Sep 30, 2006 

Great Values In Miami, Baltimore During Week Four

Nevermind that San Diego is undefeated and rested after a week three bye. Look for that early break to slowdown what was a sterling team effort in week’s one and two. Baltimore (+2½) is for real, at least, in the early going. The Ravens are also 3-0 against the spread. You can’t get a better value this week than putting 20 on the underdogs.

Miami’s (-3½) anemic offense will hopefully be rejuvenated this week and the porous Houston Texans defense is just the tonic Daunte Culpepper needs. Despite the new vibe in Miami , Nick Saban hasn’t been able to get show going as of yet. With the way that the AFC East is shaping up a strong push right about now might make the Dolphins the team to beat. Vegas doesn’t seem too high on the Dolphins this week making the road favorite a good pick.

Many of the lines make for some turbulent betting. The only way to formulate a Pick 3 would be to go out on a limb and gamble on the hometown Oakland Raiders (+3) over the winless Cleveland Browns. Over the past four years the Raiders are 13-37. In all of those years they have either come back to earth or risen to mediocrity by week four before having the whole season go to crap. They can’t be as bad as the ugliest 0-2 in football and last week’s bye will hopefully teach offensive coordinator Tom Walsh the basics of 21st century play-calling.

The Record: 9-1-1
Last Week: 2-1-1.
The Wager: $40 Pick 3.
The Winnings: $340.

Sep 27, 2006 

Brown's Comments Are Egotistical And Misplaced


Former Raider wideout Tim Brown has the hapless 2006 Silver & Black figured out. There's a void in locker room leadership, he told the Los Angeles Times. The Fox Sports football analyst also blasted offensive coordinator Tom Walsh, while tip-toeing around any criticism over his former coach, Art Shell.
I was on some bad teams there, but we were never devoid of leadership. Be it me, be it Marcus Allen back in the day, be it Howie Long, be it whomever. We were never devoid of leadership. And I think right now the locker room is barren.

Brown might be rewriting history, though. It's a bit presumptuous for Brown loft himself to clubhouse king when players of more stature and gravitas such as Jerry Rice and Rich Gannon shared a locker room with the future Hall of Famer.

In fact, columnist Bob Padecky of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat wrote a column Sept. 17 about the void of Raider pride on this team and pinpointed its demise to the locker room culture Brown help create.
For years, wide receiver Tim Brown was the ultimate clubhouse lawyer, the irritation under Davis' saddle. To a large extent, Brown created the culture that still exists today, in which if you ain't griping, you ain't trying hard enough to be a Raider. Brown's on-field accomplishments are legendary, Hall-of-Fame worthy, and yet when he retired, Davis refused to attend the press conference.

Exceptional talent has been given plenty of room by Davis, and so over the years, either by word or deed, Brown, defensive tackle Chester McGlockton, defensive tackle Darrell Russell, defensive back James Trapp and cornerback Charles Woodson were allowed to march to their own contrary drummer. Enough teammates went with them that, as a result, the Raiders have been largely out of step since they returned to Oakland in 1994.

Padecky assessment of Brown's "leadership" skills in Oakland seems to be more plausible than the former Heisman trophy winner's.

The atmosphere were mediocre malcontents rule the roost still exist today. You could easily add Jerry Porter to the players with attitudes contrary to a cohesive team. His problems with Art Shell have already opened a divide between many on the team. The ultra-talkative Jarrod Cooper wondered aloud to the San Francisco Chronicle why the coach wasn't utilizing Porter while the offensive sputtered so badly two straight weeks.

The most ludicrous part of Brown's comments is that while he claims to be a Raider insider, his quotes give the impression that his grand assertions come from only a few players. The Raiders are leaderless according to Brown, but he goes on to say that he has no idea whether the presumptive leader, Warren Sapp, has any hold of the locker room.
I never played with Warren Sapp — and I'm not necessarily hearing bad things about Warren Sapp — but I'm not hearing, 'He's our guy,' or, 'He's our leader.' I'm not hearing that about anybody on the offensive line, I'm not hearing that about anyone whatsoever.

Overall, Brown is correct in saying the Raiders are devoid of leadership, but it's not in the locker room, but it's with the coach's clipboard and in the owner's box.

Sep 26, 2006 

Players Loyalty To Foley Is Clouded: He's A Drunk Driver


It may be honorable to stand by a friend or a teammate, but when that person looks to be a menace to society because of something they've done, then maybe its best to just lay low and not take a stand.

