What I would like to do is have an assassin’s bullet aimed at the head of the freak spectator who cries out, “IN THE HOLE!” at any and all golf championships.
It is an American monstrosity that has contaminated television’s great service to those of us who have the pleasure of watching golf, at home or within ear-splitting distance.
• Peter Falk, remembered to most of us as Columbo, passed away the other day, arousing an old memory. There had been a day of golf at the Riviera Club in Los Angeles and as we reached the parking lot we saw this small fellow having trouble starting his car, an old Mercedes.
It so happened that it was similar to one I had at home, so I asked him if I might help. I could, and did, and he was grateful, and thanked me. Frankly, I would have expected Peter Falk to drive something a little more stylish than an old Mercedes same age as mine.
• Tell you this, that I’ve never seen a worse ball-and-strike series of calls that closed out Chipper Jones, and the Braves the other night.
Both obviously wide of the plate, so wide that Chipper appeared to be so stunned he was bereft of protest. Never heard of the umpire, but if Bud Selig does the right thing, the guy should be sent back to the bush league for further training. It was THAT bad, never saw any strike calls wider of the mark. Everybody was ready to go home, but not on such a miscarriage of justice.
• Can hardly wait for the All-Star break so we can get on with the second half of Dan Uggla’s season. Ye gods, surely it can’t get any worse, and remarkably, the Braves have kept themselves in the race with his bat on a half-season holiday. Maybe he belongs on a team that’s not in the heat of contention. Amazing, how patiently silent the fans have been.
• Young Rory McIlroy, our newest U.S. Open champion, comes from the town of Holywood in Northern Ireland — but our American broadcasters can’t resist calling it “Holly-wood.” And that sponsor’s brand he wears on his shirt — Jumeirah Hotel & Resorts — gets a lot of mileage, but that’s all we know. Where it is, and how we get there, none of us Americans have directions.
• That dreadful deal the Braves made with Texas to “borrow” Mark Teixeira for a part-season set the Rangers up with an All-Star shortstop (Elvis Andrus) and a bullpen ace, American League rookie of the year, Neftali Feliz. But another has been overlooked as time goes by, Matt Harrison, a left-hander who has won 21 games for the Rangers, plucked off the Mississippi roster by some cagey Texas scout and lumped into the deal.
• Well, the fans of Royal St. George, the furthest point south of the British Open venues, get a chance to see Jason Dufner in action this year instead of Tiger Woods. Albert Pujols mends swiftly, Tiger mends in no hurry, though none of us is sure just why his ailment has taken so long. Does that mean the PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club will be the recipient of his return to battle?
• Racing at night at Churchill Downs? (Presented by Yum Brands.) What else does Yum have to offer the public? You don’t race thoroughbreds at night at the same ground on which the Kentucky Derby is run. (Or, I don’t.)
• I’m a radio guy, have been since the days of Atwater Kent, and I have my local preferences, such as Buck and Kincade, and Barnhart and Durham. Nothing personal, but puzzles me that WQXI has taken them off the air, as if there’s no news from the campuses during summer months. Tony and Wes entertain, no matter what season of the year it is. Bring ‘em on, guys.
• Anybody have any idea what has become of Stan Kasten? Somehow, it seems that the Washington Nationals are thriving well without him.
Furman Bisher is one of the deans of American sports writing. The longtime Atlanta sports journalist is a member of the Georgia and Atlanta Sports Halls of Fame and in addition to his newspaper writing has authored multiple books on major figures like Hank Aaron and Arnold Palmer. He writes periodic columns for the Daily Post.