Scattershooting on a Sunday evening while wondering why it’s almost dark at 8:42 . . .

Scattershooting

Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, is a reader of newspapers, columnists, surveys, reports and so much more.

Earlier this week, he provided a bit from a column by Bob Molinaro of the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot:

“Our kids need more coaches who can create enjoyable athletic environments. So says a Utah State University study that reports that the average child today spends fewer than three years playing organized sports and quits by age 11. Financial issues also chase them away. But mostly, the kids say they aren’t having fun.”

Finarelli responded, in part:

“That made me think of the old Laurel and Hardy films because that is an example of ‘another fine mess.’ Kids are not having fun playing sports to the point that they stop playing when they are only 11 years old and that must be caused by something other than the games themselves. After all, the sports we are generally talking about here (baseball, football, basketball, soccer, tennis . . .) have all existed for a long time, and all of them used to command healthy and enthusiastic participation beyond age 11.”

He then did a deeper dive and what he came up with is interesting and right here.

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The Sports Curmudgeon also had this take, and even though he lives in the U.S., I’m sure we all can relate:

“Senator Amy Klobuchar is promoting the passage of the Honest Ads Act seeking to prevent foreign actors from buying political ads on social networks.

Even better would be for the Honest Ads Act to apply to all political ads — thereby rendering all of them illegal and keeping them off my TV set and my Internet sites. My life would be a lot better with the enforcement of that law!”



“THE Ohio State University filed a trademark application for the word ‘THE’,” reports Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “Smokey THE Bear is livid.”


Here’s Tyler Conway of BleacherReport.com: “If you’ve lost count, the word ‘the’ has been used in this article 22 times. We’ll await the (whoops, 23) cease-and-desist letter.”


One more from Perry: “Mike Tyson said he consumes $40,000 worth of marijuana a month. Joe Frazier? Looks like they called the wrong one ‘Smokin’.”


Onion


You may have heard that the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox are going to play a game next season on the Field of Dreams diamond near Dyersville, Iowa. As comedy writer Alex Kaseberg noted: “They were going to play at the park in The Natural, but the lights still aren’t working.”


ICYMI, Mike Mayock, the general manager of the San Francisco 49ers, told reporters on Sunday that it’s time for prima-donna wideout Antonio Brown “to be all-in or all-out.” . . . This comes after Brown didn’t practice on Sunday, having apparently left the team after taking part in a walk-through on Saturday. . . . If you haven’t heard, Brown wants to wear a 10-year-old helmet that no longer is certified by the NFL or the NFLPA. . . . One can only assume the 49ers aren’t shocked by Brown’s behaviour, or are they really wondering why Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers keep collapsing in fits of giggles?


PiPiper


The 2019 Kamloops Kidney Walk is scheduled for Sept. 22. Dorothy Drinnan will be walking for a sixth straight year after having a kidney transplant on Sept. 23, 2013. . . . If you would like to support her, you are able to do so right here. . . . Thank you.


ICYMI, the latest ponderings from Patti Dawn Swansson, aka The River City Renegade, are right here. As usual, they are well worth the time, especially with a cuppa joe. Enjoy! . . . A couple of spoilers: She doesn’t want to see Kevin Glenn in blue and gold, and she drops back, then runs a check down on TSN’s Glen Suitor. Good stuff!


Pitcher Adrian Houser of the Milwaukee Brewers has thrown up twice this season on the mound at Miller Park. As Adam McCalvy of MLB.com noted: “Houser is a promising young hurler for the Brewers.”


If you are a fan of the New York Yankees, I really hate to be the one to break it to you, but you just don’t have the starting pitching necessary for an October run. Hey, there’s always next season!


Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe, wonders: “Does Trump want to buy Greenland because he thinks the ‘Green’ part has something to do with golf?”


