Recent Comments by loquax

Adam Scott Wins the Masters

Yeah, right. If the Augusta National could keep the spectators out on the surrounding roads and still take their money, they'd do that instead

Ha ha, you mean, if Augusta National could play the entire tournament in front of only members, screw the public and their "money", they'd do that instead.

Augusta is a lot of things, but cash-hungry it's not.

posted by loquax at 08:52 AM on April 15

The state of Cuban baseball.

Excellent, thanks.

posted by loquax at 10:55 PM on July 05

Hey, Leaf fans: Boo these guys, not Leafs.

Here is the problem with the Leafs as a hockey team (not as a business). The owners of the team have very different motivations than the fans (or the Mark Cuban's of the world). The managers of this subsidiary of the Teacher's Pension Plan must meet quarterly and yearly financial performance metrics out of an obligation to the shareholders (really just OTPP, not "nobody" as Cox says). Those shareholders are not looking for Stanley Cups, they are looking for cash flow, consistency and ROI. Therefore, the Leafs will never go through a period where they are "rebuilding" and stock draft picks a la the Senators, Penguins, etc. The managers who run the show will ALWAYS sell the future for the present, ALWAYS trade draft pics for veterans that MAY get them into the playoffs/past the first round/etc. As long as they meet short term investment goals, they're fine. And they'll always be fine as long as the support of the team by fans, corporations, etc remains in place despite results (which will never be truely awful for the same reason). Certainly for the foreseeable future, with condos and office buildings being built on Leaf's property, and a TV channel being launched, the Leafs will not be allowed to fail and restock the farm system. Count on more stopgap measures like the Nolan/Toskola/Raycroft deal and marginal free agent signings. For most of the investors, all they need is 7-10%/year returns, easily manageable by staying the course. Risking those returns for the one/two year bump of having a true cup contender is not worth it, and will never be worth it. That's not the business that banks and pension plans are in. So don't boo the managers, who are only responsibly to their own shareholders, don't boo anyone other than the NHL system which allows, nay, enforces the monopolistic clutches that the club has on pro-level hockey in this city. If they faced any meaningful level of competition, from another team in Hamilton, or North York, or (god forbid) relegation, the entire formula would be different, and maybe the conservative financial institutions that own the team would have never bought in in the first place. Or don't show up, subscribe to leafs tv, go to raptors games, TFC games, or anything else. A few years of negative returns would have MLSE on the block in no time. Knowing that that will never change, I pray for an NFL franchise to move in and actually challenge the Leaf/Raptor stranglehold on sports entertainment during the fall and winter. Barring that, the only way the Leafs win the cup is by luck, having guys outperform expectations, and having the hockey moves work out brilliantly in one magical year. Forget about a run like Detroit's, Colorado's or Ottawa's. Not gonna happen, and it's a market fault, not an organizational fault.

posted by loquax at 06:39 PM on October 23

Bettman Buggers Up Balsillie's Bid

Revenue sharing in the NHL is minuscule compared to other leagues, and last I heard, it was a pool of something like $100mm a year. The delta in that pool is nothing compared to what a TV deal (however farfetched) in the states might bring. The only reason it even exists is to ensure that the league is big enough and stable enough for a truly national audience. Otherwise, why would the owners of the Leafs or Rangers care if Florida survived or not? Think of it as an investment to show ESPN the NHL is a serious, big four league. Putting a team in Hamilton, even if they sold out every single game, will make ESPN guffaw and jack up the NASCAR coverage. The NHL is not like McDonalds in that the overall league is affected by the individual franchises - the owner of a McDonalds franchise doesn't care where the other franchises are or what they do as long as he makes money. The owner of the Phoenix Coyotes does care - they need the TV deal. Badly. That's REAL revenue sharing. The extra few hundred grand each team might put into a revenue sharing pool is nothing, a fourth line winger. Or a fifth of Nik Antropov's salary. I'd bet that on the chance at a sniff from ESPN anyday. The N.H.L. would put franchises in Capetown and Kabul if they thought they'd make money from doing it. You're absolutely right. That's why they took franchises away from Quebec and Winnipeg and put them in Phoenix and Colorado. Canada is useless to the NHL as a moneymaking operation. At the very least, it takes care of itself with the TSN and CBC dollars. And that's why they would much rather have a team in KC than Hamilton. This is, of course, assuming that one even believes any of the numbers tossed around by the league when it comes to matters like these.

