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

13) Can you imagine if they ever put the DH in the National League, what games at Coors Field would be like? Teams would score 20+ runs several times a year.

12) Put it this way: Colorado is 12-2 at home this season when their starting pitcher throws 6+ innings and allow four or less runs. They’re 6-18 in other home games.

11) Bad Beat of the Week: under 8.5 in Cubs-Reds Tuesday night. Game was 2-2 all the way into the 15th inning, when Cubs scored five times in top of the 15th. Oy.

10) Crowd at College World Series for Game 2 off the best-of-3 series was 24,716, which means the CWS is a pretty good money maker.

9) Jose Quintana has eight losses this year; White Sox scored a total of nine runs in those eight games.

8) Seattle Seahawks are 53-27 the last five years, thanks to a +55 turnover margin.

7) Zach Greinke left Tuesday’s game with an oblique injury, making Arizona’s year even more of a disaster than it already has been. Diamondbacks are 13-27 at home but 23-17 on the road, which makes very little sense.

6) Golfer Billy Hurley III qualified for the British Open by winning at Congressional last week; but will pass on going over the pond to go to his sister’s wedding. Taking his place in the British Open field is Jim Herman.

5) Australian Peter Hooley, who helped put the “great” in Albany Great Danes for four years, will play pro basketball for the Plymouth Raiders in Great Britain.

4) Since 2007, the best single-season turnover margins were the 2011 49ers and 2010 Patriots, both of which had +28 margins.

3) Oakland Raiders were +1 in turnovers LY, after being -50 combined over the last six seasons. Winning the turnover battle is a big step in learning how to win. I’m going to have more on NFL teams and turnovers next month.

2) Odd note about umpire Vic Carapazza; his last five games behind the plate were all matchups between two lefty pitchers. Doesn’t happen a lot.

1) Texas Longhorns scooped up four of the five recruits who bolted Baylor after coach Art Briles was let go. Texas is now #7 in this year’s recruiting rankings.

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

13) Baseball has to change the rain delay rule; Texas-New York sat thru a 3:35 rain delay (thats three hours, 35 minutes) with the game resuming around 2:15am Tuesday in bottom of the 9th inning. First game of a series, it should have been suspended and then finished before Tuesday’s game. Common sense just ain’t that common.

12) Kirby Yates became the first pitcher to hit three batters in the ninth inning of a game since Ray Boggs of the Braves on September 17, 1928.

Aroldis Chapman threw nine pitches in the rain before the game was delayed, so they didn’t ask him to finish the game after the lengthy delay. So they lost.

11) According to ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla, who knows stuff about basketball, over the last 15 years, if you take the top 100 high school basketball players each year, so thats 1,500 kids, only 27% of them have made the NBA.

10) There were conflicting reports this week that the New Orleans Saints may or may not move their training camp from Greenbrier, WV to Metairie, LA because of all the flooding in the West Virginia area. Nick Faldo owns a home at Greenbrier, which is a very fancy resort area, tucked away in the hills.

9) Angels’ pitchers Garrett Richards/Andrew Heaney both have elbow injuries, but instead of having Tommy John surgery, they’re getting stem cell injections to try and heal the injury without surgery, which would reduce recovery time from a year to 12 weeks or so. If this works, it’ll revolutionize how teams treat pitchers.

8) Tennis star/model/PED cheater Maria Sharapova is spending part of her suspension attending Harvard Business School, making her by far, the best looking Ivy League nitwit. Imagine being a college professor and having her come in during office hours for extra help?

7) A new business recently opened near my house– Beer Universe, which claims to sell over 1,000 different types of beer. Last business that building housed was a place that sold clothes/toys for newborn babies and little kids.

I had no idea there were over 1,000 kinds of beer, but a relative of mine owns part of Evil Genius beer, which may or may not be named after Vince McMahon.

6) Milwaukee Brewer TV guys told an interesting story Sunday about how umpire supervisor Bruce Froemming “had a talk” with them about criticizing umpires on the air. Brian Anderson/Bill Schroeder made light of the meeting, but they made sure it got out over the air, which means they probably weren’t real happy about it.

Those two are good natured and not controversial; seems like anytime anyone tells the truth on local baseball telecasts, either the players or umps get ticked off.

5) Rams-Giants play in England October 23, if England still exists by then; I notice yesterday that the game starts at 9:30 ET, which is not good. When is a guy supposed to sleep? College games will be on until around 2am the night before– I feel bad for the ticket writers in Las Vegas sportsbooks– thats a 6:30am kickoff in the desert.

4) Denver Broncos’ public address announcer quit after 16 years, to be the PA announcer for the Vikings– apparently the guy grew up in Minnesota.

3) Brewers’ pitcher Jimmy Nelson left Sunday’s game after five innings, having not allowed a hit, but once Washington got a hit, the scorer changed an earlier ruling and gave Washington hit on an earlier play, a hard-hit ball at the second baseman.

I was an official scorer in the Eastern League 30 years ago; the first thing they told me was “The first hit has to clearly be a hit”, which clearly fits this situation, but that was so frustrating. Either it is or isn’t a hit; lot of politics in official scoring, and that was before fantasy baseball, where thousands of people might have a financial stake in how a play is scored, one way or the other.

2) This bears repeating; Kris Bryant is the first player EVER to hit three homers and two doubles in the same game. Wow.

1) MLB and the players’ union needs to compromise for the good of the game; do away with the DH and go with 27-man rosters. With David Ortiz retiring, this would be a good time to get rid of the DH. Trading the DH for 60 (or 64, after expansion) extra jobs should appeal to the players’ union. Common sense rarely wins out.

Tuesday’s List of 13: NFL knowledge to ponder……

13) Falcons— Missed playoffs last three years, going 18-30, despite starting 5-0 LY. Were last in NFL in sacks (19) LY, 5-5 in games decided by less than seven points. .

12) Bills— Had only 21 sacks LY (31st) so Rex Ryan brought his brother Rob in to help with the defense. Led NFL in rushing yards, but were #28 in passing yards.

