Get your winning wagers down! Online Sports Betting

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A-Rod delivers late...

As usual, a quick hit Saturday with various bouts of English Premier League action on the go today.

My what a strange week in the Yankee Universe.  You've got Derek Jeter getting glossed "Derek Cheater" for his act a few days back.  AJ Burnett showed up yesterday with a black eye that he won't discuss, and almost as strangely, has pitched three strong games in a row. There have been four lead changes in the AL East with Tampa Bay this week, the Yanks now back on top with Tampa losing to Anaheim while the Yankees needed a three run blast from A-Rod in the top of the 9th with two out and two strikes, which you can see here, to best Baltimore 4-3, though A-Rod clutching up is hardly new anymore.  What is new is one of his homers - he had an earlier one last night too - was celebrated, in Baltimore, by blowing up fireworks.  Gonna guess somebody is on the unemployment line in Baltimore today.  The Orioles, by the way, are an impressive 26-16 since Buck Showalter took over as manager.  He keeps that pace up, and the Toronto Blue Jays progress from a .500 team, and next year's AL East race will be insane.

The Pittsburgh Pirates, 2010 edition,  have to be among the worst teams ever.  They're 50 games below .500 - using the traditional, and erroneous measure of .500 - and have played 31% of their games against not-exactly-the-1927-or-1998-Yankees Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers and Houston Astros.

Some quick hit NFL stats courtesy of KD: only 23% of teams who lose in week 1make the playoffs.
Only 13% of teams who go to 0-2 make it.  So, the heat is on some hyped squads like Dallas, NY Jets, and San Diego going into tomorrow.  And yes, I will be back tomorrow for a Prime Time Pick, you greedy bastards.

Great tweet from some random guy, retweeted by The SportsGuy, on the subject of Houston Texans running back Arian Foster: "Foster's parents named him Arian? Was Adolf Foster already taken?"

Toronto FC are in Houston tonight to face the Dynamo. know the rest.  It'll be tough sledding as this is their third match in eight days and fourth in eleven.

Crazy story yesterday on former Montreal Canadiens/Toronto Maple Leafs/New Jersey Devils/Boston Bruins coach Pat BurnsWord was Burns had finally lost his fight with cancer and it spread quickly through Twitter and the web.  Shame nobody told Burns.  Seems he's still alive and kicking.

Detroit Tigers rookie Austin Jackson, a strong rookie of the year candidate, is leading the AL in strikeouts.  What is really impressive is he is still hitting north of .300 despite that.

German rising star and Bayern Munich's midfielder Thomas Muller scored a beauty in Champions League play on Wednesday against AS Roma.  Not sure how I didn't see this earlier, but this is as beautiful a goal as you'll see all year.  Incredible.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Derek Cheater?

Had a couple discussions yesterday on the "Derek Cheater" bit from a couple nights ago where he sold that he got hit by a pitch when it clearly hit his bat, so I'll summarize here.  (1) if you think that Jeter is above doing what it takes to win, you're kidding yourself.  He's got as much ego as the next guy, or he would have moved to third when Alex Rodriguez came to the Yankees a few years back because A-Rod was a far better shortstop than Jeter.  (2) To pretend he's some pure and great guy that would never do such a thing is to ignore that when he hurt himself in Toronto years back colliding with Ken Huckaby, he treated Huckaby like he did something wrong when he was just playing the game the right way - something some act like only Jeter does - he wouldn't even answer Huckaby's calls to apologize, vilifying him for no reason.  A saint he is not.  (3) If A-Rod did this, he'd be absolutely annihilated by the media, but with Jeter, it is merely a discussion (3) Baseball isn't golf and guys don't call penalties on themselves or correct umpires for errant calls, so there's no big deal here.  In short, pretending he's somehow above the pack when it comes to morality is to ignore reality, and logic.  He's a competitive guy, and good for him for that, especially when he needs to get on base any way he can of late.  Oh, and Jeter admits he wasn't hit.  Am sure the umpire is thrilled.

