Eh Game

  • Maria Sharapova will return to professional tennis next April 26 - one week after she turns 30 years old, and 15 months after a positive doping test at the 2016 Australian Open derailed her career.

    IMG, the agency that represents her, came prepared: an e-mail containing several documents containing some of the backup for Sharapova’s defence, a “statement of facts” and a statement from Sharapova arrived via e-mail shortly after the official verdict was announced at 9 a.m. EDT Tuesday.

    Sharapova is already scheduled for the Charlie Rose show later Tuesday:

    “In so many ways, I feel like something I love was taken away from me and it will feel really good to have it back. Tennis is my passion and I have missed it. I am counting the days until I can return to the court. I have learned from this, and I hope the ITF has as well,” was part of Sharapova’s statement.

    There are pages and pages of legalese surrounding this process, which has played out over more than six months. But it comes

    Read More »from Maria Sharapova will return to the WTA Tour in April, having served a total of 15 months for a positive anti-doping test
  • Andy Murray's craziest moment: Stalked by a hotel maid

    So you're world No. 2 Andy Murray, two-time Olympic champion and defending Wimbledon champ. And one morning, you wake up to some stranger stroking your arm.

    So Murray told a rep of the International Premier Tennis League in one of the circuit's promotional "Up Close & Personal" segments, when asked about the "craziest thing a fan has ever said or done" around him.

    In his case: a hotel maid who got a little too close for comfort, then followed him around the tennis tour for a couple more stops:

    "I had the do not disturb sign on the door, and she came in and sat on my bed and started stroking my arm at about 7 in the morning, when I was still sleeping, and then turned up at a couple more tournaments, in the hotels, I was playing at in Rotterdam and Barcelona. I don't know if that's a fan thing, but that's a bit

    Read More »from Andy Murray's craziest moment: Stalked by a hotel maid
  • University lacrosse match decided by epic game of rock, paper, scissors

    Epic rock, paper, scissors match betweet Western Michigan and Dayton lacrosse teams.Epic rock, paper, scissors match betweet Western Michigan and Dayton lacrosse teams.

    Inclement weather may have cancelled the lacrosse game, but the battle between Western Michigan and Dayton University was fought nonetheless.

    Earlier this week, the two schools were forced to put away their lacrosse sticks as the game was cancelled due to lightning in the area. But no one was interested in shaking hands and calling it a draw. These boys came to compete.

    Enter one of the most epic games of rock, paper, scissors that has ever been played. Best two out of three, of course.

    Western Michigan got on the board first with a deft scissors win over Dayton's paper. It's win or go home for Dayton, and this is where things get interesting.

    With Western up 1-0, both teams draw the same tool on back-to-back draws; first paper, then rock. The tension in the crowd is palpable (love the collective gasps as the two teams draw the same tool twice). Western then delivers the decisive blow with the next draw; paper, wrapping up Dayton's lowly rock, and it's game over.

    It may not count on

    Read More »from University lacrosse match decided by epic game of rock, paper, scissors
  • Yes, they are back. And after being away from the competitive scene for the past two seasons, Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir – the 2010 Olympic ice dancing champions – have a glow about them now. They look happy, and already they’ve thrown down top scores in the world at the Autumn Classic International, an early-season competition in Montreal over weekend.

    A 77.72 score in the short program eclipsed their previous best. That came with the knowledge they are rusty, not having done twizzles (travelling spins) for two years and a few other skills as well. No surprise there - it was their first competition in 945 days.

    Although the Grand Prix season is yet to come and some top dancers haven’t registered scores yet, Virtue and Moir have already achieved higher scores this season than Anna Cappellini and Luca Lanotte of Italy, who won a world title in their absence. Virtue and Moir’s short dance score was the second highest in history. Their free dance score (111.48) was short of their best

    Read More »from Tessa Virtue, Scott Moir on the comeback: 'Our whole theory is to enjoy ourselves'
  • TORONTO – Blue Jays manager John Gibbons is sticking with his guy. Marcus Stroman will get the start for Toronto on Tuesday night in the American League wild-card game against the Baltimore Orioles, as the opening day starter for the Jays will attempt to make sure it's not their last game this season.

