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Senor Ballistico

Daily Armadillo Report

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Tuesday’s 6-pack
Odds to win next year’s
Super Bowl:
13-2— Kansas City Chiefs
7-1— Baltimore Ravens
9-1— San Francisco 49ers
12-1— New Orleans Saints
14-1— New England Patriots
17-1— Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles

Quote of the Day
“That’s stuff that’s handled with other people. Obviously, I want to be in Kansas City for a long time. I understand that and also I want to win a lot of football games here. For me, it’s kind of letting that stuff handle itself. I’m in a great organization. I have a great team of guys working for me, guys and girls. For me, it’s about trusting those people and finding the best way to do it in order to have the best team around me.”
Patrick Mahomes

Tuesday’s quiz
Arkansas basketball coach Eric Musselman used to be head coach for which two NBA teams?

Monday’s quiz
In the famous basketball movie Hoosiers, star player Jimmy Chitwood wore number 15 for Hickory High.

Sunday’s quiz
When the Chiefs won the Super Bowl 50 years ago, the game was played at Tulane Stadium in New Orleans- it was before the Superdome was built.

Posted onFebruary 3, 2020
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Tuesday’s Den: My Mt Rushmore for various things…….
These are my favorite things in certain areas; we all have our own favorites, thats what makes life interesting. Make your own lists, see what you come up with.

13) Las Vegas hotels:
Vdara, Westgate, SouthPoint, MGM

12) TV shows:
Law & Order, Magnum PI, CSI, Odd Couple

11) TV shows on movie channels:
Billions, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Ray Donovan, Roadies

10) Sports movies:
— Moneyball
— Blue Chips
— Any Given Sunday
— Major League

9) Non-sports movies:
— Rounders
— A Star is Born
— Leap of Faith
— The Bodyguard
8) Food:
Pizza, spaghetti/meatballs, scrambled eggs/sausage, chicken parm

7) Current college basketball coaches:
— John Calipari
— Mark Few
— Mike Krzyzewski
— Bill Self

6) All-time college basketball coaches:
— John Wooden
— Dean Smith
— Mike Krzyzewski
— Jerry Tarkanian

5) Actresses:
Gina Gershon, Diane Lane., Mimi Rogers, Sela Ward

4) Musicians:
Bob Seger, Billy Joel, Pat Benatar, Faith Hill

3) NFL coaches:
Chuck Noll, Bill Walsh, Bill Belichick, Tom Landry

2) In-person events:
— 2000 NFC title game: Rams 11, Buccaneers 6
— 2008 World Series game: Rays @ Phillies
— Frank Sinatra concert in Albany, 1990
— 2008 Tennessee @ South Carolina football game

1) Bucket List:
— Spring training game, preferably in Arizona
— LSU home football game, on a Saturday night
— A’s home game in Oakland Coliseum
— Rams’ home game in new SoFi Stadium

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Wednesday’s 6-pack
— Tennessee 69, Alabama 68— Vols trailed by 15 in first half.
— Ohio State 61, Michigan 58— Wolverines are 13-9 after starting out 7-0.
— Auburn 79, Arkansas 76 OT— Hogs forced 18 turnovers, were only 16-26 on foul line.
— Penn State 75, Michigan State 70— Nittany Lions won their last five games.
— Maryland 56, DePaul 51— Scoring is down; refs have stopped calling most fouls.
— Duke 63, BC 55— Teams combined to miss their first 26 3-point shots.


Quote of the Day:
“First time I seen him was on TV talking about us. It doesn’t even matter. Andre Iguodala is a great player. I feel like he’s doing the right thing for his career, but we don’t really care. It’s not a distraction at all. I laugh at that type of stuff. A guy that’s on our team that doesn’t want to be on our team, I can’t wait til we find a way to trade him so we can play him and show him what really Memphis is about.”
Dillon Brooks

Wednesday’s quiz
Andre Iguodala has earned $169M+ in his NBA career; where did he play his college ball?

Tuesday’s quiz
Arkansas basketball coach Eric Musselman used to be head coach for Sacramento, Golden State in the NBA.


Monday’s quiz
In the famous basketball movie Hoosiers, star player Jimmy Chitwood wore number 15 for Hickory High.

Posted onFebruary 5, 2020
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Wednesday’s List of 13: Mid-week musings……
13) Red Sox-Dodgers-Twins made a 3-team trade Tuesday night.
— Boston gets: OF Alex Verdugo, P Brusdar Graterol
— Dodgers get: OF Mookie Betts, P David Price.
— Twins get: P Kenta Maeda

— Red Sox are paying some of Price’s salary over the next three years, maybe as much as half. He is owed $96M over the next three seasons.
— Why was Boston so anxious to trade Betts? 27 years old, scored 264 runs, knocked in 160 the last two years.

12) Dodgers also traded OF Joc Peterson to the Angels for utility guy Luis Rentifo; there were other prospects exchanged in this deal, not sure which ones.

11) There was also a 4-team, 12-player trade in the NBA that is way too complicated to try and analyze here. Timberwolves pretty much cleaned house, trading five players, getting four back, plus a first round draft pick.

10) Houston Astros hired James Click as their new GM; he used to be the Rays’ VP of baseball operations. 42-year-old Click has spent the last 14 years with the Rays, including the last three as a high-ranking member of the baseball operations staff.

New GM’s of the Red Sox, Astros both worked for Tampa Bay last season.

9) This gambler had a bad day at MGM Grand in Las Vegas Sunday:
— $50K on over 10.5, 1st quarter- L
— $500K on 49ers 1st half (pick)- T
— $550K on 49ers, +1.5- L
— $500K on over 26.5 1st half- L
— $330K on over 53.5- L
— $220K more over over 53.5- L
— $285K on 49ers 2nd half (pick)- L

Guy lost almost $2M Sunday. Thats million, with an M.

8) Chiefs’ playoff run:
— First round: Had bye after Patriots (-17) lost in Week 17
— Second round: W51-31. Trailed 24-0 with 11:00 left in half.
— AFC title game: W35-24. Trailed 17-7 wth 5:00 left in half.
— Super Bowl: W31-20. Trailed 20-10 with 7:00 left in game.

Quite a run. Lot of drama.

7) Reigning champs in the four major sports:
— Chiefs, NFL— Won first title in 50 years.
— Nationals, MLB— Won first title ever in October.
— Raptors, NBA— Won first title ever last spring.
— Blues, NHL— Won first title ever last spring.

6) Tuesday night upsets:
— Tennessee (+6) 69, Alabama 68
— Penn State (+5.5) 75, Michigan State 70
— Northern Illinois (+5.5) 66, Toledo 61
— Western Michigan (+5.5) 64, Miami 60
— Ball State (+4) 62, Kent State 54
— Eastern Michigan (+4) 66, Buffalo 62

5) College football stuff:
— Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio steps down the day before the second Signing Day, which is more than a little weird.
— KJ Costello bolts from Stanford to Mississippi State, because all QB’s want to play for Mike Leach.
— Former Clemson QB Chase Brice is jumping to ACC rival Duke.

4) 76ers lost 10 of their last 12 road games (1-10-1 ATS); how can a team with this much talent do so poorly on the road?

3) Lefty P Marco Gonzales gets four years, $30M to stay with the Mariners.

2) ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla was highly critical of Kansas State G Cartier Diarra during Monday night’s home loss to Baylor, questioning his commitment to the team after he got a technical foul in the first half. You don’t hear a lot of that on network TV broadcasts.

1) If you love football, XFL starts Saturday; there will be four games each week for ten weeks, with eight teams playing in the league’s first season.

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Thursday’s 6-pack
Six of the top prospects for the Arizona Diamondbacks:
1) Sixto Sanchez, P- Was 8-4, 2.53 in AA last year.
2) JJ Bleday, OF— Vanderbilt alum hit .257 in High-A ball LY.
3) Jesus Sanchez, OF— Played 35 games in AAA LY, at age 21.
4) Edward Cabrera, P— Was 4-1, 2.56 in eight AA starts LY.
5) Jazz Chisholm, SS— Was traded even-up for Zac Gallen, a major league P.
6) Monte Harrison, OF— Hit .274 in 56 AAA games last year.


Quote of the Day:
“The Red Sox had perhaps only an outside chance to overcome the Yankees and Rays this season if they had kept Betts, and now that chance becomes almost minuscule. This time, management cannot simply play the greed card with the expectation that fans will accept Betts as the villain.”
Ken Rosenthal, The Athletic

Thursday’s quiz
Which college conference has 15 teams for basketball, only 14 for football?

Wednesday’s quiz
Andre Iguodala has earned $169M+ in his NBA career; he played his college ball at Arizona.

Tuesday’s quiz
Arkansas basketball coach Eric Musselman used to be head coach for Sacramento, Golden State in the NBA.

Posted onFebruary 6, 2020
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Thursday’s List of 13: Doing some thinking out loud……
13) Vanderbilt 99, LSU 90— “Wildly inconsistent” is the phrase that best describes college ball this season. LSU was 8-0 in the SEC, Vandy 0-8, so of course this happened.

Commodores shot 74% inside the arc, made 12-30 3-pointers, scored 1.30 ppp.

12) Seton Hall 78, Georgetown 71— Pirates led this game 16-0 after 3:33 of play, coasted home.

11) Florida 81, Georgia 75— Dawgs led this game by 22; they led by 15 at the half.

This is the 4th SEC game this season where a team led by 20+, but wound up losing. Georgia lost two of those four games.
10) Purdue 104, Iowa 68— Game was 61-36 at halftime; Boilers have had three games this year where they didn’t score 61 points the whole game.

9) Butler 79, Villanova 76— Kamar Baldwin drained a step-back 3 at the buzzer as Butler won for third time in four games, improving to 6-4 in Big East. Villanova loses consecutive games for first time this year; they’re 17-5 overall, 7-3 in Big East.

8) Louisville 86, Wake Forest 76— Deacons led by 15 late in first half, but Louisville made 14-28 on arc and won this going away.

7) As usual, ESPN is over-hyping Saturday’s Duke-North Carolina game; Tar Heels aren’t very good this year (10-12) and needs a strong finish to make the NIT.

6) Wednesday night upsets:
— Incarnate Word (+13.5) 72, Sam Houston State 71
— Vanderbilt (+12.5) 99, LSU 90
— Houston Baptist (+5) 79, SE Louisiana 76
— Duquesne (+4.5) 82, Saint Louis 68
— Northwestern State (+4.5) 73, Abilene Christian 69

5) Jacksonville Jaguars are going to play two “home” games in London next year, which fuels speculation that they may eventually want to move to England permanently. People who live in Jacksonville are understandably not very happy with this news.

4) Baseball stuff:
— Bronx P James Paxton is expected to miss 3-4 months after having back surgery.

3) Consensus after college football’s second Signing Day seems to be that Georgia has the best recruiting class in the country this year.

2) Disappointed to report that Showtime has cancelled Ray Donovan after seven seasons; an excellent show that was occasionally pretty violent, it was quality entertainment.

1) RIP to the great actor Kirk Douglas, who passed away Wednesday at age 103.

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Friday’s 6-pack
Six of the top prospects for the San Diego Padres:
1) MacKenzie Gore, P— Lefty had 22 IP in Texas League LY.
2) Luis Patino, P— 20-year made two starts in AA LY.
3) CJ Abrams, SS— SS from Georgia won’t be 20 until October.
4) Taylor Trammell, OF— Acquired in the Franmil Reyes trade.
6) Adrian Morejon, P— Had 8 IP in majors LY, as a 20-year old.
7) Andres Munoz, P— Had 23 IP in majors LY, as a 20-year old.


