White Hat Sports Headlines

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Feeling Kind of Sunday

The baseball season is a week old as of this Cubs-Brewers game I am watching right now. The Masters is the best and the worst let down in sports. Let me explain, I love watching the Masters each year, absolutely Alicia Silverstone could wake in the room wearing anything from Clueless and I'd whisper for her to sit down next to me or to get me a sandwich. It's a soothing experience all the way around, there is the music they sneak into the background, there's the way Jim Nantz romanticizes everything, but the thing about the Masters is, that just as you get hooked, it's over. It's a four day tournament that goes by in an instant, especially this year.

What was the deal with the coverage of the Masters? I was happy to see that ESPN had the rights to the first two days of the tournament, only one problem with that is the fact that on Friday their coverage started at 4, just as Tiger (love him or hate him, the guy everybody wants to see) was teeing off on the 18th freakin hole! It's like those commercials where the guy is selling hot dogs without the bun, or Popsicles without the stick. You see, that's Tiger is, he's the stick. The Masters is a tasty spring treat, but without Tiger, it just isn't presented in the most appropriate way. I'm guessing that there was something in the agreement that they have with the PGA and CBS saying that they couldn't? I mean, ESPN had to use CBS's graphics and all their soothing sounds underneath Mike Tirico (who has become ESPN's Mr. Everything without me really noticing until he got the MNF gig), but why could ESPN show highlights through 3 hours of live Sports Center all afternoon, but not show the action live as it happened so those home with nothing to do Friday (ME!) watch Tiger?

This was really my only complaint about the Masters this year, it was a fantastic final day. Even my Dad who said that watching it was comparable to "watching paint dry" got sucked in and watched intently for 6 hours, including asking for updates during Easter dinner. (My chair is the only one that can see the TV from where I sit, and I don't have to lean back too much to do it.) Tiger and Phil paired together, just pushing each other trying to get back into contention and almost doing so before a couple hiccups at the end.

Now during the final round there was another distraction for me, and that was the Sox playing out west with the Angels. I loved Beckett throwing at Abreu after he called for time out late, which Beckett was practically forcing him to do after holding the ball for what seemed like a full minute. The best part about the entire episode was that Beckett wasn't thrown out (he shouldn't have been) and that some how the Angel players and coach's were so incensed that they got tossed in a glorified bull session at home plate. This brought up two memories for me, one was Beckett cursing out Kenny Lofton after flying out during game 5 of the 2007 ALCS and the other because it happened in the first inning of the game, was Pedro's near no-hitter against the Rays in 2000, after starting the game by plunking Gerald Williams to start his night. Beckett looked okay, flat at times and had a 2006 inning in the middle of the start that spoiled the afternoon, but watching him punch out Howie Kendrick to end the 6th (his final inning) definitely left a good feel for his outing even after he took the loss.

It's tough to beat Easter Sunday at Augusta (sounds like a "Before & After" puzzle on Wheel of Fortune) with the Red Sox, Celtics (oy) and the Bruins (number one seed in the East) all playing at the same time, throw in some lemon meringue pie and it doesn't get much better.

Sterling Pingree

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