Slight lie there. I just want everyone out there to realize that when it comes to the Derby and the Triple Crown, our generation has been flat out hosed. On one hand, we've been very lucky to have seen 6 horses in the last 9 years win the first two legs of the Triple Crown (Silver Charm '97, Real Quiet '98, Charismatic '99, War Emblem '02, Funny Cide '03, Smarty Jones '04). On the other hand, none of those freaking horses have been able to win the damn Belmont, and the last Triple Crown winner is still Affirmed in 1978! That's heartbreak 6 times over! Hmmm. Would that qualify as a "horse cock tease"? Why yes, I think it would. However, since we won't even know if we have a contender for the Crown this year until after the Preakness, then let's leave this bitterness behind and actually move on to this year's race!
The two clear favorites going into this year's race, according to the odds makers of course, are Curlin at 7 to 2 and Street Sense at 4 to 1. Curlin, is 3-0 in his young career, with wins at Gulfstream, the Rebel Stakes, and won by a record setting margin at the Arkansas Derby. Gee wonder why he's the favorite? Street Sense also has 3 fist place finishes to his name, but also two 2nd places and a 3rd. His most recent race was a photo finish in which he placed 2nd to a horse named Dominican, that's going off at 20 to 1 in the Derby. That's the thing about this race. If you're someone like me, you try to look back at past races and whatnot to try and pick a winner. But that's almost impossible with this thing. Most of these horses have never raced against each other, and even if they have, the experts seem to think that those results mean almost nothing. How else can you explain the Dominican/Street Sense comparison? Sure, maybe there's some injury update on Dominican I somehow missed, or even a good tip about Street Sense that has him shooting up the boards, but how the hell am I gonna know? That's why, when I go to pick a winner for this thing, I like to use what I call, "The Kramer Method".
You know the episode I'm talking about, don't ya? Kramer, from Seinfeld (or recent racial slr rampages, take your pick), was sitting on the subway when he heard two men discussing an upcoming horse race. When one man voices his concerns about the track being wet, the other responds with "This horse loves the slop, eats it up. His father was a mudder. His mother was a mudder!" Kramer took the tip, ran with it, and thanks to a blind undercover cop (watch the episode if you don't get that one), made off with upwards of 6 grand in winnings. So, that's what I do. I take the first good tip I hear, and I run with it. This year, the word on the street is tellin' me to put my money on a horse by the name of Any Given Saturday. The way I see it, the name is cool, the price is right (12 to 1), and his last performance (3rd in the Wood Memorial) looks more like a stepping stone than a sign of things to come. I'm not going to stop with just the winner though, cuz that's just George W. Bush-League. If you wanna win big this Saturday, then you toss out these three bets, and your sure to be a winner...
Win: Any Given Saturday (12 to 1)
Win: Tiago (15 to 1)
Win: Any Given Saturday
Win: Any Given Saturday
Show: Circular Quay
4th: Great Hunter
There you have it folks. Enjoy the Derby, and hopefully the winner can help end the streak of 2 pump chumps that stall out in the Belmont. Oh wait, I'm being greedy. How 'bout we just hope that this year's champ is still alive a year after the race, right Elmer?...uh I mean right, Barbaro? Hey, it's perfectly OK to give a horse a low blow if you ask me. That's what they get for crappin' the the street at Disney World, you dirty bastards.
Enough horsing around (oh snap!), it's time to get to this weekend's main event (oh snap again!). That of course, is the WBC Super Welterweight title fight between "Pretty Boy" Floyd Mayweather Jr. (37-0, 24 KO) and "The Golden Boy" Oscar De La Hoya (38-4, 30 KO) ,at the MGM Grand in none other than Las Vegas, Nevada. And it's an interesting fight, to say the least.
In one corner, you have the undefeated Mayweather, who's moving up in weight class for the second fight in a row. Sure, he enjoys the label of best "pound for pound" fighter, but he wants to prove that he can beat the best competition, no matter the weight class. Floyd is known best for his trash talking, and his ability to avoid punches. Don't get me wrong, the kid can hit, but he's not really known for taking them. Guess that's why they call him Pretty Boy huh? Weak. If he's gonna win this bout, he'll need to use that elusiveness to stay away from the bigger, stronger, De La Hoya, and pick his spots to land vicious combos. In his last 4 fights, he moved up in weight and handled Zab Judah and Carlos Baldomir by decision, and TKO'd Sharmba Mitchell and Arturo Gotti in round six.
Conversely, De La Hoya wants a slower, more deliberate fight. He may be older by 4 years, but he's more experienced, and he's just flat out stronger. For the fight to go Oscar's way, he'll need to cut down the ring. Basically, that means back Mayweather into corners, or just against the ropes. The more Oscar can turn it into a punching contest, the better his chances of winning are. In his last 4 contests, Oscar has lost to Shane Mosely, been knocked out by Bernard Hopkins, scored a decision over Felix Sturm and knocked out Ricardo Mayorga in the 6th.
So there's the tale of the tape. The trash talking guy that likes to dance around the ring, against the clever Mexican with the vicious hook. My take? Well, the safe bet would to say that either A) Mayweather will win by decision, because he always seems to win by decision in big fights or B) Oscar will use his size to somehow knock the Pretty Boy's ass out, because that's the only way he can win. Well, if I took settled on either one of those opinions, I just couldn't live with myself, so I'm goin' for somethin' a little on the bold side. You heard it hear first. Oscar De La Hoya wins this one with a knockout in the 11th round. I'm on the record as backing Mayweather as the best fighter around, but if he wins, there's no rematch, there's no money, and the sport withers under the pressure of Ultimate Fighting. Boxing needs this fight (I wonder if that guy over there has anything to do with that). De La Hoya needs this fight. Hey what can I say, I root for the story. And seeing as I like boxing and want it to hang around, I'm backing the Golden Boy. Here's to boxing! Ding Ding bitches. LET'S GET IT ON!!
Red Sox Update
Status: Is it quiet in here, or is it me? Oh, I know. That silence is just the absence of all you whiny bastards comin' up to me with the "Rooch, Drew's the man", and "dude, what's up I thought Drew sucked?" Ah Ha! I haven't nearly proven my point yet, but already some of you are beginning to concede. After his torrid start, Drew has cooled considerably, falling from .375 to .274. Not only that, he's been forced to sit out the last few games with what I like to call "Drew-Like Symptoms". Ha! AKA: He's a huge puss. Better watch out Drew fans, he hasn't even hit the DL yet and he's only on pace to start 134 games this year. I'm guessin' maybe the "D" doesn't stand for durability now does it? And don't hate. I don't root for this guy to fail, I just really, really like being right. I still say Drew will break down and end up being drastically overpaid, and while this doesn't come close to proving my point, I'm, glad I've been able to show some of you the light. As for the rest of the squad, well they've been pretty tasty. Dice K is still scufflin' a bit, but we don't even seem to need him right now. I say give him time to get adjusted. I've always said he'll be better the more comfortable he gets, and I still believe that. As long as the rest of the starters deliver, the bullpen continues to thrive, and the hitters keep producing, nobody will even notice the occasional bad start by the Asian Sensation. One injury of note. Mike Timlin has been placed on the 15 day DL, presumably with an arm issue. Devern Hansack has gotten the call up from Pawtucket to take his place on the roster. Not only can he throw, but his name can be twisted into so many perverted forms, it's like getting a player and a stand up comic all in one! Ain't that right Han-job/Man-sack?
Diamonds Are Forever
*Well, you knew someone was gonna get fired in the Bronx, right? I guess most of us thought it would be Cashman or Torre. Certainly nobody pegged Director of Performance Enhancement, Marty Miller to get the axe. But alas, somebody had to be blamed. And if you're not gonna fire the guy who instructs the players, or the guy who put the team together, then I guess you might as well fire the guy most directly linked to the rash of injuries the team has suffered. I'd bet it's just coincidence that these guys got injured under his watch, but who knows. Apparently he changed the warm up routines for some players and they weren't feelin' it, but he also never worked with Mike Mussina or Phil Hughes, two Yanks that have pulled hammy's this season. Fact is someone had to get axed, and if they don't improve, someone else will get axed too. Who and when is any one's guess, but Cash and Torre are safe, at least for now. And how hysterical is Miller's title? I mean I get it. Years ago, some front office suit thought it would sound more professional sounding than "trainer", but seriously guys. When the whole league is caught up in a performance enhancing drugs scandal, you think you want a guy on your team that, at least from the outside, can be perceived as your own personal roid peddler. Maybe it's not as cool to have "trainer" on your business cards, but hey, at least you have business cards. Well, you did, but now your fired. Sucks for you, you old business card havin', out of work roid supplier. Jason Giambi sheds a tear for you.
