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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Quick one today...

Domestic soccer leagues around Europe are back on their regular schedules after a break in their play for a round of international qualifiers - see NHL, it can work! - with a full weekend of play.  As always, check here to see what is on the tube in Canadaland.

Toronto FC host lowly DC United at 4pm today at BMO Field for what is a 100% must win.  Anything but a win will bring out some serious venom from the faithful at BMO.  Got a good laugh hearing TFC coach Preki calling out fans to bring the noise for 90 minutes today to support the team.  I'm pushing for a rousing rendition of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" for Mr. Electricity.  You know: "here we are now, entertain us".  You've gone three games without scoring Preki, you may want to focus on that before worrying about us in the stands.  Here's a peak at the tightening MLS playoff race.

Check out Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis knocking the New York Jets, who they play tomorrow, down a few pegs for their spotlight seeking ways.  Have to say, hard to disagree with Lewis, and that's only partly because he might literally kill you.  You can hear the bit here.  That is gonna be one physical game, of that we can be sure.

New York Yankee left fielder Brett Gardner is the only one in the Yankees starting lineup making under $5.5 million, at around $450,000.  That, friends, is one hell of a bargain.

Friday, September 10, 2010

For openers, a snoozer...

And with all that buildup, and two teams that averaged 61.3 points (combined) per game last year, what did we get in the New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings?  A 14-9 snore.  That said, that game had the feeling that if the Saints were just a little cleaner, they'd have won by 20 easy.  Still, it puts the Prime Time Picks at 1-0 on the year (+$100).  We'll take it for starters! 

These NFL Kickoffs are lame. "I love football...let's NOT watch the game and see Dave Matthews instead!" Nothing against Dave Matthews Band, of course. This time.

Former Dallas Cowboy and Hall of Fame wideout Michael Irvin took black on black crime to new levels with an awesome blast on current Cowboys wideout Roy Williams, saying "I won't take Dallas [to make the Super Bowl] until Dallas has whatever it needs to stop playing 10 vs. 11. And with Roy Williams on the field, they're playing 10 vs. 11.  now, if they put the young boy Dez Bryant in?  You better believe I'll take Dallas."  Memo to Roy Williams: there's only one way to respond to that, and it isn't with your mouth.  Memo to The Playmaker: Jerry Jones on line one.  He's not happy.

Former NHLer Jason Smith is not a good guy. The Calgary resident was arrested after a domestic incident involving his wife and child. I'm sure it was just a big misunderstanding.  Thanks for that one, KDSmith isn't alone though, boxer Floyd Mayweather is adding "domestic battery" to last week's "racist rant".

Who is the guy in this picture at right?  The brother of Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Scott Downs perhaps?  Nope. That's Marilyn Manson, sans makeup and contact lenses. Not sure if this is better or worse.  Again, thanks for sending that, KD.

Chin up, Buffalo Bills fans.  Sure just about every media outlet has you penciled in for the top overall pick in the next draft, but the fine folks at The Big Lead are a lot more optimistic, and if they're right, you're looking at a real solid 6-10 year.

A couple poor results and Carlos Queiroz is out as Portugal's national team coach.  Okay, they sucked in the World Cup too. 

So if the Toronto police are seizing documents from the Toronto Blue Jays pertaining to Roger Clemens days in Toronto, that must mean a one-time Toronto Blue Jay is suspected of using steroids?  In other news, dozens of ostriches still have their heads in the sand...err...I mean...there's nobody in the stands.  10,658 last night, 10,616 the night before at Rogers Centre.

Boston Red Sock David Ortiz says that Carl Crawford will be a New York Yankee next year, or less likely, an Anaheim Angel.  And then there was Cito Gaston last week, saying Crawford will end up in the Hall of Fame.  Some of that has to be related.

I don't know that I'll be betting the picks from the hottie at Hot Tub Huddle - shot in the famous Grotto of the Playboy Mansion - but I will bet I'll be watching regularly.

A trio of videos to close out the day.  Check them out.  Amazing one and all.

Check this guy out trying to catch a home run ball in Oakland a couple nights ago.  15 seconds in.

Check out this incredible brawl between two Asian soccer teams.  Around 1:55 in, after a nasty tackle, it gets on and then about 2:20 in, the benches empty and the drop kicks ensue.  Awesome.

Make the world a better place, slingshot a watermelon into your own face.  Incredible!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thursday night football? Sounds fine to me.

Opening night of the NFL.  Still not sure I like the whole Thursday night open, but when it is a juicy NFC Championship rematch of New Orleans and Minnesota, in The Big Easy, hard not to get excited for that.  The last time we saw OHB/FFF in a competitive game, he was repeatedly pounded into the turf by a flying Saints defence.  He'll be having flashbacks tonight I suspect, with a result that is less close than the last time.  Yes, folks, your Prime Time Picks are back, and we're starting with the Saints at -4.5 to cover.

