Sunday, March 29, 2009

Don't Ever Doubt Him

How's this for a storybook ending to a golf tournament? A 15 foot birdie putt is drained on the 72nd hole as the sun fades off into the distance. Sounds a little all too familiar if your anyone trying to go blow for blow with the world's number one ranked golfer on a Sunday. Tiger Woods yet again destroyed the dreams of a competitor, sank an amazingly clutch shot, and inspired golf fans around the world when he knocked in a birdie on the 18th at Bay Hill to complete a five shot comeback earlier today.

Coming into the final round Sean O'Hair was up five strokes and had his heart set on stopping a Woods' comeback attempt. Well Tiger, as he so often does, had other plans. He birdied five holes including the big one on 18 and converted 15 of 15 putts within 10 feet Sunday. It was yet another amazing performance by Tiger when he needed it most.

This being his first win since coming back from a knee injury made it all the more impressive. Sunday was just another example of the intense calm and focus he carries with him each round and the mystifying skills he continues to wow us with.

Enjoy the ride as we watch this amazing athlete on a pursuit of golf immortality. It wasn't a storybook ending, just another chapter in the life of Tiger Woods.


As the sports world moves with the times into a technologically advanced age, a new innovation has made its way into stadiums across the country and will change the fan experience forever. Meet "tattletexting", a way for fans to send text messages to security with complaints about unruly fans.
In his recent column in ESPN the Mag, Rick Reilly describes the "text-narcing" as a step in the right direction for sporting events everywhere. In his hilarious account of this new step in spectator enjoyment, Reilly offers some examples of texts sent to security, a few spoof messages, and even the Cincinnati Bengals number to text in case of an incident (513-381-JERK).
According to Reilly, tattletexting is being offered at this week's NCAA Tournament games as well as in 29 of 32 NFL stadiums. Last season 3,807 texts were sent at NFL games. In addition to ratting on your fellow fan, the text messages can be sent for any kind of problem:
I've driven 4 hours and I've left my tickets behind. Can you help? (They met him at the gate with new tickets.)
This innovative idea does come with some creepy side effects. Can you go to the game and act crazy without worrying that the tool next you is gonna tattletext on you? Worry not sports nut, individuals will not be removed without serious proof. In some stadiums, security is using cameras to zoom in on those being complained about before any action is taken.
So go out there and enjoy the game. Be not afraid of the guy behind you who "smells like he bathes in Jack Daniel's and is cursing more than Amy Winehouse".

To read Rick Reilly's full column click here

Elite 8 Ecstasy

In a miraculous final second play, Villanova shocked the basketball world and toppled number one seed and conference foe Pitt last night. With 10 seconds remaining in the game Nova had the ball and the lead 76-74. In an attempt to break the full court press, the Wildcats threw a full court pass that was heading out of bounds. A Villanova player saved the ball right into the hands of a Pittsburgh Panther who advanced the ball to Levance Fields who was fouled. With ice in his veins, Fields sank both shots from the charity stripe to knot the game at 76.
What happened next was simply "March Madness". Villanova borrowed the 1998 Valparaiso play and finished one of the best games of the 2009 tournament in dramatic fashion. Reggie Redding threw in the ball to Dante Cunningham out past the three point line who dished it to Scottie Reynolds. In the final 5.5 seconds, the junior guard weaved his way through traffic and took the ball to the rack. With a Pitt defender in his face he hit a hanging floater to advance the Wildcats to the Final Four.
What a game, what a finish. There were 15 lead changes with six of them coming in the final six minutes of play. The rest of us might be shocked by the upset, but Nova certainly is not. Since seeding began in 1979, they have won an NCAA record 15 games in the tourney as the underdog. Pitt had an amazing year and it was tough that someone had to lose. But this is what college basketball is supposed to be about and what keeps the fans coming back each year. Any team can win on any night. You gotta love this game.

