Woods Not Winning Actually Good for Golf

-Now, the media can rest.  Had Tiger Woods won the Masters on Sunday, talk of a calendar Grand Slam would begin to dominate the airwaves.  Thanks to Trevor Immelman, this won’t happen.  Immelman’s wire-to-wire victory quells all of that talk.  To expect one golfer to win all four majors in one calendar year borders on absurdity.  It has never happened, and in its country club counterpart, tennis, it has happened only three times, the last in 1969.  If Woods wins one major per year, he’s done his job; two would be a sensational season.

-At 2-10, the Detroit Tigers may be done as far as making a run for the playoffs.  True, you can’t win a division in April, but you certainly can lose one or play your way out of of it.  As mentioned before, the Tigers pitching is atrocious, and you can’t win without it. 

-The St. Louis Cardinals, which came into 2008 with low expectations are not only 9-4, but they lead the National League in ERA.  Pitching coach Dave Duncan is the best in the game, and like him or hate him, Tony LaRussa is a Hall of Fame manager.  This is a challenge that LaRussa absolutely loves.

-Versus announced that NHL ratings were up this year.  Unfortunately, they went from a .2 in 2006-2007 to a .3 in 2007-2008.  For comparison, Saturday’s third round coverage of the Masters drew a 6.1 on CBS and ESPN’s Friday second round coverage drew a .9, three times higher than hockey.  The NHL is now a second division sport like it or not.  It’s a good game, and has never been a popular one across the United States, but I don’t remember it ever being this unpopular.  That’s too bad.

-Though ignored by almost everyone, the NHL playoffs are as good as any sport.  Last night, New Jersey beat the Rangers 4-3 in overtime; Boston beat Montreal 2-1 in overtime; Calgary rallied from 3-0 to beat San Jose 4-3; Philadelphia shut down Alex Ovechkin and shut out Washington 2-0 to even that series.  Year after year, the NHL playoffs provides drama, upsets, and unlike the NBA, the road teams actually win games.  The Rangers-Devils have the Rangers up 2 games to 1, with the road teams winning all three games.

-As good as the 2007-2008 NBA regular season has been, the season has stalled waiting for the playoffs to begin.  Simply put, the NHL and NBA regular seasons are too long.  The best thing to do would be to cut 10 games off the regular seasons, which would see all teams play 72 games.  Of course, that will never happen.  It may be just me, but the final 8 games of the NBA regular season seem to take 8 weeks. And, to be fair, Major League Baseball should play a 144 game regular season and get the playoffs started in the last week of September and have the World Series finished by October 20. 

-The AAA Lehigh Valley IronPigs, in their first year in Allentown, PA have started the season 0-11.  The Pigs relocated from Ottawa, Ontario (they were the Ottawa Lynx) and being south of the border has not been kind to them.  At least the Detroit Tigers are playing better than the Swine.

John Furgele

 

 

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