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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Rafa Can't Read

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez insists that Liverpool are a better team than Manchester United. Funny, the English Premier League standings and the Champions League final four beg to differ...the NFL draft goes today. Please do yourself a favor on this glorious spring day and ignore it because most of it won't matter a knockouts go, this one is absolutely top shelf. Video here, surrounded by a bevy of scantily clad ladies...not sure if you've spent some time on Google Street View, but clearly, somebody has when they've located 20 crimes caught on Street View...boxing trainer Freddie Roach says Manny Pacquiao will knock out Ricky Hatton in their giant fight next Saturday. If you know what is good for you, you best get down a wager fast as Roach is also the guy who declared Oscar de la Hoya done and incapable of pulling the trigger before he went on to lose his last handful of fights. For those confused, that was boxing talk. A rarity in the sporting world, I know...St. Louis Cardinal Rick Ankiel is the latest MLBer to rock the porn stache. Evidence here...the Vancouver Province, a local paper in the city, is asking users to submit their ideas for Stanley Cup parade routes. The weed must be in prime form in Hongcouver if people are planning a route after winning one round...damn you, Jason Bay, for ruining a perfectly good New York Yankee lead. Bay went deep off Mariano Rivera in the bottom of the 9th with two down to send the game to extra innings, where the Boston Red Sox prevailed in 11. In other Yankee news, turns out Chien-Ming Wang is going to the DL with a bad hip and foot problem. Incredibly, his neck is fine despite all the bombs he's been serving up...Roger Goodell has his proposal ready for the 18 game schedule, and I'll be shocked if it doesn't fly...playing Florida Marlins tonight at -139...Matt Stafford is the first pick in the NFL draft today, and has agreed to a six-year, $41 million guaranteed deal with the Detroit Lions. That kind of money ought to allow him to buy half that is a shame Canadian television has no impact on the NHL playoff schedule. If so, you wouldn't see a Pittsburgh/Philadelphia game six at 3pm and no games until 10pm. With today's weather, I will not be watching...have a great Saturday.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Big Papi wants a no-hitter

As predicted here, that Pittsburgh/Philly series is really shaping up to be doozy. The Flyers staved off elimination with a 3-0 win to send the series back to Philly. Two other shutouts last night as the New Jersey Devils beat Carolina 1-0 in a game where Martin Brodeur tied Patrick Roy's playoff shutout record, and Anaheim put San Jose one foot into the grave with a 4-0 win to take a 3-1 series lead...remember when Hull City was in the top five of the English Premier League earlier this year? They've fallen all the way to being potentially weird will it be to see Tight End Tony Gonzalez in Atlanta Falcon gear after he was shipped for a second round pick in 2010?'s this for a Toronto Raptor trade rumour: Tayshaun Prince for Chris Bosh. Discuss...if Boston Red Sock David Ortiz is chirping New York Yankee Joba Chamberlain to not buzz Kevin Youkilis - again - it must be with a Sox/Yanks series around the corner, and that's what we get this weekend for the first three of the season in Beantown. Big Papi doesn't have to worry about Joba or anyone buzzing him, he's far easier to just pitch to...the Tampa Bay Lightning leaking that they were in discussions with the Montreal Canadiens to trade Vinny Lecavalier may be unusual, but I'd hardly call it a contributing factor to the Habs flameout versus Boston the way Bob Gainey is painting it. If that's the case, then a late season coaching change and benching of a star player for a couple games is even more of a distraction...reason #862 it is embarrassing being a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs: the sheer number I've seen on Facebook celebrating the Habs demise. Kind of odd to celebrate that when your team was out since November, no? Had one guy tell me he's just annoyed by the superiority complex of Habs fans. Well, why wouldn't they act that way towards the Leafs and their fans? The Leafs haven't done jack. Damn you, TV, for airing Leafs games when I was a child and making me a fan of that joke of a team, and worse, aligning me with the most moronic group of fans. I'm begging for a second team closer to home...back with your PTP later today.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Playing the San Jose Sharks -1.5 +220 tonight. Like the value on the money line, but admittedly risky with OT a possibility. Good luck, go Sharks!!

