Saturday, June 6, 2009
I don't know who Cristiano Ronaldo's agent is, but this guy has Scott Boras and Jerry Macguire whipped. He's negotiated a deal with Real Madrid that will see his client collect £26m (about $46 million Canadian, $42 million U.S.) if Real fail to complete his transfer from Manchester United by the end of June - just two weeks away. This is the greatest no lose situation I've ever seen an athlete in: go to Real, probably get a huge raise. Stay at Man U, pocket enough money from the failed deal that the raise you would've had looks like pocket change and as an added bonus, you get to play on a great team. Yes, that was a none-too-subtle dig at Real...continuing a busy month in MMA, WEC has a card on the go tonight, on Versus if you've got it at 9pm. Mike Brown will fight Urijah Faber in the main event, a rematch of their epic 2008 fight. The rest of the card here...Fork? Meet Marco Velez. The Toronto FC player is the single worst defender I've ever seen that collects a pay cheque - anywhere - and was beat on both LA Galaxy goals as TFC lost 2-1...nice play by Toronto Blue Jay Alex Rios, responding with "who gives a fuck?" repeatedly when a fan cracked him on the streets for his five strikeout performance on Thursday night. Rios, you're a loser. Period. End of. Catch his act here. Thanks to GBVH for that one...Miami Dolphin Joey Porter says his team are "the champions until proven otherwise." Seriously. I didn't realize winning the division was such a big deal...if the old maxim that "it isn't a series until somebody loses at home," then the Stanley Cup finals is yet to be a series. That said, in a 5-0 beatdown of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Detroit Red Wings sure made it seem like it is about to become a series with game six in Pittsburgh. The Wings are up 3-2 and eyeing their fifth Cup in 12 years...have a great Sunday.
A huge day of World Cup qualifying around the globe but as always, the focal point remains Europe. Some impactful matches: Ukraine at Croatia battle for second in Group 6, and Portugal and Sweden badly need wins to get back in the Group 1 mix...game five of the Stanley Cup finals goes tonight and the momentum seems to have moved towards the Pittsburgh Penguins anytime the pace picks up. But, this one is in Detroit and the home teams have held serve throughout so far, but something tells me the Pens are going to grab the series by the throat tonight, even with Pavel Datsyuk returning for the Wings...Toronto FC host the LA Galaxy who last year scored and conceded goals by the boat load. This year, they've tightened up considerably but are a crazy 1-1-9. Yes, one win, one loss and nine draws. Both teams will be minus some key players as a result of World Cup qualifying - Marvelle Wynne and Amado Guevara for Toronto, Landon Donovan for L.A. - but soldier on they must. Looks like TFC rookie 'keeper Stefan Frei is out with a foot infection...on The Score tonight (Showtime in the U.S.) starting at 9pm, Strike Force present their latest card, with Robbie Lawler facing Jake Shields in the main event. Nick Diaz and Scott Smith should be the fight of the night for my money. See the rest here..Stewart Cink on the PGA Tour tweets while playing. If you can tweet, email or anything resembling that while playing, how much of a sport are you playing, really?...Toronto Legacy as an expansion NHL franchise? Not with that name that makes the Minnesota "Wild" seem like a good idea. I'm sure the NHL would rather deal with that ownership group than Jim Balsillie, given how commissioner Gary Bettman - a former NBA man - operates. After all, the NBA once granted ownership of the Toronto Raptors to John Bitove when there were more suitable options (Dave Perkins)...the Toronto Blue Jays were the first to score on Zach Greinke this year, and now are the first to pound him without mercy. The Jays were 9-3 winners over Kansas City last night at Rogers Centre...the women's French Open final between Dinara Safina and Svetlana Kuznetsova goes this morning. Don't imagine anyone cares much...playing the Florida Marlins today at -128, England -2 -128 over Kazakhstan, Croatia -.5 -1 -103 over Ukraine (LOVE that line) and the New York Mets -1.5 +133 over the Washington Nats...have a great Saturday.
Friday, June 5, 2009
Nice to see the Pittsburgh Penguins fans take a page out of the Toronto Raptors fan playbook and dress in the colour of the visiting team. The Penguinos downed the Red Wings 4-2 to even the series and to answer yesterday's question, no, the Wings couldn't continue to hold Sidney Crosby down...as if the NBA's championship trophy wasn't ugly enough, did they really need to have it covering half the floor at the Staples Center in L.A.? You can see the bloody thing from the moon. The Lakers opened the series with a 100-75 beatdown of the Orlando Magic. Awaiting word whether Pau Gasol hurt his hand when Kobe slapped it in the picture to the right..nice touch on the part of The Mandarin restaurant having a TV spot in which two young girls, maybe 10, are declared as being "crazy about chicken balls". Me? I'm crazy about Chickenfoot, in stores today...if Rachelle Leah was hosting a UFC All Access to the worst fighter in the world, I'd watch. She's that smokin'...Toronto FC's season ticket holders will indeed have first crack at their own tickets - weird as that may sound - for the August visit by Real Madrid...Randy Johnson finally completed his journey to 300 against one of the worst teams in history in a virtually empty stadium. Almost fitting for one of the games most miserable guys...Detroit Tigers pitcher Dontrelle Willis gave up five runs without allowing a hit. Five walks and a hit batter will help that along...a great piece on athletes and their wives that shows the athletes are usually getting the better end of the deal. Yes, I'm talking about you Marko Jaric, Jeff Garcia and Scott Podsednik, among others...good of the NBA to wait until the opening of its championship series to announce that LeBron James was being fined $25,000 for skipping out on the media a week ago...you cannot make this up. Boston Red Sox one-time slugger David Ortiz is having his eyes checked. What, it took two months of hitting .187 for the Sox to figure that might be an idea?...Toronto Star journo Dave Feschuk took apart Chris Bosh in this fantastic piece. That Bosh thinks he deserves the same money as LeBron James and Dwayne Wade - multiple time playoff round winners and MVP's of the regular season and playoffs, respectively - is downright comical. Bosh is intent on reaching free agency after the next season...have a great Friday.
Posted by TB at 9:09 AM
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is broke? Well, not quite, says one report coming out of Dallas, but he's sure making money matters a topic in each decision, something hinted at in these parts as why he might be retaining Wade Phillips instead of turfing him. Not going to be a great year for the Cowboys I suspect...the NBA Finals finally get under way tonight. Many have discounted the Orlando Magic to their own detriment the last couple rounds, but I have a real hard time believing Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson allow the LA Lakers to lose the final two straight years. Lakers in 6...it doesn't always end well in sports, even for good guys like Tom Glavine of the Atlanta Braves, released by the Braves yesterday and surely done. The Tommy Hanson era should begin in Hotlanta momentarily...Kaka may be heading to Real Madrid, or is it Chelsea? Both clubs have record breaking bids in on the midfield ace, though it sounds like a Madrid deal has been agreed upon. The soccer silly season is crazier than any other...hard to believe it has been 20 years since the SkyDome/Rogers Centre opened in Toronto. One review of all major league parks had it ranked 29th, ahead of only Tampa Bay. Ouch...David Ortiz could be bench bound in Boston for good. Guess that's what happens when your designated hitter stops, you know, hitting. Expect the Sox to make a bold move to shore up their offence - Matt Holliday, Victor Martinez and Adam Dunn have been mentioned. GM Theo Epstein is too good to sit idly by...Randy Johnson's quest for 300 wins was pushed back to today thanks to rain in Washington...a day after using Mark Teixera for target practice, the Texas Rangers tired of Vincente Padilla's bean ball ways and putting his own players in the firing line and released him...Game 4 of the Stanley Cup Finals goes tonight. With one point in three games, you have to figure the Detroit Red Wings can't hold Sidney Crosby down forever, can they?...have a great Thursday.
