Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Smorgasbord: Dustin Johnson Edition and More

*Dustin Johnson clearly broke the Rules of Golf when he grounded his club on 18th hole at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. And this is why golf sucks and is on its way to losing popularity just like tennis in the '80s. The average player doesn't want to pay $250 each time out. He doesn't want to have every round on a public or resort course take five hours. And he doesn't want to deal with the myriad rules that govern the game. Let the pros play 18 holes. Someone should start building 12-14 hole courses that take 2-3 hours to play and charge $50. I don't know if the economics can work, but it's worth looking at.

*The tiff between Golf Channel reporter Jim Gray and U.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin is latest stupid controversy in the sports world. The only thing dumber would be if Pavin chose NOT to select Tiger Woods with one of his captain's picks. Of course Tiger is going to be on the team. Nobody is "disrepected"by saying Tiger is going to be on the team. This is a non-story. But then again every golf story just became a non-story with Dustin Johnson's penalty.

*As for the devastatingly bad year Tiger Woods is having, he was just one of eleven players to make the cut in all four majors and he had the second lowest aggregate score behind only Phil Mickelson.

*Kansas City Royals pitcher Bryan Bullington was the first overall draft choice in the 2002 amateur draft. Since that time he has posted a career major league record of 0-7 and been released by three organizations. Sunday he pitched eight scoreless innings against the New York Yankees and earned his first win as the Royals held on 1-0. The Royals have only beaten the Yanks 1-0 two other times in history--and they happened during the same series, June 9 and 11, 1972.  I'll put the over/under on Bullington's career wins at three.

*The Dream Team was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame this weekend.  There has been plenty written about their accomplishments. Joe Poz has a great article here. No question the best stat has nothing to do with how they dismantled every team they played. The best stat is that Coach Chuck Daly never called a timeout during the 1992 Olympics.

*How is it even possible that James Dolan, owner of the New York Knicks, considered re-hiring former President of Basketball Operations Isiah Thomas as a consultant to the team? First, Thomas is currently employed as the head coach at Florida International and there is a clear conflict of interest were he also to be employed by a professional team. Second, while employed by the Knicks, Thomas was charged with sexual harassment and Madison Square Garden and James Dolan were ordered to pay $11.6 million in damages. Third, Thomas did such a devastatingly bad job during his first stint with the team that they are still trying to recover.  No wonder the Knicks have been the worst team in the NBA over the last ten years. James Dolan is a clown.

*I would have played Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for at least a few snaps in the home exhibition opener against the Detroit Lions last night. It was an opportunity to take another step forward after his ugly off-season. He now has to wait another week or two to see what fan reaction will be. Why not just get it out of the way as soon as possible in front of the home crowd and give the media one less thing to speculate about?

*53 non-seniors made themselves eligible for this year's NFL draft, 46 were picked. As you might expect, 17 were taken in the first round and another eight in the second. The Pittsburgh Steelers led the NFL in taking five such players. The Tampa Bay Bucs were the only other team taking more than three. I think all five will make the Steelers 53 man roster.

*The upcoming week could be the most significant in the last 15-20 years for the Pittsburgh Pirates and it has nothing to do with what takes place on the field. Rather, the amateur draft signing deadline is midnight Monday and the Pirates are looking to sign their top two picks, pitchers Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie. Later in the week 16-year old free agent Mexican pitching sensation Luis Heredia is expected to sign with one of his many suitors. The Pirates are said to be a leading contender. If all three are added to the organization they will most likely immediately become the Pirates top three prospects. That kind of high-end talent could positively impact the franchise like nothing has during their 18 consecutive losing seasons.


Curtis Arledge said...

The Dustin Johnson ruling (accurate ruling) will destroy the credibility of the Whistling Straits course (stupid design where spectators wander about through bunkers)...go read the player feedback about the ruling and the course...the losers yesterday were Kohler and Dye, not Johnson...wouldn't be surprised to see them take back the 2015 PGA from Whistling Straits...and they're going to have the same problem in 2012 with The Ocean Course in Kiawah if they don't change the stupid target golf layout of that place...

Gegan said...

It is amazing that Dustin did not even think to ask the question. More amazing, is that the PGA told the players to be extra careful about this issue and he still did not think about it. Fortunately, years from now, after he has won many tournaments, he will be long remembered for taking the ruling like a gentleman and not for the way he played like Van de Velda in this year's US Open.