Woods vs. McIlroy: golf's getting mean

Woods vs. McIlroy: golf's getting mean

By Mary Paoletti
CSNNE.com

Smack talk at the Ryder Cup! This McIlRoy v. Woods thing is getting ugly . . . I guess. For golf, anyway.

McIlroy, of course, is the Tiger Woods of the European Tour -- the version that's whiter than a Guinness plant's company picnic and the one that hasn't actually won a major. Still, the kid's a great golfer and quickly moving in the right direction. He's tucked two third-place ties under his belt in the last month after competing in the PGA Championship and the British Open, so of course his confidence is growing.

But how about this little pimp slap he laid down on Woods:

I would love to face Tiger, said Northern Ireland's 21-year old contender. Unless Tiger's game rapidly improves in the next month or so, I think anyone in the European team would fancy his chances against him.

BOOM: roasted! And it gets better. Woods's response to McIlroy's desire to face him?

"Me too," purred Le Tigre.

Whoa! Can you even imagine what might happen on the course between those two? I mean, it sounds like blood is a-boilin', so they might, like, battle beneath the rim or drop gloves at center ice or grapple on the gridiron . . . well, I bet their caddies will exchange some really dirty looks.

And it's great that Phil Mickelson has stepped in to try and squash the drama. Why so wonderful? Because Mickelson took a sneaky little jab at Woods by omission in the process. "Rory is as classy a guy as there is," he said.

Zing! Good luck ducking all this golfer gunfire!

I don't know, maybe Mickelson is just mad that someone bought Tiger's sex tape before he could. Maybe McIlroy is mad that he couldn't get Irish hookers to sleep with him if he was the owner of a Guinness plant. What I do know is that this could be the most entertaining Ryder Cup in the history of the sport, so stay tuned.

Quotes, Notes and Stars from the Red Sox' 9-8 loss to the Tigers

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Quotes, Notes and Stars from the Red Sox' 9-8 loss to the Tigers

Quotes, Notes and Stars from the Boston Red Sox' 9-8 loss to the Detroit Tigers:

QUOTES:

* "On a night when (Clay) Buchholz was unavailable, (Matt) Barnes was unavailable, we were trying to get him as deep as possible to get us into those middle innings and possibly beyond.'' John Farrell on sticking with starter Steven Wright as long as he did.

* "We finally take the lead and I go out there and walk the first two guys. You can't do that. The guys kept battling back and for to dig another hole, it's tough.'' Steven Wright, recounting his fifth inning after the Red Sox had rallied to go ahead 5-4.

* "That's the guy you want. No other guy on the team, regardless of whether (someone else) is going 5-for-5. He's the guy that you want in that situation. He's done it so many times in his career. I'll pick him any day, before anyone.'' Xander Bogaerts on David Ortiz, who came to the plate in the ninth representing the potential winning run, but hit into a game-ending double play.

NOTES:

* The Red Sox are just 5-9 against Detroit since 2014.

* The loss means the Red Sox will lose this series, their first after winning or tying six straight.

* David Ortiz has now had 12 seasons with 25 or more homers, second-most in Red Sox history behind Ted Williams

* Ortiz tied Joe DiMaggio for 95th place on baseball's all-time run list with 1,390.

* Mookie Betts enjoyed his fifth multiple-double game of the season.

* For Betts, it was his 43rd multi-hit game this season, most in the majors.

* Dustin Pedroia (single) reached base safely for the 29th straight game

* Four of the nine players in the Tigers lineup -- Victor Martinez, Jose Iglesias, Mike Aviles and Jarrod Saltalamacchia once played for the Red Sox.

STARS:

1) Jarrod Saltalamacchia

The former Red Sox catcher had three hits on the night, none bigger than in the fifth when his two-run single was the key hit in the four-run inning.

2) Miguel Cabrera

Three batters into the game, Cabrera drove a pitch from Steven Wright out to right field for a quick 2-0 Detroit lead and the slugger's 20th homer of the season.

3) David Ortiz

Ortiz couldn't come through when he represented the potential winning run in the ninth, but he got the Red Sox back into the game in the third when his three-run homer almost erased the Tigers' 4-0 head start.

Sean McAdam can be followed on Twitter: @Sean_McAdam

First Impressions from the Red Sox' 9-8 loss to the Tigers

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First Impressions from the Red Sox' 9-8 loss to the Tigers

First Impressions from the Boston Red Sox' 9-8 loss to the Detroit Tigers:

* Steven Wright continues to have problems with the weather.

Recall earlier this season that Wright's worst start of the season came in an outing against Houston, which was played in a non-stop downpour. Unable to properly grip the ball because of the wet conditions, Wright was pounded.

On Tuesday, there wasn't rain in the forecast, but the extreme heat and humidity -- gametime temperature was a steamy 92 degrees -- appeared to have some issues gripping the baseball because of sweat building up on his hand and arm.

Some of the knuckleballs Wright threw were flat with little movement, likely in part because he couldn't "push'' them out of his grip thanks to the slipperiness of the ball.

It's unclear what the Red Sox can do about this going forward, but if Wright has to be so protected against the elements to be successful, then the Sox have a problem.

* The bullpen remains a nightly adventure.

It's never a good thing when your starter can't through the fifth inning. It's even worse when the relievers who are then called upon can't shut the door, either.

Robbie Ross Jr., who has been up-and-down in his effectiveness for much of the year, retired five of the first six hitters he faced.

So far, so good.

But with two out in the seventh and the bases empty, Ross inexplicably lost command. First, he plunked Justin Upton. Then, he allowed a single. Then he issued consecutive walks to the eighth and ninth hitters in the Tigers' lineup, including a bases-loaded free pass to light-hitting Tyler Collins (.184 coming in).

It's that kind of unpredictability that makes it hard to navigate through the opponents batting order in the late innings

 * The drought with the bases loaded ended, but struggles with RISP continue

The Sox got a run-scoring single with the bases full by Dustin Pedroia in the sixth, producing a run, and ending a drought in which the Sox have, time after time, been unable to capitalize with the bases full.

But the situational hitting continues to dog them.

After going 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position Monday night, the Sox were only marginally better (3-for-10) on Tuesday.

Sean McAdam can be followed on Twitter: @Sean_McAdam