Maple Leafs—second worst record in the NHL this season. Raptors—finished a game out of the playoffs, missed the playoffs for the second consecutive year. Blue Jays—off to a winning start, but have extremely low expectations this season. Toronto FC—started their season with one win and three losses. Argonauts—I can’t recall their record last season, but I know for sure it was terrible.
Let’s face it—the Toronto sports scene is in the crapper right now. Our precious Maple Leafs were the second worst team in the league. Normally this news would not be all bad as these types of seasons are rewarded with high picks in the draft. Unfortunately Toronto’s first-round pick belongs to the Boston Bruins (Phil Kessel deal), so there is no silver lining in their terrible finish this year.
The Raptors, I believe, had a chance to really establish their niche in the Toronto sports market. They had a massive overhaul after last season, bringing in guys like Hedo Turkoglu, Amir Johnson and Demar DeRozan. Optimism was high and GM Bryan Colangelo was quoted as saying this team could win 50 games. They ended up with 40 wins in a very disappointing season overall. Turkoglu was a dud and DeRozan had his moments but did not have the impact that other rookies like Tyreke Evans or Stephen Curry had.
Now, like the Maple Leafs, the Raptors head into another offseason of uncertainty. Their star player Chris Bosh is a free agent and there’s an equal chance of him staying or leaving. Toronto’s cap situation also will make it difficult to make any substantial moves, so questions abound.
The Blue Jays have started the season respectably. Management has lowered expectations for the team, and perhaps this is resulting in better play from the team for now. The fan base has not responded, with the Jays barely attracting more than 10,000 people a game. This led recent visitors Ozzie Guillen (manager of the CHI White Sox) and former Jays player Alex Rios to say baseball might be dead in Toronto. I personally do not think the situation is that dire, but you can see there are enormous problems ahead for the team if attendance does not bulk up.
Toronto FC and the Argos bring up the rear after Toronto’s three major sports teams. TFC have started the season in weak fashion, and they obviously will have to pick up their play if they hope to make the playoffs for the first time in team history. They too have been subject to a lot of change in terms of players coming in and out and getting a new coach. I really do not like all that instability and I think it is definitely hurting the team.
I don’t have much to say about the Argos. They are just bad. Kerry Joseph was a bust as quarterback and Bart Andrus was a major bust as head coach. I don’t even know who their new quarterback is, but I’m sure he’s no Damon Allen or Doug Flutie. Point being, they will suck again.
So we have five professional teams, with none of them making the playoffs in the past two years at least. We have three (Leafs, Argos, Blue Jays) who were, or at least are, projected to be among the worst teams in their prospective leagues and two (TFC and Raptors) who have brighter prospects but raise question after question. So what do you guys think? Is there reason for optimism with our local sports scene, or should we give up and start attending other events like the ones mentioned on the site?