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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Baltimore Oriole Adam Jones - seen at left - was detained by Canada Customs who have taken to holding back any athletes with criminal records.  Wonder who they got him mixed up with?  Hmmm.

The Stanley Cup Final starts tonight with Chicago hosting Philadelphia, two teams that were 26th and dead last just three seasons ago.  There ought to be a lot of post-whistle trash talk as both feature some yappy players. Between the two, 29 of the 40 players that closed out their respective conference championships are Canadian born, so expect Don Cherry at his nauseating finest. Who wins? I've got Chicago in six. You?

UFC 114 goes tonight in Las Vegas, with a juicy main event of blood rivals Quinton "Rampage" Jackson facing Rashad Evans.  This one ought to be nasty given the venom each have been spewing about each other for over a year now.  I'm going to call Rampage to win by knockout, but no result would surprise me.

Toronto FC travel to San Jose to face the Earthquakes. With a week between games, it'll be interesting to see if TFC retain momentum. Methinks they win 2-0, even on the road where few MLS teams are tearing it up.

The NBA's top free agents this off-season - no need to name them again and add nauseum - are said to be ready to hold a summit to discuss their plans.  Sounds like Dirk Nowitzki will be among them as well, as he's likely to opt out of his Dallas Mavericks contract.

Steve Nash is promising the Phoenix Suns win today to force a Game 7.  Often, I find guys making "guarantees" annoying, largely because unlike Joe Namath or Mark Messier, they so often don't come through, but I'd really like to see this one happen.  Nash rules.  The winner of the Western Conference will move on to face the Boston Celtics, the surprise representative of the East.  The Celts closed off Orlando last night.

My hatred of Wince Carturd for his Toronto Raptors days has been well documented over the years, but honestly, he may have been supplanted by Hedo Turkoglu, who is trying to justify his unavailability for a game this season because he had a sore tummy and was later seen out on the town.  Funny that despite talking of how he was only at the venue he was photographed in for 15 or 20 minutes and left, he doesn't say he went home.  Hedon't now wants out of Toronto.  Here's hoping it happens.  Thanks to GBV for the linkage.

The Boston Red Sox through 49 Games in 2009 were 28-21 with 256 runs for and 229 against. This year, through 49 they are 27-22 with 255 runs scored and 238 against, aided by a couple solid weeks.  That said, two straight losses to the Kansas City Royals have a way of killing some of that momentum.

The Philadelphia Phillies were first team in modern history to go five straight games without scoring against the opposing team's starter. Seems impossible for any team, nevermind one with as many weapons as they've got.

Before passing away yesterday, Gary Coleman had fallen and hurt his head. So much for "the bigger they are..."
Best wishes to long time reader Boris D on the day of his nuptials.  All the best, my friend.

Beer isn't only for drinking.  You can also catch a baseball with it first, and then drink it, like this Chicago Cubs fan did this week.  Awesome.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Tru Warrior wins it

Generally in the NBA, if you have a better field goal percentage, three-point percentage and attempt more field goals, you're going to win. Except for the Phoenix Suns, who lost game five 103-101 in L.A. last night giving the Lakeshow a 3-2 series lead.

Today, the NHL is expected to announce a pair of "Winter Classic" games. Washington will play Pittsburgh at Heinz Field on January 1st, 2011. Calgary will host Montreal in February.  No clue why they announce that on the eve of the Stanley Cup Finals starting.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell expects to start talks with the players union about expanding the regular season soon. While I think most league's regular season's run too long, the NFL could afford another couple games to their schedule, and certainly fewer exhibitions.

Al Davis and the Oakland Raiders have filed a grievance against their former QB JaMarcus Russell to recoup some of the signing bonus they paid him that would include the coming three seasons when he won't be a Raider.

MLB Umpire Joe West is at the eye of a storm again, this time feuding with the Chicago White Sox and Ozzie Guillen, and of course, talking publicly about it.  He is the only ump with a publicist, so shows he is wanting the attention.  He should be fired immediately.

The Philadelphia Phillies not only lost three straight to the New York Mets, but they were shut out in all three games.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Water finds its level

Boston has to be gripping with the Celtics losing again last night to bring the Orlando Magic within a game of levelling the Eastern Conference Championship.  Heard Boston media member Dan Shaughnessy on The Jim Rome Show call Rasheed Wallace a "green" player for his regular season "energy conservation".  Love that.  The Toronto Raptors are a very enviro friendly team, in that respect, at least defensively.

Toronto FC didn't even need to play last night to win the Canadian Championship - their second straight - after their competition - Vancouver Whitecaps and Montreal Impact - drew 1-1 rendering them out and leaving TFC with a meaningless home game next week against Vancouver.

Strange bit of World Cup trivia: no northern hemisphere team has ever won the World Cup when held in the southern hemisphere.  Same applies to the south when held in the north.  So does that mean Spain has no chance?  Methinks not, especially with Cesc Fabregas and Fernando Torres getting healthy.

Tiger Woods is building a new house on 12 acres in Florida, and it includes four separate pools.  Yeah, losing some endorsements is really hurting his cashflow.

If your eyes don't tell you that Derek Jeter's range to his left is slipping, then how about some numbers to do it?

Jose Mourinho appears to be heading to Real Madrid.  Something about that seems real fitting.

Nobody will ever accuse David Ortiz of being the most mobile guy in the world, but a thirty second trot around the bags after a home run is downright glacial.  Video included.

