Mark Heb

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Aug 5,2014(ISN) – I hope it never happens again. While history was being made in Washington yesterday, yours truly had a real problem with two Canadians playing in the final of the Citi Open tennis tournament. I didn’t know who to root for. Or against. I wish only one of them had reached the final. Then I would’ve watched.


mh b

Milos Raonic and Vasek Pospisil are both fine young men who wear their Canadian colours proudly. I cheer for them individually, and when they represent Canada at Davis Cup competitions. But I never had to consider which one to favour when they played AGAINST each other in the finals. It just wasn’t on my radar. It was as unlikely as having to choose between Mike Weir and Graham DeLaet in a Masters playoff. I like them both, and would hate to see one of them lose. But that’s exactly what happened yesterday. Raonic mopped the floor with Pospisil, who was playing in his first singles final (He won the Wimbledon doubles title with American Jack Sock this year). I knew that was going to happen, so I didn’t watch it live. Instead, the highlights confirmed my fears: Pospisil had no chance of beating Raonic. I would’ve rather watched Milos beat up on some poor soul from another country, but instead he pounded his fellow Canadian into submission. Not that it made his win any less significant, but Raonic, who is ranked 6th in the world, was taking on the 36th ranked player who had spent nearly 4 hours on the court the previous day and was in no shape to handle the fresher Raonic, who also had a much easier draw to the final. Pospisil beat the top seed, Tomas Berdych in the 3rd round, and later took out #6 Richard Gasquet in the semis. Raonic beat Americans Jack Sock, Steve Johnson and Donald Young to reach the final. That’s why he won so easily. Too bad he had to play another Canuck in the final. The result was anti-climactic.

Does Tiger Woods always leave the golf course in the middle of a round when he’s hurt/not playing well? It seems that whenever Woods is out of contention, he manages to injure himself so severely that he has to leave the golf course. Now, maybe it’s just my imagination, but didn’t Woods’ withdrawal during yesterday’s Bridgestone Championship get more coverage that Rory McIlroy’s two shot victory over Sergio Garcia? Had Woods, who was four over par on his round and out of contention, just completed his round and signed his scorecard, we’d have heard barely a peep. But instead, he left in the middle of a round for the second time this year and the 5th time since 2009. Reports say he was in such pain, he could barely take his shoes off. NEWS FLASH. Tiger’s agent says he may be well enough to enter the PGA Championship this week. Are you kidding me? Incredible back pain on a Sunday and then ready to go on Thursday for a Major? This guy is obsessed with breaking Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 Major titles, isn’t he?

PK Subban is no dummy. He must’ve known that the Montreal Canadiens wanted him all along to anchor their defense for the next decade. But he had to play the game in the meantime. He had to accept a bridge contract two years ago. He had to endure the arbitration process, which pits player against team, one side asking for this much and the other side only offering this much. So, whether the Habs were wrong to offer only 5.25 million for one season or not, things worked out beautifully for both sides. 8 years and 72 million dollars proves that Montreal loves PK and PK loves Montreal. All that’s left now is to name him the captain of the Habs and then he’ll really be under pressure to perform. With previous captain Brian Gionta now playing for Buffalo, the “C” is available and Subban is the odds-on choice to get it, and keep it for the next 8 years.

I’m disappointed in the Bluejays performance in Houston this past weekend. They really need to get Encarnacion, Lawrie and Lind back if they hope to make a run at Baltimore. With three games upcoming against the O’s and without those three hitters in the lineup, they really need some shutdown pitching, which they haven’t gotten lately. Starters like Hutchison and Stroman had rough outings. JA Happ is still a mystery to me. R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle can eat up innings, but the bullpen is starting to crumble. Loup and especially Cecil are starting to look human, and even Casey Janssen has been rather ordinary of late. But the guy who really has me worried is Jose Bautista, who keeps making it about himself, rather than the team. He was quoted as saying he was “disappointed” that the Jays didn’t go out and improve themselves at the trade deadline. When your top player is publicly slamming management, you’ve got a problem within the organization. A few years ago, John Farrell failed to rein in the likes of Yunel Escobar, who ended up embarrassing the team by wearing eye black that contained an insensitive phrase in Spanish. Both were gone from the team soon thereafter. I’m wondering, if the Jays don’t make the postseason, how long before Bautista whines his way out of town. Calling out the GM in the media isn’t going to win you any brownie points. Maybe it’s time to trade Joey Bats while he still has value.

Finally, the most annoying commercial on TV has to be the one with the guy who pulls up alongside James Hinchcliffe in the Honda, and starts hassling him before letting out the clutch a bit too quickly. My suggestion for the next Honda commercial is this: Have the same guy pull away from Hinchcliffe, run a red light and hit that obnoxious Wendy’s Hamburger girl with the red hair before running his car through the store window of Spence Diamonds, whereupon the owner, Sean, lets out a “Whoooooo” before collapsing next to the jewelry case. Only then would I buy a Honda, a Wendy’s Hamburger and a diamond solitaire.