Category Archives: Audibles

Short, quick-hit comments about on one of the day’s events in the sports world

A Little Nothing Extra

Your humble correspondent has been fighting a bad case of writer’s block recently. It’s gotten bad enough that I’ve been fearful of even approaching my laptop to face the grim challenge of trying to pound out a readable post on any subject. When you get to this state, it’s hard to even come up with a decent idea for an article. Fishing around for a good subject, in an of itself, becomes an exercise in frustration and futility.

And then the morons who run Major League Baseball come along and drop a gift in your lap, like the announcement of new extra inning rules for their minor league affiliates. Let the words pour forth!

And most of those words will be sarcastic and cynical. Naturally. Anyone who’s been alive more than a few minutes, and watched more than half a baseball game, will find the idea of starting the tenth and subsequent innings with a runner on second base utterly stupid. It seems like an idea that should be dead on arrival.

So that just leaves two questions: One, why do it at all? (And the corollary question: who thought this was a good idea?) And two, will baseball eventually implement it at the major league level? Continue reading A Little Nothing Extra

Penguins Gaining, But Risk A Net Loss

After posting my recent critique of the NHL’s so-far lackluster season, I’ve been making a concerted effort this past week to watch more games. And one thing stood out in the play I witnessed, something that’s reflected in the current standings: the Pittsburgh Penguins are starting to actually look like a two-time defending champion.

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Tristan Jarry: a potential crack in the Pens’ championship ice

The Pens have reclaimed the top spot in the Metropolitan Division, and they’ve looked good doing it. They’re riding a three-game winning streak (as of this writing), and they showed a smothering defense–particularly in the third period–in their win Wednesday night over the previously hot but now suddenly ice-cold Flyers. Combine a tight D with that team’s world-class offensive skill and the idea that we’re seeing a team in the midst of an Islanders- or Canadiens-like string of three or four consecutive Cup wins starts to look very plausible.

But that win Wednesday night revealed something else that may give Pens fans a moment’s pause: without the sidelined Matt Murray in goal, Pittsburgh may have a major problem in the playoffs, no matter how many snipers skate on their forward lines. Continue reading Penguins Gaining, But Risk A Net Loss

Must. Go. Down. Hard.

Now would be a good time to review a little bit of what we learned from last year’s Super Bowl, when the Atlanta Falcons blew a ridiculous lead and lost to the New England Patriots.

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More getting to the quarterback is how the Eagles will fly

As noted then, the Falcons were doing the right thing, and then they stopped doing the right thing, and then they lost. And what was that right thing?

Cheating, of course. Continue reading Must. Go. Down. Hard.

Connecting The Links

I’m about to inject a bit of logic into sports discussion, and that’s always dangerous–but I find myself unable to resist the temptation.

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Tiger Woods: a sport unto himself?

Tiger Woods is back on the course, and there’s been a lot of heavy breathing in the various media outlets because of it. He made the cut yesterday, in a real-life, honest-to-goodness PGA event, which is fine and good. It’s right to hope that Woods can find some happiness in his chosen field, so to speak–though expectations that things will soon be just like 2005 are weirdly out of joint at this point.

But that’s not the point I want to make here. I come not to praise nor bash Woods; previous posts in this space have taken care of that. No, this is about the implications of all that heavy breathing–and the lack thereof during the past few years.

Continue reading Connecting The Links

The World Turned Right Side Down Under

Got a look this morning at the women’s semifinals at the Australian Open. No. 1 Simona Halep vs. No. 21 Angelique Kerber. No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki vs No. 36 Elise Mertens. And I couldn’t quite make sense of it.

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Caroline Wozniacki: not just another pretty face, finally?

“But those…those…wait–the top two seeds and a former champion? But those are the women who are supposed to win this thing. What’s going on here?” Continue reading The World Turned Right Side Down Under