News and views on the world of sports…
NEWS: Alex Anthopoulos, the man who generally manages the Toronto Blue Jays, goes on a trading binge and delivers Troy Tulowitzki, David Price, Ben Revere and Mark Lowe to skipper John Gibbons scant hours before the Major League Baseball trade deadline.
The GM’s tinkering has positioned the Jays to make a serious run at a wild-card playoff position, if not the American League East Division pennant.
VIEW: Is it too late for Brendan Shanahan to redo the Lou Lamoriello thing and hire Anthopoulos as GM of the Maple Leafs instead?
NEWS: Jose Canseco is going bowling with the boys. He’ll be playing poker with the boys. And he’ll be wearing a frock, lipstick and a wig while doing it. Oh yes he will.
Canseco, you see, has joined the Cult of Cait. Not only is he sipping the Cait Kool-Aid, but the former Major League Baseball juicer vows to go all Ru Paul on us by adorning himself in female garments in a declaration of support for Hollywood glam trans gal, Caitlyn Jenner.
And, don’t you know, the one-time Bash Brother is so thoughtful that he plans to share the charade with the rest of us.
“I can’t say exactly how it’s going to be done yet,” he told the New York Daily News. “It will be done for about a week—and it will be on my Internet show called Spend a Day with Jose.”
NEWS: Toughest dudette on the planet, Ronda Rousey, wasted little time in ridding herself of a potty-mouth pest named Bethe Correia in their UFC women’s bantamweight championship bout. It was over, save for the post-fight trash talking, in 34 seconds.
VIEW: Hmmm, 34 seconds. About the same amount of time Jose Canseco will last walking in a pair of stilettos.
NEWS: The St. Louis Cardinals have hired a lady coach, Jen Welter.
Not surprisingly, her appointment as an intern coach of inside linebackers (she’ll work at training camp and pre-season matches) has been greeted with much skepticism because, well, the NFL is a man’s world where women are sometimes used as tackling dummies or punching bags (see: Rice, Ray; Hardy, Greg; McDonald, Ray; etc.). So, her hiring is seen by some as a public relations gimmick.
VIEW: If Jen Welter is a gimmick, give us more of her. I mean, her answer to a question about Tom Brady and Deflategate during her first day on the job was classic:
“I really am tired of hearing about Tom Brady’s balls,” she said. “I’d rather move on. It is kind of serendipitous, though, or funny or God’s irony that the same day we announce a woman coach in the NFL, we can’t get off Tom Brady’s balls.”
NEWS: National Football League outfits have commenced training exercises and soon shall be engaged in dress rehearsals, but we still don’t know if Tom Brady is persona non grata.
The New England Patriots quarterback is, of course, under suspension for allegedly letting the air seep out of game balls last season, yet he is in full frolic with his mates at training camp. That, however, is no guarantee he’ll be behind centre when the real fun begins next month. Brady must first do the chin-wag thing with a federal judge in mid-August, as will NFL lord and master Roger Goodell, and only after those Deflategate discussions will we know his status.
VIEW: What Jen Welter said.
NEWS: So, we soon shall discover if Michael Sam is a football player who happens to be gay or a gay man who happens to play football.
To date, it has been all about Sam’s sexual orientation, because the wannabe rush end has yet to grab grass and growl with the Montreal Alouettes. That is about to change, though. Tom Higgins, head coach of the Canadian Football League outfit, assures us that Sam will play a game sometime this month. Honest. He’s good to go.
VIEW: Unless, of course, Sam has a more-pressing engagement, like Dancing with the Stars or sitting on Oprah’s couch. Or perhaps he’ll just want to go home for two weeks again.
NEWS: There were reported, and confirmed, sightings of the “Tiger Woods of old” at the Quicken Loans National golf tournament in Gainesville, Va., where he carded three rounds in the 60s, including a 68 and a 66 on the first two days.
VIEW: Trouble is, the rest of the field doesn’t see the “Tiger Woods of old.” They see an old Tiger Woods.
Patti Dawn Swansson has been writing about Winnipeg sports for more than 40 years, longer than any living being. Do not, however, assume that to mean she harbors a wealth of sports knowledge or that she’s a jock journalist of award-winning loft. It simply means she is old and comfortable at a keyboard (although arthritic fingers sometimes make typing a bit of a chore) and she apparently doesn’t know when to quit. Or she can’t quit.
She is most proud of her Q Award, presented to her in 2012 for her scribblings about the LGBT community in Victoria, B.C., and her induction into the Manitoba Sportswriters & Sportscasters Association Media Roll of Honour.