All right, folks, here’s the deal.
I’ve got about four questions leftover to get us through Sunday morning after I stopped looking late Friday afternoon ‘cause a stool was beckoning (Hello, Mick and Angelo’s).
Now, depending on what happens with the Mighty Rockies today and what kind of celebrations or commiserating unfolds that might be enough but, really, I could use some more. You know how.
Q: Greetings, just read the piece that deals with Brian McIntyre. Among other thoughts, I found myself wondering if there are marked differences in how the media is dealt with between the assorted professional leagues? Obviously the content would be sport specific but are there subtleties in how the NBA may see the value of the media involvement that the pucks, as an example, don't necessarily share?
Thanks, as always, for what you do.
Doug T, Brantford
A: There aren’t a lot of big differences, actually, but you have to realize I’m somewhat of a neophyte when it comes to some of the other sports and the day-to-day stuff. Basketball players, for instance, do their post-game stuff in front of their lockers, baseball players are brought to one spot.
But as for how the sports deal with us? It’s basically the same, I think. I’m not sure we’re the favourites of some who works for a team – we can be a demanding lot when it comes to requests for one-on-one time and there certainly are a lot of us in Toronto – but for the most part we’re treated well and the guys at the teams in our city are good.
I do think the age has long gone where teams feel that newspapers are remotely important in getting their names out to the public. With team websites and in some instances team television networks, the era has long gone where newspapers were seen as something that could “help” a team get publicity. I think that’s made us, in some cases and certainly not with the Raptors, as much a nuisance as anything.
The leagues are rather consistent: They have media policies that dictate when players and coaches have to be available to writers and broadcasters – it differs sport-to-sport by dint of tradition and pre-game rituals – and they are fair enough.
Q: Favourite Raptors coach and why?
Cary G, Jasper
A: Isn’t that like asking which is your favourite kid?
Anyway, for the combination of quotability, access, social interaction, coaching ability, success, longevity, it’s a dead heat between Butch and Sam.
What you want in a coach is all those traits I just mentioned and both of them had ‘em in spades.
Now, that’s not to take away from Jay, Brendan, Darrell, KO and Lenny but those two stood out.
Truth is, I got along with all of ‘em pretty well – I found Lenny a tad condescending and had issues with his work ethic – and that’s made the job a bit easier.
Q: Would you have written the ESPN story regarding alleged stealing of signs by the Blue Jays based on the information of four anonymous sources without speaking to any members of the Blue Jays organization or any ex Blue Jays for their side? If not, what would you have done differently?
Steven C, Toronto
A: Actually, the original report did speak to a member of the Jays organization – GM Alex Anthopoulos – but, no, I don’t think I would have gone with what I knew would be an inflammatory story based solely on four anonymous players without having reached some former member of the Toronto organization. It’s not like there aren’t any around to find and it’s not like it was a story that had to get out right then because others were chasing it, too. There was plenty of time to do a little bit more work.
Q: Hi Doug! Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought sign stealing was, if not a glorious part of the game, at least a recognized part of it. Isn't that what is referred to as "the game within the game", and if you allow your signs to be stolen, well that's just too bad. Really, what is all the fuss about? Thanks. (And how can an "investigative" story use only anonymous sources and finish by saying the "evidence" may be "circumstantial"?)
Lorie P, London
A: Much ado, as the guy said, about nothing.
But stealing signs by artificial means – cameras, guys in stands, etc. – is rather verboten. The other means to stealing signs and tipping teammates off – by runners, base coaches, bench coaches, what have you – is a time-honoured baseball tradition.
Q: You asked, so here I go!
How about another list question? You may have to ask others about this topic - I don't know how familiar you are with it.
Top five desserts (generic or specific - you choose).
Thanks again for keeping us entertained even though there is precious little basketball going on!
Tim H, Windsor
A: Can I go with:
And fresh fruit (on healthy days)
(Sense a trend?)
Seriously, though, I’d probably go with a nice chocolate mousse cake, some fresh raspberries lightly sprinkled with sugar, a strong cup of coffee and a biscotti of any description, a nice variety of fruit isn’t too bad, either, and I’ve come to appreciate a red velvet cupcake every now and then.
But, and this is the honest truth, I’m not a big dessert guy. A nice espresso does just fine.
Q: Doug, with the continued growth of Twitter and other social media sites, I was curious as to whether NBA players (or athletes in any other sport for that matter) were subject to any rules and regulations beyond the standard expectation that players don't use Twitter and the like during games. I am, admittedly, a Twitter addict, and follow a handful of NBA players and was curious as to whether their respective NBA teams or the league as a whole are concerned with players and the type of language they use from time to time, or topics they discuss, online.
Will M, Ottawa
A: You’re right on the league-imposed ban on all social media during games, which runs from 45 minutes to tip off until the locker room is open to the media and includes halftime.
But other than that, all the league does is warn – through its educational program and media training sessions – of the dangers that go with inappropriate use of Twitter, Facebook, what-have-you. The players are free to do as they see fit, although most realize there are repercussions to everything they do or say on social media sites. Or they should.