Phil Mickelson is one of the greatest putters to ever live, and he has been known to switch up his mechanics from time to time. When Mickelson felt like he was striking the ball too hard on the greens a couple of years ago, he switched to what is known as the “claw grip.” He went back to it last week for the final round of the St. Jude Classic and is sticking with it for the US Open.
By gripping the putter in a way that makes his bottom hand a claw, Mickelson can take the hand and wrist action out of his putting stroke and isolate his shoulders. That helps him hit putts with more consistent pace. It also stops the poopiness, as he phrased it on Tuesday.
“I should have won that last week by eight shots if I putted worth — decent,” Mickelson told reporters, via Eye on Golf. “I saw Stockton this morning and really the reason why I went to the claw is that I just have been a little bit too poppy, if you will, I’ve been popping at it. And not making a long kind of smooth, brush stroke. When I take the bottom hand off it allows me to do that.”
Phil obviously wanted to use another word but stopped himself just in time.
Mickelson explains the reasoning behind the claw grip in this video.
Mickelson is easily the biggest story heading into the US Open at Pinehurst this week. A win would complete the career Grand Slam for the 43-year-old, who has finished in second at the US Open a whopping six times in his Hall of Fame career. I’ll be one of the thousands who are pulling for Phil.
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- Phil Mickelson
It’s impossible to think of Bob Welch and not recall the late pitcher’s epic battle with Reggie Jackson in the 1978 World Series. This took place nearly 36 years ago, yet the drama and suspense of the at-bat still makes me nervous.
This was one of those classic power vs. power match-ups. Reggie Jackson, Mr. October, was facing a hard-throwing rookie with men on second and third and the Dodgers up 4-3 with two outs in the top of the 9th inning of the 1978 World Series.
Welch was bringing the heat, and Jackson was swinging with all his might, like usual.
Reggie fouled off several pitches and brought it to a full count before Welch finally sat him down on a 3-2 fastball up in the zone on the ninth pitch of the at-bat to seal the victory.
That was intense.
Of course, later in Game 6, Reggie took Welch deep in the 7th inning to give the Yankees a 7-2 lead in the game. They won the series that night. Reggie pimped the ever-loving sh*t out of the home run like a boss.
That was Reggie’s fourth homer of the series and gave him 14 RBIs for the series. Mr. freaking October.
Just when we thought Dwyane Wade had guaranteed himself the award for best flop of the week with this ridiculous acting job, an amateur soccer coach from Germany comes in and steals the show. If you’re going to act like an opposing coach wound up and karate chopped you in the throat, you might as well do it up right.
As you can see, the coach in green got into it with someone from the opposing side and was pointing his finger in the gentleman’s face. When Mr. Black reached up to knock the finger away and made contact with Mr. Green’s neck area, Mr. Green clutched his throat and dropped to the ground like he was choking to death.
Somehow, Mr. Green was up off the ground exactly six seconds later and getting into the face of Mr. Black once again. NBA players should take notes — that’s how you sell a flop.
Video via Barstool Sports
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- flop video
Welch grew up in Michigan and attended Eastern Michigan University before being drafted by the Dodgers in the first round of the ’77 draft. He made his debut in 1978 at age 21 and went 7-4 with a 2.02 ERA and pitched in the World Series that season. He spent 10 seasons with the Dodgers and made the All-Star team in 1980.
The Dodgers traded Welch to the Oakland A’s before the 1988 season, and Welch proved he was not done. He won the 1990 Cy Young at the age of 33 after going 27-6 with a 2.95 ERA.
Welch was part of the A’s teams that made three straight World Series from ’88-’90, winning the ’89 series. He made two World Series with the Dodgers, losing in ’78 and winning in ’81.
Welch was well loved by members of the A’s organization. Below are tweets from current or former A’s players:
R.I.P Bob Welch. Amazing person to be around. Great attitude, always wanted to talk baseball, plus he was a winner!
— Josh Donaldson (@BringerOfRain20) June 10, 2014
So sad about bobby welch. rest in peace buddy hug for u.
