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Saturday, September 25, 2010

The New York Yankees, as they are going, will not win the World Series this year.  Too many pitching question marks and they're now the Wild Card team after a 10-8 loss to Boston last night that was 10-1 in a heartbeat as Andy Pettitte had his worst start of the year.  While they've had a great year considering the ups and downs of Javier Vazquez and AJ Burnett, they can't go into the playoffs with only CC Sabathia a no-brainer.  Phil Hughes is running on fumes after never working this much, and too many question marks around the rest of the starters.  Now, when you've got a hot Curtis Granderson and a guy with Lance Berkman's abilities hitting at the bottom and Derek Jeter seemingly finding himself, you can make up for a lot, but this fan doesn't have the same feeling he typically does when the Yanks end up winning.  Right now, I'm thinking a Tampa and New York ALCS, with the winner getting beat by Philadelphia who should cruise through the NL.

Jose Bautista hit two more home runs last night to tally 52 on the season, now the biggest one season jump in MLB history.  Now, before this "MVP" train gets moving too quickly, consider this: nobody has ever won the award with a batting average in the .260's, much less a guy on a 4th place team.  Only four AL MVP's have even batted below .300. 

Manchester City were going to be in tough against rolling Chelsea regardless of the situation today, but with all their first choice defenders hurt or hurting, they could be in for a long day.  That one goes off early, 7:45am on Setanta Sports.

Toronto FC host the San Jose Earthquakes at 4pm today at BMO Field.  Coverage on CBCTFC know the familiar drill.

Not only is Toronto Maple Leafs first round pick from 2009 Nazem Kadri not impressing at camp, he's not exactly impressing with his mouth either.  When asked why he wears #43, here was his dim response: "It was the number I was assigned.  As a kid, it was number 9. I liked that number because of Paul Kariya. Then he kind of went down the drain a little bit..."  Better a has been than a never was, Nazem. Respect Kariya.

Not exactly an awe inspiring main event in 2010 at UFC 119 from Indianapolis, where Frank Mir will fight Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic.  Pretty obvious to most who I hope will win, but not sure who does.  What I do like is the fight to finish in the first round.  Also on the card, the undefeated Ryan Bader takes on Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in what should be a real interesting bout.  Full card here.

If you believe the rumors, Carmelo Anthony could be a New Jersey Net as soon as today as a four-team deal is being worked on.  Crazy how much talent is swinging to or looking to move to the East.

If you're an MLB team looking to host a "guaranteed win" night, your odds are stacked if you're doing it with the Pittsburgh Pirates in town.  The Pirates are 6-45 their last 51 road games.

I'm sure the LA Lakers will be thrilled to hear that Andrew Bynum postponed his knee surgery a month over the off-season so he could attend World Cup soccer games in South Africa.  It comes as no surprise then given Bynum's Pavano-esque recuperative powers that he's not going to be ready for the pre-season.

A Michigan man is giving the Travis Henry's and Evander Illegitimate-field's of the world a serious run for his money: he's got 23 kids with 14 different women.  Not shockingly, he's struggling to keep up with support payments.  The cure?  Not going to prison, which he is.

Back tomorrow with more, have a great Saturday.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Bautista hits 50...

Toronto Blue Jay Jose Bautista hit is 50th home run of the season, and acknowledged he understands why people might ask if he was clean.  In the same game, Ichiro knocked his 200th hit of the season, which is impressive on its own.  More impressive?  That's ten straight years of 200+ hits.

Vegas is poised for an interesting week, with 9 of 16 NFL games showing lines of 3.5 points or less (at the moment), and 7 home dogs.  I don't follow how Cincinnati is only -3 - albeit on the road - against a winless Carolina team starting a rookie QB.  Am I missing something?

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo says "it's not me, it is you" with regard to the Cowboys problems through two weeks of the NFL season.  As in, it isn't the passing game, it is the running game.  Right, because that boneheaded flip at the end of the first half in Washington was done by another #9.  Sure the run could be better, but now's not the time to start pointing fingers, TR.

Incredibly, the Arizona Diamondbacks have more strikeouts this year than they do hits.  No, seriously: 1304 hits as of this morning, 1417 whiffs.  That's got to be tough to accomplish.

If I was out partying with Donte Stallworth the night he got into a car, loaded, and mowed down a pedestrian and killed the guy, I'm guessing I'd probably be pretty careful about getting behind the wheel of a car myself after having one drink, nevermind enough to blow .16, double the legal limit.  But not New York Jet Braylon Edwards.  Yep, the most shocking thing of a guy driving home from a Manhatten bar isn't that he blew double the limit, it is that he was with Stallworth that fateful night in Miami Edwards is clearly a moron, at best.

The ever-forward thinking NHL is implementing a ban on bloggers having access to locker rooms.  Presumably, they've got so much mainstream press in the U.S. that they don't need the coverage this little niche offers.

