If you haven’t heard by now, I’ll Have Another has been scratched from this weekend’s Belmont Stakes with a sore front leg. He’s retiring now and will never get his shot at the Triple Crown. As I was reading about it, it kind of reminded me of Phil Hughes circa 2007. To refresh your memory, Hughes was making his second start in the majors and brought a no-hitter into the seventh before popping a hammy and hitting the DL. Who knows if he could have finished it off, but it was looking good. And who knows how I’ll Have Another was going to run, but the bookies giving him 4-5 odds seemed to think he had a shot. And that’s the part that sucks the most. There’s no way to ever know. I would rather have gotten shelled in the 7th or see my horse come up lame out of the gates then never knowing what could have been. It’s torture.
So, here’s the question. Which one sucks more? I mean, at first you have to think missing the Triple Crown is way worse. There have only been 11 Triple Crown winners and the last one happened in 1978… which means zero in the lifetime for most of the people reading this site. No-hitters happen every year, hell, even the Mets are getting in on the action now. But Hughes was a rookie phenom in only his second start. He was the future of the rotation and personified a complete about face in the philosophy the Yankees views on their farm system vs. free agency. Plus, I’ll Have Another is just a horse, so who cares? Then again, I’ll Have Another is dunzo for good while Hughes lives to fight another day. I’m picking Hughes as the more devastating scenario, but that’s probably because I’m a homer and still a Hughes apologist, no matter how many times he lets me down. What do you think?