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

13) All-time record for consecutive scoreless innings:
48— Chicago Cubs, 1968
45— Cincinnati Reds, 1931
45— Kansas City Royals, 2017

12) As of Tuesday night’s results, Joey Votto had 27 walks in his last 18 games; time for the Reds to at least consider batting him leadoff.

Votto’s on-base %age: .449
Billy Hamilton’s on-base %age: .298

11) In 2015, the state of California collected $258.1M in taxes from pro athletes.

10) The major league record for home runs in a season by someone who wasn’t in the majors before August 1? 13, by Ted Williams in 1953.

Phillies’ rookie Rhys Hoskins has 11 homers; his first big league game was August 10.

9) To win $100 at the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas, all a bettor has to do is put up $100,000 on the Golden State Warriors making the NBA playoffs this coming season. A $100 bet on Golden State to miss the playoffs pays $10,100.

I could be wrong, but I would advise against putting up $100,000 to win $100.

8) Cedar Bayou, TX had 51.88 inches of rain from Hurricane Harvey, the most rainfall ever on the continental United States. Thats over four feet of rain!!!!

7) Dolphins’ DT Ndamukong Suh played youth soccer as a kid in Oregon— one of his teammates was Klay Thompson. Apparently Suh is now the Miami Dolphins’ backup kicker, should anything happen to starting kicker Andrew Franks, who went to D-III RPI, which is across the river from me in beautiful downtown Troy, NY.

RPI is better known for its Division I hockey program. And its engineering program.

6) How come no one bats the pitcher 8th this year? Because it was never a good idea, just something Tony Larussa/Joe Maddon did, so other teams blindly copied it.

5) Former LSU coach Les Miles, one of my favorites, will be a game analyst for FOX Sports this fall. Miles live-tweeted the Floyd Mayweather fight Saturday night- he could be television gold.

4) Major league record for most games started by a pitcher without ever appearing in relief:
682, Tom Glavine
379, Justin Verlander
372, Felix Hernandez
240, Juan Guzman

3) According to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle last week, the book Moneyball is required reading at most business schools across the country. 

Wonder if they’ll study the part where the A’s trade their best pitcher (who has an affordable contract) for three players, two of whom are currently incapacitated, and a third guy who is in AA. (he is hitting .269 in the Texas League right now).

To paraphrase Rick Pitino, Brad Pitt isn’t walking thru that door anytime soon. Moneyball 2 ain’t gonna happen, not while the A’s flounder year after year.

2) First-round matchups for the Puerto Rico tip-off tournament this fall:
South Carolina-Illinois State, Boise State-UTEP, Iowa State-Appalachian State, Tulsa-Western Michigan. Pretty good tournament.

1) Astros are coming home to Houston this weekend; Friday’s game with the Mets was postponed to a day/night doubleheader on Saturday, with a day game on Sunday.

How current managers do on replay challenges

Major League managers on replay challenges:

Joe Girardi, NYY 76-104, 73.1%
Ned Yost, KC 76-113, 67.3%
Pete Mackanin, Phil 52-79, 65.8%
Bruce Bochy, SF 81-126, 64.3%
Dave Roberts, LA 37-60, 61.7%

Paul Molitor, Minn 50-83, 60.2%
Mike Scioscia, LAA 70-117, 59.8%
Terry Collins, NYM 61-105, 58.1%
Buck Showalter, Balt 60-105, 57.1%
Clint Hurdle, Pitt 81-146, 55.5%

Joe Maddon, Cubs 85-157, 54.1%
Terry Francona, Clev 64-119, 53.8%
Mike Matheny, StL 70-132, 53.0%
Rich Renteria, CWS 37-70, 52.9%
Bob Melvin, A’s 54-105, 51.4%

Craig Counsell, Milw 45-88, 51.1%
Brian Price, Cinc 58-115, 50.4%
Tory Lovullo, Ariz 18-36, 50.0%
Don Mattingly, Mia 71-143, 49.7%
Andy Green, SD 37-76, 48.7%

Brian Snitker, All 32-67, 47.8%
AJ Hinch Hst, 51-107, 47.7%
Kevin Cash, TB 66-139, 47.5%
John Farrell, Bos 64-135, 47.4%
Brad Ausmus, Det 53-113, 46.9%

Jeff Banister, Tex 61-137, 44.5%
Bud Black, Colo 32-72, 44.4%
Scott Servais, Sea 33-81, 40.7%
Dusty Baker, Wash 26-65, 40.0%
John Gibbons, Tor 49-141, 34.8%

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

13) Matthew Stafford is the highest paid player in NFL history? A 5-year contract extension worth $135M??? Wow.

If he is that valuable, how in the name of Wayne Fontes is their left tackle Greg Robinson? Stafford is going to get pummeled this season with Robinson playing LT.

This note from Paul Howard: Stafford is 4-43 in his career against teams that finished the season with a winning record- 1-21 on the road.

12) Rangers wanted the Astros to play their series in Arlington this week, but they didn’t want to flip-flop home series, giving Houston three home games later on this season, which is why the series is being played in Florida. I’m guessing there is now some tension between front offices, if there wasn’t before.

11) Dale Sveum is the Royals’ batting coach; Brian Buchanan is his assistant. Has to be a very long week for them, with Kansas City not scoring a run for 45 consecutive innings.

1992 Cubs are the last team to get blanked four games in a row; no team with a DH had ever been shut out in four straight games.

10) If you see Chad Whitson umping home plate, know that you have a hitter’s umpire that night. Every game he works may not go over, but he squeezes pitchers, for sure.

Jordan Baker is also a hitters’ umpire, but his strike zone usually widens some as the game goes on. Whitson squeezes pitchers for all nine innings.

9) Politics intruded into the CFL this week; the league stepped in and basically vetoed former Baylor coach Art Briles being hired as an assistant coach by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Briles’ players at Baylor got into a lot of off-field trouble and it cost him his job. Briles himself did not commit a crime, but he is being treated as if he did.

8) TV evangelist Joel Osteen has a church in Houston that seats 16,000 people? Damn, thats a big church; must take forever to pass the collection baskets there.

7) A guy went to Hooters’ Casino in Las Vegas, bet $1.21M on Floyd Mayweather, and netted himself $242,000. Hooters is an unlikely sportsbook for such a large bet to be made.

6) Weird moment Sunday; Phillies pitcher Nick Pivetta tossed a pickoff throw to first base, but the runner (Anthony Rizzo) was still standing on first base. Never saw that before; he looked at Pivetta like, “What are you doing?”

5) Last four years, the four AFC South teams are a combined 15-28-1 vs spread as a home underdog in non-divisional games.

Last two years, the four AFC West teams are 13-3-1 vs spread when they’re road favorites in non-divisional games.

4) Denver’s backup QB Paxton Lynch has an injured throwing shoulder and will miss some games; will the Broncos sign Colin Kaepernick?

As of right now, Denver has starter Trevor Siemian, who is backed up by Kyle Sloter, who played WR, then QB at Southern Miss, then at Northern Colorado. They also have Chad Kelly as a developmental QB, but he is still hurt from his college days and won’t play this year. Denver has to sign another QB for their opener, you would think.

3) Tickets for the Texans-Cowboys exhibition game in Dallas Thursday are $25. Proceeds will go to the United Way’s relief fund. Excellent idea.

2) Scooter Gennett and Babe Ruth are only two major leaguers ever who hit their 20th homer of the season and also pitched on that same day.

1) RIP Jud Heathcote 90, the former Michigan State coach passed away Monday. Spartans have had only two basketball coaches the last 42 years, Heathcote and Tom Izzo.

Heathcote’s 1979 Michigan State team, led by Magic Johnson/Greg Kelser, won a national title, sparking the increased popularity of college basketball, thanks to Magic’s rivalry with Larry Bird.

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

13) Hurricane happenings:
— Astros-Rangers series this week moves to the Trop in St Petersburg.
— Texans-Cowboys exhibition game Thursday moves to Dallas.
— BYU-LSU football Saturday moves to the Superdome in New Orleans.

12) This storm in Texas might be the worst storm ever; another 15-25 inches of rain is expected between now and Thursday. We pray for everyone down there; stay safe!!!!

11) Only two New York Mets have been active for all their games this season; Jerry Blevins and Jacob deGrom.

10) Mets’ 1B prospect Dominic Smith is batting .161 in his first 59 major league AB’s; it is too early to worry about him (Rhys Hoskins started 0-12 and look how he’s doing) but I saw Smith play in Las Vegas in July and wasn’t all that impressed by him then. Time will tell.

9) June Jones is now the coach of the Hamilton TigerCats of the CFL after the TiCats got off to an awful start this season; he’s brought in former Baylor coach Art Briles as an assistant.

8) Rice University’s football team came back from its game in Australia and has relocated at TCU in Fort Worth, as they wait out the storm/flooding near their campus.

7) Indianapolis Colts traded long snapper Thomas Hennessy to Jets in exchange for safety Ronald Martin. Unusual trade.

6) Miami Marlins have new owners, a team that is rolling right now and the best outfield in all of baseball, but I keep seeing articles on how the the team might trade Giancarlo Stanton at the end of the season. Is that a good idea?

Stanton has a HUGE contract that has a long way to go on it; trading him is a bold move, since he is having a great season and is hugely popular in Miami. What could they get back for him? Tough early decision for the new ownership.

5) The profile of Ivy League basketball is getting bigger; Yale-St Bonaventure game on December 9 is going to be shown on ESPNU.

4) Jets named Josh McCown their starting QB, which if he is healthy, is the only possible choice they could’ve made. Bryce Petty played well Saturday but hurt his knee; the other options were not good at all.

3) Clayton Kershaw is going to be activated later this week and will start either Friday/Saturday against the Padres in San Diego. He threw five innings in a AAA rehab start Saturday.

2) If you want to replace those statues that have been taken down recently, how about a statue of a first responder carrying two little kids out of a flooded house? Those guys are heroes, for sure.

1) DeShone Kizer will be the Cleveland Browns’ 27th different starting QB since 1999.

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

13) Houston is the 4th-largest city in America; they got 24.3 inches of rain in a 24-hour period this weekend. Our thoughts and prayers are with them.

LSU-BYU are scheduled to play in Houston next weekend, which seems highly unlikely, with a switch to Baton Rouge the most probably alternative.

Along same lines, Astros will fly to Dallas after today’s game; they’re supposed to host Texas at home Tuesday, but you’d think those games would be switched to Arlington.

12) In 2005, Houston became a second home to a lot of people when Hurricane Katrina pounded New Orleans; now a lot of Houstonians will probably migrate somewhere else. It is very sad that people’s lives get turned upside down by an act of Mother Nature.

11) Dodgers are now 19-1-3 in their last 23 series; before losing 2 of 3 at home to Milwaukee this weekend, the last one they lost was June 5-7 vs Washington.

10) Reds’ 2B Scooter Gennett has three grand slams in 10 AB’s with bases loaded this year.

9) Last year, Patriots WR Julian Edelman was targeted by Tom Brady 38 times on 3rd down, which was more than the next three Patriots combined- Hogan (11), Amendola (11) and Mitchell (10). Now Edelman is out for the season- who will step up and take his place?

8) Hawai’i 38, UMass 35— Rainbows trailed 28-14 in third quarter, scored TD with 0:48 left to make the very long trip home a happy one.

7) New York 10, Seattle 1— Mariners made five errors IN THE FIRST INNING!!! Saturday nights in New York City can be very draining.

Last time a major league team made five errors in one inning? 1977 Cubs.

6) Indians 12, Royals 0— Cleveland led this game 12-0 in the second inning. Oy.

Royals have gone 34 consecutive innings without scoring a run.

5) NFL injury stuff:
— Bears WR Cameron Meredith hurt his knee Sunday, big loss for Chicago— he looked like an up-and-coming star.
— Bears also lost long snapper Patrick Scales (knee).
— Jets’ QB Bryce Petty sprained his MCL, hopes to play in the last preseason game.

4) New Orleans Pelicans lose starting forward Solomon Hill to a torn hamstring- he could miss most of the coming NBA season.

3) Pirates 5, Reds 2— Joey Votto batted five times and walked all five times; his on-base % is .447. Billy Hamilton bats leadoff for the Reds; his on-base % is  .296. Why doesn’t Votto bat leadoff?

2) Marlins 6, Padres 2— Giancarlo Stanton’s 50th home run of the year put Miami ahead 4-2 in the bottom of the 8th inning. Marlins are very hot right now.

  1. DL happenings……..
    — Royals put P Danny Duffy (elbow) on the DL
    — Tigers put DH Victor Martinez (irregular heartbeat) on the DL.
    — Cardinals put IF Jedd Gyorko (hamstring) on the DL.

Sunday’s List of 13: Random stuff on a summer Sunday

13) Our thoughts and prayers to everyone on the Gulf coast in Texas/Louisiana, as Hurricane Harvey and its destructive winds wreak havoc. Very sad; hope everyone is safe.

12) Giants 32, Jets 31— Jets’ QB Bryce Petty was 15-for-18, 250 yards, but then he hurt his knee near the end of this game. Christian Hackenberg is horrible; Jets better hope that Josh McCown is ready to play in two weeks. Giants’ defense scored 16 points in this game.

11) Saints 13, Texans 0— New Orleans with a shutout? Texans’ team flew to Dallas after the game and will stay there until it is safe to return to flood-ravaged Houston. Texans are playing the Cowboys Thursday; could be that the game will be moved from Houston to Dallas.

10) Angels 7, Astros 6— Halos scored four runs in bottom of the 8th inning, with Andrelton Simmons hitting the eventual game-winning homer. Angels are only a half-game out of a Wild Card spot.

9) Cleveland Cavaliers are “still evaluating” Isaiah Thomas’ injured hip; they may ask the Celtics to add more to the trade, or they may still void the trade altogether, which would be all kinds of awkward, wouldn’t it?

8) Western HS in Las Vegas won its football game 20-0 Friday night; it was the first football game Western has won in seven years, which is good. Losing all the time sucks.

7) Odd stat: Looking at interleague baseball games.

In games played at AL parks, where they use the DH, over is 65-65-3 this season.

In games at NL parks, with no DH, over is 71-55-7. This makes very little sense.

6) Rhys Hoskins has now hit 10 HR’s in his first 62 AB’s for Philly, and that includes an 0-12 start. He is the fastest hitter in baseball history to hit 10 home runs.

5) Houston Astros fired Quinton McCracken as director of player personnel Friday; they fired eight of their scouts last week. Imagine if they weren’t in first place?

4) Want to win a bar bet? When was the last time a D-I college basketball game was played with neither team making a 3-pointer?

Drexel at Penn, November 24, 2009. Drexel was 0-11 on the arc, Penn was 0-8.

3) Apparently umpires hate it when TV announcers talk about catchers “framing pitches”, in other words, influencing the umpire with how they catch a pitch. Alrighty then.

2) There are actually lawmakers in Texas who voted AGAINST giving aid to hurricane victims in New Jersey when Hurricane Sandy struck a few years ago. How do you do that?

Now these same scumweasels want aid for the Lone Star State, with Hurricane Harvey ravaging the Houston/Galveston/Corpus Christi area.

I hope they get the aid, because we need to help each other, but I hope these weasels realize at some point, that we’re all in this together.

1) I’d be hesitant to grab Lions’ QB Matthew Stafford in fantasy football; his left tackle is Greg Robinson, who came over from the Rams after Detroit’s LT got hurt in the offseason, I’m a Ram fan; Robinson was our LT the last few years, and he struggled mightily, and that being nice. He played very poorly; if you’re an offensive lineman and the Rams don’t want you……..

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

13) Baseball players are all wearing more colorful uniforms this weekend, with their nicknames on the back; apparently this is something the players wanted and got as part of the last collective bargaining agreement. I’m withholding judgment on the uniforms until later this weekend.

12) 49ers saved $5.2M in salary cap space Friday by cutting LB Ahmad Brooks, who played nine years for San Francisco.

11) Miguel Cabrera was suspended for 7 games, Gary Sanchez for 4 games as penalties for the fights in Detroit Thursday got handed down. Austin Romine only got two games.

10) Thru Thursday games, Texas has challenged 50 plays this season, most in MLB. Rangers have won 27 of the 50 challenges.

9) Padres’ OF Matt Szczur was a WR/RB for Villanova’s football team in 2009, when they won the I-AA national championship.

8) Washington Nationals have gotten saves from nine different pitchers this season.

7) Louisville signed a 10-year deal with adidas worth $160M, which buys a lot of sneakers and sweatsuits.

6) Happy birthdays: Sean Connery 87, Regis Philbin 86, Monty Hall 96, Rollie Fingers 71.

5) Over last five years, NFC East teams are 8-15 vs spread as a home favorite of 6+ points, in non-divisional games.

During that same time, the four NFC South teams are 46-25 against the spread as a non-divisional road underdog- they were 15-4 last year.

4) Edmonton Eskimos sold over 40,000 tickets for their game with Saskatchewan Friday night, first time in three years they’ve sold that many tickets.

3) With Hurricane Harvey bearing down on Texas, the University of Houston’s football team has moved its practices to the University of Texas in Austin.

2) Thursday night, a bettor at a William Hill sportsbook bet $1.2 million on Floyd Mayweather; if he wins, the bettor wins $240K. How do you bet $1.2M on an event like this?

That said, as much as $80M might be wagered on this fight, so guess I’m in the minority with my apathy towards it.

1) I don’t think I’d watch the Mayweather-McGregor fight if it was on free TV, but they’re promoting the hell out of it, and a lot of people will buy it on pay-per-view. As much as I love going to Las Vegas, this is probably a pretty good weekend not to be there.

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

13) 6th/7th innings of New York-Detroit game Thursday took around two hours to play, thanks to a brawl, eight ejections, two hit batters and six runs scored.

Detroit’s Michael Fulmer hit Gary Sanchez in the 5th inning; when NY reliever Tommy Kanhle threw behind Miguel Cabrera, benches emptied, Kanhle and Joe Girardi got tossed. Before play could resume, Cabrera and backup catchup Austin Romine started jawing and a fight broke out, an actual fight, not a baseball shoving match.

Not the best job of controlling things by the umpires; New York lost its DH when Sanchez had to come in and catch, but they rallied to tie the game in the top of the 7th before the Tigers scored three times in the bottom of the 7th.

New York used Aroldis Chapman in the 6th inning, after Kanhle got tossed.

12) Last summer on Hard Knocks, Rams’ rookie QB Jared Goff was hardly on the show, which didn’t help the program any— they focused mostly on guys on who got cut.

This year, Bucs’ QB Jameis Winston IS THE SHOW— he is all over it and that makes the program better. Haven’t seen much of coach Dirk Koetter yet, except when Winston threw an ill-advised pass in the red zone against Jacksonville and Koetter went bullshit on him for it.

11) Pittsburgh beat the Dodgers Wednesday despite getting only one hit; last time the Pirates won a game when they had one hit was May 2, 1943- Vince DiMaggio got the only Pittsburgh hit.

10) Josh Harrison’s walk-off homer to end that game was the first walk-off homer in MLB history that also ended a no-hitter. That same night, Harrison’s cousin JaVon Shelby caught a no-hitter in the Class A Midwest League.

Hill is the 5th major leaguer and first since 1995, to lose a no-hitter in extra innings.

9) On May 26, 1959, a Pirates pitcher named Harvey Haddix threw 12 perfect innings in a game at Milwaukee, but lost the game and no-hitter 1-0 on an unearned run in the 13th inning. It is the greatest losing performance in baseball history.

The next year, Haddix was the winning pitcher in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series, throwing a scoreless 9th inning as the Pirates upset New York to win a world championship.

8) Some people are going to protest until Colin Kaepernick is on an NFL team; then once he is on a team, other people will protest until he is out of the league again.

What a world this has become.

7) Marvin Bagley III is committed to play basketball at Duke this fall, but will be play? Will the NCAA clear him on time? Bagley went to three different high schools in two states, he took online classes, so it is going to take some time, and the NCAA can be slow in these cases.

Expecting Bagley to be dominant in the ACC might be a bit much; don’t forget, he is supposed to be a high school senior- when he plays against older people, there will sometimes be a big age/maturity gap, not a talent gap. Plus you wonder if he isn’t already looking ahead to the NBA, which has often been an issue with probable 1-and-done guys.

6) Cole Hamels is 9-1, 3.42 in 16 starts this year, but in the six games where Hamels didn’t get a decision, the Rangers are 1-5, and that could bite Texas coming down the stretch. In races like this, with so many teams bunched together, you have to win when your ace is pitching.

5) I can’t even imagine working in a sportsbook and having someone hand me $100,000 to bet on a fight. Someone risked $100,000 to win $20,000 on Floyd Mayweather Saturday night. I’m trying to think of the most money I’ve ever held at one time…….$100K is a lot of cabbage.

4) Mets’ OF Michael Conforto dislocated his left (throwing) shoulder swinging at a pitch Thursday; never saw that happen before. Conforto had been playing really well for the Mets.

3) There was an old movie on TV the other night; Taking Care of Business, with Jim Belushi and Charles Grodin; Belushi is an escaped convict who escapes jail to go watch the Cubs play in the World Series. Filmed in 1990, one of the TV announcers was Joe Torre— this was just before he took over managing the Cardinals. His record at that point wasn’t Hall of Fame-worthy.

Cubs beat the Angels in the fictitious movie, by the way, even though Bert Blyleven was in the movie, pitching for the Angels.

2) In the movie Friday Night Lights, where Billy Bob Thornton coaches Permian HS to the finals of the Texas state football tournament, his team loses to Carter HS of Dallas in the state title game.

In real life, three of those Carter HS players made the NFL, including Jesse Armstead. Hall of Famer LaDanian Tomlinson calls that Carter team “the greatest high school football team ever assembled.”

1) This November will be the last-ever Great Alaskan Shootout; once one of the best preseason college hoop tournaments, it suffered because ESPN started running tournaments in places with way better weather than Alaska. One year, Duke-Cincinnati was the final in Alaska, back when Bob Huggins was coaching Cincinnati.

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

13) Long time ago, the Dallas Cowboys had a very fast WR named Bob Hayes; this is in the 60’s, when the Cowboys first got really good. Bullet Bob Hayes was a sprinter— Dallas picked him in the 7th round of the 1964 Draft, with the 88th pick. Great pick— Hayes caught 371 passes in the NFL— 71 of them were touchdowns.

Detroit had the 89th pick that year; they took a lineman from Wichita State that you may have heard of, even though he didn’t play in the NFL.

Guy named Bill Parcells, whose 76th birthday was this week.

12) Baseball is terrific because odd things can happen at any time; LA’s Rich Hill had a perfect game thru 8 innings last night in Pittsburgh, but his 3B made an error in the 9th inning- the game remained scoreless thru nine innings. Hill stayed in the game, even though his blister issues usually mean he comes out before he gets to 100 pitches.

In the bottom of the 10th inning, Josh Harrison got the Pirates’ first hit, a walk-off homer that ended a great pitching duel. He hit Hill’s 99th pitch over the fence, ending a great game.

11) Doug Fister allowed a leadoff homer Tuesday night, then didn’t allow another hit in a 9-1 Red Sox win in Cleveland. It was Fister’s first complete game since 2014.

10) According to ESPN.com, underdogs covered 52.5% of college football games last year, the best year for underdogs in the last 12.

9) Anthony Rizzo played some 3B Tuesday night, the first lefty to do so in a major league game in 20 years.

8) Atlanta Falcons will leave a day earlier than usual on their five non-divisional road trips this season; they feel it helps with team bonding.

7) Louisville QB Lamar Jackson won the Heisman Trophy LY; he tried hard to gain weight in the offseason, and is seven pounds heavier than last year, 30 pounds heavier than when he was a freshman.

6) Good news for NBA’s TV partners, with Cavaliers-Celtics playing on Opening Night. Kyrie Irving t-shirts were 75% off at the Cavaliers’ team store Wednesday.

5) Indians put Salazar/Miller on the DL Tuesday; they put Jason Kipnis on the DL yesterday. If you’re involved in fantasy baseball, you realize this: baseball players get hurt a lot.

Red Sox put Jackie Bradley Jr (thumb) on the DL.

4) Scott Blumstein won the World Series of Poker this summer; before the event, four of his friends gave him $60 each towards the $10,000 entry fee— those four friends will each come away with $40,750 before taxes, after Blumstein won the $8.15M first prize.

3) Since 1994, the Philadelphia Eagles have had 119 pass plays of 50+ yards, most in the NFL, two more than the Packers, three more than New Orleans.

Defensively, Atlanta has allowed 127 pass plays of 50+ yards, 20 more than any other team.

2) Since 2012, Temple (39-24) is the best team in the country against the spread, but Matt Rhule is the coach at Baylor now— we’ll see if Temple can keep up with their successful ways.

Over the last five years, UConn (18-40) is the worst team in America against the spread.

1) On August 15, a guy in Las Vegas bet $500 on BYU to win the national title, at 300-1, which would net him $150,000 if the Cougars won the national championship. There was another $200 bet on BYU back in June, at 500-1. Someone likes BYU this season.

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

13) Cleveland Cavaliers traded Kyrie Irving to Boston Tuesday in exchange for Isaiah Thomas; Cleveland will also receive Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and Brooklyn’s 2018 first-round draft pick.

As usual, the NBA offseason is more interesting than the actual season.

12) Trade trivia: Kyrie Irving’s father played college ball at Boston University. Also, the deal saves  the Cavaliers $29.1M in salary tax payments, which isn’t trivial at all.

11) Check out SportsCenter or MLB Network to see the catch Christian Yelich made to end the bottom of the 5th inning in Philly last night, robbing Nick Williams of what would’ve been his second homer of the night. Tremendous catch.

In the 7th inning of the same game, Giancarlo Stanton made a great diving catch, running towards right-center.

10) Marlins swept a twinbill in Philly Tuesday. Last time the Marlins were .500 was April 27; they were 10-10- now they’re 62-62, and are 9-2 in their last 11 games.

9) Cody Bellinger (ankle) is the 26th different Dodger to go on the DL this season. Alex Wood is also back on the DL with a shoulder problem.

8) A high school QB in Utah named Cammon Cooper completed 49 of 71 passes for 599 yards and 10 touchdowns in his season opener— he is committed to play college ball next season at Washington State.

7) Someone on Twitter counts transfers in college basketball; their count for this season is 807 kids changing teams from LY. With 351 D-I teams, that is 2.3 kids per team, which is a lot.

Some kids bolt for greener pastures; some are unhappy at their playing time, some get run off by an unhappy coach. 2.3 kids per team is an awful lot of transfers, thats for sure.

6) Jets set an NFL record last year by using 75 different players, 49 of whom started at least one game. When you were a home underdog to the 2016 Rams, you know you had a bad year.

5) Former big league 1B Ike Davis is trying to make a comeback as a pitcher; so far, he’s thrown 3.2 scoreless innings in the Arizona Rookie League, allowing six baserunners with 5 strikeouts.

Davis’ father Ron was a good relief pitcher back in the day (1978-88); Ike Davis threw two scoreless innings in mop-up work for the A’s couple years ago.

4) Young OF Herschel “Boog” Powell of the A’s hit his first big league homer Monday, near the barbecue stand in Camden yards run by 74-year Orioles legend John “Boog” Powell. The two men met for the first time Tuesday.

The elder Powell has been retired for 40 years; he was a powerful lefty-hitting first baseman who played on great Oriole teams.

3) David Wright DH’d in the Florida State League Tuesday night, going 0-4 with two strikeouts in his first game action in a long time.

2) Adrian Gonzalez got his 2,000th hit last night, quite a milestone for him.

1) Phillies’ Nick Pivetta threw 46 pitches in the first inning of last night’s nightcap against Miami. He came within one batter of being yanked in the first inning, but wound up being yanked in the second inning, using 64 pitches to get only four outs.

Bartolo Colon threw 61 pitches in the first inning in a game in Seattle a few years ago, which seems to be the modern record for most pitches thrown in the first inning of a game.

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

13) New Jersey Jets have had five head coaches since Bill Parcells left after the 1999 season; here are their records— their first season with the Jets, then the rest of the tenures after.

2000— Al Groh: 1st year: 9-7. Left after that season
2001-05— Herm Edwards: 1st year: 10-6. Rest of tenure: 29-35
2006-08— Eric Mangini: 1st year: 10-6. Rest of tenure: 13-19
2009-14— Rex Ryan: 1st year: 9-7. Rest of tenure: 37-43
2015-present— Todd Bowles: 1st year: 10-6. Since then: 5-11

Total: 1st year of tenure: 48-32. Other seasons: 84-108

I have no explanation for this, but these are the facts- they are not in dispute.

12) Jets’ QB Christian Hackenberg got hit so hard by a Detroit lineman the other night, I actually feared for his health when I saw a replay of the hit. That one had to hurt……a lot.

11) Showtime did an excellent reality series last year following Florida State football; they did one on Notre Dame the year before (I didn’t see that one). This year, they’re following the Navy Midshipmen, which should be interesting, seeing how ballplayers at military academies have to really be good time managers, given their workloads.

10) Part of the reason the Rams paid a King’s ransom for Jared Goff last spring was that they projected ahead to the Class of ’17 QB’s and they didn’t like what they saw. Something to think about if some of this year’s rookie QB’s get on the field early this season.

9) On April 17, the Orioles traded pitcher Parker Bridwell to the Angels for a player to be named later or cash. Bridwell is now 7-1, 2.88 in 11 starts for the contending Angels, with a WHIP of 1.17. If not for Aaron Judge, Bridwell might’ve been Rookie of the Year in the AL.

8) Scott Tolzien is the Indianapolis Colts’ likely starter in Week 1; he has suited up for 51 NFL games in his seven NFL seasons, played in only 9 games, starting three (0-2-1 W-L record). He’s thrown 128 NFL passes, with two TD’s, seven INT’s.

But he also went 21-5 as the starting QB at Wisconsin, so best not to underestimate him.

7) Cardale Jones is the 3rd-string QB for the Chargers; he was 7-15 for 61 yards against the Saints Sunday in a dismal 13-7 loss. Chargers’ only TD was scored by their defense.

Jones left Ohio State early- he started only 11 games for the Buckeyes. If I had to advise a young quarterback, I would advise him to play as much college football as humanly possible, for more than one reason:

— Experience makes you a better player; the more you practice, the better your skills become.
— Experience makes you more confident in your abilities; the more situations you see, the better you will handle the more advanced competition in the NFL.
— You’re older and more physically mature; NFL players are very large grown men.

6) Broncos-Raiders is a bitter rivalry and always has been, but this year’s games should get a boost in intensity. Bill Musgrave is Denver’s new QB coach this season, after the Raiders let him walk after two years of being Oakland’s offensive coordinator.

I’m sure there are no hard feelings.

5) Geniuses at ESPN showed Sonny Gray’s pitching line on the crawl on the bottom of the screen Sunday night; when it showed he had no strikeouts, they were kind enough to add (0 K’s, career low), as if we couldn’t figure out ourselves that zero would be his career low. Oy.

4) Steelers’ coach Mike Tomlin believes live tackling in practice is a necessity to properly prepare for the season; SI.com‘s Peter King wrote this weekend that of all the training camps he visited this summer, Pittsburgh/Seattle were by far the most physical.

Most teams are so paranoid about players getting hurt that live tackling is non-existent in most practices.

3) Anquan Boldin retires after 14 years in the NFL and 1,076 receptions; he started out as a QB at Florida State. When he played for the Cardinals, he broke his cheekbone while catching a TD pass and tried to talk his way into staying in the game. Tough guy. Great player.

2) I’m thinking that there will be chaos in some NFL front offices in 10 days or so, when 1,184 free agents hit the streets. Lousy teams will be working the phones, trying to improve their rosters wherever they can by picking up guys the better teams cut. Will be some guys starting for teams in Week 1 who haven’t been on that team for very long.

1) Lot of people are touting Tennessee Titans as a Cinderella team in the AFC, but one thing they better do if they’re going to make the playoffs— beat the Colts. Indianapolis is 15-1 in its last 16 games against Tennessee. That obviously needs to change if the Titans are really contenders.

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

13) Quote of the Day, part 2: Ian Kinsler, on the umpires’ wearing white wristbands Saturday to protest Kinsler’s not being suspended for his comments about Angel Hernandez:

“I really don’t think too deeply into it. I hope they wear the white wristbands for the rest of their careers. I don’t care. I said what I felt and what I thought. If they take offense to that, that’s their problem.’’

Alrighty then.

12) Umpires didn’t wear the wristbands Sunday; they’re getting an audience with commish Rob Manfred soon, to discuss their issues. Doubt they’ll get much satisfaction.

11) 75 players have 20+ homers this year; just three years ago, only 57 guys hit 20+ homers for the whole season— there are still six weeks of games left this year.

10) New York Mets saved roughly $13.6M in salary by trading veterans to contenders in the last few weeks. Thats what small market teams do. New York City is not a small market.

9) The Greek basketball federation attacked the Milwaukee Bucks and the NBA in a statement, describing an “organized and well-staged plan” to keep Giannis Antetokounmpo from playing in the Eurobasket tournament for Greece at the end of the month.

If I was paying a young man $20M a year, damn sure I wouldn’t want him playing in some exhibition tournament in the summer. Too freakin’ bad.

8) Someone in the Indiana University compliance department screwed up, and it cost a freshman DB a year of his football eligibility. The school screwed up by not telling the kid what was required of him to become eligible— I’m guessing someone lost their job over that.

7) NFL exhibition broadcasts that aren’t on national TV can be tough to listen to; they’re infomercials for the local team. Never is heard a discouraging word— exhibition games are sloppy by nature, obviously, but you’d never know it by listening to some of these TV guys.

6) From the sound of the 49ers’ TV guys, CJ Beathard is going to beat Matt Barkley out for the backup QB job in San Francisco. Will Kyle Shanahan keep three QB’s?

5) I didn’t realize mailmen delivered on Sunday; around 5pm, a truck pulled up to the house next door. Can’t remember seeing that before, except maybe around Christmas.

4) Tyler Clippard is the first pitcher since Ted Abernathy in 1970 to save a game for three different teams in the same season.

3) Mets get minor league pitcher Jacob Rhame as Player to be Named Later in the Granderson trade; he was Dodgers #28 ranked prospect and should be up with the Mets next month; he is headed to the AAA Las Vegas 51’s for now.

2) RIP Jerry Lewis, 91, an actor/comedian who raised roughly $1.6B thru his Labor Day telethon to fight Muscular Dystrophy. Thats billion, with a B. He helped a lot of people. RIP, sir.

1) If the playoffs started today (they do not), they’d look like this:
AL: Boston-Cleveland-Houston. Wild Cards: New York/Angels or Twins
NL: Washington-Chicago-Los Angeles. Wild Cards: Arizona-Colorado

Sunday’s List of 13: Random stuff for a summer Sunday……..

13) Lot of major league umpires wore white wristbands Saturday to protest Ian Kinsler not being suspended after he verbally thrashed umpire Angel Hernandez earlier this week.

Earlier this month, umpire Joe West was suspended for three days, simply for saying that Adrian Beltre complained more than any other player.

The statement from MLB is clear; players matter more than umpires.

12) Mets’ game Friday night ended around midnight; Curtis Granderson was traded right after the game, and was in Detroit Saturday afternoon, batting 5th for the Dodgers in a game that started at 4:00. Joc Pederson was sent to AAA to make room for Granderson.

11) Is great to hear 82-year old Dick Enberg calling the Dodgers-Tigers games this weekend. One of the all-time great broadcasters, Mr Enberg called Padre games up until last season. To me, he is best-known for doing college basketball on NBC in the late 70’s/80’s.

10) Umpire Adam Hamari is from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan; he had the plate in Detroit Saturday, and had lot of family at the game. Do friends/relatives of umpires cheer loudly for good calls? Do they take grief if a call goes against the home team?

9) Giancarlo Stanton is the 4th big leaguer to hit 23 homers in a 35-game span; the other three were Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa.

8) Brooklyn Nets will play regular season games against the Thunder and Heat in Mexico City in December.

7) Detroit’s Justin Upton hit a homer Friday night; when he was between 2nd and 3rd base, he suddenly backtracked and went back to touch first base again, just to make sure he got it. Never saw that before If you miss first base, you dion’t even get credit for a hit, much less a homer, run scored and an RBI.

6) Tight end Nick O’Leary caught three passes for 50 yards for Buffalo Thursday night; the Florida State alum is the grandson of golfing great Jack Nicklaus.

5) Not only did Joc Pederson get sent to AAA, but San Diego sent RF Hunter Renfroe down to AAA El Paso— he was in an 8-for-64 skid at the time of his demotion.

4) 53-year old Davis Love III is three shots out of the lead after three rounds of the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina. Love’s son is also in the Wyndham field; the last time a golfer won a PGA Tour event when his son was in the field? Craig Stadler, at the 2003 BC Open.

3) Seattle Seahawks lost starting LT George Fant for the year with an ACL injury; Fant was a basketball player at Western Kentucky but had improved enough to become an NFL starter.

2) Donald Trump sent out a tweet Saturday where he spelled “heal” “heel”; he did it twice in the tweet so it wasn’t a typo. I’m just asking: whose job is it to tell him that he spelled the word wrong? Don’t think that is a job I’d want. His 11-year old kid should know the difference between heel and heal.

1) Former Boston Bruins’ coach/TSN hockey announcer Don Cherry sang Take Me Out to the Ballgame at Wrigley Field Saturday, dressed in a suit jacket, with, um……cherries on it. Cherry was a really good coach who is a complete character as a TV analyst.

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

13) Rashard Davis returned punts for the Eagles Thursday night; the free agent from James Madison was signed earlier this week.

Last Saturday, while the chaos in Charlottesville was going on, Davis was working as a waiter in a restaurant in Charlottesville near the park where the mayhem with the statue of Robert E Lee occurred. He was hiding from his boss in the restaurant as he took calls from his agent updating him on the Eagles’ deal.

One day you’re a waiter, the next day you’re playing ball on national TV. Pretty cool.

12) Something to think about when college football kicks off next weekend; only one of the last 19 national champs lost a non-conference game, Ohio State in 2014 (to Virginia Tech).

11) There were 345 replay reviews in the NFL last year, the fewest since 2009, and 70 less than in 2015.

10) 130 free agents changed teams in the NFL this offseason, also the fewest since 2009.

9) Bill Belichick’s coaching record: 263-125
Tom Brady won-loss record: 208-61
Belichick’s record without Brady: 55-64

8) Baltimore Ravens play in London in Week 3, but they don’t have the usual bye the next week- they host their rival, the Steelers. Ravens don’t have their bye until Week 10.

7) Penn State gave coach James Franklin a 6-year contract extension, worth $34.3M. Franklin is 25-15 at PSU, 14-11 in league games, 1-2 in bowl games; Nittany Lions were 11-3 last year.

6) Jacksonville kicker Jason Myers struggled in Thursday night’s loss to Tampa Bay, now they’re bringing in Dan Carpenter to compete with Myers. Maybe it is contagious; Jacksonville lost to the Buccaneers Thursday, who just fired their kicker last weekend.

5) Le’Veon Bell’s agent had an agreement with the Steelers on a contract back in mid-July, but Bell nixed the deal at the last minute. Not sure if that was a great move by him.

4) Arizona football coach Rich Rodriguez is being sued by his old agents for $230,250; he fired them a couple of years ago, but they say he didn’t pay them enough. Rodriguez agreed to pay them 10% of the money he made from CBS Sports Network, 4% of his money from Arizona.

Rodriguez is a good dude; I have no idea about this lawsuit, but when he left CBS to coach at Arizona, the crew at CBS left his chair empty for their first show without him, thats how much they thought of him.

3) During the Blue Jays-Cubs game Friday, the Cubs’ roving reporter interviewed hockey star Patrick Sharp, who was sitting in the stands. Sharp grew up rooting for the Jays, but he tried to be political saying which team he was rooting for.

2) Not the best week to be a statue, eh? Except for the home run sculpture in Miami, which Dade County says can’t be taken out of Marlins Park.

1) Some good news for Marlins’ fans; David Samson is out as team president. This is a guy who was president of a baseball team who went on Survivor during baseball season— he was the first person voted out on Survivor.

At one point, he was Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria’s stepson. Now the Marlins are rid of Loria and Samson, and they’re much better off.

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

13) Joey Votto recently reached base 2+ times in 20 consecutive games, one short of Ted Williams’ all-time record of 21; an underrated record. Votto’s on-base %age this year is .448— muy bueno.

12) Then why doesn’t Votto bat leadoff, with a .448 OB%? Isn’t that what leadoff hitters are supposed to do, get on base? Cincinnati bats fleet-footed Billy Hamilton 1st, but his on-base % is a woeful .298.

As my late father liked to say, “You can’t steal first base.”

11) Reds 13, Cubs 10— Jon Lester gave up nine runs in 1.2 IP, then left with a lat injury. Reds blew a 9-0 lead but rallied late for the win.

10) Our thoughts/prayers go out to the people in Barcelona, after the terrorist activity Thursday; basketball teams from Arizona-Clemson-Oregon State-Tulane are all in Spain right now.

Everyone on all four teams is safe and sound. They’ll be glad to get home.

Oregon State’s team was having dinner in the hotel when the terrorist activity happened, right in front of that hotel.

9) Atlanta Falcons’ new domed stadium has Chick-fil-A in it, but Chick-fil-A never opens on Sunday for religious reasons and the Falcons have only one non-Sunday home game this season.

8) Angels had Thursday off, in between series with Nationals/Orioles, so Mike Trout was in Philly last night to see his beloved Eagles play Buffalo.

7) Colorado has yo-yo’d OF Raimel Tapia up and down from AAA a lot this year; he is obviously major-league ready, but the Rockies don’t have a full-time slot for him right now.

Since going back to Albuquerque the last time August 12, Tapia is 12-21 (.571) for the Isotopes. He will be a starter in the major leagues next year, whether in Denver or somewhere else.

6) On July 23, 2013, Nicky Delmonico was traded from Baltimore to the Brewers for Francisco Rodriguez, in a deadline deal; in February 2015 he was released by Brewers.

Now he is hitting .396 in his first 54 plate appearances with the White Sox— he homered twice in LA Wednesday. He is only 25; sometimes it takes a while to become an overnight sensation.

5) Mets had catcher Travis d’Arnaud playing 3B Wednesday night, for the first time in his career; Asdrubal Cabrera and D’Arnaud swapped between 2B and 3B 23 times.

4) Oakland Raiders are 1-5 vs spread in their last six pre-bye games; they covered their last five post-bye games.

3) Last eight years, Minnesota Vikings are 8-0 vs spread in the game just before their bye; they’re 1-7 vs spread in the first game after their bye.

2) Colorado’s star 3B Nolan Arenado got hit on the hand by a batted ball yesterday and left the game; looked like the ball hit him in the same spot where he was hit by a pitch in Miami last weekend. Rockies need Arenado in the lineup and more importantly, in the field.

1) If you’re a fantasy football owner, what do you do with Ezekiel Elliott? Dallas has an early bye, so for fantasy purposes, Elliott’s 6-game suspension is really seven games, since he isn’t eligible to play until Week 8 against Washington. Most fantasy regular seasons are 13 games, right?