Tuesday, June 29, 2010

This Week in Golf

PGA Tour – Tiger Woods’ event takes place this week in Philadelphia at Aronimink Golf Club. The AT&T National moves for one year from its traditional site at Congressional, which is under renovations for the 2011 US Open. The tournament that honors military servicemen and veterans fittingly concludes on Independence Day. Tiger is the defending champion following last year’s incredible performance. However, his play has not been as stellar this season. Woods and Furyk are the only players in the field ranking in the top ten in the world, but both of them are favorites to win this week. Woods is my pick to win. Even though he has disappointing results in 2010 by his standards, by most pros’ standards he is playing fairly well. He had a top ten at the US Open two weeks ago, and he is the host of the AT&T National this week. Ricky Barnes is the player to watch that many won’t be talking about. He won Brad Faxon and Billy Andrade’s annual charity event on Tuesday while paired with J.B. Holmes. But Barnes has played exceptionally well the last month turning in three top seven finishes in his last four tournaments including a tie for fifth last week. I look for Barnes hot play to continue in Philadelphia. CBS will be covering the festivities at Aronimink.

PGA of America – The Club Pros Championship is being played early this week in French Lick, Indiana. As I write this article, University of Illinois Mens Golf Coach and the defending champion Mike Small holds a two stroke lead with a little more than one round left to play. Small has a strong history in this event, where a victory earns the winner a pass into the PGA Championship in August. I am pulling for Mike as I am sure his high school golf coach from Danville is and more than likely Larry Bird. Bird is from French Lick, and we know he plays golf from his performance in Space Jam.

It’s All Here in “The Only Game”

You can't beat the ageless sports writing of The New Yorker. Read the Slammin' Sam on Sports Media take courtesy of Seamheads.com. Thanks for reading, and we'll see you Thursday for Links!

“An afternoon in mid-May, and we are waiting for the game to begin. We are in the shadow, and the sunlit field before us is a thick, springy green—an old diamond, beautifully kept up,” Roger Angell pens in the opening to his essay “The Web of the Game.” (3, Only)

Angell’s piece sets the tone for “The Only Game in Town,” a nostalgic collection of The New Yorker writings, which includes several baseball reflections. But before you settle into your easy chair, be warned that the book is not a pitch out around the game’s improprieties. Oh no, writes Ring Lardner in “Br’er Rabbit Ball.”

Sam Miller/Free Keon

Thursday, June 24, 2010

This Week in Golf

PGA Tour – The Tour travels to Connecticut this week for the Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands. Most every PGA Tour event deserves a good spot on the schedule, and the Travelers is one of them. Unfortunately, they have been stuck with the week following a U.S. Open on the other coast. Therefore, the field is not particularly stellar despite a golf course with a fabulous finishing stretch of holes. The Travelers Championship has provided exciting drama on Sunday from Kenny Perry’s final 63 to win last year to Hunter Mahan and Jay Williamson’s dual three years ago. The big names that showed up in Hartford this week include Padraig Harrington, Retief Goosen, Adam Scott, Perry, Hunter Mahan, Rickie Fowler, John Daly, Justin Rose, and Vijay Singh. Stewart Cink is my pick to win this week. As a two-time champion (1997, 2008) in Connecticut, I don’t think I can go wrong with Cink, who also got into a playoff here in ‘98. He obviously likes the course, and he had a recent top ten finish at the Memorial. Hunter Mahan is another horse for this course, and he will serve as my sleeper pick. He has not played extremely well since his victory at the Phoenix Open in February, but he finished in first or second at River Highlands each year from 2006-2008. So watch for him too. The boys at CBS will deliver the coverage from Hartford over the weekend.

Slammin' Sam on Sports Media Links

Hello Free Keon and Slammin’ Sam on Sports Media Readers!

You can tell my leanings when I have today marked with a big red circle on my calendar. OK, not really, but I do love the fact that the NBA Draft has arrived. I’ll try to make sure that does not dominate today’s links.

With disclosure out of the way, I have to start with the point guard at least one expert says could be the best ever, John Wall. Wall is expected to be the No. 1 pick by the Washington Wizards tonight.

Moving on to a story about arguably the best point guard right now, Chris Paul. Is it true he’s headed out of New Orleans?

One last basketball story to get out of the way. If John Wall and Evan Turner are already gone, Derrick Favors might be the next best choice.

For those of you who can’t get enough of the World Cup, don’t miss this story.

Before we reach the end, some baseball fans might say I missed the big story of the day. With a tiff between Hanley Ramirez and manager Fredi Gonzalez still hanging over the Marlins, Gonzalez was fired Wednesday.

As always, thanks for spending part of your day at Free Keon!

Sam Miller/Free Keon

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

All in the Cards

Thanks to Steve for keeping you company while I was gone. Here's my latest post. Thanks for reading!

