Former MLBer Curt Schilling yesterday said that he "suffered from oral cancer" from 30 years of using smokeless tobacco. Schilling: “I’ll go to my grave believing that was why I got what I got." In Boston, Maureen Mullen writes the hope is that Schilling’s announcement and the death of Baseball HOFer Tony Gwynn will "serve as a warning to others." While tobacco use has been a "part of the culture of the game for decades," MLB is "trying to change that." Red Sox manager John Farrell said, “Players can be fined if smokeless tobacco is in view of the general public. And there have been some of those warnings or penalties levied on some of our guys. ... But I do know some of our guys do use it" (BOSTON GLOBE, 8/21).
FEELING A DRAFT: CBSSPORTS.com's Chris Peters noted the NHL is "changing the lottery format used to determine the top 14 picks" in the NHL Draft beginning in '15. The changes will make it 5% "less likely that the team that finishes in last place in the NHL will earn the first-overall pick." The rules will "change even further" in '16. But the fact that this is "occurring ahead of one of the most exciting drafts of the last decade is bound to make some GMs of lower-level NHL clubs more than a little perturbed" (CBSSPORTS.com, 8/20).
IT'S BO TIME? In South Carolina, Lou Bezjak wrote moving the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Bojangles' Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway back to Labor Day weekend "not only would restore the tradition of the race weekend date but also would put Darlington in more of a spotlight in NASCAR’s schedule." The race would be the "25th on the schedule and the one before the Chase field is determined the following week in Richmond." It also would be "run on Sunday night in primetime on a holiday weekend" (Florence MORNING NEWS, 8/20).
FRESH FACES: SPORTSNET's Todd Lewis wrote instead of "relying on the names of the past to promote as the current stars of IndyCar, it’s time the series looked at others to fill those roles." Any "future growth in IndyCar racing will be tied to the success of its stars." Drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay and Will Power "should be two of the faces of IndyCar." Hunter-Reay is American and won the Indianapolis 500 this year and he is a "former series champion." Those are "all positives that should be exploited." Power often "seems indifferent during interviews; he’s going to have to get over that if the series is to benefit from his success" (SPORTSNET.ca, 8/18).