Here’s Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun with a valid point: “How have NHL stars been penalized by the league’s salary cap? Before the cap, 15 years ago, Peter Forsberg was the NHL’s highest paid player at $11 million a season. Now, it’s Connor McDavid at $12.5 million. That’s less than a one per cent increase per year increase for the sport’s greatest player. Over the same period of time, the value of the Maple Leafs as a franchise has gone from $265 million to $1.4 billion. Up more than 500 per cent. In other words, ownership wins once again.”


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Scattershooting on a Sunday night while wondering how it was that Hogan’s Heroes ate so well . . .

Scattershooting

Here’s Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, on the state of the NBA today: “The NBA and its fans must come to grips with the fact that a new era has dawned. Professional basketball in the U.S. now is part of the Age of Load Management (ALM). The inexorable fact of life in the ALM is that a fan who tunes into a game — or purchases a ticket to see a game at an arena — cannot rely on seeing star players perform even when those star players are perfectly healthy. Now, if you think as I do that far too many NBA regular-season games are nothing more than an exhibition of dunks and 3-point shot attempts, the last thing you want to see is such a contest populated by the junior varsity.”



“Seattle Mariners infielder Tim Beckham drew an 80-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs,” writes Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “Considering he’s been hitting .211 since April 7, here’s hoping he kept the sales slip.”

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One more from Perry: “Two weeks after the LPGA Tour’s Dow Great Lakes Invitational included a Anannarukarn-Thanapolboonyaras twosome, Im and An shot 62s to share the first-round lead at the PGA Tour’s Wyndham Championship. That, folks, is what you call an overcorrection.”


Horses


The B.C. Lions are 1-7 after giving up a 15-point lead and losing, 35-34, to the Tiger-Cats in Hamilton on Saturday night. They also are the CFL’s biggest tire fire, lacking a pass rush and an ability to keep quarterback Mike Reilly on his feet. . . . The Lions visit the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (6-2) on Thursday, then return home to face the Tiger-Cats on Aug. 24. You are free to wonder just how many fans will show up for that one, especially if the Lions lose to Winnipeg and go home with a 1-8 record.

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The Lions were at home to the Edmonton Eskimos on July 11. The announced attendance for what was a 33-6 loss was 17,026. But theBreaker.news checked with PavCo, the landlord at B.C. Place, and the actual attendance was 12,502. . . . On July 27, the Lions dropped a 45-18 decision to the visiting Saskatchewan Roughriders before an announced crowd of 20,950.


DalaiLama


If you are wondering how this blog got to this point, moving from hockey to kidneys, Marty Hastings of Kamloops This Week explains it all right here.


If you haven’t seen the latest from Patti Dawn Swansson, it’s right here, including a rather timely fact check on Postmedia sports columnist Steve Simmons.


The Oakland A’s signed Nathan Patterson the other day after he hit 94 m.p.h. — or maybe it was 96 — on a radar gun in a booth at a minor-league game. Here’s Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle:

“I stepped into one of those booths about 15 years ago. Gave ’em my best Bruce Springsteen “Glory Days” speedball. The read-out was somewhere in the 50s. High 50s, as I recall. I slunk away, cursing the defective radar gun. Iced my throbbing arm for a week.

“Those speed-gun booths are to orthopedic surgeons what Halloween is to dentists. You warm up with a beer and a churro, then fire the rock as hard as you can? Snap, crackle, pop.”


File this one under ‘The More Things Change . . .’


Thread . . .


The 2019 Kamloops Kidney Walk is scheduled for Sept. 22. Dorothy Drinnan will be walking for a sixth straight year after having a kidney transplant on Sept. 23, 2013. . . . If you would like to support her, you are able to do so right here. . . . Thank you, in advance.


Weaving

Scattershooting on a Sunday evening while waiting for the heat to arrive . . .

Scattershooting

“A pro surfer attacked by a shark off Jacksonville Beach, Fla., nixed a hospital visit so he could go to a bar and share his story,” reports Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “And then it was time to go back, grab his board and hang nine.”


