Wednesday, October 26, 2011


To get you up to speed: Launy Schwartz and I co-host The Hockey54 Show, heard every Sunday at 11pm ET (10pm CT) on 102.5 The Game in Nashville. The program is also podcasted.

Having said that...

Not only is Episode Two of  The Hockey54 Show available as a podcast, it's also divided into three periods!

You can listen to one, two or all three periods. Launy and I would prefer it if you listened to all three ;) 

There's also the full length interview with Stu Grimson.


- ER

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Re. Mike Napoli

As game five of the World Series ended, there was only one thought on my mind:

Frank Francisco for Mike Napoli.


- ER

Friday, October 21, 2011

Rendezvous with Madness

Episode 63 of This Is Toronto is now available.

This latest episode previews the 19th annual Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival.

NEXT EPISODE: Nov. 4, 2011

- ER

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

MLB Playoff Predictions - World Series

I was completely wrong about the ALCS and NLCS. To be honest, I'm tired of predicting. It's just guessing. Sure, there are stats to suggest who might win. But once the first pitch is thrown, all the stats go out the window and it comes down to seeing which team is better for that particular match.


2011 World Series

St. Louis over Texas in six

I love a good underdog story.

- ER

Saturday, October 08, 2011

MLB Playoff Predictions - LCS

The Brewers, Cards and Rangers - Three teams I didn't pick. At least I was right about the Tigers and that was a perfect prediction.

American League Championship Series

Detroit over Texas in seven

National League Championship Series

Milwaukee over St. Louis in six

- ER

Friday, October 07, 2011

The Hockey54 Show

Episode 62 of This Is Toronto is now available!

This latest edition follows up with The Toronto-based website is preparing for the debut of The Hockey54 show, which will air on an all-sports radio station in (of all places) Nashville, Tenn.

NEXT EPISODE: Oct. 21, 2011

- ER

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Final Thoughts - Blue Jays 2011

It's fitting the Blue Jays finished with a .500 record this season.

This was a Jekyll and Hyde team. There were times when I loved them and there were times when they made me want to pull my hair out.

There were issues with this team. Specifically, the pitchers.

For the last few years, Toronto's rotation was its biggest asset. This season, most of the starters were underwhelming. Branden Morrow, Brett Cecil and Kyle Drabek did not have good seasons. Morrow simply went through an ugly slump. Cecil and Drabek showed some brilliance, but were usually dominated by the opposition. Drabek's issues don't concern me since he's young and has less than a season worth of MLB experience. Cecil, on the other hand, is a concern.

The lefty was fantastic in 2010. He struggled this year, despite some positive time in Las Vegas. Cecil could be the odd man out in 2012. He needs to work harder and find ways to improve. Otherwise, Cecil and now-reliever Jesse Litsch could switch spots.

There were some bright spots in the rotation: Ricky Romero was fantastic and would've had more wins if his teammates gave him more run support. Henderson Alvaraz certainly made a nice impression. John Farrell has plenty of options for 2012's starting rotation, which is a blessing and a curse.

The bullpen, with the exception of Casey Janssen, was a mess. Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco are not stable enough to hold leads. I'd be very surprised if they return next year, let alone return to their 2011 roles.

So what does this team need to compete in 2012?

- Another starter. Not necessary, given what they already have. But it couldn't hurt. Mark Buehrle would look good in a Toronto uniform.

- A closer. Right now, Litsch, Carlos Villenueva and Janssen are the only players with guaranteed spots in the pen. Everything else is up in the air. Janssen or Litsch could become the closer, but AA should see if he can bring in someone more suited for the position, via trade or free agency.

- A DH. I'm not confident with Edwin Encarnacion. He is just not consistent. Then again, he's cheaper than Prince Fielder.

- A second baseman. I was very happy with Kelly Johnson, but I'm not the GM. If Johnson is the man, then the Jays need to sign him ASAP.

Of course, there are plenty of reasons to be happy with the Blue Jays: Jose Bautista had another phenomenal season (despite a lukewarm second half). J.P. Arencibia and Yunel Escobar made vast improvements. Janssen was excellent. And Brett Lawrie was simply incredible. He lived up to the hype, which is always hard to accomplish.

2012 will be an exciting season. Interest in the team has picked up and fans hope the Jays can keep it up. Making the playoffs won't be easy, although an expanded playoff format would help. Regardless, their chances are better than they were a year ago.

I'm definitely looking forward to it.

- ER