Get ready, there's a lot here today.
Joel Sherman at the NY Post looks at the talk of baseball moving to fluid divisions and lays out a spot on look at what is not going to happen (salary caps), what makes no sense (fluid divisions), what is possible (moving the Boston Red Sox to the AL Central) and what is most likely (a second Wild Card team in each league starting in 2012). Love how he lays out those asking how the Kansas City Royals (or Pittsburgh Pirates, etc.) can compete with the New York Yankees by saying they've yet to compete with teams in their own division for over a decade. Sherman adds in another piece that people foolishly overvalue payroll, adding it reflects where players are in there career more than true value. Good point. For example, the Tampa Bay Rays of today would be worth closer to $200 million than the $70 million they're inked for. Former Commissioner Faye Vincent told The Michael Kay Show on ESPN Radio that talk of divisional realignment that would see low salary teams in with high salary teams was as much about punishing the Florida Marlins and their kind for not using the revenue sharing dollars they've been pocketing for players. Interesting insight. I've long been a "fewer games, add a playoff time" advocate, so this is welcome news. That said, I could see the Red Sox move happening too and it actually leading to both the Sox and Yankees ultimately ending up with reduced payrolls by not having to match each others every move.
The talk of a Ryan Howard for Albert Pujols deal seems crazy, no? As great as Howard is, and even factoring in payroll, I can't think of any reason why St. Louis would deal one of the top players in the game - ever - and a surefire Hall of Famer.
As reckless as Alexander Ovechkin's "hit" on Brian Campbell was Sunday, not sure where he gets two games but Pittsburgh Penguin Matt Cooke got nothing for his dirtier-than-hell shot on Boston Bruin Marc Savard, one of many on his rap sheet if you happened to catch Don Cherry and Coach's Corner on Saturday. Is there anyone that thinks the latter wasn't intent to injure moreso than the former? For his part, Campbell drove the league and union head first into the boards, saying they've ruined a great opportunity in the U.S. in the wake of the Olympics by not outlawing this stuff in the game and asking why any parent would want their kid to play or watch NHL hockey. Well said, B.C.
Champions League action resumes today and the biggest game of the tourney to date is surely Italy's Serie A leader Inter Milan in London to face English Premier League leader Chelsea. A 1-0 win will see Chelsea advance, but tough to assume Inter gets held scoreless. I'm feeling Chelsea in extra time.
If you haven't heard already, David Beckham's dreams of playing a fourth World Cup for England this summer are done after he snapped his achilles tendon on the weekend playing for AC Milan. Not hard to believe a player in his mid-30's would suffer a freak injury like that - nobody was near him when it burst - when he's had virtually no time off for three years, going from one season to the next with only a few weeks in between. Beckham was never as great as the hype made him out to be, but he's always seemed like a good enough guy to me, so sad to see a guy end his international career, and maybe more, in that fashion.
If there was any doubt that OHB will be back quarterbacking the Minnesota Vikings next year, it should be eliminated when you hear that he was involved in recruiting LaDanian TomlinsonVikes. to jump on board with the In the end, L.T. decided that playing with one "me" quarterback in the form of Ryan Leaf is enough for a career and went with the New York Jets, or something like that.
I'm starting to wonder if Gilbert Arenas having four guns in the Washington Wizards locker room was such a big deal after all. I mean, he only had 500 at home so it wasn't like he was overdoing it at the workplace.
Former Canadian international soccer player Jason DeVos, now a CBC broadcaster covering TFC games, rarely has much nice to say about anybody so take comments from him with a heavy grain of salt, but when he hammers TFC for how they handled a class act like Carl Robinson, he's dead on. Had the opportunity to meet Robo at BMO Field a couple years back as he was leaving the locker room and me and some fellas were going in to play and he couldn't have been a nicer guy. Can't say the same for Jim Brennan. I know one thing: no way TFC loses a must-win game 5-0 like they did in New York last year with Robo on the field.
If you haven't seen Andre Agassi and Pete Sampras talking smack to each other at a charity event over the weekend - and it was by no means friendly banter - check it out here. Vince McMahon has to be thinking cage match. Sadly, Agassi has apologized for his part.
So you play an 82-game NHL season, and come out with 16 playoff contenders. How about doing 14, and then having the remaining teams play a single elimination tourney to sort out the 8th playoff team in each conference? Stupid? About as stupid as signing Rick DiPietro to a decade plus contract which is to say, very stupid. That idea was put forth by New York Islanders owner Charles Wang.
Toronto Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo tells the Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons that if fans want to lay blame for this year's performance by the team, he ought to be blamed. Did he think we were gonna blame the Dance Pak for signing Hedo Turkoglu, or not looking at more experienced coaching options? There's nothing wrong with the Raptors a dozen or so heart transplants wouldn't fix. And getting rid Jose Calderon. And Hedon't. Dave Feshuk at the Toronto Star says that when asked whether another failed/failing Raptors season should be a reflection on him, Chris Bosh answered "No...what else do you want me to do?" Wrong answer, CB4.
Red Nation Online says that Toronto FC GM Mo Johnston should be telling us all that if the fans want to lay blame for this year's roster so far, he ought to be blamed. That, and Mo should be fired.
What kind of world do we live in when the Toronto Maple Leafs seem the best hope at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment?
Check out Ben Sheets line for the Texas Rangers yesterday against Cincinnati: 0 IP, 8 hits, 10 runs (9 ER), 1 walk, 1 HR and the tag line "Sheets faced 10 hitters in 1st." Yikes!
Jim Lampley says "bang" 22 times in about 30 seconds during the Manny Pacquiao fight this past weekend.