Cut The Complaining…

As golfers finished the US Open, several of them vented their spleen about the course conditions. Ian Poulter used Instagram for his criticism; Billy Horschel just dropped his words of wisdom in front of the TV cameras. Look, I am all in favor of free expression but this kind of griping annoys me about as much as the condition of the golf course and its greens seems to have annoyed various golfers.

    Everybody played the same course. It is not as if any individual golfer had to putt on “horrible greens” while others putted on billiard tables.

    Everybody had a chance to see/walk the course before the tournament. It is not as if they thought they were playing Pebble Beach and were suddenly dropped in on Chambers Bay.

    No one forced any of the complainers to play. If the conditions were so awful, why did they come back for the second round on Friday – or even finish their first round on Thursday?

Frankly, the reason I like the US Open and the British Open are that they do not always take place on a course that has been manicured to make scores low. When a ball goes in the rough; you have to look to find it; in a PGA event, if the ball goes into the rough, that means it is not sitting atop grass that all has been cut to the same length and is all pointing in the same direction.

I will probably watch some of the upcoming British Open but I will probably not watch even a minute of the PGA Championship where the only real challenge to the contestants will be to keep the ball out of the minimal water hazards.

There have been a couple of marginally interesting happenings related to the Arizona Coyotes and their contretemps with the city fathers in Glendale. Recall that the city voted to abrogate the lease deal with the Coyotes which had the city paying the Coyotes $15M annually to stay in town and play in the Glendale arena.

    1. Moody’s Investment Services made favorable comments about the city’s move to get out from under that lease deal. Moody’s is one of the sources of bond ratings and bond ratings determine the interest rate that the city will need to pay in order to borrow money. Here is what Moody’s had to say:

    “Voting to cancel the 15-year arrangement is credit positive because it reduces the city’s costs related to professional sports enterprises and provides additional resources for critical services.”

    A rough translation would be along the lines of:

      The city needs to spend money on critical services and the fact that it is spending so much on sports enterprises (hockey and spring training baseball facilities) means they do not have enough to pay for those critical services. That is not financially smart. So, the city acted intelligently to get to a position where they can fund critical services without having to borrow lots of money to do so.

    2. The majority owner of the Coyotes, Andrew Barroway, opted to take a lesser share of the franchise. Reports say that other partners in the enterprise will buy the share that he wants to get rid of. The timing of this announcement is interesting because Barroway only acquired the majority interest in the Coyotes only about 6 months ago. Moreover, he has had previous interest in buying into the NHL having unsuccessfully trying to buy the New York Islanders when they were previously on the market. One has to wonder about just how critical that city payment to the Coyotes is with regard to the solvency of the franchise…

It is “Rumor Time” in the NBA as players get some time off and front offices begin to think about how to restructure teams. The Lakers are the subject of lots of rumors – probably because the Lakers played uncharacteristically badly last season. We do know for certain that the Lakers will draft second in the upcoming NBA Draft. Beyond that, here are some of the “rumors” floating out there. Recall that Kobe Bryant is expected to play one final season in LA next year according to Lakers’ GM, Mitch Kupchack:

    1. The Lakers may want to acquire Rajon Rondo from the Dallas Mavericks but there are also stories that the Houston Rockets may want Rondo too.

    2. The Lakers may be trying to get Dwayne Wade to leave Miami and come to LA to join up with Kobe Bryant. That would have been a dynamite pairing in 2011; given the recent injury history of both players, that Lakers’ roster might lead the league in “games missed by starters”.

    3. If Kevin Love “opts out” of his contract in Cleveland, conventional wisdom is that this child of So Cal will strongly consider going home to play there. That puts the Lakers squarely in the middle of any such speculation about Kevin Love.

The best way to weather the storm during “Rumor Time” is to sit back and wait to see what actually happens and then analyze the possibilities. I am confident, however, that no matter how much the Lakers and their fans might wish for it to happen, Magic and Kareem will not be coming back to suit up in the purple and gold next year…

Finally, here is some sage financial advice from Greg Cote of the Miami Herald:

“A pair of sneakers Michael Jordan supposedly wore in a game in 1984 is expected to sell for $50,000 or more at auction. I’d spend that for a pair of old sneakers only on the assurance I’d find a blank check for $49,995 stuffed in one of the shoes.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………

15 thoughts on “Cut The Complaining…”

  1. I agree with you 100%. I thought the course was ugly but challenging. Most of the complaints you heard were because it made some of the golfers seem average, and I don’t think any of their egos could take that. Some adjusted, others folded. With the crowds so far out of the way, it had a different feel to it, but in the end, it was one heck of a finish.
    I found the Fox coverage to be amateurish compared to CBS. They couldn’t find the balls in the air so they relied on showing the trajectory of the ball.
    At times I also found Greg Norman and Cory Pavin to be obnoxious.
    Can’t wait to watch golf on CBS again!

