What is wrong with this box score?

Give up? BJ Ryan earned a win without throwing a single pitch. He came into the game in the 7th, and picked off a runner before throwing a pitch to get out of the inning. The O's then scored 3 in the 8th and Ryan never returned. Voila! Your winning pitcher threw zero pitches.
posted by Poseur 5/02/2003 11:08:00 AM

Jason beat me to it

Not much more to add on Price and Eustachy. Jason touched on almost everything I wanted to. But I'm going to beat a dead horse here.

Has anyone heard of privacy? No laws were broken, no one got hurt, no one even had a bad time. People need to lay off the empty moralizing and judge coaches on their merits. It's ridiculous that either man is in deep water with their administration for doing something that is completely legal. Just because someone agrees to be a sports coach, it doesn't mean he sacrifices his entire life. It's bad enough these guys work 60 hour weeks and are held responsible for the minutest detail of their program. But if they want to blow off steam in a perfectly legal way, who are you to say no?

People really need to learn to mind their own friggin business. Seriously.
posted by Poseur 5/02/2003 11:02:00 AM

More on unreconstructed gamblers... namely, me.

All right, I've narrowed down my Kentuck Derby field to seven worth betting on due to Beyer speed figures. I'll throw Bracusi into the mix just because he's getting some hype. And let's try to put together the unofficial Bartcopsports Derby play.

#3 Sir Cherokee 15-1
OK, he won the Arkansas Derby in impressive fashion. I can't throw that out. He has plenty of experience running distance, so he shouldn't die down the stretch, but I really think that one race was so out of line with everything else that there's no way he duplicates that performance. I think he'll show up in the top 4, but won't threaten the lead or anything.

#4 Atswhatimtalknbout 12-1
Finished fourth in Santa Anita, behind Buddy Gil and Indian Express (and Kafwain, who would have been a popular bet). In that race, he came down the final turn 4 wide, which certainly is a factor in losing. Nice bloodlines (Sire was AP Indy, son of Seattle Slew). In almost every race, he's been in the middle of the pact and closed down the stretch. I love those kind of horses for the Derby. Speed figures probably don't point to a win, but I'll box him in my exacta.

#5 Peace Rules 8-1
Good value on a horse that has won four straight races. Likes the lead. Good, but not great speed figures, but doesn't appear to have a problem with distance. Probably the best value in the race, great odds for a horse who has already cleared $1 million in earnings.

#6 Funny Cide 15-1
That 110 Beyer in the Wood Memorial is awfully impressive, but bear in mind, Funny Cide still lost to Empire Maker with that run. His splits point to a horse that tires down the stretch. I think he'll be a factor until the final turn when the big guns will overtake him. I'm not putting him in any play.

#8 Buddy Gil 8-1
The same odds as Peace Rules, and a very similar track record. He's only won three straight, against pretty much the same level of competition. The big difference is that he won't be in the lead, he'll surge down the stretch and it'll be a contest to see who has the most kick left in their legs. Looks like a closer, so I nudge him slightly higher in my eyes than Peace Rules just because everything else appears to be equal.

#12 Empire Maker 6-5
At 6-5, he better be a sure thing, and he's not. He is the best horse in the field, and he's posted a remarkable 111 Beyer in the Wood. He's the only horse with two Grade 1 Stakes wins. Then again, he's only raced against two of the horses in the field (Funny cide and Supah Blitz). The foot injury doesn't scare me, the odds do. At nearly even odds, he better look like Secretariat, and he doesn't. He looks like a terrific horse, and I undertsand why the odds are so low, but it's just not a worthwhile value play.

#16 Ten Most Wanted 6-1
Let me get this straight, 6-1 on a horse that's never raced in a Grade 1 Stakes? Now that Pat Day is hurt and probably won't ride? He had a great ride in the Illinois derby (110!), but it looks as out of character as Sir Cherokee's last race. He also has died down the stretch of almost every distance race. Maybe a sleeper longshot, but not as a 6-1. I'm throwing him out.

