Finally, some good things are happening for my teams!
I was disappointed to see Amir Johnson sign a two-year deal with the Celtics. Although slowed by injuries last season, he has been a beast for the Raptors for the past seven seasons. He was almost an automatic double-double and he was a leader in the dressing room. He will be missed but good on him for getting a lot of money from Boston.
On the good side, the Raptors have spent some money signing Demarre Carroll, Cory Joseph and Luis Scola to free agent contracts. Carroll will be a nice defensive minded addition to the front court while local boy Joseph (from Pickering, ON) is the perfect back-up point guard to Lowry and at 23, already has a championship ring. Scola, on a 1-year deal is exactly what you want off the bench as a power forward. If desired, Casey could start Patrick Patterson at the 4 with Scola behind him but I have a feeling the shopping cart is not full yet. Also, it was an interesting move bringing in Jerry Stackhouse as an assistant coach. Now he can teach everyone his secret to consistently shooting 50% from the field: taking 46 shots per game.
This is becoming too familiar for the Blue Jays now. In a division where all five teams are separated by a total of five games, you need to take advantage. They rolled into Chicago for 4 games where the White Sox have been historically bad at scoring runs and what do they do? Lose 3 out of 4! The box scores looked like this: 4-2 (L), 2-1 (W), 7-6 (L) and 2-0 (L). Where is this magnificent offense? They were outscored 14-10 by one of the worst offenses in the league. Mark Buerhle and RA Dickey pitched great games and both took the loss because of bad defense and no hitting. This team as it stands is not good enough and they need to trade one of their big bats for a starting pitcher. My choice would be Edwin as he is making around $10-million next year and we have a combination of Smoak and Colabello giving us the same production with better averages. If you can send him and maybe Daniel Norris or Jeff Hoffman to a non-division team looking for offense now and pitching later. It will be a hard thing because all but about 3 teams are still technically in the hunt. If its the right deal I would even throw in a third prospect or player to get it done. Bottom line is , this division is up for grabs and after 22 years, getting to the playoffs isn’t a hope, its a necessity.
In the stupid athletes department, both Jason Pierre-Paul and the Bucs’ CJ Wilson lost fingers on the 4th of July because they were holding fireworks. Yes, fireworks. We’re not talking about kids or teens doing stupid things, these are grown-up, well paid professional football players LOSING FINGERS! The stupidity meter is off the charts on this one. While Pierre-Paul is a free agent, CJ Wilson is under contract and I hope he is forced to take a pay cut for his stupidity but then again, its the NFL.
In other stupidity news, the Brooklyn Nets, who paid Deron Williams $99-million over five years and Williams himself, who accepted the deal over the Mavs offer in 2012, are looking to rid themselves of one another. This may come in the form of a buyout or an outright release at which point Williams would sign with the Mavs. Here’s an idea: if you can’t trade a player maybe that said player who signs the contract and the team who offers it in the first place can honor it at both ends. This whole subculture of athletes signing big deals and then whining how they want to be traded because the direction of the team isn’t what they like is becoming a joke. The player complaining has a direct effect on the team’s performance but won’t hold himself accountable. The team, after over paying for the player argues that they didn’t get what they paid for. Has no one learned from Lebron? You sign a long-term deal with an opt-out after a couple of years so you have options. The team shouldn’t have a problem with it because if they are winning, the player will stay put. It’s simple math people.