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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Saturday, December 27th, 2008

In what has to be a first, a Scott Boras client didn't take the highest offer. Come to find out Mark Teixera had an offer of $185 million from the Washington Nationals, $5 million more than the New York Yankee offer he accepted. Some things just aren't worth the money...if there's one thing we ought to have learned this year, it is that handicapping a UFC card is about as easy as winning a lottery. UFC92 goes tonight and it could well be the card of the year with three fights that could headline a pay-per-view by themselves: Forrest Griffin vs Rashad Evans, Wanderlei Silva vs Quinton "Rampage" Jackson - who is coming back after his scrape with the law - and Antonio Noguiera vs. Frank Mir to see who faces Brock Lesnar for the heavyweight title...add Roy E. Williams to the list of disgruntled Dallas Cowboys, and for good reason. For a team to move a first, third and sixth rounder for a guy and give him $45 million over five years and throw him the odd four yard sideline pass just isn't a good way to use what should be every bit a prime time player...somehow, Jerry Jones says Wade Phillips and the Cowboys coaching staff will return intact for 2009. Less clear is why Phillips would keep his job into this weekend nevermind next year given the circus that has been the Cowboys this today's picture? Check out 49 other vanity plates that slipped through the cracks. And yes, RM's "Bukkake" is from Alberta...true story: the New York Yankees were on sale in the 1970's at the same time the Seattle Pilots were. The latter sold for $13 million versus the $10 million George Steinbrenner paid, and would become the Milwaukee Brewers. Good investment, Bud Selig, but not a great has been over a week since GBVH passed on a piece from the Toronto Star's Toronto FC beat writer Morgan Campbell that noted the silence coming from Toronto FC and Dwayne De Rosario since the latter was traded there weeks ago. If the saying "where there's smoke, there's fire" is true, what is it when there is utter silence? Surely this has to be an indication there is something not right...have a great Saturday.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Friday, December 26th, 2008

Tickets for the six LA Kings home games in January - even for good seats in the lower bowl - can be had for $11.50. They're not rolling Nashville or Atlanta in either: Philly, Anaheim, Detroit, Chicago, New Jersey and Tampa Bay. Wonder if anybody believes the salary cap - revenue determined - will continue to rise? A great article on tickets at bargain basement prices runs here....the elephant in the Yankee room is where will Derek Jeter play when his defense goes from sub-par to brutal? First base is no option with Mark Teixera installed. Right field?...the Phoenix Coyotes are set to receive funds from the NHL to maintain operations. How long until Wayne Gretzky extricates himself from that mess? He doesn't seem the kind of guy that would go down with a sinking ship and sully his name...there is a high school football team in Arkansas that is removing punts from its playbook. Seriously, they're going to go for it on every fourth down. That is thing about the the NFL/CFL I'll never understand: why you need a two/three minute warning in a sport that already gives plenty of timeouts, of the official and TV variety...for a guy who put up some insane numbers and single handedly carried the LA Dodgers to the playoffs - despite what Jeff Kent would have you believe - things sure are looking dicey for Manny Ramirez to land that big last contract. Scott Boras is starting a nice streak of failing to come through for some high profile clients. Last year, A-Rod, this year, Manny. The Anaheim Angels say they're out of the bidding on Man-Ram..a whole heap of English Premier League action goes today with the traditional Boxing Day slate. Arsenal travels to Aston Villa in the most attractive match of the day. Shame Arsenal is minus Cesc Fabregas for the next four months. All the teams will turn around and play again Sunday...speaking of Boxing Day traditions, the World Junior Hockey Championships, important nowhere in the world but in Canada, start today. Canada faces the Czech Republic tonight at 7pm (Eastern) from the nation's capital. Drinking game idea: have a sip each time Pat Quinn is mentioned as a possible head coach in Edmonton. Do not plan to drive anywhere...the LA Lakers ended the Boston Celtics 19 game win streak with an emphatic home win yesterday. Is there any way those two don't meet in the finals again this year?...have a great Friday.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Thursday, December 25th, 2008 - Merry Christmas!