posted by loquax at 08:45 PM on July 20

Bettman Buggers Up Balsillie's Bid

Can we please stop talking about Gary Bettman. He is an employee of the owners. He serves at their whim. And he has done a marvelous job for them. You want to blame somebody, blame them, they give him his marching orders, they wanted US expansion, they wanted FOX, they wanted David Stern's ex right hand man, they wanted the lockout. No owner wants another franchise in Southern Ontario (or any other franchises in Canada). The local gate and local TV coverage does nothing for owners in California, or Florida, or Michigan. The other owners want a TV deal in the US, because that's the only way they get more money. Well, that and expansion cash grabs (another ridiculous thing "Bettman" gets blamed for). In that respect, Kansas City (or Nashville, or Bangor, Maine) is a FAR better market than Kitchener-Waterloo or Hamilton or Winnipeg or Quebec or any other nonsensical suggestions. If you were the owner of an NHL franchsise, attempting to justify your investment, and the investment of your partners, where would you rather have a team? I like talking about the pro sports leagues as if they're not franchised entertainment delivery collectives too, but they are. Blaming businesses for attempting to maximize return on investment is a waste of time. That being said, it would be great to ditch the leafs and cheer for the RIM Blackberries.

posted by loquax at 07:36 PM on July 20

So much for Pujol's run at the HR and RBI records

The Cardinals gave Pujols a $100 million, seven-year contract on Friday, a deal that would be worth $111 million if St. Louis exercises an option for 2011. So the Jays can't take a shot at hime until next decade. (You did mean that big money team in the AL East, right?)

posted by loquax at 11:35 AM on June 04

AL Central the best ... so far

Tigers drop two in a row to the Yanks, and yesterday give up 5 in the 11th and squander all kinds of opportunites, despite poor Yankee pitching.

posted by loquax at 10:24 AM on May 31

Games against native Canadians forfeited.

"They are supposed to play against us. We are part of the league and we've been playing baseball against them for 30 years," Jamieson said. Ridiculous situation all around, but it sounds pretty silly to hear representatives of the Six Nations talking about "rules" and what people are "supposed" to do when they've been illegally setting up blockades, looting, knocking out power, and occupying land for many months.

posted by loquax at 02:32 PM on May 30

AL Central the best ... so far

Why can we not call them the strongest division in baseball? Because combined, CWS and DET are 35-13 against MIN, CLE and KC. It isn't a strong division if it's comprised of one good team and one team (Detroit, 21-5) that has 60% of their wins against the other two mediocre-bad teams and another atrocious team in their division. Not only that but the White Sox haven't played the Yankees or Red Sox yet, are 3-3 against the Jays, and have been running up their record against the weak West. Detroit's record is purely a function of their intradivision play, which won't last.

posted by loquax at 08:50 AM on May 30

Why did Shumi do it?

Thanks Drood! That makes more sense...

posted by loquax at 11:28 PM on May 28

Why did Shumi do it?

Sorry, I don't understand racing at all and the stories presuppose some knowledge - what happened? He stopped and tried to pretend it was an accident so that someone who was going to finish ahead of him, wouldn't? And he thought he would end up ahead of the other guy even though he had this accident?

posted by loquax at 11:20 PM on May 28

Carl Cook is not a typical Clipper season-ticket holder

Who the hell else is in the running? Bill Simmons.

posted by loquax at 03:00 PM on May 12

Maurice lands Leafs top gig

So does this mean JFJ gets his rumoured extension too? (that picture of him is priceless, BTW)

posted by loquax at 09:59 AM on May 12

Nash again, allegedly.

The Canadian Press says so too.

