Ben Kashin

  • Like

Ben Kashin is a blogger for Yahoo! Sports

  • Tough Draw: Canada to face Spain in Davis Cup World Group

    (Reuters)Canada was riding high following their weekend Davis Cup victory over South Africa. The 4-1 win ensured the Canadians a spot in the prestigious World Group in 2013, marking the first time since 1991-92 that the team will spend consecutive years at the elite level.

    That high was short-lived however and on Wednesday it was back to business with the official draw for next season. Canada drew defending Davis Cup champion Spain in the opening round of next year's Davis Cup held February 1-3, and even if Rafael Nadal doesn't play due to injury or scheduling concerns, Spain remains a formidable foe.

    Martin Laurendeau, Canada's non-playing captain, said Spain's depth — and not one particular player — makes them dangerous. "We know that Spain has enough players and enough depth to have maybe three Davis Cup teams in the World Group" he said. "So if Rafa is not there, we have our hands full with the rest of the players who will be there."

    Although he doesn't know who will be representing Spain

    Read More »from Tough Draw: Canada to face Spain in Davis Cup World Group
  • Canadian tennis news and notes: Filip Peliwo shows off his dance moves

    The Canadian Davis Cup team really enjoyed themselves this past weekend (Reuters)It's been an eventful few days for Canadian tennis. So, without further ado (or any), let's break down the goings-on.

    If you haven't heard already, Canada will remain in the Davis Cup World Group through 2013 with a convincing win over South Africa. Other than Daniel Nestor and Vasek Pospisil's doubles loss to Raven Klaasen and Izak Van der Merwe, the weekend couldn't have gone any better for the red and white.

    The Canadian team even had time to welcome a new player into its ranks. Junior Wimbledon and U.S. Open champion Filip Peliwo was on hand in Montreal to cheer on his compatriots and even though he's yet to officially join Canada's Davis Cup team, that didn't stop Milos Raonic and the boys from having a little fun with the 18-year-old. Peliwo was put through an awkward initiation on centre court at Uniprix Stadium. Check out the video:

    Read More »from Canadian tennis news and notes: Filip Peliwo shows off his dance moves
  • Kevin Anderson sets the record straight

    Kevin Anderson (Reuters)

    After having his loyalty and honesty questioned by South African Davis Cup captain John-Laffnie de Jager, Kevin Anderson wanted to set the record straight. Anderson, who decided not to represent his country against Canada in Montreal over the next few days, was publicly criticized by de Jager (via iol sport):

    "I'm disappointed because Kevin hasn't been honest with me. He initially spoke of a knee injury preventing him playing in the tie.

    "Now he's playing World Team Tennis. He's a world-class player, but clearly, playing Davis Cup for his country is not one of his priorities."

    [Related: Canada battles undermanned South African team]

    On Friday, Anderson posted a very intelligent and carefully constructed response on his personal blog:

    "In 2011 I played Davis Cup because it was financially attractive to do so; I was able to cover my expenses during the Davis Cup week and also the opportunity cost of adjusting my tournament schedule. However for this tie against Canada, TSA was not able to provide the support that justified me sacrificing my schedule and increasing my risk of injury. If I am injured during Davis Cup play, which happened last year, I receive no support, assistance or insurance from anybody. I am on my own. I told TSA during Wimbledon that the compensation for the tie needed to be sufficient to address the issues at hand. I was available to the play the tie against Canada if TSA had made me an offer that addressed my concerns. However, they did not."

    Read More »from Kevin Anderson sets the record straight
  • Davis Cup: Canada battles an undermanned South African squad, but then what?

    Daniel Nestor and Milos Raonic in action against France (Getty)

    One year ago, Canada's Davis Cup team was riding high after defeating Israel to return to the prestigious World Group of 16 countries in tennis's version of the World Cup. That feeling of euphoria was short-lived as the Canadian crew drew France, which easily won the first-round tie last winter. Milos Raonic was the only Canadian to pull off a win — a straight-sets victory over Julien Benneteau. The loss left Canada in a familiar position — too good for the second tier, but not good enough to hang with the top countries in the world.

