Attention Canadians who think beer commercials are the height of our nation’s cultural contribution: I know that there are some real jerks in this world trying to (pardon the Quebecois, but) cock block your maple boner from expressing its love for Toronto Blue Jays third baseman and British Columbia native Brett Lawrie.

These over-reacting talking heads bring up words like xenophobia and inherent racism to describe a simple and pure national pride that can’t help but emerge when one of our own excels on a national, nay international, stage.

Well, during last night’s Sunday Night Baseball broadcast on ESPN, television analyst and former manager Bobby Valentine provided the perfect comeback for defending allegations that Lawrie’s popularity has just as much, if not more, to do with his birthplace than anything he accomplishes on a baseball diamond.

When speaking of New York Mets roster expansion callup Val Pascucci, whom Valentine had the pleasure of managing in Japan, the former Mets manager joked:

I don’t like him because he’s Italian. I like him because I’m Italian.

And now, this is all Canadians need to say when a kill joy like me accuses you of insecure and disingenuous nationalism for cheering on Brett Lawrie.

I don’t like him because he’s Canadian. I like him because I’m Canadian.

By the time anyone figures out exactly what that means, the conversation will have already passed through several other topics, and you can rest justified in your Lawrie love. Top shelf.

Photo courtesy of Andrew Stoeten’s mad photoshopping skillz.