Saturday, January 29, 2011

Raptors Lose Again; Should Bryan Colangelo Be Extended?

Do you think Colangelo should be
offered an extension? Please comment below
The Toronto Raptors have lost a tenth consecutive game, and last night allowed Ersan Ilyasova, Corey Maggette, and Andrew Bogut to score on them at an outrageous pace as they lost to Milwaukee 116-110 in OT.

On Toronto's side of the ball, not a whole lot happened in they way of development. Sure, Amir Johnson had a good game (24-12) but DeMar DeRozan's shot was off as he went 5-14 and a total of 11 points. New acquisition Alexis Ajinca did well in his limited minutes (13), and Ed Davis managed nine boards in only 22 minutes.

But it's not all about counting stats. The fact is, Toronto can't defend anybody right now and haven't been able to for a few years now. The Raptors have enough offensive firepower to take down any team in the NBA, but their 105.1 PA isn't doing them any favours. As much as Andrei Bargnani deserves to start on most teams - and he certainly could be the Raptors starting PF when they're ready to contend, as much as Amir Johnson and Jose Calderon deserve prominent roles on any club, and DeMar DeRozan is a solid future piece, the truth is, these players can't be described as anything but sub-par on defense.

The Raptors have no inside defensive presence and frankly, a poor perimeter defense as well. There is no quick fix, the Raptors need to invest in players that are willing to go all-out on both ends of the court. Signing a Shane Battier-type player this offseason would be a good start, but Bryan Colangelo also needs to focus on guys that are more than just role-player pieces, perhaps a big-man that's comfortable in the key. Alexis Ajinca could fill that role eventually, as could Ed Davis potentially.

But will it be Bryan Colangelo? It is fairly well-known that his contract expires at the end of this year and Colangelo is reportedly looking for a 4-5 year contract offer.

And I think the Raptors should do what they can to extend him. Yes, he's made regrettable trades, notable the Jermaine O'Neal to Toronto trade, in which Roy Hibbert may end up being the best current piece in the whole deal. The Hedo Turkoglu signing also didn't work out, but hey, the Raptors did receive good pieces from Phoenix for Turkoglu, so we can call that a wash. Yes, he wasn't able to re-sign Chris Bosh... but would anybody have been able to pry Bosh from Miami - and is Bosh even worth a max contract anyway?

While Colangelo has yet to lead the Raptors to anything resembling a playoff run, he's done all a GM can do in his power to lead his team to a championship - it just hasn't worked out. However, this isn't to say that drastic measures mustn't be exercised. I believe that althoug it's awfully hard to measure how well NBA coaches do their job, I don't think Jay Triano should be a coach in this league. The Raptors have yet to live up to their full potential with Triano at coach, and the team does seem to lose a curious amount of close games.

As well, Colangelo must do everything in his power to either sign or trade for an impact player this offseason. The team is devoid of a face, and Bargnani & Calderon don't cut it. No team will win a title (or make the second round of the playoffs, for that matter) with either of them being even the second best player. Bryan Colangelo needs to bring in a star, even if he has to wildly overpay.

But, this will need to compound a top three 2011 draft choice. As I've said earlier, it's much better for the Raptors in the short-term that they tank, the draft is a much easier way to acquire high-end talent, as it comes at a much lower financial price than free agency.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Is Stockpiling Relievers the New Moneyball? Reaction to the Napoli/Francisco Swap

Frank Francisco is headed to Toronto, and I think
this trade benefits both sides

Alex Anthopoulos has made another deal... is anyone surprised? In an aftershock of the Vernon Wells deal, Toronto will now send Mike Napoli to Texas for reliever Frank Francisco.

While I am pleased that this deal took place (for many reasons, as explained later), I caution fans to get too excited over it and not just assume that it is a good trade just because Alex Anthopoulos facilitated it. 

The real truth is, the Rangers probably won the deal overall, but it was beneficial to both clubs. As much as fans wanted to embrace Napoli and believe that he filled a gaping hole, he really didn't, the Blue Jays have enough C/1B/DH players without him.

However, I do think that Anthopoulos will now need to find another 1B/DH player to team up with Adam Lind and Edwin Encarnacion to fill the positions nightly. Whether that would be a high-profile player like Vladimir Guerrero or mean taking a lottery pick with a Nick Johnson-type player, I'm perfectly open to either possibility.

