Monday, April 30, 2018
Something To "Mitch" About
-- Before getting into the meat and potatoes of today's column, I just want to give a huge thank you to all of those involved with the Regina Red Sox for allowing me the opportunity to interview former Jays pitcher Todd Stottlemyre at their annual dinner on Saturday night. Brendan McGuire and myself had the chance to grill him for about 45 minutes on a variety of topics including the famous World Series slide. As for what happened, well let's just say the wind resistance on that Starter jacket and the fact that while Cito Gaston told players they could run on the arm of a weak Lenny Dykstra that strategy didn't apply to pitchers which Stottlemyre figured out as he rounded second on his way to third.
Stottlemyre was great. I'm sure we could have sat on stage for a long time talking baseball which I certainly would have been fine with. All in all it was a great night and thank you again to the Red Sox for once again having the opportunity.
--As training camp nears, Duron Carter is stirring it up, and stirring it up with his own fanbase!. How about this tweet from #89 on Sunday.
--The CFL draft is Thursday. I am certainly hoping a team does the right thing and calls Noah Picton's name. He deserves it. The U of R quarterback has shown he can make the throws and can do what is needed. His size and his birth certificate are the only things working against him. If someone takes him and he does what I think he can do, it will be a wise investment. While I don't know if Picton will go, I do know teammate Atlee Simon will have his phone ring somewhere most likely from the late 2nd to mid 4th round. His game is getting better and he will be a key component for the Rams in his 5th and last season. Both are quality individuals and deserve the opportunity to take their game to the next level.
--You knew it was going to happen and on Saturday night it did. Goaltender interference reared its ugly head at a most inopportune time and while the debate is on as to whether it was or wasn't, one can't debate whether or not the disallowed goal by the Vegas Golden Knights in overtime could be a series-changer.
If Vegas is up 2-0 in the series they likely win the best-of-seven. Now San Jose goes home for two and if they hold serve will be in firm control.
The Knights didn't seem too agitated by Jonathan Marchessault's goal being called off and it did appear as if contact was made, but Martin Jones was not in the blue ice when the contact was made. Does that make it interference? The debate continues and did with a couple of controversial calls that both went against Pittsburgh in Game 2 of that series. I thought the call on both was the correct one and I have no horse in the race so there's no perceived bias on that one.
--As for Winnipeg/Nashville, it is everything you thought it was going to be and it may get better. Game 2 was good old-style hockey. You had to love that display.
--The Buffalo Sabres were the worst team in the NHL this past season and they will pick first as they won the NHL draft lottery. Actually, the Carolina Hurricanes did as they moved up to 2nd knocking everyone down one. That has caused some consternation. They say the Hurricanes shouldn't be allowed to move up that much. Why? They only had a 3 percent chance of capitalizing and they did. No rules were broken. The NHL draft lottery gives ALL non-playoff teams a chance to win through the weighted system. It's fair despite what some fan bases say because their team didn't benefit. As I have said before, I would like to see all non-playoff teams get one ball and the draft order be determined that way. It would stop any team from tanking if they actually do that. If it meant that the first non-playoff team won than so be it.
--After not having any NHL'ers at the Olympics, does the upcoming World Championships have more of an interest for you. It does for me. Yes, the best are still not there, but its better than what was offered up in Pyeongchang. I didn't watch the Olympics, but I will be watching this. That being said, I'm not getting up at 3 AM or anything to tune in.
--Is the Toronto media going to make a big deal of Auston Matthews vs Mike Babcock all summer long. Early indications would be you betcha. Does anyone really think either is going anywhere anytime soon. Not a chance. Matthews is the straw that stirs the drink and Babcock is the one making said drink. Matthews didn't play well in these playoffs. He learned a lesson. Could he and should he be getting more ice time? The answer is probably yes as he should be up there with the Crosbys, Ovechkins and McDavids of the world. In the playoffs, you need to produce and he didn't so Babcock looked for someone who could. The last I saw, Babcock's resume is a stellar one. The sooner that story goes away the better for all involved.
--Are the Raptors a championship team? I guess we'll find out soon as they get Lebron James and Cleveland in Round 2. Despite their solid regular season, they still need to show some things and this would do it.
--The Seahawks drafted a punter in the 5th round of this weekend's draft. Who drafts a punter? Who drafts a punter when you have a pretty good one already? The Seahawks do. The selection of Michael Dickson may spell an end to Jon Ryan's career in Seattle blue. The talk is his salary is now too much for the team and he will be a cap casualty before training camp starts . Jon still has some kicks left in that leg. Some hope he would come back to the CFL and kick for the green-and-white. I don't see that happening anymore. If it does great, but I think that ship has sailed. Who's kidding who, his services will be welcomed by someone in the NFL. That tour of the facilities is likely out though. DAMN!
--Congrats to the Notre Dame Hounds for winning the Telus Cup. If memory serves me right, they only lost two or three games total this season. That's a nice run!
--That's all I got. Have a great week!