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

13) Dodgers-Phillies played a 16-inning game Tuesday, with LA using IF/OF Kike Hernandez as a pitcher in the 16th- they would’ve used starter Rich Hill if they had the lead, but they didn’t and they basically gave a game away. 

Game took 5:55 to play, ended after 1am, then teams had quick turnaround, playing a day game on Wednesday. Dodgers’ AAA team is in Oklahoma City, so tough to get another arm in town quickly. Phillies’ AAA team is closely in Lehigh Valley, easier for them. 

12) Cardinals were in Cincinnati this week; they started pitchers Monday/Tuesday who were both making their first MLB start. Neither pitcher allowed a hit in the first six innings, but neither pitcher got a win, either.  

11) Maui Classic is loaded this November: first round matchups are…….
Auburn-Xavier, Duke-San Diego State, Arizona-Iowa State, Gonzaga-Illinois. 

Thats three pretty solid days/nights of TV watching for me. 

10) Former Penn Quakers basketball coach Jerome Allen allegedly took bribes from a Miami businessman who wanted his son to get into Penn “as a recruited basketball player” which would increase his chance of being admitted to the prestigious school. 

When the father was accused of health-care fraud, money laundering, conspiracy and bribery a while back, the government uncovered more than $74,000 in gifts that the father gave to coach Allen in 2013 and 2014. 

The son got into Penn and still goes there; he never played on the basketball team. Allen got fired three years ago and is now one of Brad Stevens’ assistants in the NBA with the Celtics. 

9) Tampa Bay beat the Bronx Bombers 3-2 Wednesday; they brought in a lefty reliever in the last inning, moved Sergio Romo to 3B for a batter, so Romo could come back and face the next hitter. Romo struck out Brett Gardner to end the game; Kevin Cash is doing an amazing job, having that roster at 52-50. 

8) Bronx catcher Gary Sanchez got pummeled on social media Monday night after he failed to hustle on a couple of key plays that were important in a 7-6 Tampa Bay win. 

Sanchez is a lousy defensive catcher who is hitting .188; why is he the starter? If he’s not going to hustle, why is he even in the major leagues? 

Tuesday, Sanchez was put on the DL with a groin injury, which diffuses the issue. Whether he is really hurt or just getting 10 days off to shut the media up is open for debate. 

7) Random trivia: An actor named John Hurt has 207 movie/TV credits to his name; he died in 43 different movies, which appears to be the all-time record.  

6) Obscure TV/movie trivia: I’m watching an old Law and Order re-run the other night, from the series’ first year or two— one of the opposing lawyers is the guy who played the manager of the baseball team in Bull Durham. So I look the actor up on the Interweb. 

Turns out that the Law and Order episode was Trey Wilson’s last acting job; he died from a cerebral hemorrhage a few weeks before his 41st birthday, only a couple years after he made Bull Durham. 41 is way too young to die. 

5) Angels are wasting Mike Trout’s prime; Angels lost 5-3 to the White Sox Monday night, with Trout walking four times and hitting a sac fly. Five plate appearances, no official AB’s. 

Justin Upton usually hits behind Trout; he’s come to bat with 309 men on base and knocked in only 36 of them (19 of 48 from 3rd base). Knocking in 11.7% of baserunners isn’t good for the guy you have batting cleanup. 

4) Baseball doings:
— Red Sox acquired P Nathan Eovaldi from Tampa Bay for rookie P Jaylen Beeks.
— Mets put Yoenis Cespedes (heel) back on the DL. He’ll have surgery and may not even be back for the start of next season.
— A’s P Kendall Graveman (elbow) will have Tommy John surgery
— Orioles sent P Zach Britton to division rival New York, getting three pitching prospects in return: Dillon Tate, Josh Rogers, and Cody Carroll. Tate is 5-2, 3.38 in 15 Eastern League starts (AA level) this season. 

3) Looking at an action chart for Week 1 NFL games, Texans-Patriots is getting most evenly balanced action at William Hill books. 52% of play is on New England (-6.5). 

Most one-sided action is on the Falcons (+4.5, 95% of $$ bet), Colts (-2.5, 92%). 

2) Cleveland QB Baker Mayfield got a $21.85M signing bonus; a 4-year, $32.68M fully guaranteed deal overall. Mayfield told his agent not to quibble on some contract details so he could be in camp on Day 1 to compete for the starting job. 

1) Teams that use defensive shifts the least: Angels, Rangers, Cubs.

When Joe Maddon managed in Tampa, he was at forefront of using shifts, so thats an interesting change. 

Wednesday’s List of 13; Some of my favorite movie scenes……

13) Jack Nicholson as Colonel Jessup on the witness stand in A Few Good Men– “You WANT me on that wall; you NEED me on that wall!!!” Great acting. 

12) In Prince of Tides, when Nick Nolte’s character takes Barbra Streisand’s husband’s Stradivarius violin and dangles it over the edge of the balcony, until he apologizes to his wife for being rude. Then he tosses the million-dollar violin in the air but catches it, then walks out of the dinner party. 

11) In Any Given Sunday, when QB Willie Beamen visits the coach’s house for dinner and a “talk” and coach Tony D’Amato lectures him— “You’re the goddamn quarterback!!!” 

I think this scene is better than the “Game of Inches” speech that Pacino gives near the end of the movie, before the last game. 

10) Rocky II wasn’t a good movie, but the last fight scene, where Rocky Balboa wins the heavyweight title for the first time, is a great fight scene, probably the best scene in all the Rocky movies. 

9) In the movie Heat, there is a scene with Al Pacino (the cop) and Robert Deniro (bank robber) where they actually talk in a diner about how someday, their situation will come to a head and either the arrest will be made, or harm will come to the cop. Deniro and Pacino; a great scene. 

8) Susan Sarandon and James Spader were in a 1990 movie called White Palace; I only saw this movie for the first time in the last year or so. 

There is a scene where a lot of people were at Thanksgiving dinner and they’re talking about politics; the patriarch of the family is Steven Hill (the original DA on Law and Order). 

When a younger person says something Hill’s character sees as uninformed, he snaps at her, “Would it kill you to pick up a newspaper?” Good stuff. 

7) In the true story Invincible, when 30-year old bartender Vince Papale breaks the news to his best friend that he made the Philadelphia Eagles’ roster, despite never having played college football. 

6) In Friday Night Lights, when the coach (Billy Bob Thornton) delivers a halftime speech when his team is getting smoked. He talks about “being perfect” and how giving your all is the most important thing of all. 

