Much in the same vein as a post of mine from some time back, I’m sad to see that the AP is reporting that 1982 Kentucky Derby winner Gato Del Sol has died:
PARIS, Ky. (AP) — Gato Del Sol, the winner of the 1982 Kentucky Derby and the second-oldest living Derby winner, died at 28.
The horse was euthanized Tuesday because of age-related infirmities, owner Arthur Hancock told The Associated Press.
“My life’s dream was to win the Kentucky Derby and he realized that for me,” Hancock said. “He was a sweet horse. He’d never bite or kick. It was really a fairy tale come true.”
…The oldest surviving Derby winner is now Genuine Risk, who in 1980 became only the second filly to win the race.
In 1982 Gato Del Sol, a gray horse trained by the late Eddie Gregson and ridden by Eddie Delahoussaye, went off at 21-1 in the 19-horse Derby field and charged from last place to win by 2 1/2 lengths over Laser Light.
Gato Del Sol of course inspired David Grubbs‘ band Gastr del Sol, originally a one-off project to record latter-era Bastro songs, then became a vehicle for a collaboration with Jim O’Rourke, which later ended in acrimony. And you thought the world of horse racing was nerdy and complicated! Anyway, Gato Del Sol lived a lot longer than the band named after him, and horsey fans will miss him.
One of the few advantages — if you could call it that — of being an insomniac is the ability to find out about important or interesting news stories before your neighbors are awake. Which brings us to what I suppose is today’s third important death after Mike Reid and Bill Robinson — the great Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman.
There are no details as of yet, but AP is reporting that he died this morning in Faro, Sweden. As Bergman (above) was one of the most influential stylists of the 20th Century, I’m sure there will be lengthy obits in tomorrow’s papers chronicaling his fantastic career. Over the course of that career, Bergman’s films won 7 Academy Awards (for “The Virgin Spring,” “Through A Glass Darkly,” “Cries and Whispers” and “Fanny and Alexander”), though he is probably best known for the iconic “The Seventh Seal,” in which Max von Sydow plays chess with Death.
Which in turn inspired “Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey” in which the heroes of San Dimas High played Death in Battleship and Twister, among other challenges. Um. Anyway, you can read about Bergman’s fantastic life and work in his Wikipedia entry.
Update: Bergman’s full AP obituary is now available.
Double Death (?) Update: AP is now reporting that Tom Snyder has died. So forget about the rule of threes, I guess. No mention in the brief obit of his interview of Johnny Lydon, one of his funnier moments.
(still not Randy Johnson)
Since my roommate is up at Cooperstown playing some Hall of Fame-related gig this weekend, I thought I’d take the opportunity to get back on the CSTB baseball beat. And what more inspiring news this morning could I find than the story that Randy Johnson’s 2007 campaign is over, thanks to the herniated disk he’s been suffering through all season. But fear not, fans of der Big Unit! Like his favorite band Thin Lizzy (at least according to former 2nd Hand Tunes employee Jeremy Pickett – hey dude!), he’ll be “fighting [his] way back” to make spring training next year (from AP):
“I have no intention at this time of retiring,” he said at a news conference Friday. “I’ll cross the bridge of surgery and be willing to go through the process of rehabilitation again because I know I can still pitch. And I love pitching. It’s what I’ve been doing since I was 7 years old.”
Anybody else having a difficult time imagining Randy Johnson as a 7 year-old? Yeah, me too.
In other non-Big Unit baseball news, Barry Bonds hit 754 against the Marlins in the Giants’ 12-10 win, while A-Rod went 0-for-2 in his quest for 500 against the Orioles in the Yankees’ 4-2 loss. But I’m sure you knew that already.
This just in from CSTB reader Maura Johnston:
Tabloid favorite Anna Benson no longer wants to divorce Baltimore Orioles pitcher Kris Benson.
On Tuesday, she dismissed the divorce petition she had filed last week in Atlanta, attorney Jeffrey B. Bogart said in a press release. Instead of splitting, she expressed a desire to reconcile her marriage.
