Every day, it seems, there is a moment when you shake your head and say: “Wow! Wow!! Just WOW!!!” . . . And — WOW! — it shows no sign of abating, never mind ending.
The MacBeth Report points out that the Kunlun Red Star Juniors, who play in Russia’s elite junior league, were to have been based out of Beijing but will play out of Riga, Latvia. Meanwhile, Kunlun Red Star, the KHL team that is coached by Mike Keenan, won’t play in Beijing, either; instead, they will be in Shanghai. The China Dragon, an Asian Hockey League team that had played out of Shanghai, folded after last season. . . . I don’t know what it all means, other than there appear to be some growing pains over there.
Bob Molinaro, in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot: “Tickets are still available for the Floyd Mayweather Jr.-Connor McGregor greed-a-palooza on Aug. 26. How much are they? If you have to ask, you can’t afford them, but for the record, ringside seats go for $10,000 each.”
Headline at TheKicker.com: Mayweather, McGregor seen handing out fliers on Vegas strip. . . . Also this one: USPS inducts Karl Malone into Mailman Hall of Fame.
Bob Mackin, over at thebreaker.news, posted an interesting piece on Tuesday that details various political donations made prior to B.C.’s May 9 election. . . . At one point, Mackin points out that “the (NDP) also took in $1.4 million from corporations. The biggest, $101,000, came from two companies owned by the Aquilini family.” . . . Later, Mackin adds: “Major BC Liberal corporate donors included . . . Sandman Inn ($95,000).” . . . The Aquilinis, of course, own the NHL’s Vancouver Canucks. . . . The Sandman Hotel Group is part of Northland Properties Corp. Tom Gaglardi, who owns the NHL’s Dallas Stars and is the majority owner of the Kamloops Blazers, is Northland’s president.
So, son, you really, really want to be a catcher, do you? Well, here’s Johnny Bench, maybe the best of them all, in conversation with the St. Paul Pioneer Press: “I’ve had 30 chips taken out of my shoulder . . . I had seven to 10 concussions. I got beaned three times, saw stars and went to first base. I had seven (protective) cups broken, a detached bicep and . . . I’m going to get one more surgery on my right elbow . . . The warranty ran out of my parts. What are you going to do?”
A note from Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times: “The Mariners purchased right-hander Ernesto Frieri from the Rangers — for $1. No truth the rumor Frieri now answers to the nickname of Buck.” . . . The Mariners can only hope they get as much out of Frieri as the Detroit Red Wings got from Kris Draper, a forward who cost them $1 when they bought him from the Winnipeg Jets on June 30, 1993. He went on to play 1,137 games with Detroit and help the Red Wings with three Stanley Cups.
Perry once again, in a note tagged ‘Paging Wile E. Coyote’: “Adrian Beltre of the Texas Rangers got ejected after an umpire ordered him to quit standing outside the on-deck circle — so Beltre dragged the circle to where he’d been standing instead. On the bright side, Beltre landed a product endorsement for Acme’s portable holes.”
Cam Hutchinson, in the Saskatoon Express: “Joey Votto is the best Canadian baseball player of all time. Too bad he plays in such obscurity.” . . . Hmmm! Ferguson Jenkins was pretty good; so was Larry Walker. . . . Discuss among yourselves.
Prior to the start of this MLB season, there was much talk of how the pooh-bahs were working to shorten game times. Well, here we are in mid-August and the average game is at 3 hours 5 minutes, and that’s four minutes more than last season. Before another season gets here, you can bet that MLB will move to limit the number of visits to the mound made by catchers.
“The Dallas Cowboys released receiver Rodney Whitehead after he was falsely accused of shoplifting,” notes RJ Currie of SportsDeke.com. “Probably not the first Whitehead to get squeezed out early.”
Sir Paul McCartney has said that a new album will include a song about President Trump. That got Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe, to ask: “Didn’t Sir Paul already write Fool on the Hill?”
Some of this WOW!!! stuff has been right out of the pages of MAD Magazine, hasn’t it? Well, HASN’T IT? Please, tell me it has been.
No matter. WHL teams open training camps next week, which will give all of us a break from real life. Right?
Near Elephant Hill fire, rancher contacted BCCOS to report finding this bear struggling. BCCOS successfully removed the bulk olive container pic.twitter.com/svfsH45mCP
— BC CO Service (@_BCCOS) August 16, 2017
Any doubts about whether we are headed for a record fire season in B.C. were erased Tuesday afternoon when Kevin Skrepnek, the B.C. Wildlife Service’s chief information officer, provided the latest numbers during the daily media briefing.
With there having been some smoke movement, officials were able to do some better mapping and now are saying that 1,017 wildfires since April 1 have torched 845,000 hectares (2,088,040 acres).
That puts this fire season within easy striking distance of the record 855,000ha that went up in smoke in 1958.
“We are on track for the worst fire season on record,” Skrepnek said.
Skrepnek also said that the BCWS costs to this point are estimated at $309 million. That doesn’t include costs to other organizations such as the RCMP.
According to Emergency Management BC, the fires have claimed 71 homes, 118 outbuildings, three commercial buildings, one bridge and what they are referring to as 117 ‘other’ structures.
As of Tuesday at 1 p.m., there were 154 fires burning, with eight of those listed as new.
The two largest fires total 380,000ha between them. The Hanceville-Riske Creek Fire, which is burning southwest of Williams Lake, had an active weekend thanks to high winds and now is at 212,000ha. The Elephant Hill Fire, north and northeast of Clinton, quieted down Monday night after an active weekend and is at 168,000ha.
Looking ahead to the approaching weekend, firefighters are again expecting a hot time of it because there is more wind in the forecast.
The good news on Tuesday came with the rescinding of the evacuation alert for Williams Lake and the lifting of the evacuation order for Clinton and much of the Highway 97 corridor north of Cache Creek. Here’s hoping that those folks are home to stay.
F Zane Jones (Chilliwack/Victoria, Calgary, Everett, Lethbridge, Vancouver, 2010-15) has signed a one-year contract with Sollentuna (Sweden, Division 1). Last season, he had three goals and three assists in nine games with the Innisfail Eagles (Chinook HL). Presently, Jones is with the Newcastle Northstars (Australia, AIHL). He has 10 goals and five assists in 14 games. There are three games remaining in the AIHL regular season. . . .
F Chase Schaber (Calgary, Kamloops, 2007-12) has signed a one-year extension with the Fife Flyers (Scotland, UK Elite). Last season, he had 21 goals and 16 assists in 47 games.
— Micheal Lam (@referee_11) August 15, 2017
Fraser Rodgers has joined the Prince George Cougars as their manager of broadcasting, media and team services. He takes over from Dan O’Connor, who has left the Cougars after six seasons and now is the Vancouver Giants’ director of media relations and radio voice. . . . Rodgers spent the past six seasons as the director of broadcasting and media relations with the BCHL’s Penticton Vees. He recently was named the BCHL’s broadcaster of the year for 2016-17, an award voted on by his peers. . . . Rodgers left his Penticton job early in June, with Emanuel Sequeira of the Penticton Western News reporting that “Rodgers will step away from doing work in hockey and is looking toward the commercial private sector saying he needs a fresh start.”
Chris Baird is the Spokane Chiefs’ new assistant director for hockey operations. Baird, 32, has been with the Chiefs for 10 seasons as the video co-ordinator. From Spokane, he was hired during the 2006-07 season and has been, according to a news release, “analyzing coaches’ video and advanced statistics.” More from the news release: “In his new capacity, Baird will assist in all aspects of the hockey operations department, including continuing his video work.”
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