Saturday, January 19, 2013

Earl Weaver

I grew up a diehard Orioles fan. I remember being carried out of Memorial Stadium by my father as we ran to the car, after the sun had set. I remember a Knights of Pythias team trip to a game, where we got to meet Larry Sheets. I remember Earl Weaver. While Cal Ripken and Eddie Murray grabbed the headlines, Earl Weaver was the constant throughout the years of glory. His competitiveness and desire to win were evident to a kid no older than seven. I cannot pay him a higher compliment. Rest in Peace, Earl. You will be missed.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wizzzards Promotion

I'm impressed the Wizzzards are giving away t-shirts promoting their win total.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Weekend Sports Musings

- Ray Lewis' comments, specifically, regarding Billy Cundiff, after yesterday's loss to the Patriots were impressively thoughtful and mature. For a player in the twilight of his career, with limited chances to win another championship, he has an excellent mindset.

- UVA loses to VT in an ugly basketball game. No one ever said making the NCAA tournament was going to be easy.

- Congratulations to Mark Wilson winning for the third time in twelve months on the PGA Tour. MW is currently maximizing his talent better than any other professional golfer.

- Robert Garrigus is using a long putter? Didn't he use a child-sized putter in 2011? What is next, the Happy Gilmore hockey stick putter?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

2011/2012 Washington Wizards - Update

Three weeks into the season, I amend my Wizzzards prediction to 'terrible, but trying'. I see hope/ability in John Wall, Chris Singleton, Jordan Crawford, and JaVale McGee, but they need to jettison the rest of the roster, who are overpaid (Rashard Lewis), out of shape (Andray Blatche), or don't seem to care (Nick Young).

It speaks volumes when NY was an unsigned free agent, the only interested team was the Wizzzards.

The Wizzzards need to build around Wall, Jan Vesley, and JaVale McGee. Keep Crawford, Singleton, and Trevor Booker, if possible, or let them go for any value. The rest need to be moved, packaged as suitors see fit.

It is apparent the Wizzzards need to start over and roster flexibility before any marked improvement will be made.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

2012 Predictions on Predictions

Credit to Cameron Morfit for doing all the heavy lifting, but I've assessed the likelihood of his predictions below.

1. Tiger’s first official PGA Tour victory in more than two years will come at the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral. 40% - Good course for scoring, and a good track record. TW is the 'whelming' (vice overwhelming) favorite.

2. Jim Furyk, who dropped from fifth to 50th in the World Ranking in 2011, will go the other direction in 2012. 100% - Furyk had a terrible 2011, hard to see him not playing better in 2012.

3. Rickie Fowler will win on the PGA Tour. 90% - Like the prediction, but I wouldn't bet the house. If I had in 2011, I'd be homeless.

4. We will all slap our foreheads and lament having overlooked 2011 super-rookie Brendan Steele. 100% - Steele has got ridiculous game, and will win multiple times in 2012.

5. Hunter Mahan will win again. 100% - He's got too much talent, and has won on a variety of courses. He'll kiss a cup in 2012. I wouldn't be surprised if it is the Wells Fargo at Quail Creek.

6. Yani Tseng will finally pop up on the radar of the American sports fan. 0% - She could win all four (five?) Women's Majors and outdraw a September Bengals/Chiefs afternoon game.

7. John Daly’s sponsor exemptions will dry up as “Daly fatigue” outweighs “Daly curiosity.” 0% - JD will find a way to do something outrageous, draw attention, and undeserved sponsor exemptions.

8. Martin Kaymer will miss the cut, again, at the Masters. 0% - MK tooled his game for Augusta in 2011, to no avail. He goes a different route in 2012, trusts his talent, and makes the weekend easily.

9. Leading the Par-3 Contest the day before the start of the Masters, McIlroy will have his caddie, girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki, hit his tee shot on nine. Who cares? - I watch the Par-3 for the needling between Nicklaus/Palmer/Player. Winner is always an afterthought.

10. Ernie Els will play his way back to Augusta despite finishing 2011 outside the top 50, which jeopardized his streak of Masters starts that dates to 1994. 20% - as much as I love the Big Easy, who is one of my favorite professional golfers, he needs to rid himself of the belly putter and find confidence on the greens before reascending the OWGR. I don't see it happening in early 2012.

11. Ian Poulter, coming off a victory at the Australian Masters in December, will bounce back after a poor 2011. 90% - Poulter wins on tour(s), both PGA and European in (calendar year) 2012, which qualifies as a bounce back.

12. Caddie Joe LaCava will look like the second biggest genius in golf after having left reliable money-maker Dustin Johnson to work for the retooling and fragile-looking Tiger Woods last fall. 100% - I've never been fond of DJ's putting stroke, or short game. He played abysmally in the President's Cup, and his win at the Barclay's was more on account of Kuchar faltering (has he ever won on slick greens?).

Overall, Morfit hits on more than 50% (discarding #9) which is commendable.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2011/2012 Washington Wizards

Great new uniform, same old team.

I watched portions of last night's loss, at home, to the New Jersey Nets, and, while I have no optimism for this season, see a core group of players around which the team can grow.

John Wall, Jordan Crawford, and JaVale McGee have talent. Nick Young is a 15 ppg scorer. Shelvin Mack is a rookie who can contribute backup minutes to Wall, and is a team-oriented player. Roger Mason Jr. provides veteran leadership, and Jan Vesley is a wild card.

Unfortunately, the team doesn't have the concentrated talent to rely on the skills of a few star players, any shot at success will be based on cohesion and defense. I can't speak to cohesion, but defense is tough to learn in an abbreviated camp, and has never being a strength for the Wizards. They need to commit to taking risks on defense, pushing the game tempo, and building around speed (Wall) and shooters (Crawford and Young).