“Anna did a lot of soul searching over the weekend, and it is her desire to repair her marriage,” Bogart told ESPN.com.
Though it wasn’t specified as terms in the filing, it now appears the Orioles batboys are safe.
I went to Austin last weekend, obstensibly for SxSW, but mostly to have fun with my friends who live there. That said, if I had to miss a flight, it doesn’t make much sense to do what Cat Chow did (from NBC-5, Chicago):
A Chicago woman accused of stowing away on a plane to attend the South by Southwest Festival faces a federal charge.
Catherine “Cat” Chow, a 33-year-old artist, was on the standby list for a flight from St. Louis to Austin, booked through American Airlines. When she found out the flight was full, Chow snuck past gate agents, boarded the plane and hid in the bathroom, authorities said.
Chow told authorities she “knew what she did was wrong, but wanted to meet with her friends in Austin . . . to participate in the South by Southwest activities,” documents said.
Airport police said they found marijuana and six antidepressant tablets without a prescription label.
Chow was charged with boarding an airplane without permission, a federal crime, and two state misdemeanors, possession of marijuana and possession of a dangerous drug.
Chow was being held in the Travis County jail on a $3,000 bail.
On the one hand, I feel sorry for Cat Chow as she seemed like a cool person (disclaimer: met her once or twice when I lived in Chicago, saw her play with Plastic Crimewave Sound a couple times) and a good artist/designer. On the other hand, sheesh, what a bad idea.
Dwight Gooden’s troubles with the law continued today as the Associated Press reports he has been ordered held without bond for violating his parole stemming from the not-too-good idea to flee a DUI stop:
Gooden, 41, pleaded guilty in November to speeding away from police after a DUI traffic stop in August 2005 and was sentenced to three years probation. On Tuesday he went to a regular meeting with a probation officer where he admitted to using cocaine, according to Jo Ellyn Rackleff, a spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections.
“He went to his regular meeting with his probation officer, admitted to the officer that he had used cocaine. She did a drug screen, and he tested positive for cocaine,” Rackleff said.
Gooden’s more recent scrapes with the long arm of the law include an arrest in March, 2005 for misdemeanor domestic battery after cops alleged he punched his girlfriend in the face. Gooden was additionally arrested in February 2002 for drunk driving.
And yes, thesmokinggun.com has a collection of the Doc’s mugshots.
Two bits of bad news for Kentucky Derby watchers this week (yes, worse than the news about the new corporate sponsor): hopefuls Stevie Wonderboy and Sorcerer’s Stone are out of the running. The former, owned by retired talk-show host Merv “Elevator Killer” Griffin (above), continues the streak of Breeder’s Cup Juvenile winners, um, not actually doing anything (from the Courier-Journal):
Stevie Wonderboy will miss the May 6 Kentucky Derby after suffering a hairline fracture in his right foreleg during a workout yesterday at Hollywood Park, trainer Doug O’Neill said.
The injury, which is not considered career-threatening, ensures the continuation of one of racing’s most infamous streaks: No Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner has won the Kentucky Derby.
Losing the champion colt from the Derby trail is a double blow to racing, which had hoped to get extra mileage in the mainstream media because he is owned by entertainment mogul Merv Griffin.
“I think I just got punched in the stomach,” Griffin said.
The Harry Potter-named Sorcerer’s Stone is also out, with an ankle injury (also from the C-J):
Sorcerer’s Stone, the Louisville-based winner of the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity last fall in Chicago, has been knocked off the Kentucky Derby trail with an ankle injury, trainer Pat Byrne said yesterday.
Byrne said a “very tiny” bone chip was detected at the top of a sesamoid in the colt’s left foreleg. He said the X-rays were being sent to a Lexington clinic for another opinion to determine whether surgery is necessary. Byrne said it’s possible the injury could be treated with time off and a “blister,” a procedure where a counter-irritant promotes healing in the affected area.
Aside from hoping these horses get back on their, uh, feet soon enough, their entertainment industry names are pretty cringe-worthy. Makes me long for the days of Derby champions such as Hindoo, Brokers Tip, and Jet Pilot.
