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Saturday, April 18, 2009

London Showdown

UFC 97 goes tonight from Montreal, and no doubt, the town will be rocking. Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva takes on Thales Leites in the main event with something to prove after being less than his usual overwhelming self in his last fight against Patrick Cote. Chuck Lidell faces Mauricio Rua in a crossroads fight for those two - the loser goes way down the pecking order. The rest of the card can be seen here. Of course, if you're not at a bar, ordering at home or don't have the highly recommended Free To Air setup, you can watch here...the English Premier League is back in business today, but the FA Cup semi-finals is going to get all the attention over the next few days. Today, Arsenal face Chelsea in one semi-final loaded with intrigue. Coverage is on Setanta Sports, or if you don't have that, you can watch online here. RM is bringing you more piracy today than a trip through Somali waters...the Miami Dolphins are this year's Pittsburgh Steelers. No, not the team that will win the Super Bowl - they won't - but with respect to having the toughest schedule, they are. The entire breakdown can be seen here...San Diego Padres pitcher Heath Bell believes that ESPN only cares about the New York Yankees and Mets and Boston Red Sox. This is what happens when you pitch for the San Diego Padres. They're high profile, Heath, with huge followings and all happen to be contenders, of course they're going to get run...distant cousin Tony Mandarich says in four years as a Green Bay Packer, he never had a sober day. Hey, it was the 80's...if anyone has seen the offense in the NHL, it'd be great to have it returned. It is funny that some of the same people that deride soccer for being low scoring can praise the playoffs as exciting and credit good defense and goaltending in the very next breath. 11 goals total in three games last night, two of them in OT and one an empty netter. Vancouver and Pittsburgh are both up a pair of games after last night, while Carolina evened their set with New Jersey...have a great Saturday, back with your PTP later.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Carl Crawford = Freak

Tampa Bay Devil Ray Carl Crawford is a freak. How else do you explain that he was recruited out of high school to go to UCLA as a point guard, or Oklahoma or Nebraska as a quarterback? Major programs one and all. Of course, when the Rays ponied up some cash, what high school kid wouldn't take it?...isn't it funny that Boston Red Sock David Ortiz was talking loudest about punishing players who used performance enhancers yet he's the guy who went from never hitting 20 homers before 2002 and then suddenly went 31, 41, 47, and 54 in 2006 before seeing his production tail off and now looking like a shell of his former self?. I know there's the impact of losing Manny Ramirez and age, but this is ridiculous. He's hitting .172 this year with no bombs and a scant three RBI going into action yesterday...Kevin Garnett gets shut down, potentially for the entire playoffs, and Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge goes and has a jammer. Coincidence? Methinks that John Madden and Brett Favre have retired, how long do you figure until they leave their wives and shack up together?...after a 2-0 home loss, a rarity for the San Jose Sharks to lose at home, wonder how much perennial playoff flameout Joe Thornton slept last night? reason that Bryan Colangelo might want to think twice about retaining Jay Triano as the Torontor Raptors coach: his players think it is a good idea. Chris Bosh characterized the players as being "comfortable" with Triano. Of course, that cream-puff of a team is also comfortable with collecting paycheques and losing...nice of the New York Yankee bullpen to bring a blowtorch to a perfectly good 1-1 game late and turn it into a 10-2 laugher. That's 0-2 for New York teams opening stadia this week.'s Tom Verducci weighs in with his take on the new Yankee Stadium...speaking of new buildings, met a guy from Dallas last week at BMO Field in Toronto who was up to see FC Dallas visit Toronto FC - alone no less - and asked him about the new Dallas Cowboys stadium. He repeatedly used the term "it is just obnoxious". Coming from a Texan, where everything is bigger, that is saying something...nice of SportsNet's Roger Millions to drop a "cocksucker" blast on live TV last night. Nicer of GBVH to pass it my way. Be sure to check that out below...your PTP winner today is to ride Jobamania and the Yankees to get off the schneid at home -1.5 +100. May the winners be ours!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Playing the over in Anaheim/San Jose at 5.5 +135.

Bonus Edition!!

What a glorious, glorious day it is in the sporting world. So glorious that this item simply cannot wait.

It is with great pleasure - and a champagne bottle on ice - that I bring you the retirement news that is long overdue. No more talk of food, no more oral sound effects and assault on our aural chambers. That's right folks, John Madden has called it a career.

Don Cherry, you're on the clock.

The Thursday edition appears below, if you missed it.

What'cha gonna do?!?!?!

