Wednesday’s 6-pack, Quote, Quiz of the Day

Write-ups on KBO games are on the KBO page.

Wednesday’s 6-pack
Week 2 NFL spreads
— Bengals @ Browns (-8.5)
— Giants @ Bears (-5)
— Rams @ Eagles (-4.5)
— Falcons @ Cowboys (-7.5)
— Panthers @ Buccaneers (-8.5)
— 49ers (-4) @ Jets

Americans who have died from COVID-19: 136,244
Please wear a mask when you go out.

Quotes of the Day
“We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”
Declaration of Independence

“I got to win me a Super Bowl. I got to get what he has.”
Lamar Jackson, referring to Patrick Mahomes’ new contract

Wednesday’s quiz
Where did Steelers’ legend Terry Bradshaw play his college football?

Tuesday’s quiz
The Natural filmed in War Memorial Stadium in Buffalo.

Monday’s quiz
Dell Curry, Steph’s dad, played his college basketball at Virginia Tech. 

Wednesday’s Den: Some mid-week football knowledge

13) Five NFL teams have new coaches this season, four in the NFC: Browns, Giants, Panthers have new coaches who have never been NFL head coaches before, though Carolina’s Matt Rhule was a very good college head coach.

12) NFL head coaches, in terms of seniority with their current team:
— Bill Belichick, 21st year with Patriots
— Sean Payton, 14th year with Saints
— Mike Tomlin, 14th year with Steelers
— John Harbaugh, 13th year with Ravens
— Pete Carroll, 11th year with Seahawks

Belichick, obviously has won six Super Bowls; the other four guys won one each.

11) Should be encouraging to head coaches that last year, Andy Reid won his first Super Bowl title in his 21st year as a head coach, 15 years after his first Super Bowl appearance.

10) Mike Zimmer (Vikings), Bill O’Brien (Texans) are both entering their 7th year with their ballclub, the most of any current head coach who hasn’t yet made a Super Bowl.

9) There are currently 62 coordinators in the NFL; Kyle Shanahan is his own OC with the 49ers, Tennessee doesn’t list a defensive coordinator. Of those 62 coordinators, 17 used to be a head coach, five offensive coordinators, 12 on defense.

8) 21 of the 62 coordinators are new in their job this season; Rams, Vikings, Texans all have two new coordinators, despite having the same head coach.

7) Last three years, under is 16-8 in New England road games.

6) Last three years, under is 15-3 in Raiders’ divisional games.

5) Falcons are 10-4 ATS in last 14 games vs teams coming off a bye.

4) Seahawks are 23-11 ATS in last 34 games vs teams coming off a bye.

3) Pittsburgh is 12-6 ATS in last 18 games vs teams coming off a bye.

2) Chiefs covered six of their last seven September games.

1) Mike Zimmer’s Vikings are 34-14 ATS in their home games.

TV highlights of the day: 2016 All-Star Game, 1971 All-Star Game, a season 1 episode of Ray Donovan and The Fabulous Baker Boys, an underrated movie.  

Tuesday’s Den: Nobody asked me, but…….

13) Bad news for Daniel Snyder: There is a guy named Martin McCauley, a realtor in Alexandria, VA, who apparently has trademarked every single possible new Redskins nickname.

McCauley, an actuary for the Department of Energy in Washington, has been squatting on trademarks- it is something he’s passionate about doing. McCauley has spent $20,000+ trying to lock up different names Washington could ultimately end up going with, from things like Bravehearts to Pandas.

In other words, Snyder is going to have to pay this guy off, which I’m sure thrills him.

12) Red Tails is one of the main names being discussed as a replacement; turns out there was a 2012 movie named Red Tails, with Cuba Gooding Jr, Gerald McRaney.

Red Tails were a crew of African-American pilots in the Tuskegee training program, having faced segregation while kept mostly on the ground during World War II, but they were finally called into duty, fighting against the Nazis.

11) June 13 was the 48th anniversary of the day Robert Irsay traded the Rams to Carroll Rosenbloom, in exchange for the then-Baltimore Colts.

Irsay acquired the Rams from the estate of the deceased Daniel Reeves, bidding $19M, $2M more than Hugh Culverhouse, who later owned the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Good trade for the Rams, but after Rosenbloom died in a tragic swimming incident, we were stuck with his wife Georgia as owner- she moved the Rams from the LA Coliseum to Anaheim, then from Anaheim to her hometown of St Louis. No bueno.

Luckily, Stan Kroenke owns the ballclub now, and they’re back where they belong, in LA.

10) No way of knowing if there will be NFL training camps or not, and if so for how long, but one of the many storylines that will play out is that the Rams have to sign a new kicker, after Dallas poached Greg Zeurlein in free agency.

Rams have three kickers coming into camp, but if there aren’t any preseason games, that puts lot of pressure on whoever the new kicker is in Week 1, which will, ironically, be against the Cowboys.

9) Alex Rodriguez/Jennifer Lopez are trying to buy the New York Mets; included in the ARod group are ballplayers Brian Urlacher, Travis Kelce, DeMarco Murray, Joe Thomas and Bradley Beal.

One of the competing groups is run by a guy named Steve Cohen; if you’ve seen the excellent Showtime series Billions, Bobby Axelrod is loosely based on Cohen.

8) Russell Westbrook tested positive for the coronavirus, has to quarantine for 14 days, then test negative twice before he can rejoin his teammates with the Rockets. NBA season resumes on July 30 in Orlando.

7) I’m looking forward to watching KBO games when they let fans into the ballpark; not sure if that will be this year or not. They had rough weather in Korea Sunday/Monday; eight of then ten games those two days were rained out.

6) They imploded the Palace of Auburn Hills this weekend, the suburban arena north of Detroit where the Pistons called home for 29 years.

5) Last week Lakers’ guard Rajon Rondo complained about the $275 a night hotel room he was staying in for free while playing ball at DisneyWorld in Orlando; this weekend, Rondo broke his thumb and is out for 6-8 weeks.

4) Legalized sports betting is new to Colorado; in May, a total of a little over $23M was wagered on sports in Colorado, with table tennis getting the most action.

Thats right, people bet $6,175,578.01 in one month, on freakin’ ping pong.


3) Baltimore Ravens’ kicker Justin Tucker has been pretty consistent the last four years:
2016: 141 points
2017: 141 points
2018: 141 points
2019: 141 points

2) Apparently there is a new version of The Match Game on TV somewhere, and I saw where former big league outfielder Nick Swisher was on a recent show, along with Cheryl Hines, who plays Larry David’s wife on Curb Your Enthusiasm.

1) RIP Kelly Preston 57, who passed away this weekend after a bout with cancer.

Ms Preston was married to John Travolta; she had 71 TV/movie credits, the most memorable for me being Kevon Costner’s girlfriend in For Love of the Game. RIP, ma’am.

TV highlight of the day: Pretty good movie night for a Monday; A Star is Born, The Natural, Margin Call, Rounders, both Airplane movies. 

Monday’s Den; Wrapping up a quiet weekend…….

13) Sign of the times; Sounds like junior college football teams will join the Ivy League and play their football seasons in the spring of 2021. Next spring could be a very busy time in sports.

12) Rough weather day in Korea Sunday; all five KBO games got rained out, so they’ll play the games on Monday, which is usually an off day in the KBO.

11) KBO pitcher named HK Yu is what they call a crafty lefty; doesn’t throw hard, uses his wits and location to get guys out. They showed one pitch he threw this season, a 49 mph curveball that the batter took. 

Almost looked like the old Folly Floater that Steve Hamilton threw back in the 70’s

10) Race for playoff spots in the KBO:
1) NC Dinos 39-17
2) Kiwoom Heroes 35-24
3) Doosan Bears 34-24
4) Kia Tigers 30-25
5) LG Twins 30-27
6) Samsung Lions 30-29
7) KT Wiz 29-29
8) Lotte Giants 27-29
Top five spots make the playoffs.

9) Random NFL stats:
— Chargers are 0-10 ATS against teams coming off a bye week.
— Jaguars are 0-5 ATS against teams coming off a bye week.

8) Pac-12 commish Larry Scott, Arizona Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill both tested positive for the coronavirus. We wish them, and the thousands of other people who tested positive, a speedy recovery. The virus doesn’t doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor; wear a mask.

7) Last time Knicks won a playoff game: May 16, 2013
Last time the Lakers won a playoff game: May 18, 2012

6) Colin Morikawa banked $1,116,000 when he won the golf tournament in Ohio Sunday; a gambler in Illinois pocketed $1.1M thanks to Morikawa’s heroics.

Kudos to Peter Malnati, who was 4-under after two rounds, but shot an 84 Saturday; no bueno. Malnati improved to a 68 on Sunday, not making himself much more money (he only moved up one spot) but that shows strength in his game, that he didn’t pack it in for the week.

5) Golfer Marc Warren was the 1,258th-ranked golfer in the world before he won the European Tour event in Austria this week; he won despite playing without a caddy.

4) NBA trivia; Allen Iverson scored 37 points in three games for the Memphis Grizzlies in the 2009-10 season. He also played 54 games for the Pistons and three years for Denver, after leaving Philadelphia.

3) Was watching an old episode of Hard Knocks; Cleveland Browns had a receiver named Corey Coleman who had over 1,000 pairs of sneakers in his house. The guy had this area with all the shoes neatly arranged; that’s six figures worth of sneakers. Wow.

2) Houston Chronicle ran an obituary section in Sunday’s paper; it was 43 pages.

43 freakin’ pages of obituaries in one city; please wear a mask when you go out.

1) Over 135,000 Americans have died from the Coronavirus, and things seem to getting worse, especially in Florida, Texas, Arizona.

Meanwhile in New Zealand, all COVID-related restrictions were lifted.

It helps to have an honest, competent government in charge of things.

TV highlight of the day: Golf, car racing; not a great day. Lousy movie day. 

Sunday’s Den: Playing careers of current American League managers:

Playing careers of current American League managers:
Brandon Hyde, Orioles:
— Played three years in the White Sox organization, getting as high as AAA. 
— Hit .252 with 15 home runs, in 200 minor league games.
— Played college baseball at Long Beach State.
— Was a coach for Cubs/Marlins before getting the Baltimore job.

Ron Roenicke, Red Sox:
— His older brother Gary also played in the big leagues.
— Ron Roenicke hit .238 in an 8-year career; he played for six different teams.
— Was an OF; got in two playoff games with ’84 Padres, but didn’t bat.
— Played all three outfield positions.

Rick Renteria, White Sox:
— Played in 184 games for three teams in a 5-year MLB career.
— Was a utility infielder whose birthday is on Christmas.
— Saw him play in Albany for the AA Nashua Pirates in 1984.

Terry Francona, Indians:
— His father Tito also played in the major leagues.
— Hit .274 in a 10-year career; his OPS was only .652.
— Played for five teams in 10 years; was a 1st round pick of the Expos.
— Went 4-13 in the ’81 playoffs for Montreal; threw one scoreless inning as a pitcher for Milwaukee in ’89.

Ron Gardenhire, Tigers:
— Hit .232 in five years (285 games) for the Mets.
— Was a 6th round pick of the Mets; played mostly SS in the majors.
— Was traded to Minnesota after the ’86 season, but never made it to the majors with the Twins, until he became their manager.

Dusty Baker, Astros
— Hit .287 with 242 homers in a 19-year big league career.
— Played mostly for the Dodgers but also saw lot of time with Atlanta.
— Hit .282 in 40 postseason games with the Dodgers.
— Made two All-Star Games, in ’81, ’82.

Mike Matheny, Royals:
— Hit .239 in a 13-year career as a major league catcher.
— Played for four teams, mostly Cardinals/Brewers.
— Hit .253 in 27 postseason games for St Louis.

Joe Maddon, Angels:
— Maddon hit .267 with 5 home runs in 514 at bats in four years as a catcher in A ball in the Angels organization.
— Played football and baseball at Lafayette College.
— Was a coach with the Angels from 1994-2006.
— Had a 279–339 record in six seasons as a minor league manager, but he’s close to being a Hall of Fame manager with his big league resume.

Rocco Baldelli, Twins:
— Hit .278 in seven injury-plagued seasons for Tampa Bay.
— Finished 3rd in Rookie of the Year voting in 2003; it was downhill from there.
— Never played more than 92 games in his last five years in the majors.

Aaron Boone, Bronx:
— His father, grandfather and brother all played in the major leagues.
— Hit .263 in a 12-year career, playing for six different teams.
— Made 2003 All-Star Game while playing for the Reds.
— Was only 9-53 in ’03 playoffs, but hit walk-off homer in Game 7 of ALCS.

Bob Melvin, A’s:
— Hit .233 in a 10-year career as a major league catcher, playing for seven teams.
— Was a 1st round pick of Detroit in ‘81; played only 41 games for the Tigers.
— Went 3-7 in his only three playoff games, for the ’87 Giants.
— Played most of his career for the Orioles, Giants.

Scott Servais, Mariners:
— Hit .245 in an 11-year career as a major league catcher.
— Went 2-3 in his only playoff game, for the ’98 Cubs.
— Played for four different teams, mostly the Cubs/Astros.

Kevin Cash, Rays:
— Played 246 games in eight years, for five big league teams.
— Hit .183 with 12 career homers, mostly for Boston/Toronto.
—- Went 1-3 in four career playoff games for the ’08 Red Sox; pitched one inning in the majors, allowing one run for the ’10 Astros.
— Never managed in the minors; was a coach for Terry Francona in Cleveland. 

Chris Woodward, Rangers:
— Hit .229 in 12 years (659 games) as a major leaguer.
— Lasted 12 years in majors after being a 54th-round draft pick.
— Versatile player, he played every position but pitcher/catcher. Shortstop was his primary position.
— Hit .276 with 13 homers in only 90 games for ’02 Blue Jays.

Charlie Montoyo, Blue Jays:
— Went 2-5 in four games for the ’93 Expos, his only big league experience.
— Montoyo played in 1,028 minor league games and retired in 1996; he hit .266 with 400 RBI in the minors.
— Managed in Tampa Bay’s minor league system for 18 years.

TV highlight of the day: Solid movie night- Rounders, Moneyball, Bull Durham; TV was way better later at night than during the day. 

Saturday’s Den: Playing careers of current NL managers……

Playing careers of current National League managers:
Torey Lovullo, Arizona:
— Once a highly-touted prospect, Lovullo played eight years in the majors for seven different teams. He played 116 games for the Angels, the most of any team.
— Hit .224 in 837 plate appearances.
— Played every position but catcher and CF, but mostly played 2B.

Brian Snitker, Braves:
— Never played in majors, managed 23 years in the minors.
— Hit .254 in 780 minor league at-bats, in four years in the Braves organization.
— Was a catcher who also played some 1B.

David Ross, Cubs:
— Rookie manager hit .229 in a 15-year major league career as a catcher.
— Played for seven major league teams, won a World Series with the Cubs in his last season.
— Played in 254 games for the Reds, the most of any team.

David Bell, Reds:
— His father and grandfather also played in the major leagues.
— Played 12 years in majors for six different teams, hitting .257.
— Hit .282 in 117 post-season at-bats.
— Played mostly for the Phillies and Mariners; he played all over the IF, mostly at 3B.

Bud Black, Rockies:
— Pitched in majors for 15 years, going 121-116 in 398 games (296 starts).
— Pitched mostly for the Royals (56-57 in 128 starts)
— Won 10+ games eight times, went 17-12 in 1984.

Dave Roberts, Dodgers:
— Played 10 years in the majors for five different teams, hitting .266.
— His one year in Boston was memorable, helping the Red Sox break the Curse of the Bambino in 2004.
— Played mostly with the Dodgers/Padres; he was an OF.
— Five guys named Dave Roberts have played in the major leagues.

Don Mattingly, Marlins:
— Played whole 14-year career in the Bronx, batting .307 with an .830 career OPS.
— 6-time All-Star won the MVP in 1985.
— Led AL in doubles every year from 1994-96, hitting 44-48-53 doubles.

Craig Counsell, Brewers:
— Hit .255 in a 16-year career with five different teams.
— Was MVP of the 2001 NLCS while playing for Arizona.
— Played all over the infield, mostly in middle infield.

Luis Rojas, Mets:
— 38-year old rookie manager has been a coach in Mets’ organization since 2007.
— Went 549-469 in eight years as a minor league skipper.
— He is Felipe Alou’s son, Moises Alou’s half-brother.

Joe Girardi, Phillies:
— Played for four teams in a 15-year catching career, making the 2000 All-Star Game
— Hit .267 for his career, half of which was spent with the Cubs.
— Hit .184 in 114 postseason at-bats, but did win three rings in the Bronx.

Derek Shelton, Pirates:
— Hit .341 in 46 minor league games as a catcher in the Bronx organization.
— Was a hitting coach for Cleveland/Tampa Bay for 12 years, was then a quality control coach for Toronto, then a bench coach for the Twins.
— Managed in the minors from 2000-02, winning 62% of his games.

Mike Shildt, Cardinals:
— Was a high school coach, then an assistant coach at NC-Charlotte for five years.
— Was a general major league scout for three years before the Cardinals hired him as a minor league coach.
— Went 603-531 in ten years as a minor league manager.

Jayce Tingler, Padres:
— Rookie manager played four years in the minors, getting as high as Double-A.
— Has served in a variety of positions, from minor league manager to field coordinator to assistant GM to player development coordinator, mostly with the Texas Rangers.
—- Hit .271 in 1,477 AB’s as a minor league OF, with only three homers.

Gabe Kapler, Giants:
— Hit .268 in a 12-year major league career with six different teams.
— Went 3-27 in 15 career playoff games.
— Made one of the best catches I’ve ever seen at Dodger Stadium in 2008, robbing Russell Martin of a homer and costing me my fantasy league championship. 🙁

Dave Martinez, Nationals:
— Played for nine different teams in a 16-year major league career as an OF.
— Hit .276 for his career, with 91 career homers.
— Played mostly for Montreal/White Sox; never played more than four years with any team.

TV highlight of the day: Solid movie night- The Hangover, Lost in Translation, The Natural. 

Friday’s Den: Clearing out a cluttered mind……..

13) The Big 14 announced Thursday  that it will go to a conference-only season for all fall sports, including football, amid “unprecedented times” during the coronavirus pandemic.

What it probably really means is that they’re stalling for a month, buying time until they decide to put off the entire 2020 season, maybe postponing the season until the spring.

12) Westgate SuperBook posted an over/under on the number of Super Bowls Kansas City will win over the next 11 years, the length of time Patrick Mahomes is signed up for:

Over 1.5 Super Bowls (over -$125)
Under 1.5 (+$105)

11) Pro Tip of the Day: If you’re a part-owner of a professional basketball team, its probably a terrible idea to speak out against the Black Lives Matter movement.

— Kelly Loeffler is a rich person; she was appointed as a US Senator from Georgia after the real Senator became ill and had to quit.
— She is married to the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange
— Back in March, she was investigated for insider trading after she dumped millions of dollars in stocks at the start of the Coronavirus debacle.

— She is a co-owner of the Atlanta team in the WNBA.
— “[Black Lives Matter] is a very divisive organization based on marxist principles. This is an organization that seeks to destroy the American principles and I had to draw the line.”

Ummmm, not sure how much a WNBA team is worth, but night be a good idea for her to dump her stock in that, too. The Atlanta players have to be pretty ticked off about all this.

10) NFL Network showed an old playoff game from 2014, when Seattle beat the Packers 28-22 in OT; Green Bay had the ball and a 19-6 lead with 4:30 left, but lost the game. No bueno.

Packers botched an onside kick that allowed Seattle to take the lead in the last 2:00; Green Bay tied the game with a late FG, but Seahawks scored a TD in OT and that was that. Helluva game.

9) Was looking thru some old baseball drafts; the first round in 1980 was interesting:
1st pick— Darryl Strawberry, Mets
22nd pick— Terry Francona, Montreal
23rd pick— Billy Beane, Mets

8) Royals’ manager Mike Matheny had a few concussions when he was a big league catcher; he was one of the driving forces behind the rule changes that eliminated most of the contact on plays around home plate.

7) Unless they meet in the playoffs, this will be the first time since 1873 that the Cubs-Braves don’t play against each other. Thats 1873, not 1973.

6) Major League Baseball released their 2021 schedules today; not really sure why. We’re still trying to get our hands around a shortened 2020 season. Maybe they want season ticket holders to defer their payments from this year’s tickets to next year’s games.

Opening Day next year appears to be April 1, which I hope isn’t an April Fools’ joke.

5) New Jersey Devils named Lindy Ruff as their new coach; Ruff coached Buffalo Sabres for 15 years, Dallas Stars for four— his career record is 736-554-78 in regular season, 66-54 in playoff games. His Sabres won the Eastern Conference in 1999.

4) Rumors on the Interweb have Tom Thibodeau rated as the favorite to become the next coach of the New York Knicks. Seems unlikely; the Knicks don’t do smart things very often.

3) Remember the movie Risky Business, where Tom Cruise is a high school kid who hires a hooker while his parents are out of town?

Rebecca DeMornay played Lana, the hooker; her friend Vicky was played by an actress named Shera Danese, who in real life was married to Peter Falk for 33 years, before Mr Falk passed away in 2011. She appeared in six episodes of Columbo, the show that made her husband famous.

Sundance TV has been airing Columbo a lot recently; was an interesting show.

2) After giving this way too much thought, I would like our country to abolish the Electoral College; make it simple- whoever gets the most votes wins. It is an interesting concept, make the Presidential election like every other election in the country.

1) I ordered a college football magazine on the phone Thursday, and felt bad when the woman who took my order said she was worried that if there was no college football season, she would lose her job. This is real life stuff; lot of people have been hurt by the government’s incompetent response to this horrific virus.

Can you imagine autumn Saturdays in the south without college football? Me either.

TV highlight of the day: Two showing of Rounders made for a good night. 

Thursday’s Den: Doing some thinking out loud…….

13) We had a big hailstorm in the Northeast the other day; there was a scary picture of the nose of an airplane that was damaged by the storm.

The plane was diverted from landing at LaGuardia to JFK, where it landed safely, but there had to be a couple nervous pilots before that plane got on the ground.

12) There will be major league exhibition games the weekend before the season starts, The two New York City teams will play July 18-19; the Phillies visit the Bronx July 20.

11) MLB Network ran a great one-hour special on Bob Uecker the other night; one of the game’s great ambassadors, Uecker was a backup catcher in the majors for six years, hitting .200 for his career, but he’s become famous since, as a broadcaster, actor and commercial spokesman.

Uecker’s good-natured attitude about his less-than-stellar playing career has made him an icon in Milwaukee, where he’s worked for the Brewers for the last 50 years. He is 86 now, but still sharp as a tack.

He hit 14 major league homers, but three of them were against Hall of Famers: Sandy Koufax, Gaylord Perry and Ferguson Jenkins.

10) Over/unders on season hit totals for this year:
— Nolan Arenado 64.5
— Mike Trout 56.6
— Pete Alonso 53.5
— Aaron Judge 46.5

9) 13.3% of workers in this country work for state/local governments.

8) Two main differences that I can see between the major leagues and the KBO:
— Bullpens in the KBO are pretty sketchy.
— Defense in the KBO isn’t nearly as good.

7) Ivy League cancelled fall sports for this year; when you look at our situation logically, not sure how football can be played, before a vaccine for COVID-19 is in place.

Texas State Fair has been cancelled; that is where the Texas-Oklahoma game is played every fall. Cancelling football for a year would likely save a lot of lives, even if it costs people some money. Saving lives is more important than making money, right? Right???

6) One of the Baltimore Orioles’ draft picks this year was Anthony Servidio, whose grandfather is former big leaguer Curt Blefary, who played eight years in the bigs, mostly for Baltimore.

5) I’m reading The Racketeer this week, a John Grisham book about a lawyer who gets himself out of jail by solving another crime for prosecutors, but then finds his life in danger, even after he was put in witness protection. I’m halfway thru it; very good story.

4) If you’re looking for a program to binge, I recommend Roadies on Showtime, a show about the people who help a band put on its show as they travel the country.

Show lasted only ten episodes, but they were good episodes, filled with musical guests like Eddie Vedder, John Mellencamp, Lindsey Buckingham, Jackson Browne.

If you like music, you’ll like this show.

3) 2000 Baltimore Ravens had one of the NFL’s best-ever defenses, but in Week 2 of that season, they beat Jacksonville 39-36 in their home opener. Scoring 36 points against that Ravens’ defense was something; Jaguars’ WR Jimmy Smith caught 15 passes for 291 yards and three TD’s, in an amazing performance.

2) University of Washington estimates that by November 1, the COVID-19 death rate will be 208,255, but if 95% of the public wore masks in public, that number would be reduced to 162,808. 

So if we all wear masks, 45,000 fewer people will die in the next four months.

1) If international college students are deported because their school doesn’t have in-person classes this fall, USC could lose as much as 25% of its enrollment, and they’re not the only school in that boat. Harvard, MIT have sued the government about this issue.

TV highlight of the day: Dreadful TV day that was saved by a Law and Order marathon. 

Wednesday’s Den: Mid-week musings about the baseball schedule

13) Major league teams will play division rivals 10 games each, but not necessarily 5 home, 5 away; their other 20 games will be against the like division in the other league.

AL East-NL East, Central-Central, West-West

12) Opening night is July 23:
Bronx-Washington, Giants-Dodgers

Everyone else plays the next day. Teams will have six days off over the 66-day season.

11) Colorado Rockies will help the Rangers open brand new Globe Life Field, which is a domed stadium.

10) ESPN’s Sunday night baseball schedule:
July 26: Braves-Mets, Giants-Dodgers
August 2: Red Sox-Bronx
August 9: Cubs-Cardinals
August 16: Red Sox-Bronx
August 23: Phillies-Braves
August 30: Braves-Phillies
September 6: Cardinals-Cubs

Not a lot of imagination here.

9) Additional Sunday Night Baseball thoughts:
— I’ve heard the Astros have a good team; Houston is the 4th-biggest city in the country
— Washington Nationals won the World Series last year.
— Mike Trout is the best player in baseball.

None of those teams are on a Sunday night ESPN game; Angels-Astros have to Sunday games that would’ve made for a good TV matchup.

8) Cubs play a total of 20 games against St Louis/Milwaukee; 14 of those games will be played at Wrigley Field.

7) Listening to pundits on MLB Network. I’m convinced that the Cincinnati Reds are now the 2001 Mariners, who went 116-46. Reds, White Sox are fashionable choices to contend for a playoff spot they haven’t had in a while.

Cincinnati plays six of its first nine games against lowly Detroit; lot of pressure to win those.

6) Teams who play the “easiest” schedule (based on 2019 records):
— Twins, Cubs, Cardinals, White Sox

Teams who play the “hardest” schedule (based on 2019 records):
— Marlins, Angels, Orioles, Mariners

5) San Diego Padres only leave California once in September, for three days.

4) Bronx OF Aaron Hicks figures to be the first major leaguer not to miss any game action after having Tommy John Surgery.

3) Teams that fly the most miles: Texas 14,706, Houston 13,954
Teams that fly the fewest miles: Brewers 3,962, Cubs 4,071, Tigers 4,615

2) Mets first 11 games, four series are against the Braves/Red Sox.

1) Season ends on September 27; all the games that day start at 3:00 ET. Cubs-White Sox, Angels-Dodgers match up on the last weekend of the season.

TV highlight of the day: MLB Network ran a Milwaukee-St Louis game from 2014, when the great Bob Uecker was in the booth for the last six innings. Good stuff. 

2 Lists for Twosday: Weekly KBO report

KBO knowledge.…….
KBO standings, thru eight weeks:
36-16 NC Dinos (4-2 last week)
33-21 Kiwoom Heroes (3-3)
31-22 Doosan Bears (3-3) 
29-24 LG Twins (2-4)
27-23 Kia Tigers (3-2)
Top five teams make playoffs
29-25 Samsung Lions (5-1)
24-27 Lotte Giants (2-4)
25-28 KT Wiz (2-4)
16-27 SK Wyverns (2-4)
13-40 Hanwha Eagles (1-4)

OPS leaders:
1.147 Mel Rojas Jr, Wiz
1.040 BH Kang, Wiz
1.039 JH Lee, Heroes
1.035 JS Kang, Dinos
1.019  Roberto Ramos, Twins
.995 Altherr, Dinos
.992 SB Na, Dinos

Batting average:
.374— Mel Rojas Jr, Wiz
.370— JM Fernandez, Bears
.365— JS Kang, Dinos
.364— JH Lee, Heroes
.357— AS Son, Giants

Home runs:
19— Mel Rojas Jr, Wiz
15— SB Na, Dinos
14- Roberto Ramos, Twins
Aaron Altherr, Dinos
BH Park, Heroes
11— JH Kim, Bears
Preston Tucker, Tigers
JChoi, Wyverns
BHKang, Wiz

49— JH Kim, Bears
48— Mel Rojas Jr, Wiz
Mel Rojas Jr, Wiz
Aaron Altherr, Dinos
47— SB Na, Dinos
41— HSKim, Heroes
Preston Tucker, Tigers

Stolen bases:
12– KC Seo, Heroes
WJ Sim, Wiz
10— Altherr, Dinos
9— JW Oh, Twins
HS Kim, Heroes
YK Lee, Eagles

1.30 Jokisch, Heroes 69.1 IP
1.50 CM Koo, Dinos 66 IP
2.30 Rucinski, Dinos 70.1 IP
2.38 Brooks, Tigers 68.2 IP
2.53 Straily, Giants 67.2 IP
2.97 TI Won 60.2 IP

WHIP (baserunners allowed/innings pitched):
0.76 CM Koo, Dinos 66 IP
0.87 Jokisch, Heroes 69.1 IP
1.06 Straily, Giants 67.2 IP
1.08 Brooks, Tigers 68.2 IP
1.11 Rucinski, Dinos 70.1 IP
1.17 SWMoon, Wyverns 58 IP

76— CM Koo, Dinos 
71— Straily, Giants
65— Rucinski, Dinos
64— JH Park, Wyverns
62— Brooks, Tigers
61— Alcantara, Bears
57— Gagnon, Tigers 
56— SW Moon, Wyverns

Bullpen records:
14-8 Kiwoom Heroes
9-5 LG Twins
10-7 Doosan Bears
12-9 NC Dinos
10-8 Lotte Giants
6-5 Kia Tigers
5-7 Samsung Lions
6-11 KT Wiz
3-11 Hanwha Eagles
3-12 SK Wyverns

13– JH Won, Dinos 13-15
12— SW Jo, Heroes 12-12
10– KC Moon, Tigers 10-12
8— DJ Ham, Bears 8-9
7— KM Woo, Dinos 7-8
WJ Kim, Giants 7-10

Tuesday’s Den: Nobody asked me, but…….

13) Bad beats happen all over the world, even in Korea.

Sunday morning, Kia Tigers are visiting the NC Dinos; game is scoreless after six innings; Kia scores twice in the 7th, the Dinos once. Tigers score four in the top of the 9th, so they have a 6-1 lead heading into the bottom of the 9th. If you have Kia and the under, it is looking like a good start to your Sunday.

Dinos scored six runs in the bottom of the 9th, won 7-6; NC and the over cash. If you had Kia and the under, guess you just went back to bed.

12) Patrick Mahomes signed a 10-year deal with the Chiefs Monday, worth an estimated $450M, $140M of which is said to be guaranteed.

11) Major leagues have only six scheduled days off in their 66-day regular season; not sure if rainouts will create automatic doubleheaders.

10) Former Detroit/Boston GM Dave Dombrowski is joining a group in Nashville that is trying to bring major league baseball to Music City.

Lot of murmurs that MLB will try to recover some of the money it is losing this season by going with two expansion teams in a couple of years. Nashville, Portland, Montreal are three cities that would like to have a major league team.

9) Guy on a pit crew was changing tires during the NASCAR race Sunday, when there was an accident, and a car drilled the guy in the back while he was crouched down. Yikes.

The guy appeared to get out off of Pit Row on his own, but while  you hope the hell he is OK, it is hard to believe that he really is. Scary stuff.

8)  Most college football wins, since 2000:
219— Ohio State
218— Boise State
217— Oklahoma
202— Alabama
200— LSU

7) Kia Tigers’ SS SB Kim is leading the KBO in batting at .378, but he is going to miss a couple weeks, after straining his left quad, and spraining his right ankle over the weekend. Not often you see a guy hurt both legs at the same time.

6) Cumulative scores on the PGA Tour, since play started up again:
69-under par— Bryson De Chambeau
49-under— Viktor Hovland
47-under— Lucas Glover

5) Random NFL trends:
— Chicago Bears are 5-1 ATS in their last six non-Sunday games.
— Minnesota Vikings are 0-5-1 ATS in their last six non-Sunday games.

4) Another edition of Gambling is Difficult:

Pro golfer Matthew Wolff is 21; he won a tournament in Minnesota last year, finished 2nd in Detroit this week, banking $817,500, but in his seven PGA starts before this week, this is how he did:

Four missed cuts, and 54-52-58th place finishes.

There was zero evidence that he would do well in Detroit, but he did.

3) Players opting out of baseball this season:
David Price, Nick Markakis, Felix Hernandez

2) Players who have tested positive for COVID-19:
Freddie Freeman, Joey Gallo

1) Next two PGA Tour events are on the same golf course, Muirfield Village in Dublin OH; the Quad Cities Open cancelled this year, which is why they’re doubling up in Ohio.

TV highlight of the day: Baseball schedule being announced gives us a sense that there may actually be real baseball in 16 days. 

Monday’s List of 13: Some of the greatest comebacks in baseball’s playoff history……

13) Bronx 8, Braves 6 (10)- Game 4, 1996 WS
— Braves led series 2-1, led 6-0 after five innings, behind Denny Neagle.
— Atlanta bullpen gave up five runs in five innings.
— Kenny Rogers started for New York, gave up five runs in 2+ IP.
— Jim Leyritz tied the game with a 3-run homer in 8th inning.

12) Mets 7, Astros 6 (16)- Game 6 1986 NLCS
— Mets won last two games of series, in 12-16 innings.
— Astros led 3-0 in 1st, led 3-0 until 9th, when Mets tied game. Both teams scored in 14th, Mets scored three runs in 16th, Astros scored only twice.
— Bob Knepper had shutout into 9th inning, ran out of gas.
— Mets used three relievers, who threw 3-5-3 innings. The game has changed since then.

11) Cardinals 10, Dodgers 9- Game 1 2014 NLDS
— Dodgers led 6-1 after five, 6-2 after six, behind Kershaw.
— Cardinals scored 8 runs in top 0f 7th; Kershaw faced 7 hitters in 7th, giving up 5 hits.
— First three guys in St Louis lineup went 5-13, with six runs scored, 8 RBI.
— 11 relievers were used in the game; only three of them got 3+ outs.

10) Cubs 6, Giants 5- Game 4 2016 NLDS
— Cubs scored four runs in 9th to move onto the NLCS, after losing day before in 13 innings.
— Matt Moore allowed only two hits, struck out 10 in 8 IP; Giants used five relievers in fateful 9th inning.
— Contreras had a 2-run, pinch-hit single in 9th inning.
— Giants had only two baserunners over final 4.2 innings.

9) Astros 7, Braves 6 (18)- Game 4, 2005 NLDS
— Atlanta led 6-1 after 7 innings, 6-5 after 8 innings.
— Astros’ bullpen allowed only one run in 13.2 IP.
— Roger Clemens pitched the last three innings, allowing one hit.
— Chris Burke hit a walkoff homer in the 18th for Houston.

8) Royals 9, Astros 6- Game 3, 2015 ALDS
— Houston led 6-2 after seven innings behind McCullers.
— Carlos Correa was 4-4 with two homers, four RBI, also made an error in 8th inning.
— Astros bullpen got eight outs, gave up seven runs.
— Hosmer hit a 2-run homer in 9th inning for insurance runs.

7) Angels 7, Red Sox 6- Game 3, 2009 ALDS
— Halos trailed 5-2 after seven, scored 3 in 9th to sweep series, after first two hitters in 9th inning made outs
— Papelbon faced 8 batters; allowed four hits, two walks.
— Vladimir Guerrero’s 2-run single was the big hit in the 9th.
— Angels’ bullpen allowed only one run in four IP.

6) Mets 6, Red Sox 5 (10)- Game 6, 1986 WS
— Boston scored two runs in top of 10th; this is the Bill Buckner game.
— Roger Clemens allowed only one earned run in seven IP.
— Boggs/Barrett went 6-9 at top of Boston order, in a losing cause.
— Mets double-switched Darryl Strawberry out of this game in 9th inning; unusual.

5) Dodgers 6, Phillies 5- Game 3, 1977 NLCS
— Phillies took 5-3 lead with two runs in 8th, couldn’t hold lead.
— Rick Rhoden threw 4.1 scoreless innings in relief; neither starter finished 4th inning.
— Top three hitters in Philly order (McBride-Bowa-Schmidt) went 0-12.
— Dodgers scored 3 runs in 9th, after first two batters made out; Vic Davalillo started the rally with a pinch-hit bunt single.

4) Cardinals 5, Astros 4- Game 5, 2005 NLCS
— Pujols hit a 2-out, 3-run HR off Brad Lidge in 9th inning.
— Lance Berkman hit 3-run tater in 7th to give Astros a 4-2 lead.
— Andy Pettitte gave up two runs in 6.1 IP for Houston.
— Astros won series two days later, winning 5-1 behind Roy Oswalt.

3) Blue Jays 7, A’s 6 (11)- Game 4, 1992 ALCS
— A’s led 6-1 after seven innings; bullpen was dreadful.
— Roberto Alomar went 4-5, tied game with 2-run homer in 9th.
— Jack Morris was knocked out in 4th inning; their bullpen allowed one run.
— Pat Borders knocked in winning run with sac fly in 11th.

2) Blue Jays 15, Phillies 14- Game 4, 1993 WS
— Game was 7-6 in third inning; Blue Jays were down 14-9 in 8th, scored six runs to take a 3-1 series lead.
— Devon White went 3-5, had a two-run triple in 8th inning.
— Lenny Dykstra scored four runs, knocked in four in a losing cause.
— Toronto scored 41 runs in their four wins in this World Series.

1) Red Sox 8, Rays 7- Game 5, 2008 ALCS
— Tampa Bay led 7-0 in 7th inning, trying to win their first pennant.
— Scott Kazmir threw six shutout innings for the Rays.
— Tampa bullpen faced 18 hitters; eight of them scored.
— David Ortiz hit a 3-run homer, JD Drew a 2-run homer for Boston.
— Rays wound up winning this series in seven games.

TV highlight of the day: Golf on TV was fun; also a solid movie day:
Rounders, Good Will Hunting, Up In the Air, Love & Basketball

Sunday’s Den: Happy 5th of July, everyone!!!!

13) One of the most interesting parts of baseball season will be how teams handle extra innings, when each half-inning starts with a runner on second base.

Will teams bunt the runner over? Use a pinch-runner? Try to steal third base? Will teams use a pinch-running specialist, since rosters are expanded?

I think the rule itself is dumb, but since it will be used, I’m curious how teams will use it.

12) Another interesting part of baseball is that players won’t be sitting on the bench in the dugout, they’ll be spread out in seats behind each dugout, in the stands.

11) There are ten new managers in the major leagues this season, four of whom have never managed anywhere in the majors before, so they’ve got a whole lot to learn in a very short period of time.

10) Cardinals-White Sox are going to play the Field of Dreams game in Iowa on August 13.

9) Sacramento Kings lost their top assistant coach Igor Kokoskov, who took a head coaching job in Turkey this week. Kokoskov had been the Suns’ head coach for a year, and is head coach of the Serbian national team.

8) FedEx pays Washington Redskins’ owner Daniel Snyder $7.6M a year for naming rights to the Redskins’ stadium in Maryland; now FedEx and other sponsors are putting heat on Snyder to change the teams’ nickname.

If Snyder does change the name of the team, my choice would be Red Tails; this honors the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of all-black fighter pilots during World War II, before the legal desegregation of the military.

As for the Cleveland Indians, my suggestion for a new name? The Cleveland Spiders.

7) I see now where Shaquille O’Neal has invested in Papa John’s pizza and does commercials for them; he is a very successful businessman, so you want him involved in your company.

Several years ago, Papa John’s was my go-to pizza place here in Albany; maybe 7-8 years ago, I go to Las Vegas for 10 days and when I come back, six of the seven Papa John’s in our area had closed down, the only one staying open was across the street from a hospital— they did a huge business from the workers there.

The one Papa John’s that stayed open wouldn’t deliver outside the city limits, and I live about a quarter-mile outside the city of Albany, so that was that. Too bad, it is good pizza.

6) After signing Cam Newton:
— Patriots’ Super Bowl odds went from 28-1 to 25-1.
— Odds to win AFC stayed the same, at 12-1.
— Odds to win AFC West went from +$170 to +$130.
— Newton’s MVP odds went from 100-1 to 40-1
— Over/under on games Newton starts: 8.5.

5) NFLL teams with the most salary cap space:
$37.34M— Cleveland
$36.54M— Washington
$29.31M— Detroit
$24.62M— Detroit

4) Friday night, I was listening to MLB Network’s Harold Reynolds do analysis on an NLCS game from 2014; he was very good as a game analyst, and he doesn’t do that very much. I’m surprised because I usually don’t like his work in the studio; he talks a lot, and seldom says much of anything, but doing analysis of a game he was at, he was very good.

3) With Vince Carter officially retired, the oldest player in the NBA is now 40-year Udonis Haslem of the Miami Heat.

2) Sounds like the eight NBA teams who didn’t make the playoffs in Orlando will be getting together in Chicago in September, so they can practice, play some games and not be at a big disadvantage when next season starts.

1) Joey Chestnut won the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest in Brooklyn Saturday, downing 75 weiners in 10 minutes. The event was held inside this year, making for a cooler environment. No idea if that helps or hurts the contestants.

Over/under for number of hot dogs eaten by this year’s winner: 73.5 (under -$139)

TV highlight of the day: Mets-Braves game from July 4, 1985, a game with a rain delay, then a 19-inning marathon that ended after 4am, with fireworks after. I watched the whole damn thing, then was in work by 8am. Safe to say, it wasn’t my most productive day ever. 

Saturday’s Den: Things I’ve missed/am missing

Things I’ve missed doing the last four months:
13) I miss turning the TV on every night and watching baseball, especially the A’s. The baseball season is a six-month drama that plays out one night at a time. I miss that drama. Hopefully on July 23, things will go well, and we can watch games the rest of the summer.

12) I miss stressing out about my fantasy baseball team; last I heard, Giancarlo Stanton is healthy, so the sooner they start this abbreviated season, the better.

March seems like 2-3 years ago; it slipped my mind that I had made a Machado-Bryant trade a day or two before everything shut down in the spring.

11) I miss going to the malls around here and getting slices of pizza while I watch people walk by.

10) I miss going to the bookstore and looking for interesting books/magazines.

9) I had missed going out to lunch every day and talking with people and laughing and learning stuff. but I’ve started dong that again the last couple weeks- that makes the days more fun.

8) I missed March Madness, my favorite event of the year.

7) I miss writing in my notebooks every night, filling them with numbers that will talk back to me when I look at them later on. I have a lot of notebooks/index cards. And pens.

6) I actually miss walking into the bank and paying my credit card bill, though now I’ve joined the 21st century and have an online banking account. Much easier.

5) I miss seeing hockey teams celebrate after scoring an overtime goal; I miss seeing teams line up and shake hands after a hard-fought playoff series.

4) I miss writing about what happens every day, instead of inventing lists like this, although  this experience has been highly educational. Seriously, it has been.

3) I miss listening to Charles Barkley and Shaq discuss the NBA playoffs, though watching old playoff games reminds me that shorter playoff series would be a lot more fun.

2) I DO NOT MISS going to the gas station and paying $2.79 a gallon for gas; can’t remember the last time I put gas in my car— the price of gas has dropped 50 cents a gallon here.

1) I miss visiting Las Vegas, and knowing that I can play video poker and watch ballgames and shoot the breeze with whoever is around.

I look forward to life getting more normal, so I can do these things again. The more we wear masks in public, the sooner we can do these things. 

Friday’s List of 13: Randomly interesting sports facts……

A guy named Peter Burns posted a thread on his Twitter feed; What’s your favorite random sports stat? I went thru the thread, and picked out my favorite ones…….

13) Wayne Gretzky has the most points in NHL history, by far; if you take away all his goals, he would still have the most points in NHL history.

12) Stan Musial had 3,630 hits in his great career:
— 1,815 hits at home.
— 1,815 hits on the road.

11) July 2, 1963, Giants beat the Braves 1-0 in 16 innings at Candlestick Park; both pitchers threw complete games.

Juan Marichal threw 227 pitches, Warren Spahn 201. Willie Mays ended things with a home run in the 16th, in front of 15,921 fans. Game took 4:10 to play.

10) Tony Gwynn had 541 career at-bats against 18 pitchers who made the Hall of Fame; he hit .331 in those at-bats.

9) Ohio State has won eight national titles in football, six of them outright, two others were shared.

Buckeyes have been the #1 preseason team seven times; in none of those seven years did they win a national championship.

8) From 2008-2018, Charles Howell III made $20,422,568 on the PGA Tour without winning a tournament or finishing in the top 20 on the money list.

7) On his 29th birthday, Phil Niekro had 17 career wins; he wound up with 318 wins, using the knuckleball to pitch until he was 48 years old.

6) April 23, 1999, Fernando Tatis hit two grand slams in a game at Dodger Stadium……in the same inning, off the same pitcher (Chan Ho Park).

5) On July 3, 1966, Tony Cloninger hit two grand slams in a game, which is impressive, even mores because…….Tony Cloninger was a pitcher.

4) Between 1990-2000, Florida/Florida State played 13 football games against each other; they were both in the top 5 for all 13 meetings.

3) Nolan Ryan struck out seven father/son combinations.

2) In 1927, there were unassisted triple plays on consecutive days in the major leagues; there wasn’t another unassisted triple play in the big leagues until 1968.

1) Money earned via salary in 2020:
— Bobby Bonilla, $1.19M (he retired in 2001)
— Chiefs’ QB Patrick Mahomes, $850,000

TV highlight of the day:  Moneyball was on, always a highlight. Bad News Bears was on too, a great movie.