Hartley Miller's Slap Shots- August 31st, 2012
Friday, August 31, 2012 03:45 AM
Prince George’s Brandon Hunter should be saluted for his impressive performance at the Baseball Canada Senior Championship, finishing with the top batting average of .667 and 10 RBI’s in five games. Hunter’s grand slam was the difference in a 9-5 victory over Windsor in the final.
The 28-year old Hunter played for the Host Axemen; however, don’t get fooled in believing he actually played for “Prince George”.
Let’s be very honest and state the "facts". Hunter, and a few others, were pick-ups for the Langley Blaze that happened to be wearing P.G. uniforms. Nevertheless, the host team was referred to as the Prince George Westcana Electric Axemen. I am not disputing the Axemen’s gold medal, which they deserved, how or why the team was assembled, but clearly this was NOT a Prince George based team.
Refer to them as the Host Axemen, Lower Mainland Axemen or Langley Blaze-Axemen because that is a true reflection of players that formed the lion’s share of the club. 14 of the 21 players on the Axemen also competed for the Langley Blaze that won the Provincials three weeks earlier at Citizen Field. 17 of the 21 players call the Lower Mainland home. Just four are from Prince George.
The Blaze significant contribution is proudly noted on the team's website. http://www.langleysrblaze.com/
Hunter played a prominent role on the Axemen. Two of the other three from P.G., Jeremy Kral and Justin Fillion, were platoon players, who contributed in the playoffs, while the other from Prince George, Matt Stang, was given a “cameo” pinch hit.
The tournament, as a whole, was certainly a top notch Prince George effort. Volunteers from the grounds crew, to the 50-50 sellers, ticket takers, souvenir stand and concession workers, announcers and the host committee can certainly be proud of their efforts.
Despite the local involvement, the home team “off the field” is not a true reflection of the host team “on the field”.
Those 17 Lower Mainland players don’t care about Prince George, have likely never invested in the community, never will, and were only interested in playing at the 2012 Nationals, regardless of which uniform they wore.
In comparison, when the UNBC men's basketball team won a Canadian championship in 2010, the entire roster was part of the University and all were Prince George residents at the time.
I heard a ridiculous argument asking what is the difference between what the Axemen did and what the P.G. Cougars and Spruce Kings do in filling their roster with mostly out of town players?
It’s absurd to even draw a comparison. The players on the Cougars and Spruce Kings become part of the community for much longer than a weekend. They stay with P.G. billets, spend their dollars in the city, sign autographs at local functions, visit local schools and hospitals, participate in charity work and some even return to the city once their hockey careers are done.
At times the Cougars and Spruce Kings have been justifiably criticized for a lack of performance on the ice, but most of their players are terrific ambassadors for the city of P.G. Can anyone say that for the 17 Lower Mainland players on the Axemen?
With the lack of a true “local” team, crowds, despite ideal weather and a host team in contention, were mostly “pocket size”. For whatever reasons, fans were not flocking to this Canadian Championship.
According to the tournament website, the Victoria Mavericks, with three Prince George players, including Jay Cook, who batted .500 and pitcher Jon Bourassa, who went 1-0 with a 1.63 ERA, had attendance of 145, 196, 142 and 327 for their four games.
The numbers to witness the five Host games were 360, 436, 351, just 255 for the semi-final
4-2 win over Alberta, and 1,015 for the gold medal game.
4-2 win over Alberta, and 1,015 for the gold medal game.
The calendar shows that Halloween is exactly just two months away. Calling all trick or treaters ! Axemen costumes are now on sale. Hurry in for the best selection.
But darn it anyway; they are only available in the Lower Mainland.
From the Quote Rack:
San Jose blueliner Douglas Murray, who had no goals last season, is reportedly dating Elin Nordegren. Talk about ending a scoring slump.
Comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com
Rogers Communications says they purchased The Score to get access to their mobile technology in particular their real time scores and statistics. This gives Rogers a foothold into the growing market of Toronto Maple Leafs fans who want to be given bad news on the fly.
LA Dodgers announcer Vince Scully says he will return for a 64th year of broadcasting the games. When asked how he can still call double headers at his age Vince replied “Well… Depends…”
Contributor Derek Wilken of Calgaryhttp://smacksport.blogspot.com
84-year-old Vin Scully has been the voice of the LA Dodgers for the past 63 years. He has signed up for another season. His childhood buddies Abner Doubleday and Larry King tweeted congratulatory messages.
Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova will be introducing her own line of candies. It’s called Sugarpova. In related news, Anna Kournikova has teamed up with Orville Redenbacher.
Comedy writer TC Chong of Vancouver (http://alwaysfunny.com/)
According to a study, 6% of Americans have used cellphones to send a nude or semi-nude photo. And 15% have received such a sext. That Brett Favre sure is busy.
Footage has surfaced of Olympic Gold medalist Ryan Lochte with Prince Harry in Las Vegas. Not playing strip billiards, but having a 3am swimming race. Now that the video's out, wonder if the hotel's already cleaned the pool?
Contributor Janice Hough of Palo Alto, Californiawww.leftcoastsportsbabe.com
In an upcoming TV pilot, Metta World Peace is going to play a vampire.Well, his image could use a little cleaning up.
Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California
And in case you missed it:
While participating in a staring contest, an Australian man kept his eyes open for an incredible 40 minutes. I’m impressed, but let’s see him do it while watching a Bill Bellichick speech.
Comedy writer Gary Bachman
Hartley Miller is the sports director for radio stations 94X and the Wolf@97fm. He also writes for the PG Free Press. Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to email@example.com.
Follow him on twitter: @Hartley_Miller
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