Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. This week they discuss the a Roy Halladay, a Cooperstown conundrum, Robinson Cano and a certain Washington football club.
Bruce Arthur, National Post: My thumb is up to the Washington football team with the racist name and the sitcom stylings, which continue to delight those who rightly root for it to fail. This week alone, there were reports that head coach Mike Shanahan was trying to get fired, Costanza-style, so he could collect his money and flee and that shameless expired peanut-selling owner Dan Snyder was unwilling to fire him, and that quarterback Robert Griffin III - who in true Dan Snyder-fashion once let fans buy him wedding gifts - was a pawn between them as he was benched for the season. What a swamp: backstabbing, greed, admissions of serial falsehoods, remarkable misuse of assets, and a toxic snowball of failure. It's clear, now more than ever: this is the team that Washington deserves.
Steve Simmons, SUN Media: My thumb is down to the meaningless one-day contract Roy Halladay signed with the Toronto Blue Jays this week, thus announcing his retirement from baseball wearing Canadian colours. This is the same Roy Halladay who asked to be traded from Toronto, demanded it be to a contending team and even suggested that the team train close to his Florida home. If Halladay wanted to retire a Blue Jay, he could have done the simple thing and finished his career here. Don't get me wrong. Halladay had a marvelous career, I'm not questioning that. But his last pitch was thrown for the Philadelphia Phillies, the team he threw a perfect game and a playoff no-hitter for. Never mind ceremony, he retired as a Philly.
Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated: My thumb is down to the MLB Veterans Committee for again excluding the late Marvin Miller from the Baseball Hall of Fame. While Joe Torre, Bobby Cox and Tony La Russa are worthies, the legacy of the former Players' Association executive director dwarfs that of any manager. Along with Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson, Miller is part of the holy trinity of baseball titans. The despicable reserve clause, which bound a player to his team in perpetuity, was struck down on his watch. The average salary rose from $16,000 to $250,000 under Miller, who built the strongest union in the United States. Some owners still revile him, but Cooperstown truly is incomplete without him.
Dave Hodge, TSN: My thumb is down to Robinson Cano – and to his poor choice of words. Specifically, one word … the word "respect". Cano claims he was driven to sign a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Seattle Mariners because the New York Yankees showed him no "respect" with their offer. It was for only seven years at a measly $175 million. There isn't another human on this planet who would say that amounted to "disrespect". Cano should have thanked the Yankees for being willing to go that high so that the mariners felt the need to go higher and then he should have thanked Seattle for doing exactly that, and then he should have said nothing more about a lack of respect, unless he wanted to admit his own for the fans who are tired of hearing the complaints of spoiled, far too rich athletes.