Random Thoughts From Motown Mitch: Aug. 27

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 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:  Finally, something, anything, came out this past week about Josh Morrissey and it was straight from the horses mouth.  Josh said he expects to have a deal done before training camp.


Our good buddy over at the Winnipeg Free Press tweeted this out last week. 

2.  CFL:  Winnipeg Blue Bombers 26 – Calgary Stampeders 39 … I think most Blue Bomber fans probably thought it would be a tall order to beat the Stamps in their own backyard and especially after Bo Levi and company lost their first game of the year last week.  The Bombers actually had a 3-point half-time lead but I don’t think there was one Winnipeg fan that was comfortable.  There is a lot of concern about Matt Nichols and the offence but I have major concerns about the defensive secondary.  The Bombers are going through a tough stretch and its looking more and more like this team is playing for the crossover spot for the playoffs and that is, by no means, a lock.  

3.  NHL:  Why do fans automatically think there is animosity between the two parties involved when a contract hasn’t been signed right away.  Yes, sometimes there is a little bit of history or bad blood but for the most-part it is just negotiations.   

4.  Blue Jays:  This past week it was not bad being a Toronto Blue Jays fan.  They went 5-1 and won a couple of games with late inning comebacks.  It’s the time of the year when players are auditioning for jobs next year and players like Billy McKinney, Danny Jansen, and a few others are interesting to watch.      

5.  Blue Bombers:  I think Matt Nichols and the Blue Bomber offence really miss Weston Dressler.

6.  CFL:  Bo Levi Mitchell is elite and he torched the Bomber defence for 452 yards passing on Saturday afternoon but it was how easily he did it in the second half that I found disturbing.  It seems like most teams are able to make adjustments on both sides of the ball and the Blue Bombers never seem to adjust.     

7. Blue Jays:  Jays’ DH Kendrys Morales tied a Toronto Blue Jays record by homering in his seventh consecutive game and he is only one game away from the league record.  He will get his chance to make history tonight in Oriole Park at Camden Yards vs the Baltimore Orioles.  I wonder if they’ll pitch to him?

8. Blue Jays:  For those of you that are old enough to remember, doesn’t Jays’ leftie Scott Borucki looks like a younger version of Jimmy Key?  I think Borucki throws a little harder than Key though.

9.    Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets have agreed to terms with 2017 first round pick Kristian Vesalainen.  Vesalainen signed a 3-year ELC with an AAV of $1,492,000 per season.

10. LPGA:  It took 45 years but a Canadian woman has finally won the Canadian Open.  Twenty-year-old Brooke Henderson won the CP Canadian Open, her seventh LPGA win and I’m sure this one meant even more than her other six wins that included a major.  The fan support in Regina was second to none and Brooke rode that wave to a -21 score and won going away (65 in the final round) by four shots.  Brooke Henderson is a national treasure and she is well on her way to being the greatest golfer, male or female, in Canadian history.  Well done Brooke and well done Regina. 

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11.  PGA:  The FedExCup playoffs started this week and Bryson DeChambeau won the Northern Trust Open and moved into first place in the standings after the first playoff round.  I love the FedEx playoffs but I couldn’t get into it last week because I was so enthralled with the LPGA event in Regina.

12.  Blue Bombers:  Matt Nichols is off his game and I believe he hasn’t fully recovered from his previous injuries.  He can’t run and looks very stationary in the backfield.   

13  Blue Jays:  Unless Marco Estrada starts using a third pitch, I think he is done as a major league starter.  No pitcher can rely on a 88 mph fastball and a straight change-up.  He got lit up again on Sunday afternoon, giving up three more home-runs in the first couple of innings.  

14.  Jets:  Question for Kevin Cheveldayoff:  I’m not sure if this is true but I read somewhere last week that Kristian Vesalainen has a deal to play in the KHL if he doesn’t make the Winnipeg Jets.  I can’t see you agreeing to this unless you have no intention of bringing him up to the big club at any point this season.  Is there any truth to this? 

15.  Blue Bombers:  I don’t know if it is their scheme or if safety Taylor Loffler is always out of position but it seems our saftey is never in the middle of the field.  Opposing teams seem to run a muck through the middle of the bombers secondary.  Am I wrong?     

16.  Jets:  The more I think about it the more I wouldn’t mind seeing a Jacob Trouba/Erik Karlsson trade.  Karlsson (28) is only four years older than Trouba (24) and if the Jets really wanted to they could make the cap space work.  Quite easily actually.   

17.  CFL:  I’m done with TSN having the coaches being mic’d up.  I can do without the genius insights of Mike O’Shea yelling “watch the ball” and Dave Dickinson screaming “start the clock”.  I do like the quarterbacks being mic’d up though.       

18. Blue Bombers:  Winnipeg’s front seven put pressure on Bo Levi Mitchell but Mitchell was poised and picked the defence apart on Bomber blitzs.  This tells me the Calgary receivers are on the same page as well.  I wonder if the Blue Bomber receivers are missing their reads?  

19.  Blue Jays:  I wasn’t a fan of the Roberta Osuna trade but it looks like reliever Ken Giles, one of the players they received in the trade from Houston, has stuff as good as Osuna’s.  He throws just as hard if not harder but he might not have the same command of the strike zone.  I think he will be fine as the Jays closer.      

20:  Key dates:

  • July 1:  NHL Free Agency Period:  Free agency is now officially open and should make for an interesting summer. 
  • Sept. 2:  CFL Week 13 – Sunday in Regina – Winnipeg Blue Bombers (5-5) vs Saskatchewan Roughriders (5-4).

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Thanks, Mitch 

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