Of all the sports movies I’ve seen, I think Thornton’s character in this movie is the best portrayal of a coach that I’ve seen. 

5) In the original Bad News Bears, when the coach is talking to his worst player, ordering him into the championship game- the kid is too nervous to go out and play. 

“Listen, Lupus, you didn’t come into this life just to sit around on a dugout bench, did ya? Now get your ass out there and do the best you can.”

4) In Roxanne, Steve Martin’s character has a very long nose, like Cyrano de Bergerac; guy in a bar insults his long nose, the whole bar shuts down, and Martin mocks the insult. 

“I suppose you could do better?” and Martin proceeds to give 20 jokes (actually 26) that were all funnier than the guy’s insult. 

3) In Rounders, the scene where Mike (Matt Damon) finds his law professor (Martin Landau) in a restaurant and the professor tells him how his parents disowned him because he chose to study the law instead of becoming a rabbi.

2) Oakland A’s 20-game winning streak in Moneyball; at least they showed Miguel Tejada’s walk-off homer in the 18th straight win- they gave him almost no credit in the book/movie for how good the A’s were that year— he was the best shortstop in the game. 

1) Bob Cousy shooting free throws in an empty gym with Nick Nolte in Blue Chips. Cousy was 65 at the time, made 10 in a row while wearing a shirt and tie- they filmed the scene in one take. 

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

13) When I was a little kid, my dad always brought the New York Daily News home from work with him; I remember reading Dick Young’s great columns and learning about sports. 

As time went on, the New York Post passed the Daily News as a sports section, and Monday, the Daily News cut their sports staff from 35 people to only nine.

Lot of people out of work; sad day. 

12) More I think about it, geographic realignment would help baseball a lot. 

Think about 18 Dodger-Angel games, Cubs-White Sox games, or Subway Series games every season; its not going to help every team that much, but it’ll reduce travel/travel costs and increase regional rivalries, which is good for the game. 

Having two new teams will make scheduling so much easier, too. Don’t have to have interleague games every night, if hey do indeed keep the AL and NL intact

11) NFL players are getting aggravated because NBA guys make so much guaranteed money and football players don’t; we mentioned the other day, how Tobias Harris TURNED DOWN an $80M guaranteed deal with the Clippers. NFL guys have to be shaking their heads. 

When the next NFL labor contract rolls around, negotiations will be contentious. 

10) They had Big 14 football media day this week and 13 of the coaches show up in jacket and tie; Jim Harbaugh appeared in a polo shirt with baseball cap, both with the Michigan block M on them. Sometimes those interviews are fun to listen to; don’t often learn a whole lot- they sound like politicians, speaking words without actually saying much. 

9) You go to the racetrack, and you forget how dangerous it is to be a jockey. 

Hall of Famer Victor Espinoza fractured a vertebrae in an accident at Del Mar on Sunday ; he will miss the remainder of the Del Mar meeting. 

Espinoza will have to wear a neck brace for the next six weeks, “more to remind him not to turn his head sideways suddenly”, according to his agent. 

8) Baltimore Ravens had 30 draft picks the last three years, and 29 of them are still with the club, the only exception being a former Naval Academy QB who is doing his four years of service in the actual US Navy- they’re going to be a very young team. 

7) Clemson gave basketball coach Brad Brownell a 6-year contract extension; Tigers made the NCAA’s last year, for first time since 2011. 

6) Fernando Tatis Jr, the Padres’ #1 prospect, is out for the year after breaking his thumb. The 19-year old SS was batting .286 with 19 HRs, 19 steals at AAA El Paso. 

5) David Payne Purdum posted on Twitter Monday that at Caesar’s Palace sports books, there were 64 bets made on the Red Sox-Orioles game; only one of the 64 was on Baltimore. 

4) Diamond Sportsbook International (@betDSI on Twitter) posted odds on who the starting QB will be for these teams:

Alabama: Tagovailoa -230, Hurts +165
Ohio State: Haskins -600, Martell +370
Oklahoma: Murray -600, Kendall +370
Clemson: Bryant +130, Lawrence +160, Johnson +510, Brice +820

3) Reds 2, Cardinals 1— Young man named Daniel Poncedeleon made his MLB debut for the Cardinals in Cincinnati; he no-hit the Reds for seven innings, throwing 116 pitches, then was pinch-hit for in top of 8th inning. 

St Louis blew a 1-0 lead in 9th inning, costing the kid a win in his MLB debut. 

In 2016, Ross Stripling threw 7+ hitless innings in his MLB debut; he didn’t get a decision that night, either. 

In 1967, a kid named Billy Rohr threw 8.2 hitless innings in his MLB debut in the Bronx, giving up a hit to Elston Howard with two outs in 9th inning of a 1-0 Boston win. 

2) First five days after the All-Star Game are weird; lot of good pitchers struggled in their first start after the break, maybe because hitters are most rested after the four days off? 

1) Nate Silver points out that the NBA started tracking games started in 1981-82; since then, Carmelo Anthony is only NBA player to play in 1,000+ games without ever once having come off the bench. Wouldn’t expect Anthony to be a 6th man at his next destination (Houston?)

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

13) Mike Shildt is the interim manager of the St Louis Cardinals; his first job in baseball a long time ago was as a clubhouse attendant for Charlotte in the Southern League. 

In the summer of 1980, one of his jobs was to shine Cal Ripken Jr’s shoes. 

12) Ken Rosenthal and MLB Network research came up with this item:

Of all the baseball teams ever that were 60-40 or better thru 100 games, the ’54 Brooklyn Dodgers had the worst run differential (+14). 

Right now, Seattle Mariners are 60-40, with a +1 run differential. 

11) Mets’ P Noah Syndergaard goes on 10-day disabled list with hand, foot and mouth disease; this is a real thing that is a viral infection characterized by sores in the mouth and a rash on the hands and feet. No bueno. 

10) A GoFundMe page was started to help Washington Nationals assistant GM Doug Harris with medical costs as he battles leukemia; the owner of the Nationals is worth $5.2B, thats BILLION, with a B. How about picking up the tab there, Mr Lerner? Its probably tax deductible. 

9) Good college hoop tournament in Las Vegas Thanksgiving weekend; North Carolina, UCLA, Michigan State, Texas. I’m assuming it is at T-Mobile Arena. 

