Meadville Tribune


July 23, 2013

WALK TALK: Lefty’s British Open run one for the ages

1 Some athletic performances leave you with little choice but to sit back and shake your head. That happened Sunday when Phil Mickelson, down five strokes entering the final round on a tough British Open course, came back to win by three shots after sinking four birdies during the final six holes. He shot a 5-under 66, quite possibly the best round of his career just one month and one major after finishing a hard-to-swallow second at the U.S Open. Mickelson wasn’t even in the picture as the third round came to a close. Just 18 holes later, he was front and center.

2 Ever since Tiger Woods started dominating in the late 1990s, he was known as the best golfer in the world, save for the infidelity scandal and his time away from the game that dropped him down a few pegs. But as far as just majors go, you can argue that Mickelson, now No. 2 in the world, has been every bit as good as top-ranked Woods since Mickelson got the “major monkey” off his back in 2004. Since then, Mickelson has five majors to Woods’ six. Tiger hasn’t won a major since 2008 — and he fell apart once again on Sunday after he was just two strokes back entering the final round. He finished tied for sixth.

3 I’ll be the first to say that I do not like the New York Yankees. But I’m a fan of closer Mariano Rivera, as are many others. But he didn’t deserve to be named the MLB All-Star game MVP. I know this is Rivera’s final season after a career as the best closer of all time, but the All-Star MVP award isn’t a lifetime achievement award. Why not give it to Jason Kipnis, who had the only run-scoring hit in the game? Or Miguel Cabrera, who doubled and scored the first (and winning) run? It shouldn’t go to a guy who recorded an eighth-inning hold.

4 The hottest team in baseball right now is the Tampa Bay Rays, who have won 21 of 25 and trail division rival Boston by 1/2 game for the league’s best record. A big reason for Tampa’s surge has been improved pitching by its dynamite staff — recently getting David Price back off the disabled list certainly helps. The promotion of highly touted rookie Wil Myers has been just as important. The Rays are 23-8 since his promotion. Tampa doesn’t spend much, but it always seems to have a great eye for talent and develops its players well.

5 Seattle and Houston, bottom dwellers of the AL West, played on Saturday in one of the most unusual games I’ve ever read about. It’s one of those games that isn’t explained by the box score. Seattle won 4-2, yet it had just one hit. The Mariners’ first two runs scored of passed balls, while Houston pitcher Erik Bedard took himself out of the game with a no hitter through 6 1/3 innings due to a high pitch count and a career of arm troubles. A few batters later, Seattle’s only hit, a two-run double, was the winning blow. What’s more unusual — a pitcher taking himself out with a no hitter or a team collecting a 4-2 win after registering just one hit?

6 Why are we already talking about the 2014 NBA offseason? Reports are already out that the Lakers will pursue Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James if they become free agents next summer. Some analysts are already speculating how important the Cavaliers’ signing of Andrew Bynum was for 2014 because some media members believe Bynum and Kyrie Irving will be enough to bring James back to Cleveland. Let’s not get too ahead of ourselves here. How about living in the present?

7 These 2014 NBA free agency stories remind me of a great voicemail I received just days after I lauded LeBron during the Heat’s second straight championship. The gentleman, Richard Craine, talked about how it’s wrong in basketball these days that the individual has become more important than the team. Craine, a basketball purist, grew up watching the Celtics win year after year — back when team ball was more apparent. His voicemail is a great example of why some people are already talking about next season’s possible free agents. These days, the NBA is a superstar-driven league; most fans don’t care enough about mid-level free agents who are so necessary to help form a winning team. Right or wrong, that’s the way the league has been for a while. And some might say that individualism has seeped too much into college and high school basketball as well.

8 Going back to Andrew Bynum, Cleveland fans are going to have some fun with him. Do you notice the sarcasm there? All I can say is “good luck” to the Cavaliers, who brought in a guy who hasn’t played since May 21, 2012, and said in his introductory press conference that “Getting my career on track is my only goal for the season.” Helping your team win is so overrated anyway. Just throwing $6 million guaranteed at Bynum makes it a low-risk, high-reward move for the Cavs. But he’s not even worth that much.

9 Is it time to start paying attention to the U.S. men’s soccer team? After winning its ninth straight game — a 5-1 win over El Salvador on Sunday — I believe it’s time to at least give the squad a chance. I really feel as if coach Jurgen Klinsmann has the team headed in the right direction. What really makes this team go is veteran Landon Donovan, who had three assists and one goal Sunday. Calling the Americans a 2014 World Cup contender would be very premature, but they appear to be in a much better place than in 2010 under Bob Bradley.

10 The UFC returns to action Saturday with great free fights on network TV. The headliner of the Fox card is champion Demetrious Johnson versus John Moraga for the flyweight title. But the most interesting fight on the card is between welterweights Rory MacDonald and Jake Ellenberger, two of the UFC’s top competitors who have yet to fight for a title. Whoever wins will more than likely be next in line for the welterweight crown. If Johnny Hendricks can’t knock off Georges St. Pierre, MacDonald and Ellenberger are certainly capable of capturing the upset. I’ve got MacDonald, but Ellenberger has one-punch knockout power.

The preceding was The Walk Talk 10, which runs in the Tribune's sports section every Tuesday. Assistant news editor Dan Walk can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at

Text Only
  • Mitchell Wood FCV’s season comes to an end

    The end of an era.
    So it was with French Creek Valley dropping a 5-4 decision to Albion Post 567 in the Region 8 Tournament at Northwestern High School on Wednesday. For several key players, it was the last time they would put on the blue uniform for head coach Brandon Crum.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Meadville falls to NA in Junior League state opener

    The Meadville Junior League All-Stars spent all baseball season perfecting the art of winning.

    July 23, 2014

  • Rookie CB Gilbert signs with Browns

    Justin Gilbert’s got his contract with the Browns. Now he needs a starting job.

    July 23, 2014

  • Bills Camp Bills QB, coach differ on offense’s performance

    Bills quarterback EJ Manuel and coach Doug Marrone had widely conflicting assessments on how the offense performed on the third day of training camp.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • FCV tops Cochranton to advance

    French Creek Valley kept its stay in the Pennsylvania Region 8 American Legion Tournament alive on Tuesday in impressive fashion.

    July 22, 2014

  • Kinter and Neff Error-free defense, hitting propel District 1 to state title

    When Tom Brunot, Doug Hecker and Mark McKissock agreed about a month ago to take on a Senior League softball team they felt fairly confident in their team’s ability to defend its turf with a state championship on the line.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • FCV falls to Millcreek

    It may go down as one of the oddest games in Region 8 history.

    July 22, 2014

  • Meadville captures Section 1 title over DuBois

    For anyone confused about all the fire truck sirens and honking car horns that echoed through the streets of Meadville around 5 p.m. on Sunday, here’s the explanation:

    July 22, 2014

  • District 1 showcases 'D' in victory

    A strong defense up the middle is often where championship teams are born. The District 1 Senior League softball team certainly fills the bill.

    July 22, 2014

  • Trevor Smith St. Marys tops METS to win title

    When it’s two good teams going head-to-head in the game of baseball, sometimes a simple bad bounce can mean the difference between a win and a loss.

    July 19, 2014 1 Photo

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The latest proposed expansion plan for the Crawford County Courthouse potentially would eliminate the former Tarr Mansion on Diamond Park to make room for a county administrative building. Should the 1860 mansion be demolished?

Leave it alone because it’s historic.
Try to incorporate it into the proposed expansion.
It’s too far gone to save, but it’s memory may be preserved with an artifacts and photo display within the proposed courthouse complex.
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