— Jose Canseco (@JoseCanseco) June 10, 2014
Devastated to learn of Bob Welch's passing. The A's organization lost not only one of its best pitchers, but one of its best people. #RIP35
— Sean Doolittle (@whatwouldDOOdo) June 10, 2014
Brutal to hear about the passing of Bob Welch…it was always a pleasure being around him.
— Brett Anderson (@BAnderson_30) June 10, 2014
- Bob Welch
Former Boston Red Sox sideline reporter Jenny Dell announced on Tuesday that she will be joining the NFL on CBS crew this upcoming football season.
Dell was reassigned by NESN earlier this year, presumably because of her relationship with Sox third baseman Will Middlebrooks. After essentially being stuck on desk duty, she recently announced that she has decided to leave NESN. As we anticipated when NESN demoted her, Dell has found herself a more high-profile gig.
With CBS, Dell will be given much more national exposure. The Red Sox sideline reporter job for NESN has proven to be an excellent launching point for careers, with Heidi Watney, Tina Cervasio and Hazel Mae all going on to land great TV jobs after leaving NESN. We fully expect Dell to be an instant fan favorite.
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- Jenny Dell
Two weeks after Sonnen mocked Wanderlei Silva for running away from a random drug test that led to Vitor Belfort replacing the Brazilian in the UFC 175 fight, Chael himself was busted for failing a random drug test.
According to ESPN, Sonnen tested positive for illegal substances anastrozole and clomiphene during a random drug test in Las Vegas last month when Sonnen was in town for a UFC news conference. Anastrozole is used to treat breast cancer, while clomiphene is used in cases of female infertility.
This is the second time Sonnen has failed a drug test; he had an elevated T/E ratio in 2010 and was suspended prior to his rematch with Anderson Silva.
Sonnen is a known TRT user and said he would make adjustments in the wake of the UFC/NSAC’s crackdown on the treatment. The substances he tested positive for are used as treatments for hypogonadism, which is the condition Sonnen has that he argues necessitates his TRT.
The Sonnen-Belfort fight has been pulled off the card entirely. Belfort was also set to appear in front of the commission next month for a positive test he had in February. That means the three men playing musical chairs for the fight — Sonnen, Silva and Belfort — all have failed drug tests this year. That is not a good look for the UFC.
Sonnen went on “Jay Mohr Sports” Tuesday to explain the positive test. No surprise, he did his best to talk circles around it.
“They changed the ruling in Nevada earlier this year, doing away with the TRT, testosterone replacement therapy, and I was on that. So when they changed the rule, we all had to go through a transition phase. For me during the transition, I had to take a couple of things. One is called Clomiphene……and another is called HCG (Human Chorionic Gonadotropin). I didn’t fight it or ask for a license. In the interim, they did a test, and I tested positive for these things which I should have because I took them and they were in my system. That wasn’t a surprise. These aren’t anabolics, these aren’t steroids or performance enhancers, but they have deemed that they are banned substances. What’s interesting in my case is that we’re out of competition. These aren’t things that I showed up with on game day. This is out of competition due to a rule that they changed, so it’s an odd spot for me.”
- Chael Sonnen
Richard Sherman last week won the right to be the next Madden Cover Curse victim. But the good thing about the humble Sherman is that he wants to share the right to be cursed with his entire defense.
OK, not entirely.
Sherman, despite being a loudmouth, really does want to share the spotlight with the rest of his Seattle Seahawks secondary and is trying to lobby EA Sports to put the entire “Legion of Boom” on the cover of the video game.
“I’ve been trying to get the Legion of Boom on the cover, and EA has been fighting me,” Sherman told reporters Monday at the Seahawks’ OTA per ESPN. “So if everybody wants to start a petition to get the Legion of Boom on the cover, here it is, here’s an open invitation.”
Sherman won the voting after beating out Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton in the finals. The 26-year-old cornerback says he “would never be in the position” to win such an honor if it weren’t for his defensive teammates, including safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas. Brandon Browner used to be in the L.O.B., but he’s no longer with Seattle, so Byron Maxwell has the final spot.
Fans responded to Sherman’s comments and have even created a Change.org petition for the cause.
