Saturday, November 12, 2011
Baggs Won't Play
That's the first word that came to mind upon hearing about the benching of Stevie Baggs for tomorrow's East Division Semi-Final versus Montreal.
Baggs hasn't had the best of seasons, but with pressure on Anthony Calvillo being one of the things Hamilton has to do if they hope to win, taking Baggs out of the lineup is surprising.
I understand that a change was needed to get Jamall Johnson back on the field – his versatility in both pass coverage and pass rush makes him more important than Baggs – but not playing Baggs is astonishing.
This is one of the those moves that if it pans out, Bellefeuille looks like a genius. But if the Cats lose, he will be second guessed to death. In fact, he is probably already being second guessed by many fans.
Personally, I don't like it. The team brought Baggs in after Labour Day last season for just these types of games. Despite noting having the kind of season he hoped for, Baggs is still a player that opposing teams need to gameplan for. He can be a difference maker.
Now he sits, and I have to wonder if perhaps Baggs has played his last game in Black & Gold. Now is not the time to go into stuff like this too thoroughly, and I admit that I may be reading way too much into this, but if the Cats beat the Als, what will be the incentive to play Baggs in Winnipeg and/or the Grey Cup? What will be the incentive to pay him big bucks if the team can win without him? It'll be interesting to see how everything plays out in off-season.
But the Cats still have a game to play tomorrow, and they will stunningly do it without Stevie Baggs.
A juicy game just got a lot juicier.