Saturday, June 21, 2014






Everyone who came into contact with Tony Gwynn, who died earlier this week at the age of 54, agrees that he was a Hall of Famer on and off the diamond. Tim Flannery, who played with Gwynn with the San Diego Padres, told the San Diego Union-Tribune about one night in Cincinnati. The Reds were leading 2-0 when the game was suspended by rain. The Padres had two runners on base and Gwynn due up. “Because of all the rain delays, it’s now about 11:30 at night,” Flannery recounted. “Tony and I are walking back up the tunnel at Riverfront. He said, ‘Hey, Flan, I want you to be ready tomorrow, because this guy’s gonna throw me a first-pitch slider, I’m gonna hit it into the left-center gap, it’s gonna score two and we’re gonna be tied.’ Sure enough, next day, first-pitch-slider, boom, left-center field, both runners score, tie game. Tony looks at me and smiles. I’ll guarantee you this: Before he went to bed that night, that lefty didn’t know he was gonna throw that. But Tony knew. Amazing. Just an amazing, amazing player.” . . .

The NBA-champion San Antonio Spurs’ roster boasts players from Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Italy and the Virgin Islands. As Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe, noted: “It’s like watching the World Cup, without soccer.” . . . Here’s another note from Hough: “Even FIFA is impressed with the flopping levels in the NBA finals.” . . . “What do you get when you cross the World Cup and The Waltons?” asks Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “Ghana defender John Boye.” . . . You don’t have to be a fan of soccer to enjoy the spectacle of the World Cup. Really, is there anything else like it in the sporting world? . . . The games are over in less than two hours and the play-by-play men are the best in the business. . . .

The World Cup game between Germany and Ghana on Saturday afternoon was nothing short of terrific, and a prime example of why hockey needs to go to a system that awards three points for a victory in regulation time. . . . If you missed it, the game ended 2-2 and there was nothing wrong with that. . . . There are a lot of bad ’dos on display, too, but it could be that Rodrigo Palacio of Argentina sports the strangest one. Surely, he lost a bet. . . . Check it out if you get the chance. . . . A tweet from Ray Ratto of Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area: “Soccer’s greatest failing is that shots off the post don’t clang like in hockey.” . . .

Goaltender Martin Brodeur of the New Jersey Devils has said he wants to play one more season. “To avoid culture shock leaving New Jersey,” writes Vancouver comedian Torben Rolfsen, “I suggest Metallurg Magnitogorsk.” . . . All those baseball fans who were surprised to hear that Boston Red Sox DH David Ortiz complained about the official scorer at Fenway Park not being a homer, raise your right hand. . . . Yeah, that’s what I thought. . . . “Ex-tennis star Monica Seles, 40, is engaged to marry former gubernatorial candidate Tom Golisano, 72,” notes the afore-mentioned Perry. “Something old? Check. . . .”

Headline at Fark.com: N.Y. Knicks decide that Derek Fisher will be their next ex-coach. . . . Another headline from the gang at Fark.com: World Cup referees run 6 miles during a match — 2 additional miles after making a game-ending call against the home team. . . . Here’s one from TheOnion.com: World’s greatest soccer stars arrive in Brazil for month-long Coca-Cola ad. . . .

Google has said it will produce a self-driving car that has neither steering wheel nor brake pedal. “Instead of a windshield,” claims Richmond, B.C., blogger TC Chong, “there is a touch screen so you can text, Google or watch a movie while you are in motion. In other words, exactly what people are already doing.” . . . Perhaps the day will come when I will understand why the price of a litre of gasoline is cheaper in Victoria ($1.38.9) than Kamloops ($1.41.9). Then again, maybe not. . . . Alex Trebek apparently set a record recently when he played host to his 6,829th episode of Jeopardy. “Hey, Alex,” writes Chong, “I’ll take ’Records No One Cares About’ for $500.” . . .

“Orange News reports an estimated 8,000 Portland men and women took part in the 11th annual World Naked Bike Ride,” writes RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com. “This puts a whole new spin on cycling buff.” . . . I actually witnessed the World Naked Bike Ride in Victoria last Saturday while on a bus tour of the city with some friends. It was the only time in 90 minutes that the driver was speechless. . . . According to the New York Post, the on-field performances of Detroit Tigers starter Justin Verlander and Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin suffered when they were hanging out with Kate Upton. “Good news, Kate,” writes Currie, “I have nothing to lose.”

(Gregg Drinnan is a former sports editor of the Regina Leader-Post and the late Kamloops Daily News. He is at gdrinnan.blogspot.ca and twitter.com/gdrinnan. Keeping Score appears here on weekends, except when it doesn’t.)


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