I think it would be pretty awesome of EA to allow Sherman to be on the cover along with the Legion of Boom, and I think it’s even cooler that that’s how Sherman wants it to be. He’s right about how much it’s a team defensive effort in Seattle rather than individual, so it’s nice that he wants to share the spotlight. He’ll be just the third defensive player to earn the cover, following Ray Lewis and Troy Polamalu. Polamalu shared the 2010 cover with Larry Fitzgerald.
On Monday, Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay gave his first extensive public comments since he was arrested for driving while under the influence back in March. He spoke with Bob Kravitz of The Indianapolis Star, who described Irsay as having clearer eyes than before, improved posture and a more healthy looking skin complexion.
Irsay said he has been alcohol-free for over a decade, which is similar to what he tweeted at the time of his arrest. He also admitted to having a painkiller addiction that started back in 2002 after several orthopedic surgeries for his hip and back. The 55-year-old repeatedly referred to his addiction as a “disease” and compared it to cancer and other diseases that kill.
“In some ways, (going through rehab) is my greatest moment,” Irsay told Kravitz. “It takes courage to try and overcome the difficulties you have. For some reason, it’s seen as unheroic. When someone beats cancer, it’s like, ‘Wow, that’s so heroic,’ but when someone has this illness, it’s treated like you’re a leper because that person is morally corrupt, and that’s not the case.
“… It’s an ongoing thing in one’s life when recovering from any disease. The disease never sleeps so you have to be proactive when dealing with it. But the journey is great because it forced you to grow spiritually. There’s a lot of gratitude and spiritual growth. And it’s rewarding because it makes you more virtuous when you have success.”
Irsay added that there is a “stigma” assosicated with alcoholism and additiction which makes the diseases particularly dangerous because people are afraid to treat them.
“People shy away from seeking help because it’s viewed as being somewhat morally off the path, that they’ve lost their way,” he said. “I really think the disease aspect gets lost when you’re talking about alcoholism and addiction; it’s not like you’re battling leukemia or a heart problem; it is that. But even in 2014, there’s still this stigma.”
Irsay still seemed to be treading lightly, as the legal process of his arrest and how it will affect his standing with the NFL is still playing out. He would not go on the record and address whether there is truth to the report that he could face a $1 million fine and a 6-8 game suspension from the league.
As for an apology, Irsay said he is not ready to issue one yet and did not promise that he will. He also said he is focused on running the Colts and putting together the best team he can, despite reports that his children are in control of the team and he has remained out of the picture.
To me, it seems like Irsay is looking for sympathy. Whether he deserves it or not is a matter of personal opinion.
- Jim Irsay
Nick Foles wasn’t in any danger of losing the Philadelphia Eagles starting quarterback job this summer, but thanks to Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley it sounds like his job is safer than ever. According to Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, neither of the former USC stars has been impressive during offseason workouts.
Foles has not been perfect, but McLane noted that he has not looked nearly as “unremarkable” as Sanchez and Barkley. While Sanchez has shown flashes of solid play at times, his inconsistency is worth noting.
Sanchez is still in the process of learning a new offense, but that doesn’t provide him with an excuse for overthrowing open receivers or forcing the ball into tight spaces. He reportedly threw two interceptions during drills on Monday. He did, however, hook up with receiver Will Murphy on a nifty 25-yard corner route to the end zone.
At age 27, Sanchez recently said that he feels is is just now entering the prime of his career. He still has youth on his side, but that confidence is going to have to transfer onto the field at some point. While Sanchez likely has an edge over Barkley for the No. 2 job behind Foles because of experience alone, he’ll have to show Kelly a lot more as the summer progresses.
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- Mark Sanchez
Lonnie Chisenhall had a career night on Monday. The Cleveland Indians third basement went 5-for-5 with three homers and drove in nine — that’s right, nine — runs. With his team up 13-6 in the sixth inning, Chisenhall started to feel the beat.
The 25-year-old and his teammate Jason Kipnis couldn’t help but dance a little when come hot beats came on. If you were seeing the ball that well and hitting everything that came your way, you’d probably be in the mood to cut a rug too.
After hitting just .225 in 94 games last season, Chisenhall is batting .385 with seven homers and 32 RBI this season. He could be on the verge of a breakout year.
GIF via The Big Lead
- Lonnie Chisenhall