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is usually pretty thoughtful in his commentaries, and quipping that Chelsea must have been allowed to pick their opponents given how much they've dominated the first five weeks to open the season is pretty clever.  Not so clever?  This one: "anyone who wins the league will have to finish above them."

Check out Chad Ochocino and T.O. discussing whether they'd like to see Sarah Palin in Playboy.  No, seriously.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

This dog got some bite...

Pretty interesting cover page on yesterday's Philadelphia Daily News.  And no, not referring to Roy Halladay winning his 20th game and being on the cusp of the playoffs for the first time in ever.

Dallas Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman wonders it the 'boys practice hard enough.  If you have to ask the question, the answer can only be "no".  One positive in the Cowboys 0-2 start: they've outgained both opponents thus far.

A Toronto FC blogger - View From The South Stands - takes a peak at the just announced ticket packages for next year.  Fantastic take.  Here's another from a fan who wrote a letter to his ticket rep.  Colour me stunned - literally - to find out the median ticket price for Toronto FC, converted to UK pounds, costs more than English Premier League clubs Newcastle, Fulham, Sunderland, Wolves, Everton, Stoke, Birmingham and Manchester City, among others. At the top end of the ticket pricing, only Arsenal, Tottenham, and Chelsea charge more.  Yes, Man United and Liverpool are actually cheaper to attend in the best seats.

The Cleveland Browns put a call into the Philadelphia Eagles inquiring about Kevin Kolb and the Eagles declined to discuss moving him, though it sounds like they may entertain the idea later before the trade deadline.

Check out the numbers put up by Philadelphia Phillies Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt in their key three game series with the Atlanta Braves this week:  2-0 with a 1.64 ERA in 22 IP in the series. Dominant?  Yeah, I'd say so.  Oswalt is up to 187 strikeouts for the year.  Another 13 will give the Phillies three starters with 200+ whiff's thrown, the first to do that since the 1969 Houston AstrosPhillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. admitted they're concerned that Halladay is at 241+ innings pitched with 10 days left in the season, plus pitching in October which he's never done before.  I suspect the Phil's will push hard to clinch and then give the big boy some rest.  With ten straight wins, they're plenty hot to get that done soon.

If historical events had Facebook status updates, here's what they might look like.  Good stuff.

The Minnesota Twins did a very un-Twinlike thing a couple nights ago. They clinched the AL Central title with lots of time to spare, no playoff game required.  So, they've got the benefit of sorting out their rotation and have announced the Francisco Liriano will be opening Game 1.  I've got a feeling Yankee fans would love to see the Twins at some point, especially with the thought of Carl "American Idle" Pavano starting in the Bronx, assuming he doesn't get a hangnail or crash a car.

Joe Posnanski at takes a peak at Toronto Blue Jay Jose Bautista and says, using a formula to pick his 32 flukiest home run seasons, Bautista's the runaway winner no matter how he tweaked the formula. Does that mean he won't hit 30+ next year?  No, but it doesn't mean he will either.

If you're ever stuck without a beer bottle opener, and twisting it off seems far too easy, try one of these 31 ways to open a beer bottle.

Check out the most hilarious - intentional or otherwise - jersey's.

Stop the world, the Leafs not only scored, they did it more than once.  And won.  I think.  Well, they were up 3-1 and I paid no mind after running into that.  Nor should you to any pre-season NHL action.

Have a good day.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Clean-up in the toy aisle...

Two straight games now the New York Yankees have scored eight runs against the allegedly superior Tampa Bay Rays pitching staff.  An 8-3 win last night stretched the Pinstripers lead at the top of the AL East to 2.5 games.  Getting the feeling more and more than homefield is going to be key for whoever comes out of the American League, with the Yanks, Tampa and Minnesota all being so strong at home this season. Also last night, Yanks catcher Jorge Posada took a page from The Captain and seemed to mile a questionable hit by pitch.  Listening to the Tampa Bay announcers get all indignant with it was pretty laughable, considering their own manager Joe Maddon - as clear and honest a voice in the game as there is - said he wished his own players would do the same.

Looks like Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid has seen the light after all, as he announced yesterday what anyone with a brain thought made sense: Michael Vick will remain the starter until further notice. Easiest move ever.

Not very classy of the allegedly classy Joe Torre to go on radio in New York while in town for the George Steinbrenner monument unveiling at Yankee Stadium and mention the New York Mets managerial job while Jerry Manuel is still the manager. Manuel, of course, is not impressed. 

The always great Jason Whitlock says that the OHB won't be long for the NFL with the way things are going.  Come on now, OHB, just when I was starting to come around to you.

Roy Halladay is the first 20 game winner in the National League after last night.  Pretty impressive, given it feels like Colorado Rockie Ubaldo Jiminez has been at 17 since like, April.  The Phillies now lead the sinking Atlanta Braves by five.

