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HOT CORNER: Old Home Week harness racing expected to provide lots of excitement

It’s time for MLB to scrap interleague play


Published on August 12, 2017

Old Home Week harness racing is underway in Charlottetown, and it promises to be one heck of a week for everyone involved.

Joe MacIntyre
Jason Simmonds/TC Media

Two Gold Cup and Saucer elimination races, the world driving championship final on Aug. 18 and the Gold Cup and Saucer final on Aug. 19 will have fans flocking to the P.E.I. capital in the coming week.
Race secretary Gerard Smith has once again assembled two great fields of horses for the eliminations on Saturday and Monday, and there may even be enough speed amongst the 14 entered in the eliminations to produce a miracle mile of 1:50 or better.
Six of the 14 have records of 1:49:4 or better, including a lifetime best of 1:47:2 from Always At My Place who is in Saturday’s elimination. Smith deserves credit for getting the quality horses to the East Coast as it is a long and tough trip to ship horses from as far away as Toronto and New York.
Twelve of the 14 are ship-ins, with no guarantee that they will even make enough to cover the expenses to get here. The prestige that comes with the Gold Cup and Saucer, along with enjoying a week on P.E.I., has a lot to do with attracting some of the top horsemen to Charlottetown.
It is always a great week of harness racing, and this year will be as well.

MLB’s best player
Is Major League Baseball’s (MLB) best player also its smallest player?
José Altuve is five-foot-six tall, and is the shortest player in MLB along with Colorado’s Alex Amarista.
Altuve just may be the best player in the game, or at least his numbers would indicate so. He is hitting at a .365 clip, the best in baseball, and that is after seasons of .341, .313, and .338 over the last three seasons. At last count he had over 100 more hits than any other MLB player since 2014. He also plays great defence, and is a great leader on a Houston Astros’ team that looks to be contenders over the next few years.
Altuve is putting up the numbers in what has become a big man’s game. Of the 750 players making up the 25-man rosters on the 30 MLB teams, 628, or almost 84 per cent, are six-feet tall or taller. Altuve is proof that size does not matter.
Boston’s Doug Fister and the Yankee’s Dellin Betances , both at six-foot-eight, are the tallest players in the majors. New York Yankees’ rookie Aaron Judge is listed at six-foot-seven.  

Interleague baseball
Interleague baseball should come to an end if for no other reason than it is not fair to the American League.
When an American League team plays in a National League city, they lose the designated hitter, which weakens their lineup and forces that team to have their pitcher hit – something that he does not do all year.
A star pitcher facing 100-mile-per-hour fastballs only a few times a year carries too much risk that is just not fair.
In an American League park, the National League team gains an advantage by using the DH, which strengthens their lineup against a usual lineup of the AL team.
That is not to mention the lost rivalries in each league. Toronto and Detroit visit each other only once per season, and that has taken away one of the best American League rivalries of the past. Wouldn’t Jays’ fans on the West Coast of Canada enjoy a second series with Seattle?
I cannot think of one good reason why MLB has interleague play, and it is time to scrap it. Watching this weekend’s Toronto-Pittsburgh inter-league series will be about as exciting as watching the tide come in.
Have a great week!

Joe MacIntyre is a Summerside resident. His column appears every Saturday. Comments and suggestions can be sent to j-mac@eastlink.ca.