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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ooooooooooh yeahhhhhhhhhh!

Another EPL weekend is about to kickoff today, with Liverpool at Manchester United tomorrow being the featured bout. Wolves are half way to an upset of Aston Villa at the moment, leading 2-1 at the half. Step your game up, Villains!

For at least the second straight year, the team with the fewest fights in the NHL - Washington - leads the overall standings. As is stands right now, three of the five teams with the most fights, with Calgary on the bubble to make it four, are in position to miss the playoffs. All that enforcing the "code" sure is doing wonders, ain't it?

Curt Schilling took a run at users of performance enhancing drugs a few days back on the Dan Patrick Show, and thinks that Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and others don't belong in the Hall of Fame. For the millionth time - how can you be punished for doing something that wasn't against the rules at the time? Funny, Patrick never asked him if he felt his World Series win was tainted in any way given David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez, just to name two, being tarred with the PED brush, but Schilling always did act like he was holier than all.

Mark Cuban offers this warning to NBA players, disguised as a commentary to NFL players.

JaMarcus Russell checked in to Oakland Raiders off season camp weighing a mere 271. He seems very committed, to eating.

Since February 17th 2009, the leading NHL goal scorers are Alexander Ovechkin with 59, Steve Stamkos with 58, and Sidney Crosby at 57. Betting the inclusion of Stamkos surprises most.

The ultimate point in how ludicrous NHL suspensions are: Sean Avery got six games for a "sloppy seconds" blast that was "conduct detrimental to the game" but hospitalize a guy, don't sweat it.

The Big Lead, a solid blog if I must say, entertains the idea of baseball moving to a promotion/relegation system like is found in most soccer leagues. Interesting read, even though he's saying it isn't likely to happen. Also interesting is finding out that England's de facto second division is the fourth biggest soccer league in Europe in terms of dollars and cents.

Very classy of New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson to boot 1,200 long time season ticket owners so he can add private boxes.

New stadiums coming in New York and Kansas City, and expanded seating at BMO Field in Toronto and in Seattle, and here Richard Peddie of MLSE is trying to tell us that the league is year's from profitable and can't afford the player's modest demands in the continuing labour discussions? Nonsense, Peddie. Bankers don't fund big capital projects in this day and age unless there is a damn solid business plan in place showing how loans will be paid.

Of the Toronto Raptors, disgraced again at home, I will repeat the bombs I was dropping on Twitter: The Toronto Raptors are the Corey Haim of the know how it ends way before they do. Chris Bosh couldn't lead Tiger Woods to a naked whore. Well done Raptors, highest payroll, darkest future among the MLSE teams. The Raptors Dance Pak has more sack than the Raptors. Andrea Bargnani and Jarrett Jack are about the only guys I don't have some issue with right now. I hate that team.

Worst part about March Madness? We're down to fewer games already. The last two days have been incredible. A little sour Siena burst my perfect run yesterday, but had Gonzaga as an easy winner last night. Betting St. Mary's +4.5 today. Get down at Pinnacle if you need, link above this post.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sext me up, Tiger.

The Champions League quarter-final draw is complete and will see Bordeaux and Lyon battle for a French spot in the semi-finals that Lyon should win, Manchester United face a tough Bayern Munich side in a tie they should handle, Inter Milan will beat CSKA Moscow with ease, and Barcelona and Arsenal lock horns in what pits two of the best passing squads in the world in what should be a great one. I'm going to say here that Manchester United and Barcelona will again be meeting in the finals in Madrid, and that scenario would drive the gel from Cristiano Ronaldo's hair seeing his former team and now current rival playing on his home field.

Looks like the Pittsburgh media isn't exactly taking up for Ben Roethlesberger on the heels of his sexual assault charges. So the team has been silent, other than stories the Rooney's are livid, and no players that I can recall have stepped up in support. Must be a great guy, that Ben.

The New York Jets and Giants will both play at their new stadium to open the 2010 weekend, with the Giants getting opening duties after winning a coin toss at the league office in which neither team was represented because, presumably, it was so far away from the league's Manhattan offices. Very transparent, Mr. Commissioner Goodell. Predictably, the Jets are unhappy. They'll also be unhappy that five of the Jets non-division foes scheduled for games at Meadowlands in 2010 had winning records in 2009.

If you can figure out how James Wisniewski gets eight games for this hit, while Alexander Ovechkin got two for his and Matt Cooke got nothing for his that put Marc Savard into a darkened room since, you're far more intelligent than 99.9% of the population. Love that people still think that fighting is in the game to police this stuff out of it. Funny, seems to have done nothing of the sort. Damien Cox of the Toronto Star tweeted that NHL hockey is ridiculous because some think Matt Cooke's beating at the hands of Boston Bruin Shawn Thornton, a much larger opponent, somehow is viewed as justice.

