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After 71, yes baseball fans, 71 years, the Chicago Cubs, the 'cursed' team,  are finally playing in a World Series!  The Cubs defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS 4 games to 2 to earn the berth.

A big party for Cubs fans...

The Cubs now meet the winner of the ALCS Cleveland Indians, who beat the Toronto Blue Jays  in their series 4 games to 1.

Game 1 starts Tuesday in Cleveland..

Here are the games.

Deadlines 7PM Saturday.  All times Eastern.

Saturday Oct. 22

Toronto @ Chicago                    - 7PM
NYRangers @ Washington          -7PM
Montreal @ Boston                    -7PM
San Jose @ Detroit                    -7PM
Vancouver @ Los Angeles          -10PM
St. Louis @ Calgary                   -10PM

3 Events / 2016-2017 Pick'em Standings Thread
« on: October 18, 2016, 11:27:29 PM »
Leaderboard tallies for Round 1:

hockeyfan1             20
BarMutt                  18
seahawk                 16
Tigger                     13

Okaaayy everyone!

Polish your crystal balls, rearrange your tea leaves,  sharpen your extra sensory perception......


The annual TMLFANS Pick'em Challenge returns for another exciting season!

Most games will be posted mostly for Saturday  games throughout the season, and some for Sunday  ((this is at the discretion of the poster).
So, here we go.......good luck to all!!  :)

Deadline is Saturday @7PM.  All times Eastern.

Saturday Oct.15/2016.

Boston @ Toronto                    7PM
Anaheim @ Pittsburgh             7PM
Detroit @ Florida                      7PM
NYIslanders @ Washington      7PM
Nashville @ Chicago                 8:30PM     
Calgary @ Vancouver               10PM       

Ok Blue Jays Talk / Changes to the Game May Be in the Offing
« on: August 19, 2016, 09:55:35 AM »
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred hinted that there may be considerations in changing the way the game of baseball is played.  While the CBA agreement ends December the 2nd of this year. it doesn't give the Commissioner carte blanche to implement changes to improve the sport, but then again he has the power to suggest and make  improvisations to the game.

Limiting pitching changes, restricting defensive shifts, altering the strike zone and installing pitch clocks are among the ideas Major League Baseball may consider as it undertakes a multiyear review of the game that could include the sport’s most radical changes in decades.

"The point of the conversation today was that the game has changed dramatically. It’s changed organically. It kind of has flowed where the competitive juices of managerial and general managerial decisions have taken it. And the question is, you take a snapshot after 40 years of that and you say, wow, here’s what it looks like, here’s what it used to look like and should we be thinking about what has occurred and whether we want to allow it to continue to go on on the path it’s on?"

Offence dropped steadily after the start of drug testing in 2003 until an uptick started in the second half of last season. Strikeouts have set records annually for much of the past decade, increasing from an average of 12.74 per nine-inning game in 2006 to 15.57 this season.

And the average time of a nine-inning game is exactly 3 hours...

Manfred said defensive shifts have changed the game: There were 2,464 on balls in play in 2011 and this year’s total projects to 28,117, according to Baseball Info Solutions. Pitchers per nine-inning game have increased from 6.89 in 2000 to 7.88 last year.

"You can make an argument that more relievers have lengthened the game, more pitching changes has slowed the pace of the game and the unbelievable effectiveness of those relief pitchers have robbed some of the action from the game," Manfred said.

While Manfred would like to see pitch clocks, which have been used successfully in the minor leagues since 2015, the union has been reluctant, leaving the matter for this year’s bargaining.

"There’s too many scenarios within a game that depend on either the pitcher or the batter to take a little extra time and if you get penalized for that," Boston pitcher Clay Buchholz said. "I don’t see how that’s going to make the game any better. It’s going to actually cost people some jobs, I think. No, I don’t think I’d be in favour of that."

"But the commissioner is the commissioner, he can do what he wants to do. If that happens, then I’ll abide by it and go from there," he said.


General NHL News & Views / Hockey Night in Silicon Valley
« on: August 15, 2016, 02:18:00 PM »
Who'd a thunk it?  From relative obscurity and irrelevancy as a hockey state to boasting the largest beer leagues in North America.  That's (Northern) California for you.

...every night is hockey night. In the sunny centre of the tech universe, disposable wealth and a large population of transplants have created the perfect climate for a traditionally northern sport to thrive. Hockey is growing faster in California than anywhere else in North America, and the dividends of the sport’s spike in popularity are starting to arrive in the NHL, in the form of players like Matt Nieto, Beau Bennett and Kevan Miller. In just two decades, the Bay Area has transformed from empty ice and no competitive leagues into the home of one of the largest, most intense beer leagues in the United States. This is how hockey became Northern California’s game.

