Screenshot2013-05-22at12

Sergio Garcia sat with members of the European media on Wednesday and apologized for his ill-timed and poorly-worded "joke" about Tiger Woods at Tuesday night's European PGA Tour black-tie event, suggesting he would serve the best golfer in the world fried chicken for dinner when they play in the U.S. Open next month.

Garcia later apologized to those who were offended, the European tour, his European Ryder Cup teammates and, finally, Woods (via The Guardian):

The apology was as sincere and heartfelt as one could expect from Garcia, who clearly comes out of this situation looking like a total buffoon. It was noteworthy that Garcia apologized to Woods last, not first, but his statement certainly underscored how important he felt it was to apologize publicly to Tiger for his comment. 

Screenshot2013-05-22at12

Mike Trout is one of the bright young stars in baseball. As a fellow South Jersey native, I'm not only happy for the kid's early success, I find myself rooting for him to succeed. It came with great joy and civic pride, then, when I saw Trout hit for the cycle in the Los Angeles Angels' 12-0 rout of the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday.

I immediately clicked the video on MLB.com to see the highlights and share in the excitement. 

Well now, Trout sure looked out on that infield single, didn't he?

Trout's first hit of the four-hit night was a bang-bang play at first base in the third inning. While he may have looked safe at live speed, the replay sure as heck looked like Aaron Harang got his foot on the bag before Trout.

Nycfc_crop_north_crop_north

It's safe to say that in the soccer world, Don Garber and MLS have won the day. 

Garber, the long-tenured commissioner of Major League Soccer, announced the creation of New York City Football Club on Tuesday, a joint venture between Manchester City FC of the English Premier League and the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball, to be the league's 20th official club, starting in 2015.

Garber has been working on a deal to bring the 20th team to MLS for nearly three years, essentially demanding the 20th franchise be placed in New York City despite other viable markets being ready to take on a club. And how can one forget those plucky Cosmos—whatever they are—constantly remaining a thorn in the whole NY2 concept since its inception. 

Today, the story isn't about the Cosmos. Garber has taken back New York, placed his 20th franchise in the city he always wanted and took care of the coveted franchise fees of $100 million dollars the league certainly needs moving forward.

Screenshot2013-05-21at1

The USGA and R&A have officially agreed to adopt Rule 14-1b of the rules of golf, which "prohibits anchoring the club in making a stroke. The new Rule will take effect on January 1, 2016, in accordance with the regular four-year cycle for changes to the Rules of Golf." 

There's more, via USGA.org:

Sadly, that comprehensive process has not been enough for the PGA Tour, which has yet to fall in line with the other governing bodies of golf. In fact, the PGA Tour's statement smacks of a child yelling at his parents as he walks up the steps to his room. Don't tell me what do to!

The PGA Tour statement, in part, reads like it was transcribed through the gritting teeth of commissioner Tim Finchem:

163512005cc00124_2013_nfl_d_crop_north

Back? The NFL wants to push the NFL draft back?!? The draft process isn't long enough as it is?

The NFL is in the process of moving the draft from the last weekend in April to the middle of May, which would also push back the NFL Scouting Combine from the end of February to, potentially, later in March. Via NFL.com

Please. Commissioner Roger Goodell has joked the league is being bumped by the Easter Bunny, but the NFL has far more clout than it is giving itself credit for. The league moved the draft from Madison Square Garden a few years ago. They could easily find another venue if Radio City Music Hall was unwilling or unable to move its spring spectacular. 

The league has also indicated that moving the draft away from actual Easter weekend is a reason for the change, but that doesn't make much sense considering the NFL draft is now a three-day event that starts on Thursday night and ends on Saturday afternoon. Easter Sunday is a non-factor. Unless the draft will be expanding to yet another day and this is its way of telling us.

Screenshot2013-05-17at2

Jurgen Klinsmann is playing a dangerous game with his latest roster of U.S. national team call-ups. If Klinsmann doesn't get the results needed in the next trio of World Cup qualifiers, everything—Klinsmann's entire tenure as manager—will hinge on one decision.

