Cubans coming to Butler Park, a don’t miss game

Dave Thompson is a Trail Times columnist

This is the longest day of the year and it leads to perhaps the busiest weekend of the year at Butler Park. Until the Senior Men’s Provincial Championships, at any rate.

The confusion has all been cleared up on the Senior Orioles’ website, and yes, the Cubans are coming. The senior men’s only home game in over two months will go Sunday at 4 p.m. at Butler.

Sunday’s contest will be the last of almost a month’s worth of warmup games for the touring Union de Reyes Matanzas before they start play in the Grand Forks International tournament early next week. It will also be part of a much-needed baseball weekend for the Orioles, who are hosting the provincial tournament during Aug. 2-4, and who will have only six more guaranteed games in the 40 days between Sunday and the B.C. championship.

Lots of other good baseball at Butler in the near future forecast, though. Minor playoffs have just gotten under way, and two 13-U games, played on the slightly downsized field created only for that age group, are scheduled for 10 a.m and 2 p.m., Saturday.

Check the Trail Youth Baseball website for information on playoff games in both divisions next week.

Before that, the very competitive all-star 16-U Orioles will work on moving up from second place in their division of the Spokane American Legion league with a doubleheader Saturday. Games are at 1 and 3 p.m.

All of the above weather permitting, of course. Strange that we will be dropping a dozen degrees off both the highs and lows of recent days now that summer has arrived.

Rain is predicted to be sparse, especially on Sunday, so plan on be there to welcome the first – in my memory, anyway – full Cuban team to our bright little baseball centre along the river.

• I was very impressed with Carey Price’s pure humanity when he comforted and supported a young boy, whose extended family stepped in after his mother died before she was able to fulfill a promise to get him a meeting with the Habs’ all world goaltender, a couple of months ago.

A little less impressed that the NHL dragged the kid on stage during their biggest off-ice promotion of the year on Wednesday.

I am sure some of the intention, particularly on Price’s part, was entirely heartfelt. Not so sure some of the intention was not to exploit the attention the previous meeting between Price and the boy – only public because of family video, posted for the public by the family – rather than as a commercial venture.

Carey Price is a well grounded, genuinely nice person, by all accounts (It might make his job easier if, not having a Larry Robinson around to temper the action in his crease, he was a little less nice on game days). He may have had to be convinced to take part in the, “show,” in which he was involved for the benefit of warm feelings from its fans for the NHL.

Nevertheless, placing a still fragile kid in that very stressful condition was probably not done even mostly with the kid’s best interests top of mind. Unless, of course he was rehearsed and paid – like a child movie extra. Then, it seems, to me, anyway, it was mostly, or entirely, bogus, made for TV melodrama.

Look up the original happening on line. It truly is heart warming, and revealing of the quality of Price, who seemed genuinely a bit surprised and taken by the moment and reacted awesomely. It isn’t, though, something that should have been replayed for applause, or laughs, or, as it turned out, tears. Just lacking a bit of honest humanity, to be honest.

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