Thompson Sports News

Source: Blue Jays' stadium capacity to rise to 30,000 starting next week

 

TORONTO - The Toronto Blue Jays will get a home-field advantage boost when they return to Rogers Centre next week.

 

Seating capacity at the downtown stadium will be doubled to 30,000 starting with Tuesday night's series opener against the New York Yankees, a source told The Canadian Press on Friday.

 

An official announcement on capacity increases at Ontario professional sport venues was expected to be made by the province on Friday afternoon.

 

The Blue Jays announced Thursday that they would make additional tickets available for their final homestand next week. They were hopeful that government regulations would be loosened for those six games and any post-season home games should the team qualify.

 

Forced to play south of the border last season and part of this season due to pandemic-related travel restrictions, the Blue Jays received clearance to return home in mid-July.

 

The team played its 2021 Rogers Centre opener on July 30 after receiving a national interest travel exemption from the federal government.

 

The Blue Jays were approved to treat the stadium as an outdoor venue at just less than one-third of the stadium's regular 49,000-seat capacity.

 

Cancelled: 2022 Manitoba Games powered by Manitoba Hydro

To keep Manitobans safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19, Sport Manitoba and the Niverville host society are announcing the cancellation of the 2022 Manitoba Games powered by Manitoba Hydro. 

The Games were scheduled to take place in Niverville from February 27 - March 5, 2022. The scope of these Games encompassed upwards of 1,500 participants from all across the province (athletes, coaches, managers, officials), and 1,000 local volunteers organizing 12 sports over seven days in and around the Town of Niverville. 

Over the last 18 months, inconsistencies in competition and training opportunities had an effect on athlete development. Without regular training, conditioning, and recovery routines in this crucial stage, the risk of injury, mental fatigue, and overtraining were also factors in making this decision. 

Along with continued uncertainty about the pandemic, and public health restrictions, it became clear it would not be possible to host an event of this magnitude and execute a safe and successful multi-sport Games experience. 

Sport Manitoba and the Niverville host society worked with the Town of Niverville, provincial sport organizations, Hanover School Division, public health, and Games partners to evaluate a number of options before reaching the collective decision to cancel the event. The support of our title sponsor, Manitoba Hydro, as well as our presenting sponsors, Credit Unions of Manitoba, Calm Air, Konica Minolta, Travel Manitoba, and the Manitoba Dental Association, was welcomed in making this decision.

The host society remained committed and dedicated as it planned through so many unknowns over the last year. To give them an opportunity to follow through on some of the benefits of hosting a Manitoba Games,  Sport Manitoba is guaranteeing $150,000 for capital projects. Some projects, like the cross country ski trails at Hespeler Park, have already benefited from this investment. The funds that remain will be allocated within the community to enhance sport infrastructure and equipment.

The Town of Niverville has been offered the first right of refusal to host the 2026 Manitoba Games powered by Manitoba Hydro in the Winter of 2026, which is the next Games available to host. 

The Manitoba Games powered by Manitoba Hydro is staged every two years, alternates between summer and winter sports, and is the largest ongoing multi-sport event in the province. Each Games involves upwards of 3,000 athletes, coaches, officials, and volunteers, and represents an opportunity for young athletes to compete and prepare to reach national and international sporting stages.

NorMan Northstars home opener weekend starts with games against Southwest Cougers

The Norman Northstars home opener for the new season is this weekend against the Southwest Cougers

 

The first game will be tomorrow night at 7:30 p.m. at the C-A Nesbitt Arena in the TRCC, with the next game on Sunday afternoon at 1:30.

 

Those attending the games must use the south doors, and must provide proof of vaccination prior to entering the venue.

 

Additionally, visitors must wear a mask and use hand sanitizer upon entry.

Montreal Canadiens goalie Price out with knee injury, expected to miss training camp

 

The Montreal Canadiens say star goaltender Carey Price is among five players who failed their physicals due to injury and will likely miss the remainder of training camp.

