Sunday, June 08, 2008

TRIPLE CROWN POST-MORTEM



This picture of Secretariat now seems like it epitomizes not only his superiority over his competition, but also the amount of time that has lapsed between Triple Crown winners. In the initial disappointment over Big Brown's defeat yesterday, I fear it may also be a metaphor for how long a wait it may be before we see another one.

Maybe we were spoiled that not only Secretariat, but Affirmed and Seattle Slew, all were Triple Crown winners from the 70's. We also saw quality horses in the "hidden Triple Crown" winners. Sham finished second to Secretariat in all three legs of the Triple Crown and Alydar managed to challenge Affirmed and finish second in all three races as well. In another year, perhaps we'd also be talking about those two horses.

In hindsight, it's obviously a greater challenge to win all three legs than the number of winners from each era would have you believe. A horse has to almost win the equivalent of a sprint, a middle distance race and a distance race in five weeks. He also has to stay healthy and injury-free in order to train for the disparate courses while competitor barns can sit back and train challengers who are geared to each individual race distance. They can virtually tag-team the Triple Crown challenger, while that horse has to run, ready or not.

Imagine a track star trying to win the 100 meter dash, the 880 meters, and the mile in five weeks. Perhaps not an equivalent analogy, but it's the best I can come up with. Or a Triple Crown winner in baseball. There's a reason why we haven't seen one of those in a long time as well.

It did appear yesterday as if the grind, or maybe the injury, or getting jostled in traffic, finally caught up to Big Red. He didn't seem to want to run when his jockey asked, for whatever reason. He fought him a bit for the first time.

Unfortunately, you can't ask the horse "WTF happened?". Also, unfortunate that prior to the race you couldn't get the trainer Dutrow to STFU. Maybe I'm old school, but I got a sick feeling whenever this gas bag "guaranteed" victory. It's one thing to have confidence in your undefeated horse. It's another thing to seemingly rub your opponents face in it.

The other "Oh No!!" moment was when the ABC commentator mentioned during the post parade that Big Red seemed so cool that he hadn't even broken a sweat. It was 90+ heat combined with near 90 humidity, your gas bag trainer looked like someone turned a fire-hose on him he was sweating so much and the horse that needed to be ready to go hadn't broken a sweat? Maybe I don't know enough about getting race horses warmed up, but that seemed to be a red-flag that the horse was not ready to run.

Know I know how the old Brooklyn Dodger fans and Chicago Cubs fans feel.

"Wait 'til next year."
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Giants Top Minor League Prospects

  • 1. Tyler Beede 6-4, 215 RHP from Vanderbilt projects as top of the rotation starter when he works out his command/control issues. When he misses, he misses by a bunch.
  • 2. Chris Shaw 6-3. 230 1B Lefty power bat, limited defensively to 1B, Matt Adams comp?
  • 3. Bryan Reynolds 6-2, 210 OF Switch hitter with average speed and polished hitting approach. Fits Giants mold of high-floor, low-ceiling prospects.
  • 4. Stephen Duggar 6-1, 170 CF Another toolsy, under-achieving OF in the Gary Brown mold, hoping for better results.
  • 5. Sandro Fabian 6-0, 180 OF Dominican signee from 2014, shows some pop in his bat. Below average arm and lack of speed should push him towards LF.
  • 6. Aramis Garcia 6-2, 220 C from Florida INTL projects as a good bat behind the dish with enough defensive skill to play there long-term
  • 7. Heliot Ramos 6-2, 185 OF Potential high-ceiling player the Giants have been looking for. Great bat speed, early returns were impressive.
  • 8. Garrett Williams 6-1, 205 LHP Former Oklahoma standout, Giants prototype, low-ceiling, high-floor prospect.
  • 9. Heath Quinn 6-2, 190 OF Strong hitter, makes contact with improving approach at the plate. Returns from hamate bone injury.
  • 10. Seth Corry 6-2 195 LHP Highly regard HS pick. Was mentioned as possible chip in high profile trades.
  • 11. Jacob Gonzalez 6-3, 190 3B Good pedigree, impressive bat for HS prospect.
  • 12. C.J. Hinojosa 5-10, 175 SS Scrappy IF prospect in the mold of Kelby Tomlinson, just gets it done.
  • 13. Shaun Anderson 6-4, 225 RHP Large frame, 3.36 K/BB rate. Can start or relieve
  • 14. Garett Cave 6-4, 200 RHP He misses a lot of bats and at times, the plate. 13 K/9 an 5 B/9. Wild thing.

2018 MLB Draft - Top National HS Players

  • 1. Ethan Hankins 6-6, 215 RHP Forsyth Central HS (GA) Mi 90's FB tops at 96-98, plus breaking ball. Vanderbilt commit.
  • 2. Kumar Rocker 6-5, 250 RHP North Oconee HS (GA) Heavy 98 FB, sharp mid 90's slider. Vanderbilt commit.
  • 3. Matthew Liberatore 6-5, 200 LHP Mountain Ridge HS (AZ) High 3/4 arm slot, 91-93 FB tops at 95, with good feel for pitching. Arizona commit.
  • 4. Slade Cecconi 6-4, 195 RHP Trinity Prep HS (FL) High 90's FB tops at 97, with mid 80's breaking ball. Miami commit.
  • 5. Carter Stewart 6-6, 200 RHP Eau Galle HS (FL) Highest spin rate breaking ball in draft. Mississippi State commit.
  • 6. Luke Bartnicki 6-3, 210 LHP Walton HS (GA) Low 90's FB with command, workable slider. Georgia Tech commit.

2018 Top MLB College Draft Prospects

  • 1. Brady Singer 6-5, 200 RHP Florida Sergio Romo-esque slider from whippy low 3/4 arm slot. Mid 90's FB, sharp slider and change-up. 3.4 K/BB rate.
  • 2. Casey Mize 6-3, 210 RHP Auburn Forearm issues, 96 FB with split/slider mix, 6.2 K/BB ratio.
  • 3. Logan Gilbert 6-6, 205 RHP Stetson Loose arm action, 3 pitch mix, 93-96 FB 3.2 K/BB.
  • 4. Ryan Rollison 6-3, 200 LHP Mississippi Smooth delivery from 3/4 arm slot, 89-93 FB tops at 94/95. Late 1st, early 2nd rounder. 2.8 K/BB rate.
  • 5. Shane McClanahan 6-1, 175 LHP South Florida Thin build, 3/4 arm slot, tall and fall delivery. 93/96 FB range. 3.0 K/BB rate.

2018 Top MLB HS Draft Prospects in Tampa Bay Area

  • 1. Connor Scott 6-4, 180 OF Plant HS (FL) Florida commit.