8) Phillies’ 1B Carlos Santana is hitting only .209, but he’s walked 76 times and has a .350 OB%. He’s knocked in 15.4% of baserunners, only 25 of 44 from 3rd base. 

Last four years, when he was in Cleveland, Santana knocked in 13.1%, 13.8%, 13.8%, 13.4% of baserunners— he’s not a great RBI guy. Maybe he should bat leadoff. 

7) Golfer Zander Lombard was in contention at the British Open Sunday, before shooting an 82 in the final round. Coming into the Open, Lombard had missed 13 of his previous 15 cuts. 

6) Is it possible the LA Chargers have no analytics people working for them? Can’t find any of them listed in their media guide. In this day and age, that would be unusual. 

5) Cubs’ Hall of Famer Ernie Banks was famous for saying “Lets play two!!”; in his career, Banks played in both ends of 318 doubleheaders. 

4) I’ve never heard of Augusta State in any sport except golf; they won the national title in 2010 and 2011— Patrick Reed played there. British Open champ Francisco Molinari would’ve played there, except he played well in a European Tour event and turned pro instead. 

3) Reliever Jeurys Familia is the 939th player to play for the Oakland A’s. 

2) I have no idea if who the President is effects the stock market or not, but these are facts and they are not in dispute:

January 20, 2009— Dow Jones was at 7,949
January 23, 2017— Dow Jones was at 19,827
July 22, 2018— Dow Jones is at 25,058. 

1) RIP to former Dolphins’ coach Tony Sparano, who passed away Sunday at age 56. He had been in the doctor’s office Thursday, complaining of chest pains. Too young, man. RIP

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

13) Damn, there was some serious drama in my neighborhood Saturday. 

I live on a quiet suburban street just outside Albany; went out to meet my cousin for dinner at 7:00 last night and Central Avenue, the main street in town, was totally barracaded off west of my street by the local police. That never happens here. 

Turns out a Cadillac was speeding in the eastbound lanes towards Albany and the police gave chase— finally the Cadillac smashed into one of the police cars. The Cadillac was disabled on the side of the road, missing a tire. Everyone was OK- they shut down the road to do the CSI-type re-creation of the scene, for the investigation of whatever other crime there was. 

12) So a word of thanks to the Colonie Police for protecting us and keeping our town safe. 

11) Bad news for the Mets: Yoenis Cespedes says the cause of his medical issues is calcification in both heels. He says the only way to fix the issue is surgery; the recovery time is apparently 8-10 months. Might as well get it done now, right? 

Eight months from today is March 21, just before Opening Day for 2019. 

10) This from an outstanding article written by West Virginia alum/Memphis Grizzlies’ rookie Jevon Carter, talking about practices under his college coach, Bob Huggins: 

“And the treadmill was our punishment if we made a mistake in practice. If your guy was able to dribble to the middle of the court while you were guarding him, you had to get off the court and get on the treadmill and run 18 mph for 45 seconds. Right on the side of the court. Allow an offensive rebound … you’re on the treadmill. Let your guy drive past you. Treadmill. Turn the ball over. Allow an uncontested layup, miss a box out, lag getting back on D … you’re running.”

9) Red Sox are 28-8 vs Tampa Bay, Toronto, Baltimore this season; New York is 19-13 vs those teams, and that is why the Red Sox are leading the AL East. 

8) Colorado CF Charlie Blackmon was miked during the All-Star Game; he was explaining how at Coors Field in the high altitude, balls don’t slice away/towards outfielders as much as they do in other ballparks. Interesting knowledge. 

7) Rutgers’ football team has its 9th offensive coordinator in nine season this year. 

Utah has had eight OC’s in ten years, but at least this year they have the same OC they had this year, so maybe a little continuity for once will help the Utes. 

6) Red Sox have had 73 games started by lefty pitchers this season, most in the big leagues. 

5) Baseball doings:
— Rockies’ 2B DJ LeMahieu strained his oblique.
— Cardinals’ P Carlos Martinez strained his oblique. 

4) Carmelo Anthony took 463 jump shots last year that were outside the paint and inside the 3-point arc, otherwise known as mid-range shots. Analytics people hate mid-range jumpers. 

The entire Houston Rockets team took 562 mid-range jumpers last year, so if Anthony signs with the Rockets, his shot selection will be interesting to track. 

3) In the CFL, coaches can challenge pass interference calls via replay, which is interesting. Not sure if I like that or not, but its something different. 

2) Washington Wizards will finally have their own G-League affiliate this winter, making 27 NBA teams with their own G-League team. Only three teams that don’t have one: Pelicans, Trailblazers and the Nuggets.  

1) Cardinals’ IF Matt Carpenter has now homered in six consecutive games; he didn’t start in Game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader, but pinch-hit in the 7th inning and homered. MLB record is eight straight games with a home run.

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

13) Lot of nights while you’re sleeping, I’m watching movies, listening to music and researching obscure facts/trends that I can use in this space. Sometimes the stuff I find is useful, sometimes it is useless, you never know- the research is what makes it interesting. 

Other night I was thinking about how NFL coaches in their first year with a team do in their first game with that team, so I spent a few hours looking it up. 

12) Biggest trend I could find is that those teams with new head coaches went under the total 55.6% of the time (74-59-3) since 1998. Eliminate Dallas (over 5-0) and the Rams (over 4-1) and under becomes 73-50-3 (59.3%). 

11) Teams with new coaches went 68-60-8 vs spread, 47-40-6 as underdogs. Nothing huge there. My thought in looking this up is that you have to examine the situation each team is in. 

Last year, the Rams opened at home against Indianapolis; only a fool would’ve laid points with a Rams’ squad that had been pointspread poison for several years, but the Colts were starting Scott Tolzien at QB and he shouldn’t be a starter in the Canadian League. 

Rams won 46-9. Sometimes life is simple. Most times it isn’t. 

10) For the record, there are seven NFL teams this season with new coaches: Cardinals, Bears, Lions, Colts, Giants, Raiders and Titans. 

Of those seven, three are favored in Week 1: Lions, Titans, Colts. 

9) Clemson signed defensive coordinator Brent Venables a 5-year contract for $11.6M, the biggest contract ever given to a college football assistant coach. 

$2,320,000 a year for a defensive coordinator? They better have a damn good defense. 

8) There is an actor named Marc Blucas who has been in 64 movies/TV shows, including a starring role in USA Network’s Necessary Roughness and guest shots on Arli$$, CSI and Blue Bloods. 

