Thursday July 10, 2014






Keeping Score: Nixon to wear 'C'

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tweet from legendary golf writer Dan Jenkins, while watching the Ryder Cup on Sunday morning: "The commercials have come out strong and have taken a 4-up lead through eight holes." . . . Later, Jenkins wrote: "Discouraged TV viewers, acknowledging the inevitable, concede to the commercials, 5 & 4." . . . And then there was this from Mark Whicker of the Orange County Register, after Rory McIlory slept in and almost missed his Sunday morning tee-time: "I guess the four coaches, agents, minders, swing coaches and brain coaches didn't think Rory needed a wakeup call." . . .

Ed Willes, in the Vancouver Province, after watching the drama known as the Ryder Cup: "The only thing more entertaining than the Europeans' win was listening to Johnny Miller and the crew at NBC throwing up while it happened." . . . Mountain biker Catharine Pendrel, who lives in these parts, is working to put the disappointment of the London Olympics behind her - one of the favourites, she finished ninth. Pendrel, who turned 32 on Sept. 30, has signed a four-year deal with her pro team, Luna Chix, and that will take her through the 2016 Summer Games in Rio. . . .

Two of the biggest games of the MLB season were played Wednesday - Texas at Oakland, Boston at the Yankees - and Rogers Sportsnet showed neither in its entirety. Instead, we got soccer and the Blue Jays, and a meaningless game between Detroit and Kansas City. . . . Sportsnet is one of the reasons why baseball fans in Canada have XM Radio. . . . Wrap your head around this one: Next summer, Oracle Team USA will defend its America's Cup sailing title on San Francisco Bay. There will be one American on Team USA's 11-man crew. . . . Is there anyone Bobby Valentine didn't throw under the bus before leaving Boston? . . .

You have to wonder how long it will be before the Toronto Blue Jays are relevant again. Since they won their second straight World Series in 1993, they have been to the playoffs once. . . . You can talk all you want about the Blue Jays being young, but they were making the same base-running mistakes in September that they did in April. . . . Brock Nixon, who spent some time playing for your Kamloops Blazers not all that long ago, is the new captain of the U of Calgary Dinos hockey team. . . . Nixon succeeds Reid Jorgensen, who also played for your Blazers not that long ago before playing five seasons in Calgary. . . .

A mid-week tweet from Helene Elliott, a veteran hockey writer with the Los Angeles Times, reflecting on the reality of the lockout that stars NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA excecutive director Donald Fehr: "This is about Bettman going for the kill. And this time, with Fehr on board, he's not automatically the smartest guy in the room." . . . Bingo! . . . If you missed Sunday night's NFL game, Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman Danny Watkins, who is from Kelowna and went to university at Baylor, handled his introduction by saying: "Danny Watkins, West Kelowna Fire Station 31." He was a firefighter there before going to Baylor and later being a first-round NFL draft pick by the Eagles. . . . D Shaone Morrisonn, who played with your Kamloops Blazers, scored in OT on Friday to give HC Spartak Moscow a 3-2 victory over Severstal Cherepovets in a KHL game played before 2,362 fans. . . .

Ian Hamilton of the Regina Leader-Post notes that the legalization of self-driving cars "comes about three years too late for Tiger Woods." . . . "California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed legislation that will pave the way for future 'self-driving cars,' " notes Ron Judd of the Seattle Times. "They're already working on a unique Washington state version, the Toyota Passive-Aggressive Prius, which automatically putters at 55 mph in the left lane." . . . "Now that the league has issued its apologies to the fans and a deal has been struck and the big business of the NFL goes on," writes Mike Lupica of the New York Daily News, "you are still left with one more question: Who do the Packers talk to if they end up missing the playoffs by a game?" . . .

The house that ex-NFL star Warren Sapp owned in his pre-bankruptcy days goes up for auction on Nov. 1. The home, located in south Florida, has four bedrooms, eight baths, a four-car garage, a game room and a home theatre, among assorted other treats. . . . We can stop feeling sorry for Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, who, according to reports, wants $635,000 per week on a new contract. . . . After Homer Bailey of the Cincinnati Reds threw a no-hitter last week, Greg Cote of the Miami Herald wrote: "Ultimate mocking indignity for batters: Being no-hit by a guy named Homer." . . .

You will recall that when the Los Angeles Angels signed free-agent Albert Pujols, they were ticketed for the World Series and the St. Louis Cardinals were dead. Well, here we are all these months later, with the Angels done and the Cardinals still alive. . . . You knew, of course, that Vernon Wells pocketed $24,187,500 this season, while Pujols made an even $12 million. . . .

He is known as The Sports Curmudgeon, and if you're wondering why, well, here you go: "In case you missed the news, October is National Toilet Tank Repair Month. I have not yet decided what I am going to do as a celebration this year but I certainly hope that whatever festivities you have planned are happy and safe ones for you, your family and your friends." . . . With MLB's playoffs here, Len Berman of ThatsSports.com points out that "in 1955 the seventh game of the World Series was played on (Oct. 4)." The Brooklyn Dodgers beat the host Yankees, 2-0, in that one. . . . The 2012 playoffs opened yesterday, Oct. 5.

(Gregg Drinnan is sports editor of The Daily News. He is at gdrinnan@kamloopsnews.ca, gdrinnan.blogspot.com and
twitter.com/gdrinnan. Keeping Score appears Saturdays, except when it doesn't.)


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