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

13) Biggest baseball trade happened right at the 4:00 trade deadline. 

Zack Greinke goes to Houston; he is their #3 starter, behind Verlander/Cole. Good luck beating the Astros in a short series.

Arizona is footing $24M of the $77M that Greinke is still owed on his contract. One of the pitchers Arizona got in this deal, Corbin Martin, had Tommy John surgery a few weeks ago and likely won’t pitch again until 2021. 

12) Houston also acquired Aaron Sanchez, who is 0-13, 7.71 in 17 starts since May 1st. 

11) Cubs added OF/3B Nicholas Castellano from Detroit for prospects. 

10) Tigers also traded closer Shane Greene to the Braves. 

9) A’s acquired P Tanner Roark from the Reds; Roark found out he got traded in an Arby’s parking lot, where he was ordering a beef and cheddar with curly fries. 

Reds also dealt 2B Scooter Gennett to the Giants for cash. 

8) Brewers traded 1B Jesus Aguilar to Tampa Bay for P Jake Faria.

7) Roberto Pérez started this season with 21 career homers in 963 career plate appearances; this year, he has 18 HR’s in 297 PA. 

6) Miami Marlins traded P Zac Gallen to Arizona for SS prospect Jazz Chisholm.

Marlins also traded P’s Nick Anderson, Trevor Richards to Tampa Bay for P Ryan Stanek, OF Jesus Sanchez. 

Chisholm, Sanchez are both 21-year old prospects, but Sanchez is batting only .206 at AAA Durham, Chisholm is hitting .204 in AA ball. 

5) Baseball stuff:
— A’s put OF Ramon Laureano (stress reaction/shin) on IL.
— White Sox put 3B Yoan Moncada (hamstring) on IL. 

4) Since 2011, teams are 181-97 when Zack Greinke starts for them, for a profit of $3,562, which makes him the most profitable pitcher to wager on during since 2011.

3) Seahawks’ LB Bobby Wagner acted as his own agent, got himself a 3-year, $54M contract extension with $40.25M in guarantees, and he didn’t have to pay his agent a 3% fee, since he was the agent. Good for him. 

2) Jack Flaherty, Max Fried, Lucas Giolito were all on the same HS baseball team; three major league pitchers on one high school team.

1) A 79-year-old Ohio woman is going to be spending 10 days in jail next month for the crime of giving food to stray cats; that sentence was handed down by an judge in a town called Garfield Heights, which makes it all the more strange. 

10 days in jail for ignoring orders not to feed cats. Wow.

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

13) Wednesday at 4pm is baseball’s trade deadline; last year, there were 18 trades made on July 31. Will today be a busy day or a dud? 

There was a 3-way trade Tuesday night:
— Cleveland gets OF’s Yasiel Puig, Franmil Reyes, P Logan Allen
— Cincinnati gets P Trevor Bauer
— San Diego gets OF prospect Taylor Trammell

After the trade, Puig was still playing for the Reds, and Pirates-Reds got into a fracas, with Puig getting ejected, after the Reds had traded him.

Reds manager David Bell had been ejected previously in the game; he came out of the clubhouse to join the fray, which should result in him getting a long suspension. 

12) Apparently, there is a growing sentiment among baseball GMs to push the trade deadline back to August 15 in the future, to give teams more time to determine whether they are buyers or sellers and i guess, to decide whether they’re contenders or not.

11) Seahawks had been bet down to -7.5 over Cincinnati in Week 1, but now AJ Green’s injury has pushed the spread up to Seattle -9.5.

10) Indianapolis Colts shut QB Andrew Luck down for a few days because of a left calf strain that has bothered him since late April. Jacoby Brissett is the Colts’ backup QB.

9) Chargers visit Miami in Week 4 this season; they’ve lost last eight visits to South Beach, with last win there the 41-38 OT win in ’81 playoffs, the Kellen Winslow Sr (13 catches, 166 yards, one TD) game. 

8) Which NFL player has most money wagered on him to win NFL MVP this year? At Casesars, it is Chicago Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky; he has 5th-most money wagered on him at Westgate. 

Trubisky opened 75-1 at Caesars to win MVP; he is down to 25-1 now.

7) Baseball stuff:
— Orioles put OF Dwight Smith (calf strain) on IL.
— White Sox activated SS Tim Anderson from the IL. 

6) Cleveland Browns announced they’ll honor Otto Graham with a statue at FirstEnergy Stadium this year; statues are a cool way of honoring great players/coaches from a team’s past.

5) Competitive eater Joey Chestnut was in Georgia this week, taking advantage of a restaurant’s $15.99 all-you-can-eat wing deal … the guy ate 413 wings in 12 hours- that’s an average of about 34 wings an hour. 

4) Toronto Blue Jays have used 11 different leadoff hitters this season; no one else has used more than nine (Cubs, Rays). 

3) Imagine being Raiders’ owner Mark Davis; you’re paying Jon Gruden $100M to coach your team, and here he is in training camp praising 3rd-string QB Nathan Peterman, the worst QB in NFL history, Would this bother you? It sure as hell would bother me.

2) Portland Trailblazers’ G CJ McCollum agreed to a three-year, $100M contract extension — extending his current deal to five years, $157M. Good day for CJ. 

