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Saturday, May 8, 2010

UFC back in Montreal...

UFC 113 goes in Montreal tonight, with a light heavyweight title rematch between champion Lyoto Machida and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua the main event.  The first match was a controversial one, with most - myself including - figuring Rua was the runaway winner, but Machida got the decision.  Hopefully this one is more entertaining, Machida tends to be a pretty dull fighter looking to defend as much as attack.  Also on the card, Josh Koscheck takes on Paul Daley, and Kimbo Slice takes on Matt MitrioneRest of the card here.

Toronto FC host the Chicago Fire today at BMO Field where they'll hope to maintain their perfect record at home.  Kickoff is 4pm

With Derek Jeter the lone unscathed member of the "core four" after the Sports Illustrated, looks at the left like the Yankees are taking steps to keep the captain healthy in Boston this weekend, at left.  The Yankees beat up on Josh Beckett again in a 10-3 win, but lost the ridiculously hot Robinson Cano in the process after he was drilled on the knee by Beckett.  He's day to day.

Reason for optimism for Toronto Blue Jays fans: Sports Illustrated has them ranked #10 in their latest power rankings.  

Oakland A's pitcher Dallas Braden - and that is required information so you know who and what he is - is still chirping about A-Rod running across the pitcher's mound a few weeks back and openly talking about revenge, including a fight because that's the way they roll from the 209.  Yes, he referenced his area code from Stockton, California.  If I'm A-Rod, I laugh, and then on the first conference on the mound, dance on it, and spit on the rubber when running off the field.  For a guy who trumpets himself as a team guy while trashing A-Rod as playing for the name on the back of his jersey - which doesn't exist, by the way - Braden sure says "I" a lot in this piece.  Very appropriate initials in DB for a D-Bag.  Rodriguez lone response was to say he didn't want to add to Braden's 15 minutes of fame

Have a great Saturday.

Friday, May 7, 2010

They only had 9 shots after two periods, but the Montreal Canadiens stole game four with a couple late third period goals to even their series with the Pittsburgh Penguins.  Said SportsNet hockey analyst Nick Kypreos on Prime Time Sports: "the Montreal Canadiens might be the worst five-on-five team in the history of the Stanley Cup playoffs."

The Detroit Red Wings made a statement last night in a 7-1 beatdown of the San Jose Sharks that got real nasty the further on it went.  Even the normally cool Joe Thornton got in the act with a late hit on Tomas Holmstrom on a shift where he also sparred with Nik Lidstrom.  The Sharks lead 3-1 heading back to San Jose.

Why did the Tennessee Titans record drop off last year to 8-8 after going 13-3 the year prior?  Well, if you believe former running back LenDale White, it is because of their over reliance on Chris Johnson, who rushed for a mere 2,000+ yards, and not using White enough.  If anyone can make sense of that, I'd love to hear it.

Jerry Crasnick at talks to Bert Blyleven, Jim Palmer and Goose Gossage on a variety of "unwritten rules" situations to get their thoughts.

Seems former New York Giant and NFL Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor has been accused of raping a 15-year old, or 16 depending on the report you read.   In related news, Ben Roethlesberger breathed a sigh of relief.  In more related news, the SportsPickle tweets that "It's the nickname of a rapist" has jumped "it's unoriginal" as the top reason LaDainian Tomlinson shouldn't go by L.T.

It has only been a couple weeks since Sports Illustrated ran a cover with the New York Yankees "core four" of Andy Pettitte, Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada on it.  Since, all but Jeter have run into injury concerns.  The "SI Jinx" lives!

Seems Jerry Reinsdorf is out on purchasing the Phoenix Coyotes.  It's a good thing that Gary Bettman didn't just sell the team to Jim Balsillie.  I mean, who would want a team selling at a premium with no other suitable buyers in the mix?

