With the Toronto Blue Jays having traded away third baseman Brett Lawrie, who is going to replace him as the team’s star in those TV commercials? . . . The Blues Jays now can start with Jose Reyes, Russell Martin, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Josh Donaldson at the top of their order and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Now about that pitching. . . . One other thing about the Blue Jays — now they can let Melky Cabrera walk away. . . . Donaldson’s Twitter handle is BringerOfRain20, and you’ve got to love that. . . .
Headline at SportsPickle.com: Pope Francis announces U.S. visit to meet with ‘American moral authority’ Roger Goodell. . . . One more from SportsPickle.com: Report: LeBron may be fired as Cavs head coach. . . . By now you likely have seen Odell Beckham Jr.’s Monday Night Football catch about 1,000 times. So just how great was it? Well, according to TV gabfest host David Letterman, “It’s being called the greatest catch in NFL history, not counting Gisele Bundchen.” . . .
When forward Liam Stewart and some of his Spokane Chiefs teammates are wandering a shopping mall, I wonder what is said when the sound system is playing his father’s Christmas album. . . . Here’s hoping that you caught the Vancouver Canucks’ tribute to the late Pat Quinn prior to their Tuesday night game with the visiting New Jersey Devils. Mark Donnelly had a six-goal night with his version of Danny Boy. . . .
Here’s Vancouver comic Torben Rolfsen: “Kentucky’s average height is taller than every NBA team except one. Analysts are still comparing average salaries.” . . . “The Oilers have seven losses in a row,” wrote Rolfsen earlier in the week, “or as they are called in Edmonton: McDavids.” . . . The Oilers now have nine McDavids in a row. . . . I was flipping through the on-screen TV guide one night this week and stumbled upon two programs titled Hillbilly Handfishin’ and Sex Sent Me to the ER. No, that’s not one show; it’s two. . . . But, hey, is this a great country, or what? . . .
“Just in time for Christmas,” reports Ian Hamilton of the Regina Leader-Post, “a Chicago-based toymaker is selling an unofficial Lego pole-dancing club. The set comes with dancers clad in G-strings, zebra-print couches and a pole. Miniature NFL players are sold separately.” . . . U.S. President Barack Obama’s new immigration plan calls for the deporting of violent criminals. Conan O’Brien of TBS was quick to cut to the chase and point out: “So, this could impact your fantasy football team.” . . . Isn’t it about time the football press stopped attending Bill Belichick’s news conferences? No one in the sporting world is as intentionally non-informative as the head coach of the New England Patriots. Yes, he is the best football coach on the planet today, but still . . .
“Running back Justin Forsett, released in March by the Jacksonville Jaguars and signed in April by the Baltimore Ravens as a precautionary backup for Ray Rice, ran for 181 yards on Monday night,“ scribbles Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe. “Forsett thanked God. Probably would have been tacky to have thanked whoever installed that casino elevator video camera.” . . . One more from Hough: ““Although Britain doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, stores and websites across the pond have started offering Black Friday sales. Good to know that the U.S. is exporting our traditional values around the world.” . . . Shhh! Don’t tell her it’s here, too. . . .
Pro golfer Martin Kaymer has spent the last seven Christmases at his home in Arizona. Next month, however, he will celebrate in his native Germany, and he’s looking forward to it. As he told The Associated Press about spending the festive season in Arizona: ““It’s so weird when they put lights on the cactus.” . . . You don’t have to be a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs to admire how head coach Randy Carlyle has taken to handling the media horde when it surrounds him. . . .
According to comedy writer Tim Hunter, “Drew Brees is on his way to becoming only the third quarterback to beat all 32 NFL teams. It’s kind of like blackout Bingo, with the Oakland Raiders being the free space.” . . . “NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says that he is not out of touch with player personal conduct policies,” scribbles blogger TC Chong. “Goodell then announced that he was suspending Bill Cosby indefinitely.” . . . Chong saw a survey that predicted one in four Canadians will watch today’s Grey Cup game. “People in Saskatchewan did not participate in this study,” he pointed out, “as they plan to watch a replay of last year’s Grey Cup.” . . . As for the Grey Cup, take the Calgary Stampeders over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. By 10.
(Gregg Drinnan is a former sports editor of the Regina Leader-Post and the late Kamloops Daily News. He is at gdrinnan.blogspot.ca and twitter.com/gdrinnan. Keeping Score appears here on weekends, except when it doesn’t.)