Welcome Lewis, b’bye Josh

I’m going to miss my first Toronto Rock home game in over six years this weekend. Gail’s dad turns 65 on Saturday, and so we’re going up for a visit. Since I got Rock season tickets in 2000, the only home game I’ve missed was one game in December of 2002. We were on a Carribbean cruise at the time, and had scheduled it in December because we knew the lacrosse season started in late December. That was the one year that the league decided to start the season early.

And so I will miss the Rock debut of Lewis Ratcliff, who was traded from Calgary at the trading deadline for Josh Sanderson (some draft picks were thrown in there too). For the most part, I will miss watching Josh on the offense — he’s one of the best playmakers in the game, and holds the league record for assists in a season. In fact, I believe he holds second place on that list as well. He can score some pretty goals as well, make no mistake, but he is known for setting up players, and is was kind of the point guard of the Rock. However, he’s not a great defender at all, so if he gets caught on a fast break and can’t get off the floor, he’s a liability. I did get quite frustrated with his lack of hustle as well — you almost never see him running full out, and on the transition to defense, he’s almost always the last guy off the floor. He’s probably the smallest guy in the league (5’7″, 160 lbs), making him pretty useless at setting picks; big defenders just run over him without noticing that he was even there.

Ratcliff, on the other hand, is 6’1″ and 200 pounds and is a pure scorer. He might give back to the Rock what we lost in Colin Doyle, and that’s someone who can power through the defense instead of trying to finesse around them. People have called Ratcliff a selfish player who would rather take a low-percentage shot himself than pass, but he’s got more assists than Sanderson this year, and that’s without Tracey Kelusky playing.

I see this as a fairly even trade that might be good for both teams.


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