Wednesday, July 30, 2014
They gathered in great numbers last weekend to pay homage to three great baseball players. They were being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, the venerable institution situated in the middle of
. The town is within
striking distance of Cooperstown,
New York ,
but just a few hours from those of us close to the border. I strongly recommend
a trip to every baseball fan. There are also countless craft shops and stores,
so you can take the ladies there without getting into too much trouble. New York City
Most players who enter the Hall of Fame decide what cap to wear. The cap is used on the plaque that is attached to the wall of the members of the hall. There is an exception to that rule this year, as Greg Maddux decided to go into the hall without any affiliation. “I figured that I was in
for 11 years, and I was in
for 11 years, if you count the Minor Leagues. It was kind of 50-50. Obviously,
I did a lot better in Chicago Atlanta than I did in . I never felt
like I had to pick. When it was suggested that I go in this way, it sounded
right to me.” Chicago
Frank Thomas spent parts of two seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays; however, most of his career was in a
White Sox uniform. Some baseball purists disagree with his selection to the
Hall. He played a majority of his games as a designated hitter. That position
does not exist in the National League, and those that lean in that direction as
fans are miffed at the selection. Tough beans, Senior League proponents. It is
now part of the game. Chicago
Needless to say, this is a big moment in the life of the big guy. It goes without saying that some pitchers cringed when Thomas dig up at the plate. At six feet, six inches, and almost 300 pounds, he could be intimidating. “I’m looking forward to it. For me, it’s still a dream. I don’t think it will hit me until I get up there. It’s pretty serious at this point. I’ve put a lot of thought into it, getting my family prepared and my speech prepared. I want to have a great celebration being inducted into the Hall of Fame.”
Tom Glavine spent most of his career with the
Braves, but recorded his 300th victory with the Mets. As a player,
he was chosen by the Baseball Writers of Atlanta . Another committee, the
Expansion Era Committee, selects baseball figures outside the playing category.
This year’s group of three: Tony LaRussa, Bobby Cox, and Joe Torre. They rank
third, fourth, and fifth, respectively, in managerial victories in Major League
history. The first two are Connie Mack with 3 731 wins, and John McGraw with 2
Maddux and Glavine were elected on the first ballot. This is the second time in the history of the Hall that first-ballot pitchers were elected. The last time that this occurred was in 1936, when Walter Johnson and Christy Mathewson entered. Pretty select company.
Greg Zaun is a baseball analyst for the Blue Jays, and a good one. He got on his soap box the other day to spout off about the Hall of Fame. He has decided that Hall of Fame members, and not the media, should elect members to the Hall. He then continued his rant by adding that cheaters should be chosen. He thinks all players who dabbled in the drug pool should be eligible. And then he added Pete Rose to the pot. Not by this scribe! Never. Keep it clean, or, at least as clean as possible.
Stick to the present stuff, Mr.
Zaun. That is your comfort
July 29, 2014.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Patrick Cote Now Serving 30 Months in Prison
The story below is taken from various sources in the
area. It is obvious that Quebec Cote has lived on the
edge for many years. He was not a bad hockey player, having scored 20 goals one
season in the
League. There are plenty of players at that level who would love to score 20
There are many players who would like to say they played more than 100 games in the NHL. But I am sure that none of them would like to be in
Cote’s shoes at this
moment. Just sad.
“Patrick Cote, who played 105 games in the NHL, has been sent to prison for 30 months after he confessed to two bank robberies according to CJAD 800 AM in
. The 39-year-old former enforcer
spent time with the Dallas
Stars, Nashville Predators and Edmonton Oilers over parts of six NHL seasons. Montreal
That's when he admitted to investigators that he'd robbed a CIBC branch in
in May and a Laurentian Bank in Saint
Constant a few days later. Brossard
In 2002, he was arrested in
after police found 30 pounds of marijuana in his car. He pleaded guilty to a
reduced charge, but had twice violated his parole. He turned himself into Malone, N.Y.
authorities in 2011 for one such violation. U.S.
CJAD also reported
has armed assault on his record.
Cote was drafted 37th overall by the
Stars in 1995. He
scored just one goal in his career and also had two assists. All three points
came in 1998-99 when he appeared in 70 games with the Predators, his only full
season in the league. That year he racked up 242 of his 377 career penalty
The La Salle, Quebec, native's post-NHL career included seven seasons in what is now known as the LNAH, a circuit known primarily for its fighting.