11) Panthers— Will be hard to re-create +20 turnover margin; they were 5-0 in games decided by less than 7 points. Have four games west of Rockies this season. Getting Kelvin Benjamin back at WR provides some upside.

10) Bengals— Made playoffs last five years, but its been 25 years since they last won a playoff game. Were +11 in turnovers, allowed 2nd-least points, but will have their third offensive coordinator in last four years this season.

9) Cowboys— Had four QBs throw 98+ passes LY; they lost 12 of last 14 games after a 2-0 start. Their -22 turnover margin was worst in the NFL.

8) Packers— Five of McCarthy’s seven playoff losses came on the last play of game. Started 6-0, stumbled to 4-6 finish, scoring 8-13 points in last two games- they get Jordy Nelson back from injury at WR this year.

7) Texans— O’Brien is “QB guru” but Texans used nine QBs (starting seven) in his first two years in Houston. Only two of their 16 games LY were decided by less than seven points- they should have five new starters on offense this year.

6) Colts— Luck missed nine games LY; Indy was 29th in rushing yards, 22nd passing, 28th in total yards- they drafted four offensive linemen. Also have their third OC in last five seasons.

5) Vikings— Minnesota is 24-9 vs spread under Zimmer, 15-5 as an underdog; they were 4th in rushing yards, 31st in passing yards- their fired their offensive line coach.

4) Patriots— Went 3-5 in last eight games after a 10-0 start; Garoppolo threw four passes all year– now he has to start the first four games, with Brady suspended. Patriots had 49 sacks LY, second-most in NFL.

3) Giants— Lost six of last seven games, but kept both coordinators and fired a future Hall of Fame head coach. Went 6-10 LY despite a +7 turnover ratio; they allowed an average of 420 yards/game (last) and gave up 40.7 ppg in last three games.

2) Saints— 31st in rushing yards allowed, 31st in passing yards, 31st in total yards, last in points allowed. Brees threw for 4,870 yards but is 37 now. Only had five draft picks this year– two of them were offensive players.

1) Steelers— Roethlisberger is 34 now; Pitt was #3 in passing yards, T4 in scoring, despite Big Ben missing five games. Had 48 sacks under new DC Butler, 3rd in NFL.

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

13) Washington Nationals lost seven of last eight games, but still lead Mets, Marlins by three games in NL East; they open a series with the Mets tonight at home. Nationals have pitching problems: Gio Gonzalez is 0-6, 8.68 in his last seven starts and Steven Strasburg is on DL with a rib injury suffered while lifting weights.

12) Coastal Carolina plays Arizona in best-of-3 finals of College World Series; they are in CWS for first time. Last time a team won the CWS in their first appearance in the World Series was Minnesota, back in 1956.

11) Coastal Carolina’s coach took some grief on social media Saturday; his pitcher threw 137 pitches in Saturday’s win (he is a submariner, which puts less stress on arms, but still…..) and apparently a kid was warming up during the game who had thrown 83 pitches in Friday’s game.

There is a delicate balance between winning and abusing a pitcher’s arm.

10) Jacob deGrom never pitched in high school; he’s doing pretty well now. .If he had not played baseball at Stetson, the only college baseball team that recruited him, then he would’ve played basketball at Bethune-Cookman.

9) Andrew White, second-leading scorer for Nebraska last season, plans to play at another school as a graduate transfer next year. Coach Tim Miles said White requested a release and will be given one- they could’ve restricted what schools he went to. .

White, who sat out the 2014-15 season after transferring from Kansas, averaged 16.6 points and 5.9 rebounds in his only season with the Cornhuskers, who are screwed with their best player jumping ship on June 25, well after recruiting ended.

I’ll say this about basketball transfers; it is a free country and a kid can transfer if he wants to, but when a kid plays for three teams in four years, it is a major red flag.

8) Cleveland Indians won their last nine games, lead AL Central by five games over the Royals; they’re 9-0 against Detroit this season- they lead the Tigers by seven.

7) There is a weird rule in SEC basketball; teams cannot sign JC players unless the kid has been at the JC for 3+ semesters. This rule cost Ole Miss a recruit this spring and it cost Georgia Jae Crowder a few years ago- he went to Marquette instead and is now a solid contributor for the Boston Celtics.

6) Former big league outfielder Greg Vaughn (355 big league HRs) will be caddying on the PGA Tour next weekend in Reno for Spencer Levin (84th in FedEx standings). .

5) There have been 32 games this year where a starting pitcher went 7+ innings, gave up 0 or 1 run, and yet didn’t win the game.

4) Sunday was Colorado’s first walk-off win of the year; it was 7th for the Giants, most in the major leagues. Must be an even-numbered year- Giants won World Series in 2010, 2012, 2014, the last three even-numbered years.

3) Last year in college football, Big 14 teams were 11-2 SU against MAC teams- they use those games as tune-ups for conference play. Against the spread however, those MAC teams went 10-3 against the number, very impressive.

2) Purdue was only one of those 13 games where the Big 14 team was an underdog; Boilers lost 35-28 as 3-point home underdogs to Bowling Green.

1) Over the last five years, MAC teams are 32-29 against the spread when playing a Big 14 opponent, so last year was best they’ve done in some time.

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

13) Strength coach for Alabama’s football team makes $525,000 a year, more than 19 Division I-A head coaches. Strength coach is an extremely important job– he is the only coach allowed to coach the players year-round.

12) John Calipari has coached 22 players who left school for the NBA after one year of college; all 22 were drafted in the first round.

11) Green Bay Packers turned a $75M profit last year. Thats million, with an M.

10) You see a number like that, and it irritates me that NFL teams do not suit up an emergency #3 QB every Sunday. Say the starting QB gets hurt on the first play of the game– then they have to be super cautious with the backup, since there is no one else left to QB if the backup gets hurt. It dimishes the quality of the product.

How much could a #3 QB make? $1M? For an NFL team, thats pocket change.

