Monday, May 01, 2006

Monday's Notable - The Hazies

Hey Peeps and anyone else checking in. A special "Hey" goes out to Hazel Mae.

Another Monday, another edition of the Hazies; for those of you who haven't been here before, Monday entries take a look back at some of the more notable performances from the world of sports over the weekend. The outstanding performers are awarded a "Hazie" award, with the title of "Hazel's Hero" bestowed upon them - while Hazel hasn't officially ok'd the choices, we'd like to think she give the thumbs up and hand out the hardware.

On the flip side, there are the performances that are notable for the opposite reason - the "not-so-heroic". As with the Hazies, Hazel hasn't officially approved the nominees on this list, but we'd like to think she would agree, and maybe have a laugh or two over them.


Jose Mourinho led Chelsea (aka Portuguese National Team North) to their second consecutive Premiership title, after a 3-0 win over Manchester United. Mourinho celebrated the championship by throwing his medal and his jacket up into the stands - he was quoted as saying the fans deserved a medal for their part in Chelsea's unbelievable unbeaten string at Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho, always the provocative one, told the British press that he had considered leaving Chelsea - due to a lack of respect and recognition. While the British press have tried to minimize his accomplishments, mainly due to Chelsea's payroll, Mourinho has succeeded in leading his team to two successive championships WITHOUT a team of big name stars. Yes, Petr Cech is arguably the best goalie in the world; and yes, John Terry is a world class defender - but Chelsea isn't made up of world all-stars like Real Madrid, they don't have a Ronaldinho or Deco to turn to, they don't have a Thierry Henry to bust games open for them. They do it good players who play a system. Think Mourinho has it easy with a big budget at his disposal? Ask Real Madrid how well it works for them...ask Joe Torre and Terry Francona how hard it is to win two in a row. Mourinho has won FOUR league championships in a row (two with Chelsea and two with F.C. Porto) along with a Champions League Cup and UEFA Cup. The guy deserves a lot more credit than he is given.

Hazel, would you please invite Jose up to the stage to accept his award?

This week's nominee for the "not-so-heroic" goes to Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson - Mourinho's nemesis in the Premiership. The old Scot was his usual crusty self after losing to Chelsea again - this time, he was at his bitter best; rather than acknowledge Mourinho's accomplishment, Ferguson decided to make headlines by quashing the hopes of English soccer fans about Wayne Rooney's possible participation in the World Cup. England's Manager Sven-Goran Eriksson told the press Rooney might be back for the round of 16 after breaking his foot on Saturday - Ferguson was quick to say Rooney wouldn't be back. You think he's a little bitter?


As I type this, Ales Hemsky of the Oilers just scored with 1:06 remaining in the 3rd period - Edmonton is about to knock the Red Wings out of the playoffs - and put me in a great position to win both of my playoff pools. The Oilers fought back from a 2-0 first period deficit and being down 3-2 in the 3rd period (scoring two in the last five minutes). Didn't I say the Red Wings were ripe for the picking? The best part of all of this? Former Bruin Sergei Samsonov set up the game winner...Jack Edwards must be cringing.

The Oilers get a team Hazie award...I'm sure Hazel is smiling over that one - being a member of Leaf Nation, our hatred of the Red Wings runs deep.

Patrik Elias and Patrick Marleau get special mention for their performances in the first round of the playoffs. Elias, who recorded six points against the Rangers in Game 1, followed it up with 5 more points in the next three games. Patrick Marleau led the Sharks to a first round victory over the Predators - scoring seven goals in five games (yes I have him in one of my pools).

Speaking of the Sharks, you have to like their chances with the way Vesa Toskala has been playing - he shut a very good Nashville team down in games two, three and five. Next up...who knows? But Toskala is looking like the man right now.

Cam Ward of the Hurricanes has held Montreal to four goals in the last three games - and is one of the main reasons Carolina has gotten back into the series - and look ready to bounce the Habs out tomorrow.