Okay, sure, the headline is a cheap shot. Yet, somehow I couldn’t help making the association when I saw this very sad, strange tale from the Associated Press:
The home of the Preakness is eerily quiet this week, the result of a quarantine that has raised questions whether troubled Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore can regroup in time to host the middle jewel of the Triple Crown.
An outbreak of equine herpes at the 136-year-old track caused three horses to be euthanized and led several states to ban the shipment of horses into or from Maryland. Although a horse was linked to the virus yesterday at nearby Laurel Park, there have been no new cases at Pimlico since Jan. 19, and the track intends to lift its self-imposed quarantine next Wednesday.
But can Pimlico ultimately replace the cautionary yellow tape currently surrounding several barns with the bright yellow Black-eyed Susans that symbolize the Preakness?
“I have no concern about that whatsoever,” Lou Raffetto, chief operating officer of the Maryland Jockey Club, said yesterday. “Given the nature of this virus, I don’t think this will be an issue by the time we start the spring meet in April.”
The virus, known as EHV-1, often produces respiratory problems and fever, and it can cause pregnant mares to abort their fetuses. The most severe version attacks the nervous system and can lead to paralysis.
Fortunately for Pimlico, equine herpes usually runs its course in a month to six weeks, according to Dr. George Allen of The University of Kentucky’s Gluck Equine Research Center.
“It would be unlikely that what’s going on now at Pimlico would extend into the spring racing season,” said Allen, who has made a career out of researching the disease.
Anna Benson was unavailable for comment, but rest assured she’d have something hilarious to say on the matter.
The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that Danzig died yesterday. No, not this Danzig:
this one :
Danzig, one of the most prolific sires of modern times, was put down yesterday at Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky., because of the infirmities of old age. He was 29.
At the time of his death the compactly built son of Northern Dancer led all North American-based sires in number of stakes winners (188) and percentage of stakes winners from foals (.185). Danzig’s offspring have earned more than $101 million on the racetrack.
Claiborne stallion manager Gus “Not Ed” Koch was quoted in the Daily Racing Form: “He was never a mean horse, but you wouldn’t turn your back on him. He was always ready to go. ¦ I loved him. I’ll be honest with you — I loved Danzig.”
The North Side Kings were unavailable for comment
In probably the most significant game since the ’79 Larry Bird vs. Magic Johnson matchup, Indiana State beat the Indiana Hoosiers tonight, 72-67 (from the Associated Press):
Indiana State didn’t need a last-second shot to beat Indiana Tuesday night. All it took was grittiness, determination and the seemingly unstoppable tandem of David Moss (above, right) and Tyson Schnitker.
Moss and Schnitker each scored 19 points, had six assists and accounted for 28 of 42 second-half points to help the Sycamores rally from an 11-point second-half deficit and upset No. 18 Indiana 72-67.
“This is one of the biggest things we’ve accomplished since I’ve been here,” said Moss, a senior. “When you’ve got guys who have heart, who are willing to work and listen and pay attention to the details, then we’ve got a chance to win.”
Moss hasn’t won much lately, enduring the torment of going 20-39 the past two seasons. So when it was clear Indiana State (4-0) was about to knock off its in-state rival for the third time in four meetings, Moss couldn’t restrain his excitement.
He raced toward the baseline to greet students who ran right past him as they stormed the court. The students then danced on the Sycamores midcourt logo for several minutes while the band played.
The Terre-Haute-based Sycamores are off to a 4-0 start, and who knows? They could easily end up a late-season spoiler, out of the MVC. Meanwhile, Hoosier fans who aren’t calling for Mike Davis’s resignation and/or head, surely are by now.
No, it’s not another lineup change meant to deflect the fact that the band’s been horrible since Diamond Dave left. It’s more serious than that: former TV “star” Valerie Bertinelli (second from left) is finally divorcing Eddie Van Halen, after being separated since 2001 (from the Associated Press):
“Yes, that’s true. They have been separated for four years and it’s amicable,” Bertinelli spokeswoman Heidi Schaeffer told The Associated Press. She said the actress would have no further comment.
