Sunday, August 1, 2010

It's Sunday!











The weekend's half-done. Here's what's happening so far....

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Today is August 1st, the 213th day of 2010. There are 152 days left in the year. (Boy, was my math off yesterday. Guess I should be more awake when hammering out the ol' blog, eh?)

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Niemi awarded $2.75m in arbitration.

Bloch named arbitrator in Kovalchuk contract dispute.

Time for an offseason review of the league's 30 teams.

U.S. Junior evaluation camp blog.

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Welcome to Admit You Are Happy Month.

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Lancers placed in eight-team Western Conference.

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August is Family Fun Month.

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Rod Pedersen's Riders Insider blog for July 29th. (Sorry I'm late with this, but it's a good way to compare his thoughts before the weekend, with what actually happened. If anyone knows the CFL, it's Rod.)

The Saskatchewan Roughriders take their 4-1 record on the road this coming Friday, when they take on the Montreal Alloettes for the second time this season. Kickoff from Montreal is set for 7:00pm EDT on 620CKRM and the Rider Radio Network. Listen links are to the right on this blog.

Check out Riderville.com for the latest on "Canada's (And Clearwater, Florida's) Team."

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Today is Friendship Day.

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Today in Sports History:

1945 - Mel Ott hit his 500th career home run.

1972 - Joe Namath signed a two year contract worth $500,000 with the New York Jets.

1976 - The Seattle Seahawks played their first (preseason) game. The Seahawks lost 27-20 to San Francisco.

1978 - Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds ended his streak of hitting in 44 consecutive games.

1986 - John McEnroe and Tatum O'Neal were married.

1986 - Bert Blyleven became only the 10th pitcher to strike out 3,000 batters in his career.

1993 - Reggie Jackson was admitted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.

2005 - It was announced that Raphael Palmeiro would be suspended for 10 days after testing positive for steroid use. Palmeiro stood by his statements to the U.S. Congress on March 17, 2005, that he had never taken steroids.

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Today is International Forgiveness Day.

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The New York Yankees swatted three homers and regained their two-game lead in the A.L. East by beating the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4 yesterday, before their second straight sell-out crowd of 36,973 at Tropicana Field.

The Rays got on the board in the first inning, when a Evan Longoria sacrifice fly brought home John Jaso for a 1-0 lead. New York tied the game in similar fashion, with Alex Rodriguez scoring in the second on Curtis Granderson's sac fly. Tampa Bay regained the lead in the third, with Jaso scoring on Carl Crawford's one out single to left. In the fifth, B.J. Upton scored on a Jason Bartlett sacrifice fly, putting the Rays on top 3-1.

The homer barrage started in the sixth. The Yankees' Mark Teixeria homered with Derek Jeter aboard, tying the game 3-3. Matt Joyce homered to right with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, putting Tampa Bay back on top 4-3. Nick Swisher's homer in the seventh for New York tied the game 4-4. Then, in the ninth, Robinson Cano homered to right, putting the Yankees on top 5-4. In the bottom of the ninth, the Rays tried to rally against closer Mariano Rivera. Willy Aybar singled with two outs, but Rivera got Bartlett to swing at the first pitch, inducing a ground ball to short. Jeter got the close out, flipping to Cano to force Aybar at second, ending the game with the Yankees on top 5-4.

Rafael Soriano, Tampa Bay's saves leader pitched the ninth, striking out one, but allowing Cano's homer to take the loss, slipping to 2-1. Dave Robertson pitched the eighth for New York, fanned 2 and got the win, improving to 2-3. Rivera's ninth netted him his 22nd save of the season.

The Rays slip to 64-39, dropping to two games behind New York in the A.L. East. The Rays are first in the A.L. Wild Card chase. Game three versus the Yankees is this afternoon at Tropicana Field, with first pitch set for 1:40pm. Another sell-out crowd is expected. The season-high 11 game home stand winds down after today, with Minnesota coming to town for four games starting tomorrow. You can follow the Rays on 620AM WDAE and the Rays Radio Network. All games through Friday, September 3rd, can be seen on Sun Sports. Today's game will be on TBS, and the Saturday August 14th game against Detroit will be on FOX.