Posted by TB at 9:51 AM
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
Randy Johnson will go for his 300th win against the Washington Nationals. Fitting, given he started in the majors with the Montreal Expos who of course degenerated into the Nats...Dana White and the UFC have announced that Kimbo Slice will be a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter 10. White says the only way Slice will fight in the UFC if he wins the competition. Question is whether Slice takes someone out in the yard as he is known to do and gets booted from the show first...Roy Halladay had 14 k's last night, a career high, and picked up his 9th win, five fewer than the Washington Nationals. The Jays will next face a divisional opponent June 29th in another scheduling quirk. If the Jays fall out of it, what are the odds they package Vernon Wells horrible contract with Roy Halladay's very pallatable one to clear salary and net a boat load of talent?...Toronto FC just cannot close things out, whether it be late leads or in last night's case, the Canadian Championship. In losing 2-0 to Vancouver, they now need to beat Montreal 4-0 to take the title. Not happening...Roger Federer is a perfect 35-0 against the remaining opponents in his bracket up to and including the final at the French Open...during the New York Yankees errorless run, which ended last night when Jorge Posada launched a ball into centre field, the Yankees were 14-4 with an ERA of 3.60. In the game before the streak, they were 16-17 and had 20 errors and a 6.06 ERA. They're also 13-15 minus A-Rod, 18-6 with...ever wish you had someone that could do your dirty work for you? Someone to pick up a box of beer when you need, get your car fixed, maybe dump your girlfriend for you so you can focus on more important things, like your soccer career and which bar you're going to hit? Turns out that such a thing does exist, and Manchester United has such a man in Barry Moorhouse. Hilarious dig at Dimitar Berbatov here, too. Maybe the greatest thing I've ever heard...in the Stanley Cup finals, 44 times a team has had a 2-0 lead. 41 times said team went on to close it out, with the last to blow it in 1971. That said, the Pittsburgh Penguins at least look like they're willing, and we'll still assume able, to reverse that trend, thanks to a nailbiting 3-2 win last night...the Orlando Magic's players are saying that Jameer Nelson will play in the finals, which start tomorrow, after being on the shelf since February 19th. Bad idea. Doesn't matter who your are, coming back after that much time off and thinking you're in game shape isn't possible, nevermind it'll mess with the team chemistry. Dress, high five, cheer the guys on. Play? Bad idea...word is Kate Hudson, A-Rod's current flame, was in the same venue as his former flame Madonna, and Kate was stearing clear. Good move, Kate. You wouldn't want her catching you between that ever widening gap in her grill while she blasted you in a faux-English accent...NBA Commissioner David Stern isn't happy that LeBron James refused to shake hands or talk to the media after his Cavs were eliminated on Friday night. Look, I get that some view that as being classless or lacking in sportsmanship - and I'm not even sure it is - but you know what is more classless or lacking in sportsmanship? Shaking hands because you're forced to when you don't mean it. Stern is looking to talk to LeBron at which point he will make his judgment clear. Judgment? Not for you to police, Stern...Real Madrid has confirmed on its website that it will indeed be visiting Toronto on August 7th to face Toronto FC...have a great Wednesday.
Chelsea boys play with each other's peckers. Seriously.
Chelsea boys play with each other's peckers. Seriously.
Posted by TB at 9:48 AM
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
Canadians Jason Bay and Justin Morneau are 2nd and 3rd in the American League in RBI...still have a bit of a chuckle when I see the Cleveland Indians home is called Progressive Field...seems a bit odd that the Montreal Canadiens would hire Jacques Martin to coach. Martin is a notorious defence first coach on a team that looks to attack, and hardly a playoff performer on a club where playoff success is all that matters. That said, Carey Price fantasy owners will be thrilled...the New York Yankees have set the MLB record for games without an error at 18 in downing the Cleveland Indians 5-2 to open a lead of a game on Boston. Of all the things this Yankee fan hoped for this year, that's one I would not have expected. What's that line about defense and championships?...UFC 99 will see the return of Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic. Maybe he'll finally live up to the hype that preceded his very uninspiring fights in his previous UFC outings? He'll take on the mammoth Mustapha Al-Turk...not sure how much experience Alvin Williams will bring as a Toronto Raptors assistant coach but if he can give that team even a small percentage increase in playing with heart - which the guy known as "The Raptor" is better suited than anyone - that will at least give them, you know, some...Toronto FC are in Vancouver to face the Whitecaps tonight and need only a draw to take the Canadian Championship, making up for last year's debacle...Chris Bosh has a DVD due in the fall featuring his many online characters. If you buy this, you're a loser...one reason why the LA Dodgers might not be as great as they appear: they're 23-9 against the horrific NL West, and a still respectable, but nowhere near as dominant 12-9 against the rest...Jim Balsillie has filed a formal application to move the Phoenix Coyotes. Me and a few long-time Leafs sufferers - err - fans have always said if a team gets closer than Toronto, we're freed from our obligations so really, really hoping this comes true, though the idea of Hamilton is something less than ideal...tonight, bet the San Francisco Giants on the run line at -1.5 +116 at the Washington Nationals. Enjoy.
