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

13) Late Thursday night, White Sox led New York 4-3 in top of 7th. NY had two outs, bases empty and Aaron Judge was up, with Didi Gregorius up next.

Chicago manager Rich Renteria walked Judge intentionally, even though the bases were empty and Gregorius was the go-ahead run. Gregorius grounded out on the first pitch.

This was the third time this season a batter was walked intentionally with the bases empty; Andrew McCutchen and Anthony Rizzo were other two, NL players, so I’m guessing those were extra inning games with the pitcher up next and no extra hitters left on the bench.

12) Joe West was umpiring first base in Milwaukee last night; bottom 4th, 0-0 game, and a ball that seemed to be thrown from the upper deck drilled West in the back of the head. West pulled the Marlins off the field, the game was delayed for about 10 minutes. Don’t think the culprit was identified.

11) Apparently David Price got into a verbal altercation with NESN TV analyst Dennis Eckersley on the Red Sox’ flight from Boston to Toronto Thursday night. No one is saying much right now, but this would be the second time this year Price has had a problem with a media member.

If you’ve got thin skin with the media, playing in Boston isn’t a good place for you.

10) Bartolo Colon was DFA’d by the Braves this week; his big league career started the same day Turner Field opened in Atlanta, so he actually lasted longer in the majors than a stadium did.

There is a chance some team (the Mets?) will still give Colon one more chance to pitch in the big leagues, but it also could be the end of a stellar career.

I’ll never forget the night Colon won a game for the A’s in Anaheim; at one point, he threw 38 consecutive strikes, just changed speeds all the time, with tremendous location. He has been great fun to watch.

9) Steph Curry is a 2-handicap in golf; he got a sponsor’s exemption to play in a web.com event this weekend in Nashville, a spot that an aspiring pro could’ve used. Lot of the pros were not amused by this.

8) Random observation and not a complaint: You know what never happens anymore? At the end of an inning, no one ever rolls the ball back to the mound- they toss the ball in the stands instead. Back in the day, catchers just rolled the ball back to the mound after a strikeout that ended an inning.

7) Is it tough being a comedian? A guy like Will Ferrell, Bill Murray, when they’re out in public, I’m guessing people approach them a lot, then expect them to be funny, but they’re people just like us and have cruddy days sometimes. Can’t always be easy.

6) Klay Thompson signed a 10-year, $80M deal with Chinese brand Anta to wear their sneakers and apparel. Thompson’s brother Trayce got called up again by the Dodgers this week.

5) Sign of the times; Rhode Island changed its foreign tour plans from a London/Paris trip to a trip to the Bahamas from August 7-13.

4) Brewers’ utility guy Nick Franklin got thrown out of a game he wasn’t playing in in the first inning the other night; the next day, Milwaukee TV guys casually mentioned that manager Craig Counsell wasn’t happy with the ejection, since it left the Brewers’ bench short for the rest of the game.

Shortly after that, Franklin was DFA’d; Friday, he got traded to the Angels.

3) Phillies’ OF prospect Nick Williams made him MLB debut last night; he is from Galveston, TX and was a WR on his HS football team, but he wasn’t the #1 WR. Mike Evans was the #1 WR- he is one of the better WR’s in the NFL now, with the Buccaneers.

2) Whoever decided the All-Star break should be four days instead of three deserves a raise; players are getting tired now, you can see it. Giving them a 4-day break is a solid idea.

1) Westgate Casino in Las Vegas now has a food court in the sportsbook, which I’m looking forward to visiting next month. There is no better place in Las Vegas to watch games/eat than the Westgate. #2, in my mind, is the South Point Casino.

Friday’s Den: NFL trends to ponder as June ends…….

Cardinals:
— Arizona is 14-9 vs spread as an underdog under Arians (1-3 LY)
— Redbirds are 10-5 in last 15 games as a road favorite.
— Cardinals were 5-2-1 LY when gaining 350+ total yards, 2-6 when they did not.

Falcons:
— Over was 13-2-1 in their games LY; they scored 30+ points in six of eight home games- their last 12 games in 2015 stayed under.
— Atlanta is 9-3 vs spread as an underdog under Quinn.
— Falcons made Super Bowl LY after being an underdog in four of their first five games.

Ravens:
— Baltimore lost their last six road games LY, finishing 8-8 after a 3-0 start.
— Since 2013, Ravens are 3-7-2 vs spread as a road favorite.
— Baltimore is 0-7 vs spread the week before playing the Steelers.

Bills:
— Buffalo has its fifth head coach in eight years; they haven’t made the playoffs since 1999.
— Over was 10-2 in their last 12 games LY.
— Last three years, underdogs are 15-7-2 vs spread in Buffalo’s road games.

Panthers:
— Since 2013, Carolina is 15-8-2 vs spread as a home favorite- they’re 15-9 as favorites of more than 3 points.
— Panthers are 5-12 as road favorites under Ron Rivera.
— Cam Newton’s shoulder is the most important question for Carolina; is he healthy?

Bears:
— Chicago was 55-57 while Jay Cutler was in Chicago; now he’s a TV analyst.
— Last five years, over is 26-14 in Bears’ road games.
— Chicago is 6-9 vs spread in home divisional games; they last made playoffs in 2010.

Bengals:
— Under was 8-2 in Bengals’ last 10 games LY, 6-2 in their last eight games in 2015.
— Since 2008, Cincy is 14-6-1 vs spread as a home underdog.
— Bengals were 6-9-1 LY, after being 52-27-1 from 2011-15- their last playoff win? 1990.

Browns:
— Cleveland is 6-20 against the spread in its last 26 games.
— Since 2013, Browns are 4-9 vs spread as a favorite.
— Cleveland is 1-17 in season openers; their last winning season was in 2007.

Cowboys:
— Since 2009, Dallas is 23-13 vs spread as a road underdog.
— Under Jason Garrett, Dallas is 13-29 as a home favorite; 5-12 vs NFC East foes, 8-17 vs everyone else.
— Cowboys were -22 in turnovers in 2015; last year, with a rookie QB playing, they were +5.

Broncos:
— Since 2011, Denver is 20-10-1 vs spread as a road favorite; since ’12, they’re 21-13-1 as a home favorite.
— Last six years, Broncos are 14-4 vs spread in AFC West road games; they were 0-3 last year.
— Who is the QB? They have a new coach. Interesting year for the Broncos.

Lions:
— Their last playoff win was in 1991, 38-6 over the Cowboys.
— Since 2012, Detroit is 8-17 vs spread on natural grass.
— Since 2011, Lions are 3-8-1 vs spread as a home underdog.

Packers:
— Since 2010, Green Bay is 33-18-2 vs spread as a home favorite.
— Packers are 11-7 in last 18 road games vs NFC North foes, 12-18 vs non-divisional opponents.
— Since 2012, Green Bay is 7-14 vs spread on artificial turf.

Texans:
— O’Brien is supposed to be a QB guru, but he’ll have his 4th QB in four years this year.
— Houston is 11-4-1 as a home favorite, 4-0 as a road favorite under O’Brien.
— Texans were 5-0 last year in games decided by less than seven points.

Colts:
— Indy was 8-8 the last two years, after going 49-31 the five years before that.
— Colts are 8-2 in last ten games as a home underdog, but were 0-2 last year.
— Since 2012, Indy is 22-8-1 vs spread in game following a loss.

Jaguars:
— Since 2010 Jaguars are 11-27-2 as a home underdog.
— Since 2012, over is 24-16 in Jacksonville road games.
— Jags are 7-14 vs spread in games following their last 21 wins.

Chiefs
— Kansas City is 43-21 under Reid, but only 1-3 in playoff games.
— Chiefs are 10-2 vs spread in last dozen AFC West road games.
— Since 2006, KC is just 16-31-1 as a home favorite.

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

13) James Dolan owns the Knicks and he also owns Cablevision; he fired Phil Jackson and has to eat $24M in salary. Cable TV customers in NYC and Long Island can expect their cable bills to go a little bit higher fairly soon. Someone has to pay for Dolan’s incompetence.

Now the question is this: Will the Knicks buy out Carmelo Anthony’s contract and let him walk for nothing (Houston? Cleveland?)

12) Speaking of the Rockets, they traded Patrick Beverly, Lou Williams and Sam Dekker, plus a #1 draft pick to the Clippers for Chris Paul. Paul and James Harden both ranked in the top 7 in the NBA last year in time of possession with the ball, so someone (Harden) is going to have to adjust to having the ball less.

11) Quote of the Day, part 2: Washington Nationals stole seven bases against the Cubs Tuesday night; Chicago catcher Miguel Montero wasn’t happy about it. He said this:

“That’s the reason they were running left and right today, because they [pitcher Jake Arrieta] were slow to the plate,. Simple as that. It’s a shame it’s my fault because I didn’t throw anyone out.

“It really sucked, because the stolen bases go on me. But when you really look at it, the pitcher doesn’t give me any time, so yeah, ‘Miggy can’t throw anyone out,’ but my pitchers don’t hold anyone on.”

Montero was DFA’d Wednesday, which means he basically got cut, unless they can find a trade partner in the next 10 days.

10) UCLA guard Bryce Alford will be on Golden State’s summer league team next week in Las Vegas. Summer league is great if you like the NBA— you can meet lot of people there, because everyone comes/goes out the same doors. I had great fun on my visits to the summer league.

9) Colorado Rockies pitcher Jeff Hoffman is 3-0, 1.67 in four road starts, 1-1, 8.22 in three home starts at Coors Field. He is doing really well in his rookie season.

Mr Hoffman is from Colonie, NY (just outside Albany), went to Shaker HS, which is in north Colonie— I live in south Colonie. Sam Perkins, the former NBA star, also went to Shaker High before moving on to play ball at North Carolina.

8) In extra innings at AT&T Park in San Francisco, when the seagulls are hovering over the field waiting for the game to end so they can swoop down into the bleachers and get their dinner, what happens if a fly ball hits one of the seagulls? Is it a live ball?

I asked on Twitter and it turns out if a batted ball hits a seagull, it is a live ball, much as if the ball hit an umpire. Seagulls are a part of the field, it turns out.

7) Major league umpire John Tumpane umped the plate in the Rays-Pirates game last night, but he got a very important save hours before the game even started.

Tumpane saved a woman’s life Wednesday; the woman was going to jump off the Roberto Clemente Bridge in Pittsburgh, but Tumpane, on his way back to his hotel from lunch, noticed her and talked her out of jumping.

He spent several minutes with the woman, 911 was called and the woman was taken away in an ambulance.  Hope things work out well for her.

6) There is a ballpark in the AA Texas League that has a swimming pool in right-center field, kind of like the Diamondbacks’ ballpark, except this pool is elevated— takes a longer poke to hit the ball in this pool than the pool in Phoenix.

5) Quote of the Day, part 3:

“I’d see a quarterback and be like, ‘Dude is garbage, and I’m over here in the kitchen cooking turkey necks!?’ I hate to name-drop, but [Ryan] Fitzpatrick is still playing!? He leads the league in interceptions, and he’s still (bleep)ing getting paid? I mean, what the (bleep) is going on?”
Former NFL QB Vince Young

4) Baseball transactions:
— Reds put Brandon Finnegan (shoulder) on the DL, activated Austin Brice
— Royals recalled LF Jorge Soler from AAA.
— Giants put 3B Conor Gillaspie, P Mark Melancon on the DL, brought up 3B Jae-Gyun Hwang and P Dan Slania
— New York put DH Matt Holliday on DL, recalled 3B Miguel Andujar
— Detroit activated DH Victor Martinez, sent John Hicks down to AAA.
— Arizona put Nick Ahmed (hand) on DL, brought Ketel Marte up from AAA
— Mets put P Robert Gsellman (hamstring) on DL, brought Matt Reynolds up from AAA.
— Atlanta activated P Bartolo Colon off the DL, sent Jason Hursh to AAA.

3) Happy birthday to a pair of legends this week: NASCAR’s Richard Petty turned 80 years old, and comic genius Mel Brooks turned 91.

2) Chicago Cubs currently have 15 players on their active roster age 27 or younger; nine of Cubs’ 10  players who are 28+ are pitchers.

1) Was surprised to hear that when Sean McVay interviewed for the Rams’ coaching job, in his very first interview with the team, he spent two hours watching film with QB Jared Goff. I’m pretty sure that is highly unusual, for a coaching candidate to spend that much time with a player BEFORE he has the job.

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

13) The Supreme Court has agreed to take up the question of whether the federal government can prevent states from legalizing sports betting. Arguments are expected to be heard this fall, with a decision expected next year.

New Jersey is at the forefront of all this, but if they win, a bunch of other states will hop on board too- they won’t want their citizens taking their betting action out of state.

12) You think about NFL games; when the point spread is 3 or less points, those are the 50-50 games a team needs to win to be playoff contenders.

Since 2012, the Chicago Bears are 9-25-3 against the spread in games where the spread was 3 or less points. Thats why coaches get fired and quarterbacks get released.

11) Indians manager Terry Francona hasn’t been feeling well; he left the dugout early in Monday’s game and didn’t manage the Tribe last night. Doctors have ruled out any major health issues, which is good news. We wish him well.

10) Atlanta Falcons were an offensive juggernaut last year, winning the NFC; over was 16-2-1 in their games, and OC Kyle Shanahan is now the head coach of the 49ers.

In 2015, those same Falcons were only 8-8; their last 12 games stayed under the total. No one was looking to hire Shanahan as a head coach. Things can change a lot in one year.

9) Charlie Sheen is selling Babe Ruth’s 1927 World Series ring; he is expected to collect over $600,000 on the deal.

8) If you bet “under 10” in the Cubs-Nationals game Monday night, you probably came close to a meltdown. Cubs led 2-0 after eight innings; even after they grabbed a 5-0 lead in the top of the 9th, you looked like a winner, but Washington rallied to within 5-4 and had two men on with Zimmerman up and two out. If Nationals tie the game, the over hits, but he made an out and under bettors took a huge sigh of relief.

7) Dodgers had homered in 17 straight games before Ricky Nolasco shut them down Monday nite. Nolasco was 0-6 in his last seven starts coming into that game.

6) Lakers hired Arizona alum Miles Simon as an assistant coach, meaning ESPN is minus one college basketball analyst. Lakers coach Luke Walton is also an Arizona alum, but he was in Tucson after Miles had moved on to pro ball.

5) On the Indians’ game last night, they showed a Cincinnati Reds player taking out A’s 2B Dick Green while breaking up a double play during the 1972 World Series.

It was basically a cross-body block; the Indians’ play-by-play guy said it would be a penalty in the NFL today, blocking below the waist. Our games have changed a lot over the years.

4) Things I’ve learned watching TV: Heineken is served in 192 countries.

3) The Manning Passing Academy has grown to 1,200 campers, with 48 college QB’s as counselors at the camp, which was held this year at Nicholls State in Thibodeauz, LA. Most of the best college QB’s heading into this season were counselors at this camp.

Friend of mine’s son went to the Passing Academy 14-15 years ago; he enjoyed the experience. If I remember right, former LSU/Patriots’ QB Tom Hodson was his counselor that week.

2) All-Star balloting: Marlins’ LF Marcell Ozuna has 1,270,464 votes, is #3 in the NL voting; his more famous teammate, Giancarlo Stanton, has 1,069,313- that surprised me.

1) A’s 3B prospect Matt Chapman came up to the majors couple weekends ago, the A’s won all four games he played in, then he woke up that Monday morning with a swollen knee- he had an infection. Young man was in the hospital for several days, but is out now and is expected to come off the DL sometime next week. Chapman is a really good fielder.

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

13) Cody Bellinger (whose dad is from beautiful downtown Oneonta, NY- right down the road from Cooperstown) has a 34.4% HR/FB rate, meaning that 34.4% of his fly balls go over the fence, incredibly high.

Ray Flowers, who writes guruElite.com and is a fantasy sports expert, wrote that a 34.4% rate is unsustainable. He posted the last seven guys to lead MLB in HR/FB rate:

2016 Ryan Braun 28.8%
2015 Nelson Cruz 30.3%
2014 Jose Abreu 26.9%
2013 Chris Davis 29.6%
2012 Adam Dunn 29.3%
2011 Giancarlo Stanton 24.8%
2010 Joey Votto 25.0%

Will be curious to follow this thru the summer and on to next season.

12) Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal was at the plate Sunday with the bases loaded and LA trailing 4-3; Grandal struck out, but before he did, all three baserunners scored on a pair of wild pitches by Colorado reliever Adam Ottavino. Never saw that happen before.

11) Baltimore Orioles are 37-38, after starting the season 22-10, but they’ve still won their last eight games where the winning run scored from the 7th inning on. Starting pitching is what has been failing the Orioles.

10) St Louis Cardinals called Randal Grichuk up from AAA over the weekend and immediately put him in the lineup, batting cleanup. Not sure I’ve ever heard of that before. Most teams try to break guys in slowly when they come back from the minors. Grichuk then homered in his first two games back with the Redbirds.

9) Umpire Chad Whitson has umpired 12 games behind the plate this year- the home team won all 12 games, if you care about things like that.

8) UConn basketball player Vance Jackson transfers to New Mexico and will have three years left to play after he sits a year, a good get for new Lobos’ coach Paul Weir.

7) Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak and former Chiefs’ RB Christian Okoye used to own  independent league baseball teams in the Golden State League, which was in business from 2004-10. Five GBL teams merged with the North American League in 2010.

6) Whats up with the CFL schedule makers? Calgary/Ottawa play twice this season, in Weeks 1-2. What genius thought that was a good idea? Do they draw the schedule out of a hat?

5) Royce Lewis was the #1 pick in the baseball draft, by Minnesota; he homered in his first at-bat in pro baseball, going 2-4 in the GCL Twins’ 5-2 win over the GCL Orioles. Lewis is an 18-year old shortstop from San Juan Capistrano, CA. Great athlete; they’re unsure if he’ll stay at SS.

4) Colorado Rockies have an infield prospect named Brendan Rodgers who just got called up to AA Hartford- he is supposed to be very good. Rodgers has already been on a roster in our 16-team fantasy league for several months— thats how deep our league is- kid who got called up to AA this weekend is already in a fantasy league.

3) Baseball transactions:
— Colorado Rockies put OF Carlos Gonzalez/P Tyler Anderson on the 10-day DL
— Rays acquired SS Adeiny Hechavarria from Miami for RHP Ethan Clark
— New York put Aaron Hicks (oblique) on the DL, activated Jacoby Ellsbury from the DL
— Milwaukee acquired C Stephen Vogt on waivers from Oakland.
— Dodgers put OF Franklin Gutierrez on the DL, activated 2B Mike Freeman

2) Virginia’s Malcolm Brogdon won NBA Rookie of the Year and he wasn’t even a first round draft pick. Brogdon played in 75 games (imagine that?!?!) and scored 10.2 pts/game. He was the 36th pick in the draft last year— excellent choice by the Bucks.

1) Ben Simmons was captured on video this weekend throwing a basketball off a wall, then catching it with one hand and dunking it, just the kind of stress his healed foot doesn’t need.

Simmons missed all of last year (his rookie season) with a broken foot, so doing dunking tricks isn’t exactly the smartest thing he should be doing— he lands the wrong way and his foot breaks again. At some point, he needs to take better care of himself.

I know I sound like the “Get off my lawn!!!” guy, but I’m thinking that behind closed doors, the 76ers’ management couldn’t have been very happy either, when they saw the video.

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

13) When I was a kid 1,000 years ago, actually 1970, baseball gave the fans the All-Star vote back; it had been taken away after Cincinnati fans stuffed the ballot boxes in 1957.

It was so much fun to take the ballot and then figure out who the best players were at each position. You argued with your friends who was better than who, and that made it fun.

Nowadays, these goofy teams just openly promote fans to vote for guys on their team, even if their team sucks. No one ever mentions about voting for the best players. Every team has to be represented in the game anyway, why not just vote for the best guys?

12) New York Mets promoted Tim Tebow and his .222 batting average up a level in Class A, I’m guessing to make room at the entry level for the new players they just drafted.

I’m giving Mets’ hierarchy the benefit of the doubt here; they’re having a bad season, I’m just hoping, for their sake, they don’t plan on making Tebow a major leaguer later this season, to inflate attendance when the team is totally out of contention.

If you want to placate the fans, how about making Amed Rosario a major leaguer? He is hitting .320 at AAA and is a solid prospect at shortstop. Fans would love to see a big part of their future play in person. Just a thought.

11) I was going to give this Big3 basketball thing a shot Monday night, watch some half-court basketball with former NBA players, then I find out the games were played Sunday afternoon. Whats the bleeping point of showing games on tape delay?

By the time the games come on TV, everyone who cares about it is going to know who won.

10) Oklahoma is a 48-point favorite over Texas-El Paso in the football season opener Sept 2. Sooners have a rookie coach, they visit Ohio State the following week- they’ll have to be looking past the Miners, right? Plus they’ll keep some of their offensive weapons under wraps.

9) Northern Illinois opened up as a 2-point favorite over Boston College (a MAC team favored over an ACC squad?), but now the Eagles are a 2.5-point favorite.

8) Eight NBA teams have deals to have advertising patches on their uniforms next year.

7) June 25, 2010, Edwin Jackson threw a no-hitter, winning 1-0. He threw 149 pitches in the game. Jackson is 93-114, 4.65 in 275 major league starts- this was his 15th year in the majors.

6) One of the many reasons why baseball is cool is that the ballparks are so different. Sunday in Miami, Giancarlo Stanton hit a vicious line drive for a homer to left field. the ball barely cleared the fence, it was hit so low.

If he hits that same ball in Boston or Houston, it is likely a single, since the fences there are so much higher, and he hit it so hard, the LF would’ve retrieved the ball quickly and it would’ve been hard for Stanton to get a double.

5) Miami’s Dee Gordon has gone 310 AB since his last home run, the longest active drought in the major leagues.

4) Ichiro Suzuki became the oldest major leaguer ever to start a game in centerfield when he started for the Marlins Sunday.

3) Cubs’ SS Addison Russell left Sunday’s game with a bad shoulder, leaving Chicago with an outfield of John Jay, Kris Bryant (starting 3B), Willson Contreras (starting C). Cubs are 38-37 and just treading water; lucky for them, they’re in a bad division and still have a good shot at winning it.

2) If the baseball playoffs started today (they don’t), they would look like this:
AL: New York-Minnesota-Houston. Wild Cards: Boston-Cleveland
NL: Washington-Milwaukee-Los Angeles. Wild Cards: Arizona-Colorado

1) A guy named Bo Dietl is running for mayor of New York; he is a former NYC police detective who made $1.8M in 2015 as a security consultant— he’s done some TV work on FOX News and was in the movies Goodfellas and The Wolf of Wall Street.

Dietl has worked for both Roger Ailes and Steve Bannon as a detective in either divorce or sexual harassment cases, so that tells you where his philosophies would generally reside.

Only reason I ever heard of the guy was because he did a TV ad for Arby’s a couple of years ago; looked him up at the time, was surprised to find out he was playing himself in the commercial.

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

13) A’s 10, White Sox 2— Oakland had three players hit their first MLB home run in this game, the first team to do that since 1914- the Kansas City Packers.

White Sox manager Rich Renteria got tossed for the second day in a row; he’s not thrilled with the Jim Wolf/GregGibson umpiring crew.

12) Franklin Barreto is a highly-touted shortstop prospect for the A’s; he played 2B in his big league debut— he didn’t get to Chicago until Saturday morning, but homered in his first MLB game, which started at 1:30 in the Windy City. Quite a day for the young man.

11) Its been a decade since the San Francisco Giants had only one player in the All-Star Game; looks like thats going to be the case this season.

10) Jordan Spieth leads the Hartford Open after three rounds; last seven times he held the 54-hole lead, he won the tournament six times— he T2 at the 2016 Masters.

9) Canyon Barry (Rick’s son) is playing with the Knicks’ team in the Orlando summer league, but New York doesn’t have a team in Las Vegas this summer— will the Knicks sign him or will he play for someone else in Las Vegas?

Canyon Barry studied nuclear engineering in college, so NBA offenses should be a snap.

8) If I’m keeping a scorebook at a ball game nowadays, I score where the ball went, and take notes on who actually fielded the ball. If a ball is hit to shortstop but is fielded by the 3B, that is misleading, so I would put 6-3 down (noting it was hit to where the SS normally is) then note it was the 3B who actually fielded the ball.

7) Baseball transactions:
— Arizona sent OF Jeremy Hazelbaker to AAA.
— Tampa Bay activated C Wilson Ramos, DFA’d Derek Norris
— Bronx DFA’d 1B Chris Carter, brought up 1B Tyler Austin.
— Texas put P Martin Perez (thumb) on the DL.
— Astros sent P Joe Musgrove down to AAA, activated Lance McCullers.
— Giants DFA’d 3B Aaron Hill, brought up rookie 3B Ryder Jones.

6) Dodger reliever Pedro Baez drew a 4-pitch walk with the bases loaded Thursday night, first pitcher to do that since the Cubs’ Courtney Duncan on May 5, 2001.

5) Dodgers’ SS Corey Seager got a Grade 1 hamstring strain Friday, isn’t supposed to go on the DL— like the rest of us, he is day-to-day.

4) I’m skeptical of the pitch speeds radar guns give out in stadiums; those guns can be calibrated to be “hot” or “cold” and can give inaccurate readings.

For instance, when I got my speeding ticket, the gun was “hot” and therefore inaccurate. 🙂

3) Orioles 8, Rays 3— First time since June 2 that Baltimore held a team under five runs.

2) Mets 5, Giants 2— San Francisco is 27-50; last year, they lost their 50th game on August 12.

Jason deGrom is the first Mets’ pitcher since Johan Santana in 2010 to finish eight innings in three consecutive starts.

1) Mark Leiter Jr got his first big league win against the Diamondbacks Friday. Arizona is managed by Torey Lovullo.

Lovullo was once traded for Mark Leiter Sr on March 19, 1991, six days after Mark Jr was born.

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

13) Can you imagine being a high school/college pitcher, being really excited about the draft, and then being picked by the Colorado Rockies? Can’t be a good feeling- Coors Field is the worst pitchers’ park in the major leagues, thanks to the high altitude.

12) Must be fun recruiting for teams at Fresno State these days, with alums Derek Carr, Aaron Judge and Paul George in the news so much, all for very good reasons.

11) Miami Marlins batters swung at 71 of Max Scherzer’s pitches Wednesday; they missed 30 of them and got only two hits. Scherzer threw 118/121 pitches in his last two starts; you wonder if they’ll give him an extra day of rest, or make sure he is held under 100 pitches in his next start.

Don’t want your meal ticket getting burned out in June, especially when you have such a big lead in your division.

10) Mets’ TV guy Keith Hernandez was exasperated watching the Dodgers pummel the Mets this week; late Wednesday night, with LA way ahead of another game, Mets’ skipper Terry Collins was writing down some notes on a card.

“What could he possibly be writing on that piece of paper?” Hernandez said.

9) Dodgers are 21-4 when they hit 2+ homers in a game, 4-16 when they don’t hit any homers, 23-6 when they hit one.

8) San Antonio is moving up from AA to AAA baseball next year; they’re going to get a new ballpark at some point. Sounds like Colorado Springs is out as a AAA city- hard to have your young pitchers throwing in high altitude, without losing their confidence.

Amarillo is expected to take San Antonio’s place in the AA Texas League.

7) NBA’s  projected salary cap will come in at $99 million, $5M higher than last year, but about $2 million less than estimates in April. The crummy playoff season, with so many fewer games than there could’ve been, was blamed for the decrease.

The luxury tax was lowered from $121 million to a projection of $119 million.

6) When the Colorado Rockies had their expansion draft in 1992, two of the guys they picked are now major league managers— Joe Girardi and Brad Ausmus.

5) Minnesota Twins/Cleveland Indians will play two regular season games in Puerto Rico next season.

4) Kansas City Chiefs gave coach Andy Reid a contract extension, then surprisingly fired GM John Dorsey, who had been with the Chiefs for four years.

3) Remember a few years ago, when a guy named Frank McCourt owned the Dodgers and got into a nasty divorce dispute involving the ball club with his future ex-wife? Well, that ex-wife is now going to be the US ambassador to Belgium. Hope she can get the baseball package on TV over there.

2) IUPUI was invited to replace Valparaiso in the Horizon League. Valpo replaced Wichita State in the MVC, after the Shockers jumped to the AAC.

1) Woman named Nina Skye was recently fired from her teaching job at a religiously-affiliated preschool in Los Angeles; the reason?

Turns out Christian preschools aren’t fond of their teachers being porn stars.

Whoops.

Friday’s Den: Random stuff, mostly about basketball……

With the NBA Draft going on, here are some basketball-related thoughts……..

— My friend Joe Gill pointed this out to me yesterday— how much the NBA has changed.

The 3-point shot came into the NBA in the 1979-80 season, Magic/Bird’s rookie season. Here are the Lakers’ TEAM TOTALS FOR THE SEASON on 3-point shooting in their first six years the 3-point shot was in the NBA:

1979-80: 20-100, 20%
1980-81: 17-94, 18.1%
1981-82: 13-94, 13.8%
1982-83: 10-96, 10.4%
1983-84: 58-226, 25.7%
1984-85: 90-295, 30.5%

This past season, 2016-17, Lakers were 730-2110 (34.0%) on 3-pointers for the season; Golden State was 982-2563 (38.3%).

The game has changed in 37 years. A lot.

— Magic Johnson’s first six years in the NBA, he was 29-164 (17.7%) behind the arc; in his last seven NBA seasons, he improved to 32.5% on 3-pointers.

— Wednesday, CBS SportsNet ran an hour special on the draft; their four experts all picked who they thought the best player in the draft was- they gave four different answers, which sums this draft up well. There is no one player who is head and shoulders above the rest.

— 76ers have sold out over 14,000 season tickets for next year, a franchise record; their corps of talented young players have to prove they have the durability to play an 82-game season.

—  Chicago Bulls traded Jimmy Butler to Minnesota for Zach LaVine, Kris Dunn and the 7th pick, who wound up being Lauri Markkanen from Arizona.

— Little odd that the last two #1 picks in the draft (Fultz, Ben Simmons) had a combined record of 29-36 in their one season of college basketball and both coaches got fired within a year of coaching that player.

— Four quick non-basketball notes:
a) Weird Al Yankovic is getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
b) Jose Abreu is the first major leaguer since 1966 whose first 13 home runs have all been on the road.
c) I graduated high school 40 years ago tonight.
d) I just realized a Saskatchewan-Montreal CFL game is on ESPNews.

— First seven picks in the draft were all college freshmen; Knicks broke the trend by taking Frank Ntilikina, an 18-year old point guard from Europe— he is 6-5.

— Jay Bilas’ comment on NC State’s Dennis Smith, #9 pick by the Mavericks: “He is not always a focused defender.” A nice way of saying, “He sucks on defense.”

— Sacramento traded the #10 pick to Portland for picks #15 and #20; Gonzaga’s Zach Collins was the #10 pick.

— December of 2013, just 3.5 years ago, I sat in the gym at Bishop Gorman HS in Las Vegas with my friend Mike and we watched some high school basketball. Bishop Gorman’s 3rd-string center was a 10th grader who played pretty well when he got into the game- that was Zach Collins.

Last night, Collins was the 10th pick in the NBA Draft, by Portland. Not bad for a kid who was a 3rd-string center on his high school team three years ago, behind Stephen Zimmerman and Chase Jeter. Zimmerman is in the D-League with Orlando, Jeter just transferred from Duke to Arizona. Collins has a shot to be the best of the three.

— NBA commissioner Adam Silver is a tall, bald man who wears glasses, which obviously makes him very handsome— ha!!! Oh, Charlotte just took Malik Monk, best shooter in the draft who apparently is also adept at hunting squirrels.

— Detroit took Duke’s Luke Kennard with the #12 pick; he plays basketball lefty, but when he was a high school QB, he threw the ball righty. Go figure.

— Utah traded Trey Lyles and the #24 pick to Denver for the #13 pick- Jazz took Donovan Mitchell from Louisville.

— Halftime: Saskatchewan 10, Montreal 7. Season opener for both clubs. We’ll have write-ups on all the CFL games, starting next week.

— ESPN’s guy with the touchscreen who is a salary cap guru predicts the Bulls will buy out Dwyane Wade’s contract as they totally rebuild. Thats an expensive deal right there.

— John Calipari was in Colorado Springs Thursday morning coaching the U19 team, then was in Brooklyn for the draft; I’m assuming he is headed back to Colorado as soon as all of his guys get drafted. I’m assuming Calipari has a really nice house, but is he ever home?

Calipari is now holding  court on ESPN; in eight years at Kentucky, he’s coached 64 players. Half of those 64 players have been drafted by the NBA.

— I’ll say this: Oklahoma State guard Jawun Evans is really good. He’ll be a very good NBA player, but he hasn’t been taken yet.

— In his next contract, Paul George will either get $177M for five years or $132M for four years, depending on if he switches teams or not.

— Sacramento took Harry Giles, who has already torn the ACL in both knees and wasn’t good at Duke last year— there is very little chance this ends well. Giles scored 3.9 pts/game while playing in 20% of Duke’s possessions last year. Can he recover enough to withstand an 82-game schedule? Wish the young man well, but this figures to be another Sacramento disaster.

— My point here: Taking Giles over Jawun Evans is basketball malpractice.

— Oklahoma City took Terrance Ferguson with the #21 pick; he skipped college (Arizona) and shot 30% in an Australian pro league LY. They say he needs to get stronger- if he such a great shooter, why did he shoot 30% in an Australian league? He is a developmental project.

— Host Brooklyn Nets took Jarrett Allen, a big kid from Texas. He scored 13.4 pts/game with 8.4 reb/game LY. This young man built his own computer, which is very impressive.

Nets are 41-123 the last two years; three short years ago, they were 44-38 and in Eastern Conference semis. It is easier to get worse than it is to get better. They need a lot of players.

— Denver grabs Tyler Lydon from Syracuse, who is a good shooter but apparently has 13% body fat, which means he needs to get himself in better shape, especially since he’ll have to play man defense for the first time since high school or AAU ball- Syracuse plays all 2-3 zone.

— Caleb Swanigan was drafted by Portland; hard not to root for this guy. By the time he was 13 years old, he had gone to 13 different schools. He was adopted by a guardian angel who gave him structure in his life and then he lost 100 pounds in high school and became a really good player. We wish him well.

— Spurs took Derrick White with the 29th pick; kid played D-2 ball because that was the only offer he got coming out of high school. Then he transferred to Colorado and now he is a first round draft pick- Spurs’ track record of picking guys lower than 20th and having them be really good players is pretty amazing.

— 16 college freshmen were taken in the first round; Derrick White was the first senior taken, at #29.

— New Orleans just traded for Duke’s Frank Jackson after Charlotte picked him so now I’m annoyed; he is NOT BETTER than Juwan Evans. You wonder if coach Brad Underwood had stayed at Oklahoma State if Evans would’ve stayed, too, but Underwood had a spat with the AD and bolted to Illinoi$.

— Finally…..the 76ers take Juwan Evans with the 39th pick. Now I can go write my baseball article. Take your measurables and stick ‘em— this kid can play.

P.S. Evans is getting traded to the Clippers. Jerry West works for the Clippers now— that makes me feel good. 🙂

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

13) Miami 2, Washington 1— Nationals are way ahead in a weak NL East, but this was a tough  loss. Max Scherzer had a no-hitter in the 8th inning, but gave up an infield hit that bounced off his glove, then Trea Turner bounced a throw to 1B for an error that kept the inning alive, before a wild pitch tied the game 1-1.

Giancarlo Stanton hit Scherzer’s 119th pitch for a single to left that drove in the winning run.

Scherzer and Nolan Ryan are now only two pitchers in history to go 8 IP, not give up an earned run, give up two or less hits, strike out at least 11 and lose the game.

Game ended when Adam Lind was called out on strikes on a pitch that was a good six inches outside. Home plate ump Dana Demuth should be fined for that— I could care less who won the game, but to end the game on a pitch that bad was disgraceful.

12) Odd news note #1 of the day: Police in Winfield, WV say a man found asleep in a stranger’s home has been charged with burglary.

A homeowner called police dispatchers after finding a glass door broken in his house and a stranger asleep in his bed. The napping trespasser was charged with burglary and destruction of property.

11) Surprising stat: Angels are 11-10 since Mike Trout got hurt; Braves are 16-17 since Freddie Freeman got hurt. Would’ve thought both teams would’ve done much worse.

10) Matt Adams has been so productive for the Braves that when Freeman comes back from his wrist injury, he may give third base a try, to keep both bats in the lineup.

9) Justin Verlander apparently thinks Major League Baseball has changed the actual baseball that is used in games- he says since the 2015 All-Star break, baseballs used are harder and also the seams are different, which has resulted in batted balls traveling farther.

As soon as I typed this sentence, Ian Happ hit a home run at Wrigley. Maybe Verlander is right.

8) Odd news note #2 of the day: A couple has gotten back nearly $100,000 they mistakenly donated to Goodwill Industries in Ohio.

Two Goodwill employees in Zanesville, OH  initially thought it was play money or counterfeit cash after finding $97,000 in hundred dollar bills in a duffel bag inside a box of clothes last week. The duffel bag also contained legal documents and the last will and testament for the couple. Oy.

7) Best cumulative scores at the Hartford Open the last five years: Bubba Watson -52, Marc Leishman -43, Chris Stroud -41, Charley Hoffman -35. Ryan Moore -32

6) When Dwight Howard plays for the Charlotte Hornets this fall, they’ll be his 5th team in the last seven years.

5) Quote of the Day, part 2, from Browns’ QB Brock Osweiler:

“The best part is I’m getting coached hard on my fundamentals. And I believe firmly that when your fundamentals and your feet are right as a quarterback, you’re going to make great decisions and you’re going to throw accurate footballs.

I think that’s something that slid last season. I’m not going to go into great detail on that, but they did. My fundamentals slid, and because of that, you saw some poor decisions and some poor throws. If you go back to 2015, I feel like my fundamentals were pretty tight.”

Coaches in Houston, Osweiler’s last stop, should just love that quote.

4) San Diego Padres CF Franchy Cordero found out the hard way yesterday that there is a brick wall underneath all that ivy on the outfield fences at Wrigley Field. He caught the ball on the warning track, then got a face full of ivy and ran into that brick wall that has zero give to it. Terrific catch.

Wind must’ve been blowing in, since Contreras did a bat flip when hit the ball, thinking it would wind up in the bleachers.

3) Golf Channel and NBC Sports will show every shot of the British Open, which means you have to get up pretty darn early if you want to watch it all.

Couple years ago, I was in Las Vegas during the British Open; they had the start of the golf on at one of the bars, while at the same time, the Diamondbacks’ game was in the 13th inning, so I was watching Wednesday night baseball and Thursday morning golf at the same time. Muy bueno.

2) Quote of the Day, part 3, from Kansas’ Josh Jackson, who declined to work out for the Celtics after they traded down into the #3 slot:

“They did a little bit of moving around with their pick. I felt like they made it pretty clear who they were going to draft with the No. 1 pick, so I didn’t really feel like it was worth either of our times for me to work out with them. But then when they, you know, did the flip and went to No. 3, by then it was too late.”

1) Mike Krzyzewski came out again in favor of high school players being eligible for the NBA Draft; the baseball rule makes sense— here is who is eligible for the baseball draft:

•- High school players, if they have graduated from high school and have not yet attended college or junior college.

•- College players, from four-year colleges who have either completed their junior or senior years or are at least 21 years old. (So college players play three years before they can be drafted)

•- Junior college players, regardless of how many years of school they have completed

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

13) Cavaliers really didn’t consult Lebron James before they fired GM David Griffin? Does this mean they’ve given up hope of Lebron being in Cleveland after next season?

Related item: the NBA Draft is Thursday, as in tomorrow. In the history of the world, how many teams fire their GM three days before the bleeping draft?

12) How long will Griffin be out of work? Cleveland was in the Finals the last three years (I know, they’ve got Lebron which is all that really matters) so some NBA team will be happy to sign the guy up, right?

Will the fact that he went to Arizona State instead of an Ivy League school hinder him in finding another job? Listen to the guy talk; he is very sharp, yet Cleveland just fired him, apparently against the wishes of Lebron James, an iconic player.

Why? Life makes no sense sometimes.

11) Lakers are trading Timofey Mozgov, D’Angelo Russell to the Brooklyn Nets for Brook Lopez and 27th pick in tomorrow night’s draft. Lakers dumped Mosgov’s salary ($48M over next three years) as they clear cap space to eventually wind up with Paul George.

Elsewhere, Charlotte is sending Miles Plumlee, Marco Belenelli and the 41st pick to Atlanta for Dwight Howard and the 31st pick. Howard plays on a lot of different teams.

10) Why teams lose: On June 19, 2016, the Mariners traded Chris Taylor to the Dodgers for Zach Lee. Taylor is hitting ,302 with 32 RBI for the Dodgers- he bats in the middle of the order.

Lee was selected off waivers by the Padres last December and just got DFA’d, meaning he is either headed back to AAA, or to free agency. He has an 8.53 ERA in 12.2 IP in the majors.

9) Clayton Kershaw has given up 17 homers in 103.1 IP this season; he allowed 8 taters in 149 IP all of last year.

8) Phil Mickelson and his caddy for the last 25 years, Bones Mackay, have parted ways.

7) Oakland A’s got two hits in their first-ever game in Oakland, in 1968; a pinch-hit by future Hall of Fame manager Tony LaRussa and a home run by future Dodgers’ radio guy Rick Monday.

Monday was a very good player; he had a 19-year career with A’s-Cubs-Dodgers, had a .361 career on-base %, made two All-Star games, but what he might be most famous for was when two morons ran on the field during a day game at Dodger Stadium and tried to burn an American flag in left-center field.

Monday sprinted over and snatched the flag away from the father/son combo and kept the flag safe.

6) One of Jon Gruden’s sons won a gold medal at the IPF World Powerlifting Championships in Belarus; the young man has very, very big arms (obviously).

5) I laugh when I see that Michelle Pfeiffer is a year older than I am; she looks 20 years younger. My favorite two movies of hers: Fabulous Baker Boys and Tequila Sunrise.

4) It hit 117 degrees in Las Vegas Tuesday, just the 4th time since 1942 its gotten that hot in Las Vegas.

3) A bookmaker in Europe posted 1.5 games as the over/under for the number of games rookie QB Mitch Trubisky starts for the Chicago Bears this season. Yes, you can wager on this stuff.

2) Joe West umpired his 5,000th major league game last night in Denver, the 3rd-most games anyone has ever umpired, so good for him.

1) Anthony Rizzo homered leading off the 1st inning last night; he is now 6-6 with a walk as the leadoff hitter in the 1st inning, with three home runs.

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

13) Colorado Rockies are 46-26, the Cinderella team of baseball; their pitching rotation has four rookie starters. Here is their experience and IP last year:

Tyler Chatwood: Most experienced of the five- he threw 158 IP LY, missed all of 2015, most of 2014 with an injury. Has started 20+ games three times in six MLB seasons. He’s tossed 90.1 innings this year.

German Marquez: 187.1 IP LY, only 20.2 of them in majors. He’s thrown 63.2 innings this year, technically still his rookie season.

Jeff Hoffman: 150 IP LY, 31.1 of them in majors; 76 IP this year, 32 of them in the majors.

Antonio Senzatela: Threw only 34.1 innings LY, has thrown 83.1 this year, his rookie season. He threw 144 innings in 2014, 154 in 2015.

Kyle Freeland: Threw 162 innings LY, has thrown 81.2 this year, his rookie season.

Pitching home games in Coors Field figures to be more stressful than most big league ballparks; can these rookie pitchers stand up for 3.5 more months? I’m not saying they can’t, but it is a fair question to ask.

12) Golfers Brooks Koepka and Daniel Berger were teammates at Florida State in 2012; now they’ve won on the PGA Tour in consecutive weeks.

Koepka finished 11th in the ACC tournament in 2012. Wonder what those other 10 guys are thinking today?

I looked at the 10 names who finished ahead of Koepka; only ones I recognized were Berger and Ollie Schneiderjans, who were in a 4-way tie for 7th.

Last seven golf majors have all been won by first-time major winners.

11) Former Minnesota Timberwolves’ GM David Kahn told this story on CBSSports.com:

“In 2009, just days after my May 22 hiring as President of Basketball Operations for the Minnesota Timberwolves, the agent for Steph Curry told me that Steph’s father, Dell, did not want his son to be drafted by Minnesota — “No offense,” as I recall Jeff Austin, his agent saying to me at the Chicago draft combine.”

Archie Manning did the same thing with the Chargers and his son Eli, forcing a trade, so Lavar Ball is not the first dad to meddle in his son’s dealings, he is just the loudest one.

10) Kahn didn’t do too well with Minnesota; he went on NBAtv once during a summer league game in Las Vegas, and Chris Webber, the analyst on the game, ripped him to shreds over some of his moves. When Kahn compared one of the Wolves to Webber as a player, Webber lit into him and the interview quickly degenerated from there.

9) Obscure movie trivia: At the end of The Bodyguard, when Kevin Costner’s character is guarding some police chief at a Rotary Club banquet, the actor who introduces the chaplain to give the invocation is Bert Remsen, who played the basketball coach Gabe Kaplan’s team had to beat at the end of the great basketball movie Fast Break, one of my favorite movies.

8) I’m not sure which one confuses me more, Michael Strahan as host of the $10,000 Pyramid or Drew Carey hosting The Price is Right. I watched both of these shows a lot during my misguided youth, when Dick Clark/Bob Barker were the hosts.

If they bring back Gambit and Wink Martindale isn’t the host, I ain’t gonna be happy.

7) Washington Redskins benefit from a Supreme Court ruling in a dispute over trademark issues- it likely increases the chances of the Redskins being allowed to keep the trademark for their controversial nickname.

6) Earlier this spring, I read a cool article on ESPN.com about Houston Rockets’ coach Mike D’Antoni and his wife, who have been together for a long time.

This from the article: “Many of D’Antoni’s best qualities as a coach— patience, humor, a refusal to scream and yell for the sake of screaming and yelling— are infused with her advice.”

it was just cool to read that a guy can be a really good coach, a good guy, and be happily married.

5) Cleveland Cavaliers fired their GM David Griffin Monday night; after all, they’re 161-85 the last three years, with three straight trips to the Finals and one NBA title- Griffin is obviously a slacker.

Cut the pretense; name Lebron James as GM on personnel side, hire a paper pusher to do the office work, and be done with it.

4) Injury updates:

— Reds’ SS Zack Cosart is hitting .320 but is on the DL now with a quad injury.
— Bronx Bomber SS prospect Gleyber Torres  needs Tommy John surgery on his non-throwing elbow after he was hurt in a collision at home plate— he is out for the year…
— Michael Brantley (Indians) goes on the DL with a sprained ankle.
— JJ Hardy is out 4-6 weeks with a broken wrist; Ruben Tejada will get his AB’s- they’re not going to move Manny Machado back to short.

3) Major leaguers whose at-bats end up the most in either a walk-strikeout-HR: Joey Gallo 55.9%, Chris Davis 55.6%.

2) ESPN the Magazine is usually a waste of time, but their most recent issue, with Manny Machado on the cover, has some interesting stuff in it about Hispanic players playing pro baseball and some of the stuff they go thru when they’re here, living in a foreign country.

If you own a major league team, how can you not insist that your coaches/trainers be bilingual?

We have a NY-Penn League team about 10 miles from where I live, Class A team of the Astros; I met someone last summer who is a tutor for the players on that team, helping them learn English as they start their pro baseball careers. Has to be tough living somewhere where you don’t know the language.

1) April 5, 2015, the Padres traded Cameron Maybin, Carlos Quentin, Matt Wisler and a draft pick to Atlanta for closer Craig Kimbrel and Melvin Upton. San Diego went 74-88, 18 games out of first place in the NL West. Manager Bud Black was fired during the season, his 8th with the Friars.

222 days later, on November 13, 2015, the Padres traded Kimbrel to Boston, for four prospects, two of whom have yet to make the majors, as well as 2B Carlos Asuaje and OF Manuel Margot. Asuaje is back in AAA, Margot has shown promise but is hurt right now.

San Diego is 96-136 since that trade; their GM, AL Preller, has been suspended twice by MLB for a month each for misdeeds, once when he worked with Texas, once with the Padres.

But hey, Preller went to Cornell so he must be smarter than the rest of us. Forget that Bud Black is now managing the Colorado Rockies, who are 46-26 and are the surprise team in baseball. San Diego is 28-42 this season, 17 games behind the Rockies.

If I owned the Padres, I’d be wondering what the hell is going on.

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

13) After the Markelle Fultz trade goes thru, the Celtics will have eight first round picks in the next three drafts— seriously, I’m not sure what they’ll do with all of them.

12) Fultz played 35:00+ in 11 of 13 Pac-12 games for Washington last winter, but sat out six of the Huskies’ last eight games with “a sore knee”; wonder how that knee is now. He played 30-31 minutes in the two games he played less than 35:00 in.

11) Paul George told the Pacers he won’t re-sign with them next summer; sounds like he is headed back to LA to play for the Lakers. Helps Lonzo Ball’s chances of being drafted by the Lakers, since it decreases chance that LA will draft Josh Jackson this week.

10) On December 19, 2014, this baseball trade was made:

Padres sent Joe Ross and Trea Turner to Washington.
Padres sent Jake Bauers, Rene Rivera and Burch Smith to Tampa Bay.

Rays sent Ryan Hanigan, Wil Myers and two minor leaguers to San Diego.

Washington sent Steven Souza Jr and a minor leaguer to Tampa Bay.

Unusual trade: all three teams got a very good player in the deal; Tampa Bay probably got the worst of it, unless Bauers develops into a good big leaguer.

9) Steven Souza Jr and Colorado’s Pat Valiaka homered on both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day this season.

8) Movie trivia: The quarterbacks from Varsity Blues and Friday Night Lights both wound up in Fast & Furious movies- there have been at least eight of those movies made. Just discovered ‘em, so I’m withholding comment until I’ve seen them all.

7) June 26, Ice Cube’s 3-on-3 basketball league debuts on TV; I’ll watch it once out of curiosity, but it is up to them if I watch it more than once.

6) Submitted for your perusal, as Rod Serling used to say at the start of the Twilight Zone: The day Johnny Miller shot 63 at the US Open at Oakmont. three players broke 70. On Saturday, with Justin Thomas also shooting 63, 18 players broke 70.

5) Western Kentucky football coach Mike Sanford Jr has his dad on his staff as special teams coordinator and running backs coach – the elder Sanford was head coach at UNLV from 2005-9.

4) Pitcher Brock Stewart warmed up for the Dodgers late in the game Sunday; his agent picked him up at the Cincinnati airport in the fifth inning, after his call-up from AAA Oklahoma City. Not a lot of time for stretching there. The agent’s name is Joe Speed, by the way, which is a tremendous name.

3) In five games batting leadoff for the Cubs, Anthony Rizzo is 9-22 with three homers, five runs scored, eight RBI. We’re going to see more of this, elite hitters moving to the top of the order.

2) They were talking on TV the other day about some major league infielders practice with flat gloves, which forces them to use two hands to field grounders.

I actually tried this coaching Little League in 1998, with the kids using their winter gloves, but we only did it one day, I can’t remember why. It went pretty well and it is a good idea. Got the idea from an umpire who recommended it to m

  1. Rockies 7, Giants 5— Not only did Nolan Arenado hit a walk-off homer for first-place Colorado, he hit for the cycle. Rockies are having a storybook season with a lot of young starting pitchers. Will they hold up?

Sunday’s List of 13: Happy Father’s Day!!!

13) Rumors are rampant that the Celtics/76ers will make a trade that will wind up with Philly having the #1 pick in Thursday’s draft, so they can select Washington PG Markelle Fultz.

Danny Ainge is stockpiling a ton of draft picks over the next few years; at some point, he has to cash them in, but truth is, if the Celtics don’t love one of this year’s prospects more than the others, it makes sense to trade the pick and acquire more assets for down the road.

12) Las Vegas Summer League runs July 7-17 from UNLV. Fun event to attend. ESPN and NBAtv are showing all the games for those of us who won’t be in the desert then. 24 NBA teams will be represented, but the Knicks aren’t sending a team this year, which is unusual.

It is odd, but I’m looking forward to watching these games, moreso than the non-competitive games we saw in the playoffs. Guys playing for their careers are more fun to watch.

11) Joe Maddon got tossed Friday night in Pittsburgh during the first batter of the game, after umpires called a long drive that Anthony Rizzo hit a foul ball. Would’ve been third game in a row where Rizzo homered leading off a game, in only his third game as a leadoff batter.

Cubs also had a runner forced at third from the outfield during that inning, but still scored three runs. Pirate TV announcers were calling it one of the strangest innings they’d ever seen.

10) 12,000 people showed up at City Hall in Los Angeles Thursday night when the city projected the Batman logo onto City Hall to honor the late Adam West.

9) Thursday night, Chad Pinder became only the 3rd player ever to play SS/RF in the same game for the Oakland A’s, joining Tony Phillips and Bill Almon, who did it six times.

Oakland won that game 8-7 in 10 innings, despite allowing a run in the last five innings- they blew four saves in the game.  No bueno.

Eric Orns posted this on Twitter; only one MLB game EVER has gone extra innings, with both teams scoring in every half-inning from innings 6-9. Red Sox-Indians July 31, 1948. This game Thursday missed by one half-inning of becoming the second one.

8) Quote of the Day, part 2: ”I’m just not a fan of it. I don’t like it. I’m not a Home Run Derby guy. I’m not going to do it.” George Springer of the Astros

7) Brendan McKay was the #4 pick in the baseball draft, by Tampa Bay. He is going to try and be both a pitcher and a DH as he climbs the ladder in pro ball. Will be a fun experiment to follow— apparently Tampa Bay is going to let him try and do both.

6) Last year in the NFL, there were eight FG’s missed that were shorter than 30 yards; Seattle’s Steven Hauschka was the only kicker with two of them.

5) Pete Rose got a statue outside Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati this weekend; the statue depicts one of Rose’s trademark head-first slides. Too bad the powers-to-be don’t put Rose up for election for the Hall of Fame. Would be a HUGE weekend in Cooperstown.

4) Best wishes to Tigers’ DH Victor Martinez, who is on the DL after he had a rapid heartbeat, dizziness and cold sweats Thursday night— he was in the hospital for a while but is out now. He is not expected to travel with the team on its trip out west next week.

3) Bill Cosby’s trial resulted in a hung jury, so a mistrial was declared; prosecutors said they will re-try the case, so the whole thing will come down to selecting a more favorable jury, or maybe the prosecution calling other witnesses who’ve accused the 79-year old Cosby of bad deeds. This jury was made up of four white women, six white men, one black woman and one black man.

2) Underrated great defensive player: Orlando Arcia, shortstop for the Brewers. I watch lot of Milwaukee games; Arcia is one of those guys who make tough plays look simple.

William Shatner does a commercial for a law firm in Milwaukee that airs on Brewer games; I have no idea why/how they got a star like him to do a commercial on local TV. Good get.

1) Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there; please make sure you call you dad or give him a hug, thank him and tell him how much you love him.

Saturday’s Den: Pac-12 football trends…….

Taking a look at some trends involving Pac-12 football teams…….

USC scored 45+ points in three of its last four bowls, last three of which were decided by a total of 8 points. Underdogs covered 4 of their last 5 bowls. Since 2011, Trojans are 23-12 as home favorites.

UCLA is 2-8-1 vs spread in its last 11 non-conference games; they’re 0-4 vs spread in last four games as a home underdog.

Utah won its last four bowls; Kyle Whittingham is 10-1 in bowls. Utes are 28-11 the last three years, with a +24 turnover ratio- they covered eight of last ten as a road underdog. That said, Utah has only nine starters back this year and could regress some.

Last year, Colorado played in its first bowl since 2007; their last bowl win was in ’04. Under coach MacIntyre, Buffaloes are 10-2 as a home favorite.

Arizona State is 11-14 the last two years; they didn’t go to a bowl LY. ASU is 2-3 in its last five bowls, with average total of 76.4 in those games. Sun Devils are 17-9 as home favorites, 5-10 as road underdogs under Todd Graham.

Arizona has 14 starters back this year its offensive line has 89 returning starts. Wildcats are 3-1 in bowls under RichRod, scoring 41.5 pts/game, but were favored in all four games (1-3 vs spread). Arizona is 5-13 vs spread as a road dog under RichRod.

Washington is 27-14 under Petersen, with a +36 turnover ratio- they were +18 LY. Huskies are 6-3 in last nine games as a road favorite- their OL has 97 returning starts this season.

Since 2010, Stanford is 76-18; they won their last three bowls. Cardinal is 7-2-1 vs spread as an underdog in the Shaw era. All that, and they’re -2 in turnovers the last four years. Unusual for a team to win that much without a really good turnover ratio.

Oregon has 17 starters back and a new coach; from 2012-14, they were +55 in turnovers, but were +5/-3 last two years. Ducks are 3-10 vs spread in last 13 home games, 3-8-1 in last dozen non-league games. Oregon is 12-7-1 vs spread in last 20 road games.

Washington State has improved dramatically under Mike Leach, but they started last two years by losing to a I-AA team. Since 2013, Coogs are 14-4 as road underdogs, 10-6 as home favorites. Senior QB Falk has 28 starts under his belt.

Oregon State is 0-11 on road (5-6 vs spread) under Anderson; they have 15 starters back, should be much-improved. Since 2013, Beavers are 4-9 vs spread in non-league games.

Cal Bears have #110 experience team this year, with a new coach; they’re 7-2-1 vs spread in last 10 non-league games, but since ’07, they’re 5-15 as a road favorite. Cal’s coordinators were both head coaches LY, one at I-AA Eastern Washington, the other at Fresno State.