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that we are underachieving," Cheveldayoff said. "N

 
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bellis555



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2017 9:56 pm    Post subject: that we are underachieving," Cheveldayoff said. "N Reply with quote

What made the 85 Jays extra special was the relative dearth of mercenaries. Jeremy Lane Jersey . The eventual 1992/1993 championship squads will always have a place in our memories and civic pride, but the teams were filled with free agent assassins. Those 1980s powder blue warriors claim a place a little deeper, a little less diminished by time, because we were emotionally invested in each players trajectory. A Toronto team hasnt been built that way in a long time.(*Authors Note: Before I cue the obvious comparison, let me state plainly for the record: I am a fan of the Toronto Basketball Club but I HATE THE NAME "RAPTORS". I will suppress my urge to call them by their eventual, rightful name — the Toronto Towers — just to avoid confusion. But understand, every time I type "Raptors", I die a little.)Even in the face of this linguistic predicament, these Raptors have won me over. They are thriving in a delightfully familiar manner, with a buoyant, tough-minded, youthful sense of potential. Like a devoted dog, thought lost for days, scratching at our doorstep impossibly, exhausted, muddied...could it be? Could these upstart Raptors be the generational descendants of the 1985 Jays?Lets ask the pertinent questions, get out the red pen, and assign the grades.Where in the teams history does the season fall?85 BLUE JAYS: A ripe scenario coupled a weary, winner-less town with a franchise still relatively fresh in its ninth season. Mired in expansion doldrums for its first half decade, in 1982, the Blue Jays began an ascent from seventh to sixth place (of a seven-team division). In 1983, it moved into 4th place, winning 89 games, a feat replicated in 1984. 1985 was something new. The club won 99 games (a .615 winning percentage) — more victories than the future World Series teams — and it would stand until today as the greatest record in team history. No Blue Jays, Raptors or Maple Leafs team has had a better winning percentage since the 1934/35 Leafs (30 wins in a 48-game season).14 RAPTORS: This particular comparison would have lined up better for the Wince (not a typo) Carter-era team, had it made good on its promise in 2001, during the teams sixth season. Now 19 years old, the Raptors arent so green. Still, Torontos weariness from being mired in a decades-long losing streak across all major team sports, engulfs the city as it did back then. Further compelling the argument for similarity, is the Raptors current 45-32 record (a .584 winning percentage), which is the best in franchise history.COMPARISON GRADE: C+How skilled and well-loved are the players, and how do they compare with the talent in the league?85 BLUE JAYS: No surprise the best regular season team in Blue Jays history was arguably the most talented. Stacked with classic Jays in their primes, which included starters Dave Stieb and Jimmy Key, emerging closer Tom Henke, the best young outfield in baseball in Lloyd Moseby, George Bell and Jesse Barfield, and eventually-iconic infielders Tony Fernandez and Ernie Whitt, each one was either raised through the system or had their first taste of big league success in Toronto. The city got to watch the talent grow. To that end, not a single player made a million dollars in 1985. All Star Jimmy Key made $131,000. Tom Henke would get votes for MVP...on a $60,000 stipend. The league competition was also first-rate — peep the opposing lineups — as the American League was on the upswing, with Kansas City poised to claim the ALs third consecutive title (the AL would win 8 of 11 going forward).14 RAPTORS: The competition is, uh, less fierce. Beyond the general talent deficit in todays NBA (a column Ill be publishing soon), the Raptors Eastern Conference is particularly woeful. Despite Miamis recent prosperity, the East has won only 5 of the past 15 titles, and will be sending at least one sub-.500 team to the big dance this year (and possibly two). In the West, Memphis could finish 50-32 and still miss the postseason.Putting aside the lesser competition, a different story emerges. Like those early Jays, the Raptors have players worth rallying around. Homegrown DeMar DeRozan, Terrence Ross and Jonas "Wasaga" Valanciunas are legit NBA starters capturing the imaginations of wide-eyed fans. Kyle Lowry and Amir Johnson play the game hard and are easy to root for, as is the surprisingly deep bench. The teams burgeoning continuity is the key ingredient as it was with the Jays: fans getting to root as their local talent grows