Tag:In the Crease
Posted on: May 7, 2008 12:04 pm
Edited on: May 7, 2008 2:49 pm

Alpha Blog: Why put down horses like Eight Belles

For the second time in three years, a horse had to be killed following a leg of the Triple Crown.

In 2006, Barbaro eventually was killed after trying to recover from a fractured hind leg.

And of course, we're now in the aftermath of Eight Belles' sad demise. Eight Belles before she is killed.

Lost in the conversation of whether horse racing is brutal, did the jockey ride the filly wrong and PETA's stance is exactly why Eight Belles was killed.

It usually has little to do with economic elements like an owner's pocket book or the horse's stud factor. It has more to do with the nature of the injury.

There is little blood circulation and muscle in the legs of horses. So a break in the leg could sever the few blood vessels that do provide flow. Without blood flow, gangrene could set in.

If the skin is broken, it's another, worse story. If the leg's soft tissue was exposed due to broken skin, not only would more blood vessels be likely to rupture, bacteria, and hence infection could occur.

And an infected horse is troublesome. Antibiotics are hard to administer due to the size of the animal, and because such large doses -- on top of the painkillers already administered -- are required, it wrecks havoc on the horse's gastrointestinal system.

If the bone is fractured, and without strong blood flow, the dead bone particles can become infected and contaminate the remaining healthy bones.

Also, because horses are horses, they don't rehab like humans. They can't sit still, they don't stay laying down and they'll favor the healthy legs, which can often lead to laminitis. Laminitis is a condition in which blood flow to the hoof is compromised, and results in an extremely painful condition for horses. Essentially, the hoof starts to separate from the bone and the soft tissue in the foot becomes the load bearer for the weight of the horse. It's one of the main reasons Barbaro was eventually killed, despite successful surgeries.

There are also the risks associated with surgery, notably anesthesia. Horses waking up post-surgery often get disoriented and flail about, which can lead to re-injury. Barbaro was awoken using a technique called water recovery, which involved awakening the Kentucky Derby winner in a tank, by use of sling. It worked, but it's not the norm.

Also, the science just isn't there. Most equine treatments are simply re-calibrated human procedures.

So while killing a horse with fractured or broken legs seems inhumane, the road to recovery can often lead to more harm -- and the same eventual result.

On to the best blogs ... around!      

When it comes to the Brewers, Doug Melvin and Ned Yost have to go, says How I See It. The blogger is mad Buzz Bissingeras hell, and not going to take it anymore.

You know who else is going all Howard Beale on us? In the Crease. The blog is picking up some momentum for its four-letter word boycott.

You know who was mad as hell, Buzz Bissinger on 'Costas Now.' You know who's chiming in, excellently I add -- The Monday Hustle. Our blog du jour looks at why traditional media views the blog with such hostility. I'd like to add Mark Cuban's voice to this conversation. The Mavs owner, and semi-often windbag, has this critique of the convergence of traditional media and blogs, and he makes some solid points.

Why is everybody so insolent today? (Smithers: Sir, it's Christmas. Mr. Burns: I say when it's Christmas!) What is it about Hump Day that brings out the rant in our bloggers? Killing time at work is up in arms about hockey, and how that four-letter word disregards and belittles it.

Klick of the Day       

What's the going rate for a teacher/bikini-fishing model turned fired teacher to pose in Playboy? How's 25K per photo sound?

Posted on: April 25, 2008 11:45 am
Edited on: April 25, 2008 4:28 pm

Alpha Blog: Ben, 'Lost's' space traveler

After its month-and-change long hiatus, Lost came back with a vengeance Thursday night. Let's discuss.

We start with the game of Risk, the game of world domination -- and Hugo's accurate, yet ironic statement that Australia (hey, that's where this all began!) is the key to the whole game. A game in which, as Ben reminds us over and over, "the rules have now changed."

And from that moment we see Hugo, Sawyer and Locke playing that oh-so-fun game, we're taken on a wild, globe-trotting ride inside the game of Lost. We see the bloodshed, the grief, the alcoholism and manipulation that results in the battle between Others ruler Ben and drunky British tycoon Chaz Widmore. Like Steven Seagal, Ben is out for justice.

We learn that Ben is a Jumper, a Quantum Leaper, a Stargater. Somebody, who through his mysterious closet portal, can get places -- and times -- very quickly.

We first see Ben in Tunisia, puking, hurting and sporting a Dharma winter coat. He's been to Tunisia before, which begs the question -- how long has he been time traveling? And what sort of reputation does he exactly have at that hotel? And where did he just come from, what with that heavy coat? Siberia possibly? Where Risk playing Sawyer and Locke are rolling the die on in the opening sequence?

He eventually makes his way to future, Oceanic-6 Sayid, who's in Tikrit, Iraq mourning the loss of his wife, Naomi. We see the genesis of how these two dark characters join -- the loss of women can be such a bonding force.

We also see Ben in London, paying a visit to Widmore. The two engage in a pleasant debate over who really killed Ben's daughter and the merits of whose Island it really is.

We also learn that Iraq is really "nice this time of the year." Classic deadpan Ben humor.

OK, so we're still not sure what to make of 2005 Ben. He's clearly on an out-for-justice mission to avenge his adopted daughter's death and screw Widmore to high hell. We learn he can jump around the world, has never really been out of control of any situation on the Island (how 'bout that piano-seat shotgun?) and that there's some sort of game being played with the Island the focal point.

As for on-island developments: Ben's daughter is dead, Jack has appendicitis, Claire can really take a RPG blast well, the freighter is not a rescue ship, Farrady is a liar, an alleged dead doctor floats to shore and most interesting -- Ben controls the black smoke.

I'm open to any ideas about this phenomenon. It seems like a sort of Raiders of the Lost Ark meets The Abyss mercenary-killing creature -- but it apparently doesn't kill merc leader Keamy. 

An impressive amount of stuff for one episode, titled The Shape of Things to Come.

But I'm a bit saddened to learn about this time-traveling angle. I dig the concept as much as the next TV nerd, but, depending on how they logic this one out, it seems like some serious suspension of disbelief will be required going forward. As is the case with any time-traveling experiment.

Your thoughts on the episode? What does Ben really mean with "you changes the rules of the game,"  is the Island some sort of time traveling Hartsfield-ian hub, and what about that washed up corpse?

Dan Haren is good, but did the D-Backs pay too much?On to the best blogs ... around!  

Sick of hearing about how "lucky" the Orioles are? Collected and Conveyed. begs you to watch some of the team's wins and marvel in how well they're actually playing. (BTW, we have a surprising amount of Orioles-related blogs. I'm impressed)

What's 513 mean to you? Well here's what it means to GoPack's Yak: Jim Thome has now passed Ernie Banke and Eddie Matthews on the all-time home run list. Impressive? You bet, considering the recent rash of PE sluggers.

If you still think the A's were fleeced in the Danny Haren trade, Matt Abedi's Sporting Universe asks you to think a bit differently. My question: Why would anybody ever trade with Billy Beane? Hell, if I'm a GM I'd start trade talks just to see who he likes in my system, then I'd get those guys up the bigs ASAP.

Octopi and Red Wings games go together like lamb and tunafish, which is why In the Crease is just a bit peeved at the treatment of Al Sobotka, the Joe Louis Arena building manger.

Klick of the Day      

If you want every reference, name, historical import in last night's Lost broken down, read Doc Jensen's recap of the episode. (EW.com)

Posted on: March 14, 2008 11:34 am
Edited on: March 14, 2008 5:06 pm

Alpha Blog: Last night's 'Lost' and your blogs

One thing we don't have here is a good spot for talking TV. Not sports and TV, just TV. Maybe we're not really supposed to, being that we're a sports website.

But it's Lost season.

And if you watched last night's Sun-Jin flashback episode, please share your thoughts. The episode was called "Ji-Yeon" (flower of Did Sun lose her husband last night? (EW.com)wisdom) and offered some bombshells.

We get teased in a flashback that's incongruent. We think Jin is running late to his child's birth, only to find out that we're watching newlywed-pre-Oceanic Flight 815-Jin pick up a Panda for his daddy-in-law's shady business associate. In the flip-side-to-the-flashback, it turns out Jin is dead (or is he?) and widow Sun is giving birth to their island-conceived child. Two births for the price of one Jin and two pandas.

We also complete our Oceanic 6: Sun, Kate, Aaron, Jack, Sayid and Hurley.  (Or is Aaron still not one of the six).

Also, we meet ... Kevin Johnson. Otherwise known as Michael, the guy responsible for cleaning up blood splatter on the freighter that's hanging out just a wee bit too close to the island. I have a feeling we'll get to know more about his situation next week.

Oh, and we get confirmation that the wreckage found in the Pacific was staged by Charles Widmore (played by Alan Dade, the ultimate rich jerk).

I can't break down the episode any better than EW's Jeff Jensen, so for in-depth analysis check it out. But if you have some theories, predictions or insight, fire up the message board below.

On to the best blogs ... around!  

In the crease, our resident ESPN hater, begins his boycott of the four-letter word. Why? Piss-poor hockey coverage. I wonder, how are we faring in the hockey coverage game?

In what is the hardest thing to do in the greatest-ever conversation, Sportyjr's Rant and Rave blog is trying to put together the Greatest Baseball Team Ever. I hope my man Cal Ripken gets a bench spot at short.

Speaking of Greatest Team Ever, BLOG YOU!! is putting the football version. He needs a punter, and while Ray Guy is the usual answer to this problem, I'm a Reggie Roby person myself. If only for that stopwatch.

I haven't read his technology-Dark Ages thread on the boards, but I like what I read here in Might mean something to you.... Sort-of-point: Technology will fragment society to the point where we'll enter another Dark Ages. Sort-of-counterpoint: A free marketplace coupled with strong public education will always correct technological imbalances among classes.

Our buddy Tab Spangler is asking for everbody to write up MLB preview blogs. Here's a good Tigers one, courtesy of random thoughts of buckeye22.

Posted on: March 12, 2008 11:43 am
Edited on: March 12, 2008 3:52 pm

Alpha Blog: Bud Selig makes Mike Hampton's salary

If you were ever a doubter that baseball -- and all sports -- are 98 percent business, 2 percent about the game, then read up on Bud Selig's compensation.

The baseball commish pocked $14.5 million buckaroos last year. He'll do it again this year. So he's worth around one Mike Hampton. Or if Did you hear how much Buddy boy makes?you like players that actually produce, he's worth one Lance Berkman, Vladimir Guerrero or Carlos Delgado. (salary list)

Now, I know what you're thinking. Eric, we know baseball's a business and of course the CEO is going to get paid in accordance with how well the business is doing.

I hear ya.

But how much of how well baseball is doing is due to Selig?

I don't think much.

Baseball has more equity than any other sport. It's been around since the 19th century and has the easiest marketing hook of all the sports -- tradition. It also has the summer sports marketplace to itself, highly visible stars and ballparks that serve as mints.

(Quick note: he failed to properly nip performance-enhancing drugs in the, uh, bud and/or instill a hard salary cap)

There are more economics to that, and even some that counter-balance profits (strong labor union), but in the end baseball is a business still worth buying into it.

So I'm not surprised to see his salary. But I was surprised to see his expense account. Who's he hanging with, Spitzer?

On to the best blogs ... around!    


You can have beefs with our writers all you want. But there's nobody I know who lives and breathes baseball like Scott Miller. A must-read for Jake Peavy -- or pitching -- fans. Scott Miller's Bull Pennings reports.

What did Butler winning the Horizon League title do to its seeding hopes? Dantheman4250's College Basketball Blog bumps the Bulldogs up to a No. 4 seed. I can't disagree. Who says mid-majors can't be seeded like BCS schools?

Our value metric is the hot topic along the boards. (Insert Name Here) wants an explanation. I'm not the person to give it right now. I am investigating it -- this thing is actually pretty complicated, sort of like figuring out the Luxury Tax in Monopoly -- and once I have an answer I'm comfortable writing, I will share. Sorry I can't give you more at the moment. And by the way, we're CBSSports.com!

Player evaluation skills a must brings up an interesting issue. Let's say a coach, we'll call him Bell Bilichik, gets caught cheating. But we all sort of agree cheating happens in the sport. Then other coaches, who may or may not have cheated as well, start pointing fingers and dropping fluffy quotes about how Bell Bilichik is ruining the game. Is that OK?

In the Crease has a problem with hockey coverage, notably ESPN's lack of it. We're here for ya buddy. We've got puck heads coming out the wazoo, and not to toot my own goal-blaring horn, but I'm poised to win our in-house Fantasy league.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com