|04.19.10 at 7:24 am ET|
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
MLB: Rays at Red Sox, 11 a.m. (NESN, WEEI)
NHL playoffs, Sabres at Bruins, 7 p.m. (NESN/VERSUS)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Jason Cole at Yahoo!Sports reports that a suspension will come by Tuesday for Ben Roethlisberger, as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is getting angrier as more information about the quarterback’s behavior becomes public. Meanwhile, Dan Le Batard of the Miami Herald looks at the racial aspect of this case, and he includes this quote from Charles Barkley:
“We have been suspending black guys, so we have to suspend the white guy? I’m concerned with that mindset in my community. You get one, we get one? That’s doesn’t make it even. This isn’t a contest. That’s not a win for black people. How about black guys quit committing crimes?”
♦ Mike Bresnahan of The Los Angeles Times wonders if this will be Phil Jackson’s last hurrah with the Lakers.
♦ Bizarre finish to an NHL playoff game in Denver Sunday: The Sharks lost Game 3 of the Western Conference quarterfinals to the Avalanche 1-0 despite holding a 51-17 advantage in shots. To make matters worse, the winning goal came when San Jose’s Dan Boyle tried to pass the puck behind his own net, but it deflected into the goal. Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News has the grisly details. Here’s the clip of the winner:
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 19, 1960, the Patriots adopted Pat Patriot as their logo. Which cartoonist created the design?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We’re not doing a lot of things well right now.” — Red Sox manager Terry Francona, after Sunday’s 7-1 loss to the Rays, Boston’s fourth loss in a row
STAT OF THE DAY: 10 — Runs scored by the Brewers in the first inning of Sunday’s 11-7 win over the Nationals
‘NET RESULTS: The men in the green bodysuits did their best to distract Kings players in the penalty box.
A Triple-A mascot takes a little fall. Off the dugout roof.
Soccer goal of the weekend.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Phil Bissell
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Mark “Flo” Volman of the Turtles is 63 today. He’s the guy with the big mess of hair.
|04.16.10 at 7:38 am ET|
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
MLB: Rays at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)
NHL playoffs: Bruins at Sabres, 1 p.m. (NESN)
MLB: Rays at Red Sox, 7:10 p.m. (NESN, WRKO)
NBA Playoffs: Heat at Celtics, 8 p.m. (ESPN, WEEI)
MLS: Revolution at Earthquakes, 10 p.m. (CSNNE alternate channels)
Rays at Red Sox, 1:35 p.m. (NESN/TBS, WEEI)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Mike Florio at the Sporting News examines whether the Steelers will consider trading Ben Roethlisberger, whose image took another hit Thursday with details of his behavior the night of the alleged incident at a Georgia nightclub.
♦ Rob Gloster at Bloomberg writes about NFL Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice making his pro golf debut.
♦ Tyler Kepner in The New York Times looks at Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington’s attempts to rebuild his image following offseason revelations that he tested positive for drugs last year.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 16, 2005, Manny Ramirez hit a grand slam to become the team’s all-time leader with 18 slams. Whom did he pass?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “After imposing an appropriate level of discipline and outlining the steps we feel will be necessary to be successful as a player and a person, we intend to allow Ben the opportunity to prove to us he is the teammate and citizen we all believe he is capable of being.” — Steelers owner Art Rooney II, addressing the Ben Roethlisberger situation Thursday
STAT OF THE DAY: 1 — Twins starters who did not have a hit vs. the Red Sox Thursday — only reigning American League batting champ Joe Mauer
‘NET RESULTS: More amazing basketball shots from Dude Perfect.
Soccer goal of the week.