Some members of the San Diego Chargers apparently feel that their teammate Steve Foley, who is accused of drunk driving and currently sporting three bullet holes because of his inebriated actions is some kind of icon to honor on the field.

Numerous members of San Diego's defense and star running back LaDainian Tomlinson have all punctuated big plays and touchdowns with Foley's trademark bullrun. See a demonstration here on

On the morning of September 4th, Aaron Mansker, an off-duty police officer followed a swerving car driven by the Chargers linebacker to the player's home. Foley was shot three times after he continued to approach the officer, according to Mansker.
I'm thinking, 'Oh my God, he's still walking up.' Which made me very nervous. If someone is shooting, whether at you or in the area, you're probably going to leave, that should be your first reaction. That's not the case.

Foley's blood alcohol was later revealed to be 0.23, nearly three times the legal limit.

The Chargers had a bye last week, so changes in the player's homage to Foley might be in effect this week against Baltimore. But, why didn't the owner, head coach Marty Schottenheimer or any of his assistants mention honoring an alleged drunk driver might not be so good from a public relationship or a moral standpoint.

The Chargers front office felt uneasy enough about the situation that they quickly attempted to void Foley's contract for the season when news of the offense broke. Drawing attention to this story by continually kicking dirt after plays might conjure societal problems that lurk in race relations.

It's no secret why these offending Chargers players, whom are mostly black, are rushing to Foley's side despite the ponderous of guilt and the stigma of drunk driving, it's a deep seeded mistrust of the police that pervades most urban cities in America. It's no help that the most infamous tales of white cops abusing blacks resides just up the coast in Los Angeles.

The best thing would be for the Chargers players to quietly support Foley and avoid the kind of on-field histrionics that could draw attention to the criminal case and to the immorality of their positions.

For a team and fans that loathe the Raiders, they sure know how to act like the big, bad RaiderNation.

Sep 23, 2006 

Undefeated Season Put To The Test


There's some value in the Washington (-4) game, if you can believe it? The Skins haven't played well of late, but the return of Clinton Portis and the spector of Coach Gibbs going 0-3 is enough to believe giving the hopeless Houston Texans some points is a safe bet.

Cincinnati (+1 1/2) has something to prove; the health of their QB, the viability of the team in the upper echelon and the worthiness of retaining those gaudy bengal-striped unis. Betting against Pittsburgh in the early season might become a cottage industry until Las Vegas loses the schoolgirl crush towards the defending champions. Cincy is going to win this pivotal AFC North battle.

Minnesota (+3) and Chicago shapes up as one of the early season's great match-ups. Which team is for real? The stifling defense of da Bears or the veteran know-how of Brad Johnson? This game will shake down as advertised. I'm not sure who will win, but it'll be close. Giving the Vikes a field goal at home looks safe.

Hurricane Vick touches down in New Orleans. Oh, what poor taste! Atlanta (-3 1/2) is looking real good right now. They've played steady as a team, but a solid running game wins in this league and nobody is doing it better, Hell, even their QB is running the ball more effectively than half of the NFL. New Orleans might come out of the tunnel pumped, but it won't be enough by the fourth quarter.
The Record: 7-0-0.
The Wager: $20 Pick 4.
The Winnings: $360.00.

Sep 18, 2006 

Raiders Killing 'Em In Oakland

Coincidence? The San Francisco Chronicle reported today that four were murdered in Oakland this weekend. "Bloody Weekend in Oakland" could have been a headline on page one of the Sporting Green.

Nobody is linking the killings to any discourse over the pathetic hometeam Raiders. In fact, all four deaths occurred before the Raiders' kickoff yesterday morning.

It does, though, make you wonder whether the increase in anger over da Raidahs as losses continue to mount might be commensurate with a rise in domestic abuse or lower sales of skull and crossbone-type costumes this Halloween.

Sep 16, 2006 

Too Many Points On The Board; Take Underdogs


A 4-0 opening weekend is great. It's even better to brag out, not to mention the illicit gambling scrilla. Here's week two:

Who, outside of Manhattan, has the New York Giants (+3) winning the whole enchilada? Nobody, brohams! After a disappointing loss to Indy, the G-Men are certainly looking at a big game in Philadelphia. The betting line doesn't seem to have a feel on the T.O.-less Eagles just yet. Take Eli and the G-Men.

Don't get too excited Whiner fans, San Francisco (+3), with a field goal and a Rams team without an offensive identity seems ripe for an upset that could set the bar eventually too high for the young Niners.