In one of the most amazing stories you'll ever read, Hulk Hogan sounds ready to channel O.J. Simpson in spirit and in fact over his ex-wife Linda shacking up in his 20,000 square foot house with one of their daughter's 19-year old friends. Don't take my word for it, check out this quote: "I could have turned everything into a crime scene like O.J., cutting everybody's throat. You live half a mile from the 20,000-square-foot home you can't go to anymore, you're driving through downtown Clearwater [Florida] and see a 19-year-old boy driving your Escalade, and you know that a 19-year-old boy is sleeping in your bed, with your wife...I totally understand O.J. I get it." Amazing...Less than half of NFL teams are starting quarterbacks they themselves drafted so if your team is drafting a QB later this month, don't get too excited...what a week for New York Yankee Nick Swisher who started the season 10 days ago as a bench player. Since, he's hammered a bunch of home runs, hit north of .400, pitched a shut out inning, and the guy he was behind on the depth chart - Xavier Nady - is now out for the year. As statistically the fourth unluckiest hitter in 2008, he's got the mojo working in 2009...speaking of the Yankees, they finally open their $1.3 billion stadium today. USA Today has a tidy graphic that details nine things you didn't know. Worth a look here. Coverage is on SportsNet at 1:05...Cristiano Ronaldo scored an absolute screamer in the 6th minute to dagger his compatriots FC Porto and send Manchester United into a Champions League semi-final date with Arsenal, who rolled Villareal. It is also the second straight year where three English Premier League teams made the semis at the most prestigious club competition. Does anyone think it'll be something other than Man U vs. Barcelona in the finals?...if Marc-Andre Fleury is shutting you down, don't make long term plans for the playoffs, Philadelphia it just me, or do none of the NBA Eastern conference playoff matchups look at all attractive? The West, however, is loaded with intrigue. Check them out here. That said, if Kevin Garnett is out for the playoffs, you have to think the defending champion Boston Celtics aren't going deep...nice to see Isaiah Thomas introduced as the new coach at his Florida International University presser as Isaiah "Thompson". If that don't tell you what kind of job that is, nothing will...St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter is the latest arm to go down after getting hurt batting. I know purists love NL style ball, but doesn't protecting guys who are already more injury prone outweigh that?...finally, testing out something at RM today - how much these ads are counted. Be sure to click here. If I see a spike, I'll know they do actually work...have a great day, back with your PTP later.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Somebody's going to Wrong Island

Clearly, Chelsea learned nothing about Liverpool's heart from the Reds' Champions League win in Istanbul a couple years ago, and clearly, neither did I in figuring Chelsea would easily hold on at home after a 3-1 lead they snatched on the road last week. Liverpool dominated early, and gained confidence after two first half goals, but the Blues rallied back to clinch a semi-final date with Barcelona in an incredible 4-4, Manchester United travel to face FC Porto in a game they must win, something no English side has ever done at Porto. Today is the day that changes. Banker bet it. Arsenal also host Villareal to sort out the other semi-final...the NHL Draft lottery went last night, and the first overall pick goes to the New York Islanders - the odds on fav - who you would assume draft John Tavares. The Toronto Maple Leafs will pick 7th, if GM Brian Burke doesn't move up. The draft order can be seen here...funny thing about the NFL schedule coming out last night is if you ask all your buddies, their teams are all going at least 10-6 and making the playoffs. Fun exercise: write which games your team will win or lose right now and look at how wrong you are come January. Turns out the Buffalo Bills will be hosting the New York Jets in Toronto, not the Indianapolis Colts are believed. That will go December 3rd...building on yesterday's 60+ win story. All six of Phil Jackson's previous winners of 60+ went on to win the NBA title...thank you, AJ Burnett, for pitching a gem - again - and netting a solid PTP winner. Burnett had a no hitter going into the 8th and it blew up moments after I tuned in. No joke...the latest chink in the Toronto Blue Jays pitching staff sees alleged #2 starter Jesse Litsch head to the disabled list...the NHL playoffs starts tonight, and there's nothing better than the first round of the NHL's tourney. Don't miss it...whatever happened to Shonie Carter? Miss that spinning backfist...have a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Happy belated birthday to RM