Notes: Rays' first baseman Carlos Pena left the game in the seventh inning with soreness in his right foot and is listed as day-to-day.... Grant Balfour landed on the 15-day disabled list with what Manager Joe Maddon said was a "freaky, fluky, who-knows-why-it-happened" intercostal strain, suffered when horsing around with pitching coach Jim Hickey before batting practice on Friday. The injury could keep Balfour out for up to 4-to-6 weeks.... Carl Crawford's first-inning steal was the 400th of his career.... Tampa Bay made one deadline deal, acquiring reliever Chad Qualls from Arizona for the most popular player in baseball history, Mr. Player-to-be-named-later. Qualls pitched in 15 post-season games for Houston in 2004-05, including the 2005 World Series.

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August is National Catfish Month.

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The Yankees lead the A.L. East by 2 games over Tampa Bay and 7 1/2 over Boston. Toronto is 12 1/2 back and Baltimore is 34 1/2 games behind.

In the A.L. Central, the White Sox lead Minnesota by 1/2 game, Detroit trails by 6, Kansas City is 14 1/2 games back and Cleveland is 15 1/2 games off the pace.

Out in the (not-so)wild A.L. West, Texas leads the Angels by 8 1/2 games, Oakland is 9 behind, and Seattle(Can you believe they were expected to contend for first this year?) is 22 1/2 games behind.

In the N.L. East, Atlanta leads Philadelphia by 3 1/2 games, Florida and the Mets are 6 1/2 back and Washington trails by 13 1/2.

In the N.L. Central, St. Louis leads Cincinnati by 1/2 game, Milwaukee is 10 1/2 behind, the Cubs trail by 12, Houston is 13 1/2 games behind, and Pittsburgh is 21 1/2 games off the pace.

San Diego's lead in the N.L. West is down to 1 1/2 games over San Francisco(The Giants lead the N.L. Wild Card chase). Colorado and the Dodgers are 7 behind, with Arizona 23 games back.

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Jimmy was watching his Elmo Wild West video yesterday, so naturally he thought Snoopy would gladly pretend to be a horsey. Doesn't look like Snoopy agreed, does it?

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The San Francisco Giants crawled to within 1 1/2 games of first-place San Diego yesterday, with a dramatic 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers, before another sell-out crowd of 42,882 at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

L.A.'s Chad Billingsley and the Giants' Barry Zito were locked in a classic pitcher's duel. The scoreless tie was broken, when the Dodgers' Casey Blake led off the 7th by homering off of Zito for a 1-0 lead. Billingley, who fanned 5, walked 2 and allowed just 2 hits in 6 1/3 innings, was relieved in the 7th by Hong-Chih Kuo, who struggled a bit, but managed to keep San Francisco from scoring. Denny Bautista came out of the bullpen in the eight, after Zito had been lifted for a pinch hitter in the seventh. He retired one batter, but walked two others, before being replaced by Guillermo Mota, who fanned 3 in 1 1/3 innings' work. After Kuo hit Buster Posey with two outs in the eighth, closer Jonathan Broxton came out of the pen to face Pat Burrell with two outs. Burrell then belted a dramatic two-run homer to put the Giants on top 2-1, a lead Mota would protect for the win, improving to 1-3 on the year. Broxton's loss dropped him to 3-3.

San Francisco, which won 20 games in the month of July, is now 60-45, and within 1 1/2 games of first-place San Diego in the N.L. West. They've won 19 of their last 24 games as well. The Giants finish their seven-game home stand this afternoon against Los Angeles, 8:00pm EDT on ESPN. The Giants have a big 3-game series at home against San Diego coming up August 13th through 15th. Next Saturday's game with the Dodgers airs on FOX, with the Sunday game against the Dodgers showing on ESPN.

