EPL, FA Cup, etc wind down. MLB, MLS, etc get started. The Circle of Life.
Just quickly, NCAA Frozen Four final was yesterday. The hometown Badgers got annihilated by Boston College.
Also, what was the deal with the ESPN spring football coverage? Are you really hurting that much for content. Here’s an idea, PUT THE MADRID BARCELONA GAME ON! It’s not a matter of rights, because ESPN had English coverage of the game on ESPN3. BTW, I can’t tell you how happy I am that ESPN3 (old ESPN360) now works in Linux!
It’s hard to imagine anyone but Chelsea winning the EPL. The one thing that gives me hope is the two tough away games versus the one tough away for ManU. However, if Chelsea gets a draw and ManU wins out, Chelsea could still win on goal differential…which they are winning by four at the moment. Based on how ManU has been playing, I just don’t see it happening. I am pleased with the signing of the Mexican striker though.
It’s also pretty hard to see anyone but Chelsea winning the FA Cup, thought Portsmouth doesn’t really want to quit, it seems, despite certain relegation and a likely summer sell-off. And by likely, I mean, as likely as the sun rising in the east tomorrow.
La Liga and Champions League
With the victory over Real Madrid, I can’t imagine anyone but Barcelona winning the La Liga or Champions League. Go Barca and Big Z!
The Carolina Hurricanes and many other NHL franchises are having their seasons come to a close within the next few days. Fliers made it today, so roommate is happy. I don’t care too much. I’ll just cheer for the ‘local’ Blackhawks or whoever comes out of the east, accept perhaps not Crosbyburg. I used to kinda like Crosby, but he’s become the hockey version of Laettner post-Olympics. NBA Playoffs are also coming up. Bucks and Bobcats are in, so plenty of basketball to watch. It’s hard to imagine Bama or UK getting an automatic bid, but UNC seems likely…and UNC will get an at-large barring a collapse. However, conference playoffs don’t start until late May, so I’m really jumping the gun on that. If you’re not aware, UW-Madison does not have a baseball team.
Way too early to say anything about the MLB. I’m hopeful for the Reds and less so for the Brewers though they have nearly identical records. I hope the Reds only go for the for pushing off free agency and not for the Super 2 clause with Aroldis Chapman. For a small-market team like the Reds, an extra year could be a big bonus before the Red Sox or Yankees come swooping in. At least they brought Leake into the rotation, because, it’s never a good thing to be looking up to the Pirates. For Chapman, keeping him in the minors for a while makes sense to me. Chapman is learning English and I doubt there are any countries in the western hemisphere less like the US than Cuba. Venezuela still trades with the US and has oil revenue coming in. I’d be interested to hear if someone thinks I’m off-base with the Cuba comment.
Much, like MLB, we aren’t far into the season. However, 3 of 30 is a bit further along than 6 of 162…and baseball has a longer playoff. Much looms over the 3-0 Galaxy though. Buddle is playing well, but what will happen if Donovan goes to the EPL like he should? What happens when/if Beckham comes back? How will Beckham play without a world class partner, such as the one he has in Donovan? The MLS is always topsy-turvy with their ridiculous salary cap, but with a few big names heading to the World Cup, will teams lose steam? Will the big names be tired? Will a World Cup run inspire confidence? It’s impossible to tell. The one thing that’s obvious is that a World Cup injury, even a short one, to a name such as Donovan, could be the difference in the playoffs or not or a championship or not.
What a dumb post? I hate to even link to it to point out how uninformative it is. Wikipedia is much more informative about the changes. I’d like to see it higher. Maybe five designated players? I understand the rule, but it’s keeping the MLS from being a viable alternative to getting up at 6:30am to watch EPL games. The rise of cable sports has kept the NBA and NHL off the major networks, but it would be nice to see the MLS get on the basic cable rotation more than once a week. Of course, the question is, what would ESPN or VS drop to make more room for the MLS? I’d certainly be fine with ESPN Deportes becoming part of basic cable, but there’s not going to be any push for something like that until the MLS is really worth watching for the casual soccer fan. Right now, it makes more sense to pick a club in Spain and/or England and follow them, at least in Central and Eastern times. I’m not sure I’d be willing to get up at 5:30 or 4:30 in the other two time zones. The growth of US soccer and the MLS specifically is another post though. Right now, I’m just happy there are games again and I’m excited about the Bobcats maybe making a run. It’s pretty sad that the Bobcats are the highlight of my sports life, but maybe if they make a run this year Jordan will splash some cash and I’ll no longer feel that way. They are going to need to drop the orange before I’m buying a jersey though.