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Issue Date: April 2008


Off to the Races


Andy Netzel
Events like the hot dog race, sponsored by Sugardale, usually help baseball fans get through a rough rebuilding season. But the giant, person-filled hot dogs came along when the Indians were the hottest they’ve been in a decade. That speaks to how truly transcendent these meals-with-legs are. Below is a guide to help you choose whom you will cheer for this year. And don’t forget, 2008 is a new year: They’re all in first place now. They all have the same magic number, assuming they keep up the same schedule as last year: 81.

Ketchup

2007 WINS: 30
STYLE: Ketchup is a dominating force, and wins at all costs. Fans often see his foul play (cutting corners, bumping other dogs, even knocking over a young girl last year), but the ump seems oblivious.
2008 PROSPECTS: This guy is the Alex Rodriguez of the hot dog racing world. You love to hate him, but you kind of wish he was on your team. If considering him for a fantasy hot dog team, though, he’s an easy first pick.
Mustard

2007 WINS: 22

STYLE: Mustard is Cleveland: He’s the scrappy underdog you’re sure can pull it out. He started out the season slowly, but came on after the
All-Star break. He finishes the races strong.
2008 PROSPECTS: In a town where you can’t think about hot dogs without thinking about Stadium Mustard, this is a fan favorite. But he’s more of a Casey Blake: Streaky, and you only want to remember the game winners.
Onion

2007 WINS: 19

STYLE: Onion only wins when it doesn’t matter. He’s typically the third-place finisher, and in ’07 his big victories came when Mustard and Ketchup were having bad days. So he’s consistent. Consistently mediocre. 2008 PROSPECTS: You’ve got to give it to him. He tries. He still shows up. But he’s the Kansas City Royals of the hot dog-racing circuit. This next year looks to be no different from the last.

Look for new “human-like” costumes this year.

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