“CFL commish Randy Ambrosie has been known to puff out his ample chest and gab about transparency. So how about ordering the Argos to release the head count at BMO Field, Commish Randy. We know it’s as bad as a bear’s breath, but why is the number a secret?” . . . It is because of notes like this that Patti Dawn Swansson, aka The River City Renegade, is a regular read here. . . . Her latest file is right here.

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Here’s one more bit from Swansson, and, yes, I wholeheartedly agree with her: “Why are our teenage boys playing high-level hockey tournaments during the dog days of August? Bobby Orr and Wayne Gretzky weren’t on the ice 12 months a year. Why should these kids be?”


Water


If you were able to watch the visiting Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees in one or both ends of a doubleheader on Saturday, you got a real treat — Bob Costas handled the play-by-play in place of Michael Kay, who is recovering from surgery to repair a vocal cord. . . . A real baseball fan, Costas didn’t forget to mention the late Pete Sheehy in one of his many anecdotes. . . . His presence meant lots of anecdotes and not a lot of numbers. . . . With Costas, Paul O’Neil and David Cone in the booth, it was an enlightening double-dip. Unless you are a Red Sox fan, of course, because the Yankees swept the Beantowners, 9-2 and 6-4.


Dorothy and I live about 20 km east of Kamloops, just off the Trans-Canada Highway. Spent some time on that highway this weekend and I just want to thank all the Albertans for visiting with us and spending their money here, especially on our over-priced gasoline.

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BTW, we were driving west on the Trans-Canada Highway going up the big hill that runs through Kamloops on Sunday afternoon. A driver in front of us moved into the left lane in preparation of passing a big rig, so I moved over, too. We both were doing 100 km/h in a 100 zone. I checked the rearview mirror and the driver behind me was giving me the palms-up ‘get the hell outta my way’ gesture, never mind that there was a car in front of us. . . . Once we got past the big rig and back into the right lane, Ms. Palms-Up jammed it to the floor and zoomed past in a cloud of exhaust. . . . The real miracle of our highways is that there aren’t more accidents, especially when you consider the number of idiots who think they are the only ones on them.



NFL training camps are rolling, which means that Hard Knocks, the show produced by NFL Films and HBO, is about to hit the air. (It starts on Tuesday.) . . . This time, it’s in the camp of the Oakland Raiders. . . . Here’s Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle setting the stage: “That damn ‘Hard Knocks’ will be a distraction, says the football team that has sucked for decades, was homeless for months before sulking back to the Oakland Coliseum, and recently signed one player who arrived in a hot-air balloon, and another who will sit out two games because, according to a police report, he allegedly threatened to kill mortuary workers when they wouldn’t let him cut off his dead father’s head for research.”


Genetics


If you are headed for Kamloops, you should know that the forecast is for heat — 35 C on Monday, 36 on Tuesday, 35 on Wednesday . . . and so it goes.


After another “retirement’ by Urban Meyer, Jack Finarelli, who can be found at SportsCurmudgeon.com, noted: “If you look at leaving a job as a head coach in college football as akin to divorce, then Meyer is the Zsa Zsa Gabor of the Gridiron.”



The pooh-bahs who run PAC-12 football are crying in their milk because of what they see as a lack of attention from fans who live in the Eastern time zone. So the deep thinkers are contemplating starting games at 9 a.m. Pacific time. . . . As someone who lives in the Pacific time zone, I will say that this is one of the dumbest ideas I have ever heard. . . . The afore-mentioned Jack Finarelli, The Sports Curmudgeon, offers: “Starting games at 9 a.m. Pacific means that the entire atmosphere of PAC-12 games will change. Instead of energetic and aroused fans in the stadium who might not be able to pass a breathalyzer test because they have been tailgating/partying for six hours before the game, the fans will be hungover from Friday night and/or still asleep in the dorms/frat houses. . . . The fan-experience at college football games is built around energy and adrenaline and enthusiasm. Some of those intangibles will be in shorter supply if the games start on Saturday morning at 9 a.m.” . . . But, hey, those TV numbers!