and matures and succeeds (Gallay derisively glares towards south Florida). Even with the team headed towards their greatest season yet, not a single Raptor is even making a modest ten million dollars a year. (A tumbleweed blows across the screen.)COMPARISON GRADE: C+How were the Leafs, arbiters of the citys sports fortunes, doing at the same time?85 BLUE JAYS: As the 1985 baseball season was kicking off, the NHL season was winding down. Mercifully. The Leafs would finish 20-52-8, the worst season in franchise history (before or since). No surprise. They hadnt posted a winning record in six years. Russ Courtnall, Al Iafrate, Gary Leeman and Steve Thomas were rookies which gave the team hope, and they would make the playoffs the following year. (In 1986, the Maple Leafs qualified by winning a shameful 25 of 80 games because 16 of 21 teams made the playoffs. Not making the playoffs was the NHL equivalent of being picked last in gym.)14 RAPTORS: Similarly, the past several years have not been kind. After a team record seven consecutive seasons outside the playoff ranks, the blue and white made the postseason last year — defying the advanced metrics — but look to be on the outside once again in 2014. There is hope for the future despite a tumultuous plunge in the final months. But hey, lets not nitpick too much, in both eras the Leafs werent in the playoffs, hadnt had much success in the preceding years, and no sober fan in the Big Smoke had any illusions that the Cup was changing downtown addresses soon.COMPARISON GRADE: BHow confident are fans in the coaching staff and front office?85 BLUE JAYS: Bobby Cox — a Hall of Famer as of July 27, 2014 — was the manager. He took a mediocre team in 1982 and turned it into the best team in the league. He had done it before in Atlanta. He would do it again in Atlanta. He would win Manager of the Year in 1985, and though his departure upset fans, he was offered a ton of money and the GM job he coveted. The 44-year old Cox and GM Pat Gillick — who would ultimately put together the talent for back to back World Series wins — were as savvy a tandem as the city had seen. Most importantly, they had our confidence.14 RAPTORS: 56-year old coach Dwane Casey grew up in Kentucky, just an eight hour drive from where Bobby Cox—okay, Im gonna stop. Direct comparisons wont work here. Casey did not arrive in Toronto with Coxs pedigree, though he also had one prior championship ring, as an assistant on the 2011 Dallas Mavericks. Hes made strides each season and the team is proudly a shadow of his no-nonsense, tough-minded attitude. The city likes him, the players trust him. He has a legitimate shot to duplicate Coxs feat and take home Coach of the Year (though my vote would narrowly go to Jeff Hornacek in Phoenix, because I do not understand how the Suns are doing what they are doing). Two more words to add to this section: Rudy Gay. General Manager Masai "Gillick" Ujiri, 2013s NBA Executive of the Year in Denver, has been masterful in his first season at the helm, as demonstrated by the Sacramento overhaul. History will unfurl each mans ultimate place, but the city is rallying around both, and both are succeeding. Most importantly, they have our confidence.COMPARISON GRADE: A-What was going on in Toronto during the season in question?85 BLUE JAYS: In the spring and summer of 1985, Torontonians were preparing for a mayoral election, still several months away. A longtime incumbent, who refused to celebrate the Gay Pride Parade, would be put to the test by a variety of challengers. Ultimately, reigning Mayor Art Eggleton would win out.14 RAPTORS: In the spring and summer of 2014, Torontonians are preparing for a mayoral election, still several months away. A longtime incumbent, who refuses to celebrate the Gay Pride Parade, is to be put to the test by a variety of challengers, assuming a second term wont conflict with his Jimmy Kimmel-related moonlighting. Same old, same old.COMPARISON GRADE: B+All right, pens down.Depending on how you weigh each category, the comparison works out to a solid "B". Not too bad, really. Going in, I didnt think the teams would match up this well.Of course, these grades are neither objective, nor properly weighted, nor were they subject to any advanced algorithmic, Nate Silver-style analyses, but moreover is the baseline, root-level difficulty. This sort of phenomenon doesnt come down to math. It is a familial connection between team and fans. It is emotional.With so many entertainment sources vying for our attentions, a city-wide swoon grows ever less likely. And unlike baseball, where only four teams in 1985 made the playoffs, basketball allows for 16 entrants, with more making the playoffs than getting left behind. Just making the playoffs or winning the division is not in the