Mid-Week Thoughts Around the Sports World

While the players and fans await Roger Goodell's ruling on the Colts' Jim Irsay, another player has been nailed for a DUI.

Kansas City Chiefs’ cornerback Sean Smith was cited for driving under the influence a few nights ago after an officer witnessed him crashing into a light pole. Sean Smith is not the most high-profile player in the National Football League but that doesn’t matter. What will matter in the eyes of his union is how quickly he receives punishment from the NFL.

Why does this case matter? It takes on greater significance since NFL Commissioner Roger Gooodell has yet to rule on Indianapolis Colts’ owner Jim Irsay’s punishment for more egregious actions. The state of Indiana as suspended Irsay’s driver’s license for one year but the NFL has continued to say nothing.

I have a feeling a stiff penalty is coming and don’t be surprised if Irsay’s Colts are stripped of a draft pick or two. Fining or suspending him does very little to ‘penalize’ him so the league needs to hit him where it hurts.

Welch Passes at 57

Bob Welch was a Cy Young winner in 1990 and a member of five World Series teams.

When you get to be my age, you understand that many of the guys you watched as a kid and young man start to pass on. Former LA Dodgers’ and Oakland A’s pitcher Bob Welch was not someone I expected to see gone just yet. At just 57 years old, Welch died of an apparent heart attack.

For those of you who don’t recall, Welch burst on to the scene in 1978 when he struck out Yankees’ legend Reggie Jackson to end game two of the World Series. Welch would go on to play in four more fall classics and had a Cy Young season in 1990 when he won 27 games. He remains the last guy to win at least 25 games which is a span of 24 years.

Welch battled alcoholism for much of his career but was known as a great teammate and highly competitive guy.

US Open Tees Off Sans Tiger

I’ve been extremely hard on Tiger Woods over the last few years for any number of reasons many of which were warranted but even I admit that when he isn’t playing a major tournament it loses some luster. That will be the case for the second straight major as Woods recovers from back surgery.

The positive however is that with Woods out, we the viewers get to actually see more golfers taking more swings. When Woods is in a tournament, the bulk of the coverage centers on him and that’s understandable but it isn’t always what we want to see especially if Woods is struggling.

There are some great stories heading into this year’s US Open and without Woods, we’ll get to see those. Will Bubba Watson win another major? What about the young phenom Jordan Spieth? Can Lee Westwood finally get that first major? How will Phil play consider off-course issues?

Don’t turn the TV off just because Tiger isn’t there. You will miss some great golf if you do.

Phil Gets His Man, Take Two

The entire free world knew that New York Knicks’ President Phil Jackson was going to go after former player Steve Kerr to become his head coach. Wisely, Kerr took the Golden State job which afforded him a far better roster to work. That left Jackson needing to find ‘his guy.’ Well, not surprisingly he chose and got Derek Fisher who just finished his final season as a player in Oklahoma City.

Fisher will be an extension of Jackson who will be able to have his hands on this team while rebuilding it and teaching Fisher how to coach the system that Jackson wants. The real question is whether Jackson can keep Carmelo Anthony on the roster. Personally, I think ‘Melo goes somewhere he can win a title.