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

13) Victor Oladipo’s 3-pointer at the end of Game 7 of Pacers-Cavaliers didn’t help Indiana win the series (they lost Game 7 by 4) but it helped Pacer backers win their bets. Most sports books opened Game 7 with the Cavaliers as 6.5-point favorites and closed at either 5 or 5.5. 

“It was probably a swing of $3 million to $5 million in Nevada. These types of things happen five or more times a week in our industry, whether it’s a two-run home run to cover the run line in the bottom of the ninth or an empty-net goal in the last minute of an NHL game.”
Johnny Avello, head of race and sportsbook for the Wynn in Las Vegas

12) Review of 40 notable mock drafts by the Arizona Cardinals’ PR guy shows average of 1st round “hits” (right player/right team) was just 3/32; average of the previous five years was 4.2. 

For second straight year, NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah led these mock drafters with 8 hits.

11) Tough times for the Dodgers: Dodgers’ SS Corey Seager will have Tommy John surgery, is out for the season. Yasiel Puig is on the DL after getting hurt running into the wall in San Francisco Saturday. Rich Hill is on the DL with a cracked fingernail, which is a big deal if the nail is on your pitching hand. 

10) Manny Machado is making $16M this season and the Orioles are terrible; he’ll be a free agent after this season. Would the Dodgers trade for Machado to fill Seager’s spot? 

9) In 1983, Palace Station Casino in Las Vegas put up a 126-foot tall sign that contained 9,280 individual lamps; they started taking that sign down Monday, as part of a $192M project to modernize the Palace Station. Hopefully they keep the good Subway sub shop in their sportsbook. 

8) Veteran NBA player Ener Kanter said at the start of his N.B.A. career in 2011, he swore at referees, but exclusively in Turkish, his native tongue. He went his entire first season without referees calling a technical on him- he’s had 15 technicals since- “I should’ve stuck with Turkish,” was how Kanter described those.  

At the start of this year’s NBA postseason, 62 foreign-born players from 33 countries were on playoff rosters. 

7) Red Sox (Xander Bogaerts) hit their 6th grand slam of the season last night; 14 teams haven’t hit one yet this season. 

6) Leading money winners on the PGA Tour this season:
1) Justin Thomas $5,221,300 2) Bubba Watson $3,690,454 3) Patrick Reed $3,580,252

5) Leading money winners on the Senior Golf Tour this year:
1) Steve Stricker $630,235 2) Jerry Kelly $539,890 3) Vijay Singh $500,380

4) High school basketball star Romeo Lankford will stay close to home and go to Indiana this fall; the hoopla surrounding his announcement was ludicrous, with roughly 4,000 people in his high school gym for the event. 

Lankford is a 6-5 guard who was listed as the #6 HS prospect in this year’s class, but he was the best prospect who had to yet to commit. This is the first time since 2007 that the Hoosiers signed up the top-ranked senior from Indiana.

3) An authenticated signed Sandy Koufax jersey that he wore pitching for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956 was sold for $414,279 at a recent auction. 

2) Cubs 3, Rockies 2— Chicago won its last five games, allowing total of four runs. 

1— Guy named Joe Ganim is the mayor of Bridgeport, CT; never heard of him until just now, but he wants to enter the Democratic primary to be governor of Connecticut. He’s been elected mayor of Bridgeport five times, with a little break in between.

The “little break” in between was a 7-year federal prison sentence; from his Wikipedia page:

“On March 19, 2003, Ganim was convicted of 16 federal counts: one count each of racketeering, extortion, racketeering conspiracy and bribery; two counts of bribery conspiracy; eight counts of mail fraud and two counts of filing a false tax return.”

Would you vote for this guy to be governor of your state? Good grief. 

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

13) Lost in the Ravens taking QB Lamar Jackson in the draft this week is this:

It gets Baltimore completely off the hook for potentially signing Colin Kaepernick; Ravens have Joe Flacco, Robert Griffin III and Jackson- they don’t need another QB. 

12) In baseball, you can wager on teams to win series as opposed to games. Here are best and worst teams in series so far this season:

Best: Arizona 9-0, Red Sox 7-2, Mariners 6-1-2, Braves 6-1-2
Worst: Royals 0-6-3, Orioles 2-7, White Sox 1-7-1, Reds 2-6-1, Rangers 2-6-1

11) When Pablo Sandoval pitched an inning in the Giants’ 15-6 loss Saturday, he was the first position player to pitch for the Giants since 1991, when Greg Litton threw an inning vs Houston. 