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Today in Elvis History:

1960 - Elvis Presley was named Public Enemy #1 by the East German newspaper, "Young World."

1960 - Elvis Presley began pre-production work on the movie "Flaming Star." It was his sixth movie.

1970 - Elvis Presley's single "The Wonder of You" hit #1 in the U.K.

1972 - Elvis Presley's single "Burning Love" was released.

1977 - The book "Elvis - What Happened?" went on sale. The book was written based on the experiences of three of Elvis' ex-bodyguards, Red West, Sonny West and Dave Hebler

2006 - The remastered versions of "Elvis Live", "Elvis Movies" and "Elvis R&B" were released.

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From http://www.tampabaystorm.com

The Tampa Bay Storm (11-4, 3-3) wrapped up the second and final meeting in the storied “War on I-4” rivalry, as well as the 2010 regular season in front of an energetic crowd of 17, 302 at the St. Pete Times Forum on Saturday, falling to the in-state division rival Orlando Predators (8-8, 4-2) 75-60. The loss resulted in a season series split between the two clubs, which last met on May 28 in Orlando with the Storm earning a 62-50 victory.

Despite the losing effort, Tampa Bay received record-breaking performances from quarterback Brett Dietz and receiver DeAndrew Rubin. Dietz completed the performance with six touchdowns good for 398 yards, and as a result, broke Shane Stafford’s franchise record for most passing yards in a single season, concluding his 2010 campaign with 5,054. Much of Dietz’s success in the game was aided by Rubin, who in catching 17 receptions for 245 yards, set two single-game Tampa Bay Storm records, while also hauling in a team-leading three scores. Hank Edwards also caught two touchdowns and finished the night with 85 yards.

Orlando quarterback Nick Hill served as the driving force behind Orlando’s offense, throwing for 284 yards and eight touchdowns. Receiver T.T. Toliver cashed in a big game as the Predators’ signal caller’s primary target, catching six touchdowns and amassing 123 receiving yards.

The game’s first quarter resembled that of last week in the Storm’s 53-29 rout of the Alabama Vipers, as Tampa Bay struggled to find the endzone, while its opponent scored early and often. Hill opened the contest with a touchdown pass to Toliver, which was the receiver’s first of three scores in the quarter. With Orlando leading 7-0, Storm quarterback Brett Dietz evened the score on the ensuing drive, completing a 42-yard pass to DeAndrew Rubin. The strike would be Dietz’s only score of the period, however, as he was then intercepted twice after Orlando’s Bobby Sippio scored an additional touchdown to help the Predators take a 28-7 lead into the second quarter.

Orlando continued to put points on the board in the second period, finding the paint twice more, but Tampa Bay countered, matching the Predators touchdown for touchdown. The Storm’s Terence Royal got things started by cutting the deficit to two scores after marching in a rushing touchdown. Hill maintained his poise in the pocket much like he did to open the game, striking twice on passes to receivers Bobby Sippio and T. T. Toliver. Predators kicker Carlos Martinez capped the quarter’s scoring by nailing a 23-yard field goal shortly after Dietz found DeAndrew Rubin from 28 yards out to make it 45-20 going into the intermission.

The back-and-forth scoring trend continued throughout the second half, despite Orlando consistently maintaining a comfortable lead. Predators quarterback Nick Hill continued to utilize his favorite target in T.T. Toliver, who caught two additional throws for touchdowns. Hill also rushed in a score before Tampa Bay’s Erick Ortiz countered to open the fourth quarter, bringing the score to 59-34 in Orlando’s favor. Despite being down, Dietz succeeded in spreading the ball around to keep Tampa Bay in the contest. The Storm signal caller first found Tyrone Timmons from 11 yards out before tossing a pair of scores to Hank Edwards and DeAndrew Rubin, which closed the gap to 17 points. James Bryant sealed the win for Orlando after recovering an onside kick and returning it for a touchdown, although Tampa Bay did score once more with 14 seconds left on a Dietz strike to Edwards, capping the game’s scoring at 75-60.