When he was in college, Blucas played basketball at Wake Forest, where one of his teammates was a guy named Tim Duncan. 

7) In 2015, the White Sox had a payroll of $118,619,378; this year, their payroll is $71,217,000 so of course they’re still terrible, Jose Abreu is their best player and he will be 32 when next season starts. There aren’t any prized pitching prospects on the horizon, unless you count Michael Kopech, who has walked 57 batters in 88.1 IP this year in AAA— not good. 

6) Five years ago, the Astros had a payroll of $26,105,600 and were an awful team- five short years later, they’re World Champs and their payroll is $160,393,900— it figures to swell even further with McCullers, Bregman and Correa all making less than $3M a year this season. 

5) Then there are the Mets, a dreadful team with a payroll of $150,558,894. 

Jay Bruce, David Wright and AJ Ramos are getting paid a combined $40M this season. Yoenis Cespedes is making $29M; Friday was his first game since May 13. 

4) Yogi Ferrell backed out of a contract agreement with the Dallas Mavericks, after agreeing to a two-year, $5.3M  deal earlier this week. His agent said: “We felt uncomfortable and will weigh our options.” He must have some better options than $2.65M a year. 

3) St Louis 1B Matt Carpenter was 5-5 with three homers, two doubles Friday; his 16 total bases was only three bases shy of the all-time record. They took him out in the 6th inning; teams play a twin bill Saturday, plus the Cubs had position players pitching at that point. In his career, by the way, Carpenter is 22 for 42 with the bases loaded. 

Reminds me that a very underrated baseball record is most total bases in one game, held by Shawn Green, who had 19 total bases in a game. Tough to do; four HR’s still leaves you short. 

2) Jameis Winston is out for the Buccaneers’ first three games, so how will Tampa Bay coach Dirk Koetter dispense playing time in exhibition games this summer? 

Have to protect Ryan Fitzpatrick, because if he gets hurt then Tampa Bay is really screwed in Weeks 1-3, but he needs work to get ready, too. Winston also needs work, so that he isn’t too rusty when he comes back in Week 4. Maybe Winston plays more in the 4th exhibition game, when starters usually rest? 

1) Here’s a solid stat to close with today: over the last 15 years, the Super Bowl loser is 2-13 vs spread in their first game the following season, 2-10 when favored.

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

13) Cleveland Indians acquired relievers Brad Hand, Adam Cinder from the Padres, in exchange for hitting prospect Francisco Mejia, who is a catcher/OF. Cleveland’s bullpen is a mess, so this  was necessary for the Tribe, while Yan Gomes’ resurgence made Mejia more expendable. 

12) Washington plays Auburn on September 1st; over last seven years, there have been only 11 football games between SEC/Pac-12 teams. SEC is 8-3 in those 11 games, but Pac-12 teams won both meetings last season. 

11) They experimented with a new rule at NBA Summer League; when a team got an offensive rebound, the shot clock re-set to 0:14, not 0:24. Makes sense; think that rule would have more of an impact in college than the pros. 

10) If you like to make “first 5 innings” bets on Washington Nationals games, don’t play on the Nats when Tanner Roark pitches. Washington is 3-10 in Roark’s last 13 starts, 1-12 in the first five innings of those games. 

9) Since 2013, UConn’s football team is 0-11 vs spread as a home favorite, 2-17 since 2011. 

Since 2012, UNLV’s football team is 21-8 as a road underdog. 

8) Remember when Blockbuster video stores were all over the place? There is only one left in the whole country now, in Bend, Oregon. 

7) There is a statistic in college basketball called “Minutes Continuity” which measures how much the current players have played together. I find it pretty useful. 

There are 351 Division I teams; here is UNLV’s minutes continuity the last five years: 

334-347-310-350-311. Thats almost a whole new roster every season. 

Here is Kentucky’s: 336-176-335-322-348.
Here is Duke’s: 207-266-334-180-339

Difference is, Duke/Kentucky are getting best freshmen in country, UNLV doesn’t. This year, their continuity should be a little better, and their record should improve. Last time Rebels had a winning record in the Mountain West was 2013-14. 

6) By way of comparison, Loyola of Chicago made the Final Four last year, after having their first winning conference season in 11 years. Their minutes continuity? #82. 

5) Denver Nuggets’ #1 draft pick Michael Porter Jr had another procedure done on his back last week; for a young kid, he’s had a lot of physical issues. Nuggets haven’t written off him playing this coming season, but he played only 2 or 3 games for Missouri last year. 

4) Part of the reason there was such a scramble for QB’s in April’s NFL Draft is that this year’s crop of college QB’s is expected to be especially weak. Think about it: Oklahoma’s quarterback has already signed a pro baseball contract for next year. 

Maybe things will change drastically once the games start next month, but for now, scouts are down on this year’s crop of signal callers. 

3) Stephen Curry is the only player from the ’09 NBA draft still with his original team.

2) Oklahoma City traded Carmelo Anthony and a protected ’22 1st-round pick to Atlanta for PG Dennis Schroder, Mike Muscala. Anthony will be waived and become a free agent. A team that doesn’t care about defense will sign him. 

Trade gives Oklahoma City gets huge salary and luxury tax savings, and having Schroder allows them to play Russell Westbrook off the ball for 20 or so minutes a game. 

1) 5 ways to think like a champion, from best-selling author/motivational guru Jon Gordon:
a) Champions expect to win.
b) Champions celebrate the small wins.
c) Champions don’t make excuses when they don’t win.
d) Champions focus on what they get to do, not what they have to do.
e) Champions believe they will experience more wins in the future.

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

13) San Antonio Spurs traded Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green to Toronto for DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl and a protected 2019 1st-round pick.

Over the last five years, the Raptors went 263-147 in the regular season, only 21-30 in playoff games, so they fired their coach and traded their best player. We’ll see how that works out. 

12) I’m thinking managing a major league team now has to be more difficult than it used to be; back when I was a kid, guys like Sparky Anderson, Earl Weaver, Dick Williams were big names who unquestionably ran their teams- that doesn’t exist anymore. 

Front office/analytics types run the show on most teams now; managers with strong personalities don’t get hired as much or don’t keep their jobs— see Joe Girardi. 

Managers, by the very nature of their jobs, dictate the tone of their teams, but they dictate less and less of their team’s tactics and roster management, but they still have to answer to the press, which can’t be a lot of fun. 

