Saturday, April 22, 2006

No, I Mean The Other Boston Marathon

The Jays won a doozy last night in Toronto against the Red Sox, taking 12 innings to win 7-6. A.J "Golden Boy" Burnett made the start, but was once again inefective going only four innings. He left after that with "elbow pains", which has surely sent the suits upstairs into collective cardiac arrest. Two starts in, and Burnett is already injured. This is hardly the ideal start for the Burnett era in Toronto.

On the other hand, the other half of Toronto's one-two pitching punch, Roy Halladay, went today against the Bosox, man-handling the Boston order through 5 innings, before handing the ball off to the bullpen, which in turn handed in a spotless effort. Final score: 8-1. That secures the Jays' second series win against Boston, and improves their record to 9-7.

In other news, 63 Years and Counting feels obligated to comment on the firing of Leafs coach Pat "Irish Coffee" Quinn. We here at 63 Years won't say a word against the iconic coach; he was, as GM John Ferguson Jr said, "a consumate professional", a great coach and never one to shirk responsibility. His record with the Buds was sterling, going 300-222-52 behind the bench, taking them to the Eastern Conference finals twice in his seven year tenure.

But that's not to say that we disagree with this move. The Leafs, despite their late surge, were bad this year. Their 9-1-2 run to the end of the season unfortunately glosses over the fact that this team was genaerally inefective all year. You could argue, and it is a valid point, that it was Ferguson who built this team, signing big, slow vets and an even older goalie, but at the end of the day, it's the coach's job to bring it all together, and in that respect, Quinn failed. This team needs a new direction and a new coach to take them there (though, 63 Years would not be adverse to seeing Ferguson on his way out either).

The NHL playoffs also started yesterday. Much has been said about the relative inexperience of many of the starting goalies, which makes us all the more confident in predicting a long cup run for the New Jersey Devils, backed of course by the always great Martin Brodeur. They were in action today, beating up on the hapless New York Rangers 6-1. But when you give up 13 power plays to a team with players like Brian Gionta, Patrick Elias and Scott Gomez, what do you expect?

We have also been told that the NBA playoffs are about to begin, but we were unaware of this, since most people in Toronto weren't even aware the NBA season had ever begun. The Raptors, the NBA's lone representative in the Great White North, were terrible this year, opening the season 1-15, and closing it 1-12. They made a no-brainer this week though, signing soon-to-be star Chris "Aw Shucks" Bosh to a gazillion dollar contract extension. The message here being, there's no stench too great that a huge pile of money can't cover.

Word on the street is that Mike James, he of the career season and inflated ego, will not be back for another go round with the team. Which might be for the best; athletes that compare themselves to Jesus are rarely a positive influence in any dressing room.

Playoff predictions you say? Well, the Raptors have rather soured our taste for b-ball, so let's just say, I don't know... the Pistons take it in five over Phoenix in the finals. Nuff said.



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