Here’s The TV Schedule For The 2019 World Juniors

TSN just put out the broadcast schedule for this year’s World Junior Hockey Championships. I’m going to stick it here for you guys and for me, because I have a terrible memory and I’m sure I’ll be needing to find it over and over again especially with so much going on over the holidays.

And would you look at that. I get a team Canada vs. Switzerland exhibition game on my birthday. That’s pretty alright.

By the way, does it bug anyone else that they call them the 2019 championships even though they start in 2018? That annoys me every year.

Go To Your Home!

This is perhaps the best baseball meltdown I’ve ever seen.

Late in a tied ballgame between the Chicago Dogs and the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, umpire Mike Jarboe punched out Metzger on a called third strike. Metzger was so furious that he got in Jarboe’s face, got himself tossed, then returned to the scene of the crime carrying a new house for Jarboe.

That new house, in case you can’t see the video, was a garbage can which he set down by home plate before loudly imploring umpire Jarboe to “Go to your home!”

Glorious!

Welcome To Seppa-tebby-tebby

I’m not sure why I just opened this file and started writing. I don’t really have much to say, I don’t think. Mostly this is just an excuse to get the word Seppa-tebby-tebby up here somewhere. Seppa-tebby-tebby is September, at least according to my 2-year-old nephew who said it a couple months ago while I was visiting with my sister. I love the way it sounds and I’ve been saying it ever since to people who would understand it, so much so that it’s becoming hard not to use it in conversations with people who won’t. So yes, happy Seppa-tebby-tebby, assuming that Seppa-tebby-tebby is something for you to be happy about.

For me, it’s always been a bit of a bummer. Not a depressing, soul crushing type of bummer like some of the winter months, but a bit of a downer because it signals that the best time of the year is coming to an end. Summer has it’s faults (I’m looking squarely at you, humidex of death), but for my money it’s our best season. It’s hard to beat taking some time to slow down and relax, sit in the sun, swim, enjoy a pleasant evening, catch a baseball or football game or any of a million other fun things. If it could be 25 and sunny all year, I’d be fine with that. So this being the last long weekend of the happy season always makes me…well…slightly unhappy.

Speaking of which, am I the only one who, even though I’ve been out of school for the better part of two decades at this point, still feels a little twinge of sadness for all the poor kids that have to go back when Labour Day comes around? I don’t expect parents to answer that in the affirmative. I’m sure they’re thrilled. But for people like me who don’t have kids of their own, is that weird?

I’m not sure what we’re doing with our long weekend. There could potentially be some family stuff. There will almost certainly be laundry and a wee bit of housework, because there always is. And there will absolutely be us, outside, enjoying some ice cream and corn on the cob. Whatever we get up to, hopefully we’ll make the most of it. And hopefully you do too.

And since I haven’t plugged it in a while, maybe go give me a follow on Twitter if you do that sort of thing. Lately I’ve been making an effort to use it more, for some reason. It can be a truly awful place, but it’s also kinda fun. It’s also a good way to get in touch if you ever feel the need. It might take a bit longer to get an answer now that they’ve gone and broke their shit, but you will eventually get one. So why not come hang out with me? Come hang out with Carin too, while you’re at it. You might even get to be around for one of those historic moments when she actually says something.

Nope, didn’t have a whole lot to say here. I thought maybe I’d be able to get into the Jays shipping Donaldson and Granderson out for basically nothing yesterday, but meh. I’m disappointed to see both of them go, but yeah, meh. Granderson was never going to be around long-term but was having a reasonable year, and while one of the best players in the game like Donaldson should normally net you an absolutely enormous return, that’s not the guy we’re dealing with now. He’s hardly played this season due to injury and last year wasn’t so hot either, so it’s understandable that there might not be a lot coming back in a move. Both are worthwhile risks to take for a contending team, but as a Jays fan watching what looks like another fucking rebuild, I must say I’m underwhelmed.

Am I done now? I think so. I’ll talk to you all soon. Enjoy All In if you’re watching it. I plan on checking it out after the fact. I don’t know what it’s going to mean over the long haul, but it and Ring of Honor selling out Madison Square Garden are pretty big deals for non-WWE wrestling in North America. I’m excited and intrigued to see where this goes in a way that I haven’t been about much in wrestling for a very long time. WWE is still so far above anyone else in the world in terms of exposure and finances that it would be foolish to expect anyone to be playing WCW to them any time soon, but some competition on a fairly major level would damn sure be better than what we’ve had for the last 17 years.

Alright, now I’m really done. Enjoy your long weekend and I’ll talk to you in the soon times.

That Time The Mayor Of Toronto Insulted An Entire Continent

What is it with Toronto and racist politicians? No, not him. Him either. I’m talking about Mel Lastman, because I have just been reminded that today is the anniversary of the time he said he didn’t want to go to Africa because he might get boiled alive.

Yes, that was a thing that the head of our country’s biggest city actually said. And yes, it went over about as well as you’d expect.

Toronto Mayor Mel Lastman apologized profusely and repeatedly at press conference about remarks about his visit to Kenya.
Before leaving for the trip to gain support of African delegates for Toronto’s bid, the mayor, in an attempt to be amusing, said, “What the hell do I want to go to a place like Mombasa?… I just see myself in a pot of boiling water with all these natives dancing around me.” He also said he and his wife are afraid of snakes.
Lastman issued a written apology saying the remarks were off the cuff and never intended to offend anyone, and held a press conference about how sorry he was about his gaffe.

David Kilgour, the Secretary of State for Latin America, Africa and the Caribbean called the remarks a “display of ignorance” and said they will undoubtably affect Toronto’s Olympic bid.
African votes are crucial to Toronto winning the Olympics and Bruce Kidd, who is part Toronto’s bid team, frankly admits he’s doing damage control. “The mayor said a very, very stupid thing. When he saw it in print, he quickly realized his mistake and has issued a gracious apology.” The bid committee says it doubts the comments will affect the competition.

the bid committee was incorrect. Toronto lost the vote 56-22 to Beijing.

But it’s not all bad. Sure the Mayor was a big dumb idiot, but as far as I’m concerned this ended up being one of those blind squirrel finds nut situations. In part because of this, old Mel probably saved the city, the Province of Ontario and the federal government several billion dollars worth of crippling debt.

And just in case anyone feels like arguing with me, yes, Mel Lastman was often a big dumb idiot.

Pop Goes The Shoulder

I’m not sure we’re quite hitting Brian Roberts clonks himself on the head and winds up with a concussion territory here, but respect to Red Sox pitcher Carson Smith for a solid effort.

“Hurt his arm” turned out to be a kinder, gentler way of saying he dislocated his damn shoulder.

BOSTON — Red Sox manager Alex Cora said he was surprised to hear that reliever Carson Smith feels that fatigue could have contributed to his dislocated pitching shoulder.

The 28-year-old right-hander was injured when he threw his glove during a tantrum in the dugout after leaving Monday night’s 6-5 loss to Oakland. He entered with the Red Sox trailing 5-4 in the eighth, allowed Khris Davis’ leadoff home run, then retired three straight batters.

Thank god I don’t listen to Boston sports talk radio. I don’t know how much arm fatigue vs. be honest with your coaches babble I could handle.

The right answer in that argument, by the way, is that there is no right answer. Nobody is ever going to mistake me for an athlete, but I have had injuries. And the thing with injuries is that sometimes you don’t realize that you’ve overdone it until you’ve overdone it, and the next thing you know, the simplest task, one that you felt totally prepared for, will have you all messed up. That doesn’t mean acting like a damn baby and tossing stuff around when you’re mad is necessarily excusable when you’re supposed to be a grown ass adult, but you also don’t expect that throwing something is going to fuck you up so much when you throw things for a living.

I’m Sure There Must Be Worse Baseball Songs, But Marlins Will Soar Is Way Up There

Oh my sweet Jesus in heaven, what in the hell is this and how has it escaped me for eight years? And perhaps more importantly, how do I unhear it and get it to go away again?

Woof. That sure is a lot of awful to cram into a minute and 47 seconds. But at the same time, you cannot argue that it is anything but a tune befitting a bad team with even worse ownership. A team such as the Miami Marlins, in whose name it was written back in 2010.

Yes, that is in fact Scott Stapp A.K.A. that Creed guy word vomiting random baseball related syllables over a backing track he likely wrote in 1998. I don’t know if he was paid actual money for it (it seems likely considering the Marlins history of great business decisions), but it does appear that he was compensated in the form of free tickets for life and the ability for his kids to be bat boys whenever they wanted. That’s nice for the kids I guess, but why does this damn team hate the rest of us so much?

Let’s play ball, it’s game day
We want strikeouts, base hits, double plays
Take the field, hear the roar of the crowd
Come on Marlins, make us proud
Keep hoping and dreaming and you will soar
With a little faith and love, you will soar
One strike, two strikes, swing away
A diving catch, a stolen base
A perfect game, a triple play
Another play-off race—YES!
World Series chance we’ll [unintelligible scream]

I think it’s “World Series champs you’ll be,” but “unintelligible scream” sums the team up much better, so let’s just go with that.

The NHL Needs To Adopt The FIEGI Playoff Format Right Now

A few days ago I got to bitching about the NHL’s dumb playoff format and offered up one serious and one almost as dumb way to fix it.

Without meaning to, I’ve just stumbled upon an article that takes part of my dumb idea (just put everybody in the damn playoffs since that’s what you seem to want to do anyway) and actually makes it workable. Behold, the Fuck It Everyone Gets In playoff format!

It involves some one game play-ins and a few two out of threes for a lot of the bottom feeding teams so would take some getting used to, but I’m having trouble poking a single hole in it. The regular season becomes more meaningful, fans and players alike always have some hope, it rewards good teams, there’s at least a bit of that sweet, sweet playoff revenue for everyone, and don’t even try telling me you’re not watching the hell out of the shittiest team in the league going on an improbable march to the finals some year. The season gets slightly longer which isn’t exactly ideal since it doesn’t end until nearly fucking July as it is, but that’s nothing that can’t be solved by either shortening the preseason or shutting up and living with it like we eventually do with everything else.

It makes too much sense for the NHL to enact it, but allow me to be one of the first to wholeheartedly endorse this plan.

Let’s Fix The Playoffs

It’s just about NHL playoff time, which means I’m annoyed. Not because my favourite team is missing out again (go Leafs go!), but because the format is needlessly complicated. Seriously, have a gander at this shit.

As has been the case since 1979-80, 16 teams will qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The format now is a set bracket that is largely division-based with wild cards.
The top three teams in each division will make up the first 12 teams in the playoffs. The remaining four spots will be filled by the next two highest-placed finishers in each conference, based on regular-season record and regardless of division. It is possible for one division in each conference to send five teams to the postseason while the other sends just three.
In the First Round, the division winner with the best record in each conference will be matched against the wild card with the lesser record; the wild card with the better record will play the other division winner.
The teams finishing second and third in each division will meet in the First Round within the bracket headed by their respective division winner. First-round winners within each bracket play one another in the Second Round to determine the four participants in the Conference Finals.
Home-ice advantage through the first two rounds goes to the team that placed higher in the regular-season standings. In the Conference Final and Stanley Cup Final, home-ice advantage goes to the team that had the better regular-season record, regardless of the teams’ final standing in their respective divisions.

I have an uncle who swears this makes complete sense and is totally fair. In related news, I also have an uncle who is wrong.

Like what the hell is any of that? Conferences…divisions…wildcards…lesser records…one side with more people than the other…home ice advantage is determined by one record until it isn’t…get the fuck out of here with this, NHL! You’re killing me here.

There is no reason why determining a champion needs to be this difficult, so allow me to make it simpler.

First of all, decide whether you want divisions or conferences. You don’t need both. My vote is we jettison divisions, because they tend not to make any geographical sense and sometimes it’s hard for casual fans or even whatever the level slightly above casual is to remember who goes where. All you really need is an Eastern Conference, a Western Conference and a map to help you figure out which teams should go in each one.

Once you have that, play your season. At the end, the eight teams from each side with the most points get to go to the playoffs, because 16 is a fine number that works well for tournaments and we’re all used to it at this point. Each side goes 1 vs. 8, 2 vs. 7 and so-forth. Once that’s done, the winner of 1 vs 8 plays the winner of 2 vs. 7 and on and on and on until you have a single team left on each side, at which point you have your East against West match-up for the cup.

Again, this is not that hard, and the only reason it is currently as hard as it is is either because nobody in the NHL knows what they’re doing or everyone who does is too frightened of the people who don’t to tell them to get bent.

Speaking of getting bent, just shut up with this playoff expansion business. I don’t care how many teams you eventually want to add to the league, 16 of them is already a lot to put into the playoffs. Getting to the playoffs is supposed to be hard, so at least maybe try to give me the illusion that it is, guys. If anything, less teams should make it. That’s why baseball’s playoff race is so much more fun for me. It feels like a much bigger achievement to have your team make it when half the damn league isn’t going with them.

But if you’re convinced that bumping up the number of playoff teams is unavoidable, then I have another suggestion. Get rid of the regular season. If most of the teams are going to the playoffs anyway, what do you need it for? Just put everyone in and be done with it.

Every January, put the names of every team in a tumbler and draw them Battlebowl style. There’s your first round. When that’s over, you can either make a bracket or you can put the winners back in the hat and draw again, your choice.

As I see it, there are several advantages to this.

  1. It would give people a reason to look forward to January. January is garbage. It’s cold, it’s dark, you’re in debt from Christmas, depending on where you live there’s not another holiday to look forward to until Easter…the annual big ass hockey tournament would be a nice escape.
  2. There would be no more whining about how unfair the system is. It’s a blind draw, so your have not teams have as good a chance as the haves of getting matched up favourably with someone.
  3. Playing careers would be longer without the wear and tear of playing seven months of pointless games every year.
  4. There would be no more discontent about putting the season on pause during Olympic years.

And I’m sure I’m missing a few more.

I know None of this is happening. The NHL is going to do whatever the hell it wants and we’re all just going to put up with it. That’s why we have shootouts, a concept that has no place whatsoever in hockey. If it did, why aren’t they used in the playoffs? Regular season ties are not the end of the world. If they are, make everyone keep playing until somebody wins. Yes, that’s a stupid idea, but so is determining the end of a 60 minute contest with a lame skills competition. And this playoff format. And adding even more people to it. And locking out the players every few years…god, why do I still watch this stuff? Why do you have to be so much fun, hockey.

The Name Of The Team

If I were smart I’d have asked Gill what the cheer was in her third item, because I laughed at the Boat Load and wouldn’t mind it being even funnier somehow.

With the arrival of baseball season and hockey winding down we need to talk. Some team names have been placed beneath the microscope because of the age of political correctness, and what is now frowned upon. Now before you go calling me a social justice warrior or something like that, we must understand that some of these controversies have been going on for many years.

  • The Chicago Blackhawks – This is more recent, unlike the Braves of Atlanta or the Cleveland Indians.
  • The Washington Redskins – This team was named all the way back in the 1930’s, however nowadays this would be the same as calling a Brampton fastball team the Brampton Brown faces.
  • From experience – My friend Jeff was a water boy for his high school baseball team, a team largely made up of Cambodians, Vietnamese, and Thai Canadian kids. Classmates, and even the two non-Southeast Asian team members called the team “the boat load.” They even had a cheer each time the guys would go up to bat that pretty much offended anyone with any kind of decency.

Question

What’s your favorite sports team, or did your high school have a team name that may not be ok today?

Watt Gives You The Right To Talk To Me Like That


I’m not really a soccer guy, but I am a big fan of silliness, which means I enjoyed this.

Former Arsenal forward Sanchez Watt received the most bizarre red card of the season after a referee mistook the player saying his own name for dissent.
Watt, playing for Hemel Hempstead in their National League South clash with East Thurrock on Tuesday night, was asked his name by ref Dean Hulme so that he could book him for kicking the ball away.
But the official grew frustrated when the answer given was ‘Watt’, mistaking the reply as the player saying ‘What?’ and arguing against his decision. Hulme asked Watt three times for his name, receiving ‘Watt’ as the reply each time, before seeing red and giving Watt his marching orders.

Thankfully team captain Jordan Parkes was able to rush in and explain the situation, and old Wattshisname’s red card was changed to a yellow allowing him to stay in the match, which his team won 2-0.