-You better have watched that US soccer game last night. Not only did the US earn the tie, we actually should have won the game after an American was thrown down from behind by his jersey after he got past the last Mexican defender for a breakaway. This should have resulted in a red card and a penalty kick for the prevention of a goal scoring opportunity that Donovan no doubt would have buried. The official of course only gave a yellow card. Apparently David Stern lent his referees to FIFA during the NBA lockout. The bigger news though is that the Americans looked terrific in the final thirty or so minutes when Klinsmann made personnel adjustments to bring in players more suited to the new style of play. Juan Agudelo looked unstoppable and remember this name: Brek Shea, he of the terribly hair cut and awesome soccer ability. The latter player assisted on the lone US goal and was a force of nature on the pitch last night. The Mexicans had no answer for his size and athleticism. He has the potential to be great for Klinsmann. I don’t think we could have asked for more than that result last night. Very exciting.
-I have no doubt the Toronto Blue Jays are stealing signs. The only question is why do baseball teams still act shocked when this happens? Also, why aren’t teams employing ridiculous schemes yet to steal signs using advanced technology? Couldn’t the Yankees pretty easily implement a system where the players have a microphone in their ear where a guy sitting with binoculars in a secret location relays the call to him? That costs what, a million bucks tops? Baseball is hilarious.
-Everyone should be in front of their television this weekend for the final major of the year. Tiger’s not going to win though so don’t even waste your time reading articles that wonder whether this is finally the tournament where he gets his mojo back. I’m looking to see whether young Rory can pull it together for his second major of the year or whether Dustin Johnson will finally decline to bring his stupid cap to the course for four straight days. That guy has left at least three majors on the table in the past 12 months.
-If you’re like me and becoming a soccer nerd, here’s a little tip for you: the English Premier league opens up league play this Saturday. Games will be on ESPN2 and Fox Soccer if you’re interested.
-You’ll never believe this, but the New York Yankees were on national TV last night.
-And finally, Showtime’s The Franchise continues to deliver the goods each Wednesday night. Although I wish they’d have stuck with the hour long format of the series premier, I can’t tell you how fun it’s been to get an inside look at the stuff goes on behind close doors for a pro ball club. They couldn’t have picked a better team than San Fran and its bizarre cast of characters. What’s impressive about it is that it hasn’t even reached it’s full potential yet because Tim Lincecum still hasn’t been featured in an episode. If we could just get ten minutes of Lincecum and Brian Wilson hanging out in downtown San Francisco one night, it would make the entire series worth the amount of money it costs me to get Showtime every month. I hope they’ll continue doing the show in the coming years.
Generation Y, where we’re also holding out for a bigger contract. Show me the quan, Jerry!
It’s not Tim Tebow, I promise.
If you’d like to delve even further into the Dustin Johnson PGA bunker fiasco, Wei Under Par has some great shots from a photographer who was right in the middle of the action when Johnson’s ball came to rest in the (now) most notorious bunker in all of golf. The part of his story I found most interesting:
“According to the time stamp on Allan’s pictures, DJ took about four minutes from the time he arrived to the scene to the second he made contact with it. In those few minutes, he had the marshals move the crowd, take a few practice swings, make a few jokes with the gallery and then hit it. Allan wonders what would have happened if DJ would have taken a little more time. He described DJ as ‘relaxed, loose and almost jovial, I don’t think his pulse was above 65,’ he said. The immensity of the moment didn’t get to him. Maybe it should have gotten to him. Maybe he should have said to the gallery, ‘Can you guys move a little bit?’ There was no tension in the air. If it hadn’t been for the gallery, Allan said it felt like a practice round — not the 72nd hole of a major championship with Johnson having a one-stroke lead. ‘When I’m in a similar situation with Tiger, he’s moving people,’ he said. ‘Tiger doesn’t joke or talk to people in that situation. He’s thinking what he has to do. He goes through a mental checklist of stuff.’”
The Johnson meltdown had shades of Phil Mickelson written all over it: incredible back-to-back birdies that no one could have seen coming only to be wiped away by the stubborn decision to take driver when a more conservative club choice would have likely earned him the championship. Everyone handles pressure differently. It was interesting to learn that Johnson was so relaxed in what was likely the biggest shot of his entire golf career. As the photographer noted though, only the Tiger method seems to be fool proof. [Wei Under Par]
Here’s the first truckload:
“Johnson has only himself to blame for committing one of the greatest mistakes in the history of majors golf. It was Roberto De Vicenzo-dumb, a sin of laziness.” [Gene Wojciechowski for ESPN.com]
“It was a brutally hard lesson for Johnson, but golf is about more than the low score. In the moments that followed what eventually became his 1-over 73 on Sunday, it was about reading, writhing and arithmetic.” [Steve Elling for CBS Sports]
“This is a black eye for golf. Today, I hang my head. Golf is so proud – smug, if you ask me – for its reliance on the rules. This could go a long way toward reinforcing the public perception that golf is a game for the elite, with a collection of rules as thick as an encyclopedia.” [James Achenbach for Fox Sports]
“As for Johnson’s dilemma on the 18th hole, the local rule states that blue dots were necessary to mark bunkers on the course. Though yesterday, there were no such colored markings around the area in question. But with a lip like that, were blue dots really necessary? Do you really think Johnson or his caddy were completely unaware of what the crowd was standing in and around?” [Sports by Brooks]
“It’s hard, it’s terrible, it’s crushing — it’s crushing for Dustin, it’s crushing for everyone that watched and heard and feels for Dustin,” Kohler said. “On the other hand, darn it, it’s the rules of golf.” [Herbert Kohler Jr. to Thomas Kaplan of the New York Times]
“How can you distinguish between what’s “natural sand” and the hundreds of pointless bunkers splattered across the course in the strangest of places, like next to a tee box?” [Wei Under Par]