1) Unusual stat of the day; Justin Verlander (28) has allowed the most home runs in the major leagues this season. 

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

13) NFL teams whose backup QB’s have never started a NFL game:
Cowboys, Jaguars, Giants, Steelers. 

12) NFL backup QB’s who started the most NFL games:
126— Ryan Fitzpatrick, Miami
92— Matt Schaub, Atlanta
88— Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee
73— Blake Bortles, LA Rams

11) Most profitable NFL head coaches in preseason games:
— John Harbaugh Ravens 29-15-1 ATS
— Pete Carroll Seahawks 23-12-1
— Mike Zimmer Vikings 14-7
— Jon Gruden Raiders 14-8-2

10) Least profitable NFL head coaches in preseason games:
— Mike Vrabel, Titans 0-4 ATS
— Dan Quinn, Falcons 4-12
— Jason Garrett, Cowboys 11-20-2
— Bill Belichick, Patriots 25-31-1

9) There are 43 NBA players who will earn $20M+ during the 2019-20 season.

8) Joe Flacco won’t be playing QB for Denver Thursday in the Hall of Fame Game; Kevin Hogan will start, followed by rookie Drew Lock and then Brett Rypien.

7) Josh Johnson turned down a chance to go to Ravens’ camp as a backup QB; he figures Robert Griffin III will be healthy shortly after the regular season begins, which would mean Johnson getting cut at that point. 

32-year old Johnson has had shots with 12 different NFL teams, going 1-7 as a starter— he’s played in 33 NFL games, starting three for the Redskins LY.

6) Baseball stuff:
— Washington put P Max Scherzer (back) on IL.
— Pirates traded P Jordan Lyles to Milwaukee for a AA pitcher.
— Mets traded P Jason Vargas to Philly for a AA catcher.
— Dodgers put IF Kike Hernandez (hand) on IL.

5) College basketball transfer portal:
— Utah F Donnie Tillman transfers from Utah to UNLV, is immediately eligible. 

4) Last major league to score 10+ runs in an inning and still lose the game; Royals against Cleveland in August, 2006.

3) Former Clemson RB Tavien Feaster is transferring to South Carolina, where he’ll be eligible right away; he has 1,330 career rushing yards and 15 TD’s.. 

2) Former Southern Miss/Tennessee coach Donnie Tyndall is the new head coach of the Grand Rapids Drive in the G-League. 

1) I’d advise against wagering on preseason football, but if you must, six of last seven Hall of Fame games stayed under the total. 

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

13) When you’re handicapping NFL season win totals, sometimes turnovers can be an indicator of future progression/regression. 

From 2005-17, 19 teams have been minus-16 or worse in turnovers for a season; those 19 teams won an average of 5.1 more games the following season. 

Usually when a team is so awful in turnovers, it is because the QB got hurt or it results in a coaching change, which creates positive results. 

12) Last year, 49ers/Buccaneers had the worst turnover ratios in the NFL.

San Francisco was -25; they lost QB Garoppolo before the season. 

Tampa Bay was -18; they fired their coach and hired Bruce Arians, who figures to improve QB Jameis Winston’s play this season. 

11) Over last four seasons, 19 teams that were -10 or worse in turnovers won an average of 3.34 more games the following season. 

10) Reverse thing goes for teams with positive turnover ratios; the last team to have a turnover rate of +16 or better, then win more games the next season was the ’05 Colts, who went 14-2 in ’05 (+12 TO’s) after going 12-4 in ’04 (+19 TO’s). 

9) Over last six years, 32 teams with a turnover rate of +10 or better won an average of 2.28 fewer games the following season. 

8) These five teams have a +10 or better turnover ratio last year:

Texans (+15), Seattle (+15), Bears (+12), Rams (+11), Patriots (+10). 

7) Baseball stuff:
— Blue Jays traded utility guy Eric Sogard to Tampa Bay.
— Blue Jays also traded P Marcus Stroman to the Mets.
— Marlins traded closer Sergio Romo to Minnesota. 

6) Baltimore Orioles hit multiple homers in 10 straight games, which surprisingly is a major league record. 

5) Royals 9, Indians 6— Trevor Bauer took the baseball and fired it over the CF fence while manager Terry Francona was coming to the mound to take him out of the game. 

4) Bengals’ WR AJ Green didn’t just sprain his ankle Saturday, he tore ligaments in the ankle and is out 6-8 weeks.  

3) Mets’ OF Michael Conforto homered, then struck out in a 6-run first inning Sunday. Pirates’ starter Chris Archer threw 48 pitches in the first inning. 

Steven Matz threw a 98-pitch complete game against the Pirates Saturday.

2) When the Cincinnati Reds are playing at home and a close call goes their way, during the replay review, they play the Beatles’ classic “Let It Be” over the stadium PA system. 

1) Over last week, Milwaukee’s Brian Anderson, Colorado’s Drew Goodman have spoken glowingly on TV about Reds’ legendary broadcaster Marty Brennamen, who is retiring after this season.

Just good to hear people say nice things about a colleague; Brennaman replaced Al Michaels in the Reds’ broadcast booth- his first game was in 1974, when Hank Aaron hit his 714th home run and tied Babe Ruth for the all-time record. Nice way to start a great broadcasting career. 

