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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Bosh Hurting...Already

If this is the A-Rod the New York Yankees will see come playoff time, it is going to be a special year for the Bronx Bombers. A-Rod homered, doubled, and to show his hip is feeling real nice, ripped three bases on the Boston Red Sox last night in the Yanks 9-5 win over the Boston Red Sox. Also encouraging? Joba Chamberlain did not suck.

Toronto FC travel to Chicago today to face the Fire in what is essentially a must-win game. Sound familiar? Seems I've been saying that for weeks. Maybe this is the one they'll actually get it done on the road? The Fire will be without Mexican star Blanco, so that ought to help the cause. Kickoff is 8:30 on SportsNet.

As the Toronto Raptors training camp is about to get under way, along comes word that Chris Bosh will be out with a strained hamstring. I don't want to suggest he's made of glass or anything, but he does seem to get more minor injuries than the average guy. Well, other than Hose B Calderon, one of the few players in pro sports to ever miss games due to "soreness". See, I'm in mid-season Raptor form already.

Follow along here, if you can. Chelsea lost to Wigan 3-1 this morning in English Premier League action. Hard to figure, no? Manchester United moves into a first place tie with Chelsea after their 2-0 win over Stoke. Liverpool hammered Hull City 6-1, and Tottenham rode Robbie Keane's four goals to a 5-0 win over Burnley.

Baseball players freak injuries always have a home in this space, and add Chicago Cub Derek Lee is the latest. He suffered neck spasms after hitting a go-ahead home run a couple nights back when one of the teams relievers gave him a celebratory smack on the helmet.

Here are soccer's best - or worst, depending on your perspective - goal scoring celebrations. Not sure how this one didn't make the list: an Italian player biting a teammates pecker. No, really.

Rock stars have some pretty great deaths. Here are the 15 lamest.

Have a great day. GO TFC!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Down go the Tribe, again


Wayne Gretzky did about the only thing he could've done when both prospective Phoenix Coyotes ownership groups essentially indicated he was not part of their plans: he quit. The Great One finishes 18 games under .500 as a coach in Phoenix, and it'll be quite the surprise if he gets another coaching offer, or even if he wants one. Damien Cox at the Toronto Star calls his departure a sure sign that the Coyotes are dead in the desert.

Incredibly, the Cleveleand Indians hadn't held a lead for 70 innings before Michael Brantley's single off the Detroit Tigers Justin Verlander made it 2-0. The lead lasted all of 23 minutes. Speaking of futile teams, the Washington Natinals lost their 100th game yesterday.

ESPN.com's Jayson Stark offers up a preview of baseballs playoff bound starting rotations. Speaking of, the St. Louis Cardinals have three starters with at least 15 wins.

Jay Mohr told a story on the Jim Rome Show about his first time meeting Megan Fox. Says Mohr: "I looked at the tattoo of Marilyn Monroe on her right arm and say 'unbelievable, I have a tattoo of Joe DiMaggio on my right arm' and she says ' who?'". Must be a big fan of Norma Jean to not know her famed ex-hubbie.

The over/under for the Toronto Argos and Winnipeg Blue Bombers game this weekend is 44. Isn't that the equivalent of an over/under of 28 in the average NFL matchup?

The New York Post's Joel Sherman offers up his thoughts on expanding the number of teams in baseball's playoffs. Also pushing the idea this week is ESPN's Peter Gammons.

That's it for today, have a great one.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

And in the 6th, the train comes off the track...


Seems a bit odd that the San Francisco 49ers visit to the Minnesota Vikings is somehow Week 3's only matchup of unbeaten squads. The 49ers are looking real good to top their season over/under of 7.5 wins.

Tough day in MMA, as two big names have retired. First came word that Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, a total bust in UFC, is hanging them up. Then comes word that the very much not past it Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is looking to pursue acting, which led to this killer quote from UFC boss Dana White: "He wants to do this thing, and he's like, 'listen, man, this is really important to me ... there's some sentimental value here for me, me and my Dad grew up watching The A-Team together and we loved it,'" White told reporters at a pre-fight press conference for UFC 102. "Well, guess what, brother? I said, 'guess what Rashad Evans is thinking about right now. He's thinking about beating your (expletive) ass. He's not sitting around thinking about him and his mom used to watch the (expletive) 'Love Boat' together, and he wants to get the role of 'Isaac the Bartender'...you know what I mean? Get a (expletive) grip, dude."

Starting to look more and more like the New York Islanders could be leaving Long Island and moving to Kansas City . Surely they don't keep the name "Islanders" intact, do they? Guess sports have given us the Utah Jazz and L.A. Lakers so it isn't like sports always recognize what makes sense.

RM fav Bukakke passes word that as the result of a previous Phoenix Coyotes ticket purchase, he's on the Coyotes mailing list. They're selling tickets for $25 and that includes a t-shirt. Nosebleeds? Nope. Lower bowl. Yeah, real bright future there.

L.A. Dodger Chad Billingsly has a 10.66 in 6th innings this year. Not sure what is more likely, that Manager Joe Torre hasn't figured that out, or that he has blown his bullpen and is unable to get someone in that early. Both?

Dave Perkins at the Toronto Star hops on board with a view long held by this guy, and that more playoff participation in baseball is a good thing. Worthy read if you've never heard yours truly say the same over the years.

22% of NHL fights this pre-season are staged. That is, they happen right after the puck drops. And to think plenty of hockey fans look down their noses at UFC/MMA. At least in the latter, the guys aren't throwing bare handed.

Jimmy Kimmel's
"This Week in Unnecessary Censorship"...so good.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Guess who's back?


The Miami Dolphins are 0-2 with a schedule that brings them at San Diego, home to Buffalo, home to the New York Jets, home to New Orleans, at the Jets, and at New England their next six games. They're going to be out of the playoff race before October is done.

One sliver of research says that the long suspected theory of Manchester United often benefiting from more injury time than would typically be warranted is more than just speculation. Expect Liverpool's Rafa Benitez to spout off any minute waving this report.

Speaking of 0-2 teams, ESPN.com's Len Pasquerelli says the deck is stacked against the 0-2 teams, despite some high profile exceptions of late, most notably the 2007 New York Giants.

Fall must be near as the New York Yankees are back in the playoffs after winning last night to at least clinch a Wild Card spot. On the downside, Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano without runners in scoring position: 159-434 (.366). With runners in scoring position: 36 of 173 (.208).

What are the odds that Floyd Mayweather Jr. didn't return to the ring for competitive reasons alone? Pretty good, I'd say, when you hear news that he owes the IRS a mere $5.6 million in back taxes.

A mere 26 arrests in Buffalo on opening day for the Bills this past Sunday. This total could increase if they track down the criminals who broke into Donte Whitner's house.

The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons takes another run at Blue Jays GM JP Ricciardi. Honestly, these never get old. Gonna miss them when Ricciardi is gone.

Check out this Clemson fan taking last week's loss to Georgia Tech REAL hard. Awesome stuff, including the commentators ridiculing him.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Brown Town

The Miami Dolphins ran the ball with authority all over the Indianapolis Colts last night keeping the Colts to 14:53 possession for the entire game and only three second half possessions. Dolphins win, right? Nope. 27-23 Colts. That last Dolphins drive brought back memories of the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl for how bad the play calling was. Only thing missing was a quarterback puking.
That drops the PTP up to 1-5 (-424) for the season. A long ways to go to approach last year's performance.

Herschel Walker has signed to fight for Strikeforce, a rising MMA outfit. It is an awesome deal for Strikeforce as they inked 29 personalities and fighters for the price of one.

The last few road trips of a baseball season are typically when teams have their rookie initiations. The Yankees, for example, decked out their rookies as Batman characters including Ramiro Peña as Catwoman. The Washington Natinals? Well, the always strong Sportspickle says the Nats dressed their rooks in a far more humiliating get-up: as Natinals.

First Buffalo Bill Leodis McKelvin's lawn was vandalized, and now the latest Bills incident saw Donte Whitner's house robbed of $400,000 worth of jewelry. Not safe times for Bills in Buffalo, but word is to make them feel like at home when they come to Toronto later in the year, they'll either be staying in the Jane/Finch area or in Scarborough.

Speaking of robbery, seems a Florida robber was busted. Not for leaving fingerprints, or caught on camera, but because in the middle of his robbery, he flipped on the homeowners computer to check his Facebook page, and neglected to log out afterwards. Real smart. You can't make stuff like this up.

Memo to Chuckie Gruden: you're not working an infomercial. Slow down, drop the volume, take a breath.

Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal figures that J.P. Ricciardi of the Toronto Blue Jays is the only big league GM likely to lose his job at this point. That would put Ricciardi in the exclusive kind of territory he believes he's worthy of, though not quite the destination he figured.

Before and after a fight photos. Exactly how it sounds.

Had to laugh that T.O. retweeted on Sunday night that Dallas might not have a T.O. problem now, but they may in fact have a T.R. problem still, as in Tony Romo. Until we see different, there's something to that.

Washington Redskin rookie Robert Henson got off a couple fan slamming gems on Twitter after the 'Skins were booed throughout their lacklustre 9-7 win over St. Louis Sunday. Pretty sure his blast that most of the fans booing work 9-5 at McDonalds wins Best Comment of the Week.

Another game, another one for the record books as the Toronto Blue Jays drew one of their smallest crowds to the Rogers Centre with 11,598 making it out. Manager Cito Gaston says fans clearly want to support a winner and while that is true, fans also want to see a team that plays like it cares. So more Adam Linds and fewer Vernon Wells', if you know what I mean.

In probably the most exciting moment in what has been a dreadfully dull CFL season, check out this guy working the goal posts at Ivor Lose Stadium in Hamilton. Thanks to GBV for this link.

Monday, September 21, 2009

PTP

Playing Miami tonight at +3.5, -105.

Easy, Brees-y...beautiful cover


Since 1990, NFL sides that opened the year 0-2 only made the playoffs 13.8% of the time. Teams that start 1-1 make it 40.8% and teams that open 2-0 qualify 64.2% of the time. So for 0-2 Detroit, Carolina, Tampa Bay, St. Louis, Cleveland, Tennessee, Jacksonville, and Kansas City, good luck to you.

