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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Don't set your alarm, Chuck.

Could the Toronto Blue Jays be following the Raptors and having a good chunk of games on TSN2? It could be, if their home network of SportsNet or TSN don't pick up the slack. CBC has declined to pick up games after their two year deal expired. Not good days in Jaysland...the conventional thought in the NFL is it is tough to beat a team three times in one year. Reality is that in the free agency era, when a team has a chance to go 3-0 against a divisional foe, 65% of the time they've managed to do it. So call that another thing leaning towards the Pittsburgh Steelers...strange NFL playoff stat: Eli Manning has no touchdowns and 5 interceptions for his career playing at late revealing of the PTP today, it is Manchester United at -1 -110 as they travel to face Bolton. Catch that game at 10am on Setanta Sports...if you're a believer in the Sports Illustrated jinx, you'll know that the Carolina Panthers were featured on the cover of the last issue. This week? The Pittsburgh Steelers...Newcastle United's Shola Ameobi returned home after a road trip with the Magpies to find his house turned upside down, so he called the police and reported a burglary, and then proceeded to remember he had left it that way. Nice play, Shola. Wonder if they test for weed in the EPL?...pretty understandable why the Tampa Bay Bucs would bounce coach Jon Gruden and GM Bruce Allen - didn't that guy manage Bryan Adams? - but strange timing, no? Guessing Gruden is sour about the timing given some of the college jobs that have come and gone, not to mention how far along certain NFL job interviews have gone. Upside? Maybe Jerry Jones in Dallas will see that making a move with strange timing beats no move at almost seems impossible to believe: Ladanian Tomlinson can be had for a 4th rounder...has Toronto Raptor Jason Kapono ever broken a sweat?...have a great Saturday.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Memo to Kaka: You'll Soon Belong To Man City

Andruw Jones was at the Duke hoops game Wednesday wearing an Atlanta Braves hat. Odd when you're being paid by the LA Dodgers, no? Unless, of course, the Dodgers are just paying him to eat. One report says the Dodgers are going to release him, which late yesterday they in fact did. The Dodgers might be wise to bring up who will eat the contract. Jones is likely willing if he hears "eat"...Cristiano Ronaldo operates his business dealings under the name CR7. Pretty obvious what that means, right? Does the fact he's since trademarked CR9, and Raul wears 7 at Real Madrid, suggest something?...more soccer moves. Updating yesterday's Manchester City/Kaka story, it looks like a deal could be on again and it could reach as high as £107 million ($196 million $CDN, $158 million $USD) before player terms. That's a wild figure and if you're Milan, how do you not? Another story places the figure at £243 million...the mayor of Pittsburgh Luke Ravenstahl has temporarily changed his last name to Steelerstahl. Clearly, unemployment, poverty and the state of the Pittsburgh Pirates must all be solved in Pittsburgh...who is the best team against the spread in the NBA? The Oklahoma City Thunder. At least they've got know the NFL is crazy huge when the 23-11 score of the Philadelphia Eagles/New York Giants game Sunday is revealed as the first 23-11 score in NFL history. Now you can one day tell your grand kids...blame yesterday's PTP loss on the Toronto Maple Leafs, who gave up four goals in 10 minutes and then just had to get an empty netter to salt away a 6-4 win. Aren't the Grand Salami's fun? This daily wager thing is starting to become a chore. I need a beer to clear my head (see right of page!)..the NCAA has banned recruiting 13-year olds. In response, Michael Jackson is celebrating the reduced competition...back with your PTP later.

PRIME TIME PICK: Tonight, looking to go 2-0 on the year with the Raptors and get back to .500. Raptors +4.5 -106 is the pick.

