Monday, June 29, 2009

Kenny Perry Shrugs Off Masters' Demon

Kenny Perry won the Traveler's Championship yesterday by doing what he always does - - playing consistent, fantastic golf.
For those who do not know, Perry has been one of the better golfers on the PGA Tour for some time now.  What's awesome about Kenny is that he's won 10 PGA Events after the age of 40 and looks to be in his prime at the age of...shhh...47.  Wow.  That means that Perry is less than 20 years away from tradtional "retirement", yet he's beating down guys almost half his age.
You gotta love golf, right?  Name another sport where someone can excel after their body is supposed to lose control, balance, strength, etc.  Only in golf.  Congratulation's Kenny!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Iranian Hard Liners Win

So, in the end, the demonstrators and protesters in Iran have lost.  What used to be massive protests just a few days ago have turned into dwindling numbers of trouble-makers as the Iranian hard line government has started to crack down with their big sticks of oppression.  The truth is that there are few precious beliefs worth dying for in this world.

This is especially true if by dying you're going leave your children without a mother or father...or both.  I can't blame the protestors and demonstrators for stepping down, walking away and protecting themselves.  But I do, and this is strange because I love him as if he were my brother, have to bring up the fact that President Obama hasn't exactly acted the way that I have expected him to.

The President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has called out Obama for helping to incite the demonstrators.  What will Barrack do?  Probably nothing which might be the smart, political, thing to do, but in reality is something that I just can't back him on.  I love Barrack Obama but this might be a watershed moment in history and we, as the United States, have to take a much bigger stand then just worries.  It's your country.  We want to stay out of it.

I'm not saying that we need to start a war, but what I am saying is that the U.S. and her allies have to come up with a viable plan to helping not only the people of Iran but strategically bringing Iran back into the world's good graces.  Iran is just to important.

Hey, who am I?  Maybe, the powers that be already are working on such a plan.   

Shaq Daddy in Cleveland Means a LeBron Championship?

Shaquille O'Neal ends up in Cleveland, after talk that it never would happen, and two cities are super happy.  The first is Cleveland which believes that adding Shaq to the LeBron James/Mo Williams duo could lead to an NBA Championship next year.  That might not be the case as what the Cavs gave up for Shaq could seriously hurt them.  What is the precious thing that the Cavs have given up?  Chemistry.

Just ask the second city that is doing cartwheels today.  That would be the city of Phoenix who no doubt are enthralled that Shaquille O'Neal will no longer be a Phoenix Sun.  Shaq just never worked out in Phoenix where Amare Stoudemire and Steve Nash are the stars.  

The NBA ads are right.  You have to love a game where the real drama doesn't end after the season does. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Glover Won the U.S. Open But Lefty Leaves Bethpage as Real Star

Lucas Glover won the U.S. Open.  He did it by being better than Ricky Barnes, Tiger Woods, Mike Weir, David Duval and Phil Mickelson.

Hey, the guy can golf.  But the U.S. Open was all about Phil Mickelson and even though Mickelson didn't end up hoisting the trophy, he is the real star of this past week's U.S. Open tournament.  Mickelson played about as well as could be expected under not only the weather conditions but the fact that his wife Amy is battling cancer.

It was a courageous performance from one of the nicest men in sports. 

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ricky Barnes All But Unbeatable At -11 in U.S. Open

Yes, it's still only the third round in the U.S. Open, but does anyone believe that someone will catch Ricky Barnes?  He's been phenomenal so far with grabbing an eagle already today.  Barnes is at -3 thru 4 rounds today and the way he's golfing leads me to believe that he's just not going to blow it.

Barnes should win this U.S. Open.

Where's Tiger?  That seems to be the question on everybody's lips today.  Well, he's not doing well at all with a +4 going into the 17th.  Right after hitting off the tee, Tiger dropped his club with absolute disgust.  He did pitch it in from the rough on the 17th, but he's still 14 shots off of Barnes.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rains at BethPage Black Causing More Havoc at the U.S. Open

The rains have continued to come down and will continue to come down at the U.S. Open today.  In fact, the rains are scheduled to become even worse at the U.S. Open where Tiger Woods has started his third round playing quite well.
At the top of the leader board are names that hardly any golf fan will recognize.  Ricky Barnes, for instance, who is in no way related to the Texas Longhorn basketball coach, Rick Barnes.  Or, Lucas Glover and Mike Weir.  Or, A. Yano and P. Hanson.  Some of us remember David Duval, who was fantastic in 1998, but in the U.S. Open in 2009?
It's been a rough go for everyone besides Phil Mickelson, as far as names are concerned, and Phil still has a long way to go before he gets to the top of the leaderboard.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Iran's Supreme Leaders Declares Election Not Rigged - - Bad, Bad Move!

Because the Ayatollah has declared that the elections in Iran, which have caused widespread protests throughout the country, was not rigged, I'm assuming that the Ayatollah and his hardline supporters believe that the issue is dead.
News flash - - the issue is so not dead!  In fact, it's barely begun.   This is how hard line governemnts fail by not understanding what is needed to quell the public and what is not.  Short of running over their citizenry ala China, Iran's hard line leaders are in a heap of trouble.
Since the President pretty much had no power to begin with, why not give the electiont to the folks the citizens wanted?  One puppet replacing another means nothing, right?  Instead, they're trying to asser their power.
Bad move, Ayatollah.  Bad, bad move.

Tiger Bombs - - Needs a Big Round 2

At +4, and with so many golfers doing so well so far in the 1st round of the U.S. Open, El Tigre is going to really need to step it up in Round 2 or else he might be in danger of not making the cut.
It would be a huge disappointment to Tiger fans if the greatest golfer in the world, after shooting so well in the final round of The Memorial Tournament just a couple of weeks ago, failed to even get to the third round of the Open.
Tiger supposedly knows Bethpage Black in and out after having won on the course in 2002 and then studying the course relentlessly the past couple of weeks.
One thing to note is that so far, after 10 holes, Phil Mickelson is hanging in their at -1.  He's chasing a few guys at -4, but Phil should, if things go well, be playing for the title come Sunday.  Let's hope that after everything he and his family has gone through, Mickelson keeps it going! 

Churchill Downs Under the Lights

Churchill Downs, for the first time in it's 134 year history, will host racing under lights tonight.  It's a big move for the Twin Spires, who, like every other track in the Untied States, has been facing economic issues for years.

The lights should help Churchill rebrand itself as a modern racetrack but the money won't really come to the track until the state of Kentucky institutes slot machines.  The measure passed recently in Kentucky.  By bringing in slots, Churchill hopefully can remain viable as a player in America's thoroughbred racing world.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tiger and Phil Wait For Friday

Tiger and Phil are just going to have to wait.  Phil Mickelson hadn't even teed off yet when the call came that play in the U.S. Open Golf Championship, one of the four "Majors" in the golfing world, would be suspended until Friday.
That means that Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, arguably the two best golfers on the planet, would have to wait to resume their rivalry.  Tiger, by the way, ends Thursday after double-bogeying the 5th hole, at -1.
Woods fans shouldn't worry just yet because three times in the past ten years the winner of the U.S. Open has shot even par or worse.  Twice in the past ten years the U.S. Open has been won by a score of +5.
It's going to be interesting to see what unfolds tomorrow.

Hollywood Feature on Thursday Might Get Funky

Get Funky, ridden by Garret Gomez for the first time, figures to go off the chalk in Race 7 at Hollywood Park today.  This should be a seriously competitive affair as Get Funky, Hewitts and Delta Storm all figure to get a lot of play.

After those three, Sky Cape and Cherokee Heaven look like the next batch of horseplayer favorites.  Who do I think comes out with the victory?  Cherokee Heaven who was fantastic in his last race for trainer Martin Jones.  Yes, he's stepping up in class, but the 5 year old son of Cherokee Run has the requisite closing kick to go past the front runners in this race.  

It will also be Cherokee Heavens' second race with jockey Brice Blanc.  Blanc is a master turf rider who, when he gets a good enough horse, can definitely bring home a victory.  Cherokee Heaven and Get Funky, who is the classiest horse in this group, might make up a nice exacta wager.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Stephen Strasburg Set to Go #1 in MLB Draft

Stephen Strasburg has a 100 mile per hour fastball.  That's enough for some baseball scouts to call him the greatest prospect in...well, forever.  He figures to go number one to the Washington Nationals in today's MLB draft.
But in reality, Strasburg, like every player drafted number one in the history of the MLB draft, will have to work his way to the "bigs".  Often times, no matter how fantastic a player may look, he just doesn't have the mentality to play in "The Show" where the pressure is much different than either in college or in AAA ball.
So, I'm nto ready to anoint Strasburg as anything other than a really good looking prospect right now. 
A bigger worry is if the Nationals fold under Strasburg's demand and come close to the 50 million contract he supposedly is seeking.  A draft pick in baseball if much different than a draft pick in basketball or football.  The pot holes on the way to stardom in professional baseball are much bigger and, therefore, much easier to fall into.
Hopefully, the Nationals will do the right thing and offer something a bit more akin to a player, like Strasburg is, making his way up the ladder.

