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. Joey Bart 6-2, 215 C Power arm and a power bat, playing a premium defensive position. Good catch and throw skills.
  • 2. Heliot Ramos 6-2, 185 OF Potential high-ceiling player the Giants have been looking for. Great bat speed, early returns were impressive.
  • 3. Chris Shaw 6-3. 230 1B Lefty power bat, limited defensively to 1B, Matt Adams comp?
  • 4. 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.
  • 5. Stephen Duggar 6-1, 170 CF Another toolsy, under-achieving OF in the Gary Brown mold, hoping for better results.
  • 6. 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.
  • 7. 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
  • 8. Heath Quinn 6-2, 190 OF Strong hitter, makes contact with improving approach at the plate. Returns from hamate bone injury.
  • 9. Garrett Williams 6-1, 205 LHP Former Oklahoma standout, Giants prototype, low-ceiling, high-floor prospect.
  • 10. Shaun Anderson 6-4, 225 RHP Large frame, 3.36 K/BB rate. Can start or relieve
  • 11. Jacob Gonzalez 6-3, 190 3B Good pedigree, impressive bat for HS prospect.
  • 12. Seth Corry 6-2 195 LHP Highly regard HS pick. Was mentioned as possible chip in high profile trades.
  • 13. C.J. Hinojosa 5-10, 175 SS Scrappy IF prospect in the mold of Kelby Tomlinson, just gets it done.
  • 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.

2019 MLB Draft - Top HS Draft Prospects

  • 1. Bobby Witt, Jr. 6-1,185 SS Colleyville Heritage HS (TX) Oklahoma commit. Outstanding defensive SS who can hit. 6.4 speed in 60 yd. Touched 97 on mound. Son of former major leaguer. Five tool potential.
  • 2. Riley Greene 6-2, 190 OF Haggerty HS (FL) Florida commit.Best HS hitting prospect. LH bat with good eye, plate discipline and developing power.
  • 3. C.J. Abrams 6-2, 180 SS Blessed Trinity HS (GA) High-ceiling athlete. 70 speed with plus arm. Hitting needs to develop as he matures. Alabama commit.
  • 4. Reece Hinds 6-4, 210 SS Niceville HS (FL) Power bat, committed to LSU. Plus arm, solid enough bat to move to 3B down the road. 98MPH arm.
  • 5. Daniel Espino 6-3, 200 RHP Georgia Premier Academy (GA) LSU commit. Touches 98 on FB with wipe out SL.

2019 MLB Draft - Top College Draft Prospects

  • 1. Adley Rutschman C Oregon State Plus defender with great arm. Excellent receiver plus a switch hitter with some pop in the bat.
  • 2. Shea Langliers C Baylor Excelent throw and catch skills with good pop time. Quick bat, uses all fields approach with some pop.
  • 3. Zack Thompson 6-2 LHP Kentucky Missed time with an elbow issue. FB up to 95 with plenty of secondary stuff.
  • 4. Matt Wallner 6-5 OF Southern Miss Run producing bat plus mid to upper 90's FB closer. Power bat from the left side, athletic for size.
  • 5. Nick Lodolo LHP TCU Tall LHP, 95MPH FB and solid breaking stuff.