Check out New Orleans Saints QB Drew Brees take part in a home run derby against some teammates recently, switch hitting no less.  And going deep from both sides.  He also once beat Andy Roddick in tennis, was an elite soccer player, and carries a 3-handicap in golf.  Dude rules.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I don't know what is more impressive, that the guy that jumped on the field in Philadelphia on Tuesday night Tweeted his shot first (at right), or that he did it after the guy the night prior was hit with a taser blast.  Oh wait, I know, the most impressive part was that the fool did it with drugs on him.  Smart play, clown. To their credit, the crowed booed the hell out of him.  Video below.

Speaking of Philadelphia, more than a little surprised the Flyers are down 3-0 to the Boston Bruins, largely because I think the Bruins are so very unimpressive.  The Bruins were 4-1 winners last night. 

The Chicago Black Hawks took a 2-1 series lead thanks to a hat-trick from Dustin Byfulgien, who is proving far too big a load for the Vancouver defence to handle.  The Hawks were 5-2 winners last night.

In the NBA, the Phoenix Suns took a 2-0 lead over the San Antonio Spurs, their long time playoff nemesis.  I'm impressed how much every hoops fan I talk to is pulling for Steve Nash and the Suns to keep going in the playoffs.  Count me among those.  Love me some Steve Nash.

There's a big Sports Illustrated feature coming up on Ben Roethlesberger.  The fine folks at ProFootballTalk have summarized the finer points here.  Honestly, is there a worse guy in sports if half of this is true?  Even Tiger Woods?  Deadspin has read the article, and concluded that it is six pages of "Ben is a dick."  Now, that's not a crime, but some of what he's been doing sure seems to be.

In addition to the indignity of not qualifying for the World Cup, this year is getting even tougher for Croatian soccer players when they're given yellow cards for diving, when it turns out they weren't diving, they were merely in the first stages of dying on the field. 

Been a while since we went "WAG" around these parts, but with the World Cup on the way, how about enlisting some of the WAG's to model uniforms for South Africa?  You're welcome.

Some seriously creepy stuff makes its way onto eBay.  Like this item for late New York Yankee legend Thurman Munson, who of course died in a plane crash in the 70's.  The item?  His pilots license.

Toronto Mayoral candidate Rob Ford says that if elected, he will heavily lobby the provincial government to go the route of Quebec and B.C. and ignore the archaic interpretation of the law that is keeping Mixed Martial Arts out of the province right now.  He makes a very compelling argument here, and it is sad that it takes an elected leader to open a city and province to millions in tourism dollars that will otherwise go somewhere else.  I know, I make it sound like small minds in politics is a shocking thing.  I don't intend to.

Philly field jumper #2, from Tuesday night.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hawks lay down for Magic

Hope you've cleared some time today, this is gonna take a bit.  Enjoy.

Not sure how you can play so in a shell with nearly 21,000 fans absolutely foaming at the mouth for you, but the Montreal Canadiens tried to do it again, and failed.  Guess when you're deep into the second period with only ten shots on goal, that isn't a recipe for success against a team with even average goaltending, and despite only 18 shots against last night, Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was superb in a couple key spots, and the Pens won 2-0 to take a 2-1 series lead.  Here's a thought: if the Pens go up in a game 2-0, they'll have either scored the second goal late, or they're going to blow the Habs out when they open up.  That said, man am I impressed with Mike Camalleri.  Hard to figure how two teams have given up on that guy.

I don't want to chime the final bell on the Detroit Red Wings, but down 3-0 and looking tapped out, it is hard to imagine them winning four straight, especially when they blew a 3-1 lead last night to lose 4-3 in overtime.  Don't look now, but the San Jose Sharks are getting enough balanced scoring and decent goaltending to be an actual contender to win it all.

Nice of the Atlanta Hawks to show up to open their series with the Orlando Magic. The Hawks were smoked 114-71. No typo there, they really only scored 71.

For all the grief that Tracy McGrady has received over the year's for never making it out of the first round, it is hard to imagine that this is Grant Hill's first time advancing to round two.

The Boston Red Sox, who spent more than anyone this past off-season, are looking down the barrel of some big changes if things don't turn in short order with the LA Angels of Anaheim and New York Yankees in this week, says GM Theo Epstein.  Word is that there is a gulf in the clubhouse with the new players not fitting in with the old guard, save for Marco Scutaro who has bridged the gap.

