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Here’s why people don’t trust the media these days:
An affiliate station of the ABC network in the U.S. managed to do what very few stations have ever done. One of its anchors told the sad story of a young man by the name of Jack Allard dying in hospital after succumbing to Covid-19. He was placed in a medically-induced coma and never came out of it. Only problem was the station ran a reel of Allard walking out of the hospital to meet his family after making a full recovery. Free journalism tip: make sure you read what you write before you broadcast it. I laughed. I shouldn’t have but I did.

Anyway ..

A real slap on the wrist

To my last breath, I say the Houston Astros (Asterisks) should be stripped of the 2017 World Series title it won. They cheated to do it and don’t deserve one bit of recognition.

Alex Cora, seen waving with his family during the 2019 Major League Baseball All-Star Game red carpet ceremony, will not be managing the Boston Red Sox this season after it was determined that, yes, he was part of the gong show that was the 2017 Houston Astros.
photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Boston Red Sox also got caught cheating on their way to winning the 2018 World Series but Major League Baseball decided to let them off the hook because they didn’t spend the entire season screwing over other teams with a centre-field camera.

Rob Manfred, commissioner of Major League Baseball, announced on April 22 that the Red Sox would lose its second-round pick in this year’s amateur draft and the team’s replay system operator, J.T. Watkins, has been suspended for the duration of this season and next because he was apparently the one who used in-game video to show players pitch sequences. Watkins has always denied being involved in anything untoward.

The big one was Alex Cora, the team’s manager. He will be suspended for this season but not because of what happened with the Red Sox. All of that garbage occurred while he was with the Astros and because he was labeled as one of the ringleaders during that fiasco of dishonesty in 2017 (he was the bench coach back then), he’s being punished now.

The Red Sox will most likely escape being labeled as tarnished champs largely because Manfred ruled that the players in 2018 had no idea that there was trickery afoot. Unlike the Astros players, who all knew what was going on (and don’t tell me they didn’t because they did), the Red Sox were able to show that no one knew.

Does it make it OK? Of course not. It’s one thing to steal signs through the tried-and-true method of tip pitching or guessing the sequence but using technology isn’t just a crappy way to do it, it’s also illegal. Major League Baseball rules state as such. There’s no rule against using non-tech ways but the second you incorporate any sort of electronic signal, you’re asking for it.

So yeah … the Red Sox did get off a bit easier.

The pressure is on

So the Western Hockey League’s bantam draft happened on April 22.

There was one player from the NWT selected in the draft, that being Matthew Gillard of Yellowknife, who was picked by the Victoria Royals in the seventh round. The big surprise is that Alex Cordero of Yellowknife wasn’t drafted and I’ll have more to say about that later.

The big story, though, was that Connor Bedard became the first player in Western Hockey League history to be granted exceptional player status and was drafted first overall by the Regina Pats. That means the league feels he can step in and develop there as opposed to moving up to the next age category. In short, he would simply be wasting his time.

Now, does it mean that Bedard will begin tearing up the league? No. It just means the WHL thinks he can hack it now as opposed to waiting. He’s only the seventh player in major junior hockey history to be granted such status and joins players such as Connor McDavid, John Tavares and Aaron Ekblad in achieving such heights.

He will have all eyes on him along with a big bull’s-eye.

And finally …

Good Idea: The National Women’s Hockey League comes to Toronto.
Bad Idea: Not everyone’s on board with the idea.

The National Women’s Hockey League is the only such professional league going right now for female players and the announcement of an expansion team into Toronto was big news.

The new team was announced on April 22 and there was an immediate reaction of excitement from a lot of people, including myself. The Canadian Women’s Hockey League fell victim to financial problems so why not let the NWHL have a go? The team already has five players signed and ready to go.

So why isn’t everyone on board with this? Easy: some don’t think it’s professional enough.
The Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association issued a statement shortly after the announcement outlining its thoughts, basically saying it’s good but not good enough. The association wants to have a full-time, fully professional operation and more than 200 players have vowed to not play in North America until that happens.

Well, here’s the deal: at least it’s something and since the CWHL isn’t around anymore, the options for women who want to play professional hockey aren’t exactly in abundance right now. The NWHL doesn’t pay the players a lot – the exact amount of pay isn’t known because the league doesn’t release its figures – but they get something. If it’s $15,000, which is a rumoured amount, it’s better than $0.

I wish the association luck but at the present time, there aren’t a lot of organizations that are willing to stump up the kind of capital required to have such a league be viable right now. The NWHL is providing an opportunity to do so and if that grows into something big – and I sincerely hope it does – players will be able to wake up in the morning and go to the rink instead of trying to find the time to do so while taking on a full-time job.

Until next time, folks …

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James McCarthy

After being a nomad around North America following my semi-debauched post-secondary days, I put down my roots in Yellowknife in 2006. I’ve been keeping this sports seat warm with NNSL for the better...

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