    "It wasn't easy, but I think [Stroman] is the perfect guy. Some guys rise to the occasion and I’ve seen Stroman do that many, many times. A big game, we've seen him do it before. He did it a couple times for us last year," said Gibbons.

    The decision came down to Stroman or Francisco Liriano, who is fully rested and impressed in September. Liriano was also in strong consideration because the Orioles have struggled against lefthanders.

    But ultimately Gibbons went with Stroman, who bounced back in the second half after an uneven start to the season. Stroman's ERA was 3.68 in 14 starts after the All-Star break, compared to 4.89 in his first 18 starts of the year, and his strikeouts were up

    Read More »from Marcus Stroman to start wild-card game for Blue Jays over Francisco Liriano
  • After Toronto endured more than two decades without October baseball, the Blue Jays have delivered on a post-season promise in back-to-back years. After an 89-73 regular season, the Jays will get at least one more when they take on the Baltimore Orioles in the American League wild-card game. Thanks to a season series win over the O's — who also finished with a 89-73 record — the Rogers Centre will play host to the do-or-die game that goes Tuesday night.

    The winner is off to the American League Division Series, where the Texas Rangers — well-known foes north of the border  – await. The loser is done, their playoffs done in a flash. The baseball season is a grind, and the Blue Jays experienced their fair share of ups and downs throughout the 162-game marathon this year. Before we get to the fateful wild-card game, let's take a look back at some defining moments from the Blue Jays 2016 season:

    May 15 – Texas Rangers' Rougned Odor punches Jose Bautista

    Dating back to last year’s ALDS, the

    Read More »from Blue Jays heading to post-season: Defining moments from the 2016 season
  • Lady Gaga makes awkward TV appearance to talk Super Bowl halftime show

    You may recall her stirring rendition of the U.S. national anthem at last season's Super Bowl. Her big, blonde hair. Her booming voice. Many were quick to call it one of the greatest anthems ever sung at the NFL's championship game.

    This winter, Grammy-award winning artist Lady Gaga will return to Super Bowl Sunday as the featured performer for the storied halftime show. It's a performance Gaga had been dreaming of since she was a little girl, and despite the fact that the show is more than four months away, Gaga can't seem to contain her excitement.

    The 'Poker Face' performer stopped by the FOX studios on NFL Sunday to chat about the upcoming performance. Gaga touched on what she has planned for the show, how improtant this particular performance is to her. She even tried her hand at talking football with host's Michael Strahan and Curt Menefee, and that's when things got a little awkward.

    Read More »from Lady Gaga makes awkward TV appearance to talk Super Bowl halftime show
  • Fans cheer during a four-balls match at the Ryder Cup golf tournament Friday, Sept. 30, 2016, at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)Fans cheer during a four-balls match at the Ryder Cup golf tournament Friday, Sept. 30, 2016, at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, Minn. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
    The Ryder Cup. That biennial trip down golf's rabbit hole. Weird and wonderful and getting weirder all the time, to the point that one of these years, they'll forego actually holding it on a golf course and just let Tim Burton direct it in front of a green screen.

    The game of golf has its soul splayed out on the table at this thing and never more has there been a pitched fight for that soul than this year, at Hazeltine, in Minnesota. Dour, hushed and quite proper? Or cheery, bellowing and braying?

    The latter won out this time around and it did so with mixed results.

    That there was an actual windmill in plain view behind one of the holes carried more than a little symbolism for me and had me thinking that maybe some of the gallery members had been bussed in from the snack bars of every mini-putt within driving distance.

    Tricked up, trumped up, amped up golf, both on the links and in the galleries. The competition and shotmaking were sensational. The atmosphere was positively crackling,

    Read More »from Monday Musings: Down the Ryder Cup rabbit hole
  • Rickie Fowler shrugs, the Internet breaks

    If a picture is really worth a thousand words, Rickie Fowler delivered an essay with this one snap that caught him among his victorious American mates celebrating a Ryder Cup win with their significant others.
    Amid the smooches, there was Fowler with a shrug, delivering the shot of the tournament.

    For the record, Fowler beat Olympic gold medal winner 1-up in their singles match, part of a 17-11 win as the U.S. took back the Ryder Cup from Europe. And ever the team guy, he fired up his congrats afterward – while noting the photo. Congrats to Rickie Fowler for winning the Ryder Cup, and the Internet.

     More from Yahoo Canada Sports:

     

     

    Read More »from Rickie Fowler shrugs, the Internet breaks
  • This is the new normal for the Toronto Raptors: they're back in Vancouver for training camp and are seen as one of the top teams in the NBA's Eastern Conference.

    When the Raptors first went west for their preseason preparations ahead of the 2014-15 season, they were trying something new as they tried to establish themselves as a legitimate playoff team. Since then they've run off their two best seasons in franchise history, last year reaching the Eastern Conference finals following a 56-win regular season.

    With all the unprecedented success, there's no reason to change it up now. The Raptors open the preseason schedule Saturday afternoon at Rogers Arena opposite the Golden State Warriors, a team that made an offseason splash after suffering a crushing defeat against the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals, despite winning an NBA record 73 regular season games.

    The big addition, of course, is Kevin Durant, who signed with Golden State as a free agent. Durant, a seven-time All-Star

    Read More »from Raptors set to kick off preseason against Warriors in Vancouver
  • As Jays roll into town, Red Sox roll out David Ortiz tribute

    The Blue Jays head into Boston on the final weekend of the season and the contrasts couldn't be more marked. Including a familiar figure whose iconic pose has been mowed into the outfield grass after some fine work by the Fenway Park grounds crew.

    So here's the score for the Jays: While they're flailing away trying to nail down a wild-card spot, the Red Sox are on cruise control with a division flag already in their back pockets, an outside shot to catch Texas for best record in the AL -- and David Ortiz's final regular-season series at Fenway.

    Big Papi will be a big presence for the Red Sox, at the plate, on the grass and even outside the ballpark. For the Jays,

    Read More »from As Jays roll into town, Red Sox roll out David Ortiz tribute
  • TORONTO – The powerful Baltimore Orioles’ first two runs came courtesy of a sacrifice fly and an RBI fielder’s choice. The third run was driven home on a ground ball through the right side. So was the fourth. 

    Not how you would expect the team that leads the major leagues in home runs to generate its offence, but as long as they scored more runs than the Blue Jays on Thursday night it was good enough. One run would have been enough in this game.

    Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez – he of the 5.71 ERA on the season, but 3.17 ERA in the second half – shut out Toronto over 6 2/3 innings and Baltimore’s lockdown bullpen did the rest in a 4-0 win at Rogers Centre where the home team managed just one extra-base hit.

    The boos from the sellout crowd hoping to see the Blue Jays grab a stranglehold on the wild card began well before the bottom of the ninth when Josh Donaldson and Jose Bautista struck out against reliever Brad Brach. It was Bautista’s third strikeout of the game and Donaldson was

    Read More »from Blue Jays' offence a no-show in critical loss to Orioles
  • The chattiest man in hockey has been silenced, but even a major stroke suffered last April couldn’t silence Jacques Demers’ smile Wednesday night.

    The 73-year-old made his first public appearance at the 26th annual Quebec Sports Hall of Fame ceremony, inducted as a coach on a night when such luminaries as swimmer Emilie Heymans, NHL star Dave Keon and goaltender Kim St-Pierre also were honoured. But for most of the 300 in attendance, there was only “Coach.”

    Six months after the stroke, Demers still can only speak a few words and is dealing with some paralysis on his right side. Guy Carbonneau, his captain on that 1993 Stanley Cup-winning squad, wheeled him into the gala.

    The beaming smile on Demers’ face at the first hug from longtime colleague and great friend Chantal Machabée, who covers hockey for RDS and occasionally hosts the popular post-game panel discussion in which he appeared, was that of a man so diminished physically but still so aware.

    Read More »from In his first public appearance after an April stroke, a silenced Jacques Demers still speaks volumes
  • Ban Canada.

    Or at least break them up, these bearded brutes that have turned the World Cup of Hockey into their own playland.

    At this point, flippancy might well be the only option left for opponents. The question such toying brings up has two sides: Is this Team Canada the country’s best-ever men’s side? Or are they simply too much of a match for opposition that's collectively on the decline?

    There’s surely a gulf between those two extremes. Canada’s 15 wins in a row against the hockey world’s top flight, and a third successive “best-on-best” title in the offing Thursday night against Team Europe, is impossible to ignore. Over five games on home ice in Toronto, Canada has trailed for two minutes and 41 seconds. Sidney Crosby has been brilliant, Carey Price has looked like himself again, and on down the bench everyone else has stepped up and filled their roles.

    Canada's Brent Burns and Patrice Bergeron celebrate a goal in the preliminary round at the World Cup. (Getty)Canada's Brent Burns and Patrice Bergeron celebrate a goal in the preliminary round at the World Cup. (Getty)

    Against all that, no one has threatened. The one hope for neutrals, the 23-and-under side known as North America that was

    Read More »from The secret behind Team Canada's dominance
  • One day up; the next day down. This is September baseball for a team that's still fighting for a playoff spot with less than a week left in the season.

    The Blue Jays had to feel good about their chances to be playing in the American League wild-card game next Tuesday night and have home field advantage after Tuesday's win over the Orioles. Wednesday's 3-2 loss to Baltimore followed and swiftly left a feeling of uncertainty about what had seemed like a foregone conclusion just 24 hours earlier.

    The Orioles are now one game back of Toronto in the wild-card standings entering Thursday night's game while Detroit is one game behind Baltimore in the race. 

    What unfolded at Rogers Centre on Wednesday night was representative of what this Blue Jays team is on most nights: a rotation that's been outstanding all year; an offence that for whatever reason doesn't have the same dynamic edge it had in 2015; a bullpen that had found stability midseason and is now suddenly shaky again.

    Toronto

    Read More »from Blue Jays riding ups and downs of September baseball
  • Drake trolls Kings' Matt Barnes with Derek Fisher jersey at California show

    Never one to shy down from throwing a little shade, Drake appears to have moved on from his Meek Mill beef with a new target to troll.

    The Toronto rapper's basketball jersey selection was all the rage following Drake's recent show in Inglewood, California. Rocking a Lakers jersey on stage, Drake appeared to stand up for his new flame Rihanna by taking a subtle jab at Sacramento Kings forward Matt Barnes.

    As the story goes, Barnes alleges to have had a history with Rihanna prior to her relationship with Drake. RiRi has vehemently denied a fling with Barnes, and it looks like Drake is having a tough time letting this one go. 

    Drake shared two images on Instagram after the California show and while the Lakers jersey was a hit, it's the name on the back that seems to be stirring the pot.


    Yup, that's a Derek Fisher jersey. And in case you don't remember, Fisher and Barnes had their own beef a while back after the former was accused of allegedly hooking up with the latter's estranged wife.

    Read More »from Drake trolls Kings' Matt Barnes with Derek Fisher jersey at California show
  • Pro golfers like American Ryan Moore, shown during practice  for the 41st Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club, may see a lot of innovations soon. Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY SportsPro golfers like American Ryan Moore, shown during practice for the 41st Ryder Cup at Hazeltine National Golf Club, may see a lot of innovations soon. Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports
    When the first driver strikes ball at the 2016 Ryder Cup on Friday, there's a possibility it might herald the end of an era in golf.

