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

13) Triple-A baseball games used to use Rawlings’ standard minor league baseball, which is made in a factory in China and is less expensive. Now they use the major league baseball. 

The major league baseball is handmade in Costa Rica, and it has long been considered to be a more lively baseball. The MLB baseball has a tighter construction and lower seams in general (they are handmade) than the standard minor league baseball.

In Double-A, the average hitter is hitting .241/.319/.371 this year. Guys are getting called up to AAA and routinely putting up better numbers than they did in AA. Go figure.

12) AAA pitchers are frustrated but they don’t say anything because they’re minor league pitchers and they don’t want to hurt their chances of being promoted.

There is a reason, though, why the Padres have had several of their pitching prospects skip over AAA El Paso and go from AA to the majors; El Paso being at a higher altitude, plus the juiced baseballs, add up to pitchers getting their ERA’s inflated, their confidence deflated.

11) When college basketball teams take summer trips overseas (they’re allowed one every four years) it can result in an excellent season the following winter, since teams practice more, play more and bond better as a team. 

(Unless you’re USC and your point guard tears his ACL on a trip, which happened a few years ago)

West Virginia is in Spain this week, Minnesota is in Italy; next time you hear people whining about how bad college athletes have it, ask them how many free trips to Italy they’ve gotten?

10) Top five grad transfer basketball players, according to CBSSports.com:
— Kerry Blackshear, going from Virginia Tech to Florida
— Chris Clarke, going from Virginia Tech to Texas Tech
— Lamar Kimble, going from St Joe’s to Louisville
— Nate Sestina, going from Bucknell to Kentucky
— Admon Gilder, going from Texas A&M to Gonzaga

9) NCAA put in new requirements for people to become agents, and it is causing controversy. Here are the requirements:

To become an NCAA-certified agent one must:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree;
  • Have been NBPA certified for at least three consecutive years and be in good-standing.
  • Maintain professional liability insurance.
  • Submit application by appropriate deadline.

The controversy is with the college degree thing; Rich Paul is one of the most powerful agents in the NBA- he is also one of Lebron James’ oldest friends and he doesn’t have a college degree. 

8) Pro Football Talk posted that there are reports from Oakland Raider land saying Antonio Brown burned the bottom of his feet by entering a cryotherapy machine without the proper footwear, and his feet were frostbitten. 

Oy. 

7) Baseball stuff:
— Dodgers put OF Alex Verdugo (oblique) on the IL.
— Giants DFA’d 2B Joe Panik. 

6) Mariners’ SS Tim Beckham was suspended 80 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. 

5) White Sox reliever Aaron Bummer has appeared in 38 games; he held the first batter he’s faced in each game to 0-33 with five walks. 

Because he is a lefty, some might think it will be a bummer when they change the rules and he has to face 3+ batters in an appearance, but lefties are batting .175 against him this year, righties .180, so he’s been tough against everyone. 

4) Bookmaking legend Jimmy Vaccaro posted on Twitter Tuesday that when he drove to work at SouthPoint, it was 104 degrees out, but around 50 people were waiting in line for a picture by the famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign at the south end of the Strip. 

3) When Joey Lucchesi starts on mound for San Diego, Padres are 12-6-3 in first five innings, but they’re only 9-12 overall in his starts. Lucchesi doesn’t usually get past the sixth inning; their setup guys aren’t very good. 

2) Rays 7, Blue Jays 6 (10)— Tampa Bay trailed 6-0 in fourth inning. 

1) A high school football team from Anaheim lost all of their equipment recently in a storage fire; the LA Chargers stepped in and donated $10,000 to help the team get back on their feet.

This is what we need more of; people helping other people out. 

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

13) Houston Astros were -$419 favorites over Seattle Sunday, making them the 4th-highest priced favorite in any baseball game since 2005:
-$485 Dodgers vs Atlanta, 2016 (W4-0)
-$435 Twins vs Washington, 2007 (L1-3)
-$434 Indians vs Detroit, 2017 (W2-0)
-$419 Astros vs Seattle, 2019 (W3-1)

12) Aaron Sanchez was 0-13, 7.71 in his last 17 starts for Toronto, so of course he goes to the Astros and throws six no-hit innings in his first start for Houston.