The Mo things change, the Mo they stay the same.  Toronto FC...nevermind. 

Got $49?  If so, then you can have the NFL Red Zone channel for the year.  Get it, you'll love it.  The beauty of Twitter: I went off bitching we don't have it here, minutes later somebody sends me a link saying Rogers is indeed offering it.

Going into action last night, and since the All-Star break, the Tampa Bay Rays are 28th in MLB w/395 hits (1 fewer than Seattle). Despite that, the Rays have scored 98 more runs than Mariners.  Is that efficient, or cause for concern heading into October?

All this talk of how much Derek Jeter will get from the New York Yankees is taking on a LeBron-esque tone for a very non-LeBron-esque player at this stage.  Stop.  Please.

The Big Owe in Montreal may have some competition for worst financial disaster of a stadium.  Seems that Giants Stadium - the one that has been demolished - still is in the red $110 million, or $13 for every citizen of New Jersey.  Aren't publicly funded stadiums grand?

If you don't think pro soccer is a growing concern on this side of the pond, you're not paying attention.  Wayne Rooney's escapades are even getting the interest of Rose DiManno at the Toronto Star, who hasn't met an issue she couldn't preach on.

"We're definitely a playoff team" says Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke.  Well that takes care of that.  Fast forward to April.  That's about as funny as Montreal Canadien Tomas Plekanec talking Stanley Cup, mostly because he disappeared in the playoffs.

Love Terrell Owens cracking on OHB for not being a team guy and being selfish.  Stranger still are these three words analyzing said comment from Pro Football Talk: "T.O. is right."

Solid collection of quotes from the opening week of the U.S. Open (that's tennis, people).

Check out Sidney Crosby taking batting practice at PNC Park in Pittsburgh and hit an absolute bomb.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Canada wins!

Tom Verducci at comes up with a solid idea for how to expand baseball's playoffs without lengthening it one bit. I've long advocated that an extra wild card is the best and easiest way to help the AL East problem - and that's mostly what it is - and the idea of a one game, winner is in, between two wild cards would sure generate interest, and make winning a division that much more important.

The Toronto Maple Leafs haven't had a day of training camp and have already named J.S. Giguere the starting goalie. If anybody has a clue what good that accomplishes, I'd love to hear it. Maybe the clock has gone back to 2006 and he's still a clear cut #1 and I missed it.

Long-time San Diego Padre and current Milwaukee Brewers closer Trevor Hoffman picked up save number 600 last night.  Not bad for a guy who barely hits 84 on the gun these days.

Don Banks at's latest article has his picks to win each division, as well as who he's got to finish last. Bad news, Buffalo Bills fans: he's got you not only penciled to finish last, but to do so with 2 wins, lowest among all the teams he picks to finish last by a couple games.

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Jason Marquis has lowered his ERA in 6 straight starts.  Impressive, right?  Not as impressive as seeing it is still a ghastly 7.14, but that's what happens when you once had it as brutal as 20.52.

So much for the notion that Wayne Rooney would lose it in Switzerland after the talk of him tapping a pro surfaced over the weekend.  Rooney scored 10 minutes into England's Euro 2012 qualifier with Switzerland and his squad emerged 3-1 winners.  On the upset front, Slovakia stunned favored Russia in Russia with a 1-0 scoreline and Portugal dropped all the points in a 1-0 shocker at NorwayFull Euro 2012 qualifying wrap here.  On the "friendly" side of things, Canada beat Honduras - who were a World Cup qualifier - with an impressive performance in a 2-1 win in Montreal. Strangely, they looked better minus Dwayne DeRosario and Julian De GuzmanWorld Cup winners Spain travelled to Argentina for a game, and were thumped 4-1.  Shocking.  That's only Spain's third loss since 2006.

Good news, Toronto Raptors fans, your squad made an "all-time" list.  Yep, checking in on the 50 Worst Uniforms list.  Hey, it is something at least.

Two of the worst NFL teams last year were the Tampa Bay Bucs and Cleveland Browns, and they won't be a whole bunch better this year.  So why would the NFL put the two head to head to open the season on Sunday?  Only reason I can think is to narrow the field for nationally covered games.  Can't be many reasons beyond that.

So Reggie Bush can't keep his Heisman Trophy because he had his parents put up in a condo paid for by boosters, but O.J. Simpson still has his.  Sounds perfectly logical to somebody.

If I were to say "it is a must-win road game for Toronto FC if they're to make the playoffs this year", hopefully that wouldn't confuse everyone too badly into thinking this was 2009 and not 2010, but that's the situation that TFC are in as they are in Chicago to face the Fire.  I really have little expectation that they'll grab three points in this one, and barely more hope. SportsNet Ontario and Pacific have coverage with an 8:30 kickoff.

For those that enjoyed Friday's "bubbling" pictures, there are more.  You're welcome.

An interesting infographic to teach you most of what you need to know about MMA/UFC.

Check out this video from a Chinese media outlet of some sort, covering the Wayne Rooney-and-a-hooker story.  Freaking incredible, even for non-soccer fans.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

In 51 hours, the Chicago White Sox won against Clay Bucholz, John Lackey, Josh Beckett, and Max Scherzer, all on the road.  Say what you will about Manny Ramirez, but team's he's on tend to find their way to the playoffs.  The Pale Hose have won seven straight and are now just 3.5 out in the AL Central.  In other tightening races, the Atlanta Braves are now just a half game ahead of Philadelphia in the NL East, and the San Francisco Giants have cut the San Diego Padres lead in the NL West to 3.  In the other direction, the New York Yankees have now opened a 2.5 game lead in the AL East.  Reeling Texas is threatening to bring Oakland back into the mix in the AL West, but you'd think a 7 game lead holds.  Only the NL Central seems likely to be decided, with the Cincinnati Reds up 6 and looking like they might stretch that over a wobbling St. Louis Cardinals squad.

Another couple RBI yesterday gave Alex Rodriguez 100 on the year, making him the first player in MLB history to have 14 years of 100+.  He was previously tied with some guys named Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx.

Poor Randy MossHeading into a contract year with the New England Patriots, he's not feeling loved.  Here's an idea, Randall: go out and put up monster numbers, cash in for another couple years following.  Stay quiet while doing so and increase the number of teams likely to bid.

Another bout of Euro 2012 qualifying goes today.  In matches of particular interest, Serbia host Slovenia, Croatia host Greece, and England are at Switzerland and trying to ignore the stories of Wayne Rooney tapping hookers while his wife was pregnant.

Maybe the funniest thing I've tripped over in some time: "Capitalization is the difference between helping your Uncle Jack off a horse and helping your uncle jack off a horse."

Thanks to GBVH, finally managed to see the fight in the stands at the U.S. Open.  Here it is from two angles.  Love the audio in the second one where you can here the guy f-bombing the lady, and letting her know he's got big cash on the match below.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day with no CFL talk

So after watching that LSU-North Carolina line go all the way up to -10 from the -6 I got in at, had to be feeling pretty good about the Tigers on Saturday, especially when they rolled to a 30-10 halftime lead.  The final?  LSU wins by 6.  I push, and a crap load of people get smoked by Vegas.

This Toronto Blue Jays on SportsNet One bit is turning real interesting, with senior citizens mobilizing to protest. Guess the younger Jays fans don't really care a bunch.

The St. Louis Cardinals are looking like the first team since 1989 to miss the playoffs despite having three starting pitchers with ERA's under 3.00. That's hard to do.

With Matt Leinart released by Arizona, and so far, his former coach at USC Pete Carroll not exactly tripping over himself to get him to his new team in Seattle, doesn't that say a whole lot about Leinart?

Why is the Red Zone Channel not available in Canada?

The San Diego Padres have dropped ten straight to make what should've been a comfortable run to the NL West title a race again.  What is worse than that is their schedule down the stretch is brutal.  They've got seven home games this week against the LA Dodgers and rising San Francisco Giants, then a 10-game roadie through Colorado, St. Louis and at LA, then home to Cincinnati and Chicago, before finishing in San Francisco.

San Diego isn't the only divisional leader with some big concerns.  The Texas Rangers have Cliff Lee battling through some back issues, and now will be minus Josh Hamilton for a time thanks to some injured ribs.

I'm sure both the state of Ohio is thrilled that LeBron James is picking Ohio State to beat Miami this weekend.

Former Arsenal striker Emmanuel Adebayor, now of Manchester City, is positioning his former team as small time relative to City.  Suppose he forgets that relative to his days at Arsenal, his contributions are small time at City.  Of course, Adebayor is also the guy who famously wore an Arsenal shirt in an interview last year, while he was a Man City player. 

Why paraphrase when the source nails it this brilliantly?  In this case, the source is Joel Sherman.  The subject: Derek Jeter.  Says Sherman: "If his name were not Derek Jeter, he already — at best — would be hitting eighth or ninth as the least productive performer in the daily lineup or — at worst — would be sitting a few times a week as the Yankees gauged if Eduardo Nunez could be the shortstop of the future, as early as 2011. But Jeter is so tenured that segments of the media still talk about giving him a three- or four-year extension this offseason at $20 million-plus annually. If he gets anything close to that, it will be based on emotion and nostalgia. And before someone says the Yankees must sign him because, well, he is Derek Jeter consider the reverse: Doesn’t Derek Jeter need the Yankees at least as badly as they need him? Or do you think Gatorade and Ford and the rest of his corporate partners want to keep selling brand loyalty through Jeter with him wearing a Cardinal or Tiger uniform?"

Good to see NFL analyst Dan Hampton, in discussing who he likes in Thursday night's opener that sees Minnesota visit New Orleans, suggest the Vikings need to "go down there and hit that town like Katrina."  Idiot.