Posted on: July 11, 2008 6:55 pm

Blog Cabin: Your weekend sports planner

Unless you want to watch the world championship of bicycle racing or stake out Brett Favre's Mississippi home, this weekend's sports load will again focus on baseball.


Diamondbacks vs. Phillies
Arizona comes in to the series holding a slim, one-game lead over the Dodgers in the NL West. Philadelphia, meanwhile, is only 1 1/2 games ahead of the Marlins and Mets in the NL East.

While Friday and Saturday will likely feature a fair amount of offensive output, Sunday's matchup will probably be the highlight of the series.

Will Brandon Webb (13-4, 3.27) be able to shut down the powerful Phillies lineup? Or, will Cole Hammels (9-6, 3.18) be able to out-dual the Arizona ace? Either way, it should be a great game to watch.

After a few shaky games in late May, Hammels has been great in his last six outings. His biggest problem has been a lack of run-support, but with Ryan Howard continuing to heat up and Chase Utley due to snap out of his recent cold spell, I've got to pick Philly to take two of three at home.

Angels vs. Athletics
Oakland needs to make a serious dent in the Angels' 5-game AL West lead. Unfortunately, I'm not sure how realistic that proposition is.

Rookie Sean Gallagher (3-4, 4.45) will make his A's debut on Friday, after recently being acquired from the Cubs in the Rich Harden deal. He'll not only battle the hot Angel hitters, he'll have to out-pitch veteran Jon Garland (8-5, 3.76), who has been at his best over his last three starts.

Saturday will feature a little better matchup, with All-Star Ervin Santana (10-3, 3.53) taking on Oakland's Dana Eveland (7-5, 3.50). Eveland will look to bounce back from a rough last outing in which he gave up nine hits in 5 1/3 innings, while walking four and striking out none... and that was against Seattle (ouch).

This series will also feature a Sunday pitchers dual, with Joe Saunders (12-5, 3.07) taking on Oakland's young ace, Justin Duchscherer (10-5, 1.78).

I'll take the Angels to win Friday and Saturday, with Duchscherer tossing his way to an Athletics win on Sunday.

Marlins vs. Dodgers
On the other end of the Arizona/Philly matchup, Florida and Los Angeles will be trying to climb out of their second-place holes, and reach the All-Star break on top of their respective divisions.

This four-game set started on Thursday, with an 11-inning Florida win, and I look for the series to progress in much the same fashion.

Look for close games with lots of late-inning heroics. Also, keep your eyes on Hanley Ramirez... that kid is scorching hot, and when he's scorching hot, he's as good a hitter as anyone in the game.

Florida takes two of the final three games.

Mets vs. Rockies

The Mets have won six in a row, and as I mentioned earlier, are well on their way to climbing back to the top of the NL East. Lesson: Never, ever, leave any New York team for dead.

I do think the winning streak will stop on Friday, when Colorado's Aaron Cook (11-6, 3.66) takes the mound, but I also expect New York to come out ahead in the next two contests.

Unfortunately for the Mets, if all my predictions are correct, they will only be hoping to hold their ground this weekend.

From the Blogosphere...

After years of wishy-washy retirement talk, Brett Favre finally called it quits in a weepy press conference this off-season. Now, Brett says he felt forced out by the Packers organization. Who's fault is it? Farvism says we should blame the media. Wait... what?

If you're trying to make you way in to Major League Baseball, the best place to find scouts in the summer time is the Cape Cod League. FSU Boston gives you a brief history of this great wood-bat league, and also lets the community know about a few big prospects who are out to hot starts.

NinerNation kicks off his series of NFC West previews by breaking down the Seattle Seahawks. Shockingly, he seems to think they could win 10 games this year.
Posted on: June 27, 2008 5:44 pm

Blog Cabin: Your weekend sports planner

Well, it's another Friday, which means another weekend of sports to enjoy. And what's not to enjoy, coming off the NBA draft and the flurry of trades that followed.

As for what I'll be checking out this weekend - Most of my viewing will again revolve around MLB and interleague play, but I did throw in a few other happenings in the world of sports.


Cubs vs. White Sox

Once again, the battle line has been drawn in Chicago, but this time the war rages at US Cellular Field. The Cubs handled their cross-town rivals last weekend in Wrigley, scoring 22 runs in three games. Now, the White Sox will try to return the favor, and hold on to a slim half-game lead in the AL Central?

Ryan Dempster (9-2) takes the mound, Friday, against Jose Contreras (6-6). Dempster pitched a gem last week, as the Cubs won 7-1. The pitching match-ups on Saturday and Sunday aren't too appealing, so I'd expect much the same as last weekend - a lot of scoring with Chicago fans definitely getting their moneys worth.

The Sox certainly can't afford another sweep, as Minnesota has been on a tear, and are suddenly in surprise contention for first place.

Twins vs. Brewers
Speaking of Minnesota, the red hot Twinkies take another shot at the Brewers. The Twins have swept their last three series, and have a good shot at making it four. Milwaukee has been hot as well, though, winning six of the last seven games.

Friday's starter for the Brewers, Seth McClung, has not faired well against the Twins, posting a 1-2 record and 7.53 ERA. In interleague play this year, however, McClung has been solid, with a 2-0 record and 3.14 ERA. Which McClung will show up Friday? I'll be watching to find out.

Minnesota is leading the season series 2-1. Milwaukee should have a shot to even things up, though, with ace Ben Sheets taking on Minnesota's Kevin Slowey on Sunday. Saturday will have the best pitching match-up in this series, with the Twins' Livan Hernandez (8-4) going up against Manny Parra (7-2).

Mets vs. Yankees
This is the last subway series in the Bronx at Yankee Stadium (unless both teams make it to the World Series, which is highly unlikely). Both teams are in similar positions at this stage in the season - in third place in their respective divisions, but playing well over their last 10.

The Mets are four games out of first place in the NL East, and the Yankees are five-and-a-half games behind rival Boston. Both teams could use a big boost in this series, so it should be interesting to see which New York team prevails.

The series starts with a double header on Friday. The first game will be in the Bronx and the second at Shea Stadium. Saturday we'll see Andy Pettitte (8-5) and Johan Santana (7-6) taking the mound. Despite his record, Santana has a 2.93 ERA, and is always capable of shutting down even the most potent lineup.

Angels vs. Dodgers

The Angels and Dodgers meet again this weekend, but the Angles have had the Dodgers number all season. Winning nine of the last 11 games, the Halos look to add to that win total. Joe Saunders brings his 11-3 record in to Dodger Stadium, Friday, against Chan Ho Park, 2-2. (Wait... Chan Ho Park is still in the league?!)

Park hasn't pitched well against the Angels in his career. His 5.75 ERA and 5-7 record doesn't bode well for his outing against an Angels team that can put up runs with the best of them.

On Saturday, two youngsters - Jered Weaver of the Angles and Chad Billingsley of the Dodgers - hit the bump. Neither have had spectacular years so far, but this should be an exciting game.

Sunday. Angels ace John Lackey has been lights out since missing the beginning stages of the season. Lackey boasts a 5-1 record and stellar 1.65 ERA since taking his place at the top of the rotation. Derek Lowe, on the other hand, hasn't found his stride, but is capable of dealing Lackey his second loss of the season.


The Buick Open
Obviously, this usually important tournament won't be quite as exciting with Tiger Woods on the shelf. But, with the big guy out, young, hungry players will again have their chance to shine. Bo Van Pelt holds the lead heading into the weekend, at -14, but Dudley Hart and Daniel Chopra are currently hot on his trail, at -12.

I'll be tuning in on Sunday to watch the final round and see who steps up in Tiger's absence.

Euro Soccer

Championship Game: Spain vs. Germany
I might tune in on Sunday for the 91st minute of this championship game to see what team is sliding around on their knees and celebrating. I'll take that as the winning team and switch back to baseball or maybe cup-stacking or... well, anything really.



The Championships continue this weekend with the third and fourth rounds. Unfortunately for most viewers, you may not recognize many of the names. Still, there are a few big guns left, and there will be a ton of good grass-court tennis to watch.

On Saturday, Nicolas Kiefer will face tennis terminator Rafael Nadal. Nadal has looked sharp in the first two rounds and should have no problem with the 27th-ranked German.

