Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. This week, they discuss Avon Cobourne and the Ticats, the Canadian juniors at Wimbledon, Reggie Jackson, and 19-year-old All-Star Bryce Harper.
Dave Naylor, TSN: My thumb is down to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for being unable to make up their minds whether they do or don't want running back Avon Cobourne. You will recall the 'Cats cut the 33-year-old back in February. Then in June while Cobourne was getting on with life after football the 'Cats offered to make him one of the highest paid running backs in the league again if he'd just come back. But now that he's back, it seems they don't want him because he hasn't dressed for either of Hamilton's first two games. It all seems like a waste of Cobourne's time and the Tiger-Cats' money.
Steve Simmons, Sun Media: My thumb is up to Eugenie Bouchard of Montreal and Filip Peliwo of Vancouver, two Canadians who entered the history books at Wimbledon on the weekend. Both Bouchard and Peliwo won the girls' and boys' Wimbledon junior championships, the first time any Canadian has won a singles title of any kind, senior or junior, boys or girls, men or women, at Wimbledon. This wasn't just a win for Canadians, this was a sweep. What does it mean to win junior Wimbledon? It can mean a lot or a little for the future, depending how the player progresses. But it does indicate just how promising the future can be in Canadian tennis. If you go back to junior Wimbledon, 1998 for example, the junior boys champion in singles and doubles that year was this Swiss kid. His name: Roger Federer. Maybe you've heard of him.
Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated: My thumb is down to Reggie Jackson for behaving like a sports-talk caller rather than a sports icon. Jackson told Sports Illustrated that several members of the Baseball Hall of Fame are unworthy of inclusion, including Gary Carter, Kirby Puckett and Jim Rice. Of course not every Cooperstown inductee is Babe Ruth or Ted Williams - including one Reginald Martinez Jackson, no matter how elevated his level of self-regard. It is unseemly for a Hall of Fame member to denigrate others who have been voted into his club, even if that club is not quite as exclusive as he likes. Jackson's comments showed bad manners. Leave that to the open-line shows.
James Cybulski, TSN: My thumb is up…along with some horns too for Bryce Harper--who at 19, has become the youngest position player in MLB history to reach the All-Star Game. Is he cocky? Yes. Is he one of the best things to come along in baseball in quite some time? Most definitely. Since being called up to the majors at the end of April, Harper has lived up to the incredible hype machine that's surrounded him since first appearing in Farber's world famous magazine at 16. His stats may not be all world right now, but this teenager is a star. So for those of you that ask whether Harper should be playing in the mid-summer classic, I'd say...that's a clown question bro.