Posted by TB at 8:54 AM
Monday, June 1, 2009
The Pittsburgh Penguins are in a world of trouble. Down 0-2 in the series after another 3-1 loss, it appeared they would also be without Evgeni Malkin for game three - which some might say would be his third game out - after he drew an instigator penalty late in the game for jumping Henrik Zetterberg. Guess if you can't beat 'em, try to beat 'em. The NHL has said he won't be suspended because they want to avoid a sweep (okay, making the last part up there). Does anyone believe that the Pens can take four of five over the Wings now? Can't say I do really, not when Marc-Andre Fleury is giving up howlers like he did on the third Wings goal last night. Hilites below...Rafael Nadal lost for the first time at the French Open. Ever. Four tournies and four wins leading up to this year and it is "adios" in a four set loss to somebody named Robin Soderling. Roger Federer was taken to five sets this morning against Tommy Haas, but survived..10 of the 14 earned runs given up by Toronto Blue Jays rookie Ricky Romero have been homers. That's how she goes sometimes, Ricky. Wonder how his neck is feeling? The Jays took two of three from Boston on the weekend...Joe Nieuwendyk is off to Dallas to become the Stars new General Manager. If all the reports are true, the Stars got themselves a good one...Liverpool star Steven Gerrard offers these tips on picking up the ladies: "go ugly, avoid the rush"...no, I didn't miss the Toronto FC game on Saturday, a 3-0 ass whipping at the hands of the Houston Dynamo, I was just so infuriated by rank amateur defending I chose not to talk about it. That said, where's the designated player, said to be a defender, we've heard so much about?...Florida State hammered Ohio State 37-6. No, this wasn't a football bowl game, but the longest baseball game in NCAA history, and 17 other records tied or broken by Free Shoes U...after two months of playing well below his lofty standards, the Cleveland Indians figured something was off with Grady Sizemore, and he's now on the DL...the Chris Bosh trade rumours remain. The latest has him dealt for Carlos Boozer, in what would have to be a sign and trade for the free agent Boozer, and would immediately result in me purchasing a Raptors jersey, or in a package including Luol Deng from the Chicago Bulls. Ominous words from the NY Daily News: "the Raptors privately, are acknowledging for the first time that they might need to trade Bosh, rather than risk losing him to free agency in 2010"...have a great Monday.
Posted by TB at 9:56 AM
Sunday, May 31, 2009
Have you ever seen a team go from total dominance through two rounds of the NBA playoffs to a no-show in an elimination game than the Cleveland Cavs? The Cavs lost 103-90 to Orlando last night, and it wasn't even as close as that score. LeBron James wasn't talking post-game. Also something I haven't seen: the Eastern Conference trophy. Seriously, don't recall ever seeing that in the decades I've watched hoops...Everton opened the scoring in the first minute, but Chelsea proved to be the far stronger side as they lifted the FA Cup with a 2-1 win that seemed unlikely when forever the bridesmaid Michael Ballack came on for Chelsea...told that pitcher Chien-Ming Wang is upset that he isn't back in the starting rotation, New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman got off this gem: "his contract says 'baseball player', not 'starting pitcher'"...LA Dodgers manager Joe Torre says Manny Ramirez shouldn't go to the all-star game if he gets voted in. He also once said those still involved in the game shouldn't write books on the game, so there is that...Kansas City Royals stud pitcher Zach Grienke - only the third starting pitcher in the live ball era to have an ERA under 1.00 after his first 10 starts - gives great quote. Note the title of this piece here and you'll know what I mean by "great"...Chicago Cub Carlos Zambrano received a six game ban for his meltdown a few nights back. Does anything less than 10 days really mean much to a pitcher?...the NHL is expected to announce the Winter Classic is heading to Fenway Park. Also said to be in the works is a November date between the Montreal Canadiens and a visiting Toronto Maple Leafs team at Olympic Stadium. Awesome idea...tough day for #4 seeds at the French Open. Novak Djokovic is out on the men's side, while Elena Dementieva bowed out of the women's draw...the Washington Nationals are on pace to win 43 games this year. Soon to be #1 draft pick, flamethrower Stephen Strasburg, better be as good as advertised if they're going to ever turn it around...in the playoffs so far, Sidney Crosby and Gino Malkin have combined for an astounding 26 of the Pittsburgh Penguins 66 goals (39.4%) but the Detroit Red Wings shut them down last night and that was enough to give the Wings the opening game in the Stanley Cup finals with a 3-1 win...how to spend $1.5 billion in two minutes. Well, covering almost three years in two minutes of the construction of Cowboys Stadium in Dallas...the Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons outlines what the Toronto Maple Leafs off-season should look like. Well worth a read...have a great Sunday.