The Open Championship, Pennant Races Heat Up, Letting go of Lin, Dream Team vs. New Kids on the Block, What was Dez thinking?
Bunkers, Bunkers Everywhere: The 2012 Open Championship at Royal Lytham in St. Annes offers the players a smorgasbord of sand by way of 206 bunkers. The first hole, a par 3, has 10 bunkers surrounding the green. When Tiger ran away from the field at St. Andrews in 2000, he didn’t hit into one bunker all week. I would be surprised to see anyone go through one round without a ball in the bunker. As Brian Katreck said on his show on PGA Tour Radio this morning, the Open Championship can be random in terms of the results. Particularly random is the weather. A player’s place in the draw can have a huge bearing on the outcome of the tournament. Is it fair, is it just, is it the way a major tournament should be decided? Perhaps not, but it is the birthplace of golf, it’s a links course, and the weather is what it is. And most importantly, the players seem to embrace it and buy into the experience. And as a fan, it’s the one time of year we get to see the world’s greatest golfers brought to their knees, literally, in bunkers and gorst. In a practice round this week, Vijay Singh lost two balls on the 14th hole. Imagine if that happens on Sunday. You have to love it, don’t you?
Can the Yankees be caught? And can the Pirates hang on? The Yankees are 9 games up in a division that most consider the toughest in baseball. True, the Red Sox have been decimated by injury and they’re only a game out of the wildcard race. But don’t get me started on the wild card race. The real question is can the Pirates ride McCutcheon all the way to a playoff berth. Will PNC Park finally host a post-season game? What a story if it would happen. No Bonds, no Van Slyke, no Bonilla, no Parker, no Stargell, no Clemente, no Mazeroski, no Kiner…….Okay, I grew up a Pirate fan, even went to the ’79 World Series at Three Rivers Stadium. It would be terrific to see them back there again. Go Pirates!!
Lin the Rocket Man: The Knicks faced a difficult decision with Jeremy Lin. And the Rockets ended up beating them at a game of salary cap chess. The Knicks mistake was letting the bidding get up to where he would be luxury tax liability. But how good is Jeremy Lin, really? And how good will he be, really? He scored 38 in a game last season, which is a pretty good accomplishment in the NBA. But I guess time will tell if the Knicks made a good move and can move on, or if they erred and will have to answer for it for quite some time. At least we’re talking about the Knicks. As the season progresses, they may not even be the most interesting team in their own city…..
Magic and Bird, or Lebron and Kobe? There is a lot of debate about which is the better team, the 1992 Dream Team or the current Olympic Team. Without Dwight Howard, Dewayne Wade and Derrick Rose, the current team is at a bit of a disadvantage. A lot of people, including both Mike’s of Mike and Mike, give the nod to the Dream Team based on a couple of factors: Robinson and Ewing at center, and of course, Michael Jordan in his prime. I would have to agree, even though Magic and Bird were, well, retired and almost retired. Lebron would have played on either team, along with Durant and Kobe. After that, I’m not so sure, with the exception of one of the point guards, maybe Chris Paul or Brian Westbrook. It will never be resolved, of course, but it’s a fun topic of conversation, especially here in the dog days…
Dez, Dez, Dez….What were you thinking? Assaulting your mother? Really Dez? Roger Goodell is going to have a field day with this one. Next time you want to do something like that, you might want to call Ben Roethlisberger for some advice. It astounds me that these guys that have great athletic gifts and are compensated handsomely for them, just can’t seem to get out of their own way. It’s distressing and sad. But in reality, football is a violent game and it takes a certain amount of violence within to excel, especially when running pass routes over the middle against equally or more violent men waiting for you. Hopefully Dez can get some help that sticks. Otherwise, all that talent will be wasted, and waste is never a good thing.