Sunday, October 2, 2011
When Wayne Gretzky signed his first professional hockey contract, he received a US$250,000 signing bonus. His son, Trevor, was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the seventh round of the June draft and later got a $375,000 signing bonus. "Back in my day, you'd get a signing bonus and the first thing you were thinking of was going out to buy a car," The Great One told Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal. "I asked Trevor what he wanted to buy, and he said he was going to go on a Disney cruise. We were laughing at that. He gets seasick. He doesn't even like boats." . . . I especially will miss Doris Rubel’s smile when she would give me her annual donation to the Christmas Cheer Fund. . . . Headline at Fark.com: ‘Tiger Woods gets third new caddie. Well . . . the fourth if you count the Escalade.’ . . .
In case you missed it, the Vancouver Island Raiders beat the Chilliwack Huskers 75-0 in another BCFC Saturday night thriller. The Raiders scored 10 touchdowns; the Huskers had nine first downs. . . . On Sunday, the Okanagan Sun beat the Kamloops Broncos 50-6. The Broncos, in facing the two top teams in back-to-back games, were outscored, 127-10. . . . Yes, the BCFC has a parity problem. . . . The BCFC also has a problem in that the Sun is filing a tampering complaint with the Canadian Junior Football League over a player who appears to have jumped ship and joined the Raiders. . . . By the way, the Broncos are at home to the Victoria-based Westshore Rebels tonight. Game time at Hillside Stadium is 7 o’clock. . . .
A couple of weeks ago, ESPN agreed to pay the NFL US$1.9 billion a year for Monday Night Football. Norman Chad, a syndicated columnist, promptly wrote: “This means two things. Hank Williams Jr. doesn't have to look for work until 2021, and your cable bill is about to go up again." . . . Centre Casey Pierro-Zabotel has a new address. The WHL’s 2008-09 scoring champion has been traded by the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers to the Bakersfield Condors. His NHL rights belong to the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Ashcroft native won the WHL scoring title while with the Vancouver Giants. . . . If you were wondering, here are baseball’s playoff teams and their ranking, by payroll: 1. New York Yankees; 2. Philadelphia Phillies; 10. Detroit Tigers; 11. St. Louis Cardinals; 13. Texas Rangers; 17. Milwaukee Brewers; 25. Arizona Diamondbacks; and 29. Tampa Bay Rays. . . .
If Wednesday’s end to regular-season baseball didn’t get your heart pumping, I can’t imagine what would. Somewhere there were TV executives tearing out their hair as the scenario went from looking like two sudden-death games to none in a matter of moments. . . . The Boston Red Sox have no one to blame but themselves, having lost five of seven to the hapless Baltimore Orioles down the stretch. Remember that game in July when Big Papi hit a long home run and stood at home plate forever? It led to some HBPs and a brawl. Well, the Orioles have long memories and they won their World Series title on Wednesday when they buried Boston. . . . As ESPN’s Buster Olney tweeted: “In the span of about 20 minutes, we saw the two worst September collapses in baseball history.” . . . And, when the Philadelphia at Atlanta game ended, wasn’t it nice of Sportsnet to switch to the third period of a meaningless NHL exhibition game, rather than let us watch the end of the two AL games that were still in progress? . . . Oh, I forgot, it was the beloved Canucks. . . . But, sheesh, can we just lose some of this infatuation with NHL exhibition games? . . .
By the way, you have to wonder if the Chicago Cubs would move out Mike Quade and bring in Terry Francona, who is out as the Red Sox’ manager? All Francona did in eight seasons in Boston was get to the playoffs five times, win two World Series and average 93 victories. . . . The NHL pre-season? Well, as TSN’s Bob McKenzie tweeted early Thursday: “Bananarama. Homophobic slurs. Suspensions here, there and everywhere. What a two weeks of pre-season. Very discouraging. Not a lot of fun.” . . . The NHL said it didn’t have proof that Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyers directed a homophobic slur at New York Rangers pest Sean Avery the other night, thus no disciplinary action was taken. Perhaps the NHL needs to add a lip reader to its staff. . . . The great state of Texas has executed 234 prisoners while Rick Perry has been governor. "That's the difference between Texas and California,” noted NBC-TV’s Jay Leno. “In California, those criminals would have been given tryouts for the Raiders." . . .
Mike Lupica, writing about the movie Moneyball, which stars Brad Pitt, in the New York Daily News: “President Obama only wishes he could sell his tax bill as well as Pitt has sold this flick. I sometimes feel as if the guy has moved into my house.” . . . With a civic election on the way, perhaps a candidate or two for City council could at least hint about Interior Savings Centre needing a new scoreclock with improved video screens. Hey, it’s time. . . . If you’re a Saskatchewan Roughriders fan, it should concern you that your team has been outscored 90-32 in first quarters this season. . . . They also are 0-5 against West Division teams. . . . After hearing that Arnold Schwarzenegger was preparing his autobiography, Jack Todd of the Montreal Gazette wrote: “Just what the world needs, an Arnold Schwarzenegger memoir. Let us boil it down for you: ‘I was born, I took steroids, I became a fake athlete, I got famous, I made a whole bunch of hilariously bad movies, I was elected governor, I cheated, I got divorced. The end.’ ”
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