Friday, July 20, 2007

Welcome to the World Chile

We start this morning off by welcoming Chile to the crapshoot that FIFA – for the most part, Chile has never really experienced big time success in international play, so you can almost excuse them for not knowing how things work in a high stakes tournament run by the cartel known as FIFA.

Yesterday’s Under-20 World Championship Semi-Final against Argentina was being looked at as a showcase game in the tournament (after the disappointment that was Mexico v Argentina last Sunday night) with two of the more offensively gifted teams squaring off – it was to be a free flowing South American style game. Instead, it denigrated into a chippy affair filled with questionable tackles, loads of warnings and cards (issued mostly to the Chileans – 7 yellow, and two red cards, including a straight red card given early in the first half) and theatrical dives where the players must have been under the impression that style points were being given for embellishment.

The Chileans, for their part, tried to overcome a man being sent off early in the first half – taking the play to the Argentines. But things completely unraveled after Argentina went up in the 65th minute – the Chileans, seemingly frustrated at the Argentines’ theatrical display, lost it and started fouling hard. By the time they went down another man in the 77th minute, it was evident that they were going to make Argentina pay a physical price for the game’s events. The Chileans fans got into the act with one charging on to the field to get at the Referee – luckily, he was “intercepted” by some of the Chilean players who “escorted” him to police.

Almost an after-thought, the Argentines won 3-0 – but the insanity was just getting started. The Chileans, incensed at the questionable calls made throughout the game tried to get at the Referee. It was a scene straight out of a South American YouTube clip where the Referee had to run for cover and be escorted out of the stadium by police. Things spilled over outside the stadium where the Chileans, still furious and cranked up over the loss, started fighting with security guards and police as they boarded their bus. Things got so out of control that a member of the Chilean delegation ended being tasered by the police. Stories on the incident – The Toronto Star, The Toronto Sun, Rogers Sportsnet.

We’re sensing a problem with the Chileans – earlier this month, the senior team had issues at the Copa America where they trashed their hotel after being knocked out of the tournament, and now the youth team pulls this garbage. Note to the Chileans – its FIFA, get used to it…if they don’t want you to win, YOU DON’T WIN. Frankly, we’re a little surprised at their reaction, especially since they were put in this position by being the beneficiaries of some questionable calls that helped them beat Portugal and Nigeria.

Karma boys…Karma.

Bad night for most of us writing/read the page (except Tilt who is a Jays fan) – Red Sox drop another one, this time 4-2 to the stinking White Sox and Red Sox West go down in a big way to the Mets 13-9. Memo to Blue Jays fans – please, no email about yesterday’s win against the Yankees, if you are celebrating the lone win in a four game series…you’ve got problems.

Leaf Nation still waiting with baited breath for the word that Bryan McCabe has been traded to the Islanders – we still think it’s a cruel joke.

Ottawa SenaTards still think someone is dumb enough to step up and take back-up G Martin Gerber and his albatross of a contract off their hands – unfortunately SenaTards South GM Peter Chiarelli already has three goalies…or you know he’d be in the running.

Another indication that Isles Head Coach Ted Nolan is a stand up guy – Nolan has offered to let former Isles coach Al Arbour coach the team in a game against Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins. The game will be Arbour 1500th behind the bench – classy move by Nolan. The guy continues to rise above the crap heaped on him by Dominik “Robotron” Hasek and Sid Dithers (aka John Muckler).

Milwaukee Brewers rookie P Yovani Gallardo pitched six shutout innings, limiting the DBacks to three hits, while giving up two walks and striking out four in the Brewers 3-0 win over Arizona.

San Diego Padres P Chris Young threw seven shutout innings to out-duel Cole Hamel of the Maeple Leafs in a 1-0 win at Petco. Young gave up two hits and walked three, while striking out six. Bad result if you are a fan of Red Sox West.

Los Angeles Angels P Kelvim Escobar didn’t bring his A-game to the park yesterday, but he battled his way through 7.2 innings – managing to shut the DRays out despite giving up nine hits and three walks. Ok, it wasn’t a great performance…but it saved our Three Play from a horrendous day.

We don’t normally do this…BUT

Florida Marlins P Armando Benitez really deserves some special recognition for blowing it yesterday against the Reds. Benitez came in to pitch the eighth with the Marlins leading 5-3, and gave up four hits, including a three-run shot to freakin Ryan Freel of all people (.247, 3, 15), and four runs to blow the game and our night time Three Play. Dick.

Thoughts of Hazel Mae’s Ottawa Tilt – for messing with my subject line on yesterday afternoon’s post. I keep trying to tell him “Asian guys aren’t funny”.

A bad day/night – it sucks when you split game but get juiced to death. The total is a little ugly - $415, but we have a plan. Our strategy today is “yesterday’s losers are today’s winners.” Hey, it’s as good as any the so-called experts profess to have.

Boston over Chicago – the Sox need their Ace to step up and stop the bleeding. We expect Beckett to dominate tonight, while the Sox should (we hope) get untracked against Jose Contreras who has been pitching batting practice for the better part of the season. Lay $100 on the Red Sox - $220.

New York over Tampa – Mussina and Edwin Jackson go up against each other for the second time in less than a week. The Yankees will be looking to take their frustrations out on someone after blowing yesterday’s game to the stinking Jays – we couldn’t think of a more likely candidate than Edwin Jackson. This game is going to go over too. Lay $100 on the Yankees - $300.

Detroit over Kansas City – the Royals had a good time in Boston, but they’ll find things quite a lot tougher in Motown. We like Kenny Rogers over Gil Meche tonight – Tigers didn’t lose last night, but we still like them. Lay $100 on the Tigers - $210.

That’s it for this morning gang – thanks for taking the time to check in.

Hazel, I hope things are groovy in your world.

We’re Out.


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