Barcelona's Lionel Messi went off for four goals, three of the gorgeous varietal, to put a stop to Arsenal's Champion's League hopes after the Gunners opened the scoring with a 4-1 win. Barca will now take on Inter Milan in the semi-finals, who downed CSKA Moscow 1-0. Messi is on an incredible tear of late, with a pair of recent hat-tricks and yesterday's four goal game.
There are 11 Major League Baseball teams with at least four guys on the DL. That's a lot of talent on the shelf so early in the season, nobody hurting moreso than the New York Mets who are minus Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes, among others.
Jim Brennan is not only no longer the captain of Toronto FC, he's also done playing and moving up to the front office. All this after one regular season game played. If TFC were any more a circus, I'd think they were the Toronto entry in the CFL.
The other two Champions League semi-finalists will be decided today when Bayern Munich, 2-1 winners in the first leg at home, visit Manchester United. Here's a bit of a development that could end up being a major difference maker: there is talk that Wayne Rooney may in fact play today. He's either one hell of a quick healer, or United isn't liking the idea of life minus Rooney much in a critical game. Manager Sir Alex Ferguson says he won't be playing. Lyon visits Bordeaux in the other matchup, with the home side needing to win by a couple, for starters.
Interesting idea from JC Bradbury - lead man at Sabernomics.com - on the subject of Human Growth Hormone. Bradbury offers this tidbit in the March 22nd issue of ESPN The Magazine on HGH: "Make it legal. The uninformed public calls HGH a performance-enhancer, but researchers know better. Testifying before Congress in 2008, Thomas Perls, an HGH expert, said, 'There is no credible scientific evidence that growth hormone substantively increases muscle strength or aerobic-exercise capacity in normal individuals.' Perls didn't go rogue. He was reflecting the academic consensus that HGH offers little to no athletic benefits." Interesting stuff.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is aiming to grow NFL revenues by about $1 billion per year with a target of $25 billion a year in revenue in 2027. That's definitely something you want to be hyping up as you're telling the players and public how much teams are struggling and you need to cut the players take of revenues.
If you were to do the NL year-end awards after one game, check out who are your likely winners: MVP, Albert Pujols (two homers, four hits). Cy Young: Roy Halladay (seven innings, one run, nine strikeouts), Rookie of the Year, Jason Heyward (two hits, a homer, four RBIs). Quite likely the guys that win it at the end of the season.
If you're wondering why the New York Yankees 6-4 win at Boston last night took so long at a shade under 4 hours, it might have something to do with both teams combining to throw 333 pitches. In related news, the 0-fer-the-season David Ortiz went off on reporters post game: "You guys wait till [expletive] happens, then you can talk [expletive]. Two [expletive] games, and already you [expletives] are going crazy. What's up with that, man? [Expletive]. [Expletive] 160 games left. That's a [expletive]. One of you [expletives] got to go ahead and hit for me." The only one I can't figure out is the second last one. Maybe Ortiz hasn't taken his "eye drops" like he did last year after two cold months?
Chris Bosh had his face caved in by an accidental elbow from Cleveland Cavalier Antawn Jamison. Presumably, this hurts the Toronto Raptors playoff hopes, if there were any. The upside for Bosh is he'll have more content for a DVD to produce.