Sunday’s List of 13; Happy Canada Day, everyone!!!!

13) Modern baseball; Friday night in Oakland, the Indians brought in lefty Oliver Perez to face a lefty hitter with a man on second. Predictably, the A’s sent up a righty hitter instead and Terry Francona ordered the righty hitter intentionally walked. 

With another righty up next, Francona took Perez out and brought a righty in, creating the unique situation where a pitcher is removed from the game without throwing a pitch or even a pickoff throw— technically, the intentional walk counts as a batter faced. 

12) As the owner of a fantasy baseball team, I try and find players wherever/whenever; Marlins brought up a pitcher named Pablo Lopez to make his MLB debut Saturday. 

Lopez starts the game by striking out Brandon Nimmo on three pitches; I scramble to get to MILB.com to look up his minor league history. Before I find his page, Jose Bautista homers to left field, then Michael Conforto gets a hit. My enthusiasm wanes. 

11) Lopez is 22 years old. looks like he was rushed to the majors; this was his first season in AA, and he was really good, going 1-2, 0.62 in eight starts in the AA Southern League. 

So the Marlins promoted him to AAA and he was 1-1, 3.38 in four starts there. 62.1 IP above A ball is a little bit fast to get to the big leagues. 

Lopez wound up throwing six innings, allowing only two solo homers; a solid debut for the kid. 

10) Hunter Wendelstedt umpired the plate at Wrigley Field Saturday; not to say it was hot in Chicago, but he umpired with a wet towel draped around his neck. Never saw that before, but it seems like it was the smart thing to do. 

9) Astros are 10-15 in one-run games, 45-15 in their other games.
Mariners are 25-11 in one-run games, 28-20 in their other games. 

8) Kansas City Royals are 13-15 vs lefty starting pitchers, 12-42 vs righty starters.
Toronto Blue Jays are 11-21 vs lefty starters, 28-22 vs righthanders. 

7) Enes Kanter has played seven years in the NBA, scoring 11.7 ppg; last three years, he scored 12.7, 14.3, 14.1 ppg, all while playing 21.0, 21.3, 25.8 mpg. 

Kanter has earned $72,889,846 in his NBA career, will tack on an additional $18,622,514 this coming season. In his last two seasons with the Thunder (2015-16, 20-16-17), he started one freaking game!!! 

Kanter shot at least 54.5% from the floor the last four years. He must be a good teammate. 

6) Colorado Rockies called up OF Raimel Tapia, optioned their Opening Day starting pitcher Jon Gray, to AAA Albuquerque. Tapia is a leadoff-type hitter; will they give him a chance to play every day? Hope so, I’ve had him stashed on my fantasy team for three years now. 

5) Star pitchers Jacob deGrom and Corey Kluber both played college baseball at Stetson.

deGrom played shortstop his first two years for the Hatters; he hit .243 and .258, then added pitching to his resume, going 4-5, 4.48 in 17 games (82.1 IP), while hitting .263. He pitched one inning in those first two seasons.

4) Mets’ TV guy Gary Cohen is very good at calling games and he wants the Mets to win but he is fair and questions why certain things happen. 

Mets have a 22-year old 1B named Dominic Smith who hasn’t started the last three games against righty starters, even though Smith bats lefty. Cohen openly asked on the air why Smith wasn’t starting— “If he isn’t starting, then why is he here?” 

You don’t get stuff like that on most local baseball broadcasts. 

Smith is hitting .203 in his first 230 major league PA; he went to Juniper Serra HS in California, same high school that Tom Brady and Barry Bonds went to. 

3) Lakers’ G Lonzo Ball has a torn meniscus in his left knee, is expected to be ready for the start of training camp in September. 

2) Reds’ pitcher Michael Lorenzen homered again Saturday, now has three pinch-hit HRs in his career. The only other pitcher to do that in the last 60 years: Gary Peters, who hit four from 1964-71, playing in the pre-DH era for the White Sox, Red Sox.

1) Happy Canada Day to all our friends north of the border!!!

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

13) Jimmy Garoppolo’s salary cap hit this season is $37M, highest in NFL; next-highest cap hit is Lions’ QB Matthew Stafford, at $26.5M. Tom Brady’s? $22M. 

12) Dak Prescott’s cap hit is the lowest among QB’s, at $725,848. 

11) Back in 1985, the highest-paid baseball player was Mike Schmidt ($2,130,000); these days, the Red Sox have a utility guy named Brock Holt who makes $2,225,000. 

10) Boston acquired OF/DH Steve Pearce from the Blue Jays, giving Toronto a Class A shortstop in exchange. Pearce is 5-15 with two HR’s vs Masahiro Tanaka, 8-27 vs CC Sabathia. 

He batted cleanup in his Boston debut and went 2-4 with a double. 

9) Nolan Arenado has homered 10 times in the first inning this year, most in MLB. 

8) From 2013-15, Michigan State’s football team was +46 in turnovers; they went 36-5 in those three years. 

Last two years, Spartans are -2 in turnovers, going 13-12.

7) Maryland Terrapins have an offensive line with 105 returning starts, so they’ll have a lot of experience, but the Terps are on their fourth OL coach in four years. Kids have heard a lot of different voices in their careers. 

6) Marlins 8, Mets 2— Miami is 27-29 when JT Realmuto starts, 6-21 when he does not.

5) Bryce Harper is a free agent after the season; coming into Friday’s game, he is batting .188 in June, with 6 RBI in 95 PA. He is hitting .220 for the season, after hitting .319 LY. Unless he has a big second half of the season, it is going to be an interesting (and expensive??) winter for Harper and his agent. 

Harper homered in the Nationals’ rout of Philly Friday night, knocking in three runs. 

4) Tim Tebow made it to the AA Eastern League All-Star Game; 30-year old Tebow is batting .261 with five homers, 30 RBI. Not a lot of 30-year olds in the Eastern League. 

3) Las Vegas Summer League starts next Friday; Miami Heat’s team might have a small home court edge, with three former UNLV Rebels on their roster. Derrick Jones Jr, Ike Nwamu and Rashad Vaughn will all suit up for the Heat next month. 

Indiana Pacers have three UCLA guys on their team; Bryce Alford, Aaron Holiday and TJ Leaf. 

2) Arizona Diamondbacks went 18-7 in April, 8-19 in May and are 19-8 in June.

stats.com points out that Arizona joins the 1893 Pirates, 1956 White Sox as the only teams ever to go 10+ games over .500, 10+ games under .500 and 10+ games over .500 in three straight months.

