Toronto Raptors

The New Bottom for Toronto Sports Teams

The New Bottom for Toronto Sports Teams?I think we're about to hit a new bottom... at least a new bottom for Toronto sports teams. With the Euro Cup and Olympic distractions behind us, and summer winding down, I've decided to do a quick State of the Union analysis of Toronto professional sports teams.

Toronto Blue Jays
I'm sad to say I haven't followed this team much the past few weeks. Oh... I see we're dead last in the AL East, 15 games behind the Yankees. And our wild card hopes have evaporated... and half the team is on the DL. Wasn't that new wild card supposed to belong to us? Nah, we'll finish last instead.

Toronto Maple Leafs
The Leafs haven't made the playoffs since before the last labour stoppage, and now it looks like we're heading into another. We diehards don't even get to enjoy watching our team miss the playoffs again. That might be the only thing worse than the longest non-playoff streak in the league. Sad and pitiful.

Toronto Raptors
We sucked last year, and we'll suck again this season. Every analyst and pundit has assured me of that. And really, even if a miracle of miracles occurred and we slipped into 8th place in the conference, Miami would chew us up and spit us out in 4.

Toronto Argos
Firstly, I fully acknowledge that almost none of you care about the CFL. I just checked the standings and we're 3-3. That almost sounds decent until you see in an 8-team league only one team has a worse record. That shit's cray!

Toronto FC
Lastly, we check in on our professional MLS soccer team. I remember getting off to a horrible start, but I've lost touch with them recently. I wonder how they're doing.... Oh... dead last in the Eastern Conference. That sounds about right.

So there you have it, a quick review of how it currently looks for Toronto sports teams. Ladies and gentlemen, I believe we've found a brand new low.

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Andy Gray's @si_vault Toronto Picture Dump

Andy Gray's @si_vault Toronto Picture DumpAndy Gray from Sports Illustrated is tweeting Toronto-centric pictures this afternoon.

I'm a Toronto-centric kind of guy who loves sports (and gets Sports Illustrated every week), so I'm collecting them all here along with Andy's accompanying tweets and some commentary from yours truly.


jays

AG: Jack Morris, Dave Stewart, Todd Stottlemyre & Juan Guzman pose at a 1993 SI photo shoot

TM: Damn, I miss these days. I once stalked Stottlemyre at the CNE to get his autograph.


argos

AG: Toronto Argonauts owners Bruce McNall, Wayne Gretzky and John Candy attend a 1991 game

TM: The kids and I just watched Planes, Trains and Automobiles. A few months ago, we watched Uncle Buck. I miss John Candy.


vince

AG: SI photographer John McDonough took this great shot of Vince Carter

TM: Nope, I'm still not ready to make nice.


felix

AG: Felix Potvin and his cat pose for a 1982 (sic) SI photo shoot

TM: Of course, Andy meant 1992. Speaking of stuff I miss, damn I miss Felix Potvin and this Leafs team that made the Conference finals twice in the early 90s.


huskies

AG: How amazing was this Toronto promotion (from 1946 Knicks-Huskies game)?

TM: I hate the name "Raptors" and wish we had gone with "Huskies".


wells

AG: Get your cigar, recline your La-Z-Boy. We're going with Toronto photos all day. David Wells is excited!

TM: I saw STP and RHCP with David Wells... sorta.


domi

AG: Tie Domi and Lyle Odelein get acquainted during a 2000 game between the Leafs and Devils

TM: My old pal.


marcus

AG: Marcus Camby poses for a photo at Raptors Media Day in 1997

TM: I can't believe Camby is still playing. He's old... he's my age!


danny

AG: Blue Jays shortstop Danny Ainge in action

TM: NBA star Danny Ainge started at third for the Jays back in 1981. Here are the other starting third basemen in Blue Jays history.


theismann

AG: Joe Theismann in action with the Toronto Argonauts during the 1972 season

TM: This is the first photo, outside the Huskies ticket, that doesn't bring back memories.


cousins

AG: Cousins Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter in 1999

TM: T-Mac never seemed happy.


Gruber

AG: Kelly Gruber celebrates Toronto Day at the SI Vault (for @GrubersMullet and Gruber lovers everywhere)

TM: Kelly, Kelly, Kelly, Kelly, Kelly.


robbie

AG: Roberto Alomar lays out for a catch during the 1992 World Series against Atlanta

TM: The greatest Blue Jay of all-time.


fans

AG: Toronto fans celebrate after the Blue Jays won the 1992 World Series

TM: I'll never forget.


barfield

AG: Jesse Barfield and his son let their Soul Glo before a 1996 (sic) Blue Jays-Orioles game

TM: I loved Barfield, and I love this picture. There's my Exhibition Stadium in what is likely 1986. Barfield had a cannon for an arm.


wendel

AG: Wendel Clark scores a goal during a 1993 Caps-Leafs game

TM: All heart.


tim

AG: Canadian legend Tim Horton played 18 seasons for the Maple Leafs in the '50s and '60s

TM: That's right, kids. Tim Horton was a Leaf. In fact, he was one of the greatest Leafs.


keon

AG: Dave Keon and Pierre Pilote chase down a loose puck during a 1967 Maple Leafs-Blackhawks game

TM: I missed Keon's entire career, but I caught his return.


roger

AG: Brian McNamee stretches out Roger Clemens before a 1997 Toronto-Baltimore game

TM: Roger Clemens, part of baseball's lost generation.


bosh

AG: How did Chris Bosh let SI take this photo of him?

TM: Bosh was more Vince than we realized. Go Celtics!


joe

AG: SI's Chuck Solomon with a great aerial shot of Joe Carter scoring the winning run of the 1993 World Series

TM: Joe touched 'em all, and it's been all downhill since then.


robbie2

AG: Toronto Day is over as I have to meet Robbie Alomar at his Skydome hotel room for dinner. Hope you enjoyed

TM: Fess up, Toronto. How many of you slept with Roberto Alomar?

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The Latest Raptors Recap Ever

The Latest Raptors Recap EverI watched the Oklahoma City Thunder eliminate the Los Angeles Lakers last night. That's rather significant, because I can count the basketball games I've watched this season on one hand.

Since the Raptors arrived in 1995 this is by far the least I've followed them. For one, it was a shortened season, and I was rooting for the lockout. It was a lost season and we all knew it so why emotionally invest? I opted out.

Having said that, I've never opted out of a lost Leafs season, and there have been plenty of those. I chalk that up to the simple fact that I'm a bigger hockey fan than I am a basketball fan. Still, I'm shocked at how invisible this Raptors season was... it started and then it was over.

Heading into this season, I wanted two things. I wanted the Mavs to fizzle out because I didn't want Vince Carter winning an NBA Championship. That happened. And I'd like the Heat to lose.... just because. Here's hoping that happens in the 2nd round against the Pacers.

So that's my super late Raptors recap. We stunk, but we knew we'd stink, and we think we have a decent coach and brighter days ahead.

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Leafs Sold to Rogers and Bell, No Longer Pension Plan Puppets

leafsSo this just happened...

The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan has sold its 79.53 per cent stake in Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment to Rogers Communications and BCE for more than $1.2 billion. BCE is fancy talk for Bell. That's right, Bell and Rogers now each own 37.5% of MLSE, which owns, among other things, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Raptors, TFC and the Toronto Marlies.

A couple of thoughts immediately spring to mind... These partnerships between Rogers and Bell make me very nervous. We need them to hate each other, right? It can't be good for the competitive landscape, for those of us who need Internet access and mobile talk and data plans and cable tv, when these telecom behemoths keep jumping into bed together.

unholy

And what will become of Pension Plan Puppets, the go-to Leafs blog in these parts? I hope they keep the name for tradition, the way we secular folks still call this Santa holiday Christmas.

But what matters most, of course, is will this help my Leafs win the cup? Since we've already given Brian Burke autonomy and let him spend the cap, I'm thinking it won't make a difference. At least it won't hurt...

What do you guys think of the sale of MLSE?

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Why This Raptors Fan Was Rooting For the Lockout

nbaNBA players and owners tentatively agreed on a new Collective Bargaining Agreement early this morning and a 66 game season will start on Christmas Day. As a Raptors fan, I was rooting for the lockout.

This is going to be a lost season for Raptor fans. Bryan Colangelo is in the midst of another rebuild, working to have as much as $24 million in salary cap flexibility for the 2012-2013 season. That certainly won't help us during this abbreviated season.

Take a look at our current roster. Sure, we all like how DeMar DeRozan keeps getting better, but what really does Dwane Casey have to work with? What real hope is there that we squeak into the playoffs? Slim to none, and slim just caught a Greyhound to Cleveland.

damon

At least there will be playoffs at the ACC this spring. That's right, I'm calling it. Go Leafs Go!

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Chris Bosh Back in Toronto, Awaits Deserved Boos

raptorsI can't remember the last time I wrote about the Toronto Raptors. It's been that kind of forgettable season. We're awful.

We might be awful, but tonight there's a good reason for casual fans to get excited again. Chris Bosh is back in town with his Miami Heat teammates to face the Raps at the ACC and he's going to get the Vince Carter treatment. He's getting the Vince Carter treatment because he deserves the Vince Carter treatment.

Admittedly, I defended his Raptor career when he signed with Miami and didn't see the Carter comparison right away, but I've since seen the light.

Appearing on the FAN 590, Bryan Colangelo said Bosh wasn't the same player toward the end of last year. In essence, he quit on us.

Colangelo said on Monday's show that whether Bosh was "mentally checked out or, you know, just wasn't quite into it down the stretch, he wasn't the same guy. And I think everybody saw that, just no one wanted to acknowledge it."

Quitters deserve to get booed. Tonight should be fun.

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Like A Bosh

basketballYou thought it would be awesome, but it's not. It's like a Bosh.

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Heat Schadenfreude as CB4 Faces the Raps

raptorsThe Raptors suck this season. Even die-hards have to admit it. We're 1-7 and look terrible.

When your team is in the dumps, it's fun to hate on other teams. This season, I've decided to root passionately against the Miami Heat. The whole Lebron / Wade / Bosh trifecta has me angry. And Bosh... I'm glad he's struggling. He went from being the guy here in Toronto to being third fiddle in Miami. That tells you all you need to know about his character.

Bosh is facing the Raps on Saturday. It will be fun to root against #4 and his unholy Heat alliance. But first, there's a certain artist formerly known as Air Canada tonight as we face Vince Carter's Magic.

Sweet, sweet schadenfreude.

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Bosh More Vince Than We Realized

RaptorsI'm just coming up for air and catching up with some of the news from this past week. One item on Chris Bosh is really bugging me.

When Bosh signed with Miami, I defended his legacy in a Raptors uniform.

He was our best Raptor for 7 years, and unlike Vince Carter, he never quit on us.

Appearing on the FAN 590, Bryan Colangelo said Bosh wasn't the same player toward the end of the year. In essence, he quit on us.

Colangelo said on Monday's show that whether Bosh was "mentally checked out or, you know, just wasn't quite into it down the stretch, he wasn't the same guy. And I think everybody saw that, just no one wanted to acknowledge it."

I hate quitters.

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Chis Bosh: 7 Years, 3 Playoff Wins

basketballI've already said goodbye to Chris Bosh. There was no doubt he'd sign elsewhere. His announcement today that he's joining Dwyane Wade‎ in Miami makes it official, but it's hardly a surprise.

I should preface the following by admitting I liked Chris Bosh. I liked him a lot. He was our best Raptor for 7 years, and unlike Vince Carter, he never quit on us. He'd rub me the wrong way with his album promos and DVD sales pitches, but he was a bona fide all-star and he was ours.

But with Chris Bosh as our leader these past seven seasons, our Toronto Raptors won a grand total of 3 playoff games. That's it. 7 years, 3 playoff victories.

It's a good thing Miami still has Dwyane Wade‎.

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