Thoughts about our National Pastime and occasional thoughts for the Good and Welfare of the Reader (and maybe the writer)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Some Weekend Thoughts

On Politics and the Economy: Fifty days into the new administration and we are already reverting to the same old Washington DC scene. I shorthanded this before – Barack Obama is a brilliant man who ran a superb campaign for the presidency. He avoided every mistake made by losing candidates in the last four or more elections. His choices of an inner circle, particularly on the financial side of the table, include some of the smartest guys that were available. I questioned getting early advice from Paul Volker and I would like to read about him widening the circle to include some of the brilliant conservative minds, like Martin Feldstein, but overall it is an A Team. And then he turned to the B team and let Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi carry the ball. The result has been packages full of easy targets for the critics, a significant slowdown in the process and a total obfuscation of the desired end result. President Obama, please put the first team back in. This is not T-Ball and everyone does not get a turn to play.

    Granted, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Ma) has some good ideas on post-crisis regulation (and some bad ones, like letting headline-seeking state Attorney Generals sue national banks). But, if Treasury Secretary Geithner is a former Federal Reserve president and Ted Truman has an even longer credential. Let's hear from them and soon.

On the NCAA: For the next two or three days everyone I know will become a brilliant bracketologist. People who have no idea whether Portland State is in Oregon or in Main will be picking winners, pounding tables, flipping through TV channels and otherwise stop everything to indulge in March Madness. I am pretty good at it and I have won the pot once or twice – but when you work at home – you lose the frustration of seeing someone who is not sure what a 3-point play is walk off with most of the money. So this year, I am going to hold back except for making a plausible case for no number one seeds in the Final Four.

        In the Midwest, Louisville, the number one seed, will not make it to the final 4. They will stumble against Ohio State and Kansas will emerge the winner.

        I don't want to call the Connecticut v Memphis pairing in the West Region. But the 1 and 2 will meet in the regional final, as planned. OK, I will go with Memphis.

        Duke will not make it past Texas in the East Regional, but Pitt will stumble against Tennessee and 7th seed Texas will get to Detroit.

        North Carolina has shown an ability to lose big games and the regional final will be another one of those. Syracuse goes to the final 4

    And my bracket busting fearless pick of the tournament: Cleveland State over Wake Forest

On the PGA Tour: Note to the golf beat. Sooner or later we are going to stop caring about who finished 9th. Why not focus on who finished second after entering the final round tied for first. The headline in the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel – Mickelson Hangs on at Doral . . . Tiger Woods ties for ninth – is bad journalism and an insult to Nick Watney who moved into third place among PGA money winners.

On What Makes a City a "Good Sports Town: This is a work in progress, but I am thinking that Miami is not. This past week and weekend we had the Doral, we are hosting the second round of the WBC, The Marlins minus some key players who are in the WBC are in the midst of Spring Training, the Orioles are playing in our backyard, Dwayne Wade is tearing up the NBA, and the Panthers are in the thick of a very tight race to get into the NHL playoffs. So what consumed almost an entire hour of sports talk radio on Friday? The Dolphins signed someone named Green who is a mediocre corner back, but better than anyone the fans think the team has now.


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