From The Cheap Seats
Hey, we've got Cy Young Award winners here!
So why aren't they pitching like it? Maddux has struggled, to put it kindly, and Glavine, well, there is no kind way to put how bad he's been. Last night's showdown between Pedro Martinez and Tom Glavine was decided quickly and the Braves have to start worrying. It's a testament to the depth of talent in the Braves organization and their front office in general that they could lose Andres Gallaraga and have the men who finished first and third in the Cy Young race last year pitch like refugees from the Mariner bullpen and still be on top of their division. Yet when they woke up this morning, they had the third best record in the NL. They're only half a game behind the D-Backs and the Astros, still they are not used to looking up at anyone in June.
What has caused this? Too much bulking up for their commercial? A shrunken strike zone? A real strike zone? Whatever it is, it may be time to worry about this season for the Braves -- there's trouble brewing out in the desert.
The loss of Ewing may not be fatal for the Knicks. They actually seem to play better with the Dudley-Camby combination in the game. The problem is that Dudley is a foul waiting to happen and Patrick's minutes are as important as his talent. He is still their leader and without him they have nowhere to turn when things get rough. The coach is under fire, their point guards erratic, and LJ and Spree aren't exactly guys who demand your respect. I still expect Indiana to win this.
It would be nice if this series is actually tight, since so few series have been in these playoffs. The Jazz were in two great series, otherwise, it's been a pretty tedious exercise.
It's Belmont Day and yet another chance for a horse to win the elusive Triple Crown. As a side note, no horse in the last 50 years has won the Triple Crown without me being at the Belmont. I won't be there today, which is why I'm picking against Charismatic. More substantially, the only horses who have won in the last half century were champions well before the Derby. It's hard to believe a horse can turn things around from mediocrity this completely. He has looked terrific in these two races, so there's certainly no on track reason to pick against him. He probably will even pay a decent price, although not by his standards. The pattern of these races resembles last year's Real Quiet - Victory Gallop series. Going back further, Sunday Silence and Easy Goer had the same sequence. I think Charismatic belongs in the Pleasant Colony and Real Quiet grouping, rather than the Affirmed and Seattle Slew class.
So who do I like? If speed figures hold true, there are a number of horses with a chance, Silverbulletday has speed figures almost as good as Charismatic, but I suspect this is too big a jump up for her, both in class and in distance. Menifee lacks the breeding for this, but he didn't really have it for the Derby, either. I'm sticking with the demonstrated class of the top two and adding a talented horse who just got seasoned in the Preakness.
There are rumblings about the baseball power explosion. You hear owners talking about maybe the pendulum has swung too far in the direction of offense. You hear baseball announcers discussing the ball on national broadcasts. Here in LA, Vin Scully never lets a game, or a HR, go by without pointing out that teams are averaging 3 homers a game in Dodger Stadium, an unheard of number. That figure indicates that it's not just bad pitchers and small ballparks. I know he worked out with medicine balls, but when Greg Maddux goes deep to the opposite field, you really have to wonder. At any rate, we haven't heard the last of this. The owners were excited by the Sosa-McGwire race, as the fans seemed turned on by it. They seem to be having second thoughts now, but it'll be hard to take actions which diminish hitting, after all…
Chicks dig the long ball