Meanwhile, Francisco will fill a bullpen that has gotten very good very fast over the past month, despite the Blue Jays not signing any of the top free agent relievers or making any blockbuster trades to acquire a Joakim Soria-type player.

So is stockpiling relievers the new Moneyball? 

We've seen what a tremendous impact having a deep, reliable bullpen had on the 2010 San Diego Padres. With a putrid offense (team wRC+ of 93) and few stars in the rotation (rotation ranked 7th in NL in xFIP), the Padres rode a historically-impressive bullpen (5 relievers with 30+ IP posted ERAs under 2.00) to a 90-win season.

Billy Beane (aka Mr. Moneyball) seemingly took notice of the Padres success and signed Brian Fuentes and Grant Balfour (yes, a Type A FA) to big deals. The Athletics already had a deep and effective bullpen, so these moves left a lot of analysts scratching their heads. No Billy Beane is not going crazy, he's just found the latest market inefficiency and has the park (Oakland's park is perhaps the second-best pitching park in MLB, behind SD) to use it to full effectiveness.

Alex Anthopoulos seems to have already caught on, and I believe that he's executed this inefficiency even better than Oakland has. The Blue Jays aren't paying Rauch, Dotel, or Francisco big money on multi-year contracts, and all three of them have the potential to be just as good as Fuentes or Balfour.

After the dust settles from all the huge contracts handed out to 4.0+ WAR players, there are always about five relievers still on the market that can largely bring the goods, yet are available for bargain bin prices. Last year, it was Kevin Gregg, this year, AA has pushed even more chips into the middle on this low-risk strategy.

And once again, AA's favourite theme to succeed shows up: Rauch, Dotel and Francisco are all very likely to be ranked as Type B free agents after the 2011 season, meaning the Blue Jays have a great chance to pick up three supplemental picks purely from relief acquisitions this offseason. The important thing is, Toronto didn't have to give up much to acquire those relievers in the first place.

Bullpens also tend to have a domino effect on the team as a whole, they're worth more than the some of their parts. The Blue Jays young rotation will now breathe more freely during games, knowing that the bullpen has their back if they can't go deep into the contest. 

So sure, Rangers fans may think that their team stole this trade - and they are partly right, but the positive vibes from the swap is likely to be felt by both Texas and Toronto.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Closer Look at the Risks Involved With a Jose Bautista Extension

Yes, Jose Bautista deserves an extension. Now.
I was originally going to write up an article about what I would like to see AA accomplish over the remainder of the offseason, and that will still come, but after analyzing Jose Bautista's extension or arbitration/2011 FA dilemma, I decided that this is undoubtedly worth its own post.

Alex Anthopolous stated pretty clearly in his latest Fan 590 interview that he'd be perfectly happy to go to arbitration with Jose Bautista. But I believe that extension time is now, and with the newfound cash following the Vernon Wells trade (although I don't think at all that it needs to be spent at once), the opportunity has presented itself for the Blue Jays to follow through on extending the MLB home run leader. 

I propose a 4 year, $45MM contract.

Brady Anderson has easily been the most referenced player in connection with Jose Bautista. Yet Brady wasn't exactly terrible following his 50 homer season, regardless of public opinion and the lack of any eye-popping stats in following seasons. Sure, he never hit for plus-plus power after 1996, but just look at the OPS's of the four seasons after his big year: .862, .776, .881, .796. Not too bad, eh? And certainly worth $10 million in today's crazy baseball economy. 

Fangraphs estimates 1 WAR to be worth between 4 and 5 million dollars (we'll use 4.5), and combining Anderson's WAR from the four seasons following 1996 (total of 11.5), he's worth $51.75MM over that four year stretch. Still think giving Jose Bautista a shiny new contract is too risky? Anderson is seen as the sterling example of what terrible thing could happen to Jose Bautista in 2011, a frightening historical precedent that can't be ignored. But clearly, even if Bautista does fall off an Anderson-like cliff after signing my proposed 4/45 deal, it would still be worth it.

On the opposite side of the spectrum of surprising 50 homer hitters is Cecil Fielder, who after toiling away in Toronto, got his chance with Detroit in 1990 to be an everyday hitter, and boy did he claim it, with 51 home runs and a .277/.377/.592 line.

