Pretty Big Weekend.

 

Grab A Seat.

 

Here’s my mentality for golf tournaments, especially the Majors.  I get overly excited before the things starts.  I predict, I have my Masters pool, I think about watching the final round on Sunday.  The level of anticipation is very high.  When the tournament actually starts, though, I get a little impatient.  Unheralded early leaders, 54 holes and three days to go, it doesn’t always satisfy the sports fan in me.  Imagine if they played one quarter of the Super Bowl every day for 4 days?  At this point in a big golf tournament about the only thing you can do is eliminate the guys who have shot themselves out of the thing.  Martin Kaymer–poof.  The leaders, though, who knows what they’ll shoot today. So, if you are a big Alvaro Quiros fan, or you want the Yanger to back up his PGA it’s a long wait.  Personally, I worry that I won’t have a rooting interest come Sunday and the whole event will be ruined.

What if Rory and Charl Schwartzel are in a two-man duel down the stretch?  Who the hell do I root for then?  So, I’ll be scanning the field the next two days looking at scenarios, hoping to get a somewhat tolerable player in contention down the stretch.  I always make compromises, though.  When Kenny Perry, Chad Campbell and Angel Cabrera were fighting it out a few years back, I pretty quickly became a Cabrera fan.  Right now I’m trying to think if I could talk myself into Ricky Barnes.  Still going with that painter’s hat, huh Ricky?  Nightmare.

****

Oh, look.  The Braves.  How Adorable.

You never know when your ability to be cocky and arrogant will disappear, so if you are a Phillies fan you might as well puff your chest out for this series with the Braves.  It’s only six games in, but personally, I feel the Braves need to be put in their place a little bit.  They were getting a ton of love before the season started, because apparently the experts didn’t realize that Wilson Valdez was going to be the first guy to hit .400 since Ted Williams.  Obviously, I’m not being serious.  This is a nice series with Atlanta, but hardly an occasion to get yourself worked into a lather.  It will be a nice early season test, certainly stiffer competition than New York or Houston.

We heard a lot of praise for Atlanta’s offense in the pre-season, and if they were going to pass the Phillies, a lot of experts thought they’d out-hit them.  Our small, first-week sample shows the Braves have some problems we might recognize here in Philadelphia.  They aren’t hitting left-handed pitching and have scratched out less than 4 runs a game. They bring their struggling offense back to Atlanta for their home opener and a series where they’ll face Lee, Oswalt and Hamels.

Maybe you’ll remember the end of last season when the Phillies lined up their starters for the Braves series and then swept their way to a six game lead in the division and put themselves on the brink of closing it out in Washington?  If the Braves are going to pass the Phillies they’ll need to get over that hump, the inability to beat someone when it matters. This series doesn’t qualify, but if you are Philadelphia, you don’t even want to give Atlanta that glimmer of hope.  You want to shut them down in their home opener Friday, win the series, and leave town with a quick 3 or 4 game lead.

If you must make a big deal out of the weekend series, here’s 5 quick things to look for:

  1. How do the Phils fare against Atlanta’s young and capable bullpen?
  2. Can Howard, Rollins and company remain patient against better starting pitching?
  3. Familiarize yourself a little more with Brandon Beachy–Phillies killer, or more fodder?
  4. Cole’s state of mind.  Maybe an out-of-town crowd will help him shake a bad first start.
  5. Eventually Jose Contreras will have to close a tight game, will it be this weekend?

***

I’ve talked a bit about the panic level in Philadelphia surrounding the Phillies.  The alarms were sounded Tuesday night, and it took two wins to calm everyone back down a little bit.  The feeling is not unique to Philadelphia.  Panic abounds in MLB right now.  You’ve got Boston at 0-6 and facing a home opener this afternoon against the Yankees.  The prospect of starting the season 1-8, or 0-9 has to be a nightmare for Boston fans, and having NY come in when they are most vulnerable can’t feel good.  The upside is, a sweep would make them the happiest 3-6 fan base of all-time.  There’s some high-strung people in St. Louis as well.  Tony LaRussa had a little meltdown in a press conference yesterday.  I think concerns about Pujols leaving have magnified everything in once docile St. Louis.  Lot of short fuses out there for April 8th, that’s all I’m saying.

