Strictly economics

KIRK PENTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:17 AM ET

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers bid adieu to one veteran and said hello to another yesterday.

The East Division leaders released 14-year offensive lineman Val St. Germain and brought in linebacker Marcus Winn, formerly of the Edmonton Eskimos.

St. Germain, who started 16 games at left and right guard last season, hadn't played this season after battling the injury bug during training camp. The fifth overall pick in the Ottawa Renegades dispersal draft took a pay cut in the off-season, but he was still making too much for someone who wasn't playing.

"It's strictly economics," head coach Doug Berry said. "Val contributed significantly last year and was hurt early in training camp and never really got a chance to compete with the guys that we had in here.

"And we're playing quite well, and (we're) healthy on the O-line. It's just a shame that we had to let him go."

Winn, 25, played 22 games with the Eskimos over the past two seasons but was cut in this year's training camp. Winn can play defensive back, but Berry wants to see how he fits in at both outside linebacker spots.

Berry said there is no problem with how the current outside linebackers, Corey Jenkins and Cam Hall, are playing.

ALL HAIL MILT: Milt Stegall, the CFL's new touchdown king, got dozens of congratulatory phone calls and e-mails from friends over the weekend, which isn't a bad total considering he changed his phone number late last year.

Stegall also threw out the ceremonial first pitch to quarterback Kevin Glenn at Sunday's Winnipeg Goldeyes game, and he was trying to convince anyone who would listen yesterday that it was a strike.

"I was about to throw a fastball, but I knew Kevin was catching," Stegall said. "He's our starting quarterback, so I didn't want to hit him. Then I was just going to throw a pop-up, but that pride kicked in, so I tried to throw it nice and easy, but I took too much off of it and it hit the plate.

"But it bounced right up to his glove, so it was a strike if you asked me."

Glenn, overhearing the conversation, said, "No comment."

PRIMARY CONCERN: Even though three of the five starters in the secondary are hurt, starting the same unit for a second week in a row, on Friday night in Hamilton against the 0-5 Tiger-Cats, might be a good thing, according to Berry.

"I can't even put a value on (continuity)," Berry said. "It's just so important for those guys to be playing next to each other."

Robert Bean (knee) and Anthony Malbrough (hamstring) won't play Friday. Davin Bush (groin) is the healthiest of the three but is unlikely to suit up.

LATE HITS: Troy Westwood almost hit defensive co-ordinator Greg Marshall with an accidental line-drive field goal at yesterday's practice, knocking the coach on his rear end. "I just heard the whoosh as it was going by my head," Marshall said. "I didn't have time for my life to flash before my eyes." ... CB Ian Logan and OL Andrew Greene sat out yesterday's session, but both should be good to go today ... The Bombers practise at 11:10 a.m. today.


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