    The Canadian squad is hoping that this time history doesn't repeat itself. Raonic and Co. will square off with an undermanned and little-known South Africa team beginning Friday. A win will keep Canada in the World Group for at least another year. While victory can never be assured ahead of time, anything short of a Canadian sweep would be surprising.

    [Eh Game: Canada's new high-tech toy providing an edge for Sochi 2014]

    The highest ranked singles player

    Read More »from Davis Cup: Canada battles an undermanned South African squad, but then what?
  • Blue Jays will look to science to explain injury woes

    Drew Hutchison and Kyle Drabek with assistant trainer Hap Hudson (Getty)

    GM Alex Anthopoulos and the Blue Jays announced on Monday that the team will investigate the rash of injuries suffered by their pitching staff this year. It's unlikely that they'll find a singular reason for all the arm-aches, but it's a good sign that they're at least looking into it and making sure it's not something that can be avoided (via Gregor Chisholm at

    "We're certainly examining it," general manager Alex Anthopoulos said recently. "We're examining maybe workloads in the Minor Leagues -- are we doing enough, are we over protecting guys in the Minor Leagues? We're looking at re-evaluating arm actions, things like that.

    "We're going to examine it, no doubt about it, but I know there definitely seems to be more injuries across the game, more Tommy Johns, seems like everybody is going through it. Almost everybody seems to have had one, one way or the other. So it's just for us, it all snowballed at once."

    While the Jays aren't the only ones who've had multiple pitchers go down this season, they've definitely been hit the hardest. Throughout the course of the pre- and regular season Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchison, Brandon Morrow, Luis Perez, Dustin McGowan, Jesse Litsch, Sergio Santos and Robert Coello have all spent time on the DL with various pitching related injuries. Drabek and Hutchison were hit the hardest, both needing Tommy John surgery. All in all, the Jays arms are getting injured at a staggering rate.

    Read More »from Blue Jays will look to science to explain injury woes
  • Minor league baseball in Canada isn’t what it once was, but there’s hope

    The Vancouver Canadians celebrate the big win (The Vancouver Sun)

    On Sunday night, the Vancouver Canadians, the Blue Jays single-A affiliate, won their second consecutive Northwest League title with a dramatic come from behind win over the Boise Hawks. While Toronto has suffered through an unprecedented number of pitching injuries en route to another disappointing season for its fans, the team's farm system continues to thrive — especially in Vancouver (via The Vancouver Sun):

    "Our partnership with the Blue Jays could not have gotten off to a better start," said a hoarse Canadians GM Jason Takefman in a phone interview following the victory. "We can get used to this championship thing. Oh man, it's amazing. We're raising the trophy down here and we've got non-alcoholic champagne going. It's organized chaos right now. It's a great celebration."

    (Vancouver Province)Since 1999 when the Canadians came into existence, minor league baseball has done quite well in Vancouver. For the fifth straight season attendance is up at iconic Nat Bailey Stadium and just last year the team was honoured with the Bob Freitas Award which recognizes minor league baseball's best run franchises.

    Baseball has a long and storied tradition in Canada (and depending on who you ask, the game was even invented in Ontario). According to Baseball Canada, dating back almost 150 years, no less than 75 Canadian cities and towns have been home to minor and major league teams. In 1913, 24 minor league teams operated north of the 49th parallel.

    Read More »from Minor league baseball in Canada isn’t what it once was, but there’s hope
  • Jose Bautista to have season-ending wrist surgery

    Jose Bautista (The Associated Press)

    The Toronto Blue Jays announced via their official Twitter page that Jose Bautista will have season-ending surgery on his left wrist.

