Sunday, July 01, 2007

Happy Canada Day...Bitches!

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

While we celebrate Canada Day today, we'd like to take a moment to remember what makes this day truly special for us. One year ago today, on a hot sunny day in Gelsenkirchen Germany, Cristiano Ronaldo scored the deciding goal in penalty kicks to knock England out of the 2006 World Cup - the third time since 2000 that Portugal had beaten England in a major international tournament (Euro 2000, Euro 2004 knocking England out of that tournament); officially making England our little bitches.

The FIFA World Under-20 Championships kicked off here in shocking fashion yesterday, heavily favoured Brazil lost by a 1-0 count to Poland; for those of you who care (and we don't think many of you do) the U.S. tied Tilt's South Koreans 1-1 in a game they, by all accounts, should have lost. Portugal goes tomorrow afternoon - more on that tomorrow.

The NHL's silly season was supposed to kick off at noon today with a flurry of free agent activity expected; but Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli got things started late last night, trading prospect Petr Kalus and a fourth round pick to the Wild for G Manny Fernandez, who is due to make $9.25 million over the next two years. On the surface it isn't a bad trade, the Bruins get a huge upgrade on Tim Thomas without giving up anyone from their current roster - on the flip side, Fernandez has a reputation for being somewhat of a cancer in the dressing room. The word on Fernandez is that when the team wins, it is due mainly to his play; when they lose, it is everyone's fault but his. Fernandez's attitude had as much to do with him getting dealt as the Wild's signing of Niklas Backstrom - word is the Wild's players preferred playing in front of Backstrom. We'll be the first to say it - "Manny being Manny" is going to take on a whole new meaning in Boston with the arrival of Fernandez. We're going to set the over/under on Fernandez turning on his team by the first week of December. Have fun Bruins fans...its going to be one hell of an interesting year for you guys.

Speaking of the silly season - Leaf Nation has cause for concern. There is surprisingly little information coming out of Maple Leafs Sports Entertainment about who the Leafs may be tendering offers to today - one rumour has John Ferguson Jr. offering Islanders (Oilers) LW Ryan Smyth $27.5 million over five years, with a subsequent offer to former SenaTards (Coyote, Flyer, Oiler) Mike Comrie; Smyth has let it be known he wants to play with Comrie again. From our perspective, this is a huge mistake - both in terms of giving Smyth that much money AND the thought of signing Comrie. Unfortunately, Leaf Nation has to watch a lame duck GM pull out all the stops to try and make the playoffs this year in order to save his job. If we were running the Maple Leafs here's what we would do:

  • from the perspective of upper management - JFJ would be given a one-year contract extension and told NOT to blow this year's cap room on this crop of free agents; there isn't a franchise player don't do it. Ferguson would be told that FA spending would have to be kept under $4M this year; in other words, sign Paul Kariya and sit tight this year. Of course, we'd fire JFJ's ass at the end of the season, and instruct the incoming GM that the number one target in 2008/09 San Jose Sharks C Patrick Marleau, who is slated to be a UFA after this season. The Sharks just extended Joe Thornton's contract (he would have been our main target) so Marleau will be available. He's a leader and would be a great replacement for Sundin.

  • from JFJ's perspective, we'd look at signing Paul Kariya for $10.5 million over three years with the assurance that the team would be building towards a winner. We'd direct our efforts at trading Andrew Raycroft to Los Angeles, Phoenix or St. Louis, thus freeing up $2 million in cap room, and signing Curtis Joseph as Toskala's backup. Next order of business would be to trade Bryan McCabe to the Islanders before the season starts - McCabe could be looked at as a bargain (believe it or not) after seeing what former Habs D Sheldon Souray signs for. So if we were JFJ, we wouldn't be all hot and horny for Smyth, Comrie, Drury, or Briere - though Scott Gomez might be intriguing at no more than $5 million per year...won't happen though, he's looking for $6 million plus.
That's what we would do if we were running the Leafs, but what do we know? We've only been watching the team forever...jeezus, somebody offer me the job of GM, please!

Colorado Rockies' P Jeff Francis pitched seven shutout innings, limiting the Astros to three hits and four walks while striking out four to lead the Rockies to a 5-0 win. Have to go with a Canadian on Canada Day...Eh?

Oakland A's pitcher Chad Gaudin took a no-hitter into the seventh but lost it on a Johnny Damon single. Gaudin pitched seven shutout innings giving up the one hit and three walks, while striking out four in Oakland's 7-0 win in New York.

New York Mets CF Carlos Beltran had four hits, including two home runs, and drove in three runs to lead the Mets to an 8-3 win over the Phillies.


The total for the week is still pretty ugly, thanks to the Angels and Red Sox brain farts this week. We'll look to minimize the damage with a few early afternoon picks - we'll check in later for late afternoon/evening games.

Los Angeles over Baltimore - ya, we know we said we were going to lay off Anaheim-based teams, but we like John Lackey to get back on track at the expense of Jeremy Guthrie and the O's. Lay $100 on the Angels - $135.

Boston over Texas - we're probably sounding pretty dumb right now, mouthing off about the Sox blowing in in Seattle, but this is more a case of going against Kameron Loe than faith in Tavarez. Lay $100 on the Sox - $175.

Chicago over Kansas City - we'll go with Jon Garland today who is auditioning for a spot in the starting rotation with the Dodgers (we hope). Lay $100 on Chicago - $120.

We like the Blue Jays and Tigers later...but we'll be back to suggest plays.

That's it for this afternoon gang - thanks for taking the time to check in. Have a great one Peeps.

Hazel, I hope things are groovy in your world and that you are celebrating Canada Day with a good old fashioned Canadian beer.

I'm Out.


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