Tuesday, June 30, 2009

T'Wolves: Rubio Just Might Be a Waste, Hazed in Uncertainty

So, we've stirred up international bias, describing the 18-year-old as Pete Maverich and anointed Ricky Rubio as NBA's next elite point guard.

Only playing next season would have revealed the truth, whether the Spaniard is NBA caliber or just a disappointment. Until then, we will never understand who exactly Rubio is, or if he’s the greatest since Pistol Pete.

But being compared to the Pistol is ridiculous, and with the availability of technology, YouTube videos unleash him as the greatest play maker in the world. Fine, he might be prolific at passing the ball, unstoppable in transition and explosive to the rim, but we forgot he’s not nearly as exquisite shooting the ball.

Recently, Rubio is perplexing and unpromising to the Minnesota Timberwolves. Just when the hype began to fade out, Rubio faded out quickly, vanishing from the country that has solely acclaimed him with warmth salutes.

Within that span, he convoked more fame than Jon and Kate, described as former elite superstars. He hasn't even played one game in the country where the Star Spangled Banner hails as the national anthem.

And to some, Rubio was the most exciting player in the draft, and corralled more acceptance than Blake Griffin, equipped as the No. 3 pick to be selected.

Mired in an oppressive state is Wolves' president of basketball operations David Kahn, uncertain of Rubio's stance for suddenly reneging. All of us should have being befuddled when Rubio's father informed the Wolves of his sons status, saying he may play in Spain for a few more years rather than the NBA.

It came when we were obligated to seeing him translate excellence outside the Euro league; it came when we over-hyped him, overshadowing the likings of others, and it came when the Wolves are in disarray. Right now, they are in a complex dilemma, drafting an internationally-born player who suddenly opts to return overseas.

If that was his intent, then in what way did the Wolves benefit? By signing a player that obtruded a mind-numbing mess for taking the popular teen who seemed loyal and optimistic about playing with Minnesota?

Perhaps there’s a reason for Rubio's impulsive repudiation, leaving the Wolves in nonsensical blunders—not something Kahn visualized stepping in as the new boss of a disoriented franchise that has being left in a bewildered casualty by the poor choices and dumbfounded irrationality of Kevin McHale.

Much has abolished over the course of last season, when coach Randy Wittman was fired. That gave leeway to the ill-minded McHale, who resigned as president of basketball operations to coach full time.

After misery stained his imagery as head coach, forward Kevin Love tweeted that McHale and Kahn discerned that it was time for a new ambassador to jettison dismal failures from their perception of revamping fortune.

Now, Kahn is searching for a new coach in the rebuilding stage that has evoked concern, as we are still confused to some of his baffling ideas—one reason being that the addition of Rubio seems to be a wasteful selection. From buying into Rubio’s hoopla, he squandered a pick that could have actually benefited in the future.

Had he not being watching videos on YouTube, maybe he wouldn't be faced with a burden as a first-time general manger. Then again, Kahn might have just selected Rubio base on his savvy passing capabilities and ball creativity. Still, there are flaws that he must upgrade, if the Wolves demand a well-rounded point guard.

Lack of growth and ball-handling weaknesses both dimple Rubio, and draw critique among the future. But learning that he’s expected to return to Spain urges the Wolves to wait patiently, and seeing if he’s gifted at filling in blemishes.

Until then, to discard any delay and to make an impression in his first managerial job, it would have been nice to see Kahn centralize the middle.

With prospects like prolific forward Jordan Hill or forward DeJuan Blair, depth would have tightened up the interior and made a relevant inside presence alongside Al Jefferson and Love, a pair of solid players who have the tangibles of being physical.

A remodeling stage started when Kahn dealt Randy Foye and Mike Miller two days before the draft, confusing fans of advancing higher just to claim Rubio.

By virtue, the Wolves howled guards in a pool that contained only elite guards, selecting a charismatic leader in Jonny Flynn, who proved at Syracuse he can control tempo in the back-court and instill charisma.

In fact, he is advanced and NBA-ready, ever since departing from the college level, having contiguous leadership and readiness to score from long-range.

When a guard is that versatile, Rubio should be the last player coming to mind, even if he goes back to Spain for contract disputes. Taxes can delay him of the NBA for a few seasons, if reports are truthful.

Other countries such as Spain are prestigious and superior in confusing turbulence that may restrict Rubio from leaving Europe to expand.

Allegedly, Rubio’s tax payment was postponed by collateral his team filed, of which could hinder success in the future outside of Spain. He has filed a lawsuit, but the Spanish Government is inevitable to ignore if the tax money isn’t paid.

In other words, Rubio won't be able to play elsewhere until issues are resolved. He missed the presentation of the Wolves' 2009 draft class, partly because of his $6.6 million buyout, but apparently, Kahn is patient enough to wait on the teen that he shouldn’t miss too much.

Since selecting Flynn overall at No. 6, guard Ty Lawson from North Carolina, and 28th pick Wayne Ellington from North Carolina, there's not much to miss. Just as we never really understood Kahn’s upgrading plans, same goes for Rubio, in that his future is misleading.

Unfortunately, Kahn's first blunder came on his first selection overall at the sixth pick. After all, Rubio wasn’t worth a first-round pick, but he was just a waste.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Like Others, Idoitic Troubles Mirgates to Wrigleyville, Bradley

I’m tired of hearing the name. As citizens and baseball loyalist, our minds should be weary of the one player whose worse than Donald Duck when tempers flare. The childish tantrums have been everywhere, this explains why Milton Bradley has played for seven different teams in his troubling nine seasons.

Nothing has changed after migrating from team to team, presenting the same shameful outrage in Chicago. Although the Cubs are struggling to avoid 101 years of hell, Bradley’s presence curses them as much as Steve Bartman interfering on a catchable foul ball or the black cat crossing home plate. At Wrigleyville, the Cubs have morphed into a dismal frenzy and suddenly the Friendly Confines has divided into the Disgraceful Confines.

They are asking for trouble whenever Bradley is nearby Wrigley Field or even U.S. Cellar Field, where his recent anger outburst occurred, meaning it still happened in Chicago.

The Cubs general manager Jim Hendry was gritty to sign Bradley to a $30 million contract during the offseason, knowing his reputation in the past of irritable incidents on the field and inside the clubhouse. By viewing Bradley’s terrible behavior from previous clubs, it was enough to know that it would continue.

Because of Bradley’s enigmatic demeanor, his talent is enveloped and stashed behind a treacherous attitude, that is spreading rapidly around the clubhouse.

At 31, understand that Bradley will never develop into a remarkable hitter or a premier slugger in the game. He refuses to mature into a well-behaved citizen in Chicago, where the stakes and expectations are high. Think of it like this, as the Friendly Confines worships those who perform well or capable of producing wins, and Bradley could be one of those players who represent the Cubs as a solid hitter.

Instead of individualizing himself as a player, Bradley exchanged words in the dugout with manager Lou Piniella. Since joining the Cubs, negative moods have invoked problems and irritability, frustrated with his offensive failures. On Friday, he went 0-3 and is hitting .237 with five homers and 16 RBIs. But he was furious after the six-inning at-bat, when Piniella removed him from the game. Later, he was seen in street clothes walking to the players’ parking lot. At least, Bradley could have shown more class and acted as a loyal teammate, instead of disappearing from the game. But reports clarified that Piniella sent home the mindless right-fielder after exchanging words. It just goes to show us, he’s a juvenile and sentimental player without a conscience as if he’s baseball’s Terrell Owens, censurable of devilish ire.

At the postgame news conference, Lou Piniella said he threw a rage in the clubhouse. “I told him to take his uniform off,” he said calmly. “He threw his helmet off and smashed a water cooler. I just told him to take his uniform off and go home. I followed him up into the clubhouse and we exchanged some words.”

I’ll take it from Piniella and say it is the second cooler destroyed this year by a Cubs player. Not long ago, pitcher Carlos Zambrano damaged the Gatorade cooler in the dugout when he was livid after being removed from a feeble outing on the mound.

The difference with Bradley is problems occurred with almost all of his previous team. By following the hellish journey of shameless and sinful conduct, the most noticeable incident is when he was suspended five games of 2004 for slamming a plastic bottle in front of a fan seated behind right field. In history, he feels the need to throw items on to the field, such as ’04 when he tossed a bag of balls onto the field, which led to an ejection. Another complexity that follows Bradley insipid disgraceful etiquette is his disheveled mouth, confronting then-manger Eric Wedge in the dugout during spring training.

See, it’s always something with Milton Bradley, a board game that I could quite never figure out.

Wait, there’s more to the board game of Twister and Battleship.

With the Dodgers, he criticized then-teammate Jeff Kent in 2005, saying he was racist and he couldn’t blend with African Americans. If Bradley took a close look in the mirror, there’s a hint. I’m sure Kent maintained distance from his frail temperament, of which he treated as if Kent personally disliked being around him.

And if so, he had every reason to keep a distance of any nonsense. As a member of San Diego, without a doubt Bradley ran into distasteful nuisance and was in the midst of a pennant chase. But idiotic guise cost him the final five games of the regular season, and did not participate in the postseason. When the incident occurred, Padres manager Bud Black stepped in to barricade an irritable Bradley of charging umpire Mike Winters and was eventually spun to the ground by Black, which resulted in a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.

According to the Chicago Tribune Web site, Bradley says he does have the same rules as his teammates. Well, it could be true, only because of his misbehaving personality that forced Piniella to set stricter guidelines for a moody Bradley. Still, it doesn’t give him assent to throw ludicrous tirades or hissy fits, especially at Piniella, the skipper who was nice enough to place him in Saturday’s lineup.

Point I’m trying to make is that Bradley isn’t worth the disruption. Although Hendry talked about the altercation with Piniella and Bradley before Saturday’s game, still he could be baseball’s idiot. Something else might occur between now and October, I wouldn’t doubt it.

You never know with Bradley.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Shaq Adds Powerful Force, No Excuses: Cleveland Must Rock Now

They have a few things in common, labeled as NBA’s most appealing stars. Just in this season, whether, we have relished their player’s introductions and are accustomed of their cartoonish psyche.

So much idolatry is insatiably circulated in the basketball atmosphere, when it relates to LeBron James and Shaquille O’Neal. Um! Wonder if Nike’s creativity will unleash a puppet ad, with James and Shaq sharing a title?

Together, they are a perfect tandem to develop life in Cleveland, a dispirited town that hasn't won a major championship since 1964, a town with many indignities that just won’t vanish from a town that should have rocked this season.

Shaq realizes he might be the town's cure and purge memories of The Shot, The Drive, The Fumble and The Choke, which wasn’t genuine until migrating to the city that presumably rocks.

For the big man who traveled from the east to the west, from the land of Disney to the celeb-life of Hollywood. Then, he found life on the beach and recently in the desert as the self-proclaimed Big Cactus.

Assuming Shaq has enough diesel fuel to last for at least two more season, the Big Diesel's next pit stop was confirmed Wednesday evening.

Moreover, his journey as the most dominant center will close with the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he’ll share the ball with King James. And if anyone is concerned if their personalities won’t coexist, then reconsider your theory.

It’s like Kobe and Shaq reoccurring, or Wade and Shaq repeating itself. After all, the rumors developed into truthful chatter of the Phoenix Suns sending Shaq to Cleveland for Sasha Pavlovic and Ben Wallace, a second round pick in 2010, and $500,000 in cash.

It’s a masterminded deal, and makes the Cavs ownership much smarter than the dauntless Suns.

Keep in mind it was a steal—they traded away two players who didn’t cost them much, so if the Diesel turns into a disappointment, it wouldn’t be much of a loss. The Cavs front office hurried to refurbish missing pieces and grasp awareness from the latest collapse of the Orlando Magic in the Eastern Conference finals.

Sure, owner Dan Gilbert knew significance of upgrading, not only to remove complex failures, but to bridle LeBron from traveling to the heart of the East in New York. The fans there are already coveting his potential arrival when he’ll be eligible for free agency in 2010.

This means there’s only one year remaining on LeBron’s contract, so adding Shaq could bribe him to stay in his hometown.

In fact, fans have embraced LeBron mightily when he received his Most Valuable Player award at his high school, including at home games, where the baby powder antics fascinate fans to cheer on their hometown hero.

Remember, he’s the King of the court, kindling the hearts of many with his thrilling buzzer beater that saved the Cavs from being swept in the Eastern Conference Finals. It dismissed memories of Michael Jordan’s heart-wrenching shot, and inaugurated memories of The Shot of King James.

