Random Thoughts From Motown Mitch: July 16

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

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.

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

1.  Jets:  Connor Hellebuyck has signed with the Winnipeg Jets.  Chevy has locked up #37 for six years at cool 37 mil.  That is an AAV of $6,166,666 per season.  I would have loved to have seen more than one stellar year out of Helle before offering this deal but it is what it is.  There is a bit of a gamble but in my humble opinion I think Helle is the real deal and 6 mil for a Vezina Finalist and a future top-five to ten goalie is a pretty darn good deal.    

2.  Jets:  Jacob Trouba update In an interesting development, Jake and the Jets have drawn July 20, the opening day of the arbitration hearings.  I don’t know if that’s good or bad but what I do know is if he is being honest about wanting to be here and signing longterm with the Winnipeg Jets, I think a contract gets done before July 20. 

 3.  CFL:  Winnipeg Blue Bombers 17 – BC Lions 20 … I started watching Blue Bomber football when I was 10-years-old (I’m now 63) and I’ve witnessed a lot of incompetence and a lot of crap over the years BUT Saturday night in Vancouver might be one of the worse exhibitions of clueless coaching I’ve ever witnessed.  To be fair, retrospective analysis is always easy.  I have no problem with a third-down gamble in the right situation but the one that really bothered me was the one in the third quarter.  I believe it was second and goal at the BC four-yard line and they sent in Chris Streveler and the short yardage team.  Now you are basically telling the defence that Chris Streveler is running the ball.  Why would you do this when Andrew Harris is shredding the Lions defence for 11.5 yards per carry?  The Bomber offence left too many points on the field and that’s not a smart move the way that Richie Hall’s defence folds at crunch time.

There was lots of blame to go around.

  • Too many penalties on defence.
  • Very ordinary play by Matt Nichols in the second half.
  • The defence folding again at crunch time.

BUT in spite of all that, it was the coaching decisions that cost the Winnipeg Blue Bombers this game.  It could have been Paul LaPolice’s call, I don’t know but I do know that Mike O’Shea has the final say and he gets the blame because he is the head man and he should have known better.  Mike O’Shea still has problems managing the game.          

4.  Wimbledon:  These clowns that run this tournament need to do something about the fifth set tie-breaker.  It is inhumane for any athlete to have to play FIFTY games in a deciding set!  Kevin Anderson and John Isner were on the court for six and one-half hours.  It was torture on them, it was brutal for the fans, and it delayed and in my opinion affected the other semi-final.  These mucky-mucks at Wimbledon irritate me about as much as the stuffy old farts at Augusta.      

5.  MLB:  Are the San Diego Padres the biggest unknown in baseball?  It wouldn’t surprise me if most people didn’t even know they were in the majors.    

6.  World Cup:  A very entertaining World Cup tournament came to its conclusion on Sunday with France defeating Croatia (4-2) in the final.  Like I said last week, France is a pretty underrated soccer power.  They never seem to be on top of anybody’s list but here they are again.

7.  Jets:  I wonder who this year’s Marko Dano will be?  Make the 23-man roster but never play.  Maybe it will be Marko Dano. 

8.  Blue Jays:  The Toronto Blue Jays go into the All-Star Break in fourth place in the AL East with a record of 43-52.  There are lots of excuses and reasons for this record but the bottom line is in spite of the injuries, a suspension, and underachieving players throughout the lineup this team just losses too many games they should win.  Baseball is not a hard sport.  You run, you hit, and you field your position.  It is scary how this team’s fundamentals disappear at times.  Is it coaching, is it lack of concentration, or are they just bad players?  John Gibbons is known as a players coach but maybe this is not what this group needs.   

9.  Blue Bombers:  The league has found their new patsy on the Blue Bombers and he wears #26.   

10.  Jets: I like that Jack Roslovic has changed his number to 28.  This was the number he wore with the US National Development Team but I think he is sending a subliminal message to Paul Maurice that he wants to be between 27 and 29! 
Embed from Getty Images

11.  Blue Bombers:  I know there is always an adjustment period any time you change teams but how is it possible for a stud like Adarius Bowman to be virtually invisible for six weeks?  My only recollection of him is two dumb off-sides penalties.   

12.   Blue Bombers:  Is Taylor Loffler overrated or just going through a bad stretch?   

13.  World Cup:  In a sport that is considered very hard to score in, Cristiano Ronaldo scored an incredible 311 goals in 292 games in his nine seasons with Real Madrid.  The only reason I bring this up is that if an NHL player scored at this pace he would be revered beyond belief.    

14.  Jets:  Question for Kevin Cheveldayoff:  Why isn’t Jacob Trouba signed yet?  

15.  Blue Bombers:  Richie Hall and the Blue Bomber defence are getting a lot of criticism for the loss and Saturday night and although they folded during crunch time again, I can’t blame them for this loss.  Mike O’Shea and Paul LaPolice should have put this game to bed long before the collapse.    

16.  Wimbledon:  In my opinion, that long tie-breaker (Anderson/Isner) really affected and might have cost Rafael Nadal a shot at the Wimbledon final.  Novak Djokovic defeated Rafael Nadal in a five-set match that was played over two days.  Because of a local ordinance, the lights at Wimbledon must be shut off at 11 pm local time.  At the time they suspended the match, Novak Djokovic had just won the third set tie-breaker but he looked like he was running on fumes whereas Rafael Nadal still looked quite comfortable.  I’m not sure Nadal loses that match if it goes five uninterrupted sets. 

17. PGA:  FINALLY!  One of my favourite weeks of the year.  The 147th Open at Carnoustie starts on Thursday.  There is nothing better than being an old retired fart and waking up to golf and watching it all day.

18.  Jets:  A lot of Jets fans including myself are looking forward to seeing Kristian Vesalainen this fall but the player that really intrigues me is Mason Appleton.  With a solid AHL rookie season under his belt maybe he can put a little pressure on the Jets bottom six forwards.  With Matt Hendricks, Shawn Matthias, and Joel Armia all gone there is an opportunity for a couple of the farm hands.   

19.  LPGA:  Brooke Henderson let one get away Sunday afternoon.  A couple of costly bogies on the back nine and her inability to birdie one of the back to back par fives (17 and 18) cost her the win or at least a chance at a playoff.  She missed the playoff by one stroke, finishing -13 for the week.  This one stung a little bit.   

20:  Key dates:

  • CFL Week 6:  Saturday, July 21 – Winnipeg Blue Bombers (2-3) at Toronto Argonauts (1-3).
  • NHL Free Agency Period:  July 1 – Free agency is now officially open and should make for an interesting summer. 

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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 


  1. Dennis Hutton says

    I always enjoy your comments. I agree most of the time and otherwise something to think about.
    Keep up the good work

    • Mitch Kasprick says

      thank-you for the kind words and thanks for reading … for the most part, I say what I feel and sometimes I just throw stuff out there to see if it gets a reaction … look what happens when you retire

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