Saturday’s Den: Some college football QB’s who transferred this year……

This is a listing of QB’s who transferred this season; it is NOT a ranking; players are listed alphabetically by their new school’s name.

— Dequan Finn, Baylor- A 3-year starter at Toledo, was MAC Player of the Year LY, throwing for 2,657 yards, 22 TD’s. Also ran for 563 yards, 7 TD’s.

— Maalik Murphy, Duke- A former 5-star recruit, Murphy started twice for Texas LY, but threw only 71 passes all season. Former starter Riley Leonard bolted to Notre Dame.

— DJ Uiagalelei, Florida State- Threw for 2,638 yards and 21 TD’s for Oregon State LY, after starting for two years at Clemson before that. FSU has only 10 starters back, but they added 14 transfers. Uiagalelei needs to be a more accurate passer.

— Cade McNamara, Iowa- Hawkeyes ranked 129th in scoring last year, 127th in passing yardage; fair to say they had the worst offense in the country, but they went 10-4, despite losing their last two games, 26-0/35-0. McNamara was QB for a 12-2 Michigan team in 2021; he had a torn ACL last year. Iowa brought in a new offensive coordinator to try to score some points.

— Tyler Shough, Louisville- Texas Tech transfer threw for 177 yards in Louisville’s spring game; Cardinals coach Brohm is an excellent offensive coach, but Louisville has only two starters back on the offensive line.

— Cam Ward, Miami- Started out at I-AA Incarnate Word, then bolted to Washington State; he threw for 6,963 yards, 48 TD’s in two years at Wazzu. Miami was 1-4 last year in games decided by 7 or fewer points last year. Ward was brought in to reverse that trend.

— Max Johnson, North Carolina- Started 22 games at LSU/Texas A&M; his dad is former NFL QB Brad Johnson, his uncle is Mark Richt, the former Miami coach. Tar Heels started last year 6-0, but then the defense imploded and they finished 8-5. 

Famous birthdays, June 1st:
Morgan Freeman, 87
Brian Cox, 78
Tony Bennett, 55
Teri Polo, 55
Paula Malcomson, 54
Alanis Morrissette, 50
Brandi Carlile, 43
Nick Young, 39
Andrew Abbott, 25

— Grayson McCall, NC State- 3-time Sun Belt Player of the Year at Coastal Carolina, where he threw for over 10,000 yards. Wolfpack has September games against Tennessee/Clemson, so McCall better mesh with his new teammates fairly quickly.

— Riley Leonard, Notre Dame- This is what Notre Dame does now, they just poach QB’s; last year it was Wake Forest’s Sam Hartman (they went 10-3), now it is Leonard, who led Duke to 9-4/8-5 records the last two years. Notre Dame added three transfer WR’s, figures to have a more wide-open offense this season,

— Will Howard, Ohio State- Was a 4-year starter at Kansas State (Wildcats were 31-19 during that time); he is more of a run/pass guy than a deep passer, will be interesting to see how he does under Buckeyes’ new OC, former Oregon/UCLA/Eagles coach Chip Kelly.

Ohio State lost to Michigan the last three years; there is heat on the head coach.

— Alex Bowman, Oklahoma State- Is going into his 7th college season (even I got out of college faster than that); he threw for 3,460 yards LY, with only 15 TD’s, 14 INT’s (RB Gordon ran for 21 TD’s). Cowboys’ entire offensive line returns, so their offense should be stellar.

— Dillon Gabriel, Oregon- Started for two years at UCF, two more years at Oklahoma, now plays for an Oregon team that scored 44.2 points/game LY, with Bo Nix at QB.

Ducks are in the Big 18 now (there are 18 freakin’ teams in this league); November visits to Michigan, Wisconsin will test Gabriel’s skill in cold weather.

— EJ Warner, Rice- Son of Hall of Fame QB Kurt Warner, EJ threw for 3,076 yards last year for a 3-9 Temple squad; he is still an Owl, but a Rice Owl now. Warner led the AAC in passing yards the last two years; he figures to help Rice improve on last year’s minus-14 turnover ratio. 

Rice went bowling the last two years, which hasn’t happened a lot for them; they’ve got an experienced team, actually have some expectations this year.

— Will Rogers, Washington- Rogers started for four years at Mississippi State, where he played for the late Mike Leach, but things imploded in Starkville LY, after Leach’s untimely death. He ranks #2 in passing yards in the history of the SEC.

Huskies lost all 11 starters on offense after their head coach bolted to Alabama; they’ve got only one starter back on defense, but new coach Jedd Fisch rebuilt Arizona’s program fairly quickly

This is what college sports are becoming; the rich poaching from the not-so-rich. Not an ideal situation, but it is what it is……..

Friday’s Den: Trends for all 30 MLB teams…….

Trends for all 30 MLB teams…….

— Arizona was 28-21 LY vs lefty starting pitchers; they’re 6-14 this year.
Merrill Kelly hasn’t pitched since April 15; Zac Gallen left Thursday’s start with an injury, after throwing only 6 pitches.

— Braves are 5-10 in their last 15 games.
Atlanta is 11-5 vs AL teams, 20-18 vs NL teams.

— Cubs lost seven of their last eight games.
Cubs are 8-2 in Imanaga’s starts, 20-27 with anyone else starting. 

— Since April 26, Reds are 0-10 in games where winning run scored from 7th inning on.
Cincinnati won five of its last six series openers.

— Rockies won eight of their last ten home games.
Over is 10-4 in Colorado’s last fourteen games.

— Dodgers are 8-2 when James Paxton starts.
Under is 12-5 in their last 17 road games.

— Marlins are 2-18 against lefty starting pitchers, 18-19 vs righties.
Over is 12-3 in their last 15 home games.
Under is 7-1 in their last eight road tilts.

— Brewers are 10-3 in their last 13 home games.
Rookie P Gasser is 2-0, 2.35 in his first four MLB starts.

— Mets are 7-17 in their last 24 games.
Last year, Mets had a $346M payroll, they went 75-87.
This year, Mets have a $323M payroll, they’re 23-33.

— Phillies won 18 of their last 20 home games.
Phillies are 10-1 when Ranger Suarez pitches, 7-0 at home.

— Pittsburgh are 16-9 when Keller, Falter, Skenes start.
Over is 10-1 in Pirates’ last eleven home games. 

— St Louis won 12 of its last 15 games.
Cardinals are 9-15 in day games, 18-12 in night games.

— Padres are 11-4 in games where winning run scored from 7th inning on.
San Diego is 13-19 at home, 17-10 on road.

— Giants won 10 of their last 13 games.
San Francisco is 16-9 in day games, 13-19 in night games.

— Nationals won seven of last eight series openers.
Washington is 9-2 when Trevor Williams pitches. 

Famous birthdays, May 31st:
Clint Eastwood, 94
Joe Namath, 81
Tom Berenger, 75
Chris Elliott, 64
Lea Thompson, 63
Kenny Lofton, 57
Dave Roberts, 52
Jake Peavy, 43
Nate Robinson, 40
Shane Bieber, 29

— Orioles are 6-1 in their last seven games.
Baltimore is 13-4 vs lefty starters.