11) On July 17, 1963, Braves-Giants played a game in San Francisco, Spahn vs Marichal, two Hall of Fame pitchers. 

Game was scoreless into the 16th inning with both pitchers going whole way, when Willie Mays ended it with a solo-homer off Spahn. Marichal threw 227 pitches and Spahn threw 201.

If that happened today, both managers would’ve been fired after the game. 

10) One of the coolest nights I’ve spent in Las Vegas was during this week back in 2015, late on a Wednesday night. 

Diamondbacks game in Phoenix went 14 or 15 innings, ran very late; at same time, live coverage from the BBC or some channel in England had live first round coverage of the British Open on, so you could watch live action on TV’s next to each other, one on Wednesday night, the other Thursday morning. It was oddly fun.

9) All nine people who made the final table at the World Series of Poker made $1M+; the winner got $8.8M, runner-up got $5M— no wonder he was smiling in the pictures afterwards. 

8) They had another poker tournament that ran Sunday-Tuesday, 27 people entered with a buy-in of $1M. Top 5 cashed, the other 22 had to explain to their wives why they blew $1M to play cards for a couple nights. 

Guy who won took home $10M and he was losing for most of the heads-up period. 

7) Golfer Hideki Matsuyama finished in the top-20 in each of the last seven majors and 11 of the last 14.

6) From gambling expert Bill Krackomberger, talking about the start of legalized sports betting in New Jersey: 

“…….of the $15.4 million wagered, the casinos/state won just under $3.5 million in 16 days. That is a hold percentage of over 22%. In relation, Nevada’s hold for 2017 was 5.1%.”

KL Wheat reported in from New Jersey Wednesday:

“…….went to bet Ricky Fowler at 17-1 on board, went to bet 10 seconds later, it was 12-1.” That was at Monmouth— he got 16-1 on Fowler at Borgata. 

5) Back in 1983, Donald Trump could’ve bought the Dallas Cowboys for $50M but passed; now they’re worth $4.8B.  Thats billion, with a B. 

4) Of the eight guys in Home Run Derby this year, only Harper/Freeman are making more than $660,000 this season. MLB needs more established stars to do Home Run Derby. 

3) One really cool thing about the derby this year is that the two finalists both had unusual guys throwing to them. Had to be a ton of pressure on these guys to throw hittable pitches. 

Bruce Harper had his dad throwing to him, which is great- Robinson Cano’s dad threw to him a few years ago, and Kyle Schwarber’s buddy threw to him- the graphic actually said under the guy’s name “Kyle’s friend”

2) Apparently, Juwan Howard holds an NBA record he had 236 different teammates during his long playing career. Vince Carter could break that record this year if he plays; he’s had 228 different teammates in his career. 

1) Imagine being A’s reliever Blake Treinen Tuesday night; run out of Washington last summer, exiled to Oakland because he was having a bad year (5.73 ERA in 37.2 IP).

Now he has 24 saves for an Oakland team that is a surprise contender in the AL Wild Card race, and he has been awesome. He comes back to Washington a year after they ran him out of town and he is a freakin’ All-Star. That had to be tremendous. 

Wednesday’s List of 13: My favorite sports-related movies

1) Moneyball— Beginning isn’t very good, the end sucks, but I’m an A’s fan and this movie is about how the 2003 A’s put together a team that won 20 games in a row, made the playoffs. 

If the next ten weeks go really well, could Moneyball 2 be in the works? 

Only really bad thing about this movie is they made skipper Art Howe look like a bad manager, and he was anything but— you don’t win 20 games in a row by accident. 

2) Blue Chips— Nick Nolte is a college basketball coach who used to win a lot; in order to start winning again, he has to decide whether to break the recruiting rules or not. 

Bob Cousy is the AD; Shaquille O’Neal, Penny Hardaway are two of the recruits. Lot of cameos from basketball people; Jerry Tarkanian, Jim Boeheim, Rick Pitino, Dick Vitale. 

3) Invincible— True story about Vince Papale, a 30-year old bartender who tries out for the 1976 Philadelphia Eagles and makes the squad as a special teams player. 

4) Fast Break— Gabe Kaplan manages a New York City deli until he applies for a job as a college basketball coach in Nevada. Bernard King, Michael Warren are two of his players; another one is a girl disguised as a guy. 

5) Any Given Sunday— Al Pacino is a pro football coach whose team is struggling; Cameron Diaz is the owner, Dennis Quaid, Jamie Foxx are two of the QB’s. 

Miami Sharks play against four teams in the movie, all coached by NFL Hall of Famers. 

6) For Love of the Game— Kevin Costner is a star pitcher for the Tigers who is at the end of his career; he has flashbacks throughout his last game. 

Detroit’s manager in this movie is JK Simmons, who is a Tigers fan in real life; New York’s manager is the late Augie Garrido, one of the all-time great college baseball coaches. 

7) Friday Night Lights— Billy Bob Thornton is a high school football coach in west Texas, where they take high school football very seriously. 

8) One on One— Robby Benson is a hotshot high school basketball player who gets recruited by a big-time college team, then finds himself in over his head.

9) Bull Durham— Costner is a minor league catcher who is brought in to mentor a hot-shot pitching prospect. Robert Wuhl is the pitching coach, Susan Sarandon mentors the prospect off the field. 

10) Draft Day— Costner does lot of sports movies; he is GM of the Cleveland Browns in this one, Denis Leary is the Browns’ coach. 

The year this movie came out, NFL pushed back the draft so the movie could be promoted more, but Radio City Music Hall wasn’t available for the later date, which is why they started moving the draft around the country. Sometimes great ideas happen by accident. 

11) Major League— Bob Uecker should’ve won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role as Indians’ radio announcer Harry Doyle.  

12) He Got Game— Underrated film about college basketball recruiting; if you saw this movie, you weren’t surprised by the problems Louisville had the last couple years. 

13) Rocky— The original was a true classic; a journeyman boxer gets a chance to fight for the heavyweight title, and makes the most of it. 40 years later, tourists who come to Philadelphia still pose for pictures near the Rocky statue. 

Tuesday’s List of 13: Some of my favorite (non-sports) movies:

1) Rounders— Movie about a law student/poker player; this movie is credited with helping the poker boom in the late 90’s. 

2) Dave— Kevin Kline is hired to “stand-in” for the President because he looks just like him, but then the President has a stroke, and Kline has a new job. 

3) The Bodyguard— Kevin Costner is a former Secret Service agent hired to protect a famous singer, who has a contract out on her. 

4) Last Vegas— Four senior citizens who are lifelong friends head to Las Vegas for a bachelor party; their 70-year old friend is marrying a 30-year old. Morgan Freeman wins $87K playing blackjack, because, doesn’t everyone win in Vegas? 

5) Begin Again— Down and out music producer discovers a talented young singer; together they produce an album, using New York City as the background. 

6) Good Will Hunting— Robin Williams is a counselor who tries to help a young delinquent (who is also a Math genius) find his way. 

7) The Verdict— Paul Newman is a down-on-his-luck lawyer who has a chance to win a big case and rehabilitate his career. 

There is a scene in this movie that would never fly today; Newman’s character has a girlfriend in the movie- turns out she is a double-agent, working for the opposing lawyer to gain intel on the big case. 

When Newman finds out, he meets the girlfriend in the lounge of a bar and decks her with one punch. Ouch. 

8) Leap of Faith— Steve Martin runs amok as a traveling preacher; Debra Winger is his partner, Liam Neeson is the local sheriff trying to shut his act down. Meat Loaf is part of the music group that travels with the preacher. 

9) Let It Ride— Richard Dreyfuss is a degenerate gambler who has one big day at the racetrack. 

10) This Is Where I Leave You— After their father dies, four grown siblings return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week. 

11) Lincoln Lawyer— Matthew McConaughey plays a lawyer whose office is the back seat of his Lincoln Continental. 

12) Prince of Tides— Nick Nolte is a high school football coach from South Carolina who travels to New York and falls for his sister’s therapist (Barbra Streisand). 

13) One More Time— Christopher Walken is a past-his-prime lounge singer trying for one last comeback.

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

13) 7,874 players entered the Main Event at World Series of Poker; first prize was $8.8M, and the last two guys played heads-up for 10.5 hours and 199 hands before a winner was decided. I tried to stay up for the whole thing, but eventually, I came to my senses. 

12) Around 4:40am, ESPN’s hole card camera went down; without that, watching poker on TV is like watching paint dry, but it came back on after a few hands. Analyst Antonio Esfandiari had to leave in the middle because he was playing in a $1M buy-in tournament on Sunday and needed his rest. I wasn’t involved in any million dollar stuff, so I stayed up for a while and watched. 

11) At 5:05 am, one of the players, who was wearing a Tim Tebow Florida jersey, was doing jumping jacks during a commercial. He had a Russell Wilson Seahawks jersey on the other night, which made me want to root against him. He finished second, and won $5M, so they were actually playing for $3.8M and the gold bracelet. 

10) They were advertising a pay site where you could watch poker tournament 100 days a year. Do other poker players watch these tournaments to scout opponents or to learn stuff? Why else would you pay to watch poker tournaments? 

9) Home Run Derby used to be a daytime thing; they had no idea what they had. On the other hand, has the popularity of Home Run Derby hurt the actual All-Star Game? 

8) Judge-Trout-Stanton skipping out on HR Derby reminds me of when the NBA had this great 1-on-1 contest for two years in the early 70’s— it was awesome, until Julius Erving’s agent would not let him play, figuring he had nothing to gain by participating. 

Dr J’s skipping the event pretty much put the kibosh on it, which was too bad, since it was great theater. Portland’s Larry Steele made the Final Four of the tournament one year; good for him, but no one was turning on their TV to watch Larry freakin’ Steele play 1-on-1. 

(No offense to Larry Steele, but you get the point)

The games were to 20, had to win by more than 2 points, I think. May not have this 100% right, but pretty sure Bob Lanier, a 6-11 lefty center won a game 50-46, I think over Connie Hawkins, who was a similar player to Giannis Antetokounmpo in today’s game. 

ESPN Classic should run those games back; pretty sure they were on ABC. 

7) Could you imagine a Westbrook-Durant matchup in a 1-on-1 tournament on national TV? How great would that be? 

7) Tampa Bay C Wilson Ramos tweaked his hamstring Saturday and is likely headed to the DL. Salvador Perez is now the AL starter behind the plate. 

5) If you’re the St Louis Cardinals, how do you not hire Joe Girardi as manager, unless you acknowledge that today’s ballplayers are so soft that you have to hire a manager who doesn’t criticize players as much as they sometimes need to be criticized? 

4) Miami pitcher Jose Urena put his glove over his mouth during a mound conference during Sunday’s game, which made me think: Are there bilingual lip readers? 

3) I’m going to run a couple of lists during the All-Star break about my favorite movies; I’m a big fan of John Grisham’s books, but none of those movies made my non-sports movie list, so I’ll point out here that my two favorite Grisham movies are Runaway Jury and the Pelican Brief. 

2) Mets TV guy Gary Cohen was openly questioning Sunday why Jose Reyes is playing every day; you don’t get a lot of stuff like that on local TV broadcasts. Honesty. 

Speaking of the Mets, my friend Bob reports that Michael Conforto’s career batting average in Met wins in .328, in Met losses .176. Of the 3,300 players with 500+ plate appearances since 1900, that is the widest difference in batting average between wins and losses. 

1) Always wanted to research this, but never have; the %age of first-pitch swings the day before the All-Star break, as opposed to all the other days. You know guys have their bags packed for their 4-day vacations. Umpires, too. 

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

13) No Sunday Night Baseball this week on ESPN? They have a freakin’ softball game on ESPN at 8:00 Sunday night. How about baseball/ESPN actually trying to promote the sport and put the Futures’ Game on Sunday night? You know, the stars of the future?

12) Does baseball need more 8-foot high outfield fences? Spectacular catches like the one Billy Hamilton made in St Louis Friday night make for great highlights.

11) Matt Harvey is 4-1, 2.38 in his last six starts; can the Reds get anything for him at the trading deadline? 

10) Mookie Betts is first player with two triples and two runs scored in first two innings of a game since September 23, 1995, when Lance Johnson did it for the White Sox against Minnesota.

9) Mets’ manager Mickey Callaway talked with Dom Smith Saturday; there is concern that Smith has lost focus because he is worrying about getting demoted back to AAA. The Mets are a mess. 

8) Players receive a total of $1,500 in meal money during the 12-day Las Vegas Summer League; each player has his own room in a 5-star hotel, and gets a free plane ticket to anywhere in the country when the tournament is finished. 

