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  Sat, October 9, 2004


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Raps' trouble front, centre
Raps starting off on the wrong seven-footer
By BILL LANKHOF, TORONTO SUN

MULTIPLE CHOICE: Your Raptors starting centre is: a) Rafael Araujo (who has never played the NBA game).

b) Loren Woods (who has never been able to play the NBA game).

c) Jerome Moiso (who has never been able to figure out the NBA game).

Actually, to be fair, there's nothing wrong with this team that a good lockout wouldn't cure.

Consensus: It doesn't instil confidence when the depth chart lists the centre position as day to day.

MONEYBAWL

The Blue Jays are good enough to make the playoffs -- they just can't do it in Toronto.

The Atlanta Braves have DeWayne Wise.

The Anaheim Angels have Kelvim Escobar.

The Boston Red Sox have Mike Timlin.

The Houston Astros have Roger Clemens, Jeff Kent and Pete Munro. The Los Angeles Dodgers lineup includes Shawn Green, Jayson Werth, Tom Wilson and Caesar Izturis.

The Minnesota Twins have Pat Borders and Shannon Stewart.

The New York Yankees have Esteban Loaiza, Paul Quantrill, Tanyon Sturtze, Miguel Cairo, John Olerud and Ruben Sierra.

The St. Louis Cardinals have Woody Williams and Mike Matheny.

Toronto? J.P. Ricciardi yesterday announced the signing of Po-Hsuan Keng, a 20-year-old from Taiwan. "This signing," he said, "stands as further proof of the successful inroads we've been able to make in Taiwan, which is a fertile market for baseball talent."

Not to mention, this signing stands as further proof of the successful inroads this franchise has made toward becoming the best darn major-league farm team this side of Montreal.

REALITY CHECK

Several Raptors are quoted as saying it's tough waking up at 6:30 a.m. for 8 o'clock practices. Where is the players' association to save them from the tyranny of Sam (Madman) Mitchell?

I mean, subtract the free meals and travel, the public adulation, groupies, invitations to the city's best clubs, and couple that with a 95% pay cut and they'd be almost, oh, I don't know ... human?

HEAVEN HELP 'EM

Valgerd Haugland, Norway's minister of culture and church, told the Dagsavisen newspaper, it's a "joke" to pray for a sports team in church.

Her comments came after the Reverend Einar Gelius thanked God for Valerenga's 4-1 soccer win.

Minister Haugland was supported by theology professor Jacob Jervell, who claims to do so is close to blasphemy. "I'm an avid soccer fan ... it would never occur to me to pray for victory for my favourite team."

But, then, he never had to cheer for the Jays. Watching that all year could bring anyone to their knees.

READERS' SOAPBOX

"Re: NHLers stealing Europeans hockey jobs? How come hypocrites like you aren't joining (Don) Cherry and saying the same thing about Euros coming here and stealing Canadians hockey jobs," Puck In Head e-mails. "Now there's !@#$% stealing, pal!"

(I beg to differ. Europeans coming to the NHL are looking to fulfil dreams -- like their Canadian counterparts -- in the world's best league. NHLers going to Europe already have fulfilled those dreams. In other words, they've already got the big cake but now want to take someone else's crumbs, too.)

SMALL CHANGE

National Lacrosse League players avoided a lockout when they agreed on a 4% pay increase. How big is this deal? With an average salary last year of $12,836, when players now go on the road they can spring for super-sizing those Meal Deals.







Do you like the new-look Raptors heading into the 2013-14 NBA season?
  Yes, new GM made great moves
  No, they will still be a terrible team
  Unsure what to make of it


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