By bringing aboard Shaq’s diesel fuel, it will fuel a dormant town and could halt the New York Knicks president, Donnie Walsh of stealing the superstar from Cleveland. If Shaq wins his fifth title to even the Kobe-Shaq-O-Meter, for those keeping track, it could fortify his legacy.

But importantly, it could reassure staying home in Cleveland with a title. Wouldn’t it be the most-appealing NBA Finals, better than Boston vs. Los Angeles or Orlando vs. Los Angeles, if it was the Lakers vs. Cavs?

I’ll guess many think it would be the greatest Finals ever, indeed the most publicized Finals, involving a much-friendlier matchup between Shaq and Kobe—one of the greatest sports feuds that in the league.

The NBA blessed us with a graceful Christmas present in two seasons, when the Lakers played the Miami Heat on a traditional holiday known for gathering with relatives, feast and rip apart presents to unveil what’s behind the furtive gift wrap.

In those two seasons, we saw Kobe vs. Shaq after their heinous divorce and watched them feud. Sure, it won’t be a result next time, but it will improvise an intriguing Final, via the greatest historically.

Even now with LeBron manifesting his next destination by wearing a Yankees’ cap and promoting his shoes a few years ago in Yankees colors, still doesn’t firmly validate his next home will be with the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.

After showing unsportsmanlike behavior in the loss to the Magic, the New York media will criticize LeBron harshly and mock his sore losing nature.

At least for now, the two greatest superstars are a combination, assembled as one to entertain us and control NBA’s programming schedule next season, as basketball viewers are appointed to watch and brace.

Let’s be realistic, Shaq isn’t the dominant force he was years ago. And there's much bickering to settle, after he criticized Stan Van Gundy and Dwight Howard, remember?

That said he may slow down LeBron, who admires running the transition game. But as we understand, having a sizable center in the interior establishes a post presence to compete with the physique Howard.

Playing as LeBron’s sidekick, Shaq is healthy and robust enough to collect boards.

He can hold opposing players outside the paint, with size and height advantage, which transform them into a championship contender. For the Suns, Shaq played 75 games and averaged 17.8 points and 8.4 rebounds a game, good numbers for a 37 year old man, which will make him the oldest among his teammates.

He obviously doesn’t have to present much as a starter, and here are the reasons why. With an explosive scorer like the charismatic James, Shaq can capture his fifth title without being assigned a tough task.

And James is also exceptional creating plays for his teammates, of which there will be numerous times when he’ll dish a pass to Shaq inside for unstoppable power shots.

Now he’s a resident of Cleveland, improving the landscape of basketball and putting spirit back. Once again they’ll utter CLEVELAND ROCKS! Well, you will soon find out.

For now, it rocks as there’s no tandem as equipped as King James and Shaq Diesel.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ricky Rubio's Hype Status Musters International Bias

It’s just as common as raving about global warming, or if you reside in California, the fragile state budget. Yes, you are wondering what any of this bias has to do with this week's NBA draft.

Oh, believe me, it has much to do with this weeks prejudgment of the draft. I’ve reached a perceptible notion the draft is based on politics, similar to the occurrence of the budget crisis in California or global warming debacles being mentioned from all parts of the world.

Clearly, leading up to NBA’s jackpot, it has mentioned nothing more than politics, involving international draftee Ricky Rubio. Either he’s a bust, or the next talented international prospect braced for reaching the NBA level, whether there are flaws or misleading fragments.

Skeptics have decreed argumentative theories on Rubio, as others are convinced he will stabilize a playmaking culture among the finest top 10. Pleading a case are those who are deeply sensing he’s overhyped, and the biggest international bust to declare for the NBA Draft.

I don’t know if he’s overhyped or worth the hype. And whether Rubio isn’t as advertised and overhyped hospitality, it’s one reason why his political debate has boiled into public attention as masses anoint the Spaniard, welcoming him to the exquisite of America because he’s an international prospect.

Always, international prospects earn more propaganda than American-born athletes. But people are obsessed with Rubio, familiar with his style of play at Beijing in the Olympics, people are anxious after watching video’s on YouTube and people are curious, awaiting his first start on the NBA level.

Maybe he prompted regard for serving in the pros in Europe since he was 14-years-old. Maybe he has amassed global sensibility for stepping into a landscape of higher expectations, where temptations are seeking for the next paramount international prospect and persist in their flowering of globalization.

Marketing in professional sports is troublesome, in which NBA’s commissioner David Stern is striving to modernize the league in globalization.

He planned on expanding the game by exposing the league overseas, and of course, his projection drew controversy. From some viewpoints, it’s the most lurid suggestion for corrupting the game. But Stern viewed it as betterment, in finances and expanding the product.

The expansions were angled to reside in the following countries, such as China, France, Germany, and Russia—good indications to why the game buoys international prospects, and why we have become accustomed to the name Ricky Rubio.

Yet, he will be the only foreign draftee taken by a lottery team, and could even be the only international player selected in the entire first round.

In recent years, the league has regarded international brand of players, which represented pride in all parts of the world. Just a year ago, 11 international players were selected, and four were picked in the first round. Two years ago, five were selected, elated to fulfill dreams, and 13 overall were picked.

Three years ago, incredibly six were offered homes in the first-round and 16 were selected alone. In a year of international fame, it’s Rubio getting praised, and criticized by a fellow draftee, Brandon Jennings, who rebuffed interest in the NBA to play professionally overseas, arrogantly blasted Rubio of being overhyped.

But there are at least a few teams interested in pursuing the 18-year-old sensation, in fact it’s the New York Knicks, who are targeting the Spanish prospect.

I must confide it’s a perfect destination for a rising star: needing upgrades. Assuming reports are accurate, the Knicks have proposed a trade, aiming to acquire the fifth selection from Washington for Larry Hughes, including the expiring contracts of Mike James and Etan Thomas as part of the deal.

Once done, they are considered to maneuver the selection with the eighth pick for the second pick of the draft.

And since we assume NBA-ready prospect Blake Griffin will be picked with the first overall pick, we can envision the Knicks grabbing Rubio.

Realistically, he’s the perfect player to contribute in the transition game, installed by the masterminded coach Mike D’Antoni. You figure Knicks’ president Donnie Walsh doesn’t turn down an offer this charitable, and you would think he’s amassing a package to sent off to acquire Rubio.

