Friday, June 11, 2010

Keeping Score

Bill Madden, in the New York Daily News, noting that virtually all of Major League Baseball’s offensive numbers are down this season: “If you’re a purist and like the way the emphasis has shifted dramatically from home run derby every night to a more civilized pitching-driven game, you probably want to thank Bud Selig & Co. for piggybacking the amphetamines ban on top of the steroids testing agreement with the players union.” . . . The NHL’s Washington Capitals aren’t expect to make an offer to Shaone Morrisonn, who is eligible for unrestricted free agency. The former Kamloops Blazers blue-liner has spent five seasons with the Capitals. . . . Steve Simmons, in the Toronto Sun: “Word is that Colorado, with all kinds of salary-cap room, has no intention of re-signing free-agent Darcy Tucker. Question is, does anybody else want Tucker at age 35, with all those miles on him?” . . . Tucker, of course, is another ex-Blazers star. . . .
Tom McManus, the head coach of the TRU WolfPack women’s soccer team and the Kamloops Youth Soccer Association’s head coach, is to be married on June 26. The bride will be Pat Harrison, who works in this office, about a penalty kick away from my desk. One can only assume the wedding is being scheduled around the World Cup, as that will be the first day of the round of 16. . . . Priorities, Tom, priorities! . . . Yes, I’ve got Italy winning it all. . . . After MLB commish Bud Selig refused to give Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga his perfect game, Andy Ostroy, a New York political analyst, wrote at the Huffington Post: “For Pete’s sake, we let death row inmates out of prison when DNA or some other conclusive evidence proves their innocence. But we cannot overturn an umpire’s call? Are baseball records, and the overall sanctity of the game, any more or less deserving of scrutiny and appeal than our criminal justice system? Isn’t the point here to simply right a wrong?” . . .
Former Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Steve Passmore is taking some credit for the team’s Stanley Cup victory. As the Kamloops resident posted on Facebook: “’Hawks fans should thank me for the Cup . . . if I wasn’t so bad they wouldn’t have gotten the high draft picks!!!” . . . Passmore got into 73 games with the Blackhawks from 1999 to 2004. . . . Dan Raley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, remembering a meeting with Ken Griffey Jr.: “He once pulled a pair of drugstore sunglasses off my head, threw them on the clubhouse floor in disgust and replaced them with a pair of $150 wraparound Oakleys. I tried to give them back. He just smirked. He was determined to give me an upgrade in cool. I next asked him whether he liked my clothes or my car.” . . . Phil Mushnick of the New York Post asks: “Do pigs have hamstrings?” And he supplies the answer: “Of course, that’s where pulled pork comes from.” . . .
After the Florida Marlins began selling unused tickets to the game in which Philly Phillies’ ace Roy Halladay threw a perfect game against them, Greg Cote of the Miami Herald wrote: “Aside to all of you gullibillies who paid full, face value for tickets to a game that had taken place: I have some 2009 Dolphins playoff tickets for sale if anybody is interested. Also, I am accepting offers for two really good seats to a Panthers game in November.” . . . Josh Rosenstock, a New York Post reader, wondered: “Is it too late to get tickets to see the Beatles at Shea in 1965?” . . . One more from Cote: “Tiger Woods was back in action (last) week. Also, he played golf in The Memorial tournament.” . . . And Cote again: “And in Las Vegas, the World Series of Posers is underway. Oops. Sorry, Freud. I meant ‘Poker.’ ” . . .
Cam Hutchinson, in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix: “The LPGA’s Natalie Gulbis and ex-boyfriend Ben Roethlisberger played a round of golf last week, according to the Associated Press. During the round, Gulbis stayed out of the rough, the sand and the washroom.” . . . From the Left Coast Sports Babe: “Congratulations to Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers for throwing Major League Baseball’s first ‘28 up-28 down’ perfect game. Actually, umpire Jim Joyce’s mistake at first may have been the worst call in Detroit history, or at least since GM decided to make the Chevy Vega.’’ . . . After this training camp, the B.C. Lions will have two years left on their contract with Kamloops. After that? It might be Victoria’s turn. . . .
Calgary blogger Derek Wilken notes: “A Portuguese photographer was robbed at gunpoint Wednesday at a World Cup hotel. The man was unconcerned, saying it was still cheaper than the hotel’s mini-bar.” . . . Here’s Mike Bianchi, in the Orlando Sentinel: “I read the other day where the new Harry Potter attraction at Universal has the rider step on board and fly around the castle grounds at a high rate of speed while trying to avoid a horde of dementors and the Whomping Willow. Hey, that sounds like Tiger on Thanksgiving night.” . . .
Is there anything on TV that is more stale than Hockey Night in Canada’s intermissions? . . . It’s Sunday, 11:50 p.m., and, yes, it is raining. The east-bound Trans-Canada Highway glistens as I approach Vicars Road. Facing a green light, I enter the intersection and, then, there he is — some guy walking his bicycle south across the TCH and going against the light. I hit the brakes and get stopped just in time. Now he hears me and, not seeming to realize that he could just as easily be on the hood of my car, he gives me a look as though asking why I am infringing on his space. I am tempted to get out of my car but, geez, this being Kamloops he may have a rocket launcher in all that stuff he has on that bike. So I journey on. . . . Headline at TheOnion.com: Nation’s car-insurance premiums to increase after terrifying Indy 500 accident. . . .
The WHL’s Vancouver Giants have named Stuart Ballantyne as their chief operating officer. Ballantyne was general manager of both the 2006 world junior championship — which was held in Vancouver, Kamloops and Kelowna — and the 2007 MasterCard Memorial Cup, that was held in Vancouver. . . . The CFL always has done things, shall we say, a little bit differently. How else to explain the fact that it issued a press release the other day at 3 a.m., announcing that it will allow communication between coaches on the sidelines and quarterbacks on the playing field this season? . . . Dwight Perry, in the Seattle Times: “Rapper Snoop Dogg says he likes to wear a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey because the hockey team’s logo reminds him of a marijuana leaf. And in a related story, the Snooper just awarded himself the Lady Bong Trophy.”

Gregg Drinnan is sports editor of The Daily News. Email him at gdrinnan@kamloopsnews.ca, or visit his blog at gdrinnan.blogspot.com. Keeping Score appears Saturdays.

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