Saturday, October 3, 2009
Ray Emery returned to the NHL in style, racking up a shutout as the Philadelphia Flyers downed the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0. Soccer fans chuckled at the low score and wondered why all that took three hours.
The Detroit Tigers lost last night, while the Minnesota Twins downed Kansas City to reduce the Tigers lead to a game in the AL Central. If the Twins can get past Zach Greinke tonight, it could get real interesting in the last day or two.
I'm not going to say that karma does in fact exist, but in case it did, I sure wouldn't want to be taking swings at the frozen, severed head of Boston Red Sox legend Ted Williams with a monkey wrench, even if he did play for Boston.
Toronto FC are off this weekend but will be doing some scoreboard watching with the playoffs looming. Most importantly, they could use a Chivas USA win over DC United, and the a Colorado win over New England in Denver wouldn't hurt either with the Revolution closer to TFC than the Rapids, and a Columbus win over visiting Seattle wouldn't hurt the cause either.
No overly appealing matchups on the English Premier League fixture list today, not with Chelsea slated to host Liverpool tomorrow morning at 11am Eastern (coverage on The Score, in glorious HD). Tottenham travels to face Bolton, and Manchester United hosts Sunderland - that's about as appealing as they get today.
Last Angry Fan has awarded its D-Bag of the Week and the winner this week is a most deserving candidate. This NFL coach tore down a mural of the team's greats in the stadium. He bussed rookies 10 hours - each way - to coach in a camp for kids he was putting on, and in violation of the collective bargaining agreement. He fined a player $1700 for taking a $3 bottle at a hotel without permission. And finally, he yanked the starting QB he took months to deliberate on after two and a half games or so. Eric Mangini, this award ought to have your name on it.
Hands down the most animated balk call, or any call really, in baseball history. Definitely worth a view here.
What says "professional" more than Adriano, then with of Italian soccer's Inter Milan getting drunk...every night? Might explain his fitness level in recent years, that led to a downfall at Inter and ultimately a move to Brazilian side Flamengo.
So the Toronto Blue Jays players are said to be revolting against manager Cito Gaston's recent treatment of them, including saying none of them are legit players, which is a joke given some of the talents they've got there in Adam Lind, Aaron Hill and LeRoy Halladay. Not sure why this is suddenly news, Vernon Wells has been revolting most of the year. Paul Beeston is getting to Baltimore to meet with the players and hear their beefs. If I'm a betting man, and I am, my money is on Kevin Millar as a ring leader here. That tool's mouth far exceeds his standing as a player. No wonder Roy Halladay wants out of that disaster of a franchise. The Toronto Star's Dave Perkins thinks the players are in no position to be yapping, given their performance, while Richard Griffin says they should shut up and play.
Have a great Saturday.
Friday, October 2, 2009
The Minnesota Twins kept their AL Central hopes alive with an 8-3 win over division leading Detroit to leave them two games out. The Tigers host the Chicago White Sox, while the Twins host Kansas City for three. A tie-break would go Tuesday, likely go Tuesday because of Monday Night Football in Minny on Tuesday. Could get interesting there at least.
With the players they've sold off in the last few months - Peter Crouch and Niko Kranjcar among others - you had to figure there was some money troubles with English Premier League side Portsmouth. Turns out the situation is worse than you could've assumed: the club is without money, and some players haven't been paid in the last month. Maybe they figure that at 0-7 they're not getting their monies worth.
Best thing about the Toronto Maple Leafs losing in overtime to open the year, to Montreal no less? It'll make for a far quieter day around the water coolers of this end of the globe today. And nice night for Leafs defencemen Francois Beauchemin and Luke Schenn, each a -2 and on the ice for three of the four Habs goals.
Former MLBer Chuck Knoblauch, whose career ended when he suddenly was unable to throw from his second base position to first with any accuracy, was charged with assaulting his wife. No word on how many punches he lobbed at his wife before connnecting.
That ESPN "Body Issue" - featuring various athletes in various states of undress - will include Gina Carano (yes!), ladies golfer Christina Kim, among others, for the gents, and for the ladies, Joba Chamberlain, Adrian Peterson, Zdeno Chara, Carl Edwards and Serena Williams among others.
The fine folks at SportsPickle have a great piece on Pittsburgh Penguin Sidney Crosby getting his playoff beard on the go, so he's got something visible come April. Solid.
ESPN.com's Peter Gammons figures that J.P. Ricciardi, or his replacement, will do well to get 60% of the value he would've had if he had traded Roy Halladay at the trade deadline in July.
There is hardcore, and then there is beyond that. Some couple - with the guy rocking a Michael Irvin jersey no less, because he's such a "Playmaker" - was caught on video gettin' their freak on at the new Cowboys Stadium. On a bathroom floor. Story, and video, here.
Finally today, here are the 100 greatest YouTube videos, all packed into four great minutes.
Thursday, October 1, 2009
The NHL is back tonight. Excuse me for stifling a yawn. The world economy is teetering on the edge praying for a Toronto Maple Leafs win over the Montreal Canadiens in anticipation of what that can mean for the global economy in terms of merchandise sales for "Leafs AbomiNation".
Yes, the Denver Broncos may not have played the toughest schedule to date, but 16 points against through three games screams "we've played the Toronto Argos" each game.
The Detroit Tigers have lost 12 of 22 to stagger down the stretch run of the season. Worse, without having wrapped the division, they may need another start from Justin Verlander, which would prevent him from getting two starts in the first round.
Who is hosting Monday Night Raw this coming Monday? Let's just say they could call it "Monday Night Raw-thlesberger". Wonder how ESPN will feel with one of the NFL's biggest names appearing on a rival cable network? Maybe Big Ben figured it is better to be on Raw around Kelly Kelly et al than to watch grown men felating He Who Shall Not Be Named in Minnesota.
You're the city of Cleveland. You're widely considered the birthplace, or at least the symbol, of the world's current economic malaise. You're football team stinks and where it thought it had two NFL caliber quarterbacks, it is winless and has none. Your baseball team stinks, and just fired their manager and staff. And you've got LeBron James possibly leaving your hoops team after this season for greener pastures. What's not to love?
A year after being widely considered the fav in the AL Central, the Detroit Tigers are finally about to come good and clinch a playoff spot as their magic number is down to 2. A win this afternoon over Minnesota will earn them the privilege of taking on the New York Yankees in the opening round. The Philadelphia Phillies wrapped up their ticket last night.
The L.A. Kings are contemplating adding Wayne Gretzky to their staff. Honestly, if he were being judged on his resume alone, would this really be happening?
Terrell Owens is doing his best to not rock the boat in Buffalo, deferring to captains and dropping the same cliche's everyone else in the game drops, and still he gets knocked for it by a media who need him to go off so they've got something to write. Leave the guy alone, he's not doing anything to warrant the attention on or off the field at the moment.
Somebody get a fire hose and get the Toronto Blue Jays off of the Boston Red Sox. The Jays pounded the Red Sox 12-0 last night in what may have been Roy Halladay's last start as a Jay. "If there is a God," said Halladay. Okay, I'm mind reading on the last part.
One of my fav athletes of all time called it a career. Well done, Mats Sundin. That'll be one Hall of Fame induction I tune in for.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
More Champions League action today, for those looking for daytime sports. Be sure to tune in to SportsNet at 2:30pm (Eastern).
Pat Gillick says that he's not interested in a return to the Toronto Blue Jays, and seemed to indicate he'd only be interested in a more prominent role if it were on the West Coast, which, unless I'm mistaken, Toronto is certainly not.
Seriously, do people think that posts on Twitter are private or something? Pro athletes seem most afflicted by this lack of understanding of the medium, and New York Jets receiver David Clowney was benched after tweeting his displeasure over his limited playing time. Yeah, that's what you want to do Clowney - spout off in the largest media market in the world with a hard assed coach who has a 3-0 start in his back pocket.
