Toronto Weekend Sports Roundup

Happy Sunday night/Monday am to all. What an incredible weekend here in the big smoke. Weather was AAA fantastic! Here’s a little bit of what’s on mind as things going on as I see them:

* Today’s Toronto Sun had no column from one Steve Simmons. It just isn’t the same reading that paper without his column, love it or hate it.
* The tennis at Wimbledon was fantastic. I know this year it is the ladies turn here in Toronto, if you haven’t been to a match at the Roger’s Cup, do yourself a favor and GO. Seriously. Even if you aren’t a tennis nut, it’s a great event. It’s fun to walk around, take in the atmosphere and watch a match or two. Seriously. I am not sure there is a better live sporting event in the city.
*I admit it, I didn’t listen to Gretzky on PTS the other night. This account from Dowbiggin in the Globe is unreal. UN REAL!:

“Bob McCown asked about The Globe and Mail’s story that the city of Glendale wants to examine the $8-million coach about the operations of his bankrupt team.
“Bob, I thought I’d be ready for any question you could ask of me,” replied a stunned Gretzky. “But…that’s the first I’ve heard of it.” (With the July 4 holiday and Jon and Kate and such, he hadn’t seen the story.) Later, Gretzky called McCown back at his home and – according to McCown’s website – said that “he had checked with his attorney, who got in touch with the City of Glendale, and was told that there was no truth to the report.”

That’s hard to believe. Why would this story be out there if neither Gretzky or his attorney are aware of it? Why is this guy being dragged through the mud in this mess? What a joke.

The negative ninnies (sorry, couldn’t think of anything better) in this town love to ask this rhetorical question: Name the last big free agent who chose Toronto?” Well, it looks like we have an answer to the question, Hedo Turkoglu. I don’t know anything about the guy. Everyone I talk to and everything I read says the guy is beyond legit, and will be a huge addition to the Raptors. I have no clue if Jeff Blair is a bball guy, but I like his perspective on the move:

“Colangelo has taken what is essentially the first step of a makeover that will be undertaken when Bosh leaves either as a free agent or through a sign and trade. He has ensured the team will still be competitive. Turkoglu and Andrea Bargnani doesn’t whisper ‘championship,’ but with pieces added after Bosh leaves, the foundation is there to play a style of basketball that will keep the team competitive. Turkoglu, Bargnani, Jose Calderon and Player A and Player B sound a lot better than Bargnani, Calderon and Players A, B and C. Besides, this is only money.”

I don’t know if this is accurate or not, I am just not that bball smart. Based on everything else I am reading though, it is a bang on assessment.

“For a team that is preparing to see yet another franchise player walk away and have its collective psyche dealt yet another blow, having a guy like Turkoglu who can play and actually wants to be in the city is something to be celebrated. Oh, and hands up anybody who thought Colangelo would make a bigger free-agent bang than Brian Burke, his counterpart with the Toronto Maple Leafs.”

I agree with both sentiments entirely. Effort is one thing, delivering is quite another. I joked with LT last week as to the whereabouts of one Bryan Colangelo. He certainly appears to have made some big noise. As for poor Brian Burke, life, I think he will find in Maple Leaf land isn’t going to be easy from a popularity perspective until he really makes changes that people can gauge. As we have seen with the Jays and last years Leafs, early starts or surprising spurts don’t mean a whole lot in the grand scheme of things when the overall result is the same. While Howie may joke about our constant eye on the next free agent prize, what other choice do we have? I think this is going to be another long year for us Leaf fans. The fact that Nash isn’t out there to be had next July 1st just means that Burke has to hit a homerun in the draft again. Someone I believe wrote that this is like building a house, and the foundation has to be strong first. That isn’t going to be much fun, but it is necessary. I think the good thing is that at the very least Burke is building a team that will be more entertaining to watch. Will it result in a lot more goals or wins (as the team sits today), the answer, in my opinion is probably no. I am fine with that. Keep on building.

Do you feel more or less comfortable that Jonas Frogren took the Monster out for dinner?

