Monday, April 09, 2007

Monday 04/09 A.M. Quickie:
T. Woods, D. Wade, J. Wright, More!

Men's golf has an evident problem: The Tiger Problem.

What does it say about the sport when "Where did Tiger finish?" consistently eclipses "Who won?" (Unless Tiger IS who won.)

Oh, sure, the media goes through the charade of first saying "So-and-so (say, Zach Johnson) won the Masters." But, in the next breath, it's: "Tiger finished in Xth."

In this case, maybe it's that Tiger finished so close to first that makes it that notable, but I'd say it's bigger than that.

It has gotten to the point where fans care mostly about Tiger, then everyone else. That's not a cult following of the sport; it's a cult following of a single personality.

No other sport seems to have this issue. Imagine if the story read: "The Mavs win the NBA title! Kobe finishes 7th."

I guess it's that no other sport orbits around a single personality like men's golf does around Tiger. I like him, too, but doesn't that strike you as a bit unhealthy for any sport?

More of today's big stories:

More Masters: Does posting the highest winning score in Masters history make Johnson's jacket any less green? Hell no. I say: More power to him. They can't take that blazer away from him, no matter what happens the rest of his career (and no matter how he won it).

Meanwhile, to follow with my own analysis above, I can't NOT talk about Tiger: It did seem like Tiger was a little off his game, didn't it? I had argued that pending fatherhood would inspire him to Masters victory. Perhaps pending fatherhood was just enough of a burden on his brain to knock him slightly off? (Past and present pending fathers can relate to what I'm talking about.)

NBA: Dwyane Wade returns! 27 minutes, 12 points and 1 loss. But give it two months; he'll be leading them to a second straight NBA title. (And his long black left sleeve will surely become the NBA's signature on-court fashion look of the spring.)

More NBA: (1) LeBron held to 20 in Cavs loss to Pistons. Preview of Eastern Conference playoffs. (2) Suns top Lakers. Another playoff preview. (3) How about this: Chris Bosh for NBA MVP? (4) I know he's a FreeDarko poster guy, but how underrated is Gerald Wallace (30 points in Bobcats win over Miami)?

NBA Draft: Kansas' Julian Wright turning pro? Perhaps recognizing that it probably won't get much better than the projection he'll go anywhere between the first 3-5 picks.

Quickie analysis: He is the most versatile frontcourt player in college basketball. (Comps: At best, a slightly shorter Kevin Garnett. At worst, a slightly tougher Lamar Odom.)

MLB: Anyone's fantasy team get wiped out this weekend along with the snowed-out Indians-Mariners games in Cleveland?

(Should MLB move the Indians' home-stand vs. the Angels to Anaheim? If the weather says more snow, I think they should move the game. But not to Anaheim, unless they're going to flip-flop an Indians-Angels series in Anaheim later in the season to Cleveland. How about finding an alternative site near Cleveland that isn't snowed in, so Indians fans can still attend?)

UPDATE: Amazingly, I flashed a rare bit of prescience on this. MLB moved the game to Milwaukee, which is close enough to Cleveland that fans could have a chance to get to the game -- and Milwaukee fans will get a kind-of-cool novelty of seeing two top AL teams play.

Real-life Crash Davis: 32-year-old Marlins RP Lee Gardner earned his first MLB save yesterday after racking up 130 minor-league saves. The real sign of legitimacy: How many fantasy owners have him on their rosters? A few more saves and that total will increase.

Stud (batter): Ivan Rodriguez
Stud (pitcher): Johan Santana

(Add your Studs/Duds in the Comments.)

Schilling bounces back in primetime: I was curious how quickly Curt Schilling would update his blog after pitching (well) against the Rangers last night. When I popped open his blog at 8 this morning, there was his post. And a long one, too. That's pretty damn impressive.

(As many have noted: Why do I need the local Boston columnists' take on last night's game when I can have Schilling's? His 2000 words on the game with infinitely greater detail, nuance and authority beats the standard cliched tripe from Boston columnists.)

CBB: Wichita St's Mark Turgeon to Texas A&M. Somehow, I don't think Turgeon will pull a Dana Altman and run back to the Missouri Valley after his announcement as new coach at a different school.

(More: John Pelphrey to Arkansas? Looks that way. I think it's a great hire. Even better than Dana Altman. How much better can you get than Billy Donovan's top disciple?)

Reality-TV UFC top-dog Matt Serra winning the real UFC welterweight title from champ Georges St. Pierre in a fairly substantial upset will only help the sport (until skeptics ask if the storybook ending was a little TOO good).

NFL Draft: Look for the first glimpse of the Tirico-Kornheiser-Jaworski troika during ESPN's draft coverage. The draft format is PTI-ish enough that it is MUCH more in TK's wheelhouse than your standard MNF game. I think they'll do well enough that it will trigger a buzz for next season.

Today's 15 Minutes: Elsie McLean, the 102-year-old woman who hit a hole-in-one, becoming the oldest golfer ever to hit a regulation-course hole-in-one. Yes, your golf skills suck by comparison.

ESPN Ombudswoman Earns Blog Cred: By taking on the Colin Cowherd story and getting a response from ESPN before the weekend was over (remember, the incident happened Thursday), she instantly proves herself an infinitely more effective ombudsman (ombudswoman?) than her predecessor – all in her first official week on the job. Oh, and she just got off on the right foot – the very right foot – with the sports-blog community.