Toronto FC's visit to Mexico City to face Cruz Azul in CONCACAF Champions League play last night could've been a disaster.  Playing against a strong, revenge-minded team at altitude with short rest after Saturday's dramatic comeback, you'd think "beatdown", no?  Well, it wasn't.  In fact, Toronto FC showed the kind of heart we've rarely seen in their existence and fought their way to a scoreless draw.  Shocking.  Almost as shocking as a referee in this competition actually being competent.

In games that have been started by Josh Beckett and John Lackey, the Boston Red Sox are only 25-25.  That, as much as a brutal rash of injuries this year, is why they're all but mathematically out of it already.

Speculation is there could be as many as 16 managerial changes this baseball off-season, and that would be a record.  I'm going to throw an early suggestion at the Toronto Blue Jays: Willie Randolph.

There's no simpler way to describe this: man enters Wal-Mart.  Man picks up Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.  Man rubs one out in the toy aisle.

Check out some NHL third jerseys for this year and years past.  Winners: Buffalo, and anything work by the Montreal Canadiens save for the candystriped jersey (none pictured, however). Losers: Tampa Bay, Phoenix, LA, Anaheim.

New York Giant Brandon Jacobs is a piece of work, isn't he?  After tossing his helmet into the crowd in Indy in anger, he was benched, and of course, is now demanding a trade.  Check out the video from Sunday here:

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I'm familiar with NFL teams that repeatedly shoot themselves in the foot, being a Dallas Cowboys fan in 2010 how can you not have a couple fresh reminders already?  But the San Francisco 49ers act last night was something else entirely.  The 49ers made ridiculous mistakes all night in losing 25-22 to the New Orleans Saints.  Some credit to them though: Frank Gore was awesome and Alex Smith looked solid enough to at least keep it respectable.  Yeah, they covered.

The Philadelphia Phillies trio of Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt have gone at least 6 innings pitched in their last 17 starts.  That is the stuff that wins you World Series.

Chin up, Dallas Cowboys fans.  If the Cowboys drop to 0-3, a solid possibility playing at Houston, there remains hope.  After all, five teams have made the playoffs in that situation, the last being the 1998 Detroit Lions.  Best joke I've heard in days: "What do Tony Romo and Lindsay Lohan have in common?  The lines in front of them get them in big trouble."

Here's an interesting NFL stat: since 1990, of the teams that started 2-0 but scored fewer than 40 points in those two wins,  those teams went on to average 7.2 wins on the year.  So, good news for you, Green Bay, Chicago and Houston.  Don't make plans for January, Tampa Bay, Miami and Kansas CityPittsburgh is the wildcard there, you have to assume their offence picks up when Ben Roethlesberger returns.

If you're thinking the Toronto Raptors need a change at the top - think Bryan Colangelo - don't hold your breath on it happening, says Dave Feschuk at the Toronto Star.  Wonder how Colangelo feels about first round pick Ed Davis being out 6 weeks with a knee injury picked up at a run at a local Mississauga gym?

New Jersey Devil Ilya Kovalchuk thinks that the penalty the NHL meted out on his team for the ridiculous contract the Devils initially tried to push through was unfair.  I wonder how fair he figures it is his team is now in a terrible cap situation with his deal and has to dump some significant salary before the season starts?  I'm sure that will do wonders for the team chemistry.  And how do you sign a guy for a huge deal like that and suddenly start experimenting with him on the opposite wing?

Gary Bettman is openly discussing the idea of teams moving back or into Winnipeg and/or Quebec City.  That said, he's also saying the NHL isn't looking to see teams move because they have a "covenant" with the fans in the city, small though they may be with limited revenue streams.  I added the last part, admittedly.

Four great vids to close out the day, check them out.

Check out UFCer Chael Sonnen crush a variety of other fighters with some of the best smack talk you're likely to ever hear.  Shame for him that it has since been revealed he failed a drug test from his Anderson Silva fight last month and may be suspended for a year if the results hold up.  Sonnen, you may recall, once famously said that Lance Armstrong "gave himself cancer" from all the performance enhancing drugs he used.  This is a long vid, but absolutely awesome.  The "did you lose a bet with God?" might be my fav line in recent memory.

A Philadelphia Phillies fan got loose on the field last night, and Atlanta Braves outfield Matt Diaz took him down with an awesome trip.

Check out this great, great goal from Catania's Ciro Capuano in Italy's Serie A this past weekend.

And as an encore presentation - because it was that freaking good - here's a better look at Manchester United's Dimitar Berbatov's goal.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Weekend wrap

Dimitar Berbatov scored a hat-trick for Manchester United, continuing a great run for him early in the EPL season, as United beat Liverpool 3-2. Check out his goals below. The second will be up there in most goal of the year contests.  Leaders Chelsea looked like they'd threaten double digits with three goals in the opening 30 minutes against Blackpool, but cruised to a 4-0 win.  Chelsea is averaging 5.2 goals a game so far this season.

About the only bright side to the Dallas Cowboys 0-2 start after yesterday's embarrassment at home to the Chicago Bears is the rest of the division is only a game ahead after the Washington Redskins pissed away a 27-10 lead and lost in overtime, the New York Giants got hammered 38-14 in Indy, and the Philadelphia Eagles got to 1-1 after a 35-32 win at Detroit in a game that ended four hours after it started. Is Tony RomoCowboys woes? to blame for the

Speaking of the Eagles, I get that they view Kevin Kolb as the quarterback of the future, but the present? Better teams have sat better quarterbacks than him - the New England Patriots sitting Drew Bledsoe springs to mind - and benefited, so not sure why they wouldn't at least ride Mike Vick while he's hot. Vick sure looks like he's got his legs back, and made a few plays yesterday that only he makes. Andy Reid is nuts if he doesn't see that. For Vick, the more he plays, the more he makes.

The Tampa Bay Rays are at Yankee Stadium for a four game set starting today. If it is anything like last week's series in Tampa, call it appointment viewing. The Yanks had a chance to enter the series a game and a half up but Mariano Rivera blew a save chance and the Bombers lost in 11.  The real good news though is Andy Pettitte returned and turned in 6 innings of 1 run baseball.

If  a quarterback was to take every snap in a game and spike it, their quarterback ranking would be 39.6.  Baltimore Ravens QB Joe Flacco rated a 23.8 yesterday.  Ouch.

Three AFC teams are 2-0. Not sure many would have figured Miami with two games opening on the road, one at Minnesota. KC is also a surprise 2-0, and if they're a surprise, not sure what that makes the Pittsburgh Steelers, minus Ben Rapelesberger. NFC perfects so far include Chicago, Green Bay, Tampa Bay (no, really) and potentially New Orleans if they pull it out tonight in San Francisco, which it says here they do as your Prime Time Pick (3-1, +$198).

Chicago Cub Tyler Colvin is lucky to be alive today.  He was taken to hospital yesterday after a broken bat impaled him in the chest.  Only the Cubs.

Blackburn Rovers manager Sam Allardyce says that he's more suited to being the lead man with Inter Milan or Real Madrid.  He also said he'd win a league title every year if he was running Real or Manchester United Delusional much, Sam?  Memo to gamblers: mark down November 27th on your calendar.  Sir Alex Ferguson is going to have United wipe Blackburn up.

What, you thought I wasn't going to mention the OHB and his incredible performance yesterday did you?  Three picks, one fumble and back to back losses?  What do I think of his return now?  Best idea ever.  I suspect he's going to start "missing his family" a lot more in the near future.

Here's Dimitar Berbatov's beauty against Liverpool yesterday...

Check out Ray Lewis trash the officiating in yesterday's Ravens-Bengals game and Carson Palmer.  He can expect a fine here, but good for him.  Is it me or do him and The Rock have a strong resemblance to each other?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

TFC steal one

The ancient rivals Liverpool and Manchester United will get it on this morning at 8:30 at Old Trafford. I've got a feeling United run wild, though Fernando Torres has ripped United apart in recent games.

Toronto FC stole three points last night in Houston with two goals from Dwayne DeRosario in the last 30 minutes, the second in the last minute of the game.  Massive win.

Joe Torre announced he won't return as the LA Dodgers manager next year. I'm sure the money troubled, sub-.500 Dodgers are real sour about having to replace him with the far cheaper Don Mattingly next year.

Your Prime Time Pick (3-0, +$300) for tonight is the New York Giants +5.  And if I like it at +5, I like the +9.5 one of my buddies gave me last night even more!  MZ, you're gonna hurt.

Kurt Warner had a higher quarterback ranking than Joe Montana. True story.

If you don't dial in to the Jim Rome Show daily, or aren't a Jungle Insider like yours truly, be sure to tune into TSN2 weekdays for Jim Rome is Burning. It doesn't have the comedy so much, and no clones obviously, but a quick look at his main takes of the day.

Love that the day after Jose Bautista sets the Toronto Blue Jays single season homer record on Friday, the cover of the Toronto Star sports section is filled with an article on Toronto Maple Leaf Phil Kessel showing up to camp - gasp! - in shape. Bautista was relegated to the inside. Shame.

Caught ESPN's 30 for 30 on Michael Jordan. What were the odds that when he rounded the bases after his first home run, the two guys greeting him at the plate wore #8 and #13, and his dad died on August 13th (8th month, 13th day). Why I notice stuff like that is beyond me.

Have a great Sunday.