Why is Landon Donovan not in camp?

It's one thing to leave Donovan off the list of players for the next round of World Cup qualifiers because you think he isn't fit. It is entirely another thing to not include one of the greatest players in American soccer history out of stubbornness and spite.

Look at the players Klinsmann chose in the midfield instead of Donovan. The list is less than inspiring: Michael Bradley, Joe Corona, Brad Davis, Maurice Edu, Stuart Holden, Jermaine Jones, Sacha Kljestan, Brek Shea, Danny Williams and Graham Zusi.

Screenshot2013-05-15at12

Mario Balotelli is fed up with racism. He should be. 

Talking exclusively to CNN International, the dynamic Italian striker said that he will walk off the field the next time he experiences racism.

Good for him.

If FIFA isn’t going to do enough to change the culture of international football, the players­­­—Balotelli being one of the most high-profile—need to take a stand, even if that means walking off the field.

Hi-res-168559247_crop_north
Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Today is my daughter's sixth birthday. We watch soccer together—mostly English Premier League soccer—every weekend. I'm honestly not sure how much she pays attention, other than to root for Everton because of Tim Howard—also from New Jersey—and that guy with the big hair she likes a lot. 

I told her about Sir Alex Ferguson's departure from Manchester United, explaining that sometimes when people get older and have an amazing run of success as a coach, they call it quits to enjoy life away from the game. To be fair, I think I snuck in a line like, "He's even a better coach than I am for your team," which really seemed to illustrate the point of how good Sir Alex was in her six-year old brain. Better than dad? Wow, he must be good.

I didn't have the heart to tell her the new Manchester United manager is David Moyes, who has managed Everton for twice her existence on this planet. She's six, after all, so I know she probably doesn't understand what a good manager does for a team. Unless Moyes plays goalkeeper or has eye-catchingly fluffy hair in the midfield, his departure from Goodison Park won't be as Earth-shattering to one of Everton's youngest fans as it may be to some of their more seasoned supporters.

Still, those moves make a lot of sense. Sir Alex's retirement has been a decade in the making and the appointment of Moyes is one of the more logical managerial moves in recent years. 

Hi-res-7345186_crop_north
Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports

Tiger Woods walked up to the 17th tee at the TPC at Sawgrass on Sunday, tied for the lead at The Players Championship with Sergio Garcia after both birdied the previous hole. He placed his ball on the tee and calmly smacked it into the heart of the island green, safe and dry.

Woods two-putted the 17th and the 18th to win his second Players Championship—the 78th victory in his 300th career start. It was the fourth victory in seven starts this season for Woods, who is clearly the favorite heading into the U.S. Open. 

Booooooring. 

When Garcia stepped up to the 17th tee in the final pairing, tied for the lead with two holes to play, something clicked in his brain. Something only Sergio might think to do in that situation: He decided to go at the pin.

Drink.

That's where Garcia's ball landed: in the drink. Needing to stick his re-tee lest he fall even further back from Woods heading into the final hole of the tournament, Garcia had no choice but to aim for the pin again.

Screenshot2013-05-10at4

The FA Cup final between Manchester City and Wigan will be live on Saturday, May 11, with coverage in America on Fox—not the soon-to-be-rebranded Fox Soccer Channel, and not on FX, which the network often uses for big soccer matches. This match will be on Fox's mother ship, and Gus Johnson will be doing the play-by-play.

Johnson is good at calling a lot of things*. Soccer is not one of them.

Fox either doesn't agree or doesn't care. Either way, the network is wrong, and the attempt to grow an American audience by using Johnson as its lead voice has so fabulously backfired, it's actually driving viewers away.

Johnson has been calling a growing number of big games—mostly top English Premier League matches and a selection of noteworthy UEFA Champions League knockout-stage matches—since Fox's big announcement in February that he would be joining their footy coverage in a play-by-play capacity.