11) At SouthPoint Casino in Las Vegas, you can bet on the over/under of combined losses for Clemson/Alabama’s football teams this season:

1.5 losses, over -$130, under +$110

10) Trevor Story is third player ever to homer five games in a row against the Giants, the other two being Rogers Hornsby (1922) and Mike Schmidt (1979).

9) Detroit Tigers lost P Matthew Boyd’s last five starts, last three in extra innings.

8) Big Ten Network posted a picture on Twitter Monday of football practice at Indiana, where the kid holding for kicks holds the ball in place with his nose instead of his finger, and then the left-footed kicker kicks the ball. 

This is a very bad idea, though it did show that the holder has a lot of faith in the kicker.

Kids, do NOT try this at home. 

7) Baseball stuff:
— Cubs put C Willson Contreras (hamstring) on the IL.
— Angels put SS Andrelton Simmons, P’s Felix Pena, Griffin Canning on the IL.
— Phillies optioned 3B Mikael Franco to AAA.
— Washington put Howie Kendrick, Roenis Elias on the IL.
— Bronx put OF Aaron Hicks (flexor strain) on the IL.
— Reds claimed P Kevin Gausman off waivers from Atlanta. 

6) Not sure what criteria baseball teams use to promote their minor league prospects; Braves promoted their three best guys at AA Mississippi to AAA Gwinnett this week, but one of them, Drew Waters, was mired in a 2-for-35 slump when he was promoted. 

Makes you wonder if there was a problem with the coaching staff at Mississippi. 

5) Tom Brady signed a 2-year contract extension that pays him $23M a year, and makes him the 6th-highest paid QB in the NFL (he had been #20). 

As competitive as Brady is, it is hard to fathom that he isn’t somehow getting extra under the table to circumvent the salary cap. Brady has won six Super Bowls; you think he’d be OK with being the 20th highest-paid QB in the NFL? 

4) College basketball transfer portal:
— Stetson transfer Abayomi Iyiola bolts to Arkansas. 

3) Golfer JT Poston won the Wyndham PGA event this weekend; he is the first golfer since Lee Trevino in 1974 to play a 72-hole PGA event without any bogeys. 

2) RIP to longtime NFL writer Don Banks, 56, who passed away in Ohio Saturday; I met him when the Giants used to have training camp here in Albany. We met at a dinner- he was a nationally known writer and I was just there because my friend is a writer, but Don was as nice as he could be to me- we talked about football throughout dinner. 

He had recently been hired by the Las Vegas newspaper to cover the NFL. Very sad. RIP, sir. 

1) Euroleague basketball import D.J. Cooper, a 6-0 guard, was suspended by FIBA for fraud after a drug test declared him to be pregnant; turns out he had submitted his girlfriend’s urine, and she was probably unaware that she was pregnant. Oy. 

Cooper has been playing pro ball overseas since he graduated from Ohio U in 2013. Not sure what he majored in, but I’m guessing it wasn’t Biology.

Monday’s Den: NFL knowledge on a summer day…….

13) Since 1992, Detroit Lions are 0-8 in playoff games; but from 2014-17, Lions were 36-28 in regular season, their best regular season run since a 29-19 run from 1993-95, when they went 0-3 in playoffs those years under Wayne Fontes. 

But the Lions fired Jim Caldwell after going 9-7 in 2017, and went 6-10 last year, scoring 86 fewer points (5.38 ppg) than the year before, under new coach Matt Patricia. Go figure. 

Just because you know Tom Brady doesn’t make you head coaching material. 

12) Arizona Cardinals have a rookie QB and a rookie head coach, a coach who got fired LY by Texas Tech after going 35-40 in six seasons, 16-21 the last three years. He was 1-2 in bowls. 

Kliff Kingsbury is Arizona’s third HC in three years; not sure why they canned Brice Arians, but it was a big mistake. Now they’ve gambled on Kingsbury, who threw two passes (1-2 for 17 yards) in his only NFL game as a player, for the 2005 Jets. 

Kyler Murray threw 42 TD passes in his only year as Oklahoma’s QB; he turned down a baseball contract from the A’s, and now he will be in the national spotlight- his first game is at home against Matt Patricia’s Lions, who are 6-2 in last eight season openers, but lost 48-17 to the Jets in Patricia’s first season opener.  

