One final say before summer break
Nevada Appeal Betting Columnist
Tuesday night is Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game which, like it or not, determines which league’s team earns home field advantage in the World Series. The person stealing the headlines, however, as always, is Barry Bonds.
Bonds reportedly gained 250,000 votes over Alfonsono Soriano in the final three days, finishing third in the fan balloting. But did Bonds really win his starting position in the outfield for the All-Star Game, or did MLB fudge with the final vote? The players certainly wouldn’t have voted for Bonds, it wouldn’t have been fair to ask National League manager Tony LaRussa to choose him, and Soriano would have been invited anyway, so why not turn this meaningless game into a party for San Francisco and MLB?
Predictions: The pick here is the American League, having won nine out of ten All-Star Games, plus the dreaded tie of 2002. My preseason prediction of Bonds to eclipse Hank Aaron’s home record on July 27th has got a shot.
Once again the symbol for this year’s Wimbledon will be an umbrella, as rain has plagued the entire tournament. To get an idea of how outrageous things have been, it took Rafael Nadal and Robin Soderling 95 hours to complete their third-round match. The tournament committee certainly should have bypassed tradition, used their common sense, and called for some matches last Sunday.
On the men’s side, Roger Federer appears poised to tie Bjorn Borg’s modern-day record of five consecutive Wimbledon championships, plus he owns a 13Ð1 advantage over American Andy Roddick. The other half of the men’s draw is wide open.
On the women’s side, it was ultra-glorious to see drama queen Serena Williams bounced out of the tournament by Justine Henin. While Serena was spending her fortnight complaining about hamstring, calf and thumb injuries, and begging for bathroom breaks out of turn during matches, Henin was just going about her business of attempting to complete her career Grand Slam. As usual, Serena lacked preparation and the graciousness to admit that she got her big butt kicked again by the best player in the world, Henin.
Predictions: Before the tournament started my pick was Federer at the superÐlow odds of 2 to 5, but my money went on Roddick at 15 to 1. My other preÐtourney pick Henin should defeat Serena’s sister Venus in an excellent final.
It was a surprise to learn that Wednesday’s hot dog eating contest in New York was bettable in some Las Vegas sports books. It was more incredible to watch favored Joey Chestnut and multiÐyear champion Takeru Kobayashi consume a combined 129 hot dogs and buns in 12 minutes. Chestnut won, but the manÐofÐtheÐmatch award goes to Kobayashi, who threw up late in the contest (or as they say in competitive eating, he did a reversal), yet had the intestinal fortitude to stuff it back in. Losing by three dogs, Kobayashi didn’t need to do that, but he proved what a true competitor and proud champion he is.
It’s time for summer vacation, as this is my last article before Week 1 of the National Football League season. But there are always events to wager on.
There’s MLB, NASCAR, the WNBA, AFL, CFL, golf, boxing and horse racing. There are matchÐups and parlay cards. Future bets are available for the World Series and pennants, the Nextel Cup, NHL and NBA.
But most everyone’s favorite, of course, is the NFL. Preseason is about a month away, Week 1 odds have been out for awhile, and there are future bets obtainable for the Super Bowl, conference championships, divisions, and over/under team wins.
Good luck on those, and see you in September!