Saturday, March 10, 2012





The next time you’re in Las Vegas, you may want to take in the new mob museum. “It’s similar to the Baseball Hall of Fame,” writes Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Herald, “only with fewer rule-breakers.” . . . When I saw the headline on the Thursday morning press release — Spike Ready for Next Chapter of Life — I thought Spike Wallace, who had been with the Kamloops Blazers since 1984, most recently as community and sponsorship co-ordinator, was writing a book. Who would have guessed that Wallace would be presented with a WHL Distinguished Service Award one night and be gone the next morning by “mutual agreement,” as the news release stated? It was only a few days earlier when I had asked Wallace, 54, if he could see the end of his time with the Blazers. His response: “No idea . . . I’m enjoying it right now.” . . .
Steve Simmons, in the Toronto Sun: “When you wonder how highly-paid athletes become bankrupt, consider this. Adrian Beltre of the Dodgers was on the front page of the Los Angeles Times on Saturday. The reason: His house has 16 bathrooms.” . . . One more from Simmons: “It makes sense for junior hockey, with twice the amount of fighting that the NHL faces, to try and eliminate fighting. Those are mostly teenagers playing, 90 per cent of whom will never play an NHL game.” . . .
Did you know: Barry Trotz has been head coach of the Nashville Predators since Aug 6, 1997. Ron Wilson and Ken Hitchcock have been fired three times each since then. . . . Hitchcock never has won the Jack Adams Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s coach of the year. He now is the head coach of the St. Louis Blues and this will be his time. . . . Trotz once coached the MJHL’s Dauphin Kings. That team’s coach now is Marlin Murray. If you want to see an amazing coaching performance, track down the video of his performance on Thursday night. By the time he got finished chucking stuff onto the ice it looked like there had been a brawl. . . . Word is that Murray had to ice his throwing arm the next day. . . .
Oh, to be a high school student in Kentucky! Starting in the fall, bass fishing is going to be a varsity sport in that state. . . . What’s next? Hockey academies in Canada? Oh. . . . After Juan Pablo Montoya hit that track-drying gizmo during the Daytona 500, he was asked by The Associated Press what was going through his mind. His response: “You don’t think, ‘Oh, my God, I’m going to kill myself.’ You go, ‘Oh, this is going to hurt a little bit.’ ” . . .
Mike Lupica, in the New York Daily News: “(Tampa Bay) Rays’ manager Joe Maddon’s hair is so dark now I thought he might be making a move into sportscasting.” . . . Congrats to Bob Ridley, the longtime radio voice of the WHL’s Medicine Hat Tigers. He will call his 3,000th regular-season game tonight as the Tigers meet the Hurricanes in Lethbridge. Don’t forget that Ridley, one of hockey’s really good guys, also drives the bus. . . . If you weren’t aware, Ridley has missed only one game since the birth of the franchise for the 1970-71 season. . . .
Cam Hutchinson of the Saskatoon Express has a curling-related question and the answer: “Q. How can you tell a defensive skip from an offensive skip in a curling club restaurant? A. The defensive skip orders takeout; the offensive skip asks for something frozen.” . . . What a shock! Faced with a scheduling conflict, TSN bumped the Brier to TSN-2 on Wednesday night. The main network showed, yes, the Toronto Maple Leafs, who are back to being the Maple Laffs again. . . .
Infielder Pete Orr of Richmond Hill, Ont., is in spring training with the Philadelphia Phillies, who were kind enough to assign him No. 4. . . . Don’t shed any tears for quarterback Peyton Manning, who was released Wednesday by the Indianapolis Colts. The NFL team paid him more than US$170 million during his time there. . . . Comedy writer Eric Stangel went to Twitter to explain how he saluted Manning on Wednesday: “At Starbucks this morning, I walked to the line and changed my drink order six times.” . . .
Duncan Olthuis, the head coach of the junior Kamloops Broncos, informs that his club’s spring camp is set to go April 20-22 at Hillside Stadium. The Broncos had 87 players attend last year’s camp; the head guy is hoping for 90 to 100 this time around. . . . A note from Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, Calif.: “Miss USA, Alyssa Campanella, is reportedly a Canucks fan — before the evening gown competition, she torched a rival’s tiara.” . . .
Ron Judd, in the Seattle Times: “Sport officials have backed off a rumored plan to require female boxers to wear skirts when they fight at the London Olympics, saying shorts will be acceptable. It’s a major blow to fans who thought female athletes should be able to maintain an air of dignified femininity as they bash the snot out of each other.” . . . One more from Judd: “Washington state’s population last year was 6.72 million. And that’s not even counting the 1.2 million rude Canadians hogging your parking spots at Costco.” . . . Judd, again: “An intercepted note to Tiger Woods, from the U.S. Navy Seals: Read that you once considered dropping golf to join us. Flattered. But stick to your little country club game, Romeo.”

(Gregg Drinnan is sports editor of The Daily News. He is at gdrinnan@kamloopsnews.ca, gdrinnan.blogspot.com and twitter.com/gdrinnan. Keeping Score appears Saturdays.)

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