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

13) How last five Super Bowl champs did in their season opener the next year:

2014: Seahawks (-5.5) W36-16 vs Green Bay
2015: Patriots (-7) W28-21 vs Pittsburgh
2016: Broncos (+3) W21-20 vs Carolina
2017: Patriots (-8) L27-42 vs Kansas City 
2018: Eagles (-1) W18-12 vs Atlanta (3-1-1 vs spread)

12) How last six Super Bowl losers did in their season opener the next year:

2013: 49ers (-5) W34-28 vs Green Bay
2014: Broncos (-7.5) W31-24 vs Indianapolis
2015: Seahawks (-3.5) L31-34 OT @ Rams
2016: Panthers (-3) L20-21 @ Denver
2017: Falcons (-6.5) W23-17 @ Chicago 
2018: Patriots (-6.5) W27-20 vs Houston 

Since 2003, Super Bowl losers are 3-13 vs spread in Week 1 the next season.

11) How odd is it that Buffalo’s first two games this season are both in the Meadowlands? 

10) Stat of the day; New England Patriots lost five of their last six visits to Miami. During that time, Dolphins are 27-20 at home (22-19 vs everyone else). 

9) Pac-12 is considering starting some football games at noon ET to get better TV exposure. 

Let that sink in; the Pac-12 (Pac stands for PACIFIC, as in ocean) is thinking of starting games at 9am or 10am local time; that means players would eat pre-game meals at 5am or 6am? 

What geniuses thought this was a good idea? 

8) Major league umpire Ted Barrett was once a sparring partner for both Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield. 

7) Baseball stuff:
— Braves put OF Nick Markakis (broken wrist) on IL.
— Royals traded lefty P Jake Diekman to Oakland, for two minor leaguers.
— Dodgers put P Ross Stripling (biceps tendonitis) on IL.
— Mets put 1B/OF Dom Smith (foot) on the IL. 

6) 30 years ago, Washington State football coach Mike Leach was an assistant coach at Iowa Wesleyan; for $12,000 a year, he was offensive line coach, offensive coordinator, recruiting coordinator, equipment manager and video coordinator. 

He also taught a business law class and was the school’s SID. His wife was the secretary in the football office. 

5) This season is the first year they’re using major league baseballs at the AAA level; home runs are up 59% from last year in AAA games. Yes, the baseball is juiced. 

4) This, from ESPN’s Steve Levy:

“Wynn/Encore employees are instructed to NOT say “how are you?” to guests…

Ya know, just in case you lost a million in craps…”

3) There have been 17 Super Bowls where one of the starting QB’s went to college in California; none of those QB’s went to USC. No Trojan QB has ever started a Super Bowl. Delaware Blue Hens have had two quarterbacks start a Super Bowl. 

2) Bengals’ WR AJ Green appears to have avoided a serious injury; he sprained his ankle at a practice in Dayton Saturday. The NFL requested the Bengals practice in Dayton as part of the league’s 100th anniversary. Bengal officials were leery of the field’s surface. 

1) San Francisco Giants are the first MLB team in the live-ball era to win six extra-inning games in a 10-game span. If somehow they make the playoffs this year, they should fly Bruce Bochy right to Cooperstown before the Wild Card game to get inducted into the Hall of Fame, thats how good a manager he is. 

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

13) Amazing game in Anaheim late Thursday/early Friday; Orioles beat the Angels 10-8 in 16 innings, in a game that ended at 4:28am here in the east. 

Baltimore blew a 3-run lead in the 15th inning, then became the first team since 1986 to win a game after blowing a lead of 3+ runs in the 15th inning or later. OF Stevie Wilkerson became the first position player to get a save, since saves became an official stat. 

6 hours and 18 minutes. 571 pitches. 20 pitchers, one of whom was supposed to start Friday’s game for the Angels. Interesting night. 

12) In Masahiro Tanaka’s last two starts vs Boston, he faced 33 batters; 18 of them scored. 

11) James Paxton is the 4th pitcher in MLB history to allow a leadoff home run in three straight starts (d’Arnaud, Blackmon, Betts). Brad Radke, Brandon Backe and Yovani Gallardo are the other three pitchers, in case you were wondering.

10) LA Rams did a smart thing and signed coach Sean McVay/GM Les Snead to contract extensions thru the 2023 season. Well deserved. 

9) Yesterday I mentioned the Westgate SuperContest in Las Vegas, where you put up $1,500 and pick any five NFL games against the spread each week. Should’ve mentioned that last year’s winner got $1.4M, which ain’t bad. 

Golden Nugget has a similar contest where you pick seven games a week, but you can also pick college games. 

8) Oakland WR Antonio Brown starts training camp on the non-football injury list; no one is saying yet what the injury actually is. 

7) Baseball stuff:
— Cubs acquired P Derek Holland from the Giants
— Dodgers recalled C Will Smith from AAA, put 1B David Freese (hamstring) on IL. .
— Astros activated SS Carlos Correa from the IL. 

6) UConn is paying the AAC $17M to leave and join the Big East a year from now. 