Another impressive soccer goal, from long range.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Ted Williams
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Gerry Rafferty is 63 today.
|04.15.10 at 7:28 am ET|
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
Red Sox at Twins, 1:10 p.m. (NESN/WEEI)
NHL playoffs: Bruins at Sabres, 7 p.m. (NESN)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Video of an apparently inebriated Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been appearing all over the web. In the video, filmed with a cell phone camera at a bar, Jones complains about former coach Bill Parcells and draft prospect Tim Tebow while some youngsters egg him on. (Parcells said he is not offended by the comments.) Some media outlets have refused to show the clip, and Tim Cowlishaw in The Dallas Morning News writes that legitimate outlets that aired it owe Jones an apology. Dale Hansen, a veteran sportscaster at Dallas’ WFAA-TV, took it a step further, blasting his own station’s decision to run the story in a memorable rant that is drawing a variety of responses. Here’s a bit of what Hansen had to say: “Our business now, too many times, is a fat kid in a T-shirt in his mother’s basement, eating Cheetos and writing his blogs — and we make it news. Jerry Jones in a bar, being Jerry Jones, is not news to me. And the fact that some creep slides up to Jones, records the conversation without Jones knowing, then tries to sell that recording — and that becomes news — is an embarrassment to us all.”
♦ Armando Salguero in the Miami Herald writes that the Dolphins’ acquisition of wide receiver Brandon Marshall brings them into the 21st century of the NFL and puts them on equal footing with the Jets. Woody Paige in The Denver Post looks at the winners and losers from the trade, and he notes that Broncos are both winners and losers, dumping a malcontent but losing a prime offensive weapon.
♦ Mike Bianchi in the Orlando Sentinel wonders what it would have been like had Babe Ruth lived in the digital era.
♦ Dennis Dodd at CBSSports.com examines the situation in college athletics involving conference expansion.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 15, 1993, which Red Sox player hit his 400th home run in a 4-3, 13-inning win over the Indians?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’m just the new guy here, just kind of trying to get things done. … I’ll give him a few starts before I start yelling.” — Red Sox starting pitcher John Lackey, joking about reacting to Terry Francona taking him out in the seventh inning of Wednesday’s win over the Twins
STAT OF THE DAY: 13 — Strikeouts in 26 at-bats this season for Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz
‘NET RESULTS: Here’s a huge block by Denver Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin, and Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins doesn’t like the aftermath.
The St. Louis Cardinals have a series of promotional commercials, and this is the only one of the bunch even remotely funny.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Andre Dawson
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Roy Clark is 77 today.
|04.14.10 at 8:44 am ET|
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
Red Sox at Twins, 1:10 p.m. (NESN, WEEI)
Bucks at Celtics, 8 p.m. (CSNNE, WEEI)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Jason Cole at Yahoo!Sports.com writes that stupidity is the cause for the collapse of the Steelers’ dynamic duo of Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes. Meanwhile, in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Bob Smizik writes that it’s time to look into trading the troubled quarterback. And here’s a video clip of Steelers legend Terry Bradshaw discussing how Roethlisberger “doesn’t like me, and I’m learning not to like him.”
♦ Allen Wilson in The Buffalo News is impressed by the New York Jets’ moves to bring in troubled but talented players this offseason.
♦ Armando Salguero in The Miami Herald writes about wide receiver Dez Bryant and defends the player as someone who has made immature mistakes but none serious enough to warrant passing him up in the first round of the draft.
♦ Ken Rosenthal from FoxSports.com writes that Twins infielder Orlando Hudson’s claims of racism in Major League Baseball free agency are not supported by facts.
♦ David Haugh in the Chicago Tribune writes about the mess with the Bulls, recounting the fight between coach Vinny Del Negro and executive vice president of operations John Paxson and dissecting what it means to the team’s future.
♦ Hannah Karp in The Wall Street Journal writes about the resurgence of hockey in Los Angeles with the Kings’ success.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 14, 1967, Billy Rohr pitched a one-hitter for the Red Sox in his major league debut, giving up a single to Elston Howard with two outs in the ninth inning. Which Yankees legend took the loss in the 3-0 Sox victory?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “It’s a very serious matter, one we take serious.” — Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, after a meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to discuss his recent behavioral problems
STAT OF THE DAY: 14 — Years since a Canadian team picked first in the NHl draft; Edmonton was awarded the first pick Tuesday night after winning the draft lottery
‘NET RESULTS: The Phillie Phanatic showed off his Lady Gaga impersonation at Tuesday’s game.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Whitey Ford
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Loretta Lynn is 75 today.
|04.13.10 at 3:14 pm ET|
Tuesday night could be the turning point for the Boston Bruins franchise. Yes, the B’s have gobbled up a playoff spot for the third straight season, but an up-and-down season has left many wondering just how far this team can go in its quest for a Stanley Cup.