It might be the most ridiculous stat I've heard all year in baseball: Canadian boy, and Cincinnati Red, Joey Votto has yet to pop out to the infield this season.  MVP?  In a league with Albert Pujols, just maybe.

Darrelle Revis kept Randy Moss to 58-yards over two games last year and called Moss a "slouch" in the aftermath, marking the first time in memory that word was used as smack talk. They'll be facing each other this weekend in Jersey. How much would a Jets loss ratchet up the pressure on Rex Ryan and the Jets?  Is there a neutral fan that isn't hoping the Patriots pound them?  And who would think that just a few years out of SpyGate, the Pats look like the class operation of the two?

Now that Entourage Season 7 has wrapped, Dallas Mavs owner Mark Cuban has more time to talk sports and he wasted no time in calling out LeBron James for how he "humiliated" Cleveland and Ohio in jumping to Miami. Oh, and there was a study conducted that says LeBron James isn't as popular as he used to be. Well, knock me over with a feather. 

Former Toronto FC coach - and the "former" sounds so good - Preki says that he has no regrets over his time in Toronto, while speaking of the comments made against his regime by Dwayne DeRosario and Julian De Guzman as merely that of "a couple Canadian guys".   All class, that Pricki.  Here's a bit of trivia on his replacement Nick Dasovic, who is nothing if not a breath of fresh air after that stale rain cloud departed: when he studied for his UEFA B coaching license, in his class was one Jose Mourinho.

The San Diego Chargers and Jacksonville Jaguars game is going to be blacked out this weekend in the San Diego area.  7,000 tickets left over tends to do that.

Floyd Mayweather must really want no part of Manny Pacquiao, what with his ridiculous act of late that now sees him facing 8 charges, including 4 felonies, that could see him do 34 years if he were convicted on all charges and got the maximum sentence.

Derek Jeter's act...check out the look at the umpire.  Pretty sure the source of this video is an extra on Jersey Shore.

I've seen some bad fumbles in my time, but check this one out in last weekend's Toronto Argos game when Ronald Flemons drops the ball while touched by exactly nobody.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dateline NBC invades Edmonton...

If Tuesday saw a few of the European powerhouses struggle in Champions League play, another batch of powerhouses used that as a wake-up call yesterday. Chelsea hammered MSK Zilina 4-1, Arsenal pounded Braga 6-0, Real Madrid downed one-time power Ajax Amsterdam 2-0 in a game that was nowhere near that close, and wow does Mesut Ozil look good for Real. Bayern Munich dominated AS Roma in their 2-0 win. Another batch of games is up next week.

Toronto FC opened the Nick Dasovic era with a CONCACAF Champions League game at fellow MLS squad Real Salt Lake. TFC didn't waste much time getting on the scoresheet, as Maicon Santos scored nine minutes in to give the Reds a surprise lead against RSL, who haven't lost at home since May of last year.  But, the rest of the way showed TFC have much work to do as they lost 4-1 though the final score was a bit unfair to the Reds.

Frequent contributor to colourful discussion on the "comment" side of this operation Bukakke showed up to my house in July, bearing a gift for my little boy.  An Edmonton Eskimos shirt.  "Cool", I thought, given my numerous visits to that fine town and having been to a handful of games at Commonwealth.  Now, with the hiring of accused sex offender GM Eric Tillman, the graphic on the front takes on a whole new meaning: "Start them young...raise them right."

Not sure if you've been let in on the secret, but the Manning boys are facing each other this weekend in Indianapolis. Keep it to yourselves. Read that Eli Manning's jersey is the top selling jersey in Canada.  Seems really, really unlikely, no?

New York Jet Darrelle Revis was discussing holding out in 2012 with Peter King, just days after signing a nice contract after a holdout: "If I continue to play ball like I usually do, we'll probably be back at that same position we were this year."  Classy.

Florida coach Urban Meyer has had 30 players arrested while on the job with the Gators. He's pretty much praised universally.  And then there is former USC running back Reggie Bush, who has never been arrested that we know of, and he's getting killed for taking some money to help his parents out and had to return the Heisman Trophy.  What a freaking world.

The Tampa Bay Rays won 4-3 over the Yankees to take their series 2-1 and take a half game lead in the AL East.  All three games were tight to the finish, all one run games.  Fantastic action in Tampa.  If you didn't see Yankee right fielder Greg Golson's cannon to throw out the speedy Carl Crawford to close Tuesday's game, check it out here.  Incredible. Oh, and Tampa and the Yanks best look close behind them as the Minnesota Twins are making a charge, just a half game behind the Yanks, one behind the Rays, for the best record in the AL.  That said, I suspect the Rays and Yankees are more than happy to play either Texas or Minnesota in the opening round.

Have a great Thursday.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

We're not gonna take it, any Mo...

What a series going in Tampa Bay this week, with the New York Yankees and Rays swapping first place with a pair of great games.  Monday's was a pitching duel that finished 1-0 in 11 innings.  Last night went 10, and was an 8-7 win for the Bronx Bombers.  The rubber match goes tonight with Phil Hughes and James Shields taking the bump.

A couple surprises in the opening day of Champions League group play yesterday. Manchester United were held to a scoreless draw with Glasgow Rangers at home, a big disappointment for the Red Devils to say the least. Worse was losing Antonio Valencia to a broken leg for what looks to be the year. Defending Champion Inter Milan were also held to a draw, 2-2 with Dutch side FC Twente. And then there was Barcelona, who hammered Panathanaikos 5-1. Lionel Messi scored a pair, the second as awesome as a goal gets.  8 more games go today at 2:45, highlited by last year's finalist Bayern Munich hosting AS Roma, though Roma have struggled out of the gate in Italy's Serie A. Also of interest is Real Madrid hosting Ajax Amsterdam. 

Toronto FC cleaned house yesterday, turfing Day One GM Mo Johnston after four mostly turbulent years, and his latest coaching hire Preki. Neither should leave feeling they'll be missed. TFC moves on with interim GM Earl Cochrane and interim Head Coach Nick Dasovic, Canadians both, and go right back at it tonight with a CONCACAF Champions League date at Real Salt Lake. Coverage on GolTV with a 10pm kickoff.

Tough break for the Green Bay Packers, losing starting Running Back Ryan Grant for the year with an ankle injury. The New York Jets will be minus Kris Jenkins for the year as he tore his ACL for the second straight year. I'm sure this will increase the concerns about moving to an 18-game schedule but seems to work just fine for the CFL. Besides, it's not like the 16-game schedule has helped the Buffalo Bills Paul Posluzny stay healthy. Yep, he's hurt again.

The centrepiece of the 416-bound contingent in the Roy Halladay trade from the Toronto Blue Jays to the Philadelphia Phillies - Kyle Drabek - makes his Jays debut on the mound tonight. Of course, most of the country won't see it unless they're Rogers Cable subscribers as the game is on SportsNet One. Such regard for their fans, them Jays. For all the heat over moving a pile of games to the channel, this is just throwing more gas on the fire.

There are still sporting outfits that are forward thinking. The UFC has another of its regular - and free - Fight Night cards on tonight. And where is it airing, you wonder? Why, SportsNet - coast to coast - of course, at 8pm. That will be followed by the first episode of Season 15 of The Ultimate Fighter, with coaches Georges St. Pierre and Josh Koschek.

In other MLS news, the league is expected to announce expansion to a 34-game regular season schedule for 2011. Also, the "Canadian" rule looks to be scrapped which will only increase the quality of players in the league overall, and on Toronto and Vancouver especially.

Scoring in the NFL was down in Week One, in case you were wondering.

This one is sure to get some people wound up.  Here are the 11 most effeminate things about football, the gridiron variety.

The first peak at the 2011 MLB schedule can be seen here.  The Majors are set to start on Thursday, March 31st with talk of a game going even the night prior, all with the aim of finishing the playoffs in October at the latest, unlike this year where it could run to November 4th.  Still don't understand why they don't do the first couple weeks with all dome or warm weather teams at home to minimize weather issues in the northern cities.

Speaking of the playoffs, yet another piece on how expanding the playoffs would make for a better regular season.  Me likes.

The Hot Tub Hottie is back with Week 2 NFL picks.  No clue how she's doing, and care almost as little.

Yep, ordered NFL Red Zone yesterday.  Jacked for Sunday.  Mrs. Mango?  Not so much.

If you missed Baltimore Raven Ray Lewis blowing up New York Jet Dustin Keller on Monday Night...enjoy.

Check out Manchester United's Antonio Valencia getting his leg broken in a fluke play. Can't imagine he comes back this season. Ouch.
<a href="" target="_new" title="CL Update: Man Utd's Valencia injured">Video: CL Update: Man Utd's Valencia injured</a>

Barcelona vs. Panathanaikos hilites.  Lionel Messi's goal after a ridiculous buildup starts around :50...
<a href="" target="_new" title="CL Highlights: Barcelona/Panathinaikos">Video: CL Highlights: Barcelona/Panathinaikos</a>

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Get comfortable, we're in for a long entry...

Why are all the cameras behind me?
The New York Jets couldn't have been much worse last night.  All of six first downs and a mere 14 penalties in a 10-9 home field loss to the Baltimore Ravens.  Looks good on them, after all the talk the last eight months, not to mention Hard Knocks, from a team that wouldn't have even made the playoffs last year if not for Indianapolis deciding they didn't want to go for a perfect season and tanking a game against the Jets late in the season.  It isn't going to get any easier for the Jets in Week 2, what with the New England Patriots visiting.  At a Jets practice last week, with former Miss Universe contestant Ines Sainz in attendance, now working for TV Azteca, a Mexican TV station - rear view at right - the Jets got juvenile with it and made several lewd comments directed her way, and were intentionally sending balls in her direction - footballs, that is - so they'd collide with her.  Needless to say, she's not ugly.  And of course, the NFL is investigating.

With first place in the AL East on the line, you'd think it was a buzzing crowd in Tampa Bay with the New York Yankees visiting.  Mix in leading Cy Young candidates David Price and CC Sabathia and you'd think a full house was guaranteed.  Nope.  The building was 3/4 full with 26,000 and change in attendance.  Terrible.  As for the game, it was a beauty.  Sabathia gave up no runs and two hits over eight frames and struck out nine while Price gave up no runs and three hits while fanning four over eight.  The Rays won it 1-0 in the 11th inning when Sergio Mitre - and why is he pitching in any important situation? - served up a meatball to Reid Brignac that he deposited into the right field seats, and they move a half game up on the Yankees.  If that's a playoff preview, October is gonna be awesome.

If the current standings hold into October, the eight playoff managers will bring a combined three World Series titles (as managers) into the postseason. Atlanta's Bobby Cox, the Yankees' Joe Girardi and Philadelphia's Charlie Manuel have one each.  That would mark the lowest such total since 1999, when Joe Torre's two (at the time) and Cox's one made for three. Last year, there were 10 October managerial winners with Torre (four), Boston's Terry Francona , (two), St. Louis' Tony La Russa (two), Manuel (one) and the Angels' Mike Scioscia (one).  What does it all mean?  Not much, but an interesting fact.

After a performance reminiscent of his pre-jail days on Sunday, Michael Vick isn't holding back, suggesting had he played the entire game on Sunday, his Philadelphia Eagles might have beat the Green Bay Packers.

The always funny DJ Gallo reviews Week 1 of the NFL.  Definitely worth seeing his captions alone, the last of which is my fav.

For those interested, 11 of 16 home teams covered the spread in Week 1 NFL action, including 6 of 8 home favorites.  Hope you enjoyed the 2-0 Prime Timers last night to move to a perfect 3-0 on the year (+$300).  No clue why I do so well in that area the last few years for what are typically the toughest games to nail.

I'm actually a bit surprised in Roger Goodell's NFL that he hasn't ordered the increasing number of long haired players to cut their lettuce so it isn't hanging half way down their backs.

The New England Patriots open with a nice beating of the Cincinnati Bengals, and what is Randy Moss worried about?  Why, Randy Moss, of course.  Moss says if the Pats wait until the end of the season, that will be a slap in the face to him.  I'm sure that will move the notoriously tough negotiating Pats to do exactly nothing they weren't planning already.