Here's David Letterman's Top 10 Highlites of My Hall of Fame Baseball Career, with Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice:

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I think I've figured it out. If the stock market has risen this year, I've won my pick for PTP. If it has gone down, so has the PTP. Weird...returning with an all-new version tonight on the The Comedy Network - no joke - "The Gong Show". Hope they have a reprise of the famous Popsicle Twins...okay, Jerry Jones, the joke is over. Fire Wade Phillips already...Shaquille O'Neal is starting to hit his free throws after reviewing tape of his form as a teen, going 12 of 12 at one point and not missing over the course of two games, only the second time he's managed that in his career. Shaq has glossed himself "Shaqavic," saying guys whose last names end in "ic" all shoot well. Here's hoping Toronto Raptor Roko Ukic finds a consistent shot to make that more accurate...LaDanian Tomlinson - a religious man by all accounts - likens his treatment by the San Diego Chargers and they're contemplating trading him to being "crucified". It's a good thing LT isn't taking himself too seriously...Philadelphia Eagle Brian Westbrook missed practice yesterday because of a bum knee. I'm releasing my Sunday Prime Time Pick today and got down on the Eagles at -3.5 -107. Seldom have I liked a team more at this stage. They've got the secondary to limit Larry Fitzgerald and more importantly, turn the ball over their way. The Eagles will not self destruct the way the Atlanta Falcons and Carolina Panthers did and should pound them. Get in. Get in now at thing of this Toronto Raptor season regardless of how it ends: Andrea Bargnani is legit...could Terrell Owens be on his way out of Dallas? It could happen, if ESPN's Ed Werder and his typically anonymous sources are to be believed...turns out Man City's trillions can't buy Kaka - literally. Brazilian star Kaka has rejected a mammoth offer to move to City from AC Milan...Michael Irvin had someone in another vehicle pull a gun on him, only for them to not rob him when they realized who it was. I'm sure Irvin's "cousin's" crack pipe feels safer as a result...the NHL is looking at the Rose Bowl in California and the Vegas Strip as possible sites for the next Winter Classic. What says "winter" more than California or Nevada, after all?...the MLS draft goes today, and Toronto FC have three first round picks to use or package. I'd prefer the latter, back with tonight's Prime Time Pick later this afternoon, 4pm at the latest...saw an ad for the new episode of The Office tonight. Dwight and Andy fight - literally - to see who gets Angela after Andy hears his fiancee has been sleeping with Dwight. No doubt hilarity ensues...have a great day.

