Thursday, April 20, 2006

Leafs vs. Pens

Well, at least it was a good game...even though it meant nothing. Of course I would have tickets to the last game of a non-playoff season...sigh.

Anyway, here are a few shots from the game...I have a lot of great ones (gotta love 10x zoom lenses)

Friday, April 14, 2006

A disturbing discovery.

I visited my folks' house this weekend, and instinctively picked up the sports section.

I rifled through it at a much faster rate than normal, and then it hit me: I knew about everything in it already. sports knowledge actually beats the morning paper now. Scary.

The Jays sit at 5-4 after taking the series from Boston...ah Boston, always good for a couple beatings. We own the Red Sox for whatever reason.

Next up is the World Series champion White Sox, and the debut of AJ Burnett. What am I looking for from him in this start? Coming out of it healthy. That's all I ask...he can get torched, I don't care. We need him and Halladay (who will be back next week) firing on all cylinders by the end of the month.

As for the Leafs...well, they've decided to play their best hockey of the year after every intelligent person wrote them off, maybe as a hockey-stick sized middle finger. I wouldn't have expected them to be 3 points out with three games remaining...but I'm still not getting on the bandwagon. I will attempt to regain a foothold on said wagon, however, if three things (and I mean all three things) occur:

1) Tampa Bay loses to Carolina tonight
2) We beat Ottawa on Saturday
3) The final game of the season against Pittsburgh (which I have tickets to) means something.

The first looks quite possible. The second not so much, although there hasn't been a better chance for it to happen, given Ottawa's recent struggles and the Leafs' sudden surge. The third obviously depends greatly on the first two...either way, it'll be a chance to see Sidney Crosby and there might be free stuff, since it's the last game of the season.

It'll be an exciting week for Toronto sports...and I won't need the paper to tell me that.

Friday, April 07, 2006

2-1...Jays looking good so far.

Aside from the 13-4 second-game debacle, the Jays are off to a good start.

The new guys look great...BJ Ryan got a huge ovation for almost every pitch on Tuesday. Glaus and Overbay have gone deep already. And Bengie Molina had a moonshot to left on They were chanting his name after that.

The best part about winning on Opening Day: 50,000+ people were entertained and went home happy, with the thought of coming back. Couldn't have worked out any better for the Jays. And the Skywalk was JAMMED with people, cheering and chanting Let's Go Blue Jays. You'd have sworn it was October 1992 again.

There are a few not-so-good things, naturally. Like bad defense...four errors in the first two games is a little troublesome.

However, I'm not worried. Because baseball is the only major sport where defense does not win you championships. It helps, sure, but it's not what gets you there. Nobody could tell me that the 2004 Red Sox were a top defensive club. And there are no Detroit Pistons or Minnesota Wilds or Baltimore Ravens in baseball; teams that are defense-first simply don't exist. Pitching and defense will get you far, but the emphasis there is on pitching, not defense.

A more important concern for the Jays is the health of AJ Burnett and Ted Lilly. It looks like we've dodged two bullets so far, but I'm not convinced until they each make it through a couple of starts. Josh Towers is a decent pitcher, but as he showed on Wednesday, he is not a #2 guy.

Next up, a three game tilt with Tampa Bay...I expect nothing less than a 4-2 record headed into Boston on the 11th.

I will leave you with a final baseball-related thought, courtesy of the great Bill Simmons of ESPN:

I think the world is separated into two kinds of people -- people who loved "Field of Dreams," and people who don't have a heart.

Couldn't agree more, man. Welcome back, baseball...let's go Blue Jays.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Opening Day!

It's finally here...I can't friggin wait.

I'm heading to the park in about 2 hours to try and get says sold out but having worked at the Dome I know that's BS.

They always hold tickets for gameday, and two Jays cronies confirmed that for me today.

Couple of funny baseball-related items from Opening Week:

-Someone in San Diego threw a syringe at Barry Bonds...genius.
-One of the Jays' promotions at the park this year is Gustavo Chacin Cologne Day. That's right, they're giving out bottles of cologne. Those marketing guys are wacky.

Fantasy Update: A barrage of home runs gave me the early lead in both my money fantasy leagues. Thank you to Albert Pujols, Scott Rolen, Chris Shelton, Adam Dunn, David Wright, and the rest. Keep it up, boys.

As for my pitchers, mixed results...kudos to Curt Schilling, Jake Peavy and Oliver Perez for solid outings. Special thanks to my relievers for the added bonus of saves and garbage-time wins...Billy Wagner, Scot Shields, and Francisco Rodriguez, you rule.

As for Derek Lowe, Carlos Zambrano, Scott Kazmir Jason Schmidt, Bartolo Colon...get it together, or you're dead to me.

Stories and pictures from Opening Day 2006 to come, hopefully.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Gamblor is rearing his ugly head.

Uh oh.

20 bucks for the baseball pool at work, 15 US bucks for a Yahoo money league...and yesterday I broke a 20 at work by buying a $5 Pro Line ticket (which I already lost, thanks Detroit for losing to the Blackhawks!)

I gotta be careful here.

But you know what, why shouldn't I be betting on sports? I'm more knowledgeable than the average guy, and I've learned so much more from working at The Score.

Winning free Yahoo leagues is fun and all, but for all the time and effort I put into it, I'd like to see something back, other than an online trophy and a little bit of pride.

As long as I can keep the betting under control (which, I'll admit, could be difficult), it shouldn't be a problem.

And it's bound to be somewhat lucrative...I bet on the five least-risky hockey teams on that ticket, and would have won 36 bucks; over 7 times what I put in.

So I'm not worried, much...*resisting urge to bet on George Mason*