— Red Sox lost six of their last eight home games.
Nick Pivetta struck out eight straight Tigers in Thursday’s game.

— White Sox lost 12 of their last 13 games.
Chicago scored total of eight runs in their last five games. 

— Guardians are 16-3 in their last 19 home games.
Cleveland is 10-4 vs lefty starting pitchers, 27-15 vs righties.

— Tigers are 13-9 in games where winning run scored from 7th inning on.
Over is 10-3 in their last 13 games. 

— Astros’ last six games stayed under the total.
Houston is 6-12 against lefty starting pitchers, 19-20 vs righty starters. 

— Royals are off to a 35-23 start; their last winning season was 2015, when they won the World Series.
Kansas City is 21-8 at home, 14-15 on road.

— Angels are 7-21 at home, 14-14 on foreign soil.
Over is 14-7 in their last 21 home games.

— Twins won seven of their last nine games.
Under is 8-2 in their last ten home games.

— New York won 20 of its last 26 games.
NY scored in first inning in nine of its last 15 games.

— A’s lost 10 of their last 11 road games.
Over is 8-4 in their last 12 home games.

— Mariners are 8-1 in home series openers, 3-6 in road series openers.
Seattle is 14-5 in its last 19 home games, overall.

— Rays are 8-5 vs lefty starters, 20-24 vs righty starters.
Tampa Bay is 3-8 in home series openers.

— Texas lost eight of its last nine road games.
Under is 18-5 in Rangers’ last 23 home games.

— Toronto is 7-4 in its last eleven games.
Blue Jays are 3-7 vs lefty starters; LY, they were 20-15.

Thursday’s Den: Doing some thinking out loud……..

— If you coach your kids in youth basketball, show them that a regulation basketball hoop is exactly two basketballs wide. Kids usually don’t believe that until you show them, but it does make shooting easier when you realize the hoop is bigger than it looks.

— Dodgers 10, Mets 3
In their last seven games, Mets have been outscored 27-8 from the 7th inning on.
Mets are 11-19 at home; they’re 10-25 in their last 35 games overall.
Mets are retiring Darryl Strawberry’s #18 Saturday, when they host Arizona.

Dodgers took P James Paxton out after three IP (50 PT); they said later it was planned, since it was Paxton’s first start on four days’ rest, but they never announced that beforehand.

— Mariners 2, Astros 1 (10)
Seattle has now won four games in a row.
Astros are 10-17 on the road- they need a 1B who can hit.

— Blue Jays 3, White Sox 1
Chicago went 61-101 last year, with a payroll of $181.2M
White Sox are 15-42 this year, with a payroll of $129.1M.

— Rangers 6, Diamondbacks 1
Corey Seager has eight home runs in his last eight games.
Marcus Semien took this game off, ending his streak at 349 consecutive starts.

— Brewers 10, Cubs 6
Shota Imanaga had his worst start in this country, giving up seven runs in 4.1 IP.
Milwaukee leads the NL Central by 4.5 games.

— Royals 6, Twins 1
Seth Lugo pitched 6 innings for the win; he is 9-1, 1.72 this season.

Why don’t the Twins have a domed stadium? The weather is cruddy in Minnesota; they have a dome in Milwaukee, you’d think the Twins would, too.

Famous birthdays, May 30th:
Ruta Lee, 89
Wynonna Judd, 60
Billy Donovan, 59
Manny Ramirez, 52
CeeLo Green, 49
Zach Wheeler, 34
Harrison Barnes, 32

— Bronny James apparently turned down a chance to work out for eight NBA teams, accepted workouts with the Lakers, his dad’s team, and the Phoenix Suns. Bronny James started only six of USC’s 33 games as a freshman last season.

— LA Clippers are going to be paying coach Tyrone Lue $14M a year going forward; Lue is 197-151 in his four years as the Clippers coach, but is only 13-17 in playoff games.

— New Jersey Jets are -150 to make the playoffs this fall; they haven’t made the playoffs since 2010, have a QB coming off an achilles injury.

— Atlanta Braves star Ronald Acuna has now played only 409 games the last four years, tearing up both his knees. Acuna is on the books for $17M a year thru 2028.

— Cleveland Guardians are 12-4 in games where the winning run scored from the 7th inning on.

— San Diego Padres reliever Jeremiah Estrada recently struck out 13 consecutive batters over a three-game stretch, which is the longest such streak since at least 1961.

— If the baseball playoffs started today (they do not):
NL: Phillies, Brewers, Dodgers. Wild Cards: Braves, Giants, Padres
AL: New York, Guardians, Mariners. Wild Cards: Orioles, Royals, Twins

Wednesday’s Den: A quick note on all 32 NFL teams

AFC East
— Bills- All seven of their losses last year were by 6 or fewer points. 

— Dolphins- Were 11-4 at one point LY, then lost their last three games, scoring 19-14-7 points.

— Patriots- Were held under 300 total yards in six of their last seven games; they scored less than 10 points in six games.

— Jets- Had five games where they were minus-3 or worse in turnovers.

AFC North
— Ravens- Were 3-5 last year in games decided by 7 or fewer points.

— Bengals- Over was 7-2 in their last nine games.

— Browns- Deshaun Watson makes $46M/year; he’s played in 12 games (8-4) the last two years.

— Steelers- Pittsburgh was 7-0 last year when they scored more than 18 points.

AFC South
— Texans- Houston was +12 in turnovers LY; they were 2-7 when they allowed 20+ points.

— Colts- QB Richardson only threw 84 passes LY, before he got hurt; they were 6-3 in last nine games, with Gardner Minshew playing QB.

— Jaguars- Finished 1-5 after an 8-3 start; they ran for less than 90 yards in six of last seven games.

— Titans- Were minus-6 in turnovers; they were outgained by 125+ yards in six games, outgained only one opponent by more than 37 yards.

AFC West
— Broncos- Missed playoffs the last eight years, going 52-79.

— Chiefs- Were minus-11 in turnovers in regular season, still won 2nd straight Super Bowl.

— Raiders- Won Super Bowl after 2002 season; since then, they’re 0-2 in playoff games.

— Chargers- Jim Harbaugh was 49-22-1 coaching the 49ers, from 2011-14.

Famous birthdays, May 29th:
Blue Moon Odom, 79
Annette Bening, 65
Eric Davis, 62
Shaun King, 47
Carmelo Anthony, 40
Tyler Nevin, 27
Puka Nacua, 23
Paul Skenes, 22

NFC East
— Cowboys- Since 1997, Dallas is 4-12 in playoff games, 3-5 at home.

— Giants- Last seven games LY, Giants were +15 in turnovers, were only 4-3 in those games.

— Eagles- Started last year 10-1; from that point on, they went 1-6.

— Commanders- Washington’s last winning season was 2016, when they were 8-7-1.