Another Saturday match that should be exciting is Tommy Haas and Andy Murray, the 12th-ranked player in the world. These players are pretty evenly matched, and this one could turn in to an epic battle.

On the ladies side, surprising Shuai Peng of China will go up against Ala Kudryavtseva of Russia. Both ladies made a splash by beating the No. 1 and No. 3 ranked players, respectively, in round two.

Venus Williams tries to reach the finals again and will take on Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez on Court 1.

From the Blogosphere...

The Heat need help... and they may have just got some. Check out Harst's NBA Draft grades and revised Miami depth chart.

It's only halfway through the season, but Chipper&Smoltzy is already wondering about the 2008 MLB Rookies of the Year. Could the NL player be Jay Bruce in Cincinnati? Maybe the AL guy is Joba up in the Big Apple? Make your pick!

Ilive@unc is the not about to call Charlotte a playoff team, but he does think this draft was a step in the right direction. Take a look at his thoughts on the Bobcats' draft.
Posted on: June 25, 2008 7:27 pm
Edited on: June 25, 2008 7:28 pm

Blog Cabin: Tiger, apples and weird e-bay items

In the news...

We’re living in the Internet age; a time when all human knowledge, anything you could ever want, is just a click away. Thus, I wasn’t at all surprised when an apple core, supposedly eaten by Tiger Woods, appeared for sale on e-bay.

I guess, sometimes, one man’s trash really is another man’s treasure.

I was definitely amused, though, so I decided to check out the sale, which appears to have been taken down. The ad did say that the core was “scooped up in a beer cup to avoid disturbing the DNA”, and also that all proceeds would go toward a college fund for the seller’s daughter.

Better hope she gets a scholarship, because at my last check the price for the core had only reached $100.

Apparently, the e-bay community also thought the sale was pretty funny. Today, there’s someone selling another “official” Tiger Woods apple (Item 160253893882), two people selling apple cores that they ate while watching Tiger Woods (180257937309 and 140244298257), and one person selling the core of an apple he found near the woods in Tiger, Georgia (160254815134).

While I was there, I decided to see what other weird commodities could be found in the worlds largest garage sale.

Without further ado... Here are then 10 strangest things I found on e-bay.

10. Antique snake bite repair kit (6249881565)
– There’s no date, but apparently, before modern medicine, a snake bite kit consisted of a razor blade and a small vial of antiseptic. Wow, why not just make it a gun and one bullet.

9. Cerebral Stimulator (150262457871) - While the snake bight kit may have been bad medicine, this thing is just plain stupid. Basically, it’s just a copper pipe with 10 thick copper wires coming off of it. The pipe part is placed above the head with the wires touching all around the skull. Sounds kind of like a human-lightning-rod kit, if you ask me.

8. Invisible soccer ball (150262919043) – I’ve never heard of one either, and I’ve definitely never seen one... which, I guess, is the point. Still, you can tell it’s the real deal because the box looks completely empty. Now, if they could only make invisible soccer players... That would be way more entertaining then normal soccer.

7. Decorated penis gourd (110263942947) .At first, I thought the word should be “guard”, but it turns out this traditional tube-shaped, tiger-striped junk-cover really is made out of a gourd. The ad calls the piece “traditional” and says that it was made and decorated by the Kamanibit people, who live in the Sepik area of Papua New Guinea. I really don’t know anything about the Kamanbit, except that they’re definitely not a small people. This gourd is over 10 inches long.

6. Coprolite (370062026706)
Who says you can’t polish a turd? It would appear that polished dinosaur poop sells quite well on e-bay. There are many auctions going, for many different kinds of fossilized dung. Most say things like “great specimen” or “unique gift”. Personally, I would say that if you’re hanging out with people who would accept poo as a gift, you should probably get new friends.

5. Human soul (300236720783)
It’s not the first soul sold on e-bay, and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Reportedly, one sold for around $400 not too long ago. Anyway, the person selling this one says he needs the money, and that the winner will receive a certificate of authenticity for the soul. He has also limited the sale to fellow humans. “No Satanists, occults, pixies, warlords, elf’s or even Satan himself may bid.”

4. Invisibility (130232659564) – “
This is not a toy or a magic trick. This is not an illusion or a ninja technique.” What it is, apparently, is the secret to becoming invisible. The ad further promises that “You will not have a shadow,” and that the method “will work even when you’re completely surrounded by cameras and people.” This one is hilarious. Half way down the page, there’s a drawing of an invisible guy lifting up a woman’s skirt. Above the picture, it warns that these powers should be used for “moral” purposes only. The best part, though, is that the invisible guy is wearing a red hat and sunglasses, which are clearly visible. Why would someone who’s invisible do that? And, do you have to be naked to be invisible? Also, buyers will get a bonus “Wizard’s Book”. This extra book teaches readers many useful things, like how to command bugs, how to teach your pets to dance on stilts, and even how to bring dead creatures back to life!

3. Plans for a sonic nausea device (320200017420)
You’ll know you have the right auction when you see the picture of the guy vomiting. With only basic soldering and electronics skills, the purchaser of these plans will, I’m guessing, be able to create some kind of sound device capable of making everyone in the vicinity lose their lunch. Useful. This seller is also hawking plans for an atom smasher. I bet this one comes with a free visit from the FBI!

2. Possibly haunted, big-breasted tomato (320266504133) –
Yep, that’s right... It’s a tomato that’s shaped like a pair of woman’s breasts, and if it was to scale, I would guess we would be talking about at least D-cups. If that wasn’t strange enough, the seller believes the fruit, which came from her garden, may be haunted by the spirit of her sister Jenny, who died of breast cancer. But here’s the twist, you can’t bid on the tomato... because e-bay doesn’t allow the sale of food. So instead, the seller wants you to buy a porcelain doll left to her by the dead sister... because that’s what the tomato is telling her to do. Got all that?

1. The “Brief Safe” (320168468249)
When you’re just too crazy to buy a regular safe, the brief safe will keep your money secure at all costs (even your dignity). Basically, it’s a pair of white men’s underwear, rigged with a special pouch to hold valuables. You simply stow your possessions in the safe’s pouch and throw it on the floor. What thief will look in your dirty undies, right? But... How will a thief know they’re dirty, you ask? Simple! The brief safe comes with “special markings”... Yeah, that’s right. They come with skidmarks. As the ad puts it: “Even the most hardened burglar or most curious snoop will ‘skid’ to a screeching halt as soon as they see them.” The ad also suggests that you use “doo drops” (another of the seller's products) for a realistic smell. You guessed it... “Doo drops look and smell like real diarrhea!”

Posted on: June 23, 2008 6:35 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2008 7:56 pm

Blog Cabin: Ashley Harkleroad poses for Playboy

In the news...

With the start of Wimbledon, I’ve been hearing a lot about Ashley Harkleroad, and her decision to pose in Playboy. I remember when the story came out, but it definitely didn’t register in my mind as a story that would remain on the international radar.

I guess I was wrong.

The commentators during Harkleroad’s first-round, straight-set loss spent half the match talking about the 23-year-old’s decision to pose naked for Hugh Hefner’s money. One of the old, crotchety-sounding woman commentators even said the move “wasn’t classy” and that she should “take some heat”.

Seriously? What’s the big deal? What do you care?

Harkleroad isn’t exactly a household name, and it’s not like she’s going to be winning majors any time soon... or any tournament for that matter. Unfortunately for her, she’s on the downside of a mediocre career.

That being the case, I don’t blame her one bit for posing in Playboy. I’ll stop short of calling it a “classy” move, but let’s be honest; it’s really not that bad. If the pictures were in black and white and taken by a guy in a beret, then we would all be calling them art. I mean, people have been carving and painting nude bodies since the beginning of time.

Why is it OK for a bunch of snooty aristocrats to sip wine while remarking about nudes in a gallery showing, meanwhile it’s considered dirty if someone decides to use a little color and puts the picture in a magazine full of politics and news?

I would never say that all adult magazines are the equivalent of art, but Playboy is probably about one step more risqué then a swimsuit calendar... and it is meant for adults, after all.

There’s a definite double standard here.

After taking some criticism, Harkleroad echoed a similar sentiment. “I really didn't think it was that big of a deal,” she said. “I'm proud of my body. I stay in shape and try to stay fit. I'm just trying to represent a female athlete and her body.”

Good for her. And, if she can pull in a few hundred thousand to do it, then why not? It’s a good business move for someone in her position.

