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Sunday, May 17, 2015

Something To "Mitch" About



The major league baseball season is six weeks old and the Toronto Blue Jays are in crisis mode. A loss in Houston on Sunday completed a four game sweep for the Astros leaving Toronto in a 5 game losing streak.

There is no doubt as to why the Blue Jays are not good right now and one of the culprits is this guy....

Lets face the facts, R-A (does not stand for Real Awful despite what you think) Dickey is on his last legs. When they brought this guy over from the Mets after one good season, I hated the deal and I hate it even more now because the guy is terrible. Unless you are Gaylord Perry or Phil Niekro and play until you are older than dirt, you are not going to win many games in the majors as a "novelty" pitcher. Dickey has made 76 starts for the Blue Jays in three seasons: The Jays are 35-41 in those starts. That's .460 baseball-- or a 74-win pace. Mark Buehrle has made 72 starts for the Jays. Their record when he starts--45-27. Buehrle was a good pickup, Dickey wasn't. Buehrle has had many solid seasons while Dickey has had just one, but give him credit because he cashed in on it.

 As was the case in Houston Friday night, batters just go to the plate and lick their lips knowing they will crush the ball.  Dickey shouldn't take all the blame because that bullpen is atrocious as well.  Toronto went out and added two bats in the off-season by trading for Josh Donaldson and picking up free agent catcher Russell Martin, but they did nothing when it came to pitching. Did you know Toronto is 2-18 in games where they score 5 or less runs.  That is beyond ridiculous.  The team needed a closer and they failed. They need guys to pitch the 7th and 8th inning, but they have blind faith in guys like Aaron Loup, a recycled Jeff Francis, Brett Cecil and Liam Hendriks.  Why?

 Toronto's pitching is 29th in baseball in ERA, 28th in quality starts and 27th in team ERA yet pitching coach Pete Walker and manager John Gibbons seemingly get a free pass. The Miami Marlins gassed manager Mike Redmond on Sunday citing bad pitching and no real motivation for his team. If the Marlins can do it, its time for the Jays to do it as well.

There's a lot of time left in this season, but its' time to smarten up.  What makes it more frustrating for Toronto fans is the fact the Astros are an American League best 25-13 and two years ago when Toronto was supposedly a contender, the Astros were in their 3rd straight season of losing 100 or more games. Houston has found a way, Toronto hasn't and some will say don't really want to using last year as an argument when a playoff spot was there only to decide they didn't want to take a shot at improving their lineup.  The Jays are in an American League East that doesn't see the Yankees and Red Sox as powerful as they once were and they are only 5 games back. Get your you know what together and you still have a chance. Getting rid of Gibbons and perhaps giving someone else a role in the rotation while doing something with Dickey might make that chance better. How much longer can Toronto baseball fans take the wool being pulled over their eyes, because offseason trades don't cut it when you don't try to strengthen yourself in the area that wins games.

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As for my favourite team in the majors, I didn't think they would contend this year and while I still expect them to fall off as the season goes along, the Chicago Cubs are playing some pretty good ball at a record of 21-16.  They had their first six game win streak since 2011( which is somewhat sad) snapped on Sunday by the Pirates, but young guys are coming through as they start their major league career. Is it any coincidence Joe Maddon, who led a young Tampa team to the playoffs and got the best out of that team while there, is doing the exact same thing in Chicago. The Cardinals are still the class of the NL Central, but maybe, just maybe, there could be playoff baseball at Wrigley this year. There will be soon and it might just be before Toronto makes the playoffs.

