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Saturday, September 5, 2009

WC qualifier day

  • Brazilian ace midfielder Kaka is talking junk ahead of their huge showdown with ArgentinaBrazil, saying the Argentines will crack under the pressure of a game they need a lot more than the hosts. Man I hope this is on TV somewhere. In Europe, the big matches of the day are Denmark hosting a desperate Portugal, the Czech Republic visiting Slovakia, and France hosting Romania.
  • The Florida Gators host Charleston Southern today in their kickoff to the NCAA college football season. The line? The Gators are mere 73 point favs. No, really. Get down at Pinnacle if you like. Me, I've got Ohio State -22 against Navy.
  • Trivia time: which MLB pitcher has the most wins since 2000? Answer at the bottom.
  • Toronto FC visit the Colorado Rapids in the first of a home-and-home series played over the next two Saturday's. And in the familiar refrain of late, they badly need a victory to keep their playoff hopes alive, especially with the Rapids just ahead of them.
  • Reason for concern in Jacksonville, home of the Jaguars? They distributed all of 39,942 tickets for their pre-season game this week. Granted, it is pre-season, but the Jags routinely tarp off sections so they can dub a game a "sell out". Maybe it is them Toronto should be chasing as a buying opportunity?
  • It was hardly a thriller, but the South Carolina Gamecocks 7-3 win on Thursday night over North Carolina maintained Steve Spurrier's career perfect record in opening games.
  • Are you like me, and wonder why cars have the "woah shit" handles on the drivers side? Shouldn't you be, like, driving?
  • Boston Red Sox closer Johnathan Papelbon has been fined, for at least the fifth time this year, for pitching so slowly. Good to see MLB does do something about the baseball equivalent of a rush hour traffic jam.
  • Be sure to check out Awful Team Photos at Deadspin. Exactly as the name implies.
  • Diego Sanchez and BJ Penn are lined up for UFC 107 in December. That should be a fantastic matchup between two entertaining fighters.
  • Have to love Winnipeg Blue Bombers coach Mike Kelly calling Saskatchewan "the crotch of Canada." Tell us something we don't know, M.K.
  • Finally the Buffalo Bills figured out that they've got an offensive issue. Namely, that they stink. So, the first head rolled in this season of firing coordinators in the pre-season and out went Turk Schonert.
  • Roy Halladay was dominant last night in throwing a 1-hitter against the New York Yankees yesterday in a performance that screamed "please get me out of here, Brian Cashman".
  • Trivia answer: believe it or not, Andy Pettitte with 146.

Friday, September 4, 2009


  • It may have been yesterday's news, but seriously, how huge is that helmet David Wright is rocking? Word is in 2011, this will be required gear by MLBers. Too funny.
  • NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has to be paying attention. He obviously noticed Michael Vick, one public Grey Goose aside, has kept his nose super clean and not made any ill advised comments. As a result, Vick will be eligible to play in Week 3, not 6 as originally scheduled. Good for Vick, and good for Goodell for leaving a carrot out there and rewarding good behavior.
  • Florida Marlins short stop stud Hanley Ramirez has been blasted publicly by teammatesDan Uggla, Josh Johnson and Cody Ross as being soft. Shame seeing a young talent like that not working at it.
  • Is there anything less interesting to a Canadian sports fan than the latest fight by Steve Molitor at Casino Rama? The only times I saw him fight - three - he was fighting tomato cans the first two, and the third he actually fought someone with skill and was so thoroughly beaten he may as well have been fighting Ivan Drago circa Rocky IV. Molitor is back in the ring tonight. Yawn.
  • Jorge Posada needs one homer to reach 20, Derek Jeter needs three. That would give the New York Yankees an incredible eight players with 20 or more. The Yanks smoked the Toronto Blue Jays last night 10-5 to move to 10-3 on the year against Toronto. The big story in Toronto this weekend is if Jeter gets real hot, he could break Lou Gehrig's franchise hits record with nine more knocks in the next three.
  • Jason Whitlock at Fox Sports is a different kind of sports journalist. He'll say things with a fresh perspective that few if any others will offer. But check out his piece yesterday in which he laid out many prominent sports media members. You have to wonder if he's got career suicide on the brain. Have to say though, some of it is damn good, and funny.
  • Pacman Jones isn't going to be a Winnipeg Blue Bomber after all. Seems his almost-employer didn't take too kindly to him bragging that his stop in the 'peg was just before jumping ship to the NFL for a playoff run, and he also added some YouTube smack about scoring at will in the CFL. Bonus points for him saying he was going to the UFL and needing to be informed it was the CFL, but in the end, Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde got him.
  • European soccer's governing body - UEFA - dropped a strong sanction on Chelsea for tampering with French teen Gael Kakuta. The Blues are forbidden from signing any new players until January 2011 under the ruling which is a massive penalty. Think of your fav team being forbidden from signing free agents, except you can't even do a trade either. Crazy, no? Looks good on you, Chelsea. Not surprisingly, they are planning to appeal.
  • a huge day of World Cup qualifying looms tomorrow around the world. Tough to imagine any game is more appealing than Argentina and Brazil tangling. Shame it isn't available on Setanta. Will check my U.S. feeds for those who are on an FTA setup.
Have a great Friday.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


