Thierry P. Nihill's Comments

Posted Sunday January 05, 2014, About: Report: Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos on thin ice
"Maybe it's time to adjust" doesn't justify a headline of '... on thin ice.'

This snippet is talking about how difficult it is becoming for Alex to make a deal, as other GM's are now wary of him. Give the Blue Jays a chance to show what they can on the field this year - not on paper - and then you can analyze the moves he's made all you'd like.

I think having a bona fide Number One defensive catcher (and a specialist that R.A. Dickey is comfortable with) might give the Jays maybe 10 extra wins next year.

You just know that John Gibbons, at some point, must have pleaded with Alex to "find him a catcher" last year. The biggest mistake was sticking with J.P. Arencibia behind the plate as long as they did. The guy's confidence was shaken, then totally gone, by May 1st. They stuck with him hoping his error-prone ways would 'work themselves out', but after two or three months of no improvement (in truth, J.P. continued to get worse) they should have tried a different solution behind the plate. None of the Blue Jay's pitchers were confident with him behind the plate last year: If you had a catcher who continuously allowed balls to pass him by, would you want to try throwing outside or inside pitches? You wouldn't. You'd be forced to throw right over the plate - which is exactly what they had to do (except R.A., of course). There were a lot of huge, fat curveballs and fastballs hanging right dead center for hitters to tee up on last year.
Posted Friday August 03, 2012, About: Sanchez willing to give TD glory to Tebow
Re: It could happen!!

After all ... You ARE Americans, where a man colloquially named for a baseball glove could become the President of the second-greatest nation on the planet ...

(Everyone knows Freedonia still occupies the top spot.)
Posted Friday August 03, 2012, About: Sanchez willing to give TD glory to Tebow
I've always thought a red-zone Wildcat Wishbone Option with two QB's and a running back or slot back in the backfield would be pretty deadly ...

With Double T wearing green and white this season, and Tony "Brother Can You Sparano a Nickle back" on the sidelines, maybe I'll get my wish?

It could happen ...!!
Posted Saturday July 07, 2012, About: Reggie wants to apologize to Carter's widow
I give Mr. Jackson credit for realizing he made an unfortunate remark regarding Gary Carter. Those of us who grew up with No. 8 in an Expos jersey know how special Gary - and his career - was to Montreal, and indeed for a large part of Canada. Gary was class through and through (excepting the HOF cap issue) and his name, whether it's an opinion or statistically accurate, had no business being associated with known "enhancers."

Suffice to say, Reggie: If there's anyone who ever made an error as a DH, it most assuredly had to be you. Please honour your duly elected fellow Hall members and how about just keeping quiet on that subject from now on? Now go and enjoy your life-size Hot Wheels collection and leave our revered, late heros alone.
Posted Thursday June 07, 2012, About: Habs chose the wrong new coach
There's a guy named Lou plyin' the GM trade in a swamp known as 'Newark' ... This fella has a habit of hirin' coaches that remind, and coach, his team of Devils the basics of ice hockey and team play. In other words, these coaches teach what the players seem to have forgotten since coming out of junior and the minors ...

Then, see, when these Devils need to rise to the next level - PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY PLAYERS PLAYING FOR A CHAMPIONSHIP - he gives "The Teacher" the golden handshake and brings in a strategist. There's a reason Larry Robinson keeps hanging around Devil Town, ya know ...

I'm thinking Les Canadiens are doing exactly the same thing. Watch for Therrien to be "dehors la porte" the moment the team needs to progress to the next level ...

Which begs the question: Just what is a "Cunneyworth"? Apparantly NOTHING if he can't speak French in Montreal ....
Posted Saturday July 02, 2011, About: Dodgers challenging Selig and MLB
Question: Can the Commissioner revoke the franchise (with a unanimous decision of all the other MLB or National League owners?

That would maybe make sense: Revoke the franchise, making Chavez Ravine an even bigger albatross for Frank "Take Me To" McCourt, and re-issue the franchise so that they can play in Anaheim (surely the Big A can accommodate two MLB clubs with some creative scheduling) for a season while Mr. McDork ... er, McCourt ... is foreclosed on. Then the new RESPONSIBLE owners could purchase one of the NL's most storied institutions and the ballpark for enough of a saving to insure long-term viability.