Pete Carroll, the head coach of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks, mentioned the other day that L.J. Collier, a first-round draft pick, would be out “a bit” with an ankle injury. Brett Miller, a sports desker at the Seattle Times, tweeted: “Carroll famously undersells injuries, so I’m not even certain Collier is alive after reading this.”


MRI

 

Scattershooting on a Sunday night as we continue to recover from an epic Wimbledon men’s final . . .

Scattershooting

Here’s one from Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe: “Texas Rangers pitcher Jesse Chavez was frustrated with the strike zone on Friday night, so removed his glasses and offered them to plate umpire Rob Drake as he walked off the mound. Drake didn’t throw him out. Apparently, he didn’t see Chavez’s offer.”


Headline at The Beaverton: Children agree not to get abducted after 8 PM so Amber Alert doesn’t wake anyone up.


AirportSecurity


“A Lithuanian couple won the 28th annual World Wife Carrying Championship in Sonkajarvi, Finland, on July 8,” writes Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “Just think of it as the flip side of U.S. soccer, where the women carry the men.”


Taking Note has heard that Jesse Wallin, who has spent the past six seasons scouting for the NHL’s St. Louis Blues, is moving over to the Detroit Red Wings as their director of amateur scouting. He would replace Tyler Wright, who left Detroit last week and now fills that position with the Edmonton Oilers.


Here’s Patti Dawn Swansson, aka The River City Renegade: “Still mourning the adios of Kawhi Leonard from the Tranna Jurassics to the L.A. Clippers? No need for long faces according to team mucky-muck Masai Ujiri. ‘Don’t lose one day of sleep, one second of sleep,’ he says. I hope Steve Simmons of Postmedia Tranna got the memo. He’s been typing from the fetal position ever since news of Kawhi’s departure dropped.” . . . Swansson’s piece, in its entirety, is right here.


 

MRI


Every play-by-play caller and analyst should be forced to watch at least the last hour of ESPN’s coverage of Sunday’s men’s final at Wimbledon. In doing so, they would learn that silence is golden, that there is no need for constant nattering when the TV audience can see all that is occurring. . . . Watching Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic scrap on Sunday was pure gold, especially with the telecast crew not feeling an urge to talk all the time.

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Of course, later in the day, one could tune into ESPN’s coverage of the MLB game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and host Boston Red Sox, and you could listen as another game was drowned by the flood of words from a three-person team in the broadcast booth.


ICYMI, a recent fire at a Jim Beam warehouse resulted in the deaths of thousands of fish in the Kentucky River. As Jim Barach of JokesByJim.blogspot.com noted: “Not only did it kill them, they were all sloshed to the gills.”


Dorothy, my wife of more than 47 years, is preparing to take part in her sixth straight Kamloops Kidney Walk; she also is one of the Walk’s organizers and a co-founder of the Kamloops Kidney Support Group. Oh, and she also helps organize a Christmas luncheon for dialysis patients, transplant recipients and kidney donors. . . . If you’re new here, she had a kidney transplant on Sept. 23, 2013, and she wants to give something back. . . . If you would like to help out, you are able to make a donation and become part of her team right here.



“Addictions to electronic cigarettes are derailing the dreams of promising young athletes, leaving them struggling to breathe, keep up with their teammates and find motivation to practice,” writes Erika Edwards of NBC News. . . . Later, she adds: “The popularity of e-cigarettes among teenagers has skyrocketed in recent years. In February, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a 78 percent increase in high school students vaping from 2017 to 2018. Youth e-cigarette use has been called an epidemic by major public health officials, including the U.S. surgeon general. And it’s increasingly evident that vaping is affecting young athletes and youth athletic programs nationwide.” . . . This is scary stuff, and the entire piece is right here.