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Jordan Eberle finally has some hardware in his professional career. The Regina native and Edmonton Oiler was a big part of the Team Canada team which won gold at the Worlds in convincing fashion. Its hard to believe the only team that challenged the Canadians were the mighty French!  That squad was loaded and it was great to see guys step up and represent their country like Sidney Crosby. Lets hope more guys get that message because you know Canada could be stacked every year with teams that don't make the playoffs or get bounced after Round 1. Personally, that means I hope Ebs, Taylor Hall and Connor McDavid don't play at the Worlds for a while---unless of course Eberle or Hall get traded. I still think if one of the big three goes its Hall, but who knows. I threw this out on Twitter during the gold medal game. If you could give Philly, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for Claude Giroux, would you pull the trigger Oiler fans? I think Edmonton would have to give up something else too, but not a lot.  Expect Todd McLellan to be named Oilers coach within a week to 10 days.
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While the golf world buzzes about Jordan Spieth and his Masters win and Rickie Fowler and his win at the Players Championship, Rory McIlroy just goes about his business. His 61 on Saturday was just stupid! 61!!! I'm usually at that point by the 11th hole. He is at the top of his game right now and he could be on the verge of having one of the best ever seasons on the Tour.

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Ottawa REDBLACKS GM Marcel Desjardins said his team will be in the playoffs this year. What a bold statement to make in a 4 team division where the top two and sometimes the 3rd make it!  It wouldn't surprise me one bit to see Ottawa make the playoffs because I can't see Toronto doing it and I'm not sure about Montreal yet. Henry Burris has better receivers to throw to this year so yeah, I would say the REDBLACKS will be in.

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CFL Commissioner Jeffrey Orridge was tweeting this weekend about bringing his credit card with him and hoping the wife understands when he visits CFL cities for the first time. I don't know about the other eight teams, but I would be absolutely shocked if Orridge's credit card even comes out when he visits the Rider Store if you know what I mean,
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It angered me to see some idiot(s) deface the Cenotaph in Victoria Park on Friday morning with some what appeared to be tag whether it be gang-related or not. The lack of respect on most crimes is disgusting, but this takes it to another level. There are just some things you don't deface and a cenotaph is one of them. That cenotaph is a symbol as to why we enjoy the freedom we do and pays respect to the people that helped create that. Defacing that symbol goes wayyyyyyyyy over the line as far as I'm concerned. I hope they find who is responsible.

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Does Jaromir Jagr realize you have to retire and be out of the league for a certain time before you get into the Hockey Hall of Fame?  I don't think he does. Teemu Selanne at least figured it out.

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71 games have been played in the Stanley Cup playoffs so far and 25 of them have resulted in games with 3 goals or less. As a hockey fan, do you like this? I don't mind it if you have good goaltending, but it is getting a little tedious.  The NHL has to be concerned that almost 20 percent of their playoff games have not had a lot of scoring, but I don't know what you do except shrink the size of goalie equipment or make the net bigger---not a lot bigger though. Would 2 inches on either side work? Would playing the game on the wider ice surface help? I'm not sure.

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With the temperature supposedly being in the 20's next Friday, why am I thinking those who didn't get a chance to test out the camper this weekend because of the weather will take next Friday off and the get the hell out of Dodge.

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A group led by Habs owner Geoff Molson met with NBA commissioner Adam Silver to talk about the NBA coming to Montreal. Silver told the group there is no plan for expansion or relocation. I think the NBA would work in Montreal. I also think if it was done right, the NBA could go back to Vancouver and call me crazy, but I think Calgary would be a great market as well. The game's popularity is increasing in this country and more and more quality players are dotting NBA rosters. A 2nd Canadian team would be outstanding and moreso if that team was in Western Canada.

