Archive for October, 2009
It was Game 2 of the World Series, and the Yankees were hoping to even the series before it heads back to Philly. On the mound, it was the Yanks A.J. Burnett v. the Phillies Pedro Martinez. And Martinez is no stranger to playing against the Yankee crowd in post-season. Well, the Phils got up early when their aging veteran, Matt Stairs, knocked in a run. Then, it was Yankees time, as they got key home runs from both Mark Tiexeira and Hideki Matsui. 2-1 Yanks. And in the 7th, Jorge Posada crushed a single to bring in another run. 3-1 Yanks. The Phillies got some baserunners in the top of the 8th, but Chase Utley grounded into a double play to end the inning (although, upon review, he was safe). New York’s Marianno Rivera saved yet another post-season game, as the Yankees evened the series. NY Yankees 3, Philadelphia 2.
Elsewhere in baseball, directly after their season ended, St. Louis’ Albert Pujols, arguably the best player in baseball, mentioned he didn’t know if he wanted to renew his contract with the Cards. Perhaps he hoped to cash-in by playing for one of the supermarkets (NY, LA, Chicago). Well, yesterday Pujols said that he wants to, in fact, spend the rest of his career with the Cardinals. He said he’s in no hurry to lock up an extended contract, but said if they came to him tomorrow and offered him a long-term deal, he’d definitely listen. Furthermore, Pujols praised the hiring of former Cardinal slugger Mark McGwire as their new hitting coach.
In the NFL, it appears that there will be a change at quarterback in Tennessee. The Titans are off to an 0-6 start, and they will bench their veteran QB, Kerry Collins, in favor of the packed-with-POTENTIAL young QB, Vince Young. Young has been dying to play all year, and has even told the media that he still plans to be in the Hall of Fame. Currently, his HOF resume doesn’t look too promising, but the Titans definitely need SOMETHING different to make them even a little competitive this season.
And finally, the pre-season college basketball polls were released yesterday, and, unanimously, Kansas was picked as the #1 seed. Primarily because they have a huge freshman prospect Xavier Henry. Also, they have most of their team back from last year. Behind them: #2 Michigan State, #3 Texas, #4 North Carolina, and #5 John Calipari’s Kentucky (another team loaded with blue-chippers). Of course, we will definitely see a shake-up sooner than later.No comments
It was opening night in the NBA, and the marquee match-up… LeBron and the Cavs hosting a healthy, all-star packed Celtics squad. And remember, LeBron has the company of Shaq this season. Would he help them get over the hump? Well, the Cavs certainly put on a show for their home crowd, and LeBron put up an impressive 38 points. However, just like last season, he didn’t really have the help he needed (Shaq only put up 10 points), and the the Celts were just too powerful. Paul Pierce led the way with 23 points. For the Cavs, losing your first home game, when you only lost one regular season home game the previous year… not a good start. Boston 95, Cleveland 89.
Elsewhere, the defending champs, the Los Angeles Lakers debuted last night. Their first opponent, the inter-city rival Los Angeles Clippers. The Clips were primed to come out strong, but just yesterday they received some heartbreaking news, as their #1 draft pick and savior, Blake Griffin, will reportedly be sidelined for 6 weeks with a knee injury. That’s both a blow, and further proof of Clipper franchise bad luck. However, the Clips still held their own with the Lakeshow, and the game was close until midway through the 4th quarter. Kobe Bryant showed no signs of slowing. He put up 33 points in the debut, and the Lakers look like the team to beat again in the West. LA Lakers 99, LA Clippers 92.
And in the NFL, apparently the owner of the Tennessee Titans wants head coach Jeff Fisher to start Vince Young in the next game. Young got off to a slow start in his career, and was eventually benched in favor of the veteran Kerry Collins. Collins turned in an incredible performance last season, and earned the starting gig coming into the season. But the Titans are now 0-6, and the owner wants to see a change. Supposedly, Young is a changed man, and ready to play. We’ll see if he does, in fact, get the start on Sunday, and find out if it helps the Titans luck this season.No comments
In the NFL, the Washington Redskins were hoping to show the world that they’re not that bad. Earlier this week, their head coach, Jim Zorn, lost his play-calling duties, and wouldn’t be calling the shots tonight. Unfortunately for Washington fans, they failed to accomplish the ‘we-don’t-stink’ goal. Within minutes, Eagles wide-receiver, DeSean Jackson, ran for a 67 yard touchdown. And later that quarter, the Eagles intercepted a pass for a TD. Suddenly, the Skins were down 14-0. And from that point forth, it was all Eagles. The Skins got a couple short touchdown passes from QB Jason Campbell, but it just wasn’t enough. Philadelphia 27, Washington 17.