posted by loquax at 08:50 PM on April 26

The Toronto Maple Leafs fire coach Pat Quinn and assistant coach Rick Ley

One thing this isn't is a quick fix. This is part of what's looking like a much larger plan by Ferguson to get the Leafs away from overpaying old farts every year, and starting to take advantage of the homegrown talent (much of it currently being coached by Paul Maurice, coincidentally) which is much cheaper, longer-lasting and (not least importanly) way better from a PR standpoint. Ferguson was the one that brought in O'Neill, Allison and Lindros, and re-signed Domi, and traded for Leetch. I agree that it looks like the leafs *may* head in that direction, but with millions to spend, I'll bet that you see more veterans replace departing players than the injury replacements we've seen at the end of this year. I know Quinn and JFJ have never gotten along, but why fire Quinn now? If they didn't get along and it was such an issue, why not fire him in January, mid-slump when his firing could have changed things? Firing Quinn and bringing in someone who isn't an obvious improvment is a bad move in my books, and looks like a quick fix to appease the media and the fans, creating the illusion that something is happening. Why couldn't JFJ get rid of the players that he thought contributed to the lack of success this season and let Quinn coach the personnel the GM thinks is appropriate. Because if Quinn was fired because JFJ didn't like the players Quinn was playing, well, who's fault is it that Domi, Berg, Khavanov and the rest of them were sitting on the bench and avaialble? I don't hate Maurice, just don't see why he's viewed as a better option than Quinn. He's coached about 600 games in the NHL with a record below .500 with some crappy teams and made the playoffs three times. Their cup run was a fluke, and it showed when they were clobbered 4-0 by the Wings. I think it's fair to see what Maurice can do with another year with Marlies before making him the coach of the big club. Honestly, there's a host of guys I'd rather see come in, including Andy Murray and Marc Crawford (assuming he gets fired).

posted by loquax at 12:58 PM on April 20

The Toronto Maple Leafs fire coach Pat Quinn and assistant coach Rick Ley

I don't know about this. I was all for firing Quinn years ago, and still am today because I don't think he's a particularly good coach, just one that's always had a lot of talent. However I wanted him gone when there were other better options available - Hitchcock, Lemaire, Martin, Larry Robinson even. I'm not sure at all that Maurice has what it takes to be the coach of a team that expects to win and win big every year (and should do better next year with another 20-25m of cap space). He may, but a couple of seasons in Carolina doesn't really mean much. Why not audition Maurice another year on the farm and let Quinn give it one last shot? Was this season such a disaster that it merited firing the coach of one of the top 5 most successful teams over the last 8 years? Were the players tuning him out? Are there other problems? He couldn't have been hampering JFJ too much if JFJ actually was able to fire him. This reeks to me of a quick fix kind of thing that's been the trademark of the other MLSE team sharing the ACC, at least until Colangelo's hiring (which made sense, fire the guy you have when there's a better option available).

posted by loquax at 11:56 AM on April 20

Turnabout is fair double-play

"watch us turn two later tonight" Classic.

posted by loquax at 03:52 PM on March 30

Ben Johnson, Cheetah spokesman

Poor Ben. Has anyone seen him around lately? He hangs out at strange bars in North Toronto and hits on girls half his age in frayed psuedo warm-up gear. I'm sure he was very very available to do this ad, no matter what the personal implications for him. And the ad actually is supportive of him, essentially supporting him despite his cheating, rather than really making fun of him. That guy though, the president of the company (that also makes beer) is annoying as hell. He's also in those ads with all the old-time hockey players, and some ad about his beer's appeal to women. He's like a new Mel Lastman.

posted by loquax at 10:36 AM on March 27

Hallday signs 3- year extension

Aside: my Toronto Star Season Passes arrived in the mail today. Whoo-hoo! Mine too! Once the city gets around to getting WiFi up near the Skydome, I have a feeling the 500 level will become my living room...

posted by loquax at 04:53 PM on March 16

An Englishman's view of an American sports icon.

Why oh why do sportswriters feel they need to write about things other than sports? You don't see Lewis Lapham debating the relative merits of the 4-4-2 and the 4-5-1 do you?

posted by loquax at 08:15 PM on March 15

Beating the clock

Who won, who lost and what the hell are the Leafs paying John Ferguson Jr. for? Umm..you did see we picked up Luke Richardson right? Just kidding. You think Colangelo can learn hockey fast enough to take over from him and do something useful this offseason?

posted by loquax at 03:22 PM on March 09

Canada 8, United States 6

What's sad is I left work early to watch the game, and almost everyone I talked to either didn't know they were playing, or didn't care. No hockey victory where Canada is favoured will be as sweet to me as watching that inside-the-parker to make it 8-0. And when the ESPN crew started talking mercy rule, I lost it. Ernie Whitt upstages Buck again!

posted by loquax at 09:14 PM on March 08

Raptors fire Babcock.

