Baker bails on Blue?

PAUL FRIESEN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:01 AM ET

Perhaps we should have seen this coming.

Because if receiver Robert Baker has been anything in his life, he has been unpredictable.

From his childhood in Miami, where the death of his father caused him to rebel and start getting into trouble, to a drug bust in college, to an eventful, two-and-a-half year stint in the CFL, there's rarely a dull moment where this guy's concerned.

The latest twist in the Baker saga: he's having second thoughts about continuing his career, and may not report to the Blue Bombers.

The reason is -- and this may be a first in CFL history -- Baker is busy recording a rap album.

"Should I just move on to my second passion?" Baker wondered aloud, in a conversation with the Sun from Toronto yesterday. "I'm at that point, too -- how long I want to do this (play football)? I really don't know what I want to do right now."

Baker has been dabbling in rap for years. He even has a rap name: Shake Severs, a combination of his nickname (Shake and Bake) and a TV idol from his youth (Colt Severs, a character in the show The Fall Guy).

He says there's some serious interest in his work, and pegs his chances at showing up in the 'Peg at "50-50."

"I don't want to get anybody's hopes up," he said.

ON WAIVERS

It might be a little late for that.

Most people know the Bombers picked up a talent when they claimed Baker off waivers last week: two full seasons in the CFL, both with 1,000-plus yards, including six catches, 101 yards and a touchdown in the 2004 Grey Cup.

That the 30-year-old was even on waivers with a resume like that speaks to the other thing most people know about Baker: his robust style comes with a short fuse and, how should we put this, some discipline issues.

I mean, if you can't appease Argonauts coach Pinball Clemons, who'd give humanity another chance even if it nuked itself into oblivion, then maybe you have reached the end of the line.

Clemons called Baker disruptive when he released him. Word out of Toronto was he'd missed a team meeting.

Then again, he'd also been dropping passes. Oh, and there've been a few run-ins with fans and teammates, including that infamous punch-out of kicker Noel Prefontaine on national TV last season.

Baker's side of his exodus from T.O.?

"You've got a lot of people got a lot of key positions, and they take a lot of love away from the game," he said, not naming anyone in particular. "I hate losing with a passion. I don't care if we're shooting marbles or playing jacks, you know what I'm saying? I've done enough losing in my life. If we're losing and I'm not getting the ball, I got a problem with that."

No Problems

Baker says he had no problems with Clemons or offensive co-ordinator Kent Austin, who's since been fired.

But the Argos 2-5 start, and Baker's not being a bigger part of the offence -- he caught just 22 passes for 217 yards -- has soured him to the point where he's questioning his love for the game.

It's a far cry from the way he talked about the CFL back in '04, when the Argos marched to a Grey Cup title.

"Being up here, it's almost like playing football in high school," he told Sun Media during Grey Cup week. "They put a lot of love, a lot of fun, back in the game. This is the way football is supposed to be played. When you put too many rules and too many restraints on it, it takes all the juice out of it."

Sadly, the juice appears to have leaked out again.

"I'm sensing he's not going to (play)," Bomber GM Brendan Taman said. "That's my gut. I'd love to have had him. But nothing surprises me anymore."

Not even a guy who bails on a four-year contract worth nearly $450,000.

To become a rapper.


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