Champions League group play gets under way today with 8 games kicking off at 2:45pm today.  Glasgow Rangers visiting Manchester United will get the most hype, but really, it'll be a stunner if it is anything other than an easy Man U win.  The real interesting one I think is Tottenham Hotspur visiting Werder Bremen.

Really didn't give the U.S. Open tennis enough love this year.  Not sure why.  At any rate, Rafa Nadal took the men's title in a rain delayed final yesterday over Novak Djokovic.

And the latest on Floyd Mayweather is you can add uttering death threats to his ever growing rap sheet of late, to NBAer CJ Watson of the Chicago Bulls.

Nice move by boxer David Haye not only saying his November fight with Audley Harrison will be a "one sided gang-rape" but saying he won't apologize for it.  I guess the reality is if not for that quote, we wouldn't be talking about either of those two.  Moving on.

Monday, September 13, 2010

How's this for weird: Saturday's entry, on September 11th (aka 911) was blog entry #911 for yours truly.

Nice of the Buffalo Bills to kick their (wagering) fans in the nuts.  Down 13-10 in the dying minutes, the Bills, instead of punting, elected to give up a safety so they could free kick.  The move took the game from a push, to a Miami cover.  The other team that shot themselves in the foot in spectacular fashion were the Dallas Cowboys, 13-7 losers in Washington in a game they would've won comfortably if not their ridiculous penchant for penalties.  Guard Alex Barron was shakier than Michael J. Fox on Red Bull with all the penalties he took, one that negated a last second touchdown to win most significantly. Not good enough, Wade Phillips.  

Figured that the Houston Texans would give the Indianapolis Colts a tough game, but didn't figure they'd hammer them 34-24 in a game that wasn't even that close.  Also surprising whipping boys were the San Francisco 49ers, crushed by the Seattle Seahawks 31-6.

The worst team in the league shows up to BMO Field on Saturday with the hosts Toronto FC needing a win.  Easy money for the Reds, no?  Nope.  Not only were they outplayed and outscored, they were also outworked, which is especially embarrassing with your season essentially down the toilet now.  Yours truly is boycotting TFC for the remainder of the year.  No joke.  As for GM Mo Johnston, here's a little something to help get you on your way.  Rest of the MLS wrap here.

Tonight's home opener for the San Diego Chargers, hosting rival Kansas City, will most likely be blacked out in SoCal as it hasn't sold out.  Monday night, home opener, for a good team hosting a rising team.  Not good, NFL.

Damien Cox of the Toronto Star has a strong blog entry looking at how badly the Toronto Blue Jays are struggling at the gate, despite generally positive media support and a few young talents to get behind, and Jose Bautista approaching 50 homers.  Concludes Cox: "has to leave the Jays thoroughly puzzled as to what it will take - if anything - to bring the people back."

Hey Pittsburgh Penguins fans, rock some (fake) ink supporting your teamTap Out shirt not included.

Rick Reilly at ESPN, who always thinks he's a step quicker than everyone, puts together a list of things he'd tweet if he didn't hate Twitter.  Somebody ought to let him know a good chunk of his ideas are beyond 140 characters.

I'm sure everyone saw the show of union solidarity in Thursday's NFL opener in New Orleans.  Noticeably absent was one player.  I'll give you one guess.  Got it yet?  Yep, the FFF had his back turned to the rest of  the players. 

Even the most serious of soccer fans would tell you that they can't stand games getting solved by penalty kicks if still tied through overtime.  So what is FIFA President Sepp Blatter looking to do at the World Cup?  Have all tie games end with a round of PK's, of course.  Idiot.

A racist rant and domestic assault claims the last couple weeks weren't enough for Floyd Mayweather.  He also was arrested for stealing an iPhone.

Prime Time Picks (1-0, +$100 on the year) for tonight: Baltimore +1, KC +4.5.  Liking the road dogs!

Awesome penalty kick goal here, or maybe it is better termed "goalie fail"...