You no doubt are aware that Anthony Davis, formerly of the New Orleans Pelicans, has joined LeBron James as a member of the Los Angeles Lakers. But did you know that James was going to give his No. 23 to Davis, who had worn that number in New Orleans? That, however, isn’t going to happen. Davis and James would have had to cut a deal of some kind with Nike, but that wasn’t able to get done because of the amount of James No. 23 merchandise already produced and ready to hit shelves in 2019-20.

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BaskinRobins

Scattershooting on a Sunday while wondering if Kawhi will be able to survive financially in L.A. . . .

Scattershooting

While Pittsburgh was playing the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers on May 25, Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli was struck on the chin by a piece off a broken back. He hasn’t played since. Now he says he’s through catching thanks to what was the sixth diagnosed concussion of his MLB career. . . . “That’s enough,” Cervelli, 33, told DKPittsburghSports.com on Sunday. “This time is different. I can’t live like this.”


I keep reading about how Kawhi Leonard left a few dollars on the table when he left the Toronto Raptors for the Los Angeles Clippers. Apparently, he signed for US$142 million over four years, when he could have stayed in Toronto for US$190 million over five years. While I understand the cost of housing is high in L.A., leaving that money on the table doesn’t mean that Leonard will be homeless, does it?


KidsMeal


The Curse of Hammy? Is it only a coincidence that the Saskatchewan Roughriders are 1-3 — with the lone victory over the woeful Toronto Argonauts — since someone made the horrible decision not to bring back Ian Hamilton for a third season as their senior reporter?

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Of course, Saskatchewan football fans have been so wrapped up in the appearance of a giant gopher that they may not realize that their favourite team is struggling.

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Patti Dawn Swansson (aka The River City Renegade) got in on the gopher madness with: “Summer swathing and happy banjo plucking came to a halt on the Flattest of Lands last week, after Gainer the Gopher went missing and was feared to be lost in a corn maze or abducted by body-snatching aliens. Left behind was a hairball that looked like Chucky’s pet rodent.”

There’s a whole lot more right here.



Congrats to the Victoria HarbourCats for grabbing a West Coast League playoff spot with an 8-1 victory over the visiting Bellingham Bells on Sunday afternoon. The HarbourCats, who will be in the post-season for the third time in four seasons, finished atop the North Division, winning the first-half title at 18-10. The lost left Bellingham at 16-11. . . . There still are rumblings that the WCL is working to get a franchise into Kamloops, but has yet to find a baseball fan with deep enough pockets to get involved.


RippedPants


It was on July 4, 1939, when Lou Gehrig stood at home plate in Yankee Stadium and spoke about being the “luckiest man on the face of the earth.” Now, 80 years later, Bob Molinaro of the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot writes of that speech: “Words that still resonate . . . In another 80 years will anything a current athlete says be remembered?”


Here’s what Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun wrote about Don Cherry this weekend:

“One thing that hasn’t been confirmed for the next season of Hockey Night In Canada: the return of Don Cherry and Coach’s Corner. Rogers is cutting all over the place, which included the removal of Bob McCown on radio and television and Doug MacLean doing the same. Cherry is handsomely compensated for his work. Not sure if this is a place they want to go with the 85-year-old.”

Nothing definitive in any of that, but, oh boy, did the stuff hit the fan on social media. Gotta think the split was about 50-50, too, on whether folks want Grapes back on their TV sets.

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The debate even morphed into whether Don Cherry should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame. I’m thinking if he’s in, Paul Henderson is, too.


OrganDonation2


Dorothy, my wife of more than 47 years, is preparing to take part in her sixth straight Kamloops Kidney Walk on Sept. 22. She also is one of the Walk’s organizers and a co-founder of the Kamloops Kidney Support Group. Oh, and she also helps organize a Christmas luncheon for dialysis patients, transplant recipients and kidney donors. . . . If you’re new here, she had a kidney transplant on Sept. 23, 2013, and she wants to give something back. . . . If you would like to help out, you are able to make a donation right here.