  • By no means am I a hardcore NCAA football fan, though I do follow more than most I know. That said, two things I know for sure. (1) I hate Notre Dame. (2) I hate Notre Dame's fans. Knowing those, how awesome is that sign to the right by some former Domers located by their stadium?
  • The New York Yankees lead the LA Angels of Anaheim by 6.5 games in the race to secure home field through the playoffs. That's a very large deal for a team that is as dominant at home (an MLB-best 45-20) as the Yankees have been this year.
  • Just months after being trade bait and looking like his days are done in San Diego, LaDanian Tomlinson is feeling back on top, or he's just blowing smoke in calling himself "the best back." Not sure about that, but he seems hell bent on getting back into the conversation.
  • It is only three combined starts, but life as a former Boston Red Sox pitcher in the NL is looking pretty good if you're John Smoltz and now Brad Penny. Penny went 8 scoreless for the San Francisco Giants in his first start. Just shows what a joke the competition is in the NL relative to the AL. This keeps up and Curt Schilling may make a comeback.
  • Clutch-Rod? 36 of his 75 RBI have either tied the score or given the New York Yankees the lead. A-Rod and the Yankees visit Toronto to inch the Jays closer to 30 games out.
  • Every day, a team I've cheered for most of my life despite also loathing them most of my semi-adult acting life, drives me more insane. As most suspected, the Toronto Maple Leafs silence on the matter of another team in "their" market is because they're dead against it.
  • Damien Cox at the Toronto Star looks at the stink surrounding the NHL. I'm thinking the league should shut down til they get it right, there are plenty of other sports this time of year to keep us more interested.
  • have you seen the new helmets making their way to MLB? They're bigger than a football helmet. Seriously, check out New York Met David Wright sporting the new lid.
  • you know you're a questionable character when after word gets out you've signed Pacman Jones, like it did for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, you back off and say "not happening"

