Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. This week they discuss .
Bruce Arthur, National Post: My thumb is down to whoever let Justin Bieber play with the Stanley Cup this week. Pictures of the vacant-headed teen jerk posing with the trophy were pure hockey PR; he stepped on Chicago's sacred carpet logo, but frankly, they were lucky he didn't pee on it. But that annoyed feeling washed away when the next set of Cup pictures surfaced - Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville in a children's hospital, with patients beaming, laughing, hugging the Stanley Cup. It really did have better things to do.
Gary Lawless, Winnipeg Free Press: My thumb is down to painting Eric Lindros as a man of poor character for having the courage to try and shape his own destiny. Esteemed colleague and member of the HHOF selection committee Mark Defoy said on Winnipeg radio this week that, "some people might hold a grudge," against Lindros. For what? Because Lindros had the gall to try and control where he played hockey as a teenager and then later as an adult? The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds didn't have to trade his rights and neither did the Quebec Nordiques. Lindros took a stand. Others turned their back on personal principle and then whinged in the aftermath. Lindros should or shouldn't get in the HHOF for what he did on the ice, not for being strong enough to go against the grain.
Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated: My thumb is down to the New York Yankees for cavalier treatment of their most prized asset, Derek Jeter. Jeter missed this weekend series against Minnesota because of a strained quadriceps, which he sustained in his first game back after an abbreviated stint rehabbing a broken ankle. The Yankees panicked when the already skimpy lineup was further decimated by midweek injuries to Travis Hafner and Brett Gardner. So they called on the venerable captain, even though he had played just 22 innings in four minor league games. Hey, Jeter is 39. He can't outrun father time. And he shouldn't have been put in a position where he had to leg out infield hits.
Dave Hodge, TSN : My thumb is down as I try to make sense of the Blue Jays' inability or unwillingness to sign their first round draft pick, California high school pitcher Phil Bickford. Instead of turning pro with the Jays, Bickford will attend college at Cal State Fullerton. I don't pretend to know how good a prospect he is, but the Jays didn't select Bickford with the 10th overall pick thinking he was ordinary. They didn't choose him with the intention of not signing him. So why didn't they or why couldn't they? They won't say. They are the only team that failed to sign their first round pick. So I scratch my head with my thumb… pointed down.