Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. This week, they discuss the departure of Donald Sterling, the scheduling of the Rogers Cup, the value of Commonwealth Games and the mastery of Clayton Kershaw.
Bruce Arthur, Toronto Star
My thumb is up to the impending departure of Donald Sterling from the NBA, pending appeals. A California judge ruled this week that Sterling's wife Shelley could indeed sell the Los Angeles Clippers for $2 billion, which means it's almost time to say goodbye to Donald Sterling, only 33 years too late. Donald Sterling: ex-Clippers owner, denier of cancer treatment benefits, architect of a franchise that finished over .500 five times during his tenure, settler of the biggest federal housing discrimination suit in American history, and of course, racist. It will be sad that he's getting richer, yes. But the glory of the punishment is this: the Clippers are finally good. They could win a title, they really could. And if they do, Donald Sterling will finally be the one who's been evicted from the building.
Steve Simmons, Toronto Sun
My thumb is down to the Rogers Cups, yeah, both of them, the best tennis tournaments in Canada, for not having the ability or the opportunity to exist separately. For years they did, quite nicely. One week, the men played in Toronto or Montreal, the next week, the women played in the other city. It was perfect, in a tennis kind of way. Since then Canada has changed. There is a breakout star in Genie Bouchard, who set all kinds of national records, television and otherwise from Wimbledon. There is a hard serving, knocking on the door breakout star in Milos Raonic. Forgive me if I want to watch both of them separately. We deserve that, they deserve that. It's time somebody stood up to the tennis world and got this right.
Cathal Kelly, The Globe and Mail
My thumb is up to all games in their proper place. We've just come through two weeks of the Commonwealth variety, which gave us another chance to wring our hands about why no one cares. Odds are you tuned in for the delightfully kitschy opening ceremonies and then tuned right back out. A British paper reported that Usain Bolt declared the competition "a bit (crap)," though he apparently used another word. He's right. It's a second-rate event. The Pan-Am games in Toronto next summer will also be minor league, and that's okay. There can only be one Olympics. It's past time we stopped thinking of sport as something that must be force-fed to the masses for their own good. People will watch what they want. There will always be an audience for something that features the spirit of the Olympics without the stars. Because without the warm-up act, we wouldn't be able to properly appreciate the uniqueness of the really big show.
Dave Hodge, TSN
Not that he needs me or anybody else to remind the baseball world how good he is, but "thumbs up" anyway to LA Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw, the left-handed ace who didn't get traded on Thursday. All the attention paid to Jon Lester and David Price was fully warranted, but later that night, Kershaw was running his record to 13-2 and lowering his MLB-best ERA to 1.71. The Dodgers are unbeaten in his last 11 starts, 10 of them wins for Kershaw personally and this latest victory, 2-1 over the Atlanta Braves, was his second straight complete game. It also saw him come within an out of a second straight shutout. The Dodgers being the Dodgers, they looked at Lester and Price, but they have prospects they weren't willing to touch and they have Clayton Kershaw.