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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

The MLB off-season is about to heat up. Added bonus of the New York Yankees deal for Nick Swisher: he's good friends with CC Sabathia, though a deal with Mark Teixera seems unlikely now. Looks like Jake Peavy is almost Atlanta Braves bound to make the NL East even more interesting...Chelsea striker Didier Drogba could be in a world of trouble. After scoring a couple days ago, a coin was thrown on the field, which he responded to by promptly firing it back into the crowd. Not smart, DD...another day of EPL action goes today. Interested to see if Tottenham continue their smoking form as they travel across London to face Fulham. Arsenal vs. Aston Villa also looks like a juicy's actually hard to believe the Friday Night SmackDown is produced by the same company that brings us Monday Night Raw. The former is a terrible, terrible mess...the big sporting even of the day is of course UFC 91, when heavyweight champion Randy "The Natural" Couture faces former college and WWE wrestling champion Brock Lesnar for the title, in only Lesnar's third fight in UFC. Frankly, I'll be surprised if Lesnar doesn't win, though Couture can win the fight by outthinking the inexperienced Lesnar. Should be an awesome fight...have a great Saturday.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday, November 14th, 2008

Evander Holyfield will fight Nikolai Valuev for one slice of the world heavyweight boxing championship on December 20th. This tells you all you need to know about the state of heavyweight boxing...Jose Calderon will miss at least a game? Memo to Pinnacle: I'm betting against the Raptors, money line...things I love about Hi Def: sports, Sarah Meehan, Kelly Kelly, Rachelle Leah...Nick Swisher is a Yankee? I think the Yankees have finally found a heart and soul guy like Paul O'Neill, provided Derek Jeter can't suck the personality out of him. And hey, they picked up Texeira - Kanekoa Texiera. Yes, I know the spelling is different, but the idea that Tex could be a Yankee has me moist...the MLB free agent season starts today, just over two hours ago. This is gonna be the best one in recent memory with the Yankees having lopped $90 million off their 2008 payroll. Here's a solid primer on who is available. It sounds like the Yankees will pounce on CC Sabathia, and fast..missed out on a Prime Time Pick yesterday, I blame this whole "not used to Thursday games" thing...rumors are flying that the Tampa Bay Lightning might soon be unable to meet payroll, which of course the NHL vehemently denies...the New York Jets are in first in the AFC East after a 34-31 OT win last night. Colour me shocked...Jason Blake wants to be moved from the Toronto Maple Leafs. No doubt they'd love to move him, if there was a big market for an overpaid goal scorer who can't score...Diego Maradona may quit as Argentina coach after a disagreement with a big wig in the Argentine FA. Hard to believe that situation would be volatile with the notoriously volatile Maradona, no?...UFC President Dana White says tomorrow's Randy Couture/Brock Lesnar fight will be the biggest pay-per-view fight in MMA history. Here's betting he's right...with three weeks to go, the amount of advertising for the Buffalo Bills vs. Miami Dolphins game in Toronto is incredible. Is anybody going to this thing? a result that should shock nobody, Cliff Lee is your AL Cy Young winner. Unlike the NL voting, there were not real candidates from winning teams that should've been ahead of Lee, unless you take the view a closer - Francisco Rodriguez - should be in the running..have a great Friday.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

Houston and Phoenix got in a brawl last night - how is Yao Ming not raining haymakers in this or any picture?...Brian Burke's days in Anaheim are done, and no doubt some Toronto media outlets (read: Toronto Sun) will have their chests puffed out over predicting he'd be free by Christmas. If he's not the Toronto Maple Leafs GM and President before the week is out, I'll be shocked...Gregg Zaun railed on about his allegedly poor treatment by JP Riccairdi this past season from Toronto, and hopes to land with a contender. It would be good if somebody told him that he is Gregg Zaun...Liverpool could be for sale, unless American owners Tom Hicks (also owner of the Texas Rangers) and George Gillett (also owner of the Montreal Canadiens) can come up with $525 million (USD)...also needing some cash to cover some bad debt and rising stadium construction costs: Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who needs $350 million...the Baltimore Orioles are getting new uniforms, if you care...the latest FIFA world rankings are out, and somehow, Canada climbed three spots to #81. England is also back in the Top 10...Stephon Marbury is going to the Gregg Zaun School of Self-Esteem. He thinks the San Antonio Spurs would be a good fit for him. Guessing the Spurs think a little differently...if Mats Sundin is coming back to the Maple Leafs, he'll be looking for a new place to live as he sold his previous house last week for a mere $5.7 million. Sundin, for his part, told a Swedish publication he'll likely be back this calendar year...if anyone were to say that Ontario could "probably" support another NHL team, their sanity would be questioned for even suggesting that it is anything less than a certainty. When it is the commissioner, Gary Bettman, you have concrete evidence the man just doesn't understand the game or the people who support it. In any other industry, a leader would be fired for such a plainly wrong statement...Boston Red Sox slugger David Ortiz says he knew Manny Ramirez had to go. He didn't mention that his bat disappeared at the precise time the far better ManRam jetted off to L.A...with The Office making a trip north to Winnipeg tonight, how about the 20 Funniest Moments From The Office?...the Toronto Raptors thin roster is about to be seriously exposed if Jose Calderon is out for any length of time. Judging from last night, it doesn't look like Will Solomon or Roko Ukic are ready to carry any significant minutes. Meantime, TJ Ford is averaging 17 points and 5 assists in Indiana...have a great Thursday.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008

