Szarka Train derailed! Bagg goes down too

Riders Release Szarka

[url=http://www.riderville.com/article/riders-release-fullback-chris-szarka]http://www.riderville.com/article/rider ... ris-szarka[/url]

And Rob Bagg hurts his knee again, having surgery today.

[url=http://www.riderville.com/article/rob-bagg-re-injures-right-knee]http://www.riderville.com/article/rob-b ... right-knee[/url]

Not a very good day.

I understand the release of Szarka, what with Bell, Hughes and now Exume, but the timing is kind of wierd.

And Bagg going down again is really too bad. I think he was really coming into his own out there.

Hope Bagg can come back sometime this season - he will be missed. I thought Szarka would resign after last season anyway now that he is a city councillor. I like him and what he has done for the club - he has selflessly fulfilled whatever role the coaches required of him but I think it is time that the younger guys get some playing time. Thanks Chris and good luck.

Tough decision no doubt. I agree, timing a little weird. You might think Tillman might jump on this but he's certainly going younger Canadians, not a 36 year old.

Bell, Hughes, Stu Foord and Exume, yeah, you can only keep so many Cdn. running backs.

...from an enemy position I just want to say I really respected Szarka as a player...he played fair, head's up ball and never looked for showboating, he appeared to have a team-first mentality and was a good sportsman...strange that your mgmt wouldn't have given him the option of retiring vs. the cut, but perhaps there's more to it than the surface represents...

Not shocked with Szarka. They traded to bring in his successor (Graeme Bell) for a reason. Szarka is one of my favorites, and crazy reliable, but was probably toying with the thought of retirement himself...at 35 he is getting close.

Bagg, well, that just plain sucks. Especially coming off an injury. I think we have a couple who can step in in his place, but it will hurt missing a Canadian with his skill set.

I dont think Szarka would be willing to step away from his council spot to play elsewhere for 1-2 years.

Apparently they did give him the option of retiring, but he told them that if they wanted him to not play then they would have to cut him. Kind of a poopy situation for all involved.

Please don’t go down the Kamau Pederson road for Baggs’ replacement.

Starting to think that there have been a few too many changes this year -- we had a good rhythm last year, morale-wise, which really drove us all the way to the end of November. There's still a tonne of talent both on the field and on the sidelines but it'll be a very different feel in 2011 with Fantuz, Szarka and the others gone now.

It's a joke that someone blew in and gave his job away uncontested, I mean isn't that what camp is for? To compete for a job? I think its obvious they didn't want Chris to compete cause he'd be the one who came out on top. So I guess it's a money thing? Well you get what you pay for. Let's hope this isn't the start of a series of bad decisions by Tamon.

One upside to the Szarka story is that we won't have to listen to Rod Black use the phrase "Canuck Truck" every time Chris touched the ball.

I don't see how this is a bad decision. He barely plays, and is 35...a younger cheaper player makes sense. Remember, we were over the cap last year...something has to give. There comes a point when you have to sacrifice vets for the picture down the road, and this makes sense. The fans get upset, and you have to know stuff like this isn't exactly fun for the front office.

Also, by letting him go now they are at least giving him the chance to go to another camp. They asked him if he wanted to retire and he said that if they did not want him playing they would have to cut him. I have a lot of respect for him doing that...head high to the end. That being said, if the staff's mind was already made up, then what is worse...cutting him now so he can make a decision on competing in another camp, or waiting until the end of camp, then cutting him when most rosters are set. Spin management into the bad guys as much as you want, I think they were trying to leave a player they had a lot of respect for as many options as they could.

Szarka was quoted in the paper today saying he had no interest in signing anywhere else, and will always be a Roughrider. So that's that. Good Luck Chris!

Hey I never said he had to play and be signed, however what is WRONG about what they did was that when you have a 14 year veteran who is ready and has been working all year to get ready to play and go to camp; you don't even give him the chance to compete for his position and you release him a few days before camp after stringing him along all year so that he won't be able to try playing anywhere (regardless of the fact that he doesn't want to)..... The point of camps are to compete for positions and if he didn't fit into the play he should have been told way before hand, as well someone who played for the past 14 years you give them the opportunity with an open mind to compete.....They gave him the option of retiring to make themselves look better, as they didn't want to have to discuss this in front of cameras (did you see coach barley able to look in the eyes of the camera when talking about it). Sorry, if it was your job, career and 14 years I don't think you would be sining the tune of it was the "right" thing to do. The way they went about it was wrong, they knew it, he knew it and I am happy that he called the bell on it so hopefully it doesn't happen to other veterans in the future.

no, i wouldn't be happy, but this is a part of the game. Do you release a good prospect instead and let Chris retire in a year instead? That is just bad business, and that is what this was...a business decision. If you were making decisions purely on you heart, you would not last long in ANY business's management. Management gets paid to make decisions. Some of those decisions are tougher than others. Some of those decisions are not something you want to do, but realize you have to do for the good of the club in the long run.

As far as cutting him earlier, well, they did make some recent moves that ended up putting more running backs on the roster. If those had not panned out Chris would probably still be there. If Chris wanted to be in a camp it would not be a problem for his agent at this point, so I do not understand your argument about him not being able to compete for a job...it just wouldn't be in SK. Letting him compete to crack the Rider roster knowing he would not make the team (even if you went to him first and talked to him) would be plain cruel, as THEN he would have no opportunity to compete for it anywhere.

They asked Chris if he wanted to retire for 2 reasons...1, yes, it is easier for them, and does make them better, and 2, some players would rather go out that way...players are asked if they want to retire all the time. It has happened in Riderville just this year. He was not strung along. Some players were acquired recently that made management reevaluate the position on the roster.

I wish Chris all the luck in the world and hate to see one of the most reliable players on the roster depart.

Basically what I am saying is that doing this would be just plain old wrong. If I was a 14 year vet, and still wanted to play, and I was brought into camp with management knowing there was zero chance of me making the team, then I would be irate. If I was in camp and knew I played good enough to make the team again and was cut I would be even more upset.

Management coming to me and telling me that I was not making the team ahead of time would really piss me off to, but at least I would not go through camp for a team that I was not making, and could still tryout at another camp IF I chose.

What you are saying shows no respect for a 14 year vet. If they went to him and said “Chris, there is very little chance you will make it through camp. You can compete, but likely won’t make it,” then why bother bringing him in. His heart won’t be in it. They were upfront with him instead, in time for him to go anywhere else if he chose.

The reality is that there is no good way to end a career when it isn't the choice of the player himself. Every option is a bad option so what the Riders did is no worse than any other option I have read here. Time to move on.