Thursday, May 31, 2012

This And That

Rider season has started, the Regina Red Sox season has started and the Stanley Cup is winding down. Its time to switch into summer mode is it not?

Yes, it is rookie camp and it is only a couple of days long, but the Riders have returned and that means we can strap ourselves in for another six months of twists and turns. I resemble this time to being on a great big roller-coaster. This is the time when the cars leave the start line and slowly makes its way up that first incline before starting the ups and downs that a Rider season usually brings. Hang on! Lets hope this ride isn't as scary as last season.

Wednesday night marked the start of the Western Major Baseball League season and the Regina Red Sox opened it up with a 5-0 win over the visiting Moose Jaw Miller Express.

A good crowd was on hand for the season opener and it was great to see virtually all of the media at the park to take part in opening night festivities. The Red Sox's image is getting bigger and bigger thanks to a championship season, the efforts of guys like Bernie Eiswirth and Gary Brotzel and a bigger media push by most to get the people interested. If you haven't been to a game at Currie Field, I highly recommend it. Yes, parking is a problem, but nothing is perfect right?

Game 2 of the Stanley Cup final is Saturday night and one would have to think we will see another tight-checking affair with goaltending coming up big for both sides and shots at a premium. I thought the Devils were the better team in Game 1, but a serious brain cramp by the New Jersey defence left Anze Kopitar all alone and he made no mistake on what was an outstanding effort to give L-A the game and get the early advantage again. If the Devils can come back to win Saturday night, we will have a series. If L-A wins, it could be a short final.

My best friend is a Devils fan and has been for a number of years. My question is is he the only Devils fan in Regina? I don't see many with the New Jersey logo around town.

Its been a very weird and very disturbing week when it comes to news stories. The story coming out of St. Walburg is extremely sad and just indicates that perhaps all is not being done when it comes to fighting depression. I can't imagine how anyone could shoot their wife and young child, but then again I probably can't imagine the demons that were unsuccessfully fought.

What is going through the head of the guy who is killing people and mailing body parts everywhere? Just when you think you have heard it all, you hear that story and the one of the guy in Miami that was shot when he was found eating another guy's face. WTF??? Oh yeah, I forgot about this story too which is just as gruesome

The Edmonton Eskimos announced this week that musical acts 'Salt n Pepa" and "Vanilla Ice" will perform at half-time during home games this season. Was Bobby Curtola not available? Why weren't "The Stampeders" invited? Rod and I made fun of this during the Sportscage on Wednesday when we did the show live from Currie Field. One fan got a chuckle out of it, but reminded me that at least the Eskimos are doing something and not treating their fans to something like the dog show. I couldn't disagree with them.

With Andy Fantuz gone, I think it is safe to say that the jersey that will be most prevalent at Mosaic Stadium this year will be the number 7 one worn by Weston Dressler. Who's kidding who, Mrs. Scruffy even has a number 7 uniform.

The Seattle Mariners pushed 21 runs across the board against the Texas Rangers this week. It prompted CTV's Chris Hodges to tweet me telling me the Mariners had scored more in one game than the Seahawks in more than half of their games. Well played Hodgie, well played!

What Regina media member headed to the first day of Riders rookie camp only to pull up outside Mosaic Stadium and wonder where everyone was? Oh yes, it happened!

This might be the one most bizarre sports stories of 2012.

I was sad to read that Craig Stein of Yorkton radio station GX94 was resigning his position. Craig is a good guy and a good play-by-play guy who just for one reason or another couldn't get that Western Hockey League shot. In my one year with the SJHL, I worked with a lot of talented broadcasters---many of them are now no longer with their stations for various reasons. As I said, Craig is a good guy and I hope that somewhere down the road he gets back behind a mike and gets to do what he wants. He deserves the opportunity.

I am one to watch Jay Onrait and Dan O'Toole do Sportscenter in the morning. On Thursday, TSN had French Open Tennis on while TSN2 had the Scripps Spelling Bee. Can someone please tell me how this classifies as something that is sports. Cmon TSN, you are better than that.

Speaking of TSN, it looks like Sportsnet is ready to give them a battle. Rogers is telling people they did more hockey than TSN this year as they look to outbid them and CBC for Hockey Night in Canada, they want a piece of the CFL if what you hear is right when the current TSN contract runs out, they have taken the Indy 500 and other IRL from TSN and are looking at other properties as well. What Sportsnet really needs is better on-air personalities to compete with the on-air guys at TSN. Hazel Mae or Rod Smith? That decision is crystal-clear.

I don't know what direction the WWE is going in these days, but without stars like Randy Orton, Chris Jericho and Mark Henry for the next little while, I don't like it. There is talk that "Stone Cold" Steve Austin is about to return to make life difficult for John Laurainaitis. If writers can make the Austin-Lauranaitis feud as funny as the Austin-Vince McMahon feud, it will be entertaining.

The debate has started over Nick Lidstrom's spot in hockey history. The Red Wings defenceman had a first ballot hall of fame career and he is deserving of every accolade he receives. When I think of defenceman during my time, I would have to put Nick 3rd behind Bobby Orr and Paul Coffey. Yes, putting him below Coffey may be blamed on my love for the Oilers, but I just think Coffey was more of a complete d-man because of his offensive skills. If I had to rank d-men, I would go Orr, Coffey, Lidstrom, Niedermayer, Stevens, Chelios, Bourque, Robinson and Leetch. Sorry, but Doug Halward doesn't make the list.

NHL GM's met in New York this week to talk about rule changes and one of those changes discussed was having minors or majors stretch over to the next game in the playoffs. ????? Really? In an NHL where head shots are still prevalent and no-touch icing is still not used, this is an idea that was actually discussed? If they gave more than 30 seconds of discussion to this, it tells you that perhaps the GM's themselves can take some of the blame for the way the game is.

It is said average weekly earnings in the province are increasing 6 percent year-over-year-over year. It isn't and hasn't at Casa de Blair. How about you?

Face your problems, but don't Facebook them!

That's all I got. I'm out! Have a good one!


Anonymous said...

There may have been more Dressler jerseys than Fantuz ones last year.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Red Sox baseball is as good as what Cyclones baseball was, but Bernie and Gary are certainly stand-up guys unlike Chris Ferguson. I think they had to swim through a lot of sludge that Fergy created in the community and that now people are just seeing one is different from the other.

See ya at the park.

Anonymous said...

Lidstrom is the best defenceman I have ever seen and that includes Orr!


Anonymous said...

Orr, Coffey, Niedermeier in my books.

Anonymous said...

Mitch. Thank you for your post and comments on the St. Walburg tragedy. I think too many times, the media is quick to lay blame not fully understand that this person was not in his right mind. I've struggled with mental illness and was able to survive a suicide attempt. I am always saddened to hear about people who lose their battle. #37. I want to tell your blog readers that the Canucks have set up a website to check to see if you are showing symptoms of mental illness. I encourage them to check is out.