told him what he thought He figured that not only could Flutie play

told him what he thought He figured that not only could Flutie play

28.07.2017 04:36

It’s time to sell. But the bigger question for the Blue Jays is Sell what?

Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins are caught in a spiral of sorts. Their greatest assets — Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Roberto Osuna, Josh Donaldson — are worth keeping and building around.

Their name value in expiring contracts — Jose Bautista, Marco Estrada, Francisco Liriano — could be sent packing, assuming Bautista agrees, but will bring back little of consequence except payroll savings for the final two months of this hugely disappointing season.

So, what can they do in the next week as the first major league trade deadline approaches? They can try and find a home for Kendrys Morales. They can pick up the phone and find out if anyone believes, even with a financial incentive, that Troy Tulowitzki is still Troy Tulowitzki. They can dangle J.A. Happ, but only for real value because he can be part of a decent starting rotation a year from now.
There isn’t any blueprint here that seems to make sense.

You can have a starting rotation next season that begins with Stroman, Sanchez and Happ. That’s decent. You can have an infield with Justin Smoak, a healthy Devon Travis and Donaldson next season. Assuming Smoak is real, that’s decent. But you need some speed, and some gap hitters and two corner outfielders and a blister to heal, but then, where are you?

It’s easy to say sell and blow it up. It makes for wonderful sports radio talk. But what are you selling and what are you left with after the blow up? And what is on the field next season?

The only players of real value are the ones you want to hang on to. That’s the challenge for Shapiro and Atkins. Finding the right strategy. The answers here aren’t obvious.


One of the largest ovations ever heard in Toronto Estrada leaving the mound at the Rogers Centre against Kansas City in the 2015 American League Championship Series. Hard to believe that this Estrada and that Estrada are the same pitcher. He was Mr. Cool then. He’s Lost Boy now … Estrada has started six post season games for the Jays. He has a 2.16 earned run average in his 41 innings pitched. The great Clayton Kershaw has a 4.55 earned run average in his past six playoff starts for the Los Angeles Dodgers … Worst NBA season. Best NBA off season. Even if you wanted to, you couldn’t invent the Kyrie Irving ‘I want to be traded’ story … Next question Does Masai Ujiri pick up the phone, just to find out what Cleveland wants for Irving. Irving doesn’t have a no trade deal, even if he’s requested future locations. Don’t think you could deal Kyle Lowry for Irving but, if you could, and there weren’t contract provisions indicating otherwise, I’d do it … And what if the new Cavaliers general manager, Koby Altman, did the unusual and said ‘No, I’m not trading Irving.’ How bold would that be?

I love hockey negotiations. The Stanley Cup champions played Brian Dumoulin on their first defence pair in the playoffs and now are trying to lowball him in salary arbitration … Nashville is doing the same with Austin Watson, who played large playoff minutes. It’s like David Poile tells agents on occasion “I love your player at 2 million. I hate him at 3 million.” … The Dodgers have a 57 20 record since calling up Cody Bellinger. That’s .740 baseball. That’s 120 win pace … The upper NHL brass will tell you there is no contingency plan for NHL players to go to the Olympics in South Korea, so I wonder Why hasn’t Hockey Canada or USA Hockey named coaches and general managers for the next Olympics? It’s expected Sean Burke and Willie Desjardins will head up Team Canada. But it’s almost August, and still no announcement … This is unusual Marita Payne, Andrew Wiggins’ mom, held the 200 metre sprinting record in Canada for 34 years. It was broken the other day by Crystal Emmanuel. It isn’t often you see a track record last that long … If the Jays can move Morales and lose Estrada, Bautista and Liriano in free agency, that gives them nice pocket change of 55 million for Shapiro and Atkins to play with … Is it just me, or does Brandon Banks look less dangerous than he used to be? He used to be the best thing to watch in the CFL.


If Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid weren’t in the conversation — and maybe Andre De Grasse, depending on what happens at the worlds — Joey Votto could be a legitimate Lou Marsh Award contender this year. Over the past 162 games he’s played, all he’s done is bat .351 with an on base percentage of .458, 36 home runs, 113 RBIs and 118 walks. If only he wasn’t playing for the last place Cincinnati Reds … Did you see the Aaron Judge home run on Friday night in Seattle? If you didn’t, find it. They’re still looking for the baseball … Some Blue Jays scores in July 13 3, 11 1, 19 1, 12 2, 15 1, 7 1. That’s a team that has stopped caring. Some Blue Jays scores in June 11 4, 11 4, 8 1, 7 0, 12 2. And to think, they’re just a 10 game winning streak away from contention … Every kid I know keeps the ticket from the first sporting event they ever attended, or maybe the biggest one. And now the Montreal Canadiens aren’t just getting rid of tickets. They’re charging extra for them. How dumb is that? My bet They’ll end up changing that policy … This is why soccer is more quaint than most sports. In hockey or basketball, it’s a game time decision on a player’s lineup status. In soccer, it’s not a game time decision. The player is simply eligible for selection.


