Westbrook “Has An Ankle”

Chesty Westy Could Miss Some Camp.

Chesty Westy Could Miss Some Camp.

Eagles running back Brian Westbrook needs surgery to remove some bone spurs from his ankle.  I don’t know what a bone spur is, but I’m pretty familiar with the ankle and it’s an essential part of a running back.  The procedure is being called minor, but reports have him missing varying amounts of time.  As long as he’s healthy for the opener I’m not really concerned about how much camp he misses, but I know there are some pessimists out there already getting ready for the LeSean McCoy era.  The was going to be the year Westy came roaring back 100%.  I guess we’ll see.

John Daly is officially back stateside, and he’ll tee it up in the St. Jude Classic next week.  Golf Digest has yet another Daly article.  Daly will have to rely on sponsors exemptions to play on the PGA Tour since he has no status, but a couple good results will get him plenty of invitations.  In the article Bob Verdi discusses Daly’s renewed commitment to the game, and the possible realization that this could be his last chance.  Daly’s also lost a lot of weight lately thanks to undergoing lap band surgery.  Apparently Daly realized a workout regimen was never going to happen for him.  He also claims that a doctor told him his fat was hereditary.  Now, that’s a good doctor. 

I was leaving a store today, and I held open a door for a woman that was coming inside.  I’m just an old-school chivalrous guy, what can I say?  Anyway, the woman came through the door, and there was a young lady behind her, and she was in the grey area.  I think I could have let go of the door without being rude, but I stayed and held it open.  Anyway, the girl realizes I’m holding the door, and starts to rush to get through.  She drops her cellphone.  Then when she bends down to pick it up she steps on her own flip-flop, half trips, and breaks one of her flops.  I stood holding the door for a second, and the girl was mortified, so embarassed, and said something like “thanks anyway.”  I didn’t know what the hell to say.  I just went to my car.  Careful in those grey areas.

Phils have sprinted out to a quick 2-0 lead on a Ryan Howard home run.  They’re going for the sweep in San Diego, and I’m trying for a Phils/Over parlay for the second straight night.  I’m sure there are a ton of stats out there that would say why this is a bad bet, but I’m not a stats guy.  I’m a heart and gut guy.  The Phils will get to Chris Young.  It’ll happen.

**Update…Phils sweep, but come up 2 runs short on the over.  I didn’t know Happ was going to be so solid tonight.  If you’re worried about me, don’t be.  I picked up about .40 on the U-21 Argentine national team this afternoon.  I can still sneeze some G’s.

Tiger vs. Jack

Tiger and Jack talk about Puppies and Snow.

Tiger and Jack talk about Puppies and Snow.

Tiger and Jack are playing together today in the Memorial Tournament’s skins game.  It’s the first time they’ve teed it up together since the final round of the 2000 PGA Championship.  Jack hardly plays anymore these days.  I guess I understand.  If you hardly miss-hit a shot for a decade or so, it’d probably suck to go out there and try to scrape out a 72 or something.  It’s probably not possible to decide who is the better player, Jack or Tiger.  But, golf is interesting in the fact that almost all experts would probably choose either Jack or Tiger as the best of all-time.  Other sports, baseball, football…would have much longer lists. 

When disecting the Tiger vs. Jack match-up certain things are easy to determine.  Tiger has more money, but is definitely the bigger nerd.  Jack will probably reign as the best course designer, but didn’t marry a Swedish model.  Nicklaus Golf was a horrible club making venture, but the Golden Bear logo dominates that mutated TW thing that Woods wears.  When it gets down to the golf the debate is a lot tougher.

As odd it may sound I might give the nod in power to Jack.  In his prime Jack was a ferociously long hitter, who routinely collapsed the faces of persimmon drivers.  Tiger came out onto Tour as a very long hitter, but has scaled back his distance.  A recent experiment on the range at a PGA Tour stop showed that Chad Campbell gained 40 yards with a modern ball and club compared to persimmon and a Titleist balata.  A twentysomething Nicklaus in 2009 is hitting it out there 330, absolutely no question on my mind. 

I’d say iron play is a wash.  These are certainly the two best long iron players of all-time.  Jack hit one the best long iron shots ever at the US Open when he kissed one off the flagstick on the 17th at Pebble.  Tiger hits 5-irons that stay in the air for hours and land like a marshmallow in a giant pile of other marshmallows.  If you want to determine if a player is good or not, take all the hybrids out of their bag.  Then, calmly snap them all in half Tin Cup style, and ask them to hit a 3 iron.  If they hit a low, weak roller off to the right…you’ve found a poser.