NFC North
— Bears- Chicago lost Super Bowl after 2006 season; since then, they’re 1-3 in playoff games.

— Lions- Jared Goff is 70-54-1 as an NFL starter; 43-29 with the Rams, 26-24-1 with Detroit.

— Packers- Made playoffs 11 of last 14 years, lost their last four NFC title games.

— Vikings- Eight of their ten losses last year were by 7 or fewer points (4-7).

NFC South
— Falcons- Kirk Cousins is 77-70-2 as an NFL starter, 1-3 in play0ff games.

— Panthers- Dave Canales is Carolina’s 5th head coach in seven years, not counting interim coaches. Panthers won two games LY: 15-13 over Houston, 9-7 over Atlanta.

— Saints- In their history, Saints are 1-7 in road playoff games; they won 26-24 at Philly in 2013.

— Tampa Bay- Baker Mayfield has already played for four teams in six years; he is 40-48 as an NFL starter, 2-2 in playoff games.

NFC West
— Cardinals- Arizona went 13-3 in 2015, lost NFC title game; since then, they’re 0-1 in playoff games.

— Rams- Under Sean McVay, Rams are 77-49, 7-4 in playoff games; before he came to LA, the Rams had 12 consecutive losing seasons.

— 49ers- Since 2012, 49ers have been in playoffs six times; they went WWL all six years.

— Seahawks- Pete Carroll was 181-131-1 coaching Seattle, but since 2017, he was 1-4 in playoff games, so this winter, for better or worse, they changed coaches. 

Tuesday’s Den: Nobody asked me, but……..

— Basketball icon Bill Walton passed away Monday, at age 71, after a long bout with cancer. He was one of the best college basketball players ever, and also won two NBA championship rings.

Walton’s UCLA teams went 86-4, winning two national titles.
He shot 21-22 from the floor in the 1973 national title game, as UCLA beat Memphis.
He led the Trailblazers to the 1977 NBA title, was a sub on Boston’s 1985 title team.
Walton was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1993.

He was hurt a lot (feet/back) in the NBA, playing in only 468 games. 

After his playing days, Walton became an announcer; he overcame a stuttering problem he had earlier in his life, and boy what an announcer he was. He worked hard at research before games; I always learned stuff listening to him, and it usually had very little to do with basketball.

He had a positive voice on TV, he made you laugh, he made you think. He will be missed.

RIP, sir.

— Celtics 105, Pacers 102
Boston outscored Indiana 25-19 in 4th quarter.
Celtics sweep the series, 4-0.
Boston was 14-44 on the arc, 26-45 inside the arc.
Bad news for the NBA; the Finals don’t start until June 6th.

— I still can’t process that John Calipari is now the basketball coach at Arkansas; why wouldn’t Kentucky want the guy to be their coach? 

410-123 record, three Final Fours, a national title.

Granted, the last four years Kentucky was 1-3 in NCAA Tourney games; people get spoiled. It won’t be long before they wish they had him back in Lexington.

— Nationals 8, Braves 4
Rookie lefty Parker allowed only five baserunners in 6.1 IP.
Atlanta is 4-8 in its last 12 games.

— Padres 2, Marlins 1
San Diego scored the winning run on a bases loaded walk in the 7th inning, about Miami had made two errors earlier in that inning.

— Orioles 11, Red Sox 3
Kyle Stowers went 3-4, had four RBI.
Cole Irvin tossed five shutout IP.

— Famous birthdays for May 28th:
Jerry West, 86
Bill Doran, 66
Brandon Cruz, 62
Glen Rice, 57
Michael Oher, 38
Craig Kimbrel, 36

— Some good news; umpire Angel Hernandez is “retiring” effective immediately, which is good for baseball, since he was a terrible umpire.

When a guy umpires for 32 years and isn’t a crew chief, that says a lot; he once had three calls overturned by replay in the first four innings of a 2018 playoff game. Good riddance.

— On May 26, 1973, White Sox had a game with Cleveland suspended; when they resumed the game on the 28th, lefty Wilbur Wood pitched the last five innings for Chicago, then he tossed a 4-hit shutout in the regularly scheduled game.

From 1972-75, Wood started 182 games (45.5/year); he was 24-20 in 1973, throwing his knuckleball. He once started both ends of a doubleheader.

Nowadays, 32 starts is pretty much the maximum for any starter; Wilbur Wood carried a huge load for some good White Sox teams.

— There were nine no-hitters thrown in 2021, the most in any season; there were eight thrown in 1884. Three of those nine no-hitters in 2021 were against the Cleveland Indians.

— All-time leaders for walks:
2,558- Barry Bonds
2,190- Rickey Henderson
2,062- Babe Ruth
2,021- Ted Williams

— Reds 3, Cardinals 1
Cincinnati won a season-high fourth straight game.
Nick Lodolo allowed a run in 5.1 IP, giving up 5 hits.

— Rockies 8, Guardians 6
Colorado ends the Guardians’ 9-game winning streak.
Charlie Blackmon was 3-4 with four RBI.

— Giants 8, Phillies 4
Teams are now 1-6 in their first game after a series in Denver.
Giants #7-8-9 hitters all had two RBI each.

Monday’s Den: Wrapping up a sports Sunday…….

— Braves 8, Pirates 1
Ronald Acuna blew out his knee, is gone for the season.
Chris Sale won his 7th start in a row.

— Orioles 4, White Sox 1
Kyle Bradish struck out 11, threw seven no-hit IP (103 PT).
Baltimore sweeps this series, after getting swept in St Louis.

If you’re in a weekly fantasy league, the Bradish start was unexpected; he pitched Tuesday, and wasn’t supposed to pitch again until Monday, but when Dean Kremer came up lame after his start last Monday, Bradish’s start got pushed up a day.

— Last year when MLB banned infield shifts, TV people league-wide all said the same stuff, using the same words, so much so that it seemed obvious that they had been coached to sell the changes to TV viewers and it worked. Banning the shift has generally been accepted.

This year, the baseballs seem to be a little dead; I’ve seen Pete Alonso and other hitters hit a few balls to the warning track, but the ball doesn’t seem to be carrying as well. Scoring is down, but I haven’t heard a peep from TV analysts.

The Mets’ booth started talking about it Sunday, but they stopped mid-sentence. Go figure.

— So far this season, teams that played a series at Coors Field in Denver are 1-5 in the first game of their next series; we’ll keep tracking that stat as the season progresses.

— Dallas 116, Minnesota 107
Doncic/Irving both scored 33 points.
Mavericks lead series 3-0; both conference finals are 3-0.
No NBA team has ever won a playoff series after trailing 3-0.

— DC Defenders 36, Memphis 21
Defenders led 22-7 at halftime.
DC outgained the Showboats, 431-231.

Michigan 26, Houston 22
Panthers outscored Houston 14-0 in fourth quarter.
Former NFL QB Bryce Perkins led the two 4th quarter TD drives.

— In case you were wondering, there have been 38 Australian pitchers who’ve made it to the major leagues; Jack O’Loughlin became the 38th Sunday, pitching three scoreless innings for the A’s, in his major league debut.

— Famous birthdays for May 27th:
Jackie Slater, 70
Nick Lowery, 68
John Jaha, 58
Frank Thomas, 56
Jeff Bagwell, 56
Jose Berrios, 30
Yoan Moncada, 29
Daniel Jones, 27

— Random obscure trivia:
In 1954, a Cleveland OF Dale Mitchell made the last out in game 4 of the World Series, as the Indians got swept by the Giants.

Two years later, while playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Mitchell was the last out in Don Larsen’s perfect game in Game 5 of the World Series.

Mitchell was a good ballplayer; he had a .312 career batting average in his 11-year career, making two All-Star games.

— Marlins 3, Diamondbacks 1
Ryan Weathers tossed six scoreless innings.
Marlins are 9-4 in their last 13 games, after starting the season 10-31.

— Tigers 14, Blue Jays 11
Matt Vierling was 4-6 with two homers, six RBI.
In their last six games, Detroit scored a total of 18 runs.
Tigers led 8-3 after the fifth inning.

— Reds 4, Dodgers 1
Nick Martinez allowed one hit in 4.1 IP as the bulk reliever.
Dodgers have lost five games in a row.

— Rangers 6, Twins 2
Corey Seager hit two homers, knocked in three runs.
Texas won only the third time in their last 15 games.

— Cardinals 4, Cubs 3
Paul Goldschmidt homered twice, in a game that started 2.5 hours late.
Cardinals won 10 of their last 12 games.
Both teams have day games in other cities Monday.

— If the baseball playoffs started today (they don’t):
NL- Phillies, Brewers, Dodgers. Wild Cards: Braves, Cubs, SD/SF
AL- New York, Guardians, Mariners. Wild Cards: Orioles, Royals, Twins

Sunday’s Den: Wrapping up a sports Saturday……

— Only three quarterbacks EVER have won a Super Bowl after they lost their first appearance in a Super Bowl: Len Dawson, Bob Greise, John Elway.

— Awkward moment Friday night on the Mets’ telecast, when Mets’ president of baseball operations David Stearns was on TV in the bottom of the third inning with the Mets’ TV crew. 

Stearns was brought in from Milwaukee last winter after the Mets went 75-87 in 2023, despite having the biggest payroll in baseball history. Mets are owned by hedge fund manager Steve Cohen, who is an avid fan and wants to win, but really, really rich people aren’t patient, so there was tension in Stearns’ voice as he talked on TV. 

Mets are 3-12 in their last 15 games; am curious to see how they approach the next few weeks.

— Pirates 4, Braves 1
Mitch Keller won his 4th consecutive start.
Atlanta is 5-9 in its last 14 road games.

— Royals 7, Rays 4 (11)
Kansas City has won eight games in a row.
Nelson Velasquez knocked in two runs, scored two.

— AL West standings (the division is having a bad year)
Mariners 27-26
Rangers 24-29- won World Series last year.
Astros 23-29- won World Series in 2022.
A’s 22-32
Angels 20-32

— Cardinals 7, Cubs 6
St Louis scored four runs in the bottom of the 8th inning.
Cardinals have won nine of last 11 games.

— A’s 3, Astros 1
JP Sears allowed an unearned run in six IP.
Mason Miller struck out the side in the 9th for his 10th save.

Mason Miller is a really good closer who is under team control for a few more years; there are nitwits on TV saying the A’s might deal him for prospects before the trade deadline. If that happens, someone in Oakland is getting a phone call.

The people in Las Vegas should also be paying attention; why would they want a team that doesn’t try to win? Guys like Miller are keepers; they help you win games.

— Guardians 4, Angels 3
Cleveland is a surprising 35-17, atop the AL Central.
Angels are a horrendous 6-18 at home.

— Famous birthdays for May 26th:
Lee Meriwether, 89
Darrell Evans, 77
Dan Pastorini, 75
Richard Schiff, 69
David Greenwood, 67
Peri Gilpin, 63
Greg Lloyd, 59
Doug West, 57
Ben Zobrist, 43

— Celtics 114, Pacers 111
Jayson Tatum scored 36 points, has 8 assists, 10 rebounds.
Celtics were +12 in the 13:00 Xavier Tillman played.
Boston leads series, 3-0; no NBA team has ever won a series after trailing, 3-0.

— Chicago Bulls’ G Lonzo Ball had a meniscus transplant in his knee, so that he can get back to playing ball next season.

Ball has played five years in the NBA, but hasn’t played in two years; he never played more than 63 games in a season.

— Cleveland Cavaliers fired coach JB Bickerstaff after the Cavs went 48-34 this year, losing in the second round of the playoffs. Cleveland was 51-31 last year, but lost in the first round of the playoffs. Losing early in the playoffs can get you fired.

— This week, the Mets became the fifth team ever to lose three games in a row, when they hit 3+ home runs in all three games.

— Arlington 36, St Louis 22
Arlington QB Perez threw for 259 yards, 3 TD’s.
St Louis played their backup QB; they ran ball for 159 yards.

— San Antonio 18, Birmingham 9
First loss of the season for Stallions; they had won 15 games in a row, dating back to last year.
San Antonio improves to 7-2; they lead the XFL division by a game.

— Sunday’s Dodgers-Reds game was moved up 90 minutes to 12:10, because of cruddy weather forecast for the Cincinnati area. 

Saturday’s Den: Random stuff with the weekend here…….

— TV game analysts/studio analysts should be former coaches/players, people who have been in the arena and can tell us what it was like.

TNT has Charles Barkley, Shaquille O’Neal, Kenny Smith on their NBA show.
TNT has Wayne Gretzky, Henrik Lundqvist (and others) on their NHL show.
ESPN has Mark Messier, PK Subban on their NHL show.
This is the way it is supposed to be.

Then there is ESPN’s NBA show, which for some regrettable reason, has Stephen A Smith and Michael Wilbon it; they’ve played/coached in the NBA as much as I have. 

Former Warriors GM Bob Myers is good, having Chris Paul/Draymond Green is good; they can tell us what being in the playoffs are like. 

I listen to games so I can learn stuff; if you have overpaid nitwits spouting palaver at halftime, I quickly hit the mute button, or change the channel.

— There are only 11 major league games on Memorial Day; you’d think on a national holiday, everyone would play, maybe even play a doubleheader.

— If TNT loses rights to NBA broadcasts after next season, and it looks like they will, it is said they’ll lose $500M a year in advertising revenue. No bueno.

— NBA needs to re-calibrate how they track assists:
They should count how many points a player assists to teammates.
— An assist on a 3-point basket would obviously be 3 points.
— An assist that leads to free throws should also count.

This would be a more telling stat than the way they do it now.

— Giants 8, Mets 7
Giants are the first team since 1999 to win three straight games when trailing by 4+ runs; they’re the first team to do it on the road since 1932.

— Brothers who have homered for the same team, in the same inning:
Hank/Tommy Aaron
Cal/Bill Ripken
Josh/Bo Naylor- Cleveland, this year

— Kansas City Royals are only team with an extra-base hit in every game this season.

— Relief pitcher for the Twins came into a game this week in Washington on the Nationals’ bullpen cart; when he got out of the cart, he tipped the driver $5.

— 2025 NFL Draft will be in Green Bay, 2026 draft will be in Pittsburgh.

— Famous birthdays for May 25th:
Leslie Uggams, 81
Bob Knepper, 70
Mike Myers, 61
Kendall Gill, 56
Todd Walker, 51
Molly Sims, 51
Miguel Tejada, 50
Brian Uhrlacher, 46
Kevin O’Connell, 39

— Notes on NFL season win totals:
Last eight years, Broncos are under 7-0-1 against their win total.
Last five years, Bears/Chargers are both under 4-0-1.
Last five years, Dolphins are over 4-0-1 against their win total.
Last four years, Steelers are over 4-0.

— Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa missed a day of Miami’s organized team activities because he was playing in Nick Saban’s charity golf tournament; he has missed some other days, maybe because his people are negotiating a new contract with the Dolphins. 

Last year (his 4th NFL season) was first time Tagovailoa played in all 17 games; he threw for 4,624 yards, completing 69% of his passes, with 29 TD passes.

— Utility guy Joey Wendle went 8-36 in 18 games with the Mets; they told him to take a hike, and now the Braves have stopped him up, which is probably bad news for Zach Short.

— Marlins 3, Arizona 0
Braxton Garrett threw a 95-pitch complete game shutout.
Marlins have five shutout wins in their last nine games.

— Sacramento State basketball coach David Patrick quit to become the associate head coach at LSU; Sac State was 14-18/10-24 in Patrick’s two seasons. It is the second time Patrick has quit being a head coach (Cal-Riverside) to become a D-I assistant. He had previously been at LSU as an assistant coach, from 2012-16.

— Phillies 2, Rockies 1
Bryce Harper struck out in the top of the first, and got tossed from the game; the last time Harper got thrown out of a game was last year, the last time the Phillies played in Denver.

Colorado rookie OF Jordan Beck had 80 plate appearances without drawing a walk, a little bit of a red flag; he finally walked Friday night, but it was an intentional walk in th 

— Dallas Stars’ coach Peter DeBoer has coached in the NHL’s Final Four 5 of the last 6 years, but with three different teams:
2018-19- San Jose 46-27-9, 10-10 in playoffs
2019-20- San Jose 15-16-2, got fired during season

Las Vegas hired him, he was 15-5-2, 12-8 in playoffs.
2020-21- Las Vegas 40-14-2, 10-9 in playoffs.
2021-22- Las Vegas 43-31-8, missed playoffs

2022-23- Dallas 47-21-14, 10-9 in playoffs.
2023-24- Dallas 52-21-9, 8-6 playoffs.

Coach DeBoer has had lot of success, coaching in Stanley Cup finals twice, but he’s on his fifth team in 15 years. It doesn’t make much sense. 

Friday’s Den: Trends for every MLB team……..

Trends for all 30 MLB teams…….

— Arizona is 7-3 in its last ten road games.
Over is 9-5 in their last 14 games. 

— Braves are 5-7 in their last 12 road games.
Under is 23-4 in their last 27 games.

— Cubs lost seven of their last ten games.
Cubs are 23-18 vs righty starting pitchers, 4-6 vs lefties.

— Cincinnati is 5-18 in its last 23 games.
Since April 26, Reds are 0-10 in games where winning run scored from 7th inning on.

— Rockies lost five of their last six games.
Over is 6-2 in Colorado’s last eight games.

— Dodgers are 7-6 in their last 13 games.
Under is 8-3 in their last eleven road games.

— Marlins are 1-17 against lefty starting pitchers, 16-17 vs righties.
Over is 12-3 in their last 15 home games.

— Brewers lost eight of their last 11 road games.
Milwaukee is 10-4 in games where winning run scored from 7th inning on.

— Mets are 3-10 in their last 13 games.
Last year, Mets had a $346M payroll, they went 75-87.
This year, Mets have a $323M payroll, they’re 21-28.

— Phillies won 22 of their last 26 games.
Phillies are 10-0 when Ranger Suarez pitches.

— Pirates lost six of their last eight home games.
Rookie P Skenes is 1-0, 2.25 in his first three MLB starts.

— Cardinals are 8-14 in day games, 15-12 in night games.
St Louis hasn’t scored in first inning in its last 13 games.

— Padres are 10-4 in games where winning run scored from 7th inning on.
San Diego is 10-16 at home, 17-10 on road.

— Giants won six of last seven games, scoring 54 runs.
San Francisco is 14-7 in day games, 11-19 in night games.

— Nationals lost eight of their last ten games.
Washington is 14-20 vs righty starters, 7-7 vs lefties.

— Famous birthdays for May 24h:
Bob Dylan, 83
Gary Burghoff, 81
Mitch Kupchak, 70
Kristin Scott Thomas, 64
Pete Metzelaars, 64
Joe Dumars, 61
John C Reilly, 59
Bartolo Colon, 51
Tracy McGrady, 45

— Orioles are 9-3 in their last 12 games.
C Adley Rutschman is hitting .299, with an .809 OPS.

— Red Sox won their last four games, scoring 29 runs.
Boston is 1-6 in home series openers.

— White Sox started season 3-22; they’re 12-14 since then.
Chicago lost seven of its last nine road games. 

— Guardians are 16-3 in their last 19 home games.
Cleveland is 8-2 vs lefty starting pitchers, 25-15 vs righties.

— Tigers lost 14 of their last 19 games.
Detroit is 10-9 in divisional games, 14-18 vs everyone else.

— Astros are 10-4 in their last 14 games.
Houston is 6-11 against lefty starting pitchers, 16-17 vs righty starters. 

— Royals are off to a 32-19 start; their last winning season was 2015, when they won the World Series.
Over is 6-2 in their last eight home games.

— Angels lost 14 of their last 18 home games.
Over is 11-4 in their last 15 home games.

— Twins lost seven of their last nine games.
Max Kepler is hitting .311, with a .912 OPS

— New York won 15 of its last 19 games.
Under is 12-4 in their series openers.

— A’s lost their last eight road games.
Over is 7-2 in their last nine home games.

— Mariners are 7-1 in home series openers, 3-5 in road series openers.
Seattle is 11-4 in its last 15 home games, overall.

— Rays are 1-6 in their last seven home games.
Under is 10-4 in their last fourteen games.

— Texas lost 10 of its last 12 games.
Under is 16-5 in Rangers’ last 21 home games.

— Blue Jays are 3-7 in their last ten road games.
Toronto is 3-7 vs lefty starting pitchers, 20-19 vs righty starters. 

Thursday’s Den: Doing some thinking out loud…….

