Wednesday, October 27, 2010

World Series Prediction

I'm a little heart-broken about the Phillies, I admit, and may still be in mourning, but in the meantime, I'll say that I think Texas and San Fran will go to seven games, with Texas coming out on top!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

LCS Preview

Apparenly, I had my National League mojo working when I predicted the Division Series results, but I take full responsibility for underestimating the Texas Rangers and Cliff Lee. I don't take full responsibility for getting the other series wrong; I refuse to pick the Yankees to win anything.

On to the second round and the League Championships!

American League: New York Yankees vs. Texas Rangers - Rangers in 6

I was very impressed with the way that the Rangers played in the ALDS and hope to see them bring the same energy to this series with the Yanks. Cliff Lee is a great motivating factor for Texas when he pitches well. I'll be interested to see how much of a distraction AJ Burnett is if he makes a start in the series.

National League: Philadelphia Phillies vs. San Francisco Giants - Phillies in 5

Roy Halladay, are you kidding me?! Is there anybody more motivated to win the World Series than Doc? He must be an incredibly energizer for the rest of the team when they see how hard he is working and how focussed he is on winning. Giants are the feel-good team of these playoffs so far, but that won't be enough to get past the Phillies.

World Series - Rangers vs. Phillies - Phillies in 6

How fun would a Cliff Lee vs. Roy Halladay World Series game be?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

On the Ryder Cup

  • First of all, WOOT!!!! Watching Europe win this cup was one of my favourite golf moments of all time. What an amazing tournament!
  • Can't help but feel good for Colin Montgomery who was the perfect ambassador for his players, for the tournament and for golf and in the process, was a pretty good ambassador for himself at the same time.
  • I think that the most wonderful score from the Sunday Singles was the following: M. Jimenez defeats B. Watson, 4 & 3. Watson must have felt that he'd been given a gift when he was paired with the aging Spaniard but he'd clearly forgotten the adage that old age and experience defeats youth and a bad haircut everytime. And man, that is a BAD haircut.
  • Phil Mickelson, by virtue of his atrocious record at this cup, becomes the worst American Ryder Cup participant ever, with a record 17 losses. Why does knowing that make me smile?
  • I do want to acknowledge that the Americans made this Ryder Cup a closer affair than I expected and that the display on Sunday was very impressive. But, the American team did lose. Having played a great tournament and having had a bunch of memorable moments doesn't negate that fact. So, and I'm looking at you Sports Illustrated, stop printing articles pretending that it wasn't REALLY a loss. See here, and here and this quotation from SI Senior Writer Jim Gorant about 2012 at Medina: "U.S. Wins 16-12. Write it down." I think the players understand the weight of the loss - it's why the tournament is so great - but this overcompensating media response makes the team look like sore losers.
  • Welcome to the world Graeme McDowell, Ricky Fowler, Martin Kaymer, the Molinaris and Jeff Overton.

See you in Chicago!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Playoff Preview

So! The major league baseball season is now over and the most-exciting month of October is beginning. It's playoff time!

Here are my predictions for the first round:

ALDS:
Texas vs. Tampa Bay - Am I the only one who didn't really realize that Texas was a playoff-caliber team? Have I just not been paying attention? Maybe I just forgot about the AL west altogether. Anyhoo, my pick in this series is Tampa Bay in 4.

New York vs. Minnesota - Based on their records, these two teams are actually pretty evenly matched! I'm going to take Minnesota in 5.

NLDS:
Cincinnati vs. Philadelphia - This one's easy. Philly in 3.

Atlanta vs. San Francisco - I think that this has the potential to be the hardest fought, most-hotly contested series of the first round, based on the fact that both these teams had to fight right to the last day of the season to make it into the playoffs. I'm going to go with San Fran in 5.

