Saturday, April 15, 2006

Redemption and Elimination, All Wrapped Together

The Leafs are done. Finished. It's official. No playoffs for them, the first time in seven years. They made a go of it though, I'll give them that much. And they went out in style, those Leafs did, 8-0-2 in their last ten. But in the end, they left it too long to pull off comeback.

But on a brighter note, the Leafs did win tonight, against none other than their most hated rivals, those bastards from Ottawa. They didn't just win, they handed Ottawa their asses on a stick, as the kids might say. 5-1 final score. That's Toronto 1, Ottawa um...7... on the season. But those seven previous losses don't matter now, because the boys in blue won the only game that mattered, the last one. So what if Ottawa beat Toronto by scores of 8-0 and 8-2? That's ancient history now. One can't dwell on the past, doncha know.

And in other news, A.J Burnett made his belated season debut for the Jays against the World Champion White Sox. Suffice it to say, they lost. Burnett wasn't terrible, but compared to the Chisox starter Mark Buehrle, he was totally outclassed. The score was 4-2, hardly a blowout. All of the Sox's runs came curtesy of Paul Konerko's two home runs , both off of Burnett. I mean, he wasn't that bad, it's just he wasn't that good either, by which I mean $55 million dollar good.

And I would really like it if the Toronto sportscasters would put down their pom-poms for half a second and stop making excuses for Burnett. There's a fine line between commentary and cheerleading, and the's Jays play-by-play guys seem to be firmly planted on the rah-rah side. I mean, I understand that the company that owns the Jays also owns the sports network on which the games are broadcast (and the stadium in which they play, and sooner or later the air which they breath, and the thoughts which they think), so that essentially Vernon Wells and the man telling me that Vernon Wells is stepping up to the plate are recieving their paycheques from the same source. I understand that, I do. I understand that Burnett represents a huge investment for the Jays and that by extension the broadcasters also share a vested interest in Burnett's well being, but still, could they at least pretend to be unbiased? Just a little bit? Just because your boss is paying him big bucks, doesn't mean he's above criticism. A loss is still a loss.

And in other news, those lovable losers, the Toronto Raptors were facing the powerhouse Detroit Pistons yesterday and actually won. And yet, somehow life goes on. I'm told the game was sold out in Toronto, but you can be sure that those fans weren't there to see the Raps play. The season will soon be over, mercifully, and Brian "I Relish A Challenge" Colangelo will begin trying to turn this franchise into something resembling more like basketball team than a three ring circus.

And speaking of broadcasters who should put down the pom-poms, where did the Raptors even find Chuck Swirsky and Jack Armstrong? I assume it was in a lobotomy doctor's waiting room, because you would have to be slightly brain dead to be able to call 82 Raptors' games a season and still find reasons to be excited about this team. That neither of them has even contemplated suicide in their tenure with the team is a testament to their dedication. Or severe mental retardation. Either one really.



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