11) Not to be a pessimist, but Arizona’s backup QB’s are Brett Hundley (3-6 as a starter for the ’17 Packers), Chad Kanoff (Princeton alum who was on Arizona’s practice squad LY) and Drew Anderson, who threw 20 TD’s with 15 INT’s for I-AA Murray State last year. 

Not exactly a stellar group of backups; if Murray stinks or he gets hurt, they’re staring another 3-13 season in the face. 

10) Joe Flacco will be Denver’s QB this year, their 8th different #1 QB in the last 13 years. 

Broncos won the Super Bowl four years ago, but haven’t been back to the playoffs; they went 11-21 the last two years, their first consecutive losing seasons since 1971-72. 

9) Oakland Raiders have had one winning season the last 16 years; they went 12-4 in 2016 thanks in large part to a +16 turnover ratio, but Derek Carr got hurt at the end of the regular season, and backup Connor Cook was overmatched in 27-14 loss to Houston in the playoffs, which is Cook’s only NFL appearance. 

Raiders are moving to Las Vegas next year; they’re 10-22 since that playoff loss, and Gruden has nine years left on his $10M a year deal. They open the season with divisional home games with Denver, Kansas City, then don’t play at home again until November. 

8) Over last 13 years, Washington Redskins are 0-3 in playoff games; QB Alex Smith is out with a broken leg, so this year they’ll have their 11th different starting QB the last 20 years. Keep in mind that New England has had one starting QB since midway thru 2001, except for the year Brady got hurt. 

Case Keenum is playing for his 4th team in four years; he went 21-18 the last three years, but now he is probably the placeholder for yet another rookie QB, Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State. 

Keenum will be able to write a hell of a book someday, and after this year he’ll have made $16M the last four years, but his wife is probably sick of packing. 

7) Eagles were -6 in turnovers LY after going +17 in Doug Pederson’s first two years as Philly’s coach; they still went 9-7, and upset the Bears in a playoff game, but now Nick Foles is a Jaguar and the pressure is squarely on Carson Wentz, who is 23-17 as a starter in his first three years as the Eagles’ QB, but it was Foles who orchestrated the Super Bowl run. 

Under Pederson, favorites are 7-2 vs spread in Philly’s divisional road games, but 5-10 in their non-divisional games. Eagles are 4-2 as a home underdog under Pederson, after going 0-8 from 2010-15. 

6) Deshaun Watson threw for 4,165 yards and 26 TD’s LY, 2nd most TD’s in Texan history (Matt Schaub threw 29 in 2009); Houston was 11-5, after starting season 0-3- they were +15 in TO’s, after going -12 the year before, when Watson got hurt. 

Under Bill O’Brien, Texans are 42-38 in regular season, 1-3 in playoff games; they’re 18-11-1 as a home favorite, 12-5 outside their division, 6-6-1 vs AFC South rivals. 

In O’Brien’s first four years, he had a different QB every year (Fitzpatrick, Hoyer, Osweiler, Watson), so at least now they’re settled at QB, which is no small thing. 

5) New Orleans Saints went 24-8 the last two years, with dramatic playoff losses to Vikings, Rams; Drew Brees will be 41 in January- he threw 184 fewer passes LY than he did in 2016, as Sean Payton takes heat off him by running ball more. 

Last year, New Orleans held six of its last eight regular season opponents to 17 or fewer points, as they became less free-wheeling while going 13-3. Last three years, Saints are 17-7 vs spread on road; since 2014, they’re 12-20-1 vs spread as a home favorite. 

Last five years, over is 26-14 in regular season games in the Superdome. 

4) Miami Dolphins are on their 7th head coach since 2004; they’ve played in one playoff game since 2002- their last playoff win was in 2000, when Dave Wannstedt was their coach. Now the Dolphins’ coach is Brian Flores, another guy who became a head coach because he knows Tom Brady. 

Who will be the QB, much-travelled Ryan Fitzpatrick, or 2nd-year guy Josh Rosen, who went 3-10 LY with 11 TD’s, 14 INT’s for a dysfunctional Cardinal offense. Fitzpatrick will be the first NFL QB to throw a pass for eight different teams- he is 50-75-1 as an NFL starter, wth his only winning season a 10-6 mark for the ’15 Jets. 

