Thursday, August 09, 2007


Throughout the whole Barry Bonds homerun saga - which is finally over, thank goodness - all that I kept on hearing was "when Alex Rodriguez breaks the Bonds' homerun record, everyone will forget about Barry Bonds". Sure this may be true, if and when someone breaks Barry Bonds' home run record, Barry Bonds, his surly arrogant attitude and his steroid controversy may just turn in to water under the bridge. This is all if someone does manage to break it.

I have two problems with the fact that everyone is pencilling Rodriguez in to break the record. Sure he is at 500 homeruns and is still in the prime of his career and has many years to play. All he has to do is consistently hit fourty jacks a year for the new few years to break the record right? But if everyone slugger who had hit 500 homeruns and the prime of their career was able to continue to play at the prime and consistently hit fourty plus long bombs, then Hank Aaron's record would not have stood for as long as it did. The fact is, A-Rod may be the player in the best position to break Bonds' records (which now sits at 757) but by no means is he guaranteed to do so.

And why is it that everything will be okay when (and again, by when I mean if) Rodriguez breaks the record? Is it because A-Rod is a charming poster boy who would never do steroids, isn't (too) short with the media and does everything the right way? Putting Jose Canseco's alleged 'stuff' on A-Rod's involvement with steroids aside, can you honestly sit there and tell me that Alex Rodriguez he who was a pretty skinny kid (just like Barry Bonds was) when he entered the league, has bulked up and become the power-hitter that he is without any help?

I think it would be pretty ignorant to think that in an era without drug testing in the MLB more players (especially big names with high expectations) didn't fall in to the trap of using performance enhancing supplements. I'm not saying that Alex Rodriguez did, but he very well could have. Let's just all take a moment to think before we start putting the proverbial halo on A-Rod's head.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Counting Down

Today marks the official launch of the one year countdown to the 2008 Olympic Summer Games in Beijing. While the countdown kicked off with singers, dancers, celebrities and partying in northern China another countdown - that coincides with the Olympic count - has been ongoing for quite a while.

There has never been a time in the history of planet earth when the issue safety of the environment has been more prevalent. Global warming is a taking strong force (which we are experiencing mildly here in Vancouver with the lack of a summer) and now it is making its way into the sporting world.

With all the celebrating going on in China as they kick of the year leading up to the Olympic Games, the Chinese and those who live in the superpower country must be using a super amount of power because the smog problem keeps on worsening. The extreme smog that covers the Beijing skies is already posing a health concern for Chinese habitants and is expected to cause a large problem for athletes competing outdoors in next year's games. Not many world records are expected to be broken due to the poor state of air and International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge says that some events may end up being rescheduled based on the severity of the smog.

You would think that an institution such at the IOC would have a mandate to, if not help the environment, at least not make it worse. The fact that Beijing's environmental situation is a mess didn't seem to make a difference when they were chosen as next year's host. I mean, what can be worse than a city that is already killing the world hosting the Olympics Games, one of the most viewed and planned, and undoubtedly pollution-creating spectacles in history? Well the answer is simple, it's better than Toronto hosting them. Here's to the athletes looking forward to 2010, basking in the cool (somewhat fresh) mountain air in beautiful British Columbia.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Nucks Heading to the Island

What has essentially been common knowledge for the entirety of the summer is on the verge of becoming official. It is expected that sometime this week, the Vancouver Canucks, in correlation with their ECHL affiliate, Victoria Salmon Kings will announce that the Canucks will hold their 2007 NHL training camp in Greater Victoria at Bear Mountain Arena in Colwood.

The excitement for this season’s training camp is even greater than in years past. To start with, highly touted goaltender prospect Cory Schneider will finally dawn the Vancouver Canucks jersey and showcase his “stuff” to the Canucks’ brass. Secondly, Canucks fans will finally be able to see what that jersey may look like. The anticipation building up to the unveiling of the Canucks’ new tight-fit jersey has been colossal. If you’re not looking forward to training camp itself, look forward to the fact that it will permanently put an end to all the rumored jersey concepts and alleged leaks floating around the internet.

The prospects camp, featuring the likes of Mason Raymond, Michael Grabner and Cory Schneider, begins Sept. 7 with the main camp beginning Sept. 13. The annual Blue-White intra-quad game will take place on Sept. 16 at the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre, a night before Vancouver’s pre-season opener against the Anaheim Ducks.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Burkie Stands Pat

Brian Burke is notorious especially here in Vancouver for his obnoxious demeanor and no-nonsense attitude in the media, but if you look underneath all of his shenanigans, you will find a very intelligent and extremely competent General Manager.

Yesterday, “Burkie” and his defending Stanley Cup champion Anaheim Ducks declined to match the Edmonton Oilers' five-year, $21.25 million offer sheet for winger Dustin Penner. Consequently, Penner is headed off to the river city, more commonly known as Deadmonton, err sorry, Edmonton while the Ducks receive the Oilers' first, second and third round picks as compensation. The deal makes Dustin Penner Edmonton’s new highest paid forward, which should to be a fairly accurate indication of where the Oilers’ currently stand.

I’ll have to acknowledge the fact that Dustin Penner is a very talented hockey player with boat loads of potential. At times last season, he showed signs that he is indeed capable of becoming a dominant power forward in the National Hockey League. But in all seriousness, he certainly does not deserve to be the highest paid forward on any team in this league (yes, even the lowly Edmonton Oilers). Penner lacks the speed to excel in the “New NHL” and found himself in coach Randy Carlyle’s doghouse one more than one occasion through the course the 2006-07 regular season and playoffs.

What Oilers’ General Manager Kevin Lowe was thinking when he mustered up this borderline farcical offer is beyond me. It almost seems as though he is looking to run his team down the drain. This deal absolutely reeks of despair from the Lowe’s front, and it’s almost amusing to watch as the glorious Edmonton Oilers of old become the new laughing stock of the NHL.

Picture this. The Edmonton Oilers have yet another disgraceful season and proceed to win the draft lottery. Low and behold, they essentially threw away their first round draft pick to the Ducks who now have the opportunity to draft phenom John Tavares (should he become eligible) or Steve Stamkos. I wonder if Kevin Lowe would still stand by this illogical offer then.

I’ll admit that when I first started this blog post, it was meant to praise Brian Burke and his decision not to match the Edmonton Oilers’ offer sheet for Dustin Penner. But when you look at the Oilers’ current state of affairs, it only seems appropriate to take a couple of shots at the expense of our Northwest divisional rivals, because be assured that if the Canucks were in the same situation (which they thankfully are not), Oilers fans would do the same.