1) All this stuff going on with Justice Kennedy, his son the banker and the current state of affairs in Washington DC, probably has people who write movie scripts relaxing in their offices, sipping cool drinks while taking notes off of CNN, with their feet up on their desks. These movies and their sequels will write themselves. 

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

13) Jeez, some people are never satisfied; there was an article on the Interweb this week, criticizing John Calipari because he’s only won one national title in his coaching career. 

He’s been a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament six times, made the Final Four four of those six years, lost in the Elite Eight the other two years. He made the Final Four three times from UMass/Memphis; how have those teams done since he left? 

12) In 2014, he led Kentucky to the national title game as a freakin’ #8-seed, and some jackass is criticizing him? Wow. 

11) 55 of 351 Division I basketball jobs changed hands since the end of last season; former LSU coach Johnny Jones is the new coach at Texas Southern, replacing Mike Davis, who moved on to Detroit. Texas Southern played every non-conference game on the road last year, so Jones ain’t going to have much fun between Veterans’ Day and Christmas. 

10) Was watching the 1993 movie The Firm the other night; last time I saw it was in a theater 25 years ago. What a great cast this movie has:

— Tom Cruise, Gene Hackman, Hal Holbrook, Wilford Brimley
— Ed Harris, Holly Hunter and Gary Busey
— Terry Kinney and David Strathairn, who are both in Billions now, 25 years later.
— Paul Sorvino and Steven Hill, the original DA on Law and Order. 

9) The Firm was the first of the John Grisham books that was turned into a movie. I’ve read most of his books but not all of them. Usually try to read one on the Albany/Las Vegas flights on my vacations. Think The Rooster Bar is next one I’ll read. 

8) NHL star John Tavares is a free agent; if he signs for $11M/year, it would be worth, after taxes, $5.9M/year in Dallas and Tampa, $5.2M in NYC, $4.8M/year in San Jose and $4.5M/year in Toronto.

You wonder how often stuff like that comes into play in free agent decisions.

7) Wendell Carter got picked 7th by the Chicago Bulls in the NBA Draft; he’s going to be a very rich young man as soon as he signs his contract/endorsement deals, but his mother still went public with complaints against Mike Krzyzewski because Duke also recruited Marvin Bagley without consulting the Carter family about it. 

From everything I read, Mrs Carter is a very bright woman, but she also said this, complaining that her son wasn’t the focal point of Duke’s team:

“In college, you have no voice. It’s a system set up that they drop you in and tell you what to do—you be a rebounder, shot-blocker, you take all the shots, nobody else can shoot. My child never got to show his full set of skills. He never got to do that.”

For the love of God, he is the #7 pick in the NBA Draft; Bagley was #2- they’re both going to be really rich. How much did Duke’s coaches have to do with that? Impossible to tell, but they sure as hell didn’t hurt the two young men any. 

Takes a lot of onions for a parent to complain when their son is profiting handsomely. 

6) Joey Votto has been ejected eight times in his career; four of those were in the 1st inning. 

5) New Vikings’ QB Kirk Cousins is going to wind up making just under $127M over a five-year span, not bad for a guy with a career playoff record of 0-1. 

4) We read a lot of cruddy things about celebrities, then there is this from the Washington Post: 

“NFL veterans Josh Norman and Demario Davis picked up toys and book bags Wednesday at a San Antonio Walmart to pass out to immigrant children who were released from detention centers.” 

Good for them. 

3) Baseball injury happenings:
— Brewers’ OF Christian Yelich (sore back) left the game in Cincinnati in the first inning Thursday.
— Astros put SS Carlos Correa (back) on the DL. 

2) Mariners 4, Orioles 2 (11)— Seattle swept a four-game series in Camden Yards, scoring winning run in all four games from the 7th inning on. Orioles’ season has been a nightmare. 

1) Happy birthday to the great Mel Brooks, who turned 92 Thursday; this true comic genius had the first cellphone, in the old 60’s TV show Get Smart, when secret agent Maxwell Smart had a phone in his shoe. Mr Brooks still does voiceovers for movies now and then. 

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

13) Best records of teams in games where winning run scored from 7th inning on: 

Mariners 19-10, A’s 18-9, Brewers 14-7, Cubs 14-7, Blue Jays 16-10

12) Worst records of teams in games where winning run scored from 7th inning on:

White Sox 7-14, Indians 7-14, Orioles 5-12, Royals 6-10, Marlins 8-14. 

11) Want to be an NBA-level shooter? 

Saw a thing on Twitter Wednesday that said how Sacramento Kings’ G Buddy Hield tries to get between 300-500 shots a day outside of practice. When he feels off, he’ll push himself into the 500-700 range. It takes a lot of work to be a really good shooter. 

10) Detroit Tigers fired pitching coach Chris Bosio Wednesday for making “insensitive comments”, but didn’t elaborate on what the comments were. 

From the Detroit News: “…….the move to fire Bosio was both a shock to a team that had come to rely inordinately on his expertise and his psychological skill with Tigers pitchers…….He was astoundingly popular with Tigers pitchers, and of extreme importance to Gardenhire.”

9) NBA extended commissioner Adam Silver’s contract through the 2023-24 season. 

8) Red Sox 9, Angels 6– Red Sox had won their first four games with the Angels this year, outscoring them 36-4. Now it is 45-10. 

7) Javier Baez hit a grand slam in LA Tuesday night; it was the Cubs’ first grand slam at Dodger Stadium since Bill Madlock hit one on August 28, 1974 off of Don Sutton- those are the Cubs’ only two grand slams ever in Chavez Ravine. 

6) The brother of New York Giants CB Janoris Jenkins was arrested and charged Wednesday with manslaughter in the death of a 25-year-man whose body was found in the NFL player’s New Jersey home. The deceased was thought to be living in the house, while Janoris Jenkins was spending his offseason in Florida. 

5) Miami Marlins are bringing up their best pitching prospect Sandy Alcantara to start against the Mets Friday. 22-year old Alcantara is 5-3, 3.71 in 14 starts for AAA New Orleans this season. 

4) In his first 33 starts for the Mets, Jose Bautista has already batted in every spot in the batting order, except for 9th.

3) Angels’ 3B Zack Cozart is having surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder; he is expected to miss the rest of the season.

2) Washington Nationals in Max Scherzer’s last four starts (0-3, 2.33): 

L0-2, L0-2, W4-2, L0-1. Not a lot of run support there. 

1) Ian Happ of the Cubs homered on the first pitch thrown in the major leagues this season, only second time that has ever happened. Dwight Evans also did it, in 1986. 

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

13) If you care about such things, the over/under for number of hot dogs Joey Chestnut eats at the Nathan’s contest in Brooklyn July 4 is 68.5 (over -$175).

