Happy Friday. Let’s dive into some CFL picks for Pink Power week (click the image for more info).
Edmonton (9-6) @ Toronto (4-11)
I guess Toronto could be looking at playing spoiler for Edmonton, or trying to win some games to build some momentum heading into next season. But probably, they’re just really bad. Edmonton’s arguably been the league’s second-hottest team since getting Fred Stamps back from injury and there’s no reason to think they won’t roll right over the boatmen. Pick: Edmonton
Saskatchewan (4-11) @ Calgary (8-7)
Big game for the Stamps here. Their last win was a 40-3 beatdown on the Riders three weeks ago. In that game, the Stamps leaned on Jon Cornish, who ably carried the offensive load. Since then, not so much, as the Stamps have lost two in a row– both by just two points, despite having late chances to win. Worth noting: Coach Hufnagel has finally seen enough of Henry Burris’ terrible play and Drew Tate will get his first CFL start tonight. Stamps fans: Tate is a good quarterback, but even at his best he’s not as good as Burris at his best. Tate will make mistakes, but give him, and give the team credit for trying to shake things up heading into the playoffs. The Stamps need to run the table and get a lot of help if they’re going to host a playoff game this year. It has to start tonight. Pick: Calgary
Montreal (10-5) @ Winnipeg (9-6)
By my count, Montreal will clinch the East with a win tomorrow. When I said Edmonton was arguably the second-hottest team in the league, Montreal’s the argument. They’ve won four in a row, their last lost was against Winnipeg. The Blue Bombers have been good too though. This one’s pretty much a toss-up, and I have a feeling we’re in for a special game. I can’t quite say why I think this, but I think the Bombers have a very good chance to win this one. Pick: Winnipeg
BC (9-6) @ Hamilton (7-8)
Arland Bruce has a particular knack for having huge games against his former teams. The Lions have won eight in a row. Hamilton is mired in something of a quarterback controversy, and spent too much time blaming last week’s loss on zebras instead Kevin Glenn’s innumerable interceptions. Glenn is inexplicably listed as Hamilton’s starter for this one, so let’s go with the Lions to make it nine wins in a row. Pick: BC
OK, what the hell is this?
I like the premise, inasmuch as the writer is saying the Jays should look at bringing in a veteran bat with playoff/stretch drive experience. What I don’t like is the idea of David Ortiz in a Blue Jays uniform. Even if he brings a bat and experience, he also brings baggage. Big Papi was one of the very first Red Sox players to come out slinging blame and throwing fuel on the fire of the Sox post-season meltdown. That’s not exactly the kind of character and leadership the Blue Jays should be looking for in a player…
While whispers have linked the Jays to Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols as potential free agent signings all season long, the Jays scored the fifth-most runs in the American League in 2011. The Jays offense was often maligned for not being clutch, not drawing enough walks, and not working counts to try to force opposing starters out of games early. Even if the Jays could know they’d be getting 2004 Papi production, that doesn’t solve their pitching problems. A big bat may sell a few tickets and generate a big buzz, but it’s not the missing piece to a playoff berth…
Which brings us to the reason the games are played: the World Series. It started Wednesday and I wrote a little thing about it but then I wasn’t happy with it, didn’t post it, and kinda forgot. Anyway, I can’t say I’m all that interested in this year’s Series, for a variety of reasons. So it’s 1-1 now and the first two games were actually pretty damn good. I’m leaning toward picking the Rangers to win, which is pretty much the kiss of death. Sorry, Texas. Anyway, enjoy this series. It’s a good one…
Shifting to hockey, the Calgary Hitmen have a three-game winning streak after winning both their games in Saskatchewan this week. That’s big stuff. After they crushed Swift Current 5-1 at home Sunday, I wrote I wouldn’t be surprised if the Hitmen turned their poor record into a 5-5-1-1 record before the end of the month. Their win last night was over Regina– a MasterCard CHL Top 10 team. Huge. BK says he thinks the Hitmen could be good enough to sneak into third or fourth in the East, if everything goes right. I still think that’s a little lofty but I’m starting to believe…
Last up, you will notice a new sidebar item: Scott Gomez, Master Thief. This item will run for as long as Gomez’s goalless streak continues. It’s currently at 42 games. Obviously, players don’t get paid after each and every game, so the salary tally is unofficial and not entirely accurate. It’s mostly there to prove the point that Gomez is awful and not worth a penny of what he’s being paid. Somebody needed to start campaigning to get rid of this guy. A related campaign is the #FireJacques campaign we’ll need to start soon. I know Jacques Martin (and every other coach) has his guys, and clearly Gomez is one of his. But any coach that continues to give 19 minutes a game to a forward that’s gone 40-plus games without a goal needs to have his head examined– or his ass fired. You’re on notice, Jacques.
Have a good weekend everyone. If you’re at a CFL game, please participate in the Pink Power stuff. If you’re going the Hitmen game Sunday, get there early to see the boys wear pink helmets during the warmup. If you’re not doing any of that stuff, I still think you should have a good weekend.