Ozzie Smith, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson. Three names Cardinals fans and baseball enthusiasts know well. But those are just three of the Redbirds 42 Hall of Famers. What about Rabbit Maranville, Chick Hafey or Pud Galvin? Authors Greg Marecek and Myron Holtzman engage readers with story after story in “The Cardinals of Cooperstown.”

Sam Miller/Free Keon

Thursday, June 17, 2010

This Week in Golf

PGA Tour – Pebble Beach Golf Links is hosting the 110th United States Open Championship this week, and the golf world is a buzz with all the possibilities of what may play out with beautiful weather forecast along the Pacific Ocean. All the world’s very best players are in the field even if this major has a shallower overall contingent than others.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Slammin' Sam on Sports Media Links

How Y’all doin’ out there?

I decided to do a links edition on Slammin’ Sam on Sports Media today.

Leading off, the Texas Longhorns, who may have preserved college football close to as we know it.

We won’t know the outcome for a while, but we’ll know something one way or another after tonight’s game six in Los Angeles. Will the Celtics steal a championship on the road or will the Lakers force game seven?

Meanwhile, another championship is under way with its prelimaries – golf’s US Open at Pebble Beach. What better place for Illini amateur and reigning NCAA champion, Scott Langley to tee off?

Finally, we shift from hard news to the more unique.

The Marlins want aquariums to grace their new ballpark, much to PETA’s chagrin.

Because this space is about sports media, I had to throw in this story about beloved Phillies announcer Harry Kalas.

Thanks for spending part of your day at Free Keon!

Sam Miller/Free Keon

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Slammin' Sam on Sports Media Links

Good Morning, Hawks Revelers!
Just a short time ago, the team arrived with the Stanley Cup in Chicago. Let’s not waste any time getting to the top story 49 years in the making!

Whether hockey fans are aware or not, there’s still one more championship series up for grabs. Celtics captain Paul Pierce will play a big role in determining the outcome.

The Michigan State Spartans men’s hoops program possesses its own pedigree. How much of that is because of Tom Izzo? How satisfying is Izzo’s legacy at MSU? Those are a couple questions that loom as he mulls over an offer from the Cavs.

Meanwhile, it appears a move, in this case to the Big Ten, is indeed best in the minds of the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

Finally, a championship program takes a hit.

Thanks for visiting Free Keon!

Sam Miller/Free Keon

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Stan the Man from Donora

Here's my latest post from Seamheads. Slammin' Sam on Sports Media Links comes at you on Thursday!

Some months ago, I examined a pair of Stan Musial biographies at a friend’s request. Not long afterward, “Stan the Man” hit the shelves. What makes Wayne Stewart’s book different?

Thanks for reading!

Sam Miller/Free Keon

This Week in Golf

PGA Tour – This week’s tournament will be shadowed by the following week’s US Open. However, a strong international contingent has entered the field at the St. Jude Classic in Memphis. Three world top ten Europeans will be playing, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, and Rory McIlroy.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Slammin' Sam on Sports Media Links

What a great day it is! Starting tonight, both hockey and basketball feature championship series underway. (Game 1 of the NBA Finals is in LA, and the Stanley Cup resumes with Game 4 on Friday in Philadelphia.) We’ll have reports from both, but first to Detroit where folks’ cups aren’t just half-empty, they are shattered after yesterday. Ken Griffey Jr.’s retirement was another bittersweet baseball headline, and for our fifth topic, who knows what we’ll come up with! Hop on.

Umpire Jim Joyce may or may not be forgiven after last night’s call cost Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game. Joyce certainly will not be forgotten.

Although, in Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm’s mind, Galarraga’s effort was and will be remembered as perfect.

Blackhawks fans felt a little disillusioned themselves last night after already “committing to the Cup.” The Flyers are still alive.

Conversely, from all appearances, the atmosphere around Boston is one of cautious optimism. Celtics coach Doc Rivers is up to the task and seeks his second ring in three years.

In the other camp, the Lakers look to narrow Boston’s 9-2 all-time advantage over LA in NBA Finals.

Finally, a fond farewell to Junior.

Thanks for reading!

Sam Miller/Free Keon

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

This Week in Golf

PGA Tour – Possibly the best tournament on the PGA Tour schedule that is not considered a major will take place in Ohio this week. The Memorial Tournament, hosted by Jack Nicklaus at his design gem, Muirfield Village, always draws the top names in professional golf, and Jack did it again this year. From a gorgeous, yet challenging course to a stellar field, the Memorial is a fun and exciting event to kick off the summer.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Baseball’s Craftsmen: "Men at Work"

Here's my latest post from Seamheads. Look out for Slammin' Sam on Sports Media Links on Thursday!

George F. Will’s “Men at Work” is a classic. Twenty years after the book stood at No. 1 on the NYT Bestseller list for 19 straight weeks, it’s back as a re-release. This week, for those of us who were too young to appreciate it the first time around, let me shed light on what you will find in this acclaimed book.

Thanks for reading!

Sam Miller/Free Keon
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