12) Rays 1, Nationals 0— Sergio Romo struck out Michael Taylor for last out, then yelled at him from in front of the mound. Both benches emptied, nothing happened, but have some class. 

Washington played on Sunday night at home, got to Tampa at 5am Monday, got shut out on Monday night, then played a noon game Tuesday, was shut out again. Not great scheduling.

11) LA Clippers are trading guard Austin Rivers to the Washington Wizards for center Marcin Gortat; LA coach Doc Rivers can’t be thrilled that his team traded his son.

LA trading for Gortat could foreshadow DeAndre Jordan being sent elsewhere. 

Clippers have training camp in Hawai’i, by the way. Must be brutal. 

10) Once the Raiders’ domed stadium is finished in 2020, there might be two bowl games instead of one in Las Vegas each December. 

9) First three times Jose Altuve batted Tuesday, he walked on four pitches all three times, and none of them were intentional. 

Yuli Gurriel batted behind Altuve; the first three times he batted, he saw four pitches total. 

8) Fenway Park is only AL ballpark that Mike Trout hasn’t homered in. 

7) It rained in Milwaukee last night, but the Royals-Brewers game was played, in front of 34,412 fans. Good thing they put a retractable roof on Miller Park, unlike Minnesota, which needed a roof maybe more than Milwaukee does. 

6) Baseball injury doings:
— Cubs put 3B Kris Bryant (shoulder) on DL
— A’s put Daniel Mengden (foot) on DL.
— Rangers put 1B Ronald Guzman (concussion) on 7-day DL
— Braves P Anibal Sanchez left in the 5th inning with an injury. 

5) Stewart Cink finished T2 at the Hartford Open last week; he is back in the world’s top 100 rankings for the first time since September 2011.

4) A dead body was found in a walk-in freezer at Suntrust Park in Atlanta where the Braves play. The dead person was a third party contractor found by another person who works for that company. 

Yikes. 

3) Matt Harvey pitched in Atlanta last night; first time he batted, Atlanta organist played “New York, New York” as his walk-up music. Harvey used to pitch for the Mets. 

Organist played Eddie Murphy’s ‘Party All the Time’ before Harvey’s next at-bat. Mets traded Harvey because his, um…..off-field activities affected his on-field play. 

2) For some reason, I keep getting ESPN the Magazine in the mail; don’t pay for it, don’t want it, there isn’t lot of good info in it, but they just keep sending it. Whatever. 

1) Get well soon Sandy Alderson, who is on a leave of absence from the Mets because of health concerns. Hope he is 100% healthy soon. 

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

13) Good discussion on strategy during the interesting Phils-Nationals game Sunday night; Phillies walked 19-year old Juan Soto to load bases with two out, with Daniel Murphy coming up next. Alex Rodriguez said he wouldn’t have done that. ARod gives opinions before the fact and that makes him fun to listen to. 

Its a gray area, since Soto has been hitting really well and Murphy just recently returned from a long injury absence, but Murphy has a long history as a terrific hitter. Plus if you walk Soto the bases are loaded, which puts more pressure on the pitcher.  

Sure enough, Murphy gets a hit, the Nationals go on to win, but it is part of what makes baseball so interesting; we’ll never know what Soto would’ve done had they chosen to pitch to him. 

12) James Harden won MVP in the NBA; Victor Oladipo won Most Improved Player and Ben Simmons won Rookie of the Year. 

11) This is a funny tweet from Rachel Harper- I have no idea who she is, but…….

“For the past two years the ticket man at my station has baffled me. Some days we get on like a house on fire, chatting about life. Other days he won’t even return a hello…turns out to be a pair of identical twins who both work there…….

TWO SEPERATE MEN.

TWO YEARS GUYS.”

10) Oklahoma football coach Lincoln Riley has a new contract worth $5M a year; in his first year as coach of the Sooners, they were 1st first nationally in total yards (8,114), yards per play (8.29), touchdowns (80), yards per game (579.6) and averaged 5.6 yards per rushing attempt.

TheMMQB.com has an interesting article with Riley this week, about how NFL coaches are going to Norman to pick Riley’s brain about how the Sooners do things. 

The NFL has become more like college ball, in part because NFL coaches now have less time to work with players in the offseason, much like how college coaches are limited (20 hours a week) during the season. 

9) Los Angeles Rams have a financial literacy program every rookie has to finish before signing his first contract and getting his first check. They help the players prepare for the all new things they’re about to experience, both good and bad. 

Rams’ CEO Kevin Demoff’s dad was Marvin Demoff, a really good player agent back in the day, so he knows the pitfalls of what can happen if a player’s personal life gets messed up. Also, it is different living in an entertainment center like Los Angeles; lot more opportunities. 

8) When Sam Darnold fell to the Jets with the 3rd pick in the NFL draft in April, their people were so happy they wanted to put the card in right away, but for TV purposes, the NFL made them stretch it out for the whole 15:00, before Darnold was announced as the Jets’ pick. 

Jets’ GM Mike Maccagnan took five scouting trips to see Darnold play live in 2017, and VP of player personnel Brian Heimerdinger spent 17 nights in Los Angeles during the season, doing his due diligence on Darnold. Lot of grunt work in scouting. 

7) A Jets’ scout’s report marked Baker Mayfield a perfect 9—exceedingly uncommon—as a teammate, leader and worker, but gave him lower grades elsewhere. 

6) This past week was Week 12 of our fantasy baseball season; with three weeks til the All-Star break, it is kind of the dog days of baseball, especially for bad teams. 

Surprised me that the three bottom teams in our fantasy league all won this past week; that doesn’t happen much. Competitive league, lot of close games. Makes it more fun. 

5) Denver Nuggets and star Nikola Jokic agreed on a 5-year, $146.5M maximum contract. 

4) Turns out the Chargers would’ve wanted Lamar Jackson to play some WR had they drafted him, and there was no way he would agree to that, which is part of why he wouldn’t run the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine. 

I think when we see the Ravens play this fall, if he doesn’t start, Jackson will get on the field for some trick plays, lining up at WR but he’ll throw the ball off of end-arounds and stuff like that. Ravens are smart enough to call it “two QB’s on field at once” not “Lamar playing WR.”

3) Ilya Kovalchuk signed a 3-year, $18M deal with the LA Kings; he is 35, and hasn’t played in the NHL since 2013. In the last five seasons, no NHL player over age 35 has scored more than 30 goals in a season. 

2) Congrats to Detroit Tigers Leonys Martin and Jose Iglesias, who are now American citizens. Good for them!!! 

