Monday, June 18, 2007

Monday 06/18 A.M. Quickie:
Tiger, Kobe, Bonds, Streaks, Bloggers, More!

Angel Cabrera wins U.S. Open: No figure in sports has made smoking more cool since Jim Leyland.

What's not to love: Cabrera nearly choked it away after bogeys on 16 and 17, but instead he held off Tiger for his first major title (with Tiger missing the key putt on 18, no less).

Meanwhile, as reader Lew astutely pointed out something in an email to me this morning that I've been tracking for years: As we live in a "Tiger vs. The Field" world, the story will always be when Tiger loses, not when someone else wins.

(Seriously, where was the Tiger Magic on 17 or 18 when one birdie would have sent the Open to a playoff and two would have won the Open for Tiger? He must have been distracted a smidgen by impending fatherhood.)

Kobe Watch: Over the weekend, he reiterated he wanted to be traded...

...And I reiterated that it's in the best interests of the Lakers to rebuild without him and best interests of Kobe to find his way to a team in the East, given the way that LeBron was able to win the conference with mere scraps around him.

How do we know he's serious about a trade: He posted about it on his own Web site, which now has more authority than when he says something through one of his designated sports-media mouthpieces. (Apparently, this post from Kobe isn't new, just a new date on it. I don't know who is lamer: Kobe or the mainstream media jumping on his old post like it's new.)

Bonds: 748...

More MLB Wknd: I expect Derrek Lee and Chris Young will find themselves suspended today... Orioles lose 8th straight... With all the talk about "Sosa 600," here's a good read about it.

MLB Stud: Very Special Minor League Edition! Brandon Watson of the Columbus Clippers broke a 95-year-old International League record with a hit in his 43rd straight game.

NBA Draft Decisions, Player Edition: Are Jeff Green and Spencer Hawes staying in the draft? Even though both could probably move up a few spots by sticking around until next year, they are both Lottery locks.

NBA Draft Decisions, Team Edition: The biggest drama of the draft isn't shaping up as "Oden or Durant?" (because it seems so clear-cut), but "Who's No. 3?" which in this draft is like being No. 1 in any other.

That puts the decision in the hands of the Hawks, and the buzz is that they like Al Horford, who I agree is the next-best prospect after Oden and Durant. And he's the most NBA-ready player in the draft class.

NASCAR: My most intriguing angle about Dale Earnhardt Jr's move from DEI to Hendrick is his number switch, given the iconic value of car numbers in NASCAR. DEI says they might bargain to give up No. 8.

Super Bowl: Is Jordin Sparks going to sing the National Anthem at next year's Super Bowl in Arizona? It's in her home-state and it's on Fox, so it makes sense.

Dating: Venus Williams and Bryant McKinnie may or may not be an item, but can we all agree that their children would be the most unstoppable force in sports history?

Drag Racing Tragedy: What a tragic way for a smaller sport to make national news. Condolences to those affected.

F1: Lewis Hamilton wins again!

Swimming: The sport's oldest record – the women's 1500m freestyle (Janet Evans in 1988) – was shattered by Kate Ziegler, who beat the old mark by 9 seconds. Amazing that the longest-standing record in the sport was 19 years old.

Hot Blogger Bracket: Moving on to Round 4, with the field's obvious juggernaut being Matt Jones from Kentucky Radio Blog. I don't think I seem him in the next round, but whoever it is will be tough.

Sports (New) Media: Obviously, I'm a fan of forward-thinking traditional media, so I was really excited to hear that the Oregonian had struck up a partnership with the blog, DraftKevinDurant, heading into the NBA Draft next week. Great move by both sides.

Navel-gazing: Erin Gurney from Ballhype facilitated a really interesting sports-blogger roundtable between me, Dan Steinberg, Michael Rand and Pete Abraham. Here's the link.

-- D.S.

47 comments:

CMFost said...

Is Pacman Jones really this dumb?

REPORT: PACMAN JONES MAY BE INVOLVED IN GEORGIA SHOOTING by Michael David Smith

Titans cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones may be involved in a shooting early Monday at a DeKalb County strip club, according to media reports.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, passing along a report from WSB-TV, reports that Dekalb police said two groups of men got into an argument around 2:30 a.m. at Club Blaze, a Moreland Avenue strip club.

Per the report, three men said they left the club in an SUV and were approached by Jones and his entourage in another SUV. When Jones' vehicle pulled alongside the other vehicle near I-285, someone opened fire. No one was shot. One person was scratched by flying plastic.

