The 150th Belmont Stakes in New York goes off at 3:37 p.m. PDT Saturday (Channel 4). A couple of minutes later, we’ll have a decent idea if there’s a second Triple Crown winner worth celebrating over the last four years. How soon we forget when it was such a rare occurrence. Justify, 5-for-5 in a career that did not begin until Feb. 18, has a decent shot at becoming the 13th overall winner of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont (in order, in a five-week spread). One way to prep for this is giving a mixed-message listen to a Jim Gaffigan rant that he whipped up for CBS’ “Sunday Morning” – “Every spring I have the same thought: Wait, we’re doing this again?” Again, NBC is doing the race, not CBS. The Paulick Report wonders if the piece is “funny or ignorant.” The odds are pretty good that whatever reactions viewers have to this will depend on what kind of blinders they most comfortable wearing.
Cal State Fullerton’s baseball season somehow isn’t finished. When the Titans started the 2018 college season ranked in the Top 25, but then fell out of it after losing three in a row at Stanford and were just 1-7 in March, there was apparently much work to be done. The Big West’s lone representative in the 64-team NCAA tournament defeated Baylor once (6-2 on Friday) and then regional host and No. 2 overall seeded Stanford twice (2-1 Saturday via Jace Chamberlin’s pinch-hit homer and then 5-2 on Sunday) to advance to the Super Regional round of 16, The Titans (35-23), who have won eight of their last nine in this end of the process, will get to host Washington in the next best two-of-three round, expected to start Thursday or Friday of this week. Fullerton has a record of 106-43 in the regionals and is advancing to its 14 super regional appearance.
The MLB annual draft starts Monday (3 p.m., MLB Network) and, before it wraps up with the 40th round on Wednesday, there is a leaning that Orange Lutheran pitcher Cole Winn could go in the Top 10, and the Angels, with the 17th pick overall, may want Mississippi pitcher Ryan Rolison. Santiago High shortstop Brice Turang is also expected to go in the first round. The Dodgers have the 30th pick. Detroit, choosing first, will likely take Auburn pitcher Casey Mize. But what about Oregon State’s Luke Heimlich?
The Dodgers have never honored Manuel Rafael Mota Geronimo yet with a bobblehead? The 80-year-old who may be more famous as a line from the 1980 movie “Airplane!” will have his likeness encrusted in whatever they make those things out of now when the Dodgers meet Atlanta at Dodger Stadium on Saturday (6:10 p.m.).
The rest of the Dodgers’ week: At Pittsburgh on Monday and Tuesday (4:05 p.m.) and Wednesday (9:35 a.m.) before coming home to face the Braves on Friday (7:10 p.m.), Saturday (6:10 p.m.) and Sunday (1:10 p.m., all on SportsNet LA)
The French Open finals this weekend won’t include Serena Williams, who pulled out of the event Monday because of injury just before she was to meet up with Maria Sharapova. Otherwise, this event still belongs to Rafael Nadal, seeking to extend his record to 11 titles there and who provided a “classy move” after his third-round win. More on the event at this link.