Chicobangs is right. Hoopwisdom is wrong. Vince Carter needed to go and everybody around the league knew it. In some ways, we needed to get rid of him more than the Pacers need to get rid of Artest, and the Pacers will be lucky to get anything useful for him too (even Peja was a free agent at season's end). Anyways the Raptors aren't going anywhere. As part of MLSE they're part of a coordinated entertainment empire, and can survive a downswing for much longer than the Grizzlies could, if not most teams that are independantly owned. They'll be fine once, between the Leafs and Raptors, they learn how to actually manage a salary cap.

posted by loquax at 10:37 AM on January 27

Kobe drops 81 for 2nd most in a game in history of NBA.

loquax: interesting point. I freely admit I was mostly speaking as a bitter raps fan. But still, my goodness, it was like he was a running back out there.

posted by loquax at 12:00 AM on January 23

Kobe drops 81 for 2nd most in a game in history of NBA.

It was fun the way they entirely stopped calling travelling for him, and the raps had no choice but to foul him as he took increasingly ludicrous shots from wherever he found himself after his jogs around the floor.

posted by loquax at 11:51 PM on January 22

NHL Attendance for November Best in League History

Yeah, but they didn't, so are you going to back any of that up with anything other than "your favourite sport suxors"? I specifically said that the NHL suxors, not the sport of Hockey. Do you really need proof that the NHL is mismanaged, lies to its audience, and survives despite incompetance and negligence on the part of the league and its owners, due soley to the "loyalty" of fans to corporate entities that market themselves as civic institutions rather than the capital investments that they are? Give me junior hockey, world championship hockey and olympic hockey any day.

posted by loquax at 01:42 PM on January 13

NHL Attendance for November Best in League History

Just goes to show that the fans are easily suckered. Hockey should be as popular as ever as a sport, but the NHL is a joke, and doesn't deserve the support/loyalty/dollars of the fans. I was hoping and praying during the lockout that one of those alternate leagues would actually start up and gain traction.

posted by loquax at 11:16 AM on January 13

The last captain to hoist the Cup gets waived.

How exactly do you rotate captains? Change 'em up every few weeks.

posted by loquax at 09:15 PM on January 11

The last captain to hoist the Cup gets waived.

Also: Columbus - Foote Boston - None Minnestoa - Still Rotates St. Louis - Dallas Drake Nashville - Greg Johnson Washington - Jeff Halpern Chicago - Adrian Aucoin Edmonton - Jason Smith Buffalo - Drury and Briere

posted by loquax at 12:06 PM on January 11

The last captain to hoist the Cup gets waived.

The Devils also started 2005-2006 without two defensive stalwarts: Scott Niedermayer signed with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim and longtime captain Scott Stevens announced his retirement on September 6, 2005. John Madden, Alexander Mogilny, Brian Rafalski and Colin White were all named alternate captains, but no official captain was named. Once Patrik Eliáš returned from his bout with Hepatitis A, he was given his position as alternate captain back, and many suspect he will eventually be named the next captain. Wikipedia, a great resource for this sort of thing, who knew?

posted by loquax at 12:00 PM on January 11

The last captain to hoist the Cup gets waived.

I guess not! Not bad at all. I wouldn't have been able to get as many. John Madden is really the captain of the Devils? Wow.

posted by loquax at 11:32 AM on January 11

The last captain to hoist the Cup gets waived.

I wouldn't worry about him not getting paid. I know, that's what I meant - as he's still getting paid, he's still much better off than the NFL players who don't have guaranteed contracts. In terms of fuss - how often does a team waive their captain? Really, what difference does it make? I don't know how valuable DA is to the TB locker room, but NHL "captains" are a dime a dozen, even before waiving players was even really an option according to the new CBA. At least 12 from 2004 are no longer captains of their teams in 2005. How many captains can you even name?

posted by loquax at 10:16 AM on January 11

The last captain to hoist the Cup gets waived.