-- D.S.

98 comments:

rafael said...

Agree completely about the ombudsman. She had no issue demanding clarification from ESPN and got the deal about the zero tolerance policy (which, notice, was not something you can read about anywhere else on ESPN)
Props to her.

Golf is not a sport the average person can get into. It's still the sport of the elite (not the skilled necessarily, just the folk with some money to blow). Tiger is personality. Tiger is different. Unhealthy for golf? Maybe. It doesn't really matter because without Tiger, golf wouldn't be on center stage. Noone else has personality. No Golden Bears, not even a Shark. Tiger is it.

I dont think the Marlins will win enough games for the guy to get that many saves.

ARod seems to be coming around...I think he'll spend all season stomping on critics.

Jason said...

NBA: Dwyane Wade returns! 27 minutes, 12 points and 1 loss. But give it two months; he'll be leading them to a second straight NBA title. (And his long black left sleeve will surely become the NBA's signature on-court fashion look of the spring.)

-picking up where I left off when he got hurt...no, no it won't.

Also, it's very unhealthy (and has been for years) that golf is so Tiger-centric. When he's done, golf is in big trouble.

Vincent said...

I gotta say.. watching the masters yesterday, among other sports(NHL, MLB, NBA... I was really only looking to see what tiger was doing. I'm a casual fan. the name Zach Johnson, or even Appleby means nothing to me. For me it's all about tiger. Especially when I found out he was behind, I wanted to see the comeback. It's like people who don't watch basketball tuning in to see Jordan in the last 2 minutes.

I don't see anything wrong with the way people perceive Tiger or golf through tiger. If it means people are watching, great! the only big names I knew yesterday were Woods, and Mickelson. Did the latter even show up? I didn't see him once when flipping through the channels.


and why no talk about A-Rods Walk-off? followed by the very next pitch being a 3 run homer? Instant history says, "the Monkey is officially off his back."

CMFost said...

Before you can say A-Rod is coming around he has to come through more then once.

Dan you are killing me by avoiding the NHL. The last playoff spot comes down a shootout after the team trying to secure the spot gives up a goal with 0.6 seconds left.

Vincent said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
CMFost said...

Vincent the Monkey will not be off A-Rod's back until the Yankees win a world series with him on the Roster. And with the looks of the Yankees pitching early this year they might be in trouble.

Vincent said...

that's why I said, "Instant History" and it's more of a feeling than anything.. did you see the smile on his face? he's relaxed and having fun again. something he wasn't at ALL last year

Patriots64 said...

I say 10% chance Dan even mentions the Stanley Cup winner on here!

ARod leading majors in Homers and RBI's - looks like he will have a monster season!!!!!!!

Jason said...

The monkey won't be off his back until he does it late in the season or in the playoffs.

And I'm not a yankees fan, either.

Vincent said...

again.. A rod doesn't pitch. he hits and fields.

jhawkjjm said...

I'm surprised by Wright saying he'll go pro. Versatile? yes. Plays out of control (and not in a good way)? Definately. I think its a mistake personally, but I'm staring all that money in the face. I don't think he's ready. He's not a power foward and he doesn't have the outside shot to be a 3. Naturally Jayhawk fans are a bit peeved about it because he said he'ld stay, but many also realize that Rush is player who's choice will truly have the biggest impact on KU's season next year. Wright leaving means a spot opens up for Darrel Arthur to play more. Not quite as athletic, but a better offensive player and stronger body.

Still no mention of the Frozen Four's championship game? Mich St trails BC with 10 mins left, tie it and then win it with a goal with 19 seconds left? Greatest.Ending.Ever?

Richard said...

Where's the Sopranos/Entourage review? News Flash: Amanda is hot.

jhawkjjm said...

Yankees fans shouldn't be too excited. A-Dud with the walkoff is nice, but how about the way they've played against the bottom of the AL east? It's early, but their pitching looks W.E.A.K.

Just as weak as Boston's offense. Maybe Toronto can keep up with the big boys this year.

CMFost said...

Richard - Quickie Sytle Review

Entourage - Great
Soprano's - not so much

CMFost said...

A little bit more on last night's Soprano's - To me it was the same crap we have been seeing for a season or two. It was just way to slow and yes I know they are trying to set up the last few episodes but that one just was not that good. Only good scenes was when Tony and Bobby fought and Bobby poping his cherry and blowing away the guy in the laundromat

Mikepcfl said...

I avoided all sports sites (save my fantasy baseball ones) and ESPN for a week following UF's win last week. I couldnt stand to hear how great they were from everyone and their grandmother. Actually, I didnt miss them that much.

Anyway, I am not a big golf fan, but I watched the Masters yesterday. IMO Tiger had a subpar tournament, that's all. I see all these writers saying he "didnt get it done" and such. No one gets it done all the time. They were all ready to write Tiger is a hero had he pulled it out. It reminds me of Max Mercy (I watched the director's cut of the Natural over the weekend) who had two cartoons ready depicting Hobbs as either hero or goat. It doesnt matter to the writers, they still have their story.

Richard said...

