Manchester United put on a mostly reserve lineup and were still good enough to hammer Schalke 4-1 in the home leg of the Champions League semi-final, setting up a final rematch against 2009 opponent and champion Barcelona. Barca's Xavi says United are the favs to win. Not sure I agree with him.
If you like series that run deep, and the NHL had several in the opening round, the second round is setting up as the polar opposite. The Tampa Bay Lightning continued their roll last night and finished off the Washington Capitals 5-3 last night for a 4-0 series sweep. The San Jose Sharks have the Detroit Red Wings on the brink after a 4-3 overtime win to push that lead to 3-0, while the Philadelphia Flyers have the Boston Bruins right where they want them after losing 5-1 to give the Bruins a 3-0 series lead. At least the Vancouver/Nashville set has seen both teams win.
In the NBA, the likelihood of coming back while trailing series' even 2-0 isn't great, as only 14 teams have come back from 0-2 while 224 haven't. Of those fourteen, only three have come back from 0-2 going on the road, so doesn't exactly bode well for the LA Lakers who dropped both games at home to the Dallas Mavericks.
It's May 5th and the Pittsburgh Pirates now have 64% of their 2010 road win total already in the bag. Mark them down with Kansas City as a team that has a load of young talent coming due.
San Francisco Giant Tim Lincecum is 26-years old, and last night's 12 K performance was already the 29th 10+ strikeout game of his career, which already gives him more than Vida Blue, Juan Marichal, Jack "should be in the Hall of Fame" Morris, Fernando Valenzuela and Ron Guidry.
Well, at least we know Toronto FC is better than FC Edmonton. TFC completed their semi-final win in the Canadian Championships with a 1-0 home win to make it 4-0 on aggregate. They'll now face the Vancouver Whitecaps in the final later this month.
Not all no-hitters are created equal, but some end up being pretty damn similar. In his no-hitter Tuesday, Minnesota Twin Francisco Liriano beat Chicago White Sock Edwin Jackson, who threw a no-hitter last season. Both won 1-0 starts, and walked more hitters than they struck out. The strike percentage was also similar, 53.7% and 53%, the called strike totals were the same (24), and Jackson went to 13 three-ball counts, Liriano 11. Now to see if Liriano gets traded the same season as he tossed the no-hitter the same way Jackson did when Arizona moved him.
Now that the NFL draft is out of the way, here are the latest Super Bowl odds from Bodog: Green Bay, New England 7/1, Pittsburgh 11/1, San Diego 12/1, Baltimore 14/1, NY Jets 14/1, New Orleans Saints, Indianapolis, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Dallas 16/1. I'd feel pretty comfortable in the value on the Jets, New Orleans, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Dallas. I also wouldn't bet Indy at 50-1.
Geoff Baker at the Seattle Times says that Mariners starter Felix Hernandez won't be moved this year, but that next year, all bets are off. As great as he is, I'm not sure why the Mariners don't search out their own Herschel Walker equivalent and take somebody's best young talent and move them west. Not like they're close now.
The MLB draft in June is a giant one for the Tampa Bay Rays. With 12 of the first 89 picks, and they've drafted as well as anybody lately, they've got a chance to set themselves up for a real nice run.
SpikeTV's Holy Grail of Hot has Mila Kunis up against Minka Kelly. Me, I'm a Mila guy. Get your vote in on that, and more.
I get that leagues aspire to be like the NFL - minus the lockout part - but the NHL is following along with the other downside of the No Fun League in cracking down on the Green Men in Vancouver, who have provided a nice element of fresh aside from the tired "Go (insert team name) Go!" chants that fill every other NHL arena. CBC's Glenn Healy is getting all sour over them, too, and made the mistake of saying if they did that in Toronto they'd be escorted from the building. Kinda the point, isn't it Glenn? And at least be smart enough to know that the west doesn't care a lick about what Toronto does or thinks. Here they are at work.