5) Cleveland State hired Florida State assistant Dennis Gates as its new basketball coach; he has a total rebuild on his hands— it is late July, and they only have four players. 

4) This week is the first time EVER that a major leaguer hit three home runs in a game three nights in a row; Cano, DeJong, Cruz, and then Mookie Betts made it four days in a row Friday. 

3) New Jersey Giants’ WR Corey Coleman tore his ACL Thursday, WR Sterling Shepard broke his thumb. Not a lot of depth at that position for Big Blue.

2) LA Clippers are going to build a new arena in Inglewood; not sure what is wrong with the Staples Center, other than they probably want all the arena’s income to themselves, rather than share a building with their rival Lakers. 

1) If the NBA ever wanted to do an event some summer to make a fortune for itself or for some charities, a 64-player 1-on-1 tournament would be huge.

Imagine Westbrook vs Durant, or Lebron vs Kawhi. 

They did hold a 1-on-1 tournament back in the early 70’s for a couple years; they aired the taped/edited games at halftime of their Sunday national TV games, but it ended in part because Julius Erving’s agent wouldn’t let him play. The better players didn’t have much to gain by playing, which was too bad. 

It’ll never happen nowadays; too much risk of an injury, but it would be fun to see.

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

13) Twins 10, White Sox 3— In his first 12 AB’s vs Chicago this season, Nelson Cruz was 8-12 with six home runs. Minnesota is on a MLB record-setting home run pace this year.

There have been seven 3-HR games at Guaranteed Rate Field, only one by a Chicago player. 

12) Funny moment on the White Sox telecast last night, when they showed the only home run Giants’ broadcaster Duane Kuiper hit in his 12-year major league career. 

Kuiper was a pretty good player, mostly for Cleveland; he hit .271 in his career, but his OPS was only .641, so not lot of pop there. The reason the White Sox showed his homer last night is because he hit it off of White Sox broadcaster Steve Stone, who went 15-12 that year, but lost 9-2 to the Indians that night. 

Stone was a good sport (he is a great analyst) and it made for a couple laughs.

11) After averaging 16,843 fans for their first 16 home games, Minnesota Twins have averaged 31,516 fans over their past 36 games at Target Field. They’ve had eight sellouts this season. Winning generates interest.

10) Under went 22-8-1 in baseball Tuesday/Wednesday; handicapping baseball is a daily grind and a tough one. The balls are juiced, but you still have to make contact for them to leave the yard.

9) Angels swept Freeway Series from Dodgers 4-0 this year, first time they’ve ever done that.

8) Tampa Bay Rays’ ace Blake Snell is done for several weeks; he’s going to have his elbow scoped- they hope to have him back in September. 

7) Baseball stuff:
— Tyler White was traded from Houston to the Dodgers for minor league P Andre Scrubb.
— Tampa Bay put P Blake Snell (elbow) on the IL.
— Texas put OF Joey Gallo (broken hand) on the IL.
— New York put OF Brett Gardner (knee) on the IL. 

6) If you care about such things, Falcons are -2 over Denver with a total of 34 in the Hall of Fame game in Canton next week. First NFL game of the preseason.

5) Pittsburgh Steelers open on road (at Foxboro) for 5th straight year; since ’97, Pitt is 1-8-1 vs spread when an underdog in their road opener; five of their last six RO’s stayed under total.

4) Oft-injured Troy Tulowitzki retired Thursday after a 13-year playing career; he hit .290  with an .856 career OPS, made five All-Star teams, was a big part of the 2007 NL champ Rockies.

3) Happy birthday (Thursday) to one of my boyhood heroes, Biff Pocoroba, who turned 66 years old this week. A switch-hitting catcher, Pccoroba hit .257 in a 10-year career, making the 1978 All-Star Game (he caught the 9th inning). 

Also, Caddyshack hit theaters this week in 1980. Very funny movie. 

2) 947 people have already signed up for the $1,500/entry Westgate SuperContest in Las Vegas, where you pick five NFL games a week against the spread. 

1) Wow, the Federal Trade Commission fined Facebook $5B for losing control over tons of personal data and mishandling its communications with users. Apparently, $5B is only one month’s worth of revenue for Facebook, which is kind of staggering. 

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

13) Tuesday was a great night of baseball: five extra-inning games, Kole Calhoun throws out the tying run at the plate to end a game in LA, Aaron Hicks makes a great catch to end the game in Minnesota. Very entertaining. 

12) Trea Turner hit for the cycle against Colorado Tuesday, making him the 3rd player ever to hit for the cycle twice against the same team— Christian Yelich did it twice against the Reds LY and Fred Clarke did it over 100 years ago.

11) Then there was Wednesday’s Boston-Tampa Bay game, where the Rays lost their DH in the 8th inning. Later they put a pitcher at first base for one batter, then re-inserted him as a pitcher one batter later, something that won’t be allowed soon when they change the rules and make relievers face 3+ hitters in each appearance. 

Anyway, this seldom happens, and because Angel Hernandez was the umpire, chaos ensued—game was delayed for 19 minutes, as both managers argued their case. Red Sox played the game under protest, and no one involved seemed to know what they were doing. 

