January 6, 2012 |
Keep a close eye on this weekend's NFL games, because there's probably a Super Bowl participant in this round - even though the Packers, 49ers, Patriots and Ravens are not involved. At least one of the Super Bowl teams in five of the past six years played in a wild-card game. This year, there are plenty of questions in the first round. Can anyone stop Drew Brees and that New Orleans offense? Has the clock run out on Tebow Time? Can Ben Roethlisberger walk, let alone run?
November 1, 2012 |
Disney's new "Wreck-It Ralph," set in the world of video games will likely take the high score at the box office this weekend, but studio executives are unsure what effect the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy will have on movie attendance. The animated feature about a fictional game villain seeking acceptance in an arcade filled with characters licensed from real games such as "Street Fighter," "Pac-Man" and "Q*bert" should open to between $45 million and $50 million this weekend, according to people who have seen pre-release surveys.
September 8, 2012 |
SAN FRANCISCO - As the gravity of their 5-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants started to sink in, there was a noticeable change in rhetoric in the Dodgers clubhouse Friday night. Talk shifted from the division race to the wild-card race. "Getting there is what your goal is," outfielder Shane Victorino said. "Winning the division is your first goal, but if we don't win the division, it's about getting in the playoffs. " Josh Beckett agreed. "You want a chance," Beckett said.
October 5, 2012 |
Roberto Alomar took a called third strike, and the Baltimore Orioles were eliminated from the playoffs. The date was Oct. 15, 1997. The management of the Orioles has been borderline incompetent since then. Baseball's most beautiful ballpark deteriorated into a ghost town, the anger among fans evolving into frustration and alienation. The Orioles endured losing season after losing season — 14 in a row — until this magical year. The Orioles are back in the playoffs for the first time since Alomar took strike three.
September 24, 2012 |
The St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series last year after reaching the playoffs as the National League wild-card team. Now the Cardinals are trying to repeat that feat, thanks to this year's creation of two wild-card berths in each league. With their 6-3 win over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, St. Louis held on to the second wild-card position by 2 ½ games over the Milwaukee Brewers, who also won, with nine games left on the Cardinals' schedule. St. Louis' win, its sixth in its last seven games, was led by starting pitcher Kyle Lohse, who improved to 16-3.
September 22, 2011 |
Reporting from Toronto — The Tampa Bay Rays would have a slight edge over the Angels and the Boston Red Sox in the unlikely event the three teams finish in a three-way tie for the American League wild-card spot. The Rays, who won Thursday, are two games behind the Red Sox, who were idle, in the wild-card standings, while the Angels, who lost, are three back with six games to play. Under baseball's intricate tiebreaking formula, if three clubs tie for a division title or wild-card berth with identical winning percentages, the tie is broken by designating the clubs as "A," "B" and "C," with selection of those designations based on the clubs' records against one another.
September 13, 2012 |
As salvage jobs go, it was like finding a silver dollar on the street after losing a vault of coins. Jered Weaver and Torii Hunter provided the Angels a sliver of solace Thursday at Angel Stadium, Weaver pitching seven scoreless innings and Hunter collecting two hits in one inning during a 6-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics. The triumph might have been a little more meaningful had the Angels not lost the first three games of the series against one of the teams they are chasing in the wild-card race.
September 4, 2012 |
OAKLAND — This is why the Angels paid what many considered a steep price—three double-A players, including a highly touted shortstop — to acquire right-hander Zack Greinke from Milwaukee on July 27, for nights like this. In a must-win September game with potential postseason implications, Greinke came up huge in the Oakland Coliseum, holding the hot-hitting Athletics to one run and four hits in seven innings to lead the Angels to a 6-1 victory, their 11th win in 14 games and second of a crucial three-game series against the A's. Erick Aybar and Alberto Callaspo delivered clutch two-out, run-scoring hits in the eighth to break open a 2-1 game, and the Angels added two insurance runs in the ninth to pull to within 31/2 games of a playoff spot.
August 6, 2011 |
What do shooting stars and dinosaurs have to do with Chelsea FC or, for that matter, with the English Premier League, which launches its 2011-12 season on Saturday? Nothing and everything. Recently a story circulated about a Malaysian businessman who took delivery of a gold- and platinum-plated yacht that cost him a staggering $4.5 billion, or more than it would have cost him to buy Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool combined. Amid all the glitter, the vessel, named the History Supreme, has as part of its decor a wall made from a meteor and a statue made from the bone of a Tyrannosaurus rex. The toy has put Chelsea's owner Roman Abramovich's own $450-million yacht -- the one with the helipads and the missile defense system -- into dry dock, so to speak.
December 20, 1985 |
There were a lot of skeptics when the National Football League introduced wild-card participants into its postseason playoff format. "Nothing but a gimmick! They're just hyping the television ratings! It will turn the NFL playoffs into the same kind of almost-everybody's-eligible frolic as the NHL or NBA! All it does is diminish the importance of the regular season!"