The daily sports news cycle is crazier than ever. Don't have the stamina to keep up to speed? Around The Bases is your daily morning destination to stay in the know on the biggest stories in both local and professional sports. We’ll start at first base with an intriguing story or event, and bring you home with a must-read story in the North Peace sports scene.
First Base - Blue Jays refuse to put timetable on Guerrero's MLB debut
Toronto Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins told reporters at MLB Spring Training that he's not ready to say when Vladimir Guerrero Jr., the team's top prospect and one of the best in all of baseball, will make his debut with the big club. This is extremely frustrating, as we already went through this all of last season and will likely have to wait two months before he's called up this year. I want to get more invested in baseball and the Blue Jays again this season — the team has lots of young exciting players, but still doesn't seem interested in winning this year or being competitive. Atkins said they are staying patient for the sake of Guerrero's development, but the Blue Jays will gain another year of control if they keep Guerrero in the minors for a portion of the season, and it's hard to take the development reason seriously knowing this. Still, when he finally does make his debut, it will be one worth celebrating. Until then, fans should enjoy watching him in Spring Training.
Second Base - NBA All-Star Weekend begins tonight
The NBA is off from regular season play for the weekend, as the All-Star activities begin tonight with the Rising Stars Competition and Celebrity Game. The Friday night activities usually aren't the best, but the Rising Stars game could be intriguing to watch, as it will be nice to see Luka Doncic and Ben Simmons share the court for Team World and go up against Donovan Mitchell. OG Anunoby is in the game as well, representing the Raptors. The three-point competition and slam dunk competition on Saturday night will be a bit better. Raptors wing player Danny Green is in the three-point competition, though it's hard to imagine he'll beat Stephen Curry. As for the dunk competition, it's like that bad habit you just can't shake. You know it won't benefit you in the long run, and will likely just leave you disappointed and sad, but every once in a while the dunk competition really surprises, as it did 2016. That was three years ago, so we're due. Here's to hoping John Collins, Dennis Smith Jr. and Miles Bridges can put on a show.
Third Base - Fort St. John Flyers eliminated from playoffs
The Fort St. John Flyers will have a month to lick their wounds and figure out what went wrong before they hit the ice again. The defending NPHL champions were bounced from the playoffs last night after losing to the Grande Prairie Athletics 6-3 in Game 5 of their first-round series. It's a tough loss to take for the Flyers, who never seemed to be at their best all season long. Still, the series could have gone a different way — the Flyers held a 4-2 lead in the third period of Game 4 but allowed four straight Athletics goals to lose the game, and lose control of the series. The Athletics will now play the Falher Pirates in the semi-final, while the Flyers will have a month off before the 2019 Coy Cup begins in Fort St. John on March 26.
Home Base - Canadian women beat USA 4-3
Canada's Women's team is back in the National Women's Rivalry Series against the USA, after beating the States 4-3 in Toronto last night. The Americans won the first game 1-0 on Tuesday, Feb. 12, in London, Ontario. The winner will be decided in the third and final game in Detroit on Sunday, Feb. 17. Jamie Lee Rattray was the hero for Canada, scoring the game-winning goal seven minutes into the third period to put the score at 4-2, though USA would score three minutes later.
"That was only my second goal with Canada so it was pretty fun to score that one," said Rattray.
The rivalry between the two teams continues to be as tight as ever, and it's anyone's guess as to who will win the series.
Around the Bases runs Monday through Friday. If you have a news tip or story to share, email Dillon Giancola at firstname.lastname@example.org.