Don't count the Yankees out just yet

TED WYMAN -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 11:05 AM ET

Some thoughts to ponder while feeling oh so sorry for George Steinbrenner and the poor, hard-done-by New York Yankees.

QUEER EYE: During last year's World Series the Boston Red Sox took a sip of whiskey before each game, but now that five of them have been on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, they've got a new good-luck beverage: the white wine spritzer ... Barry Bonds haters take heart: Even if the surly Giant does break Hank Aaron's home run record, it won't last long. Alex Rodriguez just hit No. 400 at age 28 and has about 12 years to hit 400 more ... Funny though, how A-Rod always seems to be at his personal best when his team is struggling ... In their desperation to turn this season around, the Yankees might just hand the ball to telephone chucker Russell Crowe. He fits right in at age 41, can hit his target from 60 feet and is a real ringer ... The Yankees look old and washed up, they recently lost series to Kansas City and Milwaukee and the classiest manager in baseball (Joe Torre) could soon be fired. But remember this: It's June and the Yankees are only six games out of first place. Never count them out.

REALITY TV: Let's see, in the last month an NFL player has been stopped at an airport with a device to beat drug-seeking urine tests, two more have been arrested on gun charges and a team's promotional video featuring lesbian soft porn, topless women and racial jokes was revealed to the public. All the more reason why the short-lived ESPN series The Playmakers should have been classified under reality TV ... Now that a Canadian curler (Ontario's Joe Frans) has tested positive for drugs and been banned for two years, will curling supply stores start carrying Original Whizzinators? ... Frans tested positive for cocaine at the 2005 Brier. We're pretty sure that's not what his skip Wayne Middaugh meant when he called for a nose hit ... What is it about Quebec sports franchises that they immediately succeed when they leave La Belle Province? First the Colorado Avalanche win the Stanley Cup one year after leaving Quebec and now the Washington Nationals are looking like World Series contenders just one year after escaping purgatory in Montreal. Apparently Quebec separation isn't such a bad thing after all.

OH DEER: Some people said Clint Barmes of the Colorado Rockies, who was hitting .329 with eight homers and 34 RBI this season, had the rookie of the year in the bag. But when he broke his collarbone and ruined his season, all that was in the bag was a few pounds of deer meat ... Anyone reading this page over the last year or so knows we at the Hit Parade love the weird sports injury and that Barmes mishap is a Hall-of-Fame candidate. It was funnier when he said he was injured while bringing home groceries, but hauling meat is pretty humourous as well. Either way it makes Sammy Sosa's strange injury from last year something to sneeze at ... Things have gone so bad for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on the offensive line, the only two remaining candidates for the left guard position are Buzz and Boomer ... It must have been a bitter-sweet day for Don Cherry this week when his second favourite player of all time, Cam Neely, got into the Hall of Fame on the same day as late Russian star Valeri Kharlamov. Truth is Kharlamov could have been a far greater star than Neely, if it weren't for a Bobby Clarke slash and a fatal auto accident ... The radical ideas being put forward at the NHL rules and development camp make us wonder why the league's tall foreheads don't just scrap everything and start over with no lines, no refs, no goalie equipment, soccer nets and, just for fun, orange pucks ... The NHL and the Players Association have apparently agreed on a salary cap structure which makes us wonder how people like Ty Cobb are enjoying this cold day in hell.


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