The worst-last-year-to-first-this-year streak in the NFC Central could well continue if the Atlanta Falcons keep playing like they have been. And when they've trailed at home for all of 11 seconds this year and have four home games left, they just might finish tops after being a distant last last year...the New York Giants have the toughest schedule remaining, with no teams left that are sub .500...well it is a good thing Notre Dame has Charlie Weis signed for the next eight or nine years, especially with his 1-15 record against teams that are better than .500. If boosters want to dump Weis this year, it is estimated that it will cost $16-$20 million so that seems unlikely given the pinch that type would be feeling in these financial market conditions...must be rough being a fan of the San Diego Padres, what with your owner looking to cut payroll to pay for his divorce. That ought to be grounds for a forced sale, though I'm guessing the number of potential buyers is greatly reduced in these financial market conditions...the Russian Super League KHL might be going through a financial crisis of its own. There are reports that UFA, the team that signed Alexander Radulov even though he was still under contract to the Nashville Predators, hasn't paid players in three months...Tim Lincecum picked up the NL Cy Young? Sure he had some great numbers, but what was the impact in the end for a brutal team? Pretty negligible really. I know he wasn't there all year, but CC Sabathia would've had my vote, or Brandon Webb, or Brad Lidge, or Johan Santana...three more days until Brock Lesnar and Randy Couture lock horns - cannot wait for that one...U.S. President elect Barrack Obama would like to see a playoff system put in place instead of the lame BCS format for college football. Hardly takes a MENSA member to see the wisdom in that. In news that surprises nobody, the BCS committee disagrees with the idea...the Manny Ramirez offer from the LA Dodgers is for two years and $37.5 million, or a $2.5 million decrease from what he would've made had he stayed in Boston. But, there is an option for a third year for another $22.5 million or a $7.5 million buyout. I'll be somewhat surprised if he gets anything better than that, but Hank Steinbrennner could do something over and above Yankees GM Brian Cashman's head if he hasn't had a headline in a couple weeks...RM reader Big Headed Jerk is missing and presumed dead following his Habs beatdown loss to the Maple Leafs on Saturday. He'll be missed...have a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

So if Matt Holliday's numbers weren't padded by hitting at Coor's Field - and his splits away suggest they were - we're sure going to find now that he'll be playing most of his games at the cavernous Oakland Coliseum. But what are the A's doing grabbing a guy like that who is a year from a big free agent deal? Doesn't add up, and seems like Billy Beane has another move up his sleeve...RM reader Gammy notes that somehow, the Denver Broncos are atop the AFC West at 5-4 despite scoring 27 points fewer than they've there anyone that can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory like Sam Mitchell and the Toronto Raptors? Up in the mid teens in the second half and they lost by seven to the Boston Celtics. It'd be nice if SMitch kept a tie on for his post-game interviews, at least then we'd know that the broadcasters aren't showing a taped interview of previous games. The man is incapable of saying anything that diverges from "they hit their 'shats' and we didn't"...can't believe how much the Arizona Cardinals have improved since Rod Tidwell roamed the field. Last night's thrilling 29-24 win was their first Monday Night win in 20 gives me some perverse pleasure to know that outside of Dustin Pedroia's and Kevin Youkilis wives, pretty much all the Red Sox wives are well, pretty freaking unattractive. Hell, I'll go one further - David Ortiz wife looks like a dude! I'd have given a thumbs up to Curt Schilling's wife but being married to that guy automatically means she has to have the brain of a squashed grape to listen to that clown...the New York Jets signed Ty Law. How old is that guy now anyways?...not sure if these are the 13 worst pro-wrestling gimmicks of all time - no Duke "The Dumpster" Droese? Beaver Cleavage? The Goon? Red Rooster? That Australian Guy Whose Name Escapes Me? - but there are some great ones on the list to be sure...Toronto FC have ownership approval to pick up a designated player - now to find one...have a great Tuesday.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday, November 10th, 2008

