Better late than never…fighting a bit of a head cold, so I’ve been taking it easy today, but I’m up and about and figured a meaty version of “19 points” might clear up my sinuses. Here you go, for me AND you to enjoy.
#1 – Stephen Curry…WOW. Just, WOW. That wasn’t Elon or the College of Charleston he beat by himself yesterday, it was Georgetown. I said this throughout the respective conference tournaments but it bears repeating…when you go undefeated in your conference during the regular season (18-0 in the Southern Conference) and in the conference tournament, you’re REALLY, REALLY good. Davidson is proving that now.
#2 – On June 18, the Orioles are giving away baseball caps to the first 20,000 people who enter the stadium when they play Houston. Guess what is on the cap? The “old school” logo with the happy bird, leg up in the air, swinging a bat…and the logo that surrounds the bird? It says “BALTIMORE” on top and “Orioles” on the bottom. Dare I dream?
#3 – Geoff Ogilvy will be a popular pick in a couple of weeks at Augusta. 90% of the national media experts will pick Tiger to win the Masters (and right now he’s a 3-1 favorite at my favorite on-line gambling site) and he probably will, but a lot of people will give Ogilvy the popular “dark horse” nod. He’ll be a good pick, too. He doesn’t hit it particularly straight off the tee, but you don’t have to at Augusta. The only problem? Getting up and down from around the greens at Augusta isn’t quite as easy as getting up and down around the greens at Doral, where he was 16 of 17 this week en route to his win.
#4 – Did you know you could buy Orioles opening day tickets today? Yep, we’re a week away from the first game and seats are still available. Please, please, let that game be sold out. That’s the last thing we need next week…a non-sell-out.
#5 – I know the Orioles starting five pitchers (or four, right now…who is their #5?) are no great shakes, but it strikes me that Tampa Bay’s starting five aren’t all that hot either. Granted Scott Kazmir is better than anyone we have, but after that, they throw James Shields, Matt Garza, Andy Sonnanstine and, like the O’s, they don’t know the identity of their #5 yet. It might not be such a slam dunk that the O’s finish in last place now that I’ve looked more closely at that Rays starting staff.
#6 – If everyone returns, Purdue will be an Elite 8 team or better next year. L-O-A-D-E-D.
#7 – I’m not going to get all hopped up about North Carolina’s first two games in the NCAA Tournament. Yes, they hung up triple digits on Mt. St. Mary’s and Arkansas, but they won’t be hanging up 100 on Washington State – or Louisville – or Kansas, if they advance that far. UNC beat two really good teams this year. Duke and Clemson. I’m going to stick with my bracket ponderings and continue to say that UNC won’t make it to the Final Four.
#8 – Why is Major League Baseball starting the season in Japan? I mean, seriously, what’s the thinking behind that? Go over there in November and play a 7-game series against a bunch of different teams and give the players their $40k so they’re happy, but starting the season in Japan instead of Boston or Oakland is, well, not cool.
#9 – Speaking of Tiger Woods, he carries a +13.5 handicap at his home course (Isleworth) in Orlando. The course rating from the back tees is 77.9, which basically means par is really around 75.5 from those tees. The BEST amateur at the club is a 1.9 handicap. Tiger’s +13.5 hdcp is indicative of a guy who shoots around 65 every time he plays the course. Oh, yeah, he had four 59’s in the handicap system in 2007.
#10 – This is a helluva run the Capitals are on. Six games to go and they need to creep over Boston for that final playoff spot. The big sidebar to this: if the Caps make the post-season, Ovechkin wins the league’s MVP award.
#11 – The Nationals new ballpark looks really cool…and it sure looks like you’re close to the action. Check out the pictures of the first and third base lines and you’ll see what I mean.
#12 – Giving Matt Albers the #5 spot in the pitching rotation might help soften the blow of Troy Patton’s shoulder injury should Albers be decent in ’08.
#13 – Don’t look now, but the Blast have put together an excellent season at 17-9 (with four games to play) and they’re going to be a title contender for sure.
#14 – True story, as you might recall from last week’s blog. Baby Ethan has Michigan State beating Washington State in the NCAA Tournament Final. That CAN’T happen, right?
#15 – Will the Wizards be better or worse when/if Gilbert Arenas comes back? Seems to me Caron Butler is the guy who either makes them or breaks them these days.
#16 – Villanova was the last team who got in the tournament with an at-large bid and now look at them. The committee takes a beating on occasion, but they got this one right.
#17 – I know he was out of the coaching box and all, but I thought throwing the Stanford coach out of the game against Marquette was bush league. Should have been handled better than that.
#18 – I wonder what number Matt Ryan would wear with the Ravens?
#19 - I’m still sticking with my initial bracket: Louisville, Kansas, Stanford and UCLA in the Final Four, with Kansas beating UCLA in the Final.