Jones is suspended for the entire 2007 season because of repeated off-field misconduct, but he can be reinstated after 10 games if he stays out of trouble and convinces commissioner Roger Goodell that he is making positive changes to his life.

rafael said...

Put me as a marginal golf fan who doesn't want to see a bunch of +side scores during a major golf tournament. I'd watch to see the best players play well...not to see them hacking out of a rough. I can go down to the local course to see that crap.
Still, congrats to El Pato.

Mikepcfl said...

Greatest MLB Dud Ever: Peter Angelos

It's so easy to blame the manager, the horrible bullpen, the lack of hitting, etc. But we do this every year. The only constant for the last 10 years, besides the losing, is Angelos. Firing the manager, making trades or signing free agents wont make a difference while he is running the team.

We need an Angelos "death watch" like they did on SNL with Steinbrenner back in the late 80s. Every time Angelos sneezes it should be news that he might be getting sick!

CMFost said...

But raf it is fun sometimes to see the Pros he crappy shots like we do.

jhawkjjm said...

How about the fact that Tiger has never won a major that he's trailed heading into the 4th round. (or so I heard because I could care less about golf) Maybe Tiger can't handle the pressure of having to come back on the last day?

Eric said...

cmfost: It's still too early...

"May be involved" "three main SAID they left in an SUV and were approached by Jones..." So far this doesn't sound any different then the Odell Thurman thing.

I'd agree that it's would be the height of stupidity if Pacman Jones was there and even dumber ifhe was involved. But, I'm holding off from judgement right now.

CMFost said...

Eric - I agree it is too early to judge but if this is true. I believe his NFL career is over.

kway34 said...

I'm not a huge golf fan, but the Tiger vs. the world thing really annoys me. When I hear a sports brief on the radio and they point out that Tiger is in Xth place, X shots down, but they don't mention who's actually winning, I find it hard to take seriously.

Matt T said...

Dan-
I don't know if I'd call it 'missing a key putt on 18'. That was a triple breaker on the hardest greens he's ever played (harder than Augusta National)

He made a ton of hard par putts Sunday. He lost the tourney on Saturday when he was just barely off on a ton of birdie putts.

If you want to call someone out, call out Furyk who had a share of the lead and then bogeyed 17 when he made the odd decision of hitting driver.

futurelegendvinceyoung said...

@fost

Take it from someone who lives in Nashville and has to hear about a different Pacman situation every day the dude is really that stupid. There are those who say that he is nice to kids and when you go up to him he is polite but he is a moron.

GuyInTheCorner said...

BREAKING NEWS

Joe Girardi is ini talks and likely to become the manager of the Baltimore Orioles as of this mourning according to Buster Olney reporting on Mike and Mike.

Jingoist said...

The "Tiger vs. the Field" phenomena is such because the guy is dominant. It's simply become expected that he's in the final day's pairing, at least at the majors. No one gets as locked in as Tiger for the big ones- and his skill level SO high versus most others that he could take a round off and still be in the mix.

And that is what separates him and makes him so dangerous, so talked about, and thus the "Tiger vs. the Field" mantra... Tiger doesn't take a round, a hole, a shot off. Other PGA players might, albeit even unintentionally, simply because their mental toughness is not as high as Earl Woods' boy's "game day" vibe.

It's not that we, John Q. Public has invented "Tiger vs. the Field", it's that Tiger has commanded our attention that much through his play.

Andy said...

One thing I think we need to remember about Tiger is that he has NEVER won a Major when he has not had at least a share of the lead going in to the final round. He has to be leading. I think the whole intimidation factor is less than we think. I think the players know that he's never won without the lead going in and are much more comfortable. That doesn't mean they don't choke if he has the lead. But it's definitely a factor.

chipp said...

Re: The Oregonian.
There was a huge push in Portland last year to "Draft the 'Stach" (Adam Morrison). The general public doesn't know what it's talking about. Thankfully Kevin Pritchard does.

NYY: Wang has 2 outs and strikes out the third batter, but it is a wild pitch and he reaches first. Next batter doubles in the runner. Wang is NOT charged with an error, it is an earned run. That doesn't seem right to me. Can anyone explain this?

Andy said...

Sorry for repeating what jhawk said. I must have missed that comment. But I agree with him and it's definitely worth debate.

Chris said...

