Friday, July 30, 2010

Keeping Score

Last week, following another in a long line of injuries to defenceman Sami Salo, the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks issued a statement that included this: “There will be no further comment from the club or Salo at this time.” . . . Hey, is that terrific public relations, or what? . . . Ian Hamilton, in the Regina Leader-Post: “The Los Angeles Kings have re-signed forward Marc-Andre Cliche. When the deal was announced, Cliche vowed to give 110 per cent even when his back is against the wall, take it one game at a time and try to take it to the next level.” . . . One more from Hamilton: “Tiger Woods’ endorsements are down by US$22 million from last year, giving new meaning to the phrase, ‘Cheaters never prosper.’ ” . . .
Some food for thought from Jerry Crowe of the Los Angeles Times: “While there are currently no active major league players named Williams, there are two named Suzuki (Ichiro of the Seattle Mariners and Kurt of the Oakland Athletics) and two named Nix (Laynce of the Cincinnati Reds and younger brother Jayson of the Cleveland Indians). . . . Smith, the most common surname in the United States, is represented by only three major leaguers, while there are seven each named Gonzalez, Rodriguez and Johnson.” . . . Hey, Kelowna, if you tried really, really hard, I’m sure you could get a few more billboards into that mess above that bridge of yours. . . . Jerry Greene, at ESPN.com: “Yankees GM Brian Cashman said New York is not looking for another starting pitcher. That’s like Larry King saying he’s not looking for another wife.” . . .
If you are wondering why South African golfer Louis Oosthuizen was anything but a household name before winning the British Open earlier this month, Greg Connors of the Buffalo News has the answer: “He refuses to toot his own vuvuzela.” . . . By the way, one of those things showed up at the Kamloops Broncos’ season-opener a week ago. Can’t imagine what six of them would sound like at a Blazers’ game. . . . Rest easy, Roughriders fans. Ottawa is scheduled to rejoin the CFL in 2013, but your Saskatchewan side has said it will exercise a veto and not allow the new guys to be known as the Rough Riders. . . . One can only suppose the CFL doesn’t want any more exposure on The Simpsons. . . .
When Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times found out that Butch Patrick, who came to fame as Eddie Munster, and a former Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader are an item, he wrote: “Wonder if they’re getting season tickets down in the coffin corner.” . . . Remember when the NHL’s Winter Classic was a novelty and something to which to look forward? . . . The Penguins and Washington Capitals will meet Jan. 1 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. Y-A-W-N! . . . Headline at SportsPickle.com: Tour de France leader quits after his parents buy him a car. . . .
A tip of the hat to the likes of Cal Hockley and Norm Lenardon, former Trail Smoke Eaters, who helped put together the celebration of the life of the late Bobby Kromm that was held in Trail on Wednesday. Kromm coached the Smokies as they won the 1961 world hockey championship. And he later went on to coach the high-flying Winnipeg Jets of the WHA and the Detroit Red Wings. He doesn’t get nearly the credit he should for his coaching career. . . . Kromm died in June at the age of 82. . . . What was the management of the Vernon Tigers thinking? The decision to file a protest against the Kamloops Venom over the use of an ineligible player — the locals had league approval to bring in a backup goaltender, who never got on the floor — was a waste of time for all involved. . . . If Vernon had a problem, it should have been dealt with at the league level and behind closed doors. . . . Now you have to wonder if the Vernon brass shouldn’t visit King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and borrow some armour, before the next league meeting. . . .
Earlier this week, Miguel Batista started in place of the sore-shouldered Stephen Strasburg for the home-standing Washington Nationals. Yes, there were some boos. Batista, though, said he understood. “Imagine if you go to see Miss Universe,” he said, “then you end up having Miss Iowa, you might get those kind of boos.” . . . The Nationals, not about to look a gift horse in the mouth, promptly invited Miss Iowa, Katherine Connors, to throw out the first pitch last night before a game against the Philadelphia Phillies. . . . “I love it. I think it’s hilarious,” Connors said before the game. She also had a message for Batista: “I told him I can throw a pitch or two. The question is, can he walk in my bikini in high heels.” . . . Wondering who won the World Championship Buffalo Chip Toss earlier this month in Chadron, Neb.? It was hometown boy Michael Lorenzo, with a toss of 103 feet. As Brad Dickson of the Omaha World Herald noted: “Although it was a great accomplishment, afterward not a single person shook his hand.” . . .
When the Miami Heat added former Cleveland Cavaliers centre Zydrunas Ilgauskas to its arsenal, Reggie Hayes of the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel wrote: “Terms of the deal were not announced, but sources say Ilgauskas agreed to the provision that he will be allowed to touch the basketball at least once every homestand.” . . . . After Nick Saban, the head football coach at Alabama, referred to some player agents as pimps, Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle offered: “The Cynic’s Dictionary says the difference between a pimp and a big-time college football coach is a whistle.” . . . And then there is J.R. Smith, a guard with the Denver Nuggets, who, according to this tweet, may have some concerns with the U.S. legal system and how it handles divorces: “If have 30 mil an get married to chick an she bring a bag full of clothes why is it that if we brake up I have to give her 15. She don’t shoot no jumpers or nothing not one rebound or nothing don’t even tie my shoe for the game but I have to give her half.”

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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