7) Notre Dame alum Jack Cooley is playing in the Las Vegas Summer League for the 6th year in a row; he played in his 32nd summer league game Friday, tying the all-time record (Dionte Christmas). 

Cooley has played in 23 NBA games, seven with San Antonio LY. 

6) Zac Rosscup will be the 27th different pitcher used by the Dodgers this season, and it is only the All-Star break; their team record is 31, set in 2015, ’16. 

5) Quote of the Day, part 2, from Celtics’ Jaylen Brown:
“I think if you can serve in the military at 18, you should be able to play in the NBA. That would be my argument.”

Alrighty then. 

4) NBA doings:
— Georges Niang signed a three-year, $5M contract with Utah Jazz that contains a first-year guarantee.
— Jabari Parker signs with the Chicago Bulls, a two-year, $40M deal. In his 4-year NBA career, Parker has missed 145 of 328 games due to injuries. 

3) Former Wisconsin/Arkansas coach Bret Bielema is now a defensive assistant coach with the Patriots. New England lost DC Matt Patricia to the Lions last winter. 

2) Oakland A’s gave their first-round draft pick Kyler Murray a $4.6M signing bonus; Murray will be Oklahoma’s QB this fall, before starting his baseball career. 

Murray’s coach at Oklahoma is Lincoln Riley; he makes $4.8M a year. 

1) FBI informed Maryland officials that the state’s voter registration, election management system operate on a software platform owned by a Russian-financed firm, AltPoint Capital Partners, whose largest investor is a Russian oligarch, Vladimir Potanin.

Nothing to worry about there. 

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

13) In 2012, Kansas City Chiefs went 2-12; they were -24 in turnovers, so they fired coach Romeo Crennel and hired Andy Reid. 

In five years since, Chiefs have been +18/-3/+14/+16/+15 in turnovers, and are 53-27. 

12) Alex Smith was KC’s QB in all five of those years, but now he is in Washington and the new QB is Patrick Mahomes, who started in Week 17 LY, throwing for 284 yards in a 27-24 win in Denver. It was his first NFL start. 

My question in this; can the Chiefs maintain a positive turnover ratio in double digits despite playing a first-time starting QB? They almost have to turn the ball over more this season, given the normal learning curve for a young QB.

11) From 2000-16, 77 NFL teams were +10 or better in turnovers; of those 77 teams, 58 had worse records the following season, 8 had better records, 11 stayed the same, which suggests that a hugely positive turnover ratio gave the team some luck that is tough to sustain. 

35 of the 58 teams whose record regressed won 3+ fewer games the following season. 

10) Last year, six NFL teams had a turnover ratio of +10 or better: Ravens +17, Chiefs +15, Chargers +12, Eagles +11, Lions/Jaguars +10. 

9) From 2000-16, 92 NFL teams were -10 or worse in turnovers; of those 92 teams, 61 had better records the next year, 21 had worse records, 10 stayed the same. 

41 of the 61 teams whose records improved won 3+ more gams the following season. 

8) Last year, five NFL teams had a turnover ratio of -10 or worse: Browns -28, Broncos -17, Dolphins/Raiders -14, Texans -12.

7) Going back to the Ravens’ +17 turnover ratio LY, it was the best turnover ratio in the NFL since the ’15 Panthers were +20, but Baltimore missed the playoffs!!!! How are you +17 in turnovers and not a playoff team? It may help explain why they drafted Lamar Jackson.

6) Sounds like kids will be able to go right from high school to the NBA starting in 2022, which means NBA teams should start scouting 9th graders this winter. 

5) Jimmy Butler turned down the Timberwolves’ offer of a 4-year, $110M extension, which suggests “Why does Minnesota have a team if their best player won’t take $27.5M a year to play there?” How can the Wolves ever be any good? 

4) Chase Utley announced that he’ll retire after this season; the entire Dodger team was at his announcement, a signal of how well-respected he is by teammates. 

Utley has solid career numbers; is he a Hall of Famer? I think it is debatable- there were some former ballplayers on Twitter Friday saying he is a no-brainer yes. I’m not so sure— if Jeff Kent isn’t in, why should Utley be in? 

3) Atlanta Hawks traded for G Jeremy Lin, who tore his patellar tendon on opening night last season, forcing him to miss the entire year. Lin averaged 14.5 ppg, 5.1 apg and 1.2 steals/game in 2016-17, his first year with Brooklyn.

Nets also acquired Kenneth Faried from Denver, who is owed $13.8M next season, Darrell Arthur, a top-12 protected 2019 first-round pick and a future 2nd-round pick in for Isaiah Whitehead. 

The move saves Denver $21M and keeps them from paying the luxury tax. Whitehead will get waived by the Nuggets and become a free agent.

2) Phoenix Suns were 8-1 betting favorites to win the Las Vegas Summer League; they lost their first tournament game, 88-86 to the 76ers. So much for that. 

I’m not uncertain that wagering on the summer league is a bad idea.

1) From hoopshype.com, an interesting story about and NBA player and agents:

“I have one really messed-up story involving my agent. When I was an unrestricted free agent, I was hoping to join this one team that really liked me and my agent seemed optimistic that we could figure out a deal. I really wanted to go there; it seemed great and it checked all the boxes that I wanted. 

I wasn’t too involved in the talks, my agent just kept updating me every now and then on what was happening. Well, I ended up getting word from someone in the organization that my agent was trying use me to get more money for another one of his clients, who was already on that team. He was telling the team to re-sign his other client at a certain amount and saying they would also be able to sign me at a discount. 

I was furious when I found out. I fired my agent and, for some time after that incident, I had a really hard time trusting agents who wanted to step in and represent me.”

Lot of agents are weasels.

Friday’s List of 13: Happy Friday the 13th, everyone!!!

13) Oakland A’s are 19-5 in their last 24 games, going 5-2 on this Cleveland/Houston road trip that just ended- they’re a contender for the Wild Card right now. A’s next six games are a pair of three-game series with their cross-bay rivals, the Giants. Interesting times. 

12) Former NBA star Charles Oakley was arrested Sunday by the Nevada Gaming Control Board Enforcement Agents at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas. 

TMZ reported that he is suspected of pulling back a $100 chip after he realized he was going to lose his wager; that is a Class B felony. Not good. 

11) Milwaukee’s Jesus Aguilar, Seattle’s Juan Segura won the Final Vote and will be in Washington for next week’s All-Star Game. 

