In this week in review, I’ll cover what Tiger Woods’ win at the Memorial means for his chances at the US Open, Johan Santana needing to thank Major League Baseball’s unwillingness to use expanded instant replay for his and the Mets first no hitter, Celtics and Heat games being determined by the refs and not the players, and my highlight and lowlight of the week.
Before I start, I just want to give a shout out to Andy Bloch for winning his first WSOP bracelet and against some stiff competition like Barry Greenstein and David Williams. I mentioned Andy in last week’s article on great players who haven’t won a bracelet. Now it looks like I can take Bloch of the list. Congrats.
Tiger Woods Wins and Golf Couldn’t Be Happier
All it took was a 50 foot chip in on 16 to have golf fans and golf analysts alike shouting to the high heavens that Tiger Woods is back. Yes, Tiger Woods has won his second golf title of the season, tying him for second in tournament wins with the great Jack Nicholas. Tiger is now 9 wins away from tying Sam Snead for number one on that list with 82. But really, the only record that really matters to golf fans and probably Tiger himself is majors. Tiger has 14 major titles, with Jack at #1 with 18. His last major was a US Open, back in 2008, but that’s four years and one a major infidelity scandal ago, and many wondered if Tiger would ever win another major, let alone 4. A few months ago, after Tiger won the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and many people called that victory as the resurrection of his golf game, and going into the 2012 Masters, a week after his victory, many people had him as the favorite. It seemed like that victory was just a blip on the radar, because Woods finished the Masters at +5, his worst result as a professional. He followed that performance by missing the cut at The Players Championship. But now, once again, people everywhere are saying that Tiger Woods is back. That golfers should watch out in the US Open. Does Woods have a chance of winning? Of course he does. No golfer has dominated the way Tiger has. Many people wanted to call Rory Mcilroy the next Tiger after his dominating win at last year’s US Open. But what has he done in the past 3 tournaments he’s played in? He’s missed the cut three straight times. Seems like no one is playing consistent golf, Tiger included, so it could be anyone’s guess as to who will win the US Open.
New York Mets Get First No Hitter Thanks to No Instant Replay
Maybe the Umpires of Major League Baseball should take a cue from the French Open. If your not sure if a ball is in or out, look for the mark to ball leaves. If the 3rd Base Umpire at last Friday’s Mets Cardinals game did that, Johan Santana wouldn’t have become the first New York Met to get a no hitter. It’s clear as day that Carlos Beltran’s shot towards left smacked the 3rd base line. I’ve already shown a video back in May of a 1st base umpire calling a guy out when the 1st baseman was at least a foot off the bag. This clearly has to stop, but I don’t know what it will take for Bud Selig and Major League Baseball to come to the realization that Instant Replay needs to be expanded. Basically everything except balls and strikes should be allowed to be reviewed. I know that the heads of Major League Baseball are concerned with instant replay delaying an already long game, but I would think that they want to get it right. I say give each manager 2 challenges. If the manager’s right, they keep the challenge. All Major League Baseball has to do is hire an extra Umpire that would be in charge of looking at the replays. When he determines the correct call, he’ll send that message to the Head Umpire. It shouldn’t be that hard to do. But I’m afraid that nothing will change until a call like this comes up during a World Series game.
Celtics/Heat: A Tale of Bad Officiating and Heat’s Terrible Closing Ability
0-10. That’s the Heat’s shooting in the final 24 seconds of games either down or tied in the last 2 years in the playoffs. In this series alone, the Heat have had 3 opportunities to come up with the win, and haven’t converted on any of them. Many people would view this as LeBron James once again not stepping up in the clutch, or Dwyane Wade losing a step. But after last night’s game, it’s cleat that the majority of the blame for the lack of the Heat’s closing ability should go the Miani’s head coach Erik Spoelstra. I like Spoelstra. He’s a great defensive mind and for being young coach on a star driven team, he’s done well, but he doesn’t know how to make up a game winning play. James and Wade are at their best when taking it to the basket, not shooting up 28 foot jump shots. Yet in every single final play, that’s all they’re doing. Not only that, but where was Mike Miller in each of those final plays. It should have been James, Wade, Chalmers, Battier, and Miller in that final play before overtime. That way, Kevin Garnett couldn’t have gone up to LeBron for the double team, because he would have to keep his focus on a quality shooter like Miller, instead of Haslem, who shot a fade away that had no chance of going down. Same thing with Wade at then end of overtime. Wade’s never been good at shooting 3’s, so he’ should’ve drove in a kicked it out to a better 3 point shooter if they wanted to win and not tie. This is a fatal flaw in the Heat game and if they don’t solve it soon, the beat up Celtics might pull this series out, and the implosion in Miami will begin, starting with the coach.
The other note I took from the game was the consistent inconsistency with NBA refs throughout this series. The refs blew a call in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, where Rajon Rondo clearly got hit in the face by Wade, but was uncalled and that lead to an immediate transition dunk for the Heat and that momentum led them to win Game 2. But last night was just a complete joke. It seemed like all you had to was trip over yourself and the other team would be called for the foul. That’s exactly what happen to Mickael Pietrus who fell back just as LeBron James went for post position, taking James with him, and yet the foul was called of James, which was his sixth. Same thing happened to Paul Pierce at the beginning of overtime. Pierce was fighting through Shane Battier. Battier fell down, and Pierce was charged for his 6th foul, the 3rd time out of 4 games that he’s fouled out. The refs seriously need to swallow their whistles at certain points and let players play, because that’s who the fans came to see, not referees.
Highlight of the Week
Lowlight of the Week
I Didn’t Know Basketball Ended in Ties