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Senor Ballistico

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  1. Monday’s 6-pack More over/under win totals for the baseball season (60-game season) 20.5— Orioles 21.5— Tigers 24.5— Royals, Marlins, Mariners 25.5— Pirates 26.5— Blue Jays 27.5— Rockies Americans who have died from COVID-19: 125,950 Quote of the Day: “In the past, probably, is the way I’d characterize it. I’ve finally got to a point where I’m trying to achieve happiness in life, not happiness on the football field … I know a lot of people probably want me to come back and play and give it another chance, but I don’t know, as far as being a person and figuring out life as a young adult…..” Johnny Manziel Monday’s quiz Which state is known as the Granite State? Sunday’s quiz Luxor is the Las Vegas hotel/casino that is shaped like a pyramid. Saturday’s quiz Sam Snead (52 years, 10 months) was the oldest golfer to win a PGA Tour event. Posted onJune 29, 2020 Leave a commenton Monday’s 6-pack, Quote, Quiz of the Day Monday’s Den: Wrapping up a quiet weekend…….. 13) In a not-so-stunning development, New England Patriots will lose a 3rd-round draft pick in the 2021 draft and pay a $1.1M fine with their crew not allowed to record games during the 2020 season. Members of New England’s TV team were discovered recording from the Cincinnati Bengals’ press box during the Bengals’ home game against Cleveland last year. 12) In a personnel move whose timing was probably designed to drown out the NFL’s punishment, New England signed QB Cam Newton to a one-year contract worth a maximum of $7.5M. 11) College football trends from Marc Lawrence: — Hawai’i is 5-0 ATS coming off an overtime win. — Oregon is 1-8 ATS coming over an overtime win. — Northwestern is 8-0 ATS as an underdog coming off an OT win. 10) Washington State’s basketball team signed top international prospect Andrej Jakimovski, a 19-year-old from North Macedonia. Jakimovski is a 6-7 wing who played last year in the second division of Italian professional basketball, but played on an amateur contract. 9) Former Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman has 29 film credits on IMDB, that’s how many movies get filmed in America’s favorite city. I live just outside Albany, NY; if you’re looking for a fun thing to do this summer, the baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown just opened up again— it is about 80 miles from Albany, a nice scenic drive on a summer day. Good pizza place, Sal’s is across from the Hall of Fame. 7) Over/under on home runs for any player this season in a 60-game season: 20 6) 24 new head coaches in college football this season; going to be difficult for them to put their new systems in, if there is a season. 5) I don’t get the appeal of fireworks; people are starting to shoot them off around here, which is fine, I just understand why people like them— never have. 4) Last time a pro golfer hit every fairway for an entire tournament was Brian Claar in 1992; it has happened only four times since 1980, and none of those four guys won that tournament. 3) Dustin Johnson won the PGA tournament in Hartford; he has now won at least one event the last 13 years in a row. 2) Ominous note for college sports; 10 junior colleges in Maricopa County, AZ suspended sports for the coming sports year because of the Coronavirus. 1) Job advice of the week: If you’re going to be trying out for an NFL team next month, it is a bad idea to get arrested for DUI this month. Cardinals’ undrafted rookie WR Jeremiah Braswell was arrested Saturday after allegedly driving his car into Lake Erie while under the influence. No bueno. TV highlight of the day: FS1 had the 1978 All-Star Game on Sunday: — Biff Pocoroba caught the 9th inning of the game, his one All-Star appearance. — Bob Uecker interviewed former President Gerald Ford during the game.
  2. Thursday’s 6-pack Odds for the golf tournament in Hartford this week: 12-1— DeChambeau, McIlroy, Thomas 20-1— Jon Rahm 25-1— Patrick Cantlay 28-1— Johnson, Rose, Schauffele 33-1— Ancer, Casey, Im, Morikawa, Watson 40-1— Reed, Spieth Americans who have died from COVID-19: 121,279 Quote of the Day: “I’ve been saying all offseason I expect Foles to be the guy who wins the competition. But here’s my caveat: I don’t know if that means Nick Foles starts Week 1. I just think, at some point, Nick Foles is going to be the guy. I don’t see either quarterback starting 16 games. I see both of them starting games this year.” The Athletic’s Kevin Fishbain Thursday’s quiz How many NFL teams wear white helmets? Wednesday’s quiz Lions, Cowboys are the two NFL teams that play at home every Thanksgiving. Tuesday’s quiz Before moving to Oakland in 1968, the A’s used to call Kansas City home Posted onJune 24, 2020 Leave a commenton Thursday’s 6-pack, Quote, Quiz of the Day Thursday’s Den: Doing some thinking out loud……. 13) A 60-game baseball season isn’t ideal, but my whole attitude changed for the better this week, when I heard that things will be starting up in four weeks. 3am last night, I’m going thru fantasy baseball projections, getting my roster ready for this season, instead of playing word games on my phone. Our league will have only a five-week regular season, then four weeks of playoffs, but at least it will be something to focus on every day, something that is fun. We haven’t had much fun so far this year. 12) Couple of Friday nights ago, there was NOTHING good on TV, I mean, zero. So I turned the TV off, put music on and played Wordscapes for nine consecutive hours. Seriously, I did. Good news— I won the Wordscapes tournament that weekend Bad news— It isn’t good to play a damn word game for nine consecutive hours, especially on a Friday night. 11) MLB Network showed something great last night; they replayed the MLB Tonight show from the last night of the regular season from 2011, when Evan Longoria hit a walk-off homer to put Tampa Bay into the playoffs. This was a whole night of baseball, dramatic baseball; how did they not show this at least once a week since mid-March? 10) Extra innings this season will start with a runner on 2nd base; the batter who made the last out in the previous inning will be the runner on 2nd base. 9) When the Seattle Mariners drafted Ken Griffey Jr s an 18-year old, he had to ask his father where Seattle was, he seriously didn’t know. June 23, 1971, Phillies’ pitcher Rick Wise had probably the best night ever for a pitcher; he no-hit the Cardinals, and also hit two home runs in the game, a 4-0 Phillies’ win. 7) Detroit Tigers’ 1B Norm Cash hit 377 home runs in a 17-year career; that is most home runs ever hit by a player who never hit a walk-off homer. 6) Circa Resort/Casino is being built in downtown Las Vegas; it is scheduled to open later this year. “Once, Las Vegas held a certain mystique as this fabulous place where only grown-ups could play. Call us old-fashioned, but we think adults need some of that mystique back in their lives.” That is from Circa’s Twitter page; I’m curious to see how that all goes. 5) From the KBO: Doosan Bears won 30 of their last 38 games against the LG Twins, who are a pretty good team. 4) KBO had a rough day Wednesday; with the major leagues coming back, the KBO’s window of American exposure will probably come to an end. I’ll still post KBO info here every day, because I’m a believer that if you start something, you finish it, but hopefully this year will be the last time I write about the KBO. Then four of their five games Thursday got rained out, as monsoon season begins in Korea. 3) From Justin Ray: Over the last 15 years, 82 golfers led a tournament, then shot 66 or better in the last round; of those 82 leaders, 71 of them won that tournament. Two of the 11 leaders who shot 66 or better but didn’t win were Tyrell Hatton, Abraham Ancer, last week in Hilton Head. Ancer is the only 54-hole leader in the last 15 years that shot 65 or better but didn’t win the tournament. 2) Daniel Berger has broken par 32 rounds in a row, the current longest streak on Tour; he is 20 rounds behind the all-time record of 52, set by Eldrick Woods in 2000-01. 1) One of the great newspaper headlines of all-time was in the New York Post on April 15, 1983: “Headless Body in Topless Bar” TV highlights of the day: MLB Network had their best night of 2020 Wednesday, showing a replay of the last night of the 2011 season, which was very dramatic.
  3. Wednesday’s 6-packSome NFL point spreads for Week 6:— Lions (-1.5) @ Jaguars— Dolphins @ Broncos (-6)— Jets @ Chargers (-4)— Packers @ Buccaneers (-2.5)— Rams @ 49ers (-7)— Cardinals @ Cowboys (-6.5)Americans who have died from COVID-19: 120,927Quote of the Day:“I even got one of Aunt Bee’s cookbooks. It was a special night.”Former big league pitcher Jim Deshaies, who was made an honorary citizen of Mayberry, TX in 1991, by the local chapter of the Andy Griffith Show Fan Club. Deshaies was born in Massena, NY, the hometown of Hal Smith, an actor who played Otis the town drunk on “The Andy Griffith Show.”Wednesday’s quizWhich major league team, other than the Royals, used to call Kansas City home?Tuesday’s quiz11 NFL teams play their home games in a domed stadium.Monday’s quizBefore moving to Raleigh, NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes were the Hartford Whalers. Posted onJune 23, 2020Leave a commenton Wednesday’s 6-pack, Quote, Quiz of the Day2 Lists for Wednesday; What I know about the start of baseball seasonHere’s what I know about the start of the 2020 baseball season…….this is all kind of fluid, but I’ll keep adding stuff as I find out.13) Spring training will resume July 1; first games will be July 23 or 24.12) Teams will play 60 regular season games in 66 days; ten teams will make the playoffs.11) If the whole season is played, players will earn about 37% of their full-season salary.10) Players will not get playoff shares this season; last year, all the Washington Nationals got9) Transactions freeze ends this Friday at noon. Trade deadline will be August 31.7) Players will have to be added to the major league roster by September 15, in order to be eligible for the playoffs.6) Each team will have a 60-player pool to choose their players from; they can bring bring three extra players on the road with them, but if they do bring three extra guys, one of them has to be a catcher.5) Relief pitchers will have to fave a minimum of three batters, unless they finish a half-inning, then they can be replaced in between innings.4) Rosters will wind up being 26 guys; they will start the season with 30-man rosters, then down to 28 guys after two weeks, then will settle at 26 guys after four weeks.3) Teams will play the other four teams in their division ten times each, the five teams in the other league’s like division (AL/NL East, AL/NL Central, AL/NL West) 3-6 times each.They’re trying to reduce travel as much as possible, which doesn’t help Seattle or the Florida teams much.2) Not sure where the Blue Jays will play, but their AAA team is in Buffalo, so that looks like an option. Florida seems like a bad idea, with COVID-19 spiking there.1) MLB may maintain a camp of sorts in Nashville, where unsigned players can work out, in case they’re needed. I’m wondering how many injuries there will be in August.TV highlights of the day:— An old Broncos-Bengals game, with Don Criqui on the call. Posted onJune 23, 2020Leave a commenton 2 Lists for Wednesday; What I know about the start of baseball seasonWednesday’s List of 13: Some of my favorite TV/movie quotes13) “There’s no such thing as a sure thing, thats why they call it gambling.”Oscar Madison, The Odd Couple12) “I’ve got a trig midterm tomorrow and I’m being chased by Guido, the killer pimp.”Miles, Risky Business11) “You’re a goddamn quarterback! You know what that means? It’s the top spot, kid. It’s the guy who takes the fall. It’s the guy everybody’s looking at first – the leader of a team – who will support you when they understand you. Who will break their ribs and their noses and their necks for you, because they believe. ‘Cause you make them believe. That’s a quarterback.”Al Pacino, Any Given Sunday10) “He’s a great player, but I don’t think we can get him in academically.”Jerry Tarkanian, Blue Chips 9) “You just got lesson number one: don’t think; it can only hurt the ball club.”Kevin Costner, Bull Durham “…..you find out life’s this game of inches, so is football. Because in either game – life or football – the margin for error is so small. I mean, one half a step too late or too early and you don’t quite make it. One half second too slow, too fast and you don’t quite catch it. The inches we need are everywhere around us. They’re in every break of the game, every minute, every second……”Al Pacino, Any Given Sunday7) “Listen, Lupus, you didn’t come into this life just to sit around on a dugout bench, did ya? Now get your ass out there and do the best you can.”Walter Matthau in The Bad News Bears6) “God likes me!!! He really, really likes me!!! What a day!!! What a fabulous day!!!”Richard Dreyfuss in Let It Ride5) “Being perfect is not about that scoreboard out there. It’s not about winning. It’s about you and your relationship with yourself, your family and your friends. Being perfect is about being able to look your friends in the eye and know that you didn’t let them down because you told them the truth…….”Billy Bob Thornton, Friday Night Lights4) “……here’s the thing. If you can’t spot the sucker in your first half hour at the table, then you ARE the sucker.”Mike McDermott, Rounders3) “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great.”Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own2) “Who’s the U-boat commander?”Auto repair guy, in Risky Business, when the Tom Cruise’s father’s Porsche winds up in Lake Michigan, and then in a repair shop to be cleaned up1) “Do whats in your heart, son. You’ll be fine.”Robin Williams, from Good Will Hunting
  4. Tuesday’s 6-packSome NFL point spreads for Week 5:— Jaguars @ Texans (-9)— Dolphins @ 49ers (-13.5)— Colts @ Browns (-1)— Giants @ Cowboys (-7.5)— Vikings @ Seahawks (-3)— Chargers @ Saints (-10)Americans who have died from COVID-19: 120,360Quote of the Day:“There are high expectations coming into this season. Everyone knows that. No one is shying away from that. Dan (Quinn) and myself included.”Atlanta Falcons’ general manager Thomas DimitroffTuesday’s quizHow many NFL teams play their home games in a domed stadium?Monday’s quizBefore moving to Raleigh, NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes were the Hartford Whalers. Sunday’s quizSeattle Mariners are the only current major league baseball team that has never played in a World Series. Posted onJune 22, 2020Leave a commenton Tuesday’s 6-pack, Quote, Quiz of the DayTuesday’s stuff: KBO weekly report, and Gary’s all-time favorite Mets/JetsKBO knowledge.…….KBO standings, thru seven weeks:28-12 NC Dinos (2-3 last week)25-16 LG Twins (3-3)25-16 Doosan Bears (4-2)25-17 Kiwoom Heroes (5-1)23-18 Kia Tigers (4-1)Top five teams make playoffs20-21 Lotte Giants (2-4)20-22 Samsung Lions (3-3)18-23 KT Wiz (5-1)12-29 SK Wyverns (0-6)10-32 Hanwha Eagles (1-5)OPS leaders:1.209 JS Kang, Dinos1.166 Roberto Ramos, Twins1.127 Mel Rojas Jr, Wiz1.091 JH Lee, Heroes1.073 Tucker, TigersBatting average:.412— JS Kang, Dinos.382— Mel Rojas Jr, Wiz.381— JH Lee, Heroes.374— JM Fernandez, Bears.362— Roberto Ramos, TwinsHome runs:13— Roberto Ramos, TwinsMel Rojas Jr, Wiz12— SB Na, Dinos11— Preston Tucker, Tigers10— BH Kang, Wiz9— Aaron Altherr, DinosRBI:40— Preston Tucker, Tigers38— Mel Rojas Jr, Wiz37— Aaron Altherr, Dinos35— SB Na, DinosJH Kim, BearsJH Kang, Dinos33— JM Fernandez, BearsStolen bases:9– KC Seo, Heroes8— JW Oh, TwinsWJ Sim, Wiz7— CH An, GiantsAltherr, Dinos6— KW Jeong, TwinsHS Kim, HeroesJH Jung, EaglesERA:0.82 CM Koo, Dinos 55 IP1.63 Jokisch, Heroes 55.1 IP2.10 Straily, Giants 55.2 IP2.50 Rucinski, Dinos 50.1 IP2.91 KY Im, Tigers 43.1 IP3.00 Brooks, Tigers 48 IPWHIP (baserunners allowed/innings pitched):0.65 CM Koo, Dinos 55 IP0.94 Jokisch, Heroes 55.1 IP1.01 Straily, Giants 55.2 IP1.14 Gagnon, Tigers 45.2 IP1.15 KY Im, Tigers 50.1 IPRucinski, Dinos 44.1 IPStrikeouts:62— Straily, Giants61— CM Koo, Dinos 49— Gagnon, Tigers Rucinski, Dinos48— JH Park, Wyverns47— Alcantara, Bears45— SW Moon, WyvernsBullpen records:7-2 LG Twins11-7 Kiwoom Heroes9-6 NC Dinos5-3 Kia Tigers7-5 Doosan Bears8-6 Lotte Giants2-6 Samsung Lions3-8 Hanwha Eagles3-8 KT Wiz3-12 SK WyvernsSaves:10– KC Moon, Tigers 10-10JH Won, Dinos 10-127— SW Jo, Heroes 7-7KM Woo, Dinos 7-7DJ Ham, Bears 7-85— WJ Kim, Giants 7-9Home teams are 113-93; over is 94-104-7Monday’s Lists of 13:Gary is bartender Chris’ father-in-law; Gary’s favorite teams are the New York Mets and the New York Jets.“I don’t know how we get along but since he’s teams have been so bad he’s starting to see the light and has been rooting for the Buffalo Bills and sometimes the team from the Bronx “Mets: 1. Tom Seaver2. John Franco3. Tug McGraw 4. Jerry Grote5. Tommie Agee6. Cleon Jones 7. Dwight Gooden8. Darryl Strawberry9. Mike Piazza10. Jacob Degrom11. Noah Syndergaard12. Ken Singleton13. Rickey HendersonJets:1. Joe Namath2. Curtis Martin3. Freeman McNeil 4. Wayne Chrebet5. Mo Lewis6. Nick Mangold7. D’brickashaw Ferguson 8. Mark Gastineau 9. Joe Klecko10. Wesley Walker11. Dustin Keller12 . Emerson Boozer13. Al Toon.TV highlight of the day: The documentary on MLB Network about Ken Griffey Jr was well done. I had never seen it before.
  5. MONDAY Monday’s 6-packSome NFL point spreads for Week 4:— Ravens (-13) @ Redskins— Giants @ Rams (-6.5)— Patriots @ Chiefs (-8)— Bills (-1) @ Raiders— Eagles @ 49ers (-4.5)— Falcons @ Packers (-4)Americans who have died from COVID-19: 121,347Quote of the Day:“Anyone making it (wearing a mask) a political issue is an absolute moron who can’t read.”Arnold SchwarzeneggerMonday’s quizBefore moving to Raleigh, where did the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes call home?Sunday’s quizSeattle Mariners are the only current major league baseball team that has never played in a World Series.Saturday’s quizMike Holmgren was coach of the Seahawks the first time they played in a Super Bowl. Posted onJune 21, 2020Leave a commenton Monday’s 6-pack, Quote, Quiz of the DayMonday’s Den: Nobody asked me, but……13) On June 21, 1989, I had a job interview for a court assistant position, which would’ve meant a substantial raise for me; the interview didn’t go too well, in part because the job sounded like it wasn’t much fun— you had to take vacation when the judge took vacation, stuff like that. The last time I worked the first two days of the NCAA Tournament was 1983; I valued having some flexibility with my days off. How do I remember the exact date? Well, the A’s traded for Rickey Henderson that day, which cemented them as World Series contenders. They traded Luis Polonia, Eric Plunk and Greg Cadaret to New York, so when I walked in my parents’ house, I was smiling.My mother perks up, “The job interview went well?!?!?”“No, it wasn’t good, but the A’s got Rickey Henderson.”She wasn’t quite as enthusiastic about it as I was.12) Former Cubs’ SS Addison Russell is expected to sign with the Kiwoom Heroes in the KBO; each KBO team can have three foreign players, but only one can be a position player.11) Basketball great Bill Russell led the American team to a gold medal at the 1956 Olympic Games, but had he chosen to, he could’ve participated in track and field instead.At that time, Russell was the 7th-ranked high jumper in the world, #2 in this country, but there was a rule you could only participate in one sport, and Russell chose basketball.10) In his first seven years in the NBA, Wilt Chamberlain led the league in scoring all seven years, but the Boston Celtics won the championship every season. In his 8th season, he didn’t win the scoring title, but his team won the championship. Go figure.9) 255 father/son combinations have played in the major leagues. 62-year old Bernhard Langer shot 2-under par Sunday, became the first PGA golfer in 30 years to be over the age of 60 and shoot under par in every round.Langer won the Hilton Head tournament 35 years ago, 12 years before Collin Morikawa was born.7) Former Southern Miss/Tennessee basketball coach Donnie Tyndall was introduced over the weekend as the new head coach at Chipola College, a junior college in Florida. Tyndall was given a 10-year show-cause order by the NCAA for breaking the rules regarding academic fraud while at Southern Miss; he can’t be a D-I coach again until 2026.6) Apparently the state of California has an unprecedented backlog in both divorce cases and family law cases.5) Golfer Michelle Wie had a baby daughter this weekend; she is married to Jonnie West, who played basketball at West Virginia— he is Jerry West’s son. Pretty good genes.4) College football stat from Ralph Michaels:In BYU’s last 16 season openers, 15 of them stayed under the total; only one of the 16 that went over got over the total on a Hail Mary on the last play of the game.3) Some high schools are hosting graduation ceremonies at drive-in theaters, so families can drive there and everyone can watch a virtual ceremony on the big screen. Clever idea.2) Dak Prescott is expected to sign a $31.4M franchise tag for this season; he would then have until July 15 to sign a long-term deal with Dallas, which be the best-case scenario for Dallas.1) People can’t agree on much these days, but everyone has to agree with this; 2020 has been a lousy year to be a statue.TV highlights of the day: Solid weekend for movies:— A Few Good Men— A Star is Born— Bull Durham— Bulworth— Hangover IIGolf tournament was also entertaining.
