Friday, December 17, 2010
Ron Judd, in the Seattle Times: “The region’s 17 remaining pro-hoops fans are all a-drool over the notion that Microsoft boss Steve Ballmer might lay down more than a billion dollars to hijack the NBA’s New Orleans Hornets into a mythical new Puget Sound pro sports arena/perpetual money pit. Or, for an even better public show, he could just stack all that money outside his house and light it on fire.” . . . Hey, Kamloops, was that a nice Christmas present from big oil, or what? . . .
George Johnson, in the Calgary Herald, writing about the Flames’ general manager: “Six years ago, this city was at Darryl Sutter’s feet. Now it’s at his throat. . . . This, remember, is the Darryl Sutter who reminds you of the ancient mythical Greek sea-beast Hydra — cut one head off and two more pop out, sneering, snarling, spitting venom. The Darryl Sutter who carries his omnipotence and condescension and (whether he wants to admit it to himself or not) his insecurity room-to-room, door-to-door, a Welcome Wagon of misery.” . . . More from Johnson: “Standing behind the bench during games, face twisted into a pained scowl, the unfortunate Brent Sutter looks like a wrongly-convicted Death Row inmate who has no idea when that knock on his cell door might be coming. It’s been suggested that a ‘mercy firing’ could be the best thing for him, for his health and sanity. There’s probably more truth in that assessment than even he is willing to admit.” . . .
Such is life around the Toronto Maple Leafs that when a fan tossed some waffles onto the ice late in a recent game, it was a big, big story in Toronto the Great. . . . “If you’re bringing waffles to a game, maybe you have issues of your own,” defenceman Luke Schenn said. “Maybe they were blueberry waffles, chocolate chip, who knows? It was definitely a first.” . . . But the best of the quotes belonged to captain Dion Phaneuf: “That’s the first I’ve heard of it. I’ve seen lots of stuff thrown out on the ice, but I didn’t even see it so I can’t comment on it. I’ve never seen a waffle, no. I’m not commenting on it.” . . . It seems only appropriate that the Leafs’ captain should waffle, rather than comment. . . . As Ian Hamilton of the Regina Leader-Post put it: “Humbled by the actions of their so-called supporters, Leafs players reportedly suffered bruised Eggos.” . . .
Cam Hutchinson, in the Saskatoon StarPhoenix: “The 2012 Brier will be played in Saskatoon, where Kevin Martin and Glenn Howard will play in the final.” . . . After Luke Scott of the Baltimore Orioles said he doesn’t believe President Obama was born in the United States, the Left Coast Sports Babe noted: “But, come on, what do you expect of a player dumb enough to sign with the Orioles?’’ . . . Dwight Perry, in the Seattle Times: “Brett Favre . . . Randy Moss . . . Brad Childress . . . the Metrodome. At least the Vikings ought to be accustomed to having the roof fall in on them by now.” . . .
If you’re a fan of the Saskatchewan Roughriders, you should know that receiver Andy Fantuz worked out this week for the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers and will do the same for the Minnesota Vikings. . . . So left-hander Cliff Lee leaves a whack of cash on the table and signs with the Philadelphia Phillies. Makes you wonder if the ink on the contract was dry before he heard from the Major League Baseball Players Association. . . . You have to love how the Phillies dealt Lee to the Seattle Mariners for three prospects and, in the end, wound up with Lee and got to keep the prospects. . . . One of those prospects, of course, was outfielder Tyson Gillies of Kamloops. . . . So why did the Phillies trade Lee in the first place? . . .
The Left Coast Sports Babe, on the Lee signing: “Only in America can a man who signs a contract to play a game for five years and $120 million, be lauded for following his heart and turning down the highest bidder.’’ . . . Here’s Phil Sheridan, in the Philadelphia Inquirer: “Well, this just doesn’t happen. Highly coveted free-agent athletes take their talents to South Beach, or sign bank-busting contracts with the Washington Nationals. That’s just how it is. And then along comes Cliff Lee. By most reasonable estimates, Lee decided to pay somewhere between $30 million and $40 million for the privilege of returning to pitch for the Phillies. That is real, actual money — the difference between a five-year contract here and the reported seven-year, $160 million contract Lee was offered by the Yankees.” . . .
Matt Millen, one of the NFL Network’s analysts, was working the San Francisco 49ers at San Diego Chargers game Thursday, when he was trying to make the point that the defending-champion New Orleans Saints are again Super Bowl contenders. The Saints, he said, are flying under the radar. Or, as he put it, “Everybody is not talking about them.” . . . Old friend Paul Romanuk will call the play as TSN provides coverage of the Spengler Cup from Davos, Switzerland. It starts with Canada playing Davos or Spartak Moscow on Dec. 27 at 11 a.m. Riding shotgun with Romanuk will be Doug Honegger, a former Swiss league player. . . . A tweet from Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun, with the Oilers poised to unveil cheerleaders: “Maybe the idea of the Oiler cheerleaders is for the young players to date them, marry them and stay here. No Mrs. Pronger problems.” . . .
The Orange Bowl junior tennis tournament runs this month in Key Biscayne, Fla. “If you’re not sure where it is,” writes Greg Cote of the Miami Herald, “just listen for the shriek of overbearing parents berating line judges.” . . . A tweet from the Vancouver Sun’s Iain MacIntyre: “Why does (Pavel) Bure number retirement debate continue? He didn’t want to be here; couldn’t get out soon enough. He is DQ’d. End of story.” . . . To which the Sun’s Elliott Pap added: “let me just say, Pavel Bure’s No. 10 should never be hung from the rafters unless the punk is still in it.” . . . Keeping Score won’t be here a week from today. Hey, it’ll be Christmas Day. But watch for a special year-end edition in the Dec. 31 issue of The Daily News. . . . In the meantime, have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and thanks for stopping by.
Gregg Drinnan is sports editor of The Daily News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him at twitter.com/gdrinnan, or visit his blog at gdrinnan.blogspot.com. Keeping Score returns Dec. 31 with a special year-end edition.
Posted by Gregg Drinnan at 11:35 PM