Anyone out there "in the know" if this might be an option?
Posted Friday June 10, 2011, About: Winnipeg backing off Jets name?
Not sure if US hockey fans know this, but ... for years the Flames' Assistant Captains have worn the old Atlanta Flames "Flaming A" logo to identify them as such ... That is one of the coolest tributes to your roots, I think, I've ever seen. Classy move and I hope they never replace it.
Posted Friday June 10, 2011, About: Winnipeg backing off Jets name?
I do have to wonder, though, if Mr. Chipman isn't concerned about being sued by Woody Johnson. The B.C. Lions and the Detroit Lions have been deadlocked in a legal battle since 1954 over the rights to the name (or so the legend goes in legal circles - sort of "unoffically the longest litigation in North American court history").
Posted Friday June 10, 2011, About: Winnipeg backing off Jets name?
I think it would be a massive disappointment to most citizens of Manitoba - and Winnipeg hockey fans in general - if this club were given a name OTHER than "Jets". I don't buy the argument that Winnipeg fans won't purchase "new colours": Most most those rabid fans will fork over as much scratch as necessary to claim a coveted jersey, or ANYTHING with the new emblem. It's a marketing coup: It makes perfect sense for "throwback" uniforms, it makes perfect sense that fans will want to have the "old" and the "new" to show their devotion to their hockey team, and it makes perfect sense that the "Jets" name from a historical perspective makes the absolute most sense, and resonates far greater than any other moniker for that team possibly COULD.

I don't buy the "team history" crap, either: this team IS the former Atlanta Thrashers. Period. Which means they should keep Dan Snyder's memory alive, and they should honour the Thrashers legacy (as tarnished as it is - the Flames do proudly keep the legacy of their roots in Atlanta alive, after all).

The "honeymoon" ("honeymood?") could be over in short order though: say, about 20 games into the first season in Manitoba. Let's face it, this isn't a very good hockey team. I can clearly remember folks wearing bags over their heads in Winnipeg in the early 1980's when the team was about to set an NHL record for consecutive games without a win (although in the draft that year, they DID land Dale Hawerchuk). Not that the (Insert Name Here) will be so bad ...

... but the product ON THE ICE still isn't very good. And no kick-ass brand name and flashy new uniforms and merchandise are going to magically change that overnight .... I think Winnipeg can forgive a loser in the short term: as long as they're called the JETS.
Posted Tuesday May 31, 2011, About: Fords courting NFL in Toronto
Watch me.

It is true that Toronto has the 4th largest market in North America. What is also true ... is that more than half of Toronto's population isn't exactly "North American", either. The vast majority of folks now living within the GTA would be more inclined to see 1). An International Cricket Match, or 2). A World Cup of "That Other Football" Match in Toronto before they even sniffed around an NFL ticket. Why? Because 57.6% of the GTA's population (and I can cite facts because I work with them daily) originates from, and I quote in order: China (not including Taipei but including Hong Kong), India, Pakistan, Korea, Vietnam, Russia, Ukraine, Japan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Somalia and Ethiopia. Of those, more than HALF of those numbers come from China, India and Pakistan alone.

I wouldn't call that a sustainable market for American-style football. Sure, many of these folks have become fans - but if you live in Toronto you know damn well the majority of the money that pays for the "major league" sports teams hails from Caucasian coffers. The Blue Jays are fortunate if they can draw 20,000 a game these days - and they're considered a "cheap ticket" and have a pretty damn fine product on the field.

Harsh reality time: Baseball is more universal than American football. Toronto is called "The World's Most Multicultural City" for a reason - because we have so many people emigrating here from places that could give a rat's hiney about the NFL.

A market survey not all that long ago (2004) showed that only about 1 million or so people would even care if Toronto had an NFL team. That's not "big market", by current NFL standards. Birmingham, Alabama, by comparison would be more sustainable as a viable NFL market - and I would be willing to bet the NFL owners would look at Birmingham (or San Antonio, for that matter) long before they even gave a sideways glance to Toronto. They're smart guys, those owners ...

... and they know that Canada isn't the melting pot of assimilated Red, White and Blue Platonian culturalism that United States citizens enjoy. It's why the USA has a distinct national identity - and Canada, for the most part and incredibly sadly, does NOT. The NFL in Toronto is a pipe dream and the rantings of those who simply don't know any better (especially those who SHOULD, like our politicians). PERIOD.
Posted Tuesday May 31, 2011, About: Fords courting NFL in Toronto
I'm impressed! Someone from Texas acknowledges that Toronto ... is BIGGER than Houston and Dallas! But well said, Mr. Patterson - you're 100% correct. The Greater Toronto Area is actually considered the fourth largest market in North America. There's only one huge problem with that: Most of that population, sadly, would probably be far more excited about the World Cup of "That Other Football", or an international Cricket Match, than the National Football League. Most of the population here isn't "North American" by heritage: Toronto is listed as the World's Most Culticultural City by the United Nations for a reason. More than half of our Metro population are Asian, Eurasian and Middle Eastern immigrants (China, Korea, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Russia, Ukraine, Japan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Turkey in that order): which means very few of them give a rat's hiney about the National Football League. While our "market" is huge for many products, the NFL wouldn't be one of them.

