A GRIP ON SPORTS
What do you know. We actually have breaking news this morning. Tiger Woods is still in the Masters. Why is that breaking news? Read on.
• If you don't know what happened yesterday, read this ESPN story. We'll wait. OK, you back? And are you wondering, as I am, why Tiger Woods will be on the course today? After all, Roberto De Vicenzo lost a chance to win the '68 Masters for signing a wrong scorecard in which he gave himself a higher score than he earned. (The great quote from De Vicenzo: “Oh, what a stupid I am.”) But Tiger Woods, who signs an incorrect scorecard, is allowed to continue playing? Double standard? You decide, because I blame Padraig Harrington. See, the powers-that-be in golf (The Royal and Ancient and the USGA) decided not all that long ago, after Harrington had been disqualified following a post-match video replay, to make the disqualifications under Rule 6 discretionary. And that word always leads to trouble. Because discretion always has a whiff of corruption. Under the rules as now written – and explained here by the Royal and Ancient folks – it seems a player should still be disqualified if he or she knew they had broken a rule and ignored it. Tiger knew – and talked about it afterward – he hit from a couple feet behind his original shot. If that's why he was penalized, then he should be disqualified. He's a professional golfer. Ignorance, even under the more liberal interpretation, of the rules is not a defense. Ignorance of the action is. He knew he hit from a different spot. That's a penalty. He should have been disqualified. It's possible he asked the rules official on site if it was OK to hit from the new spot, and was given the go-ahead, which would mitigate his decision some. However, the official, who is charged with overseeing two players, may not have been exactly aware of where Tiger hit his first shot. Tiger was. He's responsible. As Dan Jenkins, quite possibly the greatest golf writer of all time, tweeted today, if Tiger wins this tournament, he smells a Roger Maris asterisk coming on. I just smell a whiff of “we-need-Tiger-for-ratings” corruption.
• There is a lot of discussion right now whether Tiger should or will disqualify himself, as other golfers have done in the past. Stay tuned.
• Washington State: It's Saturday, so there is a scrimmage scheduled in Pullman. Christian Caple will be there and will have a report here. For now, we have yesterday's five questions with receiver Gabe Marks and this morning's blog post. We can add ESPN.com's usual Friday Pac-12 mailbag and two items from the blog concerning the Cougars, a story on Connor Halliday and some thoughts on WSU next season. … Christian covered the links and news concerning former WSU coach Marv Harshman's death, but we add this link to Jerry Brewer's column. Harshman also coached at PLU before heading to Pullman (and at UW afterward), so it's a bit ironic longtime PLU football coach Frosty Westering died on the same day. … How much does each Pac-12 basketball coach make?
• EWU: Nothing from the Eagles, but Weber State is holding a spring scrimmage today.
• Shock: OK, I admit I was wrong. On the radio yesterday, I was the only one of seven folks who thought the Shock would lose to Arizona. And I accused everyone else of being homers. Maybe they are, but they were right and I was wrong. Jim Meehan has this game story and blog post concerning the Shock's 66-49 win over the previously No. 1-ranked Rattlers. … John Blanchette has a column on the Arena experience. And Colin Mulvany has a photo story.
• Preps: Another full day of prep news, including Jim Meehan's weekly golf notebook. … Chris Derrick was there as Mead and University faced off in GSL softball, with the Titans pounding out a win over the previously undefeated Panthers. … Correspondent Mike Vlahovich covered Mead's baseball victory over Mt. Spokane.
• Mariners: The emergency room that is the Mariners' clubhouse took a break yesterday, thanks to birthday boy Hisashi Iwakuma. The righthander outdueled fellow Japanese League veteran Yu Darvish as the M's defeated the Rangers, 3-1. … With Michael Morse sitting, the M's threw another new lineup out there, this one with Endy Chavez leading off. … Newest pitching savior Aaron Harang will go into the rotation and Blake Beavan will head to the pen.
• Sounders: Coach Sigi Schmid has guaranteed a victory today and he's not backing down. Gutsy, and quite possible embarrassing if the short-handed Sounders don't come through today against New England. … Steve Zakuani has some things to say. So does the general manager.
• Sonics: Chris Hansen knows how to play poker. Without being prompted, he raised the ante with the Sacramento group by adding a few million dollars to his bid for the Kings. And he did it on the night the Maloofs had set as a deadline for the Sacramento group to match Hansen's bid. Smart. … There was a judicial ruling on the new arena yesterday. … We don't usually get into the day-by-day NBA stuff, but Kobe Bryant tearing his Achilles' tendon is worth passing along. He's one of the best guards of all-time, so an injury of this magnitude this late in his career is news worthy.
• That's it for now. I have to tune in for another episode of “How Augusta Turns.” Until later …