ADSHADE: Do or die nearing due date

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It's almost time for the Toronto Blue Jays to kiss their 2014 playoff chances goodbye. 

The Blue Jays, as this is written, are four games off the pace in the fight for the remaining wild card spot and if they keep stumbling around much longer, they'll be soon out of it. They trail Detroit and Seattle and are neck-and-neck with Cleveland and the New York Yankees.

Maybe we shouldn't throw throw dirt on them quite yet, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to warm up the hearse. 

Just in case they need it.

After tearing up the American League in the month of May, the Jays haven't been playing good baseball in the past 10 weeks, hit hard by devastating injuries, the lack of depth to sustain the team through those injuries and pitching that has been rather ordinary. 

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Non-Sports Thought of the Week: They need to stop firing police officers over in Stellarton, or else make sure the people doing the firing actually know how to fire people. It keeps costing taxpayers a boatload of money (if only they would tell taxpayers how much). First Dave Kingsbury a few years ago, now former police chief Amby Heighton. Only the lawyers are happy. Oh, plus the cops who get all that back pay, and no small measure of vindication. I'm sure they are happy, too. And who could blame them?

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Random Sports Items: 

1. NFL wants Super Bowl half-time performers to pay to play.

Can the National Football League get any greedier? Sure, the NFL half-time show is a great way for already-famous people to be exposed to more people, but doesn't this seem like a greasy move by the NFL?

I can just imagine what would have happened had NFL brass informed Mick Jagger and Keith Richards that the Rolling Stones would have to pony up for the "honour" of playing the Super Bowl half-time show a few years back. I am quite certain that Mick would have told NFL commissioner Roger Goodell where he can stick the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

2. Cleveland Browns rookie QB Johnny Manziel gave Washington Redksins players the finger after on-field taunting on Monday night, and while that had little to do with Manziel subsequently being named the backup when the NFL season starts in three weeks, it does show the rookie has some growing up to do. Swagger and confidence is one thing – an NFL quarterback needs those traits – but a quarterback also has to show poise under pressure. He's going to hear a lot more taunting unless he shows he can handle it like a professional. 

3. B.C. Lions president Doug Skulsky has guaranteed to fans that his Lions will beat the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Sunday at home, and if not, the team will give free tickets to fans who go home disappointed. 

Setting aside that it may give the Roughriders a little extra motivation when they head to B.C. Place, it's a bold move to help stir up interest in the Lions. They should sell some more tickets to the game just because fans will think to themselves "all right, I'll go to this one and even if the Lions lose, I get a freebie." It's also smart promotion. 

But should they lose, it will cost them a lot of money in the short term. Perhaps Skulsky should have held "Guaranteed Win Night" when one of the Eastern teams come to visit, because Toronto, Hamilton, Ottawa and Montreal can only beat each other – they can't beat anybody out west. Three of those teams are 1-6, and only Toronto looks adequate – and that's being generous – with a 3-5 record. 

 

Kevin Adshade is a sports columnist for The News.

Organizations: National Football League, The Blue Jays, New York Yankees American League Rolling Stones Cleveland Browns B.C. Lions

Geographic location: Detroit, Seattle, Cleveland Stellarton Toronto Ottawa Montreal

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