According to USA Hockey, in 1991 there were approximately 11,000 registered hockey payers in the Pacific U.S.—a region that included California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Hawaii and Alaska. At the time, Wayne Gretzky was a member of the Los Angeles Kings, instantly making the team relevant. The Sharks had just arrived in San Jose, and two years later, the Anaheim Mighty Ducks joined the league. Hockey was making headway. By 1995, the number of registered players in the Pacific region had more than doubled, just clearing 25,000.

The growth of Sharks Ice from a modest (and mostly empty) two-rink arena to a constantly packed four-rink facility parallels the statewide surge in hockey participation. By 2002, there were 18,600 registered hockey players in California. Last year, that number had grown to 26,383—sixth highest in the United States, behind Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, Michigan and Minnesota.

Silicon Valley has managed to emulate the kind of hockey community you might find in Humboldt, Sask., or Truro, N.S. But being the tech capital of the world, it also has quirks you’re not likely to find in small-town rinks. The tech talents of players in the area have been put to good use. One player designed a program to connect score-keeping to a central computer system, instantly collecting data from the score clocks to provide real-time updates on the league’s website.

In a little more than two decades, a region with zero hockey traditions has come to show as much passion for the game as any city in the northeastern States or Canada.

It's too early for a Marlies thread but thought it wise to start off anew and with Marlies' goalkeeper Antoine Bibeau's new mask that pays homage to former Leafs goaltender Felix "The Cat" Potvin. 

Here it is:

All Sports But Hockey / 2016 Rio Olympic Summer Games August 5th to 21st
« on: August 05, 2016, 07:13:38 AM »
The Brazilian government yearned to host an Olympic Summer Games, and got it's wish when the Olympics Games were awarded to Brazil's second most populous municipality, Rio de Janeiro.  Many Brazilians rejoiced when the winning city was announced and could hardly wait to show the world how to party -- something Brazilians are keenly good at.  Afterall, where else will one find the world's largest Carnival, a festival of pomp and pageantry,  of wild partying & dancing, of larger-than-life celebrations and costumes (even some without), making it a near hedonistic experience.

Circa present day.  While Olympic venues were being completed at a frantic pace, many still have doubts about Rio's readiness for the Games.  What with the discovery of polluted waters (where even human body parts have been found), it's enough to make any participatory Olympic swimmer grimace at the mere thought of delving in those waters.  It doesn't stop there.  The threat of the Zika virus, a mosquito-borne virus, hit Rio and the country of Brazil particularly hard with some devastating effects.

And what of the favelas -- the slums in the poor areas and neighborhoods in and around Rio?  Hidden against the backdrop of the Olympics venues, people here remain skeptical that these Games will generate any real change in Brazil's financial and economic landscape.  In fact, a government that has claimed time and again of not being able to provide economic aid to it's poor, yet, has somehow come up with the financing and funding to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars to construct and stage a world event.

Brazil is in the midst of it's worst economic recession in years.  The awarding and partial building of the Games and venues occurred when Brazil was in the midst of an economic upturn. 

All this negative news.  How about some positives.  Heck, even the residents of the favelas enjoy and occupy themselves with nightly street dancing and music.  The sounds of Samba reverberate through the neighbourhood, as young teens twist and turn and breakdance with precision to the sounds of the music.  Just like Brazilians to know how to entertain and be entertained.

Hope all holds well for these Rio Games.  A little blessing from Christ the Redeemer statue that overlooks the city of Rio atop the high mountain will no doubt be welcome.  The statue sill be lit up throughout the duration of the Games. 

The opening ceremonies will commence tonight.  The world will be watching.  Sure to be colourful.  Ole Brazil!  Ole, Ola!

Former Leafs: Ex-Files / Rick Vaive Interview
« on: June 17, 2016, 10:00:13 AM »
Ex-Leafs great Rick Vaive, in an interview, talks of the current Leafs situation on various topics of discussion:

Click here:

All Sports But Hockey / Brooke Henderson makes Canadian golf history
« on: June 13, 2016, 06:58:39 PM »
Canada's Brooke Henderson became the second - youngest Women's major tournament champion, beating Lydia Ko in a sudden-death playoff, to win the KPMG Women's PGA championship.

In fact, Henderson becomes the third youngest (male or female) to win a tournament.  She also became only the second Canadian not since Sandra Post in 1968.




