to go out there and prove that I’m a good pitcher. I think I’ve done that over the seven years of my career.”
Price, who won the AL Cy Young Award in 2012, was 18-5 with a 2.45 ERA this season including 9-1 with a 2.30 ERA with the Jays.
The Jays, who rallied from an 0-2 hole to down Texas in the best-of-five ALDS, were trying to become just the third team to overcome multiple 0-2 deficits in a single post-season, according to Elias Sports. The Dodgers (1981) and Royals (1985 when they trailed the Blue Jays in the ALCS) both did it.
Teams with a 3-1 lead in a best-of-seven series have now advanced 68 out of 80 times.