I think Ana Ivanovic or Maria Sharapova would make the same move in they were a bit worse with the racket... and I’m sure they both have standing, multi-million dollar offers to do so.

From the Blogoshpere...

What grinds Flygirl's gears? Well, today, it's public restrooms. I think she may have a touch of the OCD, but I'll let you all be the judge.

With Curt Schilling shutting it down for the season, and maybe his career, baseball fans everywhere are wondering if the outspoken postseason hero will find a place in Cooperstown. Dbacksfan414 presents both sides of the argument.

Cirknick continues his quest to assemble the greatest Colts team of all time. This week: defensive line.

Posted on: June 18, 2008 7:29 pm

Blog Cabin: Does anybody believe Chad Johnson?

In the news...

So, Chad Johnson had surgery today to clean out an ankle that was supposedly bothering him at the Bengals mandatory workouts. Oh, and he also has a sore back.


Sure, Chad, we believe you. There’s definitely no way that you and your agent, Drew Rosenhaus, could have cooked this one up as a way to punish the Bengals for not trading you.

Just like there’s no way that the general public would question the statements of someone who has been a loud-mouth, malcontent for most of his career.

Sarcasm aside, I think we all know that this is a power move on Chad’s part. He says he’ll be back to start the season, but we all expect him to try to sit until he’s traded.

I wouldn’t expect Cincinnati to play ball, though. The team has already said that it won’t trade Chad because it can’t get equal value.

Good for the Bengals, too. I hope they fine him, and if that doesn’t work, I hope they sit him and let him rot. Whatever they do, they can’t, under any circumstances, trade him to get him out of the way. These guys have to learn that they can’t bully management... even if slimy Mr. Rosenhaus is doing their bidding.

Cincinnati, maybe more than any other team in this situation, needs to hold firm. They’ve already cut ties with a few troubled players, and they are well on their way to reigning in the three-ring circus. To finish the task, they have got to get this one right.

Anyway, it might even be better for the team if he doesn’t play. Carson Palmer is sick of him. T.J. Houshmandzadeh seems to have had his fill of “Ocho-Cinco”. Plus, at this point, who’s to say he even gives it an honest effort?

Eventually, though, he’ll realize that he’s wasting games and money in the prime of his career. If he has any brain beneath that short Mohawk, he’ll also realize that he’s hurting his stock for the future.

Sure, someone will sign him after this ordeal (Dallas), but it won’t be as big of a contract as it would have been, especially since he’s coming off somewhat of a down year. How many teams nowadays can afford to take a chance on a guy like Chad Johnson?

Some, but not that many.

And by the way... 85 is “ochenta y cinco”. Idiot.

From the Blogosphere...

Banned Poster learned a lot of things during this year's NBA finals, but the most important was that Laker fans are "classless". Please, can we start using some synonyms for that word. I know they use it on television, but there are actually about 20 other words that mean exactly the same thing. Microsoft Word has a thesaurus. Besides that, it is a great blog, and is up to par with the rest of BP's writings.

Stepping outside the world of sports, redoverred is sending his prayers to the Americans dealing with the floods of the Midwest. Stop in and share a thought.

The AL Central is always a dog fight. In his latest blog, tigertowner68 breaks down the middle of the pack, as the Tigers and Indians move in opposite directions.
Posted on: June 13, 2008 7:22 pm
Edited on: June 13, 2008 7:55 pm

Blog Cabin: Your Sports Weekend Planner

Coming up...

Unfortunately, I missed Griffey’s 600th homerun by one at-bat, last weekend. I went Sunday, and he hit the thing on Monday, in his first plate appearance. The saddest thing is; the area where he hit the ball was exactly where I was camped out with my wife and friend.

We had it all planned out, too. I was going to hurl my wife on top of everyone in the row in front of us. My buddy, meanwhile, would tackle anyone coming in our direction, leaving me to make the catch... I'm sure it would have been mine.

Well, now that my missed opportunity is behind me, I have to look forward to this weekend. I know I won't have a chance to catch history, but there’s still a lot going on in the world of sports.


Interleague play is back this weekend, giving us some very interesting matchups to look at.