— Dallas 108, Minnesota 105
Luka Doncic scored 15 points in 4th quarter.
Dallas was +19 in 27:00 that Lively played off bench.
Mavericks lead series, 1-0

— Cardinals 3-5, Orioles 1-4
Orioles hadn’t been swept in their last 106 series, over two years.
St Louis swept a series for first time this season.

— Arizona 6, Dodgers 0
Ryne Nelson threw 5 shutout IP as a bulk reliever.
Dodgers were 0-8 with runners in scoring position.

— Guardians 6, Mets 3
Johnathan Rodriguez knocked in go-ahead run with his first MLB hit.
Mets led 3-0 in sixth inning.
New York is 3-10 in its last thirteen games.

— Giants 9, Pirates 5 (10)
Pirates led 5-0 after four innings.
Lamonte Wade was 3-3, with three walks.

— Royals 8, Tigers 3
Ragans allowed only one hit in 6 IP, striking out 12 Tigers.
Kansas City has won six games in a row.

— Twins 3, Nationals 2
Twins P Woods-Richardson was leading 1-0 in 5th inning, with two outs and no one on, but Minnesota took him out, despite him throwing only 77 pitches. He had faced 18 batters and in today’s game,  some teams don’t want a pitcher facing hitters three times. Oy.

— Marlins 1, Brewers 0
Jazz Chisholm led off the bottom of the first with a home run, the game’s only run.
Jesus Luzardo allowed three hits in 8 scoreless IP.

Famous birthdays for May 23rd:
Joan Collins, 91
Rod Thorn, 83
Drew Carey, 66
Rich Karlis, 65
Jay Feely, 48
Kirk Saarloos, 45
Aaron Donald, 33

— NFL teams favored in most games this coming season:
17- 49ers
15- Chiefs
14- Falcons, Ravens, Cowboys, Jets
12- Bengals, Lions, Eagles

— Thats the most games the Jets have ever been favored in in one season.

— Patriots/Panthers are only two teams that aren’t favored in any games right now. This is first time in their history that New England hasn’t been favored in a game; they were favored once in four seasons (1970-72, 1990).

— Longest active playoff droughts:
2010- Jets
2015- Broncos
2017- Falcons, Panthers
2020- Bears, Colts, Saints, Commanders

— Denver Broncos are favored in only two games, against Raiders/Panthers.

— Minnesota Vikings are favored in only three games, the fewest games they’ve been favored in since 1984.

— Toughest part of the Ravens’ schedule is September; they’re underdog in three of their first five games, then are favored in their last 12 games.

— Teams traveling the most miles this season:
26,803- Chargers
25,869- Dolphins
25,797- Seahawks
25,071- Patriots
24,575- 49ers

— Teams traveling the fewest miles this season:
10,550- Commanders
10,611- Bengals
11,497- Colts
12,047- Steelers
12,416- Falcons

Wednesday’s Den: In a perfect world, where I make all the decisions…….

— I’d eliminate the American/National Leagues and go to geographic realignment, which would reduce travel costs and invigorate regional rivalries. Going to 32 teams (which will happen soon) will make scheduling a lot easier.

— Baseball managers/coaches shouldn’t wear uniforms, there is no need for it. Players wear uniforms, coaches wear pullovers or sweatshirts or whatever products their corporate sponsors are trying to sell.

— Baseball’s All-Star Game should be US against the World; that would make the game a lot more competitive, maybe too much so, but doing it once would at least spice things up a little bit.

— Baseball needs to market the game better. How?
a) Create an NFL Films-type group that produces a Hard Knocks show where we can see some of the inner workings of baseball. It would be great.

b) Imagine last cuts in spring training? Would be good television.

c) Trade negotiations at the deadline? It would be like watching Moneyball all over again.

Show Winter League games from Central America.

Get rid of all TV blackouts; you WANT people to watch baseball.

— NFL would have an 18-game regular season, only two preseason games; Super Bowl would be Sunday night of Presidents’ Day weekend. This will probably happen in the league’s next TV contract. 

— Add the old AAF’s onside kick rule, when instead of an onside kick, the kicking team gets the ball on their own 35-yard line, 4th-and-15. They get the first down the keep the ball; the onside kick rule they use now isn’t good. Too hard for a recovery by the kicking team.

These days, NFL teams almost never recover onside kicks; with this rule, it would add a little more excitement to the game. 

— I’d scrap Thursday night NFL games, except for Week 1 and Thanksgiving; I’d replace them with Monday night doubleheaders. Football wasn’t meant to be played on three days’ rest.

Famous birthdays for May 22nd:
Frank Converse, 86
Tommy John, 81
Walt Hriniak, 81
Dre Bly, 47
Eric Sogard, 38
Lauri Markkanen, 27
Isaiah Stewart, 23
Anthony Richardson, 22

— Long time ago, the early 70’s, the NBA held a 1-on-1 contest, and aired the games at halftime of regular season NBA telecasts. This was in the early 70’s; I think they had two tournaments, then some of the better players refused to play, and the idea died.

They need to bring back a 1-on-1 tournament; it would be wildly popular.

This should happen in the summer, with each player designating a charity he is playing for. They would make lot of money for various good causes.

64 players; games would be up to 20, have to win by 3 points.

Lot of wagering opportunities, bracket pools, it would be fun.

Each NBA team would have to be represented by one player; the other spots would be determined by fan voting on the Interweb.

— Would definitely move the NBA Draft Lottery back to a half hour before the actual draft; imagine the drama then? Lot of executives would have to think on their feet.

— Kids should be able to go straight from high school to the NBA, the way Lebron James, Kevin Garnett did; players going to college for one year is a farce. 

— NBA playoff series should be best-of-5; fewer games, more drama. More drama, more TV $$$, and that is what team owners care about. 

The fact that no team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win an NBA playoff series tells us that the series are too long.

— Higher seed in playoffs chooses their opponent in playoffs; they do this in the G-League and it is a good idea. Would make for a good TV show when they choose their opponents.

— One weekend a year, the NBA uses red, white and blue basketballs to honor the old ABA; the four ABA teams that still exist (Nets, Pacers, Spurs, Nuggets) would play against each other that weekend, alternating arenas every year. 

College sports
— ESPN has gone way downhill the last few years; one thing they can do to improve would be to bring back their college basketball marathon, where games aired for 28-30 straight hours.

Apparently this marathon didn’t bring in as much $$$ as their stupid early morning talk shows, but promoting college basketball would help recoup the $$$ lost there.

— Might be too late to correct this, but could college leagues go back to being remotely made up of teams from the same area?

Cal/Stanford/SMU in the ACC? Seriously?

UCLA/USC in the Big 10? It is nonsensical.

— College football teams wouldn’t play I-AA opponents; SEC teams do this a lot. Last year, Alabama played The Citadel, Ole Miss played Southern Illinois, South Carolina played Tenn-Chattanooga. Seriously? Go play a MAC team or a Sun Belt team, at least.

