13) QB Alex Smith retired Monday, ending a 16-year career; he suffered a severely broken leg in 2018, wound up having 17 surgeries, had his life threatened by infection, but fought back and wound up starting six games for Washington LY, winning five of them.
All in all, Smith had a 99-67-1 record as a QB; he was the first player taken in the 2005 draft, after playing for Urban Meyer at Utah. He’s also the answer to a future trivia question; he was the Chiefs’ QB before Patrick Mahomes.
If you get a chance to see the film ESPN did on Smith’s recovery (Project 11) it is worth your time. It is stunning, all he went through so he could play football again. Very tough guy, this Alex Smith. I am hoping he goes on TV so we can learn from him.
12) There isn’t enough “nice” in the world these days, but CNN’s Wolf Blitzer did a nice thing Monday night. This week is the 20th anniversary of Dr Sanjay Gupta working for CNN- they put together a highlight reel from the past 20 years of Dr Gupta on TV, and CNN showed it while Wolf Blitzer had him on the air Monday. It was pretty cool.
Dr Gupta is an accomplished neurosurgeon; over the past year, I’ve learned a lot from listening to him on TV. He didn’t get a haircut until he got his vaccine; I haven’t had a haircut since last summer because of that— now I look like Albert Einstein 🙂
Good news is my first vaccine shot is Sunday. Then, thanks to Dr Gupta, I can get my haircut.
11) Tampa Bay Rays went 90-72 in 2018, then made the playoffs the last two years, so they’re doing great stuff with a very limited payroll- they made the World Series last year.
But they do some unusual things; they firmly believe that the starting pitcher shouldn’t face the opponents’ lineup more than twice. Last year, they took Blake Snell out of a World Series game when he was rolling; it went against the grain, it didn’t work and they got ripped for it.
Monday night in Kansas City, Josh Fleming had a 2-0 lead in the 6th inning- he had allowed only two baserunners, but when Whit Merrifield came up for his third AB, out came Kavin Cash and Fleming went to the showers. They have their philosophy, and they stick to it.
Tampa Bay’s bullpen held the lead last night, they improved to 9-8. Can’t argue with their results, but their tactics can make you shake your head.
10) In his first two starts, Washington’s Joe Ross threw 11 shutout innings, and one of those starts was against the Dodgers, so I sat down to watch him pitch last night, to see if I wanted to pick him up for my fantasy team. It didn’t go well.
Cardinals attacked Ross’s pitches like they were smashng a piñata; he gave up ten runs in 4.1 IP, as St Louis hammered the Nationals 12-5. Go figure.
9) Warriors 107, 76ers 96— Steph Curry made 10-17 3-pointers, scored 49 points, as he tries to carry the Warriors on his back to the playoffs.
8) Nuggets 139, Grizzlies 137, 2OT— Nikola Jokic scored 41 points, grabbed 15 rebounds, also had eight assists, as Denver improved to 37-20.
7) San Jose Sharks’ F Patrick Marleau played in his 1,768th career NHL game Monday night in Las Vegas, breaking the previous record, held by Gordie Howe. Anytime you break a record held by Gordie Howe, thats impressive.
6) Former Michigan quarterback Joe Milton will transfer to Tennessee; he’s going to graduate from Michigan next month, so he should be eligible to play this fall. Milton will have three years of eligibility left; he started five games LY, but was replaced near the end of the season.
5) Kind of an alarming stat: Roughly 40% of all college basketball players who enter Division I directly out of high school leave their initial school by the end of their sophomore year. This is a chaotic time for college coaches; you have to re-recruit all your players, every year.
I’m going to need a vacation in October to try and sort out who is playing where in college basketball next winter. Sounds like a good excuse to visit Las Vegas for the first time in two years.
4) If the baseball playoffs started today (they don’t):
NL: Mets-Reds-Dodgers. Wild Card: Giants-Brewers
AL: Red Sox-Royals-Mariners, Wild Card: Angels-A’s
3) Texas Rangers’ new ballpark appears to be a pitchers’ park; under is 7-2 in first nine games there this season. My question is this: did they make it a pitcher’s park on purpose?
Keep hearing how baseball wants more offense, then they build a pitchers’ park. Go figure.
2) Red Sox 11, White Sox 4— Patriots’ Day is a holiday in Boston; Red Sox have played at home every Patriots’ Day since 1959— the Boston Marathon is usually run that day (it’ll be in October this year). Red Sox play their annual Patriots’ Day game at 11am.
This year’s game was over by 11:30; first six Boston batters got hits, they all scored and they cruised to an 11-4 win over White Sox ace Lucas Giolito, who had an awful hour on the mound- he threw 46 pitches in the first inning.
All in all, the Red Sox are 71-53 on Patriots’ Day.
1) White Sox’ DH Yermin Mercedes pitched the 8th inning, making him the first White Sox player to DH and pitch in the same game since Adam LaRoche, on July 31, 2015.
Here’s the thing: in both of those games, games played six years apart, the opposing starting pitcher was Nathan Eovaldi.