Monday, September 7, 2009

Monday Morning Meissnervations













Happy Labor Day Monday, named in honor of all the expectant mothers in our town(Labor Day. Get it?). Here's the latest....

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College football started this past weekend. The Oregon State Beavers beat the Portland State Vikings 34-7. Both teams played hard and it was a fun game to watch. The Beavers Sean Canfield found James Rodgers deep over the middle for an 97-yard touchdown on the Beavers' first scrimmage play of the season. Jaquizz Rodgers ran for over 100 yards and the defensive backs played well. It could be a pretty good season for the orange-and-black. The Beavers play at UNLV this Saturday. The game will be on TV(check your local listings) beginning at 11:00pm EDT.

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The Oregon Ducks lost 19-8 at Boise State last Thursday. It was an ugly game, with an even uglier post-game. Ducks appeared totally unprepared and some reports claim that new Head Coach Chip Kelly doesn't have the respect of both his team and the man he succeeded, A.D. Mike Belotti. Oregon started the season ranked in the top 20, but may be in danger of imploding already. The Ducks host Purdue this Saturday. Suddenly, they're faced with a must-win in week #2.

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The Saskatchewan Roughiders beat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers yesterday 29-14. Neither team had played since August 21st, but were ready for this one. The Riders took control early and forced the Bombers to virtually abandon the running game that worked so well at BC in their last game. Darian Durant had a solid game at quarterback for Saskatchewan, and the 30,945 fans left happy. Riders play at Winnipeg next Sunday at 4:00pm EDT.

There are two games on the CFL schedule today: Toronto at Hamilton and Edmonton at Calgary. If Calgary beats Edmonton tonight, there'll be a three-way tie for first in the West between the Riders, Calgary and Edmonton, all of whom would be 5-4. BC would be just one game back, at 4-5. Heading into tonight's action in the East, Montreal is 7-2, Hamilton is 4-4(They won just 3 games all of last season), Winnipeg is 3-6 and Toronto(who has lost 10 straight home games and hasn't won at home in over a year) is last at 2-6.

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The Tampa Bay Rays lost to Detroit 5-3 yesterday, after entering the 9th with a 3-1 lead. The bullpen has apparently taken September off and as a result, the Rays are all but out of the Wild Card race. Manager Joe Maddon looked almost comically panicked, coming out of the dugout several times in the 9th inning, changing pitchers in a futile attempt to hold onto the lead. The Rays are now 14 games behind the Yankees in the East and 7 back of Boston in the Wild Card. As the team searches for answers this off-season, including how to get people to come to week-night games, how to raise revenues to be able to hold onto their better players, and the possibility of a possible new Mayor for St. Petersburg who doesn't think replacing the crap-hole that is Tropicana Field is necessary, this could be the single-most important winter in team history.

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In the American League East, the Yankees lead Boston by 7 1/2 games and Tampa Bay by 14 1/2. In the Central, Detroit leads Minnesota by 7 and the White Sox by 8 and in the West, the Angels lead Texas by 5 1/2 and Seattle by 10 1/2. In the Wild Card race, Boston leads Texas by 3 games, Tampa Bay by 7, Seattle by 8, Minnesota by 11 and the White Sox by 12.

In the National League, Philadelphia leads the East by 6 1/2 over Florida and 8 1/2 over Atlanta. In the Central, St. Louis leads the Cubs by 11 1/2 and in the West, the Dodgers lead Colorado by 3 1/2 and San Francisco by 5 1/2. In the Wild Card, Colorado leads San Francisco by 2 games, with Florida 5 games back, Atlanta 7 and the Cubs 8.

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Derek Jeter is just 4 hits behind Lou Gehrig on the Yankees' all-time hit list, and Ichiro Suzuki is the second-fastest to 2,000 in MLB history. Those are two big accomplishments for two classy players.

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Bright House Sports Network now feels that with football underway in the good ol' USofA, they don't need to carry CFL games any longer. I hate it when they don't consult me on things like that. Yesterday, they showed a lot of what I would call "filler" programs, instead of the Saskatchewan-Winnipeg game. Boo, Hiss. Time to fire off a nicely worded letter of complaint.

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Jimmy is still trying to push out tooth #8, which would explain the case of the fussies he had yesterday. Poor widdle guy. As I write this, he is just waking up and I can hear him through the baby monitor. I love listening to him through the monitor we have dubbed "WJIM Radio: All Jimmy, all the time."

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Snoopy, our Miniature Schnauzer and Smoke, our Chihuahua, continue to provide us with love and entertainment, and a target for Jimmy and his special brand of "baby terrorism." Smoke spends most of his time in a box of clothes in Mami's closet, or under the covers on the bed. He must always be warm. He kept escaping when we'd let him out back, but Mami found and plugged the escape route yesterday. Snoopy loves to stretch out and sleep on the arm of the couch. But, he's fallen off twice already this morning. Our boys(all three of them) are pretty silly.

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Oh, have I mentioned hockey season is underway? Most of the Junior leagues are already playing pre-season games. The Tampa Bay Lightning open their pre-season schedule on September 16th at Dallas. After that game and a September 18th home game against Atlanta, the team gets an early start on building their frequent flyer miles. The Lightning play in Regina, Sakatchewan against Ottawa on September 21st, in Everett, Washington on September 22nd and Loveland, Colorado on September 23rd, both against Phoenix, then travel to Winnipeg on September 24th versus Edmonton. They close out the pre-season in Atlanta on September 27th, then open the regular season in Atlanta on October 3rd. The Lightning open their regular-season home schedule on October 8th against New Jersey.

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The NHL continues to muddle through a couple of "sticky" situations with ownership problems in Phoenix and Tampa Bay. Guesses are things will be settled in Tampa sooner, rather than later. Meanwhile, the Phoenix situation continues to slowly wind it's way through the court system, with Blackberry guru Jim Balsillie still attempting to purchase the team and move it to Hamilton, Ontario this season, while the NHL does it's best to deny him the opportunity to purchase and move the franchise. Stay tuned to this one. It's a soap opera on ice.

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The NFL pre-season is finally over. Thank goodness. There is nothing more boring and unexciting than NFL pre-season games. Nothing. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have anointed Byron Leftwich as their starting quarterback, traded Luke McCown to Jacksonville, and have kept Josh Freeman and Josh Johnson as backups to Leftwich. Sports radio in Tampa Bay generally predicts the Bucs to have a significantly unsuccessful season in 2009, winning MAYBE 4 games. We'll see. But certainly, I saw nothing in the pre-season to think those predictions are far from wrong. The Bucs open the regular season at home against Dallas this coming Sunday and the game still isn't sold out. Of course, when the team expects personal seat licenses above the cost of game tickets, it's not surprising that "good seats are still available." This could be the year across many NFL cities, where the economy finally catches up with them, and tickets at or below face value, will be available right up to game time.

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I continue to wind my way through the health system. Fortunately, nothing serious or life-threatening has been found. Now, it's just a matter of finding out how to best treat what's been found. Also working on my right pinky finger and shoulder, to try and avoid surgery. Fun times.

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My wife is the greatest wife in the world. Why else would I, in the midst of a sleepless night, get up and clean the kitchen and living room? If that isn't love....well, you know. I love you dear!

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That's it for this week. Have fun everyone!

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My CRC Connections

Jimmy's Eighth Birthday!

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