Now it's time for the end of the weekend mail
Have at this while I loaf a bit here before Lakers-Kings tonight.
(And since we’re on the west coast with a big time difference for me, no promises on what time the morning stuff gets up for the next couple of days; will try to keep it to between 7-8 a.m. back home but no promises).
Q: Doug, first if I may start with a comment: I disagree with you downplaying the importance of Baumgartner supersonic free fall; the dude has pushed his own limits, accomplished what no human prior to him has. That being said, there is a French quote that I do believe that you will appreciate regarding his accomplishment: "a small jump for man, a big leap for publicity.” Nevertheless, as far as I m concern, the Neil Armstrong quote could have been "a small step for man, a giant step for a nation.”
Anyhow, now to my question: What do you think were the 5 most impressive individualistic accomplishments by any sport athletes? And it doesn’t have to be in a single game, but through out a career as well. Thx for the daily blog!
Jean-Serge B, Dawson City
A: Ah, man, that’s a tough one but it’d make for a good stool debate.
I’m going to mix and match a bit between single-game or event items and a career accomplishment, okay?
And this is in no particular order and kind of off the top of my head, it’ll be interesting to hear what others might come up with:
Cal Ripken’s 2,632 straight games played.
Rocky Marciano’s 49-0 career boxing record.
Roger Bannister’s sub-4:00 mile (that’s probably the most debatable)
Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak.
Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point game.
Wayne Gretzky’s 215-point season.
But there are dozens and dozens of others of equal greatness, I’m sure.
Q: Doug, since we all know how much you like lists. In light of your blog about how classy and professional Jeter is as a player, how about some a list of the most dignified sports figures? You can pick the list (all time/all sports, just Raptors, just people you've covered in any sport, etc.) Who should we celebrate from a personality angle?
Chris C, Toronto
A: First two that came immediately to my mind:
David Robinson and Grant Hill, I just admire the way they handle themselves.
Now, I didn’t “cover” these guys to any degree but I think you might have to put Ali and Pele on that list, wouldn’t you?
Q: Hi Doug. What are your thoughts on the pay wall that has gone up around the G&M and the system they have implemented; 10 free monthly views along with the home page and links from other sources are free and don’t count towards your 10 (i.e. face book, twitter etc.) Does that sound like something that ‘Mother Star’ will get behind? Any insight on how The Star is going to approach this would be greatly appreciated as I always enjoy reading the blog. The blog brings me in and then I find other things to read after it has drawn my view and I’m already here. It would be interesting to know how the fewer eyes viewing the online ads and the drop in revenue from that vs. the income from subscriptions plays out. When viewing the site on a mobile device, which sounds like the fasting growing way to view news online, are the ads as effective or as numerous when the screen size is so limited? I know this might be a better question for someone in management but your opinion is one I enjoy and any musings of yours or conversations co-workers would be interesting. Thanks
Scott R, Toronto
A: I can’t pretend to think like the kinds of people who make those paywall decisions, or don’t make them, but someone, someday, somewhere, somehow, has to come up with a workable way to monetize our websites since so many people only go there for the news, sadly.
We’ve done a great job of keeping our content free and I’d hate to see that change; I’ve had no indication from anyone that it will but, again, I am not at that level in any discussion.
I wonder if “augmenting” our regular newspaper and website features and news with extra stuff – video, expanded features, something like that – might work? Don’t know if it would, though.
I check our site regularly, on a laptop and on my mobile device and I don’t think the ads have nearly the impact they do in print, which may be a reason it seems to be hard to sell web-only advertisements.
But I fear paywalls, once they work in one place even a little bit, might become far more prevalent.
Q: Doug, could you please clarify the situation on the protected Lottery pick the Raptors gave up for Lowry? I understand if it is 1 to 3 the Raptors keep it. If it is 4 to 14 it goes to Houston and if the Raptors make the playoffs, they keep their pick, wherever it is. Is this correct?
