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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Saturday, August 16th, 2008 - As Close As It Gets

In case you were dead, Michael Phelps won a close race last night for his seventh gold of the Olympics...I have heard of the legend that is "To Catch A Predator", and now I get it. Check out these Top 10 moments in that show's epic history...and finally, Canada will check in with a medal - gold or silver - in women's wrestling. Are you like me, and thought women's wrestling meant WWE Diva's only?...Mariano Rivera blew another tie game last night. Money when in a save situation, and freakishly, not at all when tied this year...the English Premier League kicks off this morning, and with it, a glorious 10 months of action on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Former Man United skipper and now Sunderland manager Roy Keane says Chelsea will take the EPL title this year. He correctly had Man United last year. Sorry Roy, you're wrong this time. Repeat Man U, Chelsea again second, Liverpool third, and I'll take Tottenham for a surprise fourth with Arsenal fifth. Expect Arsenal to have a strong start with an easy slate of games the first two months...the fine folks at Pinnacle (click on the link at the top of the page for more information including how to open an account) have Asian Lines now too for EPL, among others. I feel an itch I must scratch...around 10:30am Eastern today, expect to see Jamaican Usain Bolt destroy the world record in the 100m. Bolt ran a 9.92 in the second round of qualifying and let up before the race was even half done, looking around like a guy out for a stroll in the park. Was a time that 9.92 was a podium performance, not an effortless time...looks like Maurice Edu of Toronto FC is off to join one of the most storied clubs in the soccer business in Glasgow Rangers. Edu has been less than impressive this year as TFC's midfield depth grew, but good for him and the MLS if they're developing guys to play for clubs of that stature. Rangers were UEFA Cup finalists last year, after all...have a great Saturday.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Friday, August 15th, 2008 - You Cannot Be Serious

Even though he's long retired from competitive tennis, John McEnroe still has that passionate heart pounding: he got tossed from a tourney for arguing with the chair umpire, swearing and making an obscene gesture to fans. I love McEnroe...the Arizona Cardinals have picked up a championship belt - think boxing, MMA or WWE - for the man with the most sacks to carry. It cost between $10k and $20k! This is great stuff...for those that haven't had the pleasure of following Santino Marella on WWE Monday Night Raw, here's a great introduction...Serena Williams may be out of the Olympic tennis competition, but word is if they can find a rider, she'll be on the bottom for a run in the equestrian competition...hey, here's a Top 10 for you today: Top 10 Greatest Female Streakers in Sports History...ESPN's Jayson Stark is not at all a fan of Manny Ramirez and his act this year, and rails against the love he's getting. I think Manny has vastly overplayed his hand in thinking he's going to squeeze $100 million over 4 years at his age. He'd have been better off keeping his two options at $20 million methinks, and adding a year or two at the end. Peter Gammons says he'll be lucky to get 3 years and $40 million or so, in which case, the only one that wins is his new agent, Scott Boras, who has surely orchestrated his Operation Shutdown in Boston and move out...Mongolia has their first medal - ever - while Canada is still sitting at a donut. Are you like me, and almost hoping it stays that way?...Michael Phelps has six gold medals to his pile now for the U.S. in the pool. Jim Rome mentioned that Phelps downs 10,000 calories a day...expect lots of overdone analysis on what the less-than-capacity Rogers Centre NFL game last night means for the future of the NFL in Toronto. It boils down to this: if Larry Tanenbaum and Ted Rogers want a team and can afford a team, Toronto will get a team, likely when Ralph Wilson goes for the Great Dirt Nap. But, hopefully they've learned that people will not pay double the prices the New England Patriots charge for tickets, and they're the NFL high, to watch an exhibition game...have a great Friday.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thursday, August 14th, 2008 - Made in China

