Got a lot of this stuff done Friday afternoon but then Super Son wanted to go out for dinner again, Baseball Steve was around and night devolved into dinner and a quiet evening at home.
The alarm was set for 5:30 a.m. to finish off the mail and, lo and behold, after a couple o rollovers and snooze buttons, it was 7:30.
So, here’s what’s finished to now, there’s plenty left and I’ll goof around on it the rest of the day. Should all be finished before the IGBT tonight at 7. See you then.
Q: Hey Doug: Reading about you using your iPad mini the other day got me to thinking (an accomplishment in itself!). You've been a sportswriter for more than 30 years (according to your bio next to the blog). Can you give us one reason why it was better to be a sportswriter back then, and one reason it's better to be a sportswriter now.
Tim H, Windsor
A: Fewer bosses then and more money now? Nah, that's not it. Really.
Back in the day, I can vaguely recall having time to develop daily stories and not have to have them "up" so quickly. When I first started this beat, for instance, our deadlines were 11 p.m., 12:30 a.m. and 2 a.m. Now, even with advances in technology that are supposed to make things earlier, I have to file by 10:30 and again by as close to midnight as I can and there is no "final" edition.
What's better? Well, I guess technology is a big one. I can't write and file anywhere there's a wireless network and even if there isn't one, I can set one up of my own off my phone. The ease of work is far greater.
Oh, and one other downside? I was once told by one of the greatest beat writers I know (the one and only Bob Elliott of The Sun) that it was a cardinal sin to interrupt a competitor or colleague who was having a one-on-one conversation with someone. Too often these days if you are chatting with a player or an executive, you might be joined by three people toting microphones or tape recorders who aren't sure whether the ball is blown up or stuffed.
Q: Hello. Only a couple of weeks until pitchers and catchers report! It is quite cool in the big O. The canal is open, so things aren’t too bad.
What do you reference as being a harbinger of spring? Is it the use of the word harbinger? Is it no boots? Leave overcoat in the car? Wiarton Willie? The Maple Leafs/Raptors playing for that final playoff spot? Chunks of concrete from the Gardiner?
Bob E, Kanata
A: The surest sign? First Leaves flag flying out of the window of a car and breathless stories how that week's games are must-wins to keep the playoff hopes alive.
Q: Hi Doug. With mid-season grades being discuss ad nauseam, I haven't seen anyone rate the coaches' performance to date. How do you rate Casey's first-half coaching performance?
Vince D, Toronto
A: Actually, I didn’t do “grades” because I think they’re a bit silly and can’t really ever be put into any kind of legitimate context.
I think his first half coaching was pretty good; average. Started out trying to address a need (offence), it didn’t work out so he shifted gears. I’m okay with adaptability.
Q: Hello Doug. I feel that Colangelo deserves another 2 year contract.
He's made some canny draft choices (hello TRoss!), the team is starting to gel, and I think there's a lot of potential for the team in 2-3 years.
When will the decision come down? End of the season?
Gary D, Stouffville
A: I can’t see ownership doing anything until the season is over and they sit back and see where they are. I think that’s most prudent.
Q: I agree. Pelican's logo is great. Since you are such a fan - you must have heard of this poem by Dixon Lanier Meritt
A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican,
He can take in his beak
Enough food for a week
But I'm damned if I see how the helican!
Keep up the good work.
Bill W, Dresden
Have heard it, glad others will now, too
Q: Doug: Has a team ever been called for a time violation on one of those rolling inbound passes? For example, Miami rolled the ball up the court from under their basket, to the Raps 3 point line where it was picked up by James. It seems like he got a favourable call. Thanks as always.
Ken B, Matheson
A: Actually, there’s no violation. A player simply has to inbound the ball in five seconds, teams can take forever to actually pick it up.
Q: Hey Doug, long time reader but haven't written in a very long time. Quick question about Dwane Casey's coaching tactics. While I realize neither you or I is an NBA coach, I am confused by DC's use of Jose at the end of games. He seems to leave Lowry in the game in the fourth quarter, despite it seeming to me that Jose is the better closer. Any reason for this?
Thierry M, Sudbury
A: You’re right, he uses Lowry way too much.
Q: Have to ask - what is up between Lowry and the coach. this month out of 11 games in 4 he has less than 18 mins - in one it was like 14 minutes.
A funny way of treating a guy who was brought in to help "save" us.
Jay S, Oshawa
A: You’re right, he uses Calderon way too much.