  6. [[Sat.. 6/20 above]] Sunday’s 6-packSome NFL point spreads for Week 3:— Panthers @ Chargers (-6)— Buccaneers (-1) @ Broncos— Lions @ Cardinals (-3)— Cowboys @ Seahawks (-2.5)— Packers @ Saints (-5.5)— Chiefs @ Ravens (-2)Americans who have died from COVID-19: 121,347Quote of the Day:“Please be advised that it is our consensus medical opinion that in light of the increase in Covid-19 cases in certain states that no players should be engaged in practicing together in private workouts…….”Dr. Thom Mayer, NFLPA’s medical directorSunday’s quizWhat is the only current major league baseball team that has never played in a World Series?Saturday’s quizMike Holmgren was coach of the Seahawks the first time they played in a Super Bowl.Friday’s quizMarshall Faulk began his NFL career with the Indianapolis ColtsPosted onJune 20, 2020Leave a commenton Sunday’s 6-pack, Quote, Quiz of the DaySunday’s Den: Best 3 managers for each NL team (since 1969)Arizona Diamondbacks:— Bob Brenly— 303-262 in four years, won the ’01 World Series.— Buck Showalter— 250-236 in three years, going 100-62 in 1999, Arizona’s 2nd year as a major league team.— Torey Lovullo— 260-226 the last three years, all winning seasons, despite their letting their best player (Paul Goldschmidt) walk away.Atlanta Braves:— Bobby Cox— Hall of Fame skipper won five NL pennants, ’95 World Series.— Fredi Gonzalez— 434-413 in six years, went 1-4 in two playoff appearances.— Brian Snitker— 318-292 in four years, made playoffs last two seasons.Chicago Cubs:— Joe Maddon— Won Cubs’ first World Series in over 100 years, got dumped three years later.— Leo Durocher— 535-526 in seven years; his best Cub team got beaten out by the Miracle Mets in 1969.— Don Zimmer— 265-258 in four years, getting ’89 Cubs to the playoffs.Cincinnati Reds:— Sparky Anderson— 863-586 in nine years, splitting four World Series.— Lou Piniella— 255-231 in three years, winning 1990 World Series.— Dusty Baker— 509-463 in six years; Reds haven’t been over .500 since he left.Colorado Rockies:— Clint Hurdle— Had only one winning season, but he won NL title in 2007.— Bud Black— 249-238 the last three years.— Don Baylor— Rockies’ first manager; had two winning seasons out of six.Los Angeles Dodgers:— Tommy Lasorda— Won four NL titles, two World Series.— Walter Alston— Won four World Series, including ’55 Series for Brooklyn/— Dave Roberts— 393-256 in four seasons, only 25-22 in playoffs.Miami Marlins:— Jack McKeon— Managed 3.5 seasons in Miami, won ’03 World Series.— Jim Leyland— Managed two seasons in Miami, won ’97 World Series.— Fredi Gonzalez— 276-279 in four seasons; had two winning years.Milwaukee Brewers:— Tom Trebelhorn— Had only one losing season in five full years in Milwaukee.— Craig Counsell— Averaged 90.3 wins/year the last three seasons.— Harvey Kuenn— 160-118 in 1.5 years, won ’82 AL pennant as an interim skipper.New York Mets:— Davey Johnson— 595-417 in 6+ years, won ’86 World Series.— Gil Hodges— Managed ’69 Miracle Mets, passed away at age 47.— Bobby Valentine— 536-467 in seven years, won 2000 NL pennant.Philadelphia Phillies:— Charlie Manuel— 780-636 in nine years, won two NL pennants, ’08 World Series.— Danny Ozark— 594-510 in seven seasons, made playoffs three times.— Larry Bowa— 337-308 in four seasons, three of them over .500.Pittsburgh Pirates:— Jim Leyland— Led Pirates for 11 years, winning 96.3 games/year from ’90-’92.— Danny Murtaugh— 15 years, four different stints; won ’60, ’71 World Series.— Chuck Tanner— 711-685 in nine years, won ’79 World Series.St Louis Cardinals:— Whitey Herzog— 822-728 in 11 years, won three pennants, ’82 World Series.— Tony LaRussa— 1408 wins in 16 years, won World Series in ’06, ’11.— Red Schoendienst— 1041-955 in 14 years, won ’67 World Series.San Diego Padres:— Bruce Bochy— Won 951 games in 12 years, won NL pennant in ‘98.— Dick Williams— 337-311 in four years, won NL pennant in ’84.— Bud Black— Had only two winning seasons in nine years; not lot of other choices.San Francisco Giants:— Bruce Bochy— Won three World Series; will be in Cooperstown in July, 2025— Dusty Baker— 840-715 in ten years, won NL pennant in ’02.— Roger Craig— 586-566 in eight years, won ’89 NL pennant.Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals:— Felipe Alou— Managed Expos for 10 years; his best team was in ’94, Eason that got ended by the work stoppage.— Dave Martinez— 175-149 the last two years, won World Series last year.— Dusty Baker— 192-132 in two years; why doesn’t anyone stay in Washington?
  7. Saturday’s 6-packSome NFL point spreads for Week 2:— 49ers (-4) @ Jets— Redskins @ Cardinals (-7)— Chiefs (-5.5) @ Chargers— Ravens (-6) @ Texans— Patriots @ Seahawks (-3.5)— Saints (-4) @ RaidersAmericans who have died from COVID-19: 121,347Quote of the Day:“One of the problems we face in the United States is that unfortunately, there is a combination of an anti-science bias that people are, for reasons that sometimes are, you know, inconceivable and not understandable, they just don’t believe science.”Dr Anthony Fauci, a medical expertSaturday’s quizWho was coach of the Seattle Seahawks the first time they played in a Super Bowl?Friday’s quizMarshall Faulk began his NFL career with the Indianapolis ColtsThursday’s quizDesignated hitter came into the American League in 1973. Posted onJune 19, 2020Leave a commenton Saturday’s 6-pack, Quote, Quiz of the DaySaturday’s List of 13: Some memorable sports blunders……13) December 26, 1919— Red Sox trade Babe Ruth to New York, for $100,000. Ruth hit 49 homers in 162 in six years for the Red Sox- he was 89-46, 2.19 in 143 starts on the mound, but in the Bronx, he pitched only five games (5-0, 5.52) but hit 659 home runs. Red Sox didn’t win a World Series for 86 years after this trade.12) April 30, 1956— St Louis Hawks of the NBA draft a big man named Bill Russell with the 2nd pick of the draft, then trade him to the Boston Celtics, for Ed Macauley, who neatr the end of the trail, and Cliff Hagan, who went on to score 17.7 ppg in his NBA career. Not bad. Here’s the thing: Bill Russell is one of the five greatest players in basketball history; he was in the NBA for 13 years, and won 11 titles- he lost in the Finals once. Hawks moved to Atlanta in 1968; had they held on to Bill Russell, it is safe to say that they’d still be in St Louis.11) There have been many QB-related blunders in the NFL Draft, but this one stands out:April 27, 2017, the Chicago Bears gave the 49ers two 3rd-round picks and a 4th-round pick to move up ONE SPOT in the ’17 Draft. Chicago then drafted QB Mitch Trubisky, who is 23-18 as a starter in his three NFL seasons, not a terrible record, but…….Other players taken in the first round of the 2017 Draft:2nd— QB Mitch Trubisky, Chicago3rd— DE Solomon Thomas, San Francisco8th— RB Christian McCaffrey, Carolina10th— QB Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City12th— QB Deshaun Watson, HoustonWhoops.10) Some more QB-related screw-ups in the NFL Draft:1994— Redskins took Heath Shuler with the 3rd pick of the draft; he went 4-9 as a starter in three years with Washington, was out of the NFL four years later.1998— Chargers took Ryan Leaf with the 2nd pick; he went 4-14 as a starter for San Diego, was out of the NFL by 2001.1999— Bengals took Akili Smith with the 3rd pick; he went 3-14 as a starter over four years, never played for another NFL team.2007— Raiders took JaMarcus Russell with the 1st pick of the entire draft; in three years, he went 7-18 as a starter, and never played for another NFL team.9) December 10, 1971— Mets traded 24-year old Nolan Ryan and three other guys to the Angels, for 29-year old SS Jim Fregosi, who had already played 11 years for the Angels, making it to the All-Star Game six times.Ryan went to pitch for 27 years in the majors, winning 324 games; his last year as a pitcher was Fregosi’s 10th (and best) year as a major league manager. Fregosi hit .233 in two years with the Mets- he played five more years after leaving New York. Drew Brees was a free agent after the 2005 season; his shoulder had been a problem, but it had been worked on, and he was looking to sign on with the Miami Dolphins. Miami doctors advised the Dolphins not to take a risk on his shoulder, so they signed Daunte Culpepper instead of Brees. Yikes.Culpepper started four games for Miami, went 1-3, was in Oakland the next season. Coach of the Dolphins back then? A guy named Nick Saban, but he bolted for LSU after that season.Brees is 133-83 as a starter for the Saints, and he is still rolling, all thew ay to the Hall of Fame.7) Holy Cross’ decision not to join the Big East Conference in 1979, citing a commitment to academics. What a disaster; from 1975-79, the Crusaders went a combined 102-42, making the NCAA’s once, NIT three times- they were good enough to play in the Big East. Not sure how having 12 basketball players in your school screws up the academics of an entire college.Instead of joining the Big East, which would’ve been lucrative for their lucrative for their athletic department, and made life a lot easier for their fundraisers, Holy Cross joined the Patriot League, where they had a strong run from 2000-07 for Ralph Willard, but for the most part, they’ve been buried in obscurity.Boston College got the Big East’s invite when Holy Cross turned theirs down.6) Some NFL Hall of Famers got overlooked in the NFL Draft:— Tom Brady was a 6th round pick— Kurt Warner wasn’t picked at all.