Image courtesy of

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Round 1, Game 2

Live from the Skydome in Toronto it's game two in Pool C of the World Baseball Classic: USA versus Venezuela.
And here we go:
8:07 Armando Galarraga's got the start for the home team Venezuela.
8:08 First pitch...ball outside. F.Y.I, The U.S. has three MVP's in the 1-3 spots in the lineup. Nasty.
8:09 Double in the gap...J-Roll. Speed kills.
8:10 Whoops...Rollins gets picked off when Pedroia bunts through a pitch. That's a huge out.
8:13 Galarraga strikes out two out of three MVP's and there goes the inning.
8:16 Roy Oswalt's got the ball for the young American squad. Can he lead us to vicotry?
8:21 Oh Bobby are a professional hitter.
8:23 95 on the black...toss him a chair.
8:30 Nasty curve, Dunn is done.
8:34 Back from commercial and playing a Katy Perry song in the stadium. Love it.
8:38 Rollins continues to shine for the U.S. on D.
8:40 ESPN goes to commercial to the tune of "Yankee Doodle". Patriotism at its finest.
8:45 Slick bare hand by the Venezuelan third baseman. Flashy yet unnecessary.
8:50 One out rally. Back to back hits for Venezuela. First jam for Oswalt.
8:51 Make that three...and a 1-0 lead for the home team.
8:54 Roll over to second, Oswalt gets himself and the Americans out. After 3, 1-0 Venezuela.
8:55 MLB 2K9 airs their new commercial starring Tim Lincecum. Hilarious.
9:02 Single by Youk, single by Dunn...runners on the corners.
9:03 Seed in the right center gap, a bad angle by the center fielder and some hustle by big Adam Dunn and it's a 2-1 lead for the Red, White, and Blue.
9:07 Close up on Curtis the USA eye black stickers.
9:12 One pitch, one out. Thanks Magglio.
9:17 Runners on second and thrid after a double by Lopez. Infield back and there goes the U.S. lead. Even a jam job to short will get it done.
9:22 After a visit to the mound, a single gives Venezuela the lead and an early exit for Oswald.
9:26 Welcome to the game Mr. Lindstrom. 100 MPH. Wow.
9:29 After 4 frames Venezuela leads the U.S. 3-2.
9:35 J-Roll leads us off with a base hit but Pedroia killed the rally with the 6-4-3.
9:39 For the first time in my life I agree with Rick Sutcliff. The U.S. just replaced Rollins with Jeter. As much as I love DJ2, this was a mistake. Sutcliff is have to decide if you want to win or keep everyone on the roster happy.
9:42 Filthy. Lindstrom who has been pumping fastballs in the upper 90's, just broke off an 85 mph deuce and struck out Miguel Cabrera.
9:48 Youkilis swings and misses at a slider so dirty the backstop couldn't corral it. Man on 1st. That's a rally starter.
9:49 Base knock David Wright. Here we come.
9:52 Great pitch. Even better take on the 3-2 backdoor slider. Dunn aboard and the bases chucked for DeRosa. (Last time someone said he sucked he went triple in the gap.)
9:56 A walk to DeRosa ties the game at three and prompts the Venezuelans to go to the pen.
10:00 Chris Ianetta...TRIP CITY! Opposite field triple to clear the bases. 6-3 U.S.A.
10:12 Jeter moving on the pitch scores on Pedroia's sneaky double down the left field line. What an inning! Two runs in on that hit and a five run lead for the Americans.
10:14 Youkilis steps in...
10:20 He leaves the building. That was a bomb. After seeing 11 pitches he blasts the U.S. to a 7 run lead.
10:24 The inning finally ends with the score 10-3. Unbelievable.
10:29 Just when you think it's over...home run Carlos Guillen. 10-4.
10:31 After a double by Jose Lopez, the Venezuelan faithful borrows an Obama slogan chanting "Yes We Can".
10:34 Tough spin by the Yankee-Red Sox middle combo gets two for one. Oh my..web gem by Pedroia gets the U.S. out of the jam. 10-5.
10:39 BLAST OFF. The U.S. answers back as Dunn goes way bomb. 11-5.
10:47 Big Hack after big hack...the U.S. goes down swinging. Impressive none the less.
10:55 If this game doesn't end soon...after 7, it's 11-5 U.S.
11:05 The U.S. is still getting hits. This is out of control.
11:12 After a quick bathroom break, the U.S. scores again. Courtesy of a DeRosa sac fly.
11:13 This is getting silly. 13-5. Nope 14-5. I am starting to dislike America. One more run and the mercy rule will save us one whole inning.
11:21 I have resorted to checking my e-mail and listening to the game in the background.
11:22 Jose Lopez just hit his third double of the game. Impressive.
11:24 Not sure who is pitching for the U.S. right now. That pretty much sums up the end of this game. Just trying to get through it.
11:40 One run for each squad in the ninth pushes the score to 15-6.
11:45 29 hits between them. Now that is how the game should be played.
11:47 The fat lady has finally sung. Ball game.

