Saturday, December 10, 2011





The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will pay Vernon Wells US$24 million next season, with Torii Hunter getting $18.5 million. And they still can afford to sign Albert Pujols to a 10-year deal worth more than $250 million. . . . In other words, don’t ever feel sorry for ownership in the pro sports arena. . . . It was only a year ago, after the Angels lost a bidding war with the Boston Red Sox for Carl Crawford, that Anaheim owner Arte Moreno said: “It's crazy. I paid $183 million for the team in 2003, and now we're talking $142 million for one player? Seven years is a huge risk financially.” . . . On Thursday, Moreno paid $331 million for Pujols and left-hander C.J. Wilson. . . .

Here is columnist Bill Dwyre of the Los Angeles Times: “A simple question remains in the Pujols derby. Is everybody nuts? One argument says this is all merely what the market drives. Another argument would counter that the market needs to return to reality, that owners who buy into this market-driven claptrap deserve what they get: dreadful long-term return on investment.” . . . Former Sports Illustrated writer Steve Rushin tweeted: “Anaheimlich (noun): Maneuver in which agent applies pressure and owner coughs up cash.” . . .

A few more Pujols-related tweets. . . . Darren Rovell of CNBC  pointed out that “Pujols, based on $25M a year, will make $136,612 per in season day (183 days) or $68,493 per day for 10 years.” . . . Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports: “Alex Rodriguez was 32 when he signed his 10-year deal. Four seasons into it, he's a shell of himself. Albert Pujols turns 32 in January.” . . . The best one, however, may have come from St. Louis Blues defenceman Ian Cole: “So Pujols is gone . . . Does this mean that I don't get to play in the Albert Pujols celebrity golf tournament next summer?” . . .

And what of Miami Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria also throwing around gobs of money? “Turns out that multicolored ‘M’ in the new logo mustn’t stand for Miami, after all. Must stand for Money,” writes Greg Cote in the Miami Herald. . . . Headline at TheOnion.com: Court Rules Meryl Streep Unable To Be Tried By Jury As She Has No Peers. . . . “If coaching Florida was too stressful for Urban Meyer,” wonders Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe, “how is Ohio State going to be better? Did the Columbus police promise not to arrest his players?” . . .

The animals, it seems, are fighting back. According to KSL-TV of Salt Lake City, a duck hunter near Brigham City ended up with 27 shotgun pellets in his butt after his dog stepped on the gun’s trigger while decoys were being set up. . . . “Police think it’s because the man was wearing a Michael Vick jersey,” reported TV’s Craig Ferguson. . . . Meanwhile, over in Monroe, Ore., the Corvallis Gazette-Times reports the dog’s friend, Mr. Squirrel, was running up the left leg of a guy who promptly shot himself in the foot. . . . This is real life, not Monty Python skits. . . .

It’ll be Madonna doing the halftime show at the Super Bowl. What? Frank Sinatra isn’t available? . . . Be honest, you’d rather it was Nickelback. . . . There is zero chance that the Super Bowl will be as entertaining as the Grey Cup, if only because Terry Bradshaw and Hollywood Henderson won’t engage in a punch up. . . . Of course, Kent Austin will be the next head coach of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Could the search have any other outcome? . . .

How big is quarterback Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay? A group called Public Policy Polling found out that people in Wisconsin gave him an 89 per cent positive rating. He was No. 3 on the list, behind Abraham Lincoln, at 91, and Jesus, at 90. But, sheesh, Santa Claus polled only 67. . . . Who knew Green Bay was a poor man’s Philadelphia? . . . After Buffalo Bills receiver Stevie Johnson scored a TD against the New York Jets and then mimicked Plaxico Burress shooting himself in the leg, Eric Kolenich of the Richmond, Va., Times-Dispatch, wrote: "The NFL fined him $10,000, and Dancing With the Stars gave him a 4." . . .

The Elias Sports Bureau reports that Mike Murphy of the Carolina Hurricanes is the first goaltender in NHL history to be charged with a loss before giving up even one goal. . . . The other night in Calgary, Jarome Iginla scored an empty-net goal to give the Flames a two-goal lead that Carolina then trimmed to one. Murphy had come on late for a shaken up Cam Ward and stopped both shots he faced. . . . He never gave up a goal but was the goalie of record when Iginla scored what proved to be the winner. . . . Mike Lupica, in the New York Daily News: “You ever wonder who the Kardashians think are crass, cheesy self-promoters?” . . .

Ron Judd, in the Seattle Times: “NBA Commissioner/Weasel David Stern hailed the league's new collective-bargaining agreement as a win for fans, saying, ‘We want to play basketball.’ It's a huge development. What they were playing before wasn't really working.” . . . Should Kamloops Blazers fans be excited that majority owner Tom Gaglardi has said his Dallas Stars will be cutting ticket prices? . . . “We now offer a $9 ticket,” he wrote in a letter to Dallas fans. “That’s as affordable as going to the movies. Over 85 per cent of the Upper Level is now available for just $25 or less . . . Twenty-five dollars!” . . . “Contrary to reports, Spud Webb will not be coaching the Rick's Cabaret/New York Stripper Basketball Team.” That was the entire press release. As Len Berman, over at thatssports.com, put it: “So many questions, so little time.”

(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 appears Saturdays.)

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