Monday, May 19, 2008

Hoops: The case for Stace

The fantasy of ESPN's Dan Shulman coming home to call Blue Jays games again is unlikely to ever be more than a fantasy, yet people indulge it anyways.

It's as good a time as any to start pining for another Canadian-born ESPN talent to be brought home, even if the odds against it are just as long. Stacey Dales, the former WNBA star, generally gets good reviews and she obviously knows basketball. She would be a dream hire for CBC Sports, which is committed to carry more Raptors games next season and has long been knocked for not having a strong, female on-camera presence. How does Dales working an ice-level reporter on Hockey Night in Canada on a Saturday and commentating the Raptors on a Sunday afternoon sound?

It's a nice fantasy that you can use to insulate yourself against a creeping reality. The Raptors' TV coverage, post-Chuck Swirsky, might be headed in the same direction as the Blue Jays. Each carrier will use its own talent, some of whom aren't necessarily versed in calling the sport, but who are just expected to pick it up on the fly. (What's the worse that can happen?)

There's a passing reference in Sunday's Toronto Sun that "TSN and CBC may use their own announcers to do Raptors games." The Score, which has a couple deserving folks who have each paid their dues, Tim Micallef and Adnan Virk, might want to follow suit.

That's as many four different play-by-play voices when you include Raptors NBA TV. C'est la vie for the Canadian media. Seriously, though, they should try to get Stacey Dales.

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