Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. This week they discuss Wayne Gretzky's son getting drafted in the MLB, the new ownership in Winnipeg, the worst fans of the Bruins and Canucks, and Ryan Dempster winning his 107th game.
Dave Naylor, TSN: My thumb is indeed up to the 18-year-old first baseman son of hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, Trevor, who was taken by the Chicago Cubs in last week's Major League Baseball draft. And I'd like to offer a second thumbs up to the Great One for encouraging his son to take his own sporting path when Trevor decided as a youngster that he was more interested in baseball than hockey. Wayne Gretzky understood the expectations for Trevor would be different in baseball, and that he'd be judged on his own merits and not on the accomplishments of his famous father. By giving his support to Trevor on the baseball diamond, he provided something far more important than anything he could have taught him on the ice.
Steve Simmons, Toronto Sun: This is a first; my thumb is down to the ownership of the Winnipeg 'whatevers' who've barely been in business a few days, and now they're tripping all over themselves on matters of hockey. Never mind the bungling of the Rick Dudley situation - you look for a GM when you don't have a good one. Winnipeg had a good one in Dudley and they should thank him every time they watch Dustin Byfuglien play defence. His idea. Maybe Kevin Chevaldayoff will be a great GM one day. I don't know that, they don't know that. And now they're showing a lack of class in dragging coach Craig Ramsay through the mud. No-one bothered to contact Ramsay until Thursday. That's no way of doing business for a group that did everything right in securing the franchise.
Bruce Arthur, National Post: My thumb is down to the worst fans of both the Boston Bruins and the Vancouver Canucks. The Stanley Cup finalists have made people who cheer for them happy, and a few of the people cheering have brought embarrassment to the rest. Visiting Canucks fans have alleged fans in Boston have targeted them with everything from racial slurs to attempted assault. In Vancouver, Canucks fans have been accused of throwing peanuts and popcorn at Milan Lucic's elderly grandparents, and showering Johnny Boychuk's parents with beer. The list goes on on both sides. Look, every crowd has its irrational nuts and hey, passion is great, but it's a shame the vast majority of these fan bases are tainted by association. It's hockey people, the players take it that seriously so that you don't have to.
Dave Hodge, TSN: My thumb is up to Ryan Dempster, the pride of Gibsons, British Columbia, for becoming the second most successful Canadian-born pitcher in terms of wins. And it was especially nice that he did it in the uniform of the Chicago Cubs, because that brought back memories of the only guy with more wins than Dempster - way more wins than Dempster - Chatham, Ontario's Ferguson Jenkins. Dempster won his 107th game by beating the Cincinnatti Reds on Wednesday. He will never catch Jenkins, whose win total was 284. My first assignment as a cub reporter - different meaning - was to write about Fergie's very first big league win. I wished him many more - wasn't sure it would be 283 more.