Elsewhere in the NFL, a comeback story out of San Francisco. A few years ago, Alex Smith was drafted #1 overall by the 49ers to be their savior. Well, the experiment did not work out, and even this season, he was benched in favor of a previously undrafted QB in Shaun Hill. Well, Smith came in to the second half in their game against the Texans, and absolutely shined, throwing for 3 touchdown passes. The Niners lost the game, but Smith definitely impressed head coach Mike Singletary. And yesterday, he was officially named the team’s starter. Smith really wants to do well, and his tough road definitely will lead to an extremely motivated performance. 49er fans (including myself) should be excited about this!!!!
Finally, the NBA season kicks off today, and you can bet that all teams are ready. Will the Lakers repeat? Will the Celtics get back to the top spot? Will LeBron win a championship for his hometown Cleveland before he becomes a free agent next summer? Will #1 Draft Pick Blake Griffin turn out to be the superstar that everyone thought? So many questions heading into the year.No comments
Sunday night was Game 6 of the ALCS between the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Angels. The Angels had to rally to even get to this point, but the Yankees were looking to close it out in Game 6, and avoid the risk of an ‘anything goes’ Game 7. Well, the Yankees got up 3-1 early, but a clutch hit by Vlad Gurerro would pull the Angels to 3-2 in the 8th inning. Unfortunately, the Angles just couldn’t keep the Yanks down in the bottom of the 8th. Recently acquired Scott Kazmir gave up 2 more runs, increasing the Yankees lead to 5-2. That’s a tough deficit to make up against the Yankees in one inning (against Mariano Rivera no less). And the Angles couldn’t do it. The Yankees held on, sending them back to their first World Series since 2003. They will take on the Phillies in what will surely be an extremely memorable match-up. NY Yankees 5, LA Angels 2.
In college football, some controversial news out of Oklahoma. Entering the season, the Sooners were expected to compete for the National Championships. However, with some injuries to their Heisman winning quarterback, Sam Bradford, they stumbled out of the gate, and picked up some losses. Bradford now has to have season-ending shoulder surgery, but in a turn of events, Bradford has stated that he will not be back at Oklahoma next year. Bradford intends to enter the NFL draft, where he should be one of the top picks. In other words, Bradford kind of left the Sooners hanging.
And in the NFL, Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson, and the Vikings hoped to stay undefeated when they traveled to play the defending champion, Pittsburgh Steelers. Pittsburgh had a completely healthy Troy Polamalu back on defense, and were ready to play THEIR game against the Vikes. Well, the game was nothing short of exciting, although the Steelers did keep Vikings superstar running-back, Adrian Peterson, in check. Then, with just one minute to go and the Vikings trailing 20-17, Brett Favre was the Brett Favre of the “recent past”, as he threw an interception that was returned for an 82 yard touchdown by the Steelers Keyaron Fox. And with that, the Steelers kill the Vikings unbeaten streak. Pittsburgh 27, Minnesota 17.
Finally, as we reported last week, Bengals running-back, Cedric Benson would get the opportunity for revenge against his former team, the Chicago Bears. Benson said he had a horrible experience in Chicago, and that the players were mean to him and lied about him to the press. Could he show them what they were missing at home in Cincy. The answer: YES!!! The Bengals absolutely trounced the Bears. Carson Palmer threw for, count ’em, 5 touchdowns, and Benson… he did HIS thing, rushing for 189 yards and a touchdown. Wow! Ladies and gentleman, the Bengals are for real… and should be feared! Cincinnati 45, Chicago 10.No comments
WATERCOOLER CHAT: ANGELS SURVIVE ANOTHER DAY, MAGIC JOHNSON UPSET WITH THOMAS, QUINN MILLION DOLLAR DECISION
With the Philadelphia Phillies advancing to the World Series yesterday, the New York Yankees hoped they could wrap things up with the Angels and start preparing for the Championship. However, the Angels would not make it easy. They got up early, and were up 4-0 at the end of the 4th inning. But the Yankees would rally in the 7th behind clutch, run-scoring hits from Mark Teixeira, Hideki Matsui, and Robinson Cano, and suddenly, it was 6-4 Yankees. Whoa, that’s like being hit by a train. 6 runs in one inning??!!! Well, there would be more, as the Angels rallied back in the bottom of the 7th inning. Bobby Abreu, Vlad Guerrero, and Kendry Morales were the heroes, knocking in some crucial RBIs, and the Angels took a 7-6 lead, which they would hold to win Game 5. Now, the Angels head back to the New York, hoping to rally and get back to the World Series. LA Angels 7, NY Yankees 6.
