Ramble On Sports

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Posts Tagged ‘grenades and landmines’

Sorting through the drama at the PGA Championship

Posted by Bill Koch on August 16, 2010

So many storylines came out of the final round at the PGA Championship that we could spend the next week trying to recap the proceedings. We’ll focus on a few of them here for our Ramble On audience and devote a little more time in the upcoming days to our thoughts on the United States Ryder Cup team. What we know for sure is that nobody will be talking about the eventual winner, Martin Kaymer, and we’ll be sure to give him some love during our recap.

— Bubba Watson is getting off cheap today. The ruling that knocked Dustin Johnson out of the playoff dominated Monday’s headlines, but Watson’s choke job in the three-hole showdown against Kaymer made us think of Jean Van de Velde and his 1999 meltdown during the Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Watson and Kaymer were even going to the final hole on Sunday and both hit poor tee shots into the right rough. Kaymer’s ball drew a horrible lie in the gnarly grass, making it impossible for him to reach the green in two. Watson’s ball was sitting up a bit, but his odds might have been 1-in-25 of carrying the small inlet and deep bunkers that front the 18th green from 230-plus yards away under that sort of pressure. Playing first, he made the foolish decision to swing for the green, predictably left his ball almost 40 yards short in the water, and his chances of winning the tournament were pretty much gone.

— Yes, Johnson got screwed on some level. There’s no chance that we thought his ball was in a bunker when he grounded his club and hit his second shot toward the 18th green on Sunday. There was no reason for Johnson to believe that the gallery would be standing in a bunker.

But let’s stop and think for a minute – Johnson had a one-shot lead going to the 72nd hole of the tournament. Knowing that he shot 82 in the final round of the U.S. Open earlier this year to blow a three-shot cushion, can we safely say that this guy stains ‘em under pressure? Who plays such outstanding golf through the first 71 holes and then fans a tee shot far enough to the right that the gallery should have been wearing helmets? Who misses the seven-foot putt on the final green that (as far as he knew at the time) would have won the tournament by making a timid stroke and pushing it to the right? Johnson does. He’s looking like another fragile mental case that the Euros are going to eat for breakfast like beans on toast.

— Teddy Scott sure did pick the wrong week to take a vacation. Scott is Watson’s regular caddie, but he was home during the PGA Championship with his wife and their newborn son. You’d have to guess that Scott was watching on television like the rest of us were when his boss put one club back in the bag and pulled another one for his second shot into the final hole – the difference is likely that Scott was a bit more horrified about what was going to happen next. Would Watson have made such a decision with Scott and not Mark Carens, the usual caddie for Brookline’s own James Driscoll and Scott’s stand-in for the week, on the bag? Let’s hope that Scott is back in action for October’s Ryder Cup, because Watson won’t be able to afford making such boneheaded decisions in what was essentially a match play format against the best that Europe has to offer.

— Kaymer’s a damn good player and a name to watch for years to come. All the 25-year-old German did to capture his first major on Sunday was roll in a 12-foot slider on the 72nd hole to get into a playoff and erase a one-shot deficit against Watson in the three-hole aggregate format. Kaymer’s birdie at the brutal 235-yard 17th in extra holes was pure guts. His ability to hold his composure despite a poor drive on the final hole and limit his damage to a bogey was something that Watson could learn from, and perhaps we should have seen this coming – Kaymer was in contention late into Sunday at Pebble Beach and has a very solid all-around game. That sort of discipline turns good tour players into major winners, as Kaymer discovered on Sunday.


Posted in Golf | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Sadly, Red Sox fans have seen this before

Posted by Bill Koch on August 14, 2010

Pitching and defense, anybody?

Wasn’t that the idea for your 2010 Boston Red Sox? Both of those thoughts were completely absent on Friday night as the Red Sox suffered another crushing loss, this time in a 10-9, 11-inning meltdown against the Texas Rangers.

Nelson Cruz crushed a solo home run on the first pitch of the 11th from Tim Wakefield, but this game was long since over before Old Man River toed the rubber. Boston blew an 8-2 lead in another game that will be circled on the schedule as one of the reasons the Red Sox missed the postseason. Having those types of games on back-to-back days makes this doubly sickening – it looked like Thursday’s debacle in Toronto all over again.

The Red Sox looked to be well in command in this one until Texas started mashing the ball against Josh Beckett. It was 8-6 before Boston’s bullpen went missing for the second straight day, as Felix Doubront and Daniel Bard combined to give up single runs in the seventh and eighth innings to allow the Rangers to tie it. J.D. Drew, allegedly still an elite defensive right fielder, misjudged Bengie Molina’s liner in the seventh, costing Boston a run, and Jed Lowrie threw wide of first base on Vladimir Guerrero’s grounder up the middle in the eighth to drive another nail in the Red Sox coffin.

Now Boston stands 6.5 games behind the American League East-leading New York Yankees and four games behind the Tampa Bay Rays for the wild card berth. The Red Sox are running out of time and blowing cracks in their own hour glass by throwing away certain victories like they did Friday night. Add this to the video reel in what continues to look like a lost season.

Posted in Baseball | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Youkilis, Sambataro split

Posted by Bill Koch on August 13, 2010

This had to have been Enza Sambataro’s idea.

There’s no way that Kevin Youkilis would leave his smokeshow girlfriend and their seemingly perfect little life in the Boston suburbs, is there?

That’s what you initially might think. You’re wrong.

No new details have emerged over the course of today, but news broke this morning that Youkilis and Sambataro are on the rocks. She resigned as the CEO of his charity, Hits for Kids, and is moving out of the home they shared with her son from a previous relationship. Sambataro, who previously dated Ben Affleck, shouldn’t have much trouble snagging someone rich and famous to help her land on her feet.

As for Youkilis, don’t worry about him. You actually thought he was traveling with the team to avoid a similar controversy to the one Jacoby Ellsbury endured while he was on the DL? No chance. The road offers and endless supply of women in various cities, and Youkilis is officially back on the market. Pay no attention to the fact that he might beat Shrek and The Donkey in an ugly contest – that $40-million contract makes him pretty damn sexy to plenty of females out there.

As we’ve told you here at Ramble On many times before, professional athletes play by different rules. Look no further than Tiger Woods to figure out how different life is when you’re rich and famous beyond your wildest dreams. Tiger was married to one of the most beautiful women in the world, the ravishing Elin Nordegren, and cheated on her with a collection of skanks, escorts and pornstars that would make Ron Jeremy blush. The message was clear – show me the world’s most beautiful woman, and I’ll show you a man who’s tired of sleeping with her. Don’t think for a second that Youkilis would be any different.

Posted in Baseball | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »


Posted by Bill Koch on August 12, 2010

First thing we want to do today is give a note of thanks to all our readers out there. Ramble On surpassed 15,000 hits in the wee hours of Thursday morning, a milestone that we probably never thought we would see. It’s a labor of love for my man BDowd and I keeping all of you in the loop on the world of sports, Jersey Shore, crazy YouTube videos and everything else that shows up on our blog. Thanks to all of you for helping make us what we are.

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