Quote of the Day:
“The last 12 years, our ticket prices have remained flat in many areas. After careful consideration and discussion, we created a moderate increase that will still fall within the four least expensive season tickets in the NFL. We fully understand that our results on the field have not met expectations, either ours or our fans, and we are working hard to create the success that our fans truly deserve.”
Cleveland Browns’ VP of communications Peter John-Baptiste

Friday’s quiz
In the movie Moneyball, who was the manager of the Oakland A’s?

Thursday’s quiz
ACC has 15 teams for basketball, only 14 for football; Notre Dame doesn’t share the TV money from its football team.

Wednesday’s quiz
Andre Iguodala has earned $169M+ in his NBA career; he played his college ball at Arizona.

Posted onFebruary 7, 2020
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Friday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a busy Thursday night……
13) Here’s a new one: Michigan basketball star Zavier Simpson was suspended for a game last week, after he crashed/wrecked a car at 3am on a weeknight that belonged to a student manager of the basketball team, who also happens to be the athletic director’s son. Oy.

12) Cincinnati 80, Wichita State 79— Wichita’s arena opened on March 1, 1958, when a Cincy player named Oscar Robertson scored 58 points. 62 years later, that is still the single-game arena scoring record, which is cool.

This was a great game, by the way; lot of back/forth in last 2:00.

Bearcats are now tied with Houston atop the AAC standings, at 8-2.

11) Belmont 71, Murray State 64— Murray/Austin Peay were both 10-0 in OVC, but both lost tonight, so now Belmont is only two games out of first, Eastern Kentucky is one game out.

10) Western Kentucky 65, Louisiana Tech 54— These teams are now tied for 2nd in C-USA, a game behind North Texas, which won by 5 at Middle Tennessee.

9) Charleston 68, Wm & Mary 50— Cougars take over first place in CAA at 9-3; Tribe lost four of last six games after starting out CAA play 6-0.

8) Montana 92, Eastern Washington 82— Grizzlies take over first place in Big Sky; they lead EWU and Northern Colorado by a half-game each.

7) Thursday night upsets:
— Pacific (+8.5) 60, San Francisco 48
— Eastern Kentucky (+7) 91, Eastern Illinois 84
— Rice (+6,5) 86, UAB 72
— UTSA (+6) 85, Old Dominion 81
— Louisiana (+5) 80, Georgia State 78
— Rio Grande Valley (+5) 73, UMKC 60
— UConn (+4.5) 72, Tulsa 56

6) Wright State 98, Detroit Mercy 86— John Calipari’s son Brad is a grad transfer for Detroit, which is 6-18, 4-7 in Horizon games. Young Calipari is shooting 40% on the arc for the season, playing around 18:00/game.

5) Utah 64, Stanford 56 OT— Wheels are falling off for Cardinal, who’ve lost four of last five games after a 15-2 start. Utes outscored Stanford 16-4 on foul line.

4) Pacific 60, San Francisco 48— Damon Stoudamire is doing a damn fine job at Pacific, which is 18-8 overall, 6-4 in WCC. Tigers’ last winning season was seven years ago, when veteran coach Bob Thomason retired after a 22-13 season.

3) Stetson 65, Florida Gulf Coast 62— Hatters won six of last seven games, are 7-3 in A-Sun; Stetson’s last winning basketball season was 19 years ago. First-year coach Donnie Jones should get some votes for national Coach of the Year, he’s done that good a job.

2) This is Jae Crowder’s 8th year in the NBA; he’s already been traded six times.

1) Weird story from Dallas, where SMU women’s basketball coach Travis Mays is in trouble after eight players talked about an abusive culture instilled by the Mustangs’ head coach, whom the players say told them to kill themselves if they weren’t going to compete during a practice two years ago. Yikes.

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46 minutes ago, Senor Ballistico said:

1) Weird story from Dallas, where SMU women’s basketball coach Travis Mays is in trouble after eight players talked about an abusive culture instilled by the Mustangs’ head coach, whom the players say told them to kill themselves if they weren’t going to compete during a practice two years ago. Yikes.

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Sunday’s 6-pack
Six of the top prospects for the Seattle Mariners:
1) Julio Rodriguez, OF— 19-year old has a .929 OPS in two pro seasons.
2) Jarred Kelenic, OF— Acquired in the Robinson Cano trade.
3) Evan White, 1B— Hit 18 homers in the Texas League last year.
4) Logan Gilbert, P— Had a 2.88 ERA in nine AA starts LY.
5) George Kirby, P— Walked six guys in 88 IP in his last year in college.
6) Noelvi Marte, SS— 18-year old signed for $1.55M.


Quote of the Day:
“We never once sat down after the season and said, ‘How do we replace Ja Morant?’ That’s an impossible task. We’re less dependent on the ball screen, obviously we had one of the best ball-screen players in college basketball history for the last couple of years.”
Murray State coach Matt McMahon

Sunday’s quiz
Durham Bulls are the AAA farm team of which major league club?

Saturday’s quiz
Former Steeler QB Tommy Maddox was the QB of the team that won the only XFL title, back in 2001.

Friday’s quiz
In the movie Moneyball, Art Howe was the manager of the Oakland A’s; Philip Seymour Hoffman played Howe in the movie.

Posted onFebruary 9, 2020
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Sunday’s Den; Wrapping up a sports Saturday……
13) Minnesota Twins withdrew from the 3-team Mookie Betts trade, meaning Kenta Maeda is back on the Dodgers again; that shouldn’t be too awkward, with spring training starting in a couple days.

12) Auburn 91, LSU 90 OT— Auburn trailed by 12 at the half, by 8 with 1:26 left, then led by 7 with 1:51 left in OT, before LSU stormed back and took a 90-89 lead with 0:09 left. Auburn scored with 0:00.1 left to send its fans home happy.

Second loss in a row for LSU after its 8-0 start in SEC. Auburn won its last six games, with three of last four wins coming in overtime.

