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HEADLINES & SIDELINES: When old school rivals collide

We’ve all heard the stories about the old geographical rivalries in Pictou County – sports or otherwise – that have been passed down through the ages. People from one area don’t care much for people from this other area, and the feeling is probably mutual (so the legends say).
That’s probably not as intense as it used to be – although I suspect it hasn’t gone away completely – but for one weekend at least, the Stellarton/New Glasgow baseball rivalry is back on, and there will be a provincial title at stake, in addition to the bragging rights. 
The Stellarton Albions are hosting the Tier 1 15-and-under provincial baseball championships Aug. 16-18, and joining the Albions will be the New Glasgow Sullivan Fuels Kinsmen team. A total of six squads from across mainland Nova Scotia will be competing for the Nova Scotia banner, none of them from the Halifax or Cape Breton regions.
At the very least, we can expect that if Stellarton and New Glasgow meet in the playoff round, there’ll be some added juice to the festivities.
Sure, we can talk about sportsmanship, may the best team win and blah-blah-blah, but neither local team wants to lose to the other one, especially. Losing to Bridgewater or Hantsport or Truro would be bad enough, but falling short in a big game to a Pictou County rival?
Both teams should find that idea extremely distasteful, because every time you see that kid from the other team at the mall (not that kids go to the mall anymore) or in school, they’ll know that you know that they know. And nobody wants that, unless you’re the winner, of course.
Other Random Sports Thoughts:
• Interesting baseball fact I heard recently that I don’t recall hearing before: the San Diego Padres, who came into existence in 1969, have never had a pitcher throw a no-hitter. They are the only Major League Baseball team to have not done so.
• One thing about baseball – and fastball – that I have known a long time: bad defence creates a lot of problems for a ball club. If you make too many errors in the field and keep giving the other team extra outs when they’re at bat, you’re probably not going to win. Routine plays shouldn’t be made complicated.
• There I was at the grocery store, picking out strawberries, when some guy yells my name (he pronounced it wrong, as most do, but I’m used to being called ‘Ashdale’. Add-shah--dee is another one I hear, which actually makes more sense, if you really think about it, but why would you want to?). 
He wanted I know if the Yankees can beat the Houston Astros in the baseball playoffs.
I thought about it for a second, wondering what to say because it wasn’t a question you’d expect to hear in the produce section, and then said, “I don’t know”, because, after all, it’s only mid-August and there’s a long way to go. Then I thought another moment and said “Houston” and he asked me if I wanted to make a wager on it, which I might have done if I'd known who the guy even was. I talk to a lot of folks, you see, and the memory isn’t what it used to. Just like almost everything else.
The Yankees have won a lot games and beat up bad pitchers with their hitting prowess. But they don’t have the starting pitchers to be successful deep into the playoffs, where other teams they meet will probably have better pitching. So, the smart money won’t be on Yankees.

Kevin Adshade is a writer with The News. His column appears each week.

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