The distinction of "not-so-heroic" performer of this year's playoffs goes to Dallas Stars' goalie Marty Turco. While Don Cherry was quick to try to absolve Turco of any fault for Dallas' loss - the fact is that Marty played poorly. He didn't steal a game for Dallas, he didn't even steal a period for them. This guy gets plenty of accolades and praise...but the truth of the matter is that he rarely comes up big for Dallas when it counts. Sorry Don, I know he's Canadian...but Marty has to stand up and be accountable for this loss.

Disclaimer: no SenaTards were hurt in the writing of this post...though I wish some of them had been.


I mentioned yesterday that Kevin Mench hit a HR in seven straight games, he's got to get a Hazie for that. Mench finished the week hitting .435, with four HRs and 10 RBI. As I mentioned yesterday, this may be a case similar to that of Chris Shelton of the Tigers - the one and only mention this year. I won't mention that the co-winner of the Player of the Week award in the A.L was Cleveland's Ben Broussard...especially since he single-handedly killed Josh Beckett and the Red Sox in a game last week. I don't think Red Sox Nation would approve...or Hazel for that matter.

Milwaukee starting pitcher Chris Capuano won the N.L award after going 2-0, with a 0.56 ERA and 12 strikeouts over 16 innings. Capuano pitched a complete game shutout at Wrigley small feat.

Albert Pujols - AGAIN. What can you say about this guy? 14 HRs in the month of April, many of them big ones. Take your pick - Pujols or David Ortiz, the best hitters in the game...the guys you want up when the game is on the line. Why would you want to pitch to either of them? I swear I'd walk these guys even WITH the bases loaded.

Speaking of Big Papi...he hit another HR tonight against the Yankees, in leading Boston to a 7-3 victory over New York in Johnny Damon's "homecoming". All is well in Red Sox Nation again.

Bronson Arroyo won his fifth game today... 5-0 for the Reds. Our friend Tina keeps reminding everyone in the yahoo group that Boston made a mistake trading him...I'm happy to say that he is a member of Hazel Mae's Heroes (my NL only Roto pool).

This week's nominee for the "not-so-heroic" is freakin' Andruw Jones of the Braves. I'm hatin' on him something fierce after his lousy performance on Saturday night against the Mets. You'd think that after watching Glavine pitch for years, Jones might have retained a little something in that brain of his and been ready to hit against the old-timer. Jones failure to even come up with one lousy single to beat Carlos Delgado's "0-fer" on Saturday cost me a bundle on my pro-line ticket. I look at Andruw Jones much the same way I look at A-Rod...both of them are Hall-of-Famers when their teams are up big (they'll hit a three-run shot to make it 10-3)...but when the game is on the line - forget about it. They are the anti-thesis of Pujols and Papi.


Like many of you - I too was very excited going into last week's NFL Draft...that is until the Cowboys picked Ohio State's Bobby Carpenter. The assessments on Carpenter aren't glowing - he looks like the NFL's version of Nuke Laloosh (from the movie Bull Durham) - as Bull Durham put it - million dollar arm and a ten cent brain. The reviews on Carpenter are much the same; a great physical talent with little or no instinct for the game. Carpenter has been praised for his tenacity and ability to run down plays - the flip side is that he reacts to plays...he has to because he doesn't know or can't anticipate what is coming at him.

Seems like Parcells went for familiarity with the first round pick - Carpenter's father was a blocking back for Parcells with the Giants...come to think of it, I couldn't stand his dad either. Funny thing...before the draft, our girl Renee was on yahoo chanting Carpenter's name as the Pats likely first round pick - damn.

By all accounts, Marv Levy and the Bills had a horrible draft - they wasted two first round picks on players that had originally been projected to go in the 2nd and 3rd rounds...way to go Marv. I bet he tries to get Jim Kelly to come out of retirement.

That's about it for on for Renee's 2nd blog entry - this one is all about NESN.

Have a great one peeps.

Hazel, I hope things are groovy in your world.

Song of the Night on Hazelspeeps - now playing (along with the Flames/Ducks game)

Bed's Too Big Without You (live version) - The Police (you won't find it on any file sharing have to have the box set - its worth it).

Peesth Out!


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