Friday, April 30, 2010

Best fake Derby horse name seen on twitter this week: Old Dirty Pasture'd

The brouhaha over Arizona's new state law designed to combat illegal immigrants has begun to crop up as an issue for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Protests are expected at games they're playing on the road, which seems completely pointless to me. More importantly, some are now calling for MLB to take away the All-Star game awarded to Phoenix for next season if the law isn't changed. I'm no attorney, but there seems to be a pretty wide consensus that this law is not likely to withstand legal challenges. There's a process to deal with such things, none of which involves action by Bud Selig. To me, using sports as a pressure tactic for political ends rarely works and frequently punishes the wrong people when it's tried. If MLB takes an action against Arizona here, what other issues are significant enough for them to do so? There are closeted gay baseball players - should they have to play in this year's A-S game in Anaheim when the state passed a law to deny them the right to marriage? Of course they should, because one thing has nothing to do with the other and MLB has no business sticking its nose into the political process.

Tiger Woods had a rough first day at Quail Hollow, shooting two over. One of the things that's going to be curious in covering the Woods story going forward is how much the seemingly never ending negative PR hits impact his play. Yesterday alone Tiger had to deal with the news 24 percent of PGA Tour players surveyed by Sports Illustrated believe he used performance enhancing drugs. He also had the National Enquirer report that Woods confessed to cheating with 120 women, but his wife was still angry because he left out the girl from down the street. There's really no way to know if Woods was even aware of either item when he took to the course, but it can't be fun to wonder if the guy you're playing with is a tabloid source or part of the secret 24 percent. Given Tiger's control freak nature, I suspect that's part of the reason he's struggling even if he'd sooner lick a belt sander than admit it.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the NCAA has found violations in the UConn mens basketball program. They're focused on what this all means for Jim Calhoun, but I'm more curious about what the organization will do for punishment. Between this case and the two glamor football schools in USC and Michigan, there are multiple upcoming opportunities for the organization to show they're serious about holding people accountable for violations as opposed to letting schools just name their own mild sentence. History tells us don't expect much, but I have a feeling at least one of those cases will lead to a punishment that actually gets peoples attention.

The Kentucky Derby will run tomorrow in Louisville. As is typically the case in recent years, the race has far too many horses. Of the twenty in the field, my friend and horse racing guru Chris Fallica feels no more than four of them would be legitimate contenders to win the race on merit. On a track crammed with so many horses, fluke things can happen. Beyond that, it appears the weather for the race is going to be extremely bad which makes it even more difficult to come up who's going to win. Fallica believes Lookin at Lucky, which got stuck with post one, is the best horse. Doesn't mean he'll win though. The official recommendation as your pick to click - box the 1 with the 14 Mission impazible and 16 Awesome Act. if you want a fourth number and/or a longshot to play, go with the 9 Make Music For Me. As is my personal tradition I will make a pick based on nothing more than a horse's name and thus will choose the 10 Paddy O'Prado. Have a good weekend and I'll see you back here Monday or on my Twitter feed at heathradio if anything noteworthy happens.

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