China is using 7 year olds, allegedly, to compete in gymnastics, well under the 16 year minumum age. Well, at least they'll know who made their Nike gear, if they didn't do so themselves...Jason Kidd said that had the U.S. players posed like Spain did, they'd have been thrown out of the Olympics. That might not be exactly right, but they'd be getting killed a lot more than Spain has. Mike Wilbon at Pardon the Interruption raised an interesting idea: The NBA should suspend Jose Calderon, Paut Gasol et al. I haven't been a big fan of the push by leagues to wade into off their playing field stuff and add suspensions, but this would at least be consistent. This piece is a must read on the subject top to bottom. You can view Wilbon's take below...Brett Favre's arm is "tired" after less than a week in camp. I'm guessing this has less to do with football and more to do with all the text messages he was hammering out to every media member in the western world the past months...Bryan McCabe: Florida Panther? It could about Greece repeating their big win over the U.S. hoops team? Nevermind. 92-69 U.S....what happens first, Canada wins a medal in the Olympics or we get a day minus rain in Ontario this summer? Not sure where my vote is...the L.A. Dodgers are in first place. Wonder if Derek Jeter and Joe Torre had a bet as to who would have the longer playoff streak? For the record, they'd be tied now if results hold - Jeter's first year was managed by Buck Showalter and he's never missed the playoffs since. The Yankees have never won since he was named captain, by the by...the New York Mets have blown leads in which Johan Santana led six times, five in the 9th inning. In four of his losses, he's given up two runs or fewer and he's averaging 6 2/3 innings per start. Don't let the record fool you, he's have a fantastic year...a head's up that you'll be seeing a somewhat scaled back version of RandoMango next week as yours truly is on holidays. Fortunately, the BlackBerry lets me post remotely. You just won't see the boldface and links necessarily...have a great Thursday.

Thursday's RM is coming at 10am

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008 - Jose Calderon Explains...

The Boston Red Sox have lost 16 straight one-run games on the road, but at home last night, downed Texas 19-17. That's not a typo. The NFL's pre-season would love to see that kind of scoring.....the San Diego Padres might slash their payroll from $76 million to $40 million for next year, rumored to be because of their owners current divorce battle. Must be nice being a fan of a team that is entirely somebody's play-toy. Here's hoping they trade Jake Peavy to somebody good, have him as a keeper in my fantasy pool...I'm not one to typically notice a commercial on TV as I generally zone out, but I have to say, that new Nike spot with The Killers track playing is great...gotta love that Olympic organizers thought the 7 year old who sang "Ode to the Motherland" at the opening ceremonies wasn't good looking enough so they had someone lip synch it. What sounds more like the Olympic spirit than "you're ugly, seven year old"...Gabe Morency at "Drive This!" says that Rampage Jackson and others back stage at UFC 87 on Saturday were not at all impressed with Brock Lesnar's dance/taunt of Heath Herring at the conclusion of their fight. Sounds like there is some resentment of Lesnar's bank, and now he's wont to do, the Miami Dolphins Bill Parcells turfed an expensive kicker - Jay Feeley - to make room for a younger, cheaper option. Feeley said he never felt wanted. Suspect the couple million he pocketed last year for a 1-15 team would beg to differ. All four of the Dolphins captains from last year - Feeley, Jason Taylor, Zach Thomas, and Trent Green - are now gone. This is what you do when you're terrible: get younger and cheaper. Smart moves in much for yesterday's soccer game being meaningless for Canada's soccer women: they now get the U.S. in the quarterfinals...Jose Calderon gets off the classic "I'm not racist" response to the picture yesterday. He used "Oriental", which I haven't seen used since Bill Parcells used it a few years back, and of course, talked of how he has Chinese friends, and says that it is everyone else that is confused. Memo to Jose Calderon: sometimes it is best to say athlete name I've heard in some time: Dean Windass of Fulham FC in the English Premier League. That is great...have a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008 - Keep it classy, Spain

Spain's men's hoops team put the "ass" in class with their slant eyed take in China (at right). Between that and how they handled Jorge Garbajosa's injury and subsequent insurance settlement, here's hoping karma deals them a swift blow and at minimum, a severe beating from the U.S. Britney Spears getting out of a car sans underwear had to even consider that a bad idea at the time, and the photogs only had one shot to get her picture. Here? I'm guessing this was not just a solitary shot, not the way they're lined up and of my fav words of all time, and the ten best usages of it on TV. These are hilarious...driving through Kitchener yesterday, I happened upon a recently renamed road: Lennox Lewis Blvd. Solid...there's a housecleaning going on at David Beckham's LA Galaxy as GM Alexei Lalas was bounced, and coach Ruud Gullit quit. The latter is the real shame as Gullit is a name in the soccer world, and a guy who always looks to go forward and attack...the Arizona D-Backs addressed a serious need in picking up Adam Dunn from the Reds for a trio of prospects. Wonder how many "Dunn Deal" headlines there are out there today?...Here's a quote: "I don't feel like a baseball player when I DH. I don't know how to be the leader that I am from the bench. I can't be a vocal leader. I can't talk to guys from the bench because I don't feel right about it." There are a few guys in DH roles I could see talking leadership and the like, but Gary Sheffield is not one of them...the Cleveland Browns Braylon Edwards is not a smart guy. The wideout went for a run sans shoes and of course, somebody stepped on his foot and he's now out for a week. Get on some shoes Braylon, I'm sure you've got some kind of endorsement that Brett Favre is firmly in a Jets uniform, Tampa Bay Bucs QB Jeff Garcia is none too happy that his squad was in the running...speaking of Favre, he's not going to win another Super Bowl but he is very much in the race for most overdone story of the past decade, right up there with 9/11 and Y2K...thankfully, Aaron Rodgers had a solid game last night for Green Bay, or the airwaves could be more isn't official yet, but all signs are suggesting Joe Sakic will be back for another season in Colorado. Who wouldn't want a chance to play with Darcy Tucker?...have a great Tuesday.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday, August 11th, 2008 - Canada still at zero

If you're China, and you're hosting the Olympics, why do you bother to have your hoops teams players names in English? Just shows how much TV deals impact...pretty sad that you can bet on a coin toss with more confidence than you could bet on Dwight Howard to sink a free throw...the Tampa Bay Rays have set a franchise record with their 71st win. Expect a few more to be added to that, Old Man Favre fumbled a snap in practice and had to run a penalty lap. Wonder what the Jets are going to have him do when he throws more picks than TD's this year? I nominate seeing if he can fly off the Empire State Building...the NFL is looking at dropping two pre-season games and adding two to the regular season. Please, and now...good of Barry Bonds to let everyone know he's not retired. For all intents and purposes Barroid, you are...Padraig Harrington won his second straight major. Of greater interest is that Sergio Garcia soiled the bedsheets again. I love a good trainwreck...synchronized diving. Explain to me who thought that was a good idea...there is a strong "golf is not a sport" argument to be had, and you can add "it's not in the Olympics" despite being widely played (a requirement) to the list...GBVH points us towards StubHub to see that Bills/Steelers tickets in Toronto are selling for very, very cheap prices...have a great Monday.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday, August 10th, 2008 - Goodnight, Yankees

Contemplated taking a day off of the RandoMango to mourn the first year since 1995 that the Yankees won't be in the playoff mix. At 7.5 out with the clock winding down and a depleted pitching staff, not looking good. That said, I feel better about 2009 than I have any of the last few years...Pardon The Interruption's Mike Wilbon is throwing out the first pitch at his hometown Chicago Cubs game tonight and more interestingly, is singing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" in the 7th inning stretch. Here's hoping that makes the broadcast...Sunday Night Baseball...Mancester United brings a depleted squad to face Portsmouth in the Community Shield this morning. Still, like Man U to win this one...they barely pieced together a squad but Toronto FC rode a beautiful goal from Chad Barrett to a 1-0 win over Colorado in MLS action. TFC showed some signs of life in this one despite playing in nearly 40 degree celsius heat at altitude. A huge win, to be sure. Carl Robinson played in the backline in this one - he's such a huge part of this team that it's a shame his offensive shortcomings get too much run among fans. Prototypical glue guy. Coach John Carver said it is the proudest he's ever been of a team in his career...ManRam is looking to play for the Yankees next year so he can punish the Red Sox. As much as Manny is a hitting freak and when motivated, as dangerous as they get, I'd rather not see the Yankees go that route even though he's a local boy. Word is Florida was looking to grab Manny at the deadline and swing him to the Yanks. Now that would've been some news...naked man, motor oil, and a claw hammer. What more do you need to hear to read this story? UFC 87, Brock Lesnar looked fantastic in mangling Heath Herring in their heavyweight fight. Not bad for the second time out for the Next Big Thing. Roger Huerta lost a decision to Kenny Florian. After bad mouthing UFC this week, was there any doubt he'd lose a decision? And in the main event, Georges St. Pierre dominated Jon Fitch to win a unanimous decision in his first title defence. Next up for GSP? BJ Penn...the U.S. hoops squad tips off at 10:15 Eastern this morning. They're mere 32.5 point favs over Yao Ming and China...did I hear right? The Chinese women's soccer team had a player named Yu Suk?...have a great Sunday.