CMFrost,

Yeah but I really thought Tony was gonna kill Bobby.

Anyways, that party on the Entourage premiere was insane. As was any scene involving Drama's billboard. I can't believe that show is only 30 minutes long.

CMFost said...

Quick NHL Playoff 1st Round Predicitions:

EAST
Buffalo over NY Islander in 5
NJ over TB in 6
NY Rangers over Atlanta in 7
Ottawa over Pitt in 5

WEST
Det over Cal in 6
Ana over Minn in 4
Van over Dal in 7
SJ over Nash in 7

RevScottDeMangeMD said...

1.) Shanoff hates Entourage (his live blogging on Deadspin...look back at it)

2.) No talk about Don Imus and his comments about Rutgers basketball? Sure it's women's bball...but man...Imus. WTF dude!

Dave said...

Good for the ombudswoman...
Nice that ESPN says there is going to be a zero tolerance policy, but what does that mean? She mentions it, but then goes on to say that any infraction will surely result in suspensions. A suspension is tolerance, is it not?

A suspension means you go away for a little while, and then you come back to your job. That's the opposite of zero tolerance as far as I'm concerned. In my mind, zero tolerance means if you screw up, you're done.

Either I'm confused about what zero tolerance means, or this is just another case of a tired cliche being used in attempt to "talk tough."

Brian in Oxford said...

So, how many of us thought Tiger would go birdie-birdie to force the playoff, anyway? Like the legend would have needed to grow any more....

The hockey team is the only BC team I actually like, but they were enough to maintain the BC legacy in big games....

Bring on the playoffs. And also a channel guide so I can find Versus....I think it's like 130 on my cable. ugh.

CMFost said...

Brian in know on comcast it is 48 for regular and 848 for HD

mattie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andy said...

DOes everyone here realize they are feeding the fire??? Come on guys! Let's talk about the guy that actually won the Masters. There hasn't been one comment yet about Zach Johnson. Personally, as a fellow Iowan, I couldn't be more proud. I first learned about him in the 2004 Bellsouth when he won that and I've followed him ever since. I always knew he deserved to be on the Ryder Cup team even when all the sportswriters (including Dan if I remember correctly) said he shouldn't be. Give props to the guy that won the tournament. He played the best during the week. Give him his due.

Ferocious Bluebird said...

Dan, you f-ing moron. AI had the long black sleeve LONG before D-Wade. Way to be on the bandwagon, douchebag.

mattie said...

Imagine if the story read: "The Mavs win the NBA title! Kobe finishes 7th."

Wouldn't a better anaology be something like, "Mavs win the game, but Kobe scored 65 in the Lakers loss!!"

I don't know, I've never understood the idea that Woods is bad for golf. Because the alternative -- where only the die-hards give a damn about the sport and someone like Phil Mickleson is supposed to carry the game to the masses -- would be so much better? Why? I seriously want to know. I make no bones about only watching golf for Tiger. If "real fans" think that's "bad for the sport" because it'd be better if I had no one to watch (or had never started when Tiger won his 3rd Amateur)...well, that's just kind of odd to me.


Yay for the new ombudsman for getting an actual answer and taking a fairly clear and strong stand against what Cowherd did. That's absolutely better than nearly anything the previous guy managed to do.

CMFost said...

Zach Johnson looked down the belly of the beast and played the best and smartest of everyone and that is why he won. He did not do a Mickelson and take stupid chances or make a bad mistake when it counted like Tiger did on 15.

CycleDan said...

HOCKEY!!!

How could you not mention the most exciting regular season game in the last year in any major North American Sport.

Islanders 1 point behind the Maple Leafs for the last playoff spot. Win and they are in. They are up 2-0 in the third period. Then 2-1 to the Devils. With 0.9 seconds left, Madden scores and the game goes to OT, then a shootout. If they win the shootout they are in. The third string goalie comes out of the crease and pokes away the last Devil penalty shot with his stick and the Islanders win.

Playoff positioning is nowhere near as important as whether you are in the tournament or not. Of course Toronto fans were extremely dissapointed.

On another note, Yanks pitching seems as suspect as I thought it was going to be. I can see the Yanks not making the playoffs for the first time in over a decade this year.

I would argue that during the Michael Jordan era, the NBA had almost the same single player dominance as golf does now. It is hard to say since I really could care less about golf.

I wonder, do I care less about golf than Dan Shanoff cares about hockey?

Andy said...

Golf is mentioned more because more people play it. It's probably the most played sport in the world. Hockey is way down the line. You won't find anyone south of the Mason-Dixon that has ever played hockey. That's why Dan mentions golf more.

Patriots64 said...

My predictions:

EAST
Buffalo over NY Islander in 4
NJ over TB in 5
NY Rangers over Atlanta in 6
Pitt over Ottawa in 6

WEST
Det over Cal in 5
Ana over Minn in 5
Van over Dal in 5
SJ over Nash in 6

DrDoom said...

i care about golf less than shanoff cares about hockey, i think wades return is huge because the heat are now the favorite in the east. It will suck for whoever gets them in the first round.

Once again do the suns get the hawks pick as long as it is not top 2 or top 3 or top 4? Because if the suns get the thrid or fourth (assuming they keep it) wrigth and brewer are both perfect fits.

Natsfan74 said...

