Sunday, July 30, 2006 

#48 A Blogathon Recap

This is my 48th and final post of the 24 hour blogathon, so I'll take this time to sum up what we learned in this, the greatest sports adventure of all time.

Things got off to a rushed start as I introduced everyone to the days activities, and hopefully signed up this years Kick for a Million winner. Stephen Colbert then took over, explaining to us just how big his balls really are. Hammy and Bippy then reminded us just how fickle sports have become, especially in the CFL, which should be the least likely source. We then bid a tearful goodbye to a legend in Andre Aggasi, and I divulged my true testosteronism. While I enjoyed my Boo Berry, I introduced you all the the dorkiest person to ever bother with fantasy sports - and that says a lot.

We then all went on a list vacation, dropping by my top 5 fantasy players, the top 10 Non-Hockey Canadian Athletes (turns out there are only 3), and the top 30 sports movies of all time, with Dodgeball clearly leading the way. I then took a different turn through the Sexuality of women's sports, with lessons about acceptance and compromise thrown in for all the kiddies out there.

We then took the Rucchin award and applied it to other sports, with Jason Marquis seeming to run away with baseball's golden assist. I also shared my big decisions in life that I have run past my long time friend Garth Snow, who is always there to help a friend. A bit of a delay in the action was followed by a rousing description of just why Chess Boxing should be an, nay THE Olympic sport, and a trip back to the CFL looking for a certain Avery clip (still no help on that one).

Through the pain of arbitration and injuries, I was still able to send a shout out to the people that made today (yesterday?) possible, threw a special song in for a special someone, and even got some soccer in there for the fans of the lesser sports. It was a very giving time in my posts, apparently.

We then talked about a team looking to move, and a teammate looking to stay, while time and time again Jamaal goes to a non-Raptors team for basically nothing. Through recapping baseball, and prognosticating Basketball, we learned that staying at a concert longer than you intend to can lead to the worst post ever when you get home (see the Trienta if you don't believe me. I still don't know what that was). After re-grouping, Chucky Barkley got us excited about politics again.

At that point, 11 ball free for all foosball took over most of my train of thought, until we eventually put down goober to a shutout, and then praised him for breaking the colour barrier in that, the greatest of all sports. A post about curling, another ranking next seasons basketball standing, and all in all, just coming to the realization that there just aren't enough good sports in the summer, and we did our best to complain about that fact (oh, you better believe that soccer came up!).

We talked about the best things in sports, and we likened ourselves to Jeremy Burnitz's looping doubles, all the while producing pure gold up until the finish line... which was then moved 10 yards back. With nothing to do in the extra post, and playing under protest, we all prayed for a golden miracle... and a golden miracle we got as always on Sports Guy North.

Sports Guy North - Always gold.

9am. Goodnight everybody!


#47b An extra post. (annoyed grunt)

Well, I assumed that this would be the time for my last post, but apparently I was wrong. They were actually looking for 49 posts, and since posts don't just appear out of no where, that is actually 24 and a half hours worth of work. I only signed up for 24, but if nothing else you can say that Sports Guy North is a very charitable person, so I will keep plugging for the good of my cause. And in a great baseball tradition of futility, I will play under protest, and will certainly not have any good come of it. Why do they even have that rule anyway? I have never seen anything come of it. But it is a sports tradition, and one that I am happy to have the honour of partaking in.

If only I could find some naked cyclists to take up my fight for me.... oh wait, there they are!


#47 One More To Go

This is it, the second last post before the torture is over. Get Shorty is done, Saw 2 is done, Anchorman is done, some Joe Schmo came and went, and a few hours of foosball were played, with likely another half hour yet to come. All I need to do now is sit back and coast to the finish.

While that last part might be true for all the other bloggers out there, Sports Guy North clearly prides itself on producing nothing but gold no matter the circumstances, so on I must push. There will be no coasting here. Nothing that even resembles coasting even. Just gold.

Like a little looping double, I will Jeremy Burnitz myself into the record book of blog lore. I won't foul anything off my ankle, and i certainly won't go down on strikes like Shae Hillenbrand. Like Gorzellamy, I will pick up my first career win in the Blogathon, and build on it for years to come. Finding the gap in left centre, I will provide some nice run support for the proverbial blog world. Everyone trying to outdo me will have nothing but a nice effort and a lot of K's. From southern California I will destroy the Travis Hughes offering and take it home strong, recording my first major league save to boot and coming to terms with all of my 2006 draft picks. I'm more versatile, quicker feet, and all over BC baby.

All gold. And I'm out.


#46 No Post

7:30am is when it really hits you - there just aren't 46 things in the sports world to write about at one time. They just don't exist. And I guess it makes sense, since people who are really really into sports don't tend to be people who can handle thinking about that many seperate things at once. No offense intended or anything, but really I'm not sure anyone could handle that much of any one thing. And certainly not sports people.

That said, there's nothing left to do for this post but bail to a video of some sort. To do this, I'm just going to type "sports" into YouTube, and run with whatever the first 2 videos that come up are. I sure hope they're enjoyable, and not footbag or something.


#45 The Best Things

Time to do a speed post - that means the first thing that comes to mind for each one of the headings is what gets written. The topic this time will be "What is the very best thing in, or involved with each of the following sports right now". So here we go:

Hockey - Alex Ovechkin, of course. He is going to be the face of the NHL for years to come, and rightfully so. Never in my lifetime has a player been as dominant in his rookie season. Whenever he was on the ice he was the best player, and the one most worth watching. That's huge, even if he wasn't a rookie. I'll love to see what he can do with a few years under his belt, and maybe a linemate that knows how to do anything.

Baseball - Francisco Liriano. Much like Ovechkin, he has had a rookie season that has dominated most of the long standing veterans in the league. Even his teammate, and normally considered best pitcher in the league, Johan Santana's numbers pale in comparison. Baring a mental breakdown, Liri is the pitcher in the league for the next decade. It's a very special thing going on there.

Basketball - Has to be the Toronto Raptors right now. I've never seen a team change so much, in every way, in one off season. This isn't even remotely the same team coming back next year, and I think everyone who knows anything about basketball is excited to see how it'll turn out. Whether it's a huge turnaround like in Phoenix a few seasons back, or if it's a spectacular disaster, it's going to be fun to watch. European basketball is alive and well, and it has a new home in Canada.

CFL - The Hamilton Tigercats. Nothing better than waiting to see who gets blamed for their next inevitable loss, and to what extent they are punished. Easily the most fun thing to wait for in that league.

NFL - Watching people, as they do every year, claim that the Buffalo Bills are going to contend this year, and then watching the disapointment take over as they are out of the running coming the end of November. It's an annual tradition at this point, and one of the best shows around if you live close enough to get a ticket.


#44 6:30 in the morning

Yep, it's 6:30 in the morning. Get Shorty has been on for 46 minutes and Goober has been asleep for 45. The JF is still going strong, though, no big surprise. Up here on the 15th floor there is nothing to see out the window, as the fog this morning is as thick as hospital pancakes. And still, and have each made 0 updates for the last 6 hours, which is of absolutely no help to me since I ran out of notworthy sports related topics hours ago. I think I made a few foosball related posts already in my delirium. But on I press, as there are only a couple hours left in this ordeal.

In case you just got in and were wondering why exactly I'm torturing myself this way, I'll explain one last time what's going on here.

This here is a blogathon for charity (Habitat for Humanity in my case) where from 9am yesterday and for 24 straight hours, I have to make 2 blog posts an hour. So that's pretty much it.

If you have a couple extra bucks - even 50 cents if you want - follow the link in the picture below and pledge some money to Habitat for Humanity.

A better description of what's going on can be found here - Blogathon Info

And that, in a nutshell, is the reason for the million posts and all-night 11 ball free for all tournament at the expense of Goober's ego. And while goober has now left us for good, I would like to send big thanks out to him and the JF for keeping me company and up all night. Likely would have bailed a while back if not for them. Thanks again also to Jimmy Biscuit from Erb and Erb insurance for providing the computer which also allowed me to post all night. Stand up contributions from 3 (well, 2 and a half) stand up guys. You really have to have good friends to make it in the world. Also thanks to my regulars who kept me company throughout the day as well - Sumeet, Adam, Alanah, Bippy & Hammy, Grifter, Stacey and Frank. Thanks also to everyone who donated money to Habitat, and those of you who may still chip in. You are all very much apreciated, and have helped me to do a very nice thing for the first time in my life :)

Oh, and Big Dawg, don't worry, I haven't forgotten you either. I never will. <3


#43 Notes of Note?

Well, I'm actually not really tired, but it is 6 in the morning now so I should be, and that can only mean one thing. It's time again for the great nation of Hungary's favourite new feature - Notes of Note.

Well... kind of. I mean, nothing's happened in the world that really warrents noting since the last notes of note. And since notes of note are, and always will be, a complete collection of what's of note, that means there really isn't anything to add to the pot. But here goes nothing - a Notes of Note on Sunday the 30th so far.

Baseball Trade Rumours Looks like everyone has agreed on Abreu to the Yankees, Soriano to the Angels, and Tejada to somewhere. Those seem to be the gimmes so far as the baseball trade deadline very quickly approaches very quietly so far.

Foosball Update Goober held his own fairly well early on tonight (meaning up until 2am), but then laid down for a half dozen shutouts before the Big Dawg put the old 5:20am end to one of the noisiest games ever made (I wonder how the people on the floor below us were taking it, ha). Still, though, to be able to hold a couple of old pros off for that long only a few short months after breaking the 11 ball free for all colour barier is pretty impressive. A big shout out, and likely a future place in the 11BF4A Hall go out to the Goober. Keep striving for bigger and better things and one day you may reach your goal... as long as your goal is to only lose 10-1 that is.

