Can Bronfman bring baseball back to Montreal?

Can Bronfman bring baseball back to Montreal?Among its many traits – some charming, some not – Quebec seems to be the home of the faint-hope sports story. Rumours of a revival of the Quebec Nordiques are periodic reminders of the futility of building an expensive arena to please National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman. The city built a puck palace in…

Corporate raiders are at the gates of pro sports

The future of franchise-based leagues and pro tours may hang in the balance as big-money investors look to strip out superstars

Corporate raiders are at the gates of pro sportsIn business they’re called corporate raiders. People who buy up a publicly traded stock whose assets are thought to be undervalued. They then strip out the valuable assets and sell them at a large profit, leaving the shell of a company behind. The world of sports has been largely immune to raider capitalism so far.…

Baseball being buried by a tsunami of cheat

Baseball being buried by a tsunami of cheatThe first question to ask the Houston Astros signal corps is: Why did you think any of this would stay a secret? As the sports world struggles with the implications of a team cheating to win a World Series for the first time since the 1919 Black Sox scandal, there are more questions than answers…

Short and sweet: pro sports need to pare down the length of games

Fans are staying away from stadiums in great part because the games take too long to play. The new XFL is trying a number of modifications to cut the length of games

Short and sweet: pro sports need to pare down the length of gamesFootball fans have spoken: the games last too damn long. Delays, reviews, timeouts and injuries turn 18 minutes of action into three-plus hours. At least that’s the results of research done for the new XFL, a football league that starts play on Feb. 8, right after the National Football League’s Super Bowl. The startup league…

NFL coaches need to embrace data and probability

If coaching has a capital offence, its ignoring the obvious probabilities that a good analysis could provide

NFL coaches need to embrace data and probabilityWe’re in the heart of the football malpractice season. Across the frozen tundras, National Football League coaches are being overwhelmed by the pressure of making key calls during the post-season. On Saturday, Houston Texans coach Bill O’Brien was like a punch-drunk fighter from the very first quarter. Quickly down 7-0 after Buffalo drove on their…

The future of pro sports? Just look at the NBA

But the NHL, the league that never misses an opportunity to miss an opportunity, will sit back and let others get the gravy

The future of pro sports? Just look at the NBAIf there were a handicapping contest on who has the best handle on the future between the major sports leagues in North America, there’s little doubt the title would go to the National Basketball Association under its dynamic commissioner Adam Silver. When it comes to innovation, it’s “Hi-ho Silver away.” Silver, who replaced David Stern…

The truth behind Mike Babcock’s firing

Petulant, indifferent young stars are in charge, thanks to their huge contracts. Coaches pay the price

The truth behind Mike Babcock’s firingOn his voyage from coaching sage to the most ignorant coach to ever stand behind a National Hockey League bench, Mike Babcock learned a few important things. Principally, he learned that a coach’s job security is governed by winning. If you don’t win, you will be replaced. No news there. But he also understood that…

How can you replay a World Series?

Deciding what to do about rampant rumours of Houston Astros cheating isn't simple. But one of baseball's best teams needs to be punished

How can you replay a World Series?“I’ll take Baseball for $800, Alex.” “The answer is: paint your fingernails bright colours.” “Alex, what is, ‘What does baseball think is the best way for a catcher to signal pitches to the pitcher?’” That’s pretty much the sophistication level of a 21st-century sport being governed by 19th century technology. And, as a result, teams…

How to fill the void left by Don Cherry

How to fill the void left by Don CherryThe man voted the seventh-most famous Canadian has finally talked himself out of his job as hockey analyst/cranky old guy to the nation. To the utter confusion of people outside Canada, the removal of a TV figure has convulsed the nation. After 38 years, he is no more. Confession: I did an entire chapter on…

Don Cherry is long past his due date

As Sportsnet trims costs and their cantankerous commentator missteps, the outcome seems likely

Don Cherry is long past his due dateYou have to hand it to Don Cherry. Only the bombastic star of Coach’s Corner could give the cause of the war dead a bad name. Cue Saturday night’s Hockey Night In Canada. Cherry had exchanged his usual floral table cloths for a blazer with a military crest to recall Remembrance Day. Much to the…