Before we begin, I'm a little confused about the NBA playoffs.
This is a bye week, right?
SMARTY LEAVES DERBY FIELD PANTING Thirty-nine-year-old jockey
Stewart Elliot won in his first Kentucky Derby. To give you an
idea how unknown this guy is, the only advertising on his silks
was a KFC discount coupon sticking out of his back pocket.
A thunderstorm just before the race made bad conditions worse. I
haven't seen that much mud fly since Richard Clarke testified
before the 9/11 commission.
On the other hand it was nice to hear the phrase "sloppy track"
and not have it refer to Marion Jones's joint checking account.
Different feel at this year's Derby. No Jerry Bailey, no D. Wayne
Lukas, no Bob Baffert, no kids asking, "Daddy, what's a gelding?"
MLB ATTENDANCE UP 15% And if it gets to 17%, you know what that
means: Mandatory testing of mascots.
According to reports, BALCO president Victor Conte volunteered
the names of 27 athletes who received steroids. And he can expand
that list to 40 after Sept. 1.
Oakland's stadium is now known as McAfee Coliseum. But I'm not
sure if this tradition is going to catch on: the seventh-inning
LIGHTNING BOLT HABS IN FOUR STRAIGHT The series was over so fast
the Canadiens' Mike Ribeiro had to fake an injury in the
The Red Wings went down three games to two in their conference
semifinal against the Flames. Detroit is desperate for offense.
They're thinking of putting Chauncey Billups on the point.
The difference in those games was Flames goaltender Miikka
Kiprusoff. He's got it all: the glove hand of a young Patrick Roy
and the groin of a young Dominik Hasek.
Commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA chief Bob Goodenow sat
together at Game 3 of the Flyers-Leafs series. And this doesn't
bode well. They couldn't agree on nacho toppings.
TIMBERWOLVES BEAT THE NUGGETS TO ADVANCE Carmelo Anthony sat out
the deciding game with a sprained knee. Jon Barry took the Denver
rookie's place, scoring seven points and dishing out eight
denials that he and Christina Aguilera were an item.
Shaquille O'Neal stands to make millions on the proposed IPO of
Google. Shaq has always been a shrewd investor. Ten years ago he
was the first guy to cash out of Blue Chips.
In other NBA news the Celtics hired Doc Rivers. He fulfilled
three key criteria: He has experience, he's good with young
players and he doesn't mind having his clothes laid out for him
by Danny Ainge.
GIANTS RELEASE KERRY COLLINS Kind of sad the way Collins found
out. He walked into the Giants' locker room at the Meadowlands
and saw Archie Manning measuring his stall for curtains.
Elsewhere Drew Bledsoe agreed to renegotiate his contract with
the Bills. The team has agreed to defer 30 sacks.
IOC TAKES OUT $170 MILLION INSURANCE POLICY ON OLYMPICS Pretty
comprehensive. It pays off if any Olympic official is severely
injured by a kickback.
JAYSON WILLIAMS ACQUITTED OF MANSLAUGHTER And I don't think this
was called for, but after four days of deliberations the jury
ruled Benoit Benjamin's NBA career was also an accident.
My time is up. You've been great. Enjoy Sugarloaf.
Bill Scheft has pitched a book idea to Mitch Albom, The Five
People You Meet at the Will Call Window.
COLOR ILLUSTRATION: ILLUSTRATION BY JEFF WONG