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Friday, June 10, 2011

LeBron comes up small

Dallas 112 Miami 103. Hey LeBron...oh-oh!  You called that the biggest game of your life and came up with that? A sign in Dallas last night read: "not 6, not 7, not 8...points".  To that, if all goes well in Miami in the next few days, you can add "not 6, not 7, not 8...championships"  that LeBron spoke of.  I really can't think of a more despised athlete right now.  As for the game itself, ridiculously entertaining stuff.

What time is it in Vancouver?  Twelve past Luongo.  The Canucks host the Boston Bruins tonight in a pivotal game and with a world of pressure on the home side's goalie and team overall.  A quick Bruin start would be awesome to see the panic set in.  One group sure to panic is staff at the Rogers Arena.  As soon as the game is done, they'll be working frantically to get the arena ready for UFC 131 tomorrow night with Junior Dos Santos and Shane Carwin slated for what could be an explosive heavyweight main event.

For the first time ever last night, in 161 games, David Ortiz was hit by a New York Yankee pitcher. CC Sabathia finally drilled him on the leg after a couple days of talking junk and over the top celebration of a homer. You'd think that got the biggest ovation of the night at Yankee Stadium, right? Nope, when they showed LeBron and the Heatles lost, that got the biggest ovation. Ortiz blamed the media post-game for getting hit: "I finally got hit. I hope you motherfuckers are happy."  Classy.  The Sox are now 8-1 against the Yanks this year and have swept twice at Yankee Stadium. Word is in honour of the Yankees rapidly sinking season, there is talk of swapping out "God Bless America" in the 7th inning with this.

Usain Bolt says that he could and hopes to play for Manchester United "because I've watched football over the years".  If it were that easy, I'd be playing that, the NFL version, NHL and on your tube for some WWE action as well because I've "watched a lot".  Give me a break, Bolt.

TSN Radio's James Cybulski asked Dan Shulman if Jose Bautista was approaching "legendary" status.  Yeah, after a strong year and two months, the man's a legend.  Freaking please.

ProFootballTalk looks at the top NFL candidates to move to Los Angeles.  No such article appears for Toronto.

Big sports weekend ahead with both the NHL and NBA finals winding down.  We could well see the end of the NBA season for quite some time if they go lockout.  Enjoy.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Road Warriors, the Vancouver Canucks are not.  Start with goalie Roberto Luongo's and his 2010-11 playoff splits, prior to tonight: HOME 9-3, 1.84, .937, 3 SO. ROAD 5-5, and the rest of his line going into last night, since gone worse: 3.31, .892, 0 SO.  The Bruins pounded the Canucks on the boards, and the score board, for a 4-0 win that was rarely in doubt.  Oh, and if you're keeping score at home, the Canucks five goals scored in four games isn't exactly awe inspiring stuff for a team that - incredibly hilariously - that one CBC talking head compared to Barcelona but was laughing too hard to recall who said it - yeah, compare one of the best teams ever with a team that's likely to be forgotten around July even if they do win.  The Bruins scored 8 goals on Cam Neely night, and 4 on Bobby Orr night last night, and when the series goes back to Boston, they're going to be looking for a Ray Bourque night - 7 or 77 will do.  Remember, you can't spell "Canucks" without "s-u-c-k".

The San Diego Padres have been shut out 10 times in 60 games.  On the other side of the coin, the New York Yankees haven't been shut out 10 times since 1991.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders now hold the rights to Ohio State cast-off Terrelle Pryor.  Yeah, a season in Regina will really keep Pryor on the straight and narrow.  How are the tattoo shops out there?

Ecuador-Greece played a soccer exhibition match at Citi Field in New York, home of the Mets.  They drew 39,656 fans, or more than any Mets game other than home opener.  Not bad for two teams that nobody would call powerhouses, or really at all interesting.

The list of athletes who have something objectionable posted on Twitter and later claim they were hacked is a long one.  Check it out, with the subject matter that cause them to come up with that story.

The 15 grossest things in WWE history.  Can't believe Chyna didn't make the cut.

Quick on today as I'm into an all day meeting.  Boo.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

LeBron comes up small


Funniest comment I read after the Boston Bruins 8-1 win from The Sports Pickle: I'm suspicious. Usually when a Boston team is playing this well they're on steroids or have illegally filmed the opponent's practices.  Game 4 goes tonight in Beantown.

Vancouver Canuck Aaron Rome has been suspended for four games for his hit on Nathan Horton, who will be out at least four games with a concussion.  How many games did Sean Avery get for talking junk about Elisha Cuthbert again?  Was more than four, no?  

The Dallas Mavs have evened the NBA Finals with the Miami Heat with am 86-83 win that landed right on the three point spread.  Damn Vegas is good.  No matter what happens next game in Dallas, the series will get decided in Miami.  Can't wait to see what that kind of pressure does to LeBron James and Chris Bosh.

Since the Toronto Blue Jays media and fans love leading the league in anything so much, regardless of sample size, here's another: Kyle Drabek leads the game in walks issued and is on pace for 130 free passes. ESPN's Keith Law told ESPN's Baseball Today Podcast he'd be more surprised to see him sent down to the minors than hit the DL with an elbow issue.  Oh-oh!

If you've been thinking it is a bit odd to see Blackberry so prominently advertising in the Stanley Cup Finals - an ad package worth into seven figures - then it shouldn't seem so odd to read from Forbes that the stories circulating are that NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman has told Jim Balsillie he'll get a team provided he stays in line and doesn't make any more spectacles. 

The Miami Heat parade route has been leaked already.  Map to your right.

Here are Michael Jordan's NBA Finals point totals per game: 36, 33, 29, 28, 30, 39, 39, 26, 32, 46, 33, 31, 42, 44, 55, 41, 33, 28, 29, 36, 23, 26, 22, 31, 38, 26, 22, 38, 38, 33, 37, 24, 34, 28, 45.  And someone wants to say that LeBron James is better than him?  LeBron had all of eight points last night and was largely ineffective on both sides of the floor.  Case closed, not that there ever was one. 

Buster Olney notes that the New York Mets are playing without Johan Santana, David Wright, Ike Davis, and getting little from the corpse known as Jason Bay, and they're almost at .500.  Not too shabby, Mets.

As if the city of Detroit hasn't had enough misery poured on it, word is the Pistons are looking at Isaiah Thomas as coach.

And finally today, remember this original of yours truly: you can't spell "Human Centipede" without "H-E-A-T".  If you're not sure about what the former refers too, be sure to click the link.

In last night's Toronto Blue Jay victory, at the end of the second inning, play by play man Buck Martinez told viewers at the end of the second inning that "the jays are leading 5-3".  The score was 4-1 at the time.  But, there were 5 hits for the Jays and 3 for KC

Chick fight at Wendy's, and this one gets real nasty.  Is that a dude pounding on one at the end?  Just goes to show, never mess with a woman's Baconator.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bruins throttle Canucks

Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals saw things get real ugly in more ways than one.  First, Boston Bruin playoff stud Nathan Horton was stretchered out after a nasty blind side hit from Vancouver Canuck Aaron Rome. If you didn't see the hit - what rock are you living under?  Here it is again.  Nasty.  Had to laugh that post-game, Don Cherry said Rome would get a game.  I've got my money on rest of the series, with 5-10 games to go next season.  Of course, when Ron MacLean said between periods that Horton was "moving his extremities" when he left the building, Cherry added he was "moving his hands and legs too" so you can see what his thoughts are worth.  And no, he wasn't being funny.  Horton's playoffs are over with a bad concussion.

Of course, the other key way the game got nasty was on the scoreboard: the Bruins pasted the Canucks 8-1 after the Horton hit rallied them.  Down the stretch, predictably, things got testy as they tend to do in blowouts, and players were getting tossed left and right and Milan Lucic, among others, even waved a pair of fingers in the face of Game 1 biter and all round dirt merchant Alex Burrows. There was a whole lot of hate on last night, and the Bruins took more than a few runs at the Sedin twins.  Game 4 goes tomorrow and it should be quite interesting, a lot more interesting than the first couple games were anyway.  Up today, Rome is on the carpet with the league.  Damien Cox speculated that he might get a game, five, or twenty...or Horton might get a delay of game penalty, such being the logic of NHL discipline.  Solid.

The last year before this the active leader in wins as a pitcher had under 200 wins? How' bout 1879.

The NFL is prepared for a season as short as eight weeks?  What would they do, just play divisional opponents?  That'd be a real credible Super Bowl winner.

In Dirk Nowitzki's 1998 NBA Draft, six of the top 20 picks were white Americans. None made an All-Star GameDirk and the Dallas Mavs host Miami tonight in Game 4 of their final series.

Great story on Cincinnati Red Brandon Phillips.  A 14-year old suggested to Phillips on Twitter that he should come out and watch his team play that night and with the Reds off that day, Phillips surprised the boy and his team with an appearance.  Very cool.

If you're like me, this will stun you.  The nickname for Boston Bruin Nathan Horton, as confirmed by coach Claude Julien, is...believe it or not..."Horty".