Da Burger Apparently Big Ben Roethlisberger is looking good in camp, running with what appeared to be little discomfort. To recover to that point so quickly after a nearly life-ending self-enduced disaster is pretty remarkable... and it also changes my draft strategy for the upcoming NFL fantasy season. Hard to say just yet where I'm going to rank him. Hard to say what others are going to do too. It's nice to have a wild card like that to really make draft day interesting. You don't normally get enough of that in the NFL. God bless motorcycles.

Allen's Mediocre Return The big QB question in Toronto was answered tonight, as Damon Allen took the the field in the end. He took the the field and looked VERY rusty, leading the Argos to a huge defeat. Maybe Pinball was right, maybe Allen wasn't really ready to return until next week. I don't know that for sure, and I also don't know how Allen managed to talk Pinball out of his desires, but it happened and it did not go well. All in all, I'm pretty sure it's about that time to just hand the Allouettes the Grey Cup, at this point every other team in the league seems equally mediocre (Ticats excluded, of course. They are in a league of their own. It's fun, though, to see just who they'll blame and fire next week. My money's on the place kicker!).


#42 Jackie Robinson

Jackie Robinson wore #42 and they retired it from baseball. So, post #42 should be about him. And now it is.

He was the first black man to play in the majors, and goober was the first black man to play 11 ball free for all, so it all comes together nicely tonight. nicely indeed.

5:30am. Apparently that's when everything really REALLY falls apart.

I appologize to everyone for this one.


#41 Just For Alanah

This here post is just as a thank you to Alanah over at Vancouver Canucks Op Ed, for all the hard work she is putting into this blogathon. She has raised a ton of money for a great cause, and it's the least I can do for her.

Enjoy, Alanah, I'm sure it's something you'll never see again on Sports Guy North

PS - Dan Cloutier was never really "that" bad :) Who loves ya baby


#40 The Warty

Well, Saw 2 is 36 minutes in now, and it's going pretty well. So far not living up to the first one, but still very entertaining. If it can keep three guys awake at 4:30am, then I guess it's not that bad.

There's a guy on fire in the oven now. Why would you go in the oven if you've already seen that the house is rigged to do stuff. That just makes no sense.

The heat in the oven reminds me of a song I heard last time I was in the car. And I guess here it is.

Kind of a reverse remembering - heat, cold.... you know how it is.

Ummm... so to get something sports related in here, I present to you know the CHAMP car standings as of today. CHAMP car being the only bearable racing series, as you know.


1 Sebastien Bourdais 191
2 A.J. Allmendinger 168
3 Justin Wilson 165
4 Alex Tagliani 110
4 Andrew Ranger 110
6 Paul Tracy 108
7 Mario Dominguez 105
8 Cristiano da Matta 104
9 Bruno Junqueira 102
10 Nelson Philippe 98


#39 Just Putting Saw 2 On

Nothing says 4 in the morning like a good, old fashioned horror movie.

Here, then, are my unnofficial early predictions for the NBA standings at the end of the year. It's a little bit out there, but keep in mind it's 4am here, so I reserve the right to change any and all of my picks at any point in time where I'm of sound mind.

Miami 65-17
Cleveland 60-22
Chicago 49-33
Detroit 49-33
Orlando 42-40
Toronto 41-41
Washington 41-41
Philadelphia 39-43
New Jersey 38-44
Indiana 33-49
New York 29-53
Boston 28-54
Milwaukee 26-56
Charlotte 22-60
Atlanta 21-61

Phoenix 60-22
Dallas 58-24
LA Clippers 53-29
Sacremento 53-29
San Antonio 50-32
Denver 47-35
Memphis 45-37
LA Lakers 43-39
Houston 43-39
Minnesota 38-44
Golden State 35-47
New Orleans 34-48
Utah 33-49
Portland 30-52
Seattle 22-60


#38 Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit's CURLING TIME!

What's going on in the world of curling, you ask? Nothing. Nothing at all. It's the offseason for curling, and the last time something happened was back in the middle of June when TSN and the Canadian Curling Association announced a 6 year broadcast and multi-media deal. From 2008 until 2014 TSN will be the one and only home of curling in Canada. We're talking Brier, Hearts, Men and Women's world curling championships and the Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials leading into the 2010 Olympic games. If you are a Vic, Linda and Ray fan, then this has been good news for you. News you've been celebrating for over 2 months while absolutely nothing else has happened in your game.

Nothing at all.

So, how many of you actually read this entire post? I'm not even sure I did.

Wait, that's a different kind of curls, isn't it? Man, curling just does not make an interesting read. My bad.


#37 stuff

The table's been moving fast and furious over there, I hardly noticed that it was 2:55. We got the shut out numbers up to 5 on the goobs, and we're feeling pretty good about it. We need a new type of take on the game. If any of you out there have a different way that you throw down the foos, let us know and it'll be on - Goober crushing style.

I'll take any other ideas on what to do to fill our down time in Sports Guy North central, or NAMBLA as we call it. We've got movies, and hopefully some more fooz variations coming in (if anyone out there is still awake!) but we have short attention spans and the ADD, so we need more.

Until then, I'll just put up again the why I've been posting since 9am, and I'm still up at 3am. Enjoy:

For those of you who may not understand why I'm doubling my alltime blog output, it is for charity. This is a blogathon where for charity (Habitat for Humanity in my case) where from 9am today for 24 straight hours, I have to make 2 blog posts an hour. So that's pretty much it.

If you have a couple extra bucks - even 50 cents if you want - follow the link in the picture below and pledge some money to Habitat for Humanity.

A better description of what's going on can be found here - Blogathon Info


#36 Three Quarters Done

I don't have anything to say this time other than WE SHUT HIM OUT! All it took was 2:11am and Anchorman being on in the background. 3 games later, we shut him out again in a hellish game where I took one off the chops for the team. Litterally. It was intense.

I would like to take this time to thank some people for our victory. I'd like to thank my mom for always believing in me. I'd like to thank my day for the hours and hours of hockey in the garage growing up that helped me hone my goaltending skills. I'd like to thank Goober for being one of the all time worst foosball players that you'll ever meet. I'd like to thank God for creating little blue and red men. I'd like to thank the JF for potting a few goals on the way to victory. But most importantly, I'd like to thank Mark Messier's leadership camp for giving me the skills I need to succeed in a team sport as intense as 11 ball free for all. Without that camp, I fear I wouldn't be the same victorious person that I am today. That said, it's time again to look for donations towards the Send Sports Guy North to Mark Messier Leadership Camp fund. It's too bad that great charity doesn't take online donations, otherwise these efforts would have gone to a really needy cause.

:) 11 ball free for all shut outs forever!!! :)


#35 The Rant Post

OK, so 2am seems like just about the time to be ranting about sports things that bother me. At the top of that list would have to be the lack of sports that are watchable in the summer. Of the big 4 North American Sports (NFL, NHL, MLB and NBA), only baseball exists in the summer months. That kind of monopoly of the sporting airwaves is rediculous... and unnecessary for that matter. Why exactly is Basketball a winter sport? It's clearly not. It's in the summer Olympics. It's played on playgrounds in the summer. So how exactly did they decide that as a professional sport it should be played from November through June. Is it just to line up with when school is in? I dont get it, and it's not fair to us sports fans out there. Baseball and Tennis and Golf and Car Racing just does not do it. And there's no reason not to have basketball in the summer. It's the whole reason sports channels started picking up poker and spelling bees and so on in their coverage. There's just nothing else to bother with in the summer. The problem is, now, that people got into those lousy year round games, and they end up staying on the sports channels into the good sports season. That's such a waste of time at that point.

One thing that could make the summer a bit better, is if they turned soccer into something good. First off, obviously, diving has to go. A red card for every diving incident. Then there's the whole if you fake an injury you have sub off. That would be key. Unless the implemented one thing that would definitely improve the game - allowing infinite substitutions. people would have more energy to spare, so there would be a lot more challenges on balls and a lot less sitting around waiting for things to happen. There are so many places to go from there, but maybe instead of fixing something that's clearly broke, they should bring back something that isn't - SLAMBALL! Slamball was easily one of the best sports of all time. I'm going to look for a video of the time the guys foot fell off playing slamball, but until then just enjoy the clips that I did find. Certainly a sport that needs to go mainstream. If people gave it a chance, it would be gold.


#34 11 Ball Free For All

OK, so a game of 11 ball free for all broke out here, me and the JF on Goober. What that is, if you don't know, is foosball with all 11 balls on the surface at a time. The goal when we play this way, is to shutout goober 11 to 0. So far tonight and yesterday, it just hasnt happened. I'm dropping the bal on the face offs every time. Somehow 1 or 2 or 3 just migrate into the net without any Goober help. Until the last game right before this post. We had him. We had him dead. 8-0 with 3 balls left, and he gets one from his defenseman. Devastating. Just devastating.

See, I've lost my touch on the face offs, and I don't know why. I'm solid from then on, but the face offs are just beyond me now. I dont know what to do. So if any of you out there has some tips on how we can shut out the Goober like he deserves, send them in. This just isn't acceptable. And that last one was devastating. Time to take a break and watch Anchorman before we get back to it. Maybe 3am is what we need to take him down again. I'll keep you all posted.


#33 Golf Again

So to throw back, yet again, to the sex appeal in sports posts from much much earlier today, my attention turns to TSN's coverage of the LPGA Evian Masters. The headline says "Webb upstages Wie at Evian Masters", which is a nice attempt at avoiding the sex appeal issue in womens sports... on the surface. In reality, though, Webb won the masters and couldn't even get a headline to herself. The first sentence in the article is then also about Michelle Wie. That's kind of ridiculous. If I wont the Masters, I would hope I could at least steal the headline to myself away from some jailbate. But that's just me.

Laura Davis finished tied with Wie, but she wasn't playing in a skirt, so you won't see her mentioned until later on in the article. There are even more quotes from Wie in the article than from what's her name that won.