Too bad for those Blue Jays. They have certainly become what so many of us feared they would be. I haven’t checked lately but the numbers at the gate can’t be good and the negative effect on revenue and next years budget can’t be good either. What are we one month to the non-waiver trade deadline. There is little question in my mind that the Jays should be sellers, problem is there isn’t anything to sell. The question of Doc is going to have to be answered sooner rather than later. To me, it’s very simple. They ask him if he wants to stay. If the answer is yes, they get it done, yesterday. If the answer is no, they deal him for as much as they possibly can yesterday too.

For those radio fans like me, Elliotte Friedman is guest co-hosting on the Fan morning show tomorrow am. I prefer to listen to him with Gord, but I am pretty sure he is on with Landry. Even still, Friedman is great on the radio. He knows his hockey and his basketball and I think he is one of the more liked and respected guys in the business. It’s worth listening to.

Question of the day, if Ron Wilson’s mention of the Leafs interest in the Sedins lead to the forfeiture of a first round draft pick in terms of tampering, which would occur first, his dismissal or the burning down of his house? (joke people)

Working on a cool promotion for August for you TSM readers. Unlike many in the business, we aren’t taking time off this summer so we will be here each and every day. Have a good one, more later.


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July 6, 2009 12:57 pm

I think in the event that the Jays chose to be full blown sellers, there is a lot to sell, both with established players and prospects. The problem is the plan was supposed to be to retool in 09, and go for it in 2010 (and I think ownerships basic admission that 09 was a write off has been a big reason for the attendance drop). So if they, say, trade Rolen at the deadline the Jays would get some great prospects, but it leaves a big hole in 2010 when they’re supposed to be contending.

By the way, this weekend for the Jays was absolutely heartbreaking. All they needed was a split with the Yankees to really stay in it. The first 3 games of the series were all winnable, close games and the Jays lost each one. Ughhh.

July 6, 2009 1:58 pm

@Daniel : Other than Rolen, and maybe Scutaro(and you won’t get much for either of these two),what “established players” can the jays trade?
Wells? forget it,too expensive for too little return
Rios? same thing
You don’t trade Hill or Lind,so who of value other than Halladay do they trade?…..a few relievers who get little in return

July 6, 2009 2:27 pm

Rolen would get a lot back! He’s hitting .330, and still is one of the best defensive 3rd basemen in the game. He should have been an allstar. Plus his contract is reasonable and only runs through 2010.

If the Jays really wanted to throw in the towel for this year, this article says that trading Brian Tallet or some bullpen arms like Frasor, League or Jannsen could bring back value:

Really the only established players they have that are untradeable are BJ and Wells. I’m not saying that the Jays have a CC Sabathia and Mark Texiera to deal, but there are established guys that have some value. For example Matt Stairs got the Jays Fabio Castro last year – a young pitcher who has been lighting it up in AAA …and Stairs isn’t exactly Arod.

July 6, 2009 2:36 pm

Rolen is due 11 mil next year, you’re fooling yourself if you think the Jays would get alot back,look at his career stats,everybody knows he’s not a 330 hitter,not to mention his wonky shoulder and age……….prospects are what we can expect,and Halladay is the only player who could score a number of blue chippers

July 6, 2009 2:41 pm

But, I think you are right in the sense that there aren’t established players who are obvious to deal (say, a guy like AJ last year who was valuable and going to leave anyway). I just meant that if you really wanted to unload (which I don’t think they should do), there are guys who have value.

July 6, 2009 2:44 pm

Not trading AJ was stupdiculous

July 6, 2009 2:50 pm

Well, we can agree to disagree on Rolen. With the exception of 3 injured seasons, his career stats have been phenomenal. Why would everyone know he’s not a .330 hitter when it’s halfway through the year and he’s hitting .330?

I’m sure his numbers will fade, but without question he’s having a fantastic season. There’s no reason why a team who has a shot at the WS this year wouldn’t consider him a really valuable asset for a stretch drive.

July 6, 2009 2:51 pm

Yeah, I agree about AJ. That was really stupid.

July 6, 2009 2:53 pm

And yeah, I think you’re right – Halladay is the only guy that would give the Jays a huge….Lindros-to-the-Flyers type haul.

July 6, 2009 3:26 pm

Rolen has hit 300 or better only one other season in his career,he’s a career 284 hitter,and that includes his current pace

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