Final analysis seemed to be that the Rays didn’t declare where they wanted the second pitcher to hit in the batting order, and for some reason, the rule says when that happens, instead of the umpire simply asking them, the ump can put they pitcher wherever he sees fit. Weird rule. 

Rays won the game; they’re 58-47, Red Sox are 56-47. 

10) The current collective bargaining agreement in baseball stipulates that any player who joins the active roster of a new team is entitled to seven days of meal money and seven days in a hotel. At a rate of $31.50 per day, the meal money comes out to about $220. Players are usually put up at an upscale hotel, like a Hilton. 

9) Green Bay Packers released DT Mike Daniels, he was due to make $7.6M in the last year of his contract- the move clears over $8.3M in cap space for the Packers. 

8) Baseball stuff:
— Twins DFA’d P Blake Parker
— New York put C Gary Sanchez (groin strain) on the IL.
— Cubs activated Willson Contreras from the IL, sent Addison Russell to AAA.
— A’s DFA’d C Nick Hundley, couple days after he caught a no-hitter in the minors.

7) Something I learned today: Rogers Hornsby was a coach for the ’62 Mets.

6) When Andrew Cashner was traded from San Diego to the Marlins in 2016, he had to shave his beard- Miami had a no-beard policy. Before that, Cashner hadn’t shaved in five years. 

5) Pac-12’s football title game moves from Santa Clara to Las Vegas into the Raiders’ new dome, starting in 2021. 

Mountain West Conference should do that, too.

4) Oakland, Tampa Bay both have a weird schedule this football season:
— Raiders play Weeks 1-2 at home, then play at Minnesota, at Indy and play the Bears over in London. After a bye week, they play at Green Bay, at Houston.
— Bucs play Weeks 4-5 at LA, New Orleans, then play Carolina over in London; after their bye week, they play at Tennessee, at Seattle.

So the Raiders play at home in Week 2, then not again until Week 9.
Buccaneers play at home in Week 3, then not again until Week 10.

3) Eagles are only NFL team this season that plays three true road games in three weeks. 

Playing that third week in row on the road used to be a death trap spread-wise, but the last four years, NFL teams playing their third straight week in true road games are 7-6 vs spread. 

2) Since 2010, NFL teams are 11-21 vs spread in their first home game after playing those three straight weeks on the road. That I wouldn’t have guessed. 

1) NFL has worked hard to avoid this situation; I mentioned how the Eagles are only team to have three straight weeks with true road games. As recently as 1997, that happened 11 times; it happened eight times in 2000. 

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

13) Few weeks ago, I posted something on here about a couple of brothers who are financial analysts in this area, and very successful ones. I went to college with one of them; good guys. 

If you’re inclined towards prayer, please say one for the Fagan family; Chris was diagnosed with ALS and is fighting that hideous disease now. 

His daughter Kate wrote a beautiful article about him recently. 

https://www.theplayerstribune.com/en-us/articles/kate-fagan-father-als

12) The next 7-8 days figure to have lot of baseball trades, which will be followed by lot of trade analysis, but until the trades happen, we’re stuck with lot of trade speculation, which is analysis of stuff that hasn’t or may not happen. In other words, a waste of time. 

“We won’t all run out of money, but we’ll all run out of time.” 

One of the biggest things about the Interweb is that there is so much stuff out there- time management is important, so you can learn as much as possible, without cluttering your brain. Nothing clutters my brain like speculation about that stuff that may/may not happen. 

11) When Robert Kennedy was assassinated in 1968, the person who took his place as a US Senator from New York was Charles Goodell (Roger Goodell’s father). 

Someone posted an article on Twitter over the weekend about how after the first man walked on the moon in 1969, Charles Goodell criticized the space program for not being worth the money that was spent on it. Controversial opinion for sure, but have to give the guy credit for having the onions to say what he thought. Politicians don’t do that anymore; they cover their own butt. 

10) LSU spent $28M to re-do its football locker room; each player has a chair that folds out into a bed, complete with an iPad holder to watch film, charging ports and storage below the seat/bed. Pretty nice locker room.

9) How do new NFL head coaches do in Week 1 of their first year? 

Last year, the seven new head coaches went 0-7, after new coaches had gone 17-10 from 2014-17 in their season openers. 

There are eight new head coaches this season; we’ll see how they do. 

8) San Antonio Spurs hired their former star player Tim Duncan as an assistant coach, which will be interesting. Duncan has never coached before. 

7) Mark Sanchez retired from the NFL and will join ESPN’s college football studio show; he’ll replace Mack Brown, who went back into coaching this season at North Carolina.

Sanchez’ career:
— 37-36 regular season record, 4-2 in playoffs.
— All six of his playoff games were on the road.
— Over $74M earned in salary. 

6) By way of comparison, other QB’s playoff records:
— Derek Carr 0-0 (got hurt the year Oakland was really good)
— Kirk Cousins 0-1
— Andy Dalton 0-4
— Tony Romo 2-4
— Matt Ryan 4-6
— Matthew Stafford: 0-3

5) ESPN compared the history of USC and Alabama’s programs Tuesday, as far as alumni go; the best QB in USC history is Carson Palmer? 

I know in their heyday the Trojans ran the ball down people’s throats, but Alabama has Stabler, Starr, Namath, all of whom were better than Palmer. 

Other USC QB’s who played in the NFL; Sanchez, Pat Haden, Rodney Peete, Matt Cassel, Vince Evans, Todd Marinovich, Bill Nelsen. 

4) Washington Redskins RB Adrian Peterson has made about $100M in salary, and millions more in endorsements during his NFL career, but he’s deep in debt after his lawyer says he trusted people who ripped him off. 

College athletes should be required to take money management courses while they’re in school; hell, maybe all of us should’ve done that, but for a guy who has made $100M+ to be deeply in debt is both sad and ridiculous. 

3) Baseball stuff:
— Rays put 3B Yandy Diaz (bruised foot) on the IL.
— Mariners put 2B Dee Gordon (quad) on the IL. 

2) Cincinnati Reds have hit 30 first-inning home runs, most in the majors. 

1) NCAA put DePaul’s basketball program on three years’ probation Tuesday and suspended Blue Demons coach Dave Leitao for three games. 

Over the last 12 years, DePaul is 38-180 in Big East games; 38 and freakin’ 180!!!! If they’re cheating while going 38-180, what are the teams that are winning doing?

Tuesday’s Den: Random Lists of 3……

13) Three things young people have no idea about………
— Phone booths
— Encyclopedias
— Having to get up to change the channel

12) Three things I’d like to do someday:
— A’s game in the Oakland Coliseum
— LSU home football game (at night)
— New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas (too expensive 🙂 )

11) Three changes I’d make to baseball:
— Managers/coaches wouldn’t wear uniforms
— Geographic realignment
— Split-season format, to invigorate late June/July. 

10) Three changes I’d make to ESPN:
— No daily NBA shows from end of summer league to start of training camp.
— If you must have a daily NBA show, then you have a daily baseball show, too.
— Less hideous talk shows on weekdays; show poker re-runs instead, or NFL Films, or anything that doesn’t include Mike Greenberg or Stephen A Smith. 

9) Three non-sports people it would be fun to have dinner with:
— Steve Martin
— David Letterman
— Bill Murray

8) Three changes I’d make to football:
— Take radios out of players’ helmets
— Get rid of Thursday NFL games, except Week 1 and Thanksgiving.
— 18-game season, with all players getting paid 12.5% more; two preseason games, with Super Bowl the Sunday night of Presidents’ Day weekend. 

7) Three sports people it would be fun to have dinner with:
— Billy Beane
— Dick Vermeil
— Charles Barkley

6) Three most fun events I’ve been to:
— 2000 NFC title game in St Louis (Rams-Bucs)
— 2008 World Series (Phillies-Rays)
— Alabama-Tennessee game in Knoxville, in 2003

5) Three other fun things I’ve been to:
— Tailgating before Tennessee-South Carolina game in 2008
— Watching AAU nationals for 12 hours a day at Disney World in Florida.
— Knicks-Spurs preseason game (Jerry Tarkanian was coaching the Spurs)

4) Three changes I’d make to the NBA:
— Head coaches would all be active players.
— Playoff series would be best-of-3; finals best-of-5.
— Draft lottery would be an hour before the actual draft. 

3) Three things that would be an improvement:
— Baseball expands to 32 teams, making scheduling easier.
— College football playoff expanding to eight teams.
— Reducing NFL preseason games from four per team to two. 

2) Three random observations:
— Pro golf in person is amazingly quiet.
— If you like the NBA, I strongly recommend you heading to Las Vegas some July to watch summer league games. Very affordable, lot of fun and it is Las Vegas!!!
— Watching the World Series of Poker in person was really boring; you need to see the hole card camera for it to be interesting.

1) Back when they had a CBA franchise in Albany, one night I got to shoot free throws for beer at the end of the 3rd quarter. For every free throw I made in 24 seconds, I got a free case of beer:
— The CBA back then was what the G-League is now; very good basketball. Bill Musselman, George Karl and Phil Jackson all coached the Patroons.
— Good news: I made 4 out of 7 shots in 24 seconds.
— Bad news: I very rarely drink beer, and they wouldn’t exchange it for soda. 

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

13) Kansas City Royals won the World Series four years ago; they struck out 973 times the entire regular season. 

Today is July 22, and Seattle/Texas have already struck out more than that this season. 

12) Houston’s Yuli Gurriel has 13 homers and 28 RBIs in his last 22 games; he’s homered in five of his last six home games.

11) Boston’s Rick Porcello won his last three starts, despite allowing 16 runs in 17.2 IP; Red Sox scored 50 runs in his last four starts. 

10) Chances are you had a better Sunday than golfer JB Holmes, who started out 66-68-69 at the British Open, but then imploded with an 87 Thursday, shooting a 46 on the back nine. 

9) Run differential is a misleading stat; Arizona is +63, the Giants are -42, but both teams are 50-50, and thats the only stat the really counts. 

8) Kawhi Leonard was at the Pacquiao-Thurman fight in Las Vegas Saturday night and was wearing one of his championship rings from the Spurs. Now you know why some of these guys go around with bodyguards; thats a pretty expensive ring. 