— College players/teams need to sign contracts, the way pro teams do, then players couldn’t just transfer every 10 minutes. Contracts could have no-trade clauses, but there needs to be some continuity from year-to-year.

General stuff
— Daytime TV needs more game shows/televised poker and way fewer talk shows, which are wastes of time. Watching people make decisions/play games is way more interesting than listening to overpaid nitwits in contrived arguments.

— I’d get rid of the Electoral College in our presidential election; whoever gets the most votes wins, just like in all the other elections.

— Would like to people to be happier; nowadays, there is so much anger in the world. There is a lot less tolerance of others than there used to be. You be you, and let others do what they do. Cheer the bleep up!!!!

Tuesday’s Den: Nobody asked me, but…….

— Edmonton 3, Vancouver 2
Oilers led 3-0 after two periods, hung on for the Game 7 win.
Edmonton faces Dallas in the Western Conference final.

— Padres 6-0, Braves 5-3
Braves led opener 4-0 in 5th inning, but Padres rallied for the win.
Chris Sale threw seven shutout IP in the nightcap.
Atlanta’s win snaps a 4-game losing skid.

— Red Sox 5, Rays 0
Tanner Houck allowed 3 baserunners in 7 shutout IP.
Rafael Devers homered in his sixth consecutive game, the first Red Sox hitter to do that.

— Angels 9, Astros 7
Houston led 6-1 after the fourth inning.
Schanuel, O’Hoppe both hit 3-run homers for the Halos.

— Mariners 5, New York 4
Seattle scored four runs in the top of the ninth.
Mariners SS JP Crawford was activated off the IL; he missed 23 games.

— Nationals 12, Twins 3
Washington snaps a 5-game losing skid.
Minnesota has now lost seven games in a row. 

— Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 4
LA scored six runs in 3rd inning, hitting three homers; it appeared as if P Slade Cecconi was tipping his pitches. After the inning, Arizona coaches got him on an iPad in the dugout to watch something, and he retired all nine batters he faced after that. 

Famous birthdays for May 21st:
Ed O’Bradovich, 84
Bobby Cox, 83
Pete Banaszak, 80

Al Franken, 73
Mark Landsberger, 69
Judge Reinhold, 67

Kent Hrbek, 64
Lisa Edelstein, 58
Josh Allen, 28

— Golf majors are usually played on tough golf courses, but this week, the golfers did really well at Valhalla, shooting a combined 214 under par at the PGA Championship.

The previous best scoring in PGA Championship history was +40 at Riviera in 1995; that’s a 254 shot difference. Wow.

— Mississippi State gave basketball coach Chris Jans a contract extension through 2028, worth $4.2M a year.

— RIP to Jim Otto, 86, Hall of Fame center for the Oakland Raiders, who was easily noticeable because he wore 00, unique for an offensive lineman. Otto played 15 years for the Raiders, after playing college ball at Miami. 

RIP, sir.

— NFC West titles over last 20 years:
9- Seattle
5- San Francisco
3- Rams (all in the last seven years)
3- Arizona (last one in 2015)

— Oakland A’s had three catchers in the lineup Sunday; one at DH, one catching, the third guy at first base. Reminds me of 1979, when the A’s were also terrible; they had Jeff Newman, Mike Heath and Jim Essian in the same lineup some days.

Heath was playing LF; he ran into the side wall down the line, trying to catch a foul ball, damn near knocked himself out. A’s went 58-104 that year; hopefully they’ll do better this year.

  Pat Sajak’s last show hosting Wheel of Fortune is scheduled to air June 7th; his last shows have already been recorded. Sajak has been hosting the gameshow for 41 years. What a great run, 41 years in the same job.

Monday’s Den: Wrapping up a sports Sunday…….

— Pacers 130, Knicks 109
Indiana shot 67.1% from the floor, made 13-24 on the arc.
Pacers play Boston in the Eastern Conference final.

— Timberwolves 98, Nuggets 90
Denver led 53-38 at halftime.
Minnesota plays Dallas in the Western Conference final.

— Road team is now 8-4 in last 12 Game 7’s in NBA playoff series.

— Oklahoma City Thunder went 57-25 this year, lost in the second round of the playoffs- they’re already a good team, but they also have seven (7!!!) First round draft picks the next two years. 

Will be fascinating to see how they package those draft picks to enhance their roster, while also maintaining their team chemistry.

— Florida Atlantic’s run to the college basketball Final Four in 2023 raised the school’s visibility; this year, they had 46,933 applicants, over 10,000 more than they had last year. 70% of the applicants are from Florida kids, 30% from out of state.

— Over the last 20 years, NFC South division titles:
7- Saints
5- Buccaneers
4- Falcons, Panthers.

— Wisconsin-Green Bay hiring Doug Gottlieb as its new basketball coach was the 66th coaching change at the D-I level this spring. 18% of teams changed coaches since the season ended.

Famous birthdays for May 20th:
Leroy Kelly, 82
Cher, 78
Wendell Tyler, 69
David Wells, 61
Timothy Olyphant, 56
Terrell Brandon, 54
Jayson Werth, 45

— Braves’ 1B Matt Olson played in his 500th consecutive game Sunday night; in this century, the longest consecutive games played streak is Miguel Tejada’s 1,152 games.

— In 1968, Cardinals’ P Bob Gibson was 22-9, with a 1.12 ERA; not sure how he lost nine games with a 1.12 ERA, but 28 of his 34 starts were complete games- they pinch-hit for him in the other six games, so in an entire season, the manager never took him out during an inning.

— Something has cropped up a little more in games recently; middle infielders are crowding the area behind 2nd base, prompting couple of teams to complain that they’re illegally on the wrong side of the diamond.

Teams have to have two infielders on each side of the infield; eventually they may have to put a line out there so infielders will stay where they’re supposed to be.

— Red Sox 11, Cardinals 3
Rafael Devers has homered in five consecutive games.
Red Sox are 7-0 on Sundays this season.

— Dodgers 3, Reds 2 (10)
Shohei Ohtani had his first walk-off hit as a Dodger.
Dodgers are 20-6 in their last 26 games.

— Angels 4, Rangers 1
Jose Soriano tossed a career-high 7.2 IP for the win.
Kevin Pillar had a 2-run single, his 1,000th career hit.

— Astros 9, Brewers 4
Kyle Tucker hit two homers, has 15 for the season.
Houston has won nine of its last 11 games.

— In interleague play, American League leads the NL, 96-86.

— Braves’ utility guy Zach Short is having an interesting season:
November 6, 2023- Mets claimed him off waivers from Detroit
2024- He went 2-12 in 10 games for the Mets.

May 1, 2024- Red Sox purchased him from the Mets
He went 0-7 in two games for Boston.

May 9, 2024- Braves purchased him from the Red Sox.
He is 4-16 in his first six games for Atlanta.

— If the baseball playoffs started today (they don’t):
NL- Phillies, Brewers, Dodgers. Wild Cards: Braves, Cubs, Padres
AL- New York, Guardians, Mariners. Wild Cards: Orioles, Royals, Twins

Sunday’s Den: Wrapping up a sports Saturday

— Cubs 1, Pirates 0
Shota Imanaga threw 7 scoreless innings; thru his first nine MLB starts, he is 5-0, 0.84, the lowest ERA in the last 100 years for ANYONE in their first nine MLB starts.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto is 4-1, 3.21 in his first nine starts for the Dodgers, so he’s done well too, but he was expected to be good. NO ONE thought Imanaga would do well; all these geniuses who get paid to analyze fantasy baseball, they all dismissed Imanaga, which was a mistake.

— Pirates are weird; April 16, they took out rookie P Jared Jones after five IP/59 pitches because they wanted to limit his workload, but since then, he’s thrown at least 83 pitches in his five starts. Friday, they let highly-touted rookie Paul Skenes throw 100 pitches in his six innings.

If Pittsburgh can keep its starting rotation intact, they should become a good team fairly soon.

— Saturday was the 45th anniversary of the 1979 game where the Phillies beat the Cubs 23-22 in 10 innings, with the wind blowing out at Wrigley Field.

Phillies scored 23 runs despite light-hitting Larry Bowa batting 2nd in the order, ahead of Pete Rose, Mike Schmidt. Bowa was 5-8 with four runs scored in that game, which the Phillies led 15-6 in the third inning.

Dave Kingman hit three homers for the Cubs, Bill Buckner knocked in seven runs in a losing cause.

— Aaron Nola had a 3-pitch inning against the Mets this week, with the third batter hitting into a double play on the first pitch he saw. It was the third 3-pitch inning in the majors this season. 

You pretty much would never see three batters all retired in a 3-pitch inning, since the third batter would almost always get the take sign on the first pitch he saw.

— New York 6, White Sox 1
Juan Soto hit two more home runs, was 4-4 with a walk; he turned down a 15-year, $440M contract offer from Washington before they traded him to San Diego. Soto is only 25; how much $$$ is he going to make this winter?

— Giants 14, Rockies 4- Giants are last team this season to win three games in a row. 

— In case you were wondering, there are 72 players who have played for both the Miami Marlins and Detroit Tigers, with Miguel Cabrera the best of those players.

Famous birthdays for May 19th:
Archie Manning, 75
Luis Salazar, 68
Eric Show, 68
Jack Thompson, 68
Bill Laimbeer, 67
Paul Justin, 56
London Fletcher, 49
Kevin Garnett, 48
Brandon Inge, 47

— Good day/night of baseball Saturday; there were eight games where the winning run scored from the 7th inning on.

— Rangers 3, Angels 2 (13)
This game tied for longest game in the majors this season.
Angels were 0-18 with runners in scoring position; Texas was 2-12.
Game-winning run scored when Lowe got hit by a pitch with bases loaded.

— Rays 5, Blue Jays 4
Toronto led 4-0 after five innings.
Tampa Bay is 11-4 in its last 15 games.

— Marlins 10, Mets 9
Mets led 7-2 in the 7th inning.
Josh Bell’s 3-run homer tied the game in 9th inning.
Mets lost seven of their last nine games.

— Guardians 11, Twins 4
Minnesota has lost five games in a row, outscored 28-7.

— Phillies 4, Nationals 3
Kody Clemens tied game with a 9th inning home run.
Bryce Harper hit a walk-off sac fly in 10th inning.

— Was kind of sad to see that the Mirage hotel/casino in Las Vegas is closing July 17; they’re going to re-model/re-brand as Hard Rock Las Vegas- it won’t re-open until 2027.

I stayed at the Mirage once, think it was 2012; they had the best food choices, with Carnegie Deli having the best sandwiches I’ve ever eaten- they were so big, I’d ask for extra bread and make two sandwiches, bringing the second one up to my room to put in the refrigerator. They also had Dr Brown’s cream soda, my all-time favorite soda.

— HBO’s Hard Knocks is going to feature the New Jersey Giants in their off-season process, with the shows airing in July. Giants have never been on Hard Knocks; this year is the 100th anniversary of their franchise.

HBO hasn’t said which team will be on Hard Knocks during training camp; the show is really well done, if you like the NFL, it is a must-watch.

Saturday’s Den: Weekend thoughts…….

— Nine years ago this week, the world lost a great guy; my dad was the best person I’ve ever met, a nice man, a decent man, and boy, we do need more decency in the world.

He was an excellent role medal for his nerdy son; he loved the Mets/Knicks, he enjoyed playing golf, going to Saratoga racetrack. Above all things, he was honest.

When he would come home from work, I’d be watching re-runs of the Odd Couple or M*A*S*H or Mister Ed, and he’d come into the room and say, “How can you watch that stuff?” Five minutes later, he’d be laughing harder than I was.

I’m guessing he is up in heaven, wondering why the Mets don’t win more games. 

It’s been nine years, and he is missed every day.

— Pirates 9, Cubs 3
Rookie P Skenes struck out the first seven batters he faced.
He didn’t allow a hit in his six IP (100 PT), in his second MLB start.

— Marlins 8, Mets 0
Marlins haven’t allowed a run in their last three games.
Jesus Luzardo threw 6 shutout IP, allowing five baserunners.

— Giants 10, Rockies 5
Colorado’s 7-game win streak comes to an end. 

— Rays 4, Blue Jays 3
Tampa’s Tyler Alexander had a perfect game thru seven innings.
Rays are 10-4 in their last fourteen games.

— Guardians 3, Twins 2
Ramirez hit the game-winning homer in 8th inning.
Minnesota has lost four games in a row.

— Tigers 13, Arizona 0
Skubal tossed six shutout IP, allowing one hit.
Baez went 3-4 with 5 RBI.

— Giants’ OF Jung Hoo Lee (shoulder) had an operation, is out for the year.

— Pacers 116, Knicks 103
Indiana outscored Knicks 32-21 in second quarter.
Siakam scored 25 points, had 5 assists, 7 rebounds.
Game 7 is in New York Sunday afternoon.

Famous birthdays for May 18th:
Reggie Jackson, 78
Jim Sundberg, 73
Tina Fey, 54
Vince Young, 41
Robert Quinn, 34
Clint Capela, 30

NFL schedule notes:
— Only one of Detroit’s first 14 games is outdoors, Week 9 in Green Bay.

— 49ers are the only team playing four teams that are coming off a bye.

— Bears/Steelers don’t play their first divisional game until Week 11.

— There are nine games this season that are rematches of playoff games from last year.

— Eagles play four of last five games at home, for the first time since 1951; their only road game in that span is against Washington, so the Eagles won’t fly at all after Week 13.

— Chicago’s first three games are all against AFC South teams. 

— Carolina Panthers are only team that doesn’t have a primetime game.

— Four teams have three consecutive road games:
Bills, Bears, Browns, Vikings.

— Chiefs have a game on every day of the week except Tuesday.

— Patriots/Panthers are an underdog in every game thru Week 17.

Jets are favored in 14 of their first 16 games.