— John Unitas was a 9th-round pick in 1955, then the Steelers cut him.5) August 30, 1990— Red Sox traded 22-year old minor leaguer Jeff Bagwell to Houston, for reliever Larry Andersen; Bagwell went on to hit 449 home runs in a 15-year career with the Astros. He got inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2017.37-year old Andersen pitched only 15 games for the Red Sox; he allowed two runs in three IP in the playoffs that fall, and left for San Diego as a free agent that winter. Not often a team gives up a Hall of Famer, for a guy who pitches 25 innings for you.4) Golfer Jean Van de Velde led the 1999 British Open by three strokes with one hole to play; all he had to do to win his first major was double-bogey the 18th hole, but he triple-bogeyed that hole, then lost in a playoff, a stunning collapse that was difficult to watch.3) Some NBA trades that wound up one-sded:January 15, 1965— San Francisco Warriors traded Wilt Chamberlain for Connie Dierking, Paul Neumann (not the actor) and Lee Shaffer.June 22, 1987— Seattle SuperSonics drafted Scottie Pippen, then traded him to Chicago with another 1st round pick, for 1st and 2nd-round picks, and Olden Polynice.June 24, 1998— Milwaukee Bucks drafted Dirk Nowitzki, then traded him to Dallas for Robert Traylor, who scored 4.8 ppg in his 7-year NBA career. Oy.2) Stanford’s band once cost them a ballgame— On November 20, 1982, Cardinal scored with 0:04 left to take the lead against arch-rival Cal; a win that would’ve clinched a bowl bid for Stanford, but Stanford band members (as well as some Cardinal players) ran out onto the field before the Cal ballcarrier was tackled, and the Cal player made his way into the end zone in the craziest ending in college football history.That was John Elway’s last college football game; he never played in a bowl game until he played in the Super Bowl.1) Giants moving to San Francisco, while the Dodgers moved to LA— Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley was moving his team from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1958; he figured that having a second team in California would be a wise business move (for him, at least), so he convinced Giants owner Horace Stoneham to move his club to San Francisco. Stoneham had been looking to move the Giants to Minneapolis.When the Giants’ owners were brought to Candlestick Point, where their new ballpark was going to be built, they were there during the day, but at nighttime, when games were played, that location next to the bay, often had strong winds often swirled down into the stadium, creating unusual playing conditions.At the time of its construction in the late 1950s, the stadium site was one of the few pieces of land available in the city that was suitable for a sports stadium and had space for the 10,000 parking spaces promised to the Giants. Compared to Dodger Stadium, Candlestick was a dump, but 50 years later, the Giants built a new ballpark and finally got it right. TV highlight of the day: ESPNU showed an old college baseball game, San Diego beating San Francisco 2-0 in the WCC title game, with a freshman reliever getting his first college start, and throwing a shutout. Cubs’ 3B Kris Bryant played for San Diego in this game.
  8. Friday’s 6-packSome NFL point spreads for Week 1:— Chargers (-3.5) @ Bengals— Buccaneers @ Saints (-4.5)— Cardinals @ 49ers (-7.5)— Cowboys (-2.5) @ Rams— Steelers (-3.5) @ Giants— Titans @ Broncos (-2.5)Americans who have died from COVID-19: 120,688Quote of the Day:“[When] they’d start him off with a fastball, they’d throw me a curveball. When they start him off with a curveball, they’d throw me a fastball. They never pitched us the same. But I learned a lot about hitting because I looked like him. I watch him set up pitches. I watched all the things that he did.”Ken Griffey Jr, talking about batting behind his dad in the lineupFriday’s quizWhat team did Marshall Faulk begin his NFL career with?Thursday’s quizDesignated hitter come into the American League in 1973.Wednesday’s quizPistol Pete Maravich played his college basketball at LSU. Posted onJune 18, 2020Leave a commenton Friday’s 6-pack, Quote, Quiz of the DayFriday’s Den: Doing some thinking out loud…….13) Was watching couple of NFL Films features last night, one on Kurt Warner, one on his Rams teammate, Marshall Faulk.Back in 1999, I would go out to a local bar on NFL Sundays to watch the Rams on the satellite dish; Rams had been bad for several years, but at the start of that season, they were obviously way better, and it was excellent. I remember laughing and saying to a friend of mine “They score every time they have the ball” It was the most fun year to be a fan, and I wound up in St Louis that January to watch them win the NFC Championship. A very excellent day.12) Ever hear of Al Luginbill? He was Marshall Faulk’s college coach at San Diego State, and Kurt Warner’s coach with the Amsterdam Admirals in the World League, so this is a guy who had a hell of a lot to do with the Rams winning Super Bowl XXXIV.Faulk is from New Orleans, but the big time southern schools wanted him to play DB, not be a running back, because is only 5-foot-9. Thats how he wound up at San Diego State- they gave him a chance to be a running back, and the rest is history.His running backs coach with the Aztecs? A guy named Sean Payton.11) Do you realize we’ve probably seen pitchers hit for the last time ever?Only way a pitcher will bat now is if the backup catcher is a DH and the starter gets hurt, or if a game goes deep into extra innings. The universal DH is here, and that is a good thing.10) Former big league pitcher Dan Haren tweeted this:“Adding to my HOF credentials I’m the last pitcher in history to have a 4 hit game.”9) Davey Johnson was a very good major league manager, but boy did he have an odd career:1984-90— Mets 595-417, won ’86 World Series, made playoffs twice1993-95— Reds 204-172, lost NLCS in ’95, then left1996-97— Orioles Went 88-74, 98-64, made playoffs, then left.1999-2000— Dodgers Went 77-85, 86-76, didn’t make playoffs.2011-13— Nationals Went 98-64, 86-76 in his two full seasons there.Why didn’t he last anywhere but in New York? Speaking of the Nationals, they’ve had winning seasons the last eight years, but they’ve done it with four different managers, which is bizarre.7) Former major league pitcher Dan Straily pitches for the Lotte Giants in the KBO now, and he is pitching very well, but he is 0-0, 1.34 in his last five starts. In his nine starts, Lotte has scored two or fewer runs six times. Despite that, they’re 5-4 in his starts.6) When a KBO game starts and is then rained out before it is an official game, they just pick it up again from that spot the next day. Not a bad idea.5) I’ve enjoyed watching old college football games on ESPNU and whatever other channels are showing games; you get reminded of stuff from 20-30 years that I had forgotten about.In the 80’s/90’s, lot of college football teams had very primitive passing games. Georgia beat Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl one year; halfway thru the 4th quarter, the Dawgs were 0-10 passing for the game, yet they won.4) FS1 and ESPN2 are starting to show Australian Rules Football games now, which is fun; back in the earlier days of ESPN, they show lot of the AFL. We had no idea what the rules were/are, but there was a lot of action, and the guys who play that game are very tough.Beats the hell out of watching freakin’ cornhole.3) Philadelphia Eagles lost guard Brandon Brooks with a torn achilles; he won’t play at all this season, is expected back for 2021. Big loss for the Eagles.2) RIP to former big league pitcher Mike McCormack 81, who passed away this week.— He won the ’67 Cy Young Award, going 22-10 for the Giants.— He hit the 500th major league home run that was hit by a pitcher.— He also gave up Henry Aaron’s 500th home run.1) I cannot emphasize this enough:— Wearing a mask in public keeps you safer, and other people safer.— Wearing a mask isn’t a political statement; I do not belong to either political party, and yet I wear a mask, because I want to stay alive, and I want my friends to stay alive, too.— Wearing a mask is a sign of respect for other people.— Science is undeniable; let’s stay safe until there is a vaccine, then we can put the masks away, although I do think I look better with a mask on.
  9. Thursday’s 6-pack Odds to win the PGA Tour event at Hilton Head this week: 12-1— Rory McIlroy 14-1— Bryson DeChambeau 16-1—Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas 20-1— Xander Schauffele, Collin Morikawa 25-1— Webb Simpson 30-1— Im, Matsuyama, Reed, Rose, Spieth Americans who have died from COVID-19: 119,132 Quote of the Day: “In preparing to play the season as scheduled, we will continue to make our decisions based on the latest medical and public health advice, in compliance with government regulations, and with appropriate safety protocols to protect the health of our fans, players, club and league personnel, and our communities.” Roger Goodell Thursday’s quiz What year did the designated hitter come into the major leagues? Wednesday’s quiz Pistol Pete Maravich played his college basketball at LSU. Tuesday’s quiz Martin Sheen played the President of the US in the old TV show, The West Wing. Posted onJune 17, 2020 Leave a commenton Thursday’s 6-pack, Quote, Quiz of the Day Thursday’s List of 13: Our list of the top 13 college hoop coaches (since 1980) These are coaches who coached in the ESPN era, from 1980 on, except for one guy; we made an exception for him. 13) Jim Boeheim— Has been at Syracuse as a player or coach since the early 60’s; he’s won 1,065 games, won the NCAA Tournament in 2003; in seven years as an ACC member, Syracuse is 70-58 in conference games, 28-28 the last three years. Would’ve like to have seen Boeheim’s reaction when he heard that Syracuse was getting out of the Big East, to help the football program. It sure hasn’t helped the basketball program. Here’s how spoiled Syracuse fans are; I was in the Carrier Dome one night, Syracuse was #2 in country- it was the night after the Super Bowl. Syracuse gets beat at home by Pittsburgh, and the fans boo them off the court; they were #2 in the country!!! Tough crowd. 12) Roy Williams— 15 years at Kansas, 17 years at North Carolina, two pretty good gigs. Coach Roy has made nine Final Fours, won three national titles. This past season would’ve been only the third time in 32 years he missed the NCAA tournament. Problem with doing a list like this is weighing which is harder to do; keep a program rolling when you inherit it, or turning things around where there was nothing. Williams has coached at two of the nation’s elite programs, and done a great job both places. 11) Lute Olson— Replaced Jerry Tarkanian at Long Beach State, went 24-2, then bolted for Iowa, where he went 165-93, making the Final Four in 1980. From there he went to Arizona and built a national power, going 587-190, making four Final Fours, winning the ’97 national title. He was Steve Kerr and Sean Elliott’s college coach; I read Andre Iguodala’s book last fall, and he didn’t have many good things to say about Olson, which is too bad, seeing how Olson helped make Iguodala into a player who has earned $170M in his NBA career. 10) Jim Calhoun— He was head coach at Northeastern for 14 years (248-137) before going to UConn, where he won 629 games, three NCAA titles, making it to four Final Fours. He is still coaching; he runs St Joseph’s, a D-III team in the Nutmeg State. Big East was a hell of a league before it broke apart; Calhoun won the regular season title ten times in Storrs, put lot of guys in the NBA. His last three years at Northeastern, he went 75-19. 9) Rick Pitino— You know a guy’s career is very complicated when he’s coached Kentucky and Louisville, the Knicks and the Celtics. He also coached in the movie Blue Chips, beating Nick Nolte’s Western U Dolphins early in the movie. Five D-I coaching stops, he’s won 770 games, and now Iona will be the sixth team this fall. He got Providence to the ’87 Final Four, went 219-50 at Kentucky, 416-143 at Louisville, winning two national titles, in 1996, 2012. Tom Izzo— Since 1976, Michigan State has had two basketball coaches; Jud Heathcoate and Izzo. In 25 years in East Lansing, Izzo is 628-241, making eight Final Fours, winning the 2000 national title, which oddly enough, is the last time a Big 14 team won a national title. Izzo has won 10 regular season titles in the Big 14; he doesn’t get the 5-star recruits like Duke or Kentucky, but he’s had great players and he’s developed guys into great players, like Draymond Green and Mateen Cleaves. Izzo is 11-2 in his last 13 first round games in the NCAA tourney. 7) Bobby Knight— Lot of people would have him higher on this list, but he was a miserable person, a bully to the media/refs, a guy who took a lot of the joy out of the game, and that’s coming from guys who worked for him. Once the shot clock came in in the mid-80’s, he couldn’t control the game as well, and his teams regressed some. Still, Knight had a perfect team in 1976; he won three national titles, and countless coaches around America tried to imitate him, for better or worse. He went 102-50 in six years at West Point, before heading to Indiana, where he made five Final Fours. I talk about Blue Chips a lot on this site; the basketball scenes were filmed at a high school in Indiana. Nick Nolte spent some time around Knight’s program to get a feel for how college coaches act. The scenes where Nolte’s character flip out in the locker room aren’t fiction, they were things that Knight actually did. He won a lot of games, so people tolerated a lot of other stuff. 6) John Calipari— You get UMass to a Final Four, you’re in the top on this list. Calipari won the 2012 national title at Kentucky, damn near won the ’08 title at Memphis, blowing a lead late and losing the national title game to Kansas, in overtime. Calipari takes some of the best freshmen in the country, wins a lot of games, watches them bolt to the NBA, then gets more freshmen. Calipari coached the New Jersey Nets for 2+ seasons, going 43-39 the second year, but after a 3-17 start in the fall of ’99, he was told to take a hike. The guy is a great college coach: — 193-71 at UMass — 252-69 at Memphis — 330-77 at Kentucky 5) Denny Crum— He was a quiet guy so his great record has slipped thru the historical cracks a little; Denny Crum was a UCLA assistant who then coached Louisville for 30 years, making six Final Fours, winning two national titles. His record with the Cardinals: 675-295. When Crum first coached Louisville, they were in the Missouri Valley Conference; they moved up to the Metro, and later to Conference USA. Not easy coaching in the same state as Kentucky; the teams didn’t play from 1959-83, but because Crum elevated Louisville’s status so much, he forced Kentucky to play them, and it became a great pre-conference rivalry game. 4) Jerry Tarkanian— In the four years before Tark got to UNLV, the Runnin’ Rebels were 60-46, and they weren’t the Runnin’ Rebels yet. Jerry Tarkanian’s coaching record: — Riverside City College 143-22 — Pasadena City College 67-4 — Long Beach State 116-17 — UNLV 509-105 — Fresno State 153-80 UNLV won the 1990 national title; their 11pm/midnight games on ESPN were must-see TV, even for those of us who live in the East. I’d go to work the next day and that would be the first thing we talked about. They were great fun to watch. Funny thing is, much like Gonzaga today, UNLV raised the profile of its competitors, since they got on national TV a decent amount. New Mexico State, Cal-Santa Barbara had terrific teams because they could recruit excellent players to compete against the Rebels, a lot like St Mary’s and BYU do with the Zags now. 3) Dean Smith— He coached the Tar Heels for 36 years, starting when I was one year old, and retiring when I was 37. He made ten Final Fours, won two national titles. He was synonymous with Tar Heel basketball, using the Four Corners offense before there was a shot clock when he had a great point guard like Phil Ford. Smith emphasized team play so much that he was once described as “…..the only person who can hold Michael Jordan under 20 ppg” There was a 1979 game at Duke where UNC used the 4 corners despite trailing and the game was 7-0 Duke at halftime, which is probably part of the reason the shot clock became a thing six years later. That and ESPN’s rise to popularity; no one wanted to watch a team hold the ball for 11 straight minutes. 2) Mike Krzyzewski— Played for Bobby Knight at Army, went 73-59 coaching the Cadets, then got the Duke job two years after they made the Final Four, because the previous coach was mad that Duke wouldn’t pave the coaches’ parking lot. Seriously. Coach K is 1,084-291 at Duke after going 38-47 his first three years; Now Duke/Kentucky fight over the best high school seniors every spring, with Duke using Krzyzewski’s stature with the US Olympic team as a huge recruiting advantage. 12 Final Fours, four national titles; I feel bad for the poor soul (Bobby Hurley??) who takes over for Krzyzewski. Going to be a lot like Gene Bartow taking over at UCLA for…….. 1) John Wooden— This is a list of guys from 1980 on, but John Wooden is the best college basketball coach of all time, so he had to be recognized as such, even if booster Sam Gilbert padded the wallets of various Bruin stars over the years (Bill Walton said as much publicly). When Wooden coached, you had to win your conference just to get into the NCAA’s; Wooden won seven consecutive national titles, ten in all. He didn’t win his first national title until his 15th year in Westwood, but once he won one, he didn’t stop for a while- he won his 10 titles in his last 12 years as a coach. TV highlight of the day: Hoosiers was on, a 2003 A’s playoff game was on (the A’s won in 12 innings), and there was hopeful news that there may actually be a baseball season this summer. We can only hope.
