Saturday, June 19, 2010

Keeping Score

While the 2010 MasterCard Memorial Cup was being played out in Brandon, with its population of around 45,000, no one was paying closer attention than the owners of the Kamloops Blazers. That’s because the ownership group, headed up by Tom Gaglardi, hopes to be in the running as potential hosts of the 2016 event. . . . Kamloops last played host to the tournament in 1995, when the Blazers won it all for the third time in four years. . . . It was shortly after that when the organization was taken in a different direction and, well, we all know how that went, don’t we? . . . If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it’s a duck. Right? So, yes, Gaglardi, the majority owner of the Blazers, is in the hunt to buy the NHL’s Dallas Stars. . . . Headline at SportsPickle.com: “Report: Pac-10 has 11, Big Ten 12, Big 12 10” . . .

Tommy Lasorda, the former Los Angeles Dodgers manager, is a spokesman for Strike Out Prostate Cancer. When asked why his role doesn’t include rectal exams, he replied: “I’ve got too many rings.” . . . Yes, that was Jamie-Lynn Sigler on the arm of New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez at the Tony Awards earlier in the week. Yes, she has grown up a lot since she played Tony Soprano’s daughter. . . . How bitter is the rivalry between the Boston Celtics and L.A. Lakers? “There was a time,” former Celtics forward Cedric (Cornbread) Maxwell told the L.A. Times, “if I saw a Laker on fire and I was holding a glass of water, I’d drink the water.” . . . The just-completed NBA final was about an ugly seven-game series as you will witness. . . . Gotta wonder how fans at Kamloops Blazers games are going to react the first time someone in the crowd starts blowing on a vuvuzela. . . .

Greg Cote, in the Miami Herald: “(Florida) Panthers games are set to return to WQAM. You thought the puck was hard to see in person? Try hockey on the radio!” . . . John Suomi, a catcher who played for the University College of the Cariboo Sun Demons, is one step closer to the major leagues. Suomi, who was a 22nd-round selection by the Oakland A’s in the 2000 amateur draft, now is with the Philadelphia Phillies and, earlier this week, they moved him up from Double-A Reading to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. . . . Meanwhile, outfielder Tyson Gillies returned from the disabled list in Reading this week and hopes his hamstring problems are behind him. . . . Mike Lupica, in the New York Daily News: “It now comes out that despite all the penalties from the NCAA, USC still gets to keep its 2004 national championship, and I’m sure you’re as relieved about that as I am. Pete Carroll, who escaped from L.A. one step ahead of the law, now wants us to believe he knew none of this was going on. So sometimes he was a legendary USC coach and sometimes he was Inspector Clouseau.” . . .

It was only an exhibition game, but the Saskatchewan Roughriders, who coughed up the 2009 Grey Cup game, had two touchdowns called back by penalties in that 19-17 loss to the B.C. Lions on Sunday in Regina. And you know what the critics were saying, don’t you? Such will be life with the green guys this season. . . . The Roughriders are going to pay tribute to their past (1912-47) by wearing red and black jerseys for a July 17 game. Can you say cash grab? . . . Yes, the jerseys — a limited number, of course — are available at $199.99 each. . . .

If you weren’t aware, you are now: Stan Bowman, the GM of the Chicago Blackhawks, was named after the Stanley Cup, which his club won last week for the first time in 49 years. While that was his first Stanley Cup victory, it was his father’s 12th. Scotty has nine titles as a head coach, one as a player personnel director (Pittsburgh Penguins), one as a special consultant (Detroit Red Wings) and this one as a senior adviser for hockey operations. . . . If you zip over to Grandstand Sports and Memorabilia Inc., at grandstandsports.com, you may purchase a Stephen Strasburg-autographed baseball for US$359. . . . At that price, you would think that the kid already is in baseball’s Hall of Fame. . . . If you haven’t been watching Treme, the latest treat from HBO, you’re cheating yourself. . . .

I don’t know how much Ray Chadwick is getting paid as the head coach of the TRU WolfPack baseball team, but John Anderson, who has coached the U of Minnesota Gophers baseball team for 29 years, just took a 1.15-percent pay cut on his US$139,000 salary. . . . Headline at SportsPickle.com: “Anderson Varejao reportedly not calling the shots in Cavaliers coaching search.” . . . You see that guy over there swatting at bugs? Actually, there aren’t any bugs. He’s been watching too much World Cup soccer. . . . Winger Mark Recchi, the pride of Kamloops, almost certainly will celebrate his 43rd birthday on Feb. 1 while playing one more NHL season. His agent, Ritch Winter, has had some talks with the Boston Bruins. . . .

Rick Reilly, at ESPN.com: “No wonder the English goalkeeper allowed that easy shot to give America a 1-1 tie in the Group C opener. You couldn’t stop a beach ball with those big goofy things. What, is Hamburger Helper a sponsor? Why must they be so huge? Doesn’t Roger Rabbit need them back? And where do the batteries go? How are goalkeepers expected to hang on to the ball with them on? And is it difficult to play goalie while also taking things out of the oven?” . . . ESPN’s Bill Simmons, live blogging during Game 7 of the NBA final: “Just talked to someone who paid 30K per ticket for courtsides. The NBA . . . it’s fantastic!”

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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