A shocking story of gossip. In Magic Johnson’s new book, Magic Johnson said that Isaiah Thomas spread rumors that Magic was gay. This comes as a huge surprise to Thomas, who said that never happened. Apparently, Johnson and Thomas were best friends back in their heyday — their families even vacationed together. Now, Johnson won’t even speak to Thomas, saying that Thomas made his public revealing that he was HIV positive a horrible experience. It was bad enough having HIV during the huge AIDS scare of the early ’90s, but to have these rumors spread as well was a terrible experience for Johnson. Remember, players wouldn’t even go near him at the time. It must have been extraordinarily alienating.
Finally, some interesting news out of football. A few years ago, the Cleveland Browns signed Notre Dame phenom quarterback Brady Quinn to be their guy. He didn’t play for awhile, and this year he was finally named the starting quarterback. Well, in the NFL, big contracts are based on incentives and performance. However, Quinn was recently benched due to poor performance. In Quinn’s case, he needs to take 70 percent of the snaps this year in order to own 2 big bonuses. Around 5 milion for this year, and 5 million for next year (it’s a bit confusing, but that’s how it works). Well, by standing on the sidelines this weekend, he would dip below the 70 percent mark and lose out on that money. Can you believe that? Losing $10 million because the coach decided not to start you. That must be driving him insane. How life changing is that coaching decision right now? Sure, if the Browns go with the Derek Anderson, they might lose, or they might narrowly win a game, but it’s meaningless in the grand scheme of things. But in Quinn’s case, it’s the difference between a life of wealth and security, and thinking about a job after football.No comments
It was Game 5 in Philadelphia between the Phillies and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers needed a win to stay alive, and the Phillies were hoping to put this series behind them and advance to their second straight World Series. Well, the Phillies started out hot and didn’t look back. Behind homers from Jayson Werth, Pedro Feliz, and Shane Victorino, the Phillies cruised to an easy victory. This is super exciting for Philly fans, who get to watch their team try and win back to back World Series Championships. Meanwhile, it’s frustrating news for the Dodgers, who will have to do it all again next year. Not a given in Dodgerland. Congrats to the Phillies.
In college football, the typically dominant Ohio State has seriously struggled this season. Their head coach, Jim Tressell (nicknamed “The Vest”, because he’s always wearing… a vest), has been on the hot seat, and there’s talk of replacing him. Additionally, two years ago, Ohio State recruited the most coveted prospect in the country, QB Terrelle Pryor. This was one of those press conference recruitments, where sports writers and major universities awaited his final word. Well, things haven’t worked out with Pryor, and now his old High School coach is chiming in. He said that Tressell and Ohio State are not using Pryor right. “He needs to run more”, his High School Coach said, following it up by saying that when he watches Pryor play now, he sees a robot. This will hurt Pryor’s draft stock, to be sure, unless he turns it around.
Finally, some gossip out of the NFL in both Dallas and Cincinnati. In Dallas, Cowboys wide-receiver Patrick Crayton has lambasted coaches because they decided to relegate him from the #2 receiver role to the #3 role. Obviously, Dallas football is more of soap opera than other cities, but Crayton was primarily upset that nobody told him. He said that he came to practice, and saw Austin Miles running his typical drills. That’s when it hurts the most, when you realize it yourself.
And in Cincy, Bengals running back Cedric Benson has proved this season that he has the goods. He’s a reliable back putting up solid yardage. In Chicago, however, Benson didn’t perform up to par , and looked to be a draft bust (he was #4 overall). Now, Benson is talking, saying that the entire Chicago organization put him in a bad light. When Benson was released by the Bears, he spent 4 months with no job, and, apparently, when teams called the Bears for recommendations, there were reports that Benson was a prima donna and constantly out of shape. Now Benson’s saying that’s not true, and his Bengals teammates support it. Well, he’ll get a chance to put it all on the field when the Bears take on the Bengals in Cincy Sunday.No comments
On Monday night football, it was a battle between the undefeated Denver Broncos, and the something-to-prove San Diego Chargers. Many thought that if Denver could get by San Diego IN San Diego, it would solidify them as an elite team this year. Well, Denver jumped out early behind two returned kicks by Eddie Royal (one punt, one kick-off). Royal has been practically dormant this year, but he showed up in a big way last night. But, just when the Broncos thought they had it under control, the Chargers speed demon Darren Sproles ran back a punt return for a TD. And suddenly, it was 20-17 San Diego at the half.