The Charlotte Hornets draw fewer than flies. And the NBA went back there why, exactly? Some on hand might have noticed the visiting Toronto Raptors went on a 17-0 fourth quarter run to turn a two point deficit into a blowout win, much for the St. Louis Rams playing hard under Jim Haslett. Doesn't matter who you're playing, when you give up 40 in a half, you're more than just a bad team - you're also lacking desire...Chris Bosh broke the 7,000 point mark in his career in yesterday's Raptors win. 2,400 more and Vince Carter's Raptors record will - in fitting Wince fashion - fall. CB4 had a mere 30 points and 15 boards yesterday...not the same since he was concussed: Buffalo Bills QB Trent Edwards. That porous offensive line doesn't help the cause either. What seemed like a sure playoff trip is looking a lot more doubtful now after yesterday's 20-10 loss at New England...of course, after mentioning the Tennessee Titans went 8-0 without a 200-yard passing game, off went Kerry Collins for 289 yards to send the Titans to 9-0...14 teams since 1966 started the NFL season 9-0. 6 won the Super Bowl and 9 reached the big game. Bodes well for the Titans...a Sports Illustrated poll of NFL players listed Tom Coughlin (16%), Bill Belichick (11%), Eric Mangini (9%), and Tony Sparano (7%) as the four coaches they'd least like to play for. All were one time assistants of Bill Parcells, who despite now being a team President, still finished fifth in the voting...the Philadelphia Phillies had 16 days off in the post-season to play 14 games. They had 19 off to play 162 regular season games. Time to look at a flexible playoff schedule, no?...Edmonton Oiler Ales Hemsky is putting together quite the hilight real in the first month of the season, scoring one beauty goal after another...that is now 12-6 (+645) on the Prime Time Picks. If you ain't riding this wave, sucks to be you. Tonight, going to take the Arizona Cardinals (-9) to punish the San Francisco 49ers. Who knows, maybe Mike Singletary drops his pants at halftime again? Won't matter, the Cards are rolling and have way too much offense to not put up 40 tonight...wouldn't it be something if Brian Burke, Maple Leafs President and GM in waiting, instead went to the Boston Bruins?...have a great Monday.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

With a win over the Buffalo Bills, the New England Patriots will tie the longest active win streak against one team with 10 wins...the New York Giants have won 13 of 14 on the road. Tough not to like them plus the points today as they travel to face the Philadelphia Eagles...Josh Childress life as a basketballer in Europe: commercial flights, five hour bus trips, roommates in modest hotels and occasional games in 1,000 seat gyms. Yeah, I can see Kobe and Lebron going there, approximately never...somehow, the Tennessee Titans have gone 8-0 despite not having a single 200-yard passing game...Manchester United's Gary Neville really should retire. His brutal performance yesterday could be a championship deal breaker as United dropped a 2-1 thriller to Arsenal...CC Sabathia and Derek Jeter have been exchanging phone calls. Here's hoping it is for CC asking Jeter about a good place to live in New York...I know Remembrance Day is around the corner, but anybody able to guess what pictures of Canadian soldiers killed in Afghanistan are doing airing between periods of a hockey game? I prefer religion, politics and sport to not cross into each others domains...Al Strachan suggested on Hockey Night in Canada that if General Motors, Ford and Chrysler go bankrupt as some are predicting they will next year, the Detroit Red Wings won't last a year in Detroit because there will be a mass exodus from Detoilet. Scary thought, no? And actually seems possible in this environment...the last decade, no Stanley Cup winner played lower than .636 hockey in October (1999/2000 New Jersey Devils), with the other nine going .750 or better and an overall average of .801. Make of this what you will...the New York Rangers are looking for a compensatory draft pick because - wait for it! - Alexei Cherapanov was unsigned when he died last month. Seriously...Pat Gillick to run the Toronto Maple Leafs? Hardly ridiculous...the Leafs hammered the Montreal Canadiens last night 6-3, shocking anyone who cares about hockey...11-6 (+435) and that increases to 12-6 tonight when the New York Giants win outright at Philadelphia. The three points you're being given by the fine folks at Pinnacle are just a bonus. Also a big fan of Atlanta (-1), and have a weird belief that the Buffalo Bills (+4) can win in New England...have a great Sunday.