Gagne's Streak Stopped

Gagne's Streak StoppedCanadian closer Eric Gagne had his streak of 84 consecutive saves end when he allowed two runs in the ninth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks last night.

Gagne went almost two years between blown saves. That's incredible...and a major league record.

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The Netherlands

The NetherlandsOnce again the guy who doesn't watch soccer and barely cares about Euro 2004 has got his good eye on the scoreboard. Sweden and The Netherlands are currently tied at zero. The reason I'm watching the scoreboard is because I have a slight rooting interest in one of the teams participating.

I'm always getting emails from people in Holland asking me if my family is from there and telling me how popular my name is in The Netherlands. Boon, apparently, derives from there. As a result, I'm hoping they win this tournament.

It's as good a reason as any.

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U.S. Open Pool Results

U.S. OpenI finished third in my U.S. Open pool this weekend. That's not too bad out of sixteen entries. Of course, it doesn't make me a dime either.

My selection of Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els lost to a team of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els. In other words, Woods beat Singh and that's why I lost.

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The 500 Club

The 500 ClubBarry Bonds is working his way towards the very exclusive 700 Club and now stands at 676. Bonds is also one of four active players currently in the 500 Club now that Ken Griffey Jr. has joined. Griffey hit a 2-2 fastball from Matt Morris into the right-field stands to lead off the sixth inning Sunday, securing a spot in the record books as the 20th player with 500 homers.

The other active players with at least 500 homers are Sammy Sosa with 549 and Rafael Palmeiro with 538. Former Jay Fred McGriff only needs seven homers to become the 21st player to hit 500.

Until his past three injury plagued seasons, Griffey Jr. looked like a threat to join the 700 Club. It's still quite possible, but he'll have to stay healthy and carry a big stick.

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Random Sports Thoughts

Random Sports ThoughtsI have a few random sports thoughts to share this morning.

  • The Dominator is heading out of Detroit and will be looking for a new home next season. It's looking like he might end up a Senator. This doesn't scare me in the least. As awesome a goalie as Dominik Hasek is, he seems awfully flakey to me. Sure, he won the cup a couple of years ago with the Red Wings, but I don't think he can keep him mind and body together long enough to bring the cup to Ottawa. Besides, there won't be a next season, right?
  • Ken Klee has agreed to a new two-year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs worth about $2.5 million per year. This is good news. So few players are actually under contract with the Leafs right now. I'm not concerned because I know how many free agents are out there, but at some point you've got to tie up your core group. Klee is someone I'm happy is back.
  • Euro 2004 may be a huge tournament, but I couldn't care less. I enjoy the World Cup and if I had a rooting interest in this tournament I could get into it but the Irish aren't there and that's the only European team I can get behind. Without the green, I'm not keen.
  • After round one at the U.S. Open I'm winning my pool. Ernie, Vijay and Phil combined to shoot 205 yesterday. Only three rounds to go!
  • The Blue Jays are dead last in the AL East and it sucks. All we've got right now is baseball and it's pitiful. The injury bug has not only hit our best players but my favourite commentator is out too. Things are not good in Blue Jay land. Things are just as bad in Raptor land. Go Argos Go!

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U.S. Open

U.S. OpenThe 104th U.S. Open tees off tomorrow from Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southhampton, New York. I've entered a pool at work in which I own a group of three golfers. If my group of three all make the cut and shoot the lowest combined score, I win.

Much like I did in our Masters pool, I consulted with Steve before selecting my three. As a direct result of this consultation, I selected Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els. Not bad...

Visit the leaderboard to follow my progress.

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Stadium Naming Rights

Stadium naming rightsI remember the day I learned Candlestick Park in San Francisco was changing its name to 3 Com Park. At the time, I thought it was sacreligious. How could they just change the name like that all because some company paid them for the rights? Little did I know it was merely the start of a trend that would engulf almost all stadiums and arenas in the major sports.

ESPN lists the names, sponsor and cost per year for every stadium and arena named after a corporation. Here in Toronto we hardly even notice that Maple Leaf and Raptor games are played in the Air Canada Centre. I always refer to it as the ACC and I'll bet Air Canada isn't happy about that considering they shell out $1.5 per year for the naming rights. This is relatively cheap though when you consider Reliant Energy pays $10 a year for the naming rights for Reliant Stadium, home of the Houston Texans.

SkyDome is actually one of the few professional stadiums left without a corporately sponsored name. I suspect this isn't so much because they don't want to sell out but because they can't sell out. Who would want their good name associated with that hunk of concrete?

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Hockey Hall of Fame

Hockey Hall of FameRay Bourque, Paul Coffey and Larry Murphy have been elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame. All three were defensemen and all three are now 43 years old.

Bourque and Coffey were no brainers but did Larry Murphy deserve to get in? I suppose he does if you look at some of the others in the Hall but I've long believed the bar should be raised. Players like Bernie Federko were great but not worthy of this esteemed honour. Larry Murphy was a gifted offensive defenseman who finished his career with 929 assists and only a dozen others can claim that feat. Still, his years in Toronto were so underwhelming I'm left with a bad taste in my mouth when it comes to Murphy. At least another Leaf is in the Hall of Fame!

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D-A-DayDave Andreychuk has his Stanley Cup. Moments ago I saw #25 hoist the cup over his head, the culmination of 22 great seasons in the NHL. I'm not ashamed to admit I shed a tear.

Andreychuk deserves it. Great guy, great player, great year.

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Winner Takes All

Winner Take AllTonight is game seven of the Stanley Cup final. It all comes down to this. One game to determine a champion.

If Calgary prevails, the entire country will go nuts. I know I held my breath during Saturday night's overtime hoping the red would win. They're such underdogs and had to beat three division champions to get to where they are. Now, they're but one win away.

I've always admired Dave Andreychuk and if Tampa Bay wins tonight I'll be very pleased when he finally gets to hoist Lord Stanley's mug. I remember getting weepy a couple of years ago when Ray Bourque finally won with the Colorado Avalanche but Ray Bourque never played for my Toronto Maple Leafs. Dave Andreychuk was a fixture on those highly entertaining Leaf teams of the early 90s and one of a few to score 50 goals in a season for the blue and white. It would be great to see him win his first cup after over two decades in the NHL.

Despite the Dave Andreychuk factor, I'll be rooting for Calgary. Go Flames Go!

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