Leafs Put Their Peanut-Butter In Blackhawks Chocolate? Entourage & More

Poor John Tavares. One rookie scrimage and the media has already started in. Get a load of this headline from wire this evening:

“John Tavares scoreless in first scrimmage”

OH MY GOD- the sky is falling, the sky is falling!

“First overall draft pick John Tavares was held without a point and was a minus-2 on Sunday in the his first rookie camp scrimmage with the New York Islanders.”

No really, what is funnier this crap or the first episode of Entourage?

“Head coach Scott Gordon said the stats are not important in games like this, but effort does matter.

“I wouldn’t read too much into any particular performance by anybody,” he told the paper. “This was a great opportunity for all the players to get their feet wet. I really thought they competed hard. We want players to battle.”

Who do you feel worse for, Tavares, or Gorton, the Islander’s coach?

Man, if that is the type of crap people are writing on long island, can you imagine what would have happened to the poor guy if he was in Toronto? Leave him alone, it’s one scrimmage! Call me when we are 50 games into the season and he hasn’t scored!

“Signing Jonas Gustavsson? Good. Getting Hedo Turkoglu? Better. Seeing Quinton Porter lead the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to a first win in B.C. by an Eastern time zone team since 2004? Best.”

That from Jeff Blair. I don’t know about the last part. It was a good week for those of us who try to dispel the Toronto Sucks crowd out there. Our teams did in fact land a couple of gems off the free agent pile. In both cases the players chose TO over other alternatives. With Turkoglu, his choice was entirely about our garbage filled city. Gustavvson made a hockey decision. Having said that, he was highly sought after and he did choose the Leafs.

So Brian Burke suggested that a team made a sizeable offer for a defenceman not name Kaberle. Does anyone think he would deal one of his new acquisitions?

“It’s not likely Burke would be looking to deal defenseman Francois Beauchemin, who he just signed as an unrestricted free agent. The Leafs traded for hitter Garnet Exelby earlier in the summer, and he might fit the description of what the Hawks are looking for in a defenseman.”

That from the excellent Blackhawks beat writer Tim Sassone of the Chicago Daily Hearld. Sassone seems to think (as do many others) that the Leafs and Hawks both have what the others want. The Hawks looking for help on the blueline and the Leafs for help upfront. Peanut butter to chocolate no? Sassone analyized the Kaberle situation first, however he doesn’t appear convinced that Kabs is the type of player the Hawks would be looking for and he also isn’t sure that Burke will deal #15. Burke has one month and 3 days to get something for Kaberle. The time, my friends is now.

Looks like the Blue Jays have a media critic in…. Calgary:

“Now in his third season, (Jamie)Campbell has staked no claim to the team with either a flair for language or his keen insight into baseball. The genius of Vin Scully is that he tells you from the first pitch that he is the pilot, you are the passenger, and you are to sit back while he guides the ship. Even the lugubrious Chuck Swirsky grabbed the Toronto Raptors’ mike like a thirsty man throttling a pump handle. Campbell still gives the impression of someone filling in while the main guy is on holidays.”

Wow- how do you really feel Bruce?

“After this many games, he still has mighty trouble judging fly balls (watch the outfielders) and a propensity for reading the daily statistical notes as if it were Finnegans Wake . His monotone delivery suits the subway (“Next stop Spadina, Spadina next stop”) more than a pennant race.”

ha ha ha. Pennant what? It’s not very often that we see this type of criticism in our papers. Not sure how justified but WOW…

“Part of this is not Campbell’s fault. Sportsnet likes to grow its own timber and has thrust several people into key announcing spots before they are ready. The results are mixed. When it doesn’t work, the outcome is like a travelling company of High School Musical – you know, “Just wait till they grow up and move to Broadway” Except they don’t grow up. Campbell still seems stranded on first base. If he’s being coached it doesn’t show. Like Jays pitcher Scott Richmond, he’s left out there to eat innings and pray that the penny will finally drop. ”

Them’s poison darts from Calgary no? I watch games here and there. I have never wanted to have root canal as opposed to listening to the guys on tv. Having said that, we have never been really that strong on TV. I miss Buck Martinez myself. Who, does Bruce want instead?

“That’s not happening now with any of the analysts, and the occasional insertions of the eager Sam Cosentino are not much more illuminating. Again, this is an awfully young crew, and it shows. You’d like the think Campbell will eventually improve, but for now he simply leaves you pining for his predecessor, Rob Faulds, who was not exactly mistaken for Red Barber himself. You’d think that as owners of the team and the network that Rogers would make improving the telecasts a priority. But they seem content to allow the televised product to drift the same way the baseball team has slid into mediocrity the past several years.”

Two things come to mind; one, Dowbiggin is never getting a gig at Sportsnet, nor a Christmas card from David Akande. Second, nothing anyone can say would make me pine for Rob Faulds.

Make no mistake, I am thrilled that Bruce is out west and no longer here in TO. Having said that if he has the balls to write stuff like this, then I am going to be reading him a lot more often!

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Daniel
Daniel
July 13, 2009 12:14 am

I have to say I’m with Bruce on this. Campbell seems like a really nice guy, but he is not good. I often watch games with the sound off – it can be pretty painful. At least the radio guys are great.

It’s just such a huge drop in quality from the Dan Shulman/Buck Martinez days. They were terrific, ESPN level good…

Nobody is worse at calling Jays games than Rod Black though. Ugh. Faulds isn’t much better.

mike
mike
July 13, 2009 4:08 am

Campbell’s inability to judge fly balls has driven me crazy since day one. The rotating crew of colour men is not helping him either. Fletcher talks too much and makes asinine predictions during the game. Mullininks is the most boring person on the planet.

Dowbiggin’s hypothesis that Rogers would want to invest in the quality of their broadcast is a nice thought, but utterly risible in light of the company we are talking about.

The Meatriarchy
July 13, 2009 7:15 am

I like Jamie Campbell.

Eggbert
Eggbert
July 13, 2009 12:15 pm

The Jays have not had a good crew since the Chevrier/Kubek days.I remember Campbell in his first season or so,he’d try and be “cute’ by tossing in obscure refrences unrelated to baseball,he finally gave that up.Campbell tries to portray a seasoned announcer,not actually “be” one,you can hear it when he breaks character and gushes like a school boy.

eyebleaf
July 14, 2009 10:41 am

Campbell is brutal. The radio guys bring it.

And Kaberle stays.

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