10) Marlins 3, Rockies 0— Colorado went to Miami and scored two runs in three games against the sad sack Marlins. 

Cubs 2, Brewers 0— Milwaukee went 0-4 in Wrigley this week, scoring total of two runs. 

9) Philadelphia Eagles drafted Jordan Mailata, a 6-foot-8, 346-pound rugby star from Australia; he has no football experience, but is expected to play tackle. From the film I saw of him carrying the ball and running over rugby opponents, maybe he should play fullback. 

8) New England Patriots made seven trades this weekend; they’ve got six picks in the first three rounds of next year’s draft. 

7) Sprint and T-Mobile are going to merge, creating a wireless phone provider with 100M customers, second only to Verizon. The all-stock deal would combine Sprint, which has a market value of $26B, with T-Mobile, which has a market value of $55B, based on Friday’s closing prices. The two companies also have about $60B of combined debt.

6) Al Pedrique is the A’s first base coach this year; in 2007, he convinced the Astros to sign a second baseman from Venezuela. Kid named Altuve; you may have heard of him. 

5) Baseball players get hurt a lot:
— Padres’ RF Wil Myers pulled an oblique swinging the bat Saturday and is on the DL
— Arizona P Robbie Ray hurt his oblique pitching, left his start in 2nd inning.
— Miguel Cabrera (biceps) left Sunday’s game in the 5th inning.
— Yoenis Cespedes hurt his hand sliding into third base, left game in 3rd inning. 

4) Michigan’s football team had their spring practice in France; why? Who foots the bill for that? 

3) 123 underclassmen declared for the NFL Draft; 83 were drafted. 

2) I still don’t get why teams bat their pitcher 8th; haven’t seen one compelling argument for doing it, other than “Tony LaRussa did it.”

1) This year was Mel Kiper’s 35th NFL Draft on ESPN; the man knows his stuff. Not often one person stays in the same place for 35 years in the TV business. 

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

13) The Interweb has so many NFL mock drafts in the months before this weekend, you should know this: Of the 100 draft picks Thursday/Friday, 51 of those picks were traded before the pick was eventually used to select a player. 

Kind of hard to pinpoint who is going where when the picks get traded so much. 

12) Remember the Tom Cruise movie Jerry Maguire, when Cruise played a sports agent? The actor who played the GM of Arizona Cardinals was singer Glenn Frey of the Eagles. 

11) Alabama had 12 players taken in the this year’s draft; NC State/Ohio State were next, with 7 each. Seven players taken in one draft is an NC State record. 

10) Alabama punter JK Scott was drafted by Green Bay; his agent is Alexa Stabler, daughter of the late Hall of Fame QB/Alabama alum Ken Stabler.

9) This from an NFL source about LSU RB Derrius Guice, who the Redskins drafted:

”He got into an altercation at a meeting with the Eagles. He had several meetings where he came across lazy only wants to play video games. We caught a direct dishonesty from him in our meeting.”

Guice disputes that story, but apparently lot of teams believed it; he dropped to the 59th pick. 

8) White Sox 3B Matt Davidson has seven homers at Kauffman Stadium this season; thats the most by any visiting player EVER in one season at Kauffman Stadium, and it isn’t May yet. 

7) Thunder vs Utah with Carmelo Anthony on-court: 194 minutes, -58

Thunder vs Utah with Carmelo Anthony off-court: 94 minutes, +32

Sometimes life is simple. 

6) Arizona Diamondbacks won their first eight series this year, the first team since the 2001 Seattle Mariners to do that, and first NL team since the ’77 Dodgers. 

5) Earl Anthony was one of the best bowlers of all-time; turns out the lefty with a crew cut was once offered a $35,000 bonus to pitch in the Orioles farm system, but he turned them down. 

4) Utah Jazz PG Ricky Rubio strained his hamstring in the clinching win over Oklahoma City, and will be out 7-10 days, bad news for the Jazz as they take on the Houston Rockets. 

3) As I’m writing this, a teenager in a t-shirt and gym shorts just read the Packers’ draft pick. Don’t be afraid to get dressed up, son. You’re on national TV. 

2) Colts had four 2nd-round picks this year, first team since the ’09 Patriots to have four 2nd-round picks in the same draft.

1) Washington Nationals’ rookie manager Dave Martinez messed up Saturday; Arizona was going to send up PH Chris Owings in the top of the 10th inning in a 3-3 game, so Martinez went out and removed his lefty reliever so a righty could face Owings. One small problem…….

