Kentucky Derby Weekend

Greg Cote summed up the status of horseracing as an element of the sports cosmos in 2016 with this observation in the Miami Herald last weekend:

“Nyquist wins Kentucky Derby as gates open on Triple Crown season: Nyquist showed why he was the betting favorite in Saturday’s 142nd Kentucky Derby. Still, most thoroughbred experts predict we likely won’t see an end this year to the Triple Crown drought stretching all the way back to 2015.”

We had some folks over to the house on Saturday to watch the race – and to have some mint juleps and some wine and some really nice food. None of our guests could name a single horse in the race – not even Nyquist. There was a time when one of THE prime assignments at a newspaper was “the beat writer for horseracing”. Those days are long – oh-so-long gone…

Evidently, the sportswriters who intimated – or said outright – that the Red Sox were merely saving face when they said Pablo Sandoval had a shoulder injury were incorrect. The story now is that Sandoval will undergo surgery on his left shoulder and that in all probability he will miss the rest of the 2016 season. Just so no one thinks that they need to start a GoFundMe campaign for Sandoval, he will still collect on his $17M guaranteed salary this year – – but will miss out on the potential for any performance bonuses. Prior to his injury, Sandoval went to the plate 7 times; he got 1 walk and that was it. I suspect that is not enough to trigger any of his bonus clauses.

This is only the second year of Sandoval’s guaranteed 5-year deal with the Red Sox. Here are his salaries for the future:

    2017: $17M
    2018: $18M
    2019: $18M

    Oh, and if Sandoval does not eat himself out of MLB by the end of the 2019 season there is a – snicker if you will – club option in the contract for the 2020 season at $17M (with a $5M buyout).

Unless he gets that shoulder fixed properly AND he finds a way to shed about 40-50 lbs and get into some sort of athletic condition, that contract will have to go in the Pantheon of Bad Sports Contracts. Once again, Greg Cote summarized the essence of this situation with a single brief comment in the Miami Herald:

“Yes, Pablo Sandoval played only three games for the Red Sox and was 0-for-6 before season-ending surgery. However, in that short time he did lead all AL batters in second helpings”

While I am in the mode of quoting sportswriters on current events in baseball, consider this one from Bob Molinaro in the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot:

“Striking out: As another MLB season with expanded replay unfolds, there’s still very little about the review system I like. After almost every close call, a manager pops out of the dugout in an obvious delaying tactic while his instant-replay gremlin analyzes the video and assesses the odds of winning a challenge. Is this baseball’s idea of keeping the games moving?”

He is right, you know.

I am sure you have heard more than enough about Eagles’ QB, Sam Bradford, being miffed at the team for trading up to take a QB with the #2 pick in the draft and how he went home and refused to participate in the team’s voluntary off-season activities. The only question in my mind is this:

    Is he being a petulant child or this this utterly infantile behavior?

However, the story gained just a tad of panache last week when Terrell Owens said that Bradford’s behavior was that of a coward. In case you think I am making that up, here is a link to the report. When I read this, here is what went through my mind:

    How desperately must this man want to see his name in the papers? He is also the guy who laments that the NFL has “blackballed him” because no team will give him a tryout when they need to replace a WR in mid-season. So, here he goes out of his way to remind everyone in every NFL Front Office why he has been labeled a locker room cancer…

    Cue Bugs Bunny: What a maroon.

Fans on the South Side of Chicago have a treat awaiting them when they go to a White Sox game at US Cellular Field. No, this is not some fat-laced sandwich concoction or a “death-by-carbos” dish. No here is what the White Sox have as a fan offering:

    The Boozy Snow Cone: What’s in a name, you say? This is crushed ice with flavored snow cone syrup PLUS vodka.

    I wonder if sales spike in those games where the Sox are trailing by 6 runs after the first two innings…?

Finally, here is an observation from Brad Dickson in the Omaha World-Herald:

“I read that former Major League Baseball player Clarence Blethen is the only player to bite himself in the butt. As claims to greatness go, I’m labeling this rather lame.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………

4 thoughts on “Kentucky Derby Weekend”

  1. “Snicker(s)” in connection with Sandoval? Tsk, tsk, tsk.

    Off topic, the Cal Bears beat BYU for the Varsity Cup national title, going away, in Provo, 40-29. While BYU is a first-class team (the four previous titles will demonstrate that fact), it also learned a lesson all dominant teams must learn. Any game your team is in will be circled by the opposition for inspiration, and if one thinks the press clippings will do the work for you there will be teams that will prove you wrong. Cal’s had that happen to them on occasion before.

    I do not know Coach Smyth as well as I do know Coach Clark, but everything I’ve seen written about him is that next year BYU will be on target, focused and ready having grasped the last lesson of dominance they needed to learn.

    1. rugger9:

      As I have acknowledged before, I know little about rugby as a sport. However, I did find it interesting that in a field of 16 for the Varsity Cup, all three of the Service Academies participated. Interesting…

      1. Rugby 15s is a sport that requires discipline in addition to athleticism, as well as the willingness to take it for the team. The service academies excel at this, and have been very tough competition over the years (AFA has 3 national titles).

Comments are closed.