Friday, December 02, 2005

SLICING AND SPILCING OF THE ROSTER

Football season is the one time of year you could torch the upper deck at whatever that stadium. But the only question that remains is whether Billy Marlin will be the last one standing or the next to go. Selling off high-priced players is not a new thing for a lot of major league franchises. The teams such as Oakland and Minnesota have become quite adroit at remaining cutthroat through the trades. Florida is without doubt in a similar economic situation. But the distinct of all is what's the Marlins do everytime, no matter whom their owner is, it comes on the tail fins of a spending spree. In 1997, Dave Dombrowski bought a World Series in 1997 for then-owner Wayne Huizenga. Despite never winning a division title, the franchise fetched another championship in 2003, and in 2005 they spent a good amount to make Carlos Delgado the cornerstone of their team. The permission from Major League Baseball for the Marlins to look for another home hasn’t blinked them because even the Marlins know that they deserve better than its current home, a football stadium that is the biggest restraint to any kind of sustained attendance. The Marlins blend nicely into another follow-up, the contraction threat MLB can cook up after next season.

METS AREN’T AFRAID OF OVERSPENDING

The Mets buy all the best free agents, they dare to make the trades that other teams can only think about, they are famous for becoming the back-page feature frequently and then they're named as the early team to beat. It seems that the wild spending Mets are trying to out-Yankee the Yankees this winter and by far are doing a pretty good job of it. This has been a monster offseason so far for Omar Minaya's Mets, Last year he general manager Minaya spent $119 million on center fielder Carlos Beltran and gave Pedro Martinez a four-year deal worth $53 million. The modus operandi of the Mets has changed under Minaya. Now they have become aggressive in their thoughts. They have become persistent in their implementation of their thoughts. More than anything, they dare to spend beyond the point of overspending, to get what they want.

As a matter of fact this is the strategy of the Yankees, and this strategy has made the Mets the team of the moment in the Big Apple. With the ownership that has the resources, and the competitive edge they are doing whatever it takes to win. The Mets in their first month has filled a huge void at first base by trading for the slugging Delgado. They even managed to get the Marlins to pay $7 million of his salary to take him off their hands. They've signed the fastball-flinging lefty Wagner and still Minaya is working on a possible trade for Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez. They will team with rising stars in Beltran, third baseman David Wright and shortstop Jose Reyes.

The Mets are even launching a new cable network, which promises to finance at least a little of their extravaganza. Its bad news for the rest of the NL East, where the Marlins are bound to recoil, the Phillies are messing up for a replacement for Wagner, the Nationals are without a proper ownership and the Braves are neutral.

NASH LEADS SUNS TO VICTORY

Stephen John Nash was selected by the Phoenix Suns 15th overall in the first round of the NBA draft in 1996. No Canadian had ever been drafted so high. Last day, he scored a season-high 31 points, including a career-high seven three-pointers, and helped his team the Phoenix Suns to defeat the already drained out Indiana Pacers 109-91 to post their fourth straight victory. The Suns have the NBA's longest current winning streak, and held an opponent under 100 points for the sixth straight game. Nash, who finished with nine assists and eight rebounds, had a sensational first half, hitting all five of his three-point attempts and scoring 18 points to go with six assists and four rebounds as the Suns built a 61-44 lead. In 2005, Nash became one of the most distinctive players ever to win the NBA MVP award. He is the first Canadian and the second foreign-born player to earn the honor. He is seen as one of the premier Point Guards in the NBA. He is one of the most creative and intelligent players, averaging double digits in assists while maintaining a low turnover rate.

Overall the Suns are still trying to analyze their offensive sets as they are just hoping that .625 ball is enough to keep a decent record until the return of Amare Stoudamire after the All Star break.

WHAT MAKES THE SEAHAWKS THE BEST TEAM IN THE AFC?

The best team in the conference probably won't be decided until the final week of the regular season, but this can’t stop the analysts from giving their opinions on the scenario. Seattle has the NFL's top offense and at 9-2, they own the best record. They are the undisputed leaders of the NFC for four vital reasons. The first is Shaun Alexander, whose rushing speed is overwhelming and puts him among the top contenders for league MVP. The second is the blocking of fullback Mack Strong. The third is the supremacy of Seattle's offensive line and the consistently strong performance of the Seahawks defensive line being the fourth one. Although the Seahawks aren't loaded with big names on their front four, tackle Rocky Bernard has been a major unsettling force inside. Left end Bryce Fisher is having the best season of his five-year career and, while right end Grant Wistrom has not produced many sacks.

The Seahawks can score more than enough points to win any game, and they'll become tougher to defeat with home-field advantage in the playoffs. With a bullying defense with one of the league's best running backs the Seahawks are complete in itself and have just about everything that a team requires to be a worthy participant.

After the culmination of this week still four more weeks are there for the regular season to come, and it’s going to be a real dogfight to become the pioneer the respective leagues. If the Seahawks are getting prominence for their offense, then Chicago also don’t lack anywhere. They have the top defense.

HATS OFF TO THE ROOKIE

The Rangers' six-game winning streak is the team's longest since a six-game course from November 3 - November 14, 2001. Marek Malik scored his first goal in regulation and defenseman Maxim Kondratiev netted his first in the NHL to lead the New York Rangers to their sixth straight victory, 2-1 over the Pittsburgh Penguins at New York. Marek Malik's sudden offensive prowess has made him a fan favorite. The Rangers are 11-3 in their last 14 games while the crashing Penguins (7-13-6) dropped their fourth in a row, including three road contests. Rookie goalie Henrik Lundqvist who filled in for injured regular Kevin Weekes, made 35 saves to fetch his 10th victory (10-3-2). The Rangers lineup was fortified by the return of forwards Martin Rucinsky and Steve Rucchin. Rucinsky. The goal tending of 23 year rookie Lunqvist is nothing short of stellar-this guy is going to be a superstar. He is the first rookie goal tender that the Rangers have had in recent memory that is talented and exciting. As a Ranger, Lundqvist posted his first career NHL win against the New Jersey Devils on October 13, 2005, and his first career shutout on October 17, 2005 against the Florida Panthers.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

CANADIENS SET ON THE TRACK OF INFAMY

The Canadiens loss today will tie their 80-year road-loss record. If the Canadiens lose to the Lightning tonight, it will be their 10th straight loss on the road, a mark that they set in 1926. In November 1926, the Canadiens left the Mount Royal Arena to play in the legendary Forum, which they would share with the Montreal Maroons until 1938, when the Maroons busted. The Forum could only accommodate only 9,300 then. Between Jan. 16 and March 13 of 1926, the Canadiens lost 10 straight on the road and the 2005-2006 edition of the Canadiens can achieve endurance by tying that mark tonight in Tampa and they can even break it Friday night against the Florida Panthers. The Canadiens could hold "1926 Night." To give a proper effect the thing required is 1926 jerseys, which would sell like hotcakes.; popcorn and hotdogs for a nickel each; a dollar for a seat in the reds, fifty cents for the whites, a quarter for a nosebleed. For the players the old leather skates, with straight wooden sticks, no helmets or visors and just about as much padding as you have when you wear three pairs of longjohns under your uniform. No goalie masks. No slapshots. No television. No booming scoreboards. In 1926, the Canadiens lost 10 straight on the road. Now they have a chance to do it again -- and how often does that happen to a team? And can anyone around here stop a puck? Tonight in Florida, they will prove it.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

CHARM OF A MEGA WATT SMILE

New first baseman Carlos Delgado after donning a No. 21 Mets jersey has culminated bad feelings between him and Mets management lingering from last year's negotiations. The new investments are anticipated to fuel the Mets' winter spending spree. The Mets are counting on Carlos Delgado, above, and Billy Wagner to fill those Shea Stadium seats next season. Now you might be wondering whether the Mets will end this winter as the team to beat in the National League.

Carlos desire to compete in a playoff race and a meaningful October game is feeling honored to wear the Mets jersey. Delgado, 33, has been a regular for 10 seasons in the majors and has never reached the postseason. Throughout the 2004 season, Delgado was a .282 hitter with 336 home runs and 1058 RBI in 1423 games. In 2003, in a game against Tampa Bay, Delgado became only the fifth American League player and 15th major leaguer to hit four home runs in one single game. He hit a three-run homer in the 1st inning, then led off the fourth, sixth and eighth innings, with three solo shots. The New York Mets, one of the teams who had pursued Delgado the previous offseason, struck a deal with the Florida Marlins to send Mike Jacobs and minor league players Yusmeiro Petit and Grant Psomas to the Marlins, for Carlos Delgado and $7 million.

Now Mets fans have a legitimate reason to expect postseason games at Shea Stadium. Delgado, Wagner, Martinez, Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, and David Wright will be under their organization through at least 2008, which also happens to be their final season in Shea Stadium. That means the Mets should remain an interesting, competitive team in the years leading to their privately-funded ballpark

KEVIN GARNETT TRADE RUMORS

What makes the blogs and chatrooms so versatile is because of their depiction and discussion of even the most whimsical scenario. It is far away from the virtual reality where people talk about something, it takes on life. And once it has life, people don't want reality to negotiate. The best example of this is when the Timberwolves owner said, emphatically, he wasn't trading Garnett and never had any plans to do so. And at this Kevin McHale, vice president of basketball operations remarked that he had no talks with any team regarding Garnett and wouldn't entertain them anyway. This was further exaggerated when Garnett said he "was" Minnesota and saw himself playing his entire career there at which Pistons president Joe Dumars said he hadn't had any discussions with the Timberwolves regarding Garnett. He even commented that exclusive of an unanticipated crisis, he would not trade any of the starting players this season. These are some of the trifling facts which are still lying in the shadow of anonymity. As of right now, the facts say Garnett won't be traded any time soon.

THE MAINTAINANCE OF STATUS QUO BY THE COLTS

The horsepower is such that they have fetched their first real dominant win over a good team after fixing their final weakness by wiping out the Steelers and their strong running game regaining the top spot this week. Last week the Colts defeated the Bengals by a single touchdown, giving everybody a despicable eye towards their awful defense. But this week the Colts finally put the offense and defense together to look like a team that might actually match and surpass the 1972 Dolphins. The Colts win over Pittsburgh was only has made the path to the perfect season much accessible since the Colts are still unbeaten, they are still untouched and are still in contention for a perfect season. Before Monday night’s overwhelming 26-7 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers at the RCA Dome, Head Coach Tony Dungy had some different plans for his team. He had planned that he would make his starters rest and would have risked blowing a perfect season rather than go for a shot at immortality. Now that’s quite an accomplishment when you anticipate something else and there has been almost routine rearranging your team becomes an example of scouting evaluations. For those old Colts whose crew consisted of merely speed and athleticism is now boasting of plenty of toughness and is making a far cry from the playoff thing of the past. The Steelers were the truest acid test of Indianapolis' determination, both to its undefeated record and its diverse offense.

NHL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK

Jason Anthony Rocco Spezza was a highly regarded prospect, but took some time to move to the NHL, playing with the Senators AHL affiliate, the Binghamton Senators, in Binghamton, New York. His recent praiseworthy performance was when he helped the Ottawa Senators maintain the best record in the Eastern Conference, on Monday for which he was named the NHL's Offensive Player of the Week. Spezza recorded four goals and four assists as the Senators won all three games to improve to 18-3-0 this season. The 22-year-old Spezza, the second overall pick in the 2001 draft, during the NHL lockout returned to the AHL and with 117 points was the highest scorer in the league by a considerable margin, and the first to record so many points in several years. Currently he is tied with teammate Daniel Alfredsson and Jaromir Jagr of the New York Rangers for the league lead with 39 points.