7) Baseball stuff:
— Giants DFA’d P Derek Holland.
— Orioles DFA’d Keon Broxton.
— Rays put OF Kevin Keirmaier (thumb) on the IL.
— Rockies DFA’d 1B Mark Reynolds

6) Giants 3, Mets 2 (12)— On June 29, San Francisco was 35-47; the only thing that mattered was where they were trading Madison Bumgarner. Now the Giants are 50-50, 2.5 games out of a playoff spot and maybe Bumgarner ain’t going anywhere. 

5) Colorado 8, New York 4— Bronx Bombers are 10-6 this month; 0-4 when Paxton starts, 10-2 with everyone else. Rockies lost 13 of their last 16 games. 

4) Orioles 5, Red Sox 0— Boston gets one hit in 7.1 innings against Asher Wojciechowski, and you have to think the Red Sox are going to make a big splash on the trade market. Red Sox are three games out of a playoff spot- they play New York next weekend. 

3) Phil Mickelson and Eldrick Woods have played in 83 majors together; this week was first time they both missed the cut in the same major.

2) If you don’t think time flies, NFL training camps open this week. Can’t even imagine what football was like in the old days, when teams did two-a-day practices in pads in this heat, for most of the summer. 

1) Nothing against Harold Baines, but he is a Hall of Famer and Dave Parker isn’t? 

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


13) The more I think about it, with today’s society having such a short attention span, major league baseball should go to a split-season format— you’d have to move the trading deadline, either up to the end of the All-Star break, or back to August 31. 

Just think it would create more interest in a period of the summer where the NBA gets far too much attention, between the NBA Draft and then summer league. You could have a second Opening Day, and teams that floundered in the first half would get a second chance. 

12) Jacob deGrom has a 2.18 ERA in his last 52 starts, but only 15 wins in those starts. 

The last seven times he threw 7+ innings without allowing a run, he won only twice.

11) Miami Marlins scored 2 or fewer runs in 11 of Trevor Richards’ 19 starts. 

Marlins scored 6+ runs in five of Jordan Yamamoto’s six starts.

10) Nick Pivetta has started 13 games for Philly; they didn’t score in first five innings in six of those 13 games, including the last four in a row.

9) This is a weird stat; Pittsburgh’s Jordan Lyles has started 17 major league games in July; his team is 0-17 in those games, with last nine going over the total.

8) A’s 5, Twins 4— Khris Davis hit a huge two-out single in the top 9th inning, then Liam Hendriks escaped a bases loaded jam in the bottom as Oakland gets an excellent road win. 

7) Baseball stuff:
— Angels DFA’d P Matt Harvey, who may be running out of chances.
— Astros DFA’d 1B Tyler White, who wlll get signed by another team.
— Twins traded P Mike Morin to the Phillies for cash.
— Tigers put P Spencer Turnbull (back) on the IL. 

6) Oklahoma/Central Florida will play a home/home basketball series starting next winter; it would be more interesting if they started a home/home football series. 

5) A new FanDuel sports book opened this week at Tioga Downs casino resort, which is between Elmira and Binghamton in the southern tier of New York. 

4) Dodgers 10, Marlins 6— Dodgers have blown five saves in their last seven games; they had five blown saves in their previous 35 games. LA did win, though; they lead NL West by 15 games. 

3) It is so hot this weekend that police in Braintree, MA are asking would-be criminals to hold off on committing crimes until Monday. Really, they are. 

Committing a crime in this sort of weather is “next level henchmen status,” the Braintree PD said, not to mention dangerous to the offender’s health. 

Alrighty then. 

2) Would’ve been cool if one of the Apollo 11 astronauts had taken a picture of Alice Kramden to the moon.

1) 50 years ago yesterday was the moon landing, and it was also Vida Blue’s big league debut as a 19-year old pitcher. Blue gave up five runs (three earned) in 5.1 IP in a 7-3 loss to the Angels. He threw a no-hitter in 1970 and became one of baseball’s biggest stars in 1971, as a 21-year old. 

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

13) College football teams with all five starters back on the offensive line:

Auburn, Ball State, Boise St, Hawai’i, Iowa St.
Michigan St, Oregon, Southern Miss, Texas St
UL-Lafayette, UL-Monroe, Western Kentucky

12) Over last five years, Utah is 11-2 vs spread as a road underdog; Whittingham is 11-2 SU in bowl games. 

11) Last two years, USC is 2-9 vs spread a a home favorite; since 2012, they’re 1-9 vs spread in neutral field games. 

10) Cincinnati allowed 35.8 ppg in their last five bowl games (2-3 SU); once 2014, Bearcats are 8-15 vs spread in non-conference games. 

9) Central Florida is 25-1 SU the last two years, with a +31 turnover margin; they’re 12-6-1 vs spread in last 19 games as a home favorite. 

8) Last four years, South Florida has a +28 turnover ratio; under Charlie Strong, Bulls are 5-12 vs spread as a home favorite. 

7) Since 2015, Temple is 25-8-1 vs spread in conference games; they’re 13-3 vs spread in last 16 games coming off a loss. 

6) Marshall is 12-2 all-time in bowl games, 5-0 since 2013; since 2016, Thundering Herd is 4-9 vs spread as a home favorite. 

5) Under Butch Davis, FIU is 2-6 vs spread as a home favorite, 6-0 as a home underdog. 

