Tuesday’s list of 13: Hey!! Things its OK to say on last day of May

13) Stupid Scheduling Dept: Giants played in Denver Sunday afternoon, had a 1pm game Monday in Atlanta- they couldn’t play a 5:00 or 6:00 game Monday?

Dodgers play in Queens Sunday night, then had a 5pm game in Chicago; not quite as bad, but still, the teams that play on Sunday night and have to travel after should play a night game on Monday. .

12) Cubs 2, Dodgers 0— WP- Wood 3-0, LP- Wood 1-4. All of which reminds me that from 1971-75, a 5-year period, White Sox pitcher Wilbur Wood started 224 games, an average of 44.8 starts per year (most any pitcher starts now is usually 32 or so).

Wood was a knuckleballer who went 24-20 in 1973, 20-19 in ’74 and once started both games in a doubleheader. He also had 57 saves in an interesting career.

11) There have been six major league games this year where a team got only one hit for the game, but those teams are a surprising 3-3 in those games.

10) I watch these mini-series on Showtime, like Billions or House of Lies and I’m not eager to trust any human on the planet– is everyone a scoundrel? Can anyone be a trusted friend? On these shows, its almost like a WWE storyline, where people turn on each other at the drop of a hat. Every man for himself. Kind of sad.

9) Baylor hired former Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe as its interim football coach, after a string of off-field problem that caused Art Briles to get fired recently. I’ve long been a fan of Grobe; he won an ACC ttile at Wake Forest, a huge accomplishment.

Not sure what happens to Baylor’s assistants; don’t think they can fire them all, since that could lead to a mass exodus of players via transfer. No matter what the school says, they want/need a winning team and good players are responsible for that,.

8) Clayton Kershaw is making $34,571,429 this year, over $1M per start; not sure how you take him out in a key spot Sunday night to bring in a situational lefty in a big spot, when the reliever makes the major league minimum. By my count, Granderson is 3-17 in his career vs Kershaw, with a double in his first AB Sunday. Odd decision.

7) Dodgers have a payroll of $249,781,668, a huge payroll, yet they have an entry level manager running their games- it makes no sense. Roberts has never managed in the minor leagues- he ran one game in San Diego LY after Bud Black got canned.

I know teams that play “Moneyball” consider managers to be an expendable middle manager who just pushes buttons during games, but damn its an important job. To have a guy in charge who has never done it before this year puts you at a disadvantage.

And no, the Dodgers don’t play “Moneyball” but GM Andrew Friedman did when he ran the Tampa Bay Rays. I think he underrates the manager’s influence on a team.

6) Obscure major league record— July 30, 1991, Dennis Martinez vs Mike Morgan at Dodger Stadium– Major league record for most batters to make out in a game, before any batter reached base. 30 batters went down before there was a baserunner.

Tigers/Angels got to 27 consecutive batters retired last night, before CJ Cron singled to open the bottom of the fifth inning.

5) WeTV, a purveyor of bad TV programs, is bringing “Millionaire Matchmaker” back to the airwaves. This woman sets up millionaires with dates– she has had a ton of cosmetic surgery since this program was last on the air, I believe on Bravo Network. I actually felt bad for some of the guys she had the show on a few years ago.

Anyway, I’ll say this: any guy who is a millionaire and needs a dating service is a jackass. Exhibit A: Donald J Trump. He has the worst hair in America, but he also has $10B so he has a raving beauty tagging along behind him. Thats just the way it is.

Like it or not, attractive women are drawn to money like locusts to a rotting corpse.

4) There is an intersection in town of Banff, Alberta– Moose and Squirrel Streets. Obviously whoever planned this neighborhood is a Rocky/Bullwinkle fan from the old cartoon. No word on whether there is a Boris Badenov Blvd.

3) Pittsburgh Penguins haven’t been out of the eastern time zone since January 18, when they played in St Louis- they’re headed to San Jose for Games 3-4 of Stanley Cup finals- they were last in the Pacific Time Zone in December.

2) Watching the Oklahoma City Thunder play, you forget they are the old Seattle SuperSonics, who the NBA stole from the city of Seattle after the 2007-08 season, because the city of Seattle wouldn’t build (yet another) new arena for the Sonics. This was a horrendous injustice, since Seattle always supported their team very well.

1) Warriors 96, Thunder 88— Lot of the nitwits on social media who gave up on the Warriors last week can now eat their words. 10th time a team down 3-1 has won in a 7-game series, out of 233 tries. This series was good for the NBA, two great teams that people like to watch going at it for seven games. Solid entertainment.

Monday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a sports weekend……..

13) Going to be a big night for sports bars in SF/Oakland Bay Area tonight, with the Sharks opening their first-ever Stanley Cup final, while Warriors host Oklahoma City in Game 7 of the NBA Western Conference final.

12) Astros 8, Angels 6 (13)– Carlos Correa came off the bench in the 13th inning and hit a 3-run homer to win this marathon game. The homer was hit really high; not often you see reactions like the ones Angel fielders gave when the ball landed in the bullpen.

11) Houston had a runner picked off first for the third game in a row; at 22-29, they are not the same team that stunned baseball by making the playoffs LY. At 22-28, the Angels aren’t much better, with an injury-ravaged pitching staff.

10) The save rule makes managers’ jobs harder, because closers do not pitch as well if they come into a game with a 4+-run lead, which is not a save situation. Sometimes the manager figures the closer just needs work, but the Mets’ closer Familia coughed up a 4-run lead in the ninth inning Friday night.

9) Washington Nationals are lucky Brandon Phillips vetoed his trade last winter; they wound up signing Daniel Murphy instead– Murphy is a much better player.

8) In Saturday’s Cincinnati-Milwaukee game, both starting pitchers hit the other with pitches, the first time that happened in a game since 2003, when Dan Haren and Matt Clement drilled each other in a Cardinal-Cub game.

7) With Lucas Duda hurt, the Mets traded for James Loney from San Diego; he is a good fielder who doesn’t hit enough to be a regular corner infielder. He will be activated for their Tuesday game, when they face righty pitcher Mat Latos.

6) Not often a 20-point underdog wins in football; Tampa Bay Storm upset Arizona Rattlers in the Arena Lague this weekend. Tampa Bay had been winless this year.

5) First round matchups in a college hoop tournament in Cancun next fall: Purdue will play Utah State, Auburn will play Texas Tech. Not a bad tournament.

4) Martin Truex jogged in Charlotte’s NASCAR race, dominating the 600-mile race. It was his first win this season.

3) Chris Webber is way better than Reggie Miller as an NBA game analyst; TNT got the better of the two conference finals. The Cleveland-Toronto games were all one-sided, and as a result got terrible TV ratings.

2) Jordan Spieth won at Colonial, meaning with the Memorial this week, Spieth, Day and McIroy all are coming in off a win in their last event.

1) Today is Memorial Day, when we honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country. Thanks to all the brave men/women in our military.

Sunday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a sports Saturday……

13) Weird day/night at the ballpark Saturday. Umps threw Noah Syndergaard out in the third inning for throwing a ball a foot or two behind Chase Utley. Apparently no warnings had been issued before this series, so the ejection was unexpected, and Mets manager Terry Collins got tossed as a result.

12) The pitch was obviously intentional, but not only did it not hit Utley, it didn’t come that close to him. If the umps warn both dugouts and play on, it ends there. The micromanaging that baseball does with umpires does not help the game.

Lot of people paid a lot of money to watch that game, and they got cheated out of watching it. No one pays to watch the umpires do their job.

11) The Mets-Utley thing goes back to LY’s playoffs, when Utley slid hard into second base and broke SS Ruben Tejada’s leg. Ironically, Tejada was DFA’d by the Cardinals Saturday.

10) Utley tied Friday night’s game with a bases loaded double, then put LA with a sixth inning homer last night, then hit a grand slam later in the game. Wonder what the TV executives at FOX think about the Mets’ star Syndergaard getting tossed in the third inning of a national TV game?

9) One last Dodger note: 19-year old Julio Urias was sent back to AAA after making his MLB debut Friday night. He is on an innings limit this year, anyway.

8) Royals 8, White Sox 7— Brutal loss for Chicago, which led 7-1 in 9th inning but this catastrophic loss means they are now 4-12 in their last 16 games.

7) Reds 7, Brewers 6— Milwaukee led 6-1 in 7th inning, but Reds rallied to win and broke their 12-game losing streak. Winning run came after a replay review overturned a Brewer double play that would’ve ended the top of the 9th with game tied.

6) Blue Jays 10, Red Sox 9— Boston’s bullpen gave up six runs in 2.1 IP, blowing leads in both 8th/9th innings.

5) Angels pitcher Matt Shoemaker was 2-5, 8.80 in his first seven starts this year, with 62 misses on 261 swings (23.8%), and 22 strikeouts in 29.2 IP. Not good.

In two starts since then, Shoemaker is 1-0, 1.15 in two starts, with 23 strikeouts in 15.2 IP and 48 misses on 117 swings (41.0%). Wonder what he changed?

4) Juan Lagares hit an opposite field homer Friday, then hit another one last night as a pinch-hitter. First thing that flashed thru my mind after his homer Friday, was that he is going to be drug tested and real soon. Mets TV announcers seemed stunned when the ball went over the right field fence.

3) Speaking of Mets’ TV, Ron Darling told a story on TV Friday about when he retired, a guy came up to him and hugged him, telling Darling that he had bet on the Mets every game Darling started one season and the Mets had won so many of those games that the guy took the money and bought a house that he still lived in.

2) John Smoltz was good on TV Saturday, talking about Matt Harvey’s struggles on the mound, and how as a starting pitcher, it is not fun if you’re having a lousy season. Smotz was 2-11 at the All-Star break one year; he talked about that and how he had to basically re-boot in the second half, which he did. Good stuff.

1) A 23-year old young man who played for the New Orleans Pelicans was shot and killed in Dallas this weekend. According to police reports, he was somewhere he was not supposed to be– he got shot and he died.

Our world is going crazy and I’m not even sure it is slowly going crazy. Something has to be done about gun violence and violence in general. There is a lack of respect for people’s boundaries, and when that happens, regrettable things happen.

Saturday’s List of 13: Clearing out a cluttered mind……..

13) Atlanta is getting new baseball stadium and football stadium even though the ones Braves/Falcons use now are both less than 30 years old. To me, this is absurd in an era where cities have financial problems. I’m thinking publicly funded stadiums should have to be used for 40 years before they can be replaced.

12) My thought on spelling bee that ESPN televised this week: God bless these kids for being so smart, but go out and play for Pete’s sake.

11) I’m guessing MLB Commissioner Manfred wasn’t happy with the Astros game Thursday night; Houston starter Lance McCullers threw 108 pitches in five IP, with only seven of them put into play. Not a lot of action when out of 108 pitches, 16 are called strikes, 18 are swung at/missed, 21 are fouled off, seven are put in play.

10) There was flash flooding in Texas Thursday night, with dangerous conditions but channel 2’s TV lady was out in the rain, on the air, telling people how dangerous it was. Who thought this was a good idea? The poor woman was soaked.

9) Much was made last year about Joe Maddon batting his pitcher 8th, but he hasn’t done it this year and he didn’t do it in LY’s playoffs. Still haven’t been convinced that batting a pitcher 8th gives a team any advantage at all. Some teams still do it, but also some TV analysts openly mock the idea.

8) Phillies are 14-4 in one-run games, 1-7 in games decided by 5+ runs.

7) Want to win a bar bet? Mark Lemke, former utility infielder of the Braves, holds MLB record for most plate appearances (3,664) without getting hit by a pitch.

6) Bryce Harper homered the other night with no batting gloves on; when he got back to the Washington dugout he took a pair of scissors and cut his batting gloves up into several pieces. Athletes can be very quirky people.

5) Former NFL QB Jon Kitna’s son will be a walk-on QB at TCU this season.

4) Los Angeles Kings have taken the captain’s “C” away from Dustin Brown– he has been the Kings’ captain since 2008, so this is a big deal.

3) North Carolina hoop coach Roy Williams had a knee replaced this week, so we wish him well with that. He should be healthy in time for July recruiting season.

2) Modern basketball: Draymond Green got an offensive rebound on the block, and turned and whipped a diagonal cross-court pass to Klay Thompson outside the arc, 25 feet from the basket. In today’s game, thats a good play.

I’ll sound old now, but 30 years ago, if you made that pass, you’d get yanked out of the game and maybe drug tested afterwards. The 3-point line has changed basketball (for the better) and made it a more interesting game.

1) Arizona Diamondbacks are having a really bad season; they put two starting pitchers on DL Friday, Shelby Miller and Rubby De la Rosa. Arizona traded a lot of their top prospects to get Miller, who is 1-6, 7.09 this season.

Friday’s List of 13: Random stuff with weekend here…….

13) Baylor fired football coach Art Briles, who went 65-37 at a school that hadn’t gone to a single bowl game in the 12 years before he came to Waco. Briles got fired due to his players having lot of legal problems off the field. On the field, Baylor did so well they just built a new $266 million stadium. Off the field, there were big problems.

12) The next questions are these: a) Who takes Briles’ place? and b) is Baylot a good job right now for an aspiring young coach? Recruiting right now could be a problem.

11) Houston Rockets hired Mike D’Antoni as its new coach, meaning Houston will be a fun team to watch going forward.

10) 19-year old Julio Urias makes his MLB debut for the Dodgers tonight when they play at Citi Field against the Mets.

9) A CBS TV station in California found 265 people voting while using the IDs of dead people, one of whom died as long ago as 1988. 86 Republicans, 146 Democrats, 33 independents. Is this a great country or what?

8) Pirates’ TV announcers do not like Tony LaRussa; while D’Backs/Pirates were plunking each other this week, Pittsburgh TV guys basically blamed LaRussa for the fireworks not dying down. LaRussa, who was in Pittsburgh for the series, went into the Pirate TV booth in between innings to talk to the announcers, which is not how these things are usually handled. .

7) Cubs scored 81 runs in winning all 10 of Jake Arrieta’s starts this season.

6) World Series of Poker starts pretty soon; players can wear headphones this year, until the final table, which is a player-friendly change in rules.

5) Maryland got very good news when Melo Trimble dropped out of NBA Draft just before the deadline to do so.

4) All in all, 49 underclassmen stayed in the NBA Draft, compared to 46 LY. There are only 60 picks in the whole draft. Lot of kids get bad advice.

3) Al Leiter does TV analysis part-time for both the Miami Marlins/Bronx Bombers; is there another guy who works for two teams in two different cities?

2) New Orleans Pelicans’ Anthony Davis will not be awarded the estimated $24.8 million bonus allowed as the maximum value for the contract he signed last summer.

The Rose Rule says that a player coming off his rookie contract is eligible for a higher raise structure if he accomplishes two of the following: a) wins the MVP award b) is selected as an All-Star starter, or c) is selected for All-NBA.

Davis was hurt much of last year, which is why he fell short of those goals.

1) Royals’ OF Lorenzo Cain never played baseball until he was in 10th grade.

Tuesday’s 6-pack, Quote of Day, quiz

Tuesday’s six-pack
Tuesday’s six-pack
Random teams’ odds to win college basketball national title next April…….
— Syracuse and West Virginia are both 50-1.
— UConn, Iowa State and Miami are all 60-1.
— Baylor, Butler and Utah are all 100-1
— VCU, Arizona State and Mississippi State are all 200-1.
— Providence, BYU and Northwestern are all 300-1; Northwestern has never even been in the NCAA tournament.
— Temple, St John’s and Stanford are all 500-1.

Quote of the Day
“You have to find other ways to win the game. That’s what they (Denver) did. If you remember, they weren’t lighting up the scoreboard. They came together as a team. If you come together as a team, you give yourself a chance.”
Jets coach Todd Bowles                     

Daily quiz
Tuesday’s quiz What is the state capital of California?

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

Sunday’s quiz
Former Chargers’ kicker Rolf Benirschke was once briefly the host of Wheel of Fortune.

Super Bowl records- most passing yards in a Super Bowl:
keep in mind there have now been 50 Super Bowls (100 QBs).
3) 365 yards, Kurt Warner, Rams vs NE– Super Bowl XXXVI
2) 377 yards, Kurt Warner, Cardinals vs Pitt– Super Bowl XLI

1) 414 yards, Kurt Warner, Rams vs Tenn– Super Bowl XXXIV

Like donuts? Try Cider Belle donuts on North Pearl Street in Albany……

 

 

Thursday’s List of 13: Doing some thinking out loud…….

13) Wednesday was the deadline for NBA prospects to drop out of the draft and go back to school– at least 45 players have done that. Dillon Brooks, Tyler Dorsey both went back to school, making Oregon a national title contender next winter.

12) Purdue gets big man Caleb Swanigan back for next year: “I’m going back to school. I feel I’m only a 2nd round pick and I can do better than that. I love Purdue.” Boilermakers still need better guard play, but Swanigan’s return is important.

11) Clemson also got very good news that Jaron Blossonggame will return to school; Littlejohn Coliseum was re-done last winter, so Brad Brownell will be on the hot seat to make the NCAAs next year. When boosters kick in a lot of money to refurbish an arena, they expect results. With Blossingame, Clemson can make the NCAAs.

10) USC appears to be the big loser Wednesday; they lost two starters, their point guard and center, despite thought that neither one will get drafted. Trojans were going to be a top 15 team if both kids came back. Now they’re out of the top 25. .

9) Similar bad news at Seton Hall, after Isaiah Whitehead stayed in the draft- had he stayed in school, he would’ve been a preseason All-American, and Kevin Willard is a much smarter coach. Whitehead may or may not get picked in the first round.

8) Los Angeles Rams will travel 32,072 miles this coming season, most of any team; even without their London trip, Rams would travel 5th-most miles in league.

7) There are six teams who will travel less than 10,000 miles this year, all from the two north divisions– Lions-Packers-Bears-Ravens-Browns-Steelers.

6) Memphis Grizzlies offered their coaching job to Miami assistant David Fizdale, who has been an NBA assistant for 14 years. Grizzlies are tough team to work for; in last four years, they’ve fired a coach who went 56-26, then a coach who went 42-40 despite using 28 players, the most players an NBA team has ever had in one season.

5) Odubel Herrera, Yasiel Puig were both benched this week for not running balls out. Herrera returned to the lineup and homered Wednesday afternoon.

4) Rougned Odor punched an opponent in the face 11 days ago; when does he get suspended? Baseball does this so badly; by the time he gets suspended, we’ll forget what he got suspended for. For that fight, the suspension should’ve been immediate.

3) Giancarlo Stanton is hitting .214 this year and is hurt again; this is his 7th year in the major leagues- he’s played more than 123 games twice. I look at the guy and I see a WWE wrestler; he is too damn bulked-up to play baseball. Yes I’m bitter because he has been on my fantasy team since he was an 18-year old in the Florida State League, but how can a guy like this have only one season with 90+ RBI?

2) Imagine how bitter you would be if you were paying Stanton’s salary? The meat of his big-money deal doesn’t start for two more years– starting in 2018, Stanton will make an average of $31M a year for 11 years, from age 28 to 38. Oy.

1) Matt Harvey is 3-7, 6.08 this season; he’s allowed 73 hits in 53.1 IP. No bueno.

Wednesday’s List of 13: Mid-week musings…….

13) Under Armour, UCLA signed a 15-year, $280M apparel/shoe deal this week, which will make entitled athletes in football/basketball complain that they’re not going to get a piece of that pie. They are getting a free college education, so there’s that.

12) In a probably-related development, Pac-12 football teams will play fewer 10:30 kickoff games, in part so Under Armour brand can get more eastern exposure on TV.

11) Monday night in Miami, Logan Morrison took a marginal pitch for a strike and before the TV people could mute their field mikes, Morrison unleashed a string of obscenities against plate umpire Lance Barksdale. Good stuff.

10) Former NBA vet Kerry Kittles signed on as an assistant coach at Princeton.

9) ACC-Big 14 basketball challenge is a mere six months away; Michigan State-Duke is the premere matchup. UNC-Indiana, Ohio State-Virginia, Purdue-Louisville are some of the other featured games.

8) Devin Watson, who scored 20.3 ppg as a soph at San Francisco LY, transferred to San Diego State, where he will sit out this year, then play two more years. More good news for Steve Fisher; Malik Pope dropped out of the NBA Draft, will go back to school for another year. Decisions like that will mean a lot next winter.

7) Delaware Blue Hens finally hired a basketball coach, Notre Dame assistant coach Martin Inglesby, who has ties to the Philadelphia area. Plus Mike Brey used to be the Delaware coach, so that helps. Delaware has very few players; hiring a coach on May 24 is not the ideal way to run an athletic program.

6) Looking thru all-time college records today, noticed that Rams’ QB Case Keenum holds I-A records for most career passing yards (19,217) and pssing TDs (217). it didn’t prevent the Rams from spending a king’s ransom on acquiring Jared Goff to take Keenum’s job, but those records are still impressive.

5) Are there any phone booths left in this country? Was watching a movie the other night and someone ran to a phone booth to make a call, which automatically makes it a fairly old movie, I guess.

4) Was doing NFL research today; Carolina beat the Buccaneers twice LY, 37-23 and 38-10. Panthers scored nine TDs in the two games: two by the defense, with five of the seven TDs scored by the offense coming on drives of less than 50 yards.

3) NHL’s Florida Panthers had 103 points this year, most they’ve ever had in their 23-year history, but they just fired their scouting dorector who had been with the team for 14 years, thru seven head coaches and five GMs. There is a battle there between the analytics people and the old school people, and analytics people are winning.

2) Long time ago, November 1993, I’m an assistant high school basketball coach, in my first year at this school, whose program was a mess. Our head coach is a great guy but he was in over his head at this job. After the second game of the year (we had won the first game), there were some attitude problems in the group.

Coach said something after that game that I’ve never forgotten: “So we lose a game and the rats start jumping off the ship”, one of the all-time best quotes I’ve heard.

That is where the Warriors are now; their bandwagon is emptying quickly; nitwit media people have declared this series over, even though nine NBA teams have rallied from 3-1 deficits to win their series. Steve Kerr will probably rally his troops with an “us against the world” speech, since no one thinks Golden State can rally now.

We’ll see.

1) White Sox TV voice Jason Benetti has an inspirational story; he was born with cerebral palsy, but never let that stop him. He went to college at Syracuse, then got his law degree from Wake Forest. He later joined ESPN and now has a job broadcasting ball in the major leagues, and he is very good at it. Good for him.

Tuesday’s List of 13: Nobody asked me, but……..


13) Major league baseball teams aren’t allowed to play more than 20 days in a row, so players on Colorado/Pittsburgh had to vote to play Monday, after Sunday’s game was rained out in the second inning.

Pirates will now take the field 34 days in a row, Colorado 27, but playing yesterday was better than the Rockies flying in for one day later this season.

12) With Lucas Duda out for an extended time bith back issues, would the Mets trade for a 3B, move David Wright to first? He has been struggling with throws, anyway, this could be the time to put him at first base.

11) Interesting matchup in Chicago tonight: Indians are 7-0 when Josh Tomlin starts on the mound, White Sox are 9-0 when Chris Sale pitches.

10) White Sox announcer Steve Stone was talking about former Braves’ slugger Rico Carty (.299 career BA, 204 HRs). Apparently Carty wasn’t a trusting soul– he kept his wallet in hsi uniform pants while he was playing. Seriously.

9) On the Pirate game yesterday afternoon, Colorado announcers were saying that when he played for the Bronx Bombers, New York coaches tried to get Francisco Cervelli to quit and become a minor league coach, like Crash Davis in Bull Durham.

Cervelli just signed a three-year, $31M extension; hope he sends a copy of his checks to New York, so they can see how wrong they were.

8) I’ve spent a lot of time keeping score at baseball games, was even an official scorer in the minor leagues for two years, but if I started keeping score again, I’d have to change the way I kept score, because of shifting defenses.

A good scorecard is something you can look at six months later and tell what went on in that game, even if you never saw the game. Jotting down “5-3” is no longer enough, because the 3B (“5”) might have shifted to the right side of the infield. Now you need to take notes and be more descriptive, in order to be more accurate.

7) Raptors 105, Cavaliers 99– Why do teams play so much better at home?

6) Trevon Blueitt is going back to Xavier; the Musketeers have their top four guys on the perimeter back and are a top 25 team.

5) Drivers in this year’s Indianapolis 500 represent 11 different countries.

4) In his last 1,001 innings pitched, Clayton Kershaw’s ERA is 1.995.

3) Players who have come to bat with most men on base this season:
Rizzo 150, Polanco 147, Pujols 143, Abreu 137.

2) Players with 100+ PA who have driven in the highest %age of baserunners:
Bruce 26.7%, Betts 24.2%, Markakis 24.2%, Bradley Jr 23.4%

1) Players with 100+ PA who have driven in the lowest %age of baserunners
Gennett 1-64, MTaylor 2-68, Norris 3-85.

Monday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a sports weekend……..

13) Blue Jays manager John Gibbons had an interesting week;
Sunday: ejected, Monday: ejected.
Tuesday-Thursday: suspended in connection with Sunday’s ejection
Friday/Saturday: He actually managed the whole game both days.
Sunday: ejected– good work if you can get it.

12) Washington Nationals played 13 of their first 44 games against Miami; now the teams will play only six more times the rest of this season. .

11) Albuquerque Isotopes are the Rockies’ AAA team; they’re having a bad year, losing six games in a row and 10 of last 12.

Things are so bad that the team employee who wears the “jar of salsa” costume during the Chile Race promotion pulled a leg muscle this weekend nad is now out of action.

10) From 2013-15, Hillary Clinton made 94 speaking engagements, earned $21.6M doing so. Thats million, with an M. Yikes.

9) Phil Mickelson agreed to forfeit nearly $1 million that the Securities/Exchange Commission said was unfairly earned on a tip from an insider trading scheme run by a former corporate director and a professional gambler.

Who plays Mickelson in the movie that will inevitably be made about this?

8) Thunder 133, Warriors 105— This makes Game 4 a very interesting game. if the Spurs/Warriors go a combined 140-24 in the regular season and neither makes the NBA Finals, teams will be resting players constantly next season. No bueno.

7) I’m sitting here watching the 1995 movie Jury Duty, a movie so stunningly bad that I can’t turn it off. For some reason, Dick Vitale was in this movie as a TV leegal analyst, basically playing his TV role, yelling and screaming. 21 years later, this movie is still on pay TV– is this a great country or what?

6) I was watching the 1991 movie Forget Paris the other night, where Billy Crystal is an NBA ref; in the opening scene, he makes a critical call in a playoff game against the Phoenix Suns, who had Charles Barkley, Kevin Johnson, Dan Majerle.

25 years later, Barkley is the best studio analyst the NBA has; Majerle is the coach at Grand Canyon College an up-and-coming D-I team and Johnson somehow is mayor of Sacramento, where he has saved the NBA’s Kings from moving several times.

Real life is often stranger than fiction.

5) Then there is the 1973 movie “World’s Greatest Athlete”, where Seahawk coach Pete Carroll had an untitled role as a college football player. Also in this fine movie are the guy who played Mr Whipple in the old Charmin TV commercials, the guy who played General Burkhalter on Hogan’s Heroes and former Viking QB Joe Kapp.

4) Why do the Texas Rangers want a new stadium? The one they play in is only 22 years old- teams should have to stay at least 40 years in a new stadium.

3) Tim Lincecum signed with the Angels for $2.5M; Halos are in even worse shape than the A’s- their payroll is $164,673,333, compared to Oakland’s $86,806,234.

2) While I am on this subject, the A’s are 19-26 this year with a starting pitching rotation that is totally in shambles with Sonny Gray ineffective/hurt. After making the playoffs in 2012-14, the Ivy League genuses in the Oakland front office decided to trade Yoenis Cespedes for Jon Lester so they could win the 2014 World Series. The plan failed…..miserably.

109-154, thats the A’s record since July 31, 2014- they pay Billy Butler $10M a year, Jed Lowrie $7M, Coco Crisp $11M. People talk about Moneyball all the time, but the 2001-03 A’s were good for three reasons– Hudson, Mulder, Zito. Starting pitchers.

Without solid starting pitchers (6+ innings most every night) your team has absolutely zero chance to contend. None. Pitching is the most critical element in baseball.

1) Congratulations to my friend Gary DiNola for being inducted into the Upstate New York Basketball Hall of Fame last night. I spent four years (1994-98) as one of his assistants and it one was one of the most interesting/fun eperiences of my life.

Sunday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a sports Saturday…….

13) Milwaukee Brewer TV announcers were telling a story about last July 31, when the Mets/Brewers almost made a trade at the deadline. Milwaukee brass told Carlos Gomez he had been traded to the Mets, he was shaking hands with teammates, saying his goodbyes but then the trade fell through.

12) Mets wound up trading for Yoenis Cespedes instead, which worked out really well for them, as they got to the World Series. Gomez wound up getting dealt to the Astros, where he has struggled greatly.

11) As far as baseball eliminating the four pitches for the intentional walk, last year in the major leagues there were 951 intentional walks in 2,430 games, so eliminating those four pitches isn’t going to be a huge time-saver.

10) Ichiro Suzuki had his 253rd game with 3+ hits last night, most amongst active players. Ichiro now has 2,954 hits in his 16 big league seasons.

9) I’ve got no idea why, but people in Chicago do not like ketchup on hot dogs. White Sox announcers were discussing this the other night and back in 2003, a friend of mine actually got mad at me for asking for ketchup at a Chicago hot dog stand.

I dislike mustard and relish but if I knew the ketchup was going to cause a problem, I would’ve eaten the weiner plain.

8) A batter who hits a sacrifice fly isn’t charged with an at-bat, but a batter who knocks in a run with a ground out is– why is this? Whats the difference?

7) Marlins 3, Nationals 2— Washington had bases loaded, no one out in ninth inning but couldn’t tie game. Miami is now 3.5 games behind Washington in NL East.

6) Jim Baron is retiring as basketball coach at Canisius at age 62; he has been a very good coach at a number of places: Canisius, St Bonaventure, URI, St Francis, PA.

Few years ago, I was sitting in front of coach Baron at an AAU tournament here in Albany- his son was playing. It was a close game against a local team, and at the end of the game, the hometown refs gave the local team a couple calls and they won.

Coach Baron had been pretty low-key during the game but when his son’s team got hosed at the end and lost, he was steamed and he went after the offending ref to give him a piece of his mind. He did quickly and fairly quietly but believe me, the guy who made the calls deserved to get ripped.

Anyway, good luck in retirement coach. Canisius will miss you. .

5) 164 undergraduates declared for this year’s NBA Draft; many have returned to college, but there are only 60 picks in the draft, so add in seniors and kids from other countries and a lot of kids are going to wind up very disappointed.

4) Toronto’s Bismack Biyombo is going to make a fortune as a free agent this summer and when he does, remember this: last night in Game 3 against Cleveland, Biyombo had 15 rebounds before he took his first shot of the game. Guys like that are worth their weight in gold, if you want to have a winning team.

3) Jack McDowell threw 10+ complete games three years in a row, the last pitcher to do that and that was back in 1991-93. Will probably never happen again.

2) Major league baseball wants more balls in play; approximately 30% of plate appearances are ending in walks/strikeouts. Baseball’s head honchos want more action, so they’re going to raise the strike zone some, hoping it’ll result in more balls put in play, which makes the game more interesting. We’ll see how that goes.

1) RIP Alan Young 96, the actor who played Wilbur Post on the classic TV show Mr Ed, passed away this week. It is not easy to be a straight man for a talking horse; that was one of my favorite TV shows as a kid. Yes, I said a talking horse, but he only talked to Wilbur, which caused problems with Wilbur’s wife Carol.

Just loved Mr Ed, whether he was driving a delivery truck or taking batting practice against Sandy Koufax (yes, Koufax tossed a meatball to a horse, with manager Leo Durocher watching). Spent many hours laughing with this show. RIP, sir.

Saturday’s List of 13: College football knowledge……….

13) LSU’s new defensive coordinator last worked at Wisconsin; Tigers, who have 18 starters back, open the season Sept 3 against the Badgers at Lambeau Field.

12) USC plays Alabama, Stanford, Utah in September, none of them at home.

11) Urban Meyer has a 154-27 record, 50-4 at Ohio State; his defensvie coordinator this year is former Rutgers/Bucs coach Greg Schiano.

10) Texas A&M recruited only two of the top 20 recruits from the Lone Star State this year- they’re on their fourth offensive coordinator in the last five years. Aggies are 16-10 overall the last two years, 17-15 in conference play the last four years.

9) Contrast that to Oklahoma State, which is 27-12 the last three years; their OC is in his fourth season in Stillwater, their DC is in his sixth season. Continuity helps.

8) UCLA’s freshman kicker JJ Molson is the grandson of Montreal Canadiens’ owner, beer magnate Geoff Molson; wonder if they’ll be selling Molson beer at the Rose Bowl this year. Having a freshman kicker can drive you to drink.

7) Michigan State is 36-5 the last three years, but lost top two WRs and their QB who started for three years. Spartans play Notre Dame/Wisconsin on back/back early on in season. Mark D’Antonio is 7-2 against rival Michigan.

6) Tennessee hasn’t won SEC East since 2007; they haven’t won the SEC since ’98, the year after Peyton Manning left. Vols’ over/under win total in Las Vegas this year is 10, so with 18 starters back, Butch Davis’ team has high expectations.

5) Mack Brown was 25-14 his last three years at Texas; Charlie Strong is 11-14 his first two years in Austin. Longhorns gave up 30.3 ppg last year.

4) Florida State is 49-6 the last four years; only one of their four September games is at home. RB Dalvin Cook won SEC rushing title by 164 yards LY.

3) Oregon went 9-4 LY, after going 48-5 the four years before that; they lost their bowl game after leading 31-0 at the half. Once again, the Ducks’ QB will be a transfer from a I-AA school, this time Dakota Prukop from Montana State.

2) Ole Miss has its first-ever two-game winning streak over Alabama, which is hard to believe. Rebels play Florida State, Alabama and Georgia, all in September. Oy.

1) Michigan is 2-14 against Ohio State/Michigan State the last eight years.

Friday’s List of 13: Random stuff with weekend here……

13) I’m tired of hearing people whine about baseball games lasting too long, as if an extra 8-10 minutes is going to ruin someone’s day. Want to eliminate 8-10 minutes a game? Eliminate coaches/managers visiting the mound, that will do it. Whether a game is 2:52 or 3:05, baseball is great. Nothing wrong with spending more time having fun.

12) Saw couple of amazing catches in 9th inning of games last night; Minnesota CF Danny Santana made a fantastic catch, keeping the game 2-2 with the go-ahead run on second base and Rafael Ortega of the Angels made a sliding catch down left field line to help the Halos hold off the Dodgers 7-4.

11) Nationals 9, Mets 1— Matt Harvey is 3-6, 5.77 and terribly overrated. Last year, New York media had him getting inducted in Cooperstown before he turned 27. Last night, Harvey went over the 500 innings mark in his career- he is 30-24.

10) Austin Russell, better known as Chumlee on Pawn Stars, somehow avoided jail time after at one time having 19 felony drug charges against him. Hope he realizes how lucky he is; when I was in Las Vegas in April, it seemed apparent that he was going to jail and maybe for a very long time.

9) Pro Bowl is moving from Honolulu to Orlando this comng year; for some reason, it was mentioned that Sydney, Australia was interested in hosting it. Why?

8) Orlando Magic gave Frank Vogel $22M for four years– first Magic-Pacer game next fall should be interesting.

7) Buck Showalter once managed a team in the NY-Penn League, a short-season farm team. He went 114-41 in Oneonta, hometown of ESPN’s Mark May, and also the place where John Elway played his minor league baseball.

6) In case you are wondering, Elway hit .318 with a .432 OB% that year, for a 43-33 Oneonta team that was managed by former White Sox CF Ken Berry.

5) Drew Pomeranz has pitched well for San Diego but they haven’t hit much for him; in Pomeranz’ last four starts, a total of seven runs have scored.

4) Stan Musial hit three homers in a game at age 42, the oldest player to do so.

3) Angels are 22-1 in Mike Trout’s career when he scores 3+ runs in a game.

2) Not only did Texas A&M’s basketball team lose four senior starters this year, three of their assistant coaches also bolted for other jobs, so Billy Kennedy is totally rebuilding his program- he hired Don Maestri, who coached Troy State for 30 years and will now be someone Kennedy can lean on for advice. .

1) Chargers signed Zach Mettenberger as a backup QB; Giants/Bengals also had interest n the former LSU signal-caller. Backing up Philip Rivers seems like good duty; Rivers has started every San Diego game for the last decade.

Thursday’s List of 13: Doing some thinking out loud……


13) Warriors 118, Thunder 91— No one on Oklahoma City had more than 9 points, other than Durant/Westbrook. They need a third double figure scorer to compete.

12) Knicks are apparently going to name Jeff Hornacek head coach; good coach, good basketball guy, but kind of feel about him the same way I felt when the Mets hired Art Howe as manager– not very New York-ish. Sometimes that matters.

11) Chicago White Sox turned their second triple play of the season last night; they are first team since ’07 Phillies to turn two triple plays in same season.

10) A’s 8, Rangers 1— Khris Davis has nine HRs, 20 RBI in first 18 days of May.

9) NBA playoff favorites of 8+ points are 19-6 vs spread this season.

8) Why is the price of gasoline 45 cents a gallon cheaper in New Jersey than here in New York? Is Crhis Christie that good a governor that his constituents don’t get ripped off like we do? By the way, in New Jersey they put the gas in your car for you.

7) NBA Summer League will be July 8-18 at UNLV and on TV every day on NBA TV. Solid entertainment; I’ll be out there for the AAU tournaments later in the month.

6) Illinois got good news: big man Mike Thorne got a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA, very important for John Groce’s team.

5) More transfers, as number approaches 600 this year (there are 351 D-I teams):
— Anthony Livingston goes from Arkansas State to Texas Tech.
— Kendall Stephens goes from Purdue to Nevada

4) This will be the sixth NFL season for 49er QB Blaine Gabbert, who will have his sxith different head coach, sixth offensive coordinator, sixth QB coach. Oy.

3) Why would the Ravens intentionally break the NFL rule about not using full pads during rookie minicamps? Sounds like they did just that.

2) Minnesota Twins are 4-2 against the Cleveland Indians, 0-15 against the rest of the AL Central. No bueno. Minnesota is 5-12 in games where the winning run scores from the 7th inning on.

1) Werid story about Robert Griffin III and his relationship with his coaches in Washington; if that story is remotely true, Daniel Snyder is the worst owner in the NFL and the Browns may have made a colossal mistake acquiring RGIII, who appears to be a complete jerk if you believe the article, which is excerpted up above.

Wednesday’s List of 13: Good to be home after vacation……

13) 76ers won the NBA Draft Lottery, will probably take Ben Simmons, seeing as how coach Brett Brown coached Simmons’ dad in Australia a long time ago.

12) Cavaliers 115, Raptors 84— Cleveland is now 9-0 this postseason. Looks like the drama in this round will be in the series out west.

11) Warriors’ Klay Thompson scored 25 points in first three quarters of Game 1 with the Thunder, but was scoreless in the fateful 4th quarter.

10) MLB suspended Rougned Odor eight games after Sunday’s fight with Toronto, but because of a ridiculous appeal system MLB has, Odor is playing this week. Once the suspension is announced, the player should be suspended immediately. The way it is now, the player basically gets to choose when he is suspended.

9) Rays 12, Jays 2— Toronto lost its last four games, was outscored 25-4 in the last two; they’ve also lost four in a row at home.

8) Indians 13, Reds 1— Cincinnati reliever Stever Delabar issued four consecutive bases-loaded walks, first time a pitcher has done that.

7) Braves fired manager Fredi Gonzalez, then lost 12-9 to the Pirates, with one of its top pitching prospects giving up nine runs in less than two innings. No bueno.

6) Pirates gave catcher Dominic Cervelli $31M for three years, a sign of the ballclub’s commitment to winning. Good for them.

5) Had great seats for the Marlins-Phillies game in Philly Monday night. Sat right next to ballgirl in right field. They don’t have an easy job.

When the Phillies change pitchers, the ballgirl sprints out to the bullpen in centerfield to get the pitcher’s jacket from the clubhouse attendant- they’re not allowed to interact with the players directly. When the visiting team changes pitchers, the ballgirl down the leftfield line gets the jacket.

There are 22 ballgirls in Philly; they rotate between field duty and running the team’s 50-50 raffle for charity and working in the team’s recycling drive.

4) Restaurant recommendations: Crab Trap in Ocean City, NJ and the Anchorage Tavern in Somers Point, where I got a piece of chicken parm that looked like it could tip over Fred Flintstone’s car.

3) A’s 8, Rangers 5— Khris Davis homered three times, the last one a walk-off grand slam to send everyone home happy. Oakland has won four of last five games since the epic pounding their pitching staff took in Boston last week.

2) Good to see Mets fans give Daniel Murphy an ovation on his return to Citi Field last night; he was my dad’s favorite player and is hitting .399 this year.

1) My dad passed away a year ago today; I miss him a lot. Would be great to sit and watch a game with him one more time- he really loved baseball, especially the Mets.