A kick in the groin for sour Burke

GARY LOEWEN

, Last Updated: 3:05 AM ET

Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke was pretty darn sour when his team was eliminated officially from playoff contention.

"Any day that you have to stand in front of the media and talk about not qualifying for the playoffs should be a kick right in the groin to everyone in the organization," Burke said, as players within earshot reached for their jocks.

When Burke took the job last fall, he said the Leafs require "proper levels of pugnacity, testosterone, truculence and belligerence."

In other words, weren't they supposed to be the ones putting the boot in?

BLUE RECRUITS

Burke on new Leafs recruit Christian Hanson:

"We are assessing him as a top-six forward who brings size."

Meanwhile, over with the Blue Jays, GM J.P. Ricciardi assesses Scott Richmond as a top-five starting pitcher who brings, um, ... er ... because there ain't nobody else.

TOO GOOD TO LAST

The Blue Jays have demoted utility man Joe Inglett.

Makes sense: Inglett hit only .297 last season, second best among the Jays regulars.

C'mon, J.P., there's no tanking in baseball.

BLADDER TOSSING

The Denver Broncos traded disgruntled quarterback Jay Cutler and now the first-string job could end up going to backup Chris Simms.

So the Broncos would have a quarterback with no spleen replacing one with a lot of gall.

BAY BROMANCE

"I love the team. Love the guys, the management, the GM, everything," reliever Jason Isringhausen says about his new team, the Tampa Bay Rays.

Either that, or he is auditioning for a sequel to I Love You, Man.

Funny, he was just not that into his old team.

BOY BROMANCE

Dallas Cowboys' Jason Witten, asked if he would be a better player without Terrell Owens on the team, tells the Fort Worth Star-Telegram: "I was a better player because of him and what he brought to the team. He is going to help Buffalo a lot."

You mean there was no conspiracy between Witten and his buddy, quarterback Tony Romo, to get rid of T.O.?

Witten said only that he was disappointed his name got dragged into the muck last season when stories surfaced of a feud with Owens.

Thank you, Jason, for your political correctness.

ALEXANDER THE GRATE

Headline on sportspickle.com: Alex Ovechkin ruins two-on-one break by stopping to celebrate tape-to-tape pass.

GARY.LOEWEN@SUNMEDIA.CA


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