Bettman's mind baking in the desert

GARY LOEWEN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:25 AM ET

The Phoenix Coyotes might have a full house for their home opener on Saturday, thanks to heavily discounted tickets.

That should have Gary Bettman beaming.

But the Coyotes’ financial statements this season promise to be a commish-mash, while the NHL looks for fresh investors interested in turning their billions into millions.

Bettman may claim victory in thwarting RimJim Balsillie’s stab at relocating the team to Hamilton. And by keeping the Coyotes in the desert, Bettman also keeps his vision alive for Sun Belt hockey.

In other words, with Bettman in charge, the NHL continues to be a non-prophet organization.

Extra clout

It seems appropriate that, in a season in which his drug use was exposed, Alex Rodriguez would move into a tie with Mark McGwire for career homers with 583.

And next season, A-Rod could catch Sammy Sosa for sixth place (609) on the career list.

In other enhanced-slugger news, Manny Ramirez has cracked the top 15, siding past Mickey Mantle, among others. He now has 546 career homers.

For ManRam, it has been an exercise in fertility.

Striking out

At about 6 a.m. Saturday, after a scuffle with his wife, Miguel Cabrera registered a blood-alcohol reading of 0.26, police say.

The first baseman was picked up at the drunk tank at 7:30 a.m., by Detroit Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski.

Less than 12 hours later, Cabrera was in the starting lineup.

It’s no wonder he went oh-for-four. Chances are his head was pounding more than his bat.

Under the circumstances, why was Cabrera in the lineup?

Spicy, all right

With the slogan “smells like victory,” a towel used by Tony Stewart after his NASCAR win Sunday is up for auction.

The towel, apparently still oozing a fragrant combination of sweat and champagne, had fetched a big of $227.50 by yesterday evening. The auction continues until next Monday on oldspice.com — the company which makes the official deodorant of NASCAR.

The towel may smell more like skid row than pit row, but it’s for a good cause, proceeds going to Stewart’s charitable foundation.

But once you get the towel, what do you do with it?

Wash it?

Seal it in a plastic bag?

Drench it in Old Spice?

Say what?

“We have to get good goaltending, we can’t turn the puck over and we have to score when we get opportunities. That’s how it’s going to be every night.”

— Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson? Nope it’s his counterpart with the Detroit Red Wings, Mike Babcock.

Even the Stanley Cup finalists have issues.

gary.loewen@sunmedia.ca


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