Posts Tagged ‘Criticism’

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New York Islanders players are sticking up for John Tavares after a retired former teammate questioned his leadership.

Several of Tavares’ old running mates dismissed Rob Schremp’s insinuation that the Toronto Maple Leafs center is a selfish player when they were asked about the comments.

“He was by no means a bad leader or a bad teammate,” New York forward Matt Martintold Sportsnet’s Eric Francis. “I think he was a good captain, led by example, played hard every night, and really cared about the organization and the team.”

“It’s silly to me,” Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey said. He then added an anecdote about when Tavares lost the 2014-15 scoring title by a single point after asking for his deflection to instead be credited to Hickey on a goal about halfway through the season.

“He’s a good teammate,” Hickey continued. “For anyone to say he’s selfish, they’re just misguided. Maybe they’re looking for a headline.”

Jordan Eberle agreed.

“If the team isn’t having success and he is, it’s not his fault. I’ve never seen him be selfish,” he said. “(The tweet) was a bit surprising. I was shocked, because I know John and played with him and I think the majority of guys who played with him will say the same thing.”

Tavares had individual goals but the team was his top priority, according to Andrew Ladd.

“The way he takes care of himself and all that – he wanted to be the best,” he said. “That’s his goal. Everything he did was for the group. Nothing but good things from me as a teammate. He’s got a good rep in this room.”

Tavares spent nine seasons with the Islanders, including five as captain. He ranks fifth on the club’s all-time points list.

Schremp spent parts of two of those campaigns with Tavares and New York. He was a first-round pick in the 2004 draft, but last played in the NHL in 2010-11 and spent his final seven seasons playing in Europe.

Tavares signed with the Leafs as a free agent last July.

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Paige has been receiving some criticism for comments she made during a recent conference call regarding the current Women’s Revolution. While promoting the movie Fighting with My Family, which is based on her life, the former WWEDivas Champion claimed that before the Revolution started, the problem with the progress in women’s wrestling was that the fans were not taking them seriously.

“It was never WWE holding the women back,” Paige said, via Gulf News. “It was the fans not taking them seriously. They wanted to see more of the male characters many years ago. It was a male dominated sport.”

Since the Attitude Era started in the late 1990’s, WWE women’s matches were usually relegated to women being stripped down to as little clothing as possible. Bra and panties matches, which were a staple with the company for nearly a decade, ended in 2007 when WWE decided to move in a PG direction. From 2007 until the Women’s Revolution was officially coined in 2015, women’s matches would rarely be given any time, and were usually not in a prime spot on the show.

“When I first started (in 2014), there were only five women there,” Paige said. “It was a struggle but WWE just believed in us. When I got into the ring, I wanted to prove to the fans that girls were capable of having good matches and sometimes, even better. That was kind of my mission from the get go. Now there’s obviously a revolution.”

Paige clarified her remarks on Twitter, saying that the blame laid on both the fans and the company, saying that it was “a two way street.”

“Fans back then would call us toilet breaks. It was only when the girls, the female superstars took it upon themselves to change the way anyone perceived us. AJ (Lee), the Bellas, myself and the WWE four horsewomen all the superstars wanted to create that change,” Paige wrote. “In reality what I said was it’s not all on WWE. Up until a few years ago women didn’t have the support from a lot of people.”

When a user stated that a lot of fans supported the women back then, Paige replied, “Absolutely you guys did. We loved that. But riddle me this, what about when the bra and panties matches were happening? Or when Michelle McCool, Gail Kim etc were busting their asses why wasn’t there an uproar then? All I’m saying is.. it’s a two way street.”

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Rod Brind’Amour is all for his players’ post-win routines.

The Carolina Hurricanes head coach left no doubt about his position on the “storm surge” celebrations that Don Cherry criticized on “Hockey Night in Canada” on Saturday night.

“It’s not about everyone else. (Critics are) missing the point,” Brind’Amour told reportersMonday. “It’s about our players engaging our fans and thanking them for sticking with us, being there (for us), and trying to provide a little levity to a pretty serious game. We push these guys pretty hard.”

He said the performances aren’t taking place while games are in progress, and the team deserves to let loose in a unique way.

“Everything’s happening after the game. This isn’t during the game. It’s not before the game. This is when it’s all said and done. They’ve put the work in and now they’re just … instead of just the traditional salute to the fans which nobody cares about, they’re just trying to do something a little different.

“We really don’t care what other people think about it. It’s been pretty positive around here. I haven’t had one fan here say they didn’t like it, so I don’t think we’re changing it.”

Brind’Amour said none of the players have been uncomfortable with the celebrations.

“I think they love it, and it’s their thing,” he continued. “If (team captain Justin Williams) thought they didn’t want to do it anymore, he wouldn’t do it. We’re making way too big a deal of it.”

The bench boss added that there are no plans to stop or alter the post-win ritual that the club started this season.

“The fans are enjoying it. You’ve got to remember, that’s what we’re here to do. They’re the ones that pay the salaries. We have to do things a little differently down here to keep people interested. At the end of the day, it’s entertainment and for whatever reason they think that’s entertaining. It’s fun, people.”

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Brind’Amour said he hopes Monday was the first and last time he has to talk about the celebrations, calling the discussion “irrelevant to what’s going on.”

Cherry lashed out at the team, calling Hurricanes players “a bunch of jerks” and warning that “they better not do this in the playoffs.”

Shortly after Cherry’s rant, Carolina shut out the Dallas Stars and did a limbo contest to celebrate. The latest routine drew praise from Hurricanes owner Tom Dundon, and a subtle jab at Cherry. On Sunday, the club revealed “bunch of jerks” T-shirts that will be available later this week.

The Hurricanes are surging on the ice as well, having won eight of their last 10 games to move into the playoff hunt.

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Marcus Stroman wants to stay with the Toronto Blue Jays for a long time, but the feeling may not be mutual.

“I’ve been waiting to sign a long-term deal, I’ve been offered nothing,” Stroman told reporters on Sunday, including Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com.

“There’s no one that embodies the city of Toronto more than me and you’re not going to find guys who come in and want to embody the city of Toronto because it’s just not natural,” the right-hander and New York native added. “I’ve taken a liking to that myself. That has been organic and natural. It’s not something I had to do. It’s something I wanted to do. Like I said, I’ve always wanted to be here.”

Team sources disputed Stroman’s claim that he hasn’t been offered a long-term extension, according to Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun.

“I want to make sure everybody in this organization is doing everything in their power to put the best product on the field,” Stroman continued, per Longley. “That’s it. I want to win.”

Stroman signed a one-year, $7.4-million contract with the club to avoid arbitration this winter.

The previous offseason, Stroman and the Blue Jays went to arbitration, resulting in the pitcher saying he’ll never forget the “negative things that were said against me, by my own team,” in since-deleted tweets. The Blue Jays won the hearing, with the arbitrator choosing the team’s filing of $6.5 million instead of Stroman’s $6.9 million request.

The 27-year-old has one more year of arbitration eligibility remaining before becoming a free agent following the 2020 season.

Over five seasons with the Blue Jays, Stroman has authored a 3.91 ERA and 3.62 FIP in 114 appearances.

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Philadelphia Flyers interim head coach Scott Gordon thinks ​​​​Evgeni Malkin got off easy with a one-game suspension.

The league handed the Pittsburgh Penguins superstar a one-game ban Tuesday for high-sticking Flyers forward Michael Raffl during Monday’s contest.

“It wasn’t a high stick. It was a baseball swing,” Gordon said, according to TSN’s Frank Seravalli. “Just because you didn’t connect doesn’t mean it wasn’t vicious. I don’t think he should be rewarded just because he didn’t connect.”

Before the NHL’s Department of Player Safety disciplined Malkin, the 32-year-old suggested he didn’t deserve to be suspended since he didn’t hit Raffl in the face with his stick.

Malkin missed Wednesday’s 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers. He will be eligible to return to the lineup Saturday when the Penguins host the Calgary Flames.

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After Trevor Bauer defeated the Cleveland Indians in arbitration, the pitcher admitted he enjoyed most of the process. But he didn’t enjoy the final portion of his hearing, during which the All-Star pitcher says the Indians’ representatives engaged in “character assassination” against him.

“They spent the last 10 minutes of the case trying a character assassination,” Bauer explained to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports. “I learned that giving to charity is a bad thing. I learned that agreeing with someone on a podcast just for the sake of argument that I was worth $10.5 million … should be the definitive answer why I’m not worth $13 (million).”

Bauer was awarded the $13 million he was seeking for 2019. The Indians had proposed $11 million. When asked if Cleveland’s representatives said anything else while allegedly attempting to assassinate his character, the 28-year-old didn’t mince words.

“Basically, that I’m a terrible human being,” he said. “Which was interesting on their part. I thought that giving to charity, especially because they didn’t mention it was a charitable campaign, just mentioned the name.”

He continued: “You never know how the character assassination plays, and considering that’s what ended it, it kind of put a black mark on what I thought was a really (well) argued case on both sides. There’s not room for that. Let’s just stick to the numbers. Let the numbers tell the story.”

Bauer added that Indians president of baseball operations Chris Antonetti and general manager Mike Chernoff didn’t attend the hearing, although he says he sent them formal invites.

He noted that it’s common for executives not to attend the potentially contentious hearings in an attempt to maintain relationships with players.

“But that’s the game they play,” Bauer said. “Not ‘they’ as in anyone specifically, but for a long time, that’s how it’s been done in arbitration. The higher-ups on the team don’t go. They have lawyers argue the case for them.

“That’s the game they play. ‘It wasn’t us. We didn’t say that. We still like you as a player.'”

In a follow-up tweet, Nightengale wrote Bauer wanted to stress he had “no ill will towards anyone” over the arbitration process and has informed the Indians he isn’t upset with them.

Bauer finished sixth in AL Cy Young voting in 2018, authoring a 2.21 ERA and 2.44 FIP. He’s eligible for free agency in 2021.

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The women’s revolution is in full throttle, but that doesn’t mean everyone is a fan of the work female superstars do in the ring. Former WCW star Disco Inferno falls into that group despite serving on the booking committees in both WCW and Impact Wrestling.

Inferno defended his stance on woman’s wrestling during Impact’s media call and defended himself from being labeled as sexist.

“I am not a big fan of women’s wrestling,” said Inferno. “To me women’s wrestling is kind of like the WNBA. They’re the best female basketball players in the world, but they’re not as good as the guys.

“I’m not saying that there’s not a lot of talented women’s wrestlers. But the formula has shown in the past that regardless of your in-ring work, the more attractive you are determines how over you are.

I am a fan of the women’s wrestlers that can combine good looks with good work. If there’s a girl out there whose work isn’t as good but she’s hotter and has sex appeal, I’m a fan of that.”

Inferno went on to say that too much time on TV is devoted to women’s wrestling and the product is diluted. He did, however, commend a former Impact Knockout for combining both sex appeal with in-ring ability.

“My favorite women’s wrestler of all time was Velvet Sky,” stated Inferno. “I thought the Beautiful People was a great gimmick for two female professional wrestlers. They looked great and had a great entrance and could wrestle. I was a big fan of that.

“But collectively, I’m not a big fan of women’s wrestling. They had that Mae Young Classic – I can’t watch that. Pro wrestling to me is based around grown men that want to fight each other….That’s just what I’m a fan of.”

Inferno is entitled to his own opinion and he says that his thoughts on women’s wrestling have never been an issue with anyone else in the wrestling business. Nick Hausman Of Wrestlinginc.com asked Inferno if his viewpoint has affected his relationships with other wrestlers.

“You’re not gonna find a lot of people in this business that have a lot of negative things to say about me,” said Inferno. “Maybe they’ll say bad stuff about things I’ve said, but not me on a personal level.

“When I say this stuff, I’m speaking from a standpoint of a person who’s been in the business for 26 years, been on booking committees and been an agent. So, I’m talking from an educated opinion. The criticism I give on my podcast and like what I’m saying now are the same things I would say to these people. I’m not telling people stuff that I wouldn’t say right to their faces.”

Inferno made it clear that his view on women’s wrestling is simply his personal preference and he shouldn’t be viewed as sexist for his opinions.

“In this PC culture, people want to pigeon-hole you as being sexist,” stated Inferno. “Not really…is it sexist to not be a fan of the WNBA and be a fan of the NBA? That’s just a personal preference.

“We’re not allowed to be critical of the work of women because we come across as sexist. But if you’re a professional wrestler, male or female, and you’re doing something I don’t like or I think is good…I’m gonna tell you how I feel. You can either agree it or not, but that’s how I feel.”