Sunday, April 27, 2008

Keeping Score

From The Daily News of April 26, 2008 . . .

Let me guess. You’re still not convinced that Brian Burke, the Anaheim Ducks’ GM, won’t end up with the Toronto Maple Laffs. Well, this is the same guy who in January had this to say about Toronto: “If you’re Catholic, this is the Vatican. They’re not going to have to beg anyone to take this job. This is one of the plum jobs in all of pro sports.” . . . The Vancouver Canucks sign Mike Gillis as their general manager? They have gone from Burke to Dave Nonis to this? Maybe you should have let them know you were available. . . . Surely it is only a coincidence that Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini and Kamloops Blazers majority owner Tom Gaglardi, two Lower Mainland monied men who used to be friends, both ended up signing general managers with no experience to five-year contracts. . . . Minutes from the Kamloops Minor Hockey Association’s April 7 executive meeting indicate that a coaches’ appreciation night will be held at the Thirsty Dog. According to the minutes, the KMHA will pay for dinner but not for drinks because of a “liability issue.” . . . You are free to wonder why the KMHA is concerned about liability when its coaches drink but stands idly by after one of its teams holds a booze-filled party in the home of the association president.
“He really doesn’t shut up, ever,” Steve Valiquette, the New York Rangers’ 6-foot-8 backup goaltender, said of teammate Sean Avery and his run-ins with New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur. “He practises on me, I think, so he’s warmed up for Brodeur. It is really annoying. I can see how it affects Marty. I probably would have reacted a little differently. Sean would have been picking his teeth up off the ice if it was me.” . . . If you’re like me you’re wondering what other skeletons Houston Astros shortstop Miguel Tejada has in his closet and when he’ll fess up to why his name appears so often in the Mitchell Report. . . . Ahh, maybe because he was so burdened by the age secret — he is two years older than he had said he was — that he was spending his time helping Dolly Parton look for the key to everlasting youth. . . . Mark Kriegel, at “Ever try to sit down and actually watch one of these Yankees-Red Sox games beginning to end? By the time it’s over, you have to shave again. These things go on so long it feels like Jerry Lewis should come out for the seventh-inning stretch and start asking for money.”
The No Humour League is putting the damper on one of the league’s playoff traditions by threatening to fine the Detroit Red Wings over the ritual of tossing an octopus on the ice. NHL vice-president Colin Campbell has informed the Red Wings that should Zamboni driver Al Sobatka twirl an octopus over his head it will cost them 10 grand. . . . The Wings now are to get a shovel to a linesman who is to scrape up the eight-legged babies. . . . Except for when they play Nashville and Predators winger Jordin Tootoo picks it up in a bare hand and takes it to his bench. . . . Jerry Crowe of the Los Angeles Times points out: “The first round of the NBA playoffs could stretch out over 16 days. The entire NCAA tournament, not counting the play-in game, took 19.” . . . Mike Lupica, in the New York Daily News: “Now that we know how much Hillary Clinton loved hunting and holding a gun when she was a little girl, maybe she and Cheney can go shooting ducks together sometime. Tell each other how they were the ones who really ran the country when they were in the White House.” . . . Psst! Should we tell the kids that before Harold and Kumar we had Cheech and Chong?
Now that the Miami Dolphins have signed Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long, the only mystery surrounding the first pick in the NFL draft is this: How much time will Miami take to announce its pick when the draft begins on Saturday? . . . Walter Cutler was arrested by Boston police during Game 3 of the NHL playoff series between the Montreal Canadiens and the Bruins at the TD Banknorth Garden. It seems that while standing in the upper deck he urinated on fans seated below. As Ian Hamilton of the Regina Leader-Post put it: “History will remember it as the Boston Pee Party.” . . . One more from Hamilton: “Before they participated in the London Marathon, six Masai warriors from Tanzania were given a four-page guide that explained some of the cultural dos and don’ts. Among the don’ts were suggestions that they shouldn’t urinate in public or attempt to herd sheep and cows on the course. Well, duh — everyone knows those acts are restricted to the marathon in Saskatoon.”
Jerry Greene, in the Orlando Sentinel: “Back in Nebraska, a record 80,149 turned out for the football spring game. Apparently, the corn was already husked and the entire state had nothing else to do.” . . . One more from Greene: “Indianapolis Colts running back Kenton Keith got himself arrested for refusing to leave a nightclub parking lot and yelling at the police: ‘I’m a Colts player! I’m a Colts player!’ Wonder if he could hear the echo coming back: ‘Not for long! Not for long!’ ” . . . T.J. Simers in the Los Angeles Times, prior to Game 2 between the host Lakers and the Denver Nuggets: “OK, so here we go, five minutes to tipoff and TNT’s Craig Sager is folding the little orange hanky that will go into the pocket of his orange suit coat. If Sager ever gets arrested and has to join the folks along the highway picking up trash, he’s already got the outfit.” . . . In the first quarter, Simer notes: “How odd, there’s an orange pylon at the end of the court like it’s an end zone — oh wait, that’s Sager.”
Dwight Perry, in the Seattle Times: “Kenneth Hahey, the man inside the mascot outfit at (Pittsburgh) Steelers home games, allegedly registered a .166 on a breath test after running a red light, so the team fired him. Hey, it was either that or rename the mascot Steely McJimBeam.” . . . “The Blue Jays released designated hitter Frank Thomas on Sunday, just one day after he was benched and complained about his lack of playing time,” writes Perry. “In a related story, Thomas asked to be henceforth known as The Deeply Hurt.” . . . With the Seattle SuperSonics loading the moving vans for Oklahoma City, Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, says he wants back the team that he sold. He has filed a lawsuit claiming he was misled into believing the team would stay put after the sale. But as Marc Tandan of the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot noted: “For a coffee czar, his grounds are pretty weak.”

Gregg Drinnan is sports editor of The Kamloops Daily News. He is at Keeping Score appears Saturdays.

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