Legend has it there exists a stone, one pebble among thousands, whose touch will turn metal into gold. David Price's first game as a Toronto Blue Jay was golden: a 5-1 domination of the Minnesota Twins to bring his new team into a playoff standing. He, in just a couple of days, has personified grace, class and humility coupled with a larger-than-life excellence on the playing field. Toronto, this is your guy. Guy, this is your Toronto. AA's bravura managerial performance along with the fiercest offence in baseball have brought him here. With Price, catching and passing the Yankees before October seems plausible- even likely if one or two of the baseball gods' chips fall Toronto's way.
And who was in the stands, watching David Price as a fan? Kevin Freakin' Durant (author's note: the 'Freakin' is an interjection by the author and is in no way Mr. Durant's nickname, at least not yet) that's who! This abominably talented basketball player, here for Caribana and to hang with Drake, will likely be the most coveted free agent in all of basketball a short year or so from now. How likely is it that the recent hiring of a long-time OKC assistant coach by the Raptors is part of a visionary 'make Kevin feel at home' plan conjured up by clever management types?
Speaking of home, in the stands for his first game as a Blue Jay were David Price's parents- one black, one white, looking very much at home in multicultural, multi-everything Toronto. Perhaps the city itself, located in a tolerant, non-gun-crazy country was also a big part of the lure bringing David Price to Toronto. He shows every sign of appreciating the ambience. But will appreciation grow into commitment?
David Price must be quietly and thoroughly allowed to see all that Toronto and Canada have to offer. The neighbourhoods. The schools. The Beach. The Annex. High Park. All of it. Ted Rogers himself, if necessary, should come back from the grave, and, in a kindly ghostly way, put an arm around Mr. Price and tell him the money is here. Name your price. Name your term. We trust you to be fair. In the meantime look around. Imagine. No hard sell necessary. To borrow from real estate guru Floyd Wickman: cities sell cities; salespeople screw up sales. Vanderbilt grad David Price is nothing if not intelligent. He will know a good thing when he sees it.
If Price stays, the Blue Jays are virtually assured of contending status for the next few years. If Price stays, Toronto's sports profile takes a quantum leap: the likes of Kevin Durant and other touchstone types will be encouraged to take the plunge into warm Canadian waters. One senses opportunity: the beginning of a time when new legends are, and will be, written.
A skein of glorious June weather here in Peterborough. This entire week has been a succession of sunny, summer days, not too hot and good for sleeping in the evenings. I'm building a roofed patio behind a house in Heritage park. The sky glows blue between the rafters. Robins bob nearby and I have visitations from a mushy, slobbering Rottweiler. She waits for me in the morning, loves me up, then, reassured that I'm at my post, returns to Mikey, her master. A literary agent, Sam Hiyate of the Rights Factory, has said he will have a look at Waking Up Gilligan. The niggling feeling that this could to something and the inbox vigil continue...