9) Of the 32 current NFL head coaches, Adam Gaze/Ben McAdoo are only two who didn’t play college football.

8) Red Sox use several TV analysts, with Jerry Remy the main one, but the best one is Dennis Eckersley is the best one— he is smart, fair, and speaks his mind.

7) Dodgers are a weird team; they have a huge payroll, but a shaky pitching rotation and the other night, Yasiel Puig batted 8th— not your ordinary #8 hitter.

6) George Springer is the first player since 1900 to hit a grand slam and a triple in the first inning of a major league game.

5) Mets signed Jose Reyes, but they’re set at SS with Asdrubal Cabrera– will they put him at 2B and have Neil Walker play third?

4) Nine college hoop teams will be playing exhibition games in the Bahamas in August; UNLV, Wake Forest, Akron, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, FAU, Wyoming and Missouri State. Trips like that are a big help.

3) Aptly-named 3-point gunner Max Hooper, who played for Oakland last year and took 257 3-pointers LY but no 2-point shots, has signed on with Oklahoma City to play on their summer league team.

2) Listened to Doug Gottlieb’s talk show for a while on Friday, on CBS Sports Network; he is smart and opinionated. ESPN screwed up bigtime letting him get away.

1) There are guys who make a living in pro sports now as “mental skills coaches”, which is a euphemism for “sports psychologist”, except you don’t need a degree in psychology to be a mental skills coach.

“It’s just about playing in the present. Not worrying about things I can’t control, and focusing on the things I can, obviously.” Thats what Ben Simmons had to say about his mental skills coaching. Interesting way to make a living.

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

13) Correction: Got an e-mail yesterday sayng there are no agent commissions on rookie contracts in the NBA, so Jaylen Brown probably doesn’t save any money by not having an agent, right now at least- there was one article on the Interweb that said some agents do claim commissions, despite there being very little negotiating involved with rookie contracts.

Brown is a bright kid; he says he’ll hire an agent when the right time comes.

12) Scary scene in Anaheim Thursday, in 9th inning of A’s-Angels game, with two out and A’s up 5-4, Angels’ batter swung and missed and let the bat go- the bat went behind the plate and drilled umpire Paul Emmel on top of his head, drawing blood. Quinn Wolcott went in and got his umpire’s gear on, came out and worked the plate for the last out of the game, which actually took only one pitch.

11) In April the NCAA adopted a new rule that allows college coaches to evaluate the FIBA U17 World Championships in Spain; since this is a dead period for evaluating players in this country, lot of D-I coaches are in Spain for the tournament, which runs until July 3. .

10) Houston Astros were 1-1 on April 7; the next time they were at .500 or better was Tuesday night, 75 days later, when they got to 36-36.

9) Weird story of the day: In 1983, the St Louis Blues were having an ownership dispute; none of their representatives showed up for the NHL Draft, and the team actually forfeited all of its draft picks that year. No bueno.

8) Then there are the Green Bay Packers; they opened last year with 19 players who were drafted in the 4th round or later, including four of their five starting offensive linemen. Some organiations are run better than others.

7) Which brings us to the Miami Marlins, who on November 19, 2012, made a huge trade (12 players) with Toronto. As part of the trade, Miami chose Justin Nicolino, passing on Noah Syndergaard and Aaron Sanchez, who were both Toronto prospects back then. Oy.

6) Marlins raised around $100,000 for charity Thursday with the telethon they had on the air during their game with Cubs.

5) 59 underclassmen stayed in the NBA Draft; only 29 were drafted.

16 international players, 15 college seniors were also selected.

So 30 kids who could’ve played college ball this winter now have to find jobs, either in Europe or the D-League. Kids get a lot of bad advice.

4) Cubs’ catcher David Ross played in the College World Series for two colleges, Florida and Auburn; don’t see that very much.

3) More college basketball transfers (over 600 this year now)
— Jordan Matthews, from Cal to Gonzaga
— Kendrick Nunn, from Illinois to Oakland
— Charles Matthews, from Kentucky to Michigan

2) June 23, 1917– Babe Ruth was ejected after walking the first hitter of the game. His replacement came in, and didn’t allow a baserunner the rest of the game, in what was probably the weirdest no-hitter in major league history.

1) Rough night at Dodger Stadium Wednesday for Nationals’ CF Michael Taylot; he struck out five times, then let a single get by him in the bottom of the ninth inning, allowing the tying/winning runs to score, in Washington’s fifth straight loss.

Friday’s Den: Running diary of NBA Draft night……

Haven’t done this in a long time, but this is a running diary of Thursday night’s NBA Draft, with some baseball mixed in. Hope you enjoy……

7:05– Rece Davis is ESPN’s host for the draft; he is the best guy ESPN has, but I’m not sure they know it. Why did they let Mike Tirico get away?

7:07– Mets acquired Kelly Johnson two weeks ago; he’s batting 5th for them tonite, as their impotent offense brings back memories of their team at this time LY, before they traded for Yoenis Cespedes. They still have Cespedes, but they struggle to score.

7:10– Why doesn’t NBA TV cover the draft too, the way NFL Network does?

7:15– The Celtics have eight picks tonight; kind of reduces their leverage in making a trade– they HAVE TO trade some of those picks.

7:20– They’re having a telethon on Marlins’ TV during their game with the Cubs- the best thing that could happen to the Marlins is if Jeffrey Loria put the team up for sale as part of the telethon, then Marlin fans could be rid of his foolishness.

7:23– Marco Belinelli got traded to the Hornets. Really, he did.

7:25– Dragan Bender is 18 years old, won’t turn 19 until after the season starts. Then you have Buddy Hield, who played four years at Oklahoma and is 23. How much does that figure in factoring how much will these players improve?

Fran Fraschilla talks about the foreign players in the draft; it shows how ridiculous ESPN has become that Jay Williams was on the telecast before Fraschilla. Can never have enough Duke alums on a telecast, though.

7:29– NBA salary cap is going to jump from $70M to $110M in two years? Oy.

7:31– NBA commissioner Adam Silver is a tall, bald man with glasses; in other words, he is my hero.

7:37– 76ers take Ben Simmons, who was 1-3 behind the arc at LSU LY. Kid is a real good passer, ut he is still a kid. Curious to see how he does in the pros; Simmons’ dad played for Sixers’ coach Brett Brown 27 years ago in Australia.

Simmons’ sister is married to former NFL RB Michael Bush, who played for the Raiders/Bears in his six-year career, scoring 31 TDs.

7:44– Simmons is 7th consecutive college freshman to go #1 in the draft.

7:46– Lakers took Brandon Ingram with the #2 pick; at what point next fall will Luke Walton look at his team and ask “I left Golden State for this???”

7:50– I wonder if Sam Hinkie would’ve taken Simmons, or would have have screwed that up too? Just because you went to a fancy school doesn’t make you smart.

Worst thing about the draft is that they don’t announce trades as they happen, so a kid drafted by one team may already have been dealt somewhere else. No bueno.

7:56– Celtics drafted Jaylen Brown, who doesn’t have an agent, thereby saving 3% in agents’ fees– rookie contracts are slotted, so no real need for an agent. Good for him.

8:07– Suns took the 18-year old Bender, Minnesota took PG Kris Dunn, who will be a good fit with Tom Thibodeau’s defensive teachings. You wonder if a kid isn’t happy going somewhere like Minnesota, a franchise that has never won?

I mean, Dunn is rich now, but if he wanted to play for the Celtics or some other team, unless he gets traded, he’s out of luck. As if being a millionaire is being out of luck.

8:15– New Orleans takes Buddy Hield, who Jalen Rose compared to Voshon Lenard, who Rose went to high school with.

8:22– Jalen Rose likes telling averyone how much money NBA players made in their career. Michael Redd made $101,991,325 in his career. He played in one All-Star tilt and 16 playoff games in his entire career, still made $102M. Nice.

8:27– Sacramento takes Marquese Chriss. who scored 13.7 ppg at Washington- they then traded him to Phoenix, not sure for who. Chriss is a great athlete but is also prone to foul trouble. Translation: Mr Chriss is a project.

8:30– Jay Bilas has Domantas Sabonis ranked ahead of Skal Labassiere, restoring my faith in mankind. This is my advice to teams guessing on marginal players:

Draft players who were productive in college
Draft players who were productive in college
Draft players who were productive in college….I rest my case.

8:40– Milwaukee Bucks took Thon Maker, whose age is a question mark. Fraschilla likes him; the kid lived in Sudan until he was 6, then Australia for a while, then in this country, before moving to Canada. He apparently is a project; no one really seems to know. Bucks were one of three youngest NBA teams last year.

8:47– Domantas Sabonis got picked #11, proving that I’m not a complete idiot (hold your jokes). I swore that if Sabonis went #20 in the draft, as ESPN’s website claimed, then 10 NBA GMs needed to be fired. Sabonis is going to be a really good player.

He went #11 to the Magic, who then traded him and two others for Serge Ibaka, with Victor Oladipo one of the two guys going to Oklahoma with Sabonis.

9:02– Sacramento’s team is owned and run by foreigners, so of course they took a big kid from Greece I’ve never heard of. He played high school ball in Philly area, but is a project, according to Fraschilla.

9:16– Denver took Juan Hernangomez, third time in last five years they took a foreign kid in the first round.

9:17– They showed the Celtics’ “war room” which is apparently is in what looks like a cramped locker room. Don’t they have meeting space in their building?

9:25– This is where I tell you Deandre Bembry from St Joe’s is going to be a really good player. We’re sitting at pick #17 as I type this; he should be off the board.

9:35– TV guys won’t say this because they don’t want us to turn the channel, but this isn’t a great draft. Teams are clutching at straws with foreign kids already, or looking for projects who will blossom down the road.

9:45– You feel bad for kids who are actually in the arena, then slip in the draft and have to sit there– has to be very humbling, as well as expenisve. Denver took Malik Beasley, who was sitting there for a while; Beasley’s mom is an actress who was in The Hunger Games.

9:50– This seems like a good time to point out that when he was in college, Cavaliers’ owner Dan Gilbert was arrested for bookmaking– he paid a fine and got three years of probation. Not lot of guys who own teams that have a gambling-related rap sheet.

9:57– Atlanta Hawks took Bembry, who played for the St Joe’s Hawks, so he will be a Hawk for the forseeable future. He is a little bit like Ben Simmons in that he needs to be a better shooter, stronger and a tad more selfish when it comes to scoring. He will be a 10-year NBA player, but he has to develop his scoring to be a really good 10-year player.

10:15– Lebron James, Kawhi Leonard are skipping the Olympics, Rory McIlroy ain’t going either, as NBC execs start to sweat just a little bit more.

10:25– If you left college early to go pro and you haven’t been picked yet, after 76ers just took Furkan Korkmaz, who won’t be over here for at least two years, after they took some guard from France, then admit it, son– you messed up bigtime.

10:30– Would it be the worst thing on earth if kids who aren’t drafted tonight could go back to college and play next year, and get better?

10:36– That said, kids often listen to the wrong people- they hear what they want to hear and instead of going back to school and working on getting better, they jump at the lure of easy money, as Glenn Frey would say. .

10:42– Only 14 of the first 27 players drafted were born in this country.

10:52– $2.1M for two years ain’t bad, but if you were expecting more, its a letdown for a kid who was told (lied to) that he would be a mid-first round pick. Kids taken in the first round are still guaranteed some money though. Better than nothing.

10:58– NFL Draft is roughly ten weeks after the Super Bowl; NBA Draft is just four nights after the Finals ended. Kind of weird.

11:08– I can’t really imagine being really poor, then all of a sudden really rich; having grown up in a middle class home, both are foreign to me. Some of these kids are going to have to learn the word “no” or else their money won’t last very long.

11:12– Celtics took a 6-9 guy from Croatia named Ante Zizic; that pick got high praise on CBSSports.com. Most of the foreign kids picked were not praised as much.

11:17– Pelicans traded two second round picks to move up to take Cheick Diallo, who was an unproductive sub for Kansas LY, after arriving with much hype. I liked the Suns taking Tyler Ulis with the next pick better– take productive players.

11:21– I’m not a big fan of bow ties, not that anyone consults me on fashion.

11:26– Suns drafted Tyler Ulis, which could be a really good pick if he is healthy.

11:33– Two UNLV kids got taken in the second round; I’ve would’ve lost a boatload of cash if you had bet me that Patrick McCaw would be selected ahead of Stephen Zimmerman. Realistically, both kids should’ve stayed in school. Zimmerman can really pass the ball but he needed to take another year to mature to really cash in.

McCaw got traded to from Milwaukee to Golden State; their D-League team is in Santa Cruz, so he can start looking for apartments there.

12:00– Who would’ve thought that Oakland’s point guard would get taken ahead of North Carolina’s? 5-9 sparkplug Kay Felder is going to make the Jazz roster.

July 8 the NBA Summer League starts in Las Vegas; games are on TV and it is evident from watching those games, just how difficult it is to make an NBA roster. Players who didn’t make the NBA last year will be there, fighting for one of those precious roster spots with this year’s rookies. It is a very, very competitive ten days.

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

13) New pet peeve: the phrase “maintenance day”, a euphemism for “day off” in the modern world of baseball. Playing baseball is not that grueling, players do not need a day off every week (other than catchers, obviously).

Marcell Ozuna is hotter than hell, but he sat Tuesday because Ichiro Suzuki now has to play a couple days a week. Marlins must be making a fortune selling Ichiro gear in Japan as he approaches 3,000 major league hits. Christian Yelich sat Monday, Ozuna sat last night, despite his hitting two home runs on Monday. Oy.

12) When did the major leagues become more like Little League, where everyone has to play? Our society is getting soft as hell, and if I sound old saying that, so be it.

11) Dirk Nowtizki opted out of his contract with Dallas, turning down $8.7M to play with the Mavericks next year. Most everyone thinks he will re-sign with Dallas on a multi-year deal, but you never know in this world.

It should be noted here that Dallas hasn’t been out of the first round of the playoffs since they won their first NBA title five years ago.

10) NHL teams are trading marginal players for draft picks rather than lose them in the upcoming expansion draft.

9) Skal Labissiere played 15.8 mpg for Kentucky LY, scoring 6.6 ppg, starting half the Wildcats’ 36 games as a freshman.

Domantas Sabonis played 31.8 mpg for Gonzaga LY, scoring 17.6 ppg; he played 74 college games in his two years for the Bulldogs– his dad is one of the greatest big men in European history.

If Labissiere is drafted before Sabonis tomorrow night, as many mock drafts suggest, I’m going to mock the NBA system, which values potential over performance.

8) The latest Big Ten media-rights contract will earn the league an average of $440 million annually over the next six years, with FOX and ESPN sharing the rights.

7) Miami Marlins’ pitcher Paul Clemens lived in Miami for a while as a kid; his dad was the head of the FBI in South Florida.

6) Auburn, Michigan both have only two home football games before Halloween; on October 8 and October 29 for both teams. Not very courageous scheduling.

5) VCU’s band director got the boot after they school couldn’t come to a contract agreement with him. How much money can a band director make?

4) Yasmani Grandal’s 3-run homer in bottom of 8th inning ruined a fine pitching performance by Tanner Roark. LA handed the Nationals their 4th loss in a row, 3-2.

3) Mets pushed back Noah Syndergaard’s start Tuesday to line him up to pitch against division rival Washington down the road, then Bartolo Colon got KO’d by a line drive hit by the first batter of the game, but the Mets won anyway, 2-1.

2) For the next 40 days (until July 31), trade speculation will run rampant; Angels are in trouble, even with Mike Trout in CF. How do they raise their talent level? There has been suggestion of a Trout-to-Washington deal, with Nationals sending its three best minor leaguers to Anaheim– Lucas Giolito, Trea Turner, Victor Robles.

1) If the baseball playoffs started today:
NL: Nationals-Cubs-Giants. Wild Cards: Dodgers-Mets
AL: Orioles-Indians-Rangers. Wild Cards: Royals-Red Sox

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

13) Awkward Christmas Department: On June 20, 1997, the Cincinnati Reds called Aaron Boone up to make his major league debut; to make room on the roster for him, the Reds sent Bret Boone back to the minor leagues. His brother.

12) Donald Trump fired his campaign manager Monday; someday there will be a movie made about all this and it will be wildly entertaining, although I’m not sure if there is an actor out there who could pull off portraying Trump.

The Republican convention in Cleveland should be momentous; its setting up to be quite a year on Lake Erie, with the Cavaliers winning their first title, the Indians being in first place and the chaos of the Republican party headed their way next month.

11) Speaking of which, Cavaliers’ team plane took a detour to Las Vegas on its way home from Oakand Sunday night. Team did some partyng at the Wynn Casino, before getting back to Ohio Monday afternoon. Winning is fun.

10) Senators failed to pass legislation that would have made it illegal for suspected terrorists to buy guns; If these nitwits don’t tighten gun laws, they should all be fired on the spot, every one of them– they’re expensive and totally bleeping useless.

Seriously, who votes against a law that says suspected terrorists can’t buy guns? .

9) Pretty cool scene in Chicago last night; Pitt’s new basketball coach Kevin Stallings was at Wrigley Field, watching his son Jacob catch for the Pirates in his MLB debut. Young Stallings played his college baseball at noth Carolina; he was born in Lawrence, kansas when his dad was an assistant coach for the Jayhawks.

8) Matt Holliday’s brother Josh coaches Oklahoma State’s baseball team, which is in the College World Series for first time since 1999; their father Tom was the coach back then. In between, the Cowboys were coached by Brett Anderson’s dad; had to be a little awkward when Anderson, Matt Holliday were teammates in Oakland in 2009.

7) Stanford’s football schedule is hard this year; its three non-league games are Notre Dame/Kansas State/Rice and the Rice game is the last game of the year. Cardinal has to play USC-UCLA-Washington on consecutive Saturdays in September.

6) Have to admit, since daytime TV during the week is so awful, sometimes I wind up watching re-runs of NFL games on NFL Network. I often spend NFL Sundays, watching 5-6 games on one screen, so i don’t hear much of hat is being said, so it is interesting to listen to what is being said, seeing if I can pick up anything of note.

5) Three women dressed as nuns were at Phillies game Monday afternoon, taking selfies, drinking Miller Lite and later dancing on the Phillies dugout during the 7th inning stretch with the Philly Phanatic. Turns out they are actresses in a play about nuns and were in costume to promote the play.

4) There is an actor named Oliver Platt; he’s been in a lot of stuff– he was a lawyer in the John Grisham movie, A Time to Kill. Platt was actually related to Princess Di— his grandmother and Princess Di’s grandfather were brother/sister.

3) Staten Island-Brooklyn opened the NY-Penn League season last week by playing a 20-inning game, then played extra innings again the next night. Players who just got drafted aren’t used to hitting with wood bats– its not as much fun, so you wind up with a lot of low-scoring games at that level.

2) Mets scored total of two runs in Jacob deGrom’s last four starts; he hasn’t won a game since April and his body language is beginning to look that way.

1) Wouldn’t you love to know what David Blatt was thinking Sunday night, while the Cavaliers won their first NBA title, after firing Blatt this season, despite the team having a 30-11 record. Winning an NBA title with a neophyte head coach increases a notion that, for better or worse, the NBA is so much of a player-driven league.

Monday’s Den: Our first dose of college football knowledge……

Today we start our summer review of college football teams, looking at the Big 14:

Illinois— Last winning season was 2011; they hired Lovie Smith as head coach and he hasn’t been a college head coach before. Illini is 4-13 as a road dog the last four years.

Indiana— Hoosiers are 9-16 as a road underdog since 2010; in their last three bowls, they gave up 45-49-44 points- they didn’t win any of those games.

Iowa— Over last four years, Hawkeyes are 8-17 as home favorites, 9-0 as favorites on the road. Lost last four bowl games by an average score of 36-18.

Michigan— Favorites are 4-0-1 vs spread in Wolverines’ last five bowls; Michigan is 3-8 vs spread as a road underdog the last four years.

Michigan State— Spartans are an amazing +46 in turnovers the last three years; they lost their bowl game 38-0 to Alabama LY, after winning their previous four bowls by a combined total of nine points.

Minnesota— Golden Gophers have been a good spread team in conference; they’re 8-3 as a road underdog the last three years, 10-6 as a home favorite the last four years.

Nebraska— Cornhuskers are 34-19 the last four years (20-13 in league), despite a -37 turnover ratio. Huskers are 7-12 as home favorites the last three years.

Northwestern— Last three years, Wildcats are 2-10 vs spread coming off a loss- they are 19-9 as a road underdog since ’08. Northwestern is 2-10 all-time in bowls. .

Ohio State— Buckeyes are 15-6 vs spread away from Columbus under Urban Meyer. Ohio State scored 35-42-42-44 points in last four bowl/playoff games.

Penn State— Nittany Lions are 0-8 vs spread on road, 2-2 on neutral fields in James Franklin era. PSU lost three of last four bowls; was underdog in last five.

Purdue— Since 2008, Boilermakers are 9-19 vs spread off a win; they’re 7-2 as a road underdog last two years. Purdue is 6-30 last three years; their last bowl was in ’12.

Rutgers— Over last decade, Scarlet Knights are 22-13 as road underdogs- they’re 4-12 SU in Big 14 games since joining league- they allowed 46+ points in four of their last six games last year. .

Wisconsin— In 2010-11, Badgers went 22-5 with a +30 turnover ratio. In four years since, Wisconsin is 38-16, but with a turnover ratio of -2. Badgers haven’t been a home underdog since 2010.

Sunday’s List of 13: Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there

13) First of all, Happy Father’s Day to all the dads reading this; I was lucky to have a great dad. He passed away last year and I miss him very much, so if your dad is still alive, give him a hug and tell him you love him.

12) Get well soon to Michael Lee Aday, aka Meat Loaf; the 68-year old singer collapsed during a show in Edmonton this week. He was released from the hospital and is said to be in good condition now, which is very good news.

11) I’m watching NFL Network the other day and a guy is trying to make a big deal out of the fact that the Rams haven’t named Jared Goff the #1 QB yet. Oy. It is really hard to be an NFL quarterback; rushing someone into starting can be very stupid.

10) Here are the Rams’ first four games:
@ 49ers, Seahawks, @ Buccaneers, @ Cardinals.

Three road games, three division games. I’m a big fan of easing a guy into being the QB of the future, especially with the Cal offense being lot different than an NFL offense.

9) Kurt Warner started nine games for ’04 Giants, before prize rookie Eli Manning took over. Giants went 1-7 in Manning starts, scoring 37 points in his first four starts; he was 6-21 in one start, 4-18 in another. Eli has turned out pretty well, but make no mistake about it, he was terrible in his rookie season.

Steve McNair started six games his first two years with Tennessee; he turned out to be a pretty good QB, too. Goff will be fine, but it will take time.

8) Brewers-Dodgers game last night was only second game in majors this year where both teams scored in each of the first three innings of the game. Red Sox-Orioles game on June 1 was the first game like that this season.

7) Wally Szczerbiak, who is a pretty good basketball analyst these days, predicted that there might not be anyone in this draft class who becomes an NBA All-Star.

6) Then there are mock drafts, which are fine if you do one; but once you start having new ones every other day, then you’re just screwing around trying to get page views. Anyone can shuffle the top 15 names around; lets stick to one mock per analyst.

5) There was something on Twitter about the Warriors flying home after Game 6 and three of their guys are doing homework from online classes, trying to earn their college degrees. Pretty cool that really rich guys still want their degree.

4) One of the highlights this weekend was in San Diego, wehre they showed a guy playing ping pong outdoors, while wearing stilts. Don’t see that every day.

3) If you owned one of the top five picks in the NBA Draft, would you trade it to the Lakers for D’Angelo Russell, after Russell’s display of immaturity last year? I’d have to say no; you can’t make mistakes when you have a top five pick.

2) Clipper coach Doc Rivers has quietly dumped two of his assistant coaches already; when you spend a ton of money on a team and it underachieves, heads will roll.

1) A person paid $99,000 for two tickets to tonight’s Game 7 in Oakland. Wow.

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

13) NBA’s salary cap will be around $94M next year, higher than expected, so the league is doing really well. Next time Steph Curry’s wife wants to bitch about things, , maybe she should remember that Mr Curry brings home a huge chunk of that money, so she should keep her comments to herself.

12) I went to the eye doctor Friday and my eyes are dilated when I leave; luckily I have sunglasses in the car, which was huge or I might’ve been there until the sun went down. As I’m leaving, I’m thinking, this might be the most dangerous place in America to drive, an eye doctor’s parking lot. Luckily, got home without incident.

11) Miami Marlins are skipping a Jose Fernandez start now and then, to preserve him as best they can, since he had an arm operation not that long ago. If the Marlins are a contender, will they ask Terry Collins to leave Fernandez off the All-Star team? If he is skipping starts now and then, why should he pitch in an exhibition game?

10) Young man named Derryck Thornton scored 7.1 ppg LY while playing 26 mpg for Duke, but he transferred to USC this week. Kid left high school a year early to plug a hole in Duke’s rotation, then bolted after one year. Interesting.

9) Jose Altuve walked 33 times in 671 plate appearances last year; this year, he has walked 35 times in 269 PAs. He is still an aggressive hitter, too.

8) The mayor of Washington DC was on MSNBC yesterday, saying she wants DC to be the 51st state. Washington DC has balanced its budget 21 years in a row, which is very impressive, but if they’re doing so well, why do they want to change?

7) Julio Urias struck out eight in five shutout innings last night, but the Dodgers are keeping a lid on his pitches this year, so he came out after 85 pitches. Home fans did not have a positive reaction when Milwaukee scored twice in the sixth inning.

6) Every person with the Pittsburgh Penguins gets a day with the Stanley Cup; you can basically do anything you want with it. One of the years Scotty Bowman won a Cup as a head coach, he put the thing on a lawn chair in his backyard and anyone who walked by could come behind the house and have their picture taken with it. One of the really cool traditions in sports.

5) Owner of the Chicago Cubs has done a great job making Wrigley Field look nicer and more modern; the team is doing great, so the stands are always full and that is always a help, but the owner has definitely created a positive atmosphere.

4) Pirates got shut out at Wrigley yesterday; they were the last team in majors to get shut out this season.

3) Nationals are 23-13 on the road; 0-4 in Wrigley, 23-9 everywhere else.

2) It makes no sense that Dodger games are blacked out in Las Vegas; who thought that was a good idea? Baseball should step in and reverse that. Makes no sense.

1) Six games in the NBA Finals; Warriors have scored 610 points, Cavaliers have scored 610 points. ABC will get huge ratings if Game 7 is a competitive one- so far in the Finals, the games haven’t been very close.

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

13) 19 of Cleveland Cavaliers’ last 21 games were decided by 11+ points.

12) LSU rookie Ben Simmons declined to work out for the 76ers? No idea what this means, but I doubt it is a positive sign. Maybe it is nothing, maybe he is angling to be a LA Laker, but red flags are increasingly popping up around the Australian rookie.

11) Bob Davidson has been a major league umpire for 30+ years and he isn’t a crew chief? What does this say about him? Davidson did the plate in Cubs-Nationals game Wednesday; by end of the game, both sidies were livid with his ball/strike calls.

10) City of Philadelphia put a 1.5 cent-per-ounce tax on soda, making it the biggest city in America to do so (Berkeley had been). So my 20-ounce Cherry Coke goes up 30 cents a bottle, but God forbid someone on the Terror Watch List not be allowed to buy an assault weapon. Politicians are scum.

9) Oakland A’s pulled a fast one on their competitors when they signed Yoenis Cespedes to a 4-year, $36M deal in 2012; they went 256-175 and made playoffs all three years Cespedes played for them. Since they traded him? 117-167.

8) Pittsburgh Pirates have had a brutal travel schedule the last couple weeks; they played at Citi Field last night and have a day game in Chicago today. This is wrong; if you have a day game, your getaway day game also should be a day game.

7) So I’m in a 16-team keeper fantasy league, four pickups a month, good league and highly competitive. I need another hitter and I’m listening to Mets’ TV guys pumping up Wilmer Flores last night. I’m about to click on his page on my laptop, and Flores gets drilled on the hand by a pitch- he leaves the game. So much for that idea. .

6) Tampa Bay rookie pitcher Blake Snell is wearing #4, making him 4th big league pitcher this year to wear a single digit number.

5) With Florida AD Jeremy Foley retiring this week, you wonder if that played into Billy Donovan bolting Gainesville for the NBA last spring. If you’re a college coach, you want to work for the AD that hired you. Makes life a lot easier.

4) Other than the Pittsburgh/San Francisco markets, Buffalo had highest TV ratings for the Stanley Cup Finals, amongst American markets.

3) Two groups have bid over $4B to buy UFC, thats how popular UFC is.

2) Playing football is difficult. Steelers’ center Maurkice Pouncey had six operations and a skin graft, just last year.

1) Only nine golfers finished the first round of the US Open Thursday; if you like to watch golf on TV, today is your day.

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

13) Baseball’s interleague trading deadline is July 31, but when I was a kid, back in the 70’s, it was June 15. On June 15, 1976, the A’s tried to sell Rollie Fingers/Joe Rudi to the Red Sox and Vida Blue to New York. Oakland had won the last five AL West titles, but had lost Catfish Hunter to free agency, and the owner was bailing out.

Now I was a 16-year old high school junior; this didn’t set well with me, someone who had zero idea how the real world works. Three days later, the baseball commish nixed the deals and the players went back to Oakland, but things were never the same again.

I guess that day was when it hit me that sports are a big business, not just something that people do for fun.

12) Nationals 5, Cubs 4 (12)– Chicago is now 40-4 when it scores 4+ runs. This had the feel of a postseason game.

11) Last time the #1 pick in NBA Draft came from the Pac-12 (or Pac-8 or Pac-10) was Bill Walton way back in 1974.

10) Philadelphia Eagles have doled out $280,254,834 in guaranteed salary so far in 2016; next highest figure in NFL this year: Giants, at roughly $141M.

9) You don’t see a starting pitcher thrown out of a game for arguing balls, strikes very often; Tampa Bay’s Jake Odorizzi got run by umpire Jerry Meals Tuesday nite. Meals is a notorious hitters’ ump (over is 28-13-3 in Meals’ games last two years).

8) Last major league player to play every position in one game: Shane Halter, way back on October 1, 2000 for Detroit.

7) Obscure baseball record: since 1938, of all the hitters to bat .300+ in a season, Billy Butler into the most doubleplays– he hit into 32 twin killings in 2010, when he hit .318. Four guys hit into 31 DPs, including Matt Holliday and Jim Rice.

6) Another nominee for “Worst TV show ever”: Marriage Boot Camp. Horrendous progam showcasing attention-starved couples getting in disputes of various kinds. I’d rather stare at color bars for an hour than watch another minute of that garbage.

5) Colorado Rockies DFA’d Jose Reyes yesterday, meaning they have ten days to trade him or else they can release him or send him to the minors, if he agrees to do that. Reyes will still get his $22M a year salary, but not sure a contender will want to pick him up– there is no way a non-conender would pick him up, given domestic violence backlash involved. Hard to believe his career would end this way.

4) Chris Sale was 9-0, 1.58 in his first nine starts this year; he is 1-2, 6.75 in his last four. Why do players suddenly lose it or why do they suddenly regain their form?

3) WWE is returning to Las Vegas Sunday night for first time in eight years, at the new T-Mobile Arena just off the strip, kind of behind the New York-New York hotel.

2) Portland Trailblazers decided to fire their TV announcers this week, which makes me sad, since Mike Rice is one of my favorites. A former coach, Rice used to call Big West games on USA Network in the Tark the Shark glory years in the 80’s– his son Mike was the coach at Rutgers a few years ago. Rice was with the Trailblazers for 26 yeasrs and is immensely popular with Trailblazer fans.

1) Apparently they don’t have public rest rooms in North Dakota.

Eagles’ rookie QB Carson Wentz somehow got locked in a bathroom at a gas station in New Jersey on Wednesday; his rescue included garden shears.

If the Rams had drafted this guy, I’d probably be a little worried right now.

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

13) Miami Marlins’ TV people have to stop with the Ichiro/Pete Rose stuff. Hits he got in the Japanese League are not close to the same as hits in the major leagues.

Ichiro Suzuki is a great baseball player, a first ballot Hall of Famer, but to say he has as many hits at Rose is misleading. Its like including hits in the minor leagues.

12) Jeremy Foley retired this week as AD at Florida, after 25 years; he hired Urban Meyer and Billy Donovan, oversaw a great period of success in Florida athletics.

Not great for basketball coach Michael White; you don’t want the guy who hired you to leave, but White’s father is the AD at Duke and he has a brother who is an AD, so he is connected enough to have a good career no matter what.

11) Kid on Miami, Fla’s baseball team openly taunted his opponents after hitting a homer against Boston College Sunday, almost starting a fracas. Someone better tell this young man that if he doesn’t tone his act down, someone in pro baseball is going to plant a 95 mph fastball in his ear. Maybe more than one.

10) Pretty cool Sunday when a freshman pinch-hitter on Cal-Santa Barbara comes off the bench and hits a walk-off grand slam to send the Gauchos to their first-ever College World Series. UCSB doesn’t even have lights on its baseball field- they were the third place team in the Big West, but now they’re heading to Omaha.

9) I was watching movies the other night and I’m thinking; which actor died the most times in his acting career? Does anyone keep track of this stuff?

So I look it up on the Interweb; an actor named John Hurt died in either 40 or 45 movies, depending on which website you believe. Vincent Price died 33 times, before he became the Egghead in the old Batman TV series.

8) The 8th hole at Oakmont this week is a 288-yard par -3. Oy.

7) Golden State Warriors are +153 when Draymond Green has been on the floor, -30 when he has been out of the game. Green will be back Thursday.

6) 8 of the 26 basketball teams in SEC/Pac-12 are off to Europe for summer trips; Oregon-UCLA-Washington-Washington State and Arkansas-Georgia-Mississippi State-Missouri. Those trips are generally good for a team, unless your best player gets hurt and is out for the year, like what happened to USC a few years ago.

5) In his 18 years in the NBA, John Stockton missed a total of 22 games.

4) Odd fact: Kobe Bryant’s grandparents once bought a house from Muhammad Ali

3) James Shields is 34 years old and is struggling badly; in his last three starts, one for San Diego and two for the White Sox, he’s allowed 24 runs in 9.2 IP. No bueno.

2) Before Brandon Finnegan lost 1-0 at Dodger Stadium May 23, the Reds had not had a complete game pitched by a lefty starter since 2001.

1) 20 years ago I coached Little League, which was interesting, in both good and bad ways. We had a pretty good team; one night, we’re beating this team and their 3B had a rough night, made a couple errors and his coach is ragging on him pretty good.

I’m standing right there listening to this; the coach’s son is pitching and the coach isn’t happy. He lets loose on the third baseman one more time and then, finally, the kid looks at him and says: “Hey!!! You’re the one who put me here!!!!”

That put an end to that.