Friday, January 28, 2011

Shakespeare In The City

Episode 44 of This Is Toronto is now available!

This latest edition features the Spur-of-the-Moment Shakespeare Collective, a group of Toronto actors who strive to make the works of William Shakespeare more accessible.

NEXT EPISODE: Feb. 11, 2011

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Re. Vernon Wells & Mike Napoli

Just as I'm about to express my thoughts on the Vernon Wells trade, Alex Anthopoulos pulls the trigger on another trade. Guess I'll have to go trade-by-trade even if they're related.

Vernon Wells for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera

I was completely caught off guard by this trade. But I shouldn't feel that way. Wells' massive contract was hurting Toronto's growth. Trading him frees up $86 million, which will come in handy for resigning Jose Bautista (if he continues to perform as well as he did in 2010) and going after free agents.

Napoli and Rivera are good players. But their arrivals create a cluttered lineup. Assuming the outfield will have Travis Snider, Rajai Davis and Bautista, where does Rivera go? You could put Bautista at third and Rivera in right. But Bautista has a great arm that is better suited for the outfield. And if Bautista goes to third, where would that put Edwin Encarnacion?

It was clear there needed to be another trade and sure enough...

Mike Napoli for Frank Francisco

I don't like it and at the same time, I like it.

Napoli - had he stayed - would be a great weapon, especially against lefthanders. He would've mostly been used as a DH and first baseman. He is originally a catcher, but he'd only get behind the plate if JP Arencibia or Jose Molina got hurt. Of course, it wasn't meant to be.

Francisco brings another strong arm to the bullpen. A stronger bullpen will take some pressure off the starting rotation. Francisco's also another candidate to be the Blue Jays' next closer. It's going to be an intense competition in Dunedin for those 7-8 spots in the 'pen this year.

The lineup is still cluttered. I think there will be at least one more trade.

One more thing about Vernon

I will certainly miss him. It's hard to believe he was here for 12 years. Wells was a great player. There were times when he could've been better. You can blame the injuries if you wish. Regardless, he tried his best and was a wonderful ambassador.

- ER

Monday, January 24, 2011

Re. Headshots

There's an epidemic in the NHL. It's called (or more like "they're called") headshots.

But don't worry. I have a few ideas for a cure.

- ER

PS: I'm still trying to digest the Vernon Wells trade. I'll post something soon.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Re. Jon Rauch

Not a bad signing by the Blue Jays. Rauch picked up 21 saves with Minnesota last year.

Based on this signing, here's how the bullpen might look this year:

- Camp
- Purcey
- Jannsen
- Rauch
- Dotel
- Zep
- Villenueva

Don't forget about Chad Cordero, Jessie Carlson and Josh Roenicke either. You can even include Scott Richmond and Dustin McGowan.

The closer spot is still up for grabs. Right now, it's likely to come down to Dotel and Rauch.

- ER

Friday, January 14, 2011

Neighbourhood Art

Episode 43 of This Is Toronto is now available!

This latest edition features MABELLEarts, an organization that uses art to bring residents of the diverse Mabelle community in Etobicoke together.

NEXT EPISODE: Jan. 28, 2011

- ER

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Re. Sportsnet Radio Fan 590

It's no longer The Fan 590. It's now Sportsnet Radio Fan 590.

Seriously?! Really?! Are you kidding me?!

Whatever happened to the idea of Keep it simple, Stupid? Fan 590 was simple and easy to remember. It - forgive the cliche - rolled off the tongue. This new "brand" is a mouthful and completely takes away The Fan's local identity.

To be fair, Rogers isn't the first media conglomerate that's using a uniformed/cookie-cutter approach with all its stations. But putting it under the Sportsnet banner takes away the station's character.

Sure, the programs on Fan Toronto are different than Fan Calgary. But now there's nothing that establishes it as a Toronto sports station. It's just the radio-arm of Sportsnet.

I will still listen to the station, but I'm very disappointed. I will grin and bear it; the same way I grin and bare going to the Skydome and seeing the giant "Rogers Centre" sign.

- ER

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Re. Sir John A. Macdonald

A very HAPPY and BELATED Birthday to Sir John A. Macdonald!

Yesterday, Sir John turned 196 years young. The man's had a very accomplished life.

- First Prime Minister of Canada
- Father of Confederation
- Built a railway across the nation
- Social Drinker
- Blue Jays Infielder

You know, I was thinking - Canadians should get the day off in honour of Sir John's birthday.

Who's with me?

- ER

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Re. Snooki and Linden MacIntyre

I have felt tempted to read Snooki's novel, A Shore Thing. Up until Saturday, I have successfully resisted this temptation.

But then, Linden MacIntyre - CBC Journalist (The Fifth Estate), Giller Prize winner - convinced me to pick up this book.

Just listen to these excerpts - as read by MacIntyre - and tell me if I'm wrong.

- ER

Monday, January 10, 2011

Re. The Manning Pout

I've written about Peyton Manning before. So what I'm about to say shouldn't be a surprise:

There's something about seeing Peyton Manning lose that makes me smile.

Is that a terrible thing to say?

- ER

Thursday, January 06, 2011

WJC Final: Russia 5 Canada 3

The collapse is complete.

The blunder in Buffalo.

From Russia with puck.

No explanation needed. Canada took their foot off the gas.

Look at the bright side: Canada gets a nice, shiny silver medal.

And remember, it's just a hockey game and it's a beautiful planet.

- ER

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Athletes of the Year

Myself and several writers from packed ourselves into a small room - with no heat or electricity - and came up with...

The Good Point's 2010 Athletes of the Year!

Our selections are a collective winner. It's true.

- ER