Why all the fuss about waiving an over-the-hill player (to be honest, one that was over-the-hill years ago)? Isn't this standard operating procedure for leagues with a salary cap? Isn't this what the NFL does every week? And since when is Dave Andreychuk emblematic of the Lightning? He'll always be a Sabre (or a Maple Leaf). In fact, the Sabres should pick him up for a curtain call. I'll feel sorry for Dave Andreychuk when being waived means not getting paid. As for the lighting, if waiving Andreychuk means they can afford, say Mogilny, do you really think it hurts their chances to repeat? (and I say this as a kid that had a Dave Andreychuk 1983-84 O-Pee-Chee RC that I refused to trade for the Grant Fuhr RC, against all logic at the time)

posted by loquax at 10:29 PM on January 10

Sucker-punch drunk in the NHL front office

THIS IS NOT HOCKEY, if this happened on the on the street they would be arrested. The officials seem to not care, they permit it as long as both are standing. FIX THE RULES! Ah but it is. There are a variety of industries where if the actions of those legally participating in those industries were translated to "the street", they would be jailed. Like car racing, for example. Or animal research. Or the practice of medicine. Or even pornography! I won't even mention ultimate fighting or boxing. If you ask me, fighting isn't even the worst part of it, because it necessarily involves two willing and able participants. What disgusts me is checks from behind and stick offenses. How do you stop fighting anyways? Fighting is not allowed in the other sports, but you still see brawls in baseball, grappling in basketball, and skirmishes after practically every play in football. Again, the only way to eliminate excessive violence in the game is to prevent any circumstance whatsoever that can precipitate it. Attack the cause, rather than the symptoms. Although actual fighting between employees is probably one of the few things that the NHL could spell out as unacceptable, and be legally justified in handing out severe suspensions when it occurs. Wouldn't stop it though, any more than laws against street fighting eliminate barroom brawls. Ban contact (or in the case of the bars, alcohol) and then maybe you can eliminate it. Not sure there'd be much of a game (or nightlife) left though.

posted by loquax at 01:14 PM on January 09

Sucker-punch drunk in the NHL front office

the statutory and common law rules of employee discipline apply I should add that these are relatively complex and differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. I assume that the CBA is operating under the law of Ontario, as I think that most hearings and league functions are run out of Toronto, but in general, the key to disciplining unionized employees is clearly spelling out what is and is not acceptable from a performance point of view. The NHL and its clubs do that quite effectively when it comes to off-ice activities (showing up on time, not smoking in view of the public, etc) but the list of on-ice game trangressions cannot with any weight be viewed as conditions of employmee performance. Again, especially when one ref's 2 minute minor is another ref's match penalty. The more I think about it, I'm not even sure how the NHL can legally justify suspending players and witholding pay at all for on-ice activities. Especially when rough play and penalties are an essential part of the job description, and actually encouraged. I may start assuming that all fines and suspensions are shams, and that no money is actually ever withheld. I just can't see how it would hold up, unless there's a massive unwritten acknowledgement that if you rock the boat, you'll never play in the NHL again. Which would not surprise me in the slightest. Not to mention that agents advising players on these matters are in a huge conflict position. Anyways, assuming that the league can in fact withhold pay for on ice transgressions, they would have to be able to prove in court (or in front of a goverment labour arbitrator) that a) the employee was informed as to what is and is not acceptable, b) fair and clear warning must have been given prior to any formal disciplinary action, c) the penalty was fair, justified and fit the seriousness of the transgression. Under the common law, the onus is firmly on the employer to positively prove that the penalty is justified. I cannot believe that if any of these cases made it to court (without an extenuating circumstance like a criminal charge) the NHL would be able to make their charges hold up. For what it's worth. Which makes it very very hard for them to even try to do something as abstract as "eliminating cheap shots".

