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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Weekly Wed. All-NHL Podcast #12

With three series in the bag, whats left for the interest of NHL fans? (Runs 20.5mins)
  • Why are the Wings and Pens are so dominant?
  • How the class nerd is a lot like Dallas -- identity=victory!
  • Is Price the issue in Montreal, or is Philly just a good team?
Thanks for listening and Enjoy! -- Derek.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Misc. Monday Podcast

Runs: 20mins
May contain adult language... err, most likely does.

  • Corporatization, Tires and the Olympics.
  • What Facebook Chat Feature shares with the Cleveland Indians.
  • Why the Toronto Blue Jays are like a peewee hockey team.
Musical guest -- Binary Star, The Cribs and The Kinks. Thanks for listening and Enjoy! - Derek.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Grievance Fridays: Hating the World of Sports

More podcasts because they are so much more emotional. No punches are pulled in this rant-esque audio treat featuring FHM Top 100 Woman selections, why the terrible state of Toronto sports franchises makes it the worst sports city on Earth and why bloggers are owning mainstream newspapers.

Cheers, and thanks for listening. -- Derek.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

All-NHL Podcast #11 - Fine and On Time.

What an amazing 1st Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs! Equally as entertaining is this weeks All NHL Podcast which breaks down into three segments:

1. Blame The Refs (Caps-Flyers Game 7)
2. Blame Keenan (Flames-Sharks)
3. Which trade deadline acquisition made the biggest impact in the 1st round?
Thanks for listening and Enjoy. Cheers, Derek.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

All-NHL Podcast #10 - Late, but Great.

Better late than never this weeks All-NHL podcast details the horror show that is the Ottawa Senators and why they'll look VERY different next year. The latter portion of the podcast highlights the Unsung and Unseen Heroes of the 2008 NHL playoffs. Thanks for listening, Cheers -- Derek.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Only in Baseball – Weird Gems Exclusive to the Diamond

[I'm exhausted an have decided to mail this one in. My apologies, but I present to you the following for your entertainment.]

It's the plethora of idiosyncrasies that make baseball so wonderful. At the worst of times, this game can be at its finest and that isn't a trait shared by much. Here are just a few of the many odd-wacky-insane things you might see during a baseball game that are all worth the price of admission.

Charging the mound: Who doesn't love seeing a game of bean-ball turn into a bench clearing brawl. In a sport where they could easily kill a man in a fight, there are surprisingly few real fights in any of these altercations, but they are hilariously entertaining aren't they?

Chewing tobacco: because standing around is always better with nicotine. Rumor has it NBA players want in on this delicious luxury, but officials fear the spitting would compromise the playing surface. Shame.

Visible laziness: only in a game of patience and skill would they allow such poorly fit athletes to make millions of dollars. To each their own, but I think we can attribute this phenomena to the booze buffets in the clubhouse.

Excessive Arguing with Umpires: this is the most distinguishable tradition in baseball, and little is as entertaining and laughable. Grown men, face-to-face, screaming incessantly. The ground rules are simple: never insult the umpire directly, only the call, and keep the contact scant. Otherwise Managers have free reign to shout their liquor-fueled tirades across the diamond.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Top 5 Storylines of the 2008 NHL Playoffs

The Weekly Wed. All-NHL podcast is not the same old dog-and-pony show from the mainstream, here are the top 5 playoffs storylines:

5. Can Crosby Carry the Pens to the Finals?
4. Will the Ducks repeat as Stanley Cup Champions?
3. Are the Detroit Red Wings like Walmart?
2. How the Montreal Canadiens are like Disney World
1. Why Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals are your favorite rock band.

Thanks for listening and Enjoy! -- Derek.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Tuesday Linkfest -- Midgets, Girls Bums, Rip-offs and Cheaters

Hockey --
  • How pumped are the Caps to have made the dance? Owner Ted Lionsis is growing the beard.
  • More Playoff beard previews - Zetterberg looks like hes been stranded in the Swedish wilderness for a half decade.
Baseball --

Midget football --
  • Midget Soccer Team from Brazil -- when is the friendly vs. the Umpa Loompa squad?
Misc Greatness --
Thanks for stopping. Check out the archives for a host of solid original content and look out for tomorrows ALL-NHL Podcast featuring the what you wont here on mainstream radio and TV. Cheers, Derek.T

Monday, April 7, 2008

2008 NHL Playoff Picks In Pictures

***Updated Monday AM***

The NHL Playoffs have arrived and where would NHL fans be without some well-researched guidance? In order to make these projections I have painstakingly broke down every series based on the following criteria (and presented the results with two simple, straight-forward images):
  1. Goaltending Match-up
  2. Playoff Experience
  3. Coaches
  4. Where is the Money? (Vegas odds)
  5. Historical Rivalry? (Past performances vs. opponent)
  6. Special Teams
  7. The X-Factor: More subjective things such as physicality, leadership, likelihood of injuries or momentum, and anything else I deemed qualitatively important.
Each puck translates into what I believe is a decided advantage over their opponent (notice each series totals 7 pucks, 1 is awarded when a given team is superior in a given category, 1/2 pucks indicate a draw). Taken together the following picture(s) emerges. Enjoy!

