- Reader Late Scratch pointed out the column by Murray Chass in the Times today about the apparent contradiction between the Pittsburgh Pirates owner Bob Nutting, who scrapped the idea of bidding for a slots parlor (“We withdrew the application for slot machines because the rules in baseball are very clear."), and Steve Swindal, the Boss-in-waiting of the Yankees, who seems totally sanguine that his involvement with a giant slots parlor at Aqueduct will be accepted by baseball commissioner Bud Selig.
Swindal has been telling the press that he's kept Selig informed and that he "got his permission before I went into it." He's mentioned that he feels that he would be grandfathered in due to Steinbrenner's long-running status as a breeder and owner, even though the Boss has never been involved with casinos. Selig says simply that he'll decide when he has all the details. It seems that Swindal is being rather cocky about this; perhaps naive is the right word. Then again, Detroit Tigers owner Michael Ilitch's wife is the owner of a casino in Detroit. Still, as Chass wrote:
What would be surprising is if Selig said yes to Swindal after Nutting assumed the commissioner would say no to him.- After telling us how devoted they will be to the sport of kings now that they have the Breeders Cup, ESPN has dropped their Wire To Wire recap show, thus leaving us with 40 hours less coverage of the sport than they had this year. Now, senior VP Len DeLuca is telling us that "less is more......We will be more committed on the jewel events, particularly now that the 'Breeders' Cup Challenge' is in place." [Bloodhorse]
"The ratings for Wire To Wire were poor," he continued, but perhaps that's because it's on at 2 PM on weekday afternoons, with replays at 5:30 A.M.
- And reader Greg wants to know what the hell is going on in Florida, where just three days after Calder banned jockey Rene Douglas without explanation, Tampa Bay Downs has done the same to seven riders there. In a statement, the track said:
"This action is being taken as a result of an ongoing investigation being conducted by the Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau. Tampa Bay Downs is fully cooperating with this investigation and has no further comment on the matter at this time." [Thoroughbred Times]The TRPB had a similar "no comment."