Dave B, Cornwall
A: If the Raptors make the playoffs they keep the pick; it is protected top three in 2013, top two in 2014 and 2015, top one in 2016 and 2017. If the Raptors make the playoff in each of the next five years, they give up their 2018 first-round pick regardless of where it is.
Q: Hi Doug. Looks like the TOD (Team Of Destiny - Jays) is trading their manager and a player to the Red Sox for a player. Is the ability to trade coaching staff like players unique to baseball? I have never heard of this before.
Richard Y, Kincardine
A: I certainly don’t recall it happening in any other sport but they couched in terms of a two separate deals, I believe, the Carpenter-Aviles trade and releasing Farrell from his contract but it was actually all one move for all intents and purposes.
But it does seem unique to baseball.
Q: Hi Doug - last minute addition to the mailbag. I've been curious about what the Raps are having the rookies do this year. What's the 2012 version of a Dora the Explorer bag? Inquiring minds (well, one anyway) want to know!
Sheila C, Ottawa
A: Haven’t seen anything yet, will check further when I meet ‘em in Memphis later this week. Could be a regular season thing.
Oh, there was the singing and dancing on the court in Halifax but that doesn’t really count.
Q: I read LA. To me that means In and Out Burgers! And there is one right by LAX! Mmmmm.
Hope your not going to do a Vancouver Whitecaps story. I’ve heard 2 words that I haven't heard describing the HOTH for a while: depth and talent. Nice for the coach to have more options. Here's to a year of entertaining ball and franchise growth.
John C, Mississauga
A: I know that In and Out Burger very, very, very well and assume I’ll get there at some point during this trip.
Q: Sometimes the way a player tries to impose his will on a game also has the opposite effect on his body. Lowry plays the game hard: Attacks the rim, gets up into offensive players, rebounds, goes after.
Is anyone on the coaching staff questioning his ability to stay healthy given his style of play? Is durability an issue?
Marc M, Mississauga
A: No, they aren’t. They sure don’t want to temper what he does on some off chance he could possibly, maybe, perhaps get hurt. That’s not the way coaches roll.
Q: It's far too early to come to any conclusions about this team, but that's never stopped us before, so let's play. This team appears to be very deep, with more good players than any since Colangelo's first year. Is there any downside to this?
James A, Victoria
A: Can’t see one, can you? Getting more, better players is part of the job of building a team, isn’t it? Makes for competitive practices, gives the coach a fallback position or two if someone’s slacking and helps when the inevitable injuries pop up.
It’s kind of exactly what you want.
Q: Hi Doug. Nothing to do about The Raptors because I am not a basketball person but from an overall sports perspective I offer the following: Watching the Golf Channel this past week ( Morning Drive ) and they posed a question as follows:
If there were a Mount RUSHMORE to carve into the mountain, name the only 4 sports people who should be included. So here's what came back from all the respondents and it's interesting. No golfers by the way!
Michael Jordan, Pele, Babe Ruth and yes, our own Wayne Gretzky!
Now you could argue this forever, but it makes for interesting conversation
Ted M, Toronto
A: I might switch Jackie Robinson for Babe Ruth. And not entirely sure I’d put Gretzky on there but can’t think of a more appropriate guy or woman, right now.
Q: Hi Doug. This one is coming in a little on the late side. On the first day of camp in Halifax, you had mentioned it was a day of getting to know the players and staff. Questions of "Who do you write for?" and the such. It got me thinking, you have covered the Raptors from the beginning, is there anyone left on the Raptors' staff (trainer, front office, ball boy, etc., excluding ACC/Skydome staff) that was there at the beginning?
Leigh M, Samcheok, South Korea
A: Well, there sure aren’t too many.
I can only think of one full-time, a lovely woman, Doreen Doyle, who works in the basketball operations department as the facilitator of almost everything.
There might be someone else but it escapes me right now who it’d be, there’s been all kinds of turnover through the various ownership and management changes we’ve seen in 18 years.