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  Sun, July 18, 2004


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Decision just doesn't add up
By STEVE SIMMONS, TORONTO SUN

Carlos Delgado never has been easy to understand. In a Blue Jays climate of economic uncertainty, he has been both wildly paid and wildly productive. And seemingly happy never to contend.

And now there is an opportunity to go elsewhere, if only he chooses. If only for half a season, and just like that, he shrugs and declines.

Happy to be here. Happy to be well paid here. Happy to be nowhere near a pennant contender.

Some might call it loyalty. Some might call it a comfort zone. Some might argue the indifference to winning is the flaw in Delgado as a ballplayer.

There are never easy answers with Carlos Delgado. There are always numbers, just not necessarily the right ones.

THIS AND THAT

No matter how much jail time he serves, you have to believe Mike Danton's National Hockey League career is over. He was a marginal player before the legal turmoil of his murder-for-hire case. Now, with border restrictions and all this baggage, why would anyone touch him after he has done his time? ... Coming to a movie theatre near you -- Buddy, can you spare a dime, and if you can't you won't be refereeing in the playoffs ... Nice summer for the NHL: Danton pleads guilty of murder for hire; two young stars, Todd Bertuzzi and Dany Heatley, have been charged with criminal offences; the head referee resigns in controversy; former Sabres owner John Rigas will be going to jail and nobody knows when the next game is going to be played ... Toronto is one strange sporting city. Major League Baseball is flourishing and the Blue Jays are barely alive. The NHL is barely alive and the Maple Leafs never have been so rich or more popular ... A half-season lockout might be best for the Leafs. Not only would it save their aging bodies, but 10 of their 12 games in February are at home.

HEAR AND THERE

Not a great time for what remains of the 1993 World Series champion Blue Jays. John Olerud and Pat Borders were designated for assignment this week in Seattle. Robbie Alomar is on the trading block and Pat Hentgen has been shuffled to the bullpen ... Who would have thought, all these years later, that Al Leiter and Woody Williams would still be going strong? Makes you feel old and wistful, doesn't it? ... Instead of the missing 'm', what Jimy Williams really needed to survive in Houston was more Ws ... Watching the major league home-run derby made me appreciate the quiet and effective simplicity of Rafael Palmeiro's swing ... Another sign of time going by: Willie McCovey went to the all-star game in a wheelchair ... You know Toronto officially will become a basketball city when Shaq gets traded and people don't think it's Eddie ... A matchup the world isn't waiting for: Shaquille O'Neal versus Rafael Araujo. Is it possible to foul out in the first quarter? ... So which California defenceman do you like better: Visnnevsky or Visnnovsky?

SCENE AND HEARD

What if you had a charity all-star basketball game and nobody came? ... If all the Lakers could get for O'Neal was Caron Butler, Brian Grant and Lamar Odom, imagine how little the Raptors could get for Vince Carter? ... What Danton's lawyers should have held out for: The Martha Stewart sentence ... The real excitement of the Blue Jays second half: Waiting to see when and where Frank Catalanotto will be traded ... Alex Rodriguez is telling people in New York he wants the Yankees to pick up Alomar to play second base the rest of the season ... A Sunday fact you can't live without: In order to deal with potential power problems during the Olympics, Athens is borrowing power from Bulgaria ... Rather than borrowing power, shouldn't the Greeks have borrowed power lifters from Bulgaria? ... Never mind that Cecil Fielder's kid, Prince, is just a home run or two away from joining the Milwaukee Brewers. Here's the shocker: The 286-pound Prince has stolen eight bases (caught twice) in half a season at double-A Huntsville. The older Fielder, equally svelte, stole two bases in parts of 13 big league seasons.

AND ANOTHER THING

You probably can scratch Daniel Igali's name from the list of potential flag bearers for the Canadian Olympic team in Athens. The fact Igali is flying home to Vancouver while the announcement is being made tomorrow basically means either Simon Whitfield or Nicolas Gill will get top honours ... Little known fact: One of Leon McQuay's teammates at University of Tampa was tight end and one-time pro wrestler, Paul (Mr. Wonderful) Orndorff ... At his current pace, Argos running back John Avery will finish the season with 848 yards rushing and no touchdowns. Can you say overpaid? ... Piece of work this Troy Westwood. Last year, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers kicker referred to Saskatchewan Roughriders fans as "banjo-pickin' inbreds." Now he's saying, "(To) anyone out there whose parents happen to be brother or sister or related first cousins, I truly apologize." ... Morris Peterson said one of the reasons he signed an offer sheet in New Orleans was the Raptors showed him a lack of loyalty. Hah. Surely, it had nothing to do with any of those 1-for-12 shooting nights on the road ... Best nickname in Toronto: Robert Baker, the touchdown maker ... You can't please Canadians. When we send a huge team to the Olympics, we complain there are many tourists involved. When you tighten the requirements, we complain it's too difficult to qualify ... And hey, whatever became of Noah Jackson?