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A calm settles over the Raptors, a welcome consistency of leadership


Totally took Labour Day off and loafed, don’t feel at all guilty about it and hope you didn’t mind.

But it did mean another delay in expanding on the Masai news that came down late Friday afternoon and solidified the Raptors front office so this is late but what the hell, right?

First, having the release go out around 3 p.m. on the Friday of a long weekend – a time generally reserved for bad news – was not an attempt to sneak it past anyone; it was just the under-stated way Masai wanted it handled.

With him, it’s never about him and I bet if he had his druthers, there wouldn’t have been any official announcement all, life would have just gone on with him doing his job with no big fuss.

It’s why we haven’t yet found out the number of years or value of the contract; that’s not his style, there doesn’t seem to be an agent around who’ll quietly and anonymously dispense the information. Oh, we may find out in passing sometime during training camp and you know we’ll keep asking but it really doesn’t matter to him whether it’s five years or three years or $ 15 million or $ 20 million; the job is the job and he’s going to do it to the best of his abilities regardless and he doesn’t need the parameters of his employment out there.
The same goes for Jeff Weltman and Bobby Webster, who got promotions as well; they carry themselves in much the same way Masai does; do the job, don’t seek the headlines or the fame, leave that for others.

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But the bigger thing is the fact that the team’s leadership isn’t going to change and given what they’ve accomplished over the past three years that’s a huge thing.

There were certainly teams out there who would have interest in poaching one of the three (if you win, teams want you, as we’ve seen with members of Dwane’s coaching staff) and keeping the front office intact is a big deal.

I know the three of them pretty well from dealing with them over the years and I can say with certainty that the situation in Toronto – ownership, the fan base, the players, the coaches – adds up to one of the most attractive in the league and there was no reason to even investigate other opportunities that would have presented themselves.

I know it’s easy to knock MLSE for a whole lot of reasons – everything from concession stand costs to ticket prices and on down the line – but in this instance ownership has to get some credit for putting good people in place, letting them do their jobs without meddling and rewarding them for success.

We’ve heard all kinds of chatter about “culture” around this team for years and I think we now see just what that is:

Good people being able to do their jobs well and being taken care of when the time is right.

Having been around for more than a few years and having seen this organization lurch from crisis to crisis to remake to remake to rebuild, some consistency and quiet is a wonderful thing.

You gotta like it when a good guy gets a solid honour, don’t you?

Saw on the tweeter machine on the weekend that our old friend Anthony Parker is to be inducted into the Maccabi Tel Aviv Hall of Fame this year for his meritorious service to that iconic Israel basketball franchise.

The bonafides are legit: two-time EuroLeague MVP, EuroLeague Final Four MVP, two Triple Crowns in the Israel which are the National Cup, domestic championship and EuroLeague championship.

There’s more than a few folks who’ve come thorough Toronto in various Halls of Fame, it’s nice to see the ranks swell by one.

One of the great things about baseball is its consistency, a game today, a game tomorrow, a game the day after that and that doesn’t allow for a lot of highs and lows.

Or at least it shouldn’t.

But, my word, fans can sure get worked up within a single game and from day to day and it was amazing to watch from afar over the last couple of days.

I know that the tweeter is not truly indicative of anything too great – it tends to bring out far too many anonymous screamers for my liking and the “mute” and “block” functions are its greatest invention – but the ups and downs of reading thoughts on the Blue Jays has been fascinating.

I get that the games are slightly more important now than they were in, say, June and July, but the best part about the game is that it tends to even out over time – good teams are good teams, .280 hitters are .280 hitters, 30 homer guys are 30 homer guys and this getting all crazy inning to inning and hour to hour would seem counterproductive, no?

I can’t imagine what it would be like if the Jays were awful, it’d probably be too much to take.

I’m a bit of fan – of the game and especially of pennant races and September – but I also know getting crazy worked up and talking in absolutes every single day does not nothing but drive up the blood pressure and expose one as a reactionary oddball who doesn’t quite get it.

That said, can’t wait to experience the angst tonight; it’s a lot more fun to read it while somewhat removed from the fray.

Okay, it’s the first day back at school for a lot of urchins which means a whole lot of extra pedestrian traffic around the neighbourhoods so be a bit extra vigilant when you’re driving today, okay?

And, yes, despite being off again this week and next, I’ll be stopping by the expansive studios of I’ll Have Another this morning to sit with She Who Supports Arsenal and Not Mel Cooley to see what’s on everyone’s mind.

Part of the gig is Listener Mail so do the number sign IHApodcat thingamabob on the twitter machine and someone brighter than I will get it to us.

TORONTO STAR | SPORTS | DOUG_SMITHS_SPORTS_BLOG

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