Starting Pitchers:
Tonight  (April 29)  @7:00 pm
RH Aaron Sanchez   (1-1, 3.33) vs  LH Drew Smyly   (1-2, 2.51)

Saturday (April 30)  @ 6:00pm
LH J.A. Happ   (3-0, 2.42) vs  RH Chris Archer   (1-4, 5.47)

Sunday (May 1)  @1:00pm
RH Marcus Stroman   (3-0, 4.37) vs RH Jake Odorizzi (0-1, 3.58)

Where:   Tropicana Field  Tampa Bay
TV:          Sportsnet
Radio:     Sportsnet 590 The Fan

The Toronto Blue Jays (10-13) are coming off a losing three-game home stand In which they got swept by the league leaders Chicago White
Sox.  The Jays offence ranks tenth in runs scored at 91.  Also, the Jays offence set a franchise record with 217 total team strikeouts at the plate so far this season.

The Tampa Bay Rays (10-11) sluggish offence is well below league average, but they do boast the second-best percentage with runners in scoring position  in innings with two outs.

Top Performers:
Michael Saunders  (Toronto)     2HR   6RBI      318 ERA
Josh Donaldson     (Toronto)     7HR   16RBI   .297 ERA    l.016 OPS (On-base + slugging pct.)
Roberto Osuna       (Toronto)      OW     OL       GS 6    2.89 Avg.
0.75  WHIP  (Walks/ hits allowed ÷ innings pitched)

S. Souza  Jr.         (Tampa Bay)   5HR   11RBI   .277 ERA
L. Forsythe           (Tampa Bay)   3HR    8 RBI   . 307 ERA
D. Smyly               (Tampa Bay)   1W      2L          GS 4     2.51 Avg.
0.73 WHIP (Walks/hits allowed ÷ innings pitched)

Source:,  MLB,com,  Yahoo! Sports


Starting pitchers:
Tonight (April 19) @7:07pm
RH Marcus Stroman (2-0, 4.22) vs. RH Mike Wright (1-0, 7.20)

Wednesday (April 20) @7:07pm
RH R.A. Dickey (1-2, 6.75) vs. RH Ubaldo Jimenez (1-1, 3.75)

Thursday (April 21) @7:07pm
RH Marco Estrada (1-1, 2.77) vs. RH Chris Tillman (1-1, 5.11)

Where:   Camden Yards   Baltimore
TV:         Sportsnet  One
Radio:    Sportsnet  590  The Fan

Blue Jays (7-7) are coming off from a split of their four game series at Fenway Park against the Red Sox.  It's worth noting that Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman continues his mastery with his league-leading 65.2 groundball percentage.

The Baltimore Orioles ( 8-3 ) lead with 23 homers, tops in the A.L.

Top Performers:
Edwin Encarnacion (Blue Jays)   2 HR  9 RBl       .309Avg.
Aaron Sanchez         (Blue Jays)  1- 0    1.35ERA  0.85WHIP

Mike Trombo             (Orioles)      5 HR     11 RBI    .386 Avg.
Manny Machado      (Orioles)       4 HR      5 RBI     .383Avg.

Source:,  Yahoo! Sports


Starting Pitchers:
Tonight (April 12) @7:07 p.m.
RH Masahiro Tanaka (0-0, 3.18) vs. RH Aaron Sanchez (0-0, 1.29)

Wed. (April 13  @7:07 p.m.
RH Michael Pineda (1-0, 10.50) vs. LH J.A. Happ (0-0, 3.40)

Thursday  (April 14  @7:07 p.m.
RH Nathan Evoldi (0-0, 9.00) vs RH Marcus Stroman (1-0, 5.40)

Where:  Rogers Centre  Toronto
TV:        Sportsnet
Radio:  Sportsnet 590 The Fan

The Blue Jays came off of a 3-0 Marco Estrada shutout victory at home Sunday versus the Boston Red Sox.  Sox took the Opening three-game series 2 games to 1. The Jays sport a 3-4 w/l record.

The New York Yankees came off a rain-delayed (eventually postponed) game in Detroit against the Tigers Sunday.  The Yankees sport a 3-2 w/l record.

Top performers:
Josh Donaldson  (Blue Jays)   4 HR  9 RBI  .300 Avg.
Starlin Castro       (Yankees)     2 HR  8 RBI  .450 Avg.

Source:,  ESPN

Non-Hockey Chatter / "Happy Easter!" 2016
« on: March 27, 2016, 07:38:43 AM »

       To all at TMLfans...

Main Leafs Hockey Talk / 2016 NHL Draft Lottery
« on: March 20, 2016, 03:13:40 AM »
Date's all set.  Mark your calendars.  Lottery will take place April 30.

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