And there have been speculates Rubio might even slip down to No. 8 pick, meaning he’ll fall directly into the arms of the Knicks. Walsh is confident Rubio’s draft status could fall, and if so, D’Antoni will have a smile, gladdened he has someone as good as Rubio in his well-emphasized transition offensive.

He fits in well of D’Antoni’s up-tempo dynamic schemes, with phenomenal vision that gives him ability of been a brilliant playmaker. And there’s talent in the draft among guards, such as Tyreke Evans, Jrue Hoilday, Stephen Curry, and Jonny Flynn.

By virtue, he’s considered the most talented prospect to ever travel overseas to translate his singular ability of executing passes, and presenting poise and maturity at such a young age.

Playing in Spain, Rubio solidified the games complexion and energized team. Considering flaws, still with a long career in the professionals, Rubio can amend turning over the ball and drilling jumpers.

It’s a problem that has inhibited him of applause from those who still doesn’t feel he’s worth avowal. Not all are impressed by the Spaniard—if picked as a No. 2 pick overall people are skeptical he will be too expensive to bear at a high cost, if he turns into a bust.

It’s appealing to me that Rubio is already a comparison of Steve Nash, I agree to some extent.

Yes, he distributes the ball extensively, but has substandard shooting, which musters weaknesses. Rarely, he earns a trip to the charity stripe for a pair of free throws, and defensive woes have hurt Spain’s topflight basketball icon.

Although the undersized Rubio won Defensive Player of the Year award, the 6'3'' point guard is insufficient in leaping and takes under 2.5 jump shots per game, converting on five of his 25 pull-up jumpers.

Still, he has to adapt into a solid catch-and-shoot guard. Despite frails, he’s projected to be selected a No. 3 pick owned by Oklahoma City. But the Knicks are an acceptable team for Rubio to land, with his creativity and knowledge of the transition game. Even under D’Antoni, his talent will develop into either a well-rounded guard or a bust.

But I know he’s an international buzz.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mickelson Falls Short, But With Spirit, Heart Still a Winner

Well, it didn’t finish as planned. Courtesy of hearten humanity, spectators gathered to embrace emotional triumph for Phil Mickelson in support of his wife’s battle with breast cancer. Spectators were longing to witness an epic encore of Tiger Woods’ electrifying playoff win at Torrey Pines a year ago, shortly before spending eight months recovering from reconstructive knee surgery.

Now, those same fans are shocked out of this world, as he failed at capturing a major title for his first time in a full year. Even an improbable closure by David Duval would have profiled a good story at the U.S. Open, where rainy days and suspended play washed out the top-notch players as the masses were aiming for either inspiration or popularity.

Popularity belonged to Tiger, as inspiration belonged to Phil.

They are two players who have captivated our minds, hijacking our time of which we distinguished and braced Tiger and Phil on each PGA Tour, where they have excelled tremendously.

But on this particular day that tested momentum in the arrival of Ricky Barnes and Mickelson’s near-emotional win, an impetus Lucas Glover prevailed in the finale of five long days to converge at the closure and captured only the second victory of his PGA Tour career. He won with excellent poise, and attained a long-awaited dream, bashing Mickelson’s inspiring story that touched hearts of many, encouraging a win for his wife Amy. The heartfelt story almost occurred in the grandest moment of Mickelson’s career and was close to achieving his most memorable win.

One reason is for the fans' reactions, sharing their strong support. On several different occasions, the crowd roughly cheered on a feel-good story, confident of his chances. When he walked to the 15th tee, half of the crowd sprinted down the hill to get a close view of his shot off the tee, anything for a man coping with his wife’s illness. The generous fans were caring, waiting for him to arrive at the ceremony hoisting the silver.

Instead, Glover was presented with the silver cup. He was the deserving winner, surviving exhaust and long-suffering days and surprised us all with the improbable finish. You probably had in mind that Woods was going to defend his title, assuming you didn’t have in mind that he would finish this year with a major title.

If he had won, it would have being his 15thmajor title. And if Mickelson had won, it would have marked an illustrious moment of a lifetime. Unfortunately, Woods collapsed in the first-round, missing putts he normally makes to enthrall spectators viewing the scenes from the gallery. I have to think that this was Tiger’s worst performance of the PGA Tour.

Yes, heavy rains and soggy fairways played a part to his mudballs, but too many missed putts cost him the title, which was supposed to be the rebirth of Tiger. More than anything he was frustrated of his subpar play, and mentally and physically anguished of his constant struggles, he finished each of his three rounds in the 60’s.

Yet again, Tiger capped an identical number, closing out a frustrating loss with a 1-under 69. He was in trouble and lifeless in the first round, failing on the final four holes of his rain-slopped mudballs.

On the other side, Mickelson held poise, staying in contention on the final day. Only it would have been nice if he could have hoisted one for Amy, but he fell short of a win late in the final hour. He rose to the top of the leaderboard, seeking to present silver to his wife who's nearing her breast cancer treatment, was craving the cup in her hospital room. Playing with a heavy heart, Mickelson's style was relentless and stylish as his pinstriped pants. At the very least, all of them presented themselves with a known trademark. Ricky Barnes wore his painter’s hat and Woods wore his red Nike shirt, along with his usual Tiger Nike cap.

On this day, the world will embrace and present Glover with the silver, a journeyman rolling in an 8-footer on the par-4 16th hole, asserting a two-shot lead of Duval at Bethpage Black.

For some time, I picked Barnes to win the open, the renaissance of a gifted player. He hasn’t played profoundly in six years, and collapsed in the minor league Nationwide Tour. Even though I was pulling for Mickelson, and was emotionally disheartened about the terrible news of his wife’s health, it was rational to consider distributing the silver cup to Barnes.

For much of the day, fans chanted “Lets go Phil,” which were well deserved chants. On this glorious day, despite coming up short, Mickelson made a 35-foot birdie putt on the 12th hole and followed with an astonishing shot on the 13th hole, where he capitalized on an eagle.

Not bad for a guy battling through tragic moments in his life. It’s tough for a normal citizen, dealing with a spouse or anyone for that matter with an illness. There’s not a day that progresses without Mickelson worrying dearly about his wife’s health, which is why he set a goal entering the Open-WIN ONE FOR AMY.

So delighted were the fans, rooting for him, more than his arch nemesis Tiger Woods. Uh!

