The start of the weekend mail, again
If this is the weekend, must be mail time, right?
Same drill as always, a wee bit today to get your started and more tomorrow although the in-box is a bit empty and could use some stuff.
You’ve got today to do it ‘cause I have a lazy afternoon at the ballyard to multi-task.
Q: Hey Doug, I trust and hope that you are enjoying the summer. I was thinking since this blog has everything from sports, to traveling to food destinations both here and aboard, you should call the "Raptors Blog" to the "Mother Star Daily Blog" maybe until NBA season starts.
My question is if the NBA season is cancelled, what happens with Draft.... (I Keed, I Keed)
Okay seriously do you anything to prepare for an NBA season yourself in terms of traveling, like making your bed uncomfy like in most hotel rooms, staying up late, practice late evening adult beverage consumption...
Enjoy Your Summer
A L, Mississauga
A: Except for the bed part, that’s pretty much how I prepare myself for, say, Monday. Or Tuesday. Or …
Seriously, though, there isn’t a lot of preparation you can do other than looking at the schedule and seeing where you’ll be when. And that means that, usually, the last thing I want to do in a summer is get on an airplane, fly somewhere and stay in a hotel; convincing Super Wife and Super Son that’s not a good way to spend a summer vacation is an entirely different matter some years.
If there is one thing I try to get accomplished, it’s to relatively coast through the middle part of September because once it starts, it’s go, go, go until July.
Q: So Doug, the fallout from Murdoch's cronies and their phone-hacking antics continues. Truly despicable behavior, I'm sure we agree.
That being said, which player or coach, past or present, do you wish you had more access to?
Not through illegal methods of course, just by happening to end up in the next booth for adult beverages, being given unprecedented grunt access to practices and locker rooms, having bionic hearing, the power of invisibility or whatnot.
Jonathan M, Tokyo
A: I think I’d kind of wish I had access to Jalen Rose, actually. Sure, Oak would be on that list by I imagine J lived life to, um, the fullest. Would have been fun to see how he interacted with people when he was out and teammates when no one was around. I (Heart) Jalen.
Q: Hey Doug, another question:
What's your opinion on W.P. Kinsella's novel "Shoeless Joe?" While many know the movie that was based off it - Field of Dreams - I found the book to be quite a good read. Where else can you find a novel that features baseball, ghosts, J.D. Salinger, and a son's relationship with his father, by a Canadian, no less?
Your thoughts on this entry to the sports-fiction library?
Andrew P, Toronto
A: It’s been a very long time since I read any sports fiction but Shoeless Joe would be at the very, very top of my list. Great book by a great writer I once interviewed and found quite interesting.
As I’ve said, I’m not that big a fiction reader but I would highly recommend Kinsella’s Iowa Baseball Confederacy and Nick Hornby’s Fever Pitch as a personal Top 3.
We’re going to do something as a group with the Kinsella stuff as soon as I figure out what. Look for it.
Q: If there is no NBA what are the chances that you get assigned to cover the pucks?
K J, Toronto
I think they know better and I imagine the kabillion people who do it at our place and are far more knowledgeable than I may not appreciate an interloper. And I’m pretty sure the readers would revolt. Or at least some of them.
Q: Hi Doug! You patted yourself on the back for having had the foresight (or was it luck) to book off from your baseball reporting duties on Wednesday - the day the Jays announced a couple of trades. You identified this as a "veteran move", and I'm intrigued, cause one of the truly great things about becoming a Person Of A Certain Age is that you acquire an appreciation for, if not the ability to actually perform, "veteran moves". So, thinking back, can you share with us one or two of the better ones you've witnessed - either your own or someone else's - that are worthy of our recognition. Thanks!
Lorie P, London
A: Oh, I think oldsters who schedule minor surgery a week or so before training camp in any sport so they miss that drudgery are among the wisest “veteran move” guys I know.
On a personal note, I’m kind of proud of knowing when the best time is to fly to avoid stupid lines (never go to the U.S. from Pearson early Monday morning, for instance) or what hotels to stay at for proximity to, well, to places of interest with stools.
