The O Zone…

As many loyal readers of The O Zone are aware, from time to time, I will tap into the dark recesses of the greatest mind not enough people know of… Team Haberle. That will all be changing in the very near future, stay tuned for details.

In fact the image you see posted is in fact a logo yours truly created specifically for TH.

Now I am no graphic designer, nor do I play one on TV BUT… I was able to conceive this logo, along with the extremely appropriate, dead-on tagline.

As I said more will be forthcoming on Team Haberle and The O Zone in the near future and trust me, the world as you know it will never be the same.

As you know, a few weeks ago I went to altar of TH to get his thoughts on Big Brown

And now, on the eve of what could be an historical day, I wanted to go back to TH again for his take on the big horse’s chances of winning the Triple Crown. After gaining the necessary top-level clearance, I was able to converse with TH (thru a protective Plexiglas window of course and under the shroud of darkness and cover) and this is what he had to say:

Nephew Steve O (NOTE: those close to TH are able to achieve the status of Nephew or Niece as the case may be… and trust me, this familial designation is not easily achieved nor taken lightly to those it is bestowed upon)…

As you recall, I was on record writing only two things could stop Big Brown
from reaching horse racing immortality:

1.) Injury

2.) Boxing him in

Well, I am not called the Nostradamus of the Equine for nothing. Right after I wrote that, The Big Guy cracked one of his hooves and his trainer, Richard Dutrow, accused Edgar Prado (Barbaro’s jockey and author of the book, “My Guy Barbaro”) of trying to box in Big Brown.

Am I The Man or am I the Man? You know the answer is an emphatic, “Yea,
Baby!”

Anyway, it appears as though Big Brown’s hoof problem is just about completely
healed. The attending Vet said as much and that BB doesn’t need any more follow up care other than a small, fiberglass patch they’ll put on it.

In fact, he did his last workout before the Belmont Tuesday morning at 6 furlongs and was apparently none the worse for the wear. It doesn’t really matter at this point that he missed a couple days of workouts. He’s very fit. Big Brown is the real deal. A Real Big Brown Deal. I’m not sure, even if they try to box him in, that he can be beat. I’ve heard the “bounce” theory espoused again (i.e., because of two herculean efforts he’ll fall back – “bounce”). Yeah, well, they said that before The Preakness and we all know what happened there, right? Fact of the matter is this: BB doesn’t need to be 100% to beat this crew. Let’s just hope they all run a fair race so that Big Brown gets a clear path and a legitimate shot at immortality. Also, say a prayer The Big Guy doesn’t sustain another injury (however minor) before
then.

If all goes as it should, Big Brown will become the first Triple Crown winner in 30 years (since Affirmed). And, he’ll do it on my birthday. I can’t think of a better present. If and when BB takes care of business, then we can talk about where he ranks with the greats like Secretariat, Seattle Slew, Sir Barton, Citation, Whirlaway, and War Admiral.

If you’re betting the race, the only value will come in the exotics (i.e., exactas and trifectas). Take Big Brown to win and then look at the 3rd and 4th best odd horses. Not Casino Drive (the Japanese horse who won the Peter Pan over this same track and who will likely be the bettors 2nd choice). Maybe box them underneath BB in the Tri. If you’re betting any other horse than Big Brown to win, why not just send your money to Team Haberle now? Why? Because you’ll be wasting it anyway, and I’ll make better use of it than your fellow bettors.

Guaranteed.

***

I can’t let this opportunity go by without commenting on Charlie Manuel and the whole Jimmy Rollins affair.

I have been one of the biggest bashers of Uncle Charlie from the outset but what he did yesterday could very well have changed my view forever.

I’m surely not going to rehash everything, we all know what happened.

But I will say I gained a tremendous amount of respect for Charlie Manuel.

Why?

Because this was not some utility infielder we’re talking about here folks. This was not some journeyman outfielder, either. This was the reigning National League Most Valuable Player.

And he (Manuel) did not blink when he saw something he did not like and decided to pull Rollins from the game — which by the way was still a long way from being decided.

How many other coaches/managers would have the audacity, gall AND temerity to do the same thing?

Ok, yes it was not a playoff game, it was not even a game vs. a divisional rival. And perhaps the magnitude of a playoff game or divisional game would impact how Charlie handled the situation, the face remains every game counts in the standings and it took some serious grit to make such a decision.

‘Til next time.

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