same stratum as the accomplishments of those 85 Jays, who were playing for a spot in the World Series. These Raptors — seriously we gotta change the name — are greyer in years, and owe us more success if they hope to be revered like Bell and Whitt and Gillick.To capture the ardent fans, the otherwise supportive moniker-loathers, and the bandwagoners alike, a deep playoff run will be necessary. Then maybe, Terrence Ross will grab the torch from George Bell. Maybe this team, despite already having a winning record, is more a version of the rarely-considered 1982 Jays, the ones who first showed promise.Maybe they are just something new.GALLAYS POLL #6How do you think the 2013/2014 Raptors stack up to the 1985 Blue Jays?(A) Theyve won me over, same as the Jays did.(B) I like where they are headed, but that 1985 team was special, yo.(C) Way too soon for a comparison, if ever.(D) Im not from Toronto. Could not care less. I have the Fireplace Channel on right now. Dion Jordan Jersey . Needing to bulk up on both sides of the line, the Falcons agreed to terms with guard Jon Asamoah, defensive end Tyson Jackson and defensive tackle Paul Soliai. Asamoah and Jackson played last season with Kansas City, where Asamoah lost his starting job. Sheldon Richardson Jersey . On paper, it looks a little like Andre the Giant taking on a midget wrestler. It has all the makings of a rout with the Americans adding an eighth win in nine outings of this biennial event. The Yanks have eight players in the top 15 in the world while the Internationals have just one. http://www.seahawksfansprostore.com/Black-Jarran-Reed-Seahawks-Jersey.html?cat=970 . A day after FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke said three stadiums would not be ready in time for the Dec. 31 deadline, Brazilian officials said they actually plan to deliver all six remaining venues after that date. They claim only three are delayed, with the other three being handed over after the expected date only because of problems accommodating the schedule of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who wants to be present for the ceremonies.WINNIPEG -- Claude Noel was fired as head coach of the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday morning, but general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff revealed the axe began swinging on Tuesday night. Cheveldayoff told reporters at a press conference Sunday afternoon that he first contacted newly hired Jets head coach Paul Maurice on Tuesday after the team played poorly again, mustering only 14 shots in a 4-2 loss to the Lightning. "I ended up reaching out to Paul after the Tampa game, just to see if I was going to go in a direction like that if he had an interesta" said Cheveldayoff, who also dismissed assistant Perry Pearn. "At that point in time, it still wasnt something that I was ready to do, but (Saturday) night I went to ownership and talked to them about making the change." The Jets lost to the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-3 on Saturday, giving up four goals in the first nine minutes of the second period. Fans booed the team off the ice. "Its not just the last two games, it is the consistency factor," Cheveldayoff said, adding the team kept taking a step forward and then two steps back to stay around .500. The club is 19-23-5 and 10 points back of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The loss also put the Jets on a season-worst five-game losing streak, matching the longest regulation-game losing skid since the team moved to Winnipeg from Atlanta prior to the 2011-2012 season. After getting the go-ahead from Jets owner Mark Chipman to fire Noel, Cheveldayoff said he called Maurice again and they reached a verbal agreement on a contract until the end of this season. "We dont have anything on paper, we have a handshake over the phone," Cheveldayoff said. "Hes flying in here (Sunday) night and going in that fashion. Again, hes very passionate about getting here. When we talked about what he would need, basically it was like, What time is the flight?" Born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Maurice had been working as a TV analyst for TSN & NHL Network after spending the 2012-13 season as head coach of Magnitogorsk Metallurg of the Kontinental Hockey League. The club earned a 27-13-12 record and missed the playoffs. Maurice inherits a Jets team that has struggled in its third season in Winnipeg, thanks in part to inconsistent goaltending and defensive breakdowns. The 46-year-old has been behind the bench for 1,084 games as an NHL head coach. His first game leading the Jets will be Monday at MTS Centre against the Phoenix Coyotes. This will be the third franchise he has coached, after the Hartford Whalers/Carolina Hurricanes and the Toronto