Saturday, December 13, 2008
Don't get me wrong, I hate the Boston Red Sox, but for the life of me, I can't figure why a team with as long a tradition as theirs - and recently, a winning one - would change their logo to "hanging socks" as well as their road uniforms...I was convinced for much of last night that there was no way it could be Saturday. After all, the Toronto Maple Leafs weren't featured on Hockey Night in Canada...as predicted, Hull did indeed give EPL leaders Liverpool a tough game in a 2-2 draw. As a result, Chelsea will most likely go tops again today as the busy Christmas schedule approaches...16-12-2 on the year of Prime Time Picks after Thursday's push, but going to ignore those and just call it 16-12. Already mentioned tonight's pick on Friday and it is the Dallas Cowboys at -3 as they host the New York Giants, minus Brandon Jacobs. It is a must win essentially for the Cowboys, not even remotely the case for the Giants. When one team is desperate, they're the play. That said, imagine the hand-wringing in Dallas if they lose tonight? Also like Miami (-6) and against all I normally believe in, Indy -17. I usually don't like giving that many points, but this one has beatdown written all over it. As always, drop your wagers at Pinnacle...oh, if you're thinking Jacobs is just saving himself for the playoffs, you must've forgot he's a free agent after this year...General Motors may end sponsorship of the Daytona 500. [Sarcasm] Why? [/sarcasm]...Francisco Rodriguez says the New York Mets are now the team to beat in the NL East. Seems a certain World Champion might have something to say about that. But, love the talk coming from the Mets and Phillies...Memo to Brian Cashman: if your plan is to get one of Mark Teixera or Manny Ramirez, go for the former...have a great Sunday.
Best nickname I've heard yet for CC Sabathia, replacing "Carbs & Calories", is "Cha Ching"...another day, another pitcher inked for the New York Yankees and that'd be AJ Burnett. The question for the Yankees will be if Burnett has indeed turned the corner or will he revert back to non-contract year form. One certainty: there will be no hiding for him in the Bronx. No doubt, Toronto Blue Jays GM JP Ricciardi is getting ready to make some ill advised comment. I know the Yankees have a facial hair rule - wonder how Burnett's nipple rings will go over?...Liverpool vs. Hull is the big one today in the English Premier League. Hull has played fearless against the top sides all year and won't back down against the league leaders...closer to home, Toronto FC landed one of the best players in MLS, and better still, he's a hometown boy. Dwayne De Rosario, welcome home. Cannot wait for March...the Ultimate Fighter finale goes tonight on Spike TV at 9pm. That UFC does these free live shows is a very big reason why UFC is growing as it is. Boxing used to do so, decades ago, to a much more profle extent than today where at best you see tomato cans and long shots. My money is on Phillipe Nover to beat Efrain Escudero and Vinny Magalhaes to beat Ryan Bader...that's ten straight games the Cleveland Cavs have won at home by at least a dozen. Sure beats a challupa...when the latest Dallas Cowboys drama broke, the ESPN article and headline referenced Terrell Owens exclusively as having a problem with Tony Romo's over reliance on Jason Witten, even when other players are open. Had you read the reports elsewhere, you'd have seen that it goes well beyond T.O. and includes other receivers and most of the defence questioning Romo. But ESPN knows T.O. catches attention so paint him as the malcontent. Terrible journalism. They changed the article to reflect others later yesterday, and dropped it down the list from the previous top billing...never a bad night when the Toronto Raptors beat Wince Carturd and the Jersey Nets, but even better when Wince has a horrific night...under Harry Redknapp, Tottenham are 9-1-2. Ought to be an interesting nooner with Manchester United, minus Wayne Rooney, visiting...the Blue Jays had four ads on Sportsnet last season: one with Frank Thomas, another with AJ Burnett, the third with Vernon Wells and the last with Lyle Overbay. Trendspotting, anyone?...who would've believed that the Ottawa Senators would have 64 goals at this point in the season, while the Boston Bruins have 102?...anybody know that Hasim Rahman is fighting champion Wladimir Klitshko for the heavyweight title tonight? Me neither...have a great Saturday.
