Some links to send you cruising into the weekend..
Personally I think Papelbon is a breath of fresh air, why? Because he is a Red Stocking? No, not at all, because he is honest to a fault, where else do you get such un-vetted comments from a professional athlete? Normally they speak in cliché and double speak, not Paps, he simply blurts out whatever is on his mind. His comments on the Manny situation give a rare and clear insight into life in a MLB club house. Think it sounds like they miss Manny at all in Boston? No way, no how, no chance. His pathetic, greedy circus act is missed as much as a hole in the head.
Final day of the Cheltenham horse racing festival today. Here is an excellent preview of the big race, the Gold Cup, that my 'savant' like brother wrote, and if you need somewhere to follow the results moments after the race finish, you can do not better than sportinglife.com and its racing section, click on 'fast results' just after a race and you get everything you need. The preview;
3.20 The Gold Cup
The big race of the festival. A pity the Irish have no runner but it still promises to be a great race. I strongly fancy Exotic Dancer to run a big race. I know Kauto Star has beaten him several times but he looked better than ever in the Lexus at Leopardstown at Christmas. He jumped superbly there and I think he would have beaten Neptune Collonges even if he hadn’t fallen. He would have had a big chance in the Irish Hennessy but connections bypassed that race to wait for this. Sensible decisions like that often pay off in racing and I think Exotic Dancer is a cracking each way bet! Barbers Shop is the young, improving horse and I could see him winning, mostly because similar types have won several times before. He comes here with a similar profile to recent winners Best Mate (for the 1st of his 3 wins), Kicking King and War Of Attrition. He was given as the value bet at a few of the preview nights. Paul Nicholls obviously has a very strong hand with last year’s 1, 2, 3 Denman, Kauto Star and Neptune Collonges. Kauto Star, the winner 2 years ago and 2nd last year, has been deliberately raced less often this year to keep him fresh, he raced much more last year and ran very flat in the Gold Cup and then got beaten at Aintree. He should go there in great form this year and has a solid chance but he doesn’t represent value and he would be vulnerable if he were to make one of his now famous jumping howlers. Nicholls probably hasn’t had enough time to get last year’s impressive winner Denman, who had a heart problem, back to the same form as last year. It would be some training performance if he did win again. Last year’s 3rd Neptune Collonges also has a very solid chance, he may have improved from last year, he’ll jump and stay and I like the jockey Christian Williams. The proximity of this race to the postponed Irish Hennessy Gold Cup which he won is a worry. Of the others last year’s Sun Alliance winner Albertas Run could also go well and Air Force One has been really pleasing Charlie Mann and is a live outsider. This year’s Gold Cup promises to be a great race and I go for Exotic Dancer each way. I’m confident he’ll run a big race, I’d be very disappointed if he wasn’t in the first 3 and think he has a genuine chance of winning. I might have a small bet on Barbers Shop too.
For no reason other than to upset any Yankee fan who stumbles across this, my favourite Wikipedia entry of all time. Ah, memories.
Speaking of the Yankees, how about this disturbing picture of CC Sabathia, not to mention the fact that he is getting absolutely pummeled this Spring? Yankees fans worried? Goodness, not at all, I am sure. Apparently 21 gazillion dollars buys you mucho hamburgers.
USA is better than Greece, Ireland, Mexico, Sweden, Denmark and Belgium at soccer, it is official. The USA has jumped three places to a very lofty and respectable 17th in the new FIFA World Soccer rankings. Ireland is also up three places, to a somewhat less lofty and slightly less respectable 26th place. Having seen Spain demolish England recently, it's tough to argue that they are, right now, the best in the World. David Villa and Fernando Torres are a superb, scintillating strike force.
This is pretty funny, an ancient (well, 1997) Pedro Martinez fan site I was playing around with, let's just say I will not be losing the day job for a career in web design. Some cool pictures though, and if you miss Pedro, like I do, a little bit of harmless Friday fun.
Playing us out this Friday, The Foo Fighters, with 'Generator', just for you, TK!