And We'll See You Tomorrow?! & DFTU

Hello again everybody...

Hope you had a great weekend. Mine was busy, but fun. So busy in fact, that I saw virtually no baseball what so ever. So I'll limit the baseball talk to the DFTU today. Before that, I'll explain the new poll. That's right. It's time to talk a little golf in The Sports Take. I'm currently watching the 18-hole playoff to decide the U.S. Open. Should I be? Let's discuss!

"If you're caught on a golf course during a storm and are afraid of lightning, hold up a 1-iron. Not even God can hit a 1-iron."

-Lee Trevino (Dec. 1, 1939 - ), American Professional Golfer

«Read More...»

So as I mentioned, I'm currently keeping an eye on the 18-hole playoff between Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate to determine the 2008 U.S. Open Champion. And it's Monday. That's right, every other major championship of golf determines their champion on Sunday (except in cases of bad weather) except for the U.S. Open. The Masters uses a "sudden death" playoff format where the contestants play until someone scores lower on a single hole. The British Open uses a 4-hole playoff, where the player with the lowest aggregate score over 4 holes wins the tournament. And the PGA Championship uses a 3-hole playoff system similar to the British, just one hole shorter.

So why does the USGA require players tied for the lead after 72 holes to play 18 more on the Monday following the tournament weekend? Tradition mostly. Oh you'll hear other explanations. Last night as I was flipping through the channels I watched some of the Golf Channel's post-game coverage. One of their analysts, former player Brandel Chamblee, was arguing in favor of the 18-hole playoff claiming, "This is a National Championship. It's way too important to be determined by just one hole or even just a few holes."

Way too important, you say? Sorry Brandel, it's a major golf tournament, not nuclear disarmament negotiations! And there's no way people are going to convince me that the U.S. Open is more important than the Masters or the British Open (sorry PGA).

So basically it comes down to a tradition that was instituted before the advent of mass media. Back before television and radio covered sports like they do today, having an 18-hole playoff on Monday was no big deal. People just had to wait another day to read about it in the newspaper. But these days you've got a massive audience tuned in for a dramatic finish on a Sunday afternoon and after 72 holes you tell them, "Thanks for tuning in, we'll see you tomorrow for the actual finish!"

Umm, no, you won't. People work on Monday. Sure, some of us are lucky enough to have access to televisions in our respective offices. But most of the casual fans that you've captured on Sunday aren't going to bother tuning in on Monday. Maybe some of them will check the web or SportsCenter to find out the result. But the enduring memory that you're leaving them with is, "oh, that's the tournament that doesn't always finish on Sunday".

Not the greatest marketing slogan.

So as you've probably determined by now, I'm in favor of changing the structure. If you don't want one hole to determine your champion, then go with the 3 or 4-hole format like the PGA or British. Hell, if the USGA's determined to make their championship a more strenuous test than the other majors, make it 6-holes. Whatever. Just get it done on Sunday! If the USGA's goal is to grow the game of golf, isn't cutting your audience nearly in half for the determining holes of your championship counter-productive? Think about it.

So now it's time for you, my thoughtful readers, to weigh in. I've posted a new poll on this very subject. Take a moment, think it over and cast your vote. And if you have strong feelings one way or the other, or if you feel I've missed some critical point, click on the "comments" tab a the bottom of this post and add your thoughts!

Next up, it's everybody's favorite segment, "Dan's Favorite Teams Update"!

Minnesota Twins: The Twins are 34-36, in second place in the AL Central and 4.5 games behind the Chicago White Sox!

So I thought I'd finally give the reverse jynx a try and I'll be damned if it didn't work! You'll recall Friday when I predicted that the Brewers would take at least 2 out of 3 from the Twins, if not sweep the series entirely. What I didn't say is that I was hoping my prediction would have exactly the opposite effect and actually put the whammy on the Crew. And while it didn't quite get the Twins a sweep, the boys did come through with a 2-1 series victory!

Friday night saw a 10-2 thumping of the Brewers followed by a dramatic 9-4 win on Saturday. Twins hurler Scott Baker pitched reasonably well on Sunday, but the Brewers' Seth McClung was better. And not only was he the better pitcher, he was also the better batter adding a double to his solid 6-inning pitching performance to lead the Brewers to a 4-2 broom-busting win.

I can't break down the nuances of the series much more than that because I honestly didn't see more than a couple innings of each game. But the point is, I put the hex on the Crew and I wanted to crow about it a little!

The Twins are off today before continuing inter-league play by hosting Washington and Arizona in back-to-back 3-game series.

Arizona Diamondbacks: The D'backs are 37-33, in first place in the NL West and 5.5 games ahead of the L.A. Dodgers.

The opening salvo in this latest run of inter-league play was not so kind to the Snakes. 3 games at home versus Kansas City? That's got to get you two wins at a minimum. Unfortunately, Arizona dropped 2 out of 3 to the scuffling Royals. And dropped them in grand fashion. After squeaking out a 1-0 win Friday night, the D'backs managed to get thumped twice. 12-3 on Saturday and 8-3 on Sunday in a game where David DeJesus collected 5 RBI, including a Grand Slam. David DeJesus?! Not good.

The problems haven't changed. The offense is still not picking up the pitching. And now it looks like the back-end of the rotation is starting to scuffle. It's hard to get too down on a team that has a 5.5 game lead on their division. But as I've mentioned in the past, that's as much a function of the quality of the other teams in their division as it is of their own play. So yes, the Snakes are still far and away the favorite to win the NL West, but they'll need to get their offense going and find a dependable 3rd starter if they want to make any noise in the post-season.

The D'backs are also off today. Oakland visits Chase Field for 3 starting tomorrow. And then Arizona travels to Minnesota to take on the Twins over the weekend.

That's all for today. Back on Wednesday with more Sports Take goodness. Oh, and by the way, the U.S. Open playoff just went to sudden death...


  1. I dunno, Dan...about 10 of us just gathered in a guys office and watched the live stream for the finish.

  2. And how many people total from your office watched yesterday? I'm guessing more than 10.

    Plus not everybody works in a computer-driven office.