Monday night always seems like a comfortable pick. I don't have any solid reasons to take Jacksonville (+1 1/2) others than they're a playoff team from year ago playing at home in front of a national audience. Pittsburgh, on the other hand, is a Super Bowl champion and unless they have the feel of a NFL dynasty, a fall from the top spot seems plausible.

The Record: 4-0.
The Wager: $20.00
The Winnings: $160.00

Sep 14, 2006 

Hold Off Rushing Harden To The Rotation?


Minnesota's fireballing Francisco Liriano blew out his elbow Wednesday against the A's. Should this be a cautionary tale for the A's to look closely with their own youthful flamethrower?

A's manager Ken Macha said yesterday that Rich Harden threw 30 pitches with no pain in his sprained elbow. His slider looked so sharp that he's slated to throw 60 pitches in a simulated game at the Coliseum Saturday. He added that Harden may be back by next week and only as a starter.

So, what happens if the precarious elbow of Harden pans out until the end of the regular season with say, minimum to good results? Do the A's include him in their post-season rotation? He is, when healthy, by far their most dominant pitcher, but it might not be a good idea to go with a four-man rotation in a best-of-five series and tinker with a rotation strong enough to actually win the division with Harden for most of the season.

What wrong with Barry Zito, Joe Blanton, Dan Haren and the recently smoking-hot Esteban Loaiza?

Why not bolster the bullpen with the hard-throwing Harden for an inning at a time or shelve him for the rest of the season. He's that valuable and unique to the A's organization to be that cautious even with the playoffs looming.

At least, it's better to be someone like Harden, who is working hard to return, than to be Bobby Crosby whose curiously sore back has rendered all baseball activity useless in addition to his season.


Tear Them Down! Raiders Are Blight On NFL Landscape

After the worst game in recent Raiders history another lesson was learned. Never pay any attention to pre-season rhetoric about everything being different. Similarly, turn the page when the Raiders talk about how embarrassed they were last Monday.

When DE Derrick Burgess told Sports Illustrated that the coaching technique of new coach Art Shell was refreshing, what exactly was he talking about?
"If we're doing a drill incorrectly, Art will stop the drill and point out exactly what everybody should be doing. That never happened last season. The coaches would see a problem and say they'd deal with it later, but it would never get fixed." Burgess then added preposterously, "Art handles things immediately."
Has there ever been such a disconnect from reality in Raiderland?

The local papers have been loaded this week with quotes from the Raiders locker room about how mad they are or how mad they should be. Few, though, seem completely sure that anyone is actually upset about the opening night shutout, except for safety Jarrod Cooper. He's sure about being mad, although we're not sure if it's about the loss or the lingering embarrassment of buying feminine products for his wife at Safeway.

"I hope everybody in this locker room is mad. I hope these coaches are mad. I mean, I'm still mad. I can't go to the grocery store. I'm embarrassed," said Cooper to the Oakland Tribune.

What were we to expect? A Disneyesque feel-good story? I don't think Disney would even pick up such a sappy tale of a former player from the glory days returning to Oakland to bring back the magic that ironically he could not a dozen years past. Add an offensive coordinator who hasn't held a coaching job since 1994 for the same said heroic coach, tack on the implausible fact that he ran a tidy, small town bed and breakfast in South Dakota just last year and you'll find out that fiction is far from reality.

Their performance on Monday night begs the question, "Were the Raiders actually practicing up in Napa the last two months?

Offensive coordinator Tom Walsh continued to call the same plays even when it became painfully clear the revamped O-line couldn't block any pass rushers. When he got Randy Moss in the play. He found a quick pass for five yards so effective that he followed it up with the exact play.

Nobody is in control of this team because those in the football world who could control the Silver and Black would never dare take such a job. It's not because Al Davis's presence is so stark and disruptive, but because the organization is run like it's living in Roman Gabriel's generation.

Simply, if NFL teams are newspapers, the Raiders would be using typewriters, when the rest of the league uses computers.

The myth that Davis runs this team under an authoritarian microscope is false. Monday night shows that Raiders have been neglected to such a point that nobody wants to work for them, announcers publicly ridicule them over the air and their losing causes nothing but delight to most of America foreign the nation of Raider fans.

Sep 13, 2006 

NFL Week 1 Highlight: A Commercial?

It just goes to show that just about anything can made into a commercial, but this is priceless. We can only hope that somewhere along the line the advertising agency for Coors feature Dick Vermeil's propensity for shedding crocodile tears during his press conferences.