 

The Canadians said Thursday that Price is out with a knee injury.

 

Forwards Paul Byron (hip), Mike Hoffman (lower-body) and Joel Teasdale (knee) and defenceman Josh Brook (knee) also failed their physicals.

 

The club also said defenceman Joel Edmundson is listed as day-to-day while right-winger Brendan Gallagher is absent for family reasons and is expected to report to camp later.

 

Canadians head coach Dominique Ducharme said Thursday he expects Price to be available when Montreal plays its season opener Oct. 13 at Toronto. He added Hoffman's injury could keep him out for the start of the season.

 

Price is entering his 15th season with Montreal. The 2015 winner of the Hart, Vezina and Jennings awards was a significant factor in the Canadiens' run to the Stanley Cup final last year, posting a 13-9 playoff record with a 2.28 goals-against average and .924 save percentage.

 

Flames pour from section of Superdome roof in New Orleans

 

Smoke and flames have shot fom part of the roof at New Orleans' Superdome as crews worked to clean and prepare the sporting and entertainment arena for painting.

 

The New Orleans Fire Department says it responded to a fire shortly after 12:30 p.m. Tuesday on the roof.

 

A short time later it appeared under control.

 

Crews have been power washing the roof to prepare it to be painted. A Superdome management official, Doug Thornton, told The Times Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate the fire broke out in a section of roof called the gutter tub.

 

New Orleans emergency officials said on Twitter that one person was taken to the hospital with minor burns.

 

 

University of Ottawa football player dies after game on the weekend

 

The University of Ottawa says one of its football players died shortly after a game over the weekend.

 

The school says fifth-year-engineering student Francis Perron died not long after the Gee-Gees game against the University of Toronto on Saturday.

 

Perron had one tackle in an 11-10 loss to the Varsity Blues.

The school has not said how Perron died.

 

School president Jacques Fremont says the Sherbrooke, Que., native excelled on the field and in the classroom.

 

The president says the school will hold a memorial for Perron in the coming weeks.

 

B.C. Lions to mark National Day for Truth and Reconciliation at Sept. 24 game

The B.C. Lions are trying to raise awareness about the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation on Sept. 30.

 

The CFL team's vice-president, George Chayka, says players will wear orange tape when they face the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Vancouver at their game on Sept. 24.

 

He says the Roughriders will also wear orange tape to raise awareness ahead of the day established to honour survivors of Canada's residential school system.

 

The Lions are providing 350 tickets to survivors and their families to attend the game.

 

Chayka says the team is also making a $20,000 donation to the Orange Shirt Society, which was launched by survivor Phyllis Webstad in Williams Lake, B.C., in 2013.

 

Chayka says the team has commissioned a special orange T-shirt for the game with an Indigenous rendition of the B.C. Lions logo designed by Corinne Hunt, who co-created the medals for the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games.

 

AP source: 6 Saints coaches have positive COVID-19 tests

 

Six unidentified members of the New Orleans Saints coaching staff, a player and a nutritionist have tested positive for COVID-19, two people familiar with the situation said.

 

The people spoke with The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the team and NFL had not made a public statement about the matter.

 

The names of those who tested positive were not expected to be released in the short term because of federal medical privacy laws.

 

The people said the entire Saints coaching staff had been vaccinated.

 

It is unclear how long those who tested positive will remain isolated from the team before they may return to the field or in-person meetings.

 

For now, the entire team is operating under the NFL's enhanced mitigation protocols, meaning mandatory masking inside facilities, daily testing, no in-person meetings and grab-and-go meals.

 

The positive tests occurred in the wake of New Orleans' 38-3 victory over Green Bay on Sunday in Jacksonville, Florida, where the game was moved from the Superdome in the wake of damage caused to southeast Louisiana by Hurricane Ida.

 

Blue Jays hit five homers, pound Orioles 22-7

BALTIMORE (AP) - Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and Teoscar Hernandez each hit a grand slam, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. slugged his 44th homer, and the Toronto Blue Jays overpowered the Baltimore Orioles 22-7 Sunday, finishing two runs shy of the franchise record.

Guerrero's drive tied him with Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani for the major league lead. Jake Lamb also homered during a 10-run third inning for the Blue Jays, who took three of the four in the series.

Gurriel set the franchise record with his fourth grand slam of the season and also had a two-run homer in the fifth to drive in seven runs. Danny Jansen had four hits, including three doubles, and four RBIs.

The club record for runs was set in a 24-10 thrashing of the Orioles on June 26, 1978, a game in which John Mayberry hit the Jays' only two homers and had seven RBIs after coming off the bench.

Toronto had 19 hits and improved to 80-63 after starting the day tied with the Yankees for the second AL wild card behind Boston.

Ryan Mountcastle hit his 28th homer, equaling the Orioles rookie record set by Cal Ripken Jr. in 1982.

Calgary Flames sign defencemen Erik Gudbranson, Micheal Stone to one-year deals

CALGARY - The Calgary Flames have bolstered their blue line, signing defencemen Erik Gudbranson and Micheal Stone to one-year deals.

The club says Gudbranson has inked a contract worth US$1.95 million and Stone signed for $700,000.

Gudbranson, 29, comes to Calgary with 10 seasons of NHL experience, including stints in Florida, Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Anaheim, Ottawa and Nashville.

The six-foot-five, 222-pound Ottawa native has 77 points (21 goals, 56 assists) and 640 penalty minutes in 563 regular-season games.

Stone, 31, has spent the past five seasons with the Flames and put up four points (two goals, two assists) in 21 appearances last year.

Originally from Winnipeg, Stone is heading into his 11th NHL season.

Stampeders' QB Mitchell set to make his return from broken leg

Calgary Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell is set to return from a broken leg.

Mitchell is listed as the starter for Saturday's Labour Day rematch against the Elks in Edmonton.

The two-time CFL most outstanding player fractured his fibula in Week 1 of the season.

He came off the six-game injured list and resume practising last week but was on the one-game list for Monday's 32-20 loss at McMahon Stadium in Calgary.

Rookie Jake Maier has started in place of Mitchell and threw for more than 300 yards in each of his first three CFL starts.

Calgary head coach Dave Dickenson said on Thursday that he wanted to be confident that Mitchell's leg could take a hit before inserting him in a game.

Canada's Leylah Fernandez clinches spot in U.S. Open final

NEW YORK - Canada's Leylah Fernandez has clinched a spot in the U.S. Open final with a three-set win over Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.

The 19-year-old from Laval, Que., beat the No. 2 seed 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-4 Thursday in two hours and 20 minutes to advance.

She will face either No. 17 Maria Sakkari of Greece or 18-year-old Emma Raducanu of Great Britain in Saturday's final.

Fernandez will attempt to become the second Canadian to win women's singles at Flushing Meadows after Bianca Andreescu of Mississauga, Ont., who captured the U.S. Open title in 2019.

Fernandez continued her remarkable run at the Grand Slam by knocking off her third top-five opponent.

The 19-year-old from Laval, Que., beat No. 3 Naomi Osaka of Japan in the third round, and followed that up with a victory over No. 5 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine in the quarterfinals.

Jays beat Yanks for 8th straight, 1/2 game back in wild card

NEW YORK (AP) - Bo Bichette thumped a leadoff homer in the first inning and singled in the tiebreaking run in the seventh, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit his 42nd homer, and the Toronto Blue Jays held off the skidding New York Yankees 6-4 Thursday night for their eighth straight win.

The Blue Jays completed their first four-game sweep in the Bronx since 2003 and pulled within a half-game of New York for the final AL wild card. Toronto has its longest winning streak since an 11-game spurt in 2015.

The Yankees have lost six straight and 10 of 12, a jarring collapse immediately following a 13-game winning streak that propelled them to the top of the wild-card race. They fell a game behind idle Boston for the lead spot.