And that, right there, explains where women's sports are at right now. And since they've all see the money it generates, it is never ever going to change now. The outfits will just get skimpier and skimpier. Is that a good thing?


#32 The Barkley Post

First off, here is a link to Charles Barkley talking about what I'm about to talk about below. I think it's better coming from his lips:

Anyway, former basketball star and Republican Charles Barkley says he's decided to become a Democrat and will be running for governor in his home state, possibly in 2010.

"I really believe I was put on Earth to do more than play basketball and stockpile money, I really want to help people improve their lives, and what's left is for me to decide how best to do that."

Barkley has been talking about running for governor of Alabama since he was still playing in the league nearly a decade ago, but that was as a Republican. Why the change of allegiances? As he said:

"I was a Republican until they lost their minds".

Well put. But really, if you ask me, he probably would fit in a lot better with mind losers.

But anyway, Joe Turnham, the Alabama Democratic Party Chairman, had this to say about Chucky:

"I say welcome Charles Barkley. Charles Barkley has been a Horatio Alger story for many people, not only in sports but in business and broadcasting"

A Horatio Alger story. That says it all. Says is all indeed.

Saturday, July 29, 2006 

#31 An Appology

Yeah, so about that last post... that's my bad. As my only comment on there says

what the hell was that?

Yeah, I don't know. People here just shouted out sports at me and I wrote stuff. It wasn't the best idea. I don't know why I thought it was solid. That's totally my bad.

I don't even know how to recover from a post like that. I think I should just put in a video to make up for it to all my boys out there, and try to re-group and come back strong for 12:30am.

Game plan underway. Here we go.


#30 The Trienta

The 30th post is the weird one... and it's late already too... so here goes... hockey is a good sport. it's on ice. it's fast. basketball's pretty good too. it's not as fast but there is a lot of action. games tend to be troubled by either being blow outs or just needing to watch the last 30 seconds though. Dodgeball is pretty fun, but I'm undecided on if it's a sport yet. I do know that it screws up your arm pretty badly though. Baseball on the same day as a dodgeball game hurts. It's happened 3 times already this summer. No good. Golf is not fun, horrible to watch, but probably a sport. Michelle Wie makes it pretty good, though, to throw back to earlier posts. Football Canadian style is better than American. It's too bad all the better athletes play in the NFL. Watching NFL players play the CFL game would probably make for the best football of all time, including aussie rules. Speaking of which, now that is something. Like rugby but without the homosexual tinges to it. Curling is... a game. I enjoy watching it. I've never figured out why, but I rarely miss a Brier final. Tennis is the one sport that I actually enjoy watching the women play more than the men (beach volleybal excluded). And it's not because the women are hot, it's because they actually play a better brand of the game. Who enjoys watching a big serve, then maybe a return and then one more hit. Men's tennis has gotten bad, women's is where it's at. Squash is one of my favourite sprots to play, and is actually pretty interesting to watch too. It really should be more popular than tennis on both account. I'm not hearing any other sports named out here so this post is done.

Long live the Trienta.


#29 HOme a little Late from the Encore

OK, my 11:00pm is 10 minutes late due to Theory of a Deadman's encore going a little bit long. So all I have time to say is this little bit from Tampa Bay:

here is an interestig news blip......a federal judge in Tampa ruled yesterday that security "pat-downs" of fans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers games are unconstitutional and unreasonable. This throws into question the practice at NFL games. Pat-downs constitute unreasonable searches under the Florida Constitution and the 4th amendment of the United States Constituion.

if only that were true about concerts in Canada. Having to go in and out to make these posts, i got padded down at lesat 6 times today, and half of them by large men. I guess it's time to move to Tampa - it can't be any hotter or humid there than it was here today!


#28 The Raps Season

I have been trying to figure out the raps lineup... help me out here... This is what I have so far:

PG - TJ Ford, Jose Calderon
SG - Anthony Parker, Fred Jones, PJ Tucker
SF - Morris Peterson, Sloki, Joey Graham
PF - Chris Bosh, Andrea Bargnani, Jorge Garbajosa,
C - Rasho Nesterovic

out - kris humphries, d martin, pape sow

The JF had this to say about my supposed lineup - Sloki signed yesterday. the write-up said his height was 6-11 but didn't say anything about his position. so i guess that's the team. all but four guys are new. i think pj tucker will be given every opportunity to earn a spot in the nbdl.

Well said.

Anyway, let me know your thoughts out there on the up coming seasons lineup. That's my best crack at it. Maybe Sloki up to PF and the Bargain man at C. Maybe something different, but let me know what you've heard or think.

Hey Tank - feel free to come over and keep me company all night too, if you want. Goobs and the JF are going to be here. Big Dawg will probably be in bed by 12:30, though.

Actually, that goes for anyone else out there in the K-W area. Movies all night around here - i think Harold and Kumar go to White Castle and Saw 2 are up first!


#27 The Jays

You know, only when I wrote 26 up there did I realize that I had gotten more than halfway done. Hooray for me! I have a feeling that the second half will go by much faster than the first *huge eye roll*

Anyway, one thing I did do with my day today was watch this afternoon's Jays game, so I guess I'll give a little bit of a recap of that.

The game started off promisingly enough, and very un-Blue Jay like. Normally this season they get behind early and make a big comeback, or they just take a while to get going. In any event, today was different as the Jays got out to a first inning 4-0 lead off the bat of Troy Glaus. Just 4 batters into the game Glaus' home run had the Jays up 4 to 0. Smooth sailing from there, right?

Well, hold on a second. Remember when I said it would be OK to have the weakened Rios in the lineup if he's still hitting holes? Well, he didnt. In fact, his bat didnt touch anything as he struck out all four times he was up to bat, including once with the bases loaded. He really does not look ready to be playing yet. That needs to be addresssed, with the extra s and everything.

Anyway, by the fifth inning call-up Dustin McGowan had already blown the lead, and the A's didn't look back strolling to a 7-4 victory.

As a special note for our Crazy Baseball Fantasy League, Tank will be happy to know that his first round pick, Reed Johnson, got beaned for the 15th time already this season. Also of note, Chavez broke the A's consecutive games at 3B without an error record with his 60th consecutive game. Not nearly as noteworthy to Tank, but probably a lot more so to everyone else :)


#26 Time and Time Again

Reports Say Jamaal Magloire Could Move to Portland, in a deal that would send 6-foot-11 center to the Western Conference team. According to various reports, Portland is prepared to send guard Steve Blake, forward Brian Skinner and 7-foot-3 center Ha Seung-Jin to the Bucks in exchange for Magloire. And if that's all Magloire costs, then why was Toronto never interested in acquiring his services. It makes no sense to me. Bringing in a Canadian, even if he isn't as good as Canadians like to pretend, would be huge for bringing in fans and other publicity. He'd be like a god. Even if you had a better option, it would almost be better to downgrade just to bring that kind of free publicity in. But stuff like that never happens around here. Especially not now - he's not nearly European enough for the new Raptors!

PS - Alanah, I am currently living the dream ;)


#25 What's Up?

For those of you who may not understand why I'm doubling my alltime blog output, it is for charity. This is a blogathon where for charity (Habitat for Humanity in my case) where from 9am today for 24 straight hours, I have to make 2 blog posts an hour. So that's pretty much it.

If you have a couple extra bucks - even 50 cents if you want - follow the link in the picture below and pledge some money to Habitat for Humanity.

A better description of what's going on can be found here - Blogathon Info

Keeping me company out here in the blog world tonight is Alanah over at Vancouver Canucks Op Ed. Feel free to pop over there and see other postes along with mine every half hour... if you're even out there still reading mine...

Now, a word about Ultimate Frisbee... oh wait... no, no this is a sports blog. There is no time for games around here :p


#24 TJ's PJ's

The best move the Raptor's ever made was one that most people are calling a mistake, trading Charlie Villanueva for TJ Ford. How people could call this a mistake based on talent alone is beyond me. Ford is one of the best young point guards to have come around since back when Kidd and Nash were coming into the league, and the Raps already had 73 people who could play the same position as Chucky.

Beyond that, however, as it turns out TJ actually wants to play in Toronto for the Raptors. Seriously. That's almost unthinkable for a top player in the game. What we're used to around here is people refusing to adhere to their contract once being dealt to Toronto, having to buy out players, and having players want to leave due to not wanting their kids in the Canadian education system.

Instead, this budding superstar had the following to say to reporters on Friday:

I think the winning attitude is definitely going to be here as soon as training camp's started, I think we're definitely going to be a lot better than we were last season. We're young and I think we're going to be energetic and we're going to be entertaining and we're going to have a lot of fun.

I just know it's cold, but I'm really excited to be here. I don't think people really understand how excited I am.

It's my job to come in here and just try to make everybody happy and get everybody involved.

I want to come in and play hard and try to have the city enjoy basketball like it was a couple years ago

Our ultimate goal is to get to the playoffs. We definitely want to surprise a lot of teams and surprise a lot of people.

Forget about basketball, i think that is the longest string of positive words that have ever come out of anyone involved with Toronto sports at any time ever. As a Toronto sports fan, I don't even know how to handle that kind of positivity. It's almost frightening. Refreshing yes, but absolutely frightening.


#23 Hartford Penguins

So it looks like Sam Fingold's bid to purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins is going to go through. Fingold is a Toronto native, and a Hartford business man. His $75 million bid somehow seemed more attractive than a bid put together by people absolutely commited to keeping the team in Pittsburgh. Fingold has ties to Hartford, and has also openly admitted to being open to moving the team to Kansas City's new arena. He has changed his story now, and has said

As passionate hockey fans, we are excited about this opportunity to purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins. We agree with the current ownership group that the Penguins should remain in Pittsburgh, and that a new arena is crucial to the team's long-term success.