A divorce petition that Bertinelli, 45, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday cited irreconcilable differences.
No mention of how the breakup will affect their now 14-year-old son, Wolfgang. We’ll keep you posted. By the way, gotta hand it to AP for this last, factually-reported tidbit:
The group was known for wild excess both on and offstage in its early years.
The Associated Press is reporting that Detroit Lions head coach Steve Mariucci has been fired:
After Detroit lost 27-7 to the Atlanta Falcons on Thanksgiving to fall to 4-7, reports swirled that the team was considering firing Mariucci. When Mariucci was not let go over the weekend, some thought his job was safe for the final five games of the regular season.
Mariucci and the assistants were fired late Monday morning, said a team official, who spoke with the AP on the condition of anonymity because the team had not yet made the official announcement.
Mariucci’s record with the Lions was 15-28. His hiring was hailed by fans and media alike, but he was not able to turn around a team that has won one playoff game since 1957.
Mariucci has more than two years remaining on the $25 million contract he signed in 2003. The Michigan native came to the Lions from San Francisco, where he was 60-43 over six seasons.
It’s always nice to come home for Thanksgiving, not for turkey and stuffing, but to watch Wildcats fans blow a gasket at their team’s early season blunders. The over-hyped, #7 Kentucky team lost last night to the #18 Iowa Hawkeyes, 67-63, in the second semifinal game of the Guardians Classic in Kansas City, Mo. Courier-Journal columnist Jerry Brewer takes the Cats to task today in a display of hysteria over a pretty meaningless loss:
Near the end of this humbling, a wacky, yet fitting, scene unfolded. Less than a second remained in a decided game, and University of Kentucky basketball fans were exiting Municipal Auditorium swiftly, while Iowa fans were standing and chanting “Over-rated!” and suddenly a replacement band began playing UK’s fight song.
Lower your heads, Wildcats.
It doesn’t get more embarrassing than that.
Kentucky was one of the teams that didn’t bring its band here, and Guardians Classic officials had another group there to sub. The fill-ins couldn’t have picked a worse time to play the number. The Wildcats’ 67-63 defeat was 0.9 second from being finalized.
The game was frustrating enough. Issues keep piling up. Kentucky can’t find post players willing to rebound, can’t generate consistent offense, can’t shoot, can’t find an ideal rotation, can’t play fast, can’t play slow, can’t find consistency at center, can’t get Sheray Thomas to STOP SHOOTING JUMPERS ON CRITICAL POSSESSIONS, can’t find Patrick Sparks enough and can’t get Joe Crawford to stand out at small forward…
All this information warrants a two-word reaction: Wake up.
So, basically, Kentucky can’t do anything, but is a top-10 team. Makes sense. While Brewer isn’t making the typical fire-Tubby Smith lament, he might find more disappointment today as UK plays a #13 West Virginia team that almost beat #2 Texas last night (from the Associated Press):
Texas appeared headed for the consolation game, though, when it trailed by 10 points in the second half. They were still down by three, 75-72, when West Virginia’s Mike Gansey hit a layup with 1 minute left.
But the Mountaineers’ Johannes Herber and Kevin Pittsnogle missed the front ends of 1-and-1 opportunities, and Tucker’s follow shot got Texas within 75-74 with 15.4 seconds remaining. Pittsnogle missed another 1-and-1 with 14.7 seconds to go, and LeMarcus Aldridge (above) converted after misses by Kenton Paulino and Brad Buckman.
Gansey, who led the Mountaineers with 26 points, broke free for a last-second layup on West Virginia’s final possession, but Aldridge swatted it away.
The crowd booed, expecting a foul call, and replays appeared to show Aldridge making contact. But Aldridge, who had his third double-double in as many games with 15 points and 14 rebounds, didn’t want to discuss the no-call afterward.
“It really doesn’t matter what I think, as long as we won the game,” he said. “It is over with, and I don’t need to go back to that now.”
The SEC title hunt looks ever murkier as #11 Auburn upset #8 Alabama for the fourth year in a row. The Tigers defense sacked the Crimson Tide’s QB Brady Croyle 11 times.
But since LSU has beaten Auburn and Alabama, they’re more likely to represent the SEC West: if the Tigers win tonight against Mississippi (kickoff’s in a half-hour), and beat Arkansas (3-6, 1-5) in the regular-season finale next Friday, they’ll advance to the conference title game on Dec. 3 in Atlanta.
(9 catches for 9 yards by the Buckeyes’ Ted Ginn, though older brother Greg always prefered basketball)
Thanks to their QB Troy Smith, Ohio State won on the road against Michigan, 25-21, to earn a share of the Big Ten conference title (from AP):
Smith threw for a career-high 300 yards and a touchdown and scored once on the ground.
Smith spun to avoid a sack and made an 11-yard pass early in the drive and eluded another loss with quick feet, buying enough time to complete a 26-yard pass to set up Pittman’s winning run.
“There will be a lot of No. 10 jerseys and a lot of kids on Thanksgiving weekend trying to make those moves in a pile of leaves,” Ohio State coach Jim Tressel said.
Smith completed 27 of 37 passes and ran for 37 yards, getting sacked only once, a year after his spectacular performance led the Buckeyes to a win over Michigan. Smith ran for 145 yards and a TD and threw for 241 yards and two more touchdowns in last year’s 37-21 win over the Wolverines.
“Troy is probably the best we’ve seen,” Wolverines defensive tackle Pat Massey said. “Troy was a difference maker out there.”
Currently, Joe Paterno’s Nittnay Lions are leading the Michigan State Spartans, 31-14, towards the end of the 4th quarter. If Penn State wins, they will win their first Big Ten title since 1994, along with a BCS bowl berth.
(85 yards rushing with one TD for PSU QB Michael Robinson, along with 10 for 20,109 yards and a touchdown passing)
UPDATE: Penn State wins, 31-22.
The Associated Press is reporting this morning that Pete Rose Jr., attempting to be as embarassing to the Cincinnati Reds as his pop, has turned himself in on drug charges:
Pete Rose Jr., the son of baseball’s all-time hits leader, surrendered to federal authorities Monday to face charges that he was distributing GBL, a drug sometimes used as a steroid alternative.
The 35-year-old Rose could face a maximum of 20 years in prison. The Drug Enforcement Administration said his arrest was part of a larger investigation into a major GBL trafficking organization.
The indictment said Rose admitted that he received GBL from a person in Tennessee while a member of the Chattanooga Lookouts, the Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds.
He also said he supplied half the players on that team with the drug. According to Rose, teammates would take GBL to “wind down” after games.
I guess it beats a PBR after work.
It’s clear Dale Sveum will not be intimidated by another big moustachioed man on the coaching staff, as Hall of Famer Robin Yount will return in 2006 as the Brewers’ bench coach:
“Brewer again,” he said Friday as he slipped on his No. 19 jersey. “I’m very excited to be back in Milwaukee, where I knew I would always come back eventually.”
Yount, the first Brewer elected to baseball’s Hall of Fame, returned to baseball as first-base coach with Arizona in 2002 and was bench coach for in 2004 until manager Bob Brenly was hired that July.
“I told Ned [Yost], ‘Are you sure you want me as your bench coach? I only lasted about three months as a bench coach in Arizona and I got the manager fired,”’ Yount said. “The biggest difference is when Ned gets kicked out of the game, then I’m in charge.
“Did Ned get kicked out much? I hope he gets kicked out a few times,” Yount quipped.
If Milwaukee can’t improve from 2005′s .500 season in 2006, perhaps Brewers fans will want to see Yost kicked out, too.
Additionally, Brewers owner Mark Attanasio said that negotiations on a contract extension with general manager Doug Melvin are near completion, which puts the kabosh on Melvin’s possible candidacy for the Boston Red Sox opening:
“I’m delighted we have a general manager that would be in demand,” Attanasio said. “I love that they want to get our general manager, if it’s true. But we’re going to keep Doug with us.”