1) RIP to Richard Harrison, “Old Man” on the Pawn Stars TV show, who passed away Monday after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease.

Rick Harrison, owner of the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop that is featured on Pawn Stars, said this: “He was my hero and I was fortunate to get a very cool ‘Old Man’ as my dad. He lived a very full life and through the History television show ‘Pawn Stars’ touched the lives of people all over, teaching them the value of loving your family, hard work and humor.”

RIP, sir. 

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

13) If you have Showtime on your TV, there is an interesting documentary about tennis called Love Means Zero, about tennis coach Nick Bolleteri and his dealings with famous players. I’m not a big tennis fan, but the stories they tell are pretty interesting.  

12) Maybe 15 years ago, I disappeared for several days for my summer vacation and just hung out at a place with a nice pool and sat in the shade and read college football magazines and decompressed for a few days, just relaxing and doing as little as possible. 

One day, I’m sitting in the shade and this couple comes by the pool and gets in the water- they start talking, making no effort to hide their conversation from me. It was quickly obvious that they were not married or dating. 

11) The guy is a tennis coach and he is trying to convince the woman to have her daughter uproot her life and transfer to a tennis academy in Florida. The daughter had just finished 9th grade and apparently was a very good player, and this guy is giving his A-1 recruiting pitch to this lady for her and the daughter to move from upstate New York to Florida. 

Then the daughter shows up at the pool; she had been hitting tennis balls against the board on the courts behind the hotel. She is 5-10 or 5-11 and she could’ve been a model, but she is only 15 or 16 years old- she looked older. 

10) You could almost see the dollar signs rolling up in the eyeballs of the tennis coach, like a freakin’ slot machine; if this young lady became a tennis star, she’d be a big star, both on and off the court. She would be a winning lottery ticket, one with very long legs. 

This whole thing lasted about 35-40 minutes, and then they were gone. Always wonder what the mother decided to do and how the young lady’s life is going now. 

9) Mets’ 1B prospect Peter Alonso hit three homers, knocked in seven runs in only his 7th game for AAA Las Vegas. He hit .314 with 52 RBI in the AA Eastern League before being promoted. He is 23 and played in college for the Florida Gators. 

8) Jerry Blevins made 532 relief appearances in the majors before finally starting a game Sunday for the Mets, when Jason Vargas went on the DL. Last time Blevins had started a game was for Peoria in the Class A Midwest League in 2005. 

First two batters Blevins faced Sunday both homered; he is the 2nd pitcher since 1900 to give up back/back homers to the first two hitters in his first MLB start. 

Other guy was Don Hendrickson of the 1945 Boston Braves; he pitched all nine innings that day, winning 13-8. Blevins lasted two innings yesterday. 

7) A’s will start Edwin Jackson on the mound this week, making Oakland the 13th major league team Jackson has pitched for, which ties a major league record (Octavio Dotel).

6) Odd stat from Jason McCallum: In Chris Sale’s last six starts, Red Sox offense went 7-60 (.117) and scored 1 run in innings 1-3. The one run scored on a homer by Mookie Betts. 

5) San Diego Padres’ team bus didn’t show up at their hotel Sunday morning, so the team rode a double-decker tour bus to their game against the Giants.. 

4) The 2019 NFL Draft will be in Nashville; the NBA should start moving its draft around the country, the way the NHL, NFL does. Excellent idea. 

3) In 1917, Red Sox pitcher Ernie Shore threw a no-hitter after relieving starter Babe Ruth, who punched the umpire when he started the game by walking the first batter. 

2) Term of the Day: “mentally reboot”
Mets are benching SS Amed Rosario for a couple days, so he can “mentally reboot”, according to Mickey Callaway. 

Wish I had thought of that one back in my working days; would’ve been awesome to call in sick, saying I needed to mentally reboot. 🙂

1) Dodgers 8, Mets 7 (11)— LA’s first five hits of the day were all solo home runs.

First three runs Mets scored were all by guys who reached base getting hit by a pitch.

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

13) Best wishes to former NBA great Nate (Tiny) Archibald, who recently had a heart transplant. Archibald led the NBA in scoring AND assists in 1972-73, while playing for the Kings. 

12) Angels have $127M+ tied up in these eight players this year: Trout, Pujols, Upton, Cozart, Kinsler, Simmons, Calhoun, Valbuena. 

None of them pitch. 

11) Orioles-Braves played 15 innings Friday night; one of interesting things about games like that means that someone is going to the minor leagues after the game, because they’ll need fresh arms to replenish the bullpen. 

Atlanta sent OF Preston Tucker down Saturday morning, brought P Lucas Sims up.

10) Does pitching in Denver affect visiting pitchers? Visiting pitchers who pitch at Coors Field,  in their next start, their teams are 19-9, over is 16-10-2. 

9) Rory McIlroy was on the first tee at Hartford yesterday, and just as he was about to tee off, a squirrel ran through the tee box. McIlroy started over, then hit his tee shot into the trees. 

8) Tigers-Royals will play a game in Omaha, NE June 3, 2019, just before the College World Series starts in Omaha- the Royals’ AAA team plays there. 

7) Mets are 19-18 with Yoenis Cespedes in the lineup, 12-25 without him. He’s played in half their games this season, which obviously is not good. 

6) Celtics drafted Robert Williams from Texas A&M, who had an “immaturity” knock against him in scouting reports. But the Celtics picked him, and then Williams overslept the conference call with the Boston media the next morning. No bueno. 

5) Villanova had four players taken in the NBA Draft, and the guy who was National Player of the Year in college last year was the only one of the four taken in the second round. 

4) Shin-Soo Choo of the Texas Rangers has reached base in 36 consecutive games, longest active streak in the major leagues. 

3) Phillies’ 1B Carlos Santana is 2-17 in his career against Washington reliever Kelvin Herrera, but both of the hits were home runs, including one on Saturday. 

2) Kid named Randy Cesar has a 40-game hitting streak going for the Corpus Christi Hooks, AA affiliate of the Astros. Granted it is in the hitter-friendly Texas League, but that is still a damn good hitting streak.

1) One of my favorite baseball movies, Bull Durham, opened in theaters 30 years ago this week. Time flies. 

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

13) NBA Summer League is coming up on July 6; the games are in Las Vegas, and you can bet on them. Caution is advised. 

Few years ago, I’m at the Summer League in Cox Pavilion at UNLV and I’m sitting behind a guy who looks like a bodybuilder. Minnesota-Cleveland game is about to begin, and this fellow has bet on the Timberwolves. He is telling his buddy how Minnesota won easily the day before and how they should crush the Cavaliers in this game. 

