Miller trades slopes for greens |

Miller trades slopes for greens

Steve Yingling

STATELINE – It’s a good thing that World Cup skiing star Bode Miller doesn’t encounter the performance-altering distractions of the American Century Championship when he’s skiing competitively in Europe.

“I can play good and the Stableford system is a good (scoring) system because I usually get a lot of birdies, but I come out here and I end up partying all the time … I sleep a couple of hours at night and I’m all shaky, can’t focus and lose balls all the time,” Miller said.

Miller is competing in the championship for the third time and has never finished better than 46th or shot an 18-hole round better than 82.

“There’s no pressure, that’s the good thing,” Miller said. “It’s embarrassing, though, to dink it off the tee on No. 10 in front of everyone, but I’ve done lots of embarrassing stuff so I’m not too worried about it.”

Miller was pleased with his six-win 2003-04 World Cup season that produced a rare giant slalom overall title for the U.S. Ski Team. But Miller believes he let the overall individual title get away.

“I should have won the overall easily and I didn’t, so that was tough. I came out of so many weekends with nothing,” he said.

Rhoden: Where have the 50-homer guys gone?

Former Major League pitcher Rick Rhoden didn’t have time to watch the All-Star Game Home Run Derby on Monday night, but he doesn’t think they would have held a derby in Houston when he pitched.

“Houston used to be the hardest place to hit home runs and now it’s one of the easiest,” he said. “It’s turned into a hitter’s game.

“They don’t let you throw inside too much, ballparks are smaller, balls are livelier and guys’ arms are livelier.”

Rhoden is curious why the 50-homer hitters have vanished.

“They had 10 or more guys hitting 50 or more home runs two years ago and last year nobody hit 50 and I don’t know if anybody is this year, so I don’t know if that’s a coincidence or what. I’ll let you be the judge of that,” he said.