Yes, he's nowhere near the same type of player as Bautista and the miracle season was under very different circumstances, but the main point remains the same: it was surprising, and people wondered if it was all a mirage. It wasn't, and although never again did Fielder OPS .900 in a season or even reach 45 bombs, he did average 33.6 over the next five seasons. These five seasons were worth 14 WAR according to Fangraphs, and therefore a value of $63MM. 

Now, this brings up a new argument: home runs aren't all what they're made out to be, as Anderson almost reaches Fielder's value plateau despite never again hitting 25 and a big shift in the court of public opinion.

But my point still stands: Even in the worst-case scenario that fans are predicting for Bautista in 2011, he's still worth a big contract, as he has a long way to fall. Please, pay Jose Bautista.

Raptors Report Week 12: Lack of Talent, Injuries, Biased Refs Catching Up To Raptors

The Raptors had another brutal week, losing all four of their games this past road trip. 
Well, there was one positive from the past week:
DeMar DeRozan will replace Brandon Jennings
in the All-Star Weekend Dunk Contest
While the Raps faced some tough teams, they were able to hang in there most games, but the lack of talent and inexperience on the roster led to them blowing their chances and failing to close out games.
In their defense, they faced four playoff teams on the road. Also, the refs have been extremely tough on the inexperienced team and have been giving the benefit of the doubt to the better teams.
It's been a tough year for Raptors fans, but there have been positive signs shown by DeMar DeRozan, Ed Davis, and Andrea Bargnani.
Record: 0-4
Performance on a scale of 1-10: Five
Here is a recap of the four games:

Raptors @ Hornets, L 81-85
The Raptors really did play well enough to win. The refs didn't seem to think so. I know you should never make excuses, but down the stretch the officiating was just pathetic. DeRozan continued his tear, scoring 23, and the Raptors played very solid defense.
Offensively, this team was awful. Andrea Bargnani was just bad, and the whole team seemed out of sync. Also, the Raptors only really have five healthy players, and many players were playing hurt.

Raptors @ Spurs, L 95-104
The Raps led most of this game and played pretty well overall. It just wasn't good enough to beat the best team in the West on the road. Once again, DeRozan was amazing with 28, and offensively, the team was much better.
Defensively the team wasn't too good; on the boards they weren't great either, and Bargnani was bad once again.

Raptors @ Magic, L 72-112
Y'know, I tried to find a positive from this game, but I really couldn't. When you lose by 40 points, there's  just not much to say. Everyone on the team was awful. Julian Wright led the Raps with 10 rebounds, there.
Hoo boy. Where do I start? Dwight Howard out-rebounded the whole Raps starting lineup, and offensively, the team was just terrible. Nobody shot the ball well, nobody moved it around, and after the first half, Dwight Howard just took over.
Defensively, the team was also awful. I could go on, but it hurts.

Raptors @ Heat, L 103-120
Once again the team was down by nearly 30 points, but the Raps fought back and cut it to seven late in the game. DeRozan was great and Bargnani finally regained his scoring touch. The Raps had a good overall effort; they just couldn't contain LeBron.
The Heat didn't have Bosh or Wade, but they still killed the Raps. The Raps weren't healthy and also were very tired, but this was a winnable game.When you give up 32 points to the struggling Mike Miller, something is wrong on defense.
Overall, this was another tough week. The Raps play seven teams below .500 in their next eight games so these games should be more competitive.

Ask Sachin
"Why did the Raptors release Peja Stojakovic?" - George Stone
Peja was clearly not a part of the future plans, and the Raps just acquired him for cap relief this offseason. By buying him out, the Raps save some luxury tax money, and have to pay less of his contract (however much the Mavs pay him) but still get his full expiring contract. To read more about the deal, click here.
If you want to have your question answered in the next Raptors Report, leave a comment below. Thanks.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Toronto FC’s Draft Pick ups and Recent Trades: Overview and Reaction

Last week, Toronto FC partook in the MLS Super and Supplemental Drafts. Toronto FC was much more active in the draft than past years, and rightfully so, they really need more bodies in our roster. This was the first year with a new management team and without “Trader Mo”. The drafting skill of Mo Johnson was one of the very few things he was praised for at his with TFC.  I think Toronto FC’s new management team did very well, but I’ll let you decide for yourself. Here’s who they picked up, and who we traded:


Chad Barrett to LA for Future Considerations
Chad Barrett, once a prominent player
for Toronto FC, has been traded to LA
Barrett was a hardworking player who gave everything for the club. But, as a striker, he really didn’t put the ball in the back of the net as much as he should have. And with a $205,000 base salary, he was taking up far too much cap space to be worth keeping. In exchange for trading Barrett to LA we will receive future considerations. I am unsure what the future considerations will be, but it is a smart trade none the less, as we free up a lot of space for some new quality additions. 

Jon Conway to Chicago for 3rd Round, 49th Overall Selection
Jon Conway was a strong back up keeper for TFC, but that was all he was, a backup keeper. There is no reason to have three keepers in MLS, due to the emergency keeper pool. Dumping Conway was a good choice because TFC has a strong third string keeper, and former back-up keeper David Monsalve is rumored to be coming back during training campt. Normally a third round pick would be useless, but Toronto FC luckily picked up a really talented player who I will discuss later. 

Demetrius Oomphroy was
TFC's first pick in the Super Draft
Major League Soccer Super Draft

Demitrius Omphroy (#26)
He seems to be a great pick up. He is a speedy and attacking fullback that will fit in well with Winter’s new system. When Demitrius was younger, he was almost picked up by Sporting Lisbon, only to realize he had Multiple Sclerosis. Demitrius’ condition has since gone into remission and he is healthy and had a strong college career. 

Matt Gold (#43)
From what we know so far he seems to be a strong, combative midfielder. But, he is also said to have a low soccer IQ and slow decision-making. A good yet cheap midfield pick-up.

Joao Plata could be a very exciting player one day, but
he does have his share of cons, notably his very slight build.
Junior Burgos (#44)
He seems like a good offensive pick-up. He is already on the El Salvador national team, so he already has quite a bit of a pedigree.

Joao Plata (#49)
This, in my opinion, was a really smart pick up. Joao Plata is on loan to Major League Soccer from the big club LDU Quito. He's only a teenager and was the top scorer at the Super Draft Combine. So why did he get picked so low? First off, he is an international and most MLS clubs don’t want to waste an international spot on a rookie. Secondly, and more importantly, he is only 5’2. Despite his height and international status, I think Toronto did well to trade Conway for his pick.

MLS Supplemental Draft
Toronto FC hasn’t been too active in the Super Draft in previous years, but with our lack of players we picked up some really solid additions in 2011.

JC Banks (#8)
He is a strong midfield player; great speed and crossing of the ball. He could provide depth on the wings or the centre of midfield.

Steven Beattie (#13)
He is another international player; however he played in the college system in the USA. No international college players were picked up in the Super Draft. Steven Beattie is a good striker, who has scored in the double digits throughout his youth career and is a great addition to our sparse forward line. 

Spencer Thompson (#26), Scott Rojo (#44)
I’m not sure if they will be offered contracts by the club, but they seem to be pretty good college players. If Toronto does offer them a contract this season they will provide some good depth and potential. 

Overall I think Toronto picked up some solid players. The salary dump of Barrett and Conway will ultimately be worth it. They picked up a desperately needed forward in Beattie; and a desperately needed fullback with Omphroy. Toronto FC also picked up some solid midfield additions with Matt Gold, Junior Burgos and Joao Plata. Spencer Thompson and Scott Rojo should impress. I think Toronto FC did well as a whole in this MLS Super Draft, and I look forward to seeing what the new additions can do at the next level.

Toronto FC training camp takes place in a weeks’ time in Antalya, Turkey. Where they will be playing is Partizan Belgrade, Dinamo Zagreb and a TBD team. After that they  head to the southern USA for the Disney Cup and Carolina Challenge Cup. Stay tuned for more preseason news and trialists, here at BTTN.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Toronto Blue Jays Trade Vernon Wells for Mike Napoli and Juan Rivera

Vernon Wells - Traded to Anaheim

If Alex Anthopolous somehow pulls this trade off without giving Anaheim any cash, today will mark perhaps the best day in Jays history this decade - a truly refreshing deal that will free up tons of cash for Toronto to spend on free agents next winter.

The way AA has architect-ed this current roster is pretty astounding, especially the platoons likely to occur. Napoli will add much-needed left-handed batting and is likely to rotate between catcher, first base, and DH, perhaps receiving as many as 450 at-bats, including always starting against lefties. Rivera has been viewed as more of a pawn in this blockbuster, but he does have some value and, pending a bounceback, has starting upside.

