Are you ready for some more Orioles baseball?! Let’s not everyone yell at once. Or was that a groan? If it’s the latter, keep on BSR for your daily Ravens fix, as we have a number of pieces coming down the pike to give you the best preparation for the upcoming season. It isn’t “Super Bowl or Bust” for me as it is for Derrick Mason, but then again I am not taken to hyperbole the way the O’s wideout is. Personally I am looking forward to the second half of the Orioles season, just to see if they still swoon in the second half. Moreover, I want to see if Chris Tillman, Brian Matusz, and Jake Arrieta keep pitching like they have been as of late and blossom into the starters we thought they would be back in March. Hey, better late than never. Speaking of which, I know this is later in the day than usual, but let’s line up for the kick…
It’s Not Just the Big Three in Miami
I was just as skeptical as anyone when I looked at the Heat roster and saw three superstars… and Mario Chalmers. There was no one else on the roster and little cap space to move around with. Moreover, I didn’t expect veteran players to take less to play with the Heat, or at least not as many as the Heat would need to get a strong supporting cast- and even the best starters need a strong bench to get them to a championship. Mike Miller, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, and Udonis Haslem are equal to or better than what LeBron had in Cleveland or Wade had in Miami, with Haslem and Ilguaskas staying with their superstars and Mike Miller likely signing for the chance to win a title. They still need a solid point guard, as I don’t want to see LeBron trying to be Magic out there- he needs to be able to move in space away from the ball. However, this is a great start for a team that just needs a few complementary pieces to give this team a great shot at a title.
By the way, I am not in the camp that sees the Heat like the Yankees or some other franchise that stomps around the league winning titles at everyone else’s expense. Miami hasn’t won anything with this team yet, and signing a couple free agents while fitting under the salary cap isn’t something worthy of hatred. In fact, I am kind of rooting for them. LeBron did what was best for him, albeit tactlessly, and the Heat got better. Once they win 3 or 4 titles, then I could turn the other way, but for now I want to see greatness happen.
I have a Plan for the All-Star Game
The Commissioner needs to make a decision on the All-Star game: either it counts or it doesn’t. If the All-Star game matters, then you need to do a couple of things: make sure that not every player HAS to get into the game, because if you are trying to win, you don’t let David Ortiz run the bases or let a marginal one-time All-Star on a bad team hit in the ninth inning. If it doesn’t then it could be an attractive exhibition game. Sure the players won’t care, but imagine the spectacle! To avoid managers like Joe Girardi favoring his players or avoiding injury to his players but not others, you could have veteran legendary managers come back to manage the All-Star teams. Could you imagine having Earl Weaver in the dugout for the AL? That would get me and a lot of baseball fans to tune in just to see some old timers make a cameo appearance. What Dad wouldn’t want his son to get to see Weaver get thrown out in the 6th arguing an out/safe call?
Let the team with the best record get the World Series homefield advantage the way it is done in every other sport- don’t let an important Game 7 be decided by a bunch of players who won’t be there when it matters. There are dozens of better ways to handle homefield advantage than the All-Star Game.
British Open Underway at St. Andrews
I won’t pretend to know much about golf. My one outing with my now-ex girlfriend (I think the outing and her becoming my ex are unrelated, but I can’t be sure) involved 9 holes of utter futility before we took her state-of-the-art clubs and my two-decade old relics home. However, we all know this isn’t really about golf, but the continuing saga of Tiger Woods and/or the search for another golfer to win regularly enough to take his crown. The latter hasn’t happened yet, though Woods has given plenty of opportunities to the field. To be honest I am somewhere between feeling sorry for the guy and just wanting him to go away completely- on one hand listening to the personal and ridiculous questions he is asked by reporters in the UK is embarrassing to journalism and offensive to even to ask your closest friend. On the other hand the personal picture that Woods has painted is one of a perfectionist, but a deceptive, manipulative introvert who you wouldn’t exactly want to have a beer with. Am I rooting for him? Not exactly. I am just rooting for a story, some intrigue. If golf has that, they won’t need Tiger Woods.