Lees Unlocks: Round 5

Tuesday, August 16th, 2011 at 10:47 AM
By LeeS
Lees Unlocks: Round 5 by LeeS
Jay Stevens/ Erie Reader

‘If at first you don’t succeed…’ well, you can’t just quit, can you? Maybe. But I’m back anyway.

The Observation Deck:

I’ve casually noticed Steve Williams. You’ve probably heard of him. He’s the former caddie for pro golfer Tiger Woods. He’s also decided that he can make comments about him (Tiger) and the media will suck it up like a Bounty paper towel. In fact, he’s now the caddie for the current winner of the recent Firestone Invitational tournament, Australian Adam Scott, and after the final round, Williams derided his former employer to the media in attendance.

Golly.

First, why would he take away from the big win his new boss had just enjoyed to comment negatively about his old one? That speaks volumes about what this guy is all about, and if you guessed ‘himself’, then you can give yourself a pat on the back.

Secondly, the man is a caddie. As in a golf caddie. Isn’t he supposed to follow someone around, lugging his or her golf clubs, and saying things like: ‘you want the nine-iron for that or what’? That’s what I thought. Think about that, Adam.

Bonus: Do you smell a book, here?

Speaking of which, Tiger Woods continues to have his troubles having failed to make the cut this past weekend during the PGA Championship for the first time in seven years. I’d say the man has lost his mojo much like Austin Powers did previously, and we know what happened then.

Admittedly, I am far from expert on the subject, but it seems pretty apparent that the current state of affairs between the NBA players and the NBA owners is a divide the size of the Grand Canyon. More than half of the NBA franchises lost money last year, and when the asking price for the Golden State Warriors is $450 million, you don’t have very much math to do so that you can see the players should not only expect they will not get the money they want, they should likely realize that these aren’t ‘the good old days’ anymore. It seems like a very long and arduous stalemate, here. College hoops are looking good, brother.

A note on college football: The bad news concerning the Ohio State football program is far from being over. The NCAA will conduct its investigation, and it will get worse before it ever begins to get better with regards to the ethics (or lack thereof) conduct surrounding former coach Jim Tressel and former quarterback Terrelle Pryor-- among others. A proud program will be coming down and tough sanctions will certainly have to follow.

Did I mention that Tressel also authored the book, “The Winner’s Manual?” The term ‘pathetic’ comes to mind.

It’s situations just like this that make you truly appreciate what we have here at home with our own Penn State University. I could not begin to imagine the term ‘NCAA violations’ and the name ‘Joe Paterno’ being used in the same sentence.

The Atlanta Brave’s second baseman Dan Uggla managed to record the longest hitting streak in the majors this season by safely hitting in 33 straight games. However, I’m not sure what is the more surprising: The fact that he managed at least one hit in that many consecutive games or that he was hitting a horrible .173 when the streak began on July 5? I was watching the Brave’s – Cubs game on Friday night and when Uggla came to the plate in the second inning, I didn’t think he’d get a hit, but instead, he went deep on Carlos Zambrano, depositing the offering over the left-center wall and then also hit another one out on him later for good measure. Uggla’s streak unfortunately ended on Sunday afternoon when he managed only a sac fly and the Cubbies won, 6-5.

Meanwhile in a parallel universe, the NFL Preseason got off in full swing, and we got our first glimpse of what is to be. I don’t know what that is exactly because it’s been known for teams to go 4-0 in the preseason and then get the first pick in the next years’ draft. Not only is it not a clear indication of where teams are, but most will employ basically vanilla schemes as to not give anything of significance away. They want it to be a surprise, later. What you see isn’t what you get: it’s people fighting for jobs.

Think about this: In the NFL, of the 32 total number of teams, 12 make the playoffs each year. On the average, five of those twelve teams that made the playoffs the previous season will not make the playoffs the following year. Pick five that will not make it this year, but made it last year, I dare ya, because it’s not easy to do.

I will be stupidly making my picks in another column.

Recap:

On Tuesday, I chose the game between Boston and Minnesota at Target Field, going with Minnesota to take one from the Red Sox. That wasn’t happening. Boston took advantage of the hosts 4-3, and it looks like Minnesota is struggling on offense, which explains why they are where they are in the current standings. Minnesota took the Wednesday night game, but it’s a day late and a dollar short for me. Wrong is wrong.

Wednesday night, we had Detroit at Cleveland with the Tribe having won the previous game just the night before. I had picked the Tigers to take the second game from the Chief Wahoo clan. Wrong again. Cleveland took it from Detroit behind Ubaldo Jimenez (1-0, 5.54 ERA) with rookie Jason Kipnis going 5-5 against Rick Porcello (11-7, 4.93) winning by a 10-3 count. The Tribe, who had not been doing well (3-7 before the Tigers arrived), were now just two games back of the Tigers in the AL Central.

Thursday, it was the Milwaukee Brewer’s traveling to the St. Louis Cardinals. The Brewer’s, winners of two straight in the series, dropped this one to a Cards’ team that had to win to stay in the chase with the current Central leaders. It was St. Louis 5 and Milwaukee 2 with Albert Pujols going 4 for 4 with a homer. I had picked the Brewer’s in this one.

Each team that I picked won either the night before or the night after. Thanks, guys.

My ‘Conspiracy Theory’ crutch got kicked out from under me by our hometown SeaWolves, however.

Finally, on Friday and for my last game of the week, I again took a chance on our very own SeaWolves who were playing at Portland. The Howler’s took that one from the Sea Dogs, 6-2, basically saving me once again from an embarrassing week of misses.

For the week, I was a fairly miserable 1-4. Remember, there are no cupcakes.

It’s said that four out of five readers find that it’s easier to fall asleep when they read my column in the middle of the day.

The Picks:

For Tuesday, let’s take a look at surging Arizona who are at the Philadelphia Phillies. It’s Josh Collmentor (7-7, 3.51) going up against the indomitable Cliff Lee (12-7, 2.83). Call me insane (go ahead, I can take it) because I’m picking the Diamondbacks to win this.

On Wednesday, let’s go to Erie where the SeaWolves will take on the Trenton Thunder, who are currently in second place in the East, in a brief homestand at the venerable Uht. I’m going with Erie in this one because they’ve kept me afloat when all else has failed me.

On Thursday, we have the Texas Rangers at the Los Angeles Angels. Oh, man, this stuff is too good to pass up with the second place team playing at home against the current leaders. LA has to win, but Texas can’t let ‘em. I’m picking the Angels to keep the race interesting even though Jered Weaver got shelled 11-2 in Toronto last Saturday.

Now for Friday, let’s go with the Cleveland Indians at Detroit Tigers. Another battle of current first and second place teams in this, the AL Central division. I’m going with the Tigers at Comerica, even though it’s a must-win for the die-hard Tribe who won’t go away.

And another thing:

Who would’ve ever thunk that the Arizona Diamondbacks would oust the major league champion San Francisco Giants from first place in the NL West? Not I, assuredly. I can’t believe the situation staying like this because San Fran has just too much going for them. It is interesting, however, and Arizona has the hitting to make this a very interesting race right down to the wire.

Far out:

During that Friday night game between the Cubs and Braves, Chicago pitcher Carlos Zambrano managed to get ejected (not to mention dejected as well) from the game and then went down and cleared out his locker, telling the equipment crew that he was taking his bats and balls and going home-- essentially presenting the famous and ever-popular single finger salute to the organization followed by an ardent ‘adios’. Word has it, however, that The Magnificent Flying Zambrano may yet indeed be back in the fold now that his agent has thoughtfully reminded the Zammy about a silly little thing they call a contract.

You heard it here:

The Erie SeaWolves sadly have only 11 home games left in the season, and the first of which will begin Tuesday night against Trenton. Hope to see you at the ballpark.

Hasta la pizza, everyone.

Have a great week,

Lee 

Erie Reader: Vol. 6, No. 20
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CURRENT

Now serving up good vibes on State Street

Fighting for change in our most vulnerable communities.

Running into a blazing building can be ‘terrifying,’ but some choose to do it, anyway. 

Here are three good opportunities to lighten up as the nights grow longer.

Dancing Wheels bring a world premiere to Mercyhurst.

IN THIS ISSUE

Now serving up good vibes on State Street

Fighting for change in our most vulnerable communities.

Running into a blazing building can be ‘terrifying,’ but some choose to do it, anyway. 

Here are three good opportunities to lighten up as the nights grow longer.

Dancing Wheels bring a world premiere to Mercyhurst.

Shapeshift With Me, relative to the band’s spectacular catalog as a whole, is certainly one of their less powerful studio albums.

Grate every road in downtown Erie all at once.

Some ‘multigrain’ bread has a little more protein than you’d like. 

Don’t just dream it. Be it!

If De Palmas trip down memory lane whets your appetite, come back to the museum for one of his most underrated movies a week later.