posted by loquax at 12:45 PM on January 09

Sucker-punch drunk in the NHL front office

Here's the old CBA - check out page 78 for the disciplinary procedures (note the max fine of $1000). Also check out Article 31, section 31.4(4) for a brief mention of "club rules" which are apparantly maintained on a club by club basis (and can only reach a max of $500(p.133)). Also check out the NHL's rule 33(a) (supplementary discipline) and 43 (attempt to injure). All rules are very non-specific about the process and the penalties, citing only the "comissioner's discretion". The comissioner, being an agent of management and an employee of the owners must follow procedures and asses penalties based on the law and the collective agreement. Of course, the CBA is also vague, except for the definitions of "repeat offender" (which is silly, as the definition of a repeat offender is essentially a statutory definition, and the league cannot have a rule that is contrary to the law) and the max fine, which is a joke to NHL players and is probably covered by the clubs anyways. As for missed time, note that the CBA (for a first offender) assigns a financial suspension penalty not equal to salary/82, but salary/days in the season. I would guess, having some experience with employment law in Ontario, that unless I'm missing something, the absence of specific language proscribing disciplinary action means that by default, the statutory and common law rules of employee discipline apply. Keeping in mind that for most serious trangressions a normal employee in any other industry would be summarily fired, the penalities in the NHL are well below the legal norms, probably in an effort to both maximize revenues and minimize lawsuits by well-represented and wealthy plaintiffs. A lot of the issues regarding the NHL (and other leagues) is the fact that their structure is so bizarre. Is it one corporation (the NHL) with multiple franchises (like say, McDonald's)? Or is it thirty individual entities engaged in a professional association (like say, network affiliate television stations)?. They define themselves in the CBA as "a joint venture organized as a not-for-profit unincorporated association", which sounds like a licensing or professional association, but it's ridiculous to claim that the NHL operates as a not-for-profit, legally speaking. Especially when they later claim that: "A Club, and where appropriate the League, may take any action not in violation of any applicable provision of this Agreement, any Player Contract, or law in the exercise of its management rights." Would a player sue his team in a dispute or the NHL? Is there an NHL? Can it be legally established that the NHL is simply a proxy for say, the Toronto Maple Leafs? This is more pretending on the part of the "leagues" that they are above the franchises and some sort of regulatory agency rather than the owner's association that they actually are. Contrast the NHL with FIFA, or UEFA, or even the NCAA to an extent, where those bodies are truly independant, and asses penalties not on the basis of what will miminize lost revenue, but what is "best for the game". Can you imagine bans in the NHL for cocaine use (not convictions, but use)? Can you imagine the Red Wings being forced to play in an empty stadium because of the actions of their fans? Until such a time as the NHL is not simply "the owners" rebranded, don't expect to see any action that would really hurt one of the teams that the whole money-making enterprise relies on.

posted by loquax at 12:26 PM on January 09

Sucker-punch drunk in the NHL front office

Keep in mind too that when people advocate for higher penalties, both in terms of suspensions and fines, that the power that the NHL (or any league) has to impose unilateral disciplinary action on a member of a union is very limited. Legally, it would be extremely difficult to seriously penalize a player, endangering their livelyhood and future employment prospects within a very narrow field, especially when so much violence is already implicitly condoned by the league(s). There are no concrete suspension/fine guidelines because so many cases are unique, and require individual judgement for the imposition of a fine or suspension. Which is almost unheard of in any other unionized setting, where disciplinary guidelines are essentially set in stone and form the basis for the collective agreement. Because of this, it is legally very difficult to say that "the player should have known that what he was doing was wrong (and/or very very wrong)". The exception comes when criminal charges are laid - in that case, actions by the police can be used to justify drastic penalties, like in the Bertuzzi case. If I were Goddard and the league tried to kick me out, or ban me for a year, I would sue so fast it wouldn't be funny, and in any court in Canada, I'd win big time. This, I believe, is the part of the game that goes unnoticed by many observers - the extent to which pro sports pretend to operate within the rules of "the league" while really operating within the framework of employment legislation.

posted by loquax at 10:36 AM on January 09

Sucker-punch drunk in the NHL front office

Has any sport that allows physical contact between players eliminated the cheap shot or injuries to players? Is it even possible? Look at the face slapping today in the Raptors-Nets game, or the Artest brawl, or just about every NFL game, and even baseball, where pitchers intentional throw projectiles at batters hard enough to possibly kill them. Not to mention auto racing, which actually does result in several deaths a year, and many horrific injuries due to contact between participants. The truly dangerous actions in hockey (and the other sports) is rare enough that they can't be "eliminated" via legislation. Obviously it's unacceptable to do what Goddard did (regardless of the punishment in this case), but he did it even after Bertuzzi's offence, and McSorely's, and Dino Ciccarelli's (where he got a night in jail for his troubles). Did the penalty Bertuzzi face deter anybody? Can any penalty deter the heat of the moment cheap shot? I highly doubt it. The only way to get rid of it is to eliminate the things that can precipite it, like hitting or contact between players in general. Which would make the sport stupid, and still would not be a guarantee that some idiot won't smack someone over the head with their stick for some reason or another. Look at the penalty that society imposes on murder - life in prison, about as bad as it can get. How many murders were there in North America last year?

posted by loquax at 03:51 AM on January 09

Booo!

