Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Of sleeping ballplayers, torn Tigers and others

Lots of fodder in the recent sports headlines to chew on....

First and perhaps most disappointing if true:  there are reports from anonymous sources (is there another kind in a situation like this?) on the Seattle Mariners that Hall-of-Famer-as-soon-as-he-retires Ken Griffey, Jr. was not inserted as a pinch-hitter in a recent game, ostensibly because he was ASLEEP in the clubhouse!  Frankly, Griffey always seemed to have enough respect for the game that I find this hard to believe, but you just never know.  And the players were supposedly younger players who like and respect Griff, so, again, it's hard to tell what's what.  Very telling, though, that both Griffey and the team's manager were very quick to refute the report.  What IS true and not in dispute is that Griffey's offensive production is so poor that he doesn't even serve as the designated hitter in every game.  He's batting around .200 (that's not very good, for any non-baseball fans reading this) and has not hit a home run this year.  If your heart's not in it, Junior, retire with your dignity intact.

Someone who apparently has less and less of his own dignity these days is Tiger Woods.  As someone wrote online recently (and I'm paraphrasing), every time you think this guy has hit bottom something else happens or surfaces to make things even worse.  And Tiger not only was a non-factor in the recently completed Players' Championship (won by diminutive first-time winner Tim Clark), but he withdrew mid-round Sunday with some sort of neck injury that he now says has been bothering him for over a month (but that he didn't mention at the Masters, apparently).  Then news broke Monday night that Hank Haney, the architect of Woods' most recent swing rebuilding project, had decided to end his relationship with Tiger.  I heard a former pro golfer comment that the "swing coach" role is highly overrated, but it's no secret that several golfers, including Phil Mickelson, enjoy a new level of success after changing "swing coaches" from time to time.  If I'm Tiger and half of what has been printed about me is true, I simply disappear from golf AND public view.  For at least a year.  But that's me.

Happier subject, for me, at least.....if you're scoring at home, the Cincinnati Reds have won 10 of their last 14 games and their starting pitching is FINALLY looking like many of us thought it would this season.  And they're producing offense, which is a nice treat after squeaking out wins with little or no offensive production for so long.  Hope they can keep it up through Sunday, when a couple of friends and I will trek to Great American Ball Park to see the Redlegs play the Cardinals.

Now, let's be careful out there.

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