Somehow even I missed it. RandoMango celebrated it's first anniversary last Monday..the baseball season is barely a week old and Manny Ramirez is already talking about his next and last team. Turns out he was kicking about the idea of a reunion in Cleveland with one-time teammate Jim Thome recently...the NHL draft lottery goes tonight, and another dose of hope gets dished around Leafland...the NFL is a league like no other. They raised a giant middle finger to sports radio and newspapers across the continent by releasing their schedule - on the NFL Network no less - tonight at 7pm, after the majority of talk shows are on ice for the day and papers are mostly locked down...nice 72.0 ERA on Chien-Ming Wang last night in a 15-5 Tampa Bay Ray beatdown of the New York Yankees. It was such a disaster that Nick Swisher even pitched an inning, which you can see here...Liverpool midfield stud Steven Gerrard may be hurting, but word is he'll give it a go today as Liverpool needs a 3-0 win on the road at Stamford Bridge to win their Champions League quarter-final match-up with Chelsea after getting drilled 3-1 last week. Of course, a 3-1 Liverpool win sends it to extra time. Less contentious or likely seems Bayern Munich coming back from a 4-0 loss to Barcelona last week...the first look at the new home of the New York Mets - Citi Field - can be seen here. Freaking impressive looking place, particularly if you've ever been to the dump that was Shea Stadium. That place made Exhibition Stadium look'll cost on average 17% less this year to see the Buffalo Bills play in Toronto. Wonder if those that got raped for tickets to all games will see a refund? My money says "no"...Phil Jackson joins Pat Riley as the only NBA coaches to have 60+ wins in a year with seven each...didn't figure Jon Lester would have a second bad start in a row, but the Oakland A's lit him up something fierce last night. The PTP could be streakier than a truck-stop toilet bowl. Back with your pick later.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Angel Kills Kenny

The Kansas City Royals are finally in double digits for runs scored with a deluge - six - yesterday. It was enough to win as they dropped a 6-4 loss on the New York Yankees, closed out by "The Mexicutioner"...CC Sabathia bought his new home for a mere $14.9 million, and paid cash for it. Check out a picture here...the NHL playoffs are set. Have a feeling the Battle of Pennsylvania could be a great one and will be hilited by Mike Richards battling Sidney Crosby, and the San Jose Sharks have to be a little leery drawing the Anaheim Ducks to start. There's a poll question to the right...forgot to tip the hat to Strikeforce's card on Saturday night. If you haven't seen it, at least get your hands on the Scott "Hands of Steel" Smith vs. Benji "Razor" Radach brawl. Fantastic stuff...good of Johan Santana to pin yesterday's New York Met's loss on his teammates. No sense crediting Josh Johnson, the incredibly talented Florida Marlins starter who went the distance and didn't give up a run until there were two down in the 9th...if the ping pong balls fall with their odds, Blake Griffin will likely be a Sacramento King after they clinched the worst record in the NBA. Shame we won't see him much out this way...there is a story making the rounds that the Detroit Lions will not use the #1 overall pick - or trade it. They'll let the clock expire and then slide down to pick Drew Stafford down the board so they can get him cheaper. Somehow you have to believe that idea backfires if it is put into looks like the next NHL Winter Classic will go in Boston at Fenway Park, where the Bruins will host either Washington or Philadelphia...Angel Cabrera is your 2009 Masters winner, going extra holes even...less than two weeks after calling for Greg Sutton in goal, the Toronto Sun's Gareth Wheeler, certainly aided by Saturday's game and a perhaps pointed email from yours truly questioning his eyesite and decarling myself a Frei Guy, he's now saying Stefan Frei is the man to play goal for Toronto FC. Well done, GW...back with your PTP later.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Scarborough Stomp

Frederico Macheda is making quite the name for himself at Manchester United. Coming on in a 1-1 game, he scored 46 seconds later for what would prove to be the winner over Sunderland. If United hangs on to take the EPL championship, the 17-year old Italian will be as responsible as anyone thanks to two game winners in a row...the Colorado Rockies starting lineup on opening day was entirely home grown. That has to be a first...the Atlanta Braves have the pleasure of being in four opening days this year...when a firing works: Pittsburgh Penguins new coach Dan Bylsma is 17-3-4. When it doesn't: Toronto Raptors new coach Jay Triano is 22-40...BJ Ryan seemed like a good idea at the time for the Toronto Blue Jays, but it is JP Ricciardi making moves so you know how that goes. A year after signing, it looked like a bad deal when his elbow unraveled. And now after coming back from Tommy John surgery and not dealing him, it looks even worse. Ryan is, for lack of a better term, finished. Anybody think he wasn't on The 2003 List?...Toronto FC dominated the first half against FC Dallas yesterday but could only manage a goal. And of course, it bit them in the end as Dallas tied it with a couple minutes to play. Greg Sutton will be lucky if he ever plays in goal again the way rookie Stefan Frei plays. The kid was stellar turns out that Scott Boras is indeed human...the Chicago Bulls have won 14 of 15 on the road. That there is a potential first round upset in the badly do you think CBS wants Tiger Woods to make an early charge in the final round of The Masters, as unlikely as coming back from seven seems?...playing the New York Yankees today at -1.5 +117...finally the NHL playoff picture will come clear today. Amen...have a great Easter Sunday.