Friday, October 15, 2010

QB 1

When Casey Printers was released by the Lions on Wednesday, there was immediate discussion that he may land in Winnipeg.

This was two days after Steven Jyles had improbably snatched victory from the hands of defeat by rallying the Blue and Gold to an overtime win despite being 10 points down with one minute left. Jyles started that game on the bench in favour of Alex Brink, but replaced the (horribly) ineffective Brink late in the third quarter.

The fact the Bombers turned to Brink to start the Thanksgiving day game was upsetting to me. It simply didn't make any sense. What had Jyles done to deserve a benching? Since taking over from the injured Buck Pierce, Jyles hadn't put up many wins, but his numbers were solid and he had played effectively and showed plenty of potential. Giving Brink a chance was a careless and shortsighted move...that actually may have worked.

Not as the Bombers planned of course, but because of the way it went down, the seemingly insurmountable deficit that Jyles overcame, the confidence he gained in that performance, and the equally uninspiring performance from Brink...well it adds up to a true pecking order at the games most important position.

You know how sometimes when things get a little heated with a girlfriend or co-worker, and someone says, "Let's just take a few seconds and calm down"? Well, Bomber fans and management need to take that approach right now. Stop and take a breath. Forget about Casey Printers or Ricky Ray or anyone else who might be available. You can't give the local crowd or media the option of calling for another guy. The pecking order is now set. Jyles is #1 and Brink is #2. We can't keep starting over from square one every year.

It's time for some continuity in Bomber land. Give head coach Paul LaPolice a little leash and let Jyles learn and grow.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Is Agent Zero an Option?

That title probably should have read, "Is the Artist Formerly Known as Agent Zero an Option", but that was just way too long.

Now, I'm not saying they should, but...

The Raps have a full trade exception worth about $16 million from the Bosh disaster. Or the Colangelo disaster, depending on your view. The roster, as it currently stands, is, ummmmm, unimposing. Every road team in the league is looking forward to sampling the T.O. nightlife and then waking up and going through the motions for three quarters, and still coming out with the win.

That was harsh, I admit. But the Raptor defence is not. It is soft and toothless and inviting, like a celebrity rehab centre. Or Vesa Toskala.

And there is zero buzz surrounding this team (aside from their haircuts). Nobody in Toronto wants tickets. And why would they? This Raptors edition, even if it exceeds expectations, will still be awful. There are two tiers in the NBA's Eastern Conference. Tier one has nothing but good teams (Miami, Boston, Orlando, Chicago, Altanta, Milwaukee, Charlotte). Tier two (Toronto, Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York, Washington, Cleveland, Indiana, Detroit) is a murderer's row of awfulness. Under no circumstance can any team from tier two possibly defeat a team from tier one in a seven game playoff series. Cannot happen. of them makes some sort of significant trade.

I'm not saying they should. Gilbert Arenas seems like a total moron. The gun charges last year were at best childish and at worst frightening. Faking an injury to sit out a pre-season game a few days ago was painfully ignorant for a guy in his position. And he makes a pile of money (3 more years and a total of $62 million left AFTER this year).

But he was very good. Arenas could still be a top 5 scorer who would absolutely fill a few needs for Toronto. Namely, putting points on the board and butts in the seats. Maybe a change of scenery is all he needs? Okay, maybe a change of scenery and copious amounts of counselling is all he needs?

And the Raptors could easily afford to roll the dice. The Bosh trade exception plus one other contract (Evans or Banks ) would very likely net them Arenas and potentially a first round draft pick. The Wizards are so desperate to get him away from John Wall that they'll be willing to bend over backwards to move him. Their first round pick next year will very likely be in the top five.

It's not like the Raptors are going to realistically compete this year or next anyway, so perhaps this would be the right time to take a chance on the ultimate reclamation project and net an excellent draft choice for their trouble?

I'm not saying they should. I'm just not at all excited to watch the jumper-fest that will be our 2010-11 season. At least with Arenas there would be a story, a reason to tune in. And if, or more likely when, it blew up in our faces, at least we'd have the top five draft pick to point to as a reason it was all worthwhile.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Program Notice

I never saw this as a blog.

It was always a place for me to post my "articles". I'm young(ish), but I'm old school at heart. I didn't want to blog, I wanted to write as if I were applying for a job as a sports columnist. And I did.

I wanted to write for For years I sent them my stories and tried to sell them on their need to hire me as a "super-fan" columnist. They never bit, and so I turned here. Reluctantly.

And I posted articles once a week, stuck to my format, and continued to swim against the trend. Like I said, I'm old school. I was the last guy to get a cell phone. Everyone tells me I need to be on Twitter.

Instead, I continued to tell myself that I could make it happen. I went to school with a lot of these media guys, and look, Eric Duhatschek just told his audience what I've been preaching for years. I was mindful of my criticism, style and content, all with an eye towards something bigger and better.

And while I had this little sabbatical from this space the last couple of months, I realized that I didn't miss the writing. At least not the work I was putting into it. I love sports. I mean, I really love them. The pressure, the stats, the drama. I love cap numbers and sabermetrics. I love the Leafs and Jays, the Raps and Bombers, but I never wear "the goggles". I love the world juniors, NFL Sundays, the baseball playoffs, and the PGA Tour.

What I really missed was talking sports with my friends. I've moved around to a few different places, and each time I've had to leave behind a great group of guys. Sure, we can always text. But "pti was awwsum today" just doesn't cut it.

I never saw this as a blog. Now, this is a blog.