The best thing about the triumphant return of Tiger Woods may be the new commercials! The new Nike Golf commercials are genius! I've seen 2 so far and laughed out loud at both of them. Both set in the locker room. One of other PGA players shaking their heads as a sign of the quiet, more competitive days are now gone with Tiger back on the course. The other with Tiger alone, whistling the theme from Rocky. I damn near got goose bumps and am ashamed to admit it.
I could only find this one, but it is nice:
Tiger Woods vs.
Darren Clark – Thursday 1:02 ….EDIT: Tim Clark. Sorry. I am an idiot.
Good to have you back, Tigre….
Meanwhile, Dirk Speaks …
Here Nowitzki is asked about his own preparation, in an environment where some teammates are less committed:
I know I'm not in an individual sport. If I were in track and field maybe I would have won something big by now. ... Sure it's bitter sometimes when a teammate doesn't invest the necessary time. The best example was Shawn Bradley. He would some times come to training camp and not had a ball in his hands for four months. But what can you do? There is no rule. Everyone needs to figure out for themselves how to stay fit.
On Jason Kidd and Avery Johnson:
Well, we wanted a playmaker who had been around and already seen everything. I also hoped that Coach (Avery Johnson) would let him play his way, that we would play quicker and have more fun. But just the opposite happened. Avery pushed his style on Jason.
It was tough throwing a guy like him into a system which he didn't really like.
On winning a title as a Maverick:
The best thing would be me carrying the team to the title. But the other teams have gotten so strong, also through some unfair trades -- Pau Gasol to Los Angeles and Kevin Garnett to Boston.
Maybe I will see if it helps changing teams in like three years. Maybe it won't be fun any more or I can't keep up with the athleticism anymore. Maybe I will play in Europe again. I can imagine all of that.
What Karl Malone did back then -- heading to L.A. after all those years in Utah -- yeah it was a little questionable. But when you want the championship so bad, then you can't rule out a move like that.
And the Mavs taught the Bucks a lesson ….
A night after getting overwhelmed in San Antonio by a Spurs team missing two All-Stars, the Mavericks returned to American Airlines Center to blister the Milwaukee Bucks, 116-96, Wednesday.
The Mavericks got diverse production from numerous players along with a little payback for the 34-point blowout they absorbed last month in Milwaukee.
But it hardly seemed satisfying, not after what happened the previous night, when the short-handed Spurs held the Mavericks to 76 points and won by 17.
But a win is a win, and at this point, with the playoff picture changing every day, they all count.
"After last night, we needed this," said Josh Howard, who paced the Mavericks with 27 points. "Coach [Rick] Carlisle reminded us of what happened the last time we played Milwaukee. I think everyone took that as a personal challenge."
Five other Mavericks reached double figures against a Bucks team that was missing center Andrew Bogut and is fighting to hang on to the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Mavericks fell behind, 15-7, in the first quarter, then outscored the Bucks, 58-26, the rest of the half. Their giant cushion was safe throughout the second half. It would shrink to 94-83 early in the fourth quarter, but a flurry of buckets ended that brief glimmer of drama.
Perhaps the best bit of news for the Mavericks was Dirk Nowitzki seemed to snap out of what had been a three-game slump. He hit six of 10 shots, and while he only scored 14 points, it was significant that he beat Milwaukee's constant double-teams with a couple of nice moves in the fourth quarter.
The 15th anniversary of MJ at Spring training …
The Baseball Free Agency market, 2010 …
An under-the-radar ace on a talented, deep team, John Lackey somehow has avoided attention throughout a remarkable big-league career. That may be about to change in 2009.
Lackey, 30, quietly has been one of the most dominant pitchers in the American League the last four years. He also has been a bargain for the Los Angeles Angels. That almost certainly will change.
In an era when pitching is king—when isn't it?—Lackey has gone 58-30 with a 3.42 earned-run average the last four seasons. He has earned $17.5 million for that contribution, and checks in at $9 million this season.
This is the last year on a $26 million deal the Angels were wise enough to offer him at the start of the 2006 season. It gave him financial security in exchange for two years of arbitration and one of free agency.
Now, like wide receiver Rod Tidwell in "Jerry Maguire," Lackey is telling the Angels, "Show me the money!" The Angels would love to keep him, but it remains to be seen if they will offer him market value to keep him from free agency next winter.
Assuming Lackey has a solid 2009, it's hard to see him taking less than A.J. Burnett, who received $82.5 million over five years from the Yankees this winter.
The Angels face a similar crossroads with Vladimir Guerrero, who has anchored their lineup since 2004. He is also eligible for free agency after this season.
It's always good to know whose contract is up as those guys are likely to be especially motivated to produce big years and to be traded at midseason if their teams are not competitive.
3B Chipper Jones, Braves
It's hard to see this guy leaving the team that took him with the first overall pick in the 1990 draft, but stranger things happen. He turns 37 in April, which makes age an issue in the length of a new contract, but he's still among the game's most productive third basemen.
OF Matt Holliday, Athletics
Like newly minted gazillionaire Mark Teixeira, Holliday is an absolute RBI machine. The recent trade from Colorado to Oakland gives him a chance to show his gaudy totals come from more than Denver's thin air. The A's could put him on the market in midseason, creating a feeding frenzy.
1B Carlos Delgado, Mets
Another serial run-producer, the 36-year-old Delgado is getting to the point in his career when he could make more sense for an American League team than for one in the National League.
RHP Rich Harden, Cubs
His injury history precludes an abundance of long-term offers. But his talent could get him a big short-term package if he avoids the DL.
3B Adrian Beltre, Mariners
He's coming off one big contract and looking for another one, a good feat at 29. He's a strong candidate for a trade if he isn't extended.
SS Miguel Tejada, Astros
He has been tainted by the steroid scandal and knocked as a one-dimensional player, but he turned in an excellent 2008 season in Houston.
LF Jason Bay, Red Sox
He did a solid job filling Manny Ramirez's oversized shoes and could be in for a big contract with Boston. The development of prospect Josh Reddick could influence the decision-making process.
A dozen others: CF Rick Ankiel, Cardinals; OF Reed Johnson, Cubs; RHP Jose Valverde, Astros; SS Khalil Greene, Cardinals; INF Mark DeRosa, Indians; RF-DH Gary Sheffield, Tigers; C Brian Schneider, Mets; RHP Justin Duchscherer, Athletics; RHP Brett Myers, Phillies; LHP Mike Gonzalez, Braves; RHP Kevin Gregg, Cubs; and RHP Jose Contreras, White Sox.
Eisen’s Run – now on Youtube!
How Bizarre – the soccer breakaway