Saying that people watch golf only for Tiger is like saying they watched the NBA just for Jordan (6 titles), or even farther back just for Magic-Bird. The NHL - the sport which must not be named on here - had Gretzky and then Lemieux and now Crosby and Ovechkin. Having one star who is the face of the sport is not a new phenomenon. What would be worse for golf is if people STOPPED watching because Tiger always wins.

2 interesting stats from the Masters yesterday -- First time Tiger has held outright lead in final round of a major (albeit briefly) and not won. Tiger has never won a major he didn't at least share the lead after 54 holes. Wouldn't we like to see Tiger make a charge at the end and win in improbable fashion?

CycleDan said...

Zach Johnson

I heard an interview with him on ESPN this morning. People from his town apparently all chipped in $500 to help give him his start. He paid them all back. Talk about small town pride. He can really say if it wasn't for the people supporting him back home, he wouldn't have made it. Just one likable guy.

I saw one picture of Tiger about to cry when teeing off from the 18th hole. What a pussy whining bitch. Could you imagine him in any other real sport (curling and bowling don't count as real sports either to me.)

Benjamin Kabak said...

The virtual whoring of all of these bloggers at the feet of Curt Schilling is somewhat sickening. This guy's using his charity blog to write about how great a pitcher he is. Give me a break. Sure, it's interesting, but do we have to say every five days that it's the best thing since sliced bread?

Brian in Oxford said...

@cmfost

Comcast just bought Adelphia, so we don't have the regular channel numbers that Comcast normally assigns around the area.

(I've already gotten the "we're not adding NESN" email from customer service.)

I just hope the Canadian teams can make some noise out west. Too bad Ottawa's gotta take on Pittsburgh...I wonder if NBC will want Crosby on Sunday, or let CBC have it for Saturday night. NBC will probably force-feed all the NY series, anyway.

Todd said...

Come on guys, ease up on Dan for not doing the hockey stuff. Not saying by any means that hockey isn't a really cool sport, but it's obviously not Dan's thing, so please cut out the "disrespect of hockey" thing.

I mean, I'd rather Dan just stick to what he knows for the Quickie, and then have people discuss hockey here in the comments. I'm guessing Dan really doesn't pay attention to hockey, so his thoughts/opinions probably wouldn't be that worthwhile anyway, right?

As for the BC/MSU game, watching it as a BC fan was like watching helplessly as someone murders your new puppy... or worse, watching the WNBA...

Patriots64 said...

Series D - #4 Ottawa vs. #5 Pittsburgh
Date Time (ET) Location Network
Wed., April 11 7:00 p.m. at Ottawa CBC, RDS, VERSUS
Sat., April 14 3:00 p.m. at Ottawa CBC, RDS, NBC
Sun., April 15 6:00 p.m. at Pittsburgh VERSUS, CBC, RDS
Tue., April 17 7:00 p.m. at Pittsburgh VERSUS, CBC, RDS
*Thu., April 19 7:00 p.m. at Ottawa CBC, RDS, VERSUS
*Sun., April 22 1:00 p.m. at Pittsburgh NBC, CBC, RDS
*Tue., April 24 7:00 p.m. at Ottawa VERSUS, CBC, RDS

*if necessary

Sat. afternoon on NBC and CBC Brian!

rafael said...

Andy...Alabama-Huntsville has a hockey team. :)

Brian in Oxford said...

That is a good point, Todd....not sure Dan would bring us as much insight, versus just reading the news in the comment sections by all of us so "mad" that Dan didn't include hockey on the quickie, anyways.

I noticed that CBC gets stuck with TB-NJ Saturday night, though...no Canadian team because NBC is hogging Pittsburgh (vs. Ottawa) Saturday and Detroit (vs. Calgary) Sunday afternoon!

Todd said...

MLB Studs and Duds for Week one:

Studs:
1. A-Rod
2. Johan Santana
3. Vlad Guerrero
4. Miguel Cabrera
5. Akinori Iwamura

Duds:
1. Weather in Cleveland
2. Nats pitching (minus Shawn Hill)
3. Jorge Julio
4. Chris Ray
5. Alfonso Soriano

CMFost said...

some other week 1 studs -
Jonathan Papelbon - 2 for 2 in save opps, 2 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K

John Lackey - 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA

DanShanoff.com said...

To second Todd's comment: Really, do you all want me disrespecting hockey by writing totally ignorant stuff?

(Save your jokes: "As opposed to disrespecting every other sport when you write your standard ignorant stuff?" Ha ha: Beat ya to it!)

Anyway, look: Though this purports to be a "generalist" blog, it does reflect my interests and expertise (such as it is), and hockey ain't covered in either.

There are a ton of hockey blogs -- great ones -- where you can get your fix and have your say.

I don't hate hockey. (Posting about hockey only when there's something scandalous going on is less about crapping on hockey and more about recognizing those times when hockey actually does cross over into mainstream fan interest... that happens to dovetail with the novelty of scandal.)

The better analysis is that I don't KNOW hockey. As such, I'd rather not waste your time (and mine) by writing about it here. (Not that this is a defense, but I'm hardly alone, by the way. Hockey doesn't hit the radar on PTI or on Deadspin, to name just two of the more prominent, popular "generalist" sports destinations.