Martinez took the pitcher out before the pinch-hitter Owings was announced, so Arizona left the lefty batter Dyson in the game to face the righty reliever. A pitcher has to face one batter before he can be taken out; the pinch-hitter isn’t officially “in the game” until the PA announcer says his name over the PA system.

Owings walked and then the next batter walked and Arizona won 4-3. No bueno. 

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

13) Utah Jazz led Oklahoma City by 25 in Game 5 of their series before the Thunder came back and won Game 5 of their series. 

A guy in Las Vegas had $4,000 on the Thunder (-2.5); he tossed the ticket in the trash when Utah got up by 25, and he had to do some mad scrambling thru the garbage to get the ticket back after OKC stormed back for the win/cover. 

Luckily for him, a) the trash hadn’t been emptied and b) he found the ticket.

12) In the 6th inning Wednesday nite, Tampa Bay Rays put a lefty reliever named Jonny Venters in to face lefty slugger Chris Davis. No big deal; that stuff happens over and over all throughout baseball. Lefty vs lefty. One batter. Venters retired Davis on four pitches. 

But this was different; Venters hadn’t appeared in a major league game in six years, or 2,008 games; he was 15-10, 2.25 in 230 games for the Braves from 2010-12. 

Since then, Venters has had three Tommy John surgeries on his left elbow; the hours and hours of rehab he went through—- there had to be times he thought Wednesday night would never come, but now he is back in the major leagues. Good for him.

 11) Carolina Panthers took WR DJ Moore with the 24th pick Thursday night; the kid had 8 QB’s in his three years playing WR at Maryland. Eight QB’s in three years is an awful lot. 

Norv Turner is the Panthers’ new OC; Cam Newton will be a fascinating follow this season.

10) Eagles got an extra 2nd round pick in 2019 for dropping down 20 spots in this draft so the Ravens could take Lamar Jackson. 

9) Cal-Riverside has a new basketball coach (David Patrick); one of the Highlanders’ new assistant coaches is Mike Magpayo, who at one time was the CEO of a multimillion dollar real estate firm in SoCal. 

8) Seattle’s Jean Segura has come to bat with a man on 3rd base 10 times this season; he knocked that runner in all 10 times.

7) Players who have come to bat with most men on base this season (thru Thursday):
Khris Davis 94, Didi Gregorius 86, Giancarlo Stanton 85, Marcell Ozuna 84

6) Players who have driven in the highest %age of baserunners this season (min 50 PA):
Brad Miller 33.3%, David Peralta 32.4%, Preston Tucker 28.3%, Nick Ahmed, 27.8%

5) Portland Trailblazers had an excellent season, going 49-33, but now they’ve lost their last 10 playoff games so you hope it doesn’t cost coach Terry Stotts his job.

4) Dodgers/Kershaw were -$380 to beat the Marlins Wednesday night; they lost. Long time ago, I read something that said laying anything more than $-150 in baseball is a bad idea. Whether that is still true or not I’m not sure, but laying more than -$200 isn’t wise.

3) Miami Dolphins drafted TE Mike Gesicki in the 2nd round; for some reason. NFL Network showed highlights of Gesicki playing high school basketball— he scored over 1,800 points in HS, which is nice, but its a football draft. 

2) It is April 28 and national baseball writers are already speculating on where stars on struggling teams or small market teams will be traded to. As an A’s fan, few things make my blood boil as quickly as this, like Oakland, Tampa Bay and the Orioles are bleepin’ farm clubs for the %$#@& rich teams.

1) Umpire Will Little worked home plate in April 21’s Toronto-New York game, the 8th time in last four years Little has done the plate in a Bronx Bomber game. Here is how those games went:

2015
Bronx W5-2 @ Baltimore +$123 U9

Bronx W3-1 @ Seattle -$115 U7

2016
Bronx W6-3 vs Tampa Bay +$103 O8
Bronx W7-3 vs Kansas City -$130 O8

2017
Bronx W3-2 vs St Louis +$123, U8

Bronx W3-2 vs Oakland -$145, U9.5
Bronx W7-4 @ Baltimore +$121, O9.5

2018
Bronx W9-1 vs Toronto -$148, O9

8-0, outscoring opponents 43-18, and they were an underdog four times. Not going to say another bleeping word except this: if you were a big league manager, would you want Will Little umping the plate in a game against the Bronx Bombers?

Friday’s Den: Running diary of first two hours of NFL Draft

8:16: Cleveland Browns take Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield with the #1 pick in the draft; time will tell on all these picks, but my quick analysis is this— when we last watched actual college football games, no one had Mayfield in the top 10 picks. No one. 