Edmonton Oilers goaltender Mike Morrison fetched Defensive Player of the Week honors after picking up three wins, including two via shootout. He made 21 saves in a 2-1 shootout win over San Jose last Monday, 25 in a 4-3 victory over Minnesota two days later and 27 in a 2-1 shootout victory against Edmonton.

Monday, November 28, 2005

CASH AND SPORTS DO NOT GEL WELL

Now a days sport has become all about cash, Free agents are working so hard and all their deals are causing buyers sleepless nights and regrets.

Clubs are bargaining, instead of moving their players they would prefer to move the player’s payroll.

Players are getting paid amounts that shock the world of sports, amounts that would make you wonder if that particular club is being duped or the player is that good or so precious.

Hitting the head lines is one player by the name of A.J Burnet; he is 28 years of age, he stands tall at 6-foot-4 and he is a right-hander. The reason why light is being thrown in his direction is because he is about to leave Florida Marlins. Most teams are really hoping that they get him, they are badly in need of him and it is so because he is a extra good pitcher and each and every team wants to have good pitchers.

At the end of the day the fact remains ; if a player is paid too well doesn’t necessarily mean that he will play too well, this can be seen as in the case of Carl Pavano who was a player about to leave the Florida Marlins last winter. He wasn’t that great of a pitcher but somehow he was the best pitcher available in the football market. The Red Sox and the Yankees put up a competition and started offering luring amounts and finally the Yankees got the man in their team. And they placed their hopes real high and expected better-looking at his past record. Pavano instead switched leagues and he just got a walk over to huge, huge amounts of cash and he found himself in the biggest market of American sorts.

WHAT IS THE DEAL WITH RYAN

Everyone in the baseball fraternity is talking about B.J.Ryan’s deal. Almost every executive from other teams are all in a state of shock and cant really believe that this is happening for real, its like a never ending nightmare. Robert Victor Ryan are his complete names, he was born on December 28th in 1975, in Bossier city LA, 6-foot-6 tall and weighing 249 lbs.

ESPNews reported that he has signed with thee Blue Jays, never the less Blue Jays officials say that the contract is not final.

This contract is most likely to be remembered as the biggest one given to a reliever in dollars. Going down memory lane we can as well recall that the last player to get a contract of five years or more was Bruce Stutter, his total pay was worth $10 million, Ryan will be earning a little less than that per year.

In the likely event of the deal being granted, the Jays will have to pay some extra cash to the players born in the U.S in order to get them to Canada.

Definitely $ 27 million for three years will be a reasonable price for Ryan. Bearing in mind that even the best of the best of reliever’s performances keeps going up and down from year to year.

Also not forgetting that, Ryan isn’t going to be the last player to get overpaid in this off-season.

For five years the Jay’s are offering Ryan $47 million. This contract might affect Ryan’s performance, playing under pressure which has cracked down many players in the past is one of the reasons and also playing within this bond tight contract.

BULLS BELIEVE IN PATIENCE

Young players have been given space to learn and grow this season. Bulls Coach Scott Skiles and operations chief John Paxson have thought it wise this was in stead of the trend going around this days that all things should be done on the spot without any delay.

This time around Bulls need to include trade as one of their top agenda; they need to trade for a better player. Failing to do so before the time of playing, their chances of winning could likely be reduced.

Next summer, Bulls could be among the biggest players in the free agent market because the contract for Thomas will be over and out after this season

The talk going on around is a rumor that Minnesota Timberwolves could trade super star Kevin Garnett, this kind of things are normally hard to determine whether they are true or false.

Timberwolves in charge can’t take the chance of any talks of a Garnett trade coming out in the open while the season is still on.