2008 Stanley Cup Final: New York Rangers vs. Anaheim Ducks

Friday, April 4, 2008

Moneyball in the MLB: Why the Jays Won't Make the Playoffs

My open love for the Toronto Blue Jays has caused me a measurable degree of strife when conjuring a topic for my Thursday MLB piece. As the date will attest, my reluctance to speak truthfully and realistically on the fate of this years Blue Jays squad and the MLB playoffs has delayed the submission altogether. So procrastination be damned, and I'll be frank in order to hasten the onset of certain agony: the Blue Jays (sadly) will not make the playoffs this year.

In a sporting era of outstanding league-wide competitive balance, the scenario facing the Blue Jays in the AL East is similar to the polarization of talent which sports fans across North America are well acquainted with. The highly competitive AL East, the Western Conferences of the NBA and NHL, and the AFC in the NFL all proudly stand alongside one another touting the distinction of superiority. The effect remains clearly discernible for playoff hopefuls like Toronto who yearn for the luxury of competing against inferior talent; a luxury lost on the Blue Jays for over a decade caused by the prevalence of the Moneyball culture in the American League.

Unlike the other major sporting leagues whose spending is restricted by the owner-loving, player-robbing salary cap, the polarization of talent in baseball has been fostered through Moneyball. This philosophy, in contrast to Sabremetrics, is applied by teams in the affluent North East with abundant free capital used to purchase player services at rates otherwise unaffordable to smaller, less wealthy teams. What does this mean for the Blue Jays?

Interestingly, they are a combination of both philosophies, thanks largely Owner Ted Rogers for opening up his wallet, and secondarily to GM JP Ricciardi and the tutelage he received during his time with the Oakland Athletics. While his tenure as GM in Toronto has yielded a team with a poor identity and shattered expectations, the Blue Jays of 2008 have been said to change all that riding their strong pitching staff and post-surgery stars, BJ Ryan and Vernon Wells. While superficially it may appear that the Blue Jays have the tools to win 90+ games, but their fans are best suited understanding the limitations of the Black Hole in which they are entrenched, and applying the following conclusions to their expectations.

Each league awards 4 playoff spots, 3 to the winners of the respective divisions and the last (the wild card) to the outstanding team with greatest number of victories. There are two formidable opponents within the AL's NE division (arguably the toughest in baseball) in the form of the Yankees and the Red Sox. All rational delineation leads me to believe the Blue Jays cannot win the AL East, hence their goals must be fixed upon sneaking in as a wild-card. The only problem: winning the Wild Card will, in all likelihood, be more difficult than the proposed futility of challenging for their division title.

The AL Central has the Indians and the Tigers, the AL West has the Mariners and the Angles, all teams capable of winning the lions share in their respective divisions. Adding the three contenders from the well-stocked AL East (Boston , NY and Toronto) a little math dictates that the 4 non-division winners will be fighting for the lone wild card.

Considered in these terms it looks entirely bleak for the Blue Jays in a season erroneously dubbed by some to have the greatest hope and potential to-date under Ricciadri and Gibbons. The landscape of the MLB has thrown the Blue Jays a nearly un-hittable pitch set to perpetuate their lack of achievement over the course of the 15 years. Naturally their struggles can be attributed to a number of the aforementioned impedances, be it financial restrictions, personnel decisions or injuries. Nevertheless fans in Toronto should demand more for this organization, lest they get stuck with the perennially over-hyped and underachieving Toronto franchise that is sadly becoming the hallmark of the cities' sports organizations.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Weekly Wed. All-NHL Podcast #8

This week rolls out an in-depth examination of playoffs scenarios in both the East and Western Conferences and finishes with a compelling comparison: are Russian snipers taking over the NHL?

Cheers, and thanks for listening - Derek. Be sure to subscribe for the (almost) daily updates.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Cloud9 Linkfest - Tuesday Teasers

  • Soooo, Sean Avery didn't get burned in a Hookers black book? -- Good, she wasn't much of an upgrade from Elisha.
  • Kyle Wellwood is back in Philly for another potential surgery on his sports hernia. But, it gets better, this time it's the OPPOSITE side -- Over/Under on future goals in the NHL is at 13, and I'm taking under.
  • I don't care much for Damien Cox, but I share his message regarding useless, overpaid Maple Leafs: Send them to the Minors. I'd take it further and threaten to send them to the minors unless they agree to re-negotiate or waive their no-trades.
  • Matt Leinart training hard in the off-season - And by training, I mean boozing with underage skeezers.
  • Iran vs. Kuwait in a EU Footy Match - Check out this insane goal.
Cheers and thanks for stopping in. Be sure to subscribe for the (almost) daily updates at Cloud9 Sports and support ADVERTISEMENT FREE Sports Analysis.