12) One small problem; Minnesota had 17 or 18 guys on its roster; the 8 or 9 who played the day before, when they won big, weren’t the 8 or 9 who were playing in this game. Cleveland wins by 8 or 10 points, which reminded me of Oscar Madison’s great quote from The Odd Couple: 

“There is no such thing as a sure thing. Thats why they call it gambling.”

11) Colorado Rockies set an unenviable major league record by allowing 8+ runs in nine straight home games, a streak that ended Thursday. 

10) Chad Bettis is having a bad season; he has a 9.69 RA in his last five starts, a 5.23 ERA for the season, but if you bet on the Rockies in the first 5 innings of all his starts, you would be 13-1-1. 

Colorado is 9-6 in all his starts; over is 7-6-2; their bullpen has been lousy in his starts. 

9) The new sports book at the Borgata in Atlantic City, NJ got really good reviews on covers.com. 

Sadly, here in New York State, our politicians have dragged their feet, so it looks like that there may not be any legal sports betting here until 2019. They’re losing a lot of money, since people will drive to New Jersey and spend their money in restaurants/bars in the Garden State.

8) NBA isn’t the only place for aspiring pro hoopers; guy named Malcolm Thomas, who used to play for San Diego State, is making $1.2M a year playing over in Russia. 

7) Jameis Winston is making $705,000 this year, so his 3-game suspension will cost him 17.6% of that, or $124,080. Doubtful he will appeal, because if he did and it stretched out into 2019, then it could get way more expensive. 

Winston will make $20.4M in 2019; 17.6% of that is $3,590,400. You do the math. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick is Tampa Bay’s backup QB, by the way. He is 48-70-1 as an NFL starter, 2-1 with Tampa Bay last year. He’s played for seven different NFL teams. 

6) Baseball’s All-Star break is a week later than usual this year, which means the NBA Summer League doesn’t coincide with the four days without baseball. That not good. 

5) Barry Trotz is the 7th NHL coach to leave his team right after winning the Stanley Cup, most of any sport. Only one of those seven teams repeated as champ with their new coach, and that was after the first coach was diagnosed with brain cancer. 

4) It is good to know people: ESPN has an NBA reporter named Brian Windhorst; his mom was Lebron James’ grade school Math teacher. 

3) Birmingham, AL has a team in the new AAF; they’re only city that had teams in the WFL, USFL, WLAF, and XFL.

Here are the eight cities that will have teams in the AAF, a spring football league starting next year: Atlanta, Birmingham, Memphis, Orlando. Phoenix, Salt Lake City, San Antonio, San Diego.

2) NFL referee Gene Steratore is retiring and will likely land at CBS as a rules analyst- he worked the Super Bowl in February, so good time for him to move on. Wonder if he will keep refereeing big-time college basketball games. 

1) In their last 17 series, San Diego Padres are 1-16 in series openers, 25-10 in other games. 

Friday’s Den: Running Diary of the 1st round of the NBA Draft…….

7:25: Before the NBA Draft, some NFL news. Bucs’ QB James Winston will be suspended for three games, for something that happened with an Uber drive in Arizona two years ago. 

Buccaneers open at New Orleans, then the Eagles/Steelers come to Tampa Bay. Not great to play those teams without your starting QB. 

Winston had character-related issues in college, too. This isn’t good for him or the Bucs or the NFL or coach Dirk Koetter, who needs a good season to keep his job. 

7:30: NBA Draft is in Brooklyn; they need to do what the NHL/NFL do now and move the draft around the country, get out of New York City. 

Commissioner Adam Silver is one of my heroes; a tall, bald man with glasses who has a great job and does it very well, but stop with the opening statement. Drafts get over-hyped; need to see teams picking players as soon as possible. 

7:35: Jay Bilas has already questioned Deandre Ayton’s “motor” which means he doesn’t try hard all the time. Good Lord, that bothers me, if you spend your #1 pick on someone who is often lethargic. Effort should never be an issue. 

Anyway, the Phoenix Suns take Ayton, whose Arizona team got plastered by Buffalo in the first round of the NCAA tournament. I picked Arizona, but I’m not bitter at all. 

ESPN has Chauncey Billups (good) and Bilas (annoying) as its analysts, Rece Davis (very good) as its host. Billups compares Ayton to Joel Embiid. Davis points out that Ayton is the 9th straight college freshman to be the first pick in the draft. 

7:44: Marvin Bagley III goes #2 to Sacramento. Bilas downplays Bagley’s defensive liabilities, but Duke played a 2-3 zone almost all of last season. Go figure. Billups compares Bagley to Chris Bosh. Bagley is happy to be in Sacramento, which is refreshing. 

Duke had a player picked in the top 3 in the last five NBA Drafts, which is a record. 

NBA saved me lot of money by putting four patches on the right side of each team’s hats which they’re selling on the Interweb. I’m not a fan of a lot of junk on the hats I buy, so this saves me a decent amount of money, because the front of the hats are nice. 

7:48: Worst part of the NBA Draft is they don’t announce the trades as they happen, which is stupid and misleading. Atlanta Hawks take Luka Doncic but ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski says he is being traded to Dallas, with the Hawks winding up with Trae Young. 

7:55: Memphis takes Jaren Jackson Jr, whose mother is Director of Player Ops for the WNBA. At first, Jackson said he didn’t want to play for Memphis, but I’m sure he won’t mind being paid by Memphis. Billups compares him to Joakim Noah.  

Jackson’s dad played 13 years in the NBA; his first eight years in the NBA, he played for a different team every year. 

8:00: Dallas takes Trae Young, who will be traded to Atlanta. ESPN ruined Young’s season at Oklahoma by over-hyping him a sickening amount and putting a huge target on his back. The Hawks get a 2019 first-round pick from Dallas in addition to the Young/Doncic swap. 

8:08: Orlando takes Mo Bamba with the #6 pick; he has a 7-foot-10 wingspan, the longest wingspan ever recorded at the NBA Combine. Bilas says he needs to get a lot stronger. 

They showed video recently of Bamba making ton of 3-pointers in a workout, but he shot 27.5% behind the arc at Texas last year, so we’ll see. The NBA 3-point shot is longer than college. 

NHL Draft is Friday; it’ll be different than this draft. Not better, not worse. Different. 

8:13: Bulls won their fewest games in 14 years this year; they take Wendell Carter, a center from Duke. Carter could’ve gone to Harvard had he wanted to; he is a good shooter, but again, Duke played a ton of 2-3 zone last year, so will defense be an issue, especially on pick/roll? Billups compares him to Carlos Boozer. 