In the second half, however, it was all Denver. Orton threw 2 touchdown passes, one to Tight End Tony Scheffler and the other to slot-man Brandon Stokley, and the Broncos would cruise to as victory. They are now 6-0, and showing no signs of slowing down. Remember, they also beat New England a few weeks ago. So at this point, there’s no saying who or what can bring them down. Pretty good considering that people wrote them off for dead when they lost Cutler, who’s dying a slow death in Chicago right now. Denver 34, San Diego 23.
And in baseball playoffs, there were two unbelivable thrillers yesterday. First up, it was the New York Yankees traveling to take on the Los Angeles Angles. The Yanks had a 2-0 lead headed into the game, and many have been predicting them to sweep the series. Headed into the 5th inning, it looked that way with the Yankees up 3-0, but the Angels would battle back to take a 4-3 lead behind homers from Howie Kendrick and Vladamir Guerrero. Then the Yankees Jorge Posada tied it up wih a blast in the 8th, and the game would require extra innings. The Angels had a huge chance to win it in the 10th with a man on 3rd with NO outs, but they just couldn’t do it. However, in the bottom of the 11th, the Angels Jeff Mathis doubled to right to drive in the winning run. Wow! And the Angels now only trail 2-1 in the series. Do not rule them out. LA Angels 5, NY Yankees 4.
Finally, just when you thought it couldn’t get any more exciting, bring on the Dodgers and the Phillies. The Dogers led 4-3 headed into the bottom of the ninth inning, and they were confident they would tie the series. They got one out, two outs, and only needed one more out to take the win. Well, the Phillies were able to get two men on base, and up came Phillies star Jimmy Rollins. He would face Dodgers all-star closer Jonathan Broxton. Rollins is tough, however, and he did what he needed to do, nailing a brilliant shot to centerfield that would drive in not only the tying run, but also the winning run. And just like that, the Phils go from down 1 with two outs in the ninth to being up 3 games to 1 in the National League Championship Series. Incredible!! Baseball at its finest. Philadelphia 5, LA Dodgers 4.No comments
In baseball playoffs, with the National League Championship Series tied, the onus was on the Philadelphia Phillies to win their first home game. This way, you take a stand that you will NOT be beaten in your house, no matter how good your opponent is. Well, the Phillies definitely answered that call. They absolutely trounced the LA Dodgers! Cliff Lee, mid-season acquisition and former Cy Young Award winner, took the mound for Philly. And he was simply terrific — pitching 8 innings, giving up only 3 hits, and striking out 10 Dodgers. Wow! The Dodgers put, count ’em, 0 runs. They couldn’t do squat against Lee. Meanwhile, however, the Phils were on fire. Jayson Werth got his first NLCS homer (a 2-run shot), and Shane Victorino homered in the 8th for 3 more runs. The Phils now have a 2-1 lead on the Dodgers. Philadelphia 11, LA Dodgers 0.
In football, all eyes were on the marquee matchup between two undefeated teams in what could possibly be a NFC Championship preview: The New York Giants and the New Orlean Saints. The game was in New Orleans’ Superdome, giving the Saints a bit of an edge, but Giants QB Eli Manning is best when he doesn’t have to worry about weather conditions. With that said, it was not his day. Manning threw for a paltry 178 yards and 1 TD. Meanwhile, however, Dree Brees went off! The Saints scored on their first 4 possessions, and Brees finished the day with 369 yards and 4TDs. Incredible. The Saints remain unbeaten, and the Giants will have to go back to the drawing board. New Orleans 48, NY Giants 27.
Elsewhere, in New England, the electric Tom Brady powered offense was back FULL FORCE. The Patriots have been slow out of the gate, but they got the opportunity to play the Tennessee Titans in the snow (the Pats are used to it, the Titans are not). And Brady was simply unstoppable. In the first half alone, he threw for 5 touchdowns, and they didn’t even even bench him at the half up 45-0. Nope, he threw one more touchdown, bringing his end of day stats to 380 yards and 6 touchdowns. People… that was essentially in half. If they would have left him in aginst an awful, snowdazed Titans defense, he very well could have thrown 10 touchdowns and 700 yards. Looks like the Pats of ’07 might just be back. New England 59, Tennessee 0.