Q: Doug, looking for some insight as to why the Raps didn't make offers to Wright or Dorsey. Wright seemed to have qualities oft-desired in reserves: defence, can handle the ball in a pinch. And Dorsey always acquitted himself well in limited minutes against often bigger opponents. Suspect Raps will have to go out and sign similar players anyway, why not stick with these guys?
Gary M, Ottawa
A: They may very well. The decision not to make qualifying offers kept some money free that may come in handy whenever the next free agent market opens.
But, and I will say this again, the last coaching staff was not nearly as enamoured of Wright’s defence as fans were, there were blown assignments and missed rotations that were an issue and his offensive skills certainly didn’t make up for them.
And, yes, Dorsey is undersized by a large margin but there might be some interest in him as a 15th man if the price is right. But, again, he was okay in limited minutes, as you say, and no one saw an awful lot of room for improvement; they might want to go with someone younger and taller as, likely, the fifth or six big.
Q: Doug, speaking of the 2012 Olympics, how good is Canada's women’s team? Any chance of a medal? When do qualifications start?
Peter G, Scarborough
A: It’s a very good team, actually, although it’s still in the process of coming together right now at a training camp in British Columbia.
I think a medal’s a stretch but I do think they have a better shot at competing for one than the men; and I think they have a better shot at qualifying than the men, too.
The qualification tournament is late September in Columbia, there are 10 teams (the United States isn’t going because it’s already qualified by virtue of its world championship) and only the tournament-winning team gets an automatic berth at the 2012 London Olympics.
But teams that finish second, third and fourth move on to a last-chance Olympic qualifier next summer and I fully expect Canada to be among the top four at the very least.
Q: Hi Doug. I read that Kevin Love was being asked his opinion on the Minnesota Timberwolves coaching search. Is this kind of contact between a player and his team allowed during the lockout? What kind of contact is allowed and not allowed during the lockout?
Matt K, Ottawa
A: I’m not sure of the specifics of the story you’re talking about because I don’t recall seeing it but if it wasn’t before the lockout was imposed, the Timberwolves will pay a fine because teams are not allowed to have any contact whatsoever with players during the lockout.
If they did, they’ll pay but if it happened before July 1, it’s all cool.
Q: Doug: Has there ever been a discussion in the NBA about the long-term cost of lockouts? It seems as though a cost-benefit analysis of a lockout should also be clear and on the table. Either side could negotiate to save/make an extra billion dollars, but if they lose a season and kill what has been great momentum they might lose 2 billion in the long-term, making it silly to have argued in the first place.
James B, Vancouver
A: They crunched every number imaginable even before July 1 without question. And while it may seem silly to us sitting on the sidelines, it’s obviously not silly to either of the sides since they can’t come to an agreement – yet.
Q: Hello Mr. Smith, been reading the blog for long time but never felt I had a good question to ask.
My question today is in the recent Alex Anthopoulos day-light robbery (theft maybe be a better word to use but hey, I'm no English major), do you think there will be a time where other GMs in baseball who will be reluctant to perform transactions with the Blue Jays?
And also, has there been a case in sports history where that has happened to another team?
Love the blog!
Hamza Z, Mississauga
A: No, I don’t. Any GM who refuses to do business with a counterpart because of some perception that the counterpart “won” an earlier trade should probably be fired. That’s not the way to do business, at all.
And I cannot imagine it ever happening in any sport.
Q: You asked, so I tried.
What is the all-time Raptors line-up, position by position, regardless of when they played?
Thanks for all you do for us 'Irregulars,' and all those others who enjoy your work - Raptors, NBA or other!
Tim H, Windsor
A: Okay, this is mine as of today, and we’re only counting what the players did in the time they were in Toronto, right? Not before or after?
I’m going with:
Tough to leave Oak off, for sure, and Christie gets the nod over Tracy McGrady because Tracy’s best time was after he left.
Commence disagreeing, Irregulars.