A Holiday edition of 19 points…

May 26, 2008 | Drew Forrester

1. I did a lot of TV-sports-watching this weekend, including auto racing and lacrosse. First, the Indy 500. I was glued to the set over the last 45 minutes. Probably the first time in about 10 years I’ve even watched a minute of the race. My hats off to those guys (and, gals) who sit behind the wheel of any race car (Formula One, NASCAR, etc.). They’re all far better athletes than we give them credit for, I assure you.
2. Now, on to lacrosse. I watched the Duke-Hopkins game and the Syracuse-Hopkins game and both were extremely entertaining. JHU’s win over Duke on Saturday was one of the most exciting sporting events I’ve seen in a long time. Not sure why the pro lax game hasn’t worked, but the college game (especially at the level of the Final Four weekend) is great to watch.
3. Just when I stop calling him “5-walk Danny”, Cabrera surrenders 6 walks on Sunday in Tampa Bay. Go figure, huh?
4. Phil Mickelson’s win in Ft. Worth on Sunday was very Tiger-esque. The 52-degree wedge to 8 feet from the trees was superb, but then he made the putt to win. I guess it’s easy to make a good stroke when you already have $100 million in the bank.
5. Speaking of Tampa Bay, how freakin’ good is that kid Evan Longoria? Wow, what a rock star he’s going to be for the Rays.
6. So, a month ago, Nestor started talking about how the O’s wouldn’t duplicate their 16-16 start and I said, “sure they will…wanna bet?” We have a chinese lunch wager that the O’s aren’t (or, I hope, are) 32-32 after 64 games. I still say I have a decent chance.
7. The King of Baltimore sports is coming soon. Who’s had the BEST career in the last 50 years of all the athletes who have played for a Baltimore pro sports team? We’re going to take the summer of ’08 to figure it out. Stay tuned…
8. Instant replay in baseball won’t solve everything. We’ve all seen the replay of that Jason Giambi foul-tip-that-was-or-wasn’t-but-was-called-strike-three (last Thursday night) about 20 times now and there’s still no definitive evidence proving the ball made contact with the bat. Strangest play I’ve seen in a long time.
9. This time next week, we’ll know whether or not the Orioles finally decided to do the right thing and put BALTIMORE back on the road jerseys in ’09 – or if they decided to once again not let the fans get what they want. Don’t get your hopes up…
10. What do you do with Steve Trachsel? I say it’s time to give Matt Albers the starting role and either move Trax to the bullpen or move him on to the unemployment line. Too bad, ‘cuz he’s a really good guy. But, it’s looking more and more like he can’t get major league hitters out any longer.
11. I’ll have full details (in blog form) by mid-week once all the monies and pledges come in, but we had another very successful charity golf outing last Thursday at Mountain Branch. We’ll be over the $5,000 mark again this year, with all of our ’08 proceeds going to the Casey Cares Foundation of Baltimore. My thanks again to all of you who participated.
12. I love all these people who think the answer to the O’s hitting woes is to fire Terry Crowley. When BALTIMORE posted all those come-from-behind wins in April and May, how did they do it? At the plate, that’s right.
13. Don’t look now, but quite possibly the top 1-2 hitting combination in all of baseball through the first two months (nearly) of the season is in Houston. Lance Berkman (.385) and some guy named Tejada (.335).
14. I don’t know why, but college baseball is boring. To me, anyway.
15. The Yankees will finish the season with 12 more wins than the Orioles, max.  The gap is closing.
16. Speaking of wins – and the Orioles – here’s a good bet. Who has more wins in ’08, Jeremy Guthrie or the Redskins? Guthrie will have at least 11, so that makes him an easy winner in this wager.
17. If I heard this once, I heard it 20 times over the weekend on the radio and TV broadcasts – “O’s fans, don’t forget the big weekend series with Boston that starts on May 30…now the Saturday night game is nearly sold out but there are still lots and lots of good seats available for Monday’s series finale.” Gee, I wonder why…could it be because all the people from Boston have to go to work on Monday?
18. I really hope Roger Federer wins the French Open.
19. Did anyone else see Fred Smith of FedEx on “The Charlie Rose Show” recently? Now, there’s a man (Smith, not Rose) who should run for President of our country.

A Holiday edition of ’19 points’

January 21, 2008 | Drew Forrester

Go ahead and check out these “19 points to ponder”….and respond if you wish.

1.  I realize it’s a holiday and all, which might explain their absence, but where are my two resident slapdicks, “Tim in Timonium” and “JWS in Dundalk”?  After all, I did say throughout last week that the Giants would win in Green Bay and I even picked the score EXACTLY right (including the OT…just check out last Monday’s “19 points” to verify it).  I figured Timmy and Johnny would have sent me an e-mail by now congratulating me on my fine work.  I’ll go check the inbox again, BRB.  (Edit:  Nope, still nothing from either of them.  I guess the circus left town over the weekend?)

2.  New England 27 – N.Y. Giants 19

3.  Tiger will most likely win the PGA Tour event at Torrey Pines this week…he wins just about anything he wants…but if he doesn’t win, I’ll take Boo Weekley (and I’ll pick him in the WNST Fantasy Golf League just to have a stake in the whole thing.)

4.  My Federer and Henin picks to win the Australian Open are still looking good, but Federer hasn’t looked like the dominating-razor-sharp-Roger that we all expected to see. 

5.  If you watched the Harbaugh Press Conference and didn’t realize that Steve Bisciotti chose Ray over Billick, you need to watch it again and listen to the last 10 minutes where the Owner lets you in on his little secret. 

6.  Mike Scroggins won the PBA Bowling event over the weekend.  How do I know?  I watched it.  Yep, I watched the whole thing and, as far as bowling goes, it was pretty daggone exciting.  I’m thinking about becoming a professional bowler in my spare time.  I already have Charlie from Perry Hall Lanes offering me free lessons.  Can’t be THAT hard, can it?

7.  If the Caps keeping playing well, I might have to trek down to the Verizon Center and break out my old Bernie Wolfe jersey from days gone by.  Sure would be nice to have playoff hockey in the spring in Washington D.C.

8.  Nice win for D.J. Trahan on the PGA Tour over the weekend.  One more of those and he’ll just about be a lock for the Ryder Cup team this Fall.

9.  I expected more from Towson University basketball this season.  I guess I didn’t realize how undersized they really are.  Tough to win at a high-level like the CAA when you don’t have some presence under the basket.  Losing Tommy Breaux to that football-season injury has really hurt them. 

10.  Who’s going to close for the Orioles?  We’re a month from pitchers and catchers reporting and they don’t have a bonafide set-up guy – or a closer.  Here’s an idea that I floated out there last year and I still think it has merit.  Give the ball to Daniel Cabrera in the last inning.  I know, I know…he can’t get the ball over the plate when he starts, what makes you think he can get it over the plate in the pressure situations that a closer faces?  I don’t have the answer, but I know he stinks as a starter, so why not see if closing suits him better?  Did I mention that they don’t have a closer yet, anyway?

11.  Two wins for the Blast over the weekend.  I need to get down to the Arena and check out a game.  I was just asked to vote for two players in the team’s “Hall of Fame” balloting.  I voted for one “old school” guy who deserves to get in…I really hope he makes it.  

12.  Is there a better broadcasting duo in all of sports than Jim Nantz and Phil Simms on CBS Football?  I don’t think so.

13.  I realize the schedule strength changes from year to year, so you never really know who’s going to be good and who’s going to be bad (look at the Ravens this past season…coming off of 13-3…I’m sure teams thought Baltimore would be a tough foe in ’07 and look what happened).  But at first glimpse, the Ravens have a monster schedule next season – Dallas, Giants, Skins, Indy, J’Ville, Tennessee – and Pittsburgh, twice (all playoff teams in ’07). 

14.  National League Cy Young winner (and this is even if Bedard gets traded to a N.L. team) in ’08 — Dan Haren, Arizona Diamondbacks.

15.  Kansas is STILL the best team in college basketball.  Been saying it for a month and I don’t think anything except injuries is going to change my mind – they’re gonna win the NCAA title in April.

16.  Scott Garceau of Channel 2 sports fame braved the elements and sat in the stands at Lambeau Field yesterday to watch his beloved Packers.  Now THAT guy is a fan! 

17.  Gotta feel good for Tom Coughlin.  Last year, some of his players tried to run him out of town but management stuck with him and look how it turned out.

18.  American League Cy Young winner in ’08 – Roy Halladay, Toronto.

19.  Just checked my e-mail again…still nothing from the two clowns.