Ted Bauer, mi amigo de Price Above Bip Roberts, was watching sports and forming opinions while I was busy drinking Mojitos at a wedding reception this weekend, so we’re once again turning to him to show us what we learned (or should have learned, if we hadn’t been so busy shaking our maracas).
Oracle Arena is a tough place to win
The domain formerly associated with a series of also-ran Bay Area celebs and the occasional Tom Hanks cameo is now home to Owen and Kate, Snoop Dogg, Ronnie Lott, and others. They all rock the goldenrod “We Believe” t-shirts, scream at the top of their lungs, and overall help the Warriors complete what’s rapidly becoming one of the more entertaining NBA playoff runs in recent memory. It also doesn’t hurt when your Taliban-bearded point forward is doing redonkeyballs 360 layups and literally shoving his masculinity in AK-47’s face for all the world to see. Did you hear Tirico on that one? Unreal. He just started screaming for a solid five seconds, then finally said “OH BOY!” Indeed. In-deed.
Tiger can fall, and fall quickly
In an event featuring 48 of the world’s 50 top players, Tiger Woods sunk like a stone – to borrow a quote from Kramer during the episode with “The Lumbar Yard” – and Phil “Lefty” Mickelson captured his 31st Tour win as a result. I tend to view golf the same way a lot of people view hockey – a bunch of fanatic fans, but not a ton altogether (maybe I’m wrong; I don’t know very much). Here’s the thing, though – I always kinda felt like golf would be cooler if there were more challengers at the top. Every major event seems to be a duel between Mickelson and Woods in some way, with the occasional third party showing up to provide the newest Nantz cliche. What the heck ever happened to the rise of Ernie Els or Vijay Singh? (Having typed that, I’m sure those guys are probably 1-2 in the world)
Barry Bonds: Lacking Relevance
Bonds strode into Coors Field this weekend, a venerable launching pad for home runs by even weak-kneed losers, and he strode in as the all-time visiting leader in dingers. What happened? As of yet (there’s 1 game left), he ain’t got diddly poo. Meanwhile, some guy named Fred Lewis, whom the Giants called up on Friday, HIT FOR THE CYCLE on Sunday against the Rockies. Bonds is slowly beginning to jump the shark; then again, he may have done that the first time he put a needle in his ass.
Beware Jack Cust
We’re big fans of Jack Cust, who is on an absolutely, borderline ridiculous tear right now. He’s got 6 HR already in roughly 7 games for the A’s, most of them wins. We like him because his name sounds pornographic, honestly – you can call him “Jack Thrust” or “Jack C—” and it’s all good in the proverbial hood – but his game might be larger than his potential for awkward conversation. He’s helping the A’s out in their annual chase to be close enough to the Angels by September 1st to make it worth the while of a “MLB Extra Innings” subscriber to stay up past 10pm.
Some NFL players are at life crossroads
Michael Vick purportedly abuses his dogs. Pac Man Jones went to a strip club when he visited Roger Goodell in New York. Donovan McNabb, who probably has the biggest monkey on his back in sports now that Manning has a ring (OK, maybe A-Rod), is theoretically in danger of being replaced by a guy who played in C-USA within the next few years. No Fun League my arse. This is hysterical to watch unfold.
The Reds outfield is an interesting place
Over in the Cincy terminal morass, you have a recovering drug addict (Hamilton) looking for a second chance, a guy with an imaginary friend (Freel) who may be the second coming of Jim Edmonds (or so he proved this week), a guy who might have been the greatest to ever play (Griffey) if things went right for him health-wise, and a guy that arguably personifies everything absolutely wrong (Dunn) with the Reds the past few years. To recap: vice, delusion, injury, and Steve Balboni like power hitter. At least the Bengals have potential, I guess.
Brewers, Come Out to Play
In their quest to validate this whole “We beat up on the Nationals and Pirates of the world, and thus get off to a hot start, and everyone gets on our jock” thing, the Brewers may have run into some trouble. They have a dastardly schedule upcoming, and it didn’t begin well, dropping 2 of 3 to the Mets this weekend, including a 9-1 loss on Sunday. Granted, the Brewers’ lone win was a 12-1 shellacking of last year’s NL runner-ups, and I guess you can say J.J. Hardy might be putting himself into the broader discussion on the NL’s best shortstop. The issue with the Brewers right now, though, is that this weekend we didn’t learn anything about them. We need to know who these guys are, and for that, we exhort them to take a page from the Warriors book and come out to play.
The Bulls and Nets aren’t dead just yet
Two teams that battled on the final day of the regular season, and completely screwed up the Eastern Conference playoff pairings, are now very much relevant again. Well, one is, at least. The Nets cut their series to 2-1 with an 11 point win on Saturday; the Bulls got at least some saving grace with a Game 4 win Sunday. When the Pistons close out this series in 5, the first thing I’ll think of is Kings over Mavericks in 2002 – everyone thought the Mavs were “on the verge,” which is what people say about the Bulls now, and the Kings just embarassed them after Dallas swept their first round series. Am I equating Tayshaun Prince to Mike Bibby? Maybe I am. Maybe I damn well am.
It’s never a good time to live in Buffalo
“Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.” The geographical equivalent: “Those who can, move wherever they please. Those who can’t, move to Buffalo.” The city still best known for two things – wings, and being home to a bar at which I have the highest all-time trivia score – is fast becoming known for a third: futility. We thought that whole “4 straight Super Bowls” thing was bad enough, but we gained a measure of respect for Jim Kelly when we learned he may or may not have nailed Missy Hyatt right before one of those games. Anyway, we digress. This – right here – was supposed to be the Sabres’ year. Instead, they’re down 2-0 and headed back to Ottawa against a team that owned them in the regular season and has a better first line than they do. Doesn’t seem like Buffalo’s year anymore. Get the Scott Norwood video ready, Best Damn.
They play baseball in Boston
While everyone and their mother (see? subtle plug for the holiday right there) wants to talk up Milwaukee, and the Mets, and the Braves, there’s a little team playing ball in Boston right now. You might know ’em – they won it all about three years ago, ending this whole “Curse” thing. At this juncture, they have the best record in baseball, and came back from a 5-0 defecit on Sunday to beat the Orioles (this is officially the part of the season where the Orioles just collapse) 6-5 on a dropped ball at first base that should have closed the door. My roommate was about 18 minutes late to work to watch the end of that game, FYI, and when he finally did leave, he slammed the door so hard it knocked something off the wall. He’s an Os guy, if you couldn’t tell from that little rundown. I had a sixth grade writing teacher who told me “Show, don’t tell.” Hopefully I did that, just there. Fact is: Sox are good. Really, really good.
Gracias, Senor Ted.