Over the weekend I was able to enjoy two of my favorite things – baseball and golf. The Mariners were in town hosting the Diamondbacks from Arizona and on TV I was able to enjoy the U.S. Open golf tournament.
The Mariners have already played nearly 70 games and much to my surprise are one game over .500 at 35-34 and only 2.5 games out of first in the American League West.
How can the season be almost half over already?
For the most part until recently the Mariners have avoided the injury bug. But as of right now catcher Kenji Johjima, pitchers Erik Bedard and Chad Cordero, first baseman Russell Branyon, third baseman Adrian Beltre are all either on the disabled list or are day-to-day as to if they can play. Over the weekend left fielder Endy Chavez was lost for the season with a knee injury.
The good news is, the Mariners have brought up some kids who have been performing at a high level on the biggest stage. Pitching continues to be a bright spot with Felix Hernandez showing why he might be the best young pitcher in the big leagues and David Aardsma with 13 saves has been a real surprise. When I was down in Peoria, Ariz., for spring training in March the bullpen could not get an out let alone close a game. But, Aardsma has really found his game and best of all he throws strikes, 97-mph strikes. The second half of the season should provide some excitement.
It is hard to believe that a year ago I was in San Diego watching the U.S. Open golf tournament – yes the one Tiger Woods won on the 91st hole.
Watching this year’s tournament over the weekend at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, N.Y., I am thankful that I was at last year’s tournament and not this year’s. You would have thought this tournament was being played in the Pacific Northwest. Two inches of rain on Thursday, 1.5 inches of rain on Friday and more on Saturday. The players are exhausted, 36 holes on Saturday and about 27 holes on Sunday have left the players between nine and 18 holes to complete the tournament on Monday.
The great thing about this, the 109th U.S Open, is that Phil Mickelson, the golden boy of professional golf, was in contention to the final hole. Phil’s wife has been diagnosed with breast cancer and this will probably be the last tournament he plays this year.
The past month has been a real emotional rollercoaster for Phil and his family. He was not going to play in the Open and his wife talked him into it. He explained it has been good for him to play, as he has had to focus on golf and not all the family issues at least for the few hours he is on the golf course each day.
Any of you remember David Duval? Before Tiger, Duval was the No. 1 golfer in the world rankings. He won several majors and is one of only two professional golfers to ever shoot a 59.
For those of you who do not follow golf closely that is 13 under par for 18 holes. I cannot even dream of playing that well. Duval has not won or even finished in the Top 10 in any tournament since 2002. Washed up, by age 30.
He showed the world this weekend he is back. Duval and Mickelson finished tied for second at 2 under par.
Oh, the winner of the U.S. Open 2009, Lucas Glover… yes, just what I said. Who?