Most entertaining sporting event of the weekend, if not year? No question, the electric 4-3 thriller won by Manchester United at the last gasp on a goal by Michael Owen over cross-town rival Manchester City. That was game of the year stuff right there, any sport. City keeper Shay Given was a huge part of why there wasn't at least double the United goals. United keeper Ben Foster was a huge part of why there were three City goals.

I know the NFL schedule rotates non-divisional games, but seems real odd that yesterday's visit to Buffalo by Tampa Bay was their first in franchise history. The Bills won 33-20.

105,121 took in the opener of the Dallas Cowboys stunning new stadium, a record crowd. That screen hovering over the field is freaking insane. And as for the team on the field, they looked fantastic for the most part. However, their quarterback Tony Romo clearly must've had money on the visiting Giants, as he lobbed them four picks and the Cowboys lost 33-31 with a last second field goal.

Ahh, that Milton Bradley, always making friends and warming hearts wherever he goes. In an interview with a Chicago paper, he was asked if he had enjoyed his first season with the Cubs, and gave this gem of an answer: "Not really, it's just not a positive environment. I need a stable, healthy, enjoyable environment. There's too many people everywhere in your face with a microphone asking the same questions repeatedly. Everything is just bashing you. You got out there and you play harder than anybody on the field and never get credit for it. It's just negativity. And you understand why they haven't won in 100 years here, because it's negative." Right, and he just threw gas on the fire. Oh, the Cubs also suspended Bradley for the rest of the season.

Not sure I remember a September in the Wild Card era that had fewer races on the go. In fact, if not for the NL Wild Card, and AL Central, there'd be almost no races of note. Having said that, Joba Chamberlain seems interested in making the AL East race a factor again, as he got lit up badly in a New York Yankee loss while the Boston Red Sox were winning again to trim the Yanks lead to five with a series looming next weekend in the Bronx.

The 4th quarter was barely started in the New York Jets win over New England when three - THREE - request for Mark Sanchez jersey's dropped into my inbox. Jets fans are serious, no question. Funny how easily the Patriots could be 0-2 and the Buffalo Bills 2-0.

The New Orleans Saints could be seen as not as great as their Week 1 showing, where they lit up woeful Detroit. But to go into Philadelphia and drop 48 on the Eagles is something to take note of. This is a team to watch this year, for entertainment purposes, and because you'll be seeing them in late January and possibly into February. Drew Brees is the best QB in the game right now.

Have a great Monday.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Money May-o Clinic


Contemplated writing the first six comments today on NHL pre-season the same way our blessed sports networks start out their broadcasts, but why do that when there were merely dozens of actually important games and events yesterday?

Florida had to labour to down an inspired Tennessee yesterday, while Michigan continued to show improvement with a 45-17 win over Eastern Michigan. Notre Dame beat Michigan State 33-30 in a wild back and forth game, and in their annual "lose to a team they've got no business losing to", USC dropped a 16-13 result against Washington.

Yesterday's EPL action went largely according to form. The big match of the day kicks off at 8:30 on Setanta when Manchester City and Manchester United play in a super intriguing game.

Week 2 of the NFL goes off today and a couple of East matchups, one per conference, are of interest. The New York Jets and New England Patriots go off at 1pm (Eastern) and the Jets have been talking major trash ahead of this one of how they're going to get a serious piece of Tom Brady. Guess they haven't learned the one about not poking the bear. The New York Giants visit the Dallas Cowboys tonight as Cowboys Stadium opens, no doubt with more than a little scoreboard-over-the-field talk. The Baltimore Ravens at San Deigo Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers at Chicago Bears should also be interesting. Playing the Dallas Cowboys at -3 +108 for the Prime Time Pick (1-3, -219).

Toronto FC made for roadkill again last night in LA. David Beckham opened the scoring early, and former Red Edson Buddle scored late to carry the Galaxy to a 2-0 win. TFC is all but done for 2009 insofar as playoffs are concerned, but hey, they've got a healthy increase out to season ticket holders for 2010 out already, so there is that. Coach Chris Cummins would do well to leave Jim Brennan and Nick Garcia out of future lineups. This team will never have any success with those two in the side.

There were some impressive showings at UFC 103, including a thundering knockout from Tyson Griffin, a speedy win for Josh Koschek, and in the upper card, Junior Dos Santos beat a past it Mirko "Cro Cop" by "verbal submission", a first I believe, and Vitor Belfort beat Rich Franklin with a first round knockout.

Floyd Mayweather fought the baseball equivalent of a shutout last night, never in danger in a unanimous decision over Juan Manuel Marquez where the surprise was that Mayweather didn't finish him well before that. Marquez landed merely 40 punches through the first seven rounds. Seriously, that's it. Mayweather was landing nearly 60% of his punches through 10, an incredible hit rate. Had both that card and UFC 103 going last night and spent far more time on the latter. I find it far easier to watch an MMA fight between two guys I don't know than to watch two guys box I don't know in a 3/4 empty arena.