This is the last year on Lou Lamoriello’s contract with the Maple Leafs. How long before an announcement is made about some kind of contract extension … Welcome to the White Sox, Yoan Moncada … O.J. Simpson is getting out, Sean Spicer has resigned and Saturday Night Live is on summer hiatus. In tandem, that’s not a good combination … Bo Levi Mitchell has started 55 games for the Calgary Stampeders. His won loss record is a spectacular 45 8 2 … It was worth staying up late for Winnipeg B.C., on Friday night. A crazy, fun, football game … I’d like a week to go by when one of my friends in the industry doesn’t announce this is their final day at wherever they happen to work … Chicago , the Blackhawks, struggling. Chicago, the band, still getting it done … This is weird The light hitting Ryan Goins has more doubles and more RBIs than Tulowitzki in a similar number of at bats … What’s the record for most times on the disabled list in a single season and is Sanchez close? … Larry Fitzgerald, who will be in the NFL Hall of Fame one day, has chosen not to play in the Hall of Fame game on Aug. 3 … Johnny Gaudreau, who grew up in the Jersey Philadelphia area, said it would be neat to play near home one day and everybody goes screaming to their windows. Truth is, if you asked most NHL players whether they would want to play close to home, they would say yes. Even if they weren’t telling the truth … Happy birthday to Kasperi Kapanen 21 , Tessa Bonhomme 32 , Shawn Michaels 52 , Gary Payton 49 , Maurice Greene 43 , Shawn Thornton 40 and Nomar Garciaparra 44 .


Who had the best two seasons in modern Toronto sporting history?

Was it the two MVP record breaking Grey Cup seasons for Doug Flutie and the Argos, the team finishing 34 6 in 1996 and ’97?

Was it the two seasons in which Doug Gilmour carried the Maple Leafs to the conference finals in 1992 94, scoring 301 points, 63 of those coming in the post season?

Was it the two Cy Young seasons for Roger Clemens? He was 41 13 with a microscopic earned run average for two rather ordinary Blue Jays teams?

Was it the first two Josh Donaldson seasons in Toronto, the first as MVP, the second as MVP contender?

Others to think about Jose Bautista hitting 54 home runs one year, 43 the next; Ed Belfour’s first two years with the Leafs. Vince Carter’s second and third season with the Raptors, before he started pouting; the 39 goals Sebastian Giovinco scored in his first two Toronto FC campaigns.

Flutie has the championships from a league, frankly, where the numbers indicate it’s easier to win championships. Gilmour came close. Donaldson came close.

It’s a fun conversation. The thing is, as you were watching Flutie or Gilmour or Carter or Bautista or any of them, the wonder was Would you ever see anything like this again?

That’s what makes it so special.


He would sit in the second row in the SkyDome football press box when Doug Flutie played QB for the Argos. Usually by himself. But A.J. Smith was there, almost every game, watching Flutie play, the only NFL scout there on a regular basis.

At a time when few believed Flutie could succeed in the NFL anymore — he was 35 in his final of two Argos championship seasons — Smith, who would make the trek from Buffalo to watch Flutie play, all the time believing.

Smith went to his boss, Bills general manager John Butler, and told him what he thought He figured that not only could Flutie play in the NFL, he could succeed. Butler wasn’t convinced. But he went along with his scout, figuring he had little to lose.

Were it not for his two seasons in Toronto, for which Ryan Goins Jersey he is being honoured on Monday night, Flutie would not likely have gotten the opportunity to play eight additional seasons in the NFL, three for Butler and Smith in Buffalo, four for Butler and Smith, who later became general manager in San Diego.

Flutie, who wound up playing 12 NFL seasons before and after his CFL time, started 30 games for the Bills in his late 30s and finished with a very impressive 21 9 won loss record. The Bills went to the playoffs in 1998 and 1999 seasons, following the two Toronto Grey Cup seasons. They haven’t played a playoff game since Flutie left the Bills.

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