1. So, the powers-that-be at Augusta haven’t ruined the course, but they might be on their way to ruining The Masters. Because the media – and the players – can’t really criticize the course (sort of like no one in town is allowed to criticize our baseball team), no one is speaking up about the fact that Augusta has almost made itself into an April version of the U.S. Open, without the 5 inch rough. No more back nine magic, no one shooting 30 coming home to steal the title away…it’s “plod and par” golf now, which is fine, if that’s what you want the tournament to be.
2. 10,441, 13,902, 11,754 and 12,202 – that’s how many people will be at Camden Yards – in the seats – on Mon, Tue, Wed and Thur of this week. Then, come this weekend when New York comes to town, Yankee Stadium at Camden Yards will be filled to the brim. Ahhhhhh…revenue time.
3. Carmelo Anthony got arrested for DUI last night. Unlike last time when he said the marijuana in his bag was someone else’s who was “borrowing” his bag, this time, I have to assume he can’t say it was someone else who looked like him driving his vehicle.
4. My prediction on the Ravens schedule (scheduled for release tomorrow…make sure you sign up for our text service to get it first) is a season opening (Sept. 7) trip to Dallas to battle the Cowboys.
5. Most impressive O’s newcomer so far: George Sherrill. Least impressive: Adam Jones.
6. Last week in a blog about The Masters, I predicted #2 would rank as the easiest hole for the tournament and #11 would be the hardest. I was half-right. #11 WAS the hardest, playing to a stroke average of 4.35 (par 4) while #15 was the easiest hole (4.67, par 5). #2 was the 3rd easiest hole, if you’re keeping score.
7. In about a month or so, the O’s will once again be faced with the issue of whether or not they plan to return BALTIMORE to the road jerseys for the 2009 season. No one in the media (besides me) will pressure them to make that change and the deadline will come and go and I’ll bet my house they chicken out again and DON’T make the change. They’ll come up with a bunch of garbage about “branding”, reaching out to a broad fan base and a bunch of other malarkey…all of which is really code word for: “we don’t want the fans to be right…”
8. It’s looking like both Carolina and Chicago are serious about trying to scoot up into that #7 draft spot currently occupied by New England. Either would take Matt Ryan, of course, with that 7th pick if they could engineer a deal with the Patriots. If Ryan isn’t there, I will still stay with my original thought that the Ravens would/will select Sedrick Ellis from USC.
9. Anyone see Derek Lowe’s stats with the Dodgers so far this season? Love that dude…
10. I don’t care what Joe West said on Friday night, that was a check-swing strike 3 on Carlos Pena in the bottom of the 8th inning when Dennis “Rick Vaughn” Sarfate walked in the eventual game-winning run. Homer call, that was.
11. Nothing pains me quite like seeing those scallywag Philadelphia Flyers beat the Capitals, especially in the post-season. What IS a “Flyer”, anyway?
12. Michael Thompson and Tom Watson both called penalties on themselves in The Masters last Friday. Thompson’s ball moved about an eighth of an inch while he was setting up to putt on the 15th green (and he was close to the cut line at +4), while Watson assessed himself a penalty because he forgot to replace his coin back to its original position after moving it out of a playing competitor’s line. One young guy, one old guy, both showing why golf is the best game of all.
13. It’s not looking like Luis Hernandez is going to make the grade as the O’s everyday shortstop. “Mark from Rosedale” called the show this morning and said Alex Cintron will be the starting SS by mid-May. Agreed.
14. Erik Bedard was another late scratch from his scheduled start yesterday in Seattle. Mercurial. Different. Injury prone. Take your pick.
15. David Feherty is the best thing going on CBS’ golf coverage, as far as “analysts” go. He knows the game, keeps it fresh and, yet, knows when to put on the serious hat when the shot really matters. Sort of like his old buddy Gary McCord, who used to provide the same kind of enlightening commentary before he got booted from The Masters broadcast for saying the 17th green at Augusta was fast because the superintendent used “bikini wax” on them.
16. The Blast host Milwaukee in a MISL playoff game this Wednesday. Playoff-indoor soccer is good stuff, but that “best of 2″ with a sudden death mini-game if the series is tied 1-1 is something the CYO would do. If it’s the playoffs and it matters THAT much, have either a one-game winner take-all or a 3-game series.
17. Did you hear that loud THUD just now? That was Aubrey Huff coming back to earth.
18. The Tigers had better get hopping pretty soon. 2-10 isn’t an insurmountable bad start to overcome, but 4-20 would be.
19. If Frank Thomas doesn’t make the Hall of Fame, they should just shut the place down.