***

MLB Underdog of the Day:  Yesterday, 0-2.  Financial Status to Date: (-300 American)

Well, I said in the comments section that the only way this is going to be entertaining is if I win a lot or if I lose a lot. Looks like I am headed toward epic “mush” status.  And, I’m comfortable with that.  It’s nice to have that hammer if I want to guarantee a team loses.  Last night the Tigers blew about 9 different leads in sending me to 0-3 for the year.

Today’s Pick:  Toronto (+125) over Anaheim.

I’m hitching the old wagon up to Roy Halladay trade bait tonight.  Give me Kyle Drabek, my rookie of the year pick and already off to a pretty brilliant 1-0 start this season.  The Angels stink, they can’t hit, this should get me off the donut. Or not.

***

Quiz of the Day: TV Theme Song Challenge.  Category: Syndication Rocks.  My Score:  32/37.

You have to listen to music for this one, so I figured it would be a good one to post going into the weekend.  I’m a little horrified at how high my score is.  That’s the honest truth.

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25 thoughts on “Pretty Big Weekend.

  1. Uihlien is 2 over through 10 holes today, two over par overall as well.

    solid 72 yesterday, but will need a solid back nine to make the cut.

  2. Not bad for an amateur I guess. This kind of seems like a typical Tiger start doesn’t it? Didn’t he used to start middle of the pack on the first day, then run away and hide on days 2 and 3?

  3. yeah real solid.

    i think any amateur that makes the cut is impressive.

    you have to think how hard the course is for the pros the first time they see it, so for an amateur, playing in their first major that has to be an even tougher adjustment.

  4. watson probably wasn’t a great pick.

    he’s likely overstimulated.

    and, mcilroy is making me throw up.

    can someone get greg norman on the horn to give this mutt some advice.

  5. appreciate that…

    if only everyone was so courteous. BK texted me after he birdied 15–promptly 3-jacked 16, so that shot is on him.

    he probably could have been a few better, but considering he’s played 12 in 4 shots total, i’d have to think he’s stolen a few as well.

    i don’t really have any grand expectations. he could 7 shots back by the time rory is finished, but it certainly makes the masters when fred gets some air time on the weekend.

  6. So can we just come out and all agree that Papi is a HUH-YGE roid head now? His BFFF retired b/c they got him again for steroids. Just come out and admit that without steroids you’d have been the fat singles hitter you were w/ the Twins.

  7. HE LEARNED TO PULL THE BALL!

    hhahaha.

    it is your life’s work to get papi to admit he was on ‘roids.

    • My favorite line is the “the Twin WANTED HIM to hit singles, when he came here the Sox told him to hit the long ball…” Wait….what?

  8. i feel sp-arter after this post.
    really concerned about SIR JCK’s mental status, right now.
    dude, don’t attack any yankees fans this weekend.
    not. worth it. i think??

    excited for phils and braves. mabe i will actually begin my annual scrappy-1210 am – athon.

    gosh, i think i may be able to keep track of who’s batting this year…q test for q, does she know the batting order??

    victorino, werth, rollins, howard, ibanez, francisco, valdez, ruiz, hamels…………….mayberry my heart.

    and fun quiz. 18! sex and the city drove me crazy. forgot it, q

  9. werth?

    don’t look now, but here comes Tiger. He may finally get that piece of Rory that the media has been salivating over. I have to admit, I wouldn’t mind seeing that myself.

  10. If Tiger is really back, he can’t be jinxed.

    He’s won 14 majors, we ain’t talking about Lee Westwood here.

  11. Um how does that chair look so sturdy still??

    is Tiger wearing larger shirts now? The sleeves look longer, is he trying to cover up his jacked-ness?

  12. i think the sleeves are a bit longer

    who knows the reason.

    maybe he isn’t as jacked?

    as long as he doesn’t come out in a flat brim hat, I can’t really complain.

  13. He’s definitely not as big as he used to be, it was noticeable last year when i saw him in person and he isn’t bigger now that i can tell on TV. He looked like hell in the last interview i saw where they did him and phil.

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