        1. Marty;

          I agree about Joe Buck. However, I had never seen him “anchor a golf tournament telecast” and sometimes the person and the event just do not fit one another. It did not surprise me to see that he did well – but I was glad that he did not flounder.

  2. The NBA rumor mill is just getting cranked up. I think the Hawks will be trying to find a good fit with someone willing to be a 7th or 8th man and mold their play to the “Team” concept Atlanta succeeded with last year. I think it will be someone who can play either guard spot or the shooting guard/small forward spot. Another shooter who can take pressure off Korver being that guy every game. I wonder if Dwayne Wade would be willing to play fewer minutes for less money and have a shot at another championship?

    Love to the Lakers makes a ton of sense. But Rondo? Maybe. I wonder how much Kobe has left in the tank, so finding someone to pair with him seems foolhardy.

    1. Doug:

      I have to agree with you regarding building the Lakers around Kobe for next year. It has been a while since Kobe has been able to play anything resembling a full season (in fact he has only played 41 games total – half a season – in the last two years). I hope he is fully healed from his last injury but if I were running the Lakers, Kobe would not be in any of my “long-term plans”.

      Love the the Lakers makes sense in terms of him “going home to play” and/or if he envisions himself as the centerpiece of a team once again as he was in Minnesota. However, if he aspires to an NBA Championship, he will grit his teeth and stick it out with LeBron James for another season.

      I think the Hawks would do well to add a big, tough defender – a latter day Charles Oakley if you will.

  3. I agree that is what the Hawks lacked in the playoffs, but I assume Thabo Sefolosha will be back next season. That was basically his role before his unfortunate injury in NY.

  4. I think some of the course criticism was justified. The poa and fescue mixing on some greens made putts bounce around – one of the leaders had one roll 10 feet then hop into the air… maybe may even been Speith. Also affects the speed – they should be relatively the same speed as each other – all fast, all slow, all medium… the greens could have been smoother. Even the USGA said they should be smooth. They were not. Someone could get one lucky bounce a lot easier than usual – good or bad luck. Fair, though, in that all played on it.

    Also – and this criticism is only because it was the US Open – the spectator viewing areas supposedly were poor in how much they could see. Even a great club course does not need to accommodate spectators – but the US open course should.

  5. Las Vegas’ NHL team prospects are improving. At a meeting here in Sin City today the board of Governors voted to allow Gary Bettman to look into expanding the league. Las Vegas, with a new new arena scheduled to be completed sometime next year, is in the running for a team that would probably be added for the 2017 season. I used to go to Islanders and Rangers games when I lived back east, and haven’t bought a ticket for an NHL game since I moved west over twenty years ago. But if a team is placed here I would have to go……

    1. Rich:

      If the NHL is committed to putting teams in cities that we call the Sun Belt, then Las Vegas is as good as any place to put one and probably a whole better than most others.

      Where will the new arena be with regard to the hotels on The Strip?

      1. The new arena, which I believe will be called The Las Vegas Arena, is being built behind the New York New York and Monte Carlo hotel/casinos. Just east of the 1-15 Interstae and west of the Strip (Las Vegas Blvd). MGM Grand is across the Strip from New York New York where Las Vegas Blvd. intersects with Tropicana.

          1. I can imagine some of my Rangers fan friends flying in to see their team play here, staying at a hotel within walking distance to the venue, and perhaps legally gambling on the game. Fagetaboutit! Also, Canadians, who are here in abundance during the winter months would probably enjoy a break from their weather while catching a game or two. Now, what shall we call the new team?

          2. Rich:

            Let’s see… The Las Vegas Sin is already taken by the LFL. Fortunately, the Las Vegas Locomotives is also a used commodity and so it ought not to be tempting to name the hockey team the locomotives. How about the Las Vegas Strip?

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