It struck me today that I hadn’t heard much about Jacoby Ellsbury recently. It wouldn’t be surprising that a typical rookie wasn’t making much news, but Ellsbury emerged in such a high profile way last year, and he started off so well, that the absence of news was remarkable. I took a quick look to see what I had missed. It hasn’t been pretty. His average isn’t terrible, with an average of .262. He’s just fallen off a cliff recently. His strikeouts have jumped, his walks have plummeted. He has no home runs in 28 days, one in 48 days, and he has just five home runs in 35 games. He’s leading the league in stolen bases, but the rest of his game is pretty terrible right now. I don’t really have a point other than to say that breaking into this league isn’t always as easy as it might seem.
Fedor Emelianenko is a bad, bad man. Anderson Silva was impressive in his own right, but nothing compared to Emelianenko. In just 36 seconds he knocked down the giant Tim Sylvia with a ferocious right uppercut, pummeled him with a flurry of punches, and got him to submit with a choke hold. That’s a lot to accomplish in just over half a minute, but Fedor was able to do it because he moved like the lightest of lightweights and hit like a truck. As I said on Saturday I was questioning whether he was fading a bit, but there is now no doubt in my mind that he is the finest heavyweight on the planet. The biggest problem now will be to find a worthy opponent, and I don’t believe Randy Couture fits that bill.
Mea culpa on the whole Padraig Harrington thing. I thought he was a lousy bet – the pressure of being defending champ, some problems with inconsistency, and the wrist injury totally robbed him of any value at 15/1 in my mind. That still may be true, but the fact remains that he won easily, and he did it by putting together the most impressive last six holes I have seen in any tournament in a long time, never mind one with such lousy conditions. If I could just once in my life hit an approach shot like he did on the 17th then I would quit playing golf on the spot, and I would be totally content.
A couple of good trades in the NFL the last two days. I define a good trade as one that helps both teams (unless I am a fan of one team and the steal a player). Jason Taylor is a good fit in Washington, he needed to get out of Miami, and the Dolphins got good value for him. Jeremy Shockey is a dream fit for the Saints, he was destined to be toxic in New York, and the Giants will get two potential contributors back in the form of draft picks. No losers in either case, and it just makes the league more interesting. It’ll also knock a point or two off of Saints’ futures, I think.
Fresh off a disqualification in an LPGA event this weekend, Michelle Wie has chosen to play in the PGA again in the Reno-Tahoe Open next week. Ridiculous. I promise never to mention it again.