Scattershooting on a Sunday while thinking about Canada Day and great gobs of money, and watching Audrey Hepburn smoke her way through Charade . . .

Scattershooting

Murcer

Happy Canada Day, aka the one day a year in which NHL general managers hand out bad contracts — you get one, you get one, and you over there, you get one, too — knowing that they probably won’t be around when the time comes to clean up the mess.

It’s also a day that always has me, for whatever reason, thinking of the cover on the August 1973 issue of the long-gone Sport Magazine that showed New York Yankees outfielder Bobby Murcer on an outfield of greenbacks.

Murcer was the third Yankees player to sign a contract calling for at least $100,000 a season. The other two were Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle.

Yes, $100,000. Think about that today when you were reading about the money being tossed around in the NHL.

At the same, ask yourself this: What do NHL players think when they look at the money that started being thrown around like so much confetti in the NBA when free agency arrived on Sunday? NBA teams announced more than $2.1 billion — that’s BILLION — worth of contracts in a couple of hours.

BTW, Murcer was traded to the San Francisco Giants for outfielder Bobby Bonds on Oct. 22, 1974. It was the first time in MLB history that two $100,000 players had been swapped for each other. Yes, think about that for a moment or two.


I will save you the trouble of watching TV today.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are going to trade F Connor Brown and D Nikita Zaitsev to the Ottawa Senators for D Cody Ceci. . . . The Leafs also have signed F Kenny Agostino. . . .

The Columbus Blue Jackets will re-sign F Artemi Panarin. . . . Or maybe the New York Islanders will sign Panarin, along with G Semyon Varlamov. . . .

The Florida Panthers will sign G Sergei Bobrovsky and F Brett Connolly. . . .

The Vancouver Canucks will sign D Jordie Benn and D Tyler Myers. . . .

The Calgary Flames will sign G Cam Talbot. . . .

The Dallas Stars will sign F Corey Perry and F Joe Pavelski. . . .

The Detroit Red Wings will sign G Calvin Pickard. . . .

The Nashville Predators will sign F Matt Duchene. . . .

The Edmonton Oilers will end up with G Mike Smith. . . .

The Tampa Bay Lightning will sign D Luke Schenn. . . .

The Minnesota Wild will sign F Mats Zuccarello and F Ryan Hartman. . . .

The Washington Capitals will sign F Richard Panik. . . .

The Colorado Avalanche will sign F Joonas Donskoi. . . .

Speculation on these signings, with most of them including money and term, have been reported by various ‘insiders’ in advance of the NHL’s free-agent signing period opening today. Many of those same insiders will be twiddling their thumbs on TV today.

So . . . go out and cut the grass, or take the family to the nearest DQ for a Canada Day Blizzard. You’re welcome!


While we are on the subject of money, let’s not forget that today is payday for Bobby Bonilla, who last played in the bigs in 2001 when he was with the St. Louis Cardinals. . . . The New York Mets will pay Bonilla $1,193,248.20 today, as they have on every July 1 since 2011 and will on every July 1 through 2035. . . . There’s more on that deal right here in a story by Darren Rovell that first appeared on ESPN’s website three years ago.


Dorothy, my wife of more than 47 years, is preparing to take part in her sixth straight Kamloops Kidney Walk on Sept. 22; she also is one of the Walk’s organizers. If you’re new here, she had a kidney transplant on Sept. 23, 2013. . . . If you would like to help her out, you are able to make a donation right here.


A note from Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times: “According to Le’Veon Bell’s 911 call, the last time the New York Jets running back saw those two ‘girlfriends’ who allegedly stole $500,000 of his stuff, he was leaving for the gym and they were still naked in his bed. . . . In other words: Bares 2, Jet 0.”


