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Sports Commentary 3/12/14 – Just Mentioning It

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(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

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JUST MENTIONING IT

Some things worth mentioning, because they might otherwise go unnoticed.

Yesterday five players committed to play in this June’s PGA Travelers Championship at the TPC River Highlands in Cromwell.  Ken Duke was a given, to come back to defend his first PGA Tour title and already signed up for media day at the end of April, but names like Bubba Watson, Hunter Mahan and Brandt Snedeker committing to the tournament this early, before the Masters, is an indication of how much the status of the local Tour stop has been elevated in the eyes of the touring pros.  And don’t underestimate the importance of a commitment from 23 year old Patrick Reed.  In just fourteen Tour starts he’s already won three times, one of only four players in the last quarter century to claim three wins before their 24th birthdays.  The others are named Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy.  There’s a legitimacy about Reed that’s evident with his approach to every hole.  With a quality field already forming, more than three months in advance, it wouldn’t be out of the question to see Rory in Cromwell next year.  He might have been here this year if it weren’t scheduled against the Irish Open, a national commitment for McIlroy and Padraig Harrington.

And never underestimate the esteemed position Arnold Palmer still holds with today’s pros.  He will always be “The King”.  With most observers feeling the latest back flare up would put Tiger on the shelf, possibly right up until the Masters, to make sure he’s good to go in the season’s first major, Tiger made sure Arnie knew he’s still committed to playing in his tournament, the Bay Hill Invitational, next week.

Perspective is an interesting thing, always worth mentioning.  Yankees starting pitcher C C Sabathia is working on a new pitch, a cutter, to increase his repertoire as an antidote to reduced velocity while Red Sox pitcher John Lackey is trying to work his way up on the pitch count, making his spring debut yesterday.  The two pitchers had nearly identical lines.  To Lackey it was a successful outing, Sabathia used another “S” word to define his effort.  The difference in perspectives? Sabathia is being counted on for the number one slot in the Yankees rotation, Lackey will in all likelihood fill the third or fourth slot for the Red Sox.

Another interesting perspective.  On most baseball teams players between the ages of 29 and 32 are considered in their prime.  For some reason when pundits analyze the Yankees they categorize that age range as old.

It was interesting watching members of the American Athletic Conference staff at the just completed women’s basketball tournament quietly asking a cross section of the media in attendance for their opinions about whether the conference would be able to keep the Mohegan Sun Arena as it’s tournament site if UCONN is no longer a member of the league.  The AAC contract with the arena is year to year, renewable annually.

With some things worth mentioning in the sports world, lest they go unnoticed, I’m Scott Gray.

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