Random Thoughts From Motown Mitch: July 30

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 Winnipeg Jets and Jacob Trouba “officially” signed off on the arbitrators awarded contract last week.  Okay, so now it’s done and shall not be discussed again until the new year, right?  The part the irritates the hell out of me though is that’s all I’m going to here for the next FIVE months!

2.  CFL:  Winnipeg Blue Bombers 40 – Toronto Argonauts 14 … I’m sure every Blue Bombers fan thought this game was going to be a repeat of last week’s game in Toronto and it was BUT what surprised the hell out of me was the way the Argos went about it.  At this point of the season, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are a far superior team and the Bombers knew they were going to win, the Argos knew they were going to win, and the fans knew the home team was going to win BUT the Toronto Argonauts were not going to lose at the hands of Andrew Harris again!  This was apparent quite early on in the game and they did a pretty darn good job except they forgot the Bombers still had guys like Nic Demski, Weston Dressler, Kenbrell Tomkins (what? No Bowman), Matt Nichols, Darvin Adams, and an innovative offensive coordinator in Paul LaPolice. 

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers took care of business and beat the Argos in a home-and-home series but now its time to start beating some better teams.  Most of their wins this season have bean lay-ups.  For whatever reason, the CFL schedule maker has the Bombers playing eastern teams in their next two games and then the Big Blue get a steady diet of western teams in the second half of the season.  That’s when the s**t hits the fan.  It should be a slug-fest down the stretch.   

3.  Jets:  The Winnipeg Jets have wrapped up Marko Dano for one more year at $800,000 and Tucker Poolman for three more year.  Poolman signed a 3-year-deal worth $2,325,000 with an AAV of $775,000 per season.  It will be interesting to see if Tucker Poolman joins Maro Dano as part of the “popcorn brigade” or if he snags a starting gig this year.     

4.  Blue Bombers:  Even though Andrew Harris was on “double secret probation” and quadruple covered every play, he still managed 78 yards on 15 touches.  Not bad.     

5.  PGA:  With a score of -23 (265), Dustin Johnson won the Canadian Open at Glen Abbey.  The world #1 didn’t disappoint as he was clearly the class of this field.  DJ’s incredible length off the tee and his masterful wedge play is just not fair to the rest of the field.  If his putter is working, he is pretty hard to beat.  It was a very impressive display of power and finesse.

6.  CFL:  If I’m the offensive coordinator for the Toronto Argos, I think I would have James Franklin throwing a lot less and I would be feeding the ball to James Wilder Jr.  JWJ should have 25-340 touches every game.  He is beast much like our Andrew Harris.  I know the CFL is a passing league but when you have a running back like JWJ you should be feeding him the rock on every play until the defence shuts it down.  He is money.

7.  Jets:  Now that all the scrubs are signed (tongue in cheek), let’s get Josh Morrissey (the Jets best defenceman) locked up.  While everybody in Winnipeg was losing their minds because of the Jacob Trouba arbitration hearing, I’ve been silently waiting to hear some news on a Josh contract.  It puzzles me how he seems to take a back seat and play second-fiddle when talking about contracts for Jake and Josh.  I realize they are at different stages in their RFA years but let’s get this done.

8.  CFL:  I’m not sure I know what offside in the CFL is anymore and I’m not sure CFL officials actually know what offside is either.  Teams are playing fast and loose in that so-called neutral zone.   

9.  MLB:  If you were a Montreal Expos fan or just a fan of Vladimir Guerrero, you need to see the Sportsnet documentary narrated by Stephen Brunt called “Namesake”.  It’s a 30-minute documentary about Vladdy and Vladdy Jr and their connection to Canada and their love of the Dominican Republic.  It’s worth looking for.   

10. Blue Bombers:  Nic (StairMaster) Demski had a bit of a game on Friday night at IGF.  He had 34 yards on 3 carries and a TOUCHDOWN plus 5 catches for 82 yards and then a another TOUCHDOWN!  Not bad.  Two touchdowns and 116 total yards on just 8 touches. 



11.  Blue Bombers:  Jovan Santos-Knox was showing signs last season that he could become a difference maker on defence for the Blue Bombers but I think the arrival of Adam Bighill this season has allowed Santos-Knox to elevate his game even more.  Jovan Santos Knox reminds me a little bit of former Blue Bomber linebacker and two-time “Outstanding Defensive Player” (1990 and 1991) Greg Battle?


12.  Blue Jays:  I was absolutely livid at the Blue Jays on Saturday for blowing another big lead and losing to the Chicago White Sox.  I know I shouldn’t care because they are out of it but WHY WHY WHY would Gibby or Pete Walker call for Jaime Garcia in the eight inning or ANY INNING for that matter.  He should be designated for assignment and never heard from again.  This was bullpen night because the Jays didn’t have a starter.  One might say that the way Gibby manages this team, its bullpen night almost every night.   

13.  MLB:  Why do broadcast announcers make such a big deal because a pitcher can actually field his position.  It’s freaking baseball.  They’re not splitting the atom.       

14.  Jets:  Question for Kevin Cheveldayoff:  Outside of the games where Dustin Byfuglien is “Norris Buff”, we both know that deep down inside Josh Morrissey is your best defenceman and he’s only getting better.  Are you going to gamble and offer him a bridge deal or are you going to lock him up long-term and worry about the “Overhardt Express” next year?  

15.  Blue Bombers:  Receiver Kenbrell Tomkins looked pretty good in his CFL debut on Friday night vs Toronto.  He has 81 yards on 3 catches and looked a helluva lot better than the beleaguered Adarius Bowman.  Did I mention that the Bomber traded Bowman to Montreal?  He will be good for them.  He is a great player that for whatever reason just couldn’t make it work in Winnipeg this time around.  Good Luck in Montreal.  

16.  Jets:  Can somebody explain to me how a team that hasn’t won anything, managed to dump Steve Mason’s plus Joel Armia’s contracts on Montreal, and received a $4,500,000 salary cap bump be in salary cap trouble?  Something is not adding up.


17. CFL:  I’m getting a little tired already of all the hype around Johnny Manziel?  I can see the TSN panel talking about him during a game his team is involved in but they mentioned him multiple times during broadcasts of all the other games this weekend.  Maybe if the CFL and TSN spend more time hyping the real stars in this league, you wouldn’t see a crowd of only 10,000 in  Toronto.    

18.  Jets:  As training camp gets closer, it’s getting more and more apparent to me that the Winnipeg Jets are going to let Bryan Little and Jack Roslovic sort out the second line center position.  If it doesn’t seem to be working out, they can always make a “Paul Stastny” type trade again at the NHL Trade Deadline.  

19. Blue Bombers:  If Adarius Bowman was traded, would anybody notice?  (see #15) 

20:  Key dates:

  • July 1:  NHL Free Agency Period:  Free agency is now officially open and should make for an interesting summer. 
  • Aug. 10:  CFL Week 10, Friday night in Winnipeg – Winnipeg Blue Bombers (4-3) vs Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2-4).

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Thanks, Mitch 


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