Memories of Tiger? Spieth Wins Masters
April 13, 2015

With all the free baseball on TV this past week, it seems a little weird to write about golf. I don't get a say in the sports calendar, but it would be nice if the Masters was a week later. It can't be a couple of weeks earlier because of March Madness, but it could have waited until after the free cable preview of every major league game imaginable expired. It would also allow Jim Nantz some extra time off between Indianapolis and Augusta. But that's just me.

I only really sat down and watched the Masters on Sunday, but had been keeping tabs of 21 year-old Jordan Spieth's progress all through the weekend. In typical sportscasting fashion, they were talking about Spieth and 'chasing history'. That seemed like hype and hyperbole to me. I mean, what is he trying to do that hadn't been done before?

He was trying to be the youngest since Tiger Woods to win the coveted green jacket, but that wouldn't be history now would it? He was trying to be the first in 39 years to be all alone on top of the leader board after every round. Monumental but not historical. Spieth, however, was chasing history. He was one stroke away from having the best all-time score. He bogeyed 18 to finish 18 under. Parring the final hole would have put him at 19 under for the tournament—something that has never happened before. That's history.

It didn't happen, but to me that wasn't the storyline. I wasn't expecting him to choke, but watching to see if he could hang on or even expand the lead of golf's most prestigious event on that final day was pretty good drama. Considering that he won by four shots, which in golf terms pretty much equates to a blowout, it was still compelling television. His walk up the eighteenth fairway to the green, the ovation from the fans, even though he still had a couple of shots to make, is one of the best sports moments. Thinking about it, the green jacket presentation, as aristocratic as it is, may be the best ceremony in individual sports.

Cue the piano music now, and roll the credits. College basketball has its one shining moment, but in golf, the Masters is a tradition unlike any other indeed.

Just enough Tiger: Thanks to CBS sports for not “over Tigering” the Masters. As I mentioned earlier, I don't watch a lot of golf but it seems like no sports outlet can talk about or broadcast golf without going on incessantly about Tiger Woods. Woods really hasn't been relevant in the sport more than five years (seems much longer), but he is still always the focal point. The network did interview Woods after his final round, but it was fine, and Woods even spoke mostly about Spieth.

More Tyger, but back to baseball: This is what I get for trying to top Vin Scully, even privately. Dodger rookie center fielder Joc Pederson played against the Gold Sox while in college. I told my mother this story recently, and also added that Joc is his real name, and that he has a brother named Tyger, who also played against the Gold Sox and Tyger is his real name. I concluded the tale about Tyger saying “I bet Vin Scully doesn't know that.” Last week, during the Dodgers opening series with San Diego, not only did Scully talk about Joc's brother, but told how Tyger got his name. Pederson's dad was a ball player, and played at USC under legendary coach Rod Dadeaux. As a lot of guys do, instead of having to learn people's names, you just call everyone buddy, or sport, or dude, or in Dadeaux's case, Tiger (Mom and Dad changed the spelling). And there you go.

Vin-less road trip: I'm sure I read this somewhere, but thought it was a mistake. Scully did not accompany the Dodgers when they traveled to Phoenix to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks, and has apparently crossed that team off of his list. It's possible that he has decided not to fly anymore, and we'll find out if that's the case when the Dodgers visit the Giants next week. He did travel to San Diego, and will do the Dodger-Angel games in Anaheim.

Happy birthday to my mom, who is 89 today!

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