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

13) Baseball players are all wearing more colorful uniforms this weekend, with their nicknames on the back; apparently this is something the players wanted and got as part of the last collective bargaining agreement. I’m withholding judgment on the uniforms until later this weekend.

12) 49ers saved $5.2M in salary cap space Friday by cutting LB Ahmad Brooks, who played nine years for San Francisco.

11) Miguel Cabrera was suspended for 7 games, Gary Sanchez for 4 games as penalties for the fights in Detroit Thursday got handed down. Austin Romine only got two games.

10) Thru Thursday games, Texas has challenged 50 plays this season, most in MLB. Rangers have won 27 of the 50 challenges.

9) Padres’ OF Matt Szczur was a WR/RB for Villanova’s football team in 2009, when they won the I-AA national championship.

8) Washington Nationals have gotten saves from nine different pitchers this season.

7) Louisville signed a 10-year deal with adidas worth $160M, which buys a lot of sneakers and sweatsuits.

6) Happy birthdays: Sean Connery 87, Regis Philbin 86, Monty Hall 96, Rollie Fingers 71.

5) Over last five years, NFC East teams are 8-15 vs spread as a home favorite of 6+ points, in non-divisional games.

During that same time, the four NFC South teams are 46-25 against the spread as a non-divisional road underdog- they were 15-4 last year.

4) Edmonton Eskimos sold over 40,000 tickets for their game with Saskatchewan Friday night, first time in three years they’ve sold that many tickets.

3) With Hurricane Harvey bearing down on Texas, the University of Houston’s football team has moved its practices to the University of Texas in Austin.

2) Thursday night, a bettor at a William Hill sportsbook bet $1.2 million on Floyd Mayweather; if he wins, the bettor wins $240K. How do you bet $1.2M on an event like this?

That said, as much as $80M might be wagered on this fight, so guess I’m in the minority with my apathy towards it.

1) I don’t think I’d watch the Mayweather-McGregor fight if it was on free TV, but they’re promoting the hell out of it, and a lot of people will buy it on pay-per-view. As much as I love going to Las Vegas, this is probably a pretty good weekend not to be there.

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

13) 6th/7th innings of New York-Detroit game Thursday took around two hours to play, thanks to a brawl, eight ejections, two hit batters and six runs scored.

Detroit’s Michael Fulmer hit Gary Sanchez in the 5th inning; when NY reliever Tommy Kanhle threw behind Miguel Cabrera, benches emptied, Kanhle and Joe Girardi got tossed. Before play could resume, Cabrera and backup catchup Austin Romine started jawing and a fight broke out, an actual fight, not a baseball shoving match.

Not the best job of controlling things by the umpires; New York lost its DH when Sanchez had to come in and catch, but they rallied to tie the game in the top of the 7th before the Tigers scored three times in the bottom of the 7th.

New York used Aroldis Chapman in the 6th inning, after Kanhle got tossed.

12) Last summer on Hard Knocks, Rams’ rookie QB Jared Goff was hardly on the show, which didn’t help the program any— they focused mostly on guys on who got cut.

This year, Bucs’ QB Jameis Winston IS THE SHOW— he is all over it and that makes the program better. Haven’t seen much of coach Dirk Koetter yet, except when Winston threw an ill-advised pass in the red zone against Jacksonville and Koetter went bullshit on him for it.

11) Pittsburgh beat the Dodgers Wednesday despite getting only one hit; last time the Pirates won a game when they had one hit was May 2, 1943- Vince DiMaggio got the only Pittsburgh hit.

10) Josh Harrison’s walk-off homer to end that game was the first walk-off homer in MLB history that also ended a no-hitter. That same night, Harrison’s cousin JaVon Shelby caught a no-hitter in the Class A Midwest League.

Hill is the 5th major leaguer and first since 1995, to lose a no-hitter in extra innings.

9) On May 26, 1959, a Pirates pitcher named Harvey Haddix threw 12 perfect innings in a game at Milwaukee, but lost the game and no-hitter 1-0 on an unearned run in the 13th inning. It is the greatest losing performance in baseball history.

The next year, Haddix was the winning pitcher in Game 7 of the 1960 World Series, throwing a scoreless 9th inning as the Pirates upset New York to win a world championship.

8) Some people are going to protest until Colin Kaepernick is on an NFL team; then once he is on a team, other people will protest until he is out of the league again.

What a world this has become.

7) Marvin Bagley III is committed to play basketball at Duke this fall, but will be play? Will the NCAA clear him on time? Bagley went to three different high schools in two states, he took online classes, so it is going to take some time, and the NCAA can be slow in these cases.

Expecting Bagley to be dominant in the ACC might be a bit much; don’t forget, he is supposed to be a high school senior- when he plays against older people, there will sometimes be a big age/maturity gap, not a talent gap. Plus you wonder if he isn’t already looking ahead to the NBA, which has often been an issue with probable 1-and-done guys.

6) Cole Hamels is 9-1, 3.42 in 16 starts this year, but in the six games where Hamels didn’t get a decision, the Rangers are 1-5, and that could bite Texas coming down the stretch. In races like this, with so many teams bunched together, you have to win when your ace is pitching.

