Saturday, June 2, 2012





Joe Girardi remembers the day a train derailed behind his grandparents’ home. He had four siblings; at least one car on the train was full of Cap’n Crunch. "I don't know what happened,” the New York Yankees manager told The Associated Press. “I didn't ask questions, I was like eight years old. It was all Cap'n Crunch, the regular, no berries. We had a lot. It lasted a year in our house, and there were five of us." . . . Headline at SportsPickle.com: Slumping Michael Phelps nearly drowns during 200-meter butterfly. . . . And here’s one from TheOnion.com: Phoenix Coyotes pretend homeless drifters at Greyhound bus station are fans welcoming team home. . . .

Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times wonders: “How does a Tour de France rider celebrate National Bike to Work Day?” . . . Mike Lupica, in the New York Daily News: “This year’s offseason savior for the Knicks — because there is always another one coming along — will almost certainly be Steve Nash.” . . . I’m told that King Richard Brodeur was a surprise guest and a smash hit at the Gur Singh Fundraising Dinner for the Brain Injured last week. A painter of note in his other life, Brodeur donated a painting that was a popular item during the silent auction. . . .

A couple of former Kamloops Blazers forwards are on the move. . . . Josh Bonar, who played 58 games with the Blazers before being traded to the Vancouver Giants in 2001, has moved from Miskolci Jegesmedve JSE (Hungary) to ASC Corona Brasov (Romania). Bonar, 28, is from Port Alberni. . . . Uriah Machuga, who got into 18 games in 2008-09, has been playing with the junior B Spokane Braves. Machuga, a 20-year-old from Norco, Calif., now has committed to the Eastern Washington University Eagles, who are in the same league as the TRU WolfPack. . . . Forward Travis Blanleil, a seventh-round pick by the Blazers in the 2009 bantam draft, was involved in a BCHL trade this week as the Westside Warriors dealt him to the champion Penticton Vees for future considerations. Blanleil, who is from Kelowna, had 32 points in 57 games with the Warriors this season. . . .

Orlando Magic star Dwight Howard continues to maintain that he didn’t have anything to do with the firing of head coach Stan Van Gundy. “In related news,” scribbled Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel, “I told the dentist the other day, 'Yes, I've been flossing regularly.’ ” . . . The visiting Chicago Cubs lost 1-0 to the Pittsburgh Pirates eight days ago, despite getting 10 hits and stealing three bases. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that has happened only three times since 1900. All three times it’s been — you guessed it! — the Cubbies. . . .

According to Greg Douglas of the Vancouver Sun, the Vancouver Giants are planning to salute the 1945-46 Vancouver Canucks, who won the Pacific Coast league championship, at their home-opener on Sept. 21 against the Victoria Royals. Douglas reports that there are only two surviving members of that Canucks team, one of them being Andy Clovechok of Kamloops. . . . Barry Melrose is a former Los Angeles Kings head coach who now is ESPN’s hockey analyst. He likes the Kings in six games in the Stanley Cup final. Why? A laughing Melrose told ESPN SportsCenter: “Because my memorabilia will be worth more." . . .

Outfielder Tyson Gillies of Kamloops spent a few days this week on the shelf with a wrist contusion and a concussion after being involved in a collision with Reading Phillies teammate Jiwan James a week ago. Later, Gillies tweeted: “That on-field collision reminded me of the hockey days . . . minus the equipment part lol.” . . . “Coaches in the Lingerie Football League’s recent All-Star Game got into a scuffle,” writes Brad Rock of the Deseret News. “Sources say league officials acted quickly, noting they wouldn’t want to condone anything that might damage the league’s reputation.” . . . So it has come to this with the beautiful game. . . . In advance of this month’s European Soccer Championship, Sol Campbell, a former English soccer player who is black, has told non-white players not to bring their families to Poland and Ukraine. "Stay at home, watch it on TV,” Campbell said. “Don't even risk it . . . because you could end up coming back in a coffin.” . . .

Scott Ostler, in the San Francisco Chronicle: “Dwight Howard to the Lakers, for Andrew Bynum? No way. Kobe Bryant wants no part of Howard's diva act. Example: Howard is always the last player onto the team bus. Always. The world waits for Superman. Also, Howard can be more playful and charming than Kobe, so Howard would become a media darling in L.A. This would be a turf war uglier (and pettier) than Kobe vs. The Other Superman (Shaq).” . . . More from Ostler: “Unless you were attacked by a crocodile, nobody wants to hear about your golf game. . . . Make that two crocodiles, interrupted during mating by your errant tee shot.” . . . And we close with this from Ostler: “If you are a person who whines, ‘C'mon, refs, let the players decide the game,’ next time you are the victim of a crime, don't call the cops. Work it out with the criminal.”

(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, except when it doesn’t.)


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