Who Are the April Fools? Find Out In the Top 10 Tuesday

Here were go with another smattering of thoughts on this second Tuesday of April.

10 – Start off with the WHL who continue to play the role of the fool. This past week and for the second time this post-season the league announced that they would need to modify their post-season overtime format in order to adhere to building requirements for other tenants. Fortunately, the Oil Kings/Wheat Kings game didn’t require extra-time but it is bad form to have to make these amendments on the fly!

9 – More WHL for you and Junior hockey is cyclical venture with the constant turnover due to player graduation. However, one constant for you is the Medicine Hat Tigers. After struggling in the early part of the decade Willie Desjardins turned the franchise around with solid drafting, scouting and installing a solid organizational foundations. That torch has since been passed to Shaun Clouston but the result remains the same, 11 consecutive appearances in not only the WHL post-season but also in the second round of the play-offs. I know a handful of Saskatchewan teams that could only wish for that success.

8 – To football and the Saskatchewan Roughriders held work-outs in Florida over the weekend. The Rider brass seem to be happy with what they saw, while media types were hyping UND grad Ryan Smith. The smallish receiver displayed a lot of what the team saw from a young Weston Dressler. Those are some big shoes to fill! Let’s see how he fares against the veterans before we hand him the keys to the city.

7 – The B-C Lions have taken steps to shore up their Quarterback position. After the retirement of Buck Pierce this off-season the Leos have signed former; Rider, Eskimo, Argo, and Bomber Steven Jyles. In my opinion, the young pivot was thrown into the fire in a number of situations that he wasn’t ready for. This may be the perfect fit for both the club and the player as Jyles will get a second chance and his experience may prove invaluable if starter Travis Lulay is sidelined with injury. The only better fit for Jyles may have been in Montreal where he could have pushed for more playing time behind a young Troy Smith.

6 – One more football note and congrats to U of S graduate, and Toronto Argonaut long snapper Chad Rempel. The Sherwood Park Albert native, signed with the Chicago Bears yesterday. His story is truly one of perserverance! Originally drafted in in 2004 by the Edmonton Eskimos but he couldn’t crack their roster out of training camp. The following year he was invited to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats‘ training camp, but was also released. Later that year, he joined the Winnipeg Blue Bombers as a backup wide receiver and special teams player. The following season he was cut by the Blue Bombers in training camp. Rempel was later signed by the Toronto Argonauts where he would settle until 2009 when he moved to Montreal. Again, Rempel was a late cut of the Als but would re-ssign with the Argos later that summer. That to me is the definition of a competitor not to mention that during that time frame he also became a member of former Huskie teammate Lyndon Rush‘s bobsleigh team that won the Canadian four-man bobsleigh championship.

5 – On a different field where after splitting a season-opening series in Tampa Bay with the Rays in the opening week of the MLB season, the Toronto Blue Jays lost 2-of-3 to the New York Yankees. Pitching is going to be a problem for the team all year. However, the biggest concern that I see with the roster is the lack of a clutch bat. On Saturday’s game the Jays had two-men on and the winning run at the plate but could not cash anyone in. The Jays need that clutch offensive performer, which I’m not sure that they have.

4 – More baseball and I don’t get the fans in Milwaukee. Not only did they welcome former MLB MVP Ryan Braun back into the line-up after serving his 65 game suspension for doping but they gave him a hero’s welcome. I just don’t understand.

3 – One more baseball note and if you didn’t see the Alex Anthopolis In Focus special on Sportsnet following Sunday’s ball game you missed a gem. The behind the scenes look at the building of this season’s roster was something to behold. The news this week that the Jays GM even went so far as to ask players to defer salary so that they could sign free-agents shows that he will use creativity to make his team take the next step.

2 – To golf and the first major of the season, The Masters, is upon us and many in our province will be following the progress of Weyburn’s Graham DeLaet very closely. There is a lot of pressure heading into his first shot at Augusta, however, getting an invite to participate in the event is a big step in his career. Don’t for a moment believe, though, that he will suffer from a case of the “just happy to be here’s.”

1 – Finally, this weeks must see TV is the brawl that errupted between the NYPD and FDNY in a charity game this past week in New York. Here’s hoping nothing like that materializes in the next CJWW Radiowaves game.



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