Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Hazies - The Champs & The Chumps

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

Time to take a look back at the week that was and award an honourary "Hazie" to those who made news for all the right reasons. On the flip side, we'll look at those who made news for less than stellar performances.



Boston Red Sox P Josh Beckett was named the American League Championship Series' Most Valuable Player for winning both of his starts vs the Indians. Beckett gave up nine hits, struck out 18 and walked one in 14 innings of near flawless pitching, posting an ERA of 1.93. He pitched as well as he did for the Marlins in their World Series win against the Yankees. We won't refer to him as Nook Laloosh anymore.

Boston Red Sox Manager Terry Francona has taken more than his fair share of heat and venom from Red Sox Nation this year; but to his credit he has stuck to his guns and gotten his team to the big show. Francona stuck with Dustin Pedroia early in the year when people were saying he wasn't ready - Pedroia was the star of Game 7; he stuck with J.D. Drew who had a horrible season - he only showed up for one game, Game 6, but without his grand slam...; and without a lot of fanfare, made the decision to sit Coco Crisp for Ellsbury. He got the job done...he deserves some credit.

New England Patriots QB Tom Brady was perfect yesterday, 21 of 25 for 354 yards and six TDs for a passer rating of 158.3. Unfortunately for Brady, his great day came on the same day the Sox win the ALCS. The best player in the NFL takes a back seat to the best team in baseball at this time of the year.

Tennessee Titans PK Rod Bironas set an NFL record yesterday with eight field goals, including the game winner on the last play of the game, in a 38-34 win over the Houston Texans. While most of them were chip shots, he started the game off with a 52-yarder - so you have to say he earned it.


Calgary Flames RW Jarome Iginla was named the Second Star of the Week in the NHL last week. The NHL's best power forward had three goals and five assists in three games last week - without him, the Flames are not a playoff team.

Toronto Maple Leafs C Nik Antropov is quietly off to a great start this season - many in Leaf Nation criticized the Leafs for resigning him this past off season, but Leaf Nation's whipping boy of years' past has six goals and five assists in nine games and has consistently been the team's best player.

Portugal winger Cristiano Ronaldo scored the decisive goal against Kazakhstan in a 2-1 win last week - the win put Portugal into second place in their group and a good bet to make it to Euro 2008. The team is young and in flux right now - he's steadying the ship until they get to the show.


Boston Red Sox P Jonathan Papelbon series victory celebrations have crossed the line from annoying to downright retarded. The ALCS jig he did during the victory celebration was enough to make the boys from the movie Deliverance look normal. Shrek (aka Youkilis) is right there with "Paps" - the old saying "act like you've been there" may not apply to Papelbon, but someone should pull him aside and tell him to tone it down. Shrek should know better. Wanna know what is behind the growing resentment towards the Red Sox - look no further. While we're talking about last night - what was with Kevin Millar throwing out the first pitch? We get the fact they were honouring the 2004 Sox - but seriously, he's under contract with the O's. This guy's got a four Viagara dose hard on for a team that doesn't want him.

When the Cleveland Indians look back on Game 7 against Boston, they'll look at the decision by third base coach Joel Skinner as the turning point in the game - maybe. But the goat of the night was Kenny Lofton - he was the guy who lost it for Cleveland. Lofton was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double off Manny Ramirez to lead off the fifth inning - three hits later and the Indians had one run. In the seventh, it is incumbent on Lofton to read the play - the ball was hit in front of him - he should have known Ramirez would not have thrown him out. Skinner takes the heat, but it was on Lofton. Speaking of goats - Travis Hafner is the most over-rated player in the American League; he is a poor man's ARod, NEVER coming through when it counts. Grady Sizemore was almost as bad as Hafner.

The state of Pennsylvania - home of the counterfeit - is front and center this week.

Start with the Philadelphia Eagles - facing a Chicago Bears team with issues on both sides of the ball, the Eagles managed to blow it by allowing Brian freakin' Griese to drive the Bears 96 yards for a game winning touchdown. As should have been expected - McNabb was for the most part a non-factor. They're a joke - and no one is laughing louder about this than fans Dallas Cowboys.

The Pittsburgh Steelers laid an egg in Denver yesterday, losing 31-28 to a Broncos team that was 2-3 going into the game, and could have just as easily been 0-5; oh yeah, the Broncos were also without Champ Bailey. The Steelers are proving to be road wimps - dropping games in Phoenix and Denver. Roethlisberger is looking more and more like McNabb.

We'll have no more talk about these guys being legit contenders in the same class as the Patriots and the Colts.

The week ended off on a bad note - though we don't think any of you took us seriously (or listened) when we suggested the Indians last night. The total for the week was - $115; for the year it stands at - $290. Tonight's suggestions:

Toronto over Atlanta - the Leafs are coming off an awful loss to the Blackhawks on Saturday night, so they'll be looking to make things right before heading off on the road for a while. There's a trend that says teams playing the last game of an extended home stand usually win. Who knows? We're going with them tonight. Lay $100 on Toronto - $170.

Colorado over Edmonton - former Oilers LW Ryan Smyth returns home to face the team he once captained. The Oilers are in awful shape right now - things won't get any better against the Avs tonight. Lay $100 on the Avs - $145.

Pittsburgh/NY Rangers over 6 - both teams have issues, the Pens in goal and the Rangers on defence; all of which means there should be plenty of scoring chances and plenty of goals tonight. Lay $100 on the over +$105.

Ho-hum, Damien Cox tries to be provocative with expose on MLSE Board of Directors

More great news - Tucker out indefinitely with knee injury

Anton Stralman (aka Lidstrom Jr.) might get play vs Thrashers

Top 100 Leafs of all-time

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

Hazel, we hope things are groovy in your world.

We're Out!!


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