Archive for September 2010

Golf can be a “cheap game” sometimes

September 28, 2010


Photo Courtesy of: Jeff Robinson/Icon SMI

Golf can be an expensive game. But the putter that netted Jim Furyk an $11.35 million payday Sunday at the Tour Championship cost him a whopping $39 at a discount golf shop near Boston. Jim Furyk found the putter that helped him win $11.35 million at the Tour Championship for $39 at a used equipment store.

Furyk picked up the used “Yes! Sophia” putter at Joe & Leigh’s Discount Golf Pro Shop at Pine Oaks Golf Course in Easton, Mass., earlier this month. He bought it during a quiet visit to the shop after the third round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston in Norton, The Enterprise of Brockton first reported.

That same putter was in Furyk’s hands when he made a 2-foot putt for par that clinched the $1.35 million Tour Championship and another $10 million for winning the FedEx Cup.

The putter landed at the discount shop when two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning political cartoonist Paul Szep traded it in, The Boston Globe reported. Szep, who worked at the Globe from 1967 to 2001, now lives in Florida and is an avid golfer with a 7 handicap.

“I can’t believe it. It’s quite amusing,” said Szep, who watched the final holes of the Tour Championship at a friend’s house in Siesta Key, according to the report. “I said, ‘Hey, you’ve got to come see this. There’s my putter right there.’

Furyk's Yes! Sophia putter for $39

“It’s pretty neat. Usually I’m the one who’s going to the tour guys and trying to get their clubs, not the other way around.”

Furyk tried out a few putters during his 20-minute visit, then told club professional Mark Petrucci that the one he found had a nick that helped him line up the ball.

“It’s got a nick on the back flange, a little ding on the top,” Furyk said during his post-tournament interview on NBC. “I like it. I guess we were meant to be.”

Furyk will have the putter with him at this weekend’s Ryder Cup in Wales, according to the Globe.

“He made the putt and we got excited, and I’m sure people thought we were a little crazy that we were getting so excited over a golf tournament,” store co-owner Leigh Bader said, according to the Globe. “[Winning $11.35 million], using ‘our’ putter? We were rooting for him, because he was such a nice guy when he came in. Friendly, humble, unassuming.”

…This is a great story. Being an avid golfer and love for the sport, this makes me happy. I am always saying that it’s the clubs that make you better and for irons and woods that is so true. However, the putter is a different story. I have a generic Knight putter that came with my first set and I have sunk so many clutch putts with it in my lifetime that I don’t need the $150-$200 putters. Furyk showed that it is skill that matters and not price. Well he paid a low price for the club, the results were well worth it over the past week. I also feel happy for Paul Szep, the club owner cause he must feel like a million dollars cause that is probably what the club is worth after the round that Jim Furyk had at the Tour Championship. Just remember everybody, golf is about love of the game and not about the price…

The Rays swimming in a dead sea?

September 28, 2010


When 12,446 fans showed up Monday night to see if the AL East-leading Tampa Bay Rays could clinch their second playoff berth in three years, Evan Longoria decided he’d seen enough empty seats and said something about it.

Longoria, who did not play in the Rays’ 4-0 loss to Baltimore, spoke at length about the team’s chronically low attendance, calling it “disheartening” and “embarrassing.”

 “We’ve been playing great baseball all year. Since I’ve been here in [2006], the fans have wanted a good baseball team. They’ve wanted to watch a contender,” Longoria told reporters. “And for us to play good baseball for three years now, and for us to be in a spot to clinch again and go to the playoffs, we’re all confused as to why it’s only 15,000 to 20,000 in the building.”

Monday’s announced attendance was a little more than half of the 23,047 the team has averaged at home this season, despite battling neck-and-neck with the New York Yankees for the AL East lead and baseball’s best record for most of the season.

Tropicana Field, the Rays’ much-maligned domed stadium, holds 36,973 for baseball during the regular season.

“In 2008, when we clinched, this place was packed,” Longoria said. “It’s kind of like what else do you have to do to draw fans in this place. It’s actually embarrassing for us.”

Longoria said the attendance has not had any bearing on the team’s on-field effort at home, where the Rays are 48-31 entering Tuesday’s game against the Orioles.

“But we’re talking about a team in a playoff hunt with the opportunity to clinch. You could at least get 30,000 in here to cheer you on to it,” Longoria said.

“It’s a tough situation for us,” he added. “A lot of the visiting teams come in and wonder where are all the fans. It’s actually a little bit embarrassing for us. We’re one game away from clinching a postseason spot. We have enough guys in this room to celebrate with, but we’d love to celebrate it with the fans, too.”

The Rays have a roster full of young, talented players and are polishing off their third straight winning season after starting their existence with a decade of dreadful results. But small crowds at home have been a constant issue, despite the team’s dramatic improvement.

Longoria said he had been thinking about addressing the Rays’ home attendance for a long time.

“I’m not trying to take a low blow at the fans. I’m actually trying to rally the troops and get more people in here,” he said. “I’m not trying to say that we have bad fans or any of that because, believe me, I’ve been here since ’06 and I love the Tampa Bay community. It’s just tough to see, and I felt I was the right guy to say it.” 