Yes, for once in the late stages of his career, Tiger was disregarded.

All of this was because of humanity, feeling sympathy for Mickelson. In reality, illnesses are something you never are ready to accept, and in reality Mickelson is dealing with an everyday predicament.

Winning was in his favor, but once he arrived to the 15th tee, mental lapses ended the dream. He stumbled, missing a critical par putt nearly three feet from the hole. At the 17th tee, the pressure suddenly struck Mickelson in front of New Yorkers, pledging and viewing heavily, with prayers he would finish on the biggest shot.

But he botched on the play that didn’t have enough velocity, and unfortunately rested short of the hole for his second bogey in three holes. It was agonizing to come so close of placing a trophy near his wife’s hospital bed.

Nevertheless, it’s the thought that matters, and diligence of playing with an urgent mindset. For Glover, it was beyond the most glorious win in his career, and historic, too. When people least expected him, he shocked the spectators in the galleries of Bethpage Black and became the second player in 25 years to win a major in which he had never made a cut, battering everyone’s chances including David Duval's.

Unlike last year, this year's tournament was crazy and battered by heavy rains. This year's tournament was about surviving sloppy weather conditions more than maintaining poise as a player.

Yes, poise worked in Glover’s final round, but that wasn’t always the results for others, such as Tiger, having to withstand unfriendly muddy greens, flooded fairways and sloppy results that ended a replication of last year. Weather indeed tested the player’s game, difficult elements to gain success within.

That said, kudos to Glover, managing to survive and excel in the unfriendly elements, which qualified a silver cup. The 29-year old fulfilled a dream of his own, never finishing in the top-10 of any major and missed the cut in each of his U.S. Open appearances. So, grabbing his first victory was historical, and unforgettable, I might add.

But spiritually, Mickelson accomplished a goal by playing for Amy.

That’s a winner and Amy, too.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Shockingly, Tiger Gently Washes Away As Barnes Reaches New Heights

Yet, spectators in the gallery surrounded Tiger Woods, obsessed with the world’s greatest athlete. But Mr. Woods isn’t the world’s greatest athlete we are accustomed seeing.

If many think this year’s U.S. Open is electrifying, well I assume its meritorious thinking it’s a wonderful tableau, with Tiger’s and Phil Mickelson’s subpar play on the fairway.

Rain delays battered grip, but part of playing on the beautiful greens are dealing with the elements. Reportedly, folks were standing in the gallery, dealing with Tiger’s surprising washout. Ever since, the rain-out on the first day of competition, he never formed into propriety, and collected more bogeys like someone collecting mementos.

Thus far, there are no extraordinary interludes like a year ago at Torrey Pines, when Woods appeased our souls with a memorable and thrilling win over Rocco Mediate in an inconceivable spectacle.

Without sunshine overseeing Tiger’s pursuit of 15 major titles, heavy rains slowly has washed out his title optimism.

But much sunshine beams for the surprising arrival of a 28-year old. He goes by the name Ricky Barnes, a resident of Scottsdale, Arizona, and is relishing his greatest experience in his lifetime. He wears a painter’s hat on the soggy course of Bethpage Black and is grasping his greatest professional tournament, advancing pass only two cuts in a major tournament. In the third round, Barnes played as if he was near home, and back on Arizona’s campus, where he emerged into golf’s biggest scene. And he played as if he was at Arizona National.

Yes folks, those were the days when trouble was abound the professional tour of golf.

Oh yes! Those were the days.

Alright, so he’s six-years late in his career, but it’s never too late for Barnes to capture his first major title, nearing his first if everything goes solid in the final round, which resumes Monday morning. Six years ago, it wasn’t noticeable ranking Barnes among the greatest of golfers, but now he’s soaring and living up to expectations through 54 holes.

In the start of the fourth round, mental lapses hurt Barnes’ six stroke lead, still becoming the fourth player to reach double-digits under par. That is a minus 11, following darken skies, sounds of horns and suspended play, of which he had to finish another impressive day with an even-par 70 and a one-shot lead of Lucas Glover.

Fortunately, darkness interrupted and hindered further damage of heinous bumbles. It avoided obviously another eerie shot off the tee and a costly bogey. More important, he’s atop the leaderboard with the final day left to decide and vindicate if he’s the worthy one of the Open.

Aside from, Barnes’ inspiring stories, the more inspiring and noteworthy tale was supposed to be Tiger vs. Phil, an America ritual that defines golf’s mystique. In majors, Eldrick Tiger Woods will be embraced for some memorable wins, but now it seems uncertain.

In the year of his rebirth, after missing eight-months recovering from reconstructive knee surgery, he was expected to have a dominant year. There was no other player out there who could defeat him in a major event, well, that’s a different result, as Woods trails seven strokes with 11 holes remaining.

Not at all does he look as if he’s the greatest golfer on the plant, and not at all has he worn a smile instead scowling in disgust that nothing is falling into place. These days, Woods mystique is gradually deflowering into a ghastly misfortune.

And these days he’s not fascinating us with stupendous bombs across the greens or rolling in you-kidding-me shots. So, will Tiger storm back into contention? I personally doubt it. He’s playing as if he’s an amateur or the way Barnes stumbled in the minor-league Nationwide Tour.

For much of the day, Tiger missed putts, which isn’t enough qualifying as the Open’s champ. I assume the pressure is on, needing a hell of a turnaround to defend a title that looks lifeless, though momentum could shift into someone else’s possession on the final day.

But Tiger’s status seems demolished, frustrating and shocking as Barnes seems untouchable, emotional and shockingly winnable. Even though Tiger was spirited, deep inside his heart somewhere are jitters and frustration. He’s refusing to express his anguish state of mind, unflappable and confident that he could recover from his feeble days.

But he knows it’s now or never, and that he’s on the verge of missing out on capturing his 15thtitle. So, that gives us leeway to embrace Barnes, who’s still seeking his first major title. While Tiger is abounding for trouble, it allows us to step away from the plants dominant creature that doesn’t have dominant or measurable form to gut out a title in Farmingdale. So, once it’s done, the masses will shake their heads, blink their eyes and open their mouths wide curious to know what the hell happened to Tiger.

It would feel funny, knowing Tiger went a complete year without winning a major title. I never saw this coming, the man admired for dominating golf greater than any other golfer on this plant. Or I never saw Barnes emerging on Tiger’s miss opportune year.

