Big League Stew - MLB

A terribly timed meeting of world leaders may have forced a mad scramble that eventually produced the oddity of three American League games being played under American League rules in a National League ballpark that will be full of the other team's fans.

But one of the most-anticipated days on baseball's regular-season schedule is finally here.

And after all the confusion, the contest will boil down to this simple reality — one man, one mound and 60 feet, 6 inches between him and the franchise he once defined.

Friday night, Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Roy Halladay(notes) — and the 12 seasons and 148 wins he racked up north of the border — will take the hill against his old Toronto Blue Jays. He'll battle familiar faces as Jays fans sit home and battle emotions over the old windup they were meant to witness before the G20 summit interfered. Meanwhile, a crowd of over 45,000 newly indoctrinated Doc fans will occupy south Philly and play the part of the indifferent new beau during an awkward run-in with the old boyfriend at the mall.

Forget about Joe Torre facing off against the Yankees as a Dodger; this weekend's real reunion drama is contained within this rematch of the '93 World Series.

As you might imagine, the matchup has inspired a few bouts of keyboard-tapping. Some Toronto fans are busy being angry while others are considering what they lost. Down in Philly, they say they know what this start will really mean to Halladay.  

Meanwhile, Canadian scribes are treating this like the media event of the summer. They're sitting down with Brandy Halladay, launching investigations to see if Philly fans are treating Doc well and even asking the man himself what he misses most about T-Town. (Answer: "The weather.") 

Most famously, Kathy Anderson — she of the inspired "Blue Jays Rap" — has penned a wistful folk song (above) about Jays fans meeting up with Halladay again. It's making the blog rounds and takes a little while to warm up to, but contains of a heck of a hook. 

"If the G20 summit wasn't such a little *****
/at the end of June we'd all have the privilege to watch you pitch

OK, so the tune implies that this reunion won't go down easier than the Labatt's will Friday night.

Still, give Jays fans a break. It's a confusing time for them. And it'll be a confusing night.

The worst part of it all? They'll all have to do this again next season when Halladay and the Phils come to Canada on a trip that was promised after this year's switcheroo. 

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