Rightful Owner

With the World Baseball Classic upon us, many professional players are stepping away from spring training to represent their country. For many, it is a chance to escape from the monotony of the cactus league and enjoy competing alongside their countrymen. For a few individuals, however, this tournament means so much more.

Cleveland Indians’ right fielder Shin-Soo Choo suited up for the South Korean team Thursday night as they routed Chinese Taipei 7-0. After his breakout summer with the Tribe last year (64 RBI and 14 bombers in 94 games), you’d expect that he would be counting the days until he could rejoin the Indians camp and start the 2009 campaign.

However, his career with the Indians could be cut short if the South Korean government doesn’t exempt him from the mandatory two years of service in the military that every male citizen must begin before their 30th birthday. At 27, he is primed and ready for an All-Star caliber season, but without a World Baseball Classic title he has little to no chance of getting the free pass.

In a world where professional athletes seem to get away with murder (ahem O.J.), a deserving man might forfeit the career he fought so long to earn. In the name of baseball and quite possibly treason, let’s go South Korea. Knowing that former Olympic medalists have gotten the pardon, a championship on the world stage might be the only thing releasing this man from his military duty.

He could do so much more for South Korea as a baseball star than a soldier.

Athletes such as Ichiro and Yao Ming have become global figures and put their countries on the map. Allowing this man to continue playing would give the South Koreans a true hero and a connection to all the kids who dream of playing Major League Baseball.

So come on South Korea, do it for Shin-Soo Choo.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Go Team Go

Newberry College in South Carolina no longer has a mascot. Once a Division II school built on pride and athletic tradition, they have now been stripped of their "Indians" moniker and assumed the identity of a big, bad block letter "N". After recently being pressured by the NCAA, they became only the third team out of 1,051 active schools in the three divisions to discard their namesake because of references to indigenous peoples. The "Indians" of Newberry are no more, and it's just not fair.

Reasons they should keep their mascot:
1. The name would have been taken away much sooner if it was really that offensive.
2. When mascots are references to Native American tribes it only stirs pride and awareness for that Indian nation. (See Seminoles and Aztecs.)
3. Indian tribes are definitely more intimidating than some dumb animal. (Gamecocks, Anteaters, and that's just silly.)
3. Besides, how long until PETA wants ALL the animal names to be banned by the NCAA?
4. Schools like Stanford, whose "Cardinal" are represented by a tree. (If you get too close we will fall on you.)
5. Because if you're going to crack down on a small DII school, then you have to enforce it throughout the NCAA and professional ranks. And it doesn't appear that the Indians, Braves, Chiefs, Chippewas, Utes, Blackhawks, Redskins, or Warriors will be changing anytime soon.
Photo courtesy of

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Don't Blame Them

Steroids are back in the news and this time the focus is on the Dominican Republic. Major League Baseball has just announced that Angel Presinal, a former trainer and personal friend of many Dominican born ball players has been indefinitely banned from the league.

Presinal and the MLB have had a shady past and his most prominent client, Alex Rodriguez, isn't helping his case. Recently however, it has been the entire Dominican Republic baseball program that has been under the microscope. By the way, if officials begin to unravel a web of deceit and lies, don't blame the players.

It is silly to provide excuses for cheating. I don't condone it, and never will. I'm just saying that I understand why it happened and why it still will. The blame needs to be set squarely on the shoulders of the coaches, agents, and scouts in the DR. Players are constantly being fed the wrong advice and information (see Miguel Tejada).

They are told that the only way to change their lives is to play Major League Baseball. Imagine you're a young, naive 17 year old kid in the Dominican, and a trusted advisor told you that the difference between staying on the island for the rest of your life and a professional career worth millions was a shot or pill, would you ask questions?

Most of these kids have family to support and absolutely nothing to lose. Each individual has to make their own decision on PED's, but when it comes to young players making the wrong choices don't blame them...someone probably said it was worth it.