Philadelphia Phillies closer for the closer Ryan Madson is on the DL after breaking a toe.  Kicking a chair.  I love baseball injuries!  Good to see the taser blast of a couple nights ago didn't deter anyone.  Another fan ran onto the field last night.  I'm for an outright shooting now.  The Phillies are going to threaten the Red Sox for worst fans.

Another Phillies note: yes, they have Roy Halladay.  They also have the same record as Leroy's old team, the Toronto Blue Jays.  Who would have bet that?

TSN's James Cybulski thinks it is time that the Toronto Raptors ditch that horror-show of a name, and bring back the Huskies name and colours.  Amen to that, I say.  Worst name, and logo, in sports.  But just keep the mascot, he's pretty kick ass as they go.

AJ Burnett is having the best year of his career so far.  Pass it on.  Burnett's ERA is down to 1.99, and he's 4-0 on the year. Not bad for a guy who is barely using his curve.

The SportsPickle - and how many times must I rave about it for you to follow? - offers up seven accurate entrance songs for MLB players. Love the B-side suggested for David Ortiz. The A-Rod suggestions, I have to say, are pretty funny too.

A survey of soccer fans says 51% said they'd starve themselves for a week for their team to win the World Cup, 40% said they'd give up dating for a year, and 4% would offer up a limb.  The best sporting even period starts in 36 days.  Pool info to follow.

Expect a serious push in these parts to see regular reader Bukakke hold up a sign advertising this blog at the June 13th Edmonton Eskimos game.  Why?  Because our boy is going to be holding the down yardsticks.  Be sure to tune in on TSN for what will surely be the highest rated regular season game.

The BleacherReport presents the Top 25 Worst Nightmare Moments in Sports.

Finally, on a non-sporting note, I know things have a way of changing over the course of 40 years, but check out this pic from Kabul, Afghanistan in 1970, and today.

Check out this Formula 2 racing clip, and watch around the 1:10 mark for a wild accident.  Then, rewatch it looking only at the "mirror" on the bottom right.  Incredible stuff.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Don't tase me, bro!

It took almost four periods, but we now have an officially documented Chicago Black Hawks sighting in their series with the Vancouver Canucks.  The 'nucks grabbed an early 2-0 lead last night before the Canucks got on the board late in the first, and then the rest of the game saw the Hawks find the gear they had been missing and roll to a 4-2 win to even that series.  The Boston Bruins grabbed a surprising - for me at least - 2-0 series lead on the Philadelphia Flyers with a 3-2 win.

It appears that Manny Pacquiao is coming around to the drug testing that Floyd Mayweather is insisting on if they are to fight.  $40 million plus has a way of changing a mind, it seems.  Pac Man now says he'll submit to a blood test up to 14 days before the fight.  Mayweather had previously said 14 days was the magic number, though some contend he has insisted all along that it be anytime right up to fight time, so we'll see how that goes.  Here's a thought: 14 days before, immediately after.  Make it happen, Boxing.

Joel Sherman of the New York Post takes a look at the awesome Tampa Bay Rays, owners of the best record in baseball, and figures that with it making no difference in their woeful attendance, that maybe it is time they leave St. Petersburg.  Sherman lists Portland, Charlotte, San Antonio, Mexico City, Vancouver (!) and Connecticut as possibilities.

The Old Has Been has allegedly told a fellow player he is 100% certain that he'll "never put on pads again"Depends beg to differ, for a guy who has spent the last few years shitting the proverbial bed in the playoffs.  Those are pads, right?  Anyways, is there anyone anywhere, this clowns wife included, that believes a word he says?  I won't until he's taken out to the glue factory.

The great gambling site (so a warning for some of you reading at work) lists the five best sports conspiracy theories. 

Which starting pitcher had an uglier week last week?  Oakland A Ben Sheets (7 1/3 IP 19 hits 17 runs 5 HR) or Arizona Diamondback Edwin Jackson (6 1/3 IP 22 hits 18 runs 2 HR)?

