Thursday, December 20, 2007

As posted on 38pitches.com

I truly don't know who or what to believe, but i know the following to be true.

- every player in the last 20 years who HAS NEVER USED hgh, steroids or any performance-enhancing susbstance will ultimately have their statistics, accolades, etc... brought into question.

And unfortunately, this is unfair to the players (past, present & future) who stay clean and don't use.

Take the case of some members of the Chicago White Sox, who in 2003, considered refusal to the testing policies at that juncture, as a method of protest for more stringent testing measures:
http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D04E1D7153EF931A25750C0A9659C8B63

Obviously, this would have caused a rift in the MLBPA and nothing ever came of it. But what the White Sox were saying at the time was something very prophetic.

Aside from understanding the negative side-effects of steroid/hormone use, they understood that a un-level playing field goes against the integrity & ethical grain of our National Pastime, something that is undeniably above their statistics and accolades.

Unfortunately, there seemed to be little or no action to address the issue then. To sit here and determine culpability between the players, the owners, Commissioner Selig or other parties is futile. Sure, there are more serious penalties now and all sides recognize how drastic the situation has become.

But what's done is done. And because the actions of a few people, the integrity of the greater good now comes into question.

Had this issue been addressed years ago, perhaps when the White Sox quietly protested, a lot of embarrasment could have been avoided.

Goods
http://www.inbetween18.com/

Monday, December 10, 2007

A Not-So Open Letter To A Douchebag

I usually don’t rant about my personal life on this site, but I’m in dire need of a therapeutic and cathartic release, and hence, I must write.

This past weekend in Phoenix, my rental car was broken into and a shoulder bag was stolen through the rear driver’s side window. I was out on the golf course 3-putting every hole during the theft (no joke). I have since filed a report with the Phoenix Police Department about both crimes.

Before I go any further and before you open your mouth… I know I shouldn’t have left the bag in the back seat, where it may be visible to a local ne’er-do-well, looking for his jollies in the name of Vandalism and Theft. Lesson learned. But I’m telling the story, here.

Inside the shoulder bag were the following contents:

*My girlfriend’s laptop
*An external wireless modem
*A copy of the E-Myth Revisited by Richard Berger
*A copy of Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer
*MY JOURNAL
*My headphones
*5 DVDs
*The keys to me & my girlfriend's apartment (proper grammar?)


I itemize these things as a reminder to myself and everyone else that ultimately, these are simply items that can be replaced. I have updated any and all passwords that have been previously used on that laptop. Even that’s tolerable.

But do you notice how ‘My Journal’ is capped and bolded. I sure hope you do because it is this single item that I miss the most, for I truly feel my soul is in the hands of some pockmarked, Crus-tachioed, pasty-faced, needle-dick of a youngling, barely out of Middle School.

Truth be told, I may never find you or know your face.

But in some cosmic universe, if it ever occurs, I will cast you to a country where they castrate people for stealing things that don’t rightfully belong to them. Someplace like Turkmenistan, Venezuela or Detroit.

Once there I will hope you try to steal something again, for the authorities will find that in your case, castration is simply the tip of the iceberg.

Your tongue will be ripped from your mouth and a continuous slurry of Prickly Pear Cactus-fed, cattle feces is pumped into your digestive tract.

And I’ll still be putting a peg under it, teeing off, and writing about it afterwards.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Avoid The Pines and punch the clock

The Pines Golf Club at Marana
8480 N. Contintental Links Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85743
(866) PINES-18
http://www.playthepines.com/

When one thinks of the word ‘quarry’, the notion of a golf course usually doesn’t follow. However, some genius thought that building a Golden Tee-esque, 6300-yard course at the bottom of a rock pit was a good idea. They were wrong.

Moreover, you can’t build a multi-million dollar golf course with thousands of dollars and it seems that what The Pines is trying to do. Although the course has been open for at least a year, there are still cart paths that need to be paved, construction around the course impedes upon the layout and the drainage system, for lack of a better term, sucks.

Don’t bother using your driver because the holes are narrow with little room for slice/hook leakage; precise shot placement is a must. It’s proximity between I-10 and the Tucson Mountain Range can make the course extremely windy and for $60, it’s not worth the price.

Surprisingly, the greens and fairways are well maintained, but make no mistake… the Pines is misleading and disingenuous to the game of golf and the people that play. From the outside, the Pines looks like a mansion. But up close, it’s a crack den.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

National Pride

Arizona National (formerly The Raven)
9777 E. Sabino Greens Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85749
(520) 749-3636
http://www.whitepinesgolfdome.com/

This Robert Trent Jones, Jr. design (and the University of Arizona’s home course) is one of many plush courses you’ll find nestled within the Catalina Foothills. Although it’s not hotel or resort-based like that of its nearby neighbors (Westin La Paloma, Loews Ventana Canyon), this course provides challenging desert golf at a reasonable price (under $80, before the high season) and encompasses the same golfing experience as the aforementioned resorts.

The 9s differ, as the front plays notably shorter and narrower than the back, so you’ll have to play some well-positioned finesse golf before making the turn and ripping it. If you’ve ever dreamed of driving a golf ball off the top of the Sears Tower, you can realize said dream on holes #5 & #18, both of which overlook the clubhouse from a well-elevated tee.

Back story on the 18th hole: In the mid-90s, during a Pac-10 match, Tiger Woods (then a standout golfer at Stanford) drove to the rock in the middle of the lake about 370 yards away. After dropping and taking a penalty stroke, he went up and down for birdie.

Desert Golf… an essay.

If you ever have the chance to play golf in a desert and/or a desert-like mountainous region, I highly suggest doing so if for nothing more than a learning experience of playing a different type of golf; one that’s different than the customary wooded Country Club or that wide-open hacker track where every par-4 is less than 300 yards. No, this is different.

The desert has plenty of natural beauty as much as golf in the desert has natural pitfalls, so a few reminders for those who wish to go to Palm Springs or Scottsdale for their golf trip… and have never done so before.

Gravity, especially near a mountain range, is a force of nature to be reckoned with. Thus, any shot going away from the mountains is downhill and vice versa (towards the mountains is uphill). But a downhill putt towards the mountains is at the very most, level, if not uphill. Does this help any?

The desert is a hazard and can be hazardous. If you’re unlucky (and believe me, you are) your ball will spray left and right and end up in the brush. So when you find your $7.00 Titleist Pro-V 1 ball near the Prickly Pear cactus, use a club or a ball retriever to avoid thorns in your hands.

If you see a Bobcat crouching down near a tree, don’t bother telling the nearby Jack Rabbit that it’s about to be eaten.

Avoid walking or carrying your clubs in the desert, your ancestors probably walked through the desert enough. Besides, any desert course worth its salt won’t allow you to do so. If you want to walk, simply go for a hike and leave your clubs at home. You’ll lose fewer balls that way.

Speaking of balls, you will lose plenty, so buy ‘em cheap and in bulk if you can. There’s nothing worse than the schmuck who paid more money for his dozen golf balls than the round, and ended up losing all of them.

Don’t worry about hitting nearby homes with an errant shot. Chances are, the owners are snowbirds and aren’t home anyway.

Courses in resort towns (Palm Springs, Scottsdale, etc…) change their price according to the season. The ‘High’ season is usually from December 15 to May 15 and greens fees usually double during this period. So be sure to check all rate schedules for desert courses.

If you find this aggravating, you can always take up macramé.

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