Tuesday’s Top Ten Thoughts: If you build it will they come?

The final week of May is upon us and as is the tradition here are a smattering of my thoughts from the world of sports, in no particular order!

10 – The WHL continues to miss an opportunity to share their stars with the whole league. Watching the Kelowna Rockets play at the Memorial Cup brought this comment from my 10-year-old son, “I wish we would have seen the Rockets play at Sasktel Centre this season.” That forced me to try and explain the WHL’s commitment to their unbalanced schedule where not every team plays in every building every year. His next query, “Can we see them next year?” The answer was of course, unfortunately, the team will then be a shell of the current roster that they are using in Quebec City. Too bad.

9 – More hockey and how about Babs. Congratulations to Mike Babcock on signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs, last week. The eight year $50-million dollar deal is great for him. He has paid his dues and deserves everything that he is afforded. I did, however, get a kick out of the Toronto media trying to get him to feel bad about the contract he commanded. Like he said, “if someone is going to give you $10,000 more for your house than the next guy,” you have to look at it!

8 – One more on Babcock and can he turn the Leafs around. I think he can but it is going to take longer than his 8 year contract.

7 – Staying in the Big Smoke and you have to feel for the Toronto Argonauts. Their news of a new owner and new field was trumped by the Babcock hiring by the Leafs. What I still don’t understand is how this can happen as both are basically owned by the same group! How can a professional sports franchise convolute their message this badly?

6 – I do love Ricky Foley! The newly acquired Argos defensive lineman let his feelings be known about the lack of care in Toronto over the Argonauts news through twitter; “So congrats on Ur new coach @MapleLeafs…Hopefully 50mil & sky high ticket prices r enough 2give Ur players heart & a compete level #CFL” OR “I’ll tell you one thing these CDN #CFL boys don’t claim ‘wetheNORTH’ then head home to the south during off seasons… #NBA” OR Dick move announcing Babcock news the day #Argos r finally sold. Guess some people still jealous we the only team who wins in this city @CFL” The best part of all is that he didn’t retract his comments. Claim to have been hacked or even delete his comments. He stands by his words and feelings and I have the ultimate respect for that!

5 – One more on the move by the Argonauts to BMO Field in time for the 2016 CFL season, I still have serious doubts about the integrity of the surface at the soccer stadium. The new Argo owners are touting a Hybrid system similar to the one used at Wembley Stadium in London. The same surface shown below after an NFL game.
Beat Up Hybrid SurfaceI can’t see this going well.

4 – Speaking of fields if you build it they will come! That has to be the adopted motto of Saskatoon Minor Football. The traffic and usage that they are getting out of SMF Field at Gordie Howe Park is nothing short of mind boggling. The facility is a hub of activities on weekends with the youth and adult programming. Well done to the Friends of the Bowl! Of course, the push is now on to finish the project as with a completed clubhouse the facility will be better able to serve washroom, concession, medical and changing needs for user groups. To find out more about contributing click here.

3 – Speaking of if you build it! I was sickened to hear of the senseless vandalism at Cairns Field. I just don’t get it! Maybe, it’s time for a new baseball facility in the city, which could maybe bring back the Western Major Baseball League. Sure do miss sipping a beverage in the sunshine watching some baseball with the kids.

2 – More baseball and if I am the Toronto Blue Jays General Manager I am looking to move Edwin Encarnacion. The DH/1B has a lot of upside but doesn’t make the most of his RBI opportunities. With the starting rotation coming on the time may be now to bolster the beleaguered bullpen. The down-side to the Jays this year is that General Manager Alex Anthopoulos and Manager John Gibbons are on the final year of their respective contracts, meaning win now or look for jobs in the off-season.

1 – Back to hockey and can Rogers explain to me what they are doing? Unlike CBC, in the past, the host of the show, George Stroumboulopoulos, is only working the eastern games while Darren Millard is handling the Western series. No offence to Millard but if Strombo cannot handle the every night gig like his predecessor Ron McLean why not bring back the popular McLean to host the Western games? I get that Rogers doesn’t want to go down that road as they have committed to Strombo but it may just increase viewership for those games, which is down by the way!