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Hypocrisy Reigns In Europe

  • I do not dispute that Arsenal's Eduardo da Silva dove in a game last week against Celtic. Since then, soccer's governing body in Europe - UEFA - has banned Eduardo for two games. That is fine too, provided it is a precedent. If we're not hearing of how, say, Cristiano Ronaldo, 90% of the Italian league and the entire Portuguese league are being suspended any moment now, then this is nonsense and patently unfair.
  • Jarrod Washburn hasn't exactly lived up to expectations with the Detroit Tigers. He's 1-2 with a brutal 6.81 ERA since moving to the Motor City on July 31st.
  • Just over two weeks to go until the NFL season arrives and the topic du jour is the status of Tom Brady's shoulder. Seems he practiced yesterday so he should be good to go. The Pats open with Buffalo at home, that ought to get ugly.
  • The NCAA football season is about to get under way and if there's anything more college than arguing about who should play for the championship, it is looking at power rankings. Here's's first cut at that.
  • Today, an Arizona court will decide if Jim Balsillie can bid on the Phoenix Coyotes at the auction set for next week. Here's hoping he wins, if only to watch slime like Gary Bettman and Dick Peddie squirm some more.
  • Ana Ivanovic's impressive slide down the tennis world continues. The #11 seed at the U.S. Open was a second round loser last night. #1 seed Dinara Safina barely scraped by in her match. If I can find a line for a world #1 that won't be top 10 a year from now, I'm betting that on Safina.
  • Since June 1st, the Toronto Blue Jays are 30-46, including 16-25 at home. April seems so long ago, and the next so far away, no? There are only seven teams in baseball with fewer wins than the Jays right now.
  • Look, I get that the World Wildlife Fund is looking to provoke a reaction. I also get that Mother Nature deserves a lot more respect than she gets. But invoking an image of dozens of planes flying at lower Manhatten doesn't seem like a very bright idea. Thanks to J-Gam for passing that along.
  • Cincinnati Red Brandon Phillips didn't know that the end result of a fracture and a break is the same when it comes to bones. No, really. Thanks to TS for that one.
  • for fans of Curb Your Enthusiasm, here's a little dose of the wit and wisdom of Larry David
  • fewer than 18,000 showed up in Tampa Bay last night to see the Rays host the Boston Red Sox in a pivotal series for the home side. Pathetic.
  • one term I don't understand: over-exaggeration. Isn't that redundant?
Have a great Wednesday.

Two vids to close...
Why didn't anyone decapitate Old Has Been for this block?

Perhaps the dirtiest play I've seen in soccer history. Not for the weak stomached.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Mannywood burns

  • The L.A. Dodgers are merely three games above .500 since Manny Ramirez returned from suspension. Now, that isn't all on ManRam, but isn't exactly what you'd expect. They may not be on fire, but as you can see in the pic, the area around Chavez Ravine is.
  • Best title for a book I've heard in some time: Leafs AbomiNation, a new book from Toronto sports writers Dave Feschuk and Michael Grange on the disaster that is the Toronto Maple Leafs. The price? A very affordable and fitting $19.67.
  • Adam "Pacman" Jones is bringing his "Make It Rain" tour to scrip clubs in Canada. Yes, Pacman is now a Winnipeg Blue Bomber. What does it say of Pacman when Argos coach Bart Andrus had him in Tennessee and he's now a Bomber?
  • Why a shorter schedule with more teams in the playoffs isn't a bad idea for basebal: fewer than 2,000 people showed up for a not-so-riveting matchup of the Pittsburgh Pirates visiting the Cincinnati Reds, the cellar dwellers in the NL Central.
  • Tottenham is turning to be a Croatian haven now that they've signed their third Croat in the past year and change in the form of Niko Kranjcar from Portsmouth.
  • The Tampa Bay Rays are five games behind Boston for the AL Wild Card, and they'll start a series tonight in Tampa where the home side has dominated the series the last two seasons. They're going to have to, at this point.
  • St. Louis Cardinal pitcher Adam Wainwright has 26 straight quality starts. Can't say I would've figured that.
  • Andy Pettitte was nearly perfect for 7 innings and the Yankees cruised to a 5-1 win, making them 32-11 since the all-star break.
  • There is talk of the New York Cosmos returning as a squad, and ultimately returning to the MLS full-time. Weird, considering the Red Bull are hardly lighting up the market. That said, there is an incredible new stadium going up for the Red Bull so maybe they look to share housing?
  • Seems every other NFL fan you talk to this week has just completed or is about to start their NFL fantasy draft. Some tips for those about to start.
  • The NFL Network isn't exactly great value for the most part, but when they've got a new analyst dishing comment like this on the subject of Old Has Been, it becomes better: "Never has a quarterback not gone to a full training camp and then gone to a Super Bowl. It's never happened and never will happen and I thank the football gods it won't happen. . . so don't tell me it's anybody's guess. We know what will happen." Who said it, you wonder? Michael Irvin. Well done, Playmaker.
Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, August 31, 2009

And you are?