But those doubters may be feeling otherwise in the future if the likes of Cam Fowler or Taylor Hall put on the spoked ‘B.’ The Phil Kessel trade netted the Bruins the Toronto Maple Leafs’ first pick, and, as suspected, that pick will be in the top three of the NHL Draft. We’ll know exactly which pick it is after Tuesday night’s NHL Draft Lottery. The Bruins have an 18.8 percent chance of landing the top pick, with Edmonton (48.2 percent) being the only team with better odds of that happening.
This coveted pick is the reason why GM Peter Chiarielli didn’t make a major move at the deadline for a “rental” player such as Ilya Kovalchuk, and if he lands a player of Hall or Fowler’s potential, then he may end up looking pretty good in the end. Look at what Alex Ovechkin has meant to the Washington Capitals or what Sidney Crosby has mean to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Top picks with that kind of potential can turn around a franchise, especially one that has gone decades without a Stanley Cup celebration.
But the lottery has a funny way of working out. Teams are not awarded for tanking at the end of the season, and it really is a game of luck when going into these situations. For all the success the Boston sports teams have had over the past few years there was a time when throwing everything down on the lottery sometimes didn’t mean instant success.
Here is a look at how some local teams have fared in the game of luck.
1997 Boston Bruins
The 1996 season wasn’t the greatest season in Bruins history. The B’s finished with a dismal 61 points and last in the division. The problems were happening on both sides of the ice for the Bruins that season, as Ted Donato led the team with just 25 goals and Robbie Tallas led the goalies with a 3.33 GAA. So basically you are looking at a team with the offensive woes of the 2010 squad but without anyone that could stop the puck from going into the net.
The Bruins went into the NHL Draft Lottery, which was implemented in 1995, as the favorite to land the No. 1 pick, and the balls bounced their way.
With the pick, the Bruins selected a talented all-around player, an 18-year-old kid named Joe Thornton.
By way of a trade with Carolina, the Bruins also owned the eighth pick and scooped up a gifted scorer in Sergei Samsonov. What did this all mean for the Bruins the next season? Pat Burns was hired to coach, the additions of forward Jason Allison and Byron Dafoe in net added stability to the weaknesses on the team and the Bruins finished with 91 points on the season, up 30 from the year before.
Thornton didn’t make the immediate impact his first year, but Samsonov scored 22 goals in his rookie campaign. Thornton did make strides in his second season and posted a solid career in Boston before being traded to San Jose during the 2005-06 season.
1997 Boston Celtics
That ’97 season was crucial for the Celtics, too, but the lottery balls would not bounce in their favor. Tim Duncan was the franchise-changer that Rick Pitino was banking everything on. A once-in-a-lifetime center who does all the little things and would later be given the nickname “The Big Fundamental.”
Duncan was the key to getting basketball back in the city of Boston, and fans openly rooted for the Celtics to lose games in 1996 so more ping-pong balls with leprechauns on them had a better chance of landing the No. 1 pick.
But Duncan was a pipe dream.
The San Antonio Spurs won the lottery and changed both franchises as we knew them. The Spurs have won four titles with Duncan as the centerpiece and the Celtics were mired in a stalemate for years under Pitino and other unsuccessful front offices before … we’ll get to that later.
The Celtics did take claim to the third and sixth picks in the draft, and Pitino drafted a promising young point guard in Chauncey Billups at No. 3 and Ron Mercer, a familiar face from Kentucky, with the No. 6 pick.