    On the other hand, if some of the changes planned by the European Tour are part of the next Ryder Cup, dyed-in-the-plus-fours golf traditionalists may see it as the end of civilization.

    There's no indication that the 2018 Ryder Cup in France will incorporate any of those changes. But if they work the way the European Tour hopes they might, you never know.

    And there's some significant Canadian content to all of this, too. Most of the revolutionary ideas on changing the game have come from Keith Pelley, former head of Rogers Communications, TSN and the Toronto Argonauts, who is now the European Tour's CEO.

    “I say to the players constantly, I do believe that it’s part of our mission to grow the game, to showcase the game and to change the game and to adapt it to the modern world which is completely different,” Pelley told the Globe and Mail recently. “I

    Read More »from Next Ryder Cup could look a lot different thanks to European Tour's planned changes
  • Sebastian Giovinco’s absence was never more obvious as Toronto FC sputtered to a goalless draw with Orlando City SC on Wednesday night.

    Shorn of MLS’ best player, Toronto lacked clinical finishing as it failed to make the most of its game in hand among the teams chasing it for top spot in the MLS Eastern Conference, against an Orlando team that has leaked goals of late.

    It’s hardly a disaster as Toronto moved into first place in the conference standings, one point ahead of the two New York teams. But the third straight home draw has allowed other teams to close right up, leaving no margin for error in the final three regular season games. Toronto still has yet to seal up a home playoff date that comes guaranteed with a top-four finish in the conference, and they've managed but one goal in their past two matches.

    “It’s tough to not have him in this stretch but it’s important to have him come playoff time,” said head coach Greg Vanney. “We are moving the ball well and solid defensively

    Read More »from As Giovinco's spell on sidelines lengthens, Toronto FC spins its wheels
  • TORONTO — That’s September baseball is how Toronto Blue Jays reliever Jason Grilli described the result  Wednesday at the Rogers Centre.

    The Blue Jays lost a tough one to the Baltimore Orioles in the second of their three-game series against their division rivals. Toronto entered the ninth inning with a 2-1 lead, but closer Roberto Osuna gave up a two-run homer to Hyun Soo Kim to give the O’s the 3-2 comeback victory.

    Entering the game, the Blue Jays were looking to inch one step closer to clinching a playoff berth — their second in as many years — against the Orioles, their closest pursuers in the race for the top American League wild-card spot. Before the game, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said he doesn’t concern himself with the mathematical possibilities of clinching.

    "I can't get caught up in that. We're getting close. There's different things — who can do what. But I'm sure somebody will come tell me when they juggle the numbers that 'Hey, this is the night,'" Gibbons told

    Read More »from Blue Jays' late-inning collapse allows Orioles to cut wild-card lead to one
  • There’s one big problem with tennis movies: the actual playing of the tennis.

    Ask any tennis player: you could play for 30 years and still not look like a world No. 1 – even in practice.

    In the case of the Borg v. McEnroe movie, which began shooting a few weeks ago, it’s going to be a particularly tricky issue as both Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe have such distinctive playing styles that no amount of headbands or tighty-whitey 80s shorts will make up for it.

    It’s not like football or hockey where you can put out a stunt double in a helmet and pads and fake it.

    “It’s difficult even for tennis players to re-enact what they did. So how in the hell is an actor going to do it on a court? It looks fake. They look like actors who can’t play,” McEnroe told Vanity Fair last week. “You see these guys, they go out there and they barely even know how to play tennis. Hopefully they’re focusing on stuff off the court. Unless they intertwine it (with) real footage. Then it would be cool, maybe.”

    Read More »from John McEnroe skeptical about the new Borg vs. McEnroe flick, starring Shia Labeouf as the Superbrat