I heard two slurs against Americans today in Toronto, one from my boss and one from a client. The first was in reference to someone from the UK, "at least she isn't American". The second was referencing "asshole Americans" which are apparantly a general point of contention. My girlfriend is American, and she hears slurs against the American people in general, having nothing to do with the government, Bush, Iraq or lumber, every day, in lectures at UofT, on TV, and in casual conversation. It's just as shallow and offensive as talking about how much one hates Indians, or Pakistanis, or Africans or anybody else. This guy may think that the booing is about hockey, but that would mean ignoring the casual and socially acceptable level that anti-Americanism has reached in Canada among many people. Oh, and chefwest: Read this - it'll blow your mind. Imagine! Hockey without ice!

posted by loquax at 12:11 AM on January 05

It's official.

If the Jays had been in the Central, they'd have made the playoffs at least 2 or 3 times since 1993, you know, the year they beat the Sox in the ALCS on their way to winning their second straight WS after only being in the league for 16 years. It took your boys 88 years to win their third title, the Jays are at 12 and counting.

posted by loquax at 12:18 AM on December 28

It's official.

6 man rotation who can survive an injury Not to mention McGowan who showed good stuff last year and the other young arms a year or two away. And don't forget the bullpen (with or without Downs). Gibbons can use a quick hook with Speir, Frasor, Chulk, Schoenwiess and now Ryan waiting in the wings.

posted by loquax at 08:00 PM on December 27

It's official.

but now they have three third basemen and two first basemen One will be traded, one will DH, leaving Overbay and Glaus at 1st and 3rd, and the remaining one (Hinske, Hillenbrand or Koskie) PHing, platooning or even trying RF once in a while. Depth is a good, good thing. And a rookie shortstop. And no second baseman Adams has played a full season in the bigs and part of another. Not the best SS in the world, but could improve, especially with Overbay at first to scoop up his throws instead of Hinske. Hill will be an above-average defensive 2b at least and he's an improvement offensively over Hudson. or else they're going to be in a lot of 8-7 games Not with the best starting pitching and bullpen in the AL (I'll bet! And ESPN readers seem to agree...), and still a very solid infield, Hudson, or no (remember the huge improvement at 1st, and the fact that Koskie missed a big chunk of the season at 3rd last year anyways), plus another gold glover in CF. I've got my season's tickets - this is so sweet for those that never jumped off the bandwagon.

posted by loquax at 06:40 PM on December 27

Another Pulitzer for Mitch Albom?

Sorry, moving story, but the writing is awful. I really really wish he hadn't written it. Thanks for the post though.

posted by loquax at 02:53 AM on December 23

Johnny Damon to sign with Yanks.

Actually, that sound you hear is millions of Blue Jays fans cheering in unison. One of those two improving at the expense of the other means that the wild card is getting closer and closer...

posted by loquax at 09:57 AM on December 21

The Great One steps down as head coach of Coyotes

Well, unfortunately it looks like Phyllis Gretzky passed away today. http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=2265795

posted by loquax at 10:38 PM on December 19

The Great One steps down as head coach of Coyotes

The contribution he's made to the team hasn't just disappeared. He just won't be making any more contributions until such time he is ready. You're right, and I am speaking more from principle than practicalites. I honestly don't care if he's running the team or not. I just think that it would be more appropriate to resign both jobs and then "re-apply" for them when he's ready to return, assuming the positions are open. That's what pretty much any other employee of a company would have to do in a similar situation. It's certainly what I would have to do, once my 8 weeks of statutory unpaid personal leave expires. It's not fair to ask organizations to hold spots open in the long term for someone who may choose to never come back.

posted by loquax at 10:13 AM on December 19

The Great One steps down as head coach of Coyotes

I have nothing but sympathy for someone in his position, but this strikes me as a little odd. Did he not know his mother's condition when he accepted the roles of both Coach of the Coyotes and Director of Team Canada? Is he not leaving both teams in the lurch at this late date? Again, understably, he wants to be with his mother, but this is a position that many people with jobs are in, and by definition one's personal life must be balanced by their professional comittments. It's one thing if he resigns, but it appears as though he's taking indefinite leave, which is unfair to Team Canada in terms of planning, and would be for the Coyotes if he weren't a part owner, I suppose. I don't mean to be hard on him, but something about this rubs me the wrong way.