Auburn was 18-44 on the arc, 12-30 inside the arc; they played without Purifoy, who had the flu.

11) Seton Hall 70, Villanova 64— Pirates are best team in Big East; they lead the league by three games, but the question is: Can Villanova or Butler still make noise in the NCAAs?

10) Duke 98, North Carolina 96 OT— No nice way to say this; an epic collapse by the Tar Heels, who led by 13 with 4:04 left to play, by 5 with 0:21 left in OT. UNC was 21-38 on foul line in a 2-point loss; Duke was 26-34. Not often a team leads a game for over 40:00 and loses.

The uniforms these teams wore for this game look like practice jerseys, awful uniforms, but I’m sure they’ll sell a ton of them online, because hey, they were on TV.

9) St Bonaventure 83, Duquesne 80— How is Mark Schmidt still the coach of the Bonnies? St Bonaventure is 16-8 this season, 8-3 in the A-14; he’s a very good coach.

— Find a map, then find Olean, NY on that map.
— Circle Olean, NY on the map
— Look at how many cities are within 90 miles of Olean; how many great high school basketball players live within 90 miles of Olean?
— Some bigger school should hire Schmidt.

8) Temple 97, SMU 90 OT— Owls were down 17 at the half, rallied to win. Not often you make 13-30 on the arc and lose, but SMU also doesn’t have any seniors, which showed here.

7) Upsets:
— Elon (+12.5) 72, Charleston 65
— UCLA (+12) 65, Arizona 52
— Lehigh (+10) 62, Lafayette 59
— South Florida (+8.5) 75, Memphis 73
— Boston College (+8) 77, Virginia Tech 73
— Grand Canyon (+7) 103, Cal Baptist 98
— Chattanooga (+6) 84, Wofford 77

6) Oklahoma 69, West Virginia 59— West Virginia is 5-0 at home in Big X, 1-4 on road, with lone win at last place Oklahoma State.

Mountaineers’ conference schedule is just stupid; their closest Big X rival is Iowa State, located 873 miles away. 879 miles is their SHORTEST Big X road trip. Is football that big a money maker than screwing up your basketball program is worth it?

5) Georgetown 76, DePaul 72— If you had told me in December that DePaul would be 1-10 in the Big East, I would’ve scoffed at you- they looked great in pre-conference play, but now DePaul has lost eight conference games by 8 or fewer points. Same old story; the last 12 years, they’re 33-173 in Big East games. That not good.

4) Arizona State 66, USC 64— Trojans led by 13 in first half, by 5 with 2:22 left, but they turned ball over 24 times, lost to an Arizona squad that shot 31% inside the arc. Trojans got swept on their Arizona trip, by total of seven points.

3) Alabama 105, Georgia 102, OT— Three of seven SEC games Saturday went to OT. Both teams shot 60%+ inside the arc in this game. Georgia led by 12 with 14:17 left.

2) XFL: Washington 31, Seattle 19— Austin Proehl scored first TD in XFL this season; his father Ricky scored the game-winning TD for the Rams in the 2000 NFC title game.

Washington’s first TD scored on a blocked punt.

1) Houston 37, Los Angeles 17— Philip Walker had a big day at QB for Houston, throwing for 272 yards, four TD’s. LA played without QB Josh Johnson, a big deal.

My overall impression of the XFL’s first day:
— Both home teams won; both games went over.
— Good entertainment. I’m more of a basketball guy, but the quality of football will improve as teams play together more.
— Plays: Seattle 64, Washington 56. Similar to an NFL game.

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Why does he continue to call us the Big X?

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Monday’s 6-pack
Six of the top prospects for the Chicago White Sox:
1) Luis Robert, OF— Knocked in 39 runs in 47 AAA games LY.
2) Andrew Vaughn, 1B— Cal-Berkley alum played at three levels of A ball LY.
3) Michael Kopech, P— Hard-throwing righty has had injury problems.
4) Nick Madrigal, 2B— Hit .331 in 29 AA games last season.
5) Matthew Thompson, P— Sox gave him $2.1M so he wouldn’t go to college.
6) Jonathan Stiever, P— Was 6-4, 2.15 in 12 starts at high-Class A LY.


Quote of the Day:
“If they only fired bad coaches, then I would feel bad. But they’ve fired a lot of good coaches. It happens.”
Wade Phillips

Monday’s quiz
What two teams played a 6-OT game in the 2009 Big East tournament?

Sunday’s quiz
Durham Bulls are the AAA farm team of the Tampa Bay Rays

Saturday’s quiz
Former Steeler QB Tommy Maddox was the QB of the team that won the only XFL title, back in 2001.

Posted onFebruary 10, 2020
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Monday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a sports Sunday
13) Over the weekend, a woman on Twitter posted a pic of her on vacation at a zoo with a small monkey standing on her head. Woman didn’t have a hat on or a scarf, just a monkey standing on her head.

Swear to God, I’d have a damn heart attack if a monkey stood on my head. No bueno.

12) Do the people who run college basketball talk to each other? Ever?

Supposedly they want more scoring, but they moved the 3-point arc back, and if you’re watching games this season, referees have mostly stopped calling fouls, except real obvious ones. Big 14 games have a ton of hand-checking and body contact, but not a lot of fouls are called, and not a whole lot of points are scored.

11) I’m not a big NASCAR fan, but I’m always glad to see it come on TV, that means spring is a lot closer than it used to be. Spring training follows NASCAR pretty closely, and spring training is always a good thing.

10) I’m in a restaurant the other night, and the menu says “Gourmet Mac and Cheese”. This is an oxymoron, yes? How can mac and cheese be gourmet? I asked the bartender, and she agreed.

XFL facts, observations:
9) There were 19 touchdowns in the XFL this weekend; teams went for the 2-yard, 1-point conversion 11 times, the 2-point, 5-yard conversion 8 times. No one tried a 3-point conversion from the 10-yard line.

8) Home teams won three of four games; three of four games stayed under, with the Seattle-Washington total depending on when you wagered on the game.

7) Dallas was a 10-point favorite, but QB Landry Jones didn’t play, and Dallas didn’t score a TD in its 15-9 home loss to St Louis. Jones is expected to play next weekend.

6) Teams ran an average of 62 plays per game in Week 1.

I’m pretty sure a couple of officials forgot that the XFL is using the 1-foot inbounds rule for completed passes; the replay official in New Jersey Sunday seemed very nervous, his voice was almost shaking as he talked to the referee on the field.

Elsewhere…….
5) Marquette 76, Butler 57— Marquette made 11-24 on arc; Butler is 3-5 in its last eight games after a 15-1 start.

4) UConn 72, Cincinnati 71— Bearcats led by 10 in first half; but UConn made 11-26 on arc, got their third win in last four games.

3) Houston 76, Wichita State 43— Shockers went 2-24 on arc; they lost for fifth time in las seven games. Houston won seven of its last eight games; they allowed total of only 97 points in two games vs Wichita this season.

2) Washington State 79, Washington 67— Huskies have lost six in row, 10 of last 12 games.

1) Princeton 81, Columbia 72— Tigers and Yale are tied for Ivy League lead, at 5-1.
 
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Tuesday’s 6-pack
Six of the top prospects for the Baltimore Orioles:
1) Adley Rutschman, C— Being touted as the next Buster Posey.
2) Grayson Rodriguez, P— Went 10-4, 2.68 in A ball, at age 19
3) DL Hall, P— Lefty went 4-5, 3.46 in hi-A ball last year.
4) Austin Hays, OF— Hit .309 in 68 major league AB’s LY.
5) Ryan Mountcastle, 1B— Hit .312 with 25 homers in AAA last year.
6) Yusniel Diaz, OF— Played in AA last three years, was disappointing LY.

Quote of the Day:
“We spoke with his representative, and the salary requirements that were broached in that conversation were exorbitant and certainly out of our range.”
XFL commish Oliver Luck, on why Colin Kaepernick isn’t in the XFL

Tuesday’s quiz
Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton used to coach which NBA team?

Monday’s quiz
UConn/Syracuse played a 6-OT game in the 2009 Big East tournament.

Sunday’s quiz
Durham Bulls are the AAA farm team of the Tampa Bay Rays

Posted onFebruary 10, 2020
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Tuesday’s List of 13: Nobody asked me, but…….
13) Been a bad offseason for major league baseball, which will now toy with changes to the postseason, to deflect attention from all its other problems.

Tomorrow I’ll be posting my suggestions on what baseball should do. Change isn’t always positive, by the way.

12) Duke 70, Florida State 65:
— Duke survived 21 turnovers (-9), made 7-17 on the arc.
— Florida State shot 12-20 on line, 3-18 on arc, very unusual for them.
— As much time/money as ESPN spends broadcasting basketball, you’d think someone better than Jay Bilas would be their #1 game analyst. ESPN is very Duke-centric (Mike Ktzyzewski’s son-in-law in an analyst on ESPNU); ESPN has let some talented analysts walk away.

Bilas spends way too much time evaluating the refs, except when Duke is getting calls in key spots, then it becomes “…..an unusual call”

11) 30 years ago, Big Monday on ESPN meant this:
— 7:00 Big East game
— 9:00 Big Ten game
— 11:00 Big West game

Noticing that the last few weeks, Big Sky teams have played some Monday games; why not televise Big Sky games on ESPN2, give those teams more exposure? ESPN dumped the Big West when UNLV went to the Mountain West; they could use a good 11:00 Monday game.

10) Iowa State’s best basketball player, Tyrese Halliburton (wrist) is done for the year, which basically ends the Cyclones’ season. Iowa State is 10-13, 3-7 in the Big X.

9) Rough week for Michigan State’s athletic department:
— Cincinnati’s Luke Fickell became latest football coach to turn down the Spartans.
— Michigan State’s hoop team has lost three in row, dropped out of the Top 25.

8) Chargers/Philip Rivers officially parted ways Monday, after 16 years. Looks like Rivers will wind up in Tampa Bay. Chargers need to sell tickets in new SoFi Stadium; who will they pick to replace Rivers as their quarterback?

7) Boston Red Sox are likely to start three lefty hitting outfielders on Opening Day; if they do that, it’ll be the first time they’ve done it since 1960, Ted Williams’ last season in Beantown.

6) If I’m a Red Sox fan, I’m asking why we’re trading our best player? If Mookie Betts turned down a $300M offer, then that should become public, and the Red Sox are off the hook, but if they cheaped out on a great player, then what are they thinking?

5) Angels kiboshed the Joc Pederson trade; will the Dodgers deal Pederson somewhere else? They have too many outfielders right now.

4) 76-year old Jerry Glanville is defensive coordinator for the XFL’s Tampa Bay Vipers; long time ago, Glanville coached the Houston Oilers (1985-89), Atlanta Falcons (1990-93). He’s the guy who traded Brett Favre to Green Bay after his rookie season, because Favre wasn’t as focused on football as he should’ve been.

3) In the XFL, Los Angeles Wildcats already have parted ways with DC Pepper Johnson; LA gave up four TD passes, 37 points in their Week 1 loss at Houston.

2) Arizona Cardinals’ WR Larry Fitzgerald won at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am this weekend, teaming with pro Kevin Streelman; it was 2nd time Fitzgerald won at Pebble Beach.

1) LSU hired former NFL head coach Scott Linehan as its passing game coordinator; when you pay assistants as much as LSU does, guys with NFL experience become interested.

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Wednesday’s 6-pack
Odds to win the Daytona 500 Sunday:
10-1— Kyle Busch, Hamlin, Keselowski, Logano
12-1— Elliott, Harvick
14-1— Blaney, Truex
20-1— Kurt Busch
25-1— Almirola, Bowman, Bowyer, Byron, DiBnedetto, Johnson
30-1— Dillon, Jones, Larson, Newman, Stenhouse

Tweet of the Day:
“No idea who made this new playoff format proposal, but Rob is responsible for releasing it, so I’ll direct this to you, Rob Manfred. Your proposal is absurd for too many reasons to type on twitter and proves you have absolutely no clue about baseball. You’re a joke.”
Trevor Bauer

Wednesday’s quiz
Red Sox have won four World Series since 2004, under which three managers?

Tuesday’s quiz
Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton used to coach the Washington Wizards.

Monday’s quiz
UConn/Syracuse played a 6-OT game in the 2009 Big East tournament.

Posted onFebruary 11, 2020
Leave a commenton Wednesday’s 6-pack, Quote, Quiz of the Day
Wednesday’s Den: My plan for major league baseball……..
My plan for major league baseball……..
13) Total geographic realignement; no more American/National Leagues.
Northeast- Mets, Bronx, Phillies, Montreal, Red Sox, Orioles, Nationals, Toronto

South- Braves, Marlins, Rays, Cardinals. Nashville, Astros, Rangers, Royals,

Midwest- Cubs, White Sox, Brewers, Twins, Tigers, Pirates, Indians, Reds

West- Giants, Dodgers, Angels, Padres, Mariners, Rockies, Arizona, Portland.

12) You may have noticed four 8-team divisions, which is 32 teams, not 30. We think that the scheduling would be 1,000 times easier with 32 teams. Plus, we like 27-man rosters year-round, so that would be 84 new major league jobs, which the players’ union will like.

A’s would move to Portland, which is building a 35,000-seat stadium, Montreal, Nashville get expansion teams.

11) Realignment reduces travel costs, invigorates regional rivalries, which gets more people talking about baseball, which is what the sport needs.

10) My playoffs would look like this:
— Four division winners get first-round byes.
— Wild Card round would be best-of-3 series, all at site of team with better record.
— Semifinal round is best-of-5, World Series is best-of-7.

9) Scheduling:
— Play other seven teams in your division 12 times each (84 games).
— Play teams in other division in your conference six times each (48 games).
— Play teams in one of other divisions three times each (24 games). Alternate those divisions every year.

That is a 156-game schedule; shorter regular season is followed by longer playoffs.

8) Get rid of situational lefties; the 3-batter minimum for relievers is a good rule.

7) Every team should play four Sunday doubleheaders; twinbills are great fun, and we’re trying to grow the game with younger fans. Players would go for this, because every doubleheader means an additional day off.

6) No coaches/managers are allowed on the field during the game, except to see to an injured player. No mound visits, just slows down the game.

5) Get rid of TV blackouts; baseball needs more exposure, not less. People need to see what an excellent game it, they need to learn about it. Blacking out replays of games out is antiquated stuff; young people need to see the game, so they can learn to love it like I do.

4) I’ve been to AAA games with the 30-second clock in between pitches; it isn’t intrusive on the game. Put it in.

3) DH would be the rule for everyone. Watching pitchers hit is useless.

2) If you insist on making the All-Star Game more competitive, make it US vs the World, then you’ll quickly realize that format would be TOO competitive, then go back to East vs West.

1) More teams in playoffs would be fine, but 156 games is fine; that is what baseball is, 156 games in 182 days, a test of stamina and execution and depth. Some people are never going to embrace baseball; MLB needs to make sure they don’t tick off people who already love it.
 
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He's wrong about Portland building an MLB stadium. The group trying to push for it can't get the site they want because of bickering between the City, Port of Portland, State, and environmental groups. There's not enough interest here for baseball, anyway. This is a basketball and soccer town.

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Friday’s 4-pack
XFL odds for Week 2:
— New York @ Washington (-5.5, 48)
— Tampa Bay (-2.5, 45) @ Seattle
— Dallas (-4.5, 48) @ Los Angeles
— St Louis @ Houston (-8, 50)


Quote of the Day:
“It’s about continuing to move forward, it’s about trying to learn from your mistakes, it’s about trying to not repeat your mistakes or bad decisions, and just try to continue to develop the group. I work from a position of positivity always. I don’t dwell on negativity, and I always believe something better’s on the horizon.”
Joe Maddon

Friday’s quiz
In between coaching Cincinnati and West Virginia, Bob Huggins went 23-12 in one season as head coach of which Big X team?

Thursday’s quiz
Golfer Dustin Johnson has a famous father-in-law, the great hockey player Wayne Gretzky.

Wednesday’s quiz
Red Sox have won four World Series since 2004, under Terry Francona (2), John Farrell, Alex Cora.

Posted onFebruary 14, 2020
Leave a commenton Friday’s 4-pack, Quote, Quiz of the Day
Friday’s List of 13: Random stuff with weekend here…….
13) When ESPN first started 40 years ago, during the NCAA tournament, they would replay games all night long; it was excellent. You could basically go from noon Thursday to 6:30 Sunday night, constantly watching basketball, except you have to sleep, so I’d pick crummy games to catch naps during, two hours at a time.

These days, CBS Sports Network does that during the tournament, and ESPNU has started showing games all night long during the regular season. Tremendous.

12) Cincinnati 92, Memphis 86— Young Tigers led by 10 with 6:11 left, but couldn’t finish the job and are now 4-5 in their last nine games, after starting season 12-1.

11) Oregon 68, Colorado 60— Ducks’ G Payton Pritchard is only player in country to lead his team in assists per game, and scoring. He had 15 points, six assists in this game.

10) Jeff Bezos is the CEO of Amazon; he just bought a mansion in Beverly Hills, for $165M. Not sure what the hell is in a mansion that costs that much money— pinball machines, bowling alleys, saunas, swimming pools. I’d want a movie theater and a basketball court, for $165M. Maybe even a golf course.

9) Mike Trout has been in the major leagues for eight years, and has never won a playoff game. Looking at the Angels’ pitching rotation for this year, its not looking good for 2020, either.

8) There are keeper fantasy baseball leagues that use only one league, so if you’re in an AL-only league and you had Mookie Betts, him getting traded to the Dodgers makes him ineligible, which is a total freaking disaster for your team. Wouldn’t want to be in a league like that.

7) Upsets:
— Idaho (+14) 74, Eastern Washington 71
— SIU-Edwardsville (+10) 76, Eastern Illinois 74
— UL-Monroe (+6) 74, Troy 71
— Gardner-Webb (+5) 74, Winthrop 70
— Eastern Kentucky (+4) 78, Morehead State 71

6) UCLA 86, Washington State 83 OT— Bruins were down 12 in second half, rallied to win despite a 3-10 night on foul line from freshman G Campbell, who did have four steals and three assists. Kid is shooting 63.3% on foul line for season, so he just had a bad night.

5) Austin Peay 71, Murray State 68— In three years under Matt Figger, Governors are 36-13 in Ohio Valley games, after going 27-53 the previous five years. Excellent coaching job, but there may be big-money teams looking to poach coach Figger this spring.

4) Indiana 89, Iowa 77— Hoosiers made 11-21 on arc, broke a 4-game losing skid, surviving a 38-point outburst from Luka Garza.

One of the most interesting parts about March Madness will be how all these middling Big 14 teams do in the tournament- their TV network makes every team in the league sound like the Kareem/Magic Lakers.

3) Texas State 74, Little Rock 66— This is a likely semi-final matchup in Sun Belt tourney; this loss breaks the Trojans’ 7-game win streak. Kid for Texas State scored 26 points and he didn’t start the game; the Sun Belt tournament is going to be fun.

2) Celtics 141, Clippers 133, 2OT— Between this game and the LA-Denver game Wednesday night, two good advertisements for the NBA, as they head into their week off for the All-Star Game. Hard-fought games between good teams. Fun to watch.

1) Here’s a tip for major league baseball; put an earpiece in the catchers’ ear, put a little mike on the pitcher. Then the pitcher can cover his mouth, talk to the catcher, call his pitches, and there is no issue with this BS/sign stealing stuff. It is 2020, for Pete’s sake. Let’s get creative.

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2 hours ago, Senor Ballistico said:

all these middling Big 14 teams

Who is the BIg 14?

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Saturday’s 6-pack
Highest valued NBA teams (from Forbes Magazine);
— New York Knicks $4.6B
— Los Angeles Lakers $4.4B
— Golden State Warriors $4.3B
— Chicago Bulls $3.2B
— Boston Celtics $3.1B
— Los Angeles Clippers $2,6B


Quote of the Day:
“That’s lower-class football. I don’t support XFL, man. If it ain’t the highest level, man, I’m not playing … I don’t want to go chill with 60 dudes every day and guys jealous ’cause AB getting all the touchdowns, AB getting all the girls they wishing about, you know?”
Antonio Brown

Saturday’s quiz
Peyton Manning was the first pick in the 1998 NFL Draft; which QB was the #2 pick?

Friday’s quiz
In between coaching Cincinnati and West Virginia, Bob Huggins went 23-12 in one season as head coach at Kansas State.

Thursday’s quiz
Golfer Dustin Johnson has a famous father-in-law, the great hockey player Wayne Gretzky.

Posted onFebruary 15, 2020
Leave a commenton Saturday’s 6-pack, Quote, Quiz of the Day
Saturday’s List of 13: Clearing out a cluttered mind…….
13) Most teams from one conference in one NCAA tournament?

2011 Big East had 11 teams in the tournament; the teams went 7-4 in first round, 2-5 in second round; Marquette lost in the Sweet 16, UConn won the national title, after going 9-9 in the Big East regular season.

2012 Big East and 2018 ACC had 10 teams each; sounds like this year’s Big 14 is going to challenge that record of 11.

12) Cleveland Indians’ P Mike Clevinger had meniscus surgery on his knee, is out 6-8 weeks, so he’ll probably miss Opening Day.

11) Indians also signed OF Domingo Santana, who had an OPS of .850 in the first half of the season, but only .468 in the second half, while playing for the Mariners last year.

10) Funny how Vanderbilt sucks at football/basketball, but they probably have the best baseball program in the country. Makes no sense.

College baseball is a little different; in a 1-1 game vs Michigan Friday night. Vandy executed a squeeze play on an 0-2 count. That would never happen in the major leagues.

9) NHL’s LA Kings, Colorado Avalanche are playing an outdoor game at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs today. NHL struck gold with these outdoor games; no way did they know how popular they would become.

8) Siena 73, Rider 64— Rider’s senior G Stevie Jordan wears #23; any similarity between him and the other Jordan who wore #23 is purely coincidental.

Siena is 11-0 at home, 1-10 on the road; conference tournament moves to Atlantic City this year, after usually being in Albany, good news for the rest of the MAAC.

7) Manhattan signed basketball coach Steve Masiello to a 3-year contract extension; Jaspers are 11-11 this year, as they try to avoid their fifth losing season in a row. Manhattan is 35-51 in MAAC games the last five years, after going 28-12 from 2013-15.

6) CB Josh Norman is getting released by the Redskins, who recently hired Ron Rivera as their head coach. Norman played four years in Carolina under Rivera; not a good sign that they dump him as soon as Rivera is on board. Why should another team want Norman if Rivera doesn’t?

5) University of Washington’s softball team has a left-handed catcher; you don’t see those every day. Last lefty catcher in the major leagues was Mike Squires of the White Sox in 1980, who was a first baseman most of the time.

4) A Northern Iowa student had his prize money reduced from $10,000 to $2,000 after some unclear rules determined that the half-court shot he made went in after time on the clock had expired. Watching the replay, there was no running clock visible, so it was a little cheesy when they wouldn’t pay the kid his $10K. He made his only try from halfcourt.

3) Eight NHL coaches have already been fired this season; seems like a lot.

2) Dartmouth 65, Columbia 63— Lions led 61-53 with 7:53 left, then scored two points the rest of the game and lost, their sixth defeat in a row.

1) Yale 88, Princeton 64— Bulldogs take over first place in Ivy League at 6-1; top four teams make Ivy tournament.

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13 hours ago, Senor Ballistico said:

 

 

Big 12?

 

13 hours ago, Feeling Froggy said:

Big 10?

He seems to have a problem with league nomenclature. Keeps calling us the Big X.

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9 minutes ago, PurpleDawg said:

 

He seems to have a problem with league nomenclature. Keeps calling us the Big X.

I would assume he is talking about the Big 10 in this case. Last I saw, the Big 12 wasn't considered a slouch in basketball, and more of a meat grinder.

 

Also, the Big 10 has 14 members, and if he keeps referring to the Big 12 as the Big X, it seems as if that is his way of noting there are really only 10 schools there, but not confusing the B12 with the B1G by calling it the "Big 10".

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4 minutes ago, Feeling Froggy said:

Also, the Big 10 has 14 members, and if he keeps referring to the Big 12 as the Big X, it seems as if that is his way of noting there are really only 10 schools there, but not confusing the B12 with the B1G by calling it the "Big 10".

This is what I thought, too. Plus, he had just named Indiana and Iowa when he called them the Big 14. He's just being "cute".

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5 hours ago, Feeling Froggy said:

I would assume he is talking about the Big 10 in this case. Last I saw, the Big 12 wasn't considered a slouch in basketball, and more of a meat grinder.

 

Also, the Big 10 has 14 members, and if he keeps referring to the Big 12 as the Big X, it seems as if that is his way of noting there are really only 10 schools there, but not confusing the B12 with the B1G by calling it the "Big 10".

 

 

 

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Monday’s 6-pack
Six of the least experienced teams in country:
353) Memphis 17-8, 6-6
351) Utah 14-11, 5-8
350) Virginia Tech 15-10, 6-8
347) NC-Wilmington 8-20, 3-12
346) Florida 16-9, 8-4
345) UMass 10-15, 4-8


Quote of the Day:
“I would rather face a player that was taking steroids than face a player that knew every pitch that was coming.”
Alex Wood
Monday’s quiz
George Washington was the first President of the United States; who was the first Vice-President?

Sunday’s quiz
Cal-Irvine’s sports teams are known as the Anteaters.

Saturday’s quiz
Peyton Manning was the first pick in the 1998 NFL Draft; Ryan Leaf was the #2 pick.

Posted onFebruary 17, 2020
Leave a commenton Monday’s 6-pack, Quote, Quiz of the Day
Monday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a sports weekend…….
13) Four years ago, James Madison fired basketball coach Matt Brady after consecutive seasons of 19-14/21-11, when they went 23-13 in conference games. Brady coached the Dukes for eight years, making the NCAA Tournament once. Apparently, that wasn’t enough.

In four years since, JMU is 43-80 overall, 21-47 in conference play. Maybe they should bring Brady back as coach.

12) It has been 20 years since a Big 14 team won the college basketball national title; Michigan State in 2000 was the least team to do that.

11) If you’re a college basketball coach and you have several sons of former NBA players on your team, I’d say thats a pretty good endorsement for your program.

This year, Cal-Irvine has Collin Welp, Jeron Artest; last year, they had [\Nobody/] Rivers, Max Hazzard, JC Butler. Russell Turner is a former NBA assistant coach who has built the Anteaters into the best program in the Big West, 95-30 in conference games the last eight years.

10) New Red Sox acquisition Alex Verdugo is still rehabilitating from a stress fracture in his lower back, an injury that sidelined him for the lasttwo months of 2019 and the playoffs. He will likely start 2020 on the injured list.

I’m guessing Red Sox fans aren’t overly excited by this news; Boston’s front office did know about the injury before they made the big trade.

9) Season flies by; on Saturday Elon was the first D-I team this season to have their Senior Day. Conference tournaments will be starting in a couple of weeks.

8) Texas Tech has a basketball player named Jahmi’us Ramsey who is making 45.5% of his 3-point shots, but only 62.5% of his foul shots. How is it possible that a kid can be so prolific on the arc, but so erratic on the charity stripe?

7) Upsets:
— Ill-Chicago (+9) 73, Northern Kentucky 43
— Iowa (+5) 58, Minnesota 55
— Loyola Md (+5) 84, Colgate 80
— Boston College (+4.5) 71, NC State 68
— Niagara (+3.5) 77, Monmouth 72
— Missouri State (+3.5) 71, Indiana State 58

6) Shaquille O’Neal’s son Shareef is transferring from UCLA to LSU; not sure why it didn’t work out for him at UCLA, but LSU is Shaq’s alma mater, and I’m guessing he’s a big donor to the school, so what happens if the young man doesn’t play well at LSU? Could be very awkward.

5) On March 13, a new basketball league starts in Africa, with 12 teams representing six countries on that continent. NBA is sponsoring the league, as they work towards growing the game world-wide.

4) NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights have a good TV commercial on their local TV channel; fathers of players reading mean tweets from “fans” while the son sits there and listens. Solid stuff.

3) Won’t be posting any prop bets on home runs this season; will the baseballs be juiced like they were last year? Will they be normal again? Important information to have for prop bets.

2) They moved the bullpens off the field in San Francisco to behind the fence in right-conter field, so the dimensions there are a little shorter this year. Miami also moved its fences in a little bit this season. If the Marlins wanted more home runs, maybe they should’ve kept Stanton, Ozuna and Yelich. Just a thought.

1) UConn 64, Memphis 61— Tigers are least-experienced team in country; they’ve lost three games in a row, are 17-8, 6-6 in AAC, and are quickly falling off the bubble, despite having the best eFG% defense in country.

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