Wednesday, June 18, 2008

One leg to stand on

In my previous post I touched upon the greatness that is Tiger Woods.
That legend grew on Wednesday when the world's No. 1 golfer revealed he won the U.S. Open, playing with a torn ACL as well as a double stress fracture in the left knee he had surgically repaired in the spring.
He actually did beat the field on one leg.
Apparently, he had the torn ACL for nearly a year and suffered the double stress fracture while getting ready to play in the Open. His doctors advised him to stay off the knee and rehab further, meaning he'd miss the tournament.
He said, no.
It was obvious to anyone watching this past weekend, Tiger was hurting. We didn't know just how much. Instead of hobbling around on crutches as his doctors advised, there's Tiger winning another major title.
Many years ago, I had major surgery on my knee, so I'd like to think I have an idea what Tiger is feeling.
To realize he was out there, walking 91 holes over five days with as significant injury as he had, is mind-boggling (or bottling for you Blades of Glory fans). It goes to show what type of competitor Tiger is since he obviiously didn't need the $1,350,000 first-place check.
Now Tiger is done for the season, meaning he'll miss the British Open, PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup.
I don't know about the rest of you, but watching golf on TV just got a lot more boring.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

No respect for Willie

After taking a day to take in exactly what Tiger Woods accomplished on one leg on Monday, I was fully prepared to blog about his performance in the U.S. Open.
Then I wake up to find the Mets fired Willie Randolph early this morning in what had to be the most cowardly act I've ever seen in baseball. The Mets fired him around 11 p.m. California time (2 a.m. here) and then sent a release to the media a little over an hour later.
I know a large majority of Mets fans probably felt Randolph needed to be let go, but not this way.
Mets management really disrespected a well-respected man by, first, making him fly out to the West Coast as the Mets began a road trip and then, second, by waiting until he got back from the field -- after a New York victory by the way -- to the team's hotel to fire him there.
I know by now you've heard all the reasons from Mets GM Omar Minaya that the Mets didn't want to fire Randolph in New York on Sunday because it was Fathers Day and that they didn't want to fire him prior to the game on Monday because Minaya wanted to wait until Randolph was out of uniform to give him the pink slip.
Are you kidding me?
The bottom line is the Mets took the cowardly way out and their fans can see right through it. Whether Mets fans wanted Willie fired or not, most agree that this was simply the wrong way to go about it.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Short but sweet

I don't think I've had any more fun in this job than I did covering today's Pine Plains Class B regional softball final victory over Hampton Bays.
It lasted three minutes! That's right, three minutes!
All right, the back story for those of you didn't see it in the paper was these two teams played three hours Thursday night at SUNY New Paltz until darkness forced the suspension of the game with the Bombers ahead 3-2 in the bottom of the 12th.
It took three minutes to get the three outs -- not enough time for even my sensitive bald head to get sunburned. I went without sunblock. I must have sensed there would be a quick end.
A lot was made as to whether the game should have been stopped in the bottom of the inning. I know the folks over at Pine Plains were upset that they had to hit in the top of the 12th with the conditions nearly as dark as what Hampton Bays had to hit in for the bottom of the inning.
They probably should have suspended the game before the 12th started, but I think home plate umpire Joe Ausanio made about as good a call as could be expected in stopping it when he did -- especially when the Hampton Bays coach complained his hitters couldn't see.
That was probably as much gamesmanship on the coach's part as it was a safety issue.
But that's old news now. Pine Plains joins Rhinebeck in Saturday's state final four. I think we can all wish them luck.
But here's a thought. I know the games are scheduled for the morning, but just in case I hope they have lights at the BAGSAI complex in Binghamton.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

No horsing around

So much for guarantees in sports.
If anybody could have predicted the stunning turn of events from Saturday's Belmont, I hope they are rich today.
A bunch of people asked me over the past three weeks whether Big Brown would make history and win the Belmont to become the first horse in 30 years to win the Triple Crown. My response was always a resounding yes, because quite frankly, although I'm no horse racing expert by any stretch of the imagination, I knew enough to say Big Brown had no competition.
Horses get hurt, that's a part of the sport nobody can predict. But that didn't happen with Big Brown. He didn't even get beat by some wonder horse that came out of the metaphorical woods to stun the world.
There is an old expression I would use for what happen to Big Brown that I can't in this space. He "choked" for lack of a better term. He didn't have it. On the ultimate stage, with history well within his grasp, not only did he not win, but he finished last.
For all the big talk coming from his trainer the last week, the horse came up very small.
Much like Joe DiMaggio's record hitting streak, maybe those waiting to see another Triple Crown winner will have a long wait ahead.