Happy belated Bastille Day to all. I spent mine down by the prison...and there was cake! So all in all not a bad day...Also thanks to all our febrile flunkies and deliriously, dispassionate disciples for following us over to the new site thereby making for a bearably, benign beginning. We hope to settle in with more frequent posts in the weeks ahead...And finally if you're in the area look us up at Saratoga Racecourse's Opening Day this Friday. The whole BTIH crew will be there, by which I mean me and Fred of Fred's Picks (see football section), as we continue our summertime Where The Windows Clean The People/They're Off-You Lose Horseflesh Handicapping Tour which kicked off with a deposit at Monmouth Park in New Jersey on Sunday. Follow the trail of Bud Light empties and Bubba Burger wrappers to our setup...

 

She's not at Freehold Raceway on a Tuesday afternoon, but Opening Day Saratoga?...well at least I can dream...

 

Pop Culture: Congratulations to Katie Holmes on successfully completing her 5-year contract as Tom Cruise's wife. Apparently a distraught Cruise tried to get her to re-up, but reports are she had him at "Hell No!". And as for the surprisingly quick settlement, well, it's not easy to get out of these 5-year plans, I mean, unless you're Stalin...You'll never see a section here titled Politics as this blog is stridently apolitical, but have to laugh at the whole when was he there/when did he leave debate surrounding Mitt Romney's tenure at Bain Capital. As if his partners were sitting around saying, "Gee, I'd love to get in on all these outsourcing profits, but if Mitt ever found out he'd go through the roof"...I've often stated on these pages that regardless of what Alannis Morrisette says irony is not a fly in your soup or rain on your wedding day. That's just unfortunate. What irony really is can be found in the new report that suggests the hair loss prevention drug Propecia causes longterm sexual side effects that include lack of sex drive, impotence and shrunken testicles-though in the case of the latter I don't see the problem since, as they say in the food service industry, the smaller the potatoes the bigger the steak looks. Fortunately for the African-American community this is mostly a Caucasian problem because as the joke goes a Black Guy shaves his head women think, "wow, he's getting laid", when a White Guy shaves his head women think, "wow, he's getting chemo"...And if you missed it the recipe for the Special Sauce that graces a Big Mac was released to the public last week by McDonald's Executive Chef Dan Coudreaut. Though, I must say, this seems a bit of a grandiose title for a man who's greatest accomplishments include the McDLT, Green Shakes and the McRib. Reminiscent of the Todd Barry line about the quarter inch plastic bubble at the top of a condom being called the Resevoir Tip ("because I wouldn't wanna contaminate the groundwater!"). Now if Mr. Coudreaut could get the filling of the apple pies down to a temperature less than, say, molten lava that would be useful.

 

Cruise and Holmes AKA TomKat which makes me glad my Grandma Eunice and Grandpa Nick aren't a papparazzi nicknamed, celebrity couple today...EuNick?!?

 

 

All-Star Game: During last week's ultra-hyped, over-commercialized HR Derby I Twitter Searched "Chris Berman Sucks" and thought I got hit with the Malware Virus. After realizing the server didn't actually crash I tuned in and witnessed the reason for the vitriol first hand as Berman said the word "back" approximately 472 times, referenced early 20th century Missouri political boss Tom Pendergast and unearthed the nicknames Mark "Slide" Trumbo and Nomar "Mr. Nice Guy" Garciaparra at which point I switched over to CNBC which in another case of true irony was also airing an episode of American Greed http://www.cnbc.com/id/18057119/...And apparently I wasn't the only one caught by surprise when Giants OF Melky Cabrera won the MVP award. Cabrera, you see, speaks in English that isn't so much "broken" as it is "shattered and ground to a fine dust". Yet despite several bilingual players only steps away in the clubhouse FOX's Matt Vasergian spoke to Cabrera without an interpreter in an interview that could make Chico Escuela sound like Sir John Gielgud. You can check it out here (sorry 'bout the vid quality), bad job by FOX and everyone's favorite punching bag Bud Selig who bemusedly stands in the background while the game gets embarrassed once again http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4vZsvksnxs&feature=related.

 

That's noted Daddy's Girl and daughter of Wayne, Paulina Gretzky on the right...and if I may paraphrase Newbomb Turk from the movie Hollywood Knights, "you want the Great One, oh I got the Great One!"

 

CFB: When it comes to serious dating there are various forms of advice. My female friends always said to make sure to make eye contact though the fine line between a meaningful gaze and the cold-blooded stare of a manaical killer is one I've found difficulty balancing. My mother said be yourself to which I always thought-if that worked I wouldn't be meeting "Ruben-esque in Ridgefield" over a Blooming Onion at the Paramus Mall Outback Steakhouse in the first place. And finally my father said, "be careful what you wish for...". In the end the latter is the advice I should've heeded and the same can be said for the Paterno family. Joe's son Jay and various members of the family were asking the press to hold their comments on JoePa's legacy until the Freeh Report was released and what they got in the end was more bombs dropped on 'em than if they'd gone to war with The Gap Band. We summed up our feelings on the culture of the relationship between the PSU Football program and the University in general here http://bowltilithurts.blogspot.com/2011/11/thief-i-could-take-but-liar-cfb-notes.html. But suffice it to say that by banking on the Freeh Report to exonerate his father to some extent and then claiming it was biased and incomplete when that didn't pan out Jay Paterno has lost all credibility in this matter. Though it may not technically apply we believe the NCAA should at least push for the "Death Penalty" and release all PSU players to sign on with other schools. This type of "tail wagging the dog" relationship regarding major college football and basketball programs has been going on for years and not financial scandals, assaults or even rape has been enough for the NCAA money machine to reel it in. That it took pedophilia to finally shine a light on this type of behavior is sad, but it is also an opportunity to send a message. Nothing's gonna stop the money making sports teams from having an outsized role on college campuses, but if an example is made in this case and followed up in subsequent episodes maybe they'll be more willing to step back from the precipice when things get out of hand thereby minimizing the number of Sandusky's, Christian Peter's and Reggie Bush's we see in the future. Then again when guys like John Calipari and Nick Saban are at the top of their respective sports maybe I'm typing up the wrong tree here.

 

Whew...after all that proselytizing it's good to get back to what we're really about...

 

MLB: Since the All-Star Break the Mets season has gone up in flames faster than the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory and I feel like a Russian Jewish seamstress ready to leap to her death. From R.A. Dickey's dominance to Ruben Tejada's breakout to Kirk Nieuwenheis' emergence to Johan's Santana's health everything about the first half of the Met's season seemed like a tease, but the kick in our already blue balls delivered by the bullpen over this recent 5 game losing streak is the cruelest trick of all. Now I wasn't holding out much hope for a group that was led in first half innings by the Moyer-aged machinations of Miguel Batista, but their recent efforts could make Mrs O'Leary's Cow look like Smokey The Bear. In the aforementioned 5 losses the Mets bullpen combined for 15.2 IP, 16 walks and an ERA of 7.23 on the way to blowing 8th, 9th and 10th inning leads. GM Sandy Alderson claims the Mets will be buyers at the deadline, but I can't imagine the Rockies/Mariners/Cubs/Padres of the world yielding the kind of arms necessary to save this pen and with some offense regression expected, Johan Santana's stamina tested and holes at the back of the rotation it's probably time to appreciate the run you made and bring on Matt Harvey...it was fun while it lasted

 

How this is gonna help my Mets-induced frustration I'm not sure...but I'll figure something out...

 

...After battling through the Balkans the ultimate battle of the Crimean War began when the French/British established themselves on the heights above Sevastopol, the Russians dug in on the city's outskirts and everybody hunkered down and died of cholera by the thousands. Which kinda reminds me of the NL West. The Giants appear in the dominant position, the Dodgers are crumbling, but unlike that 19th Century epic struggle there may be a 3rd entity ready to sweep in and change the whole dynamic. That group is the Arizona Diamondbacks who seem poised to repeat their improbable run of late 2011. Consider these facts: the D-Backs have underplayed their Pythagorean record (i.e.-luck factor) by two games while both L.A and S.F. have outplayed theirs, Arizona has played far less games vs. sub-.500 teams than their rivals indicating they have the easiest 2nd half sked, they are an unlucky 8-13 in one-run games while S.F. is 7 games over .500 in similiar contests and statistically their rotation and pen hold their own against the Giants/Dodgers despite pitching in a noted launching pad vs. the pitcher's paradises in California. And perhaps most amazing they've been able to hang in this race despite the struggles of stars Stephen Drew (now back from the DL), Justin Upton (only 7 HRs) and Ian Kennedy (.330 BABIP).  If these three bounceback at all it could be a wild race out West and the Dodgers and Giants may be sorry they didn't cut the head off these snakes when they had the chance...N.Y. Yankees colorman Paul O'Neill: "Mike Trout is one of those players who actually slows down when he slides." Don't look for Paul to be guest starring on The Big Bang Theory anytime soon...And finallyYoenis Cespedes - Oakland Athletics  is Yosenis Cespedes the next Eddie Gaedel or is the Yahoo Sports photographer really tall?

 

More Mets stuff coming up soon plus a Fantasy Football research article just because I like you crazy mugs. Off to Tri-Key Wheel another loser in Upstate New York. Have a good one!