Miami plays the Jets in Weeks 9,14; their old coach Adam Gase was hired by Gang Green after the Dolphins fired him. Gase went 23-25 in three years with Miami. 

3) Baltimore Ravens won the Super Bowl seven years ago, are 49-47 since then, 1-2 in playoff games; Joe Flacco is in Denver after 11 years as a Raven, and mobile Lamar Jackson is in charge of running the Baltimore offense. Jackson was 6-1 as a starter LY (Flacco was 4-5); he completed only 58.2% of his passes but ran the ball for 695 yards, five TD’s. 

Ravens were -3 in turnovers LY after going +22 the previous two years; last three years, they’re 2-8-1 vs spread as a non-divisional road underdog. 

With a young QB like Jackson, should the Ravens’ QB coach be a guy who played QB in the NFL and can be a mentor? Baltimore’s QB coach is a guy who was a D-3 receiver in college, not sure how much that helps Jackson, and Jackson’s development is essential for the Ravens- this backup Robert Griffin III has a broken thumb. 

2) In four years under Dan Quinn, underdogs are 21-11 vs spread in Falcon home games; Atlanta is 3-0 as a home underdog, 11-18 as a favorite. Falcons slipped to 7-9 LY after going 21-11 the previous two years (3-2 in playoff games). Home teams covered 10 of their last 12 divisional games. 

Falcons don’t play a game outdoors this season until November 17 in Charlotte; their first five road games are all in domes. Last two years, Atlanta is 4-12 vs spread on the road. 

Mike Smith was 56-24 in his first five years as Falcons’ coach, but after 4-12/6-10 years, he was told to take a hike after the ’14 season. Does Quinn need a winning season to keep his job? He went 7-9 LY, after a 29-19 run succeeding Smith. 

1) Minnesota will have same QB starting in consecutive years for the first time since 2014-15, but Kirk Cousins has a 34-37-2 career record with only one playoff game, a 35-18 loss to Green Bay in 2015. Cousins makes $28M a year, now he needs to play like it.

Last year’s offensive line coach passed away just before training camp, which was a tragedy with lasting effects. Now Gary Kubiak is in Minnesota and the OL coach was in Denver for 15 years. Zimmer is a defensive coach; Vikings are going to run the ball to protect their defense.

In five years under Zimmer, Minnesota is 22-10-1 as a home favorite, 10-6 as a road favorite, 20-16 as an underdog. He’s been a profitable coach to back. 

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

13) White Sox 4, Phillies 3 (15)— This unique game Friday night saw Phillies P Vince Velasquez make a great catch as a left fielder, also throw out a runner at home and damn near throw out a second runner at the plate, all while OF Roman Quinn was pitching for the Phillies. 

484 pitches in all, 36 thrown by an outfielder; Phillies starter Zach Eflin also threw 28 pitches in relief in a game that took 5:28 to play. White Sox used nine pitchers in a game with no DH and somehow none of them were starters or outfielders. 

12) To make the playoffs in baseball, especially if you’re not a real wealthy team, you need to get contributions from 30-35 players over the course of a 6-month season.

I’m thinking back to the 2012 Oakland A’s, who were 37-42 on July 1st, but went on a run from that point on (57-26) and finished 94-68, winning the AL West. A fun year. 

— Brandon Hicks played in only 22 games that year, but hit two walk-off homers.
— Brandon Moss played in only 84 games, but hit 21 homers.
— AJ Griffin made only 15 starts, but was 7-1 with a 1.13 WHIP in those games.
— Evan Scribner pitched only 35 innings, but had two wins and a save.

With no trading allowed after July 31, teams’ organizational depth will get a serious test, since the only improvement to the roster will come from within the organization. 

11) My opinion on having no trading is August is that it is bad for the sport; baseball needs to stay in the news to compete with the NFL for attention. Speculation can be annoying, but when people are talking about baseball, it is good for the sport as a whole. 

If you must have only one trade deadline during the season, I’d prefer August 31 to July 31. 