    Bautista left Toronto's 8-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on August 25 with discomfort in the wrist. It was just his second game back after being sidelined since July 16 when the injury initially occurred.

    Bautista spoke to the media on Tuesday (via Sportsnet):

    "We followed the course of action that was recommended at each time during the recovery after the original injury. The only way I could have played again this year without having surgery was to do what we did. I tried, there's just too much instability in that tendon. It got to the point where risking injuring to the tendon was not worth it. That's why we're opting to do it now, that way I have plenty of time to be ready for spring training and the season.

    We always used pain as an indicator of how far I should push it. What I have now is the same injury I had and the same damage to the anatomy

    Read More »from Jose Bautista to have season-ending wrist surgery
  • Canadian makes amazing catch in LLWS game (VIDEO)

    Nothing says sunshine quite like the ping of an aluminum bat. The Little League World Series is one of the true highlights of the summer months and this year's edition has already produced a few memorable moments.

    On Friday afternoon, Thomas Neal may have made the catch of the summer. The 13-year-old outfielder for Canada's Little League representatives, the Hastings Community All-Stars, completely laid out to make an unbelievable grab on a sharp two-out liner off the bat of Mexico's Eduardo Abrego.

    [Related: Canada outlasts Mexico]

    Neal was obviously pumped to have made the grab. So much so that when he was mobbed by his teammates on his way back to the dugout he actually gave the umpire a high-five. The ump, of course, was just asking for the ball.

    Check out the video (courtesy of SportsGrid):

    A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.

    Following the game, Atura Yamaguchi, the pitcher on the mound at the time, was obviously very appreciative of the effort made by his centre fielder. "I told him he was my best friend now,"

    Read More »from Canadian makes amazing catch in LLWS game (VIDEO)
  • Milos Raonic ‘disappointed’ by depleted Rogers Cup draw

    Milos Raonic (Getty Images)Every time another one of tennis' top players announce they'll be skipping the Rogers Cup in Toronto, Milos Raonic's chances of making a prolonged run at his hometown tournament gets better. Raonic, however, would prefer to see the big names stick around.

    He knows if he's to become a legitimate threat on the ATP Tour he needs to knock off those ahead of him in the rankings instead of cruising through depleted draws. When asked about the litany of drop-outs, Raonic told the Globe and Mail, "I want to play against those guys and win against those guys. Those opportunities missing and especially here, where I grew up and play well, it's a little disappointing."

    [Slideshow: Serena crushes Sharapova en route to a gold medal]

    The 21-year-old, who hails from nearby Thornhill, will have the support of the entire crowd when he takes the court against either Alex Bogomolov Jr. of Russia or Viktor Troicki of Serbia in the second-round (as the 16th seed, Raonic qualifies for a first-round bye).

    Read More »from Milos Raonic ‘disappointed’ by depleted Rogers Cup draw
  • The Rogers Cup’s loss could be Milos Raonic’s gain

    Raonic couldn't help but smile following defeat in London (REUTERS)Well, you can add another name to the list of players who have withdrawn from the Rogers Cup in Toronto. The standard ATP Tour schedule is a marathon in itself. Add the Summer Olympics to the mix and it's almost impossible for a player to be able to compete in all of the major tournaments.

    As the Olympics began the withdrawals for next week's Toronto event (qualifying for the main draw begins Saturday at the Rexall Centre). First it was David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco, and Gael Monfils who decided participating in Canada's premier tennis event just wasn't worth it. Then Rafael Nadal decided the injured knee that kept him out of the Olympics would also force him out of the Rogers Cup. Now Roger Federer is the latest to say thanks, but no thanks to Tennis Canada.

    [Related: Federer gives del Potro a shoulder to cry on]

    Federer had barely completed his marathon semi-final match with Juan Martin del Potro on Friday when he announced his intention to rest following the Olympics rather than

    Read More »from The Rogers Cup’s loss could be Milos Raonic’s gain


(22 Stories)