Friday, December 12, 2008
The picture to the left is not doctored in any way - that's UFCer Corey Hill's leg snapping like a twig when Dale Hartt blocked his kick at "UFC: Fight For The Troops" on Wednesday...I cannot recall the last time the Dallas Cowboys lost a game where there wasn't some sort of drama in the week that followed. The latest - just in time to face the New York Giants - is that Terrell Owens is sour (allegedly) over how tight Tony Romo and Jason Witten are, and that he thinks they secretly meet to sort out plays that would see the ball go to Witten more often. There are a whole heap of "behind the scenes" quotes from the dreaded Unnamed Source. Mark my words: the Cowboys will beat the Giants on Sunday night...the last two Phil Jackson-led teams to open 14-1 went on to win the NBA title. The LA Lakers are going to look to be the third...46-0 boxing champ Joe Calzaghe says boxing is a dying sport with too many champions and as a result, not enough stars. He also talked of how UFC's popularity has hurt the game stateside. Right about now, Jim Lampley is crafting an overly verbose retort to inform us that Calzaghe is being intellectually dishonest. Fact is, Calzaghe is dead on...the Mats Sundin sweepstakes are said to be down to the Vancouver Canucks and New York Rangers...Manny Ramirez is said to be so frustrated at the lack of movement in his contract discussions he's contemplating retirement. Yeah, that'll show the world, Man Ram! The upside? That'll be two straight years that super agent Scott Boras looks the fool with a big name client...Philadelphia Philly Cole Hamels has glossed the New York Mets "choke artists". How can you not love this guy?...if this isn't every photo of Marissa Miller ever published, it is damn close...Adam "Pacman" Jones neck injury could be career threatening? Somebody might want to check if Roger Goodell has a voodoo doll...have a great Friday.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
How does a card of Billy Ripken - Cal's younger and far less talented brother - go for $500? Look at the knob of the bat. That is awesome...it is becoming a weekly installment: wrestling talk. This week, the Top 10 WWE matches. What, no Roddy Piper vs. Goldust back-lot brawl? Can't argue with #1, that I know...okay, I've held off long enough. Brian Cashman, I take it back - I love you again. You got CC Sabathia inked for $161 million over 7 years, the $161 million matching the street Yankee Stadium is on. Sabathia has an out after three years. As great as I think Sabathia is and could well be, can't help but be concerned at that length of contract and cash for a guy who has gone over 500 innings pitched the last two years. That, and the Boston Red Sox routinely kill him, playoffs included. Next up could be AJ Burnett. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick says a Burnett deal could be done today and several Yankee players are lobbying Burnett hard. If Crasnick is right and Ben Sheets would follow that, you'd have to think Andy Pettitte's days are done in pinstripes. I know the Milwaukee Brewers have to be sour over losing Sabathia, but trading Mike Cameron to the Yanks for Melky Cabrera will not make up for that...Denver Nugget Carmelo Anthony had 33 last night. In the third quarter!...first the New York Mets signed K-Rod, then picked up JJ Putz to set-up for him. Good for Putz to take the lower profile role because he wants to win...Emmitt Smith and Keyshawn Johnson would be wise to stay out of Terrell Owens way, he's killing them both in the war of words, including hammering Smith for not knowing Tashard Choice's name and referring to him as "Rashard"...Frank Mir says UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar can "never "beat him. Sure, Mir beat him once, but that was as much a case of Lesnar beating himself. Mir might want to concern himself with his next fight against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, a fight he won't win, before he worries about Lesnar again...another Prime Time Pick (16-12) for you tonight, as the New Orleans Saints (+3) visit the Chicago Bears. I tend to always play the home side when a dome team is travelling in November and tonight is not a departure from that trend, particularly with the Bears still in the playoff mix and the Saints an afterthought...have a great Thursday.
Posted by TB at 10:28 AM
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Why unions are ridiculous, Part 4, 237, 226: the NFL Players Association is challenging the suspension and fine of New York Giant Plaxico Buress who, of course, shot himself in the thigh a couple weeks back. Wonder what the unions stance will be when he goes to the slam?...you know what I find hilarious? The fact that last year most of the Toronto media - and a majority of fans - hammered TJ Ford as a chemistry and locker room killer. I think Stevie Wonder could see that he's gone, and things are worse in Raptorland. This is a team that needs more than a few heart transplants based on what we've seen the last few weeks, and I'm not convinced a coaching staff or Red Auerbach, Phil Jackson, Gregg Popovich and Jerry Sloan could get much more out of these guys. TJ and the Indiana Pacers are rolling in tonight, and if I'm Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo, I'm hoping TJ falls flat because if it is a good night for TJ - and you know he's taking no prisoners - then I'm figuring my kid glove treatment from fans and the media the last couple years is about over in Toronto...since 1996 - the last time they won a playoff game - the Dallas Cowboys are 18-32 in December...Rando reader TS passes on this link to pics of the Montreal Canadiens practice facility. As you might expect, first class top to bottom...Molly Sims, Jamie Lynn Sigler, and a hilarious video from Andy Samberg of Saturday Night Live that makes "Dick In A Box" seem cryptic. And what's this I hear that Sigler is dating Turtle of Entourage for real? Talk about punching over your weight! Well done, Turtle...former Tampa Bay Lighting coach Mullet Melrose, axed recently, says he hopes the Bolts don't win another game all year. Keep it classy, Melrose...the New York Mets finally started getting some bullpen depth in signing Francisco Rodriguez. He'll do little to calm the nerves of Mets fans with his highwire act. Surprised the Blue Jays didn't offer out BJ Ryan to the Mets. He's cheaper than the three years, $37 million, and arguably as good, and the Jays could use that money elsewhere, not to mention getting some talent back...at CC Sabathia's request, Yankees GM Brian Cashman flew out to his home in California to meet with Sabathia's family. This can only be a good sign, also considering it is the third meeting in three days. Here's hoping Cash has a crystal ball and knows CC will stay healthy...have a great Wednesday.