And, the biggest story of the day in the NFL… the Oakland Raiders. The Raiders have been abysmal this season, showing no concern for their woes, pitiful anti-progress, or genuine apathy towards winning. The Philadelphia Eagles came to town and were expected to serve up a whooping like other teams. But, all the sudden, the Raiders jumped out to an early lead thanks to an 86 yard pass from JaMarcus Russell to Tight End Zach Miller. Whoa, the Raiders are winning??!! Surely, it was a fluke, and the Eagles would put up 21 straight points, right? Nope, the Raiders defense showed up too, and Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb couldn’t get anything going. Finally, the whistle blew, and the Raiders had won the game!! What?????!!!! They’re still bad, but, oddly, they’re 2-4. 2 more wins and they’re at 500. Could the Raiders really turn it around??? Oakland 13, Philadelphia 9.No comments
Last night marked the debut of the National League Championship Series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers. Both teams look hot right now, so, really, it was anybody’s game. James Loney got the Dodgers excited, hitting a homer off Phillies ace Cole Hamels in the second inning. But, Philly would rally in the 5th behind a clutch home run from Carlos Ruiz and a Ryan Howard double that would score 2 runs. 5-1 Phillies. The Dodgers would answer that same inning with a ‘golf-stance homerun’ from Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez. Now… it’s 5-4.
Then, in the 8th inning, the Phillies Raul Ibanez stepped to the plate with two men on base, and… creamed the ball to right field for a 3-run homer. And the Phils were up 8-5. LA grabbed one more run in the 8th themselves, but that’s all they could do. The Philly offense was just too on, and the Phillies nab a game on the road. As of now, the Phillies have won 15 of their 19 post-season games. Philadelphia 8, LA Dodgers 6.
And finally, after their agonizing 3-and-out loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers, the St. Louis Cardinals got even more bad news. Reportedly, their megastar, Albert Pujols, said that he didn’t know if he would renew his contract with the Cardinals next season. Many feel that Pujols is probably the best player in the league, and question why he’s remained in such a small market so long. Well, when you kill yourself all season, don’t do steroids, AND THEN LOSE IN 3 QUICK GAMES, you start to wonder if there isn’t something brighter on the horizon. Pujols may be getting that big market itch. Bigger city, more TV attention, and a lot more money. You can guarantee the Yankees have already called him.
In the NBA, a major developing story. Apparently, the Cleveland Cavaliers are treating their superstar, LeBron James, for the swine flu. That’s right, what started as the scariest outbreak in years, has now affected one the country’s biggest sports stars. He’s been sick in bed for two days, and when he returned to practice, understandably, the team didn’t want to be around him. Seriously, nobody wants to catch that sickness, and not even the superstar of the NBA isn’t immune to the alienation. Two other Cavs are being treated as well: Darnell Jackson and Coby Karl. We’ll see how this story develops.1 comment
In the NFL, the Jacksonville Jaguars received a serious beatdown on Sunday, losing 41-0 to the Seattle Seahawks. It was huge shocker, as just a week prior, the Jags regained their reputation for being one of the league’s stronger teams. Well, their star running back, Maurice-Jones Drew, lashed out at the team publicly at a press conference. He said that the play calling was horrible, and that they need to run the ball more. He even called himself “the highest paid decoy in the league”. He and the Saints Reggie Bush, both of whom have high pay checks, but are consistently in the game just to fool defenses. Jones-Drew said that was inefficient, and that coach Jack Del Rio needs to run the ball more. If you run it more, the defenses respect the run game, which opens up the pass game, and then, later, the run game becomes very scary, as defenses know you could do anything in a stressful moment. We’ll see how this progresses, but, for now, Jones-Drew is not happy.
Elsewhere in the NFL, the Chicago Bears Jay Cutler was speechless when a reporter asked if the Chicago Bears would acquire Terrell Owens from Buffalo. The T.O. experiment is not working out in Buffalo, and the Bears are desperate for a stud receiver. Their QB has a canon arm, just nobody to throw too. T.O. would give them a huge threat, and open up their run game for superstar Matt Forte. Cutler, however, didn’t comment on it, saying he didn’t think they were going to trade for him, nor did he think they would tell him about it. When asked if Cutler and T.O. were talking about it (via Twitter), Cutler said he didn’t even know T.O. But he did watch his reality show, and said it was “humorous”.
And finally, after a heated debate, the group that was poised to buy the St. Louis Rams have dropped Rush Limbaugh from their bid. There has been a tremendous amount of opposition towards Limbaugh owning an NFL franchise, and if the group were to have any chance of making the buy, they would have to abandon Limbaugh. In the NFL, 3/4 of all the owners have to decide if they want you to own a franchise, and with Limbaugh on the ticket, the buying group was convinced they didn’t have a chance at that. This begs the question: How much does this really matter to Rush Limbaugh? Will it really affect his life in anyway?1 comment