Now that the Indianapolis Colts have ruined the suspense by announcing they will select Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft we can wonder whom the Dallas Cowboys professional NFL football team will take at No. 14 on Thursday night.
Their selection will be? Uhhh ..... ummm .... uhhh ... cough-cough ... I'll say Alabama safety Mark Barron. The way Alabama's defense is the Cowboys could take their third-string defensive end and come out with a good pro.
The beauty of predicting the draft is that you can high-five your friends when you nail a prediction. For instance, I knew the Colts were going to take Luck (it should be noted, I predicted this exact scenario when Indianapolis sports radio personality Jake Query announced that Peyton Manning was out of the year last August; call me Mr. Vegas).
The draft is such a giant crap shoot; it's like forecasting the weather, only with worse odds.
Many thanks to the good people at Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth for its annual "wide open" tournament on Monday that allows horrendous hacks such as myself the chance to tear up their prize course. I think I shot a 68. Maybe a 70 ... plus or minus 30 or 32 strokes.
The Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial is May 21 to 27, and right now the field does not include Tiger or Phil, Rory or a Bubba.
Who are we kidding? Golf tournaments these are validated by Tiger or Phil. Unless something dramatically changes those guys aren't coming. Bummer.
Could a Bubba, though? Colonial is trying to land Bubba Watson.
The recent Master's champion, who by name alone - not to mention his emotional celebration after winning that title - has made him a hot golf item, has played Colonial before. He and his wife very recently adopted a baby, and he has said he doesn't want to play too far from his Florida home in the early stages.
The tournament has reached out to Bubba to tell him if he played Colonial he would not be asked to join any peripheral event. Basically, all he has to do is play.
Between the NFL draft coming up, the end of the NBA's regular season, the NHL playoffs, baseball season starting, and your own lives the second trial involving former pitching great Roger Clemens seems to be generating giant pile of indifference.
It would seem that the baseball public has moved on from this episode, and generally feels that to prosecute this man is a giant waste of tax payer money. Did Clemens use PEDs in an era where everyone but the team's radio play by play man had a syringe in his man purse? Probably. Do we care? It feels that for a long time we did because to use PEDs clearly ruined the perception of being able to compare statistics from one generation of players to another. Now, however, we have accepted that this happened and just hope that maybe baseball's new anti-PED policy deters guys from using.
What we cared about were the numbers. Unlike any other sport baseball had the ability to be able to suggest that its numbers from one era could be compared to another. It was always a fallacy because things such as expansion, size of parks, increased teams, specialization, better technology, etc., always affected the overall performance.
Those changes affected numbers fractionally. A PED gave a player a stastical boost that was almost PlayStation-ish.
We have now accepted that players from the 'roid era just had numbers that were often cartoonish, most notably Barry Bonds' 73 home run season.
Congress and Clemens can do their dog and pony show while the vast majority of us have moved on and applied our own internal asterisk to his achievements.
Hockey in the spring has been dead in North Texas for years; one of the primary reasons, we have been repeatedly sold, is because of unstable ownership.
There is no bigger ownership joke in professional sports than that of the Phoenix Coyotes NHL team. The league desperately doesn't want another re-location to Canada, and the greater Phoenix area doesn't care what happens to this franchise. Every other minute they are going to remain in Phoenix, or bought and moved to Canada.
All the while the Dallas Stars fans are told - and I bought it - that the reason their team struggled so is because of ownernship hell. The Coyotes are making that look like an excuse.
Yet the head coach whom then new-Dallas Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk immediately fired has the Coyotes winning despite ownerships headaches. On Monday night in Chicago, the Fightin' Dave Tippetts defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-0 to win their first-round Western Conference series, 4-2.
Since Tippett has arrived in Phoenix the Coyotes have made the playoffs for three straight seasons, won a Pacific Division title, and now a first round playoff series. The last time this franchise won an NHL playoff series was 1987, when it was still in Winnipeg. This team won three straight road playoff games for the first time in franchise history.
(Agreed; that's a rockin' porn 'stache.)
GM Joe's firing of Tippett was a prudent decision; the players in that room had begun to tune him out and the transition was necessary. It did not mean Tippett was a dope.
Is his style boring? Absolutely. There may not be an NHL team that plays it any more conservative than the Coyotes. I do believe Tippett coached to a team's strengths. The Coyotes aren't loaded with skill and talent, so they grind and bore you, get a lead, and sit on it.
The Coyotes aren't talented enough to win the Stanley Cup, but how they have done so much despite "crippling ownership contraints" that Stars fans were told derailed their team, is impressive.
Today arguably the greatest Texas Rangers player will officially retire as a Ranger. With the exception of Nolan Ryan, there may never have been a more complete baseball player in Rangers' history than Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez.
Pudge is scheduled to meet with the media today at the Ballpark before the Rangers' series against the New York Yankees to talk about his retirement with the original team he came up with, and never wanted to leave.
In the first 100 pages of the book Lewin covers the slow devolvement of the team in 2000, including Pudge's latter years with the club in 2001 and 2002.
"Rodriguez told general manager Doug Melvin in a private meeting, 'Please don't trade me. Please don't let me go as a free agent. I'll sign for less money than I could get on the open market. Forget my agent, forget everything. I just want to stay where I am.'
"... As 2002 wound down, things were different. (New GM John) Hart and the Rangers' hiearchy didn't trust another long-term contract would be a sound investment for a man who had caught 145 games a year, every year, for 11 seasons in the baking Texas heat."
Lewin recounts Pudge's final home game with the team in 2002:
"Leading off the bottom of the seventh, just after the last playing of Cotton-Eyed Joe for the season, there was Pudge with that big-but-effortless swing, launching his 19th home run of a lost season. The fans went berserk, and had even more to cheer about an inning later.
"Manager Jerry Narron wanted to give Pudge a chance to tip his hat to the crowd before being pulled from the game. He slyly encouraged Pudge in the dugout to 'go get on base so I can take you out and the crowd can roar.' Rodriguez told Narron, in not so many words, that he would deliver.
"On the first pitch from Micah Bowie, he blasted one of those patented right-center-field laser beams, and initially it appeared destined for home run number 20. But, no, instead the ball thumped against the top of the UPS sign and stayed in play, thus allowing a laughing Narron to pinch-run Todd Greene and get Pudge's his hero's sendoff from the adoring crowd. Narron noted the advertising slogan painted on the UPS sign: 'We deliver'. That, in a nutshell, was Pudge."