4) Last three years, Middle Tennessee State is 11-4 vs spread coming off a loss. 

3) Western Kentucky has its fifth head coach in eight years; last two years, Hilltoppers are 0-5 vs spread as a road favorite. 

2) From 2012-16, Southern Mississippi had a minus-63 turnover margin in 62 games; last two years, Golden Eagles were minus-2, and went 8-5/6-5. 

1) Since bringing their program back two years ago, UAB is 10-1-1 vs spread at home. 

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

13) Extreme heat is forecast for the Albany/Saratoga area Saturday; NYRA has cancelled racing for Saturday at Saratoga, which is a wise but expensive decision to make. 

Saturdays at Saratoga draw big crowds; I’m guessing the bars and restaurants in the area are less than happy with the decision.

12) Can you be considered one of the all-time great quarterbacks if you never won a Super Bowl? Dan Marino never won a Super Bowl, Dan Fouts never played in one, but their greatness was obvious. Its an interesting debate when you weigh who the all-time greats were. 

11) I still think John Elway is the best QB ever; who do you think is the best ever? 


10) Mookie Betts is the first Boston Red Sox player since Ted Williams in 1946 to score a run in 13 consecutive games.

9) Cincinnati Reds have homered 28 times in first inning this year, the most in MLB. 

8) It still boggles my mind that the Cleveland Browns are favored to win the AFC North when they’ve been favored in only four of their 48 games the last three years. 

7) Baseball stuff:
— Marlins put SS JT Riddle (forearm) on IL.
— Reds put C Curt Casali (knee), P David Rodriguez (shoulder) on the IL.
— Braves activated OF Ender Inciarte from the IL.
— Angels put C Jonathan Lucroy (broken nose) on IL. 

6) Oddsmaking legend Jimmy Vaccaro is returning to Las Vegas to work at the SouthPoint Casino; he had been working at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh. 

5) Our prayers go out to UNLV offensive coordinator Barney Cotton, who needs a heart transplant and is stepping aside from his job with the Rebels.

4) Nationals 13, Braves 4— Stephen Strasburg had three hits, five RBI and allowed three runs in 5.1 IP as Washington closed within 5.5 games of Atlanta in the NL East. 

3) Jacob deGrom and Noah Syndergaard have been teammates for five years; they’ve started consecutive games 58 times. 

Only nine of those 58 times did both deGrom/Syndergaard get wins. 

2) In a fitting bit of symmetry, five guys were arrested Thursday for fighting at a Five Guys restaurant in Stuart, FL. Two adults, three juveniles were taken into custody; no report if they got their burgers to go or not.

1) My all-time basketball starting five: Kareem, Jordan, Bill Russell, Lebron and Magic.

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

13) Spent Wednesday afternoon in Rivers Casino’s new sportsbook in Schenectady and had an excellent time; it was (kind of) like being in Las Vegas. 

Not sure what they’re going to do when football starts, because it’ll be very crowded, but they’ve got betting kiosks which should help you make wagers quicker than if you wait on line. 

12) Dodgers 7, Phillies 2— Long rain delay in the third inning of this game; teams play again at 1:00 this afternoon, not much turnaround time, less than 12 hours. 

11) San Diego Padres have been no-hit ten times, but have never thrown one. There have been 134 no-hitters since 1969, when the Padres joined the big leagues. 

Former Miami farmhand Chris Paddack took a no-hitter into the 8th inning for the Padres Wednesday night; he had to settle for a 3-2 win.

10) A’s 10, Mariners 2— Oakland hit six homers as they won Homer Bailey’s debut in green and gold. Ramon Laureano homered and made another great catch in centerfield. 

9) Giants 11, Rockies 8— Colorado’s season is spinning out of control; anytime their hitters don’t put up a 10-spot (and sometimes even when they do), their pitching can’t hold up. Rockies are 2-11 in their last 13 games, outscored 108-57.

8) AAA Albuquerque Isotopes (Colorado’s farm team) had 50 cent hot dog nite last night and drew 10,225 fans who bought a total of 35,174 hot dogs. Cheap food is a popular promotion. 

7) Baseball stuff:
— White Sox put OF Eloy Jimenez (elbow) on the IL.
— White Sox activated C Welington Castillo from the IL.
— Phillies put OF Jay Bruce (oblique) on the IL.
— Royals put SS Adelberto Mondesi (shoulder) on the IL. 

6) Arizona 19, Texas 4— Eduardo Escobar homered from both sides of the plate. 

5) Atlanta Falcons are paying their defense this week; first DT Grady Jarrett got a 4-year, $68M deal, then LB Deion Jones got a 4-year, $57M extension. 

4) If you do offseason NBA research, keep in mind that over the last two seasons, the Denver Nuggets are 23-8 in games decided by three-points or less.

3) With Tony Parker retiring, JJ Redick is the only active player in the NBA who has been in the league for 13+ years and has been in the playoffs every year. 

2) Mets 14, Twins 4— Minnesota led 3-2 after six innings; not a good day for their bullpen. 

1) Saturday is the 50th anniversary of the first time a guy walked on the moon; imagine what that must have been like? Doing something just about no one else has ever done. Amazing.