  • Who would've ever expected to see Pardon The Interruption pre-empted for La Liga, Spanish league soccer? Today is that day on ESPN.
  • The easy answer for Manny Ramirez woes is that he's off the juice, but that is also the simple answer. Manny is struggling in a way that seems hard to imagine for one of the best pure hitters the game has seen the last decade or so.
  • the whizzinator that Onterrio Smith, one time Minnesota Viking, was busted with is up for auction. Opening bid, $750. No word on if it comes with urine included or if you've got to provide your own.
  • San Francisco Giant Barry Zito has a 1.92 ERA his last nine starts and has helped play the Giants into a tie for the wild card with the Colorado Rockies. Good to see the Giants at least getting something out of Zito and that monster deal they gave him. Now, if only they could find some guys to occasionally hit.
  • another late tournament choke job from Tiger Woods, as he missed a six-foot put on the 18th that would've moved him into a tie at the Barclay's tourney in New Jersey. Instead, it was Heath Slocum - isn't or wasn't he a pitcher in the bigs? - who bagged the win.
  • New York Yankee Mark Teixera is now at 101 RBI as the Yankees completed the sweep of the fading Chicago White Sox with an 8-3 win. The Sox had a 1-7 week in visits to the Bronx and Boston. Manager Ozzie Guillen is expected to go nuclear any moment.
  • the NHLPA fired Paul Kelly as the head of its union? Weird, though I did figure he seemed too forward thinking and bright to lead a constituency where the vast minority have beyond a high school education.
  • no longer in a playoff spot after the rest of the weekend's results came in: Toronto FC. Not bagging the three points on Saturday when they should've, and losing earlier in the year to Dallas, are looking like they'll haunt.
  • word is some Old Has Been will play half the game tonight for the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night Football. Cannot wait to see him flame out.
Have a great Monday!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Lennon Legend

  • All you need to know about the Chicago Cubs in 2009: they had eight all-stars in 2008 and only 1 in 2009. That's what happens when you barely average 4 runs a game scored.
  • Chelsea and Tottenham both moved to 4-0 yesterday. Chelsea hammered Burnley 3-0 while Spurs 2-1 win overwas a last second victory thanks to Aaron Lennon. Should've been a lot more comfortable than that. Manchester United squeezed out a 2-1 come from behind win on goals from Wayne Rooney and an Arsenal own-goal from Abou Diaby, who couldn't have scored more convincingly on his own goal had he wanted to. Andrei Arshavin scored a beauty for the Gunners.
  • So much for the idea the hard-assed Ozzie Guillen would light a fire under passionate-less Alex Rios. Rios is hitting all of .204 with zero power for the ChiSox.
  • Toronto FC should've won going away in Seattle yesterday with a half dozen great chances but finish they could not. Still, a draw keeps them in a playoff spot, just. As for the Seattle crowd? Let's just say the fans at BMO Field need to step their game up. The Sounders fans light it up in far larger numbers than a quarter of the stadium who are leading the charge at BMO.
  • The U.S. Open gets under way in Flushing Meadow, New York City tomorrow. Funny what a clear cut favorite Roger Federer has become again, no?
  • What is going on in the world of beer when that swill Bud Light Lame is flying off the shelves, and the Molson's brothers need to borrow $75 million to complete the purchase of the Montreal Canadiens?
  • In four pre-season games, the Buffalo Bills starters have 303 yards, 15 first downs, a field goal and five turnovers. If Terrell Owens comes back and turns that disaster around, name him MVP.
  • Former Montreal Canadien and now Ottawa Senator Alexei Kovalev is openly talking of how he wants to finish his career in Montreal. No, really.
  • UFC 102 is in the books, and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira was a unanimous decision over Randy Couture. Thiago Silva crushed Keith Jardine, decisioned Krysztof Brandon VeraSoszynski and more, here.
Have a great Sunday.