8:18: Cavaliers take Alabama PG Collin Sexton, who Billups compares to Eric Bledsoe. Kid is highly competitive, but Cleveland might be a sad place to watch basketball for a few years, with Lebron James expected to skip town. 

8:24: Knicks missed the playoffs the last five years; why does ESPN have to show Spike Lee before their draft pick? New York takes Kevin Knox, another Kentucky player. John Calipari’s recruiting has to get easier and easier with every year all his guys go in the 1st round. 

Knox played quarterback in high school, which hints at leadership qualities.

8:30— 76ers take Mikal Bridges, a 4-year player who played on two national title teams with Villanova. He is 6-7 wth a 7-2 wingspan; Billups compares him to Nicolas Batum of the Hornets. 

Bridges’ mother is VP of Human Resources with the 76ers. 

8:37: Charlotte Hornets take a Canadian PG and another Kentucky player, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who reminds Billups of Michael Carter-Williams, but the kid will be traded to the Clippers. I’d rather live in LA than Charlotte anyway, but no one asked me. 

He shot 40.4% on the arc and 82% on the foul line, both good things, and he didn’t start early last season- he earned his way into the starting lineup. 

ESPN has an international scouting guy named Mike Schmitz on; he says Gilgeous-Alexander was the best guard in the draft. 

8:43: Clippers draft Miles Bridges, who will be traded to the Hornets. Bridges would’ve been a high draft pick LY; Billups compares him to Shawn Marion, a pretty big compliment. 

Clippers gave Charlotte two future 2nd-round picks to swap the 11th and 12th picks. 

8:48: University of Buffalo’s social media people posted this on Twitter: 

“Congrats to @DeandreAyton on being selected #1 overall in the #NBADraft by the @Suns! We hope your @NBA career starts better than your college one ended”

Wow. Ayton’s college career ended with an ugly loss to Buffalo. 

8:50: NBA Lottery started in 1985; Boston College’s Jerome Robinson is the Eagles’ first player ever taken in the lottery— Clippers took him at #13. John Bagley was the 12th pick in the ’82 Draft, taken by Cleveland. 

Tonight is June 21; on July 6, the NBA Summer League begins in Las Vegas, so these kids who get drafted will be fighting for jobs in 16 short days, against other kids who didn’t get drafted and veterans who’ve played in the NBA before, or are fighting to get there. Very competitive. 

8:54: Denver owner Stan Kroenke’s son Josh started for Missouri’s hoop team 15 or so years ago; if they don’t take Michael Porter Jr, who the hell will?

8:58: Nuggets draft Porter; their trainer should ask for a raise. Billups compares him to Kevin Durant, which is a total insult to Durant. Porter played three college games, and one of them was for two whole minutes. He is more suspect than prospect. 

In totally unrelated news, Flava Flav threw out the first pitch at the Richmond Flying Squirrels game tonight. Squirrels are the AA affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. They had 6,117 fans in Richmond, for a game that was shortened by rain. 

9:06: Washington Wizards take Oregon alum Troy Brown, who I think is a Las Vegas kid and is considered a versatile player. Billups compares him to Andre Iguodala. 

There is a guy sitting next to Arizona coach Sean Miller who has the shiniest bald head I’ve ever seen. As a bald man myself, just don’t have the energy to do that day after day, keep my head totally slick. Plus I’d look like Mr Potato Head if I did that, so no thanks. 

9:14: Zhaire Smith played one year at Texas Tech; the Suns drafted him, but he’s getting traded to the 76ers for Mikal Bridges, which puts the kibosh on Mrs Bridges’ happiness from 45 minutes ago. Smith wasn’t an ESPN top 100 recruit coming out of high school- it is rare for a player like that to be drafted so high. 

9:22: Milwaukee Bucks take Donte DiVincenzo, who started only 10 of Villanova’s 40 games LY, but he played starter’s minutes (29.7 mpg), scoring 13.4 ppg, making 40.1% on the arc, in his only season of college ball. 

He scored 31 points in the national championship game, but anytime I hear a kid raised his draft stock in the Combine, it bothers me. Billups compares him to Tyler Johnson. 

Random fact; over half the players in the NBA (53%) have played in the G-League. 

Talk about draft/trades in the NBA; on June 24, 1998, Dirk Nowitzki was traded by Bucks with Pat Garrity to the Mavericks for Robert Traylor. How did that work out? 

9:29: San Antonio Spurs drafted G Lonnie Walker from Miami, FL, who has had knee issues and also has ballhandling/defensive issues, but he can score. Spurs’ coaches will develop him. Not many kids who go to high school in Reading, PA go to college in Miami. 

9:34: Atlanta Hawks take a kid from the Albany area, Kevin Huerter from Maryland. Huerter’s dad and brother play/played for Siena College; Kevin is an excellent shooter; good luck to the young man. I was surprised when he came out of school, but shooters are always in demand. 

People have too much money: LeBron James’ jersey from Game 1 of the 2018 NBA Finals just closed on @NBAAUCTIONS to a winning bid of $100,322. Oy. 

9:42: Minnesota takes Josh Okogie, a guard from Georgia Tech. Bilas says his man asset is that “…..he plays his tail off all the time.” No wingspan, no upside, he just tries hard. There are worse things someone can say about you. 

Budweiser just ran a commercial with John Starks, the old Knicks’ guard who talks about being undrafted, then fighting to make it in the NBA. Damn good commercial. 

Starks played 13 years in the NBA, scored over 10,800 points. 

9:46: Utah drafts Grayson Allen; Jazz are coached by Duke alum Quin Snyder. Now I have to watch all of Utah’s summer league games to see if someone kicks Allen’s ass. He got away with being a dirty player in college because Coach K sheltered him, but now he is out on his own. We’ll see how that works out. 

9:51: Chicago Bulls take Chandler Hutchison from Boise State. He is the first Boise player drafted since 1999, which should help their recruiting. Billups compares him to Kyle Kuzma. 

OK, I have Madison Bumgarner on my fantasy baseball team and he’s pitching in a few minutes, so time to grab some food and watch that game. Hope you enjoyed this…….

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

13) OK, so minor leagues and major leagues use different baseballs. Why? 

Brewers’ TV guy Brian Anderson was saying Tuesday night how some minor league pitchers carry major league baseballs around with them, and when they throw in between starts, they use the major league baseballs, so when they get called up, the adjustment is minimal.  

12) Was told recently that it looks like the Oakland A’s AAA affiliate will be moving to the new ballpark in Las Vegas next season (actually in Summerlin). Mets bought the Syracuse Chiefs, so their AAA team is moving there, Word has it the Nationals’ AAA team will be moving to Nashville. 

