The start of the weekend mail
Seems it was a bit slow around here this week (I blame tryptophan) but we’re slogging through. Have a few left over for tomorrow, some time to kill this afternoon so if you want to get in on the fun …
And enjoy the day.
Q: What's in a Name? As a Montreal Expos fan in the late 70's, you had to appreciate Bill "The Spaceman" Lee.
Joanne W, Etobicoke
A: And as a Boston Red Sox fan, I certainly concur.
Q: Hi Doug. This question may have been asked before but I can't remember. Have the Raptors ever applied to host the all-star game? If not do you know of any plans to apply? What factors are working for or against them here?
Bryan B, Toronto
A: I don’t believe they have ever formally applied; they have had some minor discussions but, frankly, I can’t ever see it happening.
There is a distinct lack of space in the Air Canada Centre for the back-of-house needs, the league does like – all things being equal – to go to warm weather climes and there’s generally a tie-in with some city like the opening of a new arena (Orlando), a new owner (New Orleans) or past success (L.A., Houston).
Besides – and I’ve said this often – the weekends are, for the most part, more trouble than they’re worth. There are basically no tickets to the game or the Saturday night stuff for locals (corporate “partners” snap them up), you’re chance of getting to one of the big parties is as good as mine and the fanfest is fun but bring your bank card and be ready to stand in line.
Q: Hi Doug. Just a few weird questions.
Would you rather tear down the Rogers Centre or The Metro Convention Centre?
Will Solo make the New Orleans team? (Not the Man from Uncle, not the one from Star Wars)
Any tips on how to get your puppy to throw up? So far, only three rush treatments at the Ottawa Vet Hospital.
As far as baseball names go, how about Mark, "the Bird", Fidrych?
Bob E, Kanata
A: I’m whacking Rogers Centre for a smaller, more authentic baseball part (retractable roof with grass) the first chance I get.
I’m not liking Solo’s chances, actually. Great guy, game never developed.
Doctor, the first sign of any Super Dog ailment and I’m out, that’s Super Wife’s gig; too queasy for me.
Q: A few questions for you:
What do hear about one of my favourite players, Derrick Rose? How's he recovering from his injury and when will he be back?
In light of the recent NFL referees strike, was there ever a time when the NBA used replacement referees?
Joe D, Mississauga
A: His recovery is on pace, he might perhaps be ready after all-star but he did say a couple of times in the past few weeks that if the rehab slows, he’s more than willing to take the full year off.
And, yes, they had replacement officials in 2009; it was carnage and settled before the season began.
Q: Nice list of Libran's B-Days. Bruce S, Bryan Ferry and John Lennon, Oct 9.
Choosing dining options in Montreal can be overwhelming. Sooooo many choices. I'll start the ball rolling with an Anthony Bourdain recommendation, L'Express, short ride from downtown, wonderful Parisan Bistro. I grabbed a spot at the bar, gotta love when an establishment has no signage!
Try to check out BOBBY KEYS, legendary sax man with the Stones. Sound Academy Oct 19, perhaps Super Son would enjoy!
Noticed the NBA has a strong commitment to international pre-season games. Do you think the NBA will be the 1st major to establish an international franchise?
John C, Mississauga
A: I’d love to see Bobby Keys with Super Son but, alas, I’ll be in Montreal chronicling the Raptors.
As for international franchises, it’s always been David Stern’s contention that he’d like to have five over there but there’s a lack of good enough arenas, not major TV deals to be had and he wonders if the economics of ticket pricing would fly. So do I.
But if one league is going to do it, the NBA would be my bet.
Q: Raptors played OK last night but I was impressed with Andre Drummond. Pretty good night for the rookie. Apparently he went 9th in the draft, 2 ahead of Ross.
Was Drummond ever a consideration by the Raptors, given they already have several big men? This kid was impressive -- maybe a lucky night -- but he played much better than any of the Raptors big men.
Arlene E, Chesley
A: He got scant consideration. They had Valanciunas coming as a drafted big man and had no interest in a guy whose game, and attitude, were in question. And the other night notwithstanding, they still are; let’s check back in, say, three years and see where Terrence Ross and Andre Drummond are, I couldn’t guess who’d be good and bad.
Q: Hi Doug. So, was this "scout" at the same game you were on Wednesday? Via Sam Amico's twitter: Asked scout at Raptors-Pistons game to describe Jonas Valanciunas' debut in a word. He bounced between "soft" and "scared."
Danny P, Montreal
A: I saw that, I smiled, went on with life.
Q: Good day Mr. Smith! I'm really enthused with the new kids on this team, Terrence Ross looks like he'll have us forgetting about Derozan in due time. I was a little disturbed to see Sam Amico rain on the parade though. He tweeted that a scout described Jonas as soft and scared after the Detroit game. Where did this come from? He seemed anything but scared or soft. Your report seems to contradict this, do you have anything further to add to this? You must know Sam, any word on who the scout was? Actually be pretty funny if it was AP!
Shawn L, Bowmanville
A: No clue who it was, don’t really care. Not sure anyone should, actually.
Q: Hi Doug, although I should know the answer, how did we pry John Lucas III away from Chicago?
Thanks as always for your great work!
Jim F, London
A: He was an unrestricted free agent and came here of his own free will. I’ve got a piece to write on him that explains it more but he liked what he saw of the team and the organization and came because he wanted to.
And, we’re going to finish it off with these because yesterday was a bit fun.
No questions but maybe some trips down memory lane. Sure took me there; thanks for playing along.
Q: Baseball nicknames
Vinegar Bend Mizell
Oil Can Boyd
Scooter (Phil Rizzuto)
"Wee" Willie Keeler
Leo "The Lip" Durocher
"Bullet" Bob Turley
Enos "Country" Slaughter
Don C, Oshawa
Bill ''Spaceman'' Lee
Tom ''The Terminator'' Henke
Stan “The Man” Musial
Roger “The Rocket” Clemens
Babe “The Bambino” Ruth
Dennis “El Pesidente” Martinez
Rusty “Le Grand L'Orange” Staub
Gary “The Kid” Carter
This is fun , More to come after we think more about it!
Ted M, Toronto
Doug: The Canadian Football League has had some terrific nicknames. Again they are mostly in the past but those of us of a certain age or those that may have learned these from their fathers will remember them. Sam (The Rifle) Etcheverry, Jackie (Old Spaghetti Legs) Parker, Ron (The Little General ) Lancaster, Joe (The Throwin Samoan) Papao, Normie (The China Clipper) Kwong. Even the guys with only local interest had great names like Edmonton's Jim (Long Gone) Thomas. Bring back the days of interesting and inventive nicknames.
Colin B, Guelph
Nicknames, best ever, was when I was in high school. "Ruts" Wheelband, real name Ian, looked like a comic character in our yearbook, named Ruts. Ian was a short, stocky guy, played rugby but not necessarily that impressively, and the name stuck. He became the coolest kid in school, because "Ruts" is fun to say. Perfect nickname: different and the perfect inside joke, and once he was introduced he was forever Ruts in the minds of the people who met him.
Phil J, Ancaster
How about "Oilcan"?
Joe A, Niagara Falls
Names. Remember Mark 'The Bird' Fydrich (sp?) of the Detroit Tigers in the late 70's. He was something to watch on the pitcher's mound.
Eric K, Waterloo