*If you didn't see this coming 10 miles away, than you can consider yourself blinder than I am. And I can't see shit! After the tragic death of Cardinal's pitcher, Josh Hancock, Major League baseball and the media have done their darnedest to dig up as much dirt as possible on the guy. First, it was disclosed that Hancock had been in an accident 3 nights before his death. He was poking so he could see past some parked cars, and he was clipped by a truck. He was sober, he walked away. Not terrible. But when you couple it with reports that he had marijuana in his car when he died, and that he had been seen drinking heavily at a bar shortly before, now the guy looks like an addict fresh off a bender. I'm all for searching for the truth, but what good does this really do anyone? So coaches and players can easily identify teammates that might have issues in the future? Bull shit. If everyone in the bigs that kicked back suds and smoked reefer was deemed a problem for their team, then there probably wouldn't be enough teams to even fill the AL West. Just because this guy smoked, or drank, or even drank and drove, doesn't make him some sort of example or warning to others. And it doesn't make him a degenerate. Hancock was victim of an unfortunate accident. Sure, it was one that could have been prevented, but that doesn't mean drastic changes need to take place. This was a mistake, this was an accident. They happen, that's life. Don't drink and drive, but at the same time, don't overreact either. Hopefully this can be another reminder for us not to drink and drive, it just shouldn't serve as some sort of warning that baseball, or sports in general, is heading head first down the moral shitter.
*Oh, wait...I take all that shit I just said back. Apparently, baseball may very well be headed down the moral shitter. OK, maybe not, but things certainly have been better for Hall of Fame big leaguer, Orlando Cepeda. Used to be, Cepeda was remembered as a San Francisco Giants legend who hit .297 with 379 homers, and collected a Rookie of the Year and MVP trophy. Well, not anymore. Not after Cepeda was pulled over in San Fran and found to be in possession of marijuana and "white powder". It was routine. Cepeda was pulled over for goin' 83 in a 65, the cop smelled weed, and the car was searched. What I don't get, is why the cops still don't know what the white powder is. We've all seen Cops. Within like 3 seconds they're always like "oh, that's meth", "He's got crack on him", or "We got some heroin, meth, cocaine and an ostrich head on a stake". Just tell us what the damn powder is! I'm sorry, but I just need to know! I'm guessin it's coke, but I really hope it's meth. And I REALLY hope that Dog the Bounty Hunter can somehow get involved. Dammit, Dog needs to straighten Cepeda out, and maybe bring Tim and Leland in to help him. At least his wife Beth, so Cepeda can see some huge cans before he hits the slam for a few months. Someone needs to talk to this guy. For crying out loud, he was the Giants rep for talking to kids about the dangers of drugs! Again, you can not make this shit up! Stay off drugs little gangstas. And if you know anyone selling drugs, give me their number so I can call them and convince them to stop! (wink wink) And since there is no cool mugshot or video to go along with this story, just assume it looked exactly like this...
*Here's where I wish I could show you a clip from an Orioles game in which this exchange went down, live on TV.
female reporter: "It's Under Armor day here at Camden Yards. Let's ask some people how they're doing. How are you doing sir?"
random liquored up dude: "I'm havin' a fuckin' great time!"
female reporter: "WOW, uh uh uh, OK then."
Damn you Maryland Sports network for having that video taken off of YouTube. Damn you all to hell!
News and Notes
*I told ya the Mavs were fucked, and for once, I was actually right. Dirk was pathetic, scoring only 8 points, and Steven "The dude that shot peeps at the strip club, noo the St. Louis Ram" Jackson, dropped 7 3-pointers and a total of 33 points. Even with Baron Davis limping around on a gimpy hamstring, Avery Johnson and his Mavs still couldn't avoid becoming the first #1 seed to lose a first round matchup since the Sonics in '94, and the first ever to lose under the new 7 game format. The shame of the thing is, it's the biggest upset in NBA playoff series history, and nobody really cares. Sure, it's great that Nelly and his boys pulled it out, but does anyone really give them a shot to win the whole thing? Of course not. Although the NBA is trying to make it as easy as possible with it's whacked out playoff system. Unlike in the NHL, the NBA does not re-seed it's playoff teams after each round. So, despite having 58 regular season wins, the Spurs have to play a road series with the Suns, while either the Jazz or Rockets (51 and 52 wins respectively) will have a home series against 8th seeded Golden State. Doesn't sound fair now does it? Face the fact right now, either Golden State, Houston or Utah will be in the Western Conference Finals. Sweet. I wasn't watching before, and you gotta know I'm definitely not watchin' now. Good looks NBA. Then again, it's really not your fault that Dirk decided to choke harder than Jean Van de Velde, Bill Buckner and Greg Norman combined. Way to go M-V-P, you really let 'em have it! Pathitic. At least now my pre season pick of San Antonio looks more realistic. And hey, if LeBron can hold up his end in the East, I'll end up looking even smarter than I think I am. And that's no small feat.