First time since 1908, the Yankees were swept in a four-game home series while never leading, according to STATS.

Jose Berrios (11-7) dominated the Yankees until Anthony Rizzo's two-run homer in the sixth tied it at 2. The right-hander got two outs in the seventh before being pulled after 109 pitches. He was charged with two runs and struck out eight.

Bichette got the first of his three hits with his 22nd homer to begin the game. Randal Grichuk added a solo shot against New York starter Nestor Cortes Jr., and Teoscar Hernandez also had three hits for Toronto.

Canada's De Grasse races to second in 100 and 200 metres at Diamond League Final

 

Canada's Olympic champion Andre De Grasse raced to a pair of second-place finishes at the Diamond League Final on Thursday.

 

The 26-year-old from Markham, Ont., opened the night with a second in the 100 metres, tying his personal best 9.89 seconds, a mark he set when he won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics.

 

American Fred Kerley, silver medallist in Tokyo, won in 9.87. American Ronnie Baker took third in 9.91.

 

De Grasse followed it up with a second in the 200 barely an hour later. He was well back of the leaders coming off the corner, but closed down the home stretch to run 19.72 seconds - his second fastest time of the season.

 

Kenny Bednarek edged De Grasse in 19.70 at Letzigrund Stadium.

 

De Grasse was a triple medallist in Tokyo and Canada's most decorated male Olympian of the Games. He won gold in the 200 and bronze in the 100 and 4x100 relay.

 

Brandon University says Theo Fleury's recent vaccine comments a 'stain on his legacy'

BRANDON, Man. - Brandon University has issued a statement publicly criticizing former NHLer Theo Fleury for spreading harmful conspiracy theories.

The school in southwestern Manitoba granted Fleury an honorary doctorate in 2015.

Fleury was awarded the degree for “his significant contributions” to combating child sexual abuse.

Brandon University says Fleury's recent public statements about COVID-19 vaccine passports are “a stain on his legacy.”

The school issued the statement after Fleury tweeted that vaccine passports would be used by pedophiles to track children.

Fleury has since deleted the tweet.

FC Edmonton beats Valour FC 3-0 to halt winless streak

WINNIPEG - Tobias Warschewski and Easton Ongaro scored back-to-back goals late in the first half, and FC Edmonton went on to halt its seven-game winless streak with a 3-0 win over Valour FC on Tuesday in Premier League play.

Warschewski opened the scoring in the 40th minute before Ongaro doubled the lead in the 44th.

Azriel Gonzalez added a third goal in the 73rd for FC Edmonton (4-8-5), which entered the match with three draws and four losses in their past seven outings.

The club sits second last in the CPL's eight-team standings.

Connor James made four saves for the clean sheet.

Valour FC (7-9-1) dropped its third game in a row and is in fourth spot with just one win in its last 10 matches.

Cole injured, surging Blue Jays power past Yankees 5-1

NEW YORK (AP) - Marcus Semien homered again, Alejandro Kirk went deep twice and the surging Toronto Blue Jays beat the skidding Yankees 5-1 on Tuesday night after New York ace Gerrit Cole exited early with a hamstring injury.

Cole (14-7) was pulled in the fourth inning with left hamstring tightness after allowing a sacrifice fly to Reese McGuire that gave the Blue Jays a 3-1 lead. After the throw from center fielder Aaron Judge deflected off his glove, Cole motioned to the dugout and was checked out by trainer Tim Lentych.

Cole allowed three runs, two earned, and five hits in 3 2/3 innings. After striking out 15 on Wednesday against the Angels, he threw 70 pitches as Toronto put together several long at-bats against the star right-hander.

Semien extended his career high with his 38th homer and seventh against the Yankees this year when he connected off Albert Abreu to open the fifth for a 4-1 lead. It was the sixth homer in six games for Semien, whose previous career best was 33 for Oakland in 2019.