I can find hockey irrelevant to me without telling you that your own interest in hockey is irrelevant, which it most certainly is NOT. More power to you, in fact.

But, again: You really don't want me writing about hockey here. I will defile both the sport and myself. And I do enough self-defiling on the stuff I seem to think I know something about. -- Dan

Troy said...

It has gotten to the point where fans care mostly about Tiger, then everyone else.

Has gotten? I think it got to that point a long time ago. Hell, now you might be able to argue that it has lessened a little bit, as Lefty can ocassionally draw his own attention independent from Tiger. I would argue that this is absolutely a great thing for golf (hey, people are watching!) until Tiger retires. Then golf might be in a bit of trouble. But as long as that's still a few years off, golf is in good shape.

And really how is the Tigercentric golf coverage any different than baseball when the Yankees lose early in the playoffs? Ratings tend to dip and "Is Joe Torre going to be fired?" headlines get at least equal billing with "Will the Tigers choke it all away in tomorrow's game 5?"

Biebs said...

Dan,

How much do you really know about the UFC?
I don't think anyone's looking for over-the-top in depth analysis. But a brief mention that the playoffs are starting, or the Islanders amde the playoffs in a shootout - is worthwhile.

rafael said...

Don't think you need Dan to tell you the playoffs are starting.

Though deadspin does put up the scores on occasion. ;)

CMFost said...

Hey Dan, how about bringing some of your commenters on board to help write the site for the sports you do not know.

Todd said...

Perhaps a solution to the [insert sport here that Dan doesn't write about] is that if Dan doesn't mention a sport and there's an event or two that you think should be mentioned then you guys could do a "Hockey Quickie" or a "Soccer Quickie" or something like that.

We'll just say that the first person to put up that sport's quickie for the day is the only one who can use that title. So that way there won't be eighteen people writing their own hockey quickie for the day.

I know I'd rather read a "Hockey Quickie" comment than one complaining once again why Dan doesn't cover hockey.

ryan from boston,ma said...

Finally,
my boss decided,might I add.. had unblocked 'blogs' for work. woot!

heres my studs and duds.

studs= David Ortiz,Schilling

Dud=Michael Young(struck out in the 8th,two men on)

Also, Congrats to Zach Johnson on winning the Masters,yesterday.Climatic finsh he had,going up against Tiger Woods.

Glove22 said...

Tiger Woods has zero major wins when trailing after the 3rd round. Is he the greatest front runner ever or does he need to come back and win a major when traiing after the 3rd round to be the greatest ever?

After watching some of the Masters on Sunday I was left with this impression

Choking Tiger Losing Masters

Andy R said...

Stud: David Ortiz, Derrek Lee, Jon Papelbon
Dud: Sosa, Wade Miller

ryan from boston,ma said...

Todd,
at least we have BC football to look out for.Might I say I'm glad that Tom'O Brien's gone from BC.He was and still is to me, a lame duck coach.Matt Ryan's coming back strong.He gaurenteed in the Globe, no less than an ACC title this year under new coach Jags ...bc rant over.

CMFost said...

Can someone explain to me why Tiger Choked? He had the lead for what 5 minutes. Don't you need to do like Mickelson did at the Open for it really to be considered a choke. It is not like Tiger had the lead going into the 18th hole and bogeyed to lose. Zach Johnson went out shot a solid final round and won the tournament. He did not win because Tiger choke, he won because he played better then Tiger.

Jason said...

DS, I applaud your honesty in that comment. I'm not gonna bitch about you not covering it, so long as you mention a shout out to whoever won the Cup.

Btw, go Devils!

Todd said...

Tiger "choked" because he could have won and didn't. It's the unfair stratosphere that Tiger entered in that anytime he enters the final day of a tourney within two strokes of the lead, we expect him to win. That Tiger did not seize the opportunities he had, we see it as a choke job because we expect Tiger to win.

He's set the standard so high that anything short of winning seems like choking... he did have some opportunities though.

But he did look like he was about to cry at certain points yesterday though. He actually looked like he had failed, which is a lot more vulnerable than I think anyone could've expected, especially at the Masters.

rafael said...

Agreed. Tiger didn't choke. He didn't have a lead going into the round that he pissed away.

Disagreed. Dan's blog doesn't need other people writing about sports he doesn't cover. This is not ESPN. If you want to write about another sport, then start a blog on it. I'm a hockey fan, but i'm not going to get hung up on the fact that Dan won't write about it.

Patriots64 said...

If Tiger choked then everyone within 5 strokes yesterday choked but Zach Johnson!! Yankees choked, Mickelson choked, The Shark choked etc , Tiger didn't choke a 5 stroke lead or a 3-0 series lead did he?

Mikepcfl said...

I dont think I saw a link to this last week while I was away, but it is the hilarious "Why Duke Sucks" video link. (LInked in today's 10 spot on SI)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYOgC2Qbqh4

The Commish said...

"We never find this (cheering for the underdog to beat the dominant force), to be the case in golf however; whenever Tiger Woods is close to the lead late, we find ourselves pulling for him. We're not sure why this is. It's not like we're particularly enamored of Tiger or anything. It's probably because the only way can make professional golf seem important to us is to have Tiger Woods be historically important. He needs to break records for majors because that's the only way we can justify spending part of an afternoon watching golf. If Zach Johnson wins, we feel like we probably should have been working on something else." --Deadspin's take

And I totally agree with it. Is it unhealthy, definitely, because when we don't have the historical player around anymore we aren't going to care. But what's the alternative. There is no other way to grab my interest and eyes to the sport outside of Tiger's greatness, so golf needs to enjoy these years, and at the same time recognize that when Tiger hangs 'em up (or stops being the best golfer ever) they are going to go right off the radar to where they were before Tiger.

ryan from boston,ma said...

this just in:Cleveland's doubleheader has bin canceled again.

jhawkjjm said...

I can proudly say that I spent 0 time this weekend watching golf. I've seen it before and just don't find anything interesting about it at all. I could care less about Tiger and whether he won or not. For those who do watch...why?

Andy said...

I don't cheer for Tiger. In fact, I actively root against Tiger. I completely respect the guy and have the utmost admiration for his talent, but I Like to see other people win. It gets boring.

As far as Tiger choking, he didn't. Zach Johnson won the tournament. ESPN has a poll on their website asking if Zach Johnson won or if Tiger lost. When I voted, there were over 120,000 votes and it was 65% that Johnson won and %35 that Tiger lost. It wasn't a choke. Someone just beat him.

Also, I do find it interesting that Tiger has never won a major unless he's at least tied for the lead going into the final round. I think that says a lot about his legacy. He can't come from behind. I think it is partly pressure and partly because he makes too many stupid mistakes. He always tries to do something out of the ordinary to make it more dramatic, and that will be his downfall every time.

But again, let's talk about the winner, Zach Johnson. The guy was in the Top 10 in fairways hit, greens hit, and putts. You're gonna dominate every time if you can do that. He never went for a par 5 in two, and played the par 5's at -11. That's amazing. Maybe we should learn something from that....

Andy said...

Jim, I watch because I am a pretty big golfer myself. I play pretty regularly and I know how difficult it is. I watch because sometimes I see things that I think may help me in my game. That's why I watch.

CycleDan said...

JHawkJJim, people like to watch the sports they play themselves and I would guess that more people actively play golf in the US than any other sport.

I watch professional cycling simply because I do a lot of cycling myself. By the way, I have to laud NBC for covering the US Open Cycling championship from Virginia on Saturday.

Big D said...

You see, this story exemplefies exactly why I cannot take Bud Selig seriously as MLB commissioner.

So, by moving the Indians/Angels' series, he has "preserved the integrity of the schedule". Of course, naturally, he moved it to Milwaukee - the team he used to own - so that the Brewers can generate 3 games worth of revenue that they otherwise wouldn't have gotten.

What a joke.

/end threadjack

Patriots64 said...

Bud Selig is awesome lol!!

Andy said...

Big D, don't worry about the threadjack. You're absolutely right. That's completely ridiculous. The smart and common sense solution is to move it to Anaheim, and then move the series later in the year to Cleveland. Of course, taht would be the common sense thing to do. MLB hasn't had anything to do with common sense in quite some time...

Natsfan74 said...

Speaking of the US Open cycling -- that finish was pretty exciting. If the peleton could have ever made a collective move, they could have given the leaders a better chase.

How about Tiger's reaction when the ball went into the sand on 17. That was priceless -- he showed a real emotion on a golf course. I have liked Jose maria Olazabel since he threw a club into the water after a bad shot. That's how I would play, if I could afford a new club every time.

chipp said...

Why is Tiger's finish when not winning being compared to basketball? Wouldn't tennis and Federer be a better comparison (which does happen)? Tiger isn't the only person dominating a sport right now. When a person only loses a couple times a year, that's far more dominant than winning more tournaments than others (Tiger).

chipp said...

Joey Harrington is the new Matt Schaub! How long until Falcon's fans start routing for him?

Kevin said...

Why is Tiger unhealthy for golf? Without Tiger, golf is probably as low as hockey right now. Asking "Where'd Tiger finish?" is still better for golf than "Hey, who won that NASCAR race?"...

Luke Bell said...

Though I agree that it is pretty dumb to move the series to Milwaukee, I think it had more to do with a stadium with a roof than it did about revenue. I live in Milwaukee, and I have very little interest in going to see either of those teams. Milwaukee doesn't sell out for the Brewers, so why would they for two teams nobody in the area cares about?

It is a bonehead move, but Bud is a very good commissioner. Too much is made for things that don't matter (all star game ties) and not enough for all the things that do (Wild Card, interleague). Cut him some slack.

Todd said...

@Luke,

In all fairness, I think the completely botched up handling of the Steroid Era has to be the main criticism of Bud Selig. Exactly how much blame can be assessed to him is difficult, but fair or not, it will be impossible to look at the Selig era without noting that he was the head during the steroid era.

How far is Milwaukee from Cleveland? How long of a drive is it, especially if there are bad road conditions?

But still, there's no tying in baseball...

Todd said...

Also, interleague play is so ridiculously unbalanced it's insane. I think Neyer had a good article on that awhile back.

Big D said...

It's not just the ASG tie that cast a shadow over the Reign of Selig - hell, that's probably the least egregious of his faults. I would argue that the rulw to make the ASG determine home field for the World Series is far, far worse.

