Monday, May 19, 2008


So.....Jason Giambi wears a banana hammock. And he needed to put this image in our heads....why?
So the tests came back on deceased horse, Eight Belles, and it shows.....nothing. No diseases, no pre-existing bone abnormalities, nothing that caused the filly to break down after finishing second in the Kentucky Derby. And with trainer Larry Jones demanding every kind of steroid and drug test known, to further show that the horse was healthy when she came up lame, you might think PETA and other animal-rights activists would let up. You'd be wrong.

The usual suspects were out in front of the Preakness, demanding the criminals be brought to justice. These are PETA's own words:

"We are calling for cruelty to animal charges to be pressed regarding Eight Belles against the jockey and the owners of the horse...We also say the steward's board at Churchill Downs needs to immediately file a complaint against jockey Gabriel Saez for whipping Eight Belles as she came down the final stretch to the wire. We need standards in place to bar horse owners who allow this kind of cruelty."

Really, people. Cruelty? Has there been the tiniest proton of evidence of cruelty—medical or otherwise? Have the trainer or jockey been shown to be guilty in any way? Here's trainer's Larry Jones words, just after the Kentucky Derby. "I did get to see my son yesterday, and I got to see my daughter today, but I got to see Eight Belles every day. She was our family, she's been with us for a year...and I guess it will be my last ride on her." Jones began to choke up here. "I don't know what to say -- we're heartbroke. We're going to miss her."

A number of logical, well informed suggestions from people who know a heck of a lot about horse racing than I do, have been aired recently. Suggestions like the elimination of the whip and the installation of a serious drug-testing program and health program for the horses. However, nothing, but nothing suggests that any wrongdoing occurred at the Derby. All of this PETA nonsense sounds like uninformed pitchfork-wavers looking for someone to blame. And no that there's no proof that there was any medical masking of a injury to Eight Belles, the PETA Nazis are ganging up on the jockey and his use of the whip. But as Jones said, "This filly in every race has tried to drift toward the rail. It's her comfort zone, and Gabriel knows this. This kid made every move the right move, and I hate it that they're wanting to jump down his throat. He did not try to abuse that horse to make her run faster. He knew he was second best, that she wasn't going to catch Big Brown."

So, PETA. Really. Stop it. It was a tragedy, not a crime. Let it go.
You know, for my money, I can never get enough of Dr. James Andrews and his consultations.
A huge event took place last week—or rather non-event—but unless you read Businessweek or sports business journals, you wouldn't know. And that non-happening was, the Yankees decided to not sell the YES Network, their huge revenue-generating Yankee Network. Estimates of the Network's value go as high as 3 billion dollars—money which the Yankees use liberally with the likes of Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter. However, some of the equity houses which own a good portion of the channel and have been rumored to be looking to cash out for the past several years. And without their backing, the Yankees might have been forced to sell the channel.
Without the network's revenue, the Yankees would have been in a financially weaker position when it comes to free agency and investing in the team. And it might have been interesting. However, it's not to be, and for now at least, the Evil Empire will still cash in every winter during free agency.
Sorry to hear Dan Morgan had to retire due to injuries. The guy was an absolute monster when he was healthy. Want proof? In Super Bowl 38, the guy had 25 tackles. 25!! That's a career for some guys. So, sorry Dan. I wish you could have been that healthy all the time.
And finally girl-Mike from "girl-Mike and the Meatball in the Morning" said maybe the dumbest thing I ever heard them say Monday morning…and that’s saying something. The gist of it went like this. In 2003 MLB told the Player's Union that they wanted to test every player for steroids, and the Union agreed, provided that the test results were supposed to remain anonymous. That is, no one testing positive would be exposed.

However, this week, the Federal Government wants those results, and wants to question each of the 104 players who tested positive to find out from whom they got their steroids. The Feds would then distribute the information to federal prosecutors around the country. Naturally, the Player's Union is vehemently opposed to this plan. They feel the names would get out. However they are losing in court and the Feds should be getting the list soon.

However, here's the bizarre part. Girl-Mike said this morning that this is "unfair." "It's not right," he said. Pardon? Huh? What the heck is unfair about this? Since when do these guys get a break from Federal prosecution when they break a law? Because their Union said so? Because they had a deal? They didn't have a "deal" with the Federal Government...and you know why? Because they broke the law.

You break the law, you pay the price. I can't imagine why girl-Mike would think that it's unfair for the Federal Government to speak to known steroid users in an effort to prevent a crime. Unfair. Tell that to the next high school kid who shoots up steroids he got from one of the dealers the Federal Government didn't bust because Baseball's Player's Union said it was unfair. Athletes are not exempt...even if you think it's unfair.


Pete S said...

The only thing I have heard about horse racing that is generally bad for the horse long term is the fact that they are pushed very hard at stages of their life when their bones are not fully developed. This can cause problems for them later in life. I wouldn't call that cruel, although it may be a little more harsh than, say, equestrian, where snottier, richer people push their older horses to jump over obstacles.

If they added a ring of fire to equestrian events, that would be cruel. It would also be akin to the circus, which is where PITA should focus their attention. Those animals get their asses kicked all day to "compel" them to do unnatural stuff. No wonder that tiger went ballistic on that strange blonde guy (Zigfried or Roy, I don't remember). I'd rather watch Cirque du Soleil than go back to Ringling Brothers again.

Cecilio's Scribe said...

good stuff. i once wrote about the most powerful man in professional sports. dr. james andrews, of course.