Monday, June 18, 2012

The clothes make the man (and other Monday morning musings)

There's a difference between vintage Tiger Woods and the Tiger Woods of old. The fourth round charge to victory at the Memorial earlier this month was vintage Tiger Woods. The Tiger Woods of old would have ridden that momentum all the way through the U.S. Open, instead of falling apart in the final two rounds. Between Tiger's inconsistency and the fierce competition on the PGA Tour - as in different winners in the last 14 majors, including an unprecedented nine straight first time major champions - the smart money says Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major victories is safe for at least another generation...It's unnerving to watch, read and listen to sports writers and broadcasters with 30 or more years of experience talk about Jerry Sandusky as if he's already been found guilty. That may well be the eventual verdict in the Penn State football sex abuse scandal, but for journalists to publicly declare Sandusky guilty while he's still before the courts is a fundamental breach of their own professional ethics. The universal rush to judgement makes it easy to pile on in the Sandusky case, but even the worst offender has the right to a fair trial...If feel-good sentiment counts for anything, this weekend's series of sold out events to celebrate the 1981 Expos was a small but significant step on the formidable road to bringing professional baseball back to Montreal. That Gary Carter's memory was honored in perpetuity and the reunion raised 20 thousand dollars for cancer research made it worthwhile in any event... Just because he's a phenom doesn't mean there won't bumps along the road to greatness for 19 year old Bryce Harper, who went oh for 7 and struck out five times in Washington's 14 inning loss to the Yankees Saturday. It's a measure of his enormous ability and poise that Harper bounced back and went 2 for 4 yesterday with a double and a single...I'm as much of a stickler for tradition as the next baseball purist, but after watching Phillies manager Charlie Manuel waddle out to the mound looking like he's wrapped in sausage casing, I think it's finally time for the grand old game to get managers out of uniforms and into street clothes. The NFL doesn't force Andy Reid into form-fitting football tights and the NHL doesn't make Ken Hitchcock wear hockey pants during games; baseball should extend the same courtesy for the sake of everyone's dignity.

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