"You need balls to produce semen"...

Oakland A's outfielder and purported blue chip free agent this next off-season Matt Holliday has all of one homer since August 20th, including spring training...judging by the empty seats in the first half hour of the game, clearly a 7:30pm weeknight home start is too early for the Toronto FC faithful. How have they not figured that out at MLSE? Wait - I think I just answered my own question. Nonetheless, TFC dropped a 1-0 loss on previously undefeated Chivas USA in very impressive fashion. Frankly, the score flattered the visitors. Asked about the game, TFC manager John Carver thanked the PTP for dropping the hex on Chivas...Manchester United jumped three points clear of Liverpool and Chelsea after a 2-0 win over Portsmouth, and still have a game in hand. Start putting the red ribbons on the EPL trophy, it is about over...a team in Brazil's top soccer league is giving its players Viagara when they play at altitude to improve their circulation. Maybe Viagara would've cured Jay Cutler's thinking this offseason while still with Denver?...with the departure of host Richard Garner, the sports talk landscape has lost the fantasic Drive This! at Hardcore Sports Radio but the amazing duo of Cam Stewart and Gabe Morency now have a show called Morency. Said Gabe on the subject of the Montreal Canadiens: "I don't understand how any of the Montreal Canadiens have kids because you need balls to produce semen." In response, the Habs went out and meekly took their sweep last night. Nice of Carey Price to mockingly raise his arms at the end as the boos rained down. It'll be an interesting off season in Habsland with new ownership, potentially a new GM, a new coach and ten players free agents...the New York Rangers - despite Sean Avery's attempts to let the Washington Caps back in it - are now up 3-1 and looking likely to advance...RM reader JG passed on this hilarious modification of team logos, inspired by the Detroit Lions new logo. I really want to see the Cleveland Browns adopt a fiercer shade of orange...David Beckham's next European stop sounds like it could be in North London with Tottenham Hotspur...Washington Natinal - yes, that was intentional, this was not - Elijah Dukes was fined for being a few minutes late to a team meeting after appearing at a Little League event. Way to go, Nats, that's why you are who and where you are...word is Roger Clemens had a dozen apartments around the U.S. for various girlfriends to occupy. Wonder if he misremembers that happening with Debbie Clemens no doubt raging?...back with your PTP later, have a great Thursday.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Arshavin goes off for four

