Monday, May 08, 2006

Derby Field Smoked Like Stale Pall-Mall

Barbaro ran away with the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, winning the 132nd run for the roses by 6 1/2 lengths. In what was being heralded as the deepest and most talented Derby field in decades, Barbaro was able to run the same race that had kept him undefeated coming in. He sat off the early blistering pace set by Sinister Minister, and once they turned for home, he made his push and nobody could catch him. Virtual co-favorites Brother Derek and Lawyer Ron never really got close to the front, while longshot Bluegrass Cat was able to slide into 2nd and known stalker Steppenwolfer was able to capture 3rd. As usual the race was a great spectacle, but I truly think we saw the beginning of an historic Triple Crown run. If this field was half as good as the experts said it was, then who is going to stop him? And I don't want to hear how he won't last in the length of the Belmont, because the horse I saw on Saturday was just getting started at 1 1/4 miles. You kind of knew (from what experts told us) that recent Derby winners like Giacomo, Smarty Jones, ... didn't have what it took to win the Belmont. You knew they may be able to handle the 1 3/16 mile Preakness, but the 1 1/2 mile track in Belmont would be the end of them. I don't see that at all with Barbaro. This horse has yet to lose, and from the race I saw, it doesn't look like he's losing anytime soon. Mark it down. Barbaro: 2006 Triple Crown Winner.

The Daly Double
Talk about a bad 3-putt. After 3-putting the third playoff hole against Tiger Woods last year at the World Golf Championships in San Francisco, John Daly left the course and went immediately to Las Vegas. Once there, he proceeded to burn through the $750,000 prize check he just won in about 30 minutes playing $5,000 slot machines. 30 freaking minutes. I mean it makes you wonder if he actually boarded the plane to Vegas with one of those oversized checks and just brought it to the casino with him. And $5,000 slot machines? How is that even legal, to tempt a man like JD with a machine that takes bets up to $20,000 per spin. So if that's not enough, after blowing his prize money, Daly took out a marker from the casino for an additional $750,000, and proceeded to blow that in another couple hours. This amazing story and more can be found in Daly's new book title "My Life in and Out of the Rough". In the book, Daly estimates he's lost between $50-60 million gambling through the years. And while he's been able to stop guzzling booze, swallowing pharmacies and trashing Super 8's, he has not been able to kick the gambling habit. But fear not, he says he has a plan of action. Long John says he should be able to kick it by scaling back to the $100 and $50 slots, and setting a loss limit. And hell, he says if he starts to win, maybe he would venture up to some more expensive slots, or even through some money around on the craps and blackjack tables. What? I mean is he serious? If in his mind that sounds like a legit course of action, then God please somebody put him in rehab ASAP. Here's a though JD, how about you never step foot in a casino again? Wouldn't that help curb your appetite for playing slot jockey with the GDP of Zaire? It's hard to expect someone to change, but if Daly doesn't he could be headed towards a disastrous end. So here's to hoping you can put your life in order JD, although I can't say I expect it to happen.

Red Sox Update
Last Week: 5-1
Overall: 19-12
Standings: 1st place tie with Yankees

*I personally didn't think Johnny Damon was booed half as badly as a lot of the national media, but either way I expected it. And for Joe Torre to say he didn't expect it? I think I have to side with Boomer Wells on this one, Torre may be getting a little sensitive. I mean fans cheer for the uniform, and Damon is now a Yankee. Sure a few saps will cheer him, but he wasn't thinking of your feelings when he signed his contract, so don't worry about his now. Then Kevin Millar came into town and nobody really cared. I mean we wanted him out of Boston anyway by the end of last year. Sure he was a great clubhouse guy, but there comes a point where no matter how nice a guy is you have to let him go if he's killing your offense. Now the Sox travel to the Bronx to start the week on Tuesday with a 3-game series. With the two in a virtual tie for first in the AL East, whoever wins this series will take the early division lead and fire the first real bullet of the season.

Diamonds Are Forever

*The bidding war for Roger Clemens has begun, with the Astros firing the first bullet. Houston offered the Rocket a pro-rated $18 million, meaning he would get the same percent of the $18 mil as the percent of the season he was on the roster. I'm sure this is just the beginning of the frenzy that this bidding war could create.

*Personally, I think it should be news when Barroid doesn't get hit in the head with something. I mean dear lord, even Kevin Mench had a good laugh at that one. On top of that, I really wish Bonds had hit his 715th homer in Philadelphia. I mean where better to do it than a city that specializes in booing. There's not a decent fan in Philly. Not only are they dumb as rocks, their teams suck too. When you're city's biggest sports hero is from a movie (and what's even sadder is it would be a horse if Smarty Jones hadn't lost the Belmont), you know you have issues. But alas, this would have been the only situation that I would have found Philly fans useful. They would have been able to boo Barry like no other. But, as it unfolded, Barry didn't do it, and Philly will have to go on suckin' for another couple decades.

A Few More...

*Just a few notes on the NBA playoffs. Nothing pleased me more than Phoenix Sun Raja Bell getting up in Kobe Bryant's grill and tossing him to the ground. Then for Kobe to say "who is this guy?" Well Kobe, if you weren't too busy "not raping teenagers in Colorado", maybe you would have remembered that Bell played against your Laker team as a member of the 76ers in 2001. Aside from that, there's great matchup's out West with the Clippers/Suns and the Mavs/Spurs showing down. As for the East, Detroit is going to win it, so don't bother watching.

*Another note. I've always followed boxing as an outsider. I don't claim to know a ton about the sport, but whenever there are big time fights I like to pay attention. I mean when you think about it, boxing should still be one of the most popular sports in the world. It's pure athleticism and strategy at its best. Now my long wait may be over, a true super fight may be on the horizon, with all the drama of a Sopranos season. With his 6th round TKO this weekend of Ricardo Mayorga, Oscar De La Hoya may be setting himself up with a fight against Floyd Mayweather Jr. Not only is Mayweather considered by many the best pound for pound boxer, but his father is the long time trainer of who else but Oscar De La Hoya. Now, Mayweather Sr. has already said he will never train anyone to fight his son, but after the Mayorga bout, Junior was blatantly trying to promote the bout, and De La Hoya did little to shoot down the possibility. I for one am holding out hope. I mean what a script. Aging Golden Boy takes on the new pound for pound king, while a father has to deal with training his prize pupil to pummel his own flesh and blood. It doesn't get any better than that, and a fight like this could give boxing a huge boost back onto the front of the sports pages.

Fantasy Update
Week 5 Final Score: 13-8-1
Record: 53-43-14 (4th place 5.5 games back)

Week 6 vs KlasicKountryKaterin (57-36-17) 1st place

*Since Frosco is in last place after taking it on the chin again this week (8-12-2), he changed his team name to "Bent Over" (which seems about right to me). But seeing as I am such a good guy, I renamed my team after his old team. Ok so I'm not a nice guy and I'm doing it to confuse him, all be it for a minute.


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