Sunday, October 9, 2011
How abysmal has A-Rod’s season been? This Tuesday night tweet from ESPN’s Buster Olney, during Game 4 of the New York Yankees’ playoff series with the Detroit Tigers, about sums it up: “After A-Rod’s first hit of the series, Miguel Cabrera just looked in the Yankees’ dugout and jokingly asked if they wanted the ball for him.” . . . According to The Elias Sports Bureau, A-Rod is the first player in Major League history to make his team’s final out via strikeout in back-to-back playoff series. . . . So who do you think took more abuse from the fantatics on Thursday night, A-Rod or Roberto Luongo? . . . Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times asks: “What fashion accessory figures to be this holiday season’s most popular gag gift?” And he supplies the answer: “Braves and Red Sox chokers.” . . . Forward Riley Nash, who is from Kamloops, was the final cut of the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday. He will open the season with the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers. . . .
Jack Todd, in the Montreal Gazette, after the Boston Red Sox’ late-season collapse: “Somehow, manager Terry Francona was framed for this mess, but it started with Theo Epstein and his disastrous signings, especially John Lackey, who is a repellent lout with an arm, baseball’s answer to Jay Cutler. For Lackey alone, Epstein ought to fire himself.” . . . One more from Todd: “OK, you take Major League Baseball’s leading control freak — thin-skinned carpetbagger Jeffrey Loria — and you put him with MLB’s leading loose cannon, Ozzie Guillen. We give it six months. Guillen better be sure Loria and David Samson can’t wriggle out of his contract because if there’s one thing snakes are good at, it’s wriggling.” . . .
The Kamloops Blazers may want to reconsider their choice of postgame music — Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline. That song has been the Red Sox’ choice for the seventh-inning stretch, and we all know what happened to them. . . . Speaking of the Blazers, they had Kamloops’ own Paul Filek in the house during their 6-2 victory over the Vancouver Giants eight days ago. He and his guitar certainly added a lot to the second intermission. . . . A week ago, Kevin Frazier, a studio host on FOX FX’s college football telecasts, stated: “South Carolina looking for its first win against Auburn since 1933!” . . . Phil Mushnick in the New York Post pointed out that those schools had met, uhh, six times in those 78 years. . . .
After Metta World Peace — the former Ron Artest — was eliminated from Dancing with the Stars, David Thomas of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram wrote: “OK, I’ll say it: They didn’t give Peace a chance.” . . . If you follow U.S. college football, you know that there is a huge shuffling of the deck chairs underway. Here’s Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel, after the athletic director at SMU told the Big 12 that his school was ready to make a move: “In related news, Bob, who plays ukulele in the local Holiday Inn house band, has informed U2 that he, too, is ready to join.” . . . How badly are you going to miss the NBA’s exhibition season? . . .
Outfielder Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers got some major media play as he chased the NL Triple Crown, but he knows that it really wasn’t much. He once dated Rihanna and, as he told The New York Times: “There’s some beastly paparazzi out there, especially in New York and L.A. You all are pretty harmless.” . . . After a recent loss, Jim Marsh, the head coach of the JV football team at Marcellus High School in New York, had the team’s bus stop at a cemetery. He then had the players lay down among the headstones. After parents and players complained, he drew a two-week suspension. “Geez,” noted Ian Hamilton of the Regina Leader-Post, “he had to know he was digging his own grave.” . . .
During the offseason, the Los Angeles Kings signed three players — Drew Doughty, Simon Gagne and Mike Richards — to contracts worth US$114.6 million. As Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times noted, Philip Anschutz paid less than that ($113.25 million) to purchase the franchise out of bankruptcy a while back. . . . “Good times at the Hawaii-Louisiana Tech football game,” notes Len Berman of thatssports.com. “It took them 22 minutes to sort out a video replay. How much fun is that? It extended the length of the game to four hours. You go to a college football game and a Yankees/Red Sox game breaks out.” . . .
How is it that the pooh-bahs at the CBC can allow Don Cherry to make a complete fool of himself on Coach’s Corner just one night after Peter Mansbridge did a stunning feature on concussions and brain injuries in hockey? . . . If ever there were doubts about Cherry being a neanderthal, well, he surely erased them all when he referred to Stu Grimson, Chris Nilan and Jim Thomson as “pukes.” . . . Sorry, but Grapes is sour and long past his due date. . . . Here’s a tweet from former TSN play-by-play voice Paul Romanuk: “You kind of wonder whether or not it’s maybe time to take the keys away from Grandpa for his own good.” . . . And then there was this tweet from Grimson: “It’s hard to get too jazzed about this because I think Don’s mutterings are kind of akin to that of an old uncle that nobody takes seriously anymore. I’m not going to get too fired up about it.” . . .
Ron Judd, in the Seattle Times: “Seahawks coach/self-appointed motivational guru Pete Carroll doesn’t like Hawk fans booing woefully ineffective quarterback Tarvaris Jackson. Sorry Pete, but only when you start paying $150 to watch Arena Football League talent can you start judging everyone else.” . . . One more from Judd: “After two years in captivity, those two Americans held by Iran finally returned to the U.S. and answered the big question: They were hiking on the border between Iran and Iraq because it was the last place left in the world where they didn’t need a special wilderness permit.” . . .
Isaac VanMeter, a fullback with Austin Peay, served as an Apache helicopter pilot in Iraq and Afghanistan. Budd Bailey of the Buffalo News wonders: “When his coaches tell the team that it’s time to get ready for battle, do you think he laughs at them?” . . . After beating the Bears in Chicago a couple of weeks ago, Green Bay Packers tight end Tom Crabtree and his mates boarded the team bus and pulled away from Soldier Field. “Sad to see all these folks in Chicago missing every finger except the middle,” Crabtree tweeted of the fans who saw them off. “I think they’re trying to wave to us.”
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