December 07, 2007

Blue Jays Offseason

So far Blue Jays off-season has been full of a lot of noise without much actual activity. All Ricciardi did at the winter meetings was acquire a couple of minor leaguers. However there has been no shortage of rumors. The biggest claims that the Jays are currently in negotiations with the Giants to acquire right handed pitching prospect Tim Lincecum for Alex Rios. I know the first rule of baseball, you can never have enough pitching but I just do not see this trade helping the Jays. Last year the pitching staff blossomed to the point that we now have 4 very quality starting pitchers when healthy – Mcgowan, Halladay, Burnett and Marcum. This is in stark contrast to our lineup which was downright awful for most of last year. Rios was the only bright spot. Unless we acquire another bat or two a lineup without Rios is a scary thought.

The other rumors are that the Jays are in talks with Paul Lo Duca, the former all star catcher for the Mets, and are looking to sign him to a one year deal. Lo Duca is not what he once was but this would still be a great pickup. Greg Zaun is well past his prime now; his defense is flat out embarrassing and his bat has lost a lot of the pop it once had. Ricciardi is also looking at Matt Clement who did not play last year because of injuries. Clement was always a decent pitcher and if Ricciardi could get him on a short term deal for a low price he would be well worth the money. Adding a quality arm for that 5th spot in the rotation would make this pitching staff elite and the Jays a serious contender in the AL.

Posted by dbrait at 02:55 PM | Comments (0)

December 04, 2007

The John Ferguson situation

There has been a big outcry in Toronto over the past few days because of Richard Peddie’s (CEO of Maple Leaf Sports who own the Leafs and Raptors) comments admitting that he made a mistake hiring the inexperienced John Ferguson several years ago.

These comments and this entire situation is idiotic on so many levels. First of all if this was such a mistake and Mr. Peddie is now willing to admit this then why is Ferguson still employed as the Leafs GM? The reason given is that it is the middle of the season, but then one has to question the timing of Peddie’s comments. Is Peddie trying to light a spark under Ferguson? And if so what is Ferguson going to do now? He has his team for the year; it is unlikely the Leafs will be able to make a significant deal at the deadline. At this point criticizing Ferguson does nothing more then distract the Leafs.

Secondly, why did it take so long for Peddie to notice the Ferguson was a brutal GM. Were several seasons of mediocrity in which we traded away our entire future for washed up veterans not enough? Were the first round exits every year in the playoffs not enough?

The fact is Peddie did make a mistake hiring Ferguson, a mistake that has cost the Leafs dearly, but why he decided to let everyone know now is beyond me.

Posted by dbrait at 04:32 PM | Comments (0)

November 28, 2007

NFL Team in Toronto

This past weekend the talk of the possibility of an NFL team in Toronto took off. The speculation was prompted by new CFL commissioner Mark Cohon discussing the likelihood and the implications of an NFL franchise in Toronto in his first state of the league address.

The question everybody is asking now is what would the NFL do to the CFL in Toronto and the league as a whole?

Throughout the weekend there was an outcry on Toronto talk radio and in the Toronto papers over the possible demise of the CFL. The article in the Globe and Mail cites several statistics which are meant to reassure its readers of the CFL’s long term health. These statistics might reassure CFL fans on the surface but upon further investigation of the stats I am not so sure.

The first problem with the information is the timing of the poll; subjects were surveyed right before the Grey Cup, the climax of the CFL season, and right as CFL fans were feeling most defensive with all the recent NFL talk. Therefore these numbers are likely inflated across the board.

Secondly there are a few concerning trends in the stats which the article ignores. The CFL is clearly least popular in Ontario where the popularity numbers are lowest in all of the categories. The CFL is also least popular amongst younger age demographics, the CFL’s future fans.

To me, as a member of the younger generation, I have grown up as an NFL fan watching the NFL. If an NFL franchise were to come to Toronto my tenuous devotion to the Argos would likely disappear. I can honestly say that at least amongst my age demographic in southern Ontario this is the norm. As a result I do not see much hope for the CFL in its flagship market, a market that I do not think the league can live without.

Posted by dbrait at 04:33 PM | Comments (0)

November 18, 2007

Leafs win Battle of Ontario...Finally

It took them four tries to win in the Battle of Ontario but the Leafs finally put together a decent game getting a 3-0 win against the Senators on Saturday night at the ACC. Toskala was masterful in the third, getting better as the game went on against the high powered Sens offense.

This is a huge win for the Leafs. It snaps their 3 game losing streak and gives them a victory over a team who has been close to unbeatable this year. I know it is far to early to start talking about the playoffs but this is the type of game the Leafs are going to have to play to be successful in the post season: solid goal tending, a good defensive performance, especially from the McCabe and Kaberle pairing and good offensive performances Sundin and Tucker.

Posted by dbrait at 07:32 PM | Comments (0)

November 12, 2007

Bargnani to the Bench

Sam Mitchell, in an effort to spark the Raptors after two bad losses to the Bucks and Magic, moved Andrea Bargnani to the bench in favor of Rasho Nesterovic for Friday nights game at Philadelphia. The intent was to give the Raptors a better defensive presence. Despite the lack of progress in that regard the move does appear to have sparked the Raptors. Bargnani's performances have continued to underwhelm , however, the change has opened some things up offensively for other Raptor perimeter players, most notably Anthony Parker . After Mitchell's questionable coaching tactics and game plans in last years playoffs it is good to see one of his moves finally paying off.

Posted by dbrait at 07:30 PM | Comments (0)

November 06, 2007

Weekend in Toronto Sports

Overall it was a good weekend for Toronto sports. The Leafs showed signs of promise with a thrilling 3-2 win Saturday night at Montreal. Toskala was rock solid in net despite starting his second game in consecutive nights; his first back to back starts of the season. Hopefully this performance will erase any doubt about who is our #1 goalie. Expect Toskala to get the nod tonight at Ottawa.

The Raptors opened their 2007 road schedule in style with a romp of the Nets, looking nothing like the Raptors team that lost to the Nets in the playoffs last year. This game was over early as the Raps went into the break with a 15 point lead and never showed any signs of slowing down. Bargnani turned in his second straight impressive performance with 21 points and 6 boards in only 29 minutes. Newly acquired Carlos Delfino led the team with 34 minutes for the second night in a row.

On Sunday the Raps hosted the new look Celtics. Despite a huge game from TJ Ford, 3-4 3pt , 12-21 FG, 32 pts and 5 assists, the Raps were not able to overcome the struggles of Bargnani, 2-13 FG and 9 pts, and the heroics of Ray Allen, 11-16 FG, 7-11 3pt, 33 pts and the game winner in overtime. This game however did show many positives:

1. The Raptors showed that they can hang with the contenders in the east even when their best players struggle; Bosh and Bargnani.
2. 9 different players logged double digit minutes. A team this deep should be well rested down the stretch.
3. The Raptors did not appear completely defensively challenged as previously thought, holding the Celtics to 78 points in regulation and keeping Garnett and Pierce in check.

The Raptors are at Milwaukee tonight and host the Magic on Wednesday.

Posted by dbrait at 10:43 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 04, 2007

Welcome

As a Toronto native all of my life and an avid Toronto sports fan I am going to write about the Toronto sports scene. The blog will focus on the Raptors and the Leafs as they are currently in season but it will also track any Blue Jays off season developments and any other interesting and relevant Toronto sports stories.

Posted by dbrait at 08:32 PM | Comments (0)

October 05, 2007

Test

Hello World!http://www.umich.edu

Posted by dbrait at 07:22 PM