Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Freaky Deaky Dutch

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

As the man said in Goldmember - "I don't speak freaky deaky Dutch", and today we don't like the freaky deaky Dutch all that much.

If you haven't guessed it yet, Portugal takes the pitch this afternoon against the host Dutch in game two of the opening round of the UEFA Under-21 Championship. Today's game isn't a do or die situation, a tie would work for us, but a loss would be devastating and leave us in a huge hole. We'll go into today's game with a sense of quiet confidence, since our boys were thought to be one of the favourites entering the tournament, but we've seen enough questionable calls favour the home side in international play to know to keep our fingers crossed. Positive thoughts this afternoon - we'll say Portugal 2 - 1 Holland.

Good news out of Toronto yesterday - depending on how you feel about Mats Sundin. The Captain signed a one-year deal worth $5.5 million in what can truly be described as a win-win for both sides. The $5.5 million represents a raise of $1.2 M on what Sundin would have made had the team exercized the option year of his contract - however, had the Leafs done that, the option year would have counted as $6.3 M against this year's cap, based on the average year salary in his previous contract. Sundin, who was thought to be seeking a two-year deal, was clear about his intentions in signing a one year deal - he wanted to do what was best for the Maple Leafs, affording both sides the option of cutting ties after the 2007-08 season if things don't work out. Love him or hate him - you can't say Sundin doesn't love playing for the Blue and White...whether he wins a Stanley Cup or not, the guy is a champ!

Next order of business for John Ferguson Jr. is to start looking at this year's crop of free agents - Chris Drury or Scott Gomez are two guys we would be going after if we were JFJ - Leaf Nation, get your emails into MLSE - DO NOT PAY RYAN SMYTHE $5.5 per year, while we like Smyth, we think that is too much.

Big news from the MLB last night - Detroit Tigers P Justin Verlander threw a no-hitter against the Brewers last night. We know all about American League fans' lack of respect for some of the hitting lineups in the National League - but the Brewers are one of the better hitting teams in all of baseball, so you have to give it up for Verlander.

Good win last night for the Red Sox, with Tim Wakefield pitching eight solid inning to pick up only his second win in his last six starts - looks like young Jon Lester is going to be spending a bit more quality time in Pawtucket.

Speaking of Pawtucket, ok we're not really speaking of Pawtucket but the guy we are going to mention should be getting an all expenses paid trip to Pawtucket (have I said it enough?). The MLB All-Star game is less than a month away - we have always thought that it was a bit of a sham and I'm challenging Red Sox Nation to prove it. Yes Boston fans, its time to show everyone how much you love your Red Sox and I couldn't think of a better way for Red Sox Nation to flex their collective muscle than to take a page out of the Vancouver Canucks fans' voting strategy. Canucks fans flooded the NHL site with votes for little used defenceman Rory Fitzpatrick in a bid to get him voted on to the Western Conference All-Star team - I say Red Sox Nation unite and vote for Eric Hinske. Eric has some big time fans in our yahoo group so I'm hoping if they check in today they will take the initiative and start a "voteforeric" dot com site.

A little bit of bad news for Red Sox Nation - the Yankees look like they have extracted the heads out of their anuses and are playing some winning baseball - Boston is still 9 1/2 games up so there is no reason to worry right? I'm not jinxing them - I want Boston to make it to the World Series and watch Red Sox West take them down...that's right, you read it here first - AGAIN.

Speaking of Red Sox West, they couldn't seem to get a hit when it mattered last weekend against the Blue Jays (except for Olmedo Saenz's walkoff on Friday night) - but they have gotten well against the Mets. John Maine gave up back to back to back home runs on three successive pitches to struggling Wilson Betemit, young gun Matt Kemp, and pitcher Hong Chih Kuo. You may (or may not) be wondering who was the last team to hit back to back to back home runs on successive pitches? Red Sox West baby - last year against San Diego.

To our Canadian readers - another tough night for "The enigma" - leaving the game in the fifth inning with a strained shoulder. The Blue Jays say they don't know how long he will be out for - but those of us who have followed Burnett's career know that he isn't a quick healer...remembering what the Jays said about BJ Ryan's "sore elbow", we're guessing that Burnett's "shoulder strain" will be re-evaluated in a few days, where the Jays will announced that he needs reconstructive shoulder surgery. Ok, we're kidding, but we expect Burnett to go on the 15 day DL - just watch.

As mentioned, Detroit Tigers P Justin Verlander pitched a no-hitter last night against the Brewers, giving up four walks and striking out 12. WOW.

Florida Marlins P Scott Olsen pitched seven shutout innings, limiting the Tribe to three hits while striking out six in the Marlins 3-0 win over Fausto Carmona.

Red Sox West P Hong Chih Kuo pitched seven solid innings, holding the Mets of a run on five hits and a walk, while striking out four in the Dodgers 4-1 win. As mentioned, Kuo also hit a home run last night.

The climb back up to respectability looks like it is going to be a long one - another 2-1 night with minimal returns; thanks to the Angels making Bronson Arroyo look like the pitcher he was last year. The total for the week stands at + $110 - today's suggestions:

Milwaukee over Detroit - after being no-hit last night, expect the Brewers to take it out on Mike Maroth; lefty Chris Capuano goes for Milwaukee and he usually gives them a chance to win. Lay $100 on the Brewers + $110.

San Diego over Tampa Bay - yesterday we mentioned that Greg Maddux didn't like interleague play; unfortunately for the DRays, Jake Peavy doesn't share his teammate's dislike. Peavy vs Edwin Jackson is a mismatch. Lay $100 on the Padres - $200.

Chicago over Seattle - Sean Marshall goes against Miguel Batista, that's enough to get us to back the Cubs. Lay $100 on Chicago - $150.

Boston over Colorado - Schilling is coming off a one-hitter, maybe this time he'll listen to Varitek. Lay $100 on the Sox - $250.

That's it for today gang, thanks for taking the time to check in. Have a great one.

Hazel, I hope things are groovy in your world.

I'm Out.


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