Random Thoughts From Motown Mitch: Aug. 19

Mitch Kasprick is the “Motown Curmudgeon” aka “Motown Mitch”

Odds and Ends, Thoughts and Questions, from this past week in sports – 

Just so there’s no confusion when I’m spewing my bias, I am a fan of the Winnipeg Jets, Arizona Coyotes, Manitoba Moose, Winnipeg Ice, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Minnesota Vikings, Arizona Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays, Arizona Diamondbacks, Winnipeg Goldeyes, Toronto Raptors, all curlers from Manitoba, and all Canadian athletes competing on the international stage. 

I am NOT a fan of Gary Bettman or as I call him, Count Chocula.  I am a big believer in the 7Ps.  You’ve been warned.

1.  Jets:  By now I think every Winnipeg Jets fan has heard about Sportnet’s Chris Johnston’s interview with Jets RFA forward Patrik Laine but I think it was much to do about nothing.  The only concern I have is if there is any truth to the statement that talks have been non-existent with Laine’s camp this summer.  I find that hard to believe. 

2. Blue Bombers:  Winnipeg 32 vs Lions 16 …  The Blue Bombers took care of business with a solid victory but the result took a back seat to a potentially serious injury to Matt Nichols.  Nichols was definitely favouring his shoulder.  There should be an announcement from the team sometime today. 


Matt Nichols has been placed on the 6-game injured list.  Nichols will be re-evaluated in 4-6 weeks.

The Good: 

  • Andrew  Harris … he continues to grind.
  • The front four …  they are the only reason our secondary doesn’t get torched every play.

The Bad:   

  • The initial optics of Matt Nichols’ injury.  It didn’t look good.
  • The O-line … Their run blocking is okay but they struggle in pass protection.  Teams rarely blitz because they don’t have to and when they do our QBs are usually laying horizontal.  

The Ugly:

  • Chandler Fenner … whether the Bombers are in man to man or zone defence he is constantly targeted because he is one of the worst DBs in the CFL.

3.  PGA:  Some sports just aren’t suited to a playoff format.  NASCAR and the PGA Tour come to mind.  The PGA Tour keeps tweaking the format looking for a way to make it fair and not so confusing for the players and fans but the I’m not sure their latest incarnation will get it done either.  We will see.  On the positive side when we see the leaderboard it will be what it is instead of looking at confusing projections. 

FYI:  The new format assigns actual scores going into the Tour Championship.  The golfer leading the FedEx Cup standings after the BMW Championship (Justin Thomas) will begin the Tour Championship at 10-under par.  Then the player with the second-most points (Patrick Cantlay) will start the tournament at 8-under par, the third-ranked player (Brooks Koepka) will be at 7-under, and so on until the golfers ranked between 26th and 30th start at even par.  Basically, all 30 players have a chance to win the FedEx Cup although the bottom 15-20 don’t really have a great chance but being 10 shots behind with four rounds to go is better than being 10 shots behind after two rounds. 

4.  Blue Jays:  Based on the quick learning curve and the production of “the kids” the Jays brain trust might have to re-evaluate their timeline for competing in the AL East.  I think they should start looking for some major-league arms for the starting rotation ASAP.  The bullpen has been very good all season but the starting pitching they now have is NOT good and their best arms in the system are a couple of years away.

5.  Blue Bombers:  Congrats to Andrew Harris on becoming the all-time leader among Canadian players for yards from scrimmage.  Harris has also made it into the league’s top 10 all-time rushing list.  I hope the Bombers aren’t wasting all these productive years from Andrew Harris and if the Nichols injury turns out to be serious it could be another lost year with one of the CFL’s biggest weapons. 

6. PGA Tour Canada:  I’m not a fan of sponsor exemptions for golf tournaments unless there are extenuating circumstances.  If you want to tee it up, go out and play in the qualifier.  A perfect example of why I hate sponsor exemptions is Kyle Connor’s scintillating scores of  94-90 at the local Mackenzie Tour stop at Southwood.  Can you imagine being in his pairing?  Who wants to watch some guy slash it around while they are trying to compete?  I know a lot of golf pros that detest this crap.  Stay off the course you hack.  I think I’m going to call Kyle Connor SLASH for the rest of the season.

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7.  Blue Jays:  The Jays will never win with these marshmallow arms like Pannone, Borucki, Gaviglio, etc and the only real power arm the have is Reid-Foley and he stinks.  He has ZERO command.  The only starter that I think might have a chance as a 4 or 5 in the rotation is Thornton.  (see #4) 

8. Blue Bombers:  I can see a lot of Winnipeg Blue Bomber fans jumping off the bandwagon in the next few weeks.  It is going to be really ugly in Edmonton next week and it probably won’t be much better the following week in Regina.  These were going to be tough games with Matt Nichols under center and even tougher with Chris Streveler.

9.  Blue Bombers:  Willie Jefferson is sure looking like a nice investment, isn’t he? 

10.  Blue Bombers:  For all the Blue Bomber fans howling for Chris Streveler to get more playing time you got your wish.  This reminds me of the old saying, “be careful what you wish for because it might come true”. 

11.  Important Dates:

Aug. 23:  Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Edmonton Eskimos.

Sept. 16:  Winnipeg Jets pre-season opener at Edmonton.

Sept. 18:  Winnipeg Jets pre-season home opener vs Minnesota.

Oct. 3:  Winnipeg Jets regular-season opener at the New York Rangers.

Oct. 10:  Winnipeg Jets regular-season home opener vs the Minnesota Wild.

If you have any questions for Darryl or myself (Mitch) please give us a shout.  You can use the comment section or use the #ASKWHTPOD hashtag on Twitter.  

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If you have any thoughts on any of these comments or questions, please let me know.  We would love to hear your opinions.

Thanks, Mitch 

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