Monday, May 22, 2006

Victoria Day Notables

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

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 past week or so. The outstanding performers are awarded a "Hazie" and have the title of "Hazel's Hero" bestowed upon them. While Hazel hasn't officially OK'd the selections, I would like to think that she would smile and give a thumbs up to this week's winners.

On the flip side, there are those who have performed less than admirably - some of have tough weeks, some have just performed poorly, and there are those who make news for the wrong reasons. No awards, no meeting Hazel, nothing - just the title of "less than one" (which if you go back to basic math equals...rhymes with "hero"...)


What can you say about the Edmonton Oilers? The surprise team of the 2006 NHL Playoffs. While a few people, me included, expected the Oilers to beat the Red Wings - I think few expected them to get by the San Jose Sharks. The Oilers, carrying the hopes of hockey fans across Hazel's homeland, continue to shock and surprise, winning the first two games in Anaheim against the favoured Ducks. The Oilers look poised to make the Stanley Cup Finals and make GM Kevin Lowe look as smart as Ducks GM Brian Burke. Three of Lowe's more controversial acquisitions have stepped up their game and been a major factor in Edmonton's run; I am speaking of the much-maligned Michael Peca, the once-thought over-priced Chris Pronger, and Minnesota Wild castaway Dwayne Roloson. The Oilers were expected to rely on the likes of Ryan Smyth, Shawn Horcoff, Alex Hemsky and Sergei Samsonov - but I don't think anyone expected the kind of performances put in by Peca, Pronger and Roloson.

Peca has scored a few key shorthanded goals over the last couple of rounds and has been the shutdown center and leader Lowe had hoped he would be when he picked him up before the season.

Pronger, in addition to being the shutdown stud defenceman, has added 14 points and is the team's second leading scorer.

Roloson has come up big time after time for the Oilers, proving many of the nay-sayers (me included) that his days in Minnesota were not just a result of bigger equipment and clutch and grab defensive hockey.

Fernando Pisani should also get mention - he continues to score game breaking goals for the Oilers, especially the go-ahead goal in game 2 against the Ducks.

The Edmonton Oilers, especially the aforementioned four, are deserving of a "Hazie" - I have to think Hazel has to be secretly pulling for the Oilers.

I went on record picking the Ducks to win the series, and I will stick with it. The Ducks aren't pushovers - they have proven that they can win on the road, they did it in Colorado, they did it in Calgary...they aren't out of it yet. All this to say, I won't be too disappointed if the Oilers do go on to win the series...remember the hockey pools.

For those of you wondering, I won't put the Sharks in the category of "less than one"; yes they were expected to beat the Oilers, yes they blew a 2-0 series lead - but they never quit. The Sharks played hard, they were beaten by a red-hot goalie and a team that looks destined to reach the Finals. Please, no Jack Edwards references...I still think he was wrong about the Thornton trade.

Major League Baseball announced the National and American League Players of the Week. In what has becoming a regular occurance, the National League announced co-winners this week.

Canadian-born Jason Bay of the Pirates was one of the winners this week. Bay ended the week hitting .333, with 3 HRs and 11 RBI - and also had an OBP of .407 and a slugging percentage of .750. What makes this all the more impressive is that Bay was recently dropped from the clean up spot to sixth in the batting order - I think he handled it pretty well.

Pedro Feliz of the Giants, and teammate to "the asterisk", lead San Francisco to a sweep of the Houston Astros last week. Feliz hit a HR in each game, including one game where he had 5 RBI, and hit .500 for the series.

Scott Kazmir of the Devils Rays went 2-0, with an ERA of 0.60 and struck out 19 last week. Kazmir, who is 22, became the youngest player in 25 years to reach 7 victories this early into the season - no small feat when you are playing for Tampa.

David Wells of the Red Sox is making headlines again - as has been the case in the recent past, Wells is in the news for his mouth, rather than any on the field accomplishments. Seems that Boomer had been chatting with Gordon Edes of the Boston Globe and began talking about players who have had breakout years recently and speculated about who might be "juiced" - mentioning the name of David Dellucci.

Wells tried to recant his statements after the story was run, typical for him - he talks too much and doesn't think about checking his big mouth. Given the fact that Francona sought out Dellucci to apologize for Wells' remarks, and the fact that Gordon Edes is a pretty solid member of the Boston media...I have to think that David is full of it.

What would an entry here be without some story about someone messing up one of my sports lottery tickets. If you have read this page in the past, you undoubtedly know what I think of Alex Rodriguez - Mr. Meaningless Hit.

Rodriguez is at his very best when the game is no longer in doubt - he can be counted on to hit a 3 run HR when his team is up or down by 5+ runs. Well, ARod did it again - trailing 9-1, Alex the consumate professional tried to pull the Yankees back with a 2 run jack in the 9th tonight. That HR put him ahead of Big Papi in total bases and blew up my ticket tonight...thanks ARod.

Last week I updated readers on the standing in our baseball pool on the yahoo site. The updated standing for the week ending May 21st are as follows:

69.5 - Tina's Team (owned by our rookie GM Tina)
67.5 - The Bronx Zoo (owned by "Sparky")
66.5 - Tom Sawyer (owned by our resident Steinbrenner "Hubie)
66.0 - Shuggysux (owned by "Shuggy")
57.0 - Banana Peels (owned by "Golden Banana")
49.5 - Naughty Girls (owned by fellow part time blogger "Renee")
47.5 - Hazel Mae's Hackers (owned by El Prez...known here as "Pogue)
43.5 - GB Steam Boys (owned by Gbak..."George")
43.0 - Fighting Bobcats (owned by our commish "Drisc")
40.0 - Leprachauns (owned by "Irish")

The top 3 stay the same - though they switched positions this week. My brief, but very enjoyable, stay on top of Renee is over for the time being...but as the peeps know, being under Renee isn't so bad either.

The league wasn't without controversy last week - with some owners questioning who Hubie manages to stay at the top of the waiver priority list when he is on a world record pace for moves in one season (just ask Renee). We think its a problem with the yahoo site - but Hubie came out swinging when he thought some of the boys were after him. Stay promises to get better!

That's about it for tonight...more tomorrow. Have a great one peeps!

Hazel, I hope things are groovy in your world. No worries Hazel...your boys will start charging to the top in June - they'll do you proud!

Song of the night on Hazelspeeps - because it is on right now, and it is still a great song

Drift and Die - Puddle of Mudd

Peesth Out...Buy Bye!


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