Rays vs. Marlins
I wouldn't have said this at the beginning of the season, but these may be two of the best teams in baseball. Both teams have capable offenses, but pitching has been a real key for the clubs.

It’s starting to look like the Marlins got the better of that trade with Detroit in the offseason. Rookie Andrew Miller - one of the prospects they received in the trade - has four more wins than Dontrelle Willis, who’s now pitching in Single A. Although we won’t get to see Miller this weekend, we will get a chance to check out young Ryan Tucker. The rookie takes the mound, Friday, bringing a 1-0 record, and an ERA of 1.80. I got to see him last Sunday, and it seemed like he could be a very solid young arm.

Tampa Bay (38-28) and Florida (36-30) are both contenders for their respective divisions, so this should be a good series. The only thing missing will be Carl Crawford, who will be serving a suspension for his involvement in last week’s brawl with Boston.

Reds vs. Red Sox
Two teams going in different directions - Boston is atop the AL East at 42-27, while Cincinnati is in the cellar of the NL Central, 11½ games behind the Cubbies.

Why do I want to see this series, you ask? The only thing they have in common is Manny Ramirez and Ken Griffey Jr. both hitting milestones this year.

There’s still plenty to watch for, in this one. Griffey has been hot... or at least better then he has been in a while. Wouldn’t it be great to see these two Hall-of-Famers go homer-for-homer to see who ends up on top? C’mon, it could happen.

The Reds also bring young stars Jay Bruce and Edison Volquez in to the series. Volquez, especially, has been a treat to watch this season. Acquired from the Rangers in the trade for Josh Hamilton, Volquez is lining himself up for a Cy Young this season. He’ll enter Saturday’s contest with a 9-1 record and paltry 1.56 ERA.

Oh yeah, and look for the Red Sox to hang about 10 runs on once-dependable Aaron Harang.

Cubs vs. Blue Jays
The Cubs sit with the best record in the majors, and this weekend, they’ll ride a four-game win streak in to Toronto. The Cubs haven’t been at their best away from Wrigley, and the Jays will have their best arms waiting. “Doctor” Roy Halladay will take the ball on Saturday, and will probably go 9 innings, before handing it directly to Sunday-starter Jesse Litsch.

It will be interesting to see if the Cubs can hold up, especially with Alfonso Soriano out for a few more weeks.

US Open Golf

I’m guessing the Open will eat a large portion of my weekend. (Could be worse!) I've been paying close attention to the first two rounds, and it’s been a pretty strange leaderboard so far. Many young players are going to make the cut, leaving a few of the veterans out in the cold.

As I write this, notables behind the cut line include Mark O’Meara, Justin Rose, Vijay Singh, and last year’s winner, Angel Cabrera.

Obviously, the biggest question remaining is whether Tiger Woods or Phil Mickleson can make a run. They had a late tee time on Friday, but it doesn't look like they will have to make a huge push to the top. If they can shoot -2, they should be sitting pretty heading into Saturday

Torrey Pines has played tough in the first two rounds, and probably will get tougher as the weekend progresses.

NBA Finals - Game 5

Can the Boston Celtics close out the Lakers for the franchise’s first championship in 20 years? Can Kobe and the Lakers play a full 60 minutes of basketball?

I definitely can't wait to find out.

This series has seen both teams come back from 20-plus point deficits. The difference is that Boston won their game 4 comeback, while Los Angeles fell just short in game 2.

It’s good to know that both teams are going to in it at the end, but it can also be a little predictable. I say tune in for the last six minutes and enjoy.

Who am I kidding? I’ll be watching.

Kobe was the next Jordan until the Lakers went down 3-1, and I think that Sunday’s game will be the last. If it does look like it’s going in that direction, I fully expect Bryant to start back-handing his legacy-killing teammates right there on the court.

Somewhere... I can hear Shaq laughing.

From the Blogosphere...

Footballprophet returns to the list with his Diaries of a Crime Scene Analyst. This week, it's the second part in the story of JC, a toddler who was growing up in a meth lab.

Who's the greatest guitarist of all time? Da Fan in Japan has a bracket going. Cast your votes!

For the top minor league baseball prospects, take a look at pizza's phantastic blog. (Yeah, that's really what it's called.) This member ranks the top 40 prospects who are on their way to the pros.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com