11) Looks like the CFL will be adding a 10th team soon, in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Having an odd number of teams in a league has to be a logistical nightmare. 

10) On ESPN Sunday night, Alex Rodriguez was talking about former Seattle teammate Edgar Martinez, about how Martinez would do drills to improve his vision before games- he claimed it helped him see the ball better. Edgar was a hell of a hitter, so the drills must’ve worked 

9) Mets had only three healthy outfielders, so they’re playing 1B Dom Smith in LF for the time being. Smith is not America’s finest athlete; playing the spacious LF in Denver ain’t easy. 

8) When you blow the lead in the 9th inning, don’t compound your mistake by punching the door or wall in the clubhouse and breaking your hand. Thats what Giants’ reliever Hunter Strickland did Monday night, now he is out at least two months. 

7) St Louis Cardinals haven’t made the playoffs since 2015; last time they missed playoffs three years in a row was 1997-99. 

6) Jaren Jackson and Mo Bamba have told the Memphis Grizzlies, who have the #4 pick, not to draft them. This is a big problem for the NBA; there are some teams none of these guys want to play for. Everyone wants to be on the Warriors, Rockets or play in LA. Hell, Kyrie Irving didn’t want to be Lebron’s teammate. 

When the Spurs were winning their titles, most of their players were foreign-born. Not a coincidence, either. 

5) Former NFL referee Jeff Triplette is joining ESPN as a rules analyst. Triplette is the ref who once threw a penalty flag, hit a Browns’ player in the eye and cost the guy three years of his career with the damage done to his eye. 

4) Kentucky lands graduate transfer Reid Travis from Stanford. He scored 19 ppg and grabbed 8.7 rebounds a game LY. Wildcats have a bunch of freshmen coming in, as always; two of them are kids who should be high school seniors but re-classified to the Class of 2018. 

3) The son of former Rams’ CB LeRoy Irvin will play college football at Washington; he will wear number 29 in honor of the great running back Eric Dickerson. 

2) A’s 12, Padres 4— Oakland hit back/back homers in consecutive innings for the first time since 1997, when Canseco-McGwire/Stairs-Canseco did it against Milwaukee. 

Ironically, Matt Stairs is now San Diego’s hitting coach. 

1) You can’t make this stuff up: Cubs’ closer Brandon Morrow went on the DL when he hurt his back putting on a pair of pants. I’m 58 but am still pretty nimble when getting dressed.

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

13) Since 2009, Alabama has been an underdog once in 125 games; in 2015, Bama was a 1-point underdog at Georgia. Alabama hammered the Dawgs 38-10 that day. 

12) Over last decade, Texas A&M is 14-22-2 vs spread as an underdog; average total in their last five bowl games is 79.6. 

11) Since 2010, LSU is 14-7 vs spread coming off a straight-up loss; since 2012, they’re 22-28-1 vs spread coming off a win.  

10) Ole Miss is 17-8 vs spread in its last 25 games as road underdogs; favorites covered their last five bowl games, only one of which was decided by less than 14 points. 

9) Since Urban Meyer bolted Florida eight years ago, Florida is 12-19-1 vs spread coming off a loss. Over last decade, Gators are 2-5 as home dogs, 7-10-1 as road dogs, 15-8 as road favorites. 

8) Last three years, South Carolina is +23 in turnovers; underdogs covered their last four bowl games. In two years under Muschamp, Gamecocks are 11-5 vs spread in SEC games. 

7) Auburn lost four of its last five bowl games, allowing 34+ points in all four losses. Since 2009, Auburn is 12-6 as a home underdog. 

6) Arkansas hasn’t covered as a road favorite since 2010; they’re 0-5 since then. Razorbacks are 9-15-1 vs spread the last two years.

5) Kentucky lost its last four bowls; their last bowl win was in 2008. Last two years, Wildcats are 2-9 vs spread when favored. 

4) Tennessee is on its 5th coach in 11 years, not counting interim coaches; last two years, Vols were 1-6-1 vs spread as an underdog, 3-12-1 vs spread in SEC games. 

3) Vanderbilt was 1-7 vs spread in SEC games LY, ending a 6-year streak where Commodores went 5-3 vs spread in SEC tilts every year. Vandy QB Kyle Shurmur is the son of Giants’ coach Pat Shurmur. 

2) Since 2009, Ohio State is 9-1 vs spread as an underdog. 

1— Over last decade, Michigan is 16-31 vs spread in road games. Wolverines lost four of their last five bowl games. Last four years, Michigan is -17 in turnovers. 

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

13) Some odd baseball trivia yesterday, in Washington DC. 

On May 15, New York-Washington had a game suspended in the 6th inning; it was finished Monday. On May 20, Nationals’ rookie Juan Soto made his MLB debut. 

So Monday, in the completion of the suspended May 15 game, Soto homered, making him a player who homered in a game that was started five days before his MLB debut. Go figure. 

12) Soto is really good, by the way; he is hitting .316 in his first 79 at-bats as a rookie. 

11) Nationals acquired closer Kelvin Herrera from the Royals Monday for three minor leaguers, one of whom is a 24-year old who hasn’t even made AA ball yet.

10) Washington Capitals won their first Stanley Cup in their 45-year history this season, so of course, their coach quit Monday.

In four seasons under Barry Trotz, the Capitals were 205-89-34, the best record in the NHL. A two-year contract extension that had been negotiated previously was on the table if they won the Cup, but it was only a $300K raise per year and Trotz wanted the pot sweetened-  obviously it was not. Everyone loses here. 

I’m guessing Trotz wil be a hot commodity in the coaching free agent derby. Right now, the only NHL team without a head coach is the New York Islanders.

9) Keith Hernandez on TV in the 4th inning of the Mets-Rockies game last night: “I’ve never seen so much in-game coaching in my life.” 

He didn’t seem real happy about it, but players get to the major leagues faster now than they used to and they still need coaching when they get there. 

8) Nevada Wolf Pack hired Michael Musselman, the son of Nevada basketball coach Eric Musselman, as a graduate assistant. 

Eric Musselman: “I’m really excited to add Michael to our coaching staff. He will provide high energy and a great work ethic to our coaching staff. I was very fortunate to work for my father at a young age and the opportunity to work with my son is something that is very special.”

Eric Mussselman’s dad Bill was coach at U of Minnesota and also in the NBA. 

7) Pirates and Mariners have both won four 1-0 games this year, most in major leagues. 

There were 29 games last year that ended 1-0; so far this year, there have been 30. 