Dan,

Al Horford is the most NBA ready player in the draft? Uh, that might be news to 32 GMs who would draft Oden and/or Durant as franchise saviors in a milisecond. Of course, they didn't go to Florida so how good could they possibly be right? I mean a life long Gator fan like yourself (note the blatant sarcasm here)would never overrate a Florida player would you?

This is about example number 4325 of you making just a ridiculous statement about a Florida athlete. Remember Reggie Nelson being the best football player you've ever seen? Horford is a very, very good player and will have a terrific NBA career but lets not overstate things here. If he were the most NBA ready player in the draft he'd at least be in the discussion for the #1 pick and he'd certainly be a lock for the top 3, which as of now he isn't. I still like Brewer better than Horford or that chick Noah, but like any player he has to go to the right situation.

BTW, if the article cmfost posted about Pac-Man is even close to being the truth, he's got to be one of the dumbest people (let's not confine it to athletes) in the history of the world.

CMFost said...

Here is the full story that profootballtalk.com was referencing on Pacman.



check it out

Brian in Oxford said...

Seeing an old fat chain-smoker win at golf is the very reason my friend HATES golf....if out of shape folks are better than we are.

Wow....Janet Evans. I had a neighbor with posters of her on his wall in high school. How does a record hold up that long, and then get beat by THAT much? Are there ANY parallels to other sports? (I'm thinking Ripken, actually.)

And Furyk certainly brain-farted on 17, perhaps one level below Phil's last year.

Why should Young be suspended? Lee started the crap (take your f'ing base and shut up) and Young did a damn good job defending himself. I want 2 things:
a) auto suspensions for players leaving the dugouts/bullpens
b) batters charging the mound being called out for leaving the baseline on the way to first.

And if Prince Fielder can get an inside-the-park homer, then why can't Barry's 756 be like that?

Jingoist said...

@ Andy- though I do not have the stats to analyze, I would say most players do not win on the PGA by coming from behind and that it's the nature of the beast to win leading at the end of Saturday. Secondly, I am sure Tiger's frequency of being in contention, yet still behind headed to Sunday is probably less than most players because, well he is usually leading at the majors. It's partially a matter of probability- fewer times trailing = fewer chances to "win from behind."

@ Chipp- Wang does not get an error because, as the pitcher, the fault (wild pitch) was his and he gets an earned run for causing the run producing situation. Now, could you argue this (e.g., then why don't pitchers get charged earned runs if they make a throwing error to first)? Yes, you can, but thems the rules.

@ Chris- Dan is not arguing the "better players" in the draft- merely pointing out Horford is more ready (i.e., more polished game) to assume a "starter" role for a franchise. Oden and Durant, being freshman and having less experience than 2-time national champ Horford simply are not as "game/experience tested" as Horford and should not be expected to fill as big a role on the floor yet. That does not in anyway suggest Horford is the better talent, nor the better investment- which you have noticed the NBA trend the last 10 years is to invest in the raw talent and develop it as opposed to the "get you there now" player. Of course, that was part of the NBA's problem and the reason for the 18+ rule, but anyway...

Andy said...

Oh Brian come on!! Lee got a ball thrown at his head!!! Did it hit his head? No, but that's only because he got his hands and bat between him and the ball. Derrek Lee is one of the ultimate good guys in baseball (see taking the last month of the year off to tend to his daughter's LCS diagnosis and Project 3000). I have to believe him when he says that Young said some stuff to him that made him believe the pitch was intentional. He'll get suspended, but it won't be as long as typical because of where the ball was thrown, the lack of an umpire in the middle, and the reputation of Lee. Young threw a punch. That's an automatic suspension. I want Peavy suspended, too. Sources say that he was on top of Lee in the pile and was sucker punching him.

CycleDan said...

Chipp,
A wild pitch is not an error. Only runs that score as a result of an error are considered "unearned runs".

DougOLis said...

Why wouldn't DEI be better off with Dale Jr. getting a new number anyways? Wouldn't that just force people to buy new merchandise?

CycleDan said...

What I hate about Tiger

The media. It is not really Tiger's fault. I am not a golf fan either but I get enough coverage just from watching SportsCenter. They opened with it will be really tough emotionally for Tiger since it is father's day. Out of 100 golfers or so don't you think that at least one other golfer lost his father or has an ill father in the last year? I hate hearing crap about how good a father Tiger's father was. He probably was. I don't think he was a better father than I am but my kid is not a world famous athlete so I guess I can't be as good a father. I hate ESPN sometimes.

Andy said...

This just in. Yahoo! is already doing sign up's for Fantasy Football. Is this really necessary this soon???

Ftrain said...

@Andy,

is any news about football at this point of the year necessary? I say no.

CycleDan said...

MikePCFL,
I really feel for all Baltimore, Toronto and Tampa Bay fans (there are TB fans, right?). Being in the same division as perennial powers such as the Yanks and Red Sox makes it tough.

The concept of parity in the NFL where every team will be decent every few years really does make it easier to follow a team that hasn't had much success. It wears on a fan when their team is never competitive.

malcolm said...

No I-told-you-so for the exciting finish to yesterday's Open, Dan? What could support your argument that scores in relation to par are overrated more than a +5 nailbiter like yesterday afternoon? That was the ultimate triumph of scores in relation to other players.

Natsfan74 said...

I don't like the idea of auto suspensions for leaving the dugout/ bullpen areas. In all other sports, teams have an equal number of players on the floor. Baseball, teams are outnumbered by 5-8 players on any given "on-field" situation. If that situation gets out of hand in a hurry (as they sometimes can -- i.e., Cubs/ Padres), the player on the field is outnumbered and in a bad situation. Baseball benches clearing *almost never result in any kind of actual fighting. Rather, having equal numbers of people there probably helps defuse the situation. Think Derek Lee would have not gone back after Young (even with Giles holding him back) if there was no one else between them?

But, Lee is truly one of the class acts in baseball. I am sure he said something to Young, but I am sure that Young responded with something that pushed Lee over the edge!

Brian in Oxford said...

Andy, I understand that Lee's generally a good guy, and may have been provoked. But the whole sentiment in baseball that it's okay for batters to start crap by staring down pitchers is ridiculous. If he's got a problem with Young, take it up after the game. Did anybody ever charge at Bob Gibson? That's what I'm referring to. What, if Lee and a couple of teammates confront Young in a tunnel after the game, suddenly it's misdemeanor battery? But if he goes after him on the field, that's "okay" because it's within the competitive environment? That's wrong.

On a happier note....everyone always pointed out about Jack Nicklaus that not only did he win 18 majors, he had 18 second-place finishes. Maybe Tiger's just trying to catch up on THAT one, too!

Andy said...

Personally, I like the U.S. Open and the scoring. Par is supposed to be what you shoot. If a usual golf score is supposed to be 65, 66, 67, etc, then par would be 65, 66, 67, etc. But a usual golf score is supposed to be par. Golf is the only sport that is just as equally competition against the course as it is against the other player. Oakmont beat the field. At other courses, the field beats the course. There's nothing wrong with the U.S. Open winner shooting +5 for the tournament. The USGA is making par relavent again, and I love it!!

Roge said...

Andy-

Regarding the Tiger intimidation factor- they showed an amazing stat during the final round. I can't remember exactly what it is, but it was basically this: the person Tiger plays with shoots an average of 4 or 5 shots worse than he does in final rounds.

The thing to remember is that Cabrera didn't have to play WITH Tiger to win the tourney. I feel bad for the kid that did, he totally self-destructed.

Brian in Oxford said...

Instead of the players leaving the benches/bullpens....the police should. Unless it's a boxing / MMA event or "mutually agreed upon" hockey tussle, the fights are NOT the jurisdiction of the referees, but rather the civil servants.

End of argument (literally). A batter with a bat, or a cop with a nightstick, who do ya like? :)

Andy said...

@Brian

Lee wasn't staring down Young. He was walking to first base and the two were exchanging words. I think the batter has every right to punch a pitcher after getting hit. The pitcher has such an advantage over a batter in a HBP situation. A pitcher can control where the ball goes. He can aim it at the batter. Does a pitcher get hit by a batted ball occasionally? Absolutely. But that is never intentional and completely uncontrolable.

That ball was thrown at Lee's head. A couple years ago a Cubs prospect was called up in September and was hit in the head on the first pitch of his first at bat. He's no longer in baseball because he has blurry vision from it. Throwing at someone is never OK, and if Young said something to Lee that made Lee think it was intentional, then Lee had every right to go after him.

TBender said...

Easy fix to the fear of the batter being outnumbered 9-1 when charging the mound:

The 3rd (and 4th, and 5th, etc.)guy in sits for 5-10 games.