Obviously, freeing up the contract of Vernon Wells is the biggest positive of the entire trade, as he had 4/86. This could open the door for the huge Prince Fielder deal I have been speculating over for a long time.

Sleep well, Jays fans, the positive effects of this deal should be felt for years to come.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Toronto FC Roster Assessment Part 4/4 – Forwards

This part of the assessment is, by nature, short, and it's because Toronto FC has all of one striker. How did it come to this? Well, Toronto FC academy graduate Nicholas Lindsay broke his knee last week. And this week we traded Chad Barrett to the Galaxy. It's quite comical how any team can have only one player in a position that usually fields 2-3 not to mention multiple more in depth. 

Toronto FC has been plagued by not having or finding the right striker in the past and this issue still has not been solved. The one striker we have left is good, but isn’t even quite starting material. Heck, if TFC were to start the season today, they might as well field one of the “modern” striker-less formations (4-6-0) that Sir Alex Ferguson and Roma have tried in the past. 

But the season, thank God, isn’t starting today, and they have time to get some new strikers. Seeing as they've been yearning for a prolific striker since the retirement of Dichio, I suggest Toronto FC a solid and proven DP striker. Yes it’ll be costly, yes we already have one DP already, but this is a very important position and it must be solved.

Maicon Santos 3/5
Maicon Santos is they only forward on TFC's
roster - for now.
Photo by Reuters
Maicon came in later last season from Chivas, and has largely impressed. He has skill, height, power and can seemingly play anywhere across the forward line. He has scored some great goals, and showed some nice skills and link up plays. 

However his injury and joining late may have hampered his debut season and we haven't seen enough of him to make a final verdict. I doubt that he is the ultimate solution at striker but he will without a doubt assist Toronto FC greatly in the coming season.

Improvements Needed?
Obviously. Toronto FC needs 4-5 new strikers, with at least two being of high degree of pedigree and skill. And if they are lucky, hopefully we can bring in a DP as well; a DP unlike the absolute flop that was Miguel Mista. This said, I’m confident that the new management team will bring in some quality new additions.

Stay tuned for my next piece about TFC’s recent roster moves and pick-ups in the MLS Super Draft.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Raptors Lose Again, Has DeMar DeRozan Become A 'Star' Player?

This morning I was reading the Globe and Mail sports section as I often do, when I came across this line "Sophomore shooting guard DeMar DeRozan struggled, finishing with just 15 points on 6 for 11 shooting."
DeMar DeRozan could very well be a
great player in the future, just be patient

Has it really come to this? Is it really a disappointment when DeMar DeRozan fails to top 20 points? DDR's FG% of 55 last night ecliped his season mark by a rather wide margin, he only made 2 turnovers, and contributed 5 rebounds. Sure, he's been red-hot this month, but I remember a time not too long ago when games like these were considering encouraging. 

DeRozan is certainly a polarizing case in Toronto Raptors basketball right now; most fans consider him to be the face of the franchise. But is this heavy distinction only a product of the laughable state of the Raptors? The best of the worst, if you will? Dedicated readers of BTTN would know that I recently wrote an article about why the Toronto Raptors should tank and finally put to bed the sentiment that the current team has a chance at the playoffs and beyond.

When considering PER (Player Efficiency Rating, all stats by ESPN), DeRozan is the 189th best player in the league and according to EWA (Estimated Wins Added), is 1.6 wins better than replacement level. While these stats don't put more emphasis on DeRozan's recent successes, it's hard to believe that he'd fair much better as DeMar is far from a complete player. He's an explosive driver, that's it.

Comparisons to Vince Carter are largely unfounded, Carter is a career .375 player from downtown and is a solid passer. DeMar DeRozan is 2-22 from three in 2010-11 and only contributes 1.7 APG. Granted, assists are a very flawed qualitative statistic, but it's hard to make an argument promoting DeRozan as a competent distributer. He's not.

The bottom line is, DeMar DeRozan has tons of work to do before you should consider him a 'star' (or even 'good' for that matter) player. He needs to vastly improve his shot, and create opportunities for his teammates much more often. 

