Another day, another manager fired. This time it was John Gibbons in Toronto. That comes a day after Seattle made a change, and just a few days after Willie Randolph started this current epidemic of managerial upgrades.
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The only question I have about the Mariners decision to fire their manager to day is why it took so long. I am embarrassed to admit that I thought that they would be the class of the AL West. Instead, they are the cellar dwellers in the entire league. It’s not like they are coming up just short, either. They have all sorts of talent, and highly paid talent at that, but they just can’t get anything going. This year is a total write-off, but hopefully this change coupled with the fired general manager last week will get the message across that this team can’t be this bad anymore. I have always liked the mariners, and I will continue to as long as they don’t make the decision to get rid of Erik Bedard this season. That would be painfully shortsighted.
Will the world end without Tiger? If you are the commissioner of the PGA you probably think so right about now. If you have been living under a rock today and missed the news, Tiger Woods will miss the rest of the season because he needs reconstructive knee surgery. Not that he needed, but he totally added to his legend this weekend – it turns out that he was not only playing with a torn ligament in his knee, but his leg had been fractured in two places when he was preparing for the tournament, yet he didn’t tell anyone and went out and won. It’s not a wonder he was wincing in pain from time to time.
I was almost right about the NBA Championship. I thought it would end in six, and I thought it would be pretty one-sided along the way. The only problem is that I thought that the Lakers would be the ones singing that famous Queen song when it was all over.
The 2009 National Champions will be North Carolina. They clinched the title today.
That is, of course, a ridiculous statement, and I am sort of kidding, but it will be hard to pick a team that has a better chance for them after what happened today. All three of their top underclassmen who had declared for the NBA draft – Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington and Danny Green – hadn’t signed with agents, so all could and did withdraw from the draft at today’s deadline. That means that North Carolina, which was already favored last season, returns their six top players from last year, including national player of the year Tyler Hansbrough. On top of that, they add a top five recruiting class that includes five star freaks Ed Davis and Tyler Zeller. Outside of a notable injury problem with Lawson this was a team that had few holes last year, and that is even more true this year as the top six are more mature and hungrier than ever. The three who entered the draft learned what it will take to make the lottery, and all could potentially do it. Hansbrough has to be the happiest guy on the planet right now, and if he’s not it’s only because Roy Williams is even happier. Of course, for bettors it means that value on the Tar Heels is a distant memory.
Four rounds and 72 holes weren’t enough to determine the winner of the U.S. Open. In most tournaments that would mean that they played an extra hole or two and ended up with a winner. Not at the Open. Their playoff is at least 18 more holes, and more beyond that if needed. On paper the final is a total mismatch. On one hand you have the greatest golfer ever born, Tiger Woods (I make that pronouncement confidently and without qualification). On the other hand you have a 45 year old guy in Rocco Mediate who hasn’t won a tournament since the Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic in 2002. Tiger has won 13 Majors. Mediate has four top tens, and before this year had never finished better than fourth. In the last eight Majors, Tiger has three wins and three seconds. Over the same stretch, Mediate has only played in two – a withdraw and a cut. Woods is ridiculously more qualified. It isn’t even close.
I love sports more than almost everything (I say almost because my wife occasionally reads this). That being said, a lot of what goes on in sports these days drives me insane. I can’t handle all of the peripheral scandals and issues that surround sports these days. I long for a time when we can just sit down and watch sports without having to worry about everything else surrounding the sports. Sports are supposed to be a way to escape obnoxious issues, but now obnoxious issues are overrunning sports. Changing that would be difficult (probably impossible) but here are 10 guys that could help my cause if they would just go away:
In the first shocking upset of Euro 2008, Croatia stunned Germany 2-1 on Friday. It was exciting and unpredictable, and it may lead to riots in both Germany and Croatia, but what does it really mean? In short, not much.
The thing every baseball fan seems to want to talk about right now is whether Chipper Jones can hit .400 on the year. He’s at .419 as of today, and he is hitting like a demon. Since I’m a baseball fan, and because we should see a prop on the issue pretty soon (there may already be one out there, but I haven’t seen it), I figured I would weigh in with my opinion and some analysis.
The Cards are solidly in charge of the NL wild card race right now, but their chances suffered a significant setback today. He is expected to miss at least three weeks after tests confirmed that he had strained his calf. He hurt it chasing down a ground ball last night in Cincinnati, and at first the team feared it was torn, so it could have been worse. Still, the team already has injury woes, and Pujols is obviously key to everything they do.