Garnett will make $18 million this season and additional three years are still left and they all sum up to $66 millions. Bulls are most likely to be one of the few clubs that can swing such a contract like the one of Garnett.

Before the Bulls can start trying to get Garnett they would have to first and fore most consider one of their upcoming stars, Thomas's contract is ending and would have to be included so that they wont be any unbalanced deal for salary.

TERRELL OWENS

Jerry Jones the owner of the Dallas Cowboys was on a radio show, he spoke in a way suggesting that his team has its eyes on players like the likes of suspended wide receiver Terrell Owens. After this came to the attention of the Philadelphia Eagles they filed a tampering complaint against the Dallas Cowboys.

On Nov.5 Owens was suspended for four games because he criticized quarterback Donovan McNabb, fought with Hugh Douglas who is the team "ambassador," and also for other actions that the team found unsuitable in the team.

There is a high chance that after the suspension has come to an end, the Eagles will most probably deactivate Owens for the remaining of the season, and he might be traded or even released in the next season.

It is against the laws of NFL for a club to try or make a player to leave his current team to sign with them (a member club to interfere with employer-employee relationship of another club)

Jerry Jones broke that rule by saying that he was a risk-taker and that his team has been down that road, after he was asked if his team could be interested in Owens, he replied saying that he could be having the potential to make it things work.

Michael Signora who is the spokesman for the NFL, made it clear that the Eagles Field complaint against Jerry Jone's remarks was under review.

TERRELL OWENS

Jerry Jones the owner of the Dallas Cowboys was on a radio show, he spoke in a way suggesting that his team has its eyes on players like the likes of suspended wide receiver Terrell Owens. After this came to the attention of the Philadelphia Eagles they filed a tampering complaint against the Dallas Cowboys.

On Nov.5 Owens was suspended for four games because he criticized quarterback Donovan McNabb, fought with Hugh Douglas who is the team "ambassador," and also for other actions that the team found unsuitable in the team.

There is a high chance that after the suspension has come to an end, the Eagles will most probably deactivate Owens for the remaining of the season, and he might be traded or even released in the next season.

It is against the laws of NFL for a club to try or make a player to leave his current team to sign with them (a member club to interfere with employer-employee relationship of another club)

Jerry Jones broke that rule by saying that he was a risk-taker and that his team has been down that road, after he was asked if his team could be interested in Owens, he replied saying that he could be having the potential to make it things work.

Michael Signora who is the spokesman for the NFL, made it clear that the Eagles Field complaint against Jerry Jone's remarks was under review.

A SHOCK FOR THE THRASHERS

Carolina Hurricanes were shocked by the way the Atlanta Thrashers played on their home ice like it was Thiers. Thrashers got the Hurricanes 5-2 clean on Sunday, which gave them second win in two tries against the Carolinas. All this was made possible by Ilya Kovalchuk who made two goals and two assists, Marian Hossa who scored the go ahead goal that lead to the win. Marc Savard and J.P Vigier had goals for the Thrashers too and also rookie Michael Garnett made 27 saves which resulted to him getting his third win.

After starting real fast the Hurricanes are doing very okay for a team that came 11 points behind the Southeast Division-leading.

This team is a inspiration.

Carolina's franchise record was ended by the Atlanta, with a 9-0 victory and nine game winning, that was two weeks ago. This was the first home loss for the Hurricanes. Kovalchuk managed to make a pair of goal. He was assisted by 23-year old Garnett who came in allowing 4.73 goals per game. In Atlanta 7-4 win against Florida on Saturday and not stopping there he went on with a brilliant performance against Carolina.

Bob Hartley the coach for Atlanta said "that he looked like an NHL goalie. His confidence was boosted and he was a good worker and a good kid, he was very comfortable, he's paid his dues in the organization and so the time had come for him to collect the reward."

Rookie Andrew Ladd and Aaron Ward scored for the Hurricanes, who had already lost four of five heading into a six-game road trip that will start on Tuesday in Atlanta.