Now all of a sudden, he is the #1 pick. The team that took Johnny Manziel took a guy who has a lot of similarities to Manziel. 

Cleveland is 2-41 in its last 43 games; they traded for Buffalo’s QB Tyrod Taylor this winter. How long before Mayfield gets to play for the Browns? 

8:21: Giants take Sequon Barkley and my godson, a huge Giants fan, isn’t happy— he wanted Big Blue to take Sam Darnold or trade out of the pick. 

Have to think the Giants could’ve gotten a boatload of picks from Buffalo to move out of this spot, but they didn’t. 

Is it possible that Eli Manning is the real GM of the Giants? They fired Ben McAdoo LY when he benched Eli for a game, after Eli had gotten Tom Coughlin fired the year before. Manning is a 37-year old QB who needs a better offensive line than he currently has. 

8:29: Jets and Giants didn’t use up much time; Jets grab QB Sam Darnold from USC. 

NFL Network has Deion Sanders doing player interviews; I can’t stand him, so it is off to ESPN, where they just had a package about how Darnold’s parents, grandfather and sister all played college sports. I’m sure the Jets drafted Darnold because his sister played volleyball at Rhode Island. 

Cleveland has had 28 different starting QB’s since 1999; that not good. 

8:36: With the second pick of the night, Cleveland takes Denzel Ward, a DB from Ohio State which means that QB’s Allen/Rosen are now sliding down the draft board, since Denver and the Colts don’t need a quarterback, and they have the next two picks. 

8:43: Broncos have to be happier than hell to get Bradley Chubb, the DE from NC State. No way did they think he would be available with the 5th pick. 

8:47: Colts take offensive lineman Quentin Nelson from Notre Dame; Andrew Luck will be a happy guy, but not often a guard is the #6 player in the draft. 

8:53: Finally, the Bills make a trade- they move up to the #7 pick. They take Josh Allen; he might be only kid in country where playing for Buffalo is a weather upgrade. 

Tampa Bay got two second round picks to drop down to #12; good haul for them. 

NFL Network’s Mike Mayock thinks Allen is a project; right now, AJ McCarron is the Buffalo QB, so the project will hit the field sooner than later. 

Allen and Carson Wentz had the same college coach; Craig Bohl, who won multiple I-AA national titles at North Dakota State. That had to help Allen here. 

9:01: Chicago Bears take Roquan Smith, a LB from Georgia; Bears’ defensive coordinator Vic Fangio got a hole-in-one playing golf Thursday, so that plus drafting Smith makes it a big day for Fangio.

49ers, Raiders are next on the clock and don’t need a QB; Josh Rosen can’t be having fun right now. 

9:04: 49ers take Notre Dame OT Mike McGlinchey; Fighting Irish had two offensive linemen taken in top nine picks- their OL coach has bolted and now works for the Bears, who didn’t take an offensive lineman. 

9:09: Arizona trades with Oakland to move up to #10; Carson Palmer retired and Sam Bradford is always hurt, so this has to be a quarterback, doesn’t it? 

Josh Rosen is an Arizona Cardinal, taken 10th; he is the 4th QB taken in the draft. Last time five QB’s were taken in the first round was 1999. It is good to play QB in a dome; eight home games indoors, plus at least two road games in California every year. 

Of course, the term “chip on his shoulder” got tossed around, since Rosen slipped out of the top five. 

9:18: Dolphins take S Minkah Fitzpatrick, as Nick Saban contributes a player to the team he used to coach. 

This is the 10th year in a row Alabama had a player taken in the first round of the draft. 

9:24: Tampa Bay takes Vita Vea, a defensive tackle from Washington. Bucs traded for Jason Pierre-Paul and drafted this guy, so they’re intent on improving their defense. 

Couple of guys on TV said Via has to work to control his weight so he’ll be more durable and have better stamina. 

9:31: Washington Redskins aren’t popular in Dallas, but they took Da’Ron Payne, a DT from Alabama. Having two of the top 13 players selected has to help your recruiting, right? 

Imagine how different college football would’ve been for the last decade if Nick Saban had won while coaching the Dolphins and stayed there? 

9:40: Saints traded next year’s #1 pick to move up from #27 to #14; they took DE Marcus Davenport from UTSA, after guys from NFL Network went on for five minutes about how great Lamar Jackson would be playing for the Saints. Whoops. 

They must really love Davenport, to trade a #1 pick to the Packers to move up. Saints DL coach Ryan Nielsen and UTSA coach Frank Wilson worked together at Ole Miss, so he must know. 

Green Bay now has two #1 picks next season. 

9:45: Oakland takes T Colton Miller, then Bills traded up to #16 to take Tremaine Edmunds a LB from Virginia Tech. 

9:56: Chargers get a steal with S Derwin James from Florida State; he was hurt a couple years ago when Showtime did their reality show on FSU football. Good kid; he’ll help them. 

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

13) Here are record of major league teams with best/worst records in games where winning run scores after the 6th inning: 

Best: Mets 8-2, Phillies 7-2, Blue Jays 6-2, Rockies 4-0
Worst: Bronx 0-5, Indians 1-5, Nationals 1-5, Padres 1-5

12) Mentioned yesterday how 181 college players declared early for an NBA Draft where only 60 players will be taken. Last year, 137 players declared early.

11) Thing is, if he didn’t hire an agent, the player who declares can go thru workouts, get an evaluation, then drop out of the draft if he isn’t  going to be drafted as high as he would like and go back to college— its a no-lose situation for the player, which is why lot of guys do it. 

10) In last five NFL Drafts, only three teams haven’t drafted a player who has made at least one Pro Bowl; Bills, Broncos, Colts. 

9) Braves called up prize prospect Ronald Acuna Tuesday night; he was 11 for his last 33 in AAA ball. 

8) When Marlins’ OF Cameron Maybin was a kid in Asheville, NC, he had an excellent summer job one year. He was batboy for the Asheville Tourists of the South Atlantic League, the same team Crash Davis wound up playing for at the end of the classic movie, Bull Durham.

7) Baltimore Orioles are off to an awful 6-17 start; their starting pitching is suspect, and it could be a long year at Camden Yards. Without starting pitching, you have no chance to compete. 

From 2013-16, Baltimore hurler Chris Tillman was 56-30 with a 3.62 ERA, a good pitcher. Things have changed. 

Since May 24, 2017, in 19 starts, Tillman is 0-11, 9.35. Is he hurt? Is he tipping his pitches? Something is amiss. 

6) Richmond Spiders had a QB named Kyle Lauletta, who may or may not be drafted tonight; watching some clips of him, one thing is very obvious; Richmond’s football team has great helmets- that spider logo looks tremendous on a helmet, either dark blue or white. 

5) Former Vikings’ coach Brad Childress will be head coach, Michael Vick offensive coordinator of the Atlanta team in the new AAF, a spring football league that starts next year. 

4) According to Ian O’Connor of ESPN.com, Josh Rosen went to the Manning Passing Academy in Louisiana in 2016 and did not make a favorable impression while there. 

Manning Passing Academy bills itself as “…..the premier offensive football skills camp in the nation for QBs, RBs, WRs, and TEs.”

Friend of mine’s son went there 15 or so years ago; former LSU/Patriots’ QB Tom Hodson was his camp counselor.

3) I have two friends who know more about football than any of my other friends; one says Josh Rosen is the best QB in the draft, the other says Baker Mayfield, so go figure. 

2) Clemson QB Deshaun Watson was the 12th pick in last year’s NFL Draft; I will predict right here that none of the QB’s in this year’s draft will be as good as Watson. Teams messed up last year when they dismissed Watson. 

1) President Macron of France is 39 years old; his wife just turned 65. 

When Macron was 15, he was a student and Brigitte Trogneux was a 40-year old teacher at La Providence, a private school in Amiens, northern France. At the time, she was married with three kids. 

In this country, the scandalous affair that followed would have been serious trouble for Ms Trogneaux, who is now Mrs Macron. Not so in France. 

In today’s world, it is just another day, another weird day.

Friday’s List of 13: Quick thoughts on the 2018 NFL schedule

Thoughts/comments on the NFL schedule release:
13) Week 1 Monday night doubleheader: Jets @ Lions, then Rams @ Raiders. 

Super Bowl champion Eagles open on Thursday Sept 6 at home against Atlanta. 

12) NFL went traditional rival-heavy for its Thanksgiving Day slate: Chicago-Detroit; Washington-Dallas; Atlanta-New Orleans. Good set of games. 

This is third year in row the Redskins play on Thanksgiving Day.

11) Only four divisional games in Week 1, which is a good idea. Every game in Week 17 is a divisional game. 

10) There is a Week 16 Monday night game on Christmas Eve; Broncos @ Raiders. 

9) A sign the NFL doesn’t think you’re good: Miami Dolphins have a Week 8 Thursday night game in Houston- their other 15 games appear to be 1:00 Sunday games. If you NEVER play a 4:25 Sunday game, the league office isn’t too optimistic about your chances. 

8) Rams-Chiefs in Mexico City on Monday night, November 19. Bye week the next week for both teams, which is weird but good for the team, having a bye week over Thanksgiving. 

7) Chargers visit Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Denver in December, three potential cold weather games. Rams go to Chicago December 9, which will probably be a cruddy weather day. 

6) Three teams have the unenviable “3 road games in 3 weeks” scenario:
— Ravens go to Pittsburgh-Cleveland-Tennessee in weeks 4-6
— Rams go to Seattle-Denver-San Francisco in weeks 5-7
— Saints go to Dallas-Tampa Bay-Carolina in weeks 13-15, but the Week 13 game is a Thursday game so they’ll have extra rest in there before the Bucs’ game.

11 teams have three home games in a row. 

5) For first time since 2009, Bears open the season at Lambeau Field against the Packers, in the Week 1 Sunday night game. 

4) Giants play four road games in domes, which at first glance is most in the league. 

3) Speaking of domes, Lions/Saints both play three road games in domes, giving them only five outdoor games apiece this season. 

2) In next few days, Las Vegas oddsmakers will have spreads for every game thru Week 16. Season over/under win totals don’t come out until after next week’s draft.

1) Here are the Week 1 NFL spreads from the Westgate SuperBook:

Falcons @ Philadelphia (-3.5, 47.5)
Steelers (-7, 48) @ Cleveland
49ers @ Minnesota (-4.5, 47.5)
Bengals @ Indianapolis (-1, 47.5)
Bills @ Ravens (-3.5, 42)
Jaguars (-4, 44.5) @ Giants
Buccaneers @ New Orleans (-7.5, 52.5)
Texans @ New England (-7, 51)
Titans (-2.5, 47) @ Miami
Chiefs @ LA Chargers (-3, 48.5)
Seahawks @ Denver (-2.5, 42)
Cowboys @ Carolina (-2.5, 45)
Redskins @ Arizona (-1, 45)
Bears @ Green Bay (-9, 48.5)
Jets @ Detroit (-6, 44)
Rams (even, 49.5) @ Oakland 

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

13) One of the basic truths of life: Baseball players get hurt a lot. Season started with 113 players on the disabled list, little less than four players per team. 

12) There were 925 sacrifice bunts in the major leagues LY, fewest of any season since 1900. 

11) When Ichiro Suzuki gets inducted into the Hall of Fame someday, it’ll a proud day for retired P Ryan Vogelsong. Ichiro was 0-15 in his career against Vogelsong. 

10) New England now has four of the first 63 picks in the NFL Draft in three weeks. This is the first time since 1998 the Patriots have two 1st-round picks and two 2nd-round picks in a draft.

9) 80-year old Jim Harrick, who won a national title at UCLA in 1995, will be on Mark Gottfried’s staff at Cal-Northridge next winter. Gottfried was an assistant on that UCLA staff in ’95, with Lorenzo Romar and Steve Lavin. 

8) Most NCAA tournament wins since 2000:
Kansas 49, North Carolina 48, Duke 46, Mich State/Kentucky 42

7) Dodgers pitchers allowed 8 bases-loaded walks all of last season; they issued three in the 7th inning alone Tuesday night in Arizona. 

6) They had the par-3 tournament at Augusta National Wednesday; guys can have whoever they want caddy for them, and Jack Nicklaus had one of his grandsons caddy for him. They let the caddies hit a few shots, and the 15-year old grandson gets a hole-in-one, his first ever. Wow. 

5) Pro golfer Tony Finau also got a hole-in-one Wednesday, but he dislocated his ankle while he was celebrating the ace. He put the ankle back in place and finished his round. Was odd to see; he just reached down and put the ankle back in place. 

4) Thursday, Baltimore Ravens’ GM/coach Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh will be questioned under oath as part of the Colin Kaepernick collusion grievance. 

Wednesday, the Ravens gave QB Robert Griffin III a one-year, $1M contract for 2018. 

Maybe I watch too many movies, but I’m thinking this isn’t a coincidence. 

3) College basketball coaching carousel:
— St Peter’s coach John Donne stays in the MAAC, but moves to Marist.
— Rhode Island promoted assistant David Cox to head coach.
— East Carolina signed Florida Gulf Coast coach Joe Dooley as its new coach.
— South Dakota hired Grand Canyon assistant Todd Lee as its new coach.  

2) Cardinals led off Tuesday’s game with back/back homers off of Chase Anderson; last time the Redbirds started a game that way was when Curt Flood and Gene Freese led off with home runs off a guy named Sandy Koufax, on August 17, 1958. 

1— Colorado Rockies gave Charlie Blackmon a 6-year, $108M contract, so he is staying in the friendly confines of Coors Field and will never, ever get traded in our fantasy league.

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

13) Rams traded 1st and 6th-round draft picks to New England Tuesday for WR Brandin Cooks and a 4th-round pick. Two things about this:

a) I no longer have to worry about the Rams trading for Odell Beckham
b) Rams still have eight draft picks, but only one of their original picks- four of those eight picks are in the 6th round. Their first pick right now will be the 87th selection. 

12) This means all those geniuses who do a mock draft every 36 hours get to do more of them, since the #23 pick moves to the Patriots. Still 22 days until the draft. 

11) Louisville QB Lamar Jackson is being advised by his mother instead of by an agent. No one knows what this means exactly, since the mom is a private person and hasn’t said much. Will be curious to see if an agent is hired once a team drafts him, and negotiations for a contract begin. 

One thing, for sure; Lamar Jackson is going to play QB, and only QB. 

10) This was the 4th time in last five years the college basketball national champ went 6-0 vs spread in its NCAA tournament games.

9) This is a little hard to believe, but they said on TV Monday night that Padres’ reliever Adam Cimber is first the major leaguer ever to wear number 90. 

8) Arizona 8, Dodgers 7 (15)— This game ended at 3:26am Tuesday morning; had the game gone to the 16th inning, both teams would’ve used position players to pitch.

7) Two pitchers have already been removed from games this season with a no-hitter going: Minnesota’s Kyle Gibson Saturday in Baltimore, Pirates’ Trevor Williams Sunday in Detroit. 

6) A’s drew only 7,416 fans for their home game with Texas Monday night, their smallest home crowd since 2003. Oy. 

A’s drew 9,157 fans last night on Free Parking Tuesday, which doesn’t seem like a big promotion until you realize they charge $30 to park a car in Oakland. 

5) There were 144 hitters last year who got enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title; 89 of them hit 20+ home runs, which means 61.8% of hitters who qualified for the batting title hit 20+ homers. In 2014, that number was 32%.

4) Number of times a pitcher went thru the opponent’s whole lineup three times in a game:
2017    1,196 (39.9 per team, out of 162 games)
2016    1,405
2015    1,670
2014    1,906

Unless the guy is an ace or really rolling that night, starting pitchers aren’t allowed to go thru the lineup three times anymore. 

3) Rhode Island Rams were apparently going to hire Rick Pitino as their new basketball coach, until the school president put the kibosh on that. Now what? 

2) San Diego 3B Christian Villanueva was 0-4 for the season before Tuesday; he hit three homers for the Padres last night in their win over Colorado.

1— Brewers 5, Cardinals 4— Christian Yelich tied game with a dramatic two-out HR in the 9th, then Ryan Braun won it with a walk-off tater. 

This was the first game in MLB history where the first two batters of the game homered, and also the last two.

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

13) I wrote this here last month but it bears repeating; former UCLA coach Jim Mora coached QB Josh Rosen for three years, and he said on NFL Network that if he was the Browns, he’d take Sam Darnold with the first pick, not Rosen. 

Now Mora just got fired, so there is an interesting story or three there, but still. Can you ever, in the history of the world, remember a coach throwing his former player under the bus like this? 

12) “He needs to be challenged intellectually so he doesn’t get bored.” Mora talking about Rosen. 

I’ve heard this about Rosen before, that he quit playing youth tennis because he got bored with winning so much. You think Tom Brady gets bored with winning?? Nah, me neither. 

11) Mora also said no GM has called him to talk about Rosen, which seems strange. NFL teams do a ridiculous amount of research on prospects— you don’t talk to his college coach? 

10) Philip Rivers better not get hurt; Chargers signed Geno Smith as his backup- he’ll join Cardale Jones on the Chargers’ bench. Like I said, Rivers better not get hurt.

9) Since Bartolo Colon made his big league debut, 17 of the 30 major league teams have gotten new home ballparks. 

8) Houston’s Marwin Gonzalez and Milwaukee’s Hernan Perez were only two players LY with 10+ starts at five different positions. 

7) Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban was in a scene in Showtime’s Billions Sunday night; not a very tough role— he played himself, but have to give him credit— he nailed it. 

6) Solid discovery today in my local supermarket- they sell Dr Brown’s soda, which is usually only sold in delis. Got some black cherry and cream soda— that goes very well with the excellent sandwiches at the Carnegie Deli in the Mirage Casino in Las Vegas, but they’ll have to do for now with whatever I have to eat here at home. 

5) Roof was open at Marlins Park Monday nite, will be open again tonight, weather permitting, making it six nights in a row the roof in Miami will be open. Last year, in 78 h0me games, Miami had the roof open only six times. 

4) Reds 1, Cubs 0— Chicago is 2-3 to start the season; they’ve scored a total of one run in the three losses. Cubs have struck out 58 times in five games, an NL record for any team in their first five games. 

3) Villanova 79, Michigan 62— Wolverines were 3-15 from floor in last 11:00 of first half, when this game was decided. DiVicenzo is Villanova’s 3rd-leading scorer but doesn’t start- he took this game over, scoring 18 in first half, 31 for the game. 

This was first year the Super Bowl champ and NCAA basketball champ came from the same city. 

2) This was the first national title game since the Magic-Bird final in 1979 with only one McDonald’s All-American playing in it. Just goes to show you that high school ratings can be very misleading. 

1— The golf pool on this site starts this week with The Masters— if you’d like to get in, you pick three guys a week, can only use the same guy once a year. 18 tournament, then a 4-week playoff for the eight people who make it. 

Schedule is on the golf page on this site— e-mail me at ffib13@gmail.com if you’re interested. 

Monday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a quiet Easter Sunday

13) Toronto 7, New York 4— My biggest problem with the analytics movement is that is goes out of its way to diminish the manager’s role in how a team is run. Can’t do it.

In this game, New York led 4-3 in bottom of 8th; Toronto had men on 2nd/3rd with two out and Josh Donaldson (3-8 with 2 HR’s off Robertson) up. Justin Smoak (0-5 vs Robertson) was on deck; he had homered in his previous AB. What do you do?

Aaron Boone decides to walk Donaldson intentionally. Smoak hits a grand slam. Welcome to the big leagues, Aaron Boone. Being a TV announcer is a lot easier.

12) There are two basketball Hall of Fames; the Naismith Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, in Kansas City.

There is at least one glaring omission from the College Hall of Fame: Jerry Tarkanian.

Tarkanian went 706-198 in his coaching career, won the 1990 national title at UNLV, made two other Final Fours. For him not be in the Hall of Fame (he is in the Naismith HOF) makes the College HOF look stupid.

11) Some people will cite Tark’s battles with the NCAA as a reason to keep him out, to which I say this: Eddie Sutton, who was inducted into the College Hall of Fame in 2011.

From Sutton’s Wikipedia page: “The NCAA announced at the end of the season that its investigation into the basketball program had found the school guilty of violating numerous NCAA policies.[8] The NCAA deemed the violations so egregious that it seriously considered hitting the Wildcats with the “death penalty”, which would have shut down the entire basketball program (as opposed to simply being banned from postseason play) for up to two years.”

There is no valid reason for Jerry Tarkanian not to be in the College Hall of Fame.

10) One more thing on the College Hall of Fame: Norm Stewart is a 2007 inductee, but he never made a Final Four, went 8-8 in first round tournament games. Seriously?

9) When you see coaches at mid-majors getting fired these days after short coaching tenures, keep in mind that in the mid-90’s, Jay Wright went 31-51 in his first three years as Hofstra’s coach. Things turned out pretty well for him— he went 91-34 his last four years at Hofstra, before moving on to bigger and better things at Villanova.

8) This is first time since 2004 that team spending on baseball players’ salaries will decline from the year before.

7) Average major league payroll this season: $137,610,491.

6) As expected, Xavier promoted assistant Travis Steele to head coach to replace Chris Mack, who jumped ship to Louisville.

5) Of the 31 players who have 3,000 career hits, Ichiro Suzuki was 3+ years older than anyone else on the list when he got his first major league hit.

4) A Sarasota, FL homeowner found a surprise visitor in his swimming pool Friday night – an 11-foot alligator floating in the water. The gator began swimming away as it struggled to avoid capture. A deputy managed to drag the gator out of the pool with the help of a trapper.

3) If you had the White Sox as being the last American League unbeaten this season, you win!!!

2) Last Big 14 team to win the national title in basketball? Michigan State, in 2000.

1— Villanova took 40 3-pointers Saturday, only 25 2-pointers; wouldn’t be surprised if they move the college 3-point line back to where the FIBA line is.