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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Life at The Quarter Pole


I hate to be the unnecessary and unprompted bearer of bad news (eh, OK. I really don't "hate" it), but a win at the Belmont by I'll Have Another isn't going to "save" horse racing. Matter of fact, it likely won't even temporarily invigorate the long suffering sport. Why not? Because like many other things that were popular in the 1950's (cigarettes, telegraphs, sexual harassment, boxing), horse racing has just fallen out of favor with the majority of the sporting public. And I get it. Some don't like how the animals are treated, while others just don't find it all that intriguing when compared to all the other options now readily available at the spectator sport buffet...

Fine, to each their own. I just wanna make sure all of you out there are ready to deflect the hype that's sure to come your way should that horse do what no other horse has done since 1978. He probably won't win, by the way (11 horses since '78 have won the 1st two legs only to falter), which will make all of this completely unnecessary, but per usual I just want to make sure my followers are out ahead of the curve and can be confident in knowing that there's no way that a sport whose main demographic currently includes men toting oxygen tanks, is going to find it's way back into the main stream. If they could somehow breed and race a pink horse? Then maybe we can revisit this discussion...

For now, I'll just have to be content discussing other sports that we as a viewing public actually care about for more than 3 days out of the year. One that's actually at the "quarter pole" as we speak. Hear that? Horse racing reference. Ah yes, the sport of kings. And by kings, I obviously mean men toting oxygen tanks...

Mike Aviles has been a big reason why the Red Sox have been scoring runs.
 Can he keep it up? Does that even matter??
Just a tick past the quarter point of their season, and the Red Sox are at .500. And through 44 games of their season, it's obvious that all of this team's success will be determined by the effectiveness of their starting pitching. When they get quality starts, they win. They also seem to be winning whenever Clay Buchholz goes out there and fine tunes his 7.84 ERA, but that's just a bonus...

Now, that's not exactly a revelation. Teams with good starting pitching that are near the top of the league in runs scored are going to win games. That's how baseball works. The questions with the Red Sox going forward, are can they sustain this level of quality starting pitching, and will their bullpen be effective enough to compliment said starting pitching?

I wouldn't worry about the offense. I've heard pundits talking over the past few days about certain players gaudy numbers (Salty, Aviles) trending downward, and while that's all true, guys like Gonzo have to trend upward as well. So long story short, while different people may hit, I still feel confident that this team as a whole is going to continue to score enough runs to win a bunch of games. Something I wasn't so sure about when this team limped out of Fort Myers...
If these two can lead by example...they're still gonna
need a some help in the form of actual pitching talent.

As to my own guesses as to whether or not this team can keep up this level of starting pitching, or whether or not their bullpen is up to snuff? I'm still of the opinion that they will need to add a major piece to their stable of arms if they expect to compete late into the year. Whether that piece comes via trade, or from within the organization (Bailey? Dice K?!?), it needs to come. And I'm not saying that the front office takes the approach that they "think" guys they already have can help them, either they have a very strong feeling that those guys, or someone else in the organization, are going to provide a noticeable spark or advantage, or they'll need to go out and acquire that type of player to help properly compliment the offense with a pitching staff capable of guiding them to and through the playoffs...

I'm still of the opinion that the front office isn't in tune enough with what it actually needs and/or willing to spend any more money this season on anything other than buying empty seats to preserve their precious sell out streak, which is why I don't hold out the highest of hopes for the remainder of the year. But the team is playing well right now, and there's hope. Which again, was something I wasn't so sure I'd see when this team came limping out of Fort Myers...


I might be watching a decent amount of the Western Conference Finals. There, I said it. I don't know, just looks like it'll be good basketball. Am I wrong? I mean, I know I regularly hate on the "Association", but Conference Finals basketball usually has a good shot at replicating the game I grew up playing and the one I watch on a nightly basis during the college hoops season...

Horse meat?
I'm especially pumped for San Antonio and Oklahoma City, too. Not completely sure why, but I'm thinking it has something to do with the involvement of the only coach in the league I don't think should need to pick up his paycheck with a mask and a gun (Popovich), and the un-involvement of the Los Angeles Lakers. Not that I'm a Laker hater, per say, but I think it's much more intriguing from a non NBA fan perspective when a team that's usually involved, isn't...

So yeah, I'll be giving this thing a watch. But I warn you. If I see Timmy Duncan start takin' flops, it might be the last time I even consider watching. Which will give me plenty of time to become a prolific horse bettor. Maybe even look into a designer oxygen tank. Hey, I don't wanna stick out like a sore thumb when I head down to join my gambling degenerate brethren, do I? Of course I don't. The last thing I would ever want to do is give a bad name to the horse betting community...

Pleasant week, friends. And enjoy whichever items you end up choosing from the never ending sports buffet. Try the horse, I hear it's delicious...


Teddy Williams...
100...

#$>

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You sir are funny. Good to see you into the Western conference...what, no love for the Celts vs Phi..Ill tell you what forget about the pink horse racing..If i had a choice between Game 6 tonight or a pink horse just grazing, eating the occasional Hay and what not, obviously on Spike TV..Id be watching Spike TV...probably record it on the old DVR as well. I sincerely hope that OKC beats San Antonio. yea i get it SA is a great bball team, mr fundamental, blah blah blah. but i want fast, reckless, black frame wearing gangster types in my NBA finals.

Brett Ferruccio said...

I'm with ya, I'm rooting for OKC, too. All due respect to San Antonio, but OKC sounds too much like KFC for me not to find them intriguing.

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