Anyone leaving the bench and/or bullpen (exception for managers, unless they mix it up themselves) gets 10-15 games.

ndyanksfan05 said...

There is nothing wrong with the current system in place - the only reason you can't leave the bench in basketball is because of the fans in close proximity to the action. There is no threat of the fans getting hurt/involved when the players congregate 100 feet from the nearest spectator.

Leave the whole thing alone. Guys who fight get suspended...by everyone being able to leave no one is out manned in a fight...if suspensions came down if certain people left the bench there would be ambiguity if one team clears the bench and the other team then leaves to go protect its players. The rule is fine, beans/ensuing brawls are part of the game and create the balance needed for teams protecting players etc. Its all part of the game and is currently dealt with appropriately.

Johnathan said...

Ok Derrek Lee was walking to first. They were exchanging words and something that Young said made Lee turn around and say "What?!" ('what' is one of the few words I can determine when reading lips)

Young said something else and Lee started to throw punches. That's what happened and form my point of view Young is at equal fault if not more than Lee. I just want to know what Young said to get Lee to react that was because Lee is one of the most level-headed guys in sports

the only thing that I can think that Young said was something like "Yeah I threw at you"

CycleDan said...

ndyanksfan,
I agree with you that baseball is fine the way it is and doesn't need any more rules regarding benches clearing. However the rule in the NBA is not to protect the fans. It was a result of benches continuing to empty causing escalations of arguments into full scale brawls. The image wasn't good for basketball which already was fighting an image problem due to arrests of some of its players.

CycleDan said...

Punishment in baseball

Interesting that in all other sports there are penalties for misconduct that affect the actual game flow: penalty box, foul shots, penalty kicks, 15 yards back, etc. In baseball, the only thing an ump can do is throw a player out. They can't call strikes or take outs away, advance base runners or the like.

Just another way baseball is unique.

ndyanksfan05 said...

you can be penalized in terms of moving players up or awarding a ball to a batter if the pitcher balks or puts his hand on his mouth while on the mound...but other than that you are right.

ndyanksfan05 said...

and come to think of it - interference is penalized by the runner being out, so any illegal contact on the field results in a penalty of an automatic out and no baserunner being allowed to move up a base. Other than that, what other infractions are there in baseball - penalty for not throwing strikes = free base, hitting a batter with the ball = free base, illegal contact with a fielder = out, running in fair territory down first baseline = out...so there are penalties in baseball for all illegal plays.

Fighting is actually handled more harshly than in some sports - football it'll probably be just a 15 yard penalty, and depending on the severity only a T in basketball...in baseball the penalty is usually ejection from the game, and in some cases, pitchers are tosseed even before a fight just for throwing up and in.

Lawdog1214 said...

@Andy

I am almost postitive the Cub's player you are referring to is still in baseball.

I think he even played a few games at the major league level this year.

Out of Rightfield said...

@ Andy & @ lawdog1214

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2799439

http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?n=Adam%2bGreenberg&pos=OF&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&did=milb&pid=435279

He plays for the Wichita Wranglers, AA team of the Royals.

Andy said...

Thanks for correcting me. I was thinking he might be back in baseball, but I didn't feel like researching it. I also couldn't remember his first name. I knew his last name was Greenberg. Still, the point of my post is the same. That ESPN article really explained the ill-effects of getting hit in the head well. Lee had every right to go after Young, who is a good pitcher and certainly has enough control avoid that.

I also loved how people were saying that something was going to happen Sunday. Nothing was ever going to happen. Maddux and Hill were pitching. Maddux wasn't about to hit his former teammates. Maddux was Hill's mentor while they were teammates so he wasn't going to pitch at anyone. That was just a stupid notion.

rafael said...

If a baseball player leaves the bench and does not throw a punch, he should be suspended. Baseball fights are just sad.

That being said, Lee should have just walked to first base. Unless Young called Lee's sister a moroccan terrorist, I see no reason to throw punches.

Qwagmire said...

Peter Angelos needs to look in the mirror for the Orioles woes.

Sam didnt put that POS team together.

marcomarco said...

I'm a pretty good lipreader, here's what i saw when reviewing my Tivo:

-------------
Lee: You threw at me, i hate you

Young: That was nothing compared to the forkball I tossed your wife last night. She countered with a nasty slider.

Lee: What? (punch)

-------------

That's what I saw, I swear.

Jingoist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.