Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. This week, they discuss the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, NBA commissioner David Stern, star baseball rookies, and R.A. Dickey's one-hitter for the Mets.
Dave Naylor, TSN: My thumb is down to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, whose fans have to hope their team executes better on the field this season than it has off it recently. No, it was not a great week for the Bombers on the PR front when they first banned, and then recanted a ban, on fans bringing cowbells to home games. Those would be cowbells that were sold to fans at the Bombers own store. Then days later came word that the team's new stadium, which was supposed to be ready for the start of this season, then going to be ready for September, will now be ready for the start of ... next season. Fans may not have been looking forward to enjoying another farewell season for Canad Inns Stadium. But at least they won't have to do so in silence.
Steve Simmons, Sun Media: My thumb is down to NBA commissioner David Stern, for bringing unnecessary attention to himself on the eve of his league championship series. In an interview with the well-known baiter Jim Rome, Stern was asked if the NBA Draft Lottery was fixed. He was asked that question because, frankly, the issue has come up more than once of late. And rather than address it properly, Stern returned with a question back at Rome about spousal abuse which made Rome and anyone watching rather uncomfortable. In fact, it garnered so many headlines and so much media discussion that it took the talk away from Kevin Durant and LeBron James and the stars of the Finals. Had anyone else in the NBA acted so inappropriately, Stern would have fined them harshly for their outburst. Maybe it's time the commissioner fined himself.
Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated: My two thumbs are up to a pair of rookies who are making baseball look way too easy. Bryce Harper breezed through Toronto this week, slugging a home run better measured in furlongs than feet. The 19-year-old Nationals outfielder entered the weekend batting .302 with a staggering .922 OPS. In a bit of symmetry, rookie outfielder Mike Trout of the Angels also had a .922 OPS while hitting .333 and stealing 16 bases. Occasionally two rookies arrive together and seem to change everything: basketball's Bird and Magic in '79, hockey's Crosby and Ovechkin in '05. Will Harper and Trout match those dynamic duos? That's a clown question, bro, but it will be fun finding the answer.
Dave Hodge, TSN: My thumb is down to the New York Mets for their silly attempt to add their sensational knuckleball pitcher R.A. Dickey to this year's already-long list of no-hit pitchers.
Dickey's major-league-leading 10th win was a one-hitter against the Tampa Bay Rays, but after the fact, the Mets tried to get the only hit allowed by Dickey - an infield single by B.J. Upton - changed to an error on their third baseman David Wright. They knew they had no realistic chance - they knew Wright wouldn't have been thrilled, and if they thought Dickey would love to be credited with a no-hitter - well, surely they knew he wouldn't want to get it over the phone a couple of days later.