So what I'm a left with? Buddy Gil or Peace Rules for the win. Sir Cherokee and Atswhatimtalkinbout for any exotics. And I'd have to put Empire Make in any exotics just to be safe.

So I'll bet an exacta box of Buddy Gil and Peace Rules. Then I'll box those top two over the other three for my superfecta. And just to do it, Buddy Gil to win.
posted by Poseur 5/02/2003 10:53:00 AM

Scandal time at the NCAA

Since it is unpatriotic and illegal to find scandal in politics during wartime, we have college athletics. Recall the scandals in college basketball that produced an alternative March Madness. This week we have ongoing troubles for Iowa St. basketball and Alabama football (what, again?).

First, the Eustachy story. At BCS we've already reported this one, but now we have reaction from ISU.

Iowa State basketball coach Larry Eustachy was suspended Wednesday after acknowledging he is an alcoholic, and the athletic director urged the school to fire him.
Three hours after Eustachy said he has sought treatment but will not resign, athletic director Bruce Van De Velde held a news conference of his own to announce that Eustachy would be suspended with pay and should be replaced.
Van De Velde took the action because Eustachy "had engaged in behavior that is inconsistent with his responsibility to conduct himself in a manner that reflects positively on Iowa State University and the university's athletic programs."

So, ISU wants to can the coach because of the usual vage reasons relating to 'responsibility' and 'conduct.' What's really behind it? ESPN's Mark Kreidler offers some thoughts. He seems to think it is a business decision because Eustachy is now a liability for recruiting.

Clearly, the administration decided the hit was too large. That's business. What the athletic director in particular concluded was that Eustachy had done too much damage to his and the program's recruiting ability for him to be allowed to continue.

Well, I'm not buying. To think that basketball players will refuse to go to ISU because the coach has a problem with alcohol and went to a party, had some drinks, and exchanged kisses with a student is a bit nutty. How about this for an explanation--Jamaal Tinsley and Marcus Fizer are in the NBA now. Instead of 25 win seasons and Big XII championships in 2000 and 2001, ISU has made a huge thud the last two years. Last season they were 17-14, but 5-11 in the Big XII. Maybe ISU is looking for a reason to fire coach Eustachy because his team has been really, really bad. Do you think wins & losses might have something to do with it?

Now, take a step back. Eustachy is seen at a party with college students. He drinks beer and we've got photos of him exchanging pecks on the cheek with a female student. After the initial outrage, Eustachy says he's an alcoholic. ISU says they want to fire him.
Is there a real problem here? It may look bad to some, but to take any action against Eustachy, you'd have to know if any laws were broken. Was he contributing to the delinquincy of an underage person? Was he publicly intoxicated? Was there unseemly sexual contact (i.e. not just a kiss on the cheek)? As of now, we know of nothing to suggest that the answers are 'yes.' Meanwhile, ISU wants to fire an alcoholic. Um, do you think there might be a lawsuit in the making here? Should Eustachy even want to continue working for dorks who don't care about his personal problems? This is much like the Barrett Robbins situation in the last Super Bowl. It's comical that the guys in suits are making asses of themselves, but meanwhile, there is a man with a serious problem, and that's not funny at all.

Now we turn to the Crimson Tide

Alabama's new football coach, Mike Price, is amid a scandal of his own. Apparantly, being involved in a scandal is part of the job description at BAMA.

Price, who took over in January, is under investigation by the university, as published reports in Alabama said he recently spent hundreds of a dollars at a strip club in Florida, part of it in the company of an exotic dancer named Destiny. The next day, reports said, a woman tried to charge $1,000 in food and drinks to the coach's hotel bill after ordering one of each item on the menu.

Holy cow! $1000 for food & drinks! Maybe he's a creep for fooling around with a floozy behind his wife's back. But really, should this have any bearing on his job? It's not a matter of money--it's reported that Price paid for it himself, rather than charging the bill to his employer. Again, we don't know that a crime was comitted. And are we going to fire every college coach who goes to a strip club, wastes his money on room service, or even has a perceived extramarital affair?

