The Sports pages

CBS Bogeys the Masters

The New York Post’s Phil Mushnick trashes CBS’s expanded Masters coverage, which on Saturday ignored the rain-delayed second round and skipped Arnold Palmer’s final holes. The network spent most of its 4-and-a-half-hour Sunday broadcast shadowing just five players. Watching the Masters on television, Mushnick writes, was “like an obstructed view seat at the seventh game of the World Series.” USA Today’sRudy Martzke points out that one of Augusta National’s byzantine rules requires CBS announcers to call spectators “patrons,” never “fans.”

The writers also pound Phil Mickelson, who choked away another major. “I don’t think third place is anything to be overly disappointed about,” Mickelson told reporters. The Washington Post’s Thomas Boswell writes, “Can you imagine Ben Hogan saying those words? Or—here’s a knee-slapper—Tiger Woods?” Mickelson continued, “[T]oday, I felt very lucky to play the final round of the Masters here at Augusta and to be on this leaderboard and play this game for a living.” The Chicago Sun-Times’ Jay Mariotti replies, “Spoken like a true victim.”

The Tigers in winter: The Detroit Tigers fired manager Phil Garner and general manager Randy Smith. The pair lasted just six games into the season, all of them losses. The Detroit News’ Rob Parker writes, “[W]hether it’s totally their fault or not, Garner and Smith represented what was wrong with the Tigers: The team was being led by losers. Smith never had a winning season in seven years at the helm in Detroit. Garner was facing his 10th straight losing season, and third in a row here.”

The Detroit Free PressMitch Albom writes, “The saddest part of Phil Garner and Randy Smith’s getting the boot Monday wasn’t that two nice guys couldn’t get the job done. The saddest part was that it took their firing to let most Detroiters know the season had started. … Detroit is now a hockey town, a football town, it’s even becoming, slowly, once again, a basketball town. But it’s a baseball town in memory only. Fourteen seasons without the playoffs will do that.”

New meaning for the words “obstructed view”: Finally, the Chicago Cubs’ brain trust erected giant screens on the edge of Wrigley Field, ending the decades-old tradition of watching games from rooftop apartments across the street. Cubs fans howled. Mayor Richard Daley griped, “Pretty soon they’ll have to dome it.” But the Chicago Sun-Times’ Rick Telander disagrees: “[T]hose roofs look like extensions of some modern stadium, with custom game seats that go for over a hundred dollars a butt. If the Cubs ever were to make it to the World Series—silly thought, but we’re being hypothetical here—I guarantee you a 30-seat rooftop would go for $10,000, easy. … How did peeking in through someone’s open window, and making money off it, become a citizen’s right?”