6) Pretty serious upgrade for the Carolina Panthers, going from Mike Shula to Norv Turner at offensive coordinator. Panthers will be an interesting team to follow this fall. Turner has a great reputation as an offensive guru; how will he mesh with Cam Newton? 

5) Unintended consequence of the immigration crackdown: “Avocado farmers in Santa Barbara County, (CA) are currently struggling to find workers.” 

So if the price of avocados goes way up, you know who to blame…….

4) There are two guys in professional baseball named Josh Smith; they both pitch for the Pawtucket Red Sox, Boston’s AAA farm club.

On Saturday, one of the Josh Smiths started for the Sox; on Sunday, the other one did. 

3) Red Sox are 13-1 in Eduardo Rodriguez’ starts this season.

2) Cleveland Cavaliers dumped two of their assistant coaches; read into that what you will. 

1) Umpire Tony Randazzo is a tough guy; he took a foul tip off the knuckles on his left hand last night, then took another foul ball off his collarbone. Both direct hits- they had to hurt like hell, but he stayed in the game. Tough. 

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

13) Brooks Koepka is first guy since Curtis Strange in 1988-89 to win the US Open two years in a row; he has only one other Tour win, the 2015 Phoenix Open. 

12) Rangers 13, Rockies 12— Horrendous pitching in this game; Colorado closer Davis walked four guys in 0.1 IP, then gave up the game-winning single to a 3rd-string catcher as Texas scored four times in the ninth inning for the comeback win. 

11) Single-season record for most home runs by a team is 264, set by the 1997 Mariners. That record could easily fall this year. 

10) Rookie QB Chris Streveler started for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers this week; he is the first rookie QB straight out of college to start a Week 1 CFL game since 1994, when Anthony Calvillo did it in 1994, playing for the Las Vegas Posse. 

Yes, for a while in the 90’s, the CFL had teams in America; I think Baltimore won a CFL title. 

Calvillo is now a CFL Hall of Famer. 

9) Read on the Interweb this week that the country of Iceland has roughly the same amount of people as Santa Ana, CA. 

Only thing I know about Iceland is that when Bobby Fischer played Boris Spassky for the world chess championship in the early 70’s, it was held in Iceland, in a town called Reykjavík, and I had to look up that spelling. Long way to go to play chess. 

8) Giancarlo Stanton’s OPS in his nine-year career:
2010: .833, 2011: .893, 2012: .969, 2013: .845, 2014: .950, 2015: .952

Then the last three years: 2016: .815, 2017: 1.005, 2018: .798

He used to get hurt a lot, now he just seems unsure at the plate; too much film study? 

7) Keith Hernandez was saying on TV last week that if he was still playing, he couldn’t do the all the film work that modern players do, as far as studying pitchers. Ron Darling came out and said that if a player now doesn’t want to do it, he is viewed as a malcontent by the team. 

6) Giants 4, Dodgers 1— Giants scored five runs in their first six games at Dodger Stadium this season, but salvaged the last game of this series. 

5) Kelly Johnson is the only ballplayer who played for all five AL East teams. 

4) Go to Deadspin’s Twitter account and find the GIF of the fan at the Montreal-BC Lions CFL game Saturday who ran on the field during the game. A defensive back on the Lions absolutely crushed the guy, laid him out. I’m sure when he sobered up, it hurt like hell.

3) In top of 8th inning in Milwaukee Sunday, a Brewers reliever named Adrian Houser was puking his guts out behind the mound. Somehow, he finished the inning. He looked like Jamie Foxx in Any Given Sunday, when the backup QB barfed on the field before he started to play. 

2) Most greeting cards sold, by holiday:
1) Christmas 2) Valentine’s Day 3) Mother’s Day 4) Father’s Day

1) NBA Draft is Thursday, so that’ll be in the news a lot. Most interesting player in the draft is probably Slovenian Luka Doncic. He is a 19-year old wing who played for Real Madrid in the EuroLeague this past season. ESPN’s Seth Greenberg tweeted Sunday that he is a better passer than Lonzo Ball, as well as a better shooter .

His description of Doncic: “ a bigger Lonzo Ball with jumper, a better feel for reading ballscreens and the toughness of a grown man.”

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

13) Seattle Mariners are 23-10 in one-run games this season, which means………
a) They’ve gotten the most out of their team up to this point.
b) It will be difficult to sustain this level of winning; a slide could happen.

12) Marlins 5, Orioles 4— In their last 18 games, Baltimore is 2-0 against the Mets, 0-16 against everyone else. Orioles are the third team since 2000 to reach 50 losses before 20 wins in a season (’03 Tigers, ’10 Orioles).

11) When a major league ballplayer reaches eight years of service time, he gets a gold pass, which is a lifetime pass for two to any major league game. 

10) Mike Bibby is 40 years old now; he played 14 years in the NBA, where he averaged 14.7 ppg in his career. 

Current pictures of Bibby surfaced on Twitter this week; he looks like a bodybuilder or a WWE wrestler now. He last played in the NBA six years ago. 

9) Milwaukee Brewers have newly-acquired Brad Miller playing shortstop at AAA Colorado Springs; it figures that he could become the Brewers’ shortstop fairly soon. 

8) Middle Tennessee State has had a really good basketball team the last few years, but with coach Kermit Davis off to Ole Miss, the Blue Raiders had a rough week. Two of their best returnees transferred out, and they threw two other kids off the team. 

7) Obscure trivia: Detroit Tigers played in the World Series in both 1968 and 1984. Only six players played against Detroit in both those seasons: Reggie Jackson, Rod Carew, Tommy John, Rollie Fingers, Tom Burgmeier and Graig Nettles. 

6) Sounds like high school basketball players might once again be able to go right from high school to the NBA, as early as 2021 or 2022. That would be a good rule change. 

5) Phil Mickelson shot an 81 on his 48th birthday, including hitting a putt on 13 when the ball was still rolling on his previous putt. Not his finest moment. 

4) In the Canadian Football League, coaches can use an instant replay challenge on pass interference calls/non-calls. 

3) Giants’ 3B Evan Longoria will undergo surgery on Tuesday to stabilize the fracture in the fifth metacarpal of his left hand. He is expected to be out for 6-8 weeks. 

2) Arizona’s Patrick Corbin has allowed two homers to lefty batters this season; both of them hit by the Mets’ Michael Conforto. Before his 2nd inning homer last night, Conforto was 0 for his last 30 with men on base. 

1) Calgary 28, Hamilton 14— #82 on the Stampeders made a tremendous one-handed catch late in the first half of this game. If it was in the NFL, it would be in highlight films for years.