Friday, August 7, 2009

Keeping Score

I’m back. No, please, don’t get up. . . . Thanks for still being here. . . . In case you missed it, a couple of Saskatoon slo-pitch leagues have been told they no longer are welcome to play in a particular neighbourhood park. It seems residents complained about players drinking beer and, uhh, relieving themselves. (We assume those were men.) One can only assume that is why Kamloops’ slo-pitchers are going to end up playing halfway to Barriere. . . . E-Poll, a market research firm, recently did a survey to find out who are the 10 most disliked persons in sports. The list was published in Forbes magazine. Give it some thought — the complete list appears in a few paragraphs. Hint: No one from Kelowna made the list.
It was Victor Martinez bobblehead night one week ago in Cleveland. Whoops! That was one day after the Indians traded him to the Boston Red Sox. . . . Pitcher Jake Peavy was to have performed at the House of Blues in San Diego on Wednesday, but I don’t think he made it. Five days earlier, the Padres dealt him to the Chicago White Sox for the second time this season. Peavy refused to waive his no-trade clause the first time. So what changed in the interim. Perhaps Peavy heard from the ghost of Harry Caray, or maybe there was a call from Brian Urlacher. . . . Hate to mention it but Christmas is less than five months away. The first sign? Leonard Maltin’s 2010 movie book is on the shelves.
In mid-July, writes Bernie Mikalsz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Blues forward Keith Tkachuk had a hole-in-one on the par 3, 148-yard second hole at the Ridge Club in Sandwich, Mass. It’s the same hole that Tkachuk aced 12 years ago. And when (Tkachuk) did it 12 years ago, Bobby Orr was a part of his foursome. So when Tkachuk did it again, guess who was in the foursome? You got it: Bobby Orr. Again. Keith and his brother Kevin wore No. 4 Boston Bruins sweaters (to honor Orr) during the match.” . . . So who’ve you got in The Tussle on the Thompson — the Boaters or the Floaters? . . . Steve Simmons, in the Toronto Sun: “Let us recap for a moment. The NHL has approved the ownership of Boots Del Biagio (going to jail), Bruce McNall (been to jail), Henry Samueli (awaiting sentencing), John Rigas (currently in jail), Sanjay Kumar (in jail), among others, but unanimously rejected Jim Balsillie on issues of ‘character and integrity.’ But no, as commissioner Gary Bettman insists, none of this is personal.”
Condolences to the family of Kamloops Sports Hall of Famer Bob Winters, who left us on July 27. He was 81. The local sports world is a far poorer place without Bob’s smiling face as part of it. . . . “Here we are in the Tournament Capital,” writes a regular reader, “and we continue to call two of our major sports gatherings KIBT and KIBIHT. How original! Could we not perhaps come up with something more creative? Our Hall of Fame is filled with hockey and baseball people whose names could be attached to these tournaments.”
Mike Lupica, in the New York Daily News: “I love the notion that (Michael) Vick can ultimately use his suspension from Commissioner Goodell to reflect on his life. Like Vick hasn’t been doing that over his two years or so in the can.” . . . One more from Lupica: “Alberto Contador sort of treated Lance Armstrong like some old guy with his blinker on, didn’t he?” . . . After the Cleveland Browns said they weren’t interested in signing Vick, reader Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, Calif., emailed the Los Angeles Times to point out: “That’s good news for the Dawg Pound.” . . . After Vick was conditionally reinstated, Brad Dickson of the Omaha World-Herald noted: “Vick will participate in all team activities except for games. It’s the same deal Matt Leinart has with the Cardinals.”
The 10 most disliked persons in sports, according to an E-Poll survey: Michael Vick, Terrell Owens, Manny Ramirez, Kobe Bryant, Alex Rodriguez, Allen Iverson, Isiah Thomas, Stephon Marbury, Nick Saban and John McEnroe. . . . Sean Avery is breathing easier. . . . If Andy Roddick hit 10 serves your way, how many do you think you would be able to return? Bobby Jones, a radio guy from Austin, Texas, was given the opportunity and he didn’t even come close, even with Roddick easing up. . . . Scott Ostler in the San Francisco Chronicle: “Any time baseball salaries seem obscene, take a quick trip back in time to when owners held all the cards, and abused that power. The Oakland Athletics drafted Rickey Henderson and offered him $10,000 to sign. He demanded $100,000. The two sides compromised at $10,000.”
While the Kamloops Storm will be the host team for the 2010 Keystone Cup, the Fernie Ghostriders also prepared a bid. While there was some disappointment in Fernie, Ghostriders defenceman Zach Traverse summed things up best: “I guess were just going to have to go win it in their barn now.” . . . The Storm, by the way, still doesn’t have a head coach. Meaning it may not be too late for you to apply. . . . The Golden Baseball League may not a dead issue in these parts — a GBL official was in our town on July 21 and talked lease with parks and rec people — but, then again, I’m also told that the money just isn’t there to back this project. . . . If you missed it, a panhandler with a brain injury stole two planters from the Boston condo that belongs to New England Patriots QB Tom Brady. The difference between Brady’s planters and yours? His were worth a total of $8,000 and yours are worth how much? . . . Tennessee Titans running back LenDale White dropped 30 pounds in the offseason and credits it to having given up, uhh, tequila. As Jerry Crowe of the Los Angeles Times noted: “White, apparently, is wasting away outside Margaritaville.”

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

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