And for as great as Interleague play & the Wild Card have been, the Steroids Era and the league's blind eye easily cancel out the positives. Not to mention his complete botching of the divisions after the Wild Card became a reality; Moving the Brewers into the National League to ensure they would get to play "big name" teams like the Cubs & Cardinals more in the course of a season...

This won't get nearly the play it should, but even if Miller Park sells only 5000 tickets to the games, that's 5000 seats, plus parking, plus concessions/souveniers, etc. that should go to the Indians or Angels. Times three over the course of the series.

With a "small-market" mentality like the Brewers have had over the past ten years, and extra 15,000 people through the gates and all the money that comes with them could be the difference between being able to make a deadline deal for some middle-reliever that gets them into the Wild Card chase, or dealing away talent that they can't afford because they're just not close enough.

chris said...
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rafael said...

from the far end of Ohio to Wisconsin? It's a good drive. I hope Indians fans get refunded.

Tiger has not come from behind in the final round to win a major. No, this does not, in any way, define any part of his legacy. It is far more impressive, that with the lead going into the final round, he never loses it. It is serious nitpicking to say he's a choker or is unable to come from behind. Ridiculous. He's up to what...13 Majors now?

I watch many sports that I don't participate in. Most, I never will participate in. Golf being one. Aussie rules football being another.

Luke Bell said...

I am of the opinion that the steroids era is more a fault of the players and the players union than the commissioner. No matter who was commissioner, there was nothing they could have done had they wanted to with that union.

All the other stuff you have to take the good with the bad. Everyone whines about the all star tie, but when he changes it to prevent it from happening again, people whine even more. Unbalanced or not, interleague play is obviosuly popular. To get Yankees/Mets or Cubs/Sox, you have to have a few Royals/Devil Rays tossed in there.

Cleveland is a long way to come from to watch 3 games. I do agree that all the money should go to Cleveland for them to distribute, as if it were a home game.

jhawkjjm said...

I heard this weekend on the radio that the Brewers can't set the temp indoors more than 30 degrees higher than what it is outside. No snow but it still might be pretty cold.

Brian in Oxford said...

I think Cleveland should sue MLB, so that Anaheim has to come back to Cleveland later this year. The Tribe should treat these as road games (wear their grays), and expect to be given 3 HOME games to make up for it.

Brian in Oxford said...

Here's an obvious point.

We all know that April 15th is the anniversary of Jackie Robinson's first game. But do you know what is overlooked amidst the celebration?

It points out that baseball season didn't START until April 15th back then, right?

That's a reason there's snow more often these days....they keep pushing the season earlier and earlier.

Luke Bell said...

It isn't that cold in Milwaukee. Even if it gets down to 30, it would still be 60 in the park, with no wind. We break out the shorts in Wisconsin when it gets that warm!

Luke Bell said...

@ Brian:

They didn't play 162 games back then either. Without scheduled doubleheaders, there isn't much they can do in regards to the schedule.

Todd said...

Luke, not thinking that Bud could've done something about the steroid era is preposterous. He could've fought harder for testing, before the Senate forced MLB to. The Union would've agreed to testing if there had been sustained pressure from the commissioner's office. But they profited from the home runs and the owners were happy, so he turned a blind eye. That was his prerogative, but you can't ignore that the shit when down while he was at the helm.

I'd have to imagine that the Indians would get the full ticket proceeds, with maybe the Brewers just getting a part of the concessions and/or parking, right? Otherwise there's no way the Indians would agree to that.

Also, Cleveland would have to do a ton of double headers or play on scheduled off days if they didn't do something. So that would put them in a bind as well.

Seems sort of like Iraq, where there's just no good solution to the mess...

Luke Bell said...

Agree to disagree. The MLB Players Union is one of the strongest, if not THE strongest, in the country. They don't agree unless it benefits them and/or they are forced to. They would have spun pressure from the commissioner's office into some sort of attack on them, and used it as a bargaining chip for future negotiations.

Keith said...

There are a ton of hockey blogs -- great ones -- where you can get your fix and have your say.

...plus...

Not that this is a defense, but I'm hardly alone, by the way. Hockey doesn't hit the radar on PTI or on Deadspin, to name just two of the more prominent, popular "generalist" sports destinations.

...plus...

Posting about hockey only when there's something scandalous going on is less about crapping on hockey and more about recognizing those times when hockey actually does cross over into mainstream fan interest... that happens to dovetail with the novelty of scandal.

...plus (from last Tuesday)...

"We," in particular, being the sports media that tends to dominate and/or drive the conventional wisdom.

...equals...

We, the General Sports Media, don't care about hockey fans. But we still want your eyeballs for our advertisers. So, we'll give you a section on ESPN.com, and we'll give you a section on SI.com, and you can have all the blogs you like.

This way, outside the hockey writers, we have an excuse to blow off your game.

When guys like Mark Recchi and Mike Modano reach the 500 goal milestone, or Martin Brodeur sets a single-season record, we might mumble something about it. We might even let Melrose out of his cage on a day that isn't Thursday.

But if Chris Simon cross-checks somebody in the face, stop the presses! Who cares if these columnists haven't written about hockey since the Todd Bertuzzi incident. They're general sports writers! They can write about anything!