For more information regarding playoff schedule and tickets, visit ticketmaster.com, call 813.301.6600 or log on to http://www.tampabaystorm.com/.

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Jimmy looks cool in anything Elmo!

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From http://www.nascar.com


Even when he doesn't get any practice, Kyle Busch still wins in the Nationwide Series.

Busch won his ninth Nationwide race of 2010, his sixth in his past seven starts and 39th of his career by dominating the U.S. Cellular 250 in front of 55,988 fans at Iowa Speedway.

"I really like these cars," Busch said. "It's fun, man. I've really grown accustomed to these things and have learned how to drive them. You can really drive the Nationwide cars hard because they don't have a whole lot of horsepower, so you can really try to make up a lot by being able to get more out of the car, driver-wise."

Busch missed Saturday morning's rain-delayed practice, making it to Iowa in time for qualifying. In his first laps in the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, he earned the second position. Brad Coleman practiced Busch's car.

"It would've been better if I could've sat on the pole," Busch said. "Darn Trevor Bayne."

Bayne may have won the pole, but Busch's car was clearly dominant in the race, even without Busch practicing it. Busch led four times for 209 laps.

"It says a lot about the team, it says a lot about my confidence as a driver and my confidence in the team that they can prepare great race cars -- and also [backup driver] Brad Coleman and what he does. I told [crew chief] Jason [Ratcliff] before the start of this thing, 'Man, if I win this thing, I just might not practice any more.' I think I screw it up more when I practice it."

Busch passed Harvick with 24 laps to go and pulled away for the victory, spoiling Nationwide's Dash 4 Cash program. Since Busch was ineligible because he hasn't run all the Nationwide Series races this year, an eligible driver can win $75,000 if he wins at Texas Motor Speedway on Nov. 6.

Harvick ended up second, with Jason Leffler third, points leader Brad Keselowski fourth and Bayne fifth. Sixth through 10th were Steve Wallace, Michael Annett, Justin Allgaier, Matt DiBenedetto and Carl Edwards.

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Today is the start of Simplify Your Life week. (Great reason right there to read this blog every day!)

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Coming up:

Tonight --

Nascar Sprint Cup Series: Sunoco Red Cross Pennsylvania 500 at Pocono Raceway, Long Pond, Iowa 1:00pm EDT

Baseball: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays 1:40pm EDT

Baseball: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants 8:00pm EDT

Monday --

Baseball: Minnesota Twins at Tampa Bay 7:10pm EDT

Tuesday --

Baseball: Minnesota Twins at Tampa Bay Rays 7:10pm EDT

Baseball: San Francisco Giants at Colorado Rockies 8:40pm EDT

Wednesday --

Baseball: San Francisco Giants at Colorado Rockies 3:10pm EDT

Baseball: Minnesota Twins at Tampa Bay Rays 7:10pm EDT

Thursday --

Baseball: Minnesota Twins at Tampa Bay Rays 12:10pm EDT

Baseball: San Francisco Giants at Atlanta Braves 7:10pm EDT

Friday --

CFL Football: Saskatchewan Roughriders at Montreal Alouettes 7:00pm EDT

Baseball: Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays 7:07pm EDT

Baseball: San Francisco Giants at Atlanta Braves 7:35pm EDT

Saturday --

Baseball: Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays 1:07pm EDT

Nascar Nationwide Series: Zippo 200 at the glen at Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen International, New York 1:30pm EDT

Arena Football: AFL Divisional Round Playoff Game at Tampa Bay Storm 7:30pm EDT

Sunday --

Nascar Sprint Cup Series: Heluva Good! Sour Cream Dips at the glen at Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen International, New York 1:00pm EDT

Baseball: Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays 1:07pm EDT

Baseball: San Francisco Giants at Atlanta Braves 1:35pm EDT

IZOD Indy Car Series: Honda Indy 200 presented by Westfield Insurance at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio 2:30pm EDT

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That's all for today. See you tomorrow!

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My CRC Connections

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