Sunday, June 14, 2015
Victor Espinoza, who rode American Pharoah to the Triple Crown last Saturday, threw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium the next day. The Yankees then signed him to pitch in short relief. . . . Ian Hamilton of the Regina Leader-Post, on why Espinoza looked like a natural on that pitch: “He’s got a good WHIP.” . . . Reader Jim Corrigan wrote to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, asking: “Who will have more wins this year, American Pharoah or the Browns?” . . . After hearing reports that American Pharoah’s stud fee could be as high as US$175,000, former Washington Times sports columnist Dan Daly wrote: “For that kind of money, they should rename him American Gigolo.” . . .
“Sesame Street was a tough hood,” points out Vancouver comic Torben Rolfsen. “One guy lived in a garbage can.” . . . Rolfsen, again: “HGTV has signed the Arizona Coyotes to appear in an episode of next season's House Hunters.” . . . One more from Rolfsen: “In golf's world rankings, Tiger Woods has fallen below Carl Spackler.” . . . In Major League Baseball’s recent first-year player draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates took shortstops Kevin Newman of Arizona and Kevin Kramer of UCLA with their first selections. Todd Dewey of the Las Vegas Review-Journal noted: “Pirates draft Newman, Kramer, but no Costanza.” . . .
“Alabama-Birmingham reinstated its football program for play in 2016 — just six months after announcing it was scrapping it,” writes Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “If anyone has any sense of fortuitous timing, the season opener’s very first play call will be a reverse.” . . . “Two guys got into a fight over sausage in Madison, N.J.,” reports Perry, “but that wasn’t the wurst of it. Police arrested the one named Thomas Bacon.” . . . “Dumb-de-dumb-dumb,” Perry writes. “Police in Orange County, Fla. — once surveillance video was broadcast on local television — were deluged with tips identifying the guy wearing the Rockstar shirt who robbed a 7-Eleven at gunpoint. That would be Kyle Evans, a member of the Rockstar Energy Drink Professional Wakeboarding Team.” . . .
Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Herald reports that “the town of Snyder, Nebraska (population 300), is holding its 125th anniversary this weekend. About 15,000 people are expected, which could be problematic since Snyder has enough restaurant and hotel space to accommodate six.” . . . Headline at fark.com: Alex Rodriguez* passes Barry Bonds* for 2nd place on the MLB all-time RBI list. . . . Bob Molinaro, of the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot: “I suppose this item could wait, but the World Series doesn’t begin until Oct. 27, with a possible Game 7 set for Nov. 7. Baseball’s disregard for the calendar makes me wish a game or two would be snowed out.” . . .
“Hard to believe, yet true,” points out Greg Cote of The Miami Herald. “This is the first NBA Finals since 1998 that does not include Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade or Tim Duncan.” . . . Is LeBron James the greatest NBAer of all-time? Syndicated columnist Norman Chad, for one, isn’t impressed by James’s two championships. As Chad points out: “Heck, George W. Bush won two presidential elections, and Werner Klemperer — Col. Klink! — won two Emmys. How tough is two?” . . .
“According to a headline in the East Oregonian newspaper, Oakland A's switch-pitcher Pat Vinditte is amphibious,” notes Bill Littlejohn, our South Lake Tahoe, Calif., correspondent. “Sometimes you just have to grin and Berra it.” . . . “Does this mean,” Littlejohn wonders, “that when Vinditte faces Detroit, they will print 'Verlander vs. the Salamander’?” . . . “The Japanese team won the World Custard Pie Throwing championship,” Littlejohn reports. “Two members were graduates of the Soupy Sales Academy.” . . . “A Brazilian man crooned and strummed his guitar while undergoing brain surgery,” Littlejohn writes. “Seven NFL team doctors pronounced him fit to go back into the game.” . . .
“Four tourists, including a brother and sister from Canada, were arrested for stripping naked on a Malaysian mountain,” observes Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe. “Locals say they angered the tribal spirits and caused a recent deadly earthquake, Wow! How often do you hear ‘Ah, those ugly Canadians?’ ” . . . With the Chicago Blackhawks one victory away from a Stanley Cup championship, Mark Whicker of the Los Angeles News Group tweeted: “Maybe the Blackhawks will someday get a goalie but right now they have to live with the guy who has given up 10 goals in five games.” . . . That would be the oft-criticized Corey Crawford, of course. . . .
“Glendale cancels signed arena lease with Coyotes hockey franchise. Is it too late to do that with Mariners and Safeco Field?” wonders Ron Judd of the Seattle Times, via Twitter. . . . “Not a good week for U.S. women’s soccer goalie Hope Solo,” Judd writes, “hit with the details of her arrogant, boorish, embarrassing behavior after being arrested in a domestic-violence incident last year. On the plus side, the release of all the juicy details about her alleged fisticuffs moved her way up the depth chart for the Seahawks’ 2016 draft.”
(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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