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Sunday, April 12, 2009

 

Masters Sunday Musings

What a shootout on tap today in Augusta. There have to be 10-15 players who think they have a shot if they just catch magic in a bottle and fire a 64 or 65. In reality, neither Kenny Perry nor Angel Cabrera figure to back up much so they're really going to have to go low to get there from behind them, but Jim Furyk looked really solid yesterday. The leaders go off in a few minutes, so by the time this is posted and read, you'll have some idea of the kind of day it's going to be.

The Masters is golf's best telecast because not only is the golf course beautiful and a professional thrill ride complete with eagles and double bogies, the Masters hierarchy limits the commercial interruptions more than any other sporting event. This gives the tournament a rare feeling of active continuity you almost never get on any other golf telecast.

Happy viewing, fellow golf nuts!

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Baseball, my favorite spectator game, has started for real, so I am kind of in my glory. My beloved Mets (as have the hated Yank-a-pups) won 3 of their first 5 on the road, and that's OK. Both local teams look to be contenders, albeit with some flaws. The Mets can score runs, have a pretty good defense, and fixed the key late inning relief weakness (although K-Rod reminds me of the Orioles' Dave "Full Pack" Stanhouse - no save comes easily). However, it looks like they may have regressed in the long relief area. Also, the offense seems to hit a wall with two outs and runners in scoring position too often.

As for the Yanks, they will score lots of runs, still have the best closer in baseball, and have presumably fixed their starting rotation to the point where it is among baseball's best (barring injury). They do look a bit suspect defensively up the middle, since Jorge can't throw people out anymore, and Jeter can't get to as much and has lost some arm strength. Cano is only so-so at second too, and spring training tryouts continue in center field.

In the era of free agency, rosters in baseball change quickly and a team can rise or fall quickly (see last year's Rays and Tigers for an example of each). So we'll refrain from predictions and just enjoy the action. Hopefully, I can get a first in - person look at Citifield this spring.

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I wonder if people understand the magnitude of what the U-Conn women achieved for coach Auriemma this year. In winning all 39 of their games, the Huskies could have spotted every team they played 9 points - and still gone undefeated!

By the way, it's fashionable to consider Pat Summitt the best women's coach and to disrespect men who coach the women's game. However, Gene is certainly as good as any coach in the women's game, and wins when he has the horses, as he often does. So does Pat. Look when you have a Candace Parker as Tennessee did last year, you're going to win if you're a good coach. Same for some of the players Gene has had.

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Then there are the pro hockey and pro basketball playoffs.

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I am off to Myrtle Beach for a golf vacation tomorrow, though we may be dodging raindrops the first two days. It should be interesting to see how those Centex houses are moving down there. By the way, Pulte made an all stock offer for Centex last week, and that moved CTX a couple of points. We need quite a bit more to avoid a loss on that one though.

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Last Monday, I bought 300 shares of Aegon Preferred (AEH) at 7.52. With respect to the comment on the last post submitted by Mr. Rufus T. Firefly, I agree that Petroquest exceeds my target debt to equity ratio since they increased their bank debt last year while shareholder equity diminished. This was a "zero buy" however, and we don't really worry about the normal ratio targets on those. These are just shots we are taking on low priced shares on my buy/hold list. By the way, our record with PQ has been pretty good. We sold some shares when the price was quite a lot higher. So maybe we can catch lighting in a bottle again. However, this should be considered a high risk transaction and it is likely to be too early to get in on this or any other energy stock. However, I really want to be exposed to energy when oil and gas prices recover.

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