Prime Time Pick: Tonight, how about a load of fun? We're playing the Grand Salami "Under" 57.5 -106. For those unawares, that is an over/under total for all the NHL games combined. Always fun, and the under has been a generally good play of late, particularly when they're giving you 5.75 goals per game. Note: the stock market was up today. Just sayin'.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Rarefied air in Ottawa last night as the Senators not only won a game, but scored more than twice in so doing...
If you thought Isaiah Thomas charges were an interesting story, wait til you read about current New York Knicks nutritional overachiever Eddy Curry: soliciting sex from his limo driver, racial slurs and more. To a guy. Funny thing happened though, when Curry wouldn't pay $83,000 he owed the driver for other services, the limo driver went to court, and the press...LA Lakers coach Phil Jackson has never been one to pull too many punches, but have to love him going after his own player - Sasha Vujacic - and saying he doesn't "have a brain"...for those that didn't catch the Phil Kessel bomb yesterday, he's out with month until MLB training camps open - amen! - and the Atlanta Braves landed one of the few big arms left in Derek Lowe. Four years and $60 million for D. Lowe. Ben Sheets remains, but he's a huge injury concern despite incredible talent and results when right...with an assist to long-time RM reader YF, and a little luck, the Miami Heat pulled ahead in the dying moments of their game to win and cover, and send your Prime Time Picker into the black again at 7-6 (+$80)...Manchester United face Wigan today and are sure to narrow the Premier League gap at the top to two points with a win today. After Sunday's 3-0 win over Chelsea, you'd think there would be some let up but United tends to let the euphoria last a bit, so I anticipate a pounding today at Old Trafford. Translation? They're the Prime Time Pick for today at -1.5 -119. Coverage is on Setanta Sports at 3pm if you've wisely invested in that beauty of a channel...why is it that the further along the week gets that I'm starting to think that the Baltimore Ravens beat Pittsburgh on Sunday? The defenses are a wash, Pittsburgh has more weapons on offence and is at home and doesn't have a rookie at quarterback, yet I'm getting this feeling the Ravens just might do it...10 Things You Should Never Say to a Porn Star, but really should because it'd be damn funny...if you've been a baseball fan for any length of time, you know that Rickey Henderson stories are as good as they get. Here's five quotes from Rickey over the years that are worth a quick read, and here are a few other good ones...have a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid told Jim Rome that when he gets stressed, he eats Big Mac's. Who knew? Reid's Eagles are going to their fifth NFC Championship game in the last ten years where one team that only won 9 regular season games this year will be going to the Super Bowl...AskMen presents their Top 10 Necessary NFL Firings...if you're the NFL, you've got to believe they prefer and all-Pennsylvania Super Bowl to Arizona vs. Baltimore. I know I do, despite hating the Eagles. Who wants to see a pretty much non-descript Arizona team - Larry Fitzgerald aside - or a no-offence outfit like Baltimore? Beyond the marketing angle, I think it will indeed be Pittsburgh vs. Philly but the way things have gone for chalk so far, at least one of those is likely to flame out...with the Tampa Bay Lightning in some money trouble, they are said to be looking to unload some salary. First juicy rumor has Vinny Lecavalier going to Montreal for Tomas Plekanec, Chris Higgins, junior star P.K. Subban and draft picks. Lecavalier would give the Habs a legit star up front, a guy who has won the Cup and performs night in and out, unlike the mercurial Alexei Kovalev...I've often said that New York Yankee Alex Rodriguez has really good years in even numbered years and monster years in odd numbered years. He's off to a good start in 2009 by upgrading from alleged girlfriend Madonna last year and is now dating Kate Hudson...biggest shock last night during the Toronto Raptors loss? That Leo Rautins got a sentence off without slurping Jose Caleron. To clarify one question from a RM reader, yes, I'm aware that I'm spelling Jose's surname differently but it is intentional because there's no "D" in that guy. One thing that the Raptors are great for: stopping other teams losing funks...Boston Bruin Phil Kessel is out with mono. What else could it be other than "mono"? Think about it...wonder how it feels for now-former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy to retire the same day that one of his long-time favs Marvin Harrison is pointed at by a second person as having had a gun during a shooting in Philadelphia last year, a gun later found at Harrison's car wash...Rickey Henderson and Jim Rice are your baseball Hall of Fame inductees for this year. The Rickey was a no-brainer, only held up by his refusal to retire, and Jim Rice was long overdue. How is it though that Jack Morris isn't in? 175 complete games and a couple rings ought to outweigh him not being a warm and fuzzy personality for the voters, no?...six games straight for the Detroit Red Wings and they get named the Prime Time Pick and it turns into a loss to the Dallas Stars. Starting to feel cursed, but no time to feel sorry for myself, or the faithful gamblers riding shotgun here. Will be back with the play for tonight mid-afternoon, a winning play...have a great Tuesday.

UPDATE: Maybe it is YF suggesting it, or maybe it is the line dropping to -1, but tonight's pick is the Miami Heat -1 +100.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Arizona Cardinals two wins this post-season equal the total playoff wins they've had in their franchise history...take away the Super Bowl year and Peyton Manning is 3-8 in the playoffs in his career. Not quite what you'd expect..incredibly, the underdogs are 6-2 through the first two weeks of the NFL playoffs straight up...the more a certain RM reader posts about Jose Calderon, the more I wonder what the hell is Bryan Colangelo thinking?...that sound you heard around yesterday at about 11:45 was the wind being knocked out of Chelsea's Premiership hopes as Nemanja Vidic scored for Manchester United before the half and United cruised to an emphatic 3-0 win, their eighth straight game with a clean sheet. To confirm: Chelsea did not play the game a man down, it just looked that way with Michael Ballack being invisible. With Liverpool tying Stoke City, United sit five points back with two in hand. Looking good for Man London Knight and soon to be number one NHL draft pick John Tavares had a no-trade clause that he used to block a deal to the Guelph Storm. Seems odd that a junior player has a no-trade, no?...Pacman Jones might be back in Dallas? Odd. Check out the ESPN report that precipitated his release here. Pac is suing over the report...if you've got $12.3 million burning a hole in your pocket, you can purchase A-Rod's Florida home. Check out the pics of this place here - incredible home...guess staying with the instinct that the New York Giants line was a sucker bet would've been a wise move. Prime Time Picks saw the second back to back losing days in a week to drop to 6-5 (+$80). Here's hoping it isn't three straight on that front as we're playing the Detroit Red Wings at -1.5 +165 at the Dallas Stars. Here's hoping hockey remains exceptionally kind to PTP...have a great Monday.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