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One last thing today. Back in March of 2010, I got a call from Rod Pedersen asking me to meet him for lunch at the Press Box. During that lunch, Rod told me about a two hour sports program that was about to start on CKRM and knowing I had done a sports show for several years at CJME, he asked me how the hell do I do it and what do you do. I gave him some tips and some ideas that were rejected at the other place (yeah a text-line won't work----OK!!) and on May 17, 2010, we sat down in the lobby at Capital Ford and gave birth to the Sportscage. I can remember RP going into that show wondering how he could do this five days a week and I told him just to relax because this show would explode and he would be fine and take his game to the next level. Truth be told, I did not think it would explode the way it has which says a lot about many things, but there is a reason why the show is Saskatchewan's #1 sports show. While Rod gets a lot of credit for that show and deservedly so as he pieces everything together whether it be in studio or on the road, I think he would be the first to tell you the success has to be shared with the likes of people like Scott Schultz, Luc Mullinder, Kelly Remple, Phil Andrews, Arash Madani and many others plus the sports community not only in this city, but this province. The people of this province know where to come to get the best sports-talk out there as the ratings have showed since Day 1.  It is a lot of fun being a part of a championship team and being that 3rd or 4th line grinder that chips in every now and then on the scoresheet. When you see what has been done in the first five years, it just makes you wonder what the next five years has in store. GET YOUR POPCORN READY AND BUCKLE UP!!!

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That's all I got. Have a great week!!






17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tiger Williams was a great addition to the Cage on Wednesdays this year, and Lou is always a source of energy on Thursday, fun when he and Remple get yakking. Here is to five more years and coverage of a Grey Cup winning Rider team or two! But the Big Show to look forward to is the Sports Cage on location on opening day of the new Stadium in Regina in 2017.

Old Hank

Anonymous said...

The Jays are junk and will be junk until Gibbons goes. While Donaldson was a great pickup, I'm sure you could have found a solid pitcher in exchange for Lawrie.

Anonymous said...

The Jays have floundered forever. Gibbons did nothing the first time around yet they brought him back. Both the current GM and the previous one are ham and eggers. These guys have saddled the Jays with bad signings and bad trades. It time to clean house at the top both Gibbons and Anthropolous. They need to bring in some true baseball men with proven winning resumes. If they don't the jay are destined to always be the Jays. Everyone was surprised when these guys weren't sacked at the end of last season.

Anonymous said...

RNH for Giroux? That's intriguing.



Garry

Anonymous said...

Best thing about the Sportscage hitting the local airwaves is it meant the end of Drew Remenda. I don't have to tell you CJME made a huge mistake when they put him in charge of a show when he admitted he didn't like football. Warning flags should have gone up, but it didn't which says a lot about management at that time. His first guest was a Shark wasn't it! Sportscage is must listen to radio during football season. You, RP and everyone else connected with show are sitting on a gold mine.

Russ

Anonymous said...

The Jays are basically out and it's not even Canada Day yet. Congratulations to Team Canada, that was one of best world teams I have ever seen play. Win or lose this season, I am so excited about Rider Football starting in a month.

Anonymous said...

Cage isn't perfect, but what is! It is a great program though and one that Rider fans should listen to 24/7/365. There is no alternative!

Anonymous said...

Outside of Regina nobody has heard of sports cage, so ok, go ahead, knock yourself out and call it saskatchewans #1 sports show. Lol

Anonymous said...

Last anon- you'd be wrong there. Tremendously popular all over the province, and even beyond.

Anonymous said...

I live in Saskatoon and have tried to tune into Sportscage but the signal is generally too weak and therefore lots of static, not worth tuning into.

Anonymous said...

I would LOVE to see an NBA team in Western Canada again! It would increase the sports presence in this country bigtime. Realistically though, I don't think it happens.


Matt

Anonymous said...

Anon from Stoon might want to get a different radio. I pick it up loud and clear from my place all the time and I'm right by Marion Graham.


Anonymous said...

If you are going to trade RNH or one of the other forwards, you don't need another goal scorer. Get a top notch defenceman or a goaltender. I would dangle RNH to Boston for Dougie Hamilton or a package for Rask.

Anonymous said...

I drive a 2014 Navigator, nothing wrong with my radio, 620 is a weak signal.

Anonymous said...

To the anon from Marion graham, if you are listening to AM radio at home, you need to get a life.

Anonymous said...

Admitting you drive a Navigator is admitting you're a douchebag. Thanks for the input!

Anonymous said...

I'm a douche bag because I make more money than you?
You probably vote NDP too!