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Does Major League Baseball think we're stupid?

Check that. Major League Baseball thinks we're stupid.

So much hullabaloo has been made over whether or not Jason Giambi will meet with the Mitchell people about his steroid use. Will he or won't he? If he meets with them, what will he say? Whom will he implicate? If he doesn't meet with them, will he be suspended? Will they remove the muscles directly from his body with a knife?

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Man, this is going to turn out to be nothing, the way everything about baseball's steroid investigation is going to turn out to be nothing, the way we're made to sit in front of our TVs and watch swollen-headed monstrosities named Bonds and Sosa crash through records they'd never have gotten without testicle-shrinking, acne-inducing shots to their fat asses. Baseball is run by people who don't respect their fans, because anyone who respected us wouldn't do this to us and then kick us out of bed in the morning.

Here's how the Giambi thing will go down. He'll say, "Okay, I'll come talk to you." But he won't mention any names of any other players who did 'roids. He'll be conveniently fuzzy on when he took 'roids himself, so no one will be able to say he did 'em while he was a Yankee, so the Yanks won't be able to void his mammoth contract. He'll essentially cop to having done what we know most of the major sluggers of the late 1990s did, but without any ramifications. No one else will be implicated. Bud Selig will be able to wave coquettishly toward Congress and say, "See, we're soooo serious about getting to the bottom of this. Now about not revoking that anti-trust exemption...."

Yawn. I'd rather watch Lost reruns. At least you know Kate ain't juiced....

What were Angel Cabrera's odds to win the U.S. Open before the week started? Was it fortunate for the books that Tiger didn't finish off his comeback?

Bodog Bookmakers, Bodog.com: Angel Cabrera was a 140/1 long shot to win the U.S. Open. We have now had two majors in a row where the winner was listed as more than a 120/1 long shot. Actually, we didn't even list Cabrera in our original odds. He was grouped in the field at 5/1. The book was ecstatic with the long shot win; Jim Furyk at 20/1 would have caused some groans from our bookmakers, as he was the popular choice among bettors this weekend. Furyk trailed only Tiger Woods in terms of handle.

Are there any prop bets out there about Barry Bonds's quest for Hank Aaron's career home-run record?

BDB, Bodog.com: We have had props on Barry Bonds all season long. Each time Barry hits a HR, we'll see a spike in the bets that come in. I get the feeling that the public has now accepted the fact he's going to break the record. So his fans want to see him become the home run champ, and his non-fans are saying, "Okay, let's get this over with." Of course, we're offering "When will Bonds hit the home run," where most of the money at this point is on August 6 or later. We're also offering:

-What inning will Barry hit the record-breaking HR?
-What will the pitch count be?
-Will the pitcher be right- or left-handed?
-How many men will be on base?
-How long will it take Barry to round the bases?
-Will Bud Selig be in attendance?

If you take the "favorite" on each of the above props, number 756 will happen like this: "In the seventh inning Bonds will step into the batter's box to face a right-handed pitcher, and with no one on base and Bud Selig looking on, he'll launch an 0-2 pitch deep to right field for the record."

Do you think Kobe Bryant really wants out of L.A.? And do you expect that he'll actually be on a team other than the Lakers when next winter comes?

BDB, Bodog.com: Kobe wants to win; he sees that the Lakers are a few years from contending, so his best option is to win elsewhere. The Lakers don't have the assets to bring in enough talent to help Kobe return the Lakers to their past glory. I think he'll be gone before the first game of the season, but it's going to take some creative dealing to make it happen. Most teams that have enough assets to give the Lakers enough to get Kobe may not have enough left over to help Kobe win another title. The obvious team that could give the Lakers the talent they need to facilitate a trade with out decimating their roster is the Phoenix Suns. The Lakers could get Shawn "The Matrix" Marion, who has let it be known he's unhappy in his role on the Suns. Add Leandro Barbosa and Boris Diaw, and this trade could definitely happen. However, after the trade, I doubt the Lakers would want to see Kobe more than twice a year or in the playoffs, s o they may prefer to find a trading partner in the East.

With basketball and hockey done, what will be the bettors' focus over this long, hot summer before the NFL begins? And what will be the books' focus?

BDB, Bodog.com: Baseball is going to take the majority of the action over the summer, but savvy bettors will look to some of the fringe leagues to make some money. Due to their limited popularity, the WNBA and Arena Football will have some attractive numbers available to those bettors who are willing to take the time to handicap those sports effectively.

  
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