“LeBron James is giving up his Los Angeles Lakers jersey No. 23 for Anthony Davis, who has worn the number since high school, which is a nice gesture” notes Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe. “And whether James goes back to the No. 6 he wore with the Miami Heat or another number, I am sure the thought of new jersey sales never entered his mind.”



Headline at TheOnion.com: Norfolk Tides third baseman sent down to Baltimore Orioles.


Buried in Patti Dawn Swansson’s latest collection of gems is this one:

“The Chicago Cubs recruited good, ol’ Cookie Monster from Sesame Street to warble Take Me Out to the Ball Game during the seventh-inning stretch at Wrigley Field on Thursday. It’s believed that Cookie is the first Muppet to perform the ritual since Don Cherry.”

The complete piece — featuring lots of goals and yellow and red cards — is right here.


Hey, Sportsnet and TSN, it’s time you stopped blocking off three hours for MLB games, especially when you have a doubleheader scheduled. The day is long gone when you could count on a big league game being completed in fewer than three hours. . . . I have a particular bone to pick with Sportsnet, which scheduled a game involving the Minnesota Twins and the Tampa Bay Rays the other day. When that game had an early 57-minute rain delay, the network switched to a game featuring the Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals, and never did go back to the Twins and Rays. Hey, Sportsnet, when you schedule a game, it is taken off the menu for those of us who subscribe to MLB Extra Innings. Your decision to show Twins-Rays and then not show it meant that viewers were cheated out of watching those two teams play 18 innings.


Czech goalie appears headed to Chiefs. . . . ‘Canes’ Cozens suffers thumb injury. . . . Campbell staying in Portland


MacBeth

F Brandon McMillan (Kelowna, 2006-10) has signed a one-year contract extension with Dinamo Riga (Latvia, KHL). Last season, in 47 games, he had seven goals and 12 assists. An alternate captain he averaged 19:04 TOI. . . .

D Anatoli Yelizarov (Edmonton, 2015-17) has been traded by Salavat Yulaev Ufa to Sochi (both Russia, KHL) for monetary compensation. Last season, with Salavat Yulaev, he was pointless in 40 games. He also had one assist in 16 games with Toros Neftekamsk (Russia, Vysshaya Liga), and had one assist in two games with Tolpas Ufa (Russia, MHL). . . . MHL (Molodyozhnaya Hokkeinaya Liga) is Russia’s national junior league.


ThisThat

Allan Walsh is a prominent player agent and the co-managing director at Octagon-Hockey. One of his clients would seem to be Czech G Lukas Pařík, 18, who was selected by the Spokane Chiefs in Thursday’s CHL import draft and it would seem that he is bound for the WHL. . . . A few days earlier, Pařík had been selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the third round of the NHL draft, then spent a few days in the Kings’ development camp. . . . At this point in time, he joins three other goaltenders on the Chiefs’ depth chart — veterans Bailey Brkin and Reece Klassen, both of whom are prepping for their 20-year-old seasons, and Campbell Arnold, a second-round pick in the WHL’s 2017 bantam draft who played last season with the junior B Spokane Braves.


F Dylan Cozens of the Lethbridge Hurricanes suffered an injury to his left thumb on Saturday while in the Buffalo Sabres’ development camp. It appears that the thumb was hurt as he put his hand down in the hopes of easing a fall as he tried to absorb a hip check from D Brandon Hickey. . . . Cozens, who is to see a specialist on Monday, later told reporters: “It’s good. I saw the videos and stuff. I think it looked a lot worse than it really was. . . . but right when it happened I wanted to get right back out there, so I’m feeling good.” . . . Cozens told reporters that the thumb isn’t broken. He also kept his left hand in the pouch of his hoodie as he spoke with reporters. . . . The Sabres selected Cozens with the seventh pick of the NHL’s 2019 draft.