*Everyone and their brother wants to talk about Tom Brady being photographed wearing a New York Yankees hat. First off, if this is the first time you've seen Brady in a Yankee hat, then consider yourself a fraudulent Patriots fan. I know it's tough to keep up with all the Foxboro comings and goings, but Tommy has worn the lid several times. One time, he said he wore it in support of Drew Henson, but otherwise he's just worn it as a hat of the team he likes. I have no problem with Tom donning the Evil Empire hat for two reasons. One: Who gives a fuck? The guy is from the Bay Area, and he grew up rooting for the Giants and the Yanks. I know he's in Red Sox country now, but think of yourself in the same situation. Would you just abandoned the Sox because you lived in Manhattan, Florida or California? No way in hell. If he didn't have a team before he came here I could understand, but he's a Yankee fan. Just let it go. If anything, it gives hopes to all us in New England that are constantly held up to the Tom Terrific standard by chicks. Now at least we got "Hey, at least I'm not a Yankee fan!" And Second: Maybe he was just trying to go incognito. Maybe Tom's thinking is, "They won't recognize me if I have a Yankee hat on right?" Pretty clever there if you ask me. Only problem is, they're sure to recognize that smokin' hot arm candy you're sportin' there Tom-O. Good effort though, allow me to virtually slap you on the ass, in a totally hetero manner of course.
*I've been challenged so often lately on this issue, that I have to go on the record about it once and for all. It's not that I dislike Reche Caldwell, I just don't think he's going to be on the Patriots roster this season. He did well for us last year, and I wouldn't mind if he were on the team, I just don't think it's going to happen. And people, it's just my opinion! I don't have any real inside information, I just have my eyes and my ears, and those are giving me the impression that he's out the door. To start, it's simple math. Common logic has the Pats keeping 6 wide receivers. Locks on my list so far are Moss, Welker and Stallworth. OK, so now we have 3 more spots to fill from a list including Kelly Washington, Troy Brown, Jabar Gaffney, Reche Caldwell and Chad Jackson. Now, if Troy is coming back, he would fill one of those roster spots. From what I hear from Belichik and Brown, he sounds like he's coming back, so give him spot #4. Now I don't think they would have brought Kelly Washington in if they didn't plan on keeping him, so he takes spot #5. It's not unreasonable he gets cut, but I happen to think highly of the former Bengal, and think he could turn into a real weapon on this team should Stallworth and Moss bolt after '07. Chad Jackson will most likely start the season on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list, so we can count him out. That leaves Gaffney and Caldwell. It's an easy choice for me, and it's Jaffney. Here's why. I understand that Caldwell made 61 catches vs Gaffney's 11 in the regular season, but it was Gaffney that hauled down 24 balls in the two playoff games, including 2 TDs. And more importantly, it wasn't Gaffney that dropped several crucial passes that cost the Pats dearly in the AFC title game. While those numbers are impressive, my opinion is based more of what I saw between Brady and Gaffney. I just think the two of them have great chemistry together, and if asked, Brady would give the nod to the Gaffer over Ricochet Caldwell. I'll be happy with either one, it's just my opinion. So instead of player hatin', try to stop discriminatin'!
*One more Patriots note. Remember when I said I was pumped to have new "pipe hittn'" safety, Brendan Merriweather? Well, if possible, I'm even more excited about his arrival after listening to this... http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=38601309 That's Merriweather, or "Holla Man" at the end goin' absolutly nutty. Not to be overlooked is the fine rapping done by new Bears tight end Greg "g-Reg" Olsen, and new Panther linebacker Jon "Big Beast" Beason. My favorite line of the song has to be Olsen's claim that his name is G-Reg, and he's got a 3rd leg. Leave it to the white guy of the crew to brag about havin' the huge cock. Only at the U.
*How much of "the man" is the guy that got to play golf in a 3-some with Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan this week at the Pro-Am Wachovia Championship. I didn't bother to look up that guys name, or bother to listen when they said it numerous times on TV. But, he's still the man. Did you see how much fun Tiger and MJ were havin' out there? Oh man. Two of the greatest, if not the greatest, athletes of their generation, yuckin' it up and slappin 50K wagers on each hole. Tiger even said that they are so competitive that they always play for somethin', of course not in this event (another wink wink). Imagine they bets they place down? I bet they sit together on random weekends, ripped out of their respective trees, and and have a million dollar game of, "Tossin Shit at Other Shit". To be a fly on that wall, would be to die a happy man. Cheers to you Mike and Elderick, for making the rest of us realize we're not the only degenerates out there.
*David Hasselhoff says he's a recovering alcoholic. And to deter any of us from drinking, he's released this video. Reminder: this was on YouTube, but a dude swearing was pulled off. I demand to know where our standards are!)