There is a lot of Mats Sundin in Chris Bosh, even though they come from different sports and different worlds.
They are fiercely proud athletes with a certain maturity, but at the same time they keep the world at arm's length distance. Never revealing much about themselves, choosing to be judged on performance rather than perceptions.
When Bosh admitted on Thursday he wants to stay with the Raptors -- news that on any other day would be considered front page -- the announcement was basically botched by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment's inability to trip over itself.
But even a day before that, Sundin had said he didn't want to go anywhere, even while it's apparent the Maple Leafs are far away from contention.
Sundin has had his best years while Bosh is only just approaching them. Toronto is fortunate to have both of them playing on teams where they rarely share the stage with any equals.
THIS AND THAT
Skill-testing question without any doubt: If all was equal, and both Pat Quinn and John Ferguson were let go, who gets a big-time NHL job first? ... According to Canadian television ratings, more people by percentage are watching hockey in the U.S. than are watching the Raptors on TV in Canada ... Hey, I'm no Rick Ley fan, but consider this: Ley coached the Leafs' power play, second best in the NHL. Keith Acton coached the penalty killing, 24th in the league. Ley got fired. Acton was retained. So much for performance review ... Ferguson's best move: The long-term contract that will keep Tomas Kaberle in Toronto. He is now the player to build around ... Dean Lombardi, who was never considered for the Leafs GM job three years ago, is not only the new GM of the Los Angeles Kings but he has offered a job to the old GM, Dave Taylor ... Not a good sign when A.J. Burnett has more MRIs than wins with the Blue Jays.
HERE AND THERE
On Fan Appreciation Day in Philadelphia, Allen Iverson and Chris Webber opted to show their appreciation by not playing for the Sixers ... Barry Bonds is doing all he can to low-key the chase of Hank Aaron. Bonds hit just his first home run of the season yesterday ... Sam Mitchell never did poorly in school. At least we know this: We never got a D ... Nice guy Adam Rita, who has lost players this winter but added no one of importance, has been extended as Argos general manager ... Little known facts: Red Sox manager Terry Francona and Jays manager John Gibbons were taken two spots apart in the first round of the 1980 baseball draft. John Ferguson and soon-to-be-Leaf-coach Paul Maurice were both selected in the 12th round of the 1985 NHL entry draft. Ferguson, the boss, was taken five picks ahead of Maurice ... Wojtek Wolski wasn't a Brent Sutter choice to play for Team Canada at the world juniors, but the local kid wound up scoring three points yesterday in his first Stanley Cup playoff game for Colorado.
SCENE AND HEARD
In light of recent financial circumstances, who would have believed it: Darren McCarty, money player ... Pitcher Bronson Arroyo, traded for outfielder Wily Mo Pena, is not only 3-and-0 with the Cincinnati Reds but has outhomered Boston's Pena 2-1 in the early season ... Michael Bishop, let go by the Argos, could have been a somebody. Just didn't know how ... The only reason to care about the first round of the NBA playoffs: Steve Nash vs. Kobe Bryant. A battle between the league's most selfless and most selfish players ... When faced with his own survival, assistant GM Mike Penney, a one-time Quinn loyalist, crossed the floor and became a Ferguson guy ... The hot new striker in Brazilian soccer is another one-named player. Not Pele. The guy's name is Fred ... Whichever teams winds up with USC's LenDale White in next Saturday's NFL draft will be set at running back for years ... There will be no NHL or NBA playoff games in Toronto this year. Four hours down the highway in Detroit, the Pistons and Red Wings can both win championships.
AND ANOTHER THING
Where was the NHL Players' Association when Sean Avery was hired and fired by television in just about the same day? Or do they only represent players who support them? ... Donald Brashear scored four goals, assisted on five, and made $1.7 million for the Philadelphia Flyers. How come nobody screams about the chairman getting him a contract? ... So this is the future of the Leafs? Ben Ondrus, 22 games played, no points scored, minus-10 rating ... Somewhere, Buck Martinez has to be wondering: Where was Vernon Wells when I needed him? ... A recent poll indicated that 58% of California believe Bonds used steroids. The other 42% thought Bonds was some kind of investment vehicle ... Why you can't take Wladimir Klitschko seriously as a heavyweight: Corey Sanders and Lamon Brewster knocked him out ... And hey, whatever became of Todd Bergen?