Maybe the rain is affecting Tiger. He was drenched, needing an umbrella to stay dry and played the first two rounds in the rain. Either way, that is, excuses will not solve woes. But surviving in the elements brings out a true champion.

Folks, Tiger just don’t have enough, when Barnes has more poise remaining than anyone else still surviving in thunderstorms.

Tiger Isn't as Advertised, But Barnes Makes Climax Appearance

So, we’re getting a glimpse of golf’s main attraction once Tiger Woods discontinues using an iron stick and swings off a tee. Suddenly, Ricky Barnes is transcending to a climax, incredibly flourishing atop the leaderboard in Bethpage Black.

Looking stylish was Barnes, if considering a painter’s hat as a stylish fashion. But sex-appeal doesn’t coordinate an awe-inspiring 36-hole scoring record in the second round to card a total of 132 and currently stands eight under par.

Returning from a six-year vacation in paradise, Barnes arrived, emerging into a U.S. Open surprise and golf’s future, if he continues to have confidence and strokes falls into holes. He arrived for the challenge, awaking from hibernation in the beautiful Bethpage Black and has played brilliantly.

As it stands, he’s better than Tiger Woods, the world’s greatest golfer who was expected to defend his title and attain his 15th major title. But this is a coincidence, bringing back memories of Barnes as an amateur in the 2003 Masters.

That was memorable moments when he partnered and defeated Woods by seven strokes in the first round, giving reason to believe he was the next big attraction to strike in the golf world.

Consider this a reprievable charge back into the beautiful landscape. Consider this resilient mastery, having a chance to capture a U.S. Open at 28 years of age and blossom atop on golf’s biggest stage.

When he originally arrived and was introduce to the pro level, he was the tremendous phenom and anointed as the greatest to loom into contention, the next appealing star to awe our minds that there wasn’t only one powerful golfer on the globe.

At 21, Barnes accomplished a substantial win of Hunter Mahan and conquered the U.S. Amateur title. Now, he’s back in position to win the Open, leading one shot in front of Lucas Glover that was nearing an engrossing third round.

But it will have to wait until play resumes Sunday morning, after it was suspended when three horns sounded on Barnes' impressive evening because of rain that has interfered in competition.

The unfriendly elements could determine a winner, depending upon the heavy rains expected in Saturday night’s forecast, according to NBC’s meteorologist Al Roker. With heavy rains and scattered showers by morning in Farmingdale, the greens could pose problems on a slick surface, which makes it unplayable to exploit on the fairway.

Fortunately, Barnes wasn’t disturbed by the rain, able to complete his second round with three birdies in nine holes Saturday morning to awe us, overwhelmingly procuring a 65, before the greens submerged into a pond and umbrellas opened.

With Barnes’ uttermost performance in front of a crowd pulling for either Woods or Phil Mickelson, an inspiring lead wasn’t expected. He shockingly set a landmark for our own to eyes to witness that there’s more than two great players worth anointing.

Though, it’s not good to speak to soon, as it might evoke a jinx or even pressure for Barnes, testing his own will.

But he’s one confident and passionate individual, and could earn national attention. That’s a good result with him currently the 519th-ranked player in the world, but winning a title in the elements will mend inferiority, putting him among elite players.

Let’s get to know Barnes better. He’s a former Pac-10 freshman of the year and first-team All-American at Arizona, indeed excellent qualifications to endure a major event. Considering his defeat over Woods, logics mentions Barnes’ potential and endears a heartened player.

It doesn’t matter if he vanished and fled to a vacation spot, whether than spending time on the golf course. He knows that a long vacation battered his promising game, when he diminished in '06. He wasn’t no where to be found, finishing a subpar 26 on a list that attributed the top 25 for a PGA Tour card.

Now surprisingly, he has a chance to mitigate from sorrow, if he remains atop the leaderboard and pulls off the unthinkable to derail Woods of defending his title and Mickelson of emotionally obtaining an inspirational win for wife, Amy, in her battle with breast cancer, humanity that inspires our souls for embracing a touching ordeal. Meanwhile, we admire Tiger as the greatest golfer on the plant, rooting for him to capture another major in his prime.

But fact is, Barnes holding the lead is inclining to new heights in the Open, if he manages to control fate. Rebounding from a near-wasted career, finishing sorely 108t on the Nationwide Tour, logical to believe a propitious future was battered, not staying in contention to make cuts.

In each Open, he missed the cut, until now in good position to capture the Open, able to remain spiritual and ambitious. It’s a good indication, after struggling in the previous years that he could somehow levitate into limelight. And come to think, he already has with a sheer advantage nobody imagined.

I think it’s inspiring, and a quest to buoyancy, too.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Seems Like a Soggy Delay, Tiger Gets Drench

The forecast called for sunny skies in Farmingdale, allowing golfers to return to the course. So, flash flood warnings weren’t a problem or beautiful ponds resting above surface.

Mother Nature enabled all golfers to put down umbrellas, on a day the sun made its regular appearances to keep them arid of soaked shirts and soggy socks. As usual, in the U.S. Open, it is supposed to be a chance Tiger Woods endears and capture his 15th major title, fourth at the Open.

As disgruntled citizens experienced a rain-out, they were elated to hear the announcement by the United States Golf Association executive director David Fay, acknowledging ill-tempered fans that if the Open extends to a fifth day, they will be allowed to attend on Monday.

Sure, vibrant fans desire clasping at another epic classic. Returning an extra day to witness appealing images of overwhelming sudden death, are commodities fans anticipates, especially from Tiger, the world’s greatest golfer.

But before sudden death darkens, enveloping the skies with a serve thunderstorm in Farmingdale and washes out Tiger of another major title, he must prevail from a nightmarish finish that he never envisioned. He entered with one ambition, defending a title and seeking his second straight in the Open.

But on a positive note, Tiger is known for storming back of disastrous opening rounds that indeed could plot a fabulous sequence of a year ago. On one leg, Tiger awed us with a 20-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole, surviving a 91-hole epic playoff war to oust a gritty Rocco Mediate and preserved a shocking victory at Torrey Pines. It’s appealing to wait patently, seeing if Tiger could defend title in a major event success derives.

Tiger’s body language and facial images tells different, disgusted about his uninspiring opening round. He mirrored Kobe Bryant’s facial features, literally scowling at 17th fairway, frustrated about a double-bogey on 15, following bogeys on 16 and 18 for the second-worst in his final four holes in 230 professional starts.