In the NCAA there will be no fun of any kind!

posted by uberschuck 5/02/2003 12:14:00 AM


Lakers slam T-wolves

A few days ago Minnesota had a 2-1 lead and the Lakers faced a must win game at home. Since then the Lakers won at home and then won by 30 at Minnesota on Tuesday night. Now the Timberwolves have the must-win game on the road, and things look grim.

What's the big story here? The Lakers had balanced scoring in this game. At the half the Lakers had a double digit lead. Kobe Bryant had only scored 9 points. Shaquille O'Neal had scored a dozen or so, but the Lakers were led by Derek Fisher. Robert Horry also emerged to nail a few 3 pointers. For weeks people have been arguing about how long the Lakers would last without anyone helping Shaq & Kobe. Perhaps the question now is how far will they go with a supporting cast.
posted by uberschuck 4/30/2003 12:33:00 AM

This just in--'redneck' is not offensive to black men.

In another pointless story (see below), we have the mishap of Derrick Crudup, QB at the University of Miami. A few days ago he made public allegations of racism on the UM coaching staff.

Last week, Crudup and his father, former NFL player Derrick Crudup Sr., said the quarterback competition was compromised by racially insensitive comments from Werner, who is white. The Crudups said Werner used terms such as "cracker'' and "redneck'' when referring to himself during quarterback meetings.

Since then, the coaches and the Crudups have made up and assure us all is hunky-dory. I'm left wondering two things. How would a black man, such as Mr. Crudup, be offended if a white man, such as coach Werner, called himself a 'redneck' or a 'cracker?' Secondly, did Crudup only realize this after Brock Berlin was named the starter?

posted by uberschuck 4/30/2003 12:20:00 AM

Bowden's a fraud!

Ok, it's not what you think. Steve Bowden, another son of the FSU football coach, got nabbed for shady financial dealings.

Steve Bowden admitted conspiring with former Alabama quarterback Brian Burgdorf in a scheme that prosecutors say defrauded investors of $10 million.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Adolph Dean said Steve Bowden brought in his father and three other investors, who lost a total of $4.4 million. Bobby Bowden invested $1.6 million, Dean said. Steve Bowden pleaded guilty to conspiring to sell unregistered securities.

This isn't newsworthy, but I just enjoy calling Bowden a fraud. It has something to do with playing in a chump conference so he can rack up wins. He gets points for scheduling Florida and Miami every year, but his true colors eventually come though. Like before the 2001 National Championship when he responded to press softballs by asking "Imagine how many national championships I could have won if I hadn't scheduled Florida and Miami every year." It's only in the last two years that the attrition of criminals and early departures has decimated his talent pool. I have a feeling he would have run into tough times a lot sooner were he playing in the Big 12, the SEC (whose invitation he spurned), or even the PAC-10 or Big 10.

posted by uberschuck 4/30/2003 12:01:00 AM


Derby this weekend...

There's two ways to really analyze horse racing: speed figures and blood scores. I'm a much bigger fan of Beyer's speed figures bbecause they are grounded in performance, not projected performance based on bloodlines. That's not to say blooodlines aren't important, but you can normally see the results in Beyer's numbers.

It's too early to have any concrete Derby picks because we don't know post positions yet, but looking solely at speed figures, here's the best bets:

Atswhatimtalkinbout posted a mediocre 98 in his last race, the Santa Anita Derby, but he has potential and a 2-1-1 record in 5 races. Keep him on the radar.

Buddy Gil has plateaued in the mid-100s, so that shows potential to win the race, particularly if things break right. The 5-1-1 record in 9 races looks especially sweet when you see the 3-0-0 mark in 4 races in 2003, including two straight wins.

Empire Maker is running like the favorite. Speed figure over 100 in the last two races (both wins in Grade 1 stakes) already $1 million in winnings. The odds suck, but there's a reason for that. This is the best horse.

Funny Cide exploded with a 110 speed figure in the Wood Memorial, and still lost to Empire Maker. And that race looked out of character.

Kafwain was Baffert's best shot, coming off four consecutive 100+ Beyer's. Won't matter, as an injury is taking Kafwain out of the field.