Kirk went deep in the second off Cole and connected again in the eighth as Toronto won its sixth straight and for the ninth time in 10 games.

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly in the fourth on a night when slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. had his career-high hitting streak stopped at 14 games.

Canadian Leylah Fernandez posts another upset, earns spot in U.S. Open semifinals

NEW YORK - Canada's Leylah Fernandez continued her remarkable run at the U.S. Open Tuesday, earning a spot in the semifinals with an upset victory over Elina Svitolina of Ukraine.

The 19-year-old from Laval, Que., held on through some difficult stretches to post a 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(7) win over the tournament's No. 5 seed.

Fernandez broke Svitolina midway through the first set and won 4-of-10 break points across the two-hour-and-24-minute match.

Svitolina, who won bronze at the Tokyo Olympics last month, had eight aces and won 72 per cent of her first-serve points, but the Canadian remained patient and agile, dashing across the court to place shots just beyond her opponent's reach.

Fernandez, currently ranked No. 73 in the world, also beat stars Naomi Osaka of Japan in the third round and Germany's Angelique Kerber in the fourth.

She'll face either No. 8 seed Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic or No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus in the semifinals.

Portugal overcomes Ronaldo's absence, beats Azerbaijan 3-0

 

Portugal overcame the absence of Cristiano Ronaldo to comfortably defeat Azerbaijan 3-0 and take the lead in its World Cup qualifying group on Tuesday.

 

Bernardo Silva, Andre Silva and Diogo Jota scored a goal each for visiting Portugal, which moved three points ahead of Serbia in Group A.

 

The Serbians can return to the top when they visit Ireland later Tuesday.

 

Ronaldo was serving a suspension for accumulation of yellow cards.

 

He was released from the squad after netting his 110th and 111th goals in Portugal's 2-1 win over Ireland last week, becoming the men's all-time top scorer in international soccer.

 

He had been tied with former Iranian striker Ali Daei at 109 goals.

 

Bernardo Silva opened the scoring from inside the area in the 26th minute by flicking the ball into the top corner with the outside of his left foot.

 

Andre Silva, playing in Ronaldo's position up front, added to the lead from close range five minutes later, and Jota sealed the victory with a header in the 75th.

 

Winless Azerbaijan stayed in last place in the group with one point from five matches.

 

It hosts Ireland in the next round in October.

 

Serbia will next visit Luxembourg, which is also Portugal's next opponent.

 

Canada coach says update to come on health of star fullback/winger Alphonso Davies

 

There is a question mark over the health of Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies ahead of Canada's World Cup qualifying match against El Salvador on Wednesday.

 

Coach John Herdman said the 20-year-old fullback/winger did not train with the team at BMO Field on Tuesday.

 

He said an update on Davies' condition would come later Tuesday or “probably” Wednesday morning “as we continue the assessment.”

 

Herdman said Davies was still with the team.

 

Davies looked pained when he left Sunday's 1-1 tie with the U.S. in the 75th minute and was immediately greeted by trainers when he get to the bench.

 

His assist on Cyle Larin's tying goal in the 62nd minute of the game in Nashville was his record-breaking sixth in 2021.

 

He had shared the previous Canadian men's record with Martin Nash (2000).

 

Davies was also injured with Canada in July, suffering a torn ligament in his ankle in training prior to the Gold Cup.

 

At the time, Herdman said the 20-year-old turned his ankle after riding a tackle in a small-sided game.

 

 

OHL suspends controversial Canadiens draft pick Logan Mailloux

 

The Ontario Hockey League has suspended Montreal Canadiens first-round draft pick Logan Mailloux indefinitely for violating the league's expectation for appropriate conduct by a player.

 

The league announced the move in a release Thursday, saying the punishment relates to an incident that took place while the London Knights defenceman was on loan to SK Lejon in Sweden in November 2020.

 

Mailloux has previously said he “deeply regrets” taking a photo of himself and a young woman without consent during an “intimate moment” and then sharing that photo with his teammates “to impress them.”

 

The act resulted in the 18-year-old being charged and fined under Swedish law.

 

The OHL says Mailloux can apply for reinstatement to the league on Jan. 1, 2022 and a decision about his reinstatement will be made based on his conduct and what treatment, counselling, mentoring or education he has received.

 

Days before the draft, Mailloux posted a statement on Twitter asking teams not to pick him this year but the Canadiens defied the request and selected the six-foot-three, 213-pound defenceman 31st overall, with general manager Marc Bergevin defending the move to reporters shortly after the selection.

 

Canada's Leylah Fernandez advances to third round at U.S. Open

 

Canada's Leylah Fernandez moved on to the third round of women's singles competition at the U.S. Open with a 7-5, 7-5 win over Estonia's Kaia Kanepi on Wednesday.

 

The closely contested match came down in part to Fernandez's better defence of break points.

 

Fernandez, from Laval, Que., was broken once on eight break-point chances. The Canadian converted three of nine chances against Kanepi.

 

Kanepi didn't help her cause with 50 unforced errors, compared to the 36 committed by Fernandez.

 

Both players made their serves count, with Fernandez winning 80 per cent of first-serve points, compared to 78 per cent for Kanepi.

 

Fernandez will next face third seed Naomi Osaka of Japan. It will be Fernandez's first time facing the defending U.S. Open champion.

 

Winnipeg Blue Bombers sign veteran American receiver Naaman Roosevelt

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have signed veteran receiver Naaman Roosevelt.

 

The native of Buffalo, N.Y., played with the Saskatchewan Roughriders from 2015-19.

 

Roosevelt was Saskatchewan's most outstanding player in 2016 when he had 76 receptions for 1,095 yards in just 11 games.

 

He was named a West Division all-star in 2017 with 75 receptions for 1,035 yards and eight touchdowns in 14 games.

 

He was most recently with the Montreal Alouettes in training camp before being released last month.

 

Roosevelt has 301 receptions for 4,134 yards and 20 touchdowns in 67 career CFL games.

 

Canada's Marco Arop captures second consecutive Diamond League 800 title

 

Canada's Marco Arop held off Olympic champion Emmanuel Korir to win his second consecutive Diamond League 800-metre title on Thursday in Lausanne.

 

The 22-year-old from Edmonton, who didn't advance out of the semifinals in his Olympic debut earlier this month in Tokyo, ran one minute 44.50 seconds on a gusty night.

 

Arop beat what was nearly an identical field to the Olympic final. Korir, who made a push to catch Arop down the homestretch, was second in 1:44.62, while Kenyan teammate Ferguson Rotich, the silver medallist in Tokyo, was third on Thursday in 1:45.48.

 

Arop beat virtually the same field to win the Prefontaine Classic on Saturday in Eugene, Ore.

 

The Canadian is relatively new to track and field, capturing his first international title at the Pan American Games in 2019 in Lima, Peru. He grew up playing basketball, and dreamt of one day playing in the NBA.

 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 26, 2021.

 

Springer making strides in recovery from knee injury, runs bases without issue

 

TORONTO - Star outfielder George Springer appeared one step closer to returning to the Toronto lineup after completing base-running drills Thursday before the Blue Jays' afternoon game against the Chicago White Sox.

 

Springer, who went on the 10-day injured list Aug. 15 with a left knee sprain, ran hard around the bases several times under the watchful eye of team staff.

 

“(It went) great, that's probably why I'm smiling a little bit now,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said in his pre-game media availability.

 

Springer became eligible for activation Wednesday but his return was ruled out for the four-game White Sox series. The Blue Jays will begin a weekend series at Detroit on Friday night.

 

“What he did today was a pretty good test,” Montoyo said. “He did run close to 100 per cent I would say. He looked pretty fast, he looked comfortable and he felt good.”

 

Springer also did some work in the batting cage and participated in regular batting practice at Rogers Centre.

 

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