Sports Wagers

June 29, 2010 7:02 AM


Remember the late and great Alan Malamud who wrote "notes on a scorecard" with the Herald Examiner in Los Angeles many years ago? He was truly the first sportswriter who gave the Las Vegas books a fair shake when it came to gambling and the influence it had when he covered big time events in our fair city.

"Mud" could say more in a paragraph than most writers could say in a book. It just reminded me after watching today’s action that if I picked up tomorrow’s Herald Examiner he might have started out with something like this: "With the U.S. now ‘long Ghana,’ will the attention take a drastic nosedive, especially with both the U.S. and Mexico no longer on the betting board?"

And was that a Tim Donaghy look-alike making some of those calls in the World Cup? Of course, Alan would never make any accusation unless he had bullet-proof evidence, but after watching some of the calls he would have raised some eyebrows.

From my side I definitely would have liked both us and our southern neighbors to advance as ticket counts were led by these teams.

Even the uninitiated, which you can count me as one, was taken in by the games we were involved in. And the decisions were never monumental so even with them advancing it still was good for the joints as people were coming in and hanging out much longer than they normally would.

Booking is relatively simple. Give them something to bet, give them a Corona and stay out of their way.

And in baseball, not only is the inter-league season over, it’s actually losing its steam as well. When it was new it had a good effect on a dry, hot June day, but other than a few real good matchups it has settled in as just another day.

The L.A. crowd still comes late and leaves early, fortunately or unfortunately. That was the best part of the final inter-league game as Cano put Manny-wood and the Dodgers in a coma.

So we can only hope the World Cup stays strong with some betting opportunities and we can also look forward again to the Orioles playing the Royals. Or check out "Mud" with his compelling cameo in the film, "White Men Can’t Jump."

Hey, it’s only five weeks till the Hall of Fame football game. And at the top I spoke about Alan giving the books a fair shake; we still are in good hands with guys like Youmans, Haney, Tuley and Saber telling it like it is.

Take care, Jimmy V.

(Jimmy Vaccaro is the director of sports operations at Lucky’s Race and Sports Book.)