Random Thoughts From Motown Mitch: July 23

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:  The Jacob Trouba drama is now over.  The arbitrator notified both parties of his decision on Sunday.  His decision is that Jake gets a one-year deal worth $5,500,000 for next season.  I’m not going to speculate on what happened in these negotiations because everybody has a different theory and they’re probably all wrong.  What we do know is Jacob Trouba will be lined up beside his regular partner (hopefully) next season AND if the two sides want to pursue a new contract for Jake the can commence talks again in January of 2019.

Technically, the Jets have 48 hours to accept the arbitrators’ decision which will be just a formality. 

2.  MJBL:  In the opening round of the Manitoba Junior Baseball League playoffs, St. Boniface Legionaires starter Chad Picton threw a 12 strikeout … 1 walk … NO HITTER.  His effort helped clinch their opening round series versus the Interlake Blue Jays on Sunday.  A no-hitter at any level is quite an accomplishment.  CONGRATS Chad!

 3.  CFL:  Winnipeg Blue Bombers 30 – Toronto Argonauts 18 … This score actually flattered the Argos.  The Bombers inability to hang onto the football resulted in both of Toronto’s touchdowns.  The offence was very good and the defence basically pitched a shutout.  I would expect much of the same in the rematch this Friday night in Winnipeg.   

4.  Jets:  Contrary to popular belief, a teammates’ contract negotiations has very little bearing in the locker-room.  It’s business as usually.     

5.  PGA:  With a score of 276, the winner of the Gold Medal and the champion golfer of the year is Francesco Molinari!  Huh?  In a stacked and star-studded leader-board going into the final round at Carnoustie, it was Molinari that shot a bogey-free two under par to capture the championship by two strokes.  Molinari notched two birdies but it was him grinding out 4-5 par saving up and downs that won him this tournament.  He just quietly kept grinding out pars while the other six or seven contenders imploded on the back nine.  Molinari was not my pick or probably not many others either.

6.  CFL:  In a trade that seemed inevitable, the Montreal Alouettes have acquired Johnny Manziel in a blockbuster deal with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.  In my humble opinion, Manziel was never going to unseat Jeremiah Masoli as the Hamilton starter and knowing that the Ti-Cats signed him just to get him into the league.  It’s a win-win for now and has the potential to make Montreal interesting again.

7.  Jets:  I hope Winnipeg Jets fans realize that it’s okay for Jacob Trouba to use his CBA negotiated rights in try to get the best contract possible.   

8.  CFL:  It’s pretty sad that on a Saturday afternoon in Toronto, the locals would rather watch the fourth place Blue Jays play the worst team in baseball (Baltimore Orioles … attendance: 35,912) than the defending Grey Cup Champions versus the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (attendance: 10,844).  This franchise barely has a pulse and that’s sad especially when football fans in the Maritimes would kill for a CFL franchise.  C’mon Randy Ambroise, get it done.       

9.  Golf:  When a PGA player hits a ball way off the fairway or into the gallery, why do the spectators hover around the ball in a little circle like a bunch of idiots?  I find this quite amusing.    

10. Blue Bombers:  Andrew  Harris was in beast-mode on Saturday after noon (161 yards rushing) leading the Bombers to victory but he also moved into second place all-time in rushing for a Canadian running back with 6,878 yards.  He is now 2,234 yards behind all-time leader Normie Kwong’s 9,022 yards.  

11.  Blue Bombers:  Nik Demsky is sneaky good.  I liked him on the Manitoba Bisons and I like him even more as a Winnipeg Blue Bomber.  This was an excellent signing.

12.  Blue Jays:  The fourth place Blue Jays swept their weekend series versus Baltimore and keep packing fans into the Rogers Centre (31,115, 35,912, 396,021).  Maybe Toronto is a baseball town.  They’re certainly not a football town.  (See 8)    

13.  PGA:  Eldrick held a lead in the final round of a major for the first time in forever.  I was actually pulling for the old codger.    

14.  Jets:  Question for Kevin Cheveldayoff:  Now what?  Back at it again in January of 2019, trade him, or pretend everything is okay and maybe Kurt Overhardt will go away?  I know, I Know, I know, it’s part of the PROCESS!  

15.  Blue Bombers:  I find it a little sad and a little embarrassing that any player coming out of college hasn’t been sat down and had the rules of the CFL explained to him.   Rookie Marcus Sayles got lit-up and could have been badly hurt because he obviously didn’t know the rules.  After making an interception, he ran it back and when he ran out of room he stopped and tried to take a knee like in college and he got smoked.  This is on the coaching staff and the head man is Mike O’Shea.  It may seem like I’m constantly targeting O’Shea for criticism but he makes it too easy.  WAKE UP MIKE!    

16.  MLB:  Is it just me or does it seem like starting pitchers in the majors are getting to 100 pitches much earlier in ball games (5th inning) and managers are quick to give them the hook soon after?  It’s like MLB managers think their arms are going to fall off.  Times have changed.        

17. PGA:  My second favourite week on the golf calendar has arrived.  The RBC Canadian Open starts this Thursday with a solid field in spite of The Open Championship being played this past week.  Some of the player teeing it up will be Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia,  Brooks Koepka, Tommy Fleetwood, Bubba Watson, Matt Kuchar, Tony Finau, Kevin Kisner, Steve Stricker, Ian Poulter, J.B. Holmes, Charley Hoffman, Martin Kaymer, Jhonattan Vegas ( 2-time defending champ) along with Canadians Adam Hadwin, David Hearn and Nick Taylor.

18.  Jets: In an under the radar announcement without much fanfare, the Winnipeg Jets announced they signed forward Brandon Tanev to a one-year, $1,150,000 deal on Sunday night.

19. Blue Bombers:  The defence played very well versus Toronto on Saturday afternoon but I’m not ready to let Richie Hall and his defence off the hook yet.  The defence played well in the Blue Bombers three wins BUT they were all against teams with issues at starting quarterback.  If you want to impress me, then win a road game in Edmonton or Calgary.  Even I heard that.  It sounded very curmudgeonly. 

20:  Key dates:

  • July 1:  NHL Free Agency Period:  Free agency is now officially open and should make for an interesting summer. 
  • July 27:  CFL Week 7, Friday night in Winnipeg – Winnipeg Blue Bombers (3-3) vs Toronto Argonauts (1-4).
  • July 30: Marko Dano arbitration hearing.

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Thanks, Mitch 

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