The Toronto Blue Jays are now fourth in the AL East.  Somewhere, Shea Hillenbrand is getting his marker out for a dry erase board. 
RM returns later this morning...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Loving the Canadian version of Operation, courtesy of The Sports Pickle.  Face seem familiar? 
Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns evened their series with the LA Lakers last night. Not bad, when some would've seen them winning a game tops this series after getting badly outplayed in LA.

The great site Mental Floss says that before they settled on "Magic," names suggested for Orlando’s NBA franchise included Juice, Orbits, Challengers and Aquamen.  Maybe Raptors isn't so horrible after all.  Wouldn't it be awesome if the Boston Celtics, like the Boston Bruins did earlier in the month, soiled the bed on a 3-0 series lead?  The Celts visit Orlando tonight.

Milton Bradley is back with the Seattle Mariners after admitting he needed some help for his inner demons, and is now speaking openly about his issues, including suicidal thoughts.  Scary stuff.

How can the Texas Rangers be filing for bankruptcy?  Start with owing at least $30 million to former players, including $24.9 million owed to A-Rod, the top unsecured creditor.  Former Ranger pitcher and Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan is leading a group of investors that have bought the team.

Hard to believe, but for all the World Cup soccer finals played, there have only been 35 different players that have ever scored in final game.

Somebody has set up a Twitter feed posing as BP Global, even selling BP merchandise. Full marks for creativity.

Dave Shoalts at the Globe and Mail looks at how NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman  has coolly exploited both Winnipeg and Glendale to get his way.

The Philadelphia Phillies fan that earlier this year puked on a young girl has pleaded guilty to assault. Classy. 

If WWE's intent is to go and stay PG, not sure how showing a guy remove his own eyeball as a talent on Raw on Monday night is playing into that.

Have a great day.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Philadelphia Flyers took care of the Montreal Canadiens with a 4-2 score, and 4-1 on the series last night, to set up a very interesting Stanley Cup Final matchup where they'll face the Chicago Black Hawks.  Unfortunately, the series won't start until Friday.  How does it make sense that previous rounds would start a day or two after a previous round but now they're holding off four days?  And to start on a Friday?  The worst TV night there is?  Only Gary Bettman's NHL.

Washington Capitals owner Ted Leonsis says that the NHL is in better financial shape than the NBA because of the salary cap that prevents owners "from taking stupid pills".  He does know his team is signing guys to 10 year deals, right?  And that the NBA limits both terms and dollars?  That said, the NBA does allow teams to exceed the cap maximum.

The Kansas City Chiefs are dropping a cone of silence on themselves in the wake of Dwayne Bowe's "importing" story last week.  I'm sure he'll be a real popular guy around camp this year, what with every guy on the team and surely more than a few coaches subjected to their involvement.

And you thought the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox stage long games: a NCAA Division II baseball game went 12 innings and over 9 hours to complete.

Not sure what good Canada playing Argentina in a soccer friendly accomplishes for either team, but yesterday's 5-0 beatdown didn't accomplish much.  Frankly, the Canadian Soccer Association would do well to ensure games like that are not broadcast.  Frankly, it could have been double digits, and Lionel Messi wasn't even in the mix.

As athletes go, Barry Zito isn't the most normal one.  He doesn't generally speak in cliche's, has opinions worth hearing, but when you hear this voicemail he left, you start thinking he's on the wrong side of crazy.

Monday, May 24, 2010

I know there are a lot of hockey fans out here in Ontario that despise the Montreal Canadiens, but I was shocked to go to a corner store this morning and see people stocking up on fireworks in anticipation of their elimination in Philadelphia tonight.  Did not see that coming.

You'd think with Canadian border patrols detaining major leaguers with criminal records when they come into the country, the Toronto Blue Jays would have a better home record.  Strangely, the Jays are actually a better road team this year.

Might the Philadelphia Phillies be riding Roy Halladay too hard?   He is averaging 122.5 pitches a start, and had four straight of 115+, and is the only starter in the bigs to have four complete games, more than many teams have.  They do know he's never gone into October before, right?  Might be worth saving some, just in case.  Halladay had his worst outing of the year yesterday in getting torched by the Boston Red Sox.

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo is another step closer to qualifying for the U.S. Open.  One more strong showing and he'll be rubbing elbows with the top of the PGA.  Impressive.

After cracking on Andre Johnson as not being all he was made out to be for holding out early into a contract, it would only be fair to acknowledge he did show up for Houston Texans camp because he didn't feel right sitting at home.  What, he figured that staying away would feel great?

Off the rails for a second.  The KFC Double Down, that 1,400mg-sodium-heart-attack-waiting-to-happen has sold a mere 10 million sandos since its release in the U.S.   Make of this what you will.

Don't let the good-guy image of Albert Pujols get too large, lest you find out he's blasted his manager Tony LaRussa for overmanaging.

Watching last night's New York Yankee loss at the Mets, it dawned on me that if the surest hit in baseball is the home run, the second surest is anything to Derek Jeter's left.  What's worse for D.J. is in a contract year, he's not hitting either.

The rest of the weekend in short: TFC wins (good), Inter Milan wins (bad), Chicago Black Hawks advance to Stanley Cup finals (good), Czech's win hockey worlds (who cares?), Phoenix Suns pull one back (nice!), and weather (kick ass).

Scoring from 45 metres out on a dead ball should never, every happen...but does.