As for the Bills playing here: If the Bills were a Super Bowl calibre club, even with the absolutely ridiculous prices demanded for tickets for those two games, I have to admit I'd be surprised if they didn't sell out the "Rogers Centre" (hate that name - call it the Rogers SkyDome for chrissakes already). The stadium seats about 50,000 for baseball and football - far too small by current NFL standards, and it simply can't be renovated to include more, at least not without removing the retractable roof. Might as well build a new stadium for the cash it would cost for that kind of "renovation". No, for the foreseeable future, it's safe to say Our American Cousins will keep "National" as a legitimate part of its "Football League" enterprises. I think the NFL would expand to London, England, before coming to Canada, to be honest ...
Posted Tuesday May 31, 2011, About: Fords courting NFL in Toronto
Well said. I think a number of us NFL fans in Toronto would just wish Doug Ford would shut up about bringing the NFL here. It's really starting to get embarrassing.
Posted Tuesday May 31, 2011, About: Fords courting NFL in Toronto
You know ... the only people who seem to want to continually push an "NFL to Toronto" agenda are the Floored Brothers ... I mean ... the Ford Brothers. This is a non-story. The NFL has a commitment to the CFL (and yes, actually DOES consider our Canadian League somewhat of a "feeder system", especially for developing undrafted players into professional blue-chip NFL prospects) and it just doesn't make sense for the NFL owners to locate a team in Toronto. Why does everyone think it's a fait accompli: do you REALLY think Jerry Jones is going to get on a "Let's drop a team in Hogtown!" bandwagon? I think at least one team in Los Angeles is a priority, with cities such as Portland, Oklahoma City, San Antonio and perhaps even Columbus making more financial sense as potential long-term expansion projects.

But then again, stranger things have happened. Winnipeg is about to get a "new" hockey team, too ... so I guess you never know ...
Posted Thursday May 12, 2011, About: Atlanta mayor's spokesman: Thrashers 'may leave'
I was very fortunate enough to have lived in Raleigh when the Hurricanes had just won the Stanley Cup (2006). It was a lot like Calgary in 1989: Banners everywhere; players hawking everything from plumbing to tractors and trucks; even Special Edition Carolina Hurricane automobiles and pickups raced up and down the roads. It was an exciting time - and there was little question that Raleigh (and all of Carolina, for that matter) had firmly embraced their hockey team. That hasn't changed. Hockey CAN succeed in warm climates - even in climates where college basketball will forever be king. A good understanding of the fan base, an accessible arena, stable, committed ownership and (probably most important) a competitive club can not only survive, but thrive in "non-traditional" hockey markets. I remember one comment from a "good old boy" I met in Raleigh who, to this day, probably truly believes "ice" is strictly for Jack and Coke and certainly not fit for 'Southerners to play team sports on'. "But damn, that there hookey game was sure fun to WATCH", I distinctly remember him saying (over a few Jack and Cokes on a warm summer night, I might add) ...
Posted Wednesday March 16, 2011, About: The end of the Coyotes in Phoenix?
Sorry, Winnipeg. As much as everyone wants to see the Jets re-touchdown in Manitoba ... as long as the NHL continues to "own" the Phoenix franchise, it just isn't going to happen. Mr. Bettman would be DONE as Commissioner if he had to wipe the egg off his face and sell to the fine folks who run the MTS Centre. What scares me ... is Retraction. In a 'cutting off your nose to spite your face' move, the NHL-BOG (Board of Governors), Mr. Bettman's actual bosses, may force the issue and simply retract (or outright fold) the club. The NHL might be on the hook for the lease at Jobing.Com Arena for a spell - but it certainly won't be to the tune of the $40 Million-plus a year the Coyotes are losing right now.

Tangent: I think its worth noting that the only original WHA franchise still left from the 1979-80 merger is the Oilers. I would have liked to have seen a "Coyotes vs. Roadrunners" nostalgia game in Phoenix at some point ... That would have been pretty cool ... Even Warner Bros. could have bought into THAT act, I think ...
Posted Wednesday December 08, 2010, About: Thrashers up next in relocation crosshairs?
The Quebec Shenanigans actually has a nice ring to it. Or should I say "Le Shenanigans du Qu??bec a une belle sound ?? elle, pas il?"

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