A Major Change – The Toronto Sports Rebound

By Martin Rumack

March 27, 2018

The Toronto Argonauts, The Toronto Blue Jays, The Toronto Maple Leafs, The Toronto Marlies, The Toronto Raptors, Toronto FC

For many years I had the chore of writing about our lousy professional teams, management, coaches, and the players. During the last several years, I have been able to report on the gradual improvement we were experiencing with some of our teams.

The Toronto Blue Jays

Unfortunately, the Toronto Blue Jays were the one team that had a major reversal in their fortunes. There were a number of significant injuries which affected some of their starting players which of course led to many of the losses incurred. Certain players did not perform to the levels of play which they had shown in prior years – part of which may be attributed to the fact of age, and a resultant drop in their ability to match their previous performance. In reviewing my prediction in last years’ Rumack’s Review, I commented specifically about Russell Martin, and shared my opinion was that he was worn out and possibly injured. Again, he, amongst others, is a prime example of the effect of injuries on the team again this year. The starting pitching was significantly weaker than last year resulting in a much heavier workload for the bullpen pitchers. As a result, by the latter part of the season, the bullpen pitchers were worn out. The great hitting of the 2016 team was not present this year. Without excellent pitching, you cannot win in the American League East division. Last year I suggested that readers not hold their breath on the Jays being successful — but to buy Rogers Communication shares. I should have followed my own advice!!! I also understand the change of personnel at the executive level, namely the President and General Manager may have created some negativity in the Jays’ club house “family atmosphere” — in other words, a lack of communication, a lack of team spirit, and different opinions of how to go from A to Z! Let us see what next year brings. As an aside, having personally watched Roy Halladay throughout his career as a Jay, his recent tragic death was a loss and shock to all of his fans.

Toronto FC

While I am not a soccer fan, my brothers are both soccer fans. My brother David, who is a teacher, has been involved in the Toronto Soccer scene since he was a teenager and I have had a number of clients over the years ask if I am related to the Soccer Coach. My brother Norman, who many people know from his years at the FAN-590 RADIO STATION, “Stormin’ Norman the Late Night Vampire” is a follower of European soccer. The aforementioned trivia brings me to Toronto FC. The team has done Toronto proud this past season with their excellent season record! Toronto played excellently and are the MLS champions. Congratulations to the whole organization … from top to bottom.

The Toronto Raptors

The Raptors made several significant changes to their roster during the offseason. Obviously, the goal of these changes is designed to take them further in the playoffs this year. As Raptors followers are aware, they have only been able to advance to the early rounds of the playoffs during the past several years — notwithstanding their good records achieved in the regular season. At the time of writing this novel, they are off to a good start. Let’s hope they keep up the pace!

The Toronto Marlies

The Marlies had an excellent regular season last year but were knocked out of the playoffs at an early stage. This year, the Marlies have a number of excellent players — some of whom could play in the NHL today…especially for some of the weaker teams. Again, they have played very well as at the middle of December and we wish them well for the rest of the season. As a side-bar, the price to see the Marlies in action are relatively reasonable — you may want to watch professional hockey at an affordable price point.

The Toronto Argonauts

Last year I did not mention the Argos and no one commented — that sums up the lack of interest in the team who had such a pathetic season! This year again there was little interest in the team during the regular season; however, as they were lucky to play in the weak Eastern Division of the Canadian Football League they wound up in first place. As the saying goes “anything can happen on any given day!” in sports. Surprise, the exciting Grey Cup Game was not decided until the last minute of the game, with the Argos winning the Grey Cup. Congratulations to the team and to its loyal fans — ARGOOOOOOOS!!!

The Toronto Maple Leafs

Last year I noted that the Leafs, under their new management team, hockey coaches, and new players, appeared to be building a solid foundation for the future. I was wrong in my recommendation to not “bet the farm” that they would make the playoffs last year — as we all know they did in fact make the playoffs on the last day of the season. In fact, they played very well against Washington even though they lost in the first round. This year, as of the middle of December, they are doing well notwithstanding that some of last year’s rookies are not playing as well so far in their second year. The defense has improved somewhat over last year’s defense core. The goaltending at this stage of the season has improved over last year’s performance. Ultimately, you need excellent goaltending to succeed in the National Hockey League. There is still the last half of the season ahead; however, I do feel comfortable predicting the Leafs will make the playoffs this year. We wish the Leafs success and good luck in their 100th Anniversary year. As this newsletter was being put together we learned of the passing of the Leafs’ great goaltender Johnny Bower – a great player and human being.

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