Tiger To Play with his BFF.

 

Tiger Has to Spend About 10 Hours With the Big Goof.

 

The PGA Tour has quietly gotten something right recently.  They are putting together some serious “feature groups.” This week’s WGC event at Doral doesn’t really count, because it is a limited field, but even the week in, week out PGA events have gotten away from the standard computer assigned pairings.   Like at Riviera, was it a coincidence that President’s Cup captain Fred Couples was playing with two potential team members?  No.  Rickie Fowler and Lee Westwood played together last week on Thursday and Friday.  It makes sense for everyone to bunch the attractions. It’s easier on the TV people, the spectators and no offense to the regular guys on Tour, but no one wants to see Tiger playing with Bill Haas and Charlie Hoffman.

This week the top of the field goes off the World Rankings.  Kaymer, Westwood and Donald play together and then Tiger is paired with Graeme McDowell and Phil.  I wonder if Tiger is relishing these pairings or if he wouldn’t mind a little less spotlight?  Of course, that’d be impossible.  He’d have to show up in some elaborate disguise.  We know Phil gets pumped up for his pairings with Tiger, but his game this year has been a little erratic.  McDowell doesn’t seem to get too excited about anything, so I don’t expect much drama coming from him.  The eyes will be back on Tiger, now that he’s had another 2 weeks to continue working.  The fangs are starting to come out against his teacher Sean Foley, and if Tiger wants to do his coach a favor and take some heat off, maybe he should actually play well.  The good news is, there isn’t a cut, so he’s guaranteed 72 holes of work.

***

Zack Greinke is the latest NL ace to go down with an injury.  Greinke’s rib injury, suffered playing pick-up basketball (moron) seems relatively minor.  He’ll start the season on the DL, but should be back by mid-April.  Of course, starting the season on the DL, regardless of the reason is never ideal.  Cliff Lee missed the start of last season and I don’t know that he ever really settled in with the consistency he would have liked.  It’s a cruel stance, but the more pitching that goes down in the NL the better off the Phillies will be.  It’s not a big secret that this team doesn’t light up good pitching.  The definition of good pitching is that it doesn’t get lit up, but the Phils seem to especially struggle against top-flight starters and strikeout pitchers (oh, and RA Dickey).  Still kind of waiting for the Phillies offense to get clicking down in Clearwater.  Ryan Howard, Shane Victorino and rightfield by committee are putting up good numbers, but some of the other regulars are scuffling.  It could be another feast or famine year.

***

I’ll admit that I go to philly.com a couple of times a day and at this point I’m expecting to see the Chase Utley will have surgery on his knee headline.  I don’t know what else to think.  If rest and a cortisone shot isn’t improving his condition, what will happen when Chase actually starts playing again?  At this point I’d be more surprised to see his name in the lineup than I would to hear that he’s going under the knife.

***

I think my favorite part about Tiki Barber’s attempted return to the league is the reaction from the Giants.  Their statement was pretty classic.  They’re like, “Oh, well as soon as we can make a move we’ll take him off our retired list. Nooooooo Problem.”  It’s almost like they are insulted that they even have to do this.  That they have to waste the time freeing Barber of his obligation to them under the absurd premise that he could actually help a team at this point. I guess Tiki is finding out that retiring near your prime to become a TV personality only works if you aren’t awful on TV (and generally loathed by a large portion of the public for splitting on your pregnant wife).  Looks like he wants to end up in Tampa with his brother Ronde.  I’m not sure that the best team in the NFC has the room for him.

***

Harvard and Princeton are going to have to square off for the Ivy League basketball title and the automatic bid in the tournament.  For all their successes in the academic and rowing(?) realms, Harvard appears to have one of the least successful college basketball programs of all-time.  Never outright Ivy Champs and no tournament appearances since 1946.  Princeton, of course, dominates the Ivy League along with Penn in basketball but has a smaller library.  They are holding the playoff at Yale, which to a casual observer like me, seems all to perfect.  Harvard and Princeton at Yale? Epic.  The problem is, Yale hates Harvard far more than they hate Princeton…so the site is not going to be that neutral. Poor Harvard.  I’d actually like to go to this game.  I imagine all these nerds whipped into a frenzy would be quite the sight.  I’ll pull for Princeton.  Tommy Amaker is kind of a mutt.

 

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18 thoughts on “Tiger To Play with his BFF.

  1. In addition to the Tiki thing, retiring in your “prime” when you’re the “leader” and “star” of the team, and then having said team win the Super Bowl the year immediately following your retirement, doesn’t help either. Albatross, welcome back to the NFL. Please enjoy Seattle, Detroit, or one of the vast number of lower level NFL teams. Is that the phone? Oh, the Redskins are on the line?

  2. The Phillies statment on Utley seems like a hodgepodge of medical terms to confuse people for a few days before they announce he’s getting surgery.

    Was Eric Snow in his prime when he retired? He needs to get out of the booth and make another run at it.

  3. Yeah, has anything good ever come from getting other opinions?

    Also, the better question might be, did Eric Snow have a prime? But, I’m sure these feisty Sixers could make room for him.

  4. The person i fear, and FEAR MOST (boondock saints), is Dr. James Andrews. He’s the bringer of death, the destroyer of worlds.

  5. the James Andrews thing really fascinates me. this guy does every athlete’s surgery. which leads to me ask:

    1. what is going to happen when this guy retires?

    2. who would James andrews go to if he needed a tommy john done?

    3. is it surprising there isn’t some enterprising young surgeon out there trying to submarine andrews’ business and get in on what be more money than you can even count?

  6. How do they KNOW andrews is the best guy? He has to have some side deal with agents or teams or something right? Like all of a sudden everyone was like “Oh, Dr. James Andrews? Yeah, he’s the man for anything ligament related.” But he’s in effing Alabama. So you’re telling me the world’s best surgeon for athletes…….is in Alabama. Not a major metropolis, straight up, down home, country Alabama? Maybe this is my “coastal bias”, but i just don’t see it.

  7. here’s an excerpt from a 2007 ESPN article that explains a bit how it all got started:

    Few doctors were drawn to sports medicine in the early 1970s, when Andrews got his start. Sports wasn’t a big business, and there weren’t big bucks in this subspecialty. Sports orthopedics was mostly the province of physicians who liked hanging around athletes. Team doctors were mostly buddies of owners and inclined to do their bidding on treating injuries.

    That irked a firebrand young baseball agent named Randy Hendricks, who thought his clients deserved better and who pushed hard for second opinions. It was a radical notion then, and it was a brave doctor who’d provide independent ones and risk offending the lords of baseball.

    Hendricks discovered there was a young sports orthopedist in Columbus, Ga., who would do so. He began taking his injured clients there.

    “What made Jim remarkable was that he’d provide [an opinion] and he’d call it as he saw it,” Hendricks says. “Teams would get unhappy because we went to Jim, but he was our link to a state-of-the-art doctor.”

    That’s how Andrews came to examine a scared-to-death kid named Roger Clemens in 1985.

    The whole article (long):

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/news/story?id=3024046

  8. So basically nothing more than being willing to provide an unbiased and legitimately sound medical opinion? Seems like a pretty flimsy expertise backing.

    • you’re kind of an andrews hater, huh?

      i don’t know.

      i think he’s one of the pioneers of arthroscopic surgery and has done about 50,000 procedures, so he’s at least experienced.

      • yeah, sounds good right? I think most people casually mentioning surgery assume it would be like a Dom Brown time frame, but I guess that isn’t the case.

        wilson valdez. He’s fannnnn-tastic.

  9. I was actually at the last ivy league playoff between princeton and Penn. The game was at lehigh. The weird part about the year was Penn beat Princeton twice in the regular season. But the ivy does not use head to head or any tiebreakers.

    Penn lost the third meeting and then princeton went on to beat ucla. If the ivy actually used a logical tiebreaker the ucla upset never happens.

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