Sunday, January 30, 2011

SPORTS: This And That ... Steve Simmons Style

I wanted to comment at the Toronto Sun on today's Steve Simmons column at the web-site. Turns out, you have to log into Facebook to comment. It's a cheap tactic to drive the Sun's Facebook site numbers. Well, nuts to that.

Steve takes on the lunacy of last man standing at the All-Star Draft, his expectations that the Blue Jays are due for a worse year than last and his hesitation to label Ben Cahoon a Canadian. Here's what I would have said ...

All-Star draft fix. Last six guys (all of whom have to be forwards) go into a bingo machine and get drafted that way. Pay off the last guy standing if you must, but it would reduce the embarrassment factor a whole lot ... Are the Jays throwing it in early this year? A good draft last year, the promise of a great one this June and even after spending big next off-season, a poor 2011 finish would represent a good haul in June 2012. Three top drafts would stock the farms and future Jay teams for a decade ... A rule change for the better in the CFL: Veterans with five years with the same team get Non-Import status, but only for THAT team. If you don't like five, make it seven, or four. Whatever. Keeps familiar names around, which won't hurt.


Had I been able to expand, I might have mentioned I still think the Jays will win into the mid-80's, which actually might NOT be Alex Anthopoulos' plan. Maybe he DOES want to sink into the lower half of the draft in 2012 and send any Type B free agent on to greener (American greenback) pastures. The Jays had a good draft last June, have ten percent of the top 70 or so picks this June and something like that in 2012 would surely make the Jays' farm system the envy of everybody, except Kansas City. To add that third year of bonanza picking, the Jays need a low draft position in the first few rounds, and another round of veterans to peddle or let go at season's end. Hmmmm, a veteran-laden bullpen is an easy source of Type B's. One-and-done contracts to the likes of Edwin Encarnacion and Corey Patterson. Even Aaron Hill's options could result in him moving on in certain circumstances. It's all sort of a worst case scenario when I spent much of a post last week extolling the sunnier view. But I bet the allure of being the draft star for three years running (although Tampa Bay is co-starring this June), has to have a GM dreaming. Plus he has the money to sign draft picks AND a warchest next off-season to build that contender Torontonians want so bad. Imagine having all the 2012 draft picks AND a pennant contender at the same time!!!!

And I really would like to see some landed immigrant rights for guys who get attached to a team in the CFL, but have to move along when somebody younger and, more importantly, cheaper comes along to replace them. It doesn't happen to Canadians, the gold standard of any CFL franchise. But every ex-pat Yank has to spend a lot of time looking over their shoulder. At a certain point in time, doesn't everybody deserve the right to stay in the city they've represented for so long? I mean, Pinball Clemons is a Canadian by choice. And that makes him better in my opinion than an awful lot of 'citizens' who are Canadians by accident of birth. There's a flow of young Canadians into the CFL because of controls that are needed. Unfortunately, there's also a talent deficit in some of those Canadians. If each city could put two or three more nouveau Canadien into their line-ups, maybe some of the kids could spend more time on the practice roster rather than making mistakes in games on TV. And with Ottawa (and who knows, maybe Nova Scotia or Quebec City) joining the CFL this decade, maybe it's time to up the number of Canadians available to fulfill those quotas. But I repeat, this revisiting of an old rule, ONLY applies to once city where the player has been a long-time veteran. If he exercises his free agent rights to move along, he does so as an American. And he has to restart anew building up his local exception rights.

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