Billups has turned himself into one of the best point guards in the NBA, but he never got a shot with the Celtics, as he was traded for Kenny Anderson after 51 games in a C’s uniform. Way to give up on a No. 3 pick that soon — although it did take Billups a few years to get it right.
Mercer never took to the NBA game. A fierce mid-range shooter in college, his game never translated to the pros and his Celtics career only lasted two years.
2007 Boston Celtics
A similar situation popped up 10 years later for the Celtics. This time another big man became the object of everyone’s affection. Greg Oden would make up for that decade of misery for the Celtics and finally … finally justice would be restored in Boston for missing out on Duncan.
Even if Danny Ainge didn’t land Oden there was another prime time player in Kevin Durant sitting there at No. 2. So the Celtics were finally going to get lucky in the lottery and put up banners in the next decade … not so much. At least from the lottery standpoint.
The Celtics got the fifth pick in the draft, but this time the Celtics brass actually had a backup plan, something that Pitino and Co., didn’t have in 1997. Ainge traded that pick (Jeff Green) to Seattle for former UConn sharpshooter Ray Allen. OK, Celtics fans probably thought. With Pierce and Allen as your scorers and Al Jefferson as your big man of the future, at least a middle-of-the-pack seed in the playoffs would be a realistic shot and something to build on.
With the new “Big Three” of Kevin Garnett, Pierce and Allen the Celtics quickly established themselves as the team to beat in 2007-08, and veterans such as James Posey and Eddie House wanted to come to Boston. The Celtics also got lucky as they acquired the rights to Glen “Big Baby” Davis in the Allen trade. As we all know, the C’s went on to win banner 17 that season and register one of the biggest turnarounds in NBA history.
This decision might have have been more difficult had the Celtics held the No. 2 pick instead of the No. 5 pick. Once they dropped out of the Oden and Durant sweepstakes, there was a pressing need to get out of that pick.
Durant has turned himself into an MVP candidate while Oden has been plagued by injuries. It would have been the Celtics’ luck to get the No. 1 pick, select Oden and see him miss all that time with knee injuries. The jury is still out on Oden if he can recover and produce. He hasn’t started more than 39 games in a season yet and will have to make the long trip back after another leg injury.
|04.13.10 at 6:57 am ET|
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
Celtics at Bulls, 8 p.m. (CSNNE/WEEI)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Twins infielder Orlando Hudson isn’t happy that his friend, free agent outfielder Jermaine Dye, is not playing this season, and he implies the reason is racism. “Call it what you want to,” Hudson said following the Twins’ victory over the Red Sox in Minneapolis. “I ain’t fit to say it. After I retire I’ll say it. I’ve got a whole bunch of stuff to say after I retire.” Jeff Passon at Yahoo!Sports.com takes a closer look at the situation and finds some inconsistencies around the league that lend credence to Hudson’s claims.
♦ John Paul Morosi at FoxSports.com writes about the opening of Minnesota’s Target Field and gets Red Sox slugger David Ortiz’ opinion of the Twins’ new park.
♦ Mike Vaccaro in the New York Post writes about how the Yankees are preparing to unveil the first championship banner in their new home Tuesday.
♦ Ron Cook in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes that Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger may have escaped criminal prosecution, but there is no way he should escape a suspension from the league or his team.
♦ Rich Cimini in the New York Daily News writes that Jets coach Rex Ryan will have his hands full with recently acquired troublemakers Santonio Holmes and Antonio Cromartie.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 13, 1957, the Celtics won their first NBA title with a 125-123 double-overtime victory over the St. Louis Hawks in Game 7 of the championship series. Which two Celtics rookies led the way, with one collecting 37 points and 23 rebounds, and the other setting an NBA finals rookie record with 32 rebounds to go along with 19 points.
