If I’m John Ferguson Jr. this morning, I’m reaching for the Pepto. Kyle Wellwood scores two goals and sparkles in a preseason win over the Habs, and after the game he says this:
“I definitely don’t think I’m going to make the team.”
What a hockey culture here in the CoHU, where a 42-year-old without a contract is cheered whenever he touches the puck, and a promising kid who might be on the cusp of the big time – and we’ll never know until he gets the chance -- has already resigned himself to losing out. (For all your hockey notes and a chance to rant yourself, go here).
Same goes for Alex Steen. Matt Stajan.
Nothing against Steve Thomas, but the Leafs have to start giving the young thoroughbreds a real chance, instead of this spirit-breaking charade. (For a start, Ferguson should be running down to the dressing room at practice this morning, telling Wellwood he’s wrong -- because you know Pat Quinn ain't about to do it.)
I thought Rick Vaive was going to step up to the plate on the Leafs broadcast and hit one over the wall last night, but it turned out to be just a stand-up double. Ricky, man, we need you. You’ve been a 50-goal scorer -- three times, a shining beacon during the darkest of the Ballard years, just the kind of guy this team could need come February when they’re flailing around on tired legs and the only thing notable is the injury list. You’ve got the cred. You could be the voice of reason. Amid the pumping and stumping for Marchment and Thomas – somebody finally thought to give Gary Green his own microphone, a clear case of subtraction by addition -- there was Vaive, noting that the Leafs need the kids more than ever in this new-look, faster-paced NHL. Kehoe finished off by asking the question: “How much ice time is a young guy going to get with a coach who is very loyal to his veterans?”
I think Kyle Wellwood just gave us the answer.
In case you missed it: Who spiked Raffy Palmeiro’s sarsparilla? Not me, says Miguel Tejada.
On the PVR: These final days of the American League are gruesomely compelling, in a Milhouse-contemplating-lines-in-a-parking-lot kind of way (“I fear to watch, yet I cannot turn away”). Every night we put ‘em in the wash, and every night one sock -- Red, White, it doesn’t matter -- is sacrificed by the sock gods. Last night it was the Pale Hose (again). Chicago's tale of woe: bases loaded, one out in the ninth at home against the going-nowhere Twins, and nothing; two on, one out in the 10th – and silence. Home fans streamed for the parking lot as Minny scored three in the 11th. Even Sox broadcaster Hawk Harrelson is making like the human mute button these days: “I tell ya. The way we have pitched, the way we have hit, the way we have fielded, we really don’t deserve any better than we’re getting.”
The standings: Yankees win, Red Sox idle but lose closer Keith Foulke for the year (Yanks up by one game); Chicago loses, Cleveland wins (White Sox by 1 ½); LA Angels win, Oakland idle (Angels by 2 ½) … Wild-card: Indians by 1 ½ over Boston).