A little this and a little that to end the week
As usual, a bunch of little Friday things that might catch your attention before I catch a bright and early airplane to Calgary.
This is courtesy of my man Brendan Kennedy at some point on the tweeter last night, this is why John Gibbons is a favourite.
"You owe it to baseball to throw your best out there.”
Gibbons was, of course, referring to playing out the string of a lost season – and this TOD season is among the biggest lost ones ever – and what kind of lineup you should run out to the field every day.
Now, I get the theory behind September callups, wanting to give kids a look at the major leagues and to add some depth to worn out rosters and pitching staffs but I still think those callups should be used sporadically, at best.
The game is the thing, always will be, and a phrase like “owe it to baseball” hits home.
And that’s why the end of NBA seasons – and that’s the one I’ll use primarily because I know it so well – get so utterly depressing at times.
You’ve got guys playing selfishly to get numbers in games that don’t mean anything, you’ve got guys taking nights off simply because they want to and there’s a steady stream of sloppy games that hold very little allure to fans and that degenerate into something less than they should be.
I don’t know what the answer is and I don’t think anything can be legislated into any game to avoid those late-season situations.
You can just hope that the athletes and coaches and managers respect the game, and themselves, enough to play to the best of their ability even if the season’s gone down the toilet.
Oh yeah, the Raptors yesterday officially announced what we’ve known here for a while, that Chris Wright, who is something of a training camp/summer league tradition, will join Julyan Stone and Carlos Morais as camp invitees in a week or so when things start.
I don’t know that any of them will make the team, the Raptors have 14 guys with guaranteed contracts and I’m not sure a 15th player is all that necessary but if they do decide to keep someone, it’ll at least provide some competitive juice to camp. And since I don’t remember a guy “making” the team that way since Jamario Moon burst on the scene, it might be fun.
Got one of those “hey everyone” e-mails from office yesterday asking if anyone could take over some Burton Cummings tickets.
I couldn’t, but here you go.
Dude can warble, no?
Mail? Please. Not a lot there, have some time this afternoon to loaf and do some work – not to mention a few hours on a plane – so help a guy out at email@example.com if you don’t mind.
You know I love to land somewhere and find all kinds of fun and interesting notes waiting.
Okay, the guy a few stools down orders this salad that comes with a mound of shredded beets on it and, yes, I shuddered.
Stupidest vegetable ever?
I put it near the top of the list and, frankly, I can't think of one that's less appealing.
I’d rather have lima beans or brussel sprouts or something like that.
Now, I'll have a salad as a meal every now and then - far more then than now - but it needs cheese of some sort, chicken for sure and a crouton, some garlic and onions but no, no, no to beets.
Or cauliflower. Or parsnips.
I see my Pirates are hanging tough despite my professing love for them, which I was certain would send them right into the toilet.
Only a game back in the division, which is good, but five up on the third team in the wild card race and that’s even better.
But I also wonder if that causes a conundrum later on for a team.
Do you take the peddle off a little bit in the chase for a division title if you’ve got a wild card berth sewn up? Do you massage the starting rotation in the last week of the season to be ready for the playoffs even if it might cost you first place in the division?
Tough one, isn’t it?
I can certainly see working back from the start of the post-season to get the rotation in shape but I don’t think resting regular players is something I’d go for.
But if the playoffs are the goal, does it make much of a difference whether it’s wild card or division winner and how would you handle that situation?
Wonder what the reason is that Air Canada has a far better appointed lounge – and way bigger – for domestic travellers than international ones?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned as Argo Boy this summer it’s that flying domestically is exponentially easier than an NBA trip.
Of course, no Customs cuts down the time considerably but it just seems there are more people working security at this end of the airport, there are more services available, more stuff in the lounge – I’m having a hard boiled egg and a fruit cup right now as a matter of fact (someone somewhere is proud of my for having breakfast) – and more people to answer questions.
And this end of this otherwise terrible airport just seems to work better and feel more comfortable. Guess they really do take care of their own.
Okay, long flight, will get to comments when I can; could still use some Calgary info if anybody has anything to share.