Therefore, anybody who isn't motivated to visit those hockey-only zones* will only see what's bad about the game.

(*: I originally had a more, shall we say, loaded, word than "zones" in mind.)

</vent>

Dan, don't be that guy. If you don't feel qualified to comment on hockey, throw a link or a hat-tip to somebody who does every once in a while. At least add some of those great hockey blogs to your blogroll.

Big D said...

@ luke:

Agreed; the MLB Union is the single strongest Union in the country, judging by their previous labor disputes. The Union has never lost a labor negotiation, in the long run. Remember "replacement players"? Yeah... how'd that work out.

But the fact remains that if in 1997 (or even earlier...), the Commish or someone in his office had come out publicly and said "We have recently received information that some of our athletes may be using illegal PEDs. We will not tolerate this, and expect the players to begin submitting to voluntary drug tests effective immediately", I cannot imagine one fan that would have come down on the players' side of the issue.

The fact is, whether or not they had the information in '98, '00, '02 or '04, they managed to completely ignore it until Congress compelled them to open their eyes and react. That falls squarely on the Commish and his office.

Will (Minny via AZ) said...

They say that awards are won after the all-star break, but tell me that Johan isn't trying to win the Cy Young and Gold Glove...right now!

Luke Bell said...

The fans would have surely sided with the commish if something like that had happened. But the union would have done their thing, raised a stink about witch hunts and privacy, and how it isn't in the CBA to do that, etc. They wouldn't budge until they had to. So, if that had happened, I think we would have been (or would still be in) another strike period.

Maybe in the future, the union will be weaker, knowing that the PED issue is one that they can't win, even though they want to.

Todd said...

But Selig didn't even TRY... that's the issue. If he had tried, but not suceeded because of the Union, that'd be one thing. But because he didn't try, his hands are just as dirty as anyone else's.

BTW, Ryan Howard, he's pretty good. The Phillies radio announcer, not so much...

Luke Bell said...

I will buy that argument, Todd. But it just seems to me that people blame him for everything, when at worst he was just as responsible as the union. Blame Bud if you must, but make the union at equal fault too.

jhawkjjm said...

This year has just been kind of flukey with the weather. This past week in KC in didn't get above 40 (Royals homestand). The week before it didn't drop below 70. But that's actually pretty normal for this area.

Cleveland is getting screwed big time. That's ridiculous to make them go play a "home" series in someone elses ballpark that's not even in the same state.

Natsfan74 said...

I agree that Cleveland is getting totally screwed. If the best argument against moving the series to Anaheim is that the logistics of running a stadium are too complex to change so suddenly, why does the same not apply to Milwaukee? They could have easily swapped the two home series in Anaheim and had the next series be in Cleveland (given that they play eachother in both parks this year). Now Cleveland -- even in a best case scenario -- will fill half a stadium for a "home" game, and will have to issue rainchecks to the fans in Cleveland. They are going to take a beating on this financially. I wonder what MLB did to make this up to them? I am sure it was something!

Brian in Oxford said...

If the MLB union struck over being required to test for PEDs....I wonder if the president could do a PATCO-like reaction and fire all the baseball players.

That would be enjoyable.

Natsfan74 said...

We can't blame the commissioner or the player's union, or anyone else for letting PEDs perpetrate baseball for so long. Back in 1998, when the home run chase started, people weren't talking about PEDs. McGwire admitted to using andro, and I don't remember any PED "conspiracy" back then. The guy who really raised the suspicions was Bonds (grew a full inch in hat size while a MLB player?). Besides gaining 50 pounds of muscle after age 30, he was a prick so as soon as the steroid rumors started, people just wanted to believe a prick like him couldn't be that good naturally. Then come the stories from retired players who admit to using the drugs, but at first not pointing as many fingers until Canseco came out. By the time Canseco's book came out, most people were ready to admit baseball had a PED problem and were looking back at the '98 - 2000 home run chases with a renewed skeptical eye. But the player's union, the commissioner, the league, and the fans loved the long ball and didn't want to think it was from anything other than hard work and players using year-round workout routines and lifting weights for the first time. And, the new ballparks had a lot to do with it -- homer friendly parks in Colorado, Houston, Texas, Atlanta... so it was easy to ignore the PEDs in the room. That's not Bud's fault, or the union's fault... that's just not seeing a problem until slapped in the face with it by books, interviews, and eventually congressional investigations.

Kevin said...

What is your solution for Cleveland? Apparently, it was their idea to move the games to Milwaukee in the first place. They'll get all the $$$ from the game, I assume. Look, it was either this or play six doubleheaders in July and August...of course this is the right move. They can't move the games to LA/Anaheim now, because that would be screwing the Angels and their fans.

CMFost said...

Wednesday's Sox-Mariners game should be fun to watch look at the pitching match up.

Wednesday (7:05 p.m.)� Mariners righthander Felix Hernandez (1-0, 0.00) vs. Red Sox righthander Daisuke Matsuzaka (1-0, 1.29)

beans said...

What are you talking about?? Moving the Indians/Angels series to Wisconsin is ridiculous! How do you figure that a 7hour drive is close enough for Cleveland fans to go watch a game?! Why do you think they're giving tickets away for $10?? Looks like someone failed geography.

beans said...
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