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Article:Sunday Smoker - May 17

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Author's Note: A lot of you have been asking what I'm up to, which is kinda sweet because that means you all missed me...I am now a tv producer at WCTI NewsChannel12, the ABC station in New Bern, NC (eastern NC). In the past five months I've looked for a job, found a job, gone through an awful time with my family and tried to figure out what kind of person I am. Welcome to the real world, right? Enough about me, on to what I write about best...

Texas Rangers

Finally, someone has thrown the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim off their horse (for the time being) and decided to get some edge. They've won 12 of 14, and Ian Kinsler has become the designated BAMF, something they haven't had in a while (side note: Kinsler reminds me of the cute Jewish boys I went to college with, only A LOT more attractive). The Rangers have won six straight, and their constant bugaboo, starting pitching, has come through. They're 8-2 in the past 10, and 11-2 in their last 13.

Rachel Alexandra

There's always some horse that captivates me during the Triple Crown season. Whether it's the name (Smarty Jones), a tragedy (Barbaro) or the Triple-Crown-that-would-not-be (Big Brown), it's always something. This year, it is, of all things, gender. Rachel Alexandra beat all the boys, and led the Preakness from nearly start to finish on Saturday as she was adorned with black-eyed Susans. Also, her jockey, Calvin Borel, is one of the coolest people ever (he referred to the reporters as Sir and Ma'am!) and one of the best jockeys in the world. Kudos as well to Mine That Bird, who came out of nowhere again to nearly win and keep a Triple Crown bid alive.

Stan Van Gundy's Seat

It has to be smokin' hot, and if the Magic lost Game 7, it will probably be smoldering. If your best player has to ask for the ball publicly, there's a problem. If your no-name players complain about your coaching style, there's a problem. If you almost always blame the players for mistakes that were dually yours, there's a problem. I don't care what ownership said, there has to be some discussion of his future after the season if they don't advance. The Game 6 win obviously helped, but I don't think he's out of the woods yet.

Jason Bay

Before the season, my brother and I openly admitted that we would be able to accept it if the Red Sox traded David Ortiz. We had no idea this guy would be so good and Ortiz would be so bad. He has carried the Red Sox so far, with shitty pitching, Youkilis going down, Nick Green at shortstop, and Jonathan Van Every making stints in the outfield and the bullpen (both unsuccessful). He's third in the league in homers, second in RBI, second in on-base percentage, fourth in slugging, fourth in OPS, second in walks, and he's hitting .306. FYI, he is a free agent after the season. I will, or find someone who will, punch Theo Epstein in the face if he is not in a Sox uniform next year.

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