It doesn't matter that the Boston Celtics are "struggaling", the Toronto Raptors will need a big effort - particularly from the Killer B's - to down them today. Tip off is at 12:30..just hours away from the huge English Premier League tilt between Chelsea and hosts Manchester United. It is always a heated affair when these two giants lock horns and my prediction is today is no different. Hard to not like United at home, even with Chelsea captain John Terry returning from suspension, but United has struggled to find the net this year a lot more than last, so could be real tight. Catch it on The Score at 11am (Eastern). One small request - please don't give that score up here. I've got the PVR rolling and am aiming to not find out the score, a tough task to be sure...burning through Jeff Pearlman's "Boys Will Be Boys" book on the Dallas Cowboys of the 1990's and it is an incredible read for any fan of the game. Michael Irvin slept with twelve ladies in four days during Super Bowl Week ahead of their first trip against Buffalo. Reputation enhancing depictions come to Troy Aikman and Jay Novacek. Emmitt Smith? Not so much. Selfish and self serving. Charles Haley is crazy, no better word to describe him. Well worth the read...when running back Brandon Jacobs is out of the New York Giants lineup, they average 93 yards rushing as a team. When he's in, they average 171. With Jacobs in, tough not to like the defending champions at home against the Philadelphia Eagles...updating the Wayne Fleming story from yesterday, turns out he wasn't fired between periods. He was benched. Seriously. He's back next game..."American Idle" Carl Pavano, now of the Cleveland Indians, had this to say of his time as a New York Yankee: "When you're down, you expect your organization to pick you up, not kick you when you're down. I've had to pick myself up quite a few times the last four years." The only thing he picked up was a paycheque with a gun and ski-mask. Did Yankees GM Brian Cashman ever question his effort? No. They just kept paying him and rehabbing him and giving him chances. What a tool. The Tribe best make sure his feelings aren't hurt - he could end up out for the season...the latest Pat Quinn rumor has him going to the Pittsburgh Penguins...the Baltimore Ravens may not have deserved to beat the Tennessee Titans yesterday, but when you pick up that many key turnovers deep in your own zone, you did something right. 13-10 winners over the Tennessee Titans and they move on to the Conference Final. Oddly, if the San Diego Chargers - they of the 8-8 regular season record beat Pittsburgh today, the Bolts will host the Conference final. Strange, no?...outwitted myself yesterday in the Prime Time Picks by gunning for positive dollar value and looking for the extra goal. Of course, Arsenal fell short and didn't cover the -1.5. Today, and I know it wreaks of "sucker bet", but how can you not love the New York Giants, at a mere -4 -107, at home against the Philadelphia Eagles? If you're telling me the Eagles will not only go on the road and win, but do it for the second time this year at the Meadowlands, I call LIES. The rested conference champions and defending Super Bowl champions should feast on the Eagles, and let's be serious, Donovan McNabb vs. Eli Manning - who do you trust? Has to be Eli, no? The Eagles beat a Vikings squad that was intent on giving the game away, and if there's one thing the Giants don't do, it is beat themselves (that's what she said). Bet the Giants, bet the Giants hard with your good friends at Pinnacle...have a great Sunday.