Friday, April 7, 2017

Sports this 'n' that

For months, I was under the assumption that Troy High was cutting loose baseball coach William Whitty. Not so, it turns out. Seems that Whitty is not a physical education teacher, and with two gym teachers in charge of tryouts and practices, that led to a mistaken assumption. So, to Coach Whitty, I apologize.

That said, the season got off to a good start Wednesday, as the non-league game vs. Bethlehem, delayed from April 1, saw the Flying Horses shut down the Eagles, 2-0. The team begins a 3-game road trip----we think---at Columbia today, followed by a non-league tilt vs. former Big 10 rival Amsterdam, now out of the Foothills Council, tomorrow. Colonie was supposed to be the opponent on Wednesday, but that game will be made up, likely during Easter vacation week (April 17-22).

Meanwhile, after beating Colonie at home on Tuesday, the Troy lacrosse team suffered their first loss, a 7-6 heartbreaker to Columbia on Thursday. The laxmen are right back at it against Amsterdam tomorrow.
Normally, you'd think LaSalle would play their home lacrosse matches at Sutton Field, but no. For reasons known only to the school, the Cadets are using Watervliet High as a temporary home field.
CBS Sports president Sean McManus, son of the late broadcaster, Jim McKay, gets the Weasel of the Week award this week for unceremoniously removing former Giants quarterback Phil Simms as CBS' #1 NFL color analyst, replaced by newly retired Dallas QB Tony Romo. The Cowboys, apparently, couldn't convince anyone else to make a trade for Romo, which likely would've involved draft picks, as Romo became expendable last season due to the emergence of Dak Prescott, who led the Cowboys to the NFC East title.

So why does Romo get the plum assignment with no broadcasting experience? Simple. CBS is looking to cut into Fox's ratings. Another ex-Cowboy, Troy Aikman, has established himself as Fox's #1 analyst, so CBS is playing monkey see, monkey do. However, they're throwing Romo to the wolves right away. Better that Romo would start in the NFL Today studio, but this is about ratings chicken, for one thing, plus the fact that CBS has the Cowboys' annual Thanksgiving Day game this year.

In addition to the Weasel ears, we'll see if we can find a copy of the writings of George Santayana for Mr. McManus.
There is still a lot of talk, and attendant flak, over the LPGA's decision to penalize Lexi Thompson four strokes for misplacing her ball on Saturday afternoon. Golf is one of the few sports, if not the only one, that allows television viewers to participate. I think tennis does, too, but I'm not entirely sure. While Thompson, 22, made up the difference and forced a playoff, which she ultimately lost, she shouldn't have had that happen 24 hours after the miscues took place. She also signed her scorecard for the 3rd round, not knowing about the mistake she made. An anonymous viewer e-mailed the LPGA with his/her findings, but Thompson has gotten support from her fellow pros----on the men's tour, including Hall of Fame icon Jack Nicklaus.

Nicklaus, quoted by Doug Ferguson of the Associated Press on Thursday, believes that once your scorecard is signed and turned over to a tournament official, that's it. Turning golf into an interactive television event is meant to boost ratings and inform Joe & Jane Sixpack about the game, not turn them into remote nannies who nitpick and unwittingly create situations such as what befell Thompson at the ANA Inspiration, the first LPGA major tournament, fornerly known as the Nabisco-Dinah Shore Classic, of the season.

Another former Masters champion, Phil Mickelson, was quoted as saying the LPGA should consider awarding Thompson the trophy after all, but what purpose would that serve? "Lefty" got that one wrong. What's done is done. End of story.
Finally, we're also handing out a set of Weasel ears to Dan LeBatard, and this has nothing to do with his ESPN comedy-talk show, Highly Questionable, which we'll review another time. No, in this case, LeBatard gets the ears for straying too far off course in the course of an interview with newly-minted WWE Hall of Famer and yoga guru Diamond Dallas Page. LeBatard pressed Page on a reported tiff with former WCW rival Scott Steiner. Page went off on LeBatard, and was cut off after dropping an F-bomb on the air. Page was justified, if but because he'd told LeBatard repeatedly he didn't want to address that issue (an interview with the more volatile Steiner would've ended worse), but was ignored. You'd expect this from some C-list Howard Stern wanna-be, not a veteran journalist like LeBatard, who I believe is also still a newspaper columnist (Miami Herald), but should know better.

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