As I stepped into the tee box of the seventh hole, only positive thoughts were running through my brain.
“Keep your head down, stay relaxed and hit it right down the center of the fairway” I repeatedly told myself. Once the group ahead of us cleared the fairway I approached my ball with driver in hand. About 10 seconds later — after successfully keeping my head down and remaining calm — I watched as my ball sailed off to the right into the only section of trees on that particular hole.
Walking up to hit my second shot, I was presented with multiple options. Should I take my seven-iron and go for the green through the trees? Should I take my seven-iron and try to punch it out into the center of the fairway? What about using my nine-iron and trying to go over the trees? What should I do? Suddenly, I felt like LeBron James, just without the cameras, money, poor postseason performances, ignorance and arrogance James has displayed throughout his career.
Needless to say, I chose none of the above, and shanked the ball into a tree about 10 feet in front of me. Luckily, the ball bounced off the cart path twice, and rolled into the rough just outside the green on the other side of the fairway.
Indecisiveness, in life, as well as on the golf course, can cost you. If you are a general manager of a baseball team in the last weekend of July, you know it’s time to push all your chips forward or lay ‘em down and wait for the next hand.
On a side note, could you imagine LeBron as a general manager – everyone would be “taking their talents to south beach!”
Here are five teams who need to make a move if they seriously want to be considered as World Series contenders. I repeat…WORLD SERIES contenders.
Detroit Tigers: The Tigers can’t depend on Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander the rest of the way. Their offense is picking it up and giving Cabrera protection. If the Tigers want to win the division, and ultimately compete for a World Series title, they need to add a top-of-the-rotation type pitcher.
Chicago White Sox: The Cleveland Indians may be ahead of Chicago but the White Sox have more of a shot of doing damage than the no-name Indians. If Adam Dunn can return to form and if the Sox are able to add a solid set-up man along with a big bat, they may run away with the American League Central.
Texas Rangers: The Rangers have an offense that can score with the best of them but they need to bolster their pitching staff. They have solid starters in Wilson and Ogando but lack the stud to compete with the rest of the American League.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: The Angels have one of the best one-two combos in baseball but still remain four games behind the Texas Rangers. The Angels need to add a quality bat and possibly a consistent fourth starter to get into the playoffs. With Weaver and Haren taking the mound, anything can happen in the playoffs.
Any N.L. Central team: The National League Central is the most jam-packed division in baseball with four out of the six teams within four games of first place and three out of the four are within one game of one another. Whichever team makes a deal to separate themselves from the rest of the pack could do damage in the postseason but the Cardinals and Brewers have the best chance to go the farthest.
Here are five teams that can afford to stay put and compete for a World Series:
Philadelphia Phillies: The Phillies have the best pitching staff in the big leagues and have lived up to the hype. With the best record in baseball, the Phillies lead the National League East by 6.5 games over the Braves.
Boston Red Sox: With the best offense in baseball and the second best run differential in baseball, the Red Sox have recovered from their pathetic start to grab a two game lead on the Yankees in the American League East. The Red Sox have the second best record in baseball and two pitchers that can compete with the best.
New York Yankees: The Yankees have the best run differential in baseball and have a commanding lead in the Wild Card race. C.C. Sabathia has been fantastic of late and it looks like the Yankees are headed for another deep postseason run.
Atlanta Braves: Although the Braves are almost seven games behind the Phillies, they have a 3.5 game lead in the Wild Card race over Arizona. The Braves have struggled to stay healthy and if Dan Uggla can be as good as advertised, then the Braves could be around for a while.
San Francisco Giants: The World Series Champions are without their best offensive player in Buster Posey but they still sit atop the National League West. Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain and Ryan Vogelsong lead a shutdown pitching staff that has the ability to repeat the magic on display last postseason. If the Giants make the postseason, don’t expect them to bow out easily.
In the end, all these teams, and even some not mentioned, will be looking to add players to improve their team in any way possible.
In the end, prospects are prospects, championships are championships and as the saying goes, “no guts, no glory.
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In case you missed it, football is back! Yes, that means Rex Ryan will begin to run his mouth, Bill Belichick will start giving us the silent treatment and I will frantically prepare for the upcoming fantasy football season. Find the nearest immovable object and hold on for dear life because the world of sports is about to be thrown into uncharted territory. Between the MLB trade deadline and the entire NFL offseason being squeezed into two weeks before the first preseason game things could get a little hectic.