Old mail found to get you through a slow day
I have to tell you, that would have been an A1 weekend at the ballyard, no? A million homers Saturday, the one-hit shutout Sunday? Can’t imagine much better.
Anyway, on a week where Birth Week ends today officially, I’m Tennis Boy on Tuesday and Wednesday (that ought to be a hoot) and finish up with the big national team games here against France on Thursday and Friday, here’s the old mail I found to get us through the morning stuff.
I know there's more mail in there, saw it at the end of the day yesterday and I'll get to it when I can. Promise.
Q: Simple question: Why is Jose Calderon so hard to trade? By now, it's no secret the Raptors are trying very hard to move Jose and having little luck. Yes, Jose is a bad defender, is over-paid and is too careful with the ball, but he is a low-mistake point guard who can take care of the ball and shoots well. Surely, there must be a team who wants him?!
Kate M, Ottawa
A: I’m not sure he’s “so hard to trade” at all; there is a fair bit of interest out there – I know for a fact Indy’s called a few times – and it could be just a matter of the Raptors waiting at a lull time in the summer to get the best offer.
Q: Hey Doug. I have a question concerning Rookie contracts. I was under the impression that the contracts were standardized based on where the player was taken in the draft - top 3 guys make more than bottom 3 sort of thing. Yet we read that rookie players are in contract negotiations or working things out. Barring a hold out or extenuating circumstances like Rickey Rubio, shouldn’t rookie contracts require very little negotiating/time to complete?
Ryan M, Ottawa
A: Actually, there’s a 20 per cent “negotiating” window upwards in rookie-scale contracts. It’s generally a given that the player will get it but sometimes – as was the case in Memphis, I believe it was, earlier this season – teams try to get out of paying the extra. It’s rarely a sticking point, though.
Q: Hey Doug. Quick question. With all the young guys the Raps have now, there seems to be a strong friendship forming with the core guys. Do you recall a time when the Raps a core group of guys who worked well together on the court and off it?
Zack B, Singapore
A: I do. The group of Vince, Alvin, Muggsy, Dell, Oak, AD and Kevin Willis was pretty close; as was the 2007 team that had Darrick Martin as its ringleader.
Q: Hi Doug. I'm a recent transplant from Mississauga living in London UK (as of January 2010). Each morning I still read my thestar.com/sports including your blog. I need to stay true to my roots.
Just read your note on Raptors/Nets O2 Arena.
HOW DO I GET TICKETS?!?!?!
Omair R, London, UK
A: You’ll wait until after the actual schedule is released on Aug. 10 and then wait to see what’s up.
Q: Hey Doug. You mentioned that Amir was the only guy in town and that he came in for some weights and shooting. I'm guessing by the "only one" you mean that he was there with an unknown workout buddy/rebounder to spot him and pass the ball back after shots. My question is if the Raptors have staff around to do that stuff or if Amir just brings a friend or someone he pays to assist him? Either way, how can I get that job?
Paul C, Brantford
A: It’s been my experience – and was the case with Amir this week – that they have friends who are in town with them who hang out in the gym doing that kind of stuff. If worse came to worse, I know the hard-working souls on the back-of-house staff would be called on to help out.
Q: Doug, not so much basketball related as it is a question about local newspaper reporting. In the Miami sports sections I've been reading, the new Big Three are being lionized. There's nary a criticism. Countless Championship rings are being polished, the Hall of Fame awaits, and one would think all three had taken a Ghandi-like vow of poverty for giving up what's really a pittance of their salary to make this NBA "miracle" possible. At the same time, the Miami media are criticizing fans and media in other parts of North America (particularly in Toronto and Cleveland) for being blind to this and not seeing the awesome virtues of these virtuous, professional gentlemen and for having the audacity to question their desires and motives.
Given the differences in reactions, my question is, how much are sports reporters influenced by community feelings and sentiments. (A Miami sports reporter that said something negative about the Heat would probably be tarred and feathered.) Do editors or publishers "guide" reporters slants? After all, the goal is to sell papers.
Joe S, Kingston
A: I don’t know if it’s “guiding” really but there is a tendency for some columnists and reporters to get caught up in the emotion of something as substantial as what transpired on the Miami sporting landscape this summer. Not saying it’s right or that it happens all the time but it does happen.
But I also don’t think true professionals care much about being “tarred and feathered” and in fact, some quite relish it.