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Bob Lobel: The Ryder Cup and Red Sox Disasters

Wednesday, October 03, 2012


Bob Lobel, GoLocalWorcester Sports Contributor

Is anyone as concerned about the Bruins' power play as I am?

Reality bites when you realize that the power play is going to be orchestrated by Jeremy Jacobs, and that's if they even have a season at all. Anybody out there wondering where Tim Thomas is and what he's doing now?

On to tonight, which my friend Bill Chuck of billy-ball.com calls "when world collide." World colliding is a term he uses for when a final regular season game can determine if a team makes or misses the postseason. The problem with that is, worlds colliding will coincide with the Presidential debate, which I'm watching, if you possibly care.

The Ryder Cup was the ultimate reality show last Sunday. The ratings were up some 70 percent over the last one, and it was absolutely riveting to watch the American meltdown and realize that the European players just flat-out had more fun playing golf. The U.S. team seemed to play like it was a matter of life and death.

There is plenty of blame to go around, but I think the European golfers, though they may be less talented, just made more important putts on Sunday.

We could learn something from their approach.

It's always amazed me how pure of a game golf is, and how much self-inflicted pressure golfers face to put a little ball in a hole in the ground. We can relate because, even when we play for fun, we put that same pressure on ourselves.

Plus, we can make those shots they routinely make, what, once a round?

Back to the Ryder Cup. How good was Jason Dufner in his first appearance? How bad do you feel for Jim Furyk after he failed to close things out? I can't tell if this was a great year for him or a terrible one. He was on the brink of winning a major event more than once these past few months but couldn't close the deal.

The fact that he got there is a testament to his fine play, but not being able to finish revealed a new perspective. It is a cruel game in a lot of ways.

I would say take Friday if you are betting on when/if Bobby Valentine is canned by the Sox. Seems logical since Friday is usually the best day to make big decisions that will be played out in the media. Correct me if I'm wrong, but if you tuned in to any Red Sox games this week, Valentine looked like a man on an island.

It is bizarre. He is a pathetic figure that almost everyone agrees should not come back, but it is also universally accepted that he had no chance whatsoever of succeeding this year.

He was dealt some very bad cards, but also did himself no favors. When others started fires, he seemed to pour gasoline on them rather than put them out. It appeared that, while he knew baseball, he could not relate to any of the baseball players or coaches he inherited. He managed for 10 years in Japan with an interpreter, but it now seems he needed an interpreter of a different kind this season.

My final thought on the Red Sox: Bobby V. should have punched that selfish rag arm Alfredo Aceves right there on the mound in full view of everybody. He would have been a hero to the fans, who would have demanded his return next season.

When the Patriots were down 21-7 to Buffalo Sunday, who else thought they were the next "greatest team ever" that was about to tank? Be honest.

A huge sigh of relief came out when they came out and performed like the Patriots we all know and love. Time to rejoice now. Our baseball season from hell is over! Football is here, and a most important off-season begins for the Sox.


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