So . . . if you hadn’t heard, centre Auston Matthews scored four goals in his first game with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night. . . . I wonder what it might have been like had Wayne Gretzky played during the social media era. . . . With no baseball games on Wednesday, I watched both ends of Sportsnet’s NHL season-opening doubleheader. There was some wide-open hockey in evidence in both games, and you can bet that the coaches will work hard to choke that out of the game. . . . In all seriousness, it is going to be fun watching Matthews and Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers progress over the next few seasons. . . .
Here’s comedy writer Alex Kaseberg, after the Miami Marlins canned hitting coach Barry Bonds: “It did not go well. Bonds got angry, turned green and ripped through his shirt and most of his pants.” . . . “Stephen Hawking said humankind is greedy and stupid,” writes Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Herald. “Apparently, he has a Twitter account.” . . . Dickson, again: “An amateur cyclist out for a leisurely weekend ride suddenly found himself in the lead of the Tour of Britain. Officials didn’t realize he wasn’t an actual world-class cyclist until after the race when he passed a drug test.” . . .
Death, taxes .... and Harold Reynolds trending on Twitter when calling a postseason game.— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) October 14, 2016
If you missed it, former major leaguer Harold Reynolds was back as part of the Fox TV crew that did the National League series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Washington Nationals. If only he wouldn’t feel obligated to talk between every pitch, especially because he was part of a three-man booth. . . . If you listened closely, there were times when it sounds as though Tom Verducci, the third man in the booth, wanted to throw a high, hard one in Reynolds’ direction. . . . If you think you’re alone in not liking Reynolds’ work, do a Twitter search. . . . Not to beat a dead horse, but after Washington’s Ryan Zimmerman swung at a Joe Blanton slider in Game 5 on Thursday, Reynolds offered: “That was what he was looking for and it looked like it was gonna be where he wanted it. It just didn’t end up where he thought it would be.” . . . In the top of the ninth inning, with the Dodgers leading 4-3, Reynolds told us: “This is a big half inning.” . . . Uhh, no kidding. . . .
A recent rant from Bob Molinaro of the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot: “With penalties for taunting up 220 percent compared to the first four weeks of last season, the NFL is taking steps to clarify the rules of deportment for the benefit of the obstreperous players. So this is how far we’ve sunk. There was a time when the primary rule governing on-field conduct was an obvious and unwritten one: don’t act like a jackass. Those days are long gone.” . . . Baseball’s West Coast League, a short-season league that is loaded with U.S. college players, is holding its annual meeting in Vancouver, Wash., today and Monday. Expansion to Kamloops isn’t on the agenda, but there are those in the league who would like to see a franchise here in 2018. Abbotsford and Nanaimo also are on the WCL’s radar. . . . The WCL will have one new franchise — the Port Angeles Lefties — in 2017. . . . The Victoria HarbourCats have led the WCL in attendance each of the past two seasons. . . .
The Los Angeles Dodgers set an MLB record in the 2016 regular season by making 606 pitching changes. That smashed the record (588) that had been held by the 2007 Washington Nationals. At one point in the NLDS between the Dodgers and Nationals, TBS analyst Tom Verducci mentioned that Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts had walked 21.7 miles in making those changes. . . . Sorry Cubs fans, but it would be neat if the Dodgers would win the World Series. Why? Because Vin Scully would get a ring and that would be the perfect punctuation mark for the end of his broadcasting career. . . . “On Sunday, in a game that overlapped Presidential Debate No. 2, the Toronto Blue Jays finished off a sweep of the Texas Rangers,” writes Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe. “So how unfair is this . . . Canada beats the U.S. at our own national pastime. And they have Justin Trudeau?” . . .
Randall Cobb of the Green Bay Packers took quite a lick during a game against the New York Giants last weekend. As he told NBCsports.com: “Got folded up like a lawn chair . . . Then I turned over and, like, I had 15 faces in front of me. So I thought I had died or something.” . . . Hey, Sportsnet. Those ‘This Is Hockey Night’ commercials were OK the first 100 times. They’re kind of old after about 1,000 viewings. . . . As for that Royale commercial with the little girl, well, it’s borderline creepy. . . . Especially when it shows up as often as it does. . . . ICYMI, Paddy Sharkey, an Englishman, won the world gravy wrestling championship. “I imagine,” writes R.J. Currie of SportsDeke.com, “when fighting in gravy you have to take your lumps.”
(Gregg Drinnan is a former sports editor of the Regina Leader-Post and the late Kamloops Daily News. He is at firstname.lastname@example.org and twitter.com/gdrinnan. Keeping Score appears here on weekends, except when it doesn’t.)