Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. This week they discuss the city of Glendale, J.P. Arencibia, Wimbledon Champion Marion Bartoli and the NHL All-Star team selections.
Bruce Arthur, National Post : My thumb is down to the city council in Glendale, Arizona, probably in perpetuity. They had no good options in choosing whether to keep the Phoenix Coyotes or let them go, but good Lord, the way they did it, voting to heavily subsidize ownership, backing down on an out clause after five years when ownership has one, the way one councilor, Sammy Chavira, compared the new owners to firefighters rushing to face a blaze, the way they weren't sure what they had just voted on - it was a municipal disgrace. But then, in Glendale, that's basically the tradition.
Steve Simmons, Sun Media: My thumb is down to J.P. Arencibia, and not because he went out of his way to publicly call out broadcasters Gregg Zaun and Dirk Hayhurst, in something of a Rogers/Blue Jays family spat, because he has no real defence here. He is having a rather dreadful season with the Jays. He strikes out too often, hits too little, and in important categories like on base percentage is among the worst hitters in baseball. And his fielding hasn't been any better. So in the end this was nothing more than a loud ill-timed immature squabble that will go away once and only if Arencibia starts playing better baseball.
Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated: My thumb is up to Wimbledon champion, Marion Bartoli. The British parliament outlawed the paddle in 1987, but someone must have forgotten to tell the twitchy Frenchwoman. Bartoli who went all Tom Brown's School Days on Sabine Lisicki - 6-1, 6-4 - in the unlikeliest final of the open era. Bartoli is all tics and mannerisms. Really, she could make a double espresso nervous. But she also was full of power, poise and great two-handed returns from both sides, never dropping a set on the way to her first slam at age 28. She is an improbable but deserving winner.
Dave Hodge, TSN: Thumbs down, obviously, to the NHL All-Star team that includes Alex Ovechkin twice, as the best left winger and the best right winger in the league. But this embarrassing glitch in the voting process is actually a good thing, because it will necessitate a change that is long overdue. Hopefully, it will be the following change: the NHL All-Star team should include one goalie, two defencemen and three forwards, and the forwards can come from any position. These days, a forward is a forward first and foremost, never mind left, right or centre. And in days past, the fact that Wayne Gretzky and Mario Lemieux were never first All-Star teammates was just plain wrong.