Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. This week they discuss Chris Froome's victory at the Tour de France, Mariano Rivera's final appearance at the All-Star Game, Nick Faldo's criticism of Rory McIlroy and the retractable roof at Rogers Centre.
Bruce Arthur, National Post: My thumb is up to Chris Froome for winning the Tour de France in unbelievable fashion, or maybe too believable. He made it look so easy. He's going to have the biggest winning margin since Lance Armstrong in 2004. He's going to have the most stage wins for a champion since Lance Armstrong in 2004. He climbed the hard part of Mont Ventoux, the really gut-busting stuff, faster than anyone in history except for Lance Armstrong in 2002. He looked a lot like Lance Armstrong, which of course means that that's not very good. Lance Armstrong doesn't exist as far as the Tour de France is concerned anymore. All those accomplishments have been wiped from history. Chris Froome has won the Tour de France, which means now we wait. So it's a thumbs up until proven otherwise.
Steve Simmons, Sun Media: My thumb is up to Mariano Rivera, who not only saved the MLB All-Star Game without registering a save but he brought us a view of something we otherwise wouldn't have seen. There wasn't much reason to watch the game on Tuesday, frankly there's little reason anymore to do so, but the story was Rivera in his 13th and final All-Star Game. When was he going to pitch, how was he going to pitch, how was manager Jim Leyland going to use him. And all eyes, fans, media, ball players were on him the entire game. When he pitched his scoreless inning in the eighth and was named Most Valuable Player, even though he was only one of 13 pitchers to pitch one scoreless inning in the All-Star Game, no one questioned the choice.
Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated: My thumb is down to Sir Nick Faldo for scolding the British Open and climbing all over Rory McIlroy for his work ethic. It's unfortunate because McIlroy is having a tough year, no doubt, and Faldo was right when he said McIlroy shouldn't have changed a winning game, shouldn't have changed clubs, switching to Nike, but McIlroy puts in the work. In his criticism, Faldo sounded like the old man yelling a kids to get off his lawn. And in this case, the lawn was storied Muirfield.
Dave Hodge, TSN: Every once in a while, there's a reason to praise Rogers Centre, specifically for its retractable roof. Friday was one of those times. A mammoth storm hit southern Ontario and the Rogers roof allowed a baseball game to be played and baseball fans to be dry and safe, albeit with a stadium evacuation plan ready if needed and displayed on the Rogers Jumbotron. Circumstances forced me to leave the Blue Jays and the Tampa Rays in the early innings to deal with matters at home. It was a wild night, but pretty normal inside the Rogers Centre. Insert a line here if you want about the Blue Jays' 8-5 loss adding to the normalcy.