Orlando Should Win Tonight and Might be Able to Make an Unbelievable Comeback

The Magic look like a lock into tonight's game int he NBA Finals.  At this point, the chances of Orlando actually winning the NBA Finals probably isn't very good.
But, if the Magic take one game at a time and forget about the game before, then they could string together 3, maybe 4 victories.  Yes, Orlando is that good...if it plays up to its potential.
The Lakers are winning this series because of their experience and overall depth.  Orlando needs to counter that with physical, fast, play.  The Magic's starting five might be the best in the league right now. 
The Magic need to grow up quickly in order to get it done, but they can.
This series is far from over.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Bing is Boffo

I've only spent a few hours checking out the Bing search engine, but, man, I'm impressed.  What's impressive about it?
Simplicity.  That's the key nowadays with all of these banners and buttons and graphics.  Just let me search, give me the info, and move on.  That's what Bing appears to do.  I like it.  Do I think it will give Google a run for it's money?
Who knows?  I don't and anybody who says they do is crazy.  Stuff happens behind closed doors that nobody ever knows about. 
But as a search engine, and nothing more, Bing works.  That's really all that matters in the end.

Golf - - The Addiction is Real

Yes, the addiction to golf is real.  I have no idea why, but once you try it, and get a nice, good swing going most of the time, you want to do it every day.
I'm thinking of skipping my lunch today at work to head out and hit some balls.  So, instead of putting food into myself, I want to hit balls.  Is that crazy, or what?
I think I finally get the whole purses and shoes thing to.  Most of the women I know are into shoes and purses.  What's the deal with that? 
Well, I get it know.  I keep looking on golf sites, searching for the perfect bag for my clubs.  And, I have to admit, Tiger's shot ont he 18th yesterday at The Memorial was stunning.  He looked stunning!
Sheesh...this is worse than that gummy bear predilection I had in grade school.

Mine That Bird a John Henry Gelding or Funny Cide Gelding?

Mine That Bird, the 2009 Kentucky Derby winner, may have seen his last moment in the spotlight this past Saturday in the Belmont Stakes.
Geldings just don't really improve all that much after the initially becoming gelded.  John Henry turned into one of the greatest race horses ever, but Funny Cide, who won the 2003 Kentucky Derby, was never the same after his Belmont run.
Why?  I beleive that the Belmont at 1 1/2 miles is just too much for a lot of racehorses.  Going all the way back to 1973 when Sham lost by over 30 lengths to Secretariat, horses that have trouble in the Belmont, like Sham, can sometimes never recurperate.
Often times, horses that have had success in the Belmont, like recent Belmont victors Jazil and Rags to Riches, never recuperate.  That's how tough the races is.
Considering the fact that Mine That Bird is a gelding, and probably has peaked as a racehorse anyhow, his best days are already behind him.  Hey, picking up nice six figure paychecks for winning Grade III races sounds like a good living to me!
So, let's not be sad about it okay?  We'll just turn our heads, as racing fans, to the horses expected to get better like Summer Bird, Dunkirk and Charitable Man.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Pandora Gets it Right...Most of the Time

I just got done messing around with Pandora.  Most of it's pretty good.  I mean, when I put in Green Day, I end up getting the Killers ond Offspring.
When I put in Willie Nelson, I end up getting Waylon Jennings.  When I put in Elvis, I end up getting Johnny Cash and Carl Pickens.  When I put in Sam Cooke, I end up getting Otis Redding.
All of that makes sense.  But what about Coldplay and U2?  Really?  No comparison from my point-of-view.  And, also, what's the deal with Boby Dylan, The Band, and Grateful Dead all tied up with the Beatles?
I mean, sometimes it feels like Pandora is for the Beatles.  I put in Queen and I get Eleanor Rigby.  Weird.  Oh, and just because Adele is British it doesn't mean that she, or Duffy, is close to the brilliant Miss Amy Winehouse.
But, hey, I'm complaining about nothing.  The truth is Pandora is as brilliant as anything I've seen on the internet in...well, forever.  I put in Son House and I get Blind Boy Fuller, Mississippi John Hurt, Charley Patton, Robert Johnson and Skip James.
Good enough for me.

Magic Should Bounce Back Tonight

The Orlando Magic should bounce backin their game against the Lakers tonight.  Orlando just needs to shoot better than 40% from teh three point-line, and get Dwight Howard involved more, to get it done.
It's too early to say that the Lakers will sweep.  Not only do real basketball fans know this, but the Kobester does as well.

Calvin Got Too Excited

That's what happened in the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. Instead of hanging and making that one patented move around the turn or up the rail, Borel started a slow, some might say "soft" move to get into contention. Then, he pushed the button.

Who made the right move yesterday? Kent Desormeaux on Summer Bird who, because of his experience making a bad move on Real Quiet in 1998, knew when to make the right move.

Good stuff, Kent.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Fabulous Strike Is Fabulous in True North

I just got done watching Fabulous Strike run 6 furlongs in 1:07 and change in the True North Handicap. It was a phenomenal race. If Benny the Bull couldn't have caught him, Benny the Bull didn't, then it shows how incredibly fast the horse is.


Obama Speeches Some of the Best Ever

First, Barrack Obama delivered a sterling speech in Egypt about, among other things, relations between Muslims and the rest of the religious world.  Now, just today, Obama gives another fantastic speech.
This time, in Caen, France, Obama gve a speech to commemorate D-Day.  How was it?  As brilliant as the speech in Egypt.
What Barrack Obama has so far shown as President of the United States, is that there is still some hope in this world.  That was his goal, right?  during the election?  The idea that hope could carry the day?
Well, contrary to some from the right, hope so far has carried the day.
I can only hope that when later generations, studying this time period, ask me about what Mr. Obama was like, I can say, "He was as great of a president as this nation has ever had."  And, that, "You had to be there to really understand."

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Charitable Man a Virtual Lock to Win the Belmont

After the Belmont Stakes post positions were drawn yesterday, I immediately wrote up my Top Four Contenders' article for Saturday's Belmont Stakes.
It didn't take me very long to find the winner.  Without a doubt, Calvin Borel and Mine That Bird have a shot to win the Belmont Stakes but, like so many years in the past, the Belmont has come up lacking real front-runners.  The only two confirmed speed horses in the race are Miner's Escape, trained by Nick Zito who upset Big Brown with D'Tara in the 2008 Belmont, and Charitable Man.
Who wins in that matchup?  Charitable Man 99 out of 100 times.  The Keiren McLaughlin trainee is simply one of the best 3-year olds on the planet.  He should rate a length off of Miner's Escape, or take the lead, quickly after the gates open.  
By the time Charitable Man hits the to of the stretch, the race should be over.  Who could challenge Charitable Man for the win money?  The Todd Pletcher trained Dunkirk looks like a much better wager than Mine That Bird.  He will be closer to Charitable Man and, because of the expected pace, should have plenty int he tank for the last quarter mile.  

Magic has Shot to Upset Lakers Tonight

The Orlando Magic have a shot at beating the L.A. Lakers tonight.  Simply put, Orlando has the better starting five and the more dominant player on the court in Dwight Howard.
As a fanastic article on recently highlighted, "Howard Overwhelms and Kobe Orchestrates."  Kobe is one of the best players on the planet.  nobody can matchup with him, but Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu together can at least match him point for point.
Not so with Howard.  If the Lakers double team Howard, then one or two three point shooters will be left behind the arc.  If L.A. doesn't double team Howard, then he dominates the middle.
No matter what the Lakers decide to do, their resiliency no doubt will help them tonight.  The game is going to be close.  It's also going to be high scoring as the Lakers will try to push forward before Howard can set up tent in the paint.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

JD Salinger Rises From Literary Hell Not to Publish but to Sue

So, JD Salinger, who doesn't have enough guts to publish anything in oh...a very long time, decides to poke his head up and sue becuase some bozo named JD California from Sweden is publishing a book with Salinger's character, Holden Caulfield, in it.
Whatever, man.  I don't see the big deal.  It sounds to me like Salinger, once again, is taking himself too seriously.  Yes, The Cathcer in the Rye is brilliant.  Yes, I, like everyone else, is one of my favorite books of all time, but the best thing it's known for is screwing with Mark Chapman's head.
Get over it, JD.  How good were you really?  I mean, Kurt Vonnegut wrote up until the day he died.  So did Updike.  Even Pynchon will at least publish once in a while.  You?  You jsut bug people by not sharing your genius.  Well, maybe you weren't a genius to begin with and at least this JD California idiot sounds like fun.
Read the CNN article here, folks.

Lucinda Williams? Yeah, She Rocks!

My brother, who knows more about music than anyone on this planet, except for maybe my friend Kent, just sent me an e-mail telling me about a Lucinda Williams song called Car Wheels on a Gravel Road.
He says the songwriting is amazing and I have to agree with him.  The music isn't bad either!
Check it out.

Mine That Bird Deserving Favorite but Charitable Man Looks Tough

Mine That Bird was established as the 2 to 1 morning line favorite to win the 2009 Belmont Stakes this morning when post positions were drawn.
The second choice?  That would be Charitable Man at 3 to 1 who actually looks like a stand out in this race because there appears to be only one other speed horse in Miner's Escape.  As fantastic as Mine That Bird is, Charitable Man, who is 3 out of 4 with his lone loss coming on the Polytrack at Keeneland, could be the best horse of his generation.
With two victories over the Belmont Park racing strip, and the pace of the Belmont expected to be to his liking, Charitable Man poses a huge challenge to Mine That Bird and Calvin Borel's quest for a jockey's Triple Crown.