Why I sometimes hate NL baseball: LA Dodgers pitcher Ted Lilly is now on an 0-42 run at the plate.

The Gold Cup is in full swing, the North and Central American regional tourney.  Canada faces the host U.S. in Detroit at Ford Field tonight.  Uncle Sam's Army will be in a surly mood I'm sure after they were pounded 4-0 by world champion Spain on the weekend, but Canada has been known to surprise in this tourney.  8pm kickoff on SportsNet One.

The Cleveland Indians are sliding badly, having dropped five straight.  Not good timing, with the rest of the division riding streaks of a game (Chicago and KC), three games (Detroit) and five games (Minnesota).  The slide has seen the hot New York Yankees move into top spot in the AL.  Not bad when the Yankees offence - homers aside - has yet to really get going this year.

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Miami Heat took a 2-1 series lead last night with an 88-86 win over the Dallas Mavs in the Lone Star State.  The Mavs trailed most of the game and could never seem to find the extra gear to break away when they did get close.  Needless to say, Game 4 falls under "must win" as 3-1 is curtains in the NBA typically.

The Vancouver Canucks are half way to their first Stanley Cup win thanks to Saturday's 3-2 overtime win.  It has been a tight series thus far but the Canucks seem to be in total control of this one.  Perhaps things change in Boston tonight for Game 3.

After Chicago series, Scottie Pippen was declaring that LeBron James was better than one Michael Jordan.  So far this series, it appears to me at least that LeBron is more suited to comparisons with Pippen himself.  And how awesome will it be if Dwayne Wade ends up taking the series MVP?  I'm sure he won't even contain how happy he is that "LeBron came here and joined me".  Emphasis on "joined me".

Love the indignation of Jeff Van Gundy during last night's Game 3 of the NBA Final when a pop held by a fan in the front row spilled on the floor when players chased a loose ball for the delay it caused. Yeah, the 87 timeouts a game are fine though.  Come on.

Why interleague baseball continues to make no sense in terms of scheduling: the Milwaukee Brewers this year will face both the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.  Their divisional rival, St. Louis, will face neither.

Baseball's schedule maker sure was kind to the Toronto Blue Jays the last four weekends as they've faced these cream puffs: Minnesota, Houston, Chicago White Sox and Baltimore, all last place teams save for the ChiSox, who just moved out of second last to Minnesota in the AL Central.  The Jays start a set with the sinking KC Royals today.

June has been a dead zone for the Toronto Blue Jays the last few seasons, judging by this: from 2008 through 2010, the Jays have navigated the first two months of the season in a reasonable 91-73. But in June, they are a combined 31-47.

Former NHLer Donald Brashear has entered the MMA ranks for his post-hockey career, and opened with a win.

Toronto FC's director of player development Paul Mariner says the team is moving along - at a snails pace was left unsaid - and continues to look for players with the right skill set to play the system manager Aron Winter is trying to employ.  I'm all for the system, but the odd result along the way to show it will work long term wouldn't hurt.  Saturday's scoreless draw at home against lowly Sporting KC may have been one of the dullest games I've seen ever.  Speaking of KC, they've yet to play a home game this year as they await completion of their stadium, which is about done looking at this vid and in time for their June 9th home opener, and damn impressive.

Texas Ranger Alexi Ogando is a bit of a feel good story this year for coming from out of nowhere to a 6-0 record with a 2.20 ERA.  That is, of course, if you ignore the five years he spent in jail for human trafficking.

Speaking of the Rangers, they're scoring about two runs more a game when Josh Hamilton is in the lineup, so his health is a big deal to state the obvious.

There are currently 10 pitchers with a WHIP of 1.00 or less in baseball. In 2001 no pitcher posted a WHIP of 1.00 or less.  Runs per game are also down for the fifth straight year.  While the easy and obvious reason would be drug testing, Joel Sherman at the New York Post says "but wait, there's more!"

If Carlos Zambrano is looking for a way out of life as a Chicago Cub, his post-game tirade in which he repeatedly called the team embarrassing, a Triple-A squad, and called out closer Carlos Marmol for how he pitched to St. Louis Cardinal Ryan Theriot late, ought to do it.  Albert Pujols hit two straight walk-off shots off the Cubs the last two days.

It took all of 17 minutes for the Winnipeg should-be-Jets to sell out their 13,000 season tickets.  Never a doubt.  Shame Gary Bettman didn't know that before he opened his mouth.

A 75-year old Belgian man cracks five soccer balls off the bar - intentionally - in 18 seconds.  Damn good.  Seems real too with the trees moving naturally in the background from what I can tell.