You may recall that the Prince George Cougars’ 2018-19 schedule included an 11-game road trip that began in early December and ran into Christmas, all but ruined their season and may well have cost head coach Richard Matvichuk his job. . . . So what kind of schedule are the Cougars looking at for 2019-20? . . . Hartley Miller of 94.3 the GOAT and the analyst on Cougars’ home broadcasts, takes a look right here.


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An interesting item from Patti Dawn Swansson, aka The River City Renegade, who is a must read whenever she posts a smorgasbord of thoughts and opinions, which usually is a couple of times a week

“Can it really be true that parents are required to pony up $12,000 for their 17- and 18-year-old kids to skate with Winnipeg Blues in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League? That, according to an article by Taylor Allen in the Drab Slab, is up from $3,000 last season. I don’t make a habit of telling folks how to spend their money, but in this case I will: Are you people nuts? That’s a lot of coin for a handful of hope. I mean, if the goal for your boy is the National Hockey League, you might be better off buying $12,000 worth of lottery tickets. I don’t blame parents for dreaming, though. The bad guys here are the mucky-mucks at 50 Below Sports + Entertainment. That $12,000 price tag is just wrong.”

The “Drab Slab” is the Winnipeg Free Press, in which Allen wrote:

“To suit up for the Blues this (season), it will cost $12,000 for players between the ages of 17 and 18, and $6,000 for 19- and 20-year-olds. Last (season), players had to pay roughly $3,000, with some of the cost offset by fundraising. The price has gone way up, as the Blues, who are owned by the same ownership group as the WHL’s Winnipeg Ice, are now a club whose main intention is to develop players in hopes of getting them ready to play in the WHL.”

Are the Blues the only junior A team in all of Canada whose goal is to groom players for the WHL rather than try to get them hockey scholarships with NCAA teams?

Swansson’s complete piece is right here.



The Portland Winterhawks have re-signed Rich Campbell, their athletic trainer/strength Portlandand conditioning coach, to a contract extension, the length of which wasn’t revealed. . . . Campbell is prepping for his 12th season with the Winterhawks. . . . “Rich Campbell is the longest serving member of our current staff, and we are pleased to announce that he will be returning for several more seasons,” Mike Johnston, the Winterhawks’ vice-president, general manager and head coach, said in a news release. “One of the key reasons we are able to develop players for the National Hockey League is because of the work Rich does off the ice.” . . . Campbell’s resume includes a stint with the 2008 U.S. Olympic men’s hockey team that played in the Beijing Games, and working as the head trainer for the NHL’s New York Islanders from 1997 to 2006.


JUST NOTES:

The Toronto Maple Leafs have hired Dave Hakstol as an assistant coach under head coach Mike Babcock. Hakstol, the former U of North Dakota head coach, was fired as head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers on Dec. 17. . . . The Leafs had an opening on their staff after Jim Hiller, a former WHL player and coach, left after four seasons to join the staff of the New York Islanders. Hiller was the head coach of the Chilliwack Bruins for three seasons (2006-09) and the Tri-City Americans for five (2009-14). . . .

Mike Vellucci, who was the head coach of the AHL-champion Charlotte Checkers for two seasons, now is the head coach of that league’s Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. . . . The announcement was made on Friday, one day after Penguins head coach Clark Donatelli resigned for personals reasons. . . . Vellucci is the AHL’s reigning coach of the year. . . . He spent five seasons (2014-19) with the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes as assistant general manager and director of hockey operations. For the past two seasons, he also was Charlotte’s head coach. Before joining Carolina, he spent 14 seasons (2001-14) as the GM/head coach of the OHL’s Plymouth Whalers. . . .

The junior B Nanaimo Buccaneers of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League have named Clayton Robinson their general manager and head coach, with Jesse Hammill coming on board as associate coach. . . . Robinson has owned the franchise since May 1, 2018. . . . Curtis Toneff, the team’s GM/head coach for two seasons, left to join the SJHL’s Humboldt Broncos as an assistant coach.

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