FEMA just billed the State of Louisiana $3.7 billion (from what my dad affectionately calls McPaper, USA Today):
Flood-ravaged Louisiana can’t pay the $3.7 billion that the U.S. government says is its share of hurricane relief, a spokeswoman for Gov. Kathleen Blanco (above) said Thursday.
“You can’t squeeze $3.7 billion out of this state to pay this bill. Period. That would be difficult for us on a good day,” the spokeswoman, Denise Bottcher, told USA TODAY.
Staffers for the governor “about fell over” Wednesday night when they received the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s estimate of the state’s costs for hurricanes Katrina and Rita, said Mark Merritt, a consultant working for Blanco.
FEMA projects that it will spend a total of $41.4 billion in Louisiana, about $9,000 per resident. Federal law requires state and local governments to pay a portion of disaster relief costs. That share can be as much as 25%. The $3.7 billion estimate is roughly 9% of FEMA’s projected costs in Louisiana.
The $3.7 billion represents just under half of the $8 billion the state spends per year and comes as the extensive flooding around New Orleans has severely undercut tax revenue. The state is in the midst of heavy cost-cutting to whittle down a projected $1 billion shortfall.
Unlike the subject of the previous post who landed on his feet, Shaquille O’Neal landed on his ankle in the Heat’s 105-102 loss to the Indiana Pacers tonight. No word yet on the seriousness of the injury, but Stan Van Gundy said, “He’s probably going to miss some time, the way he was walking on it in there.” Not that he’s a doctor or anything.
Predictably, Ron Artest was involved:
O’Neal came down on Ron Artest’s foot.
Unpredictably, the Associated Press continues with an unclear possessive (they’re not talking about Artest, obv.):
He remained down for a few seconds, then limped off the court and into the locker room. He finished with 18 points and six rebounds.
The Associated Press is reporting that Boston Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein has resigned:
Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein resigned Monday, surprising Boston and the baseball world just one year after he helped build the franchise’s first World Series championship team since 1918.
The team said in a statement that Epstein will continue working for several days to assist in the transition and prepare for the offseason.
The Boston Herald, which first reported the news on its web site, said the Yale graduate has told associates that he may leave baseball, or at least take a year off.
(ariel view of a town that isn’t NY or Boston)
Despite being bigger than, say, St. Louis or San Francisco, Chicago and Houston came up terribly short in World Series ratings bragging rights (though why this really matters to anyone besides Fox and their advertisers, I dunno). From the Associated Press:
The Chicago White Sox’s first world championship in 88 years was also the lowest-rated World Series ever.
Chicago’s four-game sweep of the Houston Astros averaged an 11.1 national rating with a 19 share on Fox. That’s down about 7 percent from the previous low, an 11.9 with a 20 share for the 2002 World Series between the Anaheim Angels and the San Francisco Giants.
While the 2002 World Series, which went seven games, rated higher overall, it was only averaging an 11.0 through four games.
However, this dark cloud for Rupert Murdoch has a silver lining:
Wednesday night’s 1-0 Chicago win had a 13.0 preliminary national rating with a 21 share. It was the highest-rated prime-time show on Fox since the final of “American Idol” in May, but still not enough to save the series from being the lowest-rated.
Just when you thought you’d never see Tonya Harding’s name in print again (or at least until the next time Fox needs to clean up during Sweeps Week), the Associated Press reports the following:
Tonya Harding tussled in her home with a man she described as her boyfriend, prompting an emergency call by the figure skater-turned-boxer and an arrest of the man.
Christopher Nolan was charged with assault and pleaded not guilty Monday. He told deputies Harding threw him down and bit his finger when he said she had too much to drink on Sunday. The 27-year-old Nolan was ordered to stay away from Harding and to avoid alcohol.
Harding had a small cut over her right eye and an abrasion on her left cheek.
Initially, Harding called 911 and said she was attacked by two masked men who came to her home and assaulted her before she could escape.
Nolan said he and Harding were roommates.
Obviously, assault is no laughing matter, but Harding’s continued, um, scrapes with the law are beyond redundant at this point.