Niagara Gazette — Welcome to my holiday week offerings, the sequel ...
• While one can see why it might be frustrating to see the Buffalo Sabres essentially sitting back as other National Hockey League teams head to the free agency trough, one should also appreciate that making changes just for the sake of making changes doesn’t always work out. In some cases, in the spirit of this holiday week, it’s like trying to light a M-80 and getting a dud.
Remember the big splash Darcy Regier did make two years ago when he offered $27 million to Ville Leino? How’s that worked out so far?
Some teams are rightly being aggressive and making wholesale changes through trades this off-season — I’m most impressed by the moves made so far by new Dallas Stars GM Jim Nill.
Funny thing about the free agent frenzy, many of the teams buying often find themselves determining later that they’ve paid too much. Which is why they cast off other good talents in last week’s buyout window made possible by the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement.
As for the Sabres, they are not a playoff contender and admit they’re rebuilding. I can understand, though, why they may be feeling overly cautious with the market.
• As if having a whole stadium plus thousands of additional fans outside in the streets of London rooting against you, Wimbledon men’s semifinalist and Polish national Jerzy Janowicz was also subject to often brutal mispronunciations of his name by American broadcasters.
For the Wimbledon crowd to cheer against Janowicz was most understandable. His opponent, Scotsman Andy Murray, is Great Britain’s best hope to win the men’s title in 77 years. As for the broadcasters, the constant and inconsistent ways of saying Janowicz’s last name were just downright sloppy and inexcusable.
For the record, the proper pronunciation is “yah-NOH-vich.” ESPN’s crew had interpretations that ranged from “JAN-oh-witz” to even “JAN-koh-vitz.”
It would be one thing if Janowicz was an American who, like many immigrants of various ethnic backgrounds, altered one’s name to more easily adapt to this society. I readily admit to doing that. Chances are if your family came from a non-English speaking land, your name was also altered slightly or severely.
It has its benefits. Among them, it makes it easier to identify telemarketers.
However, when dealing with a person who hails from a different country, the appropriate step for broadcasters is to say their name as they say it in his or her homeland. Don’t just guess or Americanize it. They need to take the effort to learn it. It’s what good professionals do.
• From the category of a day late and dollar short, it’s a shame the Buffalo Bisons have wrapped up their series against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders after just two games. That’s because as the Herd heads home to open a new series against Syracuse, they’ve just missed the opportunity to play against Derek Jeter, who begins a rehab assignment today with the RailRiders, the Yankees’ top affiliate.
As if having big leaguer Jose Reyes wasn’t special enough for Buffalo’s ballplayers, the chance to play against a sure Hall of Famer would make this season even more special.
Of course, they might still get that chance someday, if Toronto has the need for them.
Follow Niagara Gazette sports editor Michael Mroziak on Twitter at MrozGazette.Follow Niagara Gazette sports editor Michael Mroziak on Twitter at MrozGazette.