Friday, August 24, 2007

Viva Las Vegas?

With my father, a few of his friends, and myself on our way to get John Kruk bobbleheads here in a little bit I'd thought I'd throw out there this bit of "lost" news earlier this week about a new Las Vegas Arena.

The universal opinion of course is that the NBA isn't going to touch Las Vegas with a ten foot pole in the aftermath of the Tim Donaghy scandal. However don't lose sight of the fact that the proposed Las Vegas Arena is being built by AEG, the same group that built, owns, and operates the Sprint Center in Kansas City and currently owns the L.A. Kings. They too are looking for any possible tenant from the NBA or NHL to come in, though the only NBA franchise seriously looking to move is the Seattle SuperSonics and they're looking hard at Oklahoma City.

But the groundwork for NHL expansion is quietly being laid and that should concern all NHL fans.

And speaking of the NHL, we all remember the indignity that the NHL suffered this past May when the Buffaslugs-Ottawa Game 5 was bumped from NBC to Versus in favor of the Preakness pre-race coverage. Well, as I said at the time, at least you had a chance to continue watching the game if you wanted to unlike viewers of the Edmonton-Saskatchewan CFL game this past Saturday night. That game was delayed for over 55 minutes in the fourth quarter because of a power outage at Mosaic Stadium in Saskatchewan caused by thunderstorms. Once power was restored and play resumed CBC did not return to the game broadcast, opting instead to stay with a showing of the Nick Nolte classic The Good Thief.

At least the NHL got bumped for a Triple Crown Horse Race...

Looking through the various sports books, I can't find print outs of the odds for the 2008 Stanley Cup Championship. I did find it oddly amusing that the sports book at South Point has the Eagles (10-1) only slightly better favored over the Redskins (11-1) to appear in Super Bowl XLII. I say that because the last time I saw the World Wide Leader in Schlock, their "experts" told us that the Eagles are the team to beat in the NFC East and the Redskins will be lucky to improve upon their 5-11 record of a year ago. The bettors believe that Chicago (6-1) and New England (6-5) will go to Glendale Arizona next year. Detroit is still the longest shot in the field to make Super Bowl LXII at 30-1.

To win Super Bowl LXII, the Redskins are 30-1 after opening at 55-1. The favorites to win it all is New England at 2-1 after opening at 9-1. The long shot is Houston at 90-1 after opening at 100-1 though the Oakland Raiders opened as the longest shot of 150-1 but has fallen to 50-1.

Finally, yes I noticed that 30-3 pasting the Rangers laid on the B.O.'s Wednesday night and even watched some of it in horror. While I have no love for the B.O.'s and this is a very good moment for Schadenfreude, I personally think the score is just as embarrassing for the Rangers as it was the B.O.'s. 16 of the 30 runs were scored in the last two innings when the game was well in hand. There was no reason for the Rangers to continue to swing the bat the way they did against the B.O.'s. This ranks right up there with High School basketball teams that win games 150-2. There's no excuse for running up the score, especially in the major leagues. While it would be even more embarrassing for the batters to either intentionally step on home plate while bunting or walking to first base on a ground ball (commonly done in High School and youth leagues to end a monster inning), there's no rule that says they must swing the bat while at the plate. The Rangers could have gone to the plate and looked at every pitch the B.O.'s threw and I doubt that anybody would have really noticed or been upset that they did. The game was over, there was no need to continue the slaughter, especially when you still had the double-header night cap to come which is why the B.O.'s hung their relievers out to dry despite pitching batting practice to the Rangers.

(Now that I've defended the B.O.'s, I need to delouse...)

However, the funniest line referencing that game came from the Houston Astro's announcing crew during last night's Nats-Astros game after the B.O.'s had lost their third game in a row, "give some managers an extension and they just stop managing."

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