The start of the weekend mail
Was so bad at golf with Super Son that I’m bound and determined to get even so back to the links with Mighty Red Tigers staff this morning.
Speaking of baseball, that TOD-Tampa game last night was as good a baseball game as you'll see anywhere this season. It's why the game's so great, you never know when two teams -- one with nothing, really, to play for -- are going to hook up in a great one.
Have fun with this, will be back with some more tomorrow.
Q: Doug: Now that you're back home from the Olympics, in hindsight, any regrets? For instance, any places or venues, that you couldn't make, or get to see? And are you done with the seamheads this year?
Ken B, Matheson
A: Nah, no regrets whatsoever. I wish I’d had a chance to cover the tennis at Wimbledon or perhaps go to Wembley for the football finals but with all that I saw and did, the people I met and wrote about and the friends I saw and hung out with, it’s impossible to have regrets. All I know is I can’t wait for another reason to get back to London.
Seamheads? It would seem I probably am unless something comes up to take any of our baseball guys away from their gig. I actually don’t know what’s in store for September, I may get to a Bills game, I’m sure some basketball will pop up or I may find a way to coast and work on my natural fade on the golf course (not to be confused with the violent slice I’ve come to perfect).
Q: Doug, was do you never posts questions critical of MLSE and their refusal to spend enough money to bring winning basketball to Toronto?
Derek L, Temagami
A: Well, you’re either new here or have some reading comprehension issues you should get worked out.
We’ve had many a question critical of MLSE, first off.
Secondly, if you think spending means winning you need to re-examine your knowledge of all professional sports.
Third, go back a decade and go through each year and find out where they fit in the overall salary structure and we’ll talk.
But thanks very much for reading.
And if this isn’t too much to get in one fell swoop, ask someone:
It’s not how much you spend but how you spend it.
Is, was, and always will be true.
Q: Hi Doug. I recently saw a short video comparing Kobe to Michael Jordan on twitter. I know you may not like comparing the two, but what three similarities and differences come to mind when discussing the two of them.
Monty M, Toronto
A: Yeah, you’re right, comparing eras is not among my favourite things at all. But …
I’d say the similarities far out-weigh the differences to begin with.
They are both driven to win at all costs; they both know they are the best player on the floor and they both want the ball when the game is on the line. They’re competitive natures are eerily similar.
Now, the differences are minute.
Jordan was more explosive athletically, I’d suggest; Jordan seemed more interested in marketing and promotion and Bryant was probably a better shooter early in his career than Jordan was in his.
Both were pretty darn good, though.
Q: Hi Doug. Thanks for your outstanding coverage over the SWNT in London. I was just wondering if you had heard any rumblings around MLSE about capitalizing on the momentum for women's basketball by seeking a WNBA expansion team to play in the Ricoh. I would hope that the partnership between TFC and Soccer Canada could serve as a model for professional women's basketball in Canada and be a more realistic proposition than establishing a new domestic league. Is there any chance that we might see the WNBA's "Toronto Saurus Rex" any time soon?
Jamie S, Brantford
A: I haven’t heard a word about a possible WNBA franchise in 15 years or so and I don’t imagine I will. MLSE seems to be as much about restaurants and condos and TV programming than anything, not sure they want another franchise to worry about. And, frankly, I wonder how a women’s pro team would succeed here; I have my doubts that it’s sustainable over the long run.
Q: Hey Doug. Love your idea about the Global Cup tournament, even if it's a pipe dream. The owners wouldn't want to lose those home dates.
But it got me thinking: in soccer they now have a FIFA Club World Cup, with each continental Champions League winners (plus the host country's league champion) in a tournament. I was going to say, why couldn't we see a world basketball championship of club teams or something along the lines of that club World Cup, and then I realized two things: 1) barring a miracle the NBA would win every time, and 2) I seem to recall that they did a world club championship tournament in the 1990s, with the top Euro and NBA clubs, back when I was a tyke. I have some memory of Michael in one of those games. Am I remembering this correctly? I feel like I might be mixing up exhibition games with a real club tournament but I'm not sure.
Simon S, Toronto
A: Oh yeah, the old McDonald’s championship used to pit top NBA teams, not necessarily the NBA champion, against continental cup champions from Europe before they had the EuroLeague.
Trouble was, it came at the start of the NBA pre-season so teams weren’t necessarily at their best and the whole thing was actually a precursor to the current NBA Europe Live exhibition series that gets more teams and more cities involved.
Q: Good morning Doug. Do you or Super Son collect any sports memorabilia? Autographed balls, hats, etc.?
Richard Y, Kincadine
A: Nah, we really don’t. He doesn’t have that kind of deep-rooted love of sports and, frankly, neither do I. The one thing I do have, and hope someday to have displayed in a den/bar, is a collection of credentials from events I’ve covered. Each brings back good memories and I think would look pretty cool displayed.
Q: Good afternoon Douglas. It has been quite some time since I last wrote in, but my daily ritual of reading your blog is still intact. Glad to hear you enjoyed yourself at Springsteen Friday night. My Mom was there and she said it was unbelievable. Unfortunately for myself, I was unable to attend because I have been working up north in beautiful Killarney, ON all summer.
Springsteen is my Mom's favorite, and someone who she has seen over 20 times. I remember being 5 or 6 years-old and my Mom and I would rock out to Born to Run, or Tenth Avenue Freeze Out in our old Ford Tempo. Seeing my Mom enjoying the music, and having such a strong connection to the messages and stories that Bruce & the E Street band tell was astonishing for me.
