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Valentine's Views: Bummed About The Preakness

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Admittedly, I am not a horse racing fan. I am disappointed, though, that Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom fell short Saturday in his bid to win the Preakness Stakes. The Belmont Stakes is coming up next month, and New York's piece of the Triple Crown is always a bigger event if a Triple Crown possibility exists. Maybe next year.

I loved Ryan Jones' take on the NBA Draft Lottery earlier this week, declaring the New Jersey Nets winners even though they traded their pick to Utah for Deron Williams and watched the Jazz wind up with the third overall selection. Williams, the star point guard, is better right now than anyone coming out of the draft.

There is a catch, though, and everyone around the NBA knows it. Williams can be a free agent after next season and with only the 27th pick in the draft, the Nets are not going to find a player who helps them convince Williams to stay beyond next season. At a glance I'm not sure I see any difference-making free agents available this summer, so Nets' GM Billy King is going to have pull off some draft magic.

Detroit Tigers Manager Jim Leyland thinks interleague play has "run its course." Is he right? I have never been a fan of interleague play, so maybe I am not the best judge. I agree with Leyland, though. There is only one argument for interleague play -- and that is that in the 'rivalry' games like Yankees-Mets or White Sox-Cubs it bumps up attendance.

If you have been watching Yankees-Mets this weekend, though, you know that the novelty is gone -- and so is much of the excitement of the first few seasons. There was no sellout at Yankee Stadium on Friday, and there hasn't been much of a buzz all weekend.

The arguments against interleague play are obvious, and most of them have to do with screwing up the competitive balance. The DH vs. no DH argument and the unbalanced schedule affecting pennant races being the major ones.

Bill Madden of the Daily News, however, says Commissioner Bud Selig won't budge on this. Attendance -- and money -- rule after all. Competitive balance? Selig doesn't care, as long as the money rolls in.

When it comes to the NFL Lockout most players and owners seem to think a deal will get done and the season will go on as scheduled. Which is good. Except it sure would be nice to see some real work toward that end getting done.