Columnist

Huge day for sports set to unfold

 
 
Published: 4/4/2010 8:43 PM

The wide world of sports has produced some remarkably multi-tasking days.

Like the afternoon in 1984 when the Cubs lost the deciding game of the NLCS at San Diego as Walter Payton was breaking the NFL career rushing record in Soldier Field.

Then there was the evening in 1993 when news broke of Michael Jordan's first retirement from the Bulls as the White Sox were preparing to play an ALCS game.

Each of those days was a double into the gap locally and nationally. Monday, however, is a grand slam over the center-field fence locally, nationally, internationally and universally.

Tiger Woods commences Masters week with a news conference at 1 p.m. - the White Sox and Indians play their season opener in Comiskey Park at 1:05 - the Cubs and Braves open their season in Atlanta at 3:10 - the NCAA Tournament final tips off at 8 in Indianapolis - all are coming to a living room near you.

That's not even counting an unforeseen possibility like the Bears trading Jay Cutler to Minnesota for Brett Favre or Barack Obama resigning his day job to intern at ESPN.

Anyway, here's what to expect during one on the biggest of sports days in recent memory.

WOODS: The first question asked of him still should be, "Would you settle for being the world's No. 100 golfer to save your marriage?"

The second should be, "Is your condition one day at a time, something you'll be recovering from the rest of your life?"

The third should be, "Are you freakin' crazy, cheating on a woman who looks like your wife looks?"

Some would prefer Woods be asked about the HGH doctor in Canada. Sorry, but give me the sex angle over performance enhancers any day.

Then there's neither of the above and Woods will be asked about golf. Hey, how's your putting, will you still wear red on Sundays, and is the catalpa your favorite tree on the course?

WHITE SOX: Win or lose the opener, they'll win the AL Central because of their starting pitchers.

Do the math. Pitching is 80 percent of baseball. Starting pitchers comprise about 42 percent of a staff. A quality rotation should throw at least 66 percent of all innings.

So, 80 multiplied by 42 minus 66 plus 2010 divided by 162 comes out to the Sox winning 89 games.

CUBS: Win or lose the opener, take the under when the Cubs' over-under is making the playoffs.

Standing alone, this year's puzzling Cubs could be anywhere between awful and awfully good and win anywhere between zero and 162 games.

Figure on closer to zero because, well, they're still the Cubs. Over time nobody ever lost money betting against this franchise.

With apologies to the Ricketts family, at my age I'm resigned to the Cubs never winning anything significant in my lifetime. Fool me once, shame on them; fool me 102 times, shame on me.

NCAAs: My heart says take Butler, my head says take Duke, and the truth says I'll be dozing on the recliner before the fat lady sings "One Shining Moment."

Now go ahead and enjoy your grand slam of a sports day, folks.