Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. This time around they discuss Joe Thornton's new contract, protesting Toronto FC fans, the Commonwealth Games, and the Dodgers denying the Jays to right to interview Tim Wallach.
Damien Cox, Toronto Star: My thumb is up this week to Joe Thornton, the captain of the San Jose Sharks. I know he didn't help the Sharks win - they lost last night to Atlanta. But here's what Thornton did do: he took a pay cut. He could have demanded a lot of money. He could have demanded a Kovalchuk contract. Instead, he kind of said "I like it here, and if I take a little less, maybe this will help the Sharks to add other pieces and continue to be a very good team." I think for Joe Thornton, it really says something about him and his sense of team. The Sharks aren't a team that has gone as far as they want in the playoffs in recent years, but when you have a leader who is willing to sacrafice a little bit, it gives you chance at being better.
Steve Simmons, Sun Media: My thumb is up to the protesting soccer fans of Toronto FC, and it's not because I care about the team or the sport or Major League Soccer, because I don't. What I'm impressed about is that the fans have sent a loud message to Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. They have forced the corporation to listen. They aren't willing to overpay for losing anymore. In one section Saturday at the last home game at BMO Field, the fans, who normally dress in red, wore green to protest what they feel is overt greed. Bottom line: this group of fans is mad as hell, and they're not about to take it anymore.
Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated: My thumb is down to the Los Angeles Dodgers for not letting the Blue Jays interview Tim Wallach, who wants to be a major league manager and now manages the Dodgers' AAA team and is a former terrific third baseman for the Montreal Expos. He'll be on the Dodgers' staff next year, but he really wants a job somewhere. He has it in his contract, that he can interview with other teams, and Toronto wasn't on that list. But once in a while, common sense should trump a contract. I think the Dodgers should have told him to go and manage if you get the opportunity. Unless the Dodgers and Blue Jays meet in the World Series -- come on, that ain't happening -- this would have been the right thing for Dodgers GM Ned Colletti to do.
Dave Hodge, TSN: My thumb is up to the Commonwealth Games in India. Obviously I wasn't there, and I don't mind admitting that I wouldn't have wanted to be there, given the horrible publicity that preceded these Games. But it looked and sounded as if the Games got more than a passing grade. It makes you wonder about all the concern that seems to accompany every worldwide sporting event these days, the Vancouver Olympics included. Maybe the real time to worry is when everything seems fine. So London and Sochi and Rio, keep after all your problems, and never tell us you are ready.