By Marty York

Atlanta's Jones chipping away at entry into .400 club

Not since 1941 has a major-leaguer finished a season with a .400 batting average, but it’s time to accept the possibility that the remarkable feat might be accomplished this season.As the schedule nears the midway point, it’s clear that the Atlanta Braves’ Chipper Jones has a legitimate shot at ....

Wednesday, June 18, 2008, 10:30 AM

Sens looking to St. Louis for the cure to their goaltending blues

At least two Canadian-based clubs could complete key trades before or during the NHL draft in Ottawa this weekend.The Senators are offering Ray Emery and the St. Louis Blues, for one, are willing to take the goaltender, his $3-million U.S. salary and his tarnished reputation.The Calgary Flames,...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008, 10:30 AM

Chinese sports hero en garde for Canada in Beijing

At about 10:30 a.m. yesterday, Jujie Luan received a clean bill of health from her doctor in Edmonton.What does this have to do with the price of tea in China?Well, nothing, but it certainly will increase the price of Olympic tickets in China.Luan, see, is a Chinese legend. She won a gold medal for...

Friday, June 13, 2008, 10:30 AM

MLB Report, June 13, 2008

Big names will be traded in the major leagues soon, and the Blue Jays are hoping A.J. Burnett is among them.Burnett has been a bust since joining the Jays’ pitching staff for megabucks a few years ago, but the Jays are hoping that neither his salary nor his ineptitude will turn off other clubs...

Friday, June 13, 2008, 10:30 AM

IOC nitwits still freezing women out of ski jump

Imagine how much better the Olympic Games could be were it not for the nitwits who run them.What’s the deal with these clowns? Why is it that the members of the International Olympic Committee can only be described with adjectives that start with the letter 'i'? You know – irritating, ignorant,...

Friday, June 6, 2008, 10:30 AM

Economic downturn leading to boom times for pro sports?

The economy sucks, as you know, but sports leagues are prospering.Attendance figures in MLB, the NHL and the NBA are all up while their television ratings have increased significantly.Viewership for NBA playoff games has risen a whopping 28 per cent from last season. Interest is so high for the...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008, 10:30 AM

On a hunch: most-improved Celts will take Lakers in seven games

This season’s Boston Celtics recorded the largest one-year improvement in NBA history (24-58 to 66-16), but they are longshots to win what counts most – the league’s championship.Oddsmakers have established Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers as heavy favourites over the Celts in the NBA final,...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008, 10:30 AM

Oddsmakers be damned, the Argos will not win the Grey Cup

CFL training camps are opening, which means professional oddsmakers are preparing for the season, as well. And they’ve established the Toronto Argonauts as 2.5-to-1 favourites to capture the Grey Cup.Then come the B.C. Lions (at 3.5-to-1), the Calgary Stampeders (4.5-to-1), the Winnipeg Blue...

Friday, May 30, 2008, 10:30 AM

MLB Report, May 29, 2008

So here we are, a third of the way into the baseball season, andperennial cellar-dwellers, the Tampa Bay Rays, are atop the AmericanLeague East, with the best win percentage in the major leagues.Surprised?You shouldn’t be, not if you read this column regularly, because Rays manager Joe Maddon told...

Thursday, May 29, 2008, 11:34 PM

Pens' poor play and sour attitude are threatening to spoil an excellent season

Seems that was quite an omen when goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury fell flat on his face while leading his team from the dressing room to the ice just before the Stanley Cup opener the other night.His teammates, the Pittsburgh Penguins, have been falling flat on their faces ever since.They’ve been...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008, 12:30 PM

Maple Leafs' GM wish list whittled down to two candidates

And so it is coming down to a pair of ex-NHL general managers, Doug Armstrong or Neil Smith, for the Toronto Maple Leafs.After receiving formal rejections to their requests for permission to speak to a bevy of active front-office types about their GM position, the Leafs will launch their interview...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008, 5:35 AM

Female racer poised to make history and 'change the world' at Indy 500

Auto racing does nothing for me – in fact, I think it’s a stretch to even classify it as a sport – but I will check out the Indianapolis 500 this Sunday, and I urge you to do likewise.We could see history. Several auto-racing experts suspect a female -- 26-year-old Danica Patrick of Wisconsin --...

Friday, May 23, 2008, 2:30 AM

MLB Report May 23, 2008

The Major League Baseball Players Association is going to bat for Barry Bonds.According to information obtained by Metro, the union soon will file a collusion grievance – likely before June – against MLB owners and general managers. The union believes it has evidence to prove clubs have conspired...

Friday, May 23, 2008, 2:27 AM

Wings favoured by oddsmakers

They’ve won 16 consecutive games on their home ice, their top gunners – Marion Hossa, Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby – have been on fire and their goaltender, Marc-Andre Fleury, has never been more efficient. And, yet, the Pittsburgh Penguins stand no chance in the Stanley Cup championship series....

Wednesday, May 21, 2008, 1:54 AM

MLB Report May 15, 2008

Maple bats continue to shatter in alarming fashion, and MLB executives continue to gather evidence in efforts to persuade the players’ association that they should be banned.Pat Gillick, former general manager of the Toronto Blue Jays and now general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies, weighed in...

Friday, May 16, 2008, 4:24 AM

Avery tilts on Pinball

Barking up the wrong tree these days is John Avery, who has damaged his CFL status by insulting and criticizing Michael Clemons.This is tantamount to, say, dissing Mother Teresa. I mean, seriously, how foolish can you be?In his two decades as a Hall of Fame player, coach and executive with the...

Friday, May 16, 2008, 4:06 AM

Maple bat ban talk could get stickier

Baseball’s Battle of Bats starts next week.That’s when major-league executives will formally ask players to stop stepping to the plate with maple bats. The execs will ask them to use ash bats instead.The requests, of course, will be denied by the players’ association since nearly half the hitters...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008, 3:48 AM

MLB wants to ban Canuck bats

MLB has, for all intents and purposes, blackballed its controversial home-run king, Barry Bonds. Now, it wants to do the same to his old bat supplier.And the supplier, Sam Holman of Ottawa, is livid.“If they blindside us and ban our bats,” Holman told Metro yesterday, “it’d be a huge disservice. It...

Tuesday, May 13, 2008, 3:11 AM

MLB Report: May 8, 2008

Eric Hinske, who is starring with the Tampa Bay Rays after nearly being shunned by MLB as a free agent this season, was booed loudly by Toronto fans every time he stepped to the plate for his new team during a series against the Blue Jays this week.And, while that irritated Rays manager Joe Maddon...

Friday, May 9, 2008, 5:28 AM

Don’t believe hype on Burke

Senseless in sports:Constant references to NHL general manager Brian Burke as some sort of guru/genius. His Anaheim Ducks underachieved woefully this season, did they not? I think Oilers GM Kevin Lowe was bang-on when he suggested on Edmonton radio station CHED this week that Burke is merely “a...

Friday, May 9, 2008, 5:24 AM