It's always unfortunate to see a pro athlete fall from grace, but it seems like this has been a path
Cote has been on for a while. Still, copping to robbing
banks is a way long way away from the NHL.”
From the Bleacher Report.
Hockey From Over 'ome!!
Hockey From Over ‘ome!
On these hot, steamy, summer days, I Like to think about hockey. During the championships in
for the Dudley
Hewitt Cup, an avid hockey fan, Ben Houston, slipped me an article about
hockey. Following a bit of research, I am pleased to share a tidbit or two
about the great game, as it is played in the Wellington British Isles.
Those of us who know Ben can easily assume that he would not be a strong supporter of the Sheffield Steel, nor of the
Nottingham Panthers. Ben’s
team, of course, is the
Giants. The Giants won the league title last year in fine form, finishing the
season with 48 wins and six losses. Belfast
Former Wellington Duke Dan Lacosta played for the
Devils last year, posting a 2.71 goals against average. Dan had quite a
circuitous route to the Elite League. After he left the Dukes, he played in the
Hockey League. He spent several seasons in the minors, and also played four
games with Ontario
in the National Hockey League. Columbus
There are quotas in the league for the number of imports a team can use, eleven per side; however, there is plenty of home-grown talent taking the ice every game. The Devils dressed seven players who were born in
There are ten teams in the Elite League, and there are several thousand fans who attend each home game. These fans have been weaned on soccer, and they quickly adapt to hockey. They like the game as it is played North American style. When the players drop the gloves, and show a little animosity, the fans do not head to the canteens. They are accustomed to the rules of soccer, where a bit of fisticuffs leads to an immediate dismissal, and probable suspension. Off to the sin bin for five minutes, then back out for your next shift!!
Other teams in the League? From
Glasgow-Braehead Clan, Fife Flyers, Dundee Stars, Capitals. From Edinburgh England: Hull
Stingrays, Nottingham Panthers, Sheffield Steelers, and Blaze. Coventry
The article that Ben gave me focused on the
Giants. Fortunately, politics is left at the door of the Odyssey Arena. Team
owner, Todd Kelman, is a Belfast
native who played for the club and is now its manager. Kelman is quoted in the
January issue of the Globe and Mail: “We’re a really good thing for Calgary Northern Ireland and , because we’ve made a conscious
decision not to get involved in all that.” Belfast
One of the players on the Giants phrased it succinctly: “You go around town and speak with a North American accent and they know right away that you are not on either side and you have nothing to do with the conflict.”
The best players in the league can make $ 50 000 per season, not exactly chump change where I come from. The level of play is very good, at the level of the East Coast League. Next time Ben heads to his old home, I’ll get him to pick up a program for me.
July 22, 2014
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Are you Ready for some REDBLACKS Football
Are you Ready for some REDBLACKS Football?
There will be excitement in
this coming Friday night. For the first time in several years, there will be
professional football in our capitol city. The Ottawa Ottawa
REDBLACKS will take the field at 7:00pm, Eastern Standard Time, to play the Argonauts. It is
actually the team’s fifth game of the season, the third in the regular season. Toronto
There is a long and storied history of football in
The first professional team suited up in 1876. Until the collapse in 1996, the
franchise won an impressive nine Grey Cups. Many great football players passed
through the doors of Ottawa . The team will play
in the same location, but you would not recognize the area if you haven’t cast
a glance there in the last ten years. Landsdowne
The owner of the
67’s, Jeff Hunt,
has really been the mastermind of the rebirth of the REDBLACKS. He has combined
all sorts of his personal interests into one jumbo package, similar to the
Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment world. He is a local boy, and he knows the
markets, for all of his ventures. Hopefully, the Ottawa folk will avoid the horrible mistakes
suffered under the leadership of the Gliebermans and a man named Chen. Ottawa
The REDBLACKS will play a 18 game schedule, finishing against
on November 7th. That is a
rivalry that goes back many decades. The other main rival of the REDBLACKS is
Alouettes. Follow the route of the Voyageurs down the Montreal Ottawa
River, and you will end up near McGill Stadium, where the Alouettes
will test your mettle.
