With the Cubs idle yesterday, and idle today due to someone name Francis, I figured I would take a look at other happenings around the league and sports in general to share my thoughts with the world.

I. The AL Playoff Picture

Unlike the National League, the American League playoff picture is fairly clear. If the season ended today, the playoff matchups would be as follows:

NY Yankees vs Minnesota Twins

Oakland A’s vs Boston Red Sox


Of those two matchups, the Yankees will no doubt get more coverage, because they are, well, THE YANKEES!!!! However, I think the more intriguing matchup of the AL is the A’s and Sox. Both teams have a great starting staff and are very hot right now. It would be a great series to watch. Who wouldn’t want to watch Pedro vs Hudson, Shilling vs Mulder, etc. I know I would.

In the Yankee’s series, I feel as if the Yankees will have a hard time with the Twins despite their lack of offense. Yankee’s starters are struggling this year and they have yet to figure out a way to fix the situation. Esteban Loiza, the consolation prize in the Randy Johnson trade talks, has been awful since donning the pinstripes of NY. If New York does not figure out a way to get some quality starts come October, they will have little chance facing starting staffs that boast Johan Santana, Brad Radke, Mark Mulder, Tim Hudson, Pedro Martinez and Curt Shilling. I look for the Yankees to fall short again this year by losing in either the first round or the ALCS. The will not make it to the World Series.

II. Russia beats up on Team USA Hockey

It seems like all the pro athletes in Olympic type competition feel like this is the year they need to get beat by the world. With the Olympic mens basketball team limping to a bronze medal in Athens, the USA hockey team feels they need to follow suit in the hockey World Cup. They got beat by Canada on Tuesday night and now lost to Russia last night by a score of 3-1. The problem with this team is the exact opposite from the problem the basketball team experienced. USA basketball was made up of young, inexperienced talent. They all know how to play basketball, but have yet to learn “team” basketball. This hockey team is made up of veterans who know the game of hockey, and have experienced winning. Names like Chelios and Mario are found in the lineup. The problem with this team is they have too much experience. They are simply too old. Too many tired legs on the ice. They simply can’t keep up. People who pick these teams need to learn what they are doing. It’s not all about star power. It’s about team play and chemistry in international competition.

III. WCU Football wins 77-7 over West Virginia State

I know all of you are wondering why I would even post this score. This is my school. I was at the game last night until halftime. I couldn’t watch the blowout anymore. Our guys limited poor West Virginia State to relatively no offense in the first half. WCU did not even allow them into their territory the whole first half except for one play late that got them 2 yards in. I hope this is a good sign for the year to come for the Catamounts, who play in the Division IAA Southern Conference.

IV. Non Sports Related Topic

There are two things I would also like to mention to you. First, if you have not ever played with it, there is a website called bloglines. With it, you can subscribe to all your favorite Cubs and non Cubs blogs on the internet. I highly reccomend this program because it will save you endless amounts of time searching blog to blog just to see if they have something written. Simply log into your bloglines account and it will tell you all the sites with new content. It’s the only way to go for people who have little time, but alot to read. If you are interested in signing up, there is a link to bloglines in my sidebar. Click it and it will walk you through it.

The second thing I would like to mention is something that I am very excited about. This site will be moving to it’s own domain in about a week. As soon as the move is complete, I will be posting all the new information for the site and RSS feeds here for people to click and then change their bookmarks.

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail