13) This from the Associated Press: A naked man in Florida was arrested driving away from a storage center in a stolen pickup truck loaded with a statue of a large, black and white checkered swan that’s worth tens of thousands of dollars.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd had this to say: “Look folks. Where are you going to hide a five-foot tall, checkered swan? If someone’s harboring this swan and not telling us, we’re going to put them in jail. And we hope when we find them, they have clothes on.”
12) Interesting article in the Houston Chronicle Friday on the guy who takes care of the pitching mound at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Important job that we don’t think about a lot— this guy has worked for the Astros for 46 years as a groundskeeper- the pitchers swear by the job he does keeping the mound, and pitchers are particular about their workplace.
11) Lonzo Ball isn’t going to do a pre-draft workout for the Celtics, who have the first pick in the NBA Draft; what the hell happens if Boston drafts Ball?
10) Joe Davis is the Dodgers’ play-by-play guy; he is very good, also does basketball on FS1, is just excellent at his job. The thing is, he is only 29 years old, which doesn’t seem possible. He is replacing the greatest baseball announcer ever (Vin Scully) but is doing it very well.
9) ESPN signed Chip Kelly as an analyst for its ESPN2 football coverage, which could be very interesting. Curious to see what the former Oregon-Eagles coach has to say.
8) Tampa Bay Rays had 521 strikeouts thru 50 games, the most by any team ever thru 50 games, 26 more than the next-highest, last year’s Astros.
7) Rangers faced four Boston relievers in the last three innings Thursday nite; all nine batters struck out. In all, 20 of the 27 Texas outs in that game came on strikeouts.
6) Mississippi State had two basketball players transfer this week: Mario Kegler and Eli Wright. Rough week for Ben Howland. Bulldogs had the 2nd-least experienced team in the country last year; Kegler played 70% of the time, Wright 30%. Pretty big loss.
5) When Joe Gibbs coached the Redskins, he had a fine schedule for various offenses; one of the fines was $100 for spraining your ankle if you didn’t have it wrapped/taped beforehand. This is 25-30 years ago, so $100 fine was more than it sounds like now.
If a player missed a trainer’s/doctor’s appointment, the fine was $300.
4) The Ben Simmons infomercial was on Showtime again Friday afternoon; its been almost a year since he was drafted and we still have no idea how good the kid is. We know Simmons is already really rich; we’ve heard he’s grown two inches and is just about 7-feet tall, but still no one knows if he’s going to be any good. He played one year at LSU and his team was a disaster; he is going to be needed to be a team leader— can he do that?
3) Golden State is $260, Cleveland +$220 in the NBA Finals which don’t start until Thursday (why?!?!?!) and could stretch out for 18 days, if it goes seven games.
2) There is nothing in sports- NOTHING as good as overtime in a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Had one of those Thursday night, as the Penguins broke the heart of everyone in Canada with a 3-2 double OT win over the Ottawa Senators. Tremendous drama.
People in Ottawa greeted the Senators when they landed at the airport at 3am, sitting thru the rain to applaud their team after a great season.
1) There have been 27 major league games rained out this season, more than all of last year.