It has been a fantastic year in sports, and AskMen presents a look at the Top 10 moments of the year and you could easily argue for others...thankfully, the NBA will break the sporting darkness that started with the conclusion of the Notre Dame-Hawaii game last night, including three games getting TV coverage. The big one goes at 5pm as the LA Lakers host the Boston Celtics in a rematch of last year's championship series...I know leagues value divisional setups for the rivalries they create, and how teams stay in playoff races longer. But something seems wrong with the idea that the San Diego Chargers could be in at 8-8 while the 11-5 New England Patriots could be out in the cold come playoff time...ESPN's Rob Neyer says that after the three big moves, the New York Yankees are indeed the team to beat in 2009. Me, I cannot wait to see if it pans out that there are no college bowl games today, only a handful of hoops games, and the NHL has no games scheduled? Makes no sense to me, either. But at least the Toronto Maple Leafs Brian Burke's moratorium on not trading players withing the 10 days leading up to Christmas is up. Ought to be some interesting moves in the offing now for Tomas Kaberle and others...have a great Christmas. Back tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

What the hell is up with Brian Baldinger's finger?...incredibly, 67% of NBA players polled by Sports Illustrated picked the LA Lakers to win the championship. That's an overwhelming number. If the media had a vote, Chuck Swirsky would've voted for the Chicago Bulls...New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman is mastering the free agency game, dropping a big opening bid on CC Sabathia to flatten the market, and going under the radar on Mark Teixera and shocking everyone at the 11th hour. Heading into a new stadium and having $90 million come off the books could not have been better timed...oh, Stephen A. Smith still thinks the Yankees should sign Manny Ramirez...the Arizona Cardinals are the first team since the 1961 Oakland Raiders to trail by 28 or more at the half in consecutive weeks. They're one team that has something to show in Week 17, even when they really don't...two guys the NFL should mic on Sunday; San Diego Chargers QB Phillip Rivers and the Denver Broncos QB Jay Cutler. These two can't stand each other, and no doubt there will be some big talk on Sunday night...the Toronto Maple Leafs were drilled 8-2 by the Dallas Stars last night. The Stars have won three of four since dumping Sean Avery...come to find out there is an offence in the Toronto Blue Jays: a sex offence. A choreographer of one of the Jays dance troupes got busy with a 15-year old and - wait for it - taped the affair...I hate Notre Dame, their coach and their fans, but am super thankful they're one half of a Bowl game on an otherwise empty sports calendar tonight. They face Hawaii in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl. And where is Bukkake Bowl Picks?..Dallas Maverick Dirk Nowitzki is talking of taking a paycut to help land one of the big free agents in 2010, the same time he is a free agent. Hey, isn't Chris Bosh from Dallas?...all the best to you and yours this Christmas Eve, and yes, back tomorrow!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

The combined win percentage of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment teams - the Leafs, Raptors, Marlies and Toronto FC - for the most recently completed season or season in progress heading into last night is .383. Winners, they are awesome would it be for Chad Pennington to go into the Meadowlands and dick punch the New York Jets and nail their coffin shut?...the Detroit Lions haven't won in Wisconsin since 1991...I hate it, but best name for Toronto Raptor Andrea Bargnani right now: Bargkwame. Blame his coaching or blame him, but it ain't looking good for the top pick of 2006. That said, playing the "imagine if the Raptors drafted (Brandon Roy or Lamarcus Aldridge) instead..." doesn't work either. More than a few scouts and GM's had Bargnani rated tops. How a player develops beyond that is no sure thing, and going hindsight is not a sign of a sharp mind...if you listen at all to the Jim Rome Show, the next two days are must-listens as Rome runs through his year in review...maybe the best quote of the year from an NFL player comes from former Detroit Lions QB Joey Harrington: "It's weird to think I was here in the hey-day." question by a media member comes from Rob Parker of the Detroit News to Lions coach Rod Marinelli: "On a light note, do you wish your daughter would have married a better defensive coordinator?" Take a wild guess what team his daughter's hubby is the defensive coordinator for. Think "0-15"...word is that if they haven't already, the NHL will be providing funds to the Tampa Bay Lightning - didn't they just get new owners? - and the Phoenix Coyotes to meet payroll. The word "contraction" or "move" can't be far off...type this into your browser: if Toronto Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo figured that sitting last in the NBA power rankings, at least in one spot, was possible?...have a great Tuesday.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