Now, here' s what I think will happen in the subsequent rounds, if my predictions above are correct (and I will revisit the following if I turn out to be wrong about any of the Division Series)

Tampa Bay vs. Minnesota - Tampa Bay in 6
Philly vs. San Fran - Philly in 5

Tampa Bay vs. Philly - Philly in 7

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Sports Shorts

Hi all. Sorry for the paucity of sports blogging of late. Here are a few things that have been on mind!
  • Good for Tiger for making it a relatively easy decision for Corey Pavin to add him to the US Ryder Cup Team by playing increasingly better golf in the last few weeks. I'm actually a bit surprised that Pavin took Ricky Fowler over JB Holmes, but then again, I haven't been keeping a Ryder Cup captain's eye on these guys all season so presumably, Pavin knows something that I don't. Anyhoo... Go Europe!
  • Speaking of Tiger... Undoubtedly, making the top 30 in the Fed Ex Cup rankings in order to get into the Tour Championship will be his toughest test of these playoffs. He will need to be at or close to the very top of the leaderboard next week in order to make it happen, which will be very difficult given how well people like Stricker, Hoffman, Day, Kuchar and others have been playing. But does anybody want to bet against him?
  • Tom Verducci has an interesting idea about making the run-up to the MLB playoffs more exciting by adding a second wild card place. Read more details here. I like it!
  • Speaking of the playoffs... YAY! Definitely some predictions and picks to come!
  • I'm excited to see a young Blue Jays team continue to develop next season. I'm excited to see a young Oilers team begin to build some foundation next season. I don't want to talk about the Eskimos.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

BREAKING NEWS

In a shocking turn of events, Brett Favre has announced that he will not be returning to the Minnesota Vikings next season. I never saw that comi - ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Friday, July 30, 2010

On the Miami Heat

I don't blog a lot about basketball. I don't know a great deal about the sport or its players and I really only glance at the headlines as they go past. But I couldn't help sit up and take interest in the recent free agent affair that resulted in both LeBron James and Chris Bosh joining Dwayne Wade in Miami.

My first instinct after hearing about deal is to express loudly and repeatedly how much I now hate the Miami Heat. I just can't stand that whole "let's buy a trophy" mentality. It makes me want them to lose and lose badly and lose a lot. It makes me want the three mega-stars to fall all over each other, to argue, to do more harm than good.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that the real story is how potentially bad this news is for the NBA overall. Great stories in the NBA have come from great team rivalries based around great players. Think about Michael Jordan and Isaiah Thomas. Larry Bird and Magic Johnson or Kareem Abdul Jabbar. And the current and growing rivalry between Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett. These rivalries are the stuff of legends, the stuff of mega-drama, the stuff that draws in people like me, who wouldn't otherwise spend a lot of time caring about basketball. Great rivalries are what make sports themselves great.

By stuffing these three stars into the Heat lineup, the NBA has lost the potential for at least one great rivalry. Wade and James could have been a rivalry of the same ilk as those above. But instead, we'll see them on the same team, helping rather than challenging each other and probably, winning without a whole lot of challenge from most teams. How boring.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A bit late...

... but here's my review of our Blue Jays experience in Toronto!!

We saw the Jays play Boston on July 9 at the Rogers Center. It was an absolutely beautiful evening in Toronto and the roof was open. Our seats were about 16 rows up on the third base line. We had purchased souvenirs. We had had a fantastic meal at the Irish Embassy Pub earlier in the day and we had visited the Hockey Hall of Fame and we had a beautiful room at the Fairmont Royal York and life was good and nothing could possibly spoil it.

Well... maybe not nothing. It's possible that a 14-3 Red Sox pounding could spoil the nice evening. It was a laugher. Jays pitcher Ricky Romero was off his game and the Jays bats didn't come alive until it was much too late in the game to have an impact. It was so sad that we had traveled all that way for one Jays game and that was the result.