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Word coming out of Los Angeles says CC Sabathia wants to be a Dodger. A single tear just ran down my cheek. But seriously, as much as I'd love to see CC in pinstripes, the history of MLB is riddled with pitchers on giant contracts that come nowhere close to living up to them. See "Kevin Brown, Barry Zito, Mike Hampton, Gil Meche etc.". When it comes to pitchers, shorter terms are always better, with almost no exceptions...the text portion of "Drive This" on The Score is annoying. I cannot believe people are paying $0.50 to tell the world that they "like Cam's hat!" or that "Sarah is hot!"...Memo to Jon Gruden: the visor look was never cool. Never will be...I'm utterly mesmerized by Guns N Roses "There Was A Time". That song continuously is rattling about my brain...who would I trust more with the game on the line, A-Rod or Tony Romo, you ask? A-Rod. And right now, the gap is widening. As much as I love Romo, he's too turnover prone and careless with the ball. The next three games will tell how wide - or narrow - that gap becomes...Spanish star David Villa is set to make a move to Manchester City in January. City is aware that you need to occasionally be able to defend, right?...there are three remaining spots left in the Round of 16 in UEFA Champions League action, and five teams - all playing today - are chasing them. I would love to see Chelsea crash and burn but that's stating the obvious...ProFootballTalk.com is running an "Emmitt Smith Word of the Week". Seriously. This week: amorition. #22 meant to say "aberration". We think...the Phoenix Coyotes may soon be extinct?...have a great Tuesday.
Monday, December 8, 2008
Since they last made the playoffs in 1999, the Buffalo Bills are 14-59 for a .192 win percentage against teams that were .500 or better the year prior...a year ago at this time, the Miami Dolphins were still winless. What a difference a year makes - the Fish are now 8-5 and very much a playoff contender and tied for the AFC East after beating the Bills 16-3 in Toronto in a game that lacked any kind of entertainment value, particularly if you were suckered into a $575 ticket. Suspect the 0-13 Detoilet Lions won't see such a turnaround...speaking of Detroit, only Indy, New Orleans and Green Bay stand in the way of 0-16, though a part of me just knows the bloody Packers will give me another reason to hate them and drop that last game...first reaction: who has had a better year - Chad Pennington or Brett Favre?..the Dallas Cowboys defence looks light years ahead of where they were before head coach Wade Phillips took over play calling, which begs the question: what the hell took him so long? Shame that Tony Romo and Jason Witten couldn't get their plans in order late in the game, leading to one very back breaking interception and a 21-14 loss at Pittsburgh. Somehow, the Cowboys started the day out of the playoffs and finished in...it'll be Oklahoma and Florida for the BCS Championship. Now prepare yourself for the endless and annual debate over how the NCAA needs to put in a playoff system...a last second loss at home for the reeling Toronto Raptors. Is this team ever going to win in December?...that's 16-11 for Prime Time Picks after a wire-to-wire easy winner in the Baltimore Ravens. Tonight, the Tampa Bay Bucs visit the Carolina Panthers in what is a huge game in the NFC South. Despite the 22-2 home record of NFC South teams this year, I'm leaning toward the Bucs (+3) in this one, largely because they've been far more consistent than the Panthers have. Mix in a better defence and there you have it. Bet wise, bet at Pinnacle..here's the Top 10 NFL hits of "all da times"...have a great Monday.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
When asked by a grade 6 student if girls could play quarterback in the NFL, Seattle Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck replied: "Girls can play in the NFL. Ben Roethlesberger plays for the Steelers, right?" Last I looked, Hasselbeck has missed a lot more games for injury than Big Ben...seems hard to believe that the San Antonio Spurs are only on pace for 45 wins this year...15-12 on Prime Time Picks this year and in a 1 for 6 funk. Baltimore is a 6.5 point fav as they host Washington and the pick is Baltimore in this Battle of Maryland - they've got too much D for the Skins to beat, and their offence is getting better by the week under Joe Flacco. With Marion Barber out and Damarcus Ware on the limp, tough not to like the Pittsburgh Steelers at -3...the Ottawa Senators are a perfect 4-0 when wearing their black third jersey's...A-Rod made it official: he'll be playing for the Dominican Republic at the World Baseball Classic, calling it a dream come true. He also said there will be no wavering this time around like he did in the inaugeral WBC. Well, at least there is that...check out these NHLers and their celeb ladies...there are so many possibilities here, but here are 12 athletes who are a danger to themselves. What, no Cory Lidle?...managed to run down a live feed of Oscar De La Hoya and Manny Pacquiao - sure beats a hefty PPV fee - and it was amazing the ease with which the Pac-Man disposed of the Golden Boy. De La Hoya took a beating for 8 rounds - he took 224 punches to the 85 he landed on Pac-Man - before calling it a night between rounds. More amazing is that the loquacious Jim Lampley, when translated to Spanish, sounds more English than on an English feed...have a great Sunday.