It results in 74 and 10 shots back of the leaderboards after round one, his worst start in a major since missing the cut in the ’06 U.S. Open. Perhaps, the nightmarish rain delay thrown off rhythmic, or maybe it’s Tiger off to another slow start, but in position to strike back with fascinating strokes and pulls off the remarkable win.

But now, he’s in a bit of a funk, delaying his chances of winning title No. 15. That can make it seem as if there’s still a rain delay abound to rain on what is supposed to be the year of Tiger’s rebirth.

At this time last year when he hijacked golf with the 91-hole playoff win, he was unhealthy, bothered with a torn ligament in his left knee. In an eight-mouth intermission, Tiger underwent season-ending knee surgery to repair his left knee, and return as the greatest Tiger Woods ever.

He was supposed to dominate every major event this year, healthier than ever and longing another major title. But never quit believing in Tiger, who could muster points on a leaderboard, quicker than any other golfer.

The masses admired nemesis Phil Mickelson, heartened by his wife fight with breast cancer. He had a fruitful day on the green to start off, playing with a heart heavier than gold and eased up the leaderboard, before descending on two straight bogeys that summarized his first round.

If anything, he’s playing to win it for Amy, not only to add another major title. But currently, the leaderboard are favoring neither Phil nor Tiger. As we know, they’re the climax of golf and without them it’s not as alluring, instead its peculiar trying to predict a winner.

Without Tiger and Phil anyone is entitle of presumably winning their first major. Right now, Mike Weir, the Canadian owns the spotlight, holding the lead after the first day with three long days left until a virtuous champ is decided. When he birdied on his final two holes, Weir was earned a 64, the lowest score in six years at the U.S. Open.

And amateur Drew Weaver, out of Virginia Tech, shockingly carded a 69 along with Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland, bringing a sense of pride also carding a 69 on the first day. As they emerge into spotlight, Tiger and Phil have to take care of unfinished setbacks after the first day and reclaim spotlight.

Tiger vs. Phil comes first.

And they have to make it feasible.

At Least, Goodell Enforces Harsh Punishment for Donte' Stallworth

There’s much to like about NFL commissioner Roger Goodell. Maybe the fact he installed NFL’s player conduct policy that jettisoned fun in from a multi of player’s standpoints.'

Maybe the fact he eliminated touchdown celebrations that taunted the opposing team, staring bitterly.

Or maybe you like the fact that he dumped out havoc, improvising peace on earth, friendliness among peers and even maturity on the professional level.

Better suggestions than predecessor Paul Tagliabue, allowing too much fun to enrich national disturbance of player’s repulsive lifestyles.

You don’t have to like Goodell for addressing a problem worst than A-Rod’s steroid storm. And you don’t have to like him for suspending players who didn’t abide by the guidelines.

But you must credit his recent discipline accountability on a troubled Donte’ Stallworth, the Cleveland Browns wideout who’s in trouble with the law.

Following guidelines must be treated equally, and must be enforced to the fallen star, sabotaging respectability, perhaps with too much to drink and appointed on taking it to a higher level and failed to realize troubles would elicit eventually.

By making one wrong turn when he leaped behind the wheel, it changed Stallworth’s life, presumably ending brief stint as a Brown.

On a night Stallworth wasn’t thinking of the trauma and infractions, which could hunt him for the rest of his life, he traumatized an anguishing family, mourning the death of Mario Reyes, the 59-year old man that an intoxicated Stallworth hammered and almost fled the scene in his black Bentley.

He pled guilty on manslaughter charges and agreed to a financial settlement with Reyes family, which results in a sentence of 30 days in jail.

And to add more harsh mortifications and punishment, Goodell, the stern boss who doesn’t condone off-the-field misconduct, suspended Stallworth indefinitely Thursday.

It took the commissioner to body slam him harder than the justice system. But either way sanctions were handed to the contemptible Browns’ star, might have seen the last of the NFL.

So the justice department might as well give Goodell a badge and police hat for issuing a punishment harder than the court system in Miami.

It took Goodell to enforce more time out of the league than it takes for the court system to throw Stallworth behind bars for committing a horrific crime, worst than Pacman Jones’ strip club fetish or Michael Vick’s gruesome dogfighting.

Assuming that Stallworth committed manslaughter, more time in jail would have made it seem more like a fair punishment. His infractions are worst than Vick’s, yes he killed man’s best friend, but Stallworth killed a man, walking across the street.

Understand that I’m not saying dogs deserve to be beaten, tortured or killed, but I’m saying a human is worst.

For two years, Vick served time in prison for dogfighting charges, not nearly as horrific as a drunk driver hatching a baleful tragedy.

It’s fatality that has a family bitter, angry and grieving a loss, upsettingly receiving justice, just not as harsh.

At the right time, Goodell cracked down, handing justice that wasn’t served as anticipated, when the Miami court system should have followed Goodell’s conduct policy, understanding the correct way of punishing someone of negligence.

Whether it’s ignorance of the law, or senseless complexion of values, Stallworth got off too easily, only having to serve a light sentence of DUI charges that involved death.

For killing someone while driving under the influence, usually results in a 15-year maximum sentence, but offering a plea deal saved him from serving punitive time.

Still, it's letting him off too freely, and assuming that the commissioner knew of the mild results, he stepped up and did a favor for the Reyes’ family. That’s stripping him of his livelihood, and privileges of appearing ready by training camp.

Goodell quickly declared fair punishment, taking down an ill-mannered receiver. If he followed the Budweiser beer ads that encourages drinkers to drink responsible, which includes no drinking and driving, in likelihood Stallworth wouldn’t be stuck in such an unknown predicament.

His life is now in someone else’s hands, having no control of what will transpire in the near future, and shouldn’t after driving in the wee hours with a .126 blood-alcohol level.

By learning this disturbing story, I call it sinful and mind-boggling, a horrific crime enough to make you numb and damn-near shed tears, feeling sorry for the victim's family.

In the meantime, Stallworth must serve two years of house arrest and probation for eight years. Still, I don’t consider that as harsh as Vick’s two-year lockup or even as much as I don’t want to state this O.J. Simpson, who’s serving his sentence for stupidity that catches him on camera stealing his personal belongings.