The Detroit Lions are the first NFL team to sit at 0-15. Here's hoping they become the first to go 0-16 next week when they travel to face the Green Bay Packers...Manchester United added to their trophy haul for 2008 in winning the Club World Cup final with a 1-0 win on a Wayne Rooney goal...the New York Jets are now 0-4 on the year in west coast games and very much on the playoff bubble after being in control a couple weeks back. And that QB they worked so hard to get? Brett Favre's two passes of 20+ yards yesterday were the first of that measure since Week 4. That has to be some kind of record...somehow, the Dallas Cowboys had everything fall their way on the schedule yesterday and are now back in the playoff hunt. A win at Philly and they're in, no help required. Word is that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones picked the Baltimore Ravens for the Texas Stadium finale, figuring they were among the weaker teams on their schedule. When the Ravens found out, well, you saw how that went Saturday...not sure I recall a more impressive turnaround in the NFL than the Atlanta Falcons, who were a punchline last year and a disaster on the field, and are now 10-5 and playoff bound...Manny Ramirez is telling friends the New York Yankees will be making a three year offer for him. That's not a move that will help the Yankees sub-par defence, but will sure mean A-Rod has the best year of his life with the beast that is Manny hitting behind him. Maybe he's just doing it to needle Boston?...NFL referee Ed Hochuli has to be relieved the Denver Broncos lost yesterday and the San Diego Chargers downed the fading Tampa Bay Bucs. His call earlier in the year in Denver looked like it might cost the Bolts a playoff spot, but now they've got a shot to make it after all with a win over the Broncos next week...the ending of the Philadelphia/Washington game was as close as it gets. Check this out...not sure I've seen a better game this year - though there have been some great ones - than the New York Giants OT win (and a Prime Time Picks cover!) in overtime last night...tonight, playing the Green Bay Packers to cover the +3.5 at Chicago and gun for 21-14...the Cincinnati Bengals had all of 9 passing attempts yesterday, and it was enough to beat the Cleveland Browns, who haven't scored an offensive touchdown since Week 11...have a great Monday.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday, December 21st, 2008

What is uglier: a naked picture of Rosie O'Donnell or Chris Bosh shooting three's?...jacked up for Arsenal vs. Liverpool this morning on The Score, in HiDef no less...LeBron James says he'll consider signing an extension with the Cleveland Cavaliers this summer rather than opt for free agency in 2010. I'm not sure there's a person anywhere that actually believes that...there's a potential NHL trade in the works that would see Marian Gaborik and Ilya Kovalchuk changing teams. If you're the Atlanta Thrashers, why would you trade for a guy who makes Vince Carter look like Cal Ripken?...the Dallas Cowboys played a game of "Texas Fold 'Em" in dropping a 33-24 shootout to the Baltimore Ravens, all but ending their playoff hopes. Nice knowing you, Wade Phillips...Jason Spezza's -3 in a 5-4 Senators win isn't likely to get him off the third line...19-14 now and reeling in the Prime Time Picks but tonight, the New York Giants (-3.5) right the ship in knocking off the Carolina Panthers. All trends would suggest it goes the other way but I'm assuming the Giants, at home, clean up their act of the last few weeks and re-establish their running game and win a close, low scoring affair...have a great Sunday.