Sunday, May 24, 2015

NFL should spin goal posts . . . No Rush to get to Saskatoon . . . Marlins like paying managers





You may have heard that the IOC has stripped the U.S. men’s 4x100-metre team of its silver medal from the 2012 London Olympic Games because of Tyson Gay’s doping suspension. As Ian Hamilton of the Regina Leader-Post writes: “Good work, IOC: The Americans took 37.04 seconds to finish the race and you took nearly three years to catch up to them.” . . . . New York Yankees starter Chase Whitley is to become the 16th major league pitcher this season to undergo reconstructive surgery to repair an injury to the ulnar collateral ligament in his throwing arm. “The procedure has become so prevalent,” Hamilton notes, “it seems like it’s being done on every Tommy John, Dick and Harry.” . . .

If you didn’t hear, the pooh-bahs at Wimbledon have decided to ban selfie sticks. “Great,” noted Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Herald. “Now what’s the Queen supposed to do between sets?” . . . Too bad the pooh-bahs at the French Open didn’t get the memo. . . . Here’s Dickson, again: “Warren Buffett said he began playing ukulele in college to impress a girl. A ukulele to impress a girl? Were all of the oboes checked out? Now that he's acquired some $72 billion, I'm thinking she's impressed.” . . . “The Portage Terriers won the RBC Cup,” reports RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com, “ending Manitoba’s Junior A hockey championship drought dating back to 1974. Or as the Chicago Cubs call it, just yesterday.” . . .

After the NFL made a rules adjustment, Ray Ratto of CSNBayArea noted: “The only extra-point rule change that would have meant anything is spinning the goal posts during the kick so it's more like miniature golf.” . . . Here’s Ratto on head coach Mike Babcock’s decision to sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs: “He’ll be tunnelling back to Michigan by Christmas.” . . . That’s an interesting on-air crew that ESPN is using for the NBA’s Western Conference final between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets. Analyst Mark Jackson was fired as Golden State’s head coach, while Jeff Van Gundy, the other analyst, once got gunned by the Rockets. . . .

There is speculation that the NLL’s Edmonton Rush is going to end up in Saskatoon. Cam Hutchinson of the Saskatoon Express doesn’t think that’s a good idea: “Professional lacrosse will not work in Saskatoon. Period. End of story. Teams in Buffalo and Colorado attract 16,000 people to their games. Calgary averages approximately 12,000. Edmonton had 7,000 at a game last week and is kicking tires for a new home.” . . . According to Hutchinson, “Nickelback is wanted in Australia for ‘crimes against music.’ Isn’t this the country that gave us Air Supply?” . . .  Has anyone told fans of the Edmonton Oilers that they didn’t win the Stanley Cup on Tuesday when Todd McLellan was introduced as their head coach? . . . Of course, the Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup on Wednesday — didn’t they? — with the signing of Babcock as their latest head coach. . . . Forgotten in the champagne and caviar and releasing of balloons is that the Oilers missed the playoffs this season. By 36 points. The Leafs? They were 30 points out. . . .

“So do we finally have the real thing in American Pharoah?” wonders Bill Littlejohn, our South Lake Tahoe, Calif., correspondent. “Or will the Belmont Stakes turn yet another Triple Crown contender into Sam the Sham?” . . . You may have heard that Russian President Vladimir Putin scored eight times in an exhibition hockey game that featured a number of retired stars. As Littlejohn points out: “So much for Mitt Romney and his fight against Evander Holyfield” and “It was captured for posterity by the same photographer who caught Mao swimming the Yangtze.” . . . “Dwyane Wade reportedly wore three outfits at his wedding,” according to Littlejohn. “Was the wedding planner an Oregon Duck grad?” . . .

“Vladimir Putin just gave back Robert Kraft’s Super Bowl ring,” reports comedian Argus Hamilton, “saying if a team can’t play by the rules, it isn’t worth having.” . . . Headline at SportsPickle.com: Study: All the games you fall asleep watching have awesome finishes. . . . “Former Baltimore Ravens LB Ray Lewis will release a memoir,” notes Vancouver comic Torben Rolfsen. “Will the publisher be DC or Marvel?” . . .

“History will be made when the new span connecting Detroit to Windsor is named in honour of hockey great Gordie Howe,” writes Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “It’s believed to be the first Howe-inspired bridge that wasn’t installed by a dentist.” . . . Here’s Richmond, B.C., blogger TC Chong: “A new bridge connecting Detroit to Windsor will be named after Gordie Howe. Calgary already has a street named after Gordie. It’s Elbow Drive.” . . . One more from Chong: “Newly hired Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock called the Leafs ‘Canada’s Team’ in his first press conference. Babcock seems to be confused — somebody please tell him that he’s the head coach of Toronto, not Canada’s Olympic team.” . . .

The Miami Marlins fired manager Mike Redmond last Sunday. They ended up putting general manager Dan Jennings in the dugout as the manager. Because they still are paying Ozzie Guillen, who was fired after the 2012 season, the Marlins now have three managers on their payroll. We should also mention that they dumped catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia the other day. They still owe him US$14 million. . . . Now let’s not shed any tears for Miami owner Jeffrey Loria, whose fingerprints, you may recall, were all over the demise of the Montreal Expos. . . . In 20 years with the New York Yankees, Derek Jeter played for three managers. Giancarlo Stanton first played for the Miami Marlins five years ago. He now is playing for his seventh manager — Jennings. . . .

“Police said they found about 1,000 weapons at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco after the shootout last weekend,” reports Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe. “Well, gosh, I can certainly see why Texas lawmakers are pushing to loosen the state’s gun laws.” . . . Here’s Hough, again: “A Norwegian Cruise Line ship that ran aground in Bermuda has been refloated. No word on what NCL might do regarding compensation for the passengers. If it was an airline, it would probably charge for an extra stop.”

(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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