So many of the elements for success already are in place here, including a loyal fan base and a spectacular core of young talent, led by Sidney Crosby. The Penguins are an important part of Pittsburgh's sports landscape, and it is our objective to do everything possible to secure their future here.

It sounds good, until you focus on the last line - EVERYTHING POSSIBLE. That's sports business talk for it's as good as gone. If the current ownership was so committed to keeping the team in Pittsburgh, they would have taken the Cuban and Marino groups offer instead of this clearly unstable ownership team. Safe money says the Penguins are no more come 2010 at the latest. And with the "hockey" that they've been putting on the ice in resent years, maybe it's for the best.


#22 One For My Baby

loving you is easy cuz you're beautiful
making love with you is all I want to do.
loving you is more than just a dream come ture
cuz everything that I do is out of loving you

du du du du du du
la la la

No one else can make me feel
The colors that you bring
Stay with me while we grow old
And we will live each day in springtimes
Cuz loving you
Has made my life so beautiful
Every day of my life
Is filled with loving you
Loving you I see your soul
Come shining thru
Every time that we oh....
I'm more in love with you

La la la.....
Du du du du du du... hey!

No one else can make me feel
The colors that you bring
Stay with me while we grow old
And we will live each day in springtimes
Cuz loving you
Has made my life so beautiful
Every day of my life
Is filled with loving you
Loving you I see your soul
Come shining true
Every time that we oh....
I'm more in love with you

La la la.....
Du Du Du Du Du Du, hey!


#21 The Soccer Post

People keep asking where my soccer post is, and I guess when you write 48 posts you have to say something about soccer. I guess. So here, now, is my take on soccer:

3 videos that explain everything you'll ever need to know about soccer. Ta da!


#20 A Quick Shout Out

I just wanted to take a second to give a shout out to a company that actually made this charitable work possible. The fact is, my computer broke this week, and it was not ready for today. Seeing that, one of the partners at a company in town here donated a laptop to me to use for the weekend, and asked for nothing in return. A very stand-up move, by a very stand-up guy at a very stand-up company. In fact, when I coached kids softball for 5 years a while back, they were my teams sponsor every year. Great community involvement, and great people all around.

That said, if you live in the Kitchener area are you are in need of products and programs for your:

Personal assets (home, cars, belongings/valuables)
Business interests (commercial buildings/property and liability)
Financial well-being (RRSP, RESP, life insurance)

Please go in and see Erb and Erb Insurance Brokers Ltd. They are a great company, and like I said without their help, I wouldn't be able to raise all this money for Habitat for Humanity today. Thank you again to Erb and Erb.

PS - if you were wondering how this was a sports related post, notice I did mention softball. Huh, huh. Oh I mentioned it. Speaking of softball, I'm playing on a team this summer in an office league and for some reason I NEVER score. I am having a ridiculous year, and am hitting 42 for 46 on the season, but somehow I've scored only 10 runs. It's so randomly bad that in one game I got a home run, but there is a 7 run mercy on each inning (sign of a great league), and the run that scored in front of me was the 7th run so i didn't count. What's worse is that the league only keeps track of runs scored on their website and nothing else. Such a great season and it's being shown as mediocre. Now I know what Dmitri Yushkevich must have always felt like.


#19 - Rios and Tanto

Blue Jays fans were happy to see Alex Rios return to the lineup last night, and even happier to see him help lead them to victory with a couple of key hits. He did, however, boot a ball in right field that he would normally have gotten to, and also looked like there was no power at all to be found in his very slimed down arms.

Rios developed a staph infection after fouling a ball off his leg on June 27th. They are claiming that he only lost 5 pounds due to the infection, but anyone who saw him taking batting practice early last week knows that a lot more came off. He still looks much more than 5 pounds under weight.

It is great to have their best player back in the lineup, but it's going to be at least a month by my account until he's close to where he was in June. As long as he keeps hitting the holes in the meantime like he did last night, though, then it's still great to have him back.

The Blue Jays improved their record to 57-46 with the win, but looked to be primed to fall to 57-47 this afternoon (evening? I don't even know anymore!).

Speaking of the tired confusion that is the Blogathon, this one goes out to Alanah at Vancouver Canucks Op Ed. Here is a much better version of the song that you posted in your 18th charity post of the day. Much, much better, ha. I guess it does out to Tank and Mrs. Tank as well, since they didn't know this dance before ;)


#18 In Arbitration

Here is a list, so far, of players in the NHL who have been awarded money in arbitration cases:

San Jose: Mark Smith - 1 year, $700,000
Pittsburgh: Ryan Malone - 2 year, $1.375 million per
Anaheim: Vitali Vishnevski - 1 year, $1.55 million
Florida: Jay Bouwmeester - 2 year, $2.175 million per
NY Islanders: Mike York - 1 year, $2.85 million
Chicago: Kyle Calder - 1 year, $2.95 million
Buffalo: Daniel Briere - 1 year, $5 million
New Jersey: Scott Gomez - 1 year, $5 million (a big thank you Patrick Elias!)

That said, I would guess that 100% of the players that settled prior to arbitration are kicking themselves at this point. These awards are ridiculous. There is no way the Sabres are going to pay Briere $5 million a year, and the Devils with their lack of a capologist wouldn't be able to fit Gomez in for that. $3 million for Mike York? I could do what Mike York does. It's all misplaced, and someone really needs to step in. I'm sure something will be different next off season. It has to be.

Players Remaining:

Boston Bruins - David Tanabe Aug. 3

Buffalo Sabres - Maxim Afinogenov Aug. 3, J.P. Dumont July 31, Paul Gaustad Aug. 2, Adam Mair Aug. 4

Chicago Blackhawks - Jim Vandermeer July 28

Colorado Avalanche - Brett McLean Aug. 4

Nashville Predators - Scott Hartnell Aug. 4

New York Rangers - Adam Hall Aug. 2

Phoenix Coyotes - Mike Comrie Aug. 4, Ladislav Nagy Aug. 4

Pittsburgh Penguins - Dominic Moore Aug. 2

Washington Capitals - Matt Pettinger Aug. 2


#17 The Avery Man

The JF sent me this little piece about John Avery of the Toronto Argonauts this week:

i was watching cabbie's show before and he was asking people what was the first game they went to. and he asked john avery. he said his first game was with his guidance counselor. because he was in a special class. not because he was slow. he said that. then he made a failed attempt at mumbling through what the reason was for him being in the class before coming back to "not because i was slow". as he was trailing off he made some comment to the effect of it's not true what they say about the short bus. it was pretty good.

That reminded me of the best thing I've ever seen on TV. It was when the CFL unveiled their new uniforms a couple seasons back and they didn an interview with AVery about them. He said something about how nice they felt and how he wanted to go home and take everything off and put on some socks and lay in bed wearing it reading a book... or something to that effect... followed by a big woooo.

Needless to say, I NEED someone to find a clip of that interview, or a direct quote from it for me. It was too much, and it is the number one must see of any sports interview ever. It just doesnt seem to exist anywhere anymore, except maybe in a beautiful dream. A beautiful, beautiful dream. Maybe that's all it ever was. It was almost too perfect to be true.

Have the majority of my posts really been about the CFL? What's going on here. I haven't even mentioned Vishnevski's $1.55 million awarding yet, but I've mentioned the CFL 5 times. Solid.


#16 Chess Boxing

So you may be asking yourself "Self, is Sports Guy North really that hard up to think of something to post that he's actually going to acknowledge Chess Boxing?"

And the answer is easy. Yes. Yes I am.

For those of you who aren't familiar, Chess Boxing is a match between two opponents just like boxing. There are eleven alternating rounds of boxing and chess sessions, starting with a four-minute chess round followed by two minutes of boxing and so on.

Between rounds there is a 1 minute break, during which competitors change their gear (seriously). The form of chess played is "blitz chess" (whatever that is) in which competitors have a total of twelve minutes. The match can be ended by knockout, checkmate, a judge's decision or if their someone's twelve minutes of chess time elapses.

And that, my friends, is the great sport of Chess Boxing. And, believe it or not, there is actually a World Chess Boxing Organization. Someone actually even has a blog to track his progress in training to become a Chess Boxing Champion.

Does the organization have a motto you ask? What self-respecting organization wouldn't?

"Fighting is done in the ring and wars are waged on the board".

God bless you boys.


#15 the FT

Sorry again, I am still on the same delay as last half hour. I still can't say why, but these videos are in celebration. They won't make sense except to the people who they should make sense to. If that's not you, I'd suggest not watching them. Strongly.

To those who should watch them, though, ENJOY :-D


#14 A delay

OK, so my next post is being delayed due to some HUGE news that I cannot divulge at this moment... it's huge, i'll fill you all in tomorrow, just please excuse the delay...


#13 Wayne's World

Alanah at VCOE, a fellow blogathon participant, just reminded me about my new favourite hobby - Consulting Garth Snow on any decision I have to make.

This came up because Mister Snow released a letter to the public that concluded with the following:

I understand that I need to earn your confidence and respect over time. Over the next few weeks, I want to hear from Islander fans. I've asked the team to set up an email address where you can send questions and I'll answer as many as I can on the site. (Don't worry; my days are long enough to manage the team and address your questions). Comments are encouraged, too. Let's communicate and let's get behind the Orange and Blue.

It then listed his email address:

What Garth wants, Garth gets. So far that has included suggestions for tournaments he should send scouts to, why he needs to add Tie Domi to his squad, and a consultation asking for the "dream group" of executives in New York to decide for me what outfit I should wear for my wedding.

Now I'm looking for suggestions. I need new things to ask Garth. I need something new pretty much every day. Please send your help and support. This is even more important to me than this charity today (don't tell anyone though), so get them in!


#12 What's Going On Here?

For those of you who may not understand why I'm doubling my alltime blog output, it is for charity. This is a blogathon where for charity (Habitat for Humanity in my case) where from 9am today for 24 straight hours, I have to make 2 blog posts an hour. So that's pretty much it.

If you have a couple extra bucks - even 50 cents if you want - follow the link in the picture below and pledge some money to Habitat for Humanity.

A better description of what's going on can be found here - Blogathon Info

Anyway, my buddy Adam just asked me the following (follow the link below if you don't know what a Rucchin is):

hey kent... any ideas for an NBA 'rucchin of the year'?...
my first thought goes to boris diaw

It's tough for basketball, and I'll take any suggestions you might have. It's easier to tell a few years later when a Rucchining may have been occurring. For me Kenyon Martin's days with Jason Kidd come to mind.

His question reminds me that the other day I was thinking of how the award applies to Baseball. The best I could figure is that it goes to the pitcher with the best record despite his numbers. It's not bad, but we need to figure out who to name the award after. Someone that made a career with a lot of wins, and a huge ERA. Bring your suggestions in.

Anyway, the front runners so far this year are:

Josh Beckett 13-5 with a 4.80 ERA and 1.26 WHIP
Kenny Rogers 11-4 with a 4.45 ERA and 1.28 WHIP
Joe Blanton 11-8, with a 4.78 ERA and 1.45 WHIP
Jason Marquis 12-8, with a 5.67 ERA and 1.41 WHIP
Steve Trachsel 9-5, with a 5.14 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP

I think Marquis is running away with this so far, bolstered by the fact that he is actually leading the NL in wins, despite and ERA that's flirting with 6.00. That is such a statistical anomaly. If he keeps it up all year, the award just might end up named after him.


#11 Female Athletes Continuation

So after my last post about female's sex appeal in sports, I did a search on you tube for "Female Athletes" and came up with these as the top results:

I'm sorry about that first one (what exactly did that have to do with body building?), but this is actually what comes up in a search for female athletes. That says A LOT in itself about the dominance of sex appeal over everything else in women's sports.

What is worse is that the second video was trying to use sex appeal in sports to sell religion. That is a little too much to wrap my head around on this little sleep. Maybe I'll come back to it again at 3am when I'm really starting to lose it.

Truly baffling.

Motocross just came on. I have to go find the remote.


#10 the FHM paradox

There is a show on Sportsnet right now called "beyond the Glory: Sex & Sports". Basically they are talking about how women's sports wouldn't be successful without the sex appeal. They are arguing on one hand that women's sports wouldn't be financially viable without sex appeal, and on the other hand that by selling the women's sex appeal takes away from the validity and respect for their sports. This is a very tough subject to tackle. It's true that when Anna was the face of Tennis, despite making a grand slam semi-final once, and never making the top ten rankings, that did take away from what the better players than her were accomplishing. But it's also true that many many men who would never bother watching tennis were turning their TV's on, increasing ratings, increasing sponsorship, increasing demand and thus increasing the payouts for women's tennis back into the pockets of those ahead of Anna in the rankings.

Then there was that soccer world cup where that US girl took off her top after winning the championship. All of a sudden there was talk about women's leagues and marketing and so on. As the memory of her little sports bra faded, so did interest in women's soccer. I'm not sure I ever hear it mentioned anymore.

The problems are this: Men watch sports much more than women. 18-34 year old males are the target demographic. Speaking as someone in that age group, I do enjoy attractive women. I enjoy sports much more (enough that I have never, and will never watch the lingerie bowl), however. But I enjoy it at the highest level. Women just are not built to compete in most sports the way men's bodies are physically made to. Watching WNBA games is about equivalent to boys high school basketball, and not even that good depending on the high school. The skill level is an issue, and since men are watching the sports the only way to counteract that is with sex appeal.

The question is, then, is that fair?

I don't know. I do know that if it is a sport with a male equivalent, it will not succeed without sex appeal. There is just no way around that, and there never will be. Half my suggestions for things to post today have been about Michelle Wie, or a list of the hottest athletes, etc. That's just the reality of sports.

And if you ask the players - ask Lindsey davenport how her millions of dollars compare to being a footnote to Anna's "dominance" of the sport during her prime, and I don't think she'll complain too much. Ask the hundreds of athletes who have posed in FHM or put out a nude curling calendar, and so on, and they weren't forced to do those things, they chose to. Heck, Andre Agassi did it back in the day. Why exactly did he get so many more endorsements than Sampras?

There is a balance there, but sports are primarily entertainment. That's why they get paid so much. Part of the reality for women in sports is that there is a sexual element, and they understand that before they sign their contracts. If it's something that really bothers them, then they should stick to playing in their home town, unknown and dominating, and gaining respect for their abilities from a dozen people that way. This is the business of sports, and if you're going to make that your career you have to take everything that comes with it, as fair or unfair as it all might be.


#9 Top 30 Sports Movies of All Time

PS - this is guaranteed to be a Whoopie-free list

1. dodgeball Yes, I know that calling Dodgeball the greatest sports movie of all time is going to make me look like a bit of an idiot, but I don't care. That was the funniest movie I have ever seen. There's no way I can't make it top the list. Mock away.

2. league of their own OK, so they made a sports movie with Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Rosie O'Donnel and Madonna. Even Jon Lovitz makes an appearance. And the movie is about girl's baseball. And somehow, what on paper looks like the worst possible combination to ever put together, turned into one of the best movies of all time. I don't understand how, but I don't question it.

3. major league I can't believe this movie came out 17 years ago. How is that possible? It seems like just yesterday that Jake Taylor was legging out that bunt.

4. remember the titans This movie goes beyond sports. One of the best.

5. happy gilmore The price may be wrong, but the movie got it all right.


7. raging bull Bobby D at his all time best.

8. He Got Game Ray Allen should be called Jesus a lot more often than he is

9. les boys Most of you probably haven't seen this one, and if you're American you probably haven't even heard of it until now. It's a french movie about an amature hockey team, and it is a classic. Possibly the best film to ever come out of Canada.

10. Brian's Song Too sad to top the list in my books.

11. rocky Sequels are lumped together in this list, so I won't go on and on about Rocky 4 the war. That was... something...

12. the longest yard Burt Reynolds, NOT Adam Sandler, of course.

13. field of dreams Oh Ray Consella, how we've all wanted to give into our psychotic episodes like you did. We just aren't brave enough.

14. blue crush I'm sorry, I just love this movie, and you can't tell me not to! Gotta love those Bosworth eyes.

15. mighty ducks Quack quack quack Mister Duckswerth. Iceland - world's hockey power!

16. STICK IT! Whether it was intentional or not, this was one of the funniest movies i've ever seen. Go see it if you haven't yet. "you know boys?"... hahaha... it's almost too much.

17. White Men Can't Jump A movie that actually tried to pull off Rosie Perez as a sex symbol, now that is impressive

18. the sandlot The movie with the Big Dawg. Priceless fun.

19. bull durham The bottom of this list should just be called the Top (bottom?) Kevin Costner movies.

20. rookie of the year One of the best kids movies of all time, even outside of the sports genre

21. waterboy Oh mama.

22. hoosiers Gene Hackman and Dennis Hopper should always make movies together. Always.

23. prefontaine Early Jared Leto makes me laugh

24. hometeam Who makes Steve Guttenberg a star? We do, we do.

25. the last homerun If you stop dreaming, you stop living. And if you ask Tank, to do this movie up properly, you have to watch it one sitting with Summer of the Monkey's. It's a must.

26. hoop dreams As much as I like basketball, I'm actually not a big fan of this movie. Not sure why.

27. angels in the outfield Danny Glover and Tony Danza, together at last.

28. Slap Shot Again, I am just not a fan of this movie. Not in the least. I've never understood it's popularity.

29. soccer dog You can never go wrong with a James Marshall movie... or can you?

30. air bud This is all of them in one - Seventh Inning Fetch, Golden Retreiver... all of that mess.


#8 Sports Movies Intro

While I still have Sumeet keeping me company, I decided to take advantage of it and go for another top 10 list. This time, instead of cutting it short to 3, we'll extend it out to 30. So now, here are the top 25 sports movies of all time. We managed to think of 25 pretty quickly (and, as you can see, not likely with the best of effort), but ordering them is turning out to be a lot more difficult than I had anticipated. But here goes:

remember the titans This movie goes beyond sports. One of the best.

raging bull Bobby D at his all time best.

Brian's Song Too sad to top the list in my books.

the longest yard Burt Reynolds, NOT Adam Sandler, of course.

the sandlot The movie with the Big Dawg. Priceless fun.

bull durham The bottom of this list should just be called the Top (bottom?) Kevin Costner movies.

rookie of the year One of the best kids movies of all time, even outside of the sports genre


hometeam Who makes Steve Guttenberg a star? We do, we do.

the last homerun If you stop dreaming, you stop living. And if you ask Tank, to do this movie up properly, you have to watch it one sitting with Summer of the Monkey's. It's a must.

angels in the outfield Danny Glover and Tony Danza, together at last.

soccer dog You can never go wrong with a James Marshall movie... or can you?

air bud This is all of them in one - Seventh Inning Fetch, Golden Retreiver... all of that mess.

OK, this is taking a lot longer than the 30 minutes.... stay tuned for the completion... this is certainly NOT complete, as I hope you can tell :)


#7 The First Top 10 List

For the sake of something to write about, my buddy Sumeet and I decided to try to come up with a top ten list of the best Canadian Athletes of all time - excluding hockey. The first three were reeled off pretty quickly, but then we ran into a bit of a snag that names like Mike Vanderjagt were thrown at. So I'll list the top 3 for now, and you guys can make suggestions for who should close out the list. Here goes:

1. Steve Nash - Say what you want about who should have won the award this past season, but Steve Nash was the back to back MVP of the NBA. Only the 9th player of all time to win consecutive MVP trophies, and only the second point guard ever to win the award more than once. The other? Magic Johnson. You just can't argue with that kind of comparison.

