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ARLINGTON, Texas — Television broadcaster Harold Reynolds said Monday that he didn’t mean to upset Canadians with a comment he made during Game 3 of the American League Division Series.

After a foul ball by Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista in the fourth inning of Sunday’s 5-1 win over the Texas Rangers, the FOX commentator took a shot at Canada’s baseball ability.

“We were talking about foul balls in the stands up in Toronto, and because there’s not a lot of people that grew up playing baseball in Canada, they’re not used to catching a lot of balls in the stands … not many people catching that one, anyway,” Reynolds said.

The Rangers won the first two games in the best-of-five series at Rogers Centre before the series moved to Globe Life Park for Games 3 and 4.

On Monday, Reynolds said he didn’t mean to upset anyone.

“I never ever want to offend people,” he said before Game 4. “That’s never the nature of my heart, that’s not who I am. So it was never (meant) to be offensive, not at all. That’s it.”

His on-air comment drew the ire of many from north of the border and quickly picked up steam on social media. Former star slugger Larry Walker, a native of Maple Ridge, B.C., posted his thoughts on Twitter.

“I won 7 gold gloves. I think part of winning them was cause I could catch,” he tweeted from his verified account.

Reynolds said he was surprised at how the comment became such a hot talking point.

“I don’t have much to say about it,” he said. “I don’t want to inflame this thing. It was just a simple comment that was a joke in the game.”

Baseball Canada also sent out a tweet during Game 3 that included pictures of Walker, Colorado Rockies slugger Justin Morneau of New Westminster, B.C., and Toronto native Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds.

“Amazing how we produced three MVPs for a country that doesn’t play a lot of baseball! #TeamC.” 

Reynolds was asked if he had any words for Canadians who may have been upset by the comment.

“Happy Thanksgiving,” he said. “I mean that’s it. I don’t have much more. I’ll talk about it during the game if it comes up. I had no idea this was going to go (viral).” 

Game 4 was scheduled for later Monday afternoon. A deciding Game 5, if necessary, would be played Wednesday in Toronto.

The Blue Jays have two Canadians on their playoff roster: Toronto native Russell Martin and Dalton Pompey of Mississauga, Ont.,

Reynolds spent 12 seasons in Major League Baseball. The two-time all-star won three Gold Glove awards.


Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.

Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press

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