Another Tuesday gone by, another electric game for Liverpool as they played to a 4-4 barnburner with Arsenal. Arsenals' Andrei Arshavin scored four for the Gunners, who had a winner denied in the dying moments from Cesc Fabregas. Amazing, and more goals scored than any of the five NHL games last night. The result opens the door for Manchester United to widen the gap as they face Portsmouth today, one of two games in hand for United...last nights save by Mariano Rivera for an Andy Pettitte win tied the MLB record at 57, held by then Oakland A's Bob Welch and Dennis Eckersley...with all the empty seats, clearly the Yankees overestimated the draw of a new stadium and their team, and underestimated the economic climate...a recent SI article (March 23rd) says that within two years of being retired, 78% of former NFL players have gone bankrupt or are under financial stress because of joblessness or divorce. Within five years, 60% of NBA players are broke. Those are staggering numbers...while you've been reading today's entry, Roberto Luongo made six more saves. The Vancouver Canucks punched their ticket to the second round with an overtime win over the St. Louis is only today, two days after Toronto Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo's year end presser, that I'm able to see straight after my eyes got locked into a rolling position after he declared this year's edition of the Raptors the best he's assembled. He was far more credible when he was killing them for being soft and lacking in pride...more on the homer debate at new Yankee Stadium where 20 home runs were hit in four games. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, there were eight four-games spans of 20 or more homers at the old Stadium, some of them overlapping, including 2000, 2003, 2004 and 2007. So maybe what we saw on the opening weekend at the new park was just an anomaly? Further, given the homers launched for years out of Camden Yards in Baltimore, Minute Maid Park in Houston, Citizens Bank Park in Philly, and others, seems like a bit much right now. By the way, there was only one last night, off the stick of Johnny Damon...NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says Michael Vick will have to show signs of "serious remorse" if he is to be reinstanted to the NFL. Question: how is Goodell qualified to judge him that way?...Goodell might want to keep tabs on a potential far more explosive situation. Seems Mrs. Tom Brady - Gisele Bundchen - has won over $1 million betting on Inter Milan this season. If she starts hammering wagers in the NFL, there's going to be no media outlet not interested and that's something the NFL, which benefits from gambling despite pretending it has nothing to do with it, cannot afford...going into last night's action, the Toronto Blue Jays were 61-41 since Cito Gaston took over, the third best record over that time behind the LA Angels and Chicago Cubs...the way that PTP has gone of late after a smoking hot start - isn't that the way? - I'm looking for a can't lose proposition. And I've got it in Chivas USA, who visit a Dwayne DeRosario-less Toronto FC tonight. At +114, tough not to like them in any event, and hey, if I'm wrong, my boys win...have a great Wednesday.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The answer my friend is blowing in the wind

At right is one theory as to why home runs are up - albeit in a very small sample - at the new Yankee Stadium. And when can we stop calling it "new"?...check out Chelsea's hideous new unis for 2009. What are the odds Toronto FC goes to that template for 2010? Ghastly. Fortunately, their change kits are bad has Chien-Ming Wang's start to 2009 been? He'll need to pitch 47 2/3 scoreless - the record is Orel Hershisers 59 - to get down to his career ERA of 3.93...Virginia tackle Eugene Monroe, a likely NFL draft pick this weekend, has a 60-year-old brother. Seriously...ESPN's Eric Karabell on the Toronto Blue Jays on ESPN's Baseball Today podcast: "Toronto is clearly going to fall flat on its face as they don't have the starting pitching."...check out these hardcore Montreal Canadiens fans and their replica Bell Centre basement. Is that a broom I see in the corner?...the San Jose Sharks are 0-12 on the power play going into tonight's third game. That, as much as anything, is why they're down 0-2 to the Anaheim know the NFL Draft is out of control big when you've got a "Mock of Ages" being conducted at Yes, they're drafting with this year's order as if every player were available from history...GBVH has pointed us in the direction of the OHL Western Conference Finals, led 3-1 by the Windsor Spitfires over the London Knights, where the scores are 4-3, 6-5, 5-4, 5-4, each game having gone to OT, each having seen a two-goal lead blown in the third. Somehow you get the feeling NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman would tell you it is no more exciting than some of the snoozers being played in the NHL...after shutting out the Florida Marlins last night, the Pittsburgh Pirates have thrown four shutouts this year, doubling last year's total before April is out...the Detroit Lions have a new logo. Yeah, that'll change everything...why rainouts are a great thing for the New York Yankees: every game they get pushed into later this year is another with A-Rod in the lineup...back later with your PTP.

Cleveland Cavalier Delonte West takes a camera behind the scenes with his team on Jim Rome is Burning...classic. Oh, and Anderson Verajao drops a bomb.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tonight, playing Derek Lowe and the Atlanta Braves at -1.5 +120. May the winners be ours!!