How bad is the Kansas City Royals bullpen? Zack Greinke is winless in six starts but has an ERA of 2.27.

Not sure what is going on in the NHL playoffs this year with the too-many-men issues, but the count is now at 25, or 8 more than there were the entire playoffs last season.  Maybe it is the education of the players coming to the forefront, not too many post-secondary guys out there.

Philadelphia Phillies fan enters the playing field, Philadelphia Phillies fan introduced to taser,  Philadelphia Phillies fan goes down.

 Check out this truck job by the Barrie Colts Darren Archibald in the OHL Championship on Windsor's goalie Phillip Grubauer.  Of course, a brawl ensued and Archibald was suspended indefinitely, though I'm not sure he did anything against the rules.  Oh, wait...the "code".  Kudos to Grubauer for executing a brilliant dive, however.  Between Daniel Carcillo last night, and Evgeni Nabakov on Sunday, seems more than a few hockey players are doing wonders for the idea that hockey players don't dive.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Stevie Me-rrard gifts it to Chelsea...

Liverpool's Steven Gerrard may just have decided the English Premier League race yesterday all by himself - fitting for a guy often dubbed Stevie Me - with an errant pass that Chelsea's Didier Drogba picked off and danced around the Liverpool 'keeper Pepe Reina for the opening goal in Chelsea's easy 2-0 win over Liverpool, who will now be facing major changes with a season minus Champions League play facing them.  The EPL is down to a final game next weekend, and Manchester United will need a win and help from Wigan, who are at Chelsea, if they're to win a record fourth straight and record 19th championship overall.

The New Jersey Canadiens rode a hot goaltending performance from Jaroslav Halak, aided by collapsing teammates regularly, to an unlikely 3-1 win in which they were dominated by the Pens.  Pretty it was not.  That series is all even heading to Montreal for what will be a deafening pro-Devils crowd.

San Jose took a 2-0 series lead with a 4-3 win over a Detroit team that looks gassed. The Sharks are even getting production from Joe Thornton and Dany Heatley, quiet for much of the playoffs.

Tiger Wood's dad allegedly once said, "concentrate on golf, and fuck everything else." So he did. Author of the great "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell", Tucker Max, tweeted this on Tiger: "Tiger Woods admitted to cheating with 121 women. 121 in 5 YEARS? Amateur. If you need lessons Tiger, I'll he happy to help."

The guy that shot and killed Denver Bronco Darrent Williams a couple years back has been sentenced. Ready for it? Life... plus 1,152 years. What, because 1,153 would've been excessive?

Love that you can still go to and purchase a Pittsburgh #7 jersey with "Therapist" on the back

Strange but true hitting comparison. Entering the weekend, Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Dan Haren was 9-for-18 at the plate this season. New York Yankee DH Nick Johnson: 8-for-58.

Home teams are 25-29 this NHL playoff season.  Not exactly what you'd expect, no?

One last NHL comment for the day. Man, I miss the days of one conference one day, the other the next. Repeat til Cup finalists are sorted.

The Baltimore Orioles almost doubled their win total for the season over the weekend, jumping from 3 to 7, with a sweep of the Boston Red Sox, who now find themselves seven games behind Tampa Bay. Nobody in the AL, and only three teams in the NL, have given up more runs than the Sox 134.

Seattle Mariners starter Cliff Lee, who you will recall pitching as well as anybody ever has in last year's playoffs, is unlikely to resign with Seattle.  Not hard to figure why that would be given how thin the pitching market will be next off-season.  Lee would look great in pinstripes with Andy Pettitte likely to retire and Javier Vazquez about ready to be taken to the glue factory.  Just sayin'.

After Saturday's domination of Shane Mosley, the talk again turns to a dream Floyd Mayweather/Manny Pacquiao match-up.  Look, I get that most people don't like Mayweather and think he's far too arrogant, but blaming him for the fight not already happening because he's insisting on drug testing ahead of the fight and buying Pacquiao's talk that he's afraid of needles - incredible for a guy with that many tattoos and who has blood drawn to renew his boxing licenses - is weak.

Have a great Monday.