May 3, 2010

Quick Hits - May 3

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Kentucky Derby

derby So my Derby picks weren’t so great, yet again.  I focused too much on wins, and not enough on the fact that Super Saver was getting better and better with each race. 

I really can’t stand Calvin Borel, though.  The overwrought emotionalism and homespun Cajun charm are just a bit too much.  I’m sure he’s a perfectly nice guy, but his public person is tailor-made for soft-focus NBC puff pieces before races. 

Todd Pletcher, on the other hand, just seems like an a-hole.

I can’t wait to watch Ice Box in the Preakness and/or the Belmont.  That horse was closing with a purpose at the end of the race, and if he hadn’t been boxed in and bumped for so much of the race, the final result would have been much different.


ty wigginton

What happened to the Orioles this weekend?  Four wins all season and then a 3-game sweep of the Red Sox?  Two extra-innings wins?  That’s nice to see, but I’m certainly not going to get my hopes up.

La Liga

christiano ronaldo I watched a little bit of the Real Madrid-Osasuna match on ESPN2 on Sunday.  The ESPN coverage uses the Spanish feed for the video, just like they use the British feed for the Premier League matches.  For the La Liga matches, though, this means that all the on-screen graphics are in Spanish (the announcers are from ESPN and speak English).  It’s a bit disconcerting at first, but you get used to it quickly, and you can figure out pretty quickly what most of them mean.  I think this is a case of ESPN showing a lot of respect for its viewership, though.  It would be easy for some network exec to say that no one would watch a soccer game with Spanish language graphics.  But someone at ESPN clearly understands that there are people who want to watch good soccer matches and a little bit of Spanish won’t deter them (these are the same people who will watch matches on Telemundo if there aren’t better alternatives).

The game ended with a spectacular header by Christiano Ronaldo to keep Madrid’s title hopes alive. 

I have to say I couldn’t be more excited for the World Cup next month.  Let’s just hope the US has a good showing.

4 Responses:

Benjamin said...

The O's are coming back! World Series here we come....

I'm actually less impressed after going to yesterday's game than I was a few weeks ago. I've been a pretty staunch Trembley supporter, but not pinch-hitting Wieters for Scott in the bottom of the 8th with the bases loaded and one out really grated. It was such an obvious call that Trembley didn't make, and it was made even more frustrating by his decision to put Wieters in for Tatum in the bottom of the 9th with empty bases and two out.

There's nothing like taking a young player who's not hitting with the kind of power you've hyped him to have and telling him he has to go out and hit a home run. Thankfully, Wieters didn't take the bait, had a professional at-bat, and ended up stranded on second. Still, when you have a left-handed DH hitting under .200 against a left-handed pitcher, and a switch-hitting catcher hitting .290, I just can't fathom why you don't switch them.

That decision just seemed like the football-style "coaching not to lose" instead of to win.

Brien said...

If your opinion of the Orioles declines after an extra-innings win over the Red Sox, then your original opinion was way, way off.

gpb said...

But come on... it's not like the Red Sox are leading the division or anything.

It would be only more insane by me flipping out after the Braves swept the Astros... I think by the end of the month, we'll know where everyone stands.

Benjamin said...

I meant more that my expectations for the future have declined slightly. The first few games of the season looked very promising; the team was aggressive, playing to their strengths, and looked to be moving forward. Now, obviously, that's just not true.

I've always though that Trembley was a good developer of talent, and I still do. However, now that the kids are getting to the point where they need to perform consistently, I don't know if he's getting it done.

Markakis' numbers have declined over the last two full seasons, Jones is hitting about .230 since last August, Reimold is a shell of last year (admittedly not as surprising as the rest), Pie only got playing time because Jones got hurt (and he's the left fielder with the most upside of the three), Guthrie has continued to hang every third pitch he throws and Wieters hasn't shown the power that got him drafted #3.

I'm certainly not ready to start calling for the guy's job mid-season, but I do think the organization has to take a very hard look at the end of the season.

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