Sunday, August 11, 2013

NFL really is king of the hill






Pitcher Andrew Albers of North Battleford, Sask., made his major league debut on Tuesday with the Minnesota Twins. He got within two outs of a 7-0 complete-game victory over the visiting Kansas City Royals before running out of gas. According to Elias Sports, he is the first pitcher in Twins history to throw eight-plus scoreless innings in his MLB debut. . . . In the franchise’s history, he is the first pitcher to throw at least eight scoreless innings in his debut since Mike Fornieles beat the Philadelphia Athletics on Sept. 2, 1952. Fornieles, a Cuban, did it for the Washington Senators, who later became the Twins. . . . If you thought TSN’s SportsCentre would lead with Albers, you were wrong. The lead was the Blue Jays, of course. Albers was buried 13 minutes into the show. . . .
An interesting tweet from the legendary Dan Jenkins during the first round of the PGA Championship: “Reminder: Tiger Woods has 33 of his 79 wins on five courses – Bay Hill, Firestone, Torrey, Muirfield Village and Augusta.” . . . Bad news for Tiger fans: The PGA Championship is being played at Oak Hill. . . . If you were wondering who is king, consider that the NFL exhibition game last weekend between the Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins averaged 10.1 million TV viewers. The NBA playoff average was 5.3 million. . . . In case you missed it, the NFL has done away with the AFC-NFC format for its Pro Bowl. Instead, it will use some kind of fantasy draft format. As Vancouver comedian Torben Rolfsen points out: “This confused Bud Selig, who asked: ‘How will they determine who gets to be the home team for the Super Bowl?’ ” . . .
Centre Jarret Lukin, a former captain of the Kamloops Blazers, has signed on for a fifth season with the Central league’s Allen Americans, the defending champions who are based in Texas. He holds the franchise record for games played (220). . . . “What’s the big deal about the Gretzky trade anniversary?” tweeted Montreal Gazette columnist Jack Todd in midweek. “One scumbag made a lousy deal with another scumbag. End of story.” . . . Later in the week, Todd tweeted: “Seriously. Some people out there have the Gretzky trade confused with the moon landing and V-E day. The earth didn’t move, people.” . . .
New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees found himself the centre of some Internet sniping recently after he left a $3 tip for a $74 takeout order from a restaurant. Here’s Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle: “Earth to rich athletes: You don’t have to go all Elvis and buy your waitress a new Cadillac, but blow the dust off that wallet, old sport, and throw down a tenner for the woman making eight bucks an hour and sharing tips with the cooks, OK? You can write it off. By the way, seriously, Drew Brees makes $57,794.52 per day.” . . . If you hadn’t heard, the U of Oregon Ducks have a new US$60-million facility. It includes a barber shop. . . . Aside to the driver of the white pickup who coasted through the red light at Sixth and Seymour on Monday about 11 p.m.: What were you thinking? . . .
After MLB suspended outfielder Ryan Braun for the remainder of this season, Jason Gay of The Wall Street Journal wrote: “Braun plays for the Milwaukee Brewers, who (have) one of the worst records in baseball. This is like being told you no longer have to clean the garage; instead, you can go to Hawaii.” . . . A note from Richmond blogger T.C. Chong: “$53-million worth of jewels were stolen in Cannes, France. Inspector Jacques Clouseau III and his partner Kato Jr. have been assigned to the case.” . . . Here’s Chong, again: “Protests continue worldwide against Russian anti-gay laws as people dump their Russian-made vodka down the drain. Russian president Putin has responded by banning all media from playing music by The Village Comrades.” . . .
“Johnny Manziel allegedly received at least $7,500 for signing autographs,” writes Janice Hough at leftcoastsportsbabe.com. “Looks like the NCAA’s policy on accepting payments is working about as well as MLB’s drug policy.” . . . If you think baseball’s drug-testing is working, you may want to revisit Monday’s suspensions and check on how many of those resulted from positive tests. . . .
“Winnipeg Blue Bombers quarterback Buck Pierce said he is not happy about his demotion to backup,” writes RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com. “Great. Now even his pride is injured.” . . . Here’s Currie again: “A British woman made headlines for taking her horse into a McDonald’s restaurant. Maybe she was looking for horse d’oeuvres.”

(Gregg Drinnan is sports editor of The Daily News. He is at gdrinnan@kamloopsnews.ca, gdrinnan.blogspot.ca and twitter.com/gdrinnan. Keeping Score appears Saturdays, except when it doesn’t.)

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