Monday Headlines: Tiger, Opening Day, Butler and More


2 HRs to start the year for Pujols

BY NEAL MALONE

First Full Day of Baseball

Major League Baseball’s Opening Day is well underway with several of the league’s stars already making an impact.  Albert Pujols went 4-for-5 with 2 HRs in the Cardinals’ 11-6 win over the Reds in Cincinnati.  He wasted no time getting busy this season by homering in his first at-bat against Aaron Harang.  Roy Halladay and Mark Buehrle turned in ace performances for their respective teams, while Marlon Byrd and Jason Heyward each hit 3-run home runs in the first inning for their new teams at Turner Field.

Despite Carlos Zambrano surrendering six runs in the first inning, I still find myself overwhelmingly excited about Opening Day.  Normally a rough start like that would really get under my skin, but the fresh season has me very excited about the summer.  Whether it’s following my favorite team or managing my own fantasy baseball teams, I can’t wait for the season to get in full swing.  Enjoy the games everyone!

Tiger Woods Addresses Media at Augusta

I sat down in front of the TV just as Tiger Woods was heading into the media room at Augusta National, so I was able to catch his entire press conference.  After a brief opening statement, Woods answered questions for about 30 minutes.  The questions of course touched on Woods’ affair saga, but also gave us some insight on how he feels about his game at this point.

He said he was stunned, in a good way, by the positive reception he received on the course during his practice round today.  Woods said plenty of players and fans expressed their support, which Woods said helped contribute to him having fun for the first time in a long time on the golf course.  It seems like Woods is getting increasingly more comfortable each and every time he addresses the media.

Woods didn’t dodge many questions and seemed willing to answer nearly every single one thrown his way.  A few notes from the press conference…

  • Elin Woods will not be in attendance at The Masters
  • Tiger apologized to the PGA Tour players for having to answer questions the last few months about his affairs and personal issues.
  • Tiger refuted claims that he has used HGH and PEDs, but did admit he has received treatment from controversial Canadian doctor, Anthony Galea.  He said Galea helped treat the injuries he had to his knee and achilles.
  • Apparently, on top of Tiger’s ACL injury, he had sustained several minor tears to his achilles tendon.
  • Despite the break from golf, Tiger said his goal at The Masters is still winning the tournament.
  • Tiger said that he understands why the media has criticized him and written negative stories about him, but still considers many of them his friends

Butler’s Howard Cleared To Play in NCAA Championship Game

Butler fans worried about Matt Howard’s status for tonight’s championship game can take a deep breath.  The Bulldogs big man will be in the lineup against Duke and is reportedly showing no ill effects from the minor concussion he suffered against Michigan State.  Howard took place in the team’s shootaround today at Lucas Oil Stadium before being deemed fit to play.

The news that Howard will play is enormous for Butler’s chances.  Butler is already an undersized team, so losing the 6-8 post man, Howard, would be devastating.  Duke’s size is already being discussed as one of tonight’s big keys to the game, so Howard will have to contend with the likes of Brian Zoubek, Mason and Miles Plumlee, and Lance Thomas.  Despite Duke’s size advantage, though, I’m not putting anything past the Indianapolis-based Bulldogs.  They have already disposed of teams like Syracuse and Kansas State, so stating that Duke will win in a cakewalk is the most foolish thing anyone could say at this point.

The game is set to tipoff from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis at 9:21 pm ET.

Krzyzewski Nixes Move to the NBA

Speaking of Duke, their long-time coach Mike Krzyzewski has been drawing interest from the NBA.  It isn’t the first time one of the league’s teams has courted him…this time it’s the New Jersey Nets.  The Nets have been right in the thick of the media recently because of an imminent ownership takeover.  Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov is awaiting NBA approval to become the next Nets owner and he is reportedly ready to spend a lot of money.

Apparently, there is already a prepared contract offer for Krzyzewski to become the Nets’ next coach.  The offer would make him the highest paid coach in the league.  However, the Duke coach says he has “no interest in the job.”

I say leave the guy alone.  He is preparing for a national championship game and I’m sure he has no interest in answering questions about his coaching future.  Besides, who says Krzyzewski’s coaching prowess would even translate to the NBA?  If I were the Nets, I wouldn’t bug Krzyzewski and I’d take my money elsewhere to a guy with NBA coaching experience.

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