Meanwhile, us media personnel need to calm down and let this take its course. The Toronto Raptors acknowledged when they drafted DeMar DeRozan that he would be a long-term project similar to Andrea Bargnani. It's not all about the garbage-time points he provides now, it's about him becoming a complete player in the future, which will take time.

Toronto FC Roster Assessment Part 3/4 – Midfield

Toronto FC’s midfield situation is probably the most complicated of any position. Some of the team’s most talented players are midfielders, but they currently have some issues.  TFC is still missing a spark that will ignite a cohesive and fluid attack. Even when it comes to defensive midfielders, they are lacking. Toronto FC has some good talent in midfield, but the power really rests upon the talent choosing to work hard. TFC’s mid really lacks on the wings however, and for the life of the franchise has never really had true and consistently strong wingers. They also only have five midfielders and assuming we play 4 midfielders, that’s only one back up, nowhere near enough. 

Dwayne DeRosario is, without a doubt,
the face of the franchise
Toronto FC will either have to motivate its current midfielders or pick up more talented and inspired additions. Wingers must be bought however, and the success of the coming season partially rests on the front office’s ability to pick up wingers and midfield reinforcement.

Dwayne De Rosario (Captain)  4.5/5
Dwayne De Rosario, Toronto FC’s talismanic attacking midfielder, is our franchise player, and many times last season he was the entire team. He scored more than half of Toronto’s goals, and was the spearhead of all of TFC’s attacks. The issues really started to arise after his cheque signing celebration towards the end of the season.  DeRosario is clearly upset with the club and his current contract. Many Toronto FC fans were angered and unsure if he would return. However, recently news broke that he would be returning from Celtic prior to the start of TFC training camp. Hopefully DeRosario’s contract will also be renegotiated efficiently and both he and the team will both be happy with it.

Julian de Guzman  3.5/5
Toronto’s first and currently only DP. He has had an illustrious career in Spain and is one of Canada’s greatest players. Unfortunately, De Guzman has not played that well for Toronto. His skill is a valuable asset but his passion doesn’t seem to always be there and that really affects his playing and performance. De Guzman is great at spraying the ball around midfield but he lacks the killer instinct in the final third. He has still not scored for TFC and doesn’t have too many assists. He is naturally a defensive mid, but his diminutive size may not be enough to be a midfield enforcer in a more physical league like Major League Soccer. His defensive output also leaves much to be desired. His performance versus his paycheck is considered by many as unbalanced and this may lead to some locker room conflict. If De Guzman wants to stay with Toronto FC, he really has to shape up and take his job seriously, BMO Field is no retirement home. If De Guzman gets his act together than he will be a real midfield force in MLS and help lead Toronto FC to their first playoff berth. But it is entirely in his hands and his heart.

Nick LaBrocca  2.5/5
He’s a decent midfielder, but he’d probably be a depth player if Toronto FC gets more midfield additions. LaBrocca has some potential though, and in the last game of the season he showed some real skill and power, making him one of the best players on the field. With improvement and playing at that level he could potentially feature in the Starting XI, but even if he doesn’t, he’s a good substitute.

Jacob Peterson 2/5
Jacob Peterson joined TFC at the beginning of last season. Since then he has made little impact and was an extremely poor player before the end of the season. His touch was terrible for a professional player, and his fitness is also poor. He is likely one of the weakest players on the team. However, he did improve slightly towards the end of the season as he got more playing time under Nick Dasovic. He may have some potential, and could improve, but if TFC wants to make the playoffs, they cannot have players like Jacob Peterson starting.

Nathan Sturgis ?/5
Nathan Sturgis is a new addition to TFC this offseason. He was picked up from Vancouver, who got him in the expansion draft from Seattle, for our first round draft pick. Sturgis was taken 12th overall in the 2006 MLS Super Draft and is part of the Generation Adidas program. He also received critical acclaim when he played in LA Galaxy’s preseason tour in England.  He clearly has some talent and was a starting midfielder for Seattle.  I’m entirely unsure of how he will do at TFC though, and it will remain to be seen if he was worth our first round draft pick.

Improvements Needed?
Yes. Toronto FC clearly has some serious skill in the midfield. Our two best players are midfielders: DeRosario and de Guzman. As long as they are both serious about working hard for the team next season, then we will be in good hands. Auxiliary midfielders are ok, but they need improvement. If Toronto FC doesn’t finally get some wingers, the offseason should be considered a complete failure.