Tiger’s short game is superior to Jack’s.  Tiger is fearless around the greens.   He’s always willing to make himself look foolish by trying a difficult shot.  He just always pulls it off.  For most of his career Jack was considered a mediocre chipper and pitcher of the ball by tour standards.  This is what happens when you hit a ton of greens and make putts from all over good god’s creation.  Jack didn’t need to be a great chipper.  The difference is Tiger wants to be the best at every aspect of the game.

In terms of putting, again, probably talking about the two best clutch putters of all-time.  If I had a 1, 5, 15, 20, 50 footer that I’d needed for my life, I’d happily flip a coin between these two.  Tiger has been a streaky putter in terms of overall success, and I don’t really have a frame of reference for Jack rolling it in his prime, so it’s hard to say who gets the overall nod. 

What’s my final verdict?  In the end I’ll be sticking with Jack until Tiger completely passes him by.  I think that these last five majors may be the toughest for him to win.  Tiger gets a lot of heat about the level of his competition, but there are 75 guys out there that could get hot and win a major.  He has to beat a deep field every time he tees it up.  The US Open will be big for Tiger.  I’m not going to say he needs it, but if he were not to win we’re going to start hearing Tiger major draught talk again even though he’d only be 0-2. 

So who you got?  And, is there is a sport where there is a clear cut best of all-time?

Kimbo’s Back

Kimbo Slice Ladies and Gentlemen.

Kimbo Slice Ladies and Gentlemen.

I’m not a die-hard fan of MMA.  I watch it, but I don’t have any Tapout T-shirts.  I guess that’s the best way you could describe my interest level.  I have always been slightly intrigued, however, by Kevin Ferguson.  The fighter who is known as Kimbo Slice.  I first saw Kimbo on poor quality internet videos.  He was a street fighting, bare knuckle legend.  When word got out that he was joing the Elite XC promotion I was interested to see how he’d fair against trained fighters. 

Kimbo won his first few fights, but then lost his fourth to unheralded Seth Petruzelli.  Adding to the loss was that it came in 14 seconds, and there were some rumors of the fight being fixed, and not long afterwards Elite XC went out of business.  Kimbo had lost a lot of his intimidation, people believed he was a fluke, a gimmick to attract ratings, and UFC President Dana White was a big detractor.   There didn’t seem to be any chance that Kimbo would ever fight in the UFC, but then came the news yesterday that he will be in the next cast of the Ultimate Fighter. 

The Ultimate Fighter is a reality show on Spike that awards an UFC contract to its winner.  It will be the moment of truth for Kimbo.  He can either fight at the professional level or he can’t, and the show will prove it.  I don’t doubt Kimbo’s dedication to MMA, but I’m not sure he has the training background to be able to pull something like this off.  Either way, he will provide for good TV while he lasts on the series, and if he happens to be good enough, then he can prove it by winning the competition. 

If you’ve never heard of or seen Kimbo, he’s definitely worth a quick peek. 

**Completely unrelated.  I have a few cents on Gael Monflis to beat Roger Federer over at www.centsports.com, it’s my upset pick of the day.  The match already started, so I can’t be responsible for your lost cents when Rodge pummels him.

**Monflis gets smoked in straight sets.  Taking floaters on those +350 shots can be costly.  Hey, he pushed the first set to a tie-breaker. 

Why You Little Bastardo.

Phils have been Road Warriors.

Phils have been Road Warriors.

Who didn’t love Hawk and Animal?  The Legion of Doom.  The Phillies continued to be a devasting road team with a 10 to 5 win over the Padres on Tuesday night.  It was the Major League debut of Antonio Bastardo, and the Phillies got more than they could of hoped for out of the rookie.  He showed good stuff, and worked out of a tough spot or two while giving up only one run in six innings.  The lone blemish was a home run surrendered to Adrien Gonzalez, but with the way Gonzalez has been hitting them, there isn’t much shame in that.  I’m not surprised Bastardo had success, he could give a lot of teams trouble, especially the first time he faces them.  The Phillies seem to have found a pitcher that can at least stop the gap for them while they debate a major move.

Speaking of which, Jake Peavy left the game after one inning with the flu.  It wasn’t much of an audition for Peavy, who has been rumored to be a pitcher the Phils are interested in acquiring.  He gave up four runs in that lone inning, and the Phillies offense continued to roll from there.  Raul Ibanez, who perhaps had cooled slightly of late, exploded for two home runs and five rbi’s.  Greg Dobbs also added a homerun for the Phillies.  J.A. Happ will go for the Phils tomorrow against Chris Young when they go for the sweep. 

I know it’s been a while since I posted any writing, but if anyone still has the patience I put Chapter 10 of First Birthday up in the Other Writing Section.  Out of town a lot lately, and just have to work at my own pace unfortunately.  I still appreciate everyone who is following along.