June 2010

Baseball

Around the World in 60 Days

Earlier this summer, from April into June, Toronto-based blogger Navin Vaswani embarked on one hell of a road trip; or as he called it, The Baseball Road Trip of a Lifetime. It’s hard to imagine any baseball fan would disagree. In just under two months, Vaswani visited all 30 Major League ballparks. That’s a rate of visiting a new city every other day. Even under the best of circumstances, that’s a long trip. But when…

Baseball

Strasburg an All-Star?

In light of Stephen Strasburg’s fourth dominating start for the woeful Washingston Nationals, the buzz around the rookie pitcher’s chances to represent his squad in July’s All-Star Game in Anaheim have heated up. Despite his relative inexperience in Major League Baseball, Strasburg has quickly compiled some of the finest starts for a first-timer in the history of the sport. In terms of strikeouts, for example, no other pitcher has obtained more in his first four…

Other Sports

World Cup smorgasbord

On June 4, 2010, the 19th FIFA World Cup commenced in South Africa, where 32 of the world’s best soccer countries came together to do battle for the sport’s ultimate prize. Eight groups, containing four nations apiece, shaped the round-robin play. Here, teams have been competing for the past two-and-half weeks in an attempt to survive the group stage and advance to the Round of 16. With group play officially two-thirds complete, beginning today, clubs…

Basketball

Raptors lackluster season leads to uncertain future

It was the best of seasons, it was the worst of seasons. Actually, scratch that; it was really quite in the middle. The 2009-10 NBA season was nothing short of a roller-coaster ride for the Toronto Raptors, where highs were coupled with lows, and the end result was missing the playoffs by one measly game. After hitting a season-high six games above .500 at the mid-February All-Star break, the beginning of the end presented itself…

Basketball

Jazz fusion and the NBA Finals

One of my favorite basketball cliches is that ‘basketball is jazz.’ It’s an especially apt one for middle-aged sportswriters to make since both seem to involve improvisation on top of a structured bottom; what good would Kind of Blue have been if Miles Davis hadn’t just come off the more structured Porgy and Bess? Like all cliches, there is a kernel of truth. So let’s take that cliche and bust it out to the breaking…

Baseball

Stephen Strasburg: This is your brain on awesome

Stephen Strasburg made an appearance in Washington D.C. on Tuesday and proceeded to wreak havoc in every awesome way possible. It was more or less expected, but nevertheless the results were a pleasant surprise. On one single night, Stephen Strasburg was at once a caroling child singing on Christmas Eve, photographic proof of the Loch Ness Monster and a swirling mess of irrepressible (bordering on mythical) athletic glory. On this fine summer night Strasburg was…

Hockey

Clock approaching midnight for Cinderella Flyers

He knew what he wanted to do, as he had done it several times before; stick-handle, deke in tight to the backhand, and slip the puck between the goaltender’s legs. Taking a running start from deep in his own end, Olli Jokinen represented the final glimmer of hope for the New York Rangers’ 2009-10 season. Down 2-1 in the shootout, Jokinen was the final shooter in a game where the NHL’s lone remaining playoff spot…

Football

Quarterback battle is in the Cards in Arizona

It hasn’t been the greatest offseason for the Arizona Cardinals and their fans. Two pieces of their defense, Karlos Dansby and Antrel Rolle, left the desert via free agency. Wide receiver Anquan Boldin was finally shipped out of town in a trade with Baltimore. And, I almost forgot, future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Kurt Warner retired. Now Arizona, two-time defending NFC West Champions, heads into the season with either Matt Leinart or Derek Anderson taking snaps, and…

Other Sports

Heil and Bilodeau: Before the glory

For amateur athletes, there is no greater achievement than standing proudly atop the Olympic podium, watching in awe as their country’s flag is raised, their national anthem is played and a golden treasure resting solemnly around their neck. No matter which end of the globe one calls home, for an athlete, this wondrous moment is like no other. The cruel nature of sport, however, is that many athletes have and will go through entire careers…

Hockey

Flyers vs. Blackhawks: Who exactly is watching?

It’s very easy to say that hockey is Canada’s game. But as the Stanley Cup Finals carry on between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Chicago Blackhawks, the question that needs to be asked is “who cares?” In cities across Canada, it’s nothing to see millions of hats and shirts of Canadian teams and then some Detroit Red Wings, Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins clothing. Not very often do you see a Flyers or Blackhawks logo….