posted by loquax at 09:43 AM on December 19

Charges brought against 4 Vikings for events occurring during "Love Boat cruise"

If having an orgy is wrong, I don't want to be right. Maybe employees who are easily offended should avoid boat parties starring millionaire football players. I certainly hope the company turned the boats right around at the first sign of "lewdness" and refunded all that dirty dirty money.

posted by loquax at 03:05 PM on December 16

Cuba denied participation in World Baseball Classic

Here's another interesting one: FIFA: Iran will be at World Cup - http://www.tsn.ca/tsn/news_story.asp?id=147070 FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - FIFA will not kick out Iran from next year's World Cup despite calls from German politicians for it to be excluded because the country's president denies the Holocaust.... The calls to banish Iran from the event in Germany came mostly from the opposition Greens party, although they had been supported by parts of the media and members of the country's ruling coalition. ''A country with such a president, who is driving the country into isolation, has nothing to do at the World Cup,'' said Angelika Beer, a Greens member of the European Parliament.

posted by loquax at 01:01 PM on December 15

Goodbye Brass Bonanza

Whoops! Thanks YukonGold! (As an aside on the Whalers jersey, that logo was a thing of beauty, from the old school of logos that incorporated so much information, yet resembled abstract blobs - how many people noticed the subtle "H" formed by the "W" and the whale tail?)

posted by loquax at 08:38 PM on December 09

Goodbye Brass Bonanza

That song was one of my favourites growing up, and I was also a huge fan of the Whale (owning a Geoff Sanderson #9 jersey). I had no idea that the two were related. Thanks justgary!

posted by loquax at 02:26 PM on December 09

Single Season All-Time Team

How about Delgado? Not a bad DH... 2000 Tor 41 hr 137 rbi .344 avg .470 obp .664 slg 1.134 ops

posted by loquax at 03:18 PM on December 05

Delgado to Mets.

Picking up Delgado was brilliant for the Marlins. They only paid him $4 million last season, and the extra $7 million will be deferred over the next two or three years, so they actually got him for $11 million over 3-4 years for a NPV of his 2005 season of around, say $8.5 million. They balanced the chance of one shot at a playoff appearance with a player at a deep discount against the risk of him underperforming and not being able to deal him. I wouldn't say this is part of the fire sale, but their intention from the beginning. Rent him for a season and then dump him. Why else would they have structured his contract that way? Maybe this was the deal with the Mets and Delgado all along?

posted by loquax at 10:29 AM on November 23

Surprise, Surprise

How about Vaclev Prospal leading the Lightning with 28 points? Or Jagr playing like it's 1995? Or the Leafs having more than a token player under 35?

posted by loquax at 06:21 PM on November 15

Video of the speedstacking world record holder

Principal Skinner: Here's a whole box of unsealed envelopes for the PTA! Bart: You're making me lick envelopes? Skinner: Oh, licking envelopes can be fun! All you have to do is make a game of it. Bart: What kind of game? Skinner: Well, for example, you could see how many you could lick in an hour, then try to break that record. Bart: Sounds like a pretty crappy game to me. Skinner: Yes, well... Get started.

posted by loquax at 06:00 PM on November 13

another stupid trade idea from our friend sam

Here's a better one. The Raps take Garnett off your hands for Jalen Rose and Matt Bonner. Sound good?

posted by loquax at 06:38 PM on October 22

Is it time?

Why David Ortiz shouldn't be MVP From the hardball times...

posted by loquax at 05:27 PM on September 24

The Center of the World

A must read about Yao and the NBA from Foreign Policy magazine, of all places.

posted by loquax at 11:35 PM on August 31

Eagles inform Owens in writing of behavior issues

Their is nothing sadder than a good player who only has HIS agenda on his mind and not the team, fans, and everyone else involved. That is just talent gone to sh*t. That's all I have on my mind when I go to work in the morning. I'm a good, productive employee and taxpayer, but I don't care about the company, the boss, the customers, or my co-workers. I only care about my agenda and accomplishing it. I go to work and put up with crap because I enjoy eating. The second that changes, I am such a ghost. What is talent but a means to a personal end? Why should I hold TO to a different standard? Does that mean I'm a narcisist?

posted by loquax at 07:47 PM on August 15

Cheering on the SuperJews

Hey! I posted to mefi about this a while ago - I should have cross posted.

posted by loquax at 05:41 PM on August 09