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “I’m truly sorry for the disappointment and negative attention I brought to my family, my teammates, coaches, the Rooneys and the NFL. I understand that the opportunities I have been blessed with are a privilege, and much is expected of me as the quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers. I absolutely want to be the leader this team deserves, valued in the community and a role model to kids. I have much work to do to earn this trust.” — Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, after it was announced he won’t face charges for an incident at a Georgia nightclub
STAT OF THE DAY: 0-5 — The Red Sox’ record in games in which they opened a new park for another team: Oriole Park (Baltimore, 1901), Shibe Park (Philadelphia, 1909), Griffith Stadium (Washington, 1911), Yankee Stadium (New York, 1923), Target Field (Minnesota, 2010)
‘NET RESULTS: Chan Ho Park’s Yankees teammates got a kick out of the fact he admitted to the media that he had diarrhea.
Here’s a dog that needed a bathroom break at a Double-A baseball game and found left-center field to its liking.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Tom Heinsohn and Bill Russell
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Al Green is 64 today.
|04.12.10 at 2:22 pm ET|
PGA Tour player and NBC golf analyst Brad Faxon joined Dennis & Callahan Monday morning to talk about Phil Mickelson’s triumph at the Masters and Tiger Woods’ return to the competitive stage.
Faxon said that will all the family issues Mickelson had been dealing with, he finally was able to focus on his game the last few weeks in preparation for the Masters, which was a big help in his performance. ”[Phil] was on a three-week in a row trip. He played in Bay Hill at Arnold [Palmer's] tournament, he played in Houston and had [coach] Butch [Harmon] there and then he spent the couple of days at Augusta,” he said. “So I think this was his first real chance to just play golf.”
Faxon added that Mickelson ”is as popular on the golf course as Tiger is and it has been that way for a long time.” He was also impressed that Mickelson was able to play so well on the back-nine Sunday despite struggles off the tee. ”He had only 13 putts on the back nine and he hit seven greens despite hitting just the two fairways,” Faxon said. “This guy kept pounding driver, playing his game and I love that. He didn’t try to play anyone else’s game.”
As for Woods’ play, Faxon said that he was surprised that everything seemed to unravel in the final round on Sunday. “That is the worst I have seen him hit shots in the clutch,” Faxon said. “It is usually the opposite; when he gets down to the nitty gritty he looks neat and clean, and he looked disheveled. He was taking divots with a three wood and he was hitting three wood on holes where a lot of guys were hitting driver.”
Faxon also added that he was still surprised Tiger did not play another tournament before coming to Augusta. “Coming back to play in a tournament after a five-month layoff, no matter what tournament, there’s always going to be little things that you can’t practice for in your preparation that will happen in the tournament,” he said. ”They made a big deal yesterday of his chips and this is the first time he has played with the new v-groove; those little things make a difference.”
The highlights of the interview are transcribed below. To listen, click here.
How did you know Mickelson would win? Most people who had watched him in the previous weeks had felt his putting was off. Did you fix him?
Not at all. He works with Dave Stockton on his putting. I haven’t really helped Phil with his putting at all. I did get to go to dinner with him last week in Houston and with Butch Harmon the week before. But I do know one thing, he has had a tough time at home. As tough as it has been for Amy [Mickelson], it has been tough for Phil. He says, ‘Amy doesn’t know when she wakes up how she is going to feel and she wants me around, so I haven’t been able to practice and get out of the house to do the stuff I normally do.’ But he was on a three-week in a row trip. He played in Bay Hill at Arnold’s tournament, he played in Houston and had Butch there and then he spent the couple of days at Augusta. So I think this was his first real chance to just play golf. It was kind of an experiment for him in Houston. He was just ripping drivers everywhere and thinking about the week of the Masters. I could tell something was going on that made him my favorite.
We think we know Phil. Are we going to find out one of these days that he is as big a fraud as Tiger?
No way. No way. I really like him. He is as popular on the golf course as Tiger is and it has been that way for a long time. Phil is a guy that smiles and he might say a couple of bad words, but you don’t hear him say it. This whole thing about Tiger changing is funny to me because every athlete swears under their breath. In Tiger’s case it is tougher because there is a mic near him every shot he takes, but most of the time you do it with pursed lips or away from a microphone. You are trying to be careful about what you say. But Phil is not a controversial guy. He is not going to have any of that stuff.
