The Answer Man stops by for his first summer visit:


If Tiger Woods doesn’t earn one of the top nine spots for the U.S. Ryder Cup team, should captain Tom Watson make him one of his three picks?


Answer:  Having Woods on the team would make the Ryder Cup even more fun to watch, but unless Tiger shakes off the rust quickly and regains his confidence, I think Watson would be better off naming himself as a captain’s pick over Tiger. Well, that’s stretch, but not an outrageous one.


Watson will turn 65 before the Ryder Cup.  He fired a round of 68 Sunday and beat Woods by 5 strokes in The Open (289 to 204).Watson had  an excellent 10-4-1 record in his four Ryder Cups (1977-81-83-89). Woods wasn’t a great Ryder Cup player when he was the world’s best player (13 wins, 17 losses, 3 ties).


The bottom line: I‘d like to watch Woods in the Ryder Cup.  I’d more like to see the U.S. win the Ryder Cup. Right now, he doesn’t merit a spot on the team.


Which NFL quarterback will be starting first this season – Michael Vick for the New York Jets or Johnny Manziel for the Cleveland Browns?


Answer: I’m pretty sure that Vick will be starting before Manziel because I think Brian Hoyer (Browns) is significantly better than Geno Smith (Jets)


I expect Vick will be starting by the time the Jets host Buffalo Oct. 26 and that Manziel will start against Buffalo Nov. 30 at Ralph Wilson Stadium.


How concerned are you about Cordy Glenn’s (offensive let tackle for the Bills) “mysterious” illness?


Answer: Extremely concerned. The Bills at full strength are a marginal playoff contender. They’ve already lost arguably their most important defensive player in linebacker Kiko Alonso. I believe one could argue that the Buffalo’s two most important offensive players are Glenn and QB EJ Manuel.


What do you think about the City Mattress offer of free mattresses purchased by Aug. 10 if the Bills win the AFC championship this season?


Answer: A brilliant advertising move. Who isn’t talking about this offer? It might even significantly boost sales. I know John The Optimist will be interested – maybe one for every bed in his house.


The catch – of course – is that the Bills are long shots to win the AFC East (10-to-1) and huge long shots to win the AFC (40-to-1).


Are you surprised at how well Derek Jeter is playing?


Answer:  Yes. He’s had a better season than at least half of the younger shortstops in the bigs. If he weren’t 40, I’d suggest that he postpone retirement. The 2015 Yankees are going to miss him on the field and in the clubhouse. Subtracting Jeter and adding Alex Rodriguez is difficult to contemplate.


Should the Cleveland Cavaliers include Andrew Wiggins in a trade with Minnesota for Kevin Love?


Answer: If the Cavs want to win the Eastern Conference this season, I’d do it. But if the Cavs are more focused on winning NBA championships down the line, I’d pass on Love now and try to add another quality player hungry to play for a title via free agency.


Would you trade Mike Trout for any player in baseball?


Answer: No. I wouldn’t trade him for any two players on another team in baseball (for example, Clayton Kershaw and Yasiel Puig of the Dodgers…even the best pitcher is an injury risk and I keep wondering when Puig will run into his next wall).


But if Minnesota offered Byron Buxton and Manuel Sano—two terrific non-pitching prospects --  I’d be tempted.


What do you think about the Los Angeles Angels trade with San Diego for Huston Street?


Answer: Brilliant move. The Angels had all they needed to overtake Oakland in the AL West except a bullpen closer. Street is one of the very best. He almost guarantees that the Angels will at least earn a wild-card playoff berth.


What about Washington Nationals second baseman Anthony Rendon saying, “I don’t watch baseball – it’s too long and boring.”?


Answer: Good for him. I hope baseball’s top officials realize that many, many people agree with Rondon – including some of whom lover the game.


What’s wrong with the slumping Rochester Red Wings?


Answer: They stopped hitting. Chris Colabello earned his latest promotion to Minnesota, but the Wings really miss him.  The pitching staff continues to be the strength of the team.


Making the playoffs is within reach but far from a sure thing. Of the 42 games left in Rochester’s regular season, 24 will be against the three division leaders – 8 each against Syracuse (60-42 record), Durham (55-46) and Indianapolis (56-47).




Odds on the WBC/WBA super welterweight championship fight Sept. 13 in Las Vegas: Floud Mayweather Jr, bet $700 to win $100; Marcos Maidana bet $100 to win $500.


They’re no longer engaged, but I wonder if they were thinking about each other Sunday when Rory McIlroy won The Open and tennis star Caroline Wozniacki won the Istanbul Cup, her first WTA title this year.


Minnesota Twins top prospect CF Byron Buxton, sidelined most of this season with wrist problems, is heating up for the Fort Myers Miracle of the Advanced-A Florida State League. In three games last Wednesday through Friday, he was 9-for-14, with a triple, 2 HR and 4 RBI, to boost his batting average to .280 after a slow start. He could be headed soon to Double-A New Britain.


In Saturday’s Toronto Sun, John Kryk wrote that the Toronto group bidding for the Buffalo Bills franchise – Bon Jovi, Larry Tanenbaum and the Rogers family – is committed to keeping the team in Buffalo if they purchase the Bills. Here’s how he wrapped up his report: Toronto Bills are dead! Long live the Argos.


I believe the home-field advantage for the World Series should be determined by overall interleague record – and not by which league wins the All-Star Game. For the record, the American League enters this week with a 106-88 advantage head-to-head against the National League.


For the record: Rory McIlroy’s career finishes in majors: Masters 2nd, MC, 15th, 40th, 25th, 8th…U.S. Open 10th, MC, WON, MC, 41st, 23rd…The Open 42nd, 47th, 3rd, 25th, 60th, MC, WON…PGA Championship 3rd, 3rd, 64th, WON, 8th.