Sunday, April 3, 2011
The American League East promises to be really, really interesting this season if for no other reason than the fact that the Baltimore Orioles won games at a .596 clip after Buck Showalter took over as manager last season. . . . That computes to 97 victories over an entire season. The Tampa Bay Rays won the division with 96 victories last season. . . . Of course, as Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe pointed out: “As soon as the Orioles fire Showalter, they’ll win the World Series. That’s how it worked in New York and Arizona.” . . . T.J. Simers, in the Los Angeles Times, looks ahead to the Dodgers season: “The Dodgers lineup is uninspiring, second place considered a lofty goal, while much of the attention here centers on the owners who bought something like eight expensive homes only to reside now in the poorhouse.” . . . Comedy writer Alan Ray was ready for Opening Day: “Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack. I don’t have enough money for beer and a hot dog.” . . .
The last time one team led the NHL in offence and defence in the same season was 1977-78 when the Montreal Canadiens did it. . . . Your Vancouver Canucks have a shot at that impressive double-dip this season. . . . Headline at SportsPickle.com: Celtics set up ‘no fries’ zone around Shaquille O’Neal. . . . Tight end Visanthe Shiancoe of the Minnesota Vikings tweeted the other day: “Phone fell in the toilet.” . . . To which ESPN’s Chris Mortensen responded: “Everyone ’fess up. You’re not alone.” . . . Mortensen then followed up with: “I still haven’t retrieved all the numbers from a cell phone that fell into a pot roast a few years back.” . . . A jeweler in the Big Apple has filed a lawsuit against wide receiver Dez Bryant of the Dallas Cowboys. The jeweler alleges Bryant has yet to pay for US$246,000 worth of bling. . . . Mr. Bryant, meet Ms. Lohan. . . .The Pittsburgh Penguins scored two goals in regulation time over a three-game period and won all three, each one in a shootout, so picked up six points. Isn’t there something wrong with that picture? . . .
A shoutout to Kevin Chow and the Grade 9 English class at Brocklehurst. Happy reading, gang! . . . Condolences to the family of Ed Barry, who died on March 25. He was an original member of the B.C. Lions, having played on the offensive line in 1954. He came out of the Vancouver Jr. Blue Bombers organization to play nine games with the Lions in their first season. . . . Dwight Perry, in the Seattle Times: “Corpulent pitcher Carlos Silva was released by the Cubs — $11.5-million guaranteed contract and all — after being told he won’t be on the club’s opening-day roster. Unfortunately for the team, the one thing he won’t eat is the last year of his contract.” . . .
If you’re like me you’re thinking Tiger isn’t quite ready for the Masters. . . . Although he apparently has a new gal pal, a 22-year-old who has been a neighbour for 15 years and once used crayons to make good luck drawings for him. . . . Here’s Mike Bianchi, in the Orlando Sentinel: “Question: If Tiger ends up marrying this woman, will he present the pre-nup on an Etch-A-Sketch?” . . . Allow me to pass along a note from the legendary Norio Sakaki: “Another hockey season for our seniors comes to an end. Big thanks to our referees — Cliff McBryan, Peter Englisch, Jim Tateishi, Tim Araki, Dave Costain, Nick Hajdukovich and Doug Pockett.” . . . Understand that these gents officiate two games a week all winter long. You can bet that our city’s senior players — and there are more than 90 of them — appreciate referees, perhaps more than players in any other league. “You guys made our games,” says Norio. . . . Jeff Gordon of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, after Kimberly Bell, Barry Bonds’ ex-mistress, did a turn on the witness stand during his perjury trial this week: “And, yes, she offered lots of specifics about what steroid abuse did to Bonds’ body over the years – especially his man parts. This is a cautionary tale for all those athletes who are juicing up to get ahead.” . . . It’s true that Ms. Bell was no shrinking violet on the stand. . . .
Mark Recchi has told Jimmy Golen of The Associated Press that this might be his last NHL rodeo. “I’m hoping we go on a long ride, it just makes it real easy for me to say, ‘See you later,’ ” Recchi, the Boston Bruins veteran who is from Kamloops, told Golen this week. “If we win a championship, I’m gone.” . . . If the Bruins don’t win, you can expect Recchi to be back for at least one more season. And why not two? After all, he has played in 1,648 games, just 119 fewer than Gordie Howe’s NHL record. . . . If you’re wondering, Recchi is 19th on the career goals list (576), 13th in assists (956) and 12th in points (1,512). . . . Have you taken big oil off your Christmas card list yet? . . . Michael Rosenberg of SI.com, after pointing out that John Calipari of Kentucky is the “most disliked college hoops coach in America”: “In the minds of most college basketball fans, the current Kentucky program only has two redeeming qualities: Ashley Judd, and pictures of Ashley Judd.”
Gregg Drinnan is sports editor of The Daily News. Email him at email@example.com, follow him at twitter.com/gdrinnan, or visit his blog at gdrinnan.blogspot.com. Keeping Score appears Saturdays.