Saturday, June 25, 2011





They gathered in St. Mary’s, Ont., for the annual Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. There also was a silent auction that included a hockey equipment bag, a wooden duck decoy and a three-month membership at the local YMCA. "But that's the beauty of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in lovely St. Mary's," Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun noted. "It's incredibly quaint. How quaint? Well, Tom Henke's induction speech was interrupted — twice — by a barking dog." . . . The San Diego Padres have been leading Major League Baseball in strikeouts. As Nick Canepa of the San Diego Union-Tribune wrote: "The Padres have the plate discipline of Joey Chestnut." . . .

My everlasting memory of the 2011 Stanley Cup final will be Brad Marchand speed-bagging the right side of Daniel Sedin’s face during Game 6. No penalty. No retaliation. No one riding to Sedin’s rescue. Once again, NHL rules changed from the regular season to the playoffs. . . . The NHL also is the only one of the four major (?) professional leagues that doesn’t provide its star players with a high degree of protection. . . . That is something that needs to change. . . . You know the late Clarence Clemons really was The Big Man when you learn his present wife and three of his four ex-wives attended his funeral on Tuesday in Palm Beach, Fla. . . .

The Philadelphia Flyers spent a lot of last season denying there were problems inside their dressing room. Then, in about 30 minutes on Thursday, GM Paul Holmgren traded away forwards Mike Richards, the team captain, and Jeff Carter, both of whom had been seen as the franchise’s glue. . . . Draw your own conclusions. . . . Tom Gaglardi, the majority owner of the Kamloops Blazers, is wanting to purchase the NHL’s Dallas Stars. While that has been crawling towards a resolution, the Gaglardi family-owned Northland Properties Corp. has purchased two major Canadian hotels, Sutton Place in Vancouver, for $164 million, and Sutton Place in Edmonton, for $34 million. . . .

When the NHL came out of the lockout for the 2004-05 season, the salary cap was US$39 million. Next season, that cap will be $64.3 million, with a floor of $48.3 million. That means the floor now is higher than the cap was when the lockout ended. . . . So why was it again that the NHL went through that lockout? . . . The gang at CapGeek.com points out that since June 1, NHL teams have spent US$108,175,000 extending the contracts of 22 unrestricted free agents. And it’s not even July 1 yet. . . . The Sports Curmudgeon returned from vacation to note: “With the Atlanta Thrashers neatly relocated to Winnipeg . . . that makes two NHL franchises that have had to depart Atlanta for Canadian outposts. In case you forgot, the Calgary Flames used to play in Atlanta. Do you think that the great strategic thinkers at NHL HQs have figured out there is a pattern here?” . . .

When reporters asked Virginia Wade, a 1977 Wimbledon champ, who she thinks will win the women’s singles title this year, she replied: “I’m going to go with Maria Sharapova this time. Venus (Williams) has forgotten how to win in the last year or so.” . . . Those who know say Boston Bruins head coach Claude Julien is one of hockey’s good guys. Today, he’s a Stanley Cup champion. But had the Bruins not gotten an OT goal from Nathan Horton in Game 7 against the Montreal Canadiens, well, who knows what might have happened. . . .

If you’re near a TV set today, you may want to check out the Canadian track and field championships from Calgary. Dylan Armstrong of Kamloops, the world’s No. 3-ranked shot putter, will be there. The telecast is scheduled for 1 p.m. PT. . . . When Mike Yeo, the new head coach of the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, completes his coaching staff, don’t be surprised if Darryl Sydor is one of the assistant coaches. Sydor, the former Blazers defenceman who now owns a piece of the team, was on Yeo’s staff with the Houston Aeros in 2010-11 and the team got to the AHL final. . . . If Sydor moves up, he would take the assistant’s spot that belongs, at the moment, to Dave Barr, who could end up as the head coach of the Moose Jaw Warriors. . . .

Scott Ostler, in the San Francisco Chronicle: “You didn't see Miami Heat fans rioting when their team lost. Maybe because most Miami fans immediately joined the LeBigfoot search party. No wonder the rest of Canada wants to disown Vancouver. What a bunch of drooling, feeble-brained Canuckleheads.” . . . One more from Ostler: “Isn’t Lenny Dykstra running out of crimes to allegedly commit? Latest: grand theft auto and drug possession. Lenny Dykstra, video game.” . . .

Here’s one for you: The NHL’s Winnipeg Jets won’t play in Edmonton in 2011-12, but will play in Calgary and Vancouver. Seriously. . . . The Oilers will visit Winnipeg once. . . . By the way, all that hype and we get the Winnipeg Jets? To quote Peggy Lee, is that all there is? . . . I wanted Winnipeg Yetis. . . . The Florida Marlins named Jack McKeon as their interim manager earlier this week. McKeon is 80 years of age. On Tuesday, he asked outfielder Logan Morrison, 23, what he had going on that night. Morrison told him he was going home to play with Twitter. McKeon replied: “Oh, what kind of dog is it?”

Gregg Drinnan is sports editor of The Daily News. Email him at gdrinnan@kamloopsnews.ca, follow him at twitter.com/gdrinnan, or visit his blog at gdrinnan.blogspot.com. Keeping Score returns July 16.

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