Sep 10, 2006 

Eli The Younger Beats Peyton to Super Bowl?


osi umenyiora
Giants' Osi Umenyiora leads a slew of stellar, yet unpronounceable defenders.

|||||||NFC WEST
1. SEATTLE {Solid coach. Alexander begins decline. Wideout steal the show.}
2. ST. LOUIS {Linehan works wonders again. The defense will sell out Rams.}
3. ARIZONA {Still not ready for the big-time. Edge makes no diff. Key is WR.}
4. SAN FRANCISCO {A new legacy in SF: 3rd straight last place finish. Yikes!}

|||||||NFC EAST
1. N.Y. GIANTS {Explosiveness on both sides of the ball. Is Eli up to it? Yes.}
2. PHILADELPHIA {McNabb won w/o stars, he'll do it again, but not as well.}
3. DALLAS {Without counseling, T.O. will wreck another NFC East club.}
4. WASHINGTON {The best last place team in NFL. QB situation is frightful.}

1. MINNESOTA {Childress is Bud Grant-esque. This is NFL's surprise team.}
2. **DETROIT {Much improved. How far can they go with Kitna, though?}
3. CHICAGO {Defense continues to dominate. Who needs offense, anways.}
4. GREEN BAY {Favre. Retire already. Will challenge Raiders for #1 pick.}

1. ATLANTA {Will Vick finally live up to promise? Abraham is NFL Def. MVP}
2. **CAROLINA {Keyshawn was a good pick up. DeAngelo Williams: ROY}
3. TAMPA BAY {QB situation is debatable. Carnell is T.B.'s key to winning}
4. NEW ORLEANS {Wait for Bush. How will Deuce feel perceived as #2, #1?}


Rebuilt Palmer And Cincy Take Next Step


carson palmer
Bengals QB Carson Palmer has a rebuilt knee. His medical miracle will lead Cincy to SB XLI.

||||||AFC West
1. SAN DIEGO {Philip RIvers watched well. S.D. will surprise with NFL's best D}
2. DENVER {AFC Final ruined Plummer's season. Shanny nurses him back}
3. KANSAS CITY {Without Priest, Larry Johnson might not look as good in KC}
4. OAKLAND {Nobody wants to work in Oaktown. Crime? No. NFL 1963-style}

||||||AFC EAST
1. NEW ENGLAND {No WRs, who needs them. Brady throws TDs to himself}
2. **MIAMI {Ronnie Brown makes everyone, including Ricky Williams, forget}
3. BUFFALO {The Miami of next off-season. Losman is going to be good}
4. N.Y. JETS {Edwards got out in time. Fans flock to '07 NFL Draft to look-see}

1. CINCINNATI {Cincy is what the Raiders use to be; tough, quirky and good.}
2. **PITTSBURGH {Champs look no diff. except for a few scratches on the QB}
3. BALTIMORE {McNair McSnair. Ravens still lack wideouts, healthy RBs}
4. CLEVELAND {Browns improve when Frye starts QBing instead of running.}

1. INDIANAPOLIS {Without Edge,Colts still have plenty.Peyton:Marino curse?}
2. JACKSONVILLE {One step back before becoming one of NFL's elite teams.}
3. TENNESSEE {Please fight the urge to throw V. Young into a game, coach}
4. HOUSTON {Kubiak spent life as a #2, can he handle the hotseat in Hou.?}

||||||AFC WILDCARD: MIA over NE, SD over PIT
||||||NFC WILDCARD: CAR over MIN, SEA over STL





Handicapping Week 1 Is Tough; Here Goes...

Take Buffalo(+9) over the Patriots in Foxboro. Why? Who knows? Anything could happen in week one. This much is known: Brady's Patriots should win, but how can they win by more than nine without anyone to throw to. Doug Gabriel? C'mon.

Here's a smart move. If you're going to pick the Bengals (+2) to go to the Super Bowl, then you're belief should be ballsy enough to think giving them two points to the Chiefs is a good strategic move.

How 'bout a Monday Night Twofer? Minnesota (+5)is going to surprise some teams out there and it won't be scandalous boat trips with tassle-waving boobies and we're not talking about Daunte Culpepper's pre-game rituals. Washington won't even win the game. They won't get rolling until later in the season when it's too late.