USC running back Stafon Johnson dropped a barbell on his throat in a horrible accident on Monday night and it could be a career ender. The upside for USC? Their loss to Washington is no longer their biggest choke job of the month.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim clinched the AL West a couple nights ago, and as part of their celebrations, doused the jersey of deceased teammate Nick Adenhart in champagne and beer. Seems kind of odd when it was a drunk driver that killed Adenhart, no?
Have a great Wednesday.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Minnesota Twin Carl Pavano has four more wins this year than he had in his entire four years with the New York Yankees. The Twins are in a huge series with the Detroit Tigers that was to start last night but was called off due to rain, so they'll play four in the next three days in Detroit. Wouldn't it be something if Pavano helps the Twins into the playoffs where they'd face the Yankees?
Hands up, who had the Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals and Pittsburgh Steelers a combined 2-7?
Best headline after the Detroit Lions beat the Washington Redskins: "Washington Bails Out Detroit Again"
Whatever happened to Kiana Tom?
There is no reason that I can think of that Dallas Cowboys coach Wade Phillips should keep his job. The Cowboys remain sloppy, confused, take too many penalties, and for an offence that was to become more diverse without having Terrell Owens as the focal point, isn't. And ditch Flozell Adams while you're at it.
I'm all for rivalries between teams and fans taking part in the fun. But when a teacher makes a fourth grade student turn his fav teams shirt inside out, that seems a bit much. The odd part is this happened in New York State with a kid wearing a New York Yankees shirt, with - what else - a teacher who is a card carrying member of Red Sox Nation.
As if Declan Hill's book "The Fix" weren't enough, now comes word that UEFA - European soccer's governing body - is investigating allegations of 40 fixed Champions League and UEFA Cup games in year's past. Go ahead, small minds, suggest they were all 0-0 scores. It could've been worse however, if goalies followed the lead of this Swedish keeper and moved their posts in.
Jules Winnfield as a hockey coach. Perhaps the most entertaining pro hockey bit you'll see ahead of the Olympics.
Monday, September 28, 2009
The San Francisco Giants have scored 2 or fewer runs 56 times this year, including twice this past weekend. That level of futility will keep you out of the playoffs even with some stellar starting pitchers.
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson may be done with UFC, but he's not done talking junk about Rashad Evans, saying he'd be glad to fight him anytime, anywhere. Apparently he forgot he was to do that for a healthy sum at UFC 107 in his home town no less.
Tonight, the Dallas Cowboys will be looking for their first home win at their new palace when the Carolina Panthers visit. Also firsts they'll be looking for: first sack and first turnover of the year, and with Jake Delhomme in, you have to figure there are some of both in the offing.
The New York Yankees swept the Boston Red Sox to even the season series at 9-9 and clinch the AL East with their 100th win of the season. Not bad after opening 0-8 to Boston and struggling in April. Andy Pettite won his 14th, the 12th time in his career he's won 14 or more.
Good of the Toronto Star to declare this hockey week at the Star. Question: when is it not hockey week at the Star?
Terrell Owens got wind of former New England Patriot Rodney Harrison calling him a clown and fired back with a hell of a salvo about needing Harrison to ship him some of the steroids he was using while he was still playing. Well, done, T.O., now if you could just produce on the field as well. Guess you need a more than average QB for that to happen. How exactly did the Bills not win that game yesterday?
What is shorter than New Orleans Saint Reggie Bush? His NFL hilite reel.
A pair of tickets for sale to the Phoenix Coyotes opener this week - $600 face value for the pair - had all of two offers. One for $15, total. Another for $60. If Gary Bettman has any sense at all, he gets that team out of Glendale and now, they could quite well be playing to crowds in the hundreds. Literally.
Word is the Chicago White Sox and Cubs may flip pitchers, with Jake Peavy off to the Cubs and Carlos Zambrano to the Sox. If you're the Sox, why would you do that move when you've already got one lazy, underachieving player with a bloated contract and bad attitude in Alex Rios?
Have a great Monday.
Sunday, September 27, 2009
“Let me make this clear: It doesn’t matter if J.P. Ricciardi is the GM, or Joe Blow is the GM. Two years from now, five years from now, seven years from now, the reality that we face in Toronto is the division is not going to change. The Red Sox and Yankees are not going away. If the Yankees want to, they can take their payroll to $300 million.
The biggest thing that people forget is that when Toronto won the World Series, they had the highest payroll in baseball. There’s a direct equivalent to that. If we’re going to play in the big man’s division, and we’re not going to spend that money, it’s going to be really hard for us to compete with those teams.
I get this feeling that people are dying for me to lose my job, they think my world is going to come crashing down. I’m not built like that.
We’ve done the best job we can do under the circumstances in the situation we’ve been given. At the end of the day, if that’s not good enough, that’s not good enough. But until those two factors change, the next guy sitting in this role, whether that’s five years from now or 10 years from now, is going to be faced with the same problem: How do you get by the Red Sox and the Yankees?”
In response, the year "2008" chimed in and uttered the phrase "Tampa Bay Rays". As Steve Simmons notes, it isn't like they're tearing it up against anyone else either, 4-14 against Tampa Bay, for example. If he stays, it sounds like his boss will be none other than a returning Pat Gillick, said to be in as President, if you believe Bob Nightengale of USA Today. One thing you'd never hear from Gillick is that the Jays can't compete. He wouldn't infer it even and give his players a built in excuse from on high.
Toronto FC defender Nick Garcia is the most inept defender these eyes have seen on a guy alleged to be a defender. So amateur. Garcia's repeated mistakes let the Chicago Fire always remain in the game, not to mention his own goal, and the Fire tied the game with 22 minutes to go and held TFC to a 2-2 tie, which for TFC was about as good as a loss. How that guy collects a paycheque without a gun and a mask is beyond me.
Prepare yourselves for the Seattle Seahawks third jersey, to be unveiled today. Pretty disgusting, really.
RM reader GBV passes on the Sports Illustrated Cheerleader of the Week, and it is a fine Canadian edition from University of Western Ontario. Definitely worth a click through. And if that don't work for you, there is always Barbie Blank to check out, aka Kelly Kelly of the WWE.
If I hear another thing about Florida Gator's QB Tim Tebow, good, bad or indifferent, I'm going to snap. The world doesn't need to know if Tebow has a runny nose. That said, he did land in the hospital after a crushing hit yesterday in Florida's 41-7 win over Kentucky.
Is it possible that CC Sabathia is a $161 million bargain for the Yankees? He 2 hit the Boston Red Sox over seven innings in another quality start to get his league leading 19th win as the Bombers won 3-0 to reduce their magic number to clinch the AL East to 1. Sabathia has been everything the Yankees could've asked for: an innings chewing winner who is beating the best repeatedly.
The St. Louis Cardinals punched their playoff ticket as NL Central champions yesterday, and the LA Dodgers assured manager Joe Torre of another coattail ride, err, trip to the playoffs.
Oh yeah, another NFL Sunday is upon us and there are a couple teams desperately needing wins, few moreso than the Tennessee Titans, 0-2 as they visit the 2-0 New York Jets. It was the Jets that last year knocked off the then-unbeaten Titans. Prediction? Payback at +3 and an outright win. Liking the Detroit Lions at +6.5 at home hosting the Washington Redskins, and think that could be the Lions end of their losing streak. As for tonight, trying to reverse a disgusting 1-5, -424 open for the Prime Time Picks after last year's 60% effort, and we're playing the Cards at -2.
Two Edmonton Eskimos got into an altercation at practice this week. Happens all the time, right? Well, yeah, except the guy who gets the worst of it generally doesn't leave the field and come back with a shovel to resume the fight. No, really, true story.
Finally today, get rich with Ric Flair. Woooooooooooooooooo!