Peace Rules looks like a good sleeper. Two races this year, both wins, but with mid-100 speed. Hasn't really had a dominating performance, but if the odds are good, might be worth throwing in my exacta.

Sir Cherokee did nothing in his career to hint at an Arkansas Derby win. I'm going with it was a fluke.

Ten Most Wanted has gone 2-0-1 in 3 races. Pat Day will ride him, so you know he's got a shot, but his blistering Illinois Derby looks out of line with the rest of his career.

Those are my 7 contenders I'm looking at. If some horse comes out of nowhere to win, God bless, but they didn't do much to show they were capable of it. I'll break this down further as post positions come out.

posted by Poseur 4/29/2003 03:05:00 PM

SCANDAL! Eustachy drinks cheap beer!

Click the link, look at the photos, come back here. OK? You seen them?

What's the big freaking deal? It's not like he's tonguing the girls or anything. It looks like he's kissing them on the cheek. So what? Since no one has raised a stink about it, I'm willing to bet everyone at the party is of age, So the story here is that the head basketball coach hung out with some over-21 college kids, drank beer with them, kissed some girls on the cheek, and then took a taxi home.

Excuse me while I don't give a damn. The only real scandal is that Eustachy was drinking Nattie Light. come on, coach, you make seven figures! Shell out for some Sammy or Guinness. Jesus, I wish the head basketball coach came to one of my college parties. This is just a gross violation of privacy and making a temendous mountain out of molehill. Eustachy shouldn't have even apologized.

posted by Poseur 4/29/2003 11:24:00 AM


How’d they do? My snap judgments with little basis in reality:

How do they manage to do it every year? I’m really in awe of the Cardinals’ ability to completely screw up in all facets of the game. Trading down in and of itself wasn’t bad, but then taking two guys who probably would have been around in the 2nd and 3rd rounds? WHY? Anquin Boldin is a nice value pick.

Their first round pick was used to select Willis McGahee. Unfortunately, it belonged to the Bills, and the Falcons didn’t make a selection until the second. They made absolutely no impact on the draft or their team.

Getting Suggs at #10 was a coup. So what do the Ravens do? They trade away next year’s #1 to get a guy who doesn’t fit their scheme at all. Boller wasn’t that good of college QB, he’s roughly equivalent to David Greene or Corey Schuab, but he can run and he’s got arm strength. He also has no accuracy and poor decision making skills, the two most vital attributes of a West Coast offense QB. So Baltimore traded the farm to get a guy who A) isn’t that good and B) doesn’t fit their system. Heck, limited arm strength guys like Gesser or Dorsey could have been snatched up in the 7th and would have a better shot in their offense. Count me as the lone voice who thinks Boller was a horrible pick. The rest of the draft was excellent, though.

I love the Bills draft strategy every year. Get the best guy regardless. They did it again, this time snagging McGahee and then Kelsay in the second. Not their best draft, but still real good.

They bulked up their line, getting Gross during the Great Vikings Snafu. An efficient draft, short on reaches and heavy on sure things with lower upside. Not a bad strategy considering.

Trading down was the right thing, since everybody wanted Robertson. I would have just drafted Newman, but okay. Then they took Haynes, a solid DE, and then Rex Grossman, who is to put it charitably, a reach. Why a he gets to go inm the first while Gesser doesn’t get drafted is a complete mystery to me.

They got four first-round talents: Palmer, Steinbach, Washington, and Weathersby. They had the best draft of any team, which I can’t believe I’m actually typing. Washington and Weathersby are going to be stars in this league.

Jeff Faine? Are you kidding me? He’s a pretty good player, but that’s you’re first round pick? A pretty good center? It went downhill from there.

The Cowboys did nothing and just took advantage of other teams’ mistakes. Terrence Newman shouldn’t have lasted to #5, but he did, and the Cowboys happily snapped him up. Jason Witten was the best TE in the draft, he went in the third round. Bradie James should have gone in the first day, the Boys got him in the fourth. Why bother trading when you get great value through patience?

