June 6, 2009

Belmont Payday

I didn't have a chance to handicap the Belmont until around 5 p.m. this afternoon, but I handicapped it well. I really liked Summer Bird who had shown big Beyer leaps prior to a wide trip on a sloppy track in the crowded Derby. I decided to go ahead and bet against Mine That Bird and key Summer Bird on top with a $5 Summer Bird over the field exacta, $5 Summer Bird over Mine That Bird, Charitable Man and Dunkirk in a targeted exacta and a $5 trifecta with Summer Bird over Mine That Bird, Charitable Man and Dunkirk in the place and show slots.

I also hedged with Mine That Bird on top of those other horses.

Needless to say, I hit the exacta for $10 and the trifecta for $5 for a $1,342.50 haul, my biggest ever by far.

Ummm....sorry I didn't get my picks posted Friday. After our dismal Derby and Preakness performances (I threw out a Rachel Alexandra-Mine That Bird-FIELD trifecta because "it wouldn't pay anything"), I wasn't in a big hurry to look a fool again.

Quick Belmont Picks

No time for a full preview, but here are my Belmont Picks:

$2 Exacta box - Dunkirk, Mine That Bird, Flying Private
$5 Win - Mine That Bird

Even at 2-1, after what I saw at the Preakness, MTB is a great pick at a mile and a half.

For a great preview, Gowanus is great, as always.

June 5, 2009

Hate Dook? You're a Lakers Fan.

A co-worker and I were talking about Dook failure in the NBA when we realized we could not think of a Dookie who had ever won an NBA Championship. Grant Hill, Elton Brand, Mike Dunleavy, Jay Williams, etc. had never hoisted the trophy. After a little Google work, we figured out why we were struggling so much.

blahblahblahblahblah At Dook, this was a technical foul.

Only one Dookie has ever won an NBA Championship. Baltimore-born DeMatha High School grad Danny Ferry is the sole champ, having ridden the bench in his last season as a player with the 2003 San Antonio Spurs. He started one game that season and averaged 1.9 ppg in 64 outings. He won another in the Spurs' front office in 2005, before heading off to Cleveland where he is currently hoping Mount LeBron remains dormant.

And that's why we must root against the Orlando Magic. J.J. Redick is that alabaster statue at the end of the bench. He managed to hit a three in trash time in Game 1, but we cannot allow this Dookie to claim another unearned ring.

For reference, Terps have won three NBA titles. Tony Massenburg won in 2005 with San Antonio, Adrian Branch won in 1987 with the LA Lakers, and Keith Booth won with the 1998 Chicago Bulls.

Former Tarheels have only won 28.

June 2, 2009

The NBA: Not as Corrupt as We Thought

In the midst of a relatively slow period in the sports calendar (especially for those of us who only casually follow the NBA and NHL) comes one major story: the NBA playoffs aren’t fixed.

With the Tim Donaghy scandal and Bill Simmons’ endless theories on the state of the NBA’s referees and the influence of the all-powerful David Stern, most fans have come to accept a “fixed” NBA playoffs as a fact of life.

All that came crashing down last week, as Lebron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers were knocked out of the playoffs by the Magic, ending the possibility of a Lebron-Kobe matchup in the Finals.

The NBA, of course, would have loved to see a series pitting its two biggest stars against each other, and prior to the start of the Cavs-Magic series, that looked likely. Cleveland had rolled through its first two playoff series and the Magic had barely slipped past the Celtics. When the series started, though, the Magic were clearly the better team, overcoming several large deficits to win in 6 games.

Where was David Stern? When the Cavaliers were up 16 in Game 1, the refs couldn’t have helped them protect that lead? He couldn’t swing a few games to guarantee the highest rated Finals in a long time? I think we can put to rest all the conspiracy theories about an NBA that fixes the playoffs to get the results it wants. If Stern had any power, this is where he would have used it.

Officiating in the NBA isn’t corrupt, it’s just incompetent.