A wild one in Atlanta yesterday saw the San Francisco Giants working a shutout into the eighth before - who else? - Eric Hinske hit a 2-run homer to give the Braves their only two runs of the game, and 2-1 lead. Hinske, you may recall, has been in the last three World Series with the Boston Red Sox, Tampa Bay Rays, and New York Yankees. Could he make it four with Atlanta? How crazy is that streak as it stands? I digress. The Giants came back and won it with a pair of their own in the 9th for a 3-2 win. Probably helped that Braves 2B Brooks Conrad had a day for the ages with three brutal errors. The Giants now lead that series 2-1.
The Philadelphia Phillies did the expected yesterday and eliminated the Cincinnati Reds with a dominant start from Cole Hamels, a complete game shutout, for a 2-0 win. The Reds managed all of 11 hits in the series, not good for a team that led the NL in hitting this season. Chase Utley was greeted by chants of "Cheater!" after selling a hit by pitch. Funny, don't see the front page debate on that like it was when Derek Jeter did the same which, of course, was my point back then: if it isn't a Yankee, people don't care near so much.
Arizona Cardinals beat the defending Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints yesterday. Guess if anyone is going to have a Super Bowl hangover, you'd have to bet on New Orleans. Looks like the Madden Curse is alive and well.
Phil "Any Dead Air" Simms is at least the spiritual brother of Pierre MacGuire, no? Never a moment of silence. Loved his saying that Miles Austin is one of the key reasons the Dallas Cowboys got rid of Terrell Owens. That would've been some serious crystal ball work, since Austin surprised everyone last October after having no previous impact or even consideration, six months after they cut ties with T.O. Keep swinging, Simms. The Cowboys once again were their own worst enemies in a 34-27 loss to Tennessee.
The AFC South is a four-way tie at 3-2.
Word is the Brett Favre/Jenn Sterger case is on the fast track with the NFL. No word from Tiger...errr...Favre since. He may even be suspended. Somewhere, Ben Roethlesberger is smiling.
Had a debate recently over the merits of Carson Palmer, who I think has been ridiculously overrated in general, but especially since blowing out his knee almost five years back. Yesterday's showing against Tampa Bay convinced me he's more than just overrated, he's terrible.
Speaking of QB's having rough days, I didn't expect much from the Chicago Bears Todd Collins (4 INTs), but Aaron Rodgers brutal showing in a 16-13 loss in Washington was unexpected.
Settle down, Toronto Maple Leafs fans, the salute the players did to the fans at the end of Saturday's game is not something so original you should be celebrating. It is something teams like the New York Rangers have done for years, and something soccer teams the world over have done forever. Stay in your lane, the season is but two games old.
Carolina, Buffalo and San Francisco are all 0-5 on the NFL season. While Buffalo's mark isn't that surprising, and Carolina's you could have maybe seen coming, San Francisco's is something else when they were touted to win their (joke of a) division. The Bills Donte Whitner says they're the "laughingstock of the league". Don't be see hard on yourself, DW, you've got plenty of company. That said, moving to a 3-4 defence hasn't done wonders, as the Bills have given up a league high 161 points.
After divorcing the Toronto Raptors and separating from the Leafs, I'm looking at counseling with the Dallas Cowboys.
A real tough call tonight for the Prime Time Picks (now sitting at 7-3, details on the right side of the page). Minnesota badly needs at win and are visiting the New York Jets, who appear to be rolling. Mix in Randy Moss on a Monday Night for the second straight week and you get even more plot-lines. My inital thought was Jets -4.5 (+102) and I'm sticking with that.
Love Chris Berman's Freudian slip here...