Many former Rough Rider players came from
and stayed there following their football careers. Such is not the case today.
There are rules limiting the number of American imports one can dress for each
game. Once the season ends, they head south to the warmer climes. They are not
Moe Racine played more games (201) for the Rough Riders than anyone else. Second on the list is Gerry Organ, followed by Bob Simpson, Ron Stewart, and Russ Jackson. For those of us who grew up on CFL football in
, that should stir some
memories. Organ scored more points than any other Rider (1462). In 1959, Dave
Thelan scored 24 points in one game, as did Ron Stewart against the Alouettes. Canada
Names appearing on the list of most touchdowns for the team include Tony Gabriel, Jackson, Stewart, Simpson, and Whit Tucker.
passed the ball for more than 24 000 yards during his career. Damon Allen
recorded 4 275 yards, but added a considerable number to the total when he was
with the Jackson .
On the other side of the ball, Rider fans will not forget Joe Poirier and Jerry “Soupy” Campbell. They led the team in career interceptions. Many other great characters also wore the Rider uniform, including Tom “The Emperor” Jones.
Ah, the “Glory Days”. The REDBLACKS have dropped their first two games, sputtering in the second half. They are tied with
for third place, also called the basement. There will be growing pains, but a
playoff spot is not out of reach. Hamilton
TSN brings it to you Friday night. The game is sold out; howver, there are plenty of tickets for upcoming games. Be there.
July 15, 2014
Tuesday, July 08, 2014
World Cup of Soccer 2014
On Sunday, the World Cup of Soccer final game will take place in
, at 3:00pm. The “ Brazil Third Place Game”,
as it is called, takes place on Saturday, at 4:00pm. At the time of writing,
four countries remain in the hunt for supremacy in the soccer world: Brazil, the Netherlands,
Argentina, and . They
have survived from a group of all of the countries in the world that tried to
play in the tournament in Germany .
did not make the cut. The Americans got there, but were knocked out before the
list was whittled down to the final four. Canada
In this neck of the woods, most supporters are in the Dutch camp. I have heard the whispers, “If you’re not Dutch, you’re not much”. Heading into the Semi-final game on Wednesday, the Dutch know they will have their hands full against the Argentineans. Historically, South American teams have owned the Cup when it is played on their continent. The same applies when they play for the marbles in
Europe. And, just in case you may not have been paying
attention over the years, no North American country has ever worn gold medals.
For your information, soccer games are 90 minutes long, two 45 minute halves. If teams are tied after the 90 minutes, they play a 30 minute overtime period. After that period, the winner is determined in shootout; however, the soccer people refer to that situation as “penalties”, not penalty kicks, mind you, just penalties.
Without boring you with a complete rant about soccer, I will touch on a few concepts that drive North Americans crazy, particularly the hockey folk.
I know some European descendents who cover their faces in shame when they see the antics of professional soccer players. It is as if snipers in the crowd have targeted certain players. With little or no contact, they hit the turf, and appear to be in mortal danger. If the referee pulls out a yellow card, some of the pain subsides immediately. If a red card comes out, almost instant recovery. Some of this behaviour has carried over into hockey, shamefully. Those who act in this way will find comeuppance, sooner or later.
The field is too large, the game is too fast, to have one referee to handle all of the work. I recommend three referees for the game. A lot of the nasty behind-the-play activity has been eliminated in hockey with the two referee system. More “diving” has been called, with that extra pair of eyes on the ice. As well, they have to come up with a better system to call offside. It is far too nebulous. They need a “blueline”, of sorts.
3. The Language
As long as they are playing the game on our turf, it shall be called soccer. Football is entirely different. People who play football wear helmets. The game will be played on a field, not on a pitch. If you can’t put the ball on the net, you will get a zero, not a “nil”. That is just the start. I said I would not rant.
There is whole pile of nonsense that goes on when a team wants to change players. Signs are raised, plenty of hugging, high fiving, all that stuff. I recommend that they change “on the fly”, that is, pull someone off and put someone else on whenever necessary, without a stoppage in play. It would add an ounce or two of excitement to the game.
I am going to consult my “Party
Phrasebook” now for further suggestions. Brazil
It is, after all, “The Beautiful Game”. In desperate need of improvement.