10) They’re going to call a lot of holding penalties in NFL exhibition games, to emphasize whatever rules changes they put in; once the regular games start (and the starters play) the penalty flags will get put away the way they always do. 

But it is something to remember if you’re betting on these (meaningless) preseason games. 

9) San Diego Padres’ lefty P Eric Lauer is 1-0, 2.65 in three starts against the Dodgers this season; he is 5-8, 4.77 in 17 starts vs everyone else. Makes no sense.

8) Will Smith hit a grand slam to beat the Padres Thursday night; when he hit the ball, the relief pitcher on the mound jumped up in the air, happy that Smith had hit an inning-ending fly ball, but he forgot the ball is juiced— it landed over the centerfield fence. 

7) Baseball stuff:
— Twins put P Michael Pineda, OF Byron Buxton on the IL.
— Cardinals put OF Tyler O’Neill (wrist) on the IL. 

6) Actors in Blue Chips who are still active in basketball, 25 years after the movie came out:
— Penny Hardaway, coach at Memphis
— Rick Pitino, coached pro ball in Greece last year
— Jim Boeheim still coaches Syracuse.
— Allan Houston works for the Knicks.
— Matt Painter, coach at Purdue
— Bobby Hurley, coach at Arizona State

5) 23-year-old Nathan Patterson signed a minor-league contract with the A’s after hit 96 on the radar gun twice and also hit 95 at a speed pitch challenge at a Colorado Rockies’ game- he had also done it at a minor league game in Nashville. 

Reminds me of the movie The Rookie, the true story of a 35-year old Biology teacher who throws 98 at a tryout and gets signed by Tampa Bay.- lefty Jim Morris pitched for a little while in the majors for the then-Devil Rays.  

4) New York 4, Boston 2— This Friday night game was only 2nd MLB game in last 25 years in which there were 6+ runs scored in the first inning, then no runs scored the rest of the game. It also happened on April 29, 2017 (Indians over Mariners, 4-3).

3) John Smoltz is pushing for the Wild Card thing to be best-of-3, instead of a one-game deal. His point is that teams aren’t going all-out at the trading deadline because they don’t want to mortgage their future, just to get into a one-game playoff. 

2) Falcons’ backup QB Kurt Benkert played well in the Hall of Fame Game, but he suffered what was described as a major toe injury, so Atlanta is bringing in Matt Simms to play behind Matt Schaub and Matt Ryan. Three QB’s, three Matts. 

1) NBA scheduled their opening night on same night as Game 1 of the World Series? Could have Dodgers playing the World Series at home, while Lakers-Clippers would be opening their season four miles away.

Saturday’s Den: College football knowledge……..

Numbers/ratings in this list are from Phil Steele’s college football magazine:
13) Top 3 quarterbacks in country:
Trevor Lawrence (Clemson), Tua Tagovailoa (Alabama), Justin Herbert (Oregon)

12) Top three offensive lines in country:
Oregon, Georgia, Clemson

11) Most experienced offensive lines in country:
Oregon, UL-Monroe, UL-Lafayette, Texas Tech

10) Teams who lose lot of close games one year tend to improve the next year; these teams had 4 net close losses last year:

Arkansas, Nebraska, North Carolina, Western Kentucky (2 have new coaches this year)

9) Teams who win lot of close games one year tend to regress the next year; these teams had 4 net close wins last year:

Notre Dame, Ohio State, Texas

8) Michigan State gained 18.3 yards per point LY, 2nd-worst in country, which means their defense/special teams provided very little help to the offense. As a result, Spartans regressed from a 10-3 record in 2017 to 7-6 LY. 

Here is how Michigan State fared the last six years:
2013-15: 36-5 W-L, +46 turnover margin
2016-18: 20-18 W-L, -1 turnover margin

7) Then there is Utah State, which gained only 10.46 yards/point LY, best in country, as they jumped from 6-7 to 11-2, and their coach jumped to Texas Tech for more money. 

Aggies were +14 in turnovers LY, after being -2 in turnovers from 2015-17. 

6) These four teams had the best defensive yards/point in country LY:

Clemson, Fresno State, Kentucky, Mississippi State— Bulldogs have only 9 of 22 starters back this season; other three teams all have only four starters back on defense. Experienced teams tend to get the most out of what they have, then take a step back when new guys step n. 

