Hey Peeps and anyone else checking in. A special “Hey” goes out to Hazel Mae.
The news of the day is obviously day 5 of UEFA’s 2008 European Cup, with Portugal taking on the Czech Republic – with both teams having won their opening game, a win by either side would guarantee a spot in the Quarter-Finals, likely as the winner of Group A.
The good guys beat Turkey 2-0 in their opening game but their lack of finishing was a bit of a cause for concern, as well as their defense on set pieces and crosses coming into the box – the latter will be of particular concern with the Czech’s fielding 6’9” striker Jan Koller.
The Czechs won their opening game against co-host Switzerland, but it was by no means an easy or memorable victory – as a matter of fact, the Czech acknowledged they were fortunate to win the game.
It shouldn’t come as a shock that both teams are downplaying their opposition and instead focusing on their game – Portugal knows they need to bury their chances and the Czechs know they have to pick up their game. Cristiano Ronaldo was not a huge factor in the opening game – expect that to change today. Portugal 2 – 1 Czech Republic.
Time for a long overdue Champs and Chumps entry – for those of you who have recently found the page, as you can imagine, the entry focuses on newsmakers from the past week (both the good and the bad). We used to call on Hazel to present the awards – but she may be a bit busy these days, so we’ll do the honours for her.
Cincinnati Reds OF Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 600th career home run – one of the few (if not “only”) milestone moments over the last decade that hasn’t had the suspicion of steroid or performance enhancing substances use hanging over it. Griffey has to be considered the best “all-natural” player of his generation.
Boston Red Sox OF Manny Ramirez hit his 500th home run – another guy with no doubts about how he did it – but he gets mucho amor here today for being the first person to deliveri a long overdue, and very well deserved, “bish-slap” to the mug of Kevin Youkilis. It’s about time someone in that dugout did what 99.9% of non-Red Sox fans (and likely 80% of Red Sox Nation) would love to do. Take it down a notch Youk – the game does not hinge on every single one of your at-bats man…you’re not that important.
Germany striker Lukas Podolski scored two goals in Germany’s win over Poland on Sunday – in both cases, Podolski was rather subdued and business like. When asked, Podolski (who was born in Poland) said that he didn’t want to show up the team representing his country of birth, a country that a large number of family members still reside. Good for him.
Spanish striker David Villa scored a hat-trick yesterday against Russia – he could have had at least two more, but three ain’t bad.
Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the opening goal in a 2-0 win against Greece yesterday – in and of itself, it may not be that newsworthy, but the goal was a deathblow to the defending (counterfeit) champions who played with five defenders in hopes of a draw or a lucky goal to win it. The one-trick pony that won last time has been flogged to death – PLAY THE DAMN GAME GREECE…you had no business being that the tournament in ’04 and you have no business being there this year.
Ottakring Braueri AG of Vienna has offered a lifetime supply of free beer to any member of the Austrian National team who scores the first goal at the tournament – the brewery’s Chief, Sigi Menz has offered to personally deliver the beer for the first year. Now that is getting behind your national team.
Toronto Blue Jays P AJ Burnett was booed off the field this past weekend after giving up 8 earned runs over 4.1 innings to the Orioles – Burnett acknowledged (mocked) the crowd by tipping his cap as he walked off the field. He later apologized, saying it was probably not the best reaction to the boos – ya think?
Tiger Woods made a half-hearted attempt at humour (in his words) when asked about who he liked to win the Stanley Cup – Woods answered the question with a question of his own, something to the effect of “does anyone even watch hockey anymore?” He doesn’t have to be down with hockey (though he later claimed to be a big fan of watching hockey from the stands), but he could show fellow athletes a little more respect.
WEDNESDAY THREE PLAY
A pretty good week last week – the upward trend continues.
Los Angeles over San Diego – the offensively challenged Padres are no match for Chad Billingsley. Lay $100 on the Dodgers - $105.
Philadelphia over Florida – the Marlins haven’t been good to Cole Hamels, but he is too good to be dominated by them. Lay $100 on the Phillies - $150.
San Francisco over Colorado – Tim Lincecum has been outstanding this year, Ubaldo Jimenez hasn’t. Lay $100 on the Giants - $120.
Song of the Day – Portuguese ex-pats in Switzerland are expected to be out in full force today supporting the Quinas…so:
Uma Casa Portuguesa – Amalia Rodrigues
That’s it for today gang – thanks for taking the time to check in, have a great one.
Hazel, here’s hoping things are groovy in your world.