Books, Bonds and how sweeping change should be
You get to know some pretty fascinating people doing this gig and I’m not talking about athletes or executives or celebrities of that nature.
I’m talking about colleagues, the giants of our industry, the writers, pontificators and shapers of debate who by the strength of their skills and personalities make this one of the most wonderful crafts out there.
Rosie DiManno is one them, a valued colleague, a dear friend, a powerful voice and if you want to make some pucks fan happy this Christmas, her new book on Pat Burns is a must-buy.
Of all the great writers in our city, I’d put my friend right at the top of the list for the depth of her knowledge, the passion she brings to the job, the body of works she’s put together in a career many of us could only hope to have.
The Burns book just adds another layer and I can’t wait to get at it.
There are not nearly enough Canadian sports biographies out there, I don’t think, this is one that should be in every library.
It was officially launched at this very cool bash last night and it reminded me, again, how lucky I am to run in such circles.
This is a pretty darn good era of Toronto sports journalism and newspapering as a whole. We have gifted young writers and grizzled old veterans who lend context to the events of the day.
The readers of the four papers are served like few cities in the world, there is something for everyone, varied opinions that should stir debate and provoke thought.
And seeing a whole gaggle of them in one room made me pretty proud to be a very small part of it.
We don’t have events nearly often enough these days, those of us in the business seem to be working too much, pulled hither and yon by assignment and life so that we don’t get to sit around and tell stories and see each other and whine a bit and share a drink and our experiences.
And when we do, it reminds me again what a truly great group we have.
(Nothing new about him, just thought I’d throw the name out there for old time’s sake).
So I’m told there’s a new James Bond movie out these days and it probably isn’t enough to drag me into a theatre.
But it will spark some debate, I presume.
Best Bond ever?
The list starts and stops with Sean Connery, doesn’t it?
Really, when you first think of Bond don’t you think of Connery? That’s the litmus test to me and, besides, I’m of the age that when I’d sit with Super Grandpa and watch the movies, it was Connery we saw. And first impressions are best.
I’d probably go with Roger Moore a distant second and the others are all just imposters.
I’m right, right?
And if you’re looking at best Bond theme songs, I think you need to look at Carly Simon, don’t you?
The woman can sing a little bit.
I’m so quick at getting this done that in the time it took me to type this, Alex Anthopoulos did not acquire a relief pitcher.
News that Mehmet Okur is retiring evokes fond memories of how some of us can spin a yarn into something more than it is and a cautionary tale about putting too much stock into some reports.
It’s the NBA Finals before Okur left the Pistons in ’04, he’s going to a free agent and this fellow I know from the New York Post is after a story.
Well, he speaks to Okur off to the side one day and the next day it’s all over his paper that the big fella has designs on joining the Knicks in the coming summer.
Catches a few of us off guard, including the late, great PR man Matt Dobek of the Pistons, who now has to deal with a minor distraction during a championship series.
Matt asks Okur what the hell he was thinking giving up that kind story at that time of year.
“I don’t know. He asked me if I liked New York. I said yes. He make me a Knick.”
Yes, some of us can turn a non-answer into a story in the blink of an eye.
We’re down a bit on mail and since we’ve got another Saturday night game that’ll make Sunday just another day-after-game morning, let’s get at it today, shall we?
Wonder what Dwane will do.
When last we left the intrepid Raptors coach, he was telling us that something might have to give with his starting lineup in the wake of Wednesday’s 36-point debacle of a first quarter in Dallas.
Now that he’s had a day to think about it and chat with his staff about possible changes, wonder if he’s made his mind up.
But I wonder how sweeping his change might be.
I have a feeling that Anderson for Fields may be the move that’s made (maybe Kleiza but I would be surprised) and that’s a bit of scape-goating because, yes, Fields has been an offensive disappointment but it’s not scoring that’s killing them in first quarters, it’s effort.
I don’t think he’ll do Bargnani (I think finding out early what he’s got and reacting accordingly is the right thing to do nightly) and I don’t think they should do Johnson for Valanciunas, although that would be second on my list. DeRozan’s been their best starter, I’m fine with Lowry when he’s healthy because he’s morphing into an excellent player and leader so the options really are limited.
But here’s the thing:
It’s five games in, it’s not panic time (no matter what some of you may think) and given the schedule and the opposition, I’d say 1-4 is right about where they would have figured to be.
Maybe 2-3 had they been able to steal the home opener against a team that’s better than they are right now but 1-4 is a legit record and if they get Philly on Saturday and steal one against Utah at home on Monday (tough task, but doable), they’re 3-4 and right about where everyone should have expected them to be.