We must somehow be immune to the charms of longtime Toronto Sun scribbler Bob Elliot.
We'll hear people wax rhapsodic about him and his skills, and how he's sure to eventually win the Spink Award and gain entrance into the Hall of Fame, and we were left at a loss. We heard people talk about what a fantastic read his A Northern Game was, but we struggled to make it much more than halfway through, literally falling asleep almost every time that we endeavoured to dust off a chapter.
(Really, after one or two chapters, a book emphasizing just how goshdarned friggin' Canadian these Canadian baseballers are loses it's appeal for those of us who don't particularly care about the provenance of our favourite athletes.)
We'll confess that there may be a chance that he is a better reporter than writer (not a bad thing at all), although we often wonder about his comic overuse of the "Anonymous NL Scout". (This is especially the case since this unknown baseball birddog seemed to be trotted out whenever Elliot needed a blunt object with which to bludgeon the former administration.)
Whatever the reason that we don't seem to get Elliot's work, we generally don't see him come up with anything particularly awful either, so maybe his worst crime is that he is bland. Hard to believe, we know, considering the electrically vibrant personality that he puts forth on his appearances on Prime Time Sports.
But in Sunday's Sun, Elliot offered up an absolute howler on the significance of Roy Halladay's departure. And if you'll permit us our moment with the Fire Joe Morgan meme, we'd like to share this bit of work with you.
Plenty of calls, e-mails and texts received in busy week.
Nice to know you're keeping busy. What with the biggest trade of the decade for the Jays going down this week. Hopefully, all that contact with your fellow humans didn't cost you too many naps.
One friend's message was short: "Andrea Bocelli is gone. So am I."
Andrea Bocelli is dead? And you're friend is going to commit suicide out of grief?
My friend is not a ball fan.
Nor is he a music fan. But go on...
He appreciates excellence. Over the years he has paid to hear Colin Powell speak, although he disagrees with his politics; watched Mikhail Baryshnikov while disliking ballet, heard Bocelli sing, although he does not like opera and watched Roy Halladay pitch.
Okay, I see where you're going with this. You're trying to say that your friend appreciates only the finest things in life, and Roy Halladay is one of those fine things. And this is supposed to mean something profound to me, although all I can think when I read this is "Andrea Bocelli was not so much a singer as a hoary hollering novelty act, and he really sucked, and now he's dead. So maybe I should show some respect."
(Wait! Hold the phone! A quick Google search tells me that Bocelli is alive. So Elliot's friend is clearly full of shit. If only he'd realized it before he went and hung himself in the shower.)
He would only go to the Rogers Centre to see Halladay face the New York Yankees or the Boston Red Sox.
Okay, let's stop the charade right here. Elliot is trying to use this expression of disinterest in the Blue Jays as bad omen, and an example of how people are going to abandon this team because of the loss of one key player.
Except that the truth is that Elliot's friend is not some sort of connoisseur, but rather, he is a dilettante, a tourist and an interloper who is only interested in his own self-aggrandizement through his broad demonstrations of his aestheticism. And if that fey bastard doesn't want to come watch the Jays next year, then that's just fine by me.