Sunday, August 22, 2010

G'Bye Lou!

The Chicago Cubs have been dreadful this year. Perhaps that should read one or two levels beyond dreadful. I knew the team would have a new manager in 2011 because Lou Piniella had said he was going to retire. So it surprised me somewhat this morning when I woke up to find today would be Lou's last day on the job. After 48 years in the game, Piniella was retiring because of his mother's ill health.
If Lou would have been smart, he would have had one of his trademark arguments with an umpire and got tossed in the 7th. What the Cubs did today in Lou's last game was beyond pathetic. It was an absolute embarassment. The Cubbies got smoked 16-5 by Atlanta and they looked terrible in doing so. They allowed five homers, they had three errors and on one play that broke the game open in the 7th, Alfonso Soriano couldn't field a lazy fly ball to left with the bases loaded and three runs ended up scoring. That's inexplicable in itself.
When Piniella took over the Cubs in 2006, I thought he could get this team over the hurdle--that now 102 year old hurdle that gets bigger and bigger each day. Two playoff berths were met with no playoff wins. No Bartman to blame this time around.
Who's next? It won't be bench coach Alan Trammell. The team says the former great Tigers shortstop won't be offered the job. There is talk former Cub and current Yankee manager Joe Girardi might be the guy, but I can't see that. I really see this team going into its past and selecting my all time favourite major leaguer Ryne Sandberg to be the new skipper. Sandberg has been slowly working his way through the organization and is currently managing the Cubs Triple A team in Iowa. He knows the guys that will be coming up to the big team. He knows the pressure associated with Cubs baseball. He knows Chicago. He is the perfect candidate. I just hope that him taking the job doesn't tarnish his good name.
Brett Favre was back---for four plays. Why bother? The Viking quarterback didn't even work up a sweat as his team lost to the Niners in NFL exhibition play. I'm sure he'll play much more at home next weekend against Seattle.
Speaking of the Seahawks, Jon Ryan's performance against the Packers in Saturday's pre-season game has media that follow the Packers acknowleding Green Bay made the wrong move when they released Ryan. Here's a blog posting from a Milwaukee newspaper writer that wonders what if.
Congrats to Graham DeLaet. Even though he didn't make the cut this weekend at the Wyndhams, he still had enough to qualify in the top 125 for the Fed Ex Cup playoffs that will begin Thursday. Here's what you need to know as he starts play at the Barclays.

EVENTS: There are four events in the Playoffs, with a progressive cut after each of the first three events in order to reduce the field to the top 30 in FedExCup points going into the Playoffs finale, THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola. Here's a look at each event and the size of the field.

Tournament Competition dates Course Field size
The Barclays Aug. 26-29 Ridgewood CC,
Paramus, N.J. Top 125 and ties
in FedExCup points

Deutsche Bank Championship Sept. 3-6 TPC Boston
Norton, Mass. Top 100 and ties
in FedExCup points

BMW Championship Sept. 9-12 Cog Hill (Dubsdread)
Lemont, Ill. Top 70 and ties
in FedExCup points

THE TOUR Championship
presented by Coca-Cola Sept. 23-26 East Lake CC
Atlanta, Ga. Top 30 and ties
in FedExCup points

POINTS: Players carry over their accumulated FedExCup points from the regular season, but points in the Playoffs are worth five times as much as points distributed at the majority of TOUR events. For instance, the winner of each event will receive 2,500 points, not 500. That means players who perform well in the Playoffs can move up quickly in the standings. Last year, Heath Slocum began the Playoffs next-to-last in points, but thanks to his 2,500 points in winning The Barclays, he moved up to third in the standings and eventually finished eighth.

RESET: At the conclusion of the BMW Championship, the top 30 players in points will be eligible for THE TOUR Championship and will have their points adjusted based on their position. As a result, the top five players going into East Lake will control their own fates -- win THE TOUR Championship and you win the FedExCup. Players ranked 6-15 will have a reasonable chance of winning the FedExCup, based on how others perform, and all players are at least guaranteed a mathematical chance of winning.

DeLaet finishes his first year on the Tour with just under 600-thousand dollars won. Four of his 23 events saw him finish in the top 25 and he had one top 3 finish which was the Houston Open. The chances of him moving on past this week are slim, but if you get hot at the right time, you can just keep going so many around here will be hoping he can put four good rounds together next week.
If Old Spice guy was a comic character, he would be Cleveland Brown (Family Guy).
The NHL is getting smart. It sounds as if they are going to change its regular season tiebreaker rule.The first tiebreaker will be a combination of regulation time and overtime victories, with shootout wins excluded, according to the online report. In the past, the first tiebreaker had been total wins of any kind.The league is making the adjustment to give more weight to victories gained in some form of team play, rather than by shootout. Personally, I've grown tired of the shootout because I see it too often. I'm not big on the 3 on 3 idea (see poll question) because now you are radically changing the game. I say 3 points for a win, 2 points for a shootout win, 1 point for a shootout loss and zero points for a loss whether it happens in overtime or not.
Keep rooting for Mandi Schwartz. She needs every little bit of support that can be given.
What is the exact meaning of this World Hockey Summit. Here's the bottom line. We are Olympic mens and womens champs and we were one shot away from winning the World Junior title for what the umpteenth year in a row. As far as I see it, everything is fine in Canada. OK, an Oilers resurgence and the rebirth of the Jets in Winnipeg is needed, but other than that why are people constantly screwing around with what is a great game. Is there a world baseball summit? A world football summit? A world poker summit? Exactly!
Rider punter(and man with perhaps the best stache in sports today) Eddie Johnson came back to the CFL after working as a bartender in California. Here is the website to the bar Johnson was working at. Why as a red blooded male would Eddie want to leave this lifestyle in California to play football on the what will soon be cold Canadian prairie? Then again, he'll be back there bartending in December, January and February when we are freezing our tails off. Talk about having the best of both worlds.
Parents, its the last week of summer holiday for your munchkin or munchkins. At this time next week, its back to school!!!!
If practice makes perfect and there is no such thing as perfect then why practice?


Anonymous said...

How many mustache rides do you think Eddie Johnson gives down in California? He needs to come up here just to relax and punt. HA HA

Looks like you and Lou share the same body look. He's in his 60's though isn't he!! HA HA!!


Anonymous said...

Rider fans can't even come close to experiencing the pain that Cub fans have. Will they ever win???


Anonymous said...

Congrats to Graham Delaet. Whether he advances or not this weekend, he has been great in his first year on Tour. Does the PGA have a rookie of the year?

On another matter, you are an "Around the Horn" fan. I'm guessing we won't be seeing Mariotti on there for a while. The guy comes off as a tool and it sounds as if he's getting whats coming to him.


Anonymous said...

BTW, the name of the team is Regina Thunder. No Prairie in the name.

Mitchell Blair said...

Thanks for the clarification on the Thunder.