Thursday Notes

Very interesting result last night with Maryland beating Duke by a solid margin at home. The number one seed was Duke’s to lose, and a win in this game would have come close to clinching it for them. Now it is back in play – though the Blue Devils are still in decent position to grab it. More significant than the fact that Duke couldn’t clinch that, though, is the fact that they were unable to rise up in a game like this and come out on top. Maryland is a decent team, and the game was further proof of just how special Greivis Vasquez is, but the clear fact is that Duke is the better team, and should have been able to win this one. There have been some toughness issues raised around Duke this year, and this game did nothing to dispel those. They will have a bracket position soft enough t advance a few games, but this win does nothing to ease my questions about whether this is a team built to go deep.

All baseball eyes were in Clearwater today as the Phillies showed off their prize offseason possession when Roy Halladay made his spring training debut for his new team and in his new league. He only went two innings, but they were impressive – no hits and six strikeouts. There is a bit of an asterisk beside this one, though – he was playing against the Yankees, so even though he’s in new surroundings he was up against a team that he couldn’t be more familiar with. Still, it was a good start to what I expect to be an exceptional season. Changing leagues doesn’t always go smoothly, but I think Halladay is very much in the heart of the pre-season Cy Young race in the NL.

Did you see that interview that Steve Williams, Tiger Woods’ caddie, gave to New Zealand TV yesterday? What a joke. He says that he had absolutely no idea that Woods was a womanizer all these years. Not a clue at all. That’s despite the fact that we have heard story after story of these different women joining Tiger on tour and taking the room beside his. Williams is ether the stupidest, least observant person on the planet, or he thinks that we are all really dumb. Those are the only two ways that you could possibly explain how a guy that says that he is a very close friend of Tier, and who spends every day with him when he is on Tour and presumably stays in the same places most of the time, would have no notion that anything is going on. What is most interesting about this impossibly tall tale is that Williams gave the interview at all. We know that Tiger’s inner circle is locked up tight, and that no one says anything publicly if they want to stay in that circle. Unless Williams gets fired in the next couple of days – which absolutely won’t happen – then the only way that he could have done that interview is if he was told to by Tiger and his handlers. That means that the whole thing is part of what will have to be a massive PR push to try to resuscitate the shattered image of Eldrick. The next couple of months in the golf world are going to be very, very bizarre if this is any indication.

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