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A rather small weekend mailbag this time around

A: I’m sorry I missed this with the rest of the nickname replies but in no way on Earth do I think the Cleveland logo is a caricature.

Q: Hi Doug

So, it’s The Ides Of October and we’ve still got baseball. Isn’t this grand? I mean, it’s a gorgeous season anyway but now added to all the glorious colours and moderate temperatures, the Blue Jays remain. And Auston Matthews. And Kyle and DeMar. Lots to enthuse about. But what of food? And drink! The turkey may now be but a memory and a frozen wishbone that we’ll eventually throw out around April, but seasonal coffee flavours are here and remain! You occasionally visit Starbucks, right?  Are you a fan of the Pumpkin Spice Latte? (PSL cause it’s us and we do acronyms.) And do you limit its intake to latte? Or are you also an aficionado of cookies, muffins and even hamburgers (yes! hamburgers!) imbued with the Spice of Pumpkin? And bonus points if you can name all five spices that make up this heavenly mix! 

Clubhouse celebrations look fun, but in a messy kind of way. Have you ever had champagne poured over your head, in your face or down your back while covering any team or sporting event? Was it a fun gig, or just a gig? And I’m guessing it was pre-goggles days if you did, so just how much does it sting the eyes?

And speaking of celebrations, Auston Matthews’ four goals in his first NHL game was special stuff. Can you think of an auspicious premiere game by a Raptor? One stick out in your mind more than any other?

Finally, I continue to enjoy the inclusion of readers’ comments in the blog (terrifically thoughtful and thought-provoking stuff on the Cleveland baseball team’s offensive name and especially its logo). Just a note to new commenter Emily if she’s reading: While there are lots of very nice Gents around here, there are also many equally nice Ladies. Unless by “Gents” you meant “Gentle Readers”, in which case, thank you and welcome to this interesting little corner of the blogosphere.


Lorie P, London

A: I’ll right down the list:

I have never once had anything seasonal spiced with pumpkin, not a latte, a pie, a scone or anything. Ever. I don’t know why but that’s just me.

I vaguely remember getting hit with some champagne at the Blue Jay celebrations in ’92 and ’93 and one Argo Grey Cup win way back in the day but it’s been a while, that’s for sure. And always had a spare shirt in the computer bag but NO GOGGLES!!!! Ever.

I don’t recall anyone having a first game debut like Matthews with the Raptors, that’s for sure. Vince was in a lockout year, Damon Stoudemire had a triple-double against Portland but that wasn’t Game 1; the others fade from memory.

Q: Hi Doug

If you’ve ever watched European football teams arrive at the stadium and alight from the bus, or pass through an airport en route to an away game, you’ll likely notice they are clad in very dapper, very professional, matching tailored suits emblazoned with the club’s crest.

Liverpool, for example, have just renewed their sponsorship deal with Hugo Boss as their official designer clothing partner (a far cry from the ultimate football suit low of their 1996 FA Cup Final Armani debacle – look it up!)

The NBA’s move away from the Iverson-led street style was a good start, but I’m curious whether you think uniform suits in the vein of the footballers would be of benefit to the NBA?

I’d love it if the Raptors took the lead without prompting on an initiative like this, promoting a very professional, unified club image when travelling with the team.

David, Vancouver

A: I have seen soccer team disembarking their bus and noticed the suits but I don’t think a uniform travelling outfit looks particularly good nor do I think it would fly in the NBA. Players are a bit too individual, I think they are more concerned with comfort than conformity.

As you’ve no doubt seen, they don’t look slovenly, there are suits on some but also team gear or comfortable casual travelling clothes on others.

I see no benefit in making then all look the same.

Q: Sir. After Auston Matthew’s four goals everyone is looking for the Best First Game Ever. Kareem Abdul Jabbar (known then as Lew Alcindor)scored 56 points in his first game at UCLA. Can we set that as the bar to aim for?…

Paul M

A: I supposed we could but that was pretty much man among boys, Matthews was the other way around and was truly memorable and special.

Q: G’day Doug,

A loyal daily follower that hasn’t commented since the paywall went up. I’m more a basketball fan than baseball, but grew up with baseball being huge in my Montreal family. As I read your comment about “anti Nationals” sentiment among Expos fans, it occurred to me that there’s another reason some Montrealers might be cheering for the Dodgers anyway. 

Back in Brooklyn Dodger days, the Montreal Royals were their AAA farm team, with the likes of Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Don Drysdale, Duke Snider, Tommy Lasorda coming through town. Though there can’t be many left that actually went to those games, like my father, there’s likely more of me that had that attachment handed down.  

I wonder if there are any other cases of unusual attachments to MLB teams stemming from long lost farm team connections. 

Dave McG

A: If there is another with connections as strong to Canada, I can’t think of it and I wonder if that’s created any affinity for the Dodgers? I’ve never heard it mentioned but imagine someone out there, somehow sees the connection. And thanks for the trip down memory lane.

Q: Doug, 

Happy Saturday!

Two questions.

Reading Dave Perkins book, he writes that too many journalists are not watching the game, and they are simply regurgitating what everyone else sees. Do you agree? Do you feel the nuances of the games are being missed in favour of more tweeting and instant-reporting?

Do you feel Masai is getting closer to that point of wanting to make a trade that “cashes in his chips” for a chance at the NBA Championship, or slow and steady is probably his course of action for the upcoming season. 

Jays come back to win in 6 against Cleveland 


A: Perk’s book is great, isn’t it? Some excellent tales in there.

I do think with the advent of social media, more of us spend too much time typing and commenting rather than watching – I’m guilty of it – but the good ones can multi-task, as I know Perk would have had he been working in this day an age.

And I don’t think we miss the minutia of the game – although if it’s minutia it probably isn’t worth reporting – and the nuances are captured well enough.

Masai? Why would he deal? He’s got a team that’s was in the final four last season, he’s got no “chips” outside of kids and what would they yield. But why am I not surprised that weeks before they even play the first regular season game there are trade questions? Unreal.


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