5) I can’t even imagine working in a sportsbook and having someone hand me $100,000 to bet on a fight. Someone risked $100,000 to win $20,000 on Floyd Mayweather Saturday night. I’m trying to think of the most money I’ve ever held at one time…….$100K is a lot of cabbage.

4) Mets’ OF Michael Conforto dislocated his left (throwing) shoulder swinging at a pitch Thursday; never saw that happen before. Conforto had been playing really well for the Mets.

3) There was an old movie on TV the other night; Taking Care of Business, with Jim Belushi and Charles Grodin; Belushi is an escaped convict who escapes jail to go watch the Cubs play in the World Series. Filmed in 1990, one of the TV announcers was Joe Torre— this was just before he took over managing the Cardinals. His record at that point wasn’t Hall of Fame-worthy.

Cubs beat the Angels in the fictitious movie, by the way, even though Bert Blyleven was in the movie, pitching for the Angels.

2) In the movie Friday Night Lights, where Billy Bob Thornton coaches Permian HS to the finals of the Texas state football tournament, his team loses to Carter HS of Dallas in the state title game.

In real life, three of those Carter HS players made the NFL, including Jesse Armstead. Hall of Famer LaDanian Tomlinson calls that Carter team “the greatest high school football team ever assembled.”

1) This November will be the last-ever Great Alaskan Shootout; once one of the best preseason college hoop tournaments, it suffered because ESPN started running tournaments in places with way better weather than Alaska. One year, Duke-Cincinnati was the final in Alaska, back when Bob Huggins was coaching Cincinnati.

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

13) Long time ago, the Dallas Cowboys had a very fast WR named Bob Hayes; this is in the 60’s, when the Cowboys first got really good. Bullet Bob Hayes was a sprinter— Dallas picked him in the 7th round of the 1964 Draft, with the 88th pick. Great pick— Hayes caught 371 passes in the NFL— 71 of them were touchdowns.

Detroit had the 89th pick that year; they took a lineman from Wichita State that you may have heard of, even though he didn’t play in the NFL.

Guy named Bill Parcells, whose 76th birthday was this week.

12) Baseball is terrific because odd things can happen at any time; LA’s Rich Hill had a perfect game thru 8 innings last night in Pittsburgh, but his 3B made an error in the 9th inning- the game remained scoreless thru nine innings. Hill stayed in the game, even though his blister issues usually mean he comes out before he gets to 100 pitches.

In the bottom of the 10th inning, Josh Harrison got the Pirates’ first hit, a walk-off homer that ended a great pitching duel. He hit Hill’s 99th pitch over the fence, ending a great game.

11) Doug Fister allowed a leadoff homer Tuesday night, then didn’t allow another hit in a 9-1 Red Sox win in Cleveland. It was Fister’s first complete game since 2014.

10) According to, underdogs covered 52.5% of college football games last year, the best year for underdogs in the last 12.

9) Anthony Rizzo played some 3B Tuesday night, the first lefty to do so in a major league game in 20 years.

8) Atlanta Falcons will leave a day earlier than usual on their five non-divisional road trips this season; they feel it helps with team bonding.

7) Louisville QB Lamar Jackson won the Heisman Trophy LY; he tried hard to gain weight in the offseason, and is seven pounds heavier than last year, 30 pounds heavier than when he was a freshman.

6) Good news for NBA’s TV partners, with Cavaliers-Celtics playing on Opening Night. Kyrie Irving t-shirts were 75% off at the Cavaliers’ team store Wednesday.

5) Indians put Salazar/Miller on the DL Tuesday; they put Jason Kipnis on the DL yesterday. If you’re involved in fantasy baseball, you realize this: baseball players get hurt a lot.

Red Sox put Jackie Bradley Jr (thumb) on the DL.

4) Scott Blumstein won the World Series of Poker this summer; before the event, four of his friends gave him $60 each towards the $10,000 entry fee— those four friends will each come away with $40,750 before taxes, after Blumstein won the $8.15M first prize.

3) Since 1994, the Philadelphia Eagles have had 119 pass plays of 50+ yards, most in the NFL, two more than the Packers, three more than New Orleans.

Defensively, Atlanta has allowed 127 pass plays of 50+ yards, 20 more than any other team.

2) Since 2012, Temple (39-24) is the best team in the country against the spread, but Matt Rhule is the coach at Baylor now— we’ll see if Temple can keep up with their successful ways.

Over the last five years, UConn (18-40) is the worst team in America against the spread.

1) On August 15, a guy in Las Vegas bet $500 on BYU to win the national title, at 300-1, which would net him $150,000 if the Cougars won the national championship. There was another $200 bet on BYU back in June, at 500-1. Someone likes BYU this season.

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

13) Cleveland Cavaliers traded Kyrie Irving to Boston Tuesday in exchange for Isaiah Thomas; Cleveland will also receive Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and Brooklyn’s 2018 first-round draft pick.

As usual, the NBA offseason is more interesting than the actual season.

12) Trade trivia: Kyrie Irving’s father played college ball at Boston University. Also, the deal saves  the Cavaliers $29.1M in salary tax payