Seen & Heard – Weekend Edition

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photo credit: @TOMayorFrod

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by mike in boston [hatemailaccount a.t. gmail dot c.o.m.] @mikeinboston

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Very quick hit because I’m on the run this week. If you read or heard something good or bad or otherwise worth talking about, post it in the comments

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The Michael Sam Story

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Cyd Zeigler has been the go-to guest for the last several years on LGBT(etc) issues in sports. He runs Out Sports. He penned this (very long) behind the scenes story on how this decision was made and handled from beginning to where we are now. It’s pretty great.

He also appeared on PTS (Feb 10, 6pm hour) to discuss the story. By some amazing twist of divine providence, Brunt was the co-host rather than the one of the other intellectual lightweights that sometimes sit in that chair. He and Bob conducted an excellent interview with Cyd.

My favourite part is how Cyd responded to the “will this be a distraction to the team?” question. No doubt there will be some extra media attention, but the idea that there will be a throng of media badgering the coaches and players all season is farcical. How many times can you ask the same question? I’m imagining some reporter asking “What was it like to be on the field for the 1st sack by an openly gay player?” That question would be laughed out of the room.

The Mante T’eo story proved that no matter how much controversy there is surrounding a player before the season, once the games are underway the churn of the NFL media machine takes over. Everything becomes an afterthought once the scores matter. And that is exactly what I expect to happen here.

One thing I am looking forward to seeing is whether this will change how the word “faggot” is used in locker rooms and in stadiums. An NCAA player was suspended recently for shoving a fan who shouted something at him. In the aftermath, many people who initially condemned the player backtracked when it was suggested the fan had called him a “nigger.”

I have no doubt that Sam will be called a “faggot” in every stadium including his home building. Whether this is tolerated or not will depend in part of the individual NFL teams’ policies about abusive language, but mostly on how the other fans react. In some parts of the U.S. you can shout “nigger” without fear of condemnation by those around you. The same is true much more widely for the word “faggot.” This might be a seminal moment for change in how that word is socially accepted. But that is going to require a lot of people who currently use the word “faggot” very casually to have a change of mind about how bad a word it is.

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JaysTalk

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If you wanted proof that the new compensation system for MLB free agents is completely broken, this off-season should convince you. The fact that Santana and Jimenez and Drew are not signed is ridiculous. I wonder how long it will be until the players start loudly complaining about this lousy deal. The player should not be penalized because MLB wants to compensate a team for losing one of its assets.

This brings me to the Jays. Because of their horrendous performance in 2013, their 1st round pick is protected. This means if they sign one of the free agent pitchers, they will only lose a 2nd round pick. This is a huge competitive advantage for the Jays, relative to their rivals, which appears to be being wasted. If they don’t sign either guy this will be strong evidence that the purse strings have been tightened. From a competitive standpoint, it is a no-brainer. All it costs is money, and the price keeps dropping from what we are told. What’s up AA?

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Quick Hit

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The response to TSM’s baseball and basketball media medals suggests not a lot of people read basketball coverage in this city. For myself, I used to read Grange’s “From Deep” column on a regular basis but lost interest after he left the Globe. Maybe I’ll pay more attention if the Raps make a run in the playoffs. I was glad to see how many people like Lott. He is an underused asset in this market.

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that’s all I have for now . Thanks for reading and enjoy the weekend.

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mike in boston

 

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 12
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    Steve in Waterloo 6 years ago

    I admit that I am getting a bit anxious with the lack of change amongst the Blue Jays line up.

    I am also quick to give kudos for NOT making tremendous change to what is on paper a pretty decent line up.

    Maybe I am just ready for some baseball – this frigging long winter needs some Spring Training news….

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    Derrick 6 years ago

    Or Raptors fans (other than Raptors Devotee) don’t read this site. I admit my first inclination is to go to U.S. media outlets for NBA coverage, not the locals.

    Based on the responses for bother basketball and baseball it appears that the hardcore fans are ignoring the MSM and going straight to team specific blogs, or sport specific blogs. I think that’s a result of the hockey first focus of MSM and the feeling that the other sports don’t get the resources needed for proper coverage.

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    Santana, Jiminez and drew are all still out there. So we can’t really say the Jays are wasting the draft pick advantage *yet*. I think they’ll probably sign one of the pitchers, at the very least. With the seemingly crazy leverage they have, it seems they’re trying to wait out the players to come down to their terms.

    If they don’t get any of those guys, then I’d agree with that it’s be a missed opportunity for sure.

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    saminoshawa 6 years ago

    The shit the jays management shovels and the fans just lap it up, lemmings underachieving stiffs last year same this year dead last in the east AA and Beeston worst management duo in this city today bar none…

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    The CAN-FIN commentary by Hughson and (I think) Simpson was atrocious. The game was torturous to watch. In the third period H&S were saying Canada is “technically” playing well. Fucking apologists. Canada was getting nothing going. Not once did I hear hummm maybe Subban would have made a difference (granted I didn’t watch the whole game). The USA-RUS game was awesome though – except for the shootout.

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    Jays fans got spoiled last off-season with all the wheeling and dealing. So they are expecting the same this off-season because of what happened during the season. Well, they shouldn’t. The major prospects in the farm system were used for the trades last off-season. AA is not going to overpay for the pitching free agents that were available this year. It was not a great crop of free agent pitchers this year. The fact that Jimenez, Santana and until recently Garza and Burnett were available for so long should say something. At some point the Jays have to give guys like Drabek and Hutchinson a shot at making the team.
    As for the free agent compensation, the players association agreed to it. So they only have themselves to blame. For an off-season where some ridiculous contracts were signed it’s good to see some sanity come into play and the players receive more reasonable amounts.

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    you’re right Derrick – basketball coverage in Canada is not a priority and I doubt the local experts would garner the respect of their US counterparts. But we’re the same in Canada about hockey. I doubt Canadian NHL experts take Barry Melrose very seriously.
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    Ken Rosenthal was on PTS this week and seemed certain that the Jays would get one or the other of the FA pitchers. He thinks the Jays will wait out the market and then take whichever guy is most desperate for a job. I guess that’s a good result.

    But if you ever wanted proof that spring is a source of eternal hope, note how many articles are pouring out right now about the depth of the Jays’ pitching. It’s almost like people have forgotten last year. Shoring up the 4/5 spots is not going to fix what is wrong with this team. The problem is that Dickey is your ace, a guy who has proven not to be able to pitch 200 innings is your #2, and Buehrle is your #3.

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    Has anybody listened to the Blue Jays This Week podcasts lately? They’ve been putting them up almost every week on Saturdays for the past month. It pretty much confirms that Mike Wilner’s thing is about making a counter argument to whatever somebody’s positing and not about being a homer. He only comes off like he’s always defending the Jays because he’s taking a position contrary to his callers which are often negative. So that’s why he kept saying Colby Rasmus was good, for example. On this week’s BJTW, you can hear him have an argument with Ben Ennis about how Rasmus is not as good as everybody thinks, and everybody is being biased by a small sample space. It’s the opposite argument he makes on Jays Talk, but he’s making it because Ennis thinks Rasmus is good. If Ennis thought Rasmus was bad, Wilner would say he’s better than Ennis thinks. And previously, he’s argued that team chemistry is a thing because Ennis said it was “hocus pocus”.

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    mike (in boston) 6 years ago

    God I hate spring training. The next person who mentions how great the Jays’ depth is gets a punch in the nose.

    After losing out on (or failing to make an offer to) Jimenez, the talking point this week is how great the Jays pitching depth will be in 2014 since apparently the young guys (who have never faced ML hitters) are going to contribute and the guys coming off major surgeries are going to be healthy and productive (unlike the past several years). We are officially into JP Riccardi “please believe my bullshit” territory. Good organizations are continually improving from without as well as from within.

    The 3 major needs going in to the off-season were a top of the rotation starter, a viable 2nd baseman, and a catcher. Arguably they have failed on all 3 counts (… so far).

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    Well, could the rotation pan out as is? Sure. But on paper it seems far more likely it won’t be enough to compete with the other AL East teams. They really need another guy who has the potential to be at least a 2/3 guy to feel optimistic. And preferably 2!

    I’m still holding out hope they get Santana, and I’ll be pissed if they don’t (barring an unforeseen trade).

    I mean, as I said, it could pan out as is – but if you’re going into 2014 with this rotation what was the point of ‘going for it’ last offseason? They have a very strong offence in its prime, and a great bullpen. This team’s a starter or two from looking like a contender. Why come this close and then clam up all of the sudden? Makes no sense.

    I’m trying to reserve judgement until it really seems this is the team they go into April with… but getting frustrating for sure.

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    I love it when my friend Ami exposes Wilner like that…………is there anything worse than someone who constantly takes the other side just to be argumentative?…………Damien has been doing it for decades

    I agree that the Cyd Zeigler interview on PTS last week was good………..it was a Brunt week and there were a lot of good interviews on PTS, including the one they had with Beeston…………even the discussion with Bob Elliott was interesting because they talked about a disagreement between Omar Vizquel and John Farrell from the summer of 2012