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Sat, May. 6th, 2006, 01:32 pm

Confidential to ESPN: Listen, I like horse racing. I do. But women's softball is on the Deuce, the Angels are playing untelevised, and anyone who follows the early races on Derby Day is at a simulcast location. So can I please see Guerrero DHing and Tim Salmon in the field for some reason?

Speaking of, it's terrible rooting for a basement-dwelling team out of the region. I happen to be a Devil Rays fan. Why? Because it's less trendy than being a Cubs fan, mainly. Also, the Devil Rays have Josh Paul, who is decidedly mediocre and currently my favorite player. Last year he made the Angels' playoff roster merely for existing, since both Molina brothers were catching for LA, and they both usually got pinch-run late in the game. One game, Bengie was DHing and Jose was catching, but got pinch-run, and Paul got put in. He dropped a third strike and failed to tag AJ Pierzynski, setting in motion the White Sox' win over the Angels and their subsequent World Series victory.

Having seen this, the Angels traded Josh Paul to the Devil Rays, where he's backing up the decidedly above-average Toby Hall and acting as personal catcher for the decidedly mediocre Seth McClung. For $475,000 a year.

Tell me how a man can't admire that.


... off a muff, a wiff, and a failure to properly defend. Man, I felt like I was watching bantams again.

Before this game, I'd decided to go Sabres in 3.66. (When the sweep became apparent at the end of Game 4 period 2, the Senators would just fail to show.) However, having seen this one, it's really going to depend on the officiating and whether we can keep Ryan Miller fresh in goal. Frankly, he took a beating last night. The next game isn't till Monday, so hopefully he'll be rested up and his head will be right. Depending how he plays on Monday, in my mind, Martin Biron's going to have to make an appearance on either Wednesday or Thursday. Hopefully Miller will do us proud on Monday and play well, but if he gets his bell rung or if we have another thirteen-goal-game, the kid's just going to be whipped.

Damn it, why did we trade Mika Norenen?

Seriously, the series is very, very winnable. It might take until Game 6, when the Sabres are back in Buffalo. I don't think Miller can withstand this kind of onslaught, though, and stay in sweep position. I mean, shit, the kid's a rookie.

So, Sabres in 6.