Milwaukee is the smallest market in the major leagues; good for their fans for voting one of their guys into the Mid-Summer Classic. 

10) Will Yoenis Cespedes return to the Mets as a first baseman? There are reports on the Interweb that Cespedes has suggested the position change to Mets brass. 

Cespedes hasn’t played since May 13, by the way. People have come back from broken legs faster than this guy, and I’m not a Met fan nor is he on my fantasy team. 

9) Mets have had nine games this season that were 0-0 after five innings; five of the nine were Jacob deGrom starts. 

8) There are rumors the Manny Machado trade may be delayed util after the All-Star Game because Orioles’ brass doesn’t want Machado playing in the All-Star Game in Washington next week wearing another team’s uniform, which would also leave the Orioles without an All-Star. 

7) Baseball oddity: Babe Ruth started his career as a pitcher for the Red Sox; the night he got his first win as a pitcher, he was actually pinch-hit for in the 7th inning. 

Wonder how many times he was pinch-hit for in his entire career? 

6) Arizona OF Daniel Descalso pitched in the 4th inning Wednesday night in Denver, the earliest any position player has pitched in a game since the Brewers’ Sal Bando on August 29, 1979 (also the 4th inning). 

Descalso allowed a HR to Rockies pitcher German Marquez. It’s just the 2nd time in the last 50 years that a pitcher homered off a position player. 

The other: June 23, 1986 – Giants’ Mike LaCoss homered off San Diego’s Dane Iorg.

5) Alex Bregman is only American Leaguer in Home Run Derby Monday night; unusual. MLB cannot be very happy that Trout, Judge, Stanton, Goldschmidt are not participating. 

4) There’s a sportsbook opening Saturday at Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey, next to Giants Stadium. Maybe the jackass politicians in New York can figure out a way to have legalized wagering in our state- why was New Jersey so far ahead of them????

3) Baseball doings:
— Red Sox 3B Rafael Devers goes on DL with left shoulder inflammation.
— Angels’ P Garrett Richards (elbow) hopes to return in 2020.
— Twins put 1B Logan Morrison (hip) on the DL

2) FOX is apparently in negotiations with Jeff Fisher to hire the former Titans/Rams coach as an NFL commentator. You never know how good guys will be behind the mike, but I’ll be curious to hear what he has to say. 

1) Even a former White House stenographer named Beck Dorey-Stein has written a book about her time working in the White House. The current political climate has been good for bookstores, if not for the rest of us.  

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

13) You look at the benches in the NBA Summer League and you see two rows of coaches, maybe 8-9 coaches for each team. NBA teams spend lot of money on player development, which is more important now because players come into the league younger than ever before.  

One of the first books I remember reading was The Open Man, Dave DeBusschere’s diary of the Knicks’ 1969-70 title team. For a 12-year old kid who was falling in love with basketball, I went thru that book pretty quickly. 

One thing that stands out now was that coach Red Holzman had NO ASSISTANT COACHES; Dick McGuire was his advance scout and trainer Danny Whalen kept track of timeouts and served as an assistant coach of sorts, but Holzman did all the actual coaching. 

The game has changed drastically in that regard. 

12) George Karl’s son Coby is on the Lakers’ bench coaching during summer league; he is also the all-time leading scorer in Las Vegas Summer League history, with 337 points. Archie Goodwin is next, at 318 points.

11) Miami Marlins were 23-42 on June 10, but since then, they’re 16-14, hanging in there and hitting the ball well- they had 22 hits in a game in Washington Sunday. Don Mattingly has done a fine job keeping a talent-shy roster competitive in games. 

10) Cincinnati Bengals may have seen one of the errors of their ways; they were 31st last year in $$$ spent on their offensive line, letting LT Andrew Whitworth bolt to the Rams. 

Bengals are now 22nd in OL spending for this coming season; they hope it results in a QB who gets hit a lot less this season. 

9) San Diego Padres lost their last 13 games against Clayton Kershaw, scoring a total of 12 runs off Kershaw in those 13 games.

8) An unnamed AL scout after watching the Kansas City Royals recently: 

“I think someone will bite on Lucas Duda as a lefty bat off the bench. They won’t get enough for Duffy or Merrifield to move them. They’ll definitely move Moustakas and he will help someone. Won’t get the big return. Doesn’t happen anymore.”

7) Houston Astros’ contract situation in the near future:
— Verlander, $28M a year thru 2019 (Detroit is paying $8M of that)
— McCann, $17M with an option after this year (NYY is paying $5.5M of that)
— Keuchel, $13.2M, free agent this season
— Reddick, $13M a year thru 2020 (yikes)
— Gurriel, $12.4M this year, $10.4M in ’19, $8.4M in ’20.
— Altuve, $9M this year and next, then a $29M/year deal kicks in
— Morton $7M, free agent after this season
— Cole $6.75M, arbitration this winter, then free agent after 2019.
— Carlos Correa isn’t a free agent until after 2021
— Alex Bregman isn’t a free agent until after 2022

Astros have some serious decisions to make about their starting pitchers this winter; their young position players are going to keep Houston strong for a long time. 

6) When the Indians blew a 4-0 ninth inning lead in a 7-4 to the Reds Tuesday, it was in large part the manager’s fault. Terry Francona told pitching coach Carl Willis to get “OP” up in the bullpen, he meant Oliver Perez, but Willis thought he said “OT” meaning Dan Otero, so Willis told the bullpen coach to get Otero warmed up. 

Few minutes later, Francona went to the mound, waved to the bullpen for a pitching change and was surprised to see Otero come to the mound instead of Perez. Whoops. 

5) Baseball doings:
— Indians’ OF Lonnie Chisenhall (calf) is out 8-10 weeks.

4) Injury-plagued Duke alum Harry Giles, who Sacramento drafted in 2017 despite having two ACL injuries before getting to the NBA, has played 23.3 mpg in his first three summer league games this month, scoring 12 ppg, grabbing 7.5 rpg. 

3) There are 19 Kansas Jayhawk alums playing in Las Vegas this week. 

2) There is guy named Chris Majkowski who is a radio engineer for Mets’ games and he has worked 4,011 consecutive games, dating back to 1993- imagine not missing one day of work for 25 years? Majkowski threw out the first pitch before the Mets’ game Wednesday. 

1) Astros’ closer Ken Giles blew a 9th-inning lead Tuesday, appeared to curse out manager AJ Hinch when he was removed from the game, then was sent to AAA today. Alrighty then.