Sunday, July 29, 2012





Larry Stone of the Seattle Times, after the Mariners dealt the iconic Ichiro to the New York Yankees on Monday: “For a decade, Ichiro was a joy to watch, a thoroughly unique bat artist who sometimes confounded us but always enthralled on the field. You could quibble with some of his idiosyncrasies (and believe me, he irritated some teammates over the years), but I firmly believe he was a winning player who had the misfortune to be stuck on a team not equipped to win.” . . . In case you were thinking last week’s 10-player swap involving the Houston Astros and Toronto Blue Jays will have some impact, consider this comment from an anonymous general manager, as tweeted by ESPN’s Peter Gammons: “It’s like Spain buying Greek bonds and Greece buying Spanish bonds.” . . .
There isn’t an organization on the face of the earth with more chutzpah than the IOC. The host city and related governments – granted, with their eyes open – pour billions into the Summer or Winter Games and, in the end, they pay for it for years and years. In the case of the London Olympics, NBC-TV will bill more than US$1 billion for advertising and it still will lose money. And the IOC pooh-bahs get in their limos and tour around in the IOC-dedicated traffic lanes, as though they don’t have a care in the world. And, hey, they don’t. . . . What a great racket it all has become, eh? . . . And shouldn’t the IOC be even the teensiest bit embarrassed by its refusal to honour the 40th anniversary of the death of Israeli athletes in a terrorist attack during the Summer Games in Munich? Of course. But you know it won’t be. It’s called imperial arrogance. . . .
A favourite tweet from Friday afternoon: “Getting ready to watch the opening ceremonies from Kamen, Germany!” That was from hammer thrower Jim Steacy of Lethbridge, who is a captain of the Canadian track and field team. . . . Phil Mushnick, in the New York Post: “Does anyone object that BP — British Petroleum — perhaps still eager to make nice since that catastrophic oil spill two years ago off the Gulf — is this year “a proud sponsor of the U.S. Olympic Team”? . . . Enough of the Olympics. There will be lots of time to revisit the Games between now and the closing ceremonies on Dec. 2. . . .
R.J. Currie, over at sportsdeke.com: “Three reasons a Brazilian prison is reducing inmates' jail time for each book they read: 3. It's a novel idea; 2. Poetic justice; 1. So a preposition could end a sentence.” . . . During last week’s SEC Media Days, Nick Saban, the head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide, had two big boys parked outside the washroom to keep the media at bay while he conducted his business. . . . The two gents did such an efficient job of blocking that they are expected to start on the Tide’s offensive line this season. . . .
After the Oakland A’s held Dog Night at a recent game, Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote: “In a straw poll, the dogs were asked to name their all-time favorite pitcher. By a landslide, it was Red Ruffing.” . . . Here’s Ostler, after the company responsible for security at the London Games fell 3,500 employees short: “Britain has gone to hell since James Bond retired. Fans entering Olympic venues will be asked to pair off and frisk one another.” . . .
Outfielder Mike Trout went to the Los Angeles Angels with the 25th pick in MLB’s 2009 draft. That means 24 other teams passed on him. . . . Well, the Washington Nationals took pitcher Steven Strasburg first overall and that was a no-brainer. . . . That means 23 other teams have to be scratching their heads right now because Trout is the real deal. . . .
Kamloops native Davis Payne is back in the NHL, this time as an assistant coach with the Stanley Cup-champion Los Angeles Kings. Payne began last season as head coach of the St. Louis Blues but was replaced by Ken Hitchcock during the season. With the Kings, Payne takes over from Jamie Kompon, whose contract wasn’t renewed. Kompon later signed on with the Chicago Blackhawks. . . . In the hockey world, the wheel goes round. . . .
Ed Willes of the Vancouver Province, tweeting from Paris prior to the finish of the Tour de France on Sunday: “The scene is electric. Interesting perspective when you come to Europe about what's important in sports. Luongo trade, for example, isn't.” . . . “It will be open air, but designed so that a retractable roof may be installed at a later date,” writes Richmond blogger T.C. Chong about Regina’s new stadium. “The parking lot is a regular surface, but potholes can also be added at a later date.'' . . . Three CFL-related questions from Cam Hutchison of the Saskatoon Express: 3. Why is B.C. Lions president Dennis Skulsky on his team's sideline during games? 2. Why does Rod Black say a football player “gained positive yards.'' 1. Is there anybody more annoying than Nik Lewis? . . . With the Hells Angels partying in his town last weekend, Hutchinson wrote: “I dare you to knock on their clubhouse door and tell the Hells Angels there should be an apostrophe in their name.” . . .
“After boxer Martin Tucker was treated for a bloody nose in a bout,” notes Seattle Times reader Bill Littlejohn, “the bloody Q-tip was retrieved and the DNA ultimately linked him to a bank robbery. The district attorney wants him to take a mandatory 20-year count.'' . . . If you’ve been following the mess at Penn State, don’t you wish Joe Paterno’s family would quit digging the hole deeper? . . . I’m thinking the Paterno family and O.J. could perhaps combine their investigations. . . . A tweet from the great Dan Jenkins, during the final round from Royal Lytham & St. Annes on Sunday: “Bulletin from ESPN: Tiger Woods . . . only player in tournament . . . fails to win British Open.”

(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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