Now that the Super Bowl has been put to rest it is time to set our sites on the warmer weather sports. Orioles and Phillies pitchers and catchers are just about a week and a half away from reporting but my attention this weekend will be on the return of Tiger Woods to the PGA Tour. For the first time in years Tiger will play in the tour stop at Pebble Beach. One reason he hasn't played at the famed course is because of the format. You play 3 and possibly 4 rounds with an amateur partner. This can make for 6 hour rounds. However Tiger is breaking with his routine and will play with Cowboys QB Tony Romo. I think Tiger is willing to play because Romo is a + golfer. He carries a below par handicap and could help Tiger win the Pro/Am portion of the event. The tournament is also sponsored by AT&T a long-time supporter of his foundation and also the Title sponsor of his Tour event in July. I'm sure Tiger would like to stay on the good side of the AT&T folks to get them to re-up their support for the event that returns to Congressional Country Club in DC this year after a couple of years at Aronimink in Philly. I want to see the state of Tiger's game. He says he is healthy for the first time in a couple of years and that he has been really able to practice his new swing. At his only event this year Woods finished 3rd at the Euro Tour stop in Abu Dhabi. However he was tied for the lead after 54 holes then shot even par in the final round. He did not play well in that final round hitting only 2 fairways and 6 greens in regulation. If he plays like that starting Thursday at Pebble he is in for a difficult time. I do look for Tiger to be in contention this weekend and wouldn't be surprised if he wins. He loves Pebble having won a couple of times as a Pro including the 2000 U-S Open but he also played the course numerous times in his Junior days.
I'm going to make some comments in the next week or so about the start of Spring Training. 1 thing I will say is I'm not sure what the Orioles and new GM Dan Duquette are doing. Shipping the most experienced starter in Jeremy Guthrie to the Rockies for a couple of mediocre pitchers is weird. The other move I don't understand is the interest in Manny Ramirez. The 39 year old would fill the roll of DH but he won't be available to the team for the first 50 games of the season as he serves a suspension for violating the league drug policy. This is a RED flag in my books. Management (read Peter Angelos) feels they need to make a splash to get the fans attention and put cheeks in the seats. I get that...but Manny ain't the right choice unless he is going to play for FREE.