Backing Bertuzzi is despicable

STEVE SIMMONS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:46 AM ET

As the Todd Bertuzzi story continues to percolate in this season without hockey, the rants and rhetoric against Steve Moore grow more disturbing with time.

Suddenly, if you listen to some radio commentators --the worst offender being Bill Watters -- if you believe what your e-mail says, the roles have somehow been twisted around: With Bertuzzi now as victim, and Moore as instigator.

Suddenly, Moore had it coming to him, because he was a marginal player, because he happened to make contact with the wrong player, because as a fourth-line guy, he doesn't really matter.

Nonsense. All you have to do is watch the frame-by-frame assault in slow motion to read this situation adequately.

Bertuzzi's predatory act ostensibly ended Moore's playing career -- and at the very same time has put his own career in jeopardy. Moore is the victim here, not Bertuzzi. Spinning it the other way is despicable.

THIS AND THAT

For years, Bob Goodenow has been telling anyone who would listen that the NHL Players' Association was "not a union." Unions negotiate job security and salary structures and "we don't," he would say. Of course, that was before he applied for union status in Quebec and British Columbia last week in a legal volley to fight the possible use of replacement players. Let him get union status, then implement a salary cap. End of lockout ... With their stadium situation in limbo and a move to the Rogers Centre all but certain, aren't the Argos obligated to refund every season ticket-holder who stepped up under the assumption they were making down payments on future seats for an outdoor stadium? ... Alex Rodriguez had 10 RBIs on Tuesday, which matches Vernon Wells' April numbers ... Before the Blue Jays hired J.P. Ricciardi, the guy they really wanted was Oakland assistant Paul DePodesta, who won a division with the unlikely Dodgers a year ago and looks headed in that direction again this season.

HEAR AND THERE

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SCENE AND HEARD

All the good will Terrell Owens built up with his Super Bowl performance has been undone in an off-season about me and me and me and more me ... At $324,000 US a year, up from $318,000 a year ago, Reed Johnson remains one of the great bargains in all of sport ... Considering its annual success, no team is more aptly named than this: Toronto Rock ... LeBron James, all of two years out of high school, averaged 27 points, seven assists and seven rebounds in Cleveland this year. Those numbers are significant because some nobodies named Michael Jordan, Oscar Robertson, Larry Bird and John Havlicek have matched them .... Nine words you never want to hear: Now warming in the Blue Jays bullpen, Scott Schoeneweis ... If anybody other than the Denver Broncos had drafted troubled running back Maurice Clarett, I'd be dubious. But the fact that nobody runs the ball better than the Broncos makes the choice fascinating.

AND ANOTHER THING

What Ron Lancaster said: "I hope Jesse Lumsden never plays for us." What Ron Lancaster really meant: "I hope he trips all over himself in Seattle and is in the Ticats camp by August." ... Hard as I try, I can't find the same emotional attachment to an NBA playoff series that I find from Stanley Cup playoffs every April and May ... When the Blue Jays decided to send Brandon League to Syracuse they removed the possibility of a boxscore that indicated their pitching was (David) Bush, League ... Now you know baseball is getting serious when Eric Gagne, on the disabled list, is suspended two games for heckling an umpire. Hell, these days you can throw a few punches in a game and get less ... The very thought of Alonzo Mourning as a playoff contributor and trying to play the hero by donating his Miami Heat salary to charity makes my skin crawl ... And hey, whatever became of Pat Ribble?


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