Later that night, just hope the first three games went well and kick back. San Diego (-3) will cover within the drunken RaiderNation's first bathroom the bushes behind the old Home Base warehouse on Hegenberger. This will surely be the Raiders smallest line of the season, at least, against team not residing within the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Wager: $20 Pick 4
The Record: (0-0-0)
The Winnings: $0

Sep 7, 2006 

2006 Suzao Cup Recap

The National Nightmare Is Over
Portuguese Win First Title Ever, 19-11

THE PORTUGEES WIN THE PENNANT, THE PORTUGEES WIN THE PENNANT! Portuguese players mob the pitcher after the final out in the 2006 Suzao Cup. Team Portugal wins the Cup for the first time in four tries.

By Bill Johnson
Special to

CASTRO VALLEY, Calif. Aug. 27, 2006. The long national nightmare that has been the Suzao Cup for Team Portugal finally ended Sunday with a 19-11 win against the perennially strong Mexicans at Palomares Hills Park.

The Portuguese All-Stars added a new nickname along with a few big boppers and a new attitude to end their three-game losing streak to Michelle "Beaner" Garcia's pesky Mexicans.

It's been typical throughout this series to have close game, at least early in the game, and this year's game was no different. After adding blue-chip talent like Roy Santos, Mike Padfield (a long-lost cousin from Georgia) and the infamous Monterey Boys, coach Steve Tavares seemed to have an advantage in personnel for the first time.

"Those Beans play well every year. I think Beaner puts Mexican jumping beans in their jock straps. I think somehow we got too cocky before the game, which is funny because we've never sniffed victory in three years," said Portuguese coach Steve Tavares.

Said Portuguese catcher and veteran of all four games, Julian Tavares: "The Mexicans always bring the heat, but they didn't the bring the thunder like the Portugees did, today."

After numerous lead changes in the first four innings, Portugal headed into the pivotal bottom of the fifth with a 6-5 lead, then the long awaited power surge finally occurred. After retiring the leadoff hitter, Portugal responded with six consecutive hits that was punctuated with the first Portuguese homer in series history. Newly-acquired John Andrade's three run blast to dead center gave the squad an 11-5 lead and blew the game wide-open.

"That whole scene, I think, pumped up the whole team and intimidated the Mexicans. They never really recovered from that homer," said Coach Tavares.

The presence of the new power to the lineup cannot be overlooked but their tenacity quite possibly stemmed from a sort of national call to arms after Portugal's triumphant World Cup run this summer, which coincidentally also involved a rousing 2-1 victory over Mexico in the group stages.

"The new player's drive was important. For some this game is for fun and it is, but some of us care about winning and it was good that they played serious."

Now, the displeasure of a losing resides in the Mexican dugout and their frustration was apparent.

"[Those] guys are big cheaters. We played by the rules. Next year youire going down!," said Mexican coach Michelle Garcia. She also felt disappointment over her team's overall play and singled out first basemen Seth "Seto Magneto" Miranda.

"I fired him. I demoted him from first to leftfield and that bit me in the ass, too. He overran the ball. I've never been so mad at him in my life," said Garcia.

An admittedly overmatched Mexican team took solace in giving Team Portugal a battle and offered their annual message of overachieving.

"Even by them cheating, we still almost beat you with a couple of girls and a bunch of kids," said Beaner.

"They're full of s-h-i-t-t-t-t-t!," said first-year third basemen Mike Padfield, "We offered to give them some players. They probably should have brought the dog in to play first base."

"They could bring their pumped-up kids, rub The Cream all over them and we'll still beat them next year," said Julian Tavares.

Nevertheless, the Portuguese players felt a load off their shoulders after the indignity of being beaten handily for three straight years in a game designed to honor the memory of one of their own.

"It's a feeling like you don't know if you're dreaming. I kept pinching my leg to see if it was real. There was disbelief, then belief or, in Portuguese; disbeliefsshh, then beliefssh," said Julian.

"I must admit that I got a little choked up in the middle of that celebration on the mound. I was very proud of the way everybody played. We played as a team. We made some mistake out there. I know I made a few, but everybody picked each other up and made big plays every time we need it," said Coach Steve, "This win is dedicated to all those who played hard for this team when we failed which makes this win so much more sweeter."

One of the players who have played through the lean years was this year's MVP Eddie Tavares. E.T. earned his first win after two losses by allowing 11 runs on a whopping 33 hits. He also was 3-for-3 with a double and three runs scored. Others may have had better statistics on Sunday, but it was Tavares' tenacious slide into second base that may become the signature moment of Portugal's victory.

On a single to left in the third inning, Eddie attempted to take another base after the Mexican leftfielder fumbled the ball. In his gritty run to second, he stumbled half way and slide face-first into the dirt. He then, quickly crawled on his bare legs to the base while bloodying his knees.

