Tuesday, June 28, 2011

2011 Preseason Rankings Revisited

Time to revisit the preseason rankings in their original order with my commentary which only lasted through the bottom five picks until I got to the point where I couldn't differentiate between the teams and I felt like I needed to start praising draft picks (not my strength).         


Let’s start with the preseason general observations: (1) don’t ever pick-up a player recently dropped by the Jerkstore as I may not be able to pick a winner but I can drop a loser.  So far I’ve dropped Arjun Atwal, Matt Jones, Trevor Immelman and Y.E. Yang.  Other than Yang’s 3rd place at the US Open, this theory is holding-up.  The real story here is that it’s almost July and I’ve only dropped four players.  Ricky Fowler's the logical choice to go but I know if I do he's going to win and then he'll be on every freakin' channel from ESPN to E for a month smiling at me so I can't risk it; (2) do keep an eye on players dropped by GSB.  The only move they’ve made so far this year is to drop Scott Verplank for Jerry Kelly which is like trading in a 1994 Chevy Lumina for a 1995 Dodge Stratus so we don't really have any data on this but if they finally drop Rickey Barnes, he may be worth a flyer; and (3) when considering whether or not to pick-up one of the Molinari brothers, think of them as calamari made from squid that was rejected by every seafood stand in Lexington Market.  I’ll stand by that.  Italian golfers are more suited to the Ryder Cup where the international crowds can understand and appreciate their constant swearing.  On to the rankings:


15.  Washy Wash (Currently 1st – We’re off to a bad start):  Ryan Palmer looks like a below average player who got hot for half a season and is a year away from starring on “The Bachelor”.  How do you not take Jason Day there?  At least I was right about Jason Day.  Martin Laird, Fred Jacobsen and Webb Simpson have combined for $6,000,000+?!?!  Everyone in the league who has previously carried one of those guys for half a season just gagged.      


14.  Captain B-slap (Currently 10th):  I’m just not buying Graeme McDowell as a top ten guy in this league and I think Padraig is the modern day Mark O’Meara.  He got his majors and will now settle into mediocrity only in Padraig’s case it’s because he decided to ruin a perfectly good swing.  Add in the taint of Sergio, and a low ranking was guaranteed.  Nailed that one.  If it wasn’t for Steve Marino’s annual brief run of success before being consumed by his internal rage, this squad would be in the teens.


13:  Shanghai Three (Currently 6th):  Overton was a big reach in the second round with McIlroy, Kim and Goosen available.  I think management committed to this pick immediately after the “Boom Baby!” shot at the Ryder Cup.  Luke Donald is keeping them in the mix but taking Overton over McIlroy has got to feel like banging your putter on your ankle bone. 


12.  Big Country (Currently 12th):  Bubba Watson seems like a reach at no. 12 with Westwood still on the board.  Just not seeing a lot of firepower on this roster and I’ve never heard of the 6th pick.  I put the over/under on Big Country caring this year at the Zurich Classic.  Should have taken the under.  Turns out the Watson pick was one of the best in the draft.  Some early season roster maintenance may have yielded a contender but Big Country seems content to go to battle with Jason Bohn and Brad Lunde every week.  Maybe they’re his cousins or something.   


11.  GSB (Currently 13th):  Furyk will have his solid year but Brendan DeJonge . . . ah screw this.  All these teams look the same to me.  Here’s the rest of the order.  Whatever shot I was about to take at De Jonge would have been warranted.  GSB’s 2011 season will be remembered for creating and proving the following pre-draft axiom:  Never pick a player on the downside of his career coming off a $10,000,000 payday in the FedEx Cup.  For a while I thought that Furyk looked tired.  Now I recognize that look as fat and happy. 


10.  Jameson (Currently 3rd):  You knew Stricker was going to deliver but Choi and Sabbatini were wildcards.  It's good to see a team of such nice guys succeed.  Especially Sabbatini who apparently took his hat off and thanked the crowd every time they chanted "Let's Go Rory" on Sunday at the U.S. Open.  So gracious. 


9.   Knothead (Currently 7th):  A roster constructed to win majors and they’re two for two.  McIlroy is going to be the favorite at the British and the PGA.  I don’t see him taking either of those but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him win at Firestone.  Knothead has become the Miami Heat of this league.  We hate his team with the fire of a thousand suns. 


8.    Six Putts (Currently 2nd):  They’ve had players take turns getting hot but have struggled lately low-lighted by the shutout at the U.S. Open.  Hunter Mahan is looking more and more like a guy who is going to steal one major in his career by playing a great Sunday round from the back of the pack a la David Duval’s British Open win. 


7.    Rusty Trombone (Currently 4th):  This team has some stretch run potential.  Both Dustin Johnson and Jason Day are on the verge of breaking through with multi-week runs of big paydays.  Snedeker, Duffner and Jobe are all solid contributors.  I’m just glad they gave up on Lucas Glover before he won at Quail Hollow.  Everyone keeps giving up on Lucas.  Maybe that's why he always looks so sad. 


6.   18 Holes Airtight (Currently 9th):  Give them credit for the major roster shake-up and dropping Ernie who seems to be looking around wondering when everyone else got so good at golf (reminiscent of the look he had for the first five years of Tiger’s career).  Looking at the current roster, that’s about the nicest thing I have to say. 


5.   InDaHole (Currently 15th):  Another roster constructed to win majors.  Unfortunately, this one was built on a swamp.  Let’s move on. 


4.  V-holes (Currently 8th):  Here is what I wrote about them on March 22ndI don’t see another team that’s even close at this point.  They will have a player in contention at every major with Westwood, Watney, Kaymer and Molinari, especially if they shed Larry the Cable Guy (Boo Weekley) for a player who is more than a novelty act.  Since then they’ve dropped from 3rd to 8th in the standings.  How was I supposed to know Kaymer was going to stop wearing his lucky scarf and change his swing AFTER finishing second in the Matchplay? 


3.   Jerkstore (Currently 5th):  I would love to have the Zach Johnson (1st) and/or Ricky Fowler (2nd) picks back.  Zach looks like he’s playing 8,000 yard courses and Ricky is still at least a year away but at least he’s always on TV so I can see all of his double bogeys. 


2.   Long Ball (Currently 14th):  This preseason ranking was based on two foolish assumptions: (1) Paul Casey had the stones to come back from some close calls in big tournaments last year, and (2) Anthony Kim would stop practicing by hitting chip shots off of strippers asses.  I should have seen both of those coming. 


1.   Foobar (Currently 11th):  I subscribed to the theory that Phil was going to make a concerted effort to pocket a few majors with Tiger out of the picture and that hasn’t happened.  Not for a lack of effort on Phil’s part though.  I’m sure plenty of guys played their Wednesday U.S. Open practice round up the road at Columbia Country Club.  I mean who wants to practice in all of that heavy rough on fast greens with all of those people yelling “Go Phil!” and “We love you Phil!”?  No thanks.