I am back for a couple of days and so today will be devoted to commenting on many items that happened during my hiatus. The first of which is that the national press outlets reported that Tiger Woods announced the next golf tournament in which he will participate. May I say with full acknowledgment of Tiger Woods accomplishments on the golf course that the national press needs to pretend to be objective journalists regarding Tiger Woods and stop pandering to his every whim or utterance. None of the other golfers who plan to play in that event several weeks hence made a formal announcement of their intention to show up and play – - and if they did, the national press would not report it let alone comment on it. Tiger Woods plays golf for a living; it is not a newsworthy item when he makes a decision to play in some professional golf tournament; that is what he does. Now if he announced that he was going to enter the US Open Tennis Tournament, that would be news.
Let me give you another example of the over-indulgent coverage that Tiger Woods receives. Over the past several weeks, whenever I read about Woods, I saw that he finished fourth in The Masters. That is almost correct but it sounds just slightly better than what golf writers said about KJ Choi in The Masters; they said Choi finished tied for fourth. The fact is that Woods and Choi had the same score in The Masters; they tied for fourth place. However, one description sounds a bit better, no…?
Meanwhile, the authorities in Georgia chose not to charge Ben Roethlisberger with sexual assault. After referring to the police investigation, the DA said that his judgment was that he could not convince a jury of Roethlisberger’s guilt beyond a shadow of a doubt and part of that judgment rested on the unwillingness of the alleged victim to participate in a trial. Many of the findings in the police report were unseemly to say the least so let me give you just a few of my opinions on this entire matter:
1. The alleged victim here is supposedly a college student; therefore, I assume she has an IQ in excess of her normal body temperature (on the Celsius scale). So, just what might she have thought would be the logical consequence of her report to the police that she had been sexually assaulted if she did not want to go through a trial? Did she expect the duck to drop down and give her $50?
2. Ben Roethlisberger is an NFL QB with a $100M contract. What is he doing trolling college bars looking for women? Allow me an excursion into a crude metaphor for just a moment here: One would think he could get as much ass as a public toilet seat without resorting to plying an underage woman with alcohol.
3. The NFL should suspend Ben Roethlisberger for his behavior. Whatever the duration of that suspension, the Steelers should add one extra game just because he considered the possibility of a sexual encounter in a public restroom. Talk about killing an image buzz…
4. Who was Roethlisberger’s coiffeuse when he delivered his canned apologia? His appearance that day ought to add one more game to whatever other suspension he receives.
I realize that Jeff Bzdelik did some coaching time in the NBA, but at Colorado in three seasons his composite record was 36-58 and in two of his three seasons, the Buffaloes lost 20 or more games. Wake Forest fired Dino Gaudio coming out of a season with 20 wins but an early exit in post-season play and hired Bzdelik. Pardon me if I do not see the logic here…
Mike Bianchi of the Orlando Sentinel cut through much of the PR nonsense to arrive at this conclusion:
“Telecasts that will get higher ratings than the NHL playoffs: (1) WNBA Husbands (2) Reruns of The Tyra Show, (3) PBS documentary on how North Dakota was occupied by early settlers.”
Last week, the Baltimore Orioles drew a crowd of 9,129 folks to a baseball game at Camden Yards – - that is the smallest crowd since that park opened almost 20 years ago. After six home games this year, the O’s attendance is down an average of 4,643 folks per game. There are rumors in Baltimore that Cal Ripken offered join the front office to help the team get on the right track but was rebuffed by owner Peter Angelos – - although Angelos denies the reports. Let me be very clear about this. Cal Ripken coming back to the Orioles might help attendance in Baltimore but there is nothing he can do to make the 2010 Orioles team anything resembling a .500 baseball team.
That last statement leads to today’s Quick Quiz:
Who will be the first MLB manager fired this year?
Jerry Manuel (Mets)
Dave Tremblay (Orioles)
Ron Washington (Rangers)
While the Orioles played in front of only a few respiring beings, the University of Alabama held its spring football scrimmage down in SEC Football Country. Attendance at that spring game was reported as 91,312 – - or slightly more than ten times the number of folks who went to Camden Yards on that fateful day…
In the category of “Are You Kidding Me?”, there are reports that Prince Fielder will seek a $200M free agent contract. Fielder is only 25 years old and he is a very good player but any person or team that commits $200M in guaranteed money to a player in that physical condition is nuts. Fielder is listed as 5’ 11” and 270 lbs – - although I have to tell you that he looks as if he is a couple sacks of flour north of “three bills” to me. Nevertheless, even at the purported height and weight, his body mass index is 37.7 and anything over 30 is considered obese. I would have to assume that any putative $200M contract would extend over a minimum of 8 seasons; and in the condition that Prince Fielder presents at age 25, I would have to wonder if he would be able to play at age 33. He is a tolerable defensive first baseman at the moment; will he be able to take the field at all after he turns 30?
The Yankees do not need a first baseman; the Red Sox do not either. That takes the two biggest spenders out of the marketplace. That leaves the Mets as potential bidders for Prince Fielder’s services in the neighborhood he might aspire to. Omar Minaya, are you smarter than a fifth grader?
Is it too early in the season to suggest that David Ortiz might be looking at his productive days in the rear view mirror? I know he started slowly last year, but this year he has started terribly. In 38 at-bats as a DH, he has 0 HRs and 2 RBIs; he is hitting .158 and slugging .289.
Finally, here is Greg Cote of the Miami Herald with a perspective on The Masters:
“Parting thought: Congrats to Phil Mickelson for winning a thrilling Masters last week, his third green jacket. In terms of career statistics, Mickelson now trails Woods by one Masters and 17 mistresses.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports…