Couple of quick tugs on the bell rope before heading out to the Leafs-Bruins Phony Season Opener:
1. People who think baseball teams "send messages" when they brawl with another team are likely the same people who worry about "momentum" or a team "developing an identity" or - another hack cliché - "gelling (jelling?") but I will say this: after watching Yankees pitchers throw inside with impunity to Blue Jays hitter after Blue Jays hitter without any meaningful retaliation, in a recent series here, then watching Aaron Hill get hit Tuesday night, I say good on Jesse Carlson for throwing at Jorge Posada and even better for having the stones to stand up to him at home plate. Not surprised it was Carlson who would do it; sports is full of guys who have tattoos to make them look tough. Carlson's ink is, well, more a statement of fact than bravado. Most of these guys started looking ahead to next year months ago and some; Carlson has raised his game a notch instead even while Cito Gaston has at times threatened to turn his arm into hamburger;
2. Ripping Hockey Night In Canada has been like shooting fish in a barrel because too often in recent years it has become a repository of boring white guys doing the verbal equivalent of snapping towels at each other's butts. Adding Kevin Weekes and Guy Carbonneau will make the thing a little less WASPy, which is a good thing. Unfortunately, though, there's still a chance that you'll see Don Cherry if you tune in HNIC - so people of intelligence and decent upbringing are still advised to view with caution. I presume we'll also be required to keep our P.J. Stock decoder rings handy again, too;
3. My boys and fellow Vfb Stuttgart backer "Die Frakton" twittered (tweeted/) this little gem. Don't know about you, but I think this is the proper way for EVERY sports team to enter its stadium or arena. If nothing else, it beats the hell out of 'Welcome To The Jungle".