05 May 2007

Derby Day

Street Sense, the favorite, won the Kentucky Derby today. I couldn't tell you anything about it, but it was exciting to watch the race. The horses are magnificent, who doesn't like watching them run? As a sporting event, it is marginally better than those 10-20 second Olympic sprints. At least you get two minutes worth of excitement at the Derby, and because it is horse and rider, you don't get that "lab rat" feeling that track and field events always evoke. The hype associated with this event is nauseating, the broadcast unwatchable. And who would watch it? The race doesn't last as long as a commercial break. Post time was listed as 6:04 EDT, but the gates opened several minutes later. I suppose that not enough of the rich and famous were lauded and "interviewed." One thing the Derby has going for it is bourbon. This is Kentucky, land of bourbon. Naturally, we toasted post time with a glass of bourbon. In this case Maker's Mark. Now I suppose it should have been Woodford Reserve mint juleps, but I'm a "whiskey neat" kind of guy. Even better, the Giants won today, and Barry hit number 744, his tenth of the season. It will be fun to watch Bud Selig squirm when Barry is introduced at the All-Star Game (in SF this year) having already broken Aaron's record. What will be even more fun is the Giants in first place. We'll see. The phenom gets to pitch tomorrow, Tim Lincecum. When you are a fan for a long time, you see prospects come and go, and there are very few who actually become veteran major leaguers, let alone stars. Will Clark was a special prospect, his rookie year was 1986, and he was a bona fide NL star from 1987 to 1993 for the Giants. He spent very little time in the minors because he clearly didn't need it. Tim Lincecum generates the same buzz that "Will the Thrill" did. He has spent very little time in the minors because the only people who can hit off him are major leaguers. It has taken more than 20 years for the Giants to have a "sure thing" prospect, a true phenom. On the flip side, young Mr. Lincecum (does he shave?) has probably already been over-hyped, and if he isn't the next Tom Seaver, we'll all be disappointed! Regardless of how the team hits this year (anemically, so far, with signs of life), the pitching will be fun. Zito-Cain is a great 1-2 punch, curveball lefty and power righty. We saw another tough youngster today--Noah Lowry--beat a good hitting Phillies lineup despite atrocious fielding behind him. Old Morris has been cool and crafty and very effective. Now we get Tim Lincecum, the Next Big Thing. I'll raise a glass of bourbon for your first pitch tomorrow. Go Giants!

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