Friday, April 8, 2011
It’s official. Aaron Keller and the Japanese men’s hockey team won’t be playing in the IIHF world championship (Division 1, Group A) that will be played in Budapest, Hungary, from April 17-23. The Japan Ice Hockey Federation made the decision because of the tsunami and earthquake that so devastated the country last month. . . . Japan also withdrew from the IIHF U-18 (Division 1, Group A) championship that is to be held in Riga, Latvia, April 11-17. . . . Keller, who is from Kamloops and is a former Blazers defenceman, has played in Japan since 1997 and has been a national team player since 2004. . . . With the resignation of head coach Jarett McLean, might Derek Evely return to the Kamloops Track and Field Club? . . .
If you’re a fan of the Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays or Houston Astros, well, I’m sorry. They all started the season 0-4. Only one team in history has done that and gone on to play in the World Series. That was the 1985 St. Louis Cardinals. . . . Chris Jurewicz, who used to occupy a desk in this department, now is the director of public and media relations with the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders. . . . After Saint Mary’s University in Halifax reinstated its women’s hockey team, thanks to a donation from Canadian Tire, RJ Currie of sportsdeke.com wrote: “Their next big decision? What to buy with $60,000 in Canadian Tire money.” . . .
When the Philadelphia Phillies’ minor league teams broke camp this week, right-hander Colin Kleven of Kamloops stayed in Clearwater, Fla., where he will open with the Phillies’ Gulf Coast League team. That is classified as a rookie league. Kleven, a 6-foot-5, 200-pounder who turns 20 on Friday, was 0-5 with a 7.04 ERA in 30.2 innings last season, his first as a pro. . . . Ron Judd of the Seattle Times, with some promotional ideas for the Seattle Mariners: “Ernest Borgnine Ice Station Zebra Parka Night. Paul Allen/Bill Gates Ultimate Cage Fighting Night. Felix Hernandez Slouchy Drawers Day. Mike McGinn Bobblehead-Recall Night. Umpteenth Farewell to Still-Non-Appreciative Ken Griffey Jr. Weekend.” . . . Hey, Barry Rae, just want you to know that you’re in the thoughts of a lot of people as you fight the big one. . . .
So you’re wondering just how to go about becoming a coach in the Lingerie Football League. Well, according to former NFLer Mark May, the NFL Alumni Chicago Chapter was holding a meeting. “Charlie Brown said, ‘Who wants to coach some women in their underwear?’ ” May told the Chicago Sun-Times. “Darn near everybody raised their hands. Since I was keeping the meeting’s minutes, my name was first in line.” . . . Guess who now is coaching the Chicago Bliss? . . . Michael Wales, a fan of the Chicago Bears, got a look at William (The Refrigerator) Perry’s size-25 Super Bowl ring the other day. Afterwards, Wales told the Chicago Tribune: “That’s not a ring; it’s like a plumbing fitting.” . . .
During the 1981 American League playoffs, with the Yankees playing the Brewers, New York owner George Steinbrenner visited his side’s clubhouse after a Game 4 loss. Rick Cerone, the starting catcher on that Yankees team, recalled that visit as he chatted with Craig Slater of the Regina Leader-Post: “He told us not to go out because we’d be an embarrassment and that this would be the greatest choke in the history of mankind . . . and then he said Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio would be turning over in their graves. Well, Joe wasn’t dead yet.” . . . An early week tweet from Rob Vanstone of The Leader-Post: “Good omen for Canada? Jeff Stoughton is at the worlds in Regina, where the Richardsons once dominated. The Richardsons are from Stoughton!” . . . Yes, indeed, the curling Richardsons are from Stoughton, Sask. . . .
During a recent appearance with David Letterman, comedian Chris Rock explained why he can’t cheer for the New York Yankees: “They got all the money. It’s like rooting for Steve Jobs to hit the Lotto or something.” . . . One of the best things about this NHL season has been the play of Edmonton Oilers goaltender Devan Dubnyk. When the ex-Kamloops Blazers good guy earned the 2-0 shutout over the visiting Vancouver Canucks on Tuesday, it evened his record at 12-12-8. At that point, his GAA was 2.73 and he had a .916 save percentage. . . . Nikolai Khabibulin, Dubnyk’s goaltending partner, was 10-31-3, 3.33, .891. . . .
Mike Lupica, in the New York Daily News: “You could never count out Tiger at Augusta, but there have been times this year when I think I hit more fairways than he does.” . . . After the touring Charlie Sheen received a standing ovation in Chicago, comedy writer Jerry Perisho noted: “Remember, these same people love the Cubs.” . . . Len Berman, from over at thatssports.com: “Just wondering if people are honest when they answer surveys? For example, Sports Illustrated asked football fans what they would miss if there were no games because of the labor dispute. 41.8 per cent said ‘watching with friends and family’, while 1.3 per cent said ‘gambling on games.’ Really? And what came in second to watching football for these people, going to the library or church?”
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.