This appreciation for great music was instilled in me at a young age, and even today I look back at those times of rocking out in the car with Mom whenever a Springsteen, or Meatloaf, or any one of her other favorites came on the radio as being some of my favorite times in life.
I am ecstatic to say that for the first time I will be able to experience Springsteen live when he comes to Hamilton in October. My mom got us each a ticket, and we will be going together and rocking out like we have since I was a young child. I'm looking forward to the energy of the crowd, the sounds of the band, and of coarse the prospect of watching a man much older than I, put everything he has into a show. What I'm most looking forward too though, is the opportunity to truly experience something with my Mom that will last even longer than the 3.5 hour show we will see. I'm looking forward to forgetting any of life's troubles or stresses and enjoying a night out with my Mom.
Obviously you share mine and my Mom's love for Springsteen, but my question is this. What bands or concerts would you have loved to attend with one of your parents, that you know you both would have enjoyed? And what bands or concerts would you like to have the opportunity to see with Super Son if you haven't had the chance already?
Would we see Doug Smith at an Eminem concert if Super Son was big into hip-hop? Or maybe a Taylor Swift concert if he was into Country? I'm sure Super Son has better taste in music than to ever ask you to take him to see Justin Bieber lol.
Thanks for everything you do, and hopefully I'll see you in October.
Marc D, Barrie
A: I saw Sinatra in Vegas with Super Grandpa (Super Grandma left us far, far, far, far, far too early) so that was pretty damn cool. Not sure there was one when I was really young, though, twas a different era.
As for Super Son? I imagine, like any good parent, if he insisted, I’d go to see pretty much anything; not sure where I’d draw the line. But, honestly, I’m far more apt to press my interests on him than he is to press his on me; like most kids, I think he’d rather go on his own than to tote the old man along. Which is fine with me but since his musical tastes tend to run to AC/DC if he insisted I go, I would in a heartbeat.
Q: Prospects for Basketball Canada program exciting all around. What of David Stern calling for Olympic men’s to be under 23. Hockey interrupts the NHL season so get their beef but what’s the NBA’s problem? How likely is it to happen? How many guys on 1992 Dream Team would have been disqualified with such a restriction.
K J, Toronto
A: Well, it’s dead in the water for 2016 so I have no clue whether it gets re-visited for 2020 but if FIBA truly wants to make its World Cup the most significant basketball event of any quadrennial, I imagine it’ll be talked about again. But I can’t guess whether it gets any traction.
Dream Team? One. Christian Laettner, but that was a different time and age and I can’t see how it’s relevant.
Q: Doug - thought you might enjoy this (if you haven't seen it already). Do with it what you will... if nothing else, it's undoubtedly a great Time Vampire!
Kate C, Toronto
A: Time Vampire! Great description.
I, and others who are now checking it out, thank you.
Q: Hi Doug. I read that Jamaal Magloire was helping out at the camp on the weekend. Any story there to follow up on.
Kevin M, Maple
A: No, not really. Was a good workout for him, he was a good help to some of the young kids and for a guy who still hopes to land another NBA gig, it was a solid few days of on-court competition.
Q: Hey Mr. Smith. I've been a fervent reader of your blog and articles since my university days. Your writing is always the first place I go to in the morning for raps news and I always double check any rumours or deals supposedly done by the Raps on your blog to make sure it's valid.
I'm basically trying to say that I enjoy your thoroughness in your reports, and the style you bring to sending out this information.
I have a question with regards to your opinion on Skip Bayless and what he said about Jeter. The article that was referenced in the blog simply stipulates that Skip is skeptical of Jeter resurgence. He makes it clear that he does not think it absolutely means he did use HGH but that the MLB world we live in now makes it so it is impossible to ignore that possibility. I for one agree with your stipulation that he is a blow hard and often talks a whole lot of smack just because he can. I also agree with you that this type of rocking the sports cradle is not necessary and the lowest form of opinionated journalism and that type of sensationalism should be left to ''reality tv'' and whatever other forms of dramatic tv that exists.
However, here comes the question: I understand that you are not a fan of this type of opinionated reporting, but are you also against the opinion itself? (which is in essence that he thinks it is possible that Jeter took HGH).
I for one am totally jaded after what happened in the late 90's with baseball stars and cannot fully put my trust in any athlete anymore. Whether he is succeeding in his sport or not, anyone can be using illegal substances and no athlete will ever get the benefit of the doubt from my standpoint.
So how do you feel about this? Do you give the benefit of doubt to Jeter? Do you still trust in some athletes.
Georges B, Gatineau
A: No, I’m not against opinions, per se, as long as they are presented as such. My issue is with people who pass themselves off as experts or, in some guise, “journalists” when all they are, in fact, are entertainers. It’s a line that’s far too often blurred at ESPN, in particular.
And, yes, I do have a large amount of trust in some athletes; I am probably as, if not more, cynical than most but I have to hold to the belief. If we mistrusted everyone, why watch or pay attention? Don’t think I could do it.
Q: Hello Doug: We have a one degree of separation between us. My neighbour and good friend is Jim Gorham and he and I have spoken a few times about getting the boys together for a few pints to talk some ball...I digress.
I have a quick question about the Canadian men's basketball mini camp. Was Andrew Wiggins invited and does he have an interest in joining the program?
Rick P, Toronto
A: Yes, he was. He had other obligations but is still very much in the plans and since he’s got a history with Canada Basketball already, I imagine the interest is mutual.