TORONTO – Toronto’s mayor has taken a page from Jose Bautista’s playbook in kicking off a friendly baseball bet with his Kansas City counterpart.
John Tory recreated the right fielder’s now iconic bat flip after accepting the challenge issued by Sly James ahead of Friday night’s opening game of the American League Championship Series between the Royals and the Blue Jays.
The bat splashed down in City Hall’s reflecting pool.
Tory said he is putting up three kinds of Toronto-brewed craft beer for the bet on the outcome of the series.
He said the gift comes with a warning.
“He will discover three things, one of them related to the beer: Number One, our beer is stronger; Number Two, our pitchers are stronger; and Number Three, our hitters are stronger.”
James said Thursday he would wager a selection of ribs and barbecue sauce from three Kansas City restaurants and called on Tory to make his contribution “something good.”
He also boldy predicted a Kansas City victory in the best-of-seven series and that he wouldn’t lose the bet.
“I wouldn’t start getting your knives and forks out, however, because we plan to win this thing,” he said at an outdoor news conference in the Midwest city surrounded by Royals’ fans.
James didn’t offer any suggestions on what Tory should bet, but noted there is one thing Kansas City doesn’t need from his Canadian counterpart.
“I will warn you in advance we have our own maple syrup, so something else maybe.”
Tory said he’s inclined to ignore James’ request and send maple syrup anyway because whatever they have in Kansas City “can’t be the real thing.”