Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
Let's back up a moment. Bob Gainey, the coach and general manager of the Montreal Canadians, was asked yesterday to reflect on what can be accurately characterized as a disappointing and puzzling centenary season for the Habs in the wake of the team's first round sweep out of the playoffs at the hands of the Bruins. Specific focus has been placed on Gainey's decision to stick with young young goaltender Carey Price:
What we have here, class, is a fairly standard, not particularly creative, sexist comment. Not earth-shattering, just stupid and annoying.
Veteran radio reporter Peter Ray noted his wife couldn't figure out why the general manager/head coach continued to use Price, whose losing streak reached seven games by the time the Bruins eliminated the Canadiens Wednesday night.
"Carey Price is a thoroughbred. Maybe your wife doesn't recognize it," replied Gainey, who went on to say: "I don't bake bread very well, either; we all have our areas of expertise."
So, from the perspective of a person who knows more about sports than she does about baking bread, I thought I might provide a theory.
Bob Gainey saw an opportunity. An opportunity to share the blame for the dismal end to the Habs season. Carey Price had lost six straight games. The Habs were down 3-0 in their series to the Bruins, and nobody was holding out much hope for a comeback. I honestly don't think that Bob Gainey looked at the decision of whether to leave Price in or take him out as a strategic one. I think he was looking for a way to cover his ass.
If Bob Gainey leaves Price in for Game 4 and the Habs win, Gainey stands to garner some praise for his willingness to stand behind his young "thoroughbread." If Bob Gainey leaves Price in for Game 4 and the Habs lose, Gainey has someone else to help shoulder the blame. If Price doesn't stand up (and he didn't), then Gainey can blather on some crap about teachable moments and the young goaltender's need for experience and his ability to bounce back at his young age, and in doing so, he can deflect all the attention away from how badly he dropped the ball this season.
I'm not suggesting that Gainey was setting Price up to fail; I'm suggesting that Gainey thought more about how he was going to explain the decision than he did the decision itself.
It's ok though, Bob. Coaching is hard. Maybe you just didn't recognize that. We all have our areas of expertise.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
On behalf of all Jays fans, if I may say so, WOOT!
The Jays offensive continues to pound out hit after hit after hit, protecting the young pitching staff. Aaron Hill is clearly back in form post-concussion, Marco Scutaro has been on base in all 10 games, and the young tandem of Lind and Snider continue to impress.
On the Bad News side, Jesse Litsch has been put on the DL with a forearm strain. I am from the cynical side that doesn't believe that pitchers ever have quick-healing injuries, so this is a big concern for a team with an already-depleted pitching staff. Brian Tallet is being moved into the rotation, but there is no word on what this move will mean for Tallet's highly off-putting mustache.
Perhaps the only blip on the offensive side relates to a somewhat slow start for Alex Rios (0-5 last night), but I think it's a bit early to fuss too much about it. He'll figure it out.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
Phil and Tiger pushing each other and the leaders in ways that probably only the two of them are capable of. Kenny Perry sticking it within a few feet on 16 in what looked to be the definitive shot on this way to the green jacket, only to blow it on 17 and 18 and be forced into a playoff with Angel Cabrera and Chad Campbell. Cabrera yanking it into the trees on the first hole but still managing to get his par. And the Argentinian breaking Perry's heart on the second playoff hole to take the green jacket to South America.
There are issues with the Masters. Issues with the Old Boys Club that runs the tournament, issues with terrible television and internet coverage, issues with how the field is set.
But it is a great tournament nonetheless, and Sunday afternoon proved why.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Nowhere to go but up, boys!
So, two games in and the Jays are 2-0 after one blowout and one bottom-of-the-ninth thriller against Detroit. Cool.
Two games in and the liquor license at Roger Centre has been suspended (including the clubhouse) thanks to a bunch of dink-heads who threw stuff on the field during the season opener. Less cool.
Two games in and the Jays have enjoyed one near sell-out, and one crowd just barely over 16,000. Sigh.
Some other notables:
- Great, great, GREAT to see Aaron Hill back in action after the concussion nastiness of last season. Great to see him put bat to ball in a big way last night.
- Exciting to see young players make an offensive impact; this means you, Lind and Snider. Cito Gaston is the perfect manager to guide these guys through this season.
- Obviously, the pitching staff is the big question mark for the Jays this year. In particular, I am worried about B.J. Ryan. The Jays need a solid closer to protect whatever leads they can muster this year, and I sense an uncertainty around Ryan. I'm not sure if it's injury-related, or something has just shifted in his delivery, but I don't get the sure-thing feeling about him that the Jays were looking for when they signed him.
Monday, April 6, 2009
- The start of the baseball season, of course
- The final few games of the NHL season, in which a desperate few teams compete for even fewer remaining playoff spots
- The Men's World Curling Championships. Go Kevin Martin! To quote my husband yesterday: "Oh good. Canada vs. France. This should be close."
- And the Masters this weekend!