I like Ben Claxton in the fifth. Other than that, it looks pretty bad. No one’s a sure bet to make the team, and their 1st rounder, OT George Foster, needs surgery. Way to scout! I’m really not sure what they were thinking, trying to get more bodies for spring cuts?

Another team that just sat back and exploited the fact great players kept falling. Charles Rogers was a no-brainer for their situation, and then they got Bailey, Redding, Pinner, and Holt. All will see tremendous playing time right away. Am I the only person who thinks Redding is an amazing player?

Green Bay
DE Peterson shouldn’t have been on the board in the third. Great pick. The rest is pretty damn uninspiring stuff, as the Packers begin an inevitable decline.

They might have gotten the best QB in the draft in Ragone. And taking Henson was a no-risk, upside pick has his baseball career goes about as well as my professional singing career. And Domanick Davis might be their starting tailback.

I don’t think much of Dallas Clark, but they rebounded nicely, getting Mike Doss. A very unspectacular group of players.

Took some fliers on running backs, which is a good call. They also got a great deal on a lineman in the third, Vince Manuwai. But let’s not kid ourselves, it all comes down to Leftwich.

Kansas City
They traded down and won. They got their guy, Larry Johnson, and as a bonus, got S Julian Battle. I’m not sold on LJ, but he’s a good gamble.

They went in with no first round pick and apparently, no plan. It seems like they made picks just for the hell of it. An even worse job than the Cardinals, who we at least expect stupidity from.

Speaking of stupidity, how can you not get your pick in on time? So, they started off poorly, but got the rhythm going later on, getting EJ Henderson in the 2nd and Onterrio Smith in the fourth. So, while embarrassing, it wasn’t the worst draft out there. Actually, they did well.

New England
Mel Kiper gave them an “A.” I don’t see how, as they simply grabbed the most overrated player in every round. They did set themselves up for next year, getting another 1st round selection, but this is a group of players high on name recognition and low on production.

NY Giants
They landed Joseph, who is probably the first player to ever come out of Miami without the requisite hype. He wasn’t their guy, but he fell into their laps. So, their inability to make a deal worked to their advantage.

NY Jets
The entire draft hinges on Reobertson. I think I’ve gone on enough about what I think about the Mike Mamula clone.

Asomugha and Brayton? In the first round? Is Al Davis smoking crack?

They ended up with both Miami ends, McDougal and Green. You could do worse. They also added a TE in LJ Smith, who saw his stock go up in the last few days. A solid draft with only a few picks to play with.

They made it a one-player draft, trading up to get Polamalu. I would have stayed put and taken Hamlin, but that’s an acceptable risk to move.

San Diego
They desperately needed corners and defensive tackles, and in a draft loaded with impact players at both position, they ended up with neither, unless Sammy Davis adds height, weight, and speed. And then taking Florence from Tuskegee reeked of desperation. Why not take Rien Long in the 2nd round? Stay put and take Woolfolk in the first?

San Fransisco
It’s tough to go wrong with an athletic tackle in the first round. And they got two good value wideouts in Llloyd and Battle. Heck, it’s worth the flier on Dorsey. Why not?

They had no business getting Trufant at #11, and they took their good fortune as a sign and went for Hamlin, my personal sleeper. They took a flier on Seneca Wallace, who’s a good athlete at least. They also added a good tackle who had 1st round potential. A great job.

St Louis
Getting Jimmy Kennedy was huge. They then capaitalized on this momentum by picking up a collection of no-names. Memo: the draft is more than one round.

Tampa Bay
They did better than a few teams, and they spent most of the day just watching without any picks. But getting Dewayne White in the second is criminal, and Simms in the third is an outstanding value.

I love what they did, just grabbing value in every round. Woolfolk late in the first? Calico in the 2nd? Rien Long late? Value, value, value.

They had a grand total of three picks because of their free agent binge, but getting Taylor Jacobs was a stroke of luck. But in the 7th, they took Indiana QB Hamdan when Brad Banks and Jason Gesser were both on the board. I realize those two have flaws, but they are worth a 7th round pick.

posted by Poseur 4/28/2003 05:13:00 PM

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