Wednesday night's pregame ceremony raising banners for Salming, Kelly and the late Hap Day provoked this from one e-mailer:
The fact they chose #21 in honor of Salming and overlooked Bobby Baun, who also wore the number and played on (four) Stanley Cup winners and scored one of the most famous Stanley Cup goals ever. Baun was there, invited I believe by the Leafs, but why not twin the honor with Salming like they did with Kelly and Hap Day?
FRANK LENNON/TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO Baun: Deserving of a banner?
Baun was one of 11 Leafs to play on their four Stanley Cup winners of the 1960s. He played with Toronto from 1956 to '67, went away in the expansion draft (to the California Seals) and came back for a last hurrah from 1970 to '73. That's a lot of meritorious service, and that goal in the 1964 Cup finals will always be recalled by fans of a certain vintage. On the other hand, it's not like Baun was anything other than an rugged, stay at home defender. That goal was his combination Henderson/Willis Reed Moment - Baun never made an all-star team. Does he belong up there with Bower, Mahovlich et al? Sounds like a (long) weekend assignment (for anyone over 40, that is).
One last read. Dave Feschuk's column on the NBA's shorter training-camp practice regimen got this rejoinder from Mark Cuban: I wish I was allowed to write this.
One last letter to Gary Bettman. Aaron Reynolds, part of the JABS Baseball Roundtable, sounds off in Batter's Box on the advertising links on the NHL's redesigned website, including scam survey offers and pirated streaming TV:
Gary, someone who works for you is approving this junk and allowing it to be put on the NHL's website. It's a serious disservice to your fans, and a major embarassment for the NHL -- this is the league's flagship site, supposedly the number one place to go on the internet to read about hockey. Why are your people tarnishing the reputation of the NHL for a relatively miniscule amount of money?
One last story. In the current (October issue) When Saturday Comes, a look into the uncertainty surrounding the age of Newcastle's recent signing Oba Martins, reported to be six years older than what was listed on the website of his former club, Inter Milan. Apparently the discrepancy was not a result of a doctored birth certificate, but had its roots in the Nigerian Football Association's website, where the webmaster was in a dispute over being paid and hadn't bothered to update erroneous information:
Suddenly the webmaster was public enemy number one in Nigeria. The culprit was traced and theatrically arrested, with police staging a dawn raid at his house. He was put in jail until he'd agree to cooperate by revealing the password needed to change the site.
Sports around town. Up at York, it's the final women's hockey tuneup before another season starts next week - U of T meets York. And oh, but we have to mention it - the 0-5 U of T football Blues, minus their suspended coach, meet Western at Birchmount Stadium.
Watching. Yankees at Tigers, Friday, 8 p.m., Sportsnet. You mean the playoffs are on? And the Tigers are in them?
Punters' corner. I'm giving Jinks the long weekend off from the arduous task of handicapping. Happy Thanksgiving.