When you read Tiger Woods sext messages to porn star Joslyn James, are you like me and think "what kind of freaking text plan does this guy have?"

How quiet has the Dallas Cowboys off season been? They've yet to lose a free agent, sign a free agent, or make a trade. They do know that when you fall short of a championship, it is probably best to make some kind of move, right?

Pinnacle Sports has a line on whether LeBron James will stay with the Cleveland Cavaliers and "no" is getting +250. Hard not to hit that, so I did. Get down by clicking the ad above.

Had a great day betting March Madness yesterday, so will give you a tip today for some fun. Hit Siena +4.5, they're going to give Purdue all they can handle. Oh, my Final Four is Kansas, Syracuse, Kentucky and Baylor. Lot of chalk, yes, but that's the way she'll roll. Don't believe in Duke, that stuff gets you busted. The downside of yesterday's incredible slate of games? We're almost guaranteed the NCAA uses it as a reason to jump to 96 teams, or all of them.

No more headshots allowed. No big discussion, just straight to implementation and a clear cut and dried application: you either did or didn't hit a guy in the head. The way the NHL is going? Nope. WWE has taken away chair shots to the dome.

Have a great Friday.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


The Boston Bruins host the Pittsburgh Penguins tonight in the first meeting between the two teams since Matt Cooke crushed Marc Savard with a blind-side hit last Sunday. Love how Penguin Eric Godard is saying nothing ever happens when teams talk retribution. Guess the names Todd Bertuzzi and Steve Moore don't ring a bell? It should for Cooke. After all, he was the Vancouver Canucks tough guy that Moore took on to answer the call for his "dirty" hit on Marcus Naslund earlier. The problems for Moore spiraled because he actually beat Cooke in the first period and the Avs went on to hammer the Canucks before Bertuzzi pile drove him into the ice.

It looks like the MLS Players Union is about to go on strike Monday unless there is a last minute deal brokered. Fools, them and the league for taking the positive momentum they've been building and getting involved in a power play at this time. They need each other to survive and thrive, and coming four days ahead of the first game of the season is a terrible development.

ESPN's Jayson Stark looks at the Toronto Blue Jays dealing of Roy Halladay and what the pieces returned mean for the Jays going forward. Good read.

Cleveland Cavaliers season ticket holders have to decide whether they're going to renew their tickets for next season next month. Guess their ticket sales staff doesn't want to see how good at their jobs they are if LeBron James were to leave?

So Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington tested positive for cocaine last season? Shocking...that he didn't pin it on Josh Hamilton.

Barcelona comfortably sealed their Champions League quarter-final spot with a comfortable 4-0 win at home over Stuttgart. Bordeaux clinched the final spot with a last minute goal to win 2-1 over Olympiakos. The draw will go tomorrow, with no seedings whatsoever, with these teams: Arsenal, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Bordeaux, CSKA Moscow, Inter Milan, Lyon and Manchester United. For those scoring at home, that's two English sides, two French, one Spanish, one German, one Russian, and one Italian.

Just when you thought TV had used up all ideas, along comes the idea of a reality show featuring Mike Tyson.

You wanna talk thundering hits? Check out this one in the NCAA...

Those crazy KHLers are at it again, this time with their fans getting in on the show. End result? A concussed goalie.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chelsea fails again

Oh, Chelsea. That's why they can't win knock out games. They cave under pressure and are far too mentally fragile when trailing. Inter Milan wasn't leading more than five minutes before Chelsea striker Didier Drogba picked up a red card for stepping on an opponent and John Terry was getting in guys faces and it was only a 1-0 Inter Milan lead at the time, which ended up being the final. With a trip to Old Trafford remaining on the EPL schedule, bet on Chelsea not winning the EPL either. Love it. Inter Milan will move into the quarter finals with yesterday's other winner, CSKA Moscow. The final two slots will be sorted out today when Barcelona hosts Stuttgart, and Bordeaux hosts Olympiakos.

I've purposely stayed away from any March Madness talk this week as there is plenty of that everywhere at the moment. That said, here's a peak at the seven types of people in every NCAA bracket pool.

From the March 8th issue of ESPN The Magazine: "look for a big post-All-Star push from Toronto, which has both the Atlantic Division and playoff home court advantage in its sights. While they trail the Celtics by five games, the Raptors have the league's fifth easiest remaining schedule and face 12 .500-or-under teams in their last 24." Not exactly working out that way, is it?

Shame that the days I write the most, the fewest ad clicks happen. Such is life, I guess.

Here are 10 UFC sponsors who make me embarrassed to watch UFC, but it is really nine for me, because I love Manswers.

Tiger Woods has announced he'll be back at The Masters in Augusta, Georgia. Wonder if anyone will be lobbing one of these Tiger sex toys at him when he does?

And remember folks: green beer is like birthday cake, something you should stop doing at 14.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

RandoMango 3:16

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.

Sunday, March 14, 2010