We woke up the next morning and started thinking about heading back to Ottawa. And then, my husband looked at the newspaper. "You know," he said. "The Jays are playing again this afternoon. First pitch is at 1pm. We could see the game and still be back in Ottawa by 10pm." There was a long silence. Twenty minutes later, we were heading back to Rogers Center.

The Jays did much better on Saturday. Brandon Morrow didn't pitch a great game, but the Jays more than made up for it with consistent offensive output. The final score was 9-5 for the home team.

The whole experience, good and bad, just reminded me how much live baseball is an experience in and of itself. You can't replicate the smell or the sounds of the experience at home, even in HD. I can't wait for the next game I get to see!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Blue Jays Update

So next week, John and I will be attending the Blue Jays game against Boston at the Rogers Centre. I ... am... EXCITED!

So, let's have a look at how the Jays are doing leading up to that series...

...
...
Doh.

The Jays are struggling. They've fallen to .500, they are 3-7 in their last ten games, and they are now 9 games back in the AL East. And to top it all off, they gave up ELEVEN runs in the third inning today against the Yankees, only a day after taking the first game of the series in an exciting 11 inning win.

So, I'm the first to admit that the Jays hot start to the season was unlikely to be maintained. The team is just too young, especially in the pitching rotation, to reasonably be expected to content consistently through the long MLB season. But still, I'm disappointed. Every year when the Jays get off to a good start it ignites a tiny glimmer of hope in the back of my mind that this is the year that the Jays will contend.

Allll that being said, I'm still excited for the game next week. There should be a good crowd at the Rogers Centre for this AL East battle, I'm hopeful to see a good pitching performance from one of the Jays' young guns and doubly hopeful to see some big offense, which we all know these Jays are capable of.

Come on JAYS!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Golf Lesson

This coming Monday, I am having my first-ever golf lesson.

I expect to be an incredible flawless golfer by the time the hour-long lesson is over.

That seems reasonable.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Thoughts on the US Open

  • Graeme McDowell didn't really win the US Open, but he was the only one who didn't lose. That's not intended to take anything away from the guy, but Pebble Beach should, at this moment, be putting that trophy on her own mantle.
  • I have never felt so uncomfortable watching golf as I did watching Dustin Johnson implode on the front nine.
  • It was fun to see Tiger play like Tiger in the 3rd round on Saturday. And the response that he got from the crowd just goes to show you that people want to watch exciting golf and they will cheer for the person who makes it most exciting. His personal faults aside, there is still nobody more exciting than Tiger when he's 'on.' That shot on eighteen? Wow...
  • Television coverage of the US Open was fantastic! Six hours of coverage on Sunday instead of the usual three? Well done NBC, even if it did take you 12 minutes to show a live shot when that coverage started.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sad News

I was sorry today to read about the death of Manute Bol, the 7'7" basketball player from the Sudan.

While he had a bit of an odd career, and may be remembered more for some bizarre publicity attempts, (included a brief hockey career) I was always touched by his passion for his home country and his tireless humanitarian efforts on the country's behalf.

RIP

Friday, June 18, 2010

Ridiculous things that sports broadcasters say, cont.

"And England skated to a tie this afternoon at the World Cup"

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...

...

Wow. American misunderstanding of soccer is worse than I thought.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Cranking the blogging wheel back into action...

I'm back!

And vuvuzela is my new favourite word!
  • I'm loving the World Cup. I haven't had a chance to watch much live action, but I've enjoyed reading about the games, following the stories and getting the opportunity here and there to listen to highlights.
  • The Jays are suffering from a little bit of a road slump that's troubling, against teams that they should be beating. Overall though, it's been exciting to see the team over achieve, demonstrate fanastic young pitching and not panic when games go awry. The power numbers are exciting and I love some of the new guys, John Buck especially.
  • Two games of golf under my belt for the year. Nice to be back outside in the sun swinging a club. Hoping to take a couple of lessons, perhaps, before the end of the summer to try and improve my game.
I'm looking forward to reflecting on the sports world again!

Friday, April 23, 2010

I'm thinking...

... that Alex Rodriguez doesn't run across the pitching mound if the opposing pitcher is Randy Johnson or Roy Halladay or Pedro Martinez or Josh Beckett.

Just sayin'.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A tiny piece of good news!

So, in the midst of all other things athletic going on right now (Go Canada!), a little piece of excellent news came out of Canadian baseball this week.

Buck Martinez is back.

He will be joining the Rogers Sportsnet broadcasts of Blue Jays games for the 2010-11 season. This news is good because Buck Martinez was always a wonderfully astute broadcaster for TSN in partnership with Dan Schulman, before making that forgettable and regrettable move to coaching in 2007. (Shh... let's just not talk about it, shall we?)

The only sad part of the story is that he's replacing Jamie Campbell, who I actually quite liked as well. Hopefully they have something exciting planned for him!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

All my teams suck.

Let's innumerate, shall we?

1) NHL: The Edmonton Oilers are a terrible terrible terrible team. Terrible. And they are currently playing hockey like they don't care that they're horrible. I caught the tail-end of a game the other day and when I started watching, the Oilers were winning. And I thought, "By the end of the game, the Oilers will be losing." And they were. I just knew it. How sad is that, to have completely lost faith that your team is capable of winning anything!?

2) MLB: Look, I know what I said. I said that the Halladay trade worked out well for the Jays and that the combination of that young talent and a strong coaching staff would hopefully result in a winning team down the road. Screw that. I WANT A WINNING TEAM NOW!! 1993 was a very long time ago. Sigh.

3) CFL: The Edmonton Eskimos did make the playoffs last season, barely, and then whimpered out of them pretty fast. Since the Esks won the Grey Cup in 2005 and then missed the playoffs the next year FOR THE FIRST TIME IN 35 YEARS, they've been playing that kind of "we're the underdog and we're scrappy" role that doesn't, oddly enough, actually result in a whole lot of winning.

I WANT MY TEAMS TO WIN. A LOT. WITH NO MERCY.

I want losing to be the surprise, not the other way around.

I want my teams to stop being the butt of jokes.

I'VE PAID MY DUES. PLEEEEEEEEASE!

Sigh.

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...

...

Maybe it's somehow my fault...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hall of Fame

So!!

Great news to see that Andre Dawson had finally been elected to the Hall of Fame after waiting so long.

And in enjoying my delight at Dawson's election, I was pleased to see that former Blue Jays pitcher Pat Hentgen received at least one vote!! That may be the closest he ever gets, but still! Yay for Pat!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

On Roy

So...

What do I, as a die-hard Blue Jays fan, think about the Jays trading Roy Halladay to the Phillies?

I am remarkably at peace with it.

Obviously, it's sad for the Jays to lose a player of Halladay's talent and character. He was, by far, the most exciting reason to catch a Jays game in recent memory. I was blessed to see him live at a Jays game in the summer of 2005, a game he uncharacteristically lost to the Baltimore Orioles of all teams. But it was still great to see him.

But we all knew that he was going to be traded. And knowing that, I was relieved that he wasn't traded to any AL East team and that he extended his contract with the Phillies so that he wouldn't just play out the year with them and THEN go to the Yankees or Red Sox.

I think that the Jays have always had good coaching relationships with young players and a good farm system, so I'm excited to see how the young players that the Jays received in the trade will blossom in that system and under Jays coaches.

And Roy's full-page ad in the Toronto Sun encapsulated what an incredibly classy, gracious and community-minded player he has been in his time in Toronto. And with a guy like that, it's hard not to cheer for him no matter where he plays.

Dear Fox NFL Broadcasters,

"Interpretated" is not a word.

Thank you.








PS I know that I've been a sad and negligent sports blogger of late. I'm hoping to do a year in review kind of post later today and there are a number of other posts brewing, including my thoughts about the Halladay trade.