October 26, 2004
Finley to blame for late nights
By JIM HUNT -- Toronto Sun
Some Tuesday morning musings of some of the things that amuse, confuse and even amaze a fellow in the wonderful world of fun and games.
Charlie Finley, a former owner of the Oakland A's, is to blame for keeping us up past midnight to watch the World Series. Charlie O, who never missed a chance to turn a fast buck, came up with the idea that World Series games should be played at night.
The reason: Baseball would get more TV money.
He proved to be right. But I doubt if even Finley thought the TV networks would do what they've done for this year's Series. The games in Boston were at least on the weekend and they started at a reasonable time. But beginning tonight in St. Louis the games will be pushed back an hour to 8.30 EDT.
The reason is to cash in on the spectators on the West Coast who would still be driving home if the games started an hour earlier.
Charlie was right about one thing. The first two games of the Series drew near record numbers. Since TV calls the shots in sports these days there's no way they're going to change the starting times.
I'd settle for less time between innings. But that's when they put in those endless commercials. So I'm afraid we have a choice. Either pass up a good night's sleep or the Series. If the baseball isn't better than it has been for the first two games, tuning out may not be that tough.
SPEED UP GAMES
Keith Pelley, the new president of the Argos, has done a great job. The Argos drew their biggest crowd in 12 years, 31,000 and change, for Thursday night's game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The only downer was that the game dragged on far too long.
One reason was those silly on-the-field stunts. I realize the sponsors pay money for them. But they're annoying for the fans who are in the mood to get back on the Argos bandwagon if given a chance.
One more bit of advice for the Argos. Don't burn all your bridges at the SkyDome. You may want to come back for a game or two as the Montreal Alouettes did Saturday when they had 52,000 at Olympic Stadium, the park they used to bad mouth. I'm sure some of them came just to see Don Matthews become a Canadian.
TOO MANY PENALTIES
One of the real problems the CFL faces is too many bad penalties. The terrible call in Vancouver Friday night is just the worst example. There are not enough good officials to go around. So why not cut down on the number?
I'd have a referee, an umpire and a head linesman. Sure they might miss a few calls but so what. It's not even my idea. The late King Clancy first suggested it 20 years ago, but no one paid any attention.
CARTER A CANCER?
It's bad enough that Sports Illustrated, in its NBA issue, picks the Raptors to finish out of the playoffs. But SI really hit below the belt in describing Vince Carter as a "cancer."
The magazine claims that as long as Carter is around, Chris Bosh, the Raptors' best player, will never realize his true potential. This shot might even wake up Carter. He should have more to worry about than his mother's parking spot.