2. Lennox Lewis - He may be fighting under England for the money these days, but Len grew up around the corner from me so there's no way he isn't Canadian. Not only was he the Heavy Weight Champion of the world, but he absolutely dominated in the roll. No one was close to him while he ruled. Some people also don't remember that back in the day he was a gold medalist for Canada eons ago. A spectacular career from start to finish, and one of few Canadians known by name around the world.

3. Larry Walker - I know, I know, baseball again. But the influence Larry Walker had on Canadian sport will only be matched by the basketball players we see coming out of Canada in 10 years. A career .313 hitter, he came up one homerun short of 50 in 1997, and threw in 130 RBI to boot. The Canadians you see in the league today - Gagne, Dempster, Bay and so on - have a lot to do with Larry Walker. Without his influence on both kids desire to play, and scouts willingness to come to Canada, many of them wouldn't be what they are today.

So that's a pretty easy top three. Now get your suggestions in for the next 7. Those that come to mind are Catarina LeMay Doan, Eric Gagne, Donovan Bailey, Mike Vanderjagt, Jamal Magloire, Cindy Klassan... let me know who you think belongs.


#6 Post-Shower Hurry Up

OK, I just took some time to take a nice, long shower, and now I'm a little pressed for time to get this post out. I'm used to deadlines, but this is nuts, ha. So I guess I'll take a quick look at the baseball world, as seen through the eyes of the players I have on my fantasy team. Reason being - it's time to check on my fantasy team, why else.

It looks like Chase Utley came up with a late-inning single, to extend his hitting streak to 28 consecutive games. Chase became just the 36th player to get halfway to Joe DiMaggio's record of 56 within a single season. Keep in mind Joe set that record 65 years ago, so about every second year someone gets halfway to his mark. This really is the toughest record in all of sports to ever get close to, and a lot of that is due to how much pitching has improved in those 60 some odd years. The Blue Jays have a middle reliever that can pitch 100mph. A middle releiver. That says enough right there.

Mark Teahen has a 5 game hitting streak going, and has been promoted to third in the Royals batting order. Over that time he is 8 for 18 with 3 HR and 7 RBI. If for some reason he's available in your league (as he was in mine a couple weeks ago) he is a must add at this point, no matter what other third basemen you have on your team.

Oakland A's Joe Kennedy (shoulder) threw 28 pitches in a bullpen session Thursday, and will be pitching every second day for a couple of weeks until his return, which begs the question: Why do I have Joe Kennedy on my team anyway?

Last Weeks Top 5 (on my team):

1. F. Liriano - 22K in 13 innings, 1W, 2.08 ERA and WHIP of 1.00
2. M. Prior - 5 2/3 innings of no hit baseball before being pulled due to pitch count
3. C. Utley - 3 HR, 7R, 2 SB and a .417 average in chasing Joe's record
4. M. Teahen - 3HR, 8RBI and .444 average
5. El. Alfonzo - 3HR, 7RBI and a .368 average from a guy I picked up last week to fill a day where Lo Duca was sitting. This kids got power and average potential, pick him up if he's there.


#5 - Boo Berry

OK, I'm sitting here now enjoying a bowl of Boo Berry (something we don't have in these parts anymore, so I actually have it shipped in from somewhere in New England. Really.), and I just remembered that I had a NFL Fantasy draft at 10. When I went to check in on it, it was already over. Nobody live drafted, but I really can't blame them. This was our crazy league (We always have 4 - one with friends, one with people at work, one that you can't make any changes in, and one with crazy points), which is kind of a crap shoot anyway. I'm destroying people in our baseball crazy pool, because my guys all crowd the plate and get beaned constantly. To give you an idea of how the football league is set up, here is how the kickers are scored:

Field Goals 0-19 Yards (15)
Field Goals 20-29 Yards (15)
Field Goals 30-39 Yards (-15)
Field Goals 40-49 Yards (-30)
Field Goals 50+ Yards (999)
Field Goals Missed 0-19 Yards (200)
Field Goals Missed 20-29 Yards (15)
Field Goals Missed 30-39 Yards (-50)
Field Goals Missed 40-49 Yards (-10)
Field Goals Missed 50+ Yards (1111)
Point After Attempt Made (-7.9)
Point After Attempt Missed (2000)

Add to that 888 points for a safety, and the setup is random enough that I don't blame people for auto-drafting. I'm sitting at a computer this morning, and I was one of them. I got Derrick Wimbush, though, so I think I'm all set.

And if you think this league is the dorkiest thing someone could have done with a fantasy NFL league, have a look at this video:


#4 - Mini Notes of Note

It may only be 10:30am, but it's Saturday so I'm tired anyway. As you know, that can only mean one thing. It's time for the great nation of Hungary's favourite new feature: Notes of Note

Graceful Retiree
Andre Agassi bid goodbye to a long career yesterday, losing 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 for Gonzalez in the quarter-finals of the Countrywide Classic in LA. Not quite the high-profile tournament you'd want to see him finish at, but something can be said about finishing your career in your home town. Those of us old enough to remember his long-haired, bad boy fashion rebel days of his early career should be stunned with how his tennis days will be remember. Not as a rebel, but as a consumate professional and all around great guy on the tour. It's amazing how much someone can mature from their early twenties to their mid thirties. I just hope it never happens to me.

My Testosterone Levels
I'm at about a 6 to 1 ratio now... I'm lovin it!

It seems odd to me that nobody told the Arbitrators in the NHL front office that there is a salary cap in the league now. Some of these rulings are just counter productive to what the league is trying to do. I can't believe the league hasn't stepped in yet in some form, because this is just not good for anything.

Michelle Wie
Goober told me to write about her, but I don't really know what to say outside of she's still hot, and still doing well on the LPGA side (although she doesn't have a single victory yet which is odd for someone that gets so much media coverage), and shouldn't be bothering on the PGA side. When asked what he wanted me to write about, he said "yeah she's hot, she's doin alright golfing so far, last I heard". Good stuff.

More Cowbell
There is ALWAYS time for more cowbell!


#3 - Hammy Bippy

As you can maybe tell from the title of this post, I'm already hitting a bit of a wall with writers block... and that just does not bode well for eventual post #37. In any respect, I'm going to try to power through, and head back to the CFL for a second time already (yikes. I apologize to my American readers who make up like 99.9% of my readership. This is totally my bad.). This story just takes the fickleness of modern sports to a new level. When the Leafs sent Tie Domi packing unceremoniously, instead of letting him retire gracefully, that was one thing. When coaches get fired left right and center, and goalies are blamed for every problem in Philadelphia up to and including an increased amount of gun violence in the city, these are just things that we are used to, and whether they make sense or not have become a part of North American sports.

The BC Lions, however, have taken it to a ho nutta leva, in releasing Antonio Warren. Let me explain. Antonio Warren set a club record with 160 yards on 18 carries in the 2004 Grey Cup. In 5 seasons and 62 career games, Antonio Warren has 24 touchdowns, and 4224 yards on the ground and in the air. Antonio Warren was the Lions player of the year just last season. Antonio Warren missed one blocking assignment, that caused fragile QB Dave Dickenson to have to take a hit. One single hit. As a result, Antonio Warren finds himself unemployed today.

I guess the Lions needed a cheaper option than his close to $80,000 a year that he likely makes. In any event, when something like that happens you really just have to wonder what's happened to sports. On a positive note, though, I can't wait to watch Antonio wearing the old Blue in Toronto soon. Thanks for your fickleness west coast, someone out east will no doubt benefit from it.


#2 - Tour de Testosterone

OK, I knew I'd eventually have to resort to fringe "Sports" in doing 48 posts today, so I figured I might as well get it out of the way early and save big news like the Canucks signing Jan Bulis for later.

We turn now to the Tour de France, and the Floyd Landis "scandal". In case you haven't heard, he tested positive for having high levels of testosterone, something that he didnt test for earlier in the race. If you don't know how steroids and increased testosterone can help you, it is not like in cartoons. You don't just pop the spinach can open and gain muscle mass and strength. It's something that takes months for you to build up an effect. People who claim his one day come back had something to do with it really just don't have a clue. Step up: Dick Pound.

The once highly respected and now highly questioned lawyer from Montreal had the following to say:

"When is this going to end? What is the UCI going to do about it?"

"You build up and create a new hero, and he gets slapped down," Pound said. "It's a serious blow."

Whatever Dick. I think Stephen Colbert definately put all of this best. This is priceless:


#1 - Intro

The church bells are ringing next door, and I guess that means it's 9am. 9am on a Saturday, and instead of being in bed cuddling or sleeping or whatever, here i am sitting at a computer trying to wait a few minutes to pee. It's not as bad as 6am (good morning Alanah!) but it's certainly not the best way to celebrate your birthday.

Anyway, I have no idea how to start writing 48 posts in one day, so I might as well start with the CFL. Terry Vaughn was presented last night with a trophy for setting the CFL record for most career receptions, and he welcomed the award in tears. I don't know about you, but I find it hard to get emotional about a made up trophy in the CFL. Vaughn feels differently apparently.

Speaking of the CFL, Wendy's Kick for a Million contest is back again this year. After that guy hit the 50 yard field goal last year, I totally did not expect this contest to come back. But I guess they figure there's no way it happens twice. Sign up for the contest at that link there and prove them right.

CFL Scoreboard

Montreal 21, Edmonton 13,
Winnepeg 29, Hamilton 0

Friday, July 21, 2006 

2006 Blogathon Info

On July 29th, to celebrate my birthday I will be staying home and participating in Blogathon 2006. My efforts (or lack there of, depending on your take on my writing) will be to raise money for Habitat for Humanity, of Jimmy Carter fame.

Basically how this works is on July 29th I have to make some kind of post every 30 minutes from 9:00 am until 9:00 am the following day. They don't allow us to produce anything in advance, so basically whatever is randomly on my mind at the time is what you're going to get - but since it's me it'll be all gold, so be sure to keep tuning in all day and night. And remember, the quality of the writing will be directly proportional to the donations raised ;)

The donations aren't everything, though. If I'm going to produce 48 Pulitzer worthy posts, I'm going to need a little bit of help. So stop in over and over, leave me comments with suggestions on things to write about and other support you might have. Just keep me going. Alanah at Vancouver Canucks OpEd will also be getting down and dirty in this blogathon (she's playing for Canucks Place Children's Hospice, a very worthy charity. I've already left her a pledge, and if you have a little more to spare after supporting me, you should too :) ), but hopefully we won't just be left to keep each other company at 3am. Even if you just stumble home Saturday night stop in and leave either of us some kind of drunk idiocy that we can laugh at, anything will help.

About My Charity

In all seriousness now, Habitat for Humanity Canada is based in my hometown of Kitchener-Waterloo, and over the past 21 years has dedicated over 1000 houses coast to coast. What people don't always know about Habitat for Humanity is that it is not a give-away program. In addition to mortgage payments, each homeowner invests hundreds of hours of their own labour, called "sweat equity", into the building of their house and the houses of others.

What we don't always realize in either the Sports or the Internet world is that not everyone makes $5 million a year to play 16 games and spend all their time in a gym. Many people in Canada are living below the poverty line, and in unsafe conditions to bring up their families. That's where Habitat for Humanity comes in.

The three criteria to qualify for a Habitat home are (1) need for affordable housing, (2) ability to repay a Habitat mortgage and (3) willingness to partner with Habitat.

Need for affordable housing is defined by a family income that is below the government-set Low Income Cut-Off (poverty line) for their particular region, and existing living conditions that are inadequate in terms of structure, cost, safety or size. The ratio of shelter expense to total income is also factored.

Ability to repay a Habitat mortgage requires that the family has a stable income sufficient to cover the monthly mortgage payments and other expenses that come with home ownership.

Homeowners must demonstrate a willingness to partner with Habitat by contributing 500 hours of volunteer labor ("sweat equity") towards the building of their home.

Through volunteer labour, efficient management and tax-deductible donations of money and materials, Habitat builds and rehabilitates simple, decent houses with the help of the homeowner (partner) families. Habitat houses are sold to partner families at no profit and financed with affordable, no-interest mortgages. The homeowners' monthly mortgage payments go into a revolving fund, which is used to build more houses.

Like myself, many of you have volunteered countless hours to Habitat construction, and that is the key to making this charity work. But doors and windows and so on aren't free, and often construction can be limited by resources not volunteer numbers or need. Anything you can provide for Habitat for Humanity would be greatly appreciated. Even if you aren't charitable, remember your donations will keep me up for 24 hours, so you can think of your money as going towards torturing your least favourite blogger on the inter-web. That's not too shabby either.

NOTE: You DO NOT send me money. Just commit your pledge on the Blogathon site, then after the event you can send your donation DIRECTLY to Habitat for Humanity, either online or by sending a cheque/moneyorder. If you need assistance at that point, let me know. I'll be more than happy to help.


2006 NHL Free Agency Update

Anaheim - The Ducks, a team I became partial to last season, have become "On Notice" after trading Lupul and some draft picks for Chris Pronger. Outside of that, they have been fairly silent on the free agent front, agreeing to 3 years and undisclosed terms with their own breakout center from last season, Andy McDonald. And I was looking forward to buying the first "non-mighty" Ducks jersey. Pity. Only loss: Salei

Atlanta - Unlike the Ducks, the Thrashers have been very busy, having already signed multiple players, up to and including both bringing Freddy Braithwaite back from oblivion, and presumably handing Steve Rucchin himself next years Rucchin of the Year award ( 4.25 million in year three for Mr. Rucchin, by the way, whatever sense that could ever make). Darren Haydar, Jason Krog, Glen Metropolit, Johan Hedberg, Jon Sim, Kyle Wanvig, Nikko Kappanen and Scott Mellanby round out the singings. Losses: Mellanby, Abid and Savard.

Boston - The Bruins have significantly improved their team for the first time in years, signing Shean Donovan (2 years), Marc Savard ($20 million, 4 years) and Zdeno Chara ($37.5 million, 5 years). In landing 2 of the top 5 free agents of the year, the Bruins are giving evidence that last seasons selling out was temporary, and the playoffs are the only acceptable goal this year. Signed Mowers as well, for what it's worth (ie. significantly little. ie. at 32 he had his career high with 15 points last season. ie. there's a mowers in the league?). Also signed Wade Brookbank, Jeff Hogan and are bringing Jason York back from Switzerland. Losses: Reasoner, Gill.

Buffalo - Resigned Teppo Numminen for another year, and stole Jaroslav Spacek away from the Oilers. 2 players I'm sure Canucks fans would give anything for right about now. Derek Roy is staying put, and Henrik Tallinder got a contract extension as well. Oh yeah, Andrew Peters isn't going anywhere either (as if you cared). Neither is Brian Campbell (who managed to be a -14 on a top teams defense), who somehow got a multi-year deal. Biggest news, though, was that they managed to resign Martin Biron for barely over $2 million a year. Raycroft money for Biron. Does that say something about Buffalo, or does it say more about the Leafs? Losses: Grier, McKee

Calgary - Signed Zyuzin and lost Donovan. Brought back Jamie Mac. How do you spell inconsequential again? The loss of Chris Simon should help them be a little bit more watchable next year. Maybe Jim Playfair taking over the helm will free up a little more style points as well.

Carolina - Brought in John Grahame to take up Cam Wards backup roll, and third liner Trevor Letowski, while also resigning Erik Cole, Chad LaRose, Eric Staal Glen Wesley and Mike Commodore. They did also lose Aaron Ward, Mike Zigomanis, Matt Cullen and Doug Weight, but given the number of big contributing free agents they had on the payroll, this can't be looked at as a bad start.

Chicago - The Blackhawks decided that the best way to come out of the horrible situation they've found themselves in is by bringing in Patrick Lalime. God help them. Havlat (hockey's version of a soccer player) and Smolinski for Bell is the big news here. Oh God help the fans too. Resigning underrated rookies Rene Bourque and Duncan Keith are bonuses I'm sure many Hawks fans (if they still exist) are pleased about. Radim Vrbata signed on for another 2 years of torture. Losses: Anderson, Barnaby, Brown, Morgan

Colorado - "Stole" Tyler Arnason from Ottawa, Matt Murley from Pittsburgh and Mark Rycroft from St.Louis. Lost Blake and Hinote. Add to that the loss of Tanguay for a mediocre player that the media inexplicably built up, and the power house that was the Avalanche appears to be collapsing on itself. Resigning Liles is the only high note. Budaj and McCormick will be back riding the bench as well.

Columbus - Resigned Anders Eriksson. Lost Andy Delmore. Resigned Ron Hainsey and lost Don MacLean. Whatever. Trevor Letowski does more on the third line than people think, though, so he is an actual loss. Signing overrated today, underrated tomorrow Ty Conklin will be the solution some days, and the goat others. Interesting times ahead if they bother with him. Pascal Leclaire will be returning to pick up his slack, though. And in the did you know file - did you know that Jamie Pushor is still kicking around, and resigned with the Jackets? I remember him being like a -30 in Pittsburgh in like 2002, and I thought he took his cue and left afterwards. Apparently not. Who knew?

Dallas - Jeff Halpern AND Matthew Barnaby. Good show old chap. Oh yeah, and they lost Arnott, Guerin, and Willie Mitchel, but managed to hang onto Mike Smith and Steve Ott. Did I mention the changing of the guard in the Western Confernece yet? 30 games from Eric Lindros, who is coming off the least productive campaign (22 points in 33 games and a negative +/- for the first time), won't fix this mess. Between Lindros, Modano, Barnes and Halpern at least you know they'll win most face-offs before inevitably giving up the puck. Letting Niko Kapanen walk will result in even more turnovers. They really don't have too many "battlers" left there now.

Detroit - Resigned Chris Osgood, Dan Cleary and signed the farm over to Nicklas Lidstrom (with cause, mind you). Losses: Mowers... i guess... Gains: Hussey... i guess...

Edmonton - Marty Reasoner is coming home to Edmonton. Sun rise, sun set. Pisani, Horcoff, Stoll and Rolly are sticking around, while Morrison, Samsonov, Peca, Conklin and Spacek are hitting the road. Spacek is a big loss, everything else seems fine to me. Mediocre Tjarnqvist finds a new home. Sun rise, sun set.

Florida - Ruslan Salei and Alex Auld to replace Luongo. And you wondered how much worse things could get in Florida. Oh yeah, and Salei will "only" cost them over $3 million per year. Good times. Jamie McLennan knows a sinking ship when he sees one, while his replacement Craig Anderson moves from one Titanic to another. I guess Greg Campbell and Stephen Weiss don't. Maybe Horton does, though, as he only signed a one year deal. Not something the Panthers were likely looking for with one of their few true, young talents. Jon Sim left, and Juraj Kolnik stays. Call the presses.