Maple Leafs. He got the Hurricanes to the 2002 Stanley Cup final and made five total playoff appearances with Carolina. "Hiring Paul Maurice is something that we feel very good about as far as the opportunity that we have to hire an experienced National Hockey League coach to come in here and begin putting his stamp on the team, and also on the evaluation process that were all going to be going through," said Cheveldayoff, who was given a contract extension last September through the 2017-18 season. Hes never worked with Maurice, but the hockey world is small and his background checks produced good references. "There was one common theme; (hes) extremely professional, extremely prepared, extremely knowledgeable about the game and a guy that is very direct in one-on-one with his people and his players," Cheveldayoff said. Cheveldayoff, who called Noel a "special" and "caring" person, said he met with him and Pearn Sunday morning at MTS Centre to tell them theyd been let go. The GM says Noel was "very respectful" and theyll meet again in the coming days. Hired after the Atlanta Thrashers moved to Winnipeg before the 2011-12 season, Noel went 80-79-18 during his tenure with the Jets. Custom Seattle Seahawks Jerseys. He had been given a one-year extension last June through the 2014-15 season. The team was scheduled to practice late Sunday morning at another local rink, but it was cancelled when Cheveldayoff drove there after the dismissals to give players the news. Captain Andrew Ladd and his teammates shouldered the blame for the coaching changes. "I think it always comes as a shock," Ladd said after the team meeting. "I dont think anyone expected it this morning so its not an easy day. Two good people lose their jobs. Ultimately, it came down to the performance of all the guys in here. Its tough for everyone." Forward Olli Jokinen, a veteran in his 16th NHL season, agreed the players should feel responsible Noel and Pearn had to pay the price for the teams shortcomings. "All of us should be embarrassed that were at the point we have to change the coach," he said. Maurices familiarity with a hockey-crazy market such as Toronto should bode well in Winnipeg, where players are heavily scrutinized by the media and criticized by fans who pack the sold-out MTS Centre. "This is a tough market to play," Jokinen said. "Any Canadian market you play, you know expectations are high. Youve got a lot of media attention, youve got 15,000 GMs watching the games and another couple hundred thousand at home. "So its a place, or any Canadian market, that you as a player you have to put all that aside and focus on doing your job the best you can. Thats all that you can do." He sensed, though, that players were getting easily frustrated and playing "a little bit scared, afraid of making the mistakes." Chevelydayoff, who said his own job "is still a work in progress," admitted he also bears some responsibility for the players he gave Noel to work with. "Ive sat back over the course of 24 hours or whatever and sit there and say, Can I do something else? What else can I do?" he said. "But what I have to be cognizant of is that I dont do something that pushes the franchise backwards from an asset standpoint. Again, this is not without responsibility on my side here, too." The players acknowledged theyll be auditioning for their jobs, although none have played for Maurice. Defenceman Dustin Byfuglien, who moved to right wing for the game against the Blue Jackets, denied Noels message was getting old, but said a new guy in charge might help the team. "I think so," Byfuglien said. "Just someone coming in and no one really knowing him, it could be good for us. "Just getting a new face, a different guy with different attitudes, see how it goes." Retired former Hurricanes goaltender Kevin Weekes, now an analyst on Hockey Night in Canada, gave a glowing endorsement for Maurice to a Canadian Press reporter. "In my entire career, he was the best coach that I played for, both technically, his ability to relate to players, how he treated people, his preparation, you name it." Weekes said. "He was the best coach I played for in the National Hockey League. I played for some good ones, Ive been around a lot of really good people, but hands-down hes the best coach I played for." Cheveldayoff couldnt say whether other changes are on the horizon for the Jets, but he thinks hiring Maurice is a step in the right direction. "We believe that we are underachieving," Cheveldayoff said. "Now its up to the players in some respects to show what theyre all about. "But at the end of the day, we have to take a hard, long look at what other steps there are maybe to move forward." Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '
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