I've been absorbed with baseball lately. So sue me.
Meantime . . . it was refreshing to hear new Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo's comments of the other day, and to see him sign Andre Barrett, even if that deal isn't guaranteed.
It's not so much that Barrett has earned it -- he has, and at 24 years old, he might even have an upside -- but that Colangelo has made this move, the first of consequence of his tenure here, right after displaying considerable transparency (for a GM, that is) regarding plans for the upcoming draft and the possible re-signing of Mike James. Transparency and action -- now there's a combination his counterpart with the Leafs hasn't been able to accomplish. You could even argue John Ferguson Jr., with the plan that only he knows, doesn't even try.
Colangelo may well have something to say, at some point and probably much more privately, about where Sam Mitchell went last night, ripping his players (again) after the latest Raptors meltdown:
"There's no words I can say that would be ... The same thing happens all the time. We move the ball for 46 or 47 minutes and get the lead, the last two or three minutes we don't move the ball. We foul too much; 53 free throws? How are you going to win?" wondered a frustrated Mitchell.
Boston had seven points off free throws in the last minute of play. Mitchell said late in the game he told his team that if Boston scored they should call a timeout right away. Instead, they in-bounded the ball, then called a timeout; a move that wasted precious seconds.
Mitchell said his players don't foul in practice, but when the game starts, it's a different story.
Asked if players are rattled, guard Mike James replied, "If you're on the court and you're nervous and you're scared to perform ... then you shouldn't be playing this game. You should be taking up chess or something like that."
I was almost beginning to waver a little bit in the reckoning re Mitchell, who is a decent enough fellow with very little to work with. But with the Raptors two weeks away from their official expiration date, nothing to play for, Chris Bosh on the verge of outright shutdown for the year and there's Mitchell sending Eric Williams out to start ahead of Joey Graham, and giving Rafael Araujo all of six minutes of p.t., shouldn't he be taking some of the blame instead of putting it on his players?
I've got a new rule for Mitchell and Ferguson, and it goes like this: the more they talk, the less reason there is to listen.