Los Angelas - Brian Willsie, Rob Blake, Raitis Ivanans, Alyn McCauley, Kevin Dallman, Mike Weaver and Scott Thornton are in. I wonder which one of them it was that got $12 million over only 2 years? They also resigned Garon in net, who was interestingly enough only the 4th goalie in Kings history to win 30 games (Lessard, Vachon and Potvin each did it once) which is kind of hard to believe. Resigned the fragile Eric Belanger as well. Losses - Parrish and Corvo

Minnesota - Resigned Marian Gaborik, that's the good news. The bad news? $13.25 million for Mark Parrish (5 years) and $19.4 million for Kim Johnsson (4 years). Even $4.2 million for Carney (2 years) is a little bit out there as well. I don't even want to find out what they gave Radivojevic. I'm sure it's ridiculous. Someone in Minnesota has been attending the Mini-Babcock school of GMetry lately (ie. Jason Morgan is still in the league and someone signed him?). Speaking of which, they resigned Brent Burns, so I guess the conversion of him from potential top-line forward to potential 6th defenseman will continue. Shame. Losses: Kuba, Zyuzin, Tjarnqvist and Chouinard. So much for consoling their losing ways by being the team with the best names. Boogaard stays, so that could help. And apparently there wasn't a big market for Pascal Dupuis. Go figure. Somehow there was a market, though, for Kyle Wanvig. The other Koivu? Still Wild.

Montreal - Big move so far was bringing in Sergei Samsonov for the next two seasons. Sergei has some flash from time to time, but frankly in my opinion he became one of the most over-rated players in the league last season somehow. Habs fans will be sorely disapointed with his play if their expectations are as high as I suspect them to be. Resigned Francis Bouillon for nearly $2 million a year over 3 years (what?). Ribeiro, Aebischer, Higgins, Komisarek, Danis and Cote are staying put as well. Resigned highly overrated youngster Perezhogin to a one year deal, who despite all the hype only managed 19 points for the entire season. They only gave him $627,000, though, so it was a really good signing. I was just tired of all the Habs fans pretending up how good he was last year. 19 points, boys. Even Tie Domi has average 20 points a year over his last 9 seasons.

NYI - Signed over big old Andy Hilbert from the Penguins. Signed over big old Mike Sillinger from the Preds. Signed over big bum Chris Simon from the Flames. Signed over big baby Brendan Witt from the Preditors. Big news on the island! They did manage to get a cross town move for under-rated Tom Poti. There should have been a bidding war for this guy. I'd take him over Kubina and White any day. The way defensemen are valued in the league is in-decipherable to me. Wade Dub's taking the big step up to back-up goalie this season, finally realizing his full potential - as a back up goalie no ones ever heard of, that is. Loses: Garth Snow... Kind of...

NYR - Resigned Marty Straka for $3.1 million, brought in Aaron Ward for $5.5 million, Grandpa Shanahan for $4 million and Matt Cullen for $11.2 million. And here I thought that the new NHL would stop the Rangers stupidity in spending. Boy was I wrong. For some reason, though, Ortmeyer will be making another pointless "contribution" to the team again next year, although Dom Moore has taken his useless contribution to Pittsburgh - the land of useless contributions. Losses: Steve Rucchin, Tom Poti

Nashville - $22.5 million on Jason Arnott. I sure hope the Jason Arnott that's worth nearly that much bothers to show up for them. Improved team by losing Witt, Sillinger and Eaton. Resigned Mason and JF favourite little Jordan Tootoo, and as well brought in AHL superstar Ramzi Abid.

New Jersey - Resigned Elias (for one hundred billion dollars), Parise and Jamie Longnamenbrunner. No losses yet. But then Colin White for $18 million over 6 years. I can't even begin to comment on that stupidity. I had to check 6 seperate times to make sure it really happened. Six.

Ottawa - Spezza, Emery and Redden are staying in town, Chara is on the way out. I think they made the right decision. Especially now with Tom Preissing as his replacement. A top notch pick up to say the least, and not having to deal with Havlat anymore is a huge bonus. I might even be able to watch their games again now. Metropolit, Arnasson and Pothier are also out, Gerber and Corvo are in.

Philadelphia - Re-signed Nittymaki for a year, and brought in Baumgartner for 5. Despite what 'Nucks fans might pretend, that's not a great signing, as Flyers fans will find out soon enough. Lost Kim, but for nearly $5 million a year I don't think anyone there considers it a loss. No more Radivojevic either, but da berger and da pitt cannon are sticking together again. The Flyers also managed to coax Dan Corso back from Europe, likely to shore up their cross street neighbour AHL's roster. His career has been nothing but downhill since his MVP season in the Q in 1997. Newly signed reserve winger Boyd Kane will likely be at Corso's side on the Phantoms as well. Time will tell which side of the street the re-signed Matt Ellison will end up on. The Brashear experiment is over, but a new experiment starts with speedster Geoff Sanderson who signed on for 2 years. The Flyers are hoping 67 point Sanderson from 2003 shows up, not 16 point Sanderson from 2002.

Phoenix - Mike Morrison and Josh Gratton for a year, Zigomanis for 2 years and Ed Jovanovski for 5 years ( and roughly the cost of purchasing a small Caribbean island ). I think Wayne also hired some random family member to do some scouting or something as well. Re-signed Sjostrom and Seidenberg, two guys who I'm sure 95% of you have never heard of. Speaking of which, they also signed over Don MacLean from the Blue Jackets, who over 8 career seasons has managed to get into a total of 32 games, and resigned a trio of mediocre should-be AHL players in Sauve, Spiller and Saprykin while letting Geoff Sanderson walk. The three S's combined for 26 points and a GAA of 4 last season, in no particular order. Sometimes I wonder if Wayne really is still on the Oilers payroll.

Pittsburgh - Jarko Ruutu and Mark Eaton. Poor Crosby. Now Dominic Moore is coming over as well. Poor, poor Crosby. NO MORE HUSSEY! Landed Ekman and a prospect from San Jose for a second round pick? Someone fill me in on what happened there. There has to be a story behind that one. On another positive note, they resigned Colby Armstrong who, because of the depth of the rookie class last year, did not get the attention he deserved. This kid played on Pittsburgh, and picked up 40 points in 47 games and was a +15. A +15 on Pittsburgh. Ziggy Palffy was the only other player on the team to appear in more than 25 games and be in the plus, and he was only +5 and retired half way through. Even Crosby was a minus with his 102 points. This kid is definitely someone to watch, and by far the second best player on the team. There really should have been a lot more mention about him last year. Next season I know there will be.
San Jose - Mike Grier and Curtis Brown in, McCauley and Scott Thornton out. $1.8 mil a year for Grier seems a little steep, but nothing too damaging here. Tom Preissing is a huge hole to fill on D, and is in no way made up for by putting Mark Bell on the top line. Seriously, that's where they said he's going. Rucchin may just have competition for Rucchin of the Year afterall. Oh yeah, and apparently Patrick Traverse is still alive and on his way to California too. Also, apparently every mediocre player on the Sharks was a group 2 free agent, and apparently all 7 of them signed on the same day. In the longest, and most boring free agent announcement of all time, the Sharks disclosed having come to terms with defensemen Doug Murray (3 years), Jim Fahey and Garrett Stafford, centers Marcel Goc (2 years), Tomas Plihal and Craig Valette and right wing Grant Stevenson.

St. Louis - OK, let me start with this question: everything I see seems to say Jay McKee was signed for $16 million over 4 years. This isn't true, is it? 4 million a year for Jay McKee? It must be bad information. Anyway, they also brought in Guerin, Hinote, Drake and Weight in their best attempt at reversing the horrible, horrible mess that was last season. Along those lines, they also let Lalime go, now they just need a decent replacement to really turn things around before Jason Back Oshawa (re-signed) develops into a first string goalie. Kevin Dallman, Jeff Hoggan and Mark Rycroft are also leaving town, while Brewer, Woywitka, McClement and Sejna have signed on again.

Tampa Bay - ANDY DELMORE, MITCH FRITZ AND FILIP KUBA! WEEEE! At least Fedotenko will still be there. Oh yeah, and Afanasenkov will chip in another 15 points again next year too. Ryan Craig had a decent rookie year (28 points in 48 games), and has signed on for a second campaign.

Toronto - The mess. The huge mess. $20 million for friggin Pavel Kubina. $6.3 over 3 years for Hal Gill isn't horrible, if not just in comparison. Andrew Raycroft in net for a few years. Resigned Ondrus who was -10 with no points in 22 games. How does Mini-Babcock still have a job again? They did manage to sign the second leading scorer in the AHL from last season in Erik Westrum, but this is the Leafs so I'm sure he'll be in the AHL again next season after they sign a couple of injury ridden elders to fill out the roster instead for 5 times the money. Re-signing Nik Antropov and being out-bid for Lindros are the best moves of the off season so far. Eeek. The Leafs did manage to resign young defensemen Brendan Bell, Carlo Colaiacovo and Jay Harrison to one-year contracts, although I have no idea why they are staying in Toronto. The Leafs have clearly shown an unwillingness to allow their clearly talented young defensemen to have a shot in the bigs, and is continuing again this season. In bringing in Gill and Kubina, those three along with Wozniewski and Kronwall have only 2 spots to battle for, and that's assuming the Leafs don't bring in another old timer or Belak. If I were one of those 3 D-men I would have jumped on any chance I could to get out of town. Surprisingly, I'm only undecided on Peca's signing at this point. I'm even surprising myself with that one.

Vancouver - Willie Mitchell and Taylor Pyatt in, Carney, Baumgartner, Corvo, Ruutu, Brookbank, Auld, Cloutier out. Might sound like a lot out, but seriously, they are better off. Much better off. And that's not even taking the trades into account. Canucks fans are all a little weary still, but they shouldn't be. This is a much better team now than it was at the end of last season. Hopefully FINALLY announcing Marc Chouinard's signing will ease some of those nerves.

Washington - Resigned Brent Johnson, Steve Eminger, Kris Beech, Rico Fata, Brian Sutherby, ben Clymer and Brooks Laich, brought in Brian Pothier and lost Jeff Halpern, Boyd Kane and Brian Willsie. Oh the comings and goings of the Sutherby's. Managed to keep the guy with the stupidest spelled name in history (Shaone Morrisonn), in town as well. Also signed pointless winger Donald Brashear, who should be making his exit from the league permanently sometime around December.

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