Is Tiger suffering more this morning because Phil won? Would he have felt better if Anthony Kim or Lee Westwood won and not Phil?
Well, that is hard to say. I think he is mad at himself more than he is mad that Phil won or that Anthony Kim or Lee Westwood didn’t. But I was surprised with his interview with [Peter] Kostis because first of all, Kostis doesn’t really get to interview Tiger all that much because I don’t think Tiger gets along with Peter Kostis. But I think he had a chance in that interview — Tiger did — to say, ‘It felt great to be out here. It felt great to be in contention. Yeah, I didn’t win …’ That is what the champions before him have done, and Nicklaus better than anyone was a guy who said, I gave it my all and it didn’t work out and hats off to Tom Watson or whoever beat me.
Tiger didn’t say hats off to anybody.
I can understand in the heat of the battle that you are upset that you couldn’t pull it off. And I did make a good prediction on Phil this week but if you remember, John, I also made a bad prediction because I said I thought Thursday would be the toughest day for Tiger. And if he got himself in contention on Sunday, that would be the easiest day for him.
And it just went the opposite for him.
It was. He shot a 69 or 70 and we are thinking the world is going to end for Tiger. But that is the worst I have seen him hit shots in the clutch. It is usually the opposite; when he gets down to the nitty gritty he looks neat and clean, and he looked disheveled. He was taking divots with a 3-wood and he was hitting 3-wood on holes where a lot of guys were hitting driver.
As far as Tiger goes, what do you take out of his performance?
I don’t think we are going to stop Tiger from winning tournaments. First of all, I was surprised that he got himself in contention and looked that comfortable on Thursday. It looked like he had not missed a beat. Thursday was the most televised golf tournament, the most watched tournament ever, for a Thursday. So he is bringing back the viewer and the PGA needs that and the sporting world would love to see him play and contend. That is why I wish he would say, ‘Hey, I’ve got some work to do. I am going to come back and play in ‘X’ tournament,’ or whatever tournament. I wish he would say that because it would be good for everybody. But I really believe he doesn’t know when he is going to play.
Jack Nicklaus said that if Tiger really wanted to win he would have played another tournament before the Masters. If he wanted to better his chance to win, would he not have played some place else first? And didn’t he choose Augusta because that provided the safety we talked about.
I agree with Jack. Coming back to play in a tournament after a five-month layoff, no matter what tournament, there’s always going to be little things that you can’t practice for in your preparation that will happen in the tournament. They made a big deal yesterday of his chips and this is the first time he has played with the new v-groove; those little things make a difference. It is still mind boggling to me why he wouldn’t have come back to play in Arnold’s tournament or the Tavistock Cup where he lives just so he could have a few rounds under his belt. Because you need them to win a major, and I don’t know anyone who has ever won a major after five months off. It is hard to do.
Did you think Tiger would behave differently?
That is one of the reasons you like to watch anybody. You like to watch John McEnroe in tennis because you love to see the outbursts as much as you want to see the anything else. I think Tiger made a comment to Kostis where he said, ‘This is really overstated or overplayed about my comments. I’m not going to be happy or peppy when I am making bogeys.’ That is true of any player. I don’t think he needs to be less emotional when he plays golf. We love the emotion — both side, the good and bad of it — and I don’t know what he was trying to get at with that.
If you were on the pine straw with a two-shot lead, Masters title on the line, what would Brad Faxon have done?
A six-iron would have been a perfect layup for me. [Mickelson] hit it on the green. A couple of things amazed me about that shot. Hitting a shot off the pine straw with a perfect lie isn’t that tough. It is difficult to get good footing in there, but Phil wears metal spikes and that helps a lot. A lot of guys don’t wear metal spikes anymore; I don’t know if Tiger does but you saw him on the 11th hole taking his batter’s box stance and ripping the pine needles out of there. I was amazed too at how quickly Phil hit that shot. He made a couple little back swings and he knew that club was going to hit the tree or come close on the back swing. He and Bones — his caddie, Jim MacKay — were talking about hitting his shot to the left of the flag, and there was a hill up there so any shot that went long would come back to the flag. He was aiming to the left and he hit the crap out of it and drew it more than he thought. He swung as hard as he could swing and that was the shot of the tournament.