The current Rays roster might not be in place for fans to watch next season.

Team owner Stuart Sternberg said last week that no matter what happens, the team will cut payroll during the offseason, meaning pending free agents Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena and Rafael Soriano likely will not return.

Tampa Bay’s current payroll of $71.9 million — a team record, but tens of millions less than the AL East-rival Yankees and Boston Red Sox — is expected to drop to $50 million or less next season.

“No question. Nothing can change that,” Sternberg said of the coming payroll reduction, according to the St. Petersburg Times. “Unfortunately there’s nothing that can happen between now and April that can change that unless [manager] Joe Maddon hits the lottery and wants to donate it or I hit the lottery.”

…I can feel for Evan here in this situation. Florida is not the best place to be when it comes to attendances in baseball. The Marlins barely have anyone come to the game even when they are playing well and the Rays are having the same problem to. Many can say it’s the economy, but still, if your team is playing well there usually is support to back it up. In this case, there isn’t. I like how Longoria used the words, “It’s actually embarrassing for us.” Cause they used to be embarrassing and now they are promising. I think this will help the Rays get more people in to the next games but I also think you won’t draw attendance when Monday Night Football is on and you are also playing the Baltimore Orioles who are the worst in the AL. Let’s see what the attendance numbers are tomorrow and see if Longoria still will have an impact…

Listen to the Sports Cycle Tonight on WMUR

September 27, 2010

Sports Fans and The Sports Cycle followers please listen in to tonight’s radio show from 8-9pm Central Time, 9-10 pm Eastern Time! We have a great show on tap talking about the final week of the baseball season, week 3 of the NFL football season, Monday Night Football between Chicago Bears and Green Bay Packers, Marquette Atheltics, and what ever the listeners want to talk about.



Donnie Dwyer is tonight’s host along side my bro Brian Fantastic Dwyer

Video:Monday Night Football Preview

September 27, 2010

Here is a video preview of the game between the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field tonight:

Want to get away?

September 27, 2010

Being a referee in the NFL is a hard thing to do. But to mess up a big call in an NFL Stadium and on National TV is pretty embarrassing. For Carl Cheffers, he “Wanted to get away” as the Southwest Airlines commercials would state. The game was the Houston Texans agains the Dallas Cowboys in the 4th quarter. After a kick off return by the Cowboys, there was a flag thrown. Here is the call:

To Note: There were three fouls on the play, and they offset each other. The unnecessary roughness calls against Dallas linebacker Leon Williams and Houston linebacker Kevin Bentley, and holding on Dallas long-snapper L.P. LaDouceur (the hold was offsetting, but enforced).

Here is an original Southwest Airlines commercial:

…I think the guy did the right thing and didn’t embarrass himself completely. I have seen this done before. I remember the Giants vs. Redskins in 2008 and the guy Ed Hochuli completely botched the call (VIDEO BELOW). I think it is hard to be an NFL referee and cut this guy some slack. What stunk was the guys commentating for FOX in the booth were laughing really hard and made it seem like a joke. It was funny don’t get me wrong, but I would like to see anyone try to go out and do it. It is definitely hard. One lesson learned from today. After a moment like that, you definitely want to get away…

Jose Bautista hits 50th Home Run

September 23, 2010


Photo: Brad White/Getty Images

Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista hit his major league-leading 50th home run Thursday, a first-inning solo blast off Seattle Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez.

Bautista is the 26th player in baseball history to reach the 50-home run mark in a season, and the first since Prince Fielder (50) and Alex Rodriguez (54) did it in 2007.

After fouling back a 2-0 pitch, Bautista hammered the next one into the left field bullpen. All 50 of his homers have been to left or left center.

Bautista has hit 26 home runs since the All Star break, a new Blue Jays record.

The blast was Bautista’s major league-high 31st at home this season, breaking Carlos Delgado‘s Blue Jays record set in 2000.

For Video of the Home Run…CLICK HERE

…This guy is having a great year. However, I think it’s one of those flukes. I may be wrong but this guy hit 59 home runs in 7 years and now hits 50 in one year. That’s just absurd. Also notice that they were all pulled to left and left center and none to right or right center. I think it all has to do with luck for him. He guessed his spots and hit it out including 26 in the second half. Don’t get me wrong, this is a great achievement and I think the kid has been having a great year but I don’t think it will last. In the next few years people will find his weakness and exploit it. What I am curious to see is what kind of big year deal he gets after this season and what people are willing to go out and pay for him. I am excited to see how that plays off. Congrats to Jose Bautista as he gets his name up there with 27 other stars/some former steroid users. Hey, he could have been juicing! Who knows…

Funny Sports Video of the Week

September 22, 2010

…This is probably the funniest video I have ever seen. The Rays really need a rap star like this to make it big. It is just so classic. A kitty rapping in a Rays jersey and chains with the matching cap is just priceless. I know I got a kick out of it. What do you think?…