In likelihood, Vick may never hurl another pass in the pros, but Stallworth stunningly may have a second chance of redemption, though he’s suspended until the commissioner reinstates him, only of course if he decides to give him a second chance.

I would assume, just as he told Vick, he must present true remorse. But his suspension may last through the entire 2009 season, of which the Browns are looking to move on without the stellar receiver, and might even release him.

If so, the Browns could lose out on a $4.5 million, after he was given a $4.5 million bonus.

But sadly, Goodell had to banish Stallworth’s misbehavior of DUI manslaughter, better than the amenable judge and court system in Miami.

Understand there’s no other judge around; Goodell is the judge.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Sosa Was a Suspect, Now Guilty Of Lies

He was suspicious all along, portraying weird facial features of guilt. Though, suspicion minds followed Sammy Sosa as if he was baseball’s villain and the next juice bust of the "Steroid Era."

As we know, he was baseball’s savor, mending our pastime from deteriorating into nightmarish shadows. The astonishing single-home run chase of Sosa and Mark McGwire enthralled us, hijacking our minds and glimpsed at baseball’s healing process in 1998 after the player strike in 1994.

After many embraced and admired Sosa as an icon as baseball’s sixth-leading home run slugger with over 600 homers recorded, he was busted for juicing. So instead of the 600 club, he’s better joining the juicer’s club.

Now, that he’s guilty of lying and using performance enhancing drugs, it’s a real shame for the game of baseball. Shame on Sosa of denying that he ever used substances to increase performance level, never revealing natural talent when we were convinced it was artistically done.

Once again, we were misled, betrayed and cheated, leery on believing anyone who alleged they are pure. For now, Sosa takes on the name betrayer as everyone will harshly criticize, release anger, and disfavor him on a trip to the Hall of Fame.

After lying to the world, Sosa is the last man whose infamous deeds shouldn’t qualify an appearance to Cooperstown, ruining his creditability caught in a juice scandal after all. We all accused him of infractions, and we were correct. From Chicago to Baltimore to Texas, he tainted and defaced the beautiful and artistic magnitude of a fraudulent sport, exposing shame and corrupt images in a year that has unveiled shameful juice raids.

First, there were revelations of Alex Rodriguez failing a drug test. Then, there was Manny Ramirez, whose infractions reveled through baseball’s drug prevention policy. From there, lies inflamed questions from a mum Ramirez, refusing to address fans of his infamous scandal.

Being deceitful sabotaged the beauty of Mannywood, and infuriated Dodgers owner Frank McCourt. Of late, nothing is positive in the major leagues, and if anything, steroid debacles have diverted indulgence enshrined.

Even though many believe sluggers are pure and consist of national talent, the Steroid Era has disastrously corrupted our game, as some tend to forget. Maybe there are several reasons why it has forgotten or ignores players caught in a steroid controversy.

Perhaps, they don’t condemn of stars using performance enhancer because of the representation their superstar brings. Or maybe denial sets in, giving citizens clarity to condone cheating. Foremost reverencing Sosa or anyone for that matter just means people are soulless of cheating, lies and betrayal. No longer is Sosa accused of suspicion, but reportedly was ratted out as one of the 104 players who tested positive for an unspecified banned substance, according to the New York Times.

He juiced-up an awe-inspiring home-run spree back in the late '90’s that has caught up with him at the age of 40. He now experiences stress of an ordeal that could forge harsh sanctions. Lying and hiding his usage of performance enhancers aren’t the biggest mortifications taunting or mangling high-profiled soul.

If Sosa denies ever using performance-enhancing drugs in front of Congress, he could be facing a federal perjury charge. Ever since it was detected that he used a cork to trick us like an April fools prank, it has been formidable trusting his natural capabilities.

At Capital Hill, Sosa testified in front of the House Government Reform Committee alongside Jose Conseco and McGwire. Before the committee, he denied ever using drugs to enhance hitting productivity. Come to learn that’s a lie, now enough specifics to validate his imposturous hitting as a tremendous sham, consolidating more shame on the apathetic face of commissioner Bud Selig, who hasn’t reacted to baseball’s self-destruction.

Primary bearings should be trying to save the game that was at one point embraced as America’s pastime, before it translated into America’s Shame with players caught manipulating and defrauding pride.

Why does it happen? Well maybe because of insecurity, or not enough dignity for the game.

Less than two weeks ago, Sosa committed on being inducted into the Hall of Fame, inviting himself as if never using a cork or enhancers to upgrade dexterity with a demeanor that he belongs. But numbers shouldn’t impose qualifications to the Hall of Fame.

Instead, it should honor the well-deserving players who always tested clean, never using performance-enhancing drugs to idealize excellence. With Sosa in denial and cocky of being elected to the Hall of Fame, worsen vote ballots. But above all, when he was confronted, he lied about ever benefiting from substances. Lies and cheating don't qualify as a worthy Hall of Famer.

More shocking than his disgraceful allegations are the voting ballots of Sosa and McGwire receiving 25 percent of votes from the electorate in the last two years, requiring 75 percent to imprint name in Cooperstown.

Assuming his numbers, Sosa thinks he deserves votes. “I’ll calmly wait for my induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame,” he said. Shortly before, he asked whether or not the media thought he had the numbers to make him Hall of Fame worthy.

Yes, Sosa has the numbers with 609 homers (sixth all-time), 1,667 RBI’s, .534 slugging percentage and the world’s greatest 66 home runs in ’98. Too bad he was pumping his body with juice. Otherwise he might have earned praise and not criticism.

As far as it goes, Sosa isn’t worthy of the Hall of Fame, and the same goes for McGwire. Each lost their creditability for having a share in damaging reputation, not only for themselves, but the game itself.

When they were questioned in a testimony, excuses were hatched and ensuing lies. Can you recall during the testimony, when McGwire said, “I’m not here to discuss the past…I’m here to be positive?”

Can you flashback to when Sosa denied ever taken steroids, and remind yourselves he insisted steroids and human growth hormones were dangerous to store into the body. “To be clear, I have never taken illegal performance-enhancing drugs.”

That was a lie.

The entire world should have known Sosa and McGwire weren’t truthful. Like the rest of them, their mental state of the game was to compete by having substances to assist in boosting their game. Shame on them, as the negativity has come back to hurt souls and despoil legacies. All this time, I should have known Sosa was a surreptitious fraud.

I’m only being honest.