?A Galloping Success
?Buck's True Wit
?Even with veteran anchor Tom Hammond back in Lexington, Ky., recovering from heart surgery, NBC's Breeders' Cup coverage last Saturday didn't falter. Handicappers Mike Battaglia and Bob Neumeier combined sharp analysis (they each hit five of eight races) with humor (Neumeier picked 8-year-old Kona Gold in the Sprint because "I'm getting a little gray up in the temples as well"), and commentator Charlsie Cantey ably handled Hammond's role of describing the horses during the post parade. Cantey also provided an apt reflection on the 3-year-old colt Landseer, who was euthanized after stumbling and breaking his right leg in the Mile. (The incident demonstrated, she said, "what the great columnist Bed Smith once called the 'harrowing uncertainty of the turf.")
?With NBA games reaching nearly 300 million households in China this season and a Chinese-language section on NBA.com enabling fans to vote for NBA All-Stars for the first time, don't be surprised if the Rockets' Yao Ming is a starting center at the 2003 All-Star Game.
?Even as Parkinson's disease and a variety of other illnesses kept him from the ballpark in 2002, Hall of Fame announcer Jack Buck—whose son Joe finished calling his fifth World Series for Fox on Sunday—still found a way to do play-by-play. "My mom told me that he would do a fake play-byplay at night for all the different medicines that he had to take," Joe told SI. "The medicines for his Parkinson's and diabetes would be the different players in the game. He'd be like, 'The 2-2 pitch to Mirapex. Ground ball left side. Mirapex on at first. Now here comes Anaprox.' It was hilarious the way he approached all his ailments."