"I would like to thank Uncle Eddie for digging deep, not just physically deep, but deep into his soul on that slide into second base," said Julian.

Despite the rivalry and the trash-talking Coach Garcia still took a moment to remember why we were all there on that diamond Sunday afternoon.

"The only thing that made me happy was to see Carlos get to walk around proud with his Portuguese flag on. That probably made Suzie happy."


TEAM PHOTO Team Mexico and the Portuguese All-Stars pose for the traditional post-game photo. Thanks to Marianne Tavares for the photos and Tia Tina Tavares for keeping score.


Suzao Cup IV Boxscore & Record Book

MVP, MVP, MVP! Portugal's Eddie Tavares was awarded the game's MVP and the winning pitcher for the first time in three tries.

Suzao Cup IV, Aug. 27, 2006

Mexico........ab r h rbi
Max, cf........5 0 2 1
Heka, ss.......5 2 4 3
Dan Garcia, lf.5 3 3 0
Miranda, 1b ...5 0 1 0
Luiz, rf.......5 1 5 3
Beaner, p......5 0 3 0
Suzie G.,2b....5 1 4 1
Pacheco, c.....5 0 3 1
Rivas, 3b......5 2 4 0
Kenny, r.......5 2 4 0
TOTALS.....50 11 33 11

Pitching ip r h bb so
(LP, 3-1).8 19 35 0 0

Portugal......ab r h rbi
Santos, cf.....4 2 4 1
Steve A.T. ss..4 1 2 1
Key, 2b........4 2 4 1
Lada, 3b.......4 1 3 2
B.DaCosta, ss..3 1 2 2
M.Padfield 3b..3 1 2 1
S.Tavares r....3 0 1 1
Jacome, lf.....3 0 1 0
K.Tavares, rf..3 1 2 0
E.Tavares p....3 3 3 1
M.Tavares, rf..3 2 2 3
Gouveia, c.....3 2 2 1
Andrade, r.....3 2 3 4
J.Tavares, c...3 1 1 0
M.Costa, 1b....3 0 1 1
M.Costa Jr.,lf.3 0 2 0
TOTALS.....51 19 35 19

Pitching ip r h bb so
(WP, 1-2).9 11 33 0 1

MEX....102 204 101-11
POR....013 264 21x-19


-Mexico leads the series, 3-1.
Game 1, Mexico 15, Portugal 6.
Game 2, Mexico 23, Portugal 21.
Game 3, Mexico 9, Portugal 4.
Game 4, Portugal 19, Mexico 11.

-Homeruns in Suzao Cup History
Game 1, Dan Garcia, Nomar Garciaparra 2 (MEX).
Game 2, Bobby DaCosta (MEX).
Game 3, None.
Game 4, John Andrade, Mike Tavares (POR).

-Most Valuable Players
Game 1, Nomar Garciaparra (MEX)
Game 2, Bobby DaCosta (MEX)
Game 3, Michelle Garcia (MEX)
Game 4, Eddie Tavares (POR)

IN THE END SPORTSMANSHIP Team Mexico and the Portuguese All-Stars congratulate each other. They meet again in August 2007 for the fifth anniversary of Suzie's passing



THE MANAGERS MEET. Manager of the Portuguese All-Stars, Steve Tavares and his counterpart Mexican manager, Michelle "Beaner" Garcia.

TEAM PORTUGAL MEASURES UP THE COMPETITION (Left to right) Mike Tavares, Eddie Tavares, Kevin Tavares, Bruno Gouveia and Mike Padfield.

TEAM MEXICO AWAITS A GUY SELLING MANGOES FROM A PUSHCART (Left to right) Dan Garcia, Suzie Garcia, Michelle Garcia and Monica Pacheco.

THE FANS ENJOY AN AFTERNOON OF SOFTBALL This years Suzao Cup enjoyed the largest attendance in its four year history: 19.

TEAM PORTUGAL BATS WAKE UP Newly-acquired lead-off hitter Roy Santos, from the Madeira Islands, sparked the Portuguese All-Stars by going 4-for-4.

TEAM PORTUGAL'S MASCOT TAKES A CHIPS BREAK The Portuguese All-Stars mascot, Pedro the Portugee AKA Carlos Tavares, enjoys a bag of potato chips.

JOAO'S BLAST KEYS FIFTH INNING RALLY John Andrade, pictured far right, celebrates at home plate after hitting the first Portuguese homerun in Suzao Cup history. The three-run blast to dead-centerfield sparked a six-run fifth inning and a lead they would never relinquish.