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 - Le'Veon Bell continues holdout
Depending on how you view it, the standoff between Le'Veon Bell and the Pittsburgh Steelers is either very frustrating or incredibly interesting. Bell is one of the top two running backs in the league, is playing out his final year on the franchise tag, and set to make $14 million this season. However, Bell wants a long term extension from the Steelers and a raise. The Steelers don't want to commit to him long term, and are willing to let him walk at the end of the season in free agency. This is all easy to follow, except that Bell won't show up to the Steelers, and loses more than $800,000 for every game he misses. Adding to the intrigue is the fact that Bell's backup, James Conner, had a monster game, but did have a costly fumble that contributed to the Steelers tying the Cleveland Browns. Bell has no leverage, the Steelers could clearly use him this season but will not back down at this point, so it's just a matter of time until Bell decides he's lost enough money or is ready to be a part of the team again. Bell has to report to the Steelers by week 10, or he wil lose his free agency. I think Bell will sit out three more weeks to avoid injury, and joing the team for week five or six. Nobody really knows what will happen, nor if Bell's teammates will welcome him back, as his offensive linemen have been vocal about their disappointment in the running back.
Second Base - Red Sox clinch playoff spot
The MLB playoffs are still three weeks away, but it's not too early to start looking at who will be playing October baseball. The Boston Red Sox, the best team all year, clinched a spot in the playoffs last night with a win over the Toronto Blue Jays, and they lead the New York Yankees in the AL East by nine games. The AL playoffs are going to be great. If Houston holds off the Oakland A's to win the AL West, that's two very good teams in the playoffs, and then the Yankees/ A's wildcard matchup will see another great team miss the playoffs. The NL playoff races are heating up. Only the Chicago Cubs would make the AL playoffs, but the races are very close, and it will be fun to watch all these very even teams in the next couple weeks and into October.
Third Base - Fort St. John Huskies tp play Canada's Women's team this weekend
Canada's National Women's team has arrived in Dawson Creek and are holding their second day of practices today. The women's team coming to the Peace Region is really cool and a unique opportunity for fans to see some of the best players in the country put it all on the line to make the national team. Adding to the experience are the two exhibition games each that the Fort St. John Huskies and Dawson Creek Jr. Canucks will play against the women's teams, who are separated into white and red. The first games are on Friday, Sept. 14, when the Huskies take on Canada White at 4 p.m., and the Jr. Canucks play Canada Red at 7 p.m. On Saturday, Sept. 15, the Jr. Canucks play White at Noon, and the Huskies face Red at 3 p.m. The camp wraps up with a Canada Red versus Canada White match on Sunday, Sept. 16 at 8:30 a.m. All games are at the Encana Events Centre.
Home Base - Steve Yzerman steps down as Tampa Bay GM
It's safe to say nobody saw this coming. Steve Yzerman has built a Lightning team that is at the top of the standings every season and has been a Stanley Cup favourite for the last two yeras, as well as this upcoming season. So it's strange that he's stepping down from his role just two days before training camp starts. His assistant, Julien Brisebois, is taking over. I think the Lightning will be fine, at least for this season, but it's more interesting to consider why Yzerman made this move. He said he'll move to a senior adviser role and is committed to the Lightning, but it's hard to believe he won't take a new job when one comes available. All the rumours are about him eventually taking over the Detroit Red Wings GM job once Ken Holland eventually retires, and it sure would seem fitting to have Yzerman be the guy to bring the Red Wings back to contention.
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.