Jays should reload with Doc and ditch J.P.

GARY LOEWEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:39 AM ET

Shouldn't J.P. Ricciardi's five-year plan have come with a warranty?

Yes, the general manager's plan for the Blue Jays is now in Year 8, but it ought to be given one more shot.

In the wake of the Roy Halladay trade rumours and talk of rebuilding, why not go back to the idea of being competitive in 2010?

A good place to start is by keeping Halladay.

Ricciardi now says it's unlikely the ace will be traded and, y'know, the GM has never fibbed to us before.

With Halladay on board, convince Rogers Communications to finance a run next season, while promising to slash salary in ensuing years.

This is not a fresh-faced team in the throes of rebuilding, these are the 30-something Jays.

The batting order, the bullpen, the bench ... most are in their prime, 30-34 years of age.

In the off-season, add a No. 2 starter, a first baseman/DH, and pray the pitching staff has better health in 2010.

It's worth one last shot with this group -- with or without the GM.

Argos get festive

The Argos are promoting a kid-friendly, alcohol-free game on Aug. 1, offering free tickets to children under 12.

Entertainment at the football game will include inflatables, face-painting and clowns.

That's instead of the usual inebriates, face-planting and ... well, clowns.

Hurtin' Hawk

Oh, that hapless sap Marian Hossa.

Now, there are reports he has a shoulder injury that may require surgery.

It couldn't possibly have stemmed from anything the inconspicuous winger did during the playoffs with the Red Wings.

Likely, he tripped over a black cat on his way to signing with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Talk about a guy living under a black cloud.

Hossa was a Stanley Cup bridesmaid with the Pittsburgh Penguins, then a Cup bridesmaid with Detroit.

Three weeks ago, he took his tough-luck act to Chicago -- signing a 12-year contract -- which, to be fair, didn't have anything to do with the Hawks turfing general manager Dale Tallon two weeks later. Just another bad coincidence.

Last week in Chicago, Hossa -- perhaps forgetting that he had spent a season in Hockeytown -- said that it was "great to be in a hockey town."

Maybe Marian hurt more than his shoulder.

The piper leads them

Spain's synchro ladies have found that the Stairway to Heaven glitters with gold.

The Spanish performed to the Led Zeppelin song at the world championship in Rome yesterday and finished first.

Apparently, their synchro air guitar was outstanding.

Say what?

"As more and more information comes out, and I'm proven more and more right, the public really realizes that baseball did blackball me. There was a huge conspiracy involved. I paid the ultimate price. If they were going to get rid of every player that used steroids, there would be no game."

-- Former juiced slugger Jose Canseco.

On the bright side, it has given a chance to start a new career as a celebrity boxer.


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