If he hits it in Ray’s Creek there, everyone would have said, “What are you doing, Phil.”
Everybody would have said something, but I think two things there. If he hit it in the creek he was very confident he could get the next shot up and down. It would have been a bread and butter pitch shot for him — it wasn’t like the flag was close to the creek — so he was thinking five there at worst. He said afterward that he had to make birdies and you saw some of the charges — Anthony Kim went five-under for four holes — so he knew that could happen to a lot of players there and that he needed to keep making birdies.
That was almost better for Phil because he said he could win this and be himself anyway.
That is one of the things I have learned the last few months with NBC. I was watching Phil down at Doral and Bay Hill with Gary Coke and Johnny Miller and he has two different drivers, one goes a mile and one is supposed to go straighter and a little lower. He was always hitting the driver that goes longer, full bore, and both Coke and Miller were wondering why he was doing that and saying that he just needs to learn to hit it straight. And I told them they had it wrong; Phil Mickelson has never been a guy who has hit it straight. Faldo falls into the same trap as these guys and says he can’t win if he keeps hitting driver. Yesterday on the back nine he hit driver on every hole except 18 when he had the tournament wrapped up and hit a three wood to stay in front of the bunkers. He hit two fairways — and that one that I thought was crucial was 15, the par 5 — but he kept missing fairways and he kept missing drivers. John, you sent a text to me about the putting and he had only 13 putts on the back-nine and he hit seven greens despite hitting just the two fairways. This guy kept pounding driver, playing his game and I love that. He didn’t try to play anyone else’s game.
Those two guys who shot 65 yesterday — Anthony Kim and Nick Watney — do they wake up and say, ‘I could have been in contention if not for that 76′ in Watney’s case and 73 in Kim’s? Or do they know it is different to shoot a 65 from the middle of the pack that at the top?
Well, I think they know that. These two guys are part of the under-30 crowd and they are both great players and have the chance to win majors going forward. They are excited. They can’t wait to play the next tournament and the next major. No matter if you are back in the pack a little bit, 65 on Sunday in any major is a great story. Those two guys, watch out. Like Lee Westwood, they will be in it on a Sunday.
|04.12.10 at 7:05 am ET|
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
Red Sox at Twins, 4:10 p.m. (NESN/WEEI)
AROUND THE WEB:
♦ Scott Ostler in the San Francisco Chronicle writes about home run king Barry Bonds, who made an appearance at the Giants’ ballpark Sunday for a team reunion and hinted that he wanted to get into coaching, while not ruling out a comeback. Asked about Mark McGwire, Bonds said: “I have a really good friendship with Mark McGwire and I’m proud of him.”
♦ Jeff Miller in The Orange County Register writes that the Los Angeles Lakers’ arrogance is playoff-ready. Writes Miller: Personally, we don’t hate this team. But we do find the Lakers to sometimes be as embraceable as a bonfire.
♦ Rick Reilly on ESPN.com writes that Phil Mickelson’s win at the Masters was a victory for women.
♦ Drew Sharp in the Detroit Free Press writes about the Frozen Four’s impact on the area and Boston College’s national title.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 12, 1994, which Red Sox infielder hit for the cycle in a 22-11 rout of the Kansas City Royals?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Overreacted? The guy punches me with the blocker five times in the face and doesn’t take his mask off. It’s called stupidity, not overreacting.” — Washington Capitals forward Jason Chimera, after being told Bruins goalie Tim Thomas admitted to overreacting by punching Chimera after the Capitals player was bumped into him in the first period of Sunday’s game
STAT OF THE DAY: 9 — Strikeouts for Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz in 19 at-bats this season, after four whiffs Sunday against the Royals
‘NET RESULTS: Penguins villain Matt Cooke was knocked out by a punch from Atlanta’s Evander Kane on Saturday night.
Texas Stadium, former home of the Dallas Cowboys, was demolished Sunday.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Scott Cooper
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Herbie Hancock is 70 today.
|04.09.10 at 10:44 am ET|
Brad Faxon checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Friday morning to talk about the first round of the Masters. Faxon said the most surprising story from Thursday’s first round was seeing Tom Watson’s name up near the top of the leaderboard.
“You really haven’t seen much from Tom Watson other than his great British Open last year,” Faxon said of Watson. “He did win his first Champions Tour event but you don’t see his name as often, and you don’t expect a 60-year-old guy with a new hip to be leading a major championship.”
Tiger Woods also had himself a productive first day on the course, firing a 4-under 68, and Faxon said it was probably nice for Tiger to just get out and focus on golf.
“I have to believe that first tee shot was one of the most comforting things he’s done in a long time,” he said. “He gets up there and the crowd was appreciative. They were not too loud, but where you want them to be, and he hit a perfect little fade tee shot that traditionally has given him a lot of trouble.”
Read the transcript below. To listen to the interview, click here.
Without a doubt Tom Watson’s 67, without a doubt. It’s kind of like having Butler in the [NCAA basketball] pool.
Who are you rooting for: Watson, Couples or Phil Mickelson?
I don’t know if you believe or not but my prediction at the beginning of the week was Mickelson. I’ve said it for about a week that something was going to happen and it would be good for Phil. Mickelson’s comments were, “Hey, Fred Couples, who has been doing so well on the Champions Tour with his three wins and his only non-win was a second place finish to Tom Watson, that winning breeds winning,” and Couples would be a guy he would look to see at the top of the leaderboard. Read the rest of this entry »
|04.09.10 at 8:05 am ET|
WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY:
Wizards at Celtics, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE/WRKO)
Red Sox at Royals, 8:10 p.m. (NESN/WEEI)
Hurricanes at Bruins, 1 p.m. (NESN)
Red Sox at Royals, 7:10 p.m. (NESN/WEEI)
Toronto FC at Revolution, 7:30 p.m. (CSNNE alternate channels)
Celtics at Bucks, 8:30 p.m. (CSNNE/WRKO)
Bruins at Capitals, noon (NBC)
Red Sox at Royals, 2:10 p.m. (NESN/WEEI)
AROUND THE WEB:
After a four-year battle, the University of North Dakota will drop Fighting Sioux as its nickname for sports teams.
Christine Brennan in USA Today writes that Tiger Woods may have softened his demeanor, but his game still is sharp.
Nick Canepa in the San Diego Union-Tribune writes that new Jets running back LaDanian Tomlinson should think twice before criticizing his former team.
Jerry Sullivan in The Buffalo News writes that the city has to be thankful for the Sabres’ great season, although he questions whether the team has enough for a long postseason run. That would be good news for the Bruins, who could draw the Sabres in the opening round.
Bob Kravitz in The Indianapolis Star writes that Brad Stevens signing a long-term contract to remain at Butler makes the feel-good story feel that much better.
ON THIS DAY TRIVIA: On April 9, 1976, which future Hall of Fame pitcher made his debut for the Red Sox on Opening Day and was the hard-luck loser in a 1-0 loss to Jim Palmer and the Orioles?
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “He’s had some tough times. His teammates and the coaching staff certainly support him. There’s obviously some frustration and he has stuck with it. He was a valuable asset to our team [Thursday night].” — Bruins coach Claude Julien, on defenseman Dennis Wideman, who scored a goal in Thursday’s win over the Sabres
STAT OF THE DAY: 6 — Consecutive games without a power-play goal for the Bruins
‘NET RESULTS: Bizarre sequence from Wednesday night’s NBA game in Oklahoma City. Denver’s Carmelo Anthony lays on the floor while play goes on around him. He eventually makes a miraculous recovery and returns.
TRIVIA ANSWER: Ferguson Jenkins
SOOTHING SOUNDS: Carl Perkins, who died in 1998, was born on this day in 1932.
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