5) These three teams had the worst defensive yards/point in country LY:
Bowling Green, Louisville, Western Michigan 

Louisville went 57-21 from 2012-17, then went 2-10 LY and fired the coach; Bowling Green also fired its coach, who was 9-27 the last three years (they were 28-14 from 2013-15). 

4) Toughest schedules in country this fall:

South Carolina, Auburn, USC, Texas A&M

3) Since 1991, 353 teams went -10 or worse in turnovers; 67% of them improved the next year, only 23% got worse: 

-17: UTEP, UConn
-14: East Carolina, Rutgers
-12: Louisville, UL-Monroe

2) Since 1991, 440 teams went +10 or better in turnovers; only 28% of them improved the next year, 64% got worse:

+22 Georgia Southern
+16 Kansas
+14: UCF, Utah State
+13: Syracuse, Ohio U. 

1) Over the last seven seasons, 53 teams were +14 or better in turnovers; 45 of those 53 teams did worse the following season.

Kansas went 3-9 with a +16 turnover ratio, which isn’t easy; they fired the coach and brought in Les Miles, so the Jayhawks will be a fascinating study for the next couple years. Miles will improve their talent base. 

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

13) Looking at Week 1 of the NFL which is only five weeks away, there are four games with a spread of 7+ points. The question occurred to me, how do favorites of 7+ points do in Week 1 of the NFL? So I looked it up. 

Last six years, 16 teams have been favored by 7+ points in Week 1; those teams went 4-11-1 vs spread. Last three years, Week 1 favorites of 7+ are just 6-4 SU. 

Since 2009, in Week 1 games with a spread of 7+ points, over is 18-12-1. 

12) Week 1 favorites of 7+ points this year:
— Eagles (-9) vs Washington
— Seahawks (-9.5) vs Cincinnati
— Cowboys (-7.5) vs NY Giants
— Saints (-7) vs Houston

11) Over last 20 years, only five teams haven’t been a Week 1 favorite of 7+ points:
Bengals, Browns, Chiefs, Giants, 49ers. 

10) New England has been a Week 1 favorite of 7+ points eight times since 2005; they’re 2-5-1 vs spread in those games. Patriots are -6 vs Pittsburgh in Week 1 this year. 

9) Day after the trade deadline, baseball GM’s who made trades the day before go on their local TV broadcasts and get patted on the back for the great deals he made the day before. 

On Miami telecasts, one of the worst-run franchises in the sport, they tout the new kids in the organization, even the ones hitting .204 and .206 in the minors. Oy.

8) Marlins 5, Twins 4 (12)— Miami tied game with three runs in 9th, won it in the 12th.

7) Baseball stuff:
— Texas DFA’d IF Asdrubel Cabrera and C Tim Federowicz. 

6) Six players and both managers got suspended after the Pirates-Reds fracas the other night; Keone Kale got 10 games, Amir Garrett 8 games. Cincy skipper David Bell got six games, Clint Hurdle got two. 

According to Hall of Fame writer Jayson Stark, this is the most players suspended for one fight since a 2013 incident involving Ian Kennedy/Zack Greinke. 

5) Longtime kicker Phil Dawson retired from the NFL this week, after a 20-year career where he kicked 441 FG’s, 518 PAT’s- he even punted nine times. 

4) White Sox P Lucas Giolito is from a family of actors; his grandfather appeared in five episodes of Seinfeld, playing Susan Ross’ father. His mother Lindsay Frost lists 49 TV and movie credits. 

3) The other night, I stumble upon this old movie, Guilty As Sin on cable late at night while I’m writing; hard to take a movie real serious when the first character you see in the movie is a judge being played by the guy who was Morty in Meatballs. 

Movie had Jack Warden and Rebecca DeMornay in it, though, so it wasn’t all bad. 

2) San Francisco Giants have won three World Series in this decade; surprising thing is who they beat in those series, the Rangers, Tigers, Royals. 

1) One bettor at the Westgate in Las Vegas placed a $100,500 wager on the 76ers to make the playoffs this coming season at -$5,000 odds; the bet would win $2,010. 

Same guy made/won a similar bet on Golden State last season.

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?