Baseball! Drugs! Politics!

Time-honoured truths in the dog days of summer

Charles Cherney/AP

In these dog days of summer, when the weather is wacky and the economy is uncertain, we can at least trust two time-honoured truths: major-league baseball players love to take drugs, and journalists love to become politicians.

Okay. Those are both unfair accusations to level against thousands of baseball players who never touch performance-enhancing drugs, and at least a few dozen journalists who never consider political careers. But in a world where a dozen major leaguers are suspended for 50 games, and a thirteenth is suspended—pending appeal—for 211 games, surely someone should ask questions about how far baseball’s drug problem extends. And when a journalist in downtown Toronto faces off against another journalist in downtown Toronto for an NDP nomination, only to maybe face off with another journalist in downtown Toronto, this one Liberal, when the neighbourhood eventually heads to the polls in a by-election—well, hey, does anyone know any conservative journalists who want a trip to the big dance?

Summertime is for musing about such things, which are ultimately not that important to most of us but boy are they fun to talk about. Baseball! Drugs! Politics! Oh, the predictability. Muse away, but in your spare time, also note the suspected U.S. drone attack that killed four in Yemen, the detonated bomb that killed six in the Philippines, and the nuclear plant in Japan—yes, that one—that’s leaking contaminated groundwater into the sea.

What’s above the fold this morning?

The Globe and Mail leads with a 211-game suspension for New York Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez after he was accused of using performance enhancing drugs—a ruling he’ll appeal. The National Post fronts Rodriguez’s suspension, and his reaction at a press conference before a Monday night game. The Toronto Star goes above the fold with a dozen other major leaguers suspended for drug use, each for 50 games. The Ottawa Citizen leads with a survey that suggests 26 per cent of Canadian doctors would participate in physician-assisted suicide. iPolitics fronts continued questions about the Wright-Duffy affair. CBC.ca leads with the python attack in New Brunswick that killed two young boys. CTV News leads with a suspected U.S. drone attack in Yemen that killed four people. National Newswatch showcases a Toronto Star story about columnist Linda McQuaig seeking the NDP’s nomination in Toronto Centre.

Stories that will be (mostly) missed

1. ER death. An inquest in Manitoba that commences today will look into the death of Brian Sinclair, a 45-year-old amputee who died after a 34-hour wait in a Winnipeg emergency room. 2. Via. The foiled plot to derail a train prompted Via Rail to consider enhanced security measures, including more security checks and increased inspection of checked baggage.
3. Bombs. The feds have spent $70 million over eight years on cleaning up unexploded ordinance left over at former military sites across Canada. There are more than 860 sites in total. 4. RCMP. The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team is investigating three incidents that saw officers use either guns or Tasers during arrests that saw two men die of injuries.
5. Philippines. A bomb detonated during rush hour in Cotabato City killed six people. A city administrator in a nearby SUV, Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi, survived. No suspects were named. 6. Japan. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant damaged severely by a 2011 earthquake and tsunami is contaminating groundwater that’s rising into the ocean. The effect on sea life is unknown.

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