4:20, Bob

Seems there are some baseball people concerned that the new Yankee Stadium is a homer launching pad, particularly to right field. I'm going to guess the early totals are more an aberration, aided by "The Wang Effect" more than it just me, or does it seem everytime Toronto FC gives up a goal, the incredibly overrated Jim Brennan is in the vicinity and barking at someone else that they're to blame? All too common. TFC lost 3-2 at Dallas last night, victimized by a very bad penalty kick call in the dying minutes. Adrian Serioux? Stud. Best move of the off-season so far. Shame he's surrounded by such mediocre - being nice - defenders...Manchester United took an FA Cup semi-final win over Everton for granted judging by their resting of several prominent players yesterday, and they paid for it, losing in penalties. No quintuple this season, but a quad is still doable. Everton moves on to face Chelsea in the final May 30th..if you were asked to guess which Toronto Blue Jay is hitting .208 with no homers and six RBI, you probably guess a bench player, maybe John McDonald. But not Alex Rios, who if he doesn't get it turned around soon, he'll be in the running for worst Toronto pro signing since Bryan McCabe, Jason Kapono and Vernon Wells for the what he's produced since signing an extension two offseasons ago. Shocking it hasn't cost the Blue Jays, who are off to an impressive start...Randy Johnson is the latest pitcher in an early season trend of guys taking no-hitters into the late innings. Also a crazy trend: batters hitting for cycles. Most years you're lucky to see one. There have been 3? already this year...finally caught the Anderson Silva vs. Thales Leites fight at UFC 97. Perhaps the dullest main event in UFC history. Even UFC head honcho Dana White called it embarrassing...the San Jose Sharks, nearly bullet proof at home this season, are now down 2-0 in the series after a pair of home losses against the Anaheim Ducks and are in need of the Heimlich Manoeuvre . I'm not saying they're done, but they can't be a confident bunch given their playoff history. Looking strong are the Vancouver Canucks, a game from sweeping the St. Louis Blues. If the old adage is true that it isn't a series until a team has lost at home, then the Philadelphia Flyers are in business after a 6-3 win to cut Pittsburgh's series lead to 2-1. Yes, that was 9 goals in a team that wasn't about to open any doors at home for the visitors was the LA Lakers, who hammered the Utah Jazz in the curtain raiser on that series. At the opposite end of that are the Orlando Magic, who turned an 18-point lead into a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. Betting Stan Van Jeremy is wound tighter than a snare drum right now...the Miami Heat scored all of 64 points in a 90-64 loss at Atlanta. Thanks for coming...back with your PTP later...finally today, in honour of it being 4:20, the always hilarious contestant on The Price Is Right working in 4:20. View below.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

American Idle Returns

Yanks starter Chien-Ming Wang is having a rougher start to 2009 than Natasha Richardson, and ran the opening leg in a total curb stomping at the hands of the Cleveland Indians yesterday. Memo to Phil Hughes: get to the Scranton airport...good friends and one-time teammates starting against each other on the bump is interesting enough, but when one is former New York Yankee Carl Pavano ("American Idle"), pitching at Yankee Stadium against the team he fleeced for $40 million over four years, it gets that much more interesting. Of course, the other is AJ Burnett. If this were 2008 at this time, there would have to be a line on whether both get hurt, but Burnett's working a second calendar year without a drip to the DL, knock on wood...RM reader TS passes on the 16 Greatest TV Catchphrases. What, no "If you smell what The Rock is cookin'"?...Arizona Diamondbacks starter Dan Haren is 0-3 this year despite a 1.50 ERA. The D-Backs have scored a single run - total - in his three broadcasting trainwrecks go, Brad May working for TSN is certainly the most recent. Poor guy sounds like he's going to have a nervous breakdown. Far more impressive is The Little Ball of Hate Ray Ferarro...good-bye, Chuck Lidell, nice knowing you...Derrick Rose dropped 36 points for the Chicago Bulls in an overtime win over the Boston Celtics. Way to clutch up, Paul Pierce, and rim the potential game winning free throw in the dying seconds of regulation...a group of Italian ladies have a pool going that will see the winner net $30,000 if they can sleep with David Beckham. It is not tough being DB...the Florida Marlins are now 10-1 to start the year. Anybody saw that coming?...playing Manchester United in the FA Cup at -.5 +127, enjoy.