Archives for: 2009, week 11

03/22/09

News Makers, Rumors, Champs & More Chumps

Permalink 04:00:00 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

It's been another wild week in sports news with much to discuss. It's been a week of good, bad and ugly. Let's begin with good stuff today before taking aim at the rest.

Good:
World Baseball Classic has been great fun to watch. In stunning fashion, the Netherlands disposed of a heavily favored Dominican Republic team... not once, twice! DR roster looks like Major League Baseball All Star team. David Ortiz, Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes, Miguel Tejada, Robinson Cano, Pedro Martinez and many rising stars. DR's pitchers gave up only one earned run in WBC play. It didn't matter as a gutsy Netherlands team stunned everyone by taking two.

Semi-Finals: USA vs Japan (Sunday 8 pm ET). This game could be an instant classic. USA is in a zone. Oswalt will take on Japan's greatest players. Boston's Dice K will take aim for Japan against his fellow major leaguers. USA will have their hands full trying to knock off a great squad. The Japanese team plays a very well disciplined game. USA will have to play their best brand of baseball without mistakes and deep pitching counts. I'm looking forward to watching this one!

NCAA Basketball Tourney got underway this week. Much to the delight of college basketball fans. Much to the dismay of CBS daytime soap opera fans. Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski responded to President B.H. Obama's bracket predictions: "Somebody said that we're not in President Obama's Final Four, and as much as I respect what he's doing, really, the economy is something that he should focus on, probably more than the brackets." Duke reached the Sweet 16 Saturday night.

In the Midwest bracket, #13 Cleveland State stunned #4 Wake Forrest. Their next opponent is #12 Arizona who knocked off #5 Utah. The heat will be turned up with every game as team fight for survival. Great games have already been played. Many more to come!

NBA
Shaquille O'Neal has become the 5th all time scorer in NBA history (27,411) Saturday. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is #1 with 38,387. Shaq might of had a chance to reach as high as #3. Has anyone ever watched Shaq botch free throws? He's missed a few thousand.

NHL
New Jersey Devil Martin Brodeur is the NHL's all time winningest goaltender after breaking Patrick Roy's record. Martin has 523 wins and counting. He has showed no signs of slowing down. One of my favorite hockey players ever continues to shut down opposing teams. His '09 record is 15-3-2, 1.97 GAA with 5 shutouts. NJ is red hot and ready to make a run at another Stanley Cup Championship.

Rumors:
Pedro Martinez wants to be a NY Met again. His signing a few years back was a complete bust. Pedro spent more time on the disabled list than on the mound. However, he's healthy now for the first time in many years. He looked terrific in limited action for his Dominican Republic WBC team. He's willing to play for a very minimum salary. Mets, or any team in need of a starting pitcher, would be crazy not to take a chance by offering Pedro a modest salary.

Champs:
2008 NHL Champion Detroit Red Wings took over as top point leader with 105. Detroit is red hot and suddenly looking ready to defend their title after a somewhat less than spectacular season in '09. There dead on right now. Playoff hockey will be stronger than ever. I'm rooting for New Jersey or Boston to dethrone Detroit.

Chumps:
Here we go again... Dante Stallworth (NFL, Cleveland Browns) struck and killed a pedestrian with his car in Miami Beach. Initial reports alleged Stallworth was legally drunk. The dui story has been debunked, for now, by Miami police who stated results are pending. I guess the phrase "dumb jock" lives on!

#2 goes to President B.H. Obama for comparing his bowling skills to Special Olympic participants. What seemed like an innocent joke on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno has become somewhat of a media nightmare. One of Obama's biggest supporters, California First Lady Maria Shriver quickly pounced on his remarks stating laughing at such comments "hurts millions of people throughout the world." Obama later called Shrivers brother Special Olympics Chairman Tim Shriver, to apologize. This episode fueled a minor media frenzy highlighting some of the many early gaffe's of our nations new administration as they struggle to stand on solid ground.

(www.allworldallsports.com)

03/19/09

March Madness...NCAA Tourney Tips Off!

Permalink 05:50:17 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

It's time for March Madness! NCAA Basketball Tournament has begun!

Did you get your bracket entries completed on time? (live brackets from SI.com). The big question surrounding office water coolers around the country is "Who will win it all?"

Everyone's an expert on picking the winner. Millions of pools from online to bars to offices have been filled out as fans attempt to secure bragging rights ... and money! Experts have been arguing up and down which team is the best. North Carolina? Louisville? Pittsburgh? Connecticut?

Memphis (ranked #2 in West) created quite a buzz this afternoon. They were nearly defeated by an energetic Cal State Northridge team leading in the 2nd half. Memphis' savior this afternoon was little known Roburt Sallie who played the game of his life. On the season, Sallie had averaged 4.5 points/game. Today, he nailed a record 10 opening round three pointers and finished with a game high 35 points on 12 of 17 shooting from the floor. Way to go kid!

NCAA Tourney is often filled with stunning surprises. Top ranked teams getting bounced early (Kansas was famous for early chokes)... stunning comebacks... big games from backups (Sallie)... and plenty of Dick Vitale ("That's Awesome Baby!").

So, who's going to win it all? Here's a brief summation of how my brackets look:

Sweet 16:
(Midwest)
(1) Louisville over (4) Wake Forrest
(2) Michigan State over (3) Kansas
(West)
(1) Connecticut over (5) Perdue
(2) Memphis over (3) Missouri (Memphis almost blew it today)
(East)
(1) Pittsburgh over (5) Florida State
(2) Duke over (3) Villanova
(South)
(1) North Carolina over (4) Gonzaga
(3) Syracuse over (2) Oklahoma

Final Four:
Louisville, Memphis, Pittsburgh, North Carolina.

Champion: North Carolina.

Fairly safe picks this year. It's the first time in a long time I haven't gone after upset games. In years past, it was easier to foresee favorable "upset potential" games. This year, unless a low ranked team gets flawlessly hot... I don't see too many games of concern. That said... University of Connecticut (#1 South) seems banged up and out of rythm. Watching experts on ESPN, many seem to think UConn is destined for an early bounce. Out of the four #1's, UC is best suited to falter.

For those of you who have never watched college basketball... this is the real deal. NCAA Tourney represents basketball at it's finest. Don't miss out on Sweet 16 games thru to the Finals. Energetic kids playing without million dollar contracts, without million dollar endorsements, some without professional futures... all playing for one common goal without interferences of outside influences marginalizing a great sport.

Catch all the action live on tv or via www.allworldallsports.com

03/18/09

Wright's Hit Rescue's USA

Permalink 09:03:24 pm, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

Team USA survived elimination in dramatic style last night. NY Mets 3B David Wright (video) was the man of the hour after doubling home the tying and winning runs during a wild bottom of the 9th inning come from behind victory against Puerto Rico, 6-5.

Next up for Team USA is an excellent Venezuelan team. This is more or less a game to determine the higher seed for the Semi-Final round. USA injuries have mounted recently leaving manager Davey Johnson with a very slim bench and bullpen. As I type, USA is getting slammed 6-1. Most of the fans in attendance at Dophins Stadium (Florida) are not fans of Team USA. Venezuela faithful seem to outnumber USA fans 4-1... what's up with that?

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03/17/09

Do Or Die for USA in WBC

Permalink 05:47:14 am, Categories: All World All Sports Blogs  

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-Digger's Daily-

It's win or be done time in Miami for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. They'll be facing Puerto Rico who mercy ruled USA 11-1 on Saturday.

USA's hopes rest on the left shoulder of Chicago Cubs Ted Lilly (vs. Jonathan Sanchez). Injuries will have key players sidelined. 2B Dustin Pedroia, 3B Chipper Jones, RP Matt Lindstrom and OF Ryan Braun. Key players to be missing for an important elimination game (Braun might be available). There's plenty of depth on this team for manager Davey Johnson to fill a deep lineup.

Sometimes the problem with star studded teams is they seem to swing for the fences instead of playing baseball. Hitting, running the bases, advancing runners & making good outs instead of lazy flies or strike outs. USA is by far the most powerful hitting team on paper. That doesn't translate when getting creamed 11-1.

Today's game is a revenge do or die contest vs a very talented team. Winner plays Valenzuela in a game to determine who advances to the WBC Semi-Finals in Los Angeles.

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

(www.allworldallsports.com)