  10. Wednesday’s 6-pack Cool stat, at least I think so: six players in major league history who had a leadoff home run, then a walkoff home run in the same game: 1893— Billy Hamilton 1957— Vic Power 2000— Darin Erstad 2003— Reed Johnson 2009— Ian Kinsler 2010— Chris Young Quote of the Day: “……slimy, tone deaf, greedy, lying, leaking, and overall out of touch.” Jameson Taillon, describing the baseball negotiations Wednesday’s quiz Where did Pistol Pete Maravich play his college basketball? Tuesday’s quiz Martin Sheen played the President of the US in the old TV show, The West Wing. Monday’s quiz When the great QB Jim Kelly played in the USFL, before he played for Buffalo, he played for the Houston Gamblers. Posted onJune 16, 2020 Leave a commenton Wednesday’s 6-pack, Quote, Quiz of the Day Wednesday’s Den: Mid-week musings…… 13) Father’s Day is Sunday; I talk about my dad a lot on here- he passed away five years ago. He grew up in New York City, a huge Brooklyn Dodger fan, so when I was growing up, I knew a lot more about the Dodgers than the average teenager in upstate New York should’ve known. Fast forward to 1990 or so, can’t remember exactly when, but Mohawk Mall is about eight miles from Armadillo World HQ; they had a free autograph signing to try and get customers into their stores. Ralph Branca, the old Dodger pitcher who is famous for giving up Bobby Thomson’s pennant-winning homer in 1951, would be there to sign autographs. 12) Now I had heard the story of that day 50 times, so I thought this would be fun, and I was right; told my dad to be ready at a certain time, that I would pick him up and we were going somewhere, but I didn’t tell him where. The Thomson home run was my dad’s version of the Kirk Gibson homer for me; not our favorite moment. There is M*A*S*H episode about the Thomson home run game, and my dad refused to watch it, but when I told him where we were headed, he brightened up. 11) Luckily, and this was a weird event in that it was a weeknight, not a weekend afternoon, not many people were there, so I introduce my dad to Ralph Branca, tell him what a big Dodger fan he was, and the two of them hit it off like long, lost buddies. It was excellent; they had time to talk, Branca confirmed a lot of the stories my dad told me that I would pretend not to believe. One of the best things I ever did; remembering it today made me smile. 10) There was a catcher named Ernie Lombardi; my dad always said the third baseman would play on the outfield grass when he came up, that’s how hard he hit the ball. I would roll my eyes every time he said that, but Ralph Branca confirmed that it was true. Because this is a full-service website, Ernie Lombardi made seven All-Star teams; he had a .306 career batting average, a .358 career OB%. He played 17 years in the majors. 9) Last bit of Ralph Branca trivia; former Mets’ manager Bobby Valentine is married to Ralph Branca’s daughter. Elsewhere in this world of ours……. Wall Street tycoons Joshua Harris and David Blitzer bought around 5% of the Pittsburgh Steelers; they’re also the majority owners of the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Devils. 7) At the golf tournament in Texas last week, the players had a hard time on holes 3-5; thru the first three rounds, the whole field was a combined 188-over par on holes 3-5, 340-under par on the other 15 holes. Not sure why the more difficult holes would be out of the range of the TV cameras, which generally show the last 6-8 holes. 6) What on earth is Mike Gundy thinking? Oklahoma State’s football coach was pictured over the weekend in an OAN t-shirt, the “news” outlet that says Black Lives Matter is “a farce.” Oklahoma State plays football in the Big X Conference, a very good league. Gundy needs to win a lot of games to keep his job, so he can keep making a ton of money. He needs to recruit a lot of good players to win those games, and the majority of those players are African-American. From here on in, how does he go into the home of a black athlete with a straight face? This I know; if he wore a t-shirt of an organization that mocked bald, white guys, then he tried to recruit my kid, his butt wouldn’t get inside my door, not a chance. 5) On June 14, 1974, Nolan Ryan pitched against the Red Sox; Angels won 4-3 in 15 innings, with Ryan throwing 13 innings, walking 10 guys, striking out 19. He threw 235 pitches in 13 innings, striking out Cecil Cooper six times— Cooper was batting .297 before the game. Nolan Ryan was a freak, for sure. 4) Weird stat of the day: In his career as a head coach, Penn State coach James Franklin has won 21 games when he was favored but didn’t cover the spread; in the game AFTER those 21 games, Franklin’s teams are an amazing 19-1-1 against the spread. Think about that stat, it is pretty amazing. 3) That stat was from Ralph Michaels, and so is this one: Since 2010, NFL underdogs of 6+ points who pulled an upset the previous week, also as an underdog of 6+points, are only 9-32-1 ATS. No bueno. 2) New Jersey Institute of Technology does the geographically smart thing and bolts the Atlantic Sun Conference to join America East. NJIT will visit Albany now and then, which isn’t as much fun as schools in Florida/Georgia, but they’ll save money on travel. Robert Morris bolts the NEC for the Horizon League, a decent step up in class. 1) PGA Tour moves to Hilton Head, SC this week; this tournament is usually in April, right after The Masters. How much different will the course play now, two months later than normal? Has to be lot warmer now; will the greens be that much faster? We shall see. TV highlight of the day: There is a show on NBA TV called Work at Home; Matt Winer hosts it, and he has an NBA coach talking to him from home. The coach introduces various segments with his staff running drills for players that they can do at home, with or without a basketball.
  11. Tuesday’s 6-packMore odds to win the college football national title:40-1—Auburn, LSU50-1—Michigan, Wisconsin60-1— USC100-1— Minnesota, Oklahoma State, UCF, Miami, Nebraska200-1— Baylor, Iowa State, North Carolina, Utah, Washington300-1— Arizona State, Florida State, Iowa, TCU, Tennessee, Virginia TechTweet of the Day:“You’re holding a losing hand. Unfortunately, it’s a losing hand for everyone involved, not just you. There’s some saying out there about not killing the goose that lays the golden eggs. Check it out on the ole google machine. It’s worth knowing.”Trevor BauerTuesday’s quizWhat great actor played the president of the US in the old TV show, The West Wing?Monday’s quizWhen the great QB Jim Kelly played in the USFL, before he played for Buffalo, he played for the Houston Gamblers.Sunday’s quizDave Roberts managed the Dodgers the last four years; Don Mattingly managed LA before Roberts. Posted onJune 15, 2020Leave a commenton Tuesday’s 6-pack, Quote, Quiz of the Day2 Lists for Tuesday; My list of top college hoop coaches of the ESPN era, #’s 14-26These are coaches who coached in the ESPN era, from 1980 on, except for one guy on tomorrow’s list, made an exception for him.26) Rick Majerus— Went 29-3 at Ball State in 1988-89, then went to Utah and was 323-95 in 15 years at Utah. Took a couple years off for health reason, then went 95-69 in five years at Saint Louis. Winning big at Ball State, Saint Louis ain’t easy.Majerus got Utah to the ’98 Final Four; he was an assistant coach for Al McGuire at Marquette, then coached Marquette for three years, before going to Ball State.25) Lou Carnesecca— Went 526-200 with the Redmen; you say he should win at a college in New York City, but what has St John’s won since he left? Not a lot.Carnesecca got St John’s to the ’85 Final Four, when three Big East teams made it to Rupp Arena in Lexington, the last Final Four without a shot clock. He went 114-138 in three years coaching the ABA’s New York Nets, losing the ’72 ABA Finals to the Indiana Pacers.24) Pete Carril— Won 11 Ivy League titles in 29 years at Princeton; he won the ’75 NIT, and was 514-261 at Princeton, where he ran an offense lot of teams around the country copied for years. Lot of movement, backdoor cuts; his ’89 Tigers lost one of the most memorable first round games in NCAA tourney history, losing 50-49 as a 22-point underdog to a very good Georgetown team.After leaving Princeton, Carril was an assistant coach with the Sacramento Kings for ten years, working for one of his former players, Kings’ GM Geoff Petrie.23) Bob McKillup— 30 years ago, Davidson went 4-24 as an independent in Bob McKillop’s first year as head coach; they joined the Big South for two years, then jumped up to the Southern Conference. Davidson won 13 SoCon regular season titles under McKillop, seven conference tourneys- they’ve won one of each since moving to the Atlantic 14.Davidson recruits players from all over the globe, but they’re most famous for being Steph Curry’s alma mater. Wildcats went 85-20 in a three year span, from 2006-09, making the Elite 8 in 2008.22) John Beilein— Has never been an assistant coach; a lot like Jerry Tarkanian, his NBA experience was short and not so good, but Beilein has coached four D-I programs, and won at least 58.9% of his games at all four schools, making two Final Fours with Michigan.It is one thing to win at Michigan or West Virginia, but 89-62 at Canisius, 100-53 at Richmond raise some eyebrows. Beilein may still get another chance to coach in college, we’ll see.21) John Thompson— Went 596-239 in 27 years at Georgetown, making the Hoyas a national title as they became a Big East power. Thompson made 20 NCAA tourneys, got to three Final Fours, won the 1984 national title.Thompson also screwed up the 1988 Olympic team, when he chose Bimbo Coles ahead of Steve Kerr, but college coaches shouldn’t coach in the Olympics. And if Hersey Hawkins hadn’t have gotten hurt at the Olympics, it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. 20) Steve Fisher— Won national title as an interim coach at Michigan in 1989, then made Final Four two more times in next four seasons, before he moved on to San Diego State, which up to that point, had almost zero basketball tradition.In 18 years leading the Aztecs, Fisher won 386 games, made eight NCAA tourneys, got a pretty nice arena built, and coached Kawhi Leonard. In total, he went 571-290 as a college head coach.19) Eddie Sutton— Coached at five different D-I schools, won total of 806 games, with most of his success at Oklahoma State (368-151), Arkansas (260-75). Sutton made it to three Final Fours, two with the Cowboys- he also went 90-40 in four years at Kentucky.18) Mark Few— Much like Jerry Tarkanian did at UNLV 30 years ago, Gonzaga is parlaying being the biggest fish in a small pond (WCC) into national prominence. Few has been the head coach of the Zags for 21 years now, going 599-124, making every year except this past year, when there wasn’t an NCAA Tournament (obviously, they would’ve made it)Gonzaga made the Final Four in 2017; now they’re at the top of every transfer’s wish list- they finished in the AP top 10 five of the last six years. Check out a map; Spokane isn’t exactly near anything, except Idaho. Gonzaga has built something special at an out-of-the-way place.17) Bill Self— You go 21-7 at Oral Roberts, you move on to Tulsa; you go 32-5 at Tulsa, you move on to Illinois; you go 25-7 at Illinois, you move on Kansas. Not too many people move on from Kansas, Roy Williams being an exception.Self is 708-214 in his career, 501-109 in Lawrence; he’s made three Final Fours, won the 2008 national title. Kansas won 12 consecutive regular season titles in the Big X.16) Billy Donovan— Donovan’s Gators are the last repeat NCAA champs, winning in both 2006, 2007; before the NBA came calling, Florida went 467-186 in 19 years under Donovan, making 14 NCAA tourneys, four Final Fours.He started his head coaching career at Marshall, going 35-20 in two years there; Donovan played for Rick Pitino at Providence, leading the Friars to the 1987 Final Four.15) Nolan Richardson— 509-207 is a pretty good record, even better when it is Tulsa, Arkansas that won all those games. Razorbacks won the ’95 national title. Richardson made it to 16 NCAA tournaments, three Final Fours. His teams won a lot and were fun to watch. 40 minutes of hell. Richardson went 119-37 at Tulsa, winning the NIT in his first year there; current St John’s coach Mike Anderson was his top assistant at Arkansas. He also won the 1980 junior college national title, going 37-0 with Western Texas Junior College.14) Bob Huggins— 809 wins is a lot of wins; he went 398-128 at Cincinnati, is 291-161 at West Virginia, and still has it rolling there. He’s made 24 NCAA tournaments, making it to a couple Final Fours, in 1992, 2010. Huggins also went 97-46 at Akron, when he was a young coach. December 1997, I’m at a prep school tournament on a Sunday night in Siena’s gym here in Albany; I have a Cincinnati Bearcats hat on, am sitting by myself. At halftime of the first game, a guy comes up to me and says hello; it is coach Huggins, who was coaching the Bearcats at the time. We talked for 5-10 minutes; it was pretty cool. He is a good guy.3-4 years ago, I’m at an AAU tournament in Las Vegas, and while I’m waiting to get let in, who else is sitting there waiting? Coach Huggins; I reminded him of our earlier meeting and thanked him. You wonder how many AAU games these veteran coaches have seen over the years. TV highlight of the day: Am watching a movie called The Departed; what a cast.— Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin— Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Leonardo DiCaprioVery good movie. Posted onJune 15, 2020Leave a commenton 2 Lists for Tuesday; My list of top college hoop coaches of the ESPN era, #’s 14-26Tuesday’s Den: KBO knowledge after six weeksKBO standings, thru six weeks:26-9 NC Dinos (3-3 last week)22-13 LG Twins (4-2)21-14 Doosan Bears (2-4)20-16 Kiwoom Heroes (3-3)19-17 Kia Tigers (4-2)Top five teams make playoffs18-17 Lotte Giants (4-2)17-19 Samsung Lions (4-2)13-22 KT Wiz (2-4)12-23 SK Wyverns (2-4)9-27 Hanwha Eagles (2-4)OPS leaders:1.319 JS Kang, Dinos1.226 Roberto Ramos, Twins1.129 Mel Rojas Jr, Wiz1.073 JM Fernandez, Bears1.041 JH Lee, HeroesBatting average:.450— JS Kang, Dinos.404— JM Fernanez, Bears.383— Mel Rojas Jr, Wiz.375— Roberto Ramos, Twins.362— JH Lee, HeroesHome runs:13— Roberto Ramos, Twins12— Mel Rojas Jr, Wiz11— SB Na, Dinos10— Preston Tucker, Tigers9— Aaron Altherr, DinosRBI:36— Mel Rojas Jr, Wiz35— Aaron Altherr, Dinos34— Preston Tucker, Tigers32— JM Fernandez, Bears31— SB Na, DinosJH Kim, BearsStolen bases:8– KC Seo, Heroes7— CH An, GiantsJW Oh, Twins6— WJ Sim, WizKW Jeong, TwinsERA:0.75 CM Koo, Dinos 48 IP1.49 Jokisch, Heroes 42.1 IP2.08 Straily, Giants 47.2 IP2.23 Rucinski, Dinos 44.1 IP2.30 TI Won, Lions 43 IP2.66 JS Bae, Wiz 44 IPWHIP (baserunners allowed/innings pitched):0.69 CM Koo, Dinos 48 IP0.97 Jokisch, Heroes 42.1 IP1.07 Gagnon, Tigers 40.1 IP1.12 KY Im, Tigers 38.1 IP1.12 Buchanan, Lions 44.2 IP1.13 Rucinski, Dinos 44.1 IPStrikeouts:52— CM Koo, Dinos 50— Straily, Giants45— Gagnon, Tigers 42— JH Park, Wyverns41— SW Moon, Wyverns41— Rucinski, DinosBullpen records:7-2 LG Twins8-3 Lotte Giants8-4 NC Dinos4-4 Doosan Bears7-7 Kiwoom Heroes2-3 Kia Tigers3-6 Hanwha Eagles3-8 SK Wyverns1-4 Samsung Lions0-8 KT WizSaves:8— JH Won, Dinos 8-106— SW Jo, Heroes 6-6DJ Ham, Bears 6-75— WJ Kim, Giants 5-74— WR Jung, Eagles 4-4SG Lee, Twins 4-5KM Woo, Dinos 4-4JH Ha, Wyverns 4-6Home teams are 81-61Over is 70-67-5 (17-13 on Sundays (day games), 52-54-5 otherwise)
  12. Monday’s 6-packOdds to win the college football national title:11-4— Clemson, Ohio State5-1— Alabama8-1— Georgia12-1— Florida16-1— Oklahoma30-1— Oregon, Notre Dame, Penn State, Texas, Texas A&MTweet of the Day:“We want to play! Tell us when and where! We’re ready! ”Kiki HernandezMonday’s quizWhen the great QB Jim Kelly played in the USFL, before he played for Buffalo, what team did he play for?Sunday’s quizDave Roberts managed the Dodgers the last four years; Don Mattingly managed LA before Roberts.Saturday’s quizByron Scott coached the Nets when they made the NBA Finals in both 2002 and 2003. Posted onJune 15, 2020Leave a commenton Monday’s 6-pack, Quote, Quiz of the DayMonday’s Den: Wrapping up another quiet weekend…….13) There were live sports Sunday that weren’t on TV at 5am; no offense to the KBO, but was good to watch live golf Sunday afternoon. Golf would seem to be the sport that loses the least by not having fans there, since golf fans are supposed to be quiet anyway.12) Daniel Berger got his third PGA Tour win in a sudden death playoff against Collin Morikawa; Berger birdied the 18th hole to get into the playoff. He now has 28 consecutive rounds of par or better, longest active streak on Tour.Berger’s three PGA wins have occurred on:June 11June 12June 1411) If you’re feeling bad about your golf game, Rory McIlroy shot a 41 on the front nine Sunday, no bueno. He slipped to T32 for the week, earning $41,875.10) MLB and the baseball players didn’t agree to how the season will start, so the commissioner will decide about this, hopefully before the leaves turn colors. Owners are a bunch of rich people who could give a rat’s ass about the fans; they want the playoff money from the TV networks, and will do the absolute minimum to get it, so we’ll get a 48- or 50-game season, then the playoffs, with everything ended by Halloween.Just announce your plan and lets get on with it; spare us the awful commercials where baseball pretends it does stuff for charities. They had a big chance to do something for the whole country this spring, give it a diversion, but they screwed it up, and screwed it up big-time.9) I’m watching the 1971 World Series this weekend, that’s what its come to, watching 49-year old ballgames. Game 6 of the ’71 Series is a Saturday afternoon game; during a pitching change, Curt Gowdy is reading college football scores. Don’t think you’d ever hear something like that today, but have to admit, it was pretty cool. Back then, no sporting event on a Sunday in Baltimore could start before 2:00pm, so Game 7 started an hour later than it would’ve in Pittsburgh. Colts’ home games also started an hour later than the other early NFL games.7) We do have some baseball going on, its just in Korea, and they play at 5 in the morning; SK Wyverns won the KBO two years ago under former Royals manager Trey Hillman, but he is a coach in Miami now, and the Wyverns are 12-23 so far this year- they don’t hit much.6) Hanwha Eagles snapped their 18-game losing streak early Sunday morning, beating the Doosan Bears twice; the 18-game skid tied the all-time KBO record, equalling the 1985 Sunni Superstars, who not only lost 18 in a row that year- they got sold during the season, and changed their name DURING THE SEASON, to the Chungbo Pintos.5) KBO hitters don’t take enough pitches; if Billy Beane ran a KBO team, he’d be tossing furniture all over the place, watching them hit. Wonder if Matt Williams is trying to instill a more patient approach with his Kia Tigers.4) ESPN’s Kyle Peterson worked a KBO game Saturday morning; he is excellent, has a great voice. Why doesn’t the network use him more on national games?3) NHL training camps will open July 10th; they haven’t said when the games will be played, or what two cities will host the games, but sounds like Las Vegas is one of the cities.2) When baseball starts up again, Toronto Blue Jays may not be able to play games in Canada; their spring training home in Dunedin is a possibility, or they could share a domed stadium with another team. Lot of details/logistics are being worked out behind closed doors. Just hope they hurry the hell up and figure them out.1) Doctors and scientists are the people who were smart kids in school; they studied, worked hard and now they help keep us healthy/alive. We should listen to them.As I type this, 117,527 people have died from the Coronavirus; scientists and doctors tell us if we wear masks when we go out in public, then that will help deter the spread of the virus, so fewer people will die going forward.How difficult a suggestion is that to follow? Why would you not believe it?Wear a freakin’ mask when you go out in public, it is not that hard; the life you save might be..….your own. TV highlight of the day: Watching the live golf tournament was an improvement over Sundays the last few months.
  13. Sunday’s 6-packOpening lines for Week 17 NFL games:— Dolphins @ Bills (-8)— Packers @ Bears (even)— Ravens (-9) @ Bengals— Steelers @ Browns (-1)— Vikings (-2) @ Lions— Jaguars @ Colts (-10.5)Quote of the Day:“It is not inevitable that you will have a so-called ‘second wave’ in the fall or even a massive increase if you approach it in the proper way.”Dr Anthony Fauci, a medical expertSunday’s quizDave Roberts managed the Dodgers the last four years; who managed LA before Roberts?Saturday’s quizByron Scott coached the Nets when they made the NBA Finals in both 2002 and 2003.Friday’s quizJoe Montana finished his NFL career with Kansas City. Posted onJune 13, 2020Leave a commenton Sunday’s 6-pack, Quote, Quiz of the DaySunday’s Den: Happy Armadillo Day!!!!19 years ago, I started this blog, not knowing where it would lead. Lot of stuff has changed in the world since then, mostly good, but also some not so good. Thanks for reading every day (you DO read every day, right?), hope it makes you think some, and smile some.Also, if it is Armadillo Day, that means it is my friend Gary’s birthday; he is a very good NFL handicapper (winning record on this site over the last nine years) and he is a funny guy. So we wish a happy 29th birthday (kind of) to the Big Dawg. 13) Christmas Eve 2016, I’m sitting in the sports book in the Aria casino in Las Vegas, a great place to spend an NFL Sunday. I had been there for a few days already, had struck up some conversations with a pro bettor who was sitting to my left that day. The seat to the right of me was empty.Early games are winding up; the 4:30ET games are about ten minutes away; this Asian lady, 40-ish, sits in the seat to my right. She has an overcoat on; it was cold out (30’s) that day.This lady takes out a very thick wad of $100 bills and begins counting, right out in the open, so I count along— she has $7,700. I say, “You must be having a very good day”; she shows me two tickets on the two early games that were still going on, one for $1,500, one for $2,000. Both of those were going to be winners.So this lady is sitting on $11,200 and has a looseleaf page ripped out of a notebook with her bets for the late games. Lot of bets, teasers and straight bets. I have my Rams wind shirt on that I wear every Sunday; she points at the Rams’ logo and says “They better not play like crap today” with a thick Asian accent.I laugh and say, “You haven’t been paying attention; they play like crap every week”; this was the year Jeff Fisher had been fired, and John Fassel was the interim coach. Despite being a really bad team, the Rams were favored over an even worse 49ers team.I ask who her favorite team is and she leaves with these parting words: “I no have favorite team. You have favorite team, you bet with heart. I bet to win.” And with that, she got up and left, and I never saw her again.Rams led 21-7 in 4th quarter, blew the game 22-21, the last NFL game Colin Kaepernick won.12) If you had your choice, which quarterback would you choose?Quarterback A: 31 years old. Career record: 44-42-2 Playoff record: 1-2 155 TD, 71 INTQuarterback B: 32 years old. Career record: 28-30 Playoff record: 4-2 (0-1 Super Bowl)72 TD’s, 30 INTQuarterback 😄 27 years old. Career record: 32-24 Playoff record: 0-197 TD, 35 INTQuarterback 😧 25 years old. Career record: 33-21 Playoff record: 2-2 (0-1 Super Bowl)87 TD, 42 INTLook thru those four resumes, and pick which guy you would want. I’ll let you know later on which guy is which11) Lamar Jackson lost his first two playoff games with the Ravens; only two QB’s have gone on to win a Super Bowl after losing his first two playoff games- Peyton and Eli Manning.10) Week 3 of the NFL this season is weird; no divisional games, not one.9) Random stat of the Day: November 18, 2012; Texans beat Jacksonville 43-37 in OT; Houston QB Matt Schaub was 43-55 for 527 yards, five TD’s. Amdre Johnson caught 14 passes for 273 yards.Saw a boxscore of this game the other day; Texans scored two TD’s in last 6:00 to tie the game. Both teams scored in OT. You wouldn’t think of Schaub as a guy to throw for 527 yards. Was watching an old Seahawks game from couple years ago and their kicker got hurt, so when they kicked off, their Australian punter drop-kicked the ball, rather than kick it off a tee. Not something you see very often; he did a good job with it.7) When Willie Mays became eligible for the Hall of Fame in 1979, he got voted in the first year, but 23 people didn’t vote for him- he got 409 of 432 votes. How the bleep do you not vote for Willie Mays to get into the Hall of Fame?6) The MLB Draft is an odd event; Rickey Henderson, Jeff Bagwell were both 4th round picks. Mike Trout was the 25th guy taken when he was drafted. Mike Piazza only got drafted because his dad was friends with Tommy Lasorda. Strange way to run a billion dollar industry.5) Wednesday was the first time in their last 17 games that the NC Dinos didn’t score a run in the first four innings; they’ve had a potent lineup, but now their best hitter Roberto Ramos is hurt, so we’ll see how much that hurts them.4) Doosan Bears are doing pretty well in the KBO this year; there is some urgency for them, since nine of their players are free agents this winter, so they figure to regress next season.3) Saw a picture of the huge demonstrations in Los Angeles last weekend; lot of people. At one big intersection, there is a huge Pepsi ad on the side of a building, takes up most of the building. Wonder how much that costs?2) Quarterback A: Kirk CousinsQuarterback B: Colin KaepernickQuarterback A: Carson WentzQuarterback A: Jared Goff1) Good news in Las Vegas; Top Golf is opening next Thursday the 18th, as everything on the Strip slowly begins to re-open. Hopefully people will wear masks and stay healthy.
  14. Friday’s 6-packOpening lines for Week 15 NFL games:— Chargers @ Raiders (-2)— Bills @ Broncos (even)— Panthers @ Packers (-10)— Lions @ Titans (-6)— Texans @ Colts (-4.5)— Jets @ Rams (-7)Quote of the Day:“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”John LennonFriday’s quizWhat team did Joe Montana finish his NFL career with?Thursday’s quizSpurs’ coach Gregg Popovich is a graduate of the Air Force Academy.Wednesday’s quizDick Vermeil, Pete Carroll are the only two head coaches to win both a Rose Bowl and a Super Bowl. Posted onJune 11, 2020Leave a commenton Friday’s 6-pack, Quote, Quiz of the DayFriday’s Den: Doing some thinking out loud…….13) Happy 81st birthday to Dick Vitale!!!! One of ESPN’s greatest voices, the former coach had a birthday earlier this week. This is a guy who has helped raise over $100M to help fight pediatric cancer, he has done a lot of good in his lifetime.Long time ago, early 90’s, I wrote an article for a magazine called College Sports, which was good but didn’t last very long. My job was to write a college basketball preview, but I had to do it in June or July, not so easy.Someone got me Dick Vitale’s phone number, and told me this: “Make sure your first question is a good one, because it is the only one you’ll ask.”Left a message and little while later, Dick Vitale calls me back from a car; he was great, just like you’d think, very energetic. I asked my one question, he rattled on for several minutes, I said thank you, and that was that. Always appreciated that he did that for me.12) I should mention that I also interviewed a coach for the article; I can’t remember who else I tried to call; I wanted to call Jerry Tarkanian, but he had just left UNLV, so that wasn’t an option. Anyway, I call Purdue and figure the secretary will blow me off like a couple of others had already done, but the phone picks up, and I hear a familiar voice:“Purdue basketball, coach Keady speaking”I damn near swallowed the phone; Gene Keady answered his own calls. After a rough start, I explained my job, and he couldn’t have been nicer; answered all my questions, gave me great stuff, and sent me on my way. The article was well received.This is how much I appreciated his help; I got married a little while after that, and I wore a Purdue Boilermakers’ lapel pin in my tuxedo that day, like he did on the sidelines.Some thoughts on the first night on the MLB Draft…….11) Say what you want about Roger Goodell, but the guy has some personality, he appears to like/enjoy football and embrace his job. He should enjoy it, an 8-figure salary to oversee our most popular sport, but he basically does a good job.Rob Manfred is baseball’s commissioner; he looks as bored and disinterested as I did when I trudged off to my office job for 34 glorious years. Manfred must make millions; does he even like baseball? Smile once in a while, fix the negotiations so there are games this summer.NHL fans boo their commissioner Gary Bettman, but compared to Manfred, Bettman is freakin’ Pete Rozelle or David Stern.Now that I’ve vented about that, we move on…….10) This is the weirdest draft ever, has to be; there was basically no high school baseball this spring, and the college season didn’t last very long. What is usually a 30-round draft will be only five rounds this year. Lot of scouts are getting furloughed; how are teams making decisions?9) Mets’ first round draft pick was Pete Crow-Armstrong, who is from the same prep school that produced Lucas Giolito, Max Fried and Jack Flaherty. But what makes this kid a little unique is that his mom is actress Ashley Crow, who played the mother in the 1994 movie Little Big League, where her 12-year old son inherits the Minnesota Twins, then names himself manager. Tampa Bay Rays’ first round pick was a high school pitcher named Nick Bitsko, a kid from eastern Pennsylvania who played zero baseball this spring, and threw only 32 innings last year. He isn’t even 18 years old yet, but he is a first round pick with almost zero experience.7) First seven picks were college players, an all-time record; 18 of the 29 players taken in the first round were college kids. 18 position players, 11 pitchers were chosen.6) [\Nobody/] Torkelson was the first player taken in the draft, by Detroit; ESPN lists him as a 1B, but they introduced him as a 3B, so that’s interesting. Dan O’Dowd said on MLB Network that the kid is a great hitter; they should just let him play where he is most comfortable, not screw with his head and make him change positions.Torkelson is the 4th Arizona State guy to be the first pick in the draft:1965: Rick Monday, A’s1976: Floyd Bannister, Astros1978: Bob Horner, BravesElsewhere in the world…….5) Korean baseball teams have three foreign players, but two have to be pitchers, only one can be a position player. Former Phillies’ OF Aaron Altherr is the NC Dinos’ one foreign position player, and they have him batting 8th, after he got off to a slow start.Dinos are the best team in the league so far, at 24-7; Altherr is batting .286, with 30 RBI in his first 31 games.4) Weird thing; foreign players do not belong to the Players’ Association in the KBO; only the Korean players belong to that. Go figure.3) Of the first 147 games in the KBO season, only ten were 0-0 after four innings. Hitting is better than pitching in the KBO, and the defense is a little suspect.2) Mike Schmidt, George Brett are two of the greatest third basemen ever; how odd is it that they both drove in exactly 1,595 runs in the careers?1) RIP to Claudell Washington, 65, who played 17 years in the majors for seven teams, but he came up to the A’s as a 19-year old in 1974, and boy could he hit. He helped the A’s win the ’74 World Series, their third in a row. Joe Rudi even moved to 1B to make room for Claudell in the outfield.This was before ESPN and the Interweb, so news got out slowly back then; the Sporting News was great for baseball knowledge, but it was a weekly paper. Remember reading how when he first came up to the majors, Claudell ate all junk food, saved the rest of his meal money and bought a mink coat with the extra money.Claudell Washington hit .278 for his career, made two All-Star teams. RIP, sir.TV highlight of the day: Rounds 2-5 of the baseball draft; Texas Rangers picked a guy in the 2nd round who wasn’t in the top 500 of the list of an analyst on MLB Network. Dan O’Dowd, former GM of the Colorado Rockies, said he saw the kid play and “……he should’ve gone to college”
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