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updated: 5/26/2011 3:40 PM

Who's the most fearless — Byrd or 72-year-old jockey?

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  • Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd, center, was beaned in Boston and put on the disabled list. Whenever he faces live pitching again will be a big moment. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

      Cubs outfielder Marlon Byrd, center, was beaned in Boston and put on the disabled list. Whenever he faces live pitching again will be a big moment. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
    Associated Press

  • Jockey Jean Cruguet, here riding Seattle Slew to clinch the Triple Crown at Belmont Track on June 13, 1977, is considering a one-race return at Arlington Park next week. (AP Photo)

      Jockey Jean Cruguet, here riding Seattle Slew to clinch the Triple Crown at Belmont Track on June 13, 1977, is considering a one-race return at Arlington Park next week. (AP Photo)
    Associated Press/1977 file

 
 

Byrd is the word:

Baseball players may not be the best athletes in all of professional sports, but they sure are among the bravest.

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Standing at the plate facing a pitcher throwing 90 mph from 60 feet away with less than a half-second to react and then doing it again and again. Man oh man.

Good luck to Marlon Byrd.

Speaking of amazing:

If everything turns out just right -- and that's a big if -- look for former Triple Crown-winning jockey Jean Cruguet (Seattle Slew) to come out of retirement to ride in a race at Arlington Park next Friday.

Oh, did we mention that Cruguet is 72?

Danks for the memories:

White Sox starter John Danks is too good a pitcher not to battle back from an 0-7 start to finish the season somewhere around the .500 mark.

Of course, this is coming from the same guy who predicted big things for "Joey."

Sherpa time:

Who is facing the toughest uphill climb this summer: the Cubs, Adam Dunn or Ryan Chiaverini with "Windy City LIVE," the replacement for Oprah?

Cha, cha changes:

Green Bay Packers officials recently announced plans to renovate Lambeau Field. On the docket is upgrading its Hall of Fame, adding up to 8,000 new seats and replacing the stadium sound system and scoreboards.

The renovation is expected to begin following the 2012 season.

Meanwhile, word is the dirt at Soldier Field has really blossomed thanks to all the rain this spring, and the price of green paint is holding steady.

Great timing:

Cbssports.com reports that the cost of jerseys at NFLShop.com have been increased by $5 apiece ... despite the current lockout.

Good times.

Start your engines:

Quick, name the pole sitter for Sunday's Indianapolis 500?

I know, I know, and it's sad.

BTW, it's Alex Tagliani.

Probably more people are interested in the Memorial Day 500 countdown where I'm guessing "Crazy Train" comes in at around No. 33.

Good ol' days:

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the race, A.J. Foyt will drive the pace car and Mario Andretti is scheduled to race ahead of Foyt on the last pace lap -- at speeds nearing 190 mph -- then catch the back of the pack before ducking into the pits just as the field takes the green flag.

Foyt and Andretti.

It's those kind of drivers the sport is sorely missing.

Cup fever ... catch it:

In case you were wondering, it's about 3,200 miles from Vancouver to Tampa Bay.

And if those two teams meet in the Stanley Cup Finals, that's as many fans who ... ah, you know the rest.

Nice job, Barry:

Say what you will about Barry Bonds ... and there's absolutely a lot to be said, but what a nice gesture to offer to pay the college tuition for the daughters of severely beaten Giants fan Bryan Stow.

Weird, wild stuff:

Alfonso Soriano headed into the weekend leading the Cubs with 25 RBI in 162 at-bats while Reed Johnson had 18 RBI in 60 at-bats.

Goofiest. Mascot. Ever:

Kegasus, a half-horse, half-man "party manimal", is being credited by Pimlico officials for increasing attendance in the infield over Preakness weekend.

Yeah, it may have been Kegasus, or just maybe it was the all-you-can-drink beer mugs they were selling.

Even though Arlington Park doesn't open its infield for the Million, maybe they can come up with a mascot for the race anyway.

Slotsasus?

Different perspective:

"As important as the playoffs or the Eastern Conference finals are to me, the most important thing right now is (Jaelyn) and my wife. I haven't been away from her. That'll be the hard part, when you're away and having to make decisions while you're away."

-- Miami Heat guard Mike Miller on traveling to Chicago for Game 5 while his newborn daughter is in intensive care at a South Florida hospital

mspellman@dailyherald.com

• Mike Spellman's Scorecard column appears Fridays.

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