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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Les Mediocre?

There were goals galore in yesterday's Champions League quarters.  Inter Milan opened the scoring all of 44 seconds in against Schalke with a long range bullet from Dejan Stojakovic, but even playing at home wasn't enough for the defending champions, who were hammered by the Germans 5-2 in a win that all but assures their passage to the semi-finals.  And who predicted that for a team not exactly lighting up the German Bundesliga?  Once again, an Italian defence was exposed by teams with pace, same as AS Roma, AC Milan etc. before them in Champions League play.  The other game saw Tottenham's Peter Crouch take two terrible, well deserved, yellow cards and get ejected, which all but meant it was a matter of time before Real Madrid built on their 1-0 lead at the time and build they did, en route to a 4-0 smashing of Spurs that kills any drama for the return leg next Wednesday in London.

Up today, Barcelona hosts Shaktar Donetsk, and anything other than a comfortable Barca pasting will shock me.  I'm betting Barca at -2.  The other game is an all-English affair with Manchester United at Chelsea.  Have a feeling Chelsea takes this one as United's defence, hurt as it is, has struggled of late to handle teams coming at them with speed which Chelsea showed in their EPL game last month with big second half pressure, but it is a big game, and Chelsea captain John Terry is always a prime suspect to do something stupid that costs his team, so there is that.  Thinking Chelsea 2-1, but hoping for a draw, preferably with goals scored.

Stats like these warm my heart: no team has opened the season at 0-4 and gone on to win the World Series.  Here's looking at you, Boston Red Sox starting pitchers have 9.30 ERA, which is the highest for Boston staff thru first 4 games of a season since ERA became official AL stat in 1913.  That, and their fourth loss to open the year last night was to Cleveland.

18,579 - that's the tiny crowd the Cleveland Indians drew last weekend.  Over the course of two days.  The Tribe has fallen a long way from the days of 455 straight sell-outs at Jacob's Progressive Field.  The Tampa Bay Rays only drew 13,173 last night.  Mike Ozanian at Forbes predicts the Rays will be contracted at the end of the 2014 season.

For as much abuse as Toronto Maple Leaf Phil Kessel takes, he's one of only eight NHLers to have 30 or more goals in each of the last three season.

The Baltimore Orioles are 38-23 since Buck Showalter took over as manager. They were worst team in bigs when he took over at 32-73.  Nice work, BS.

If you're planning a road trip to any MLB games this year, there's a fantastic guide here at Fox Sports that will help you sort out what to do, eat, see and more for each MLB team.

After last night's win, the Minnesota Twins are now 7-31 in New York under manager Ron Gardenhire.  And not sure what Yankees manager Joe Girardi was thinking pulling a still strong CC Sabathia after seven and using Rafael Soriano and Mariano Rivera for a second straight night, especially when you've got AJ Burnett waiting in the wings with a potential implosion tonight.

Dallas Cowboys Tight End Martellus Bennett - he's the one not named Jason Witten more noted for internet videos and dropping balls - thinks QB Tony Romo should have to compete with Jon Kitna for the starters job.  And the clock ticking down Bennett's last days in Dallas

When did merely making the NHL playoffs become cause for celebration among Montreal Canadiens fans?   Shocking the messages I'm seeing on Twitter and Facebook from a group of fans who once expected a playoff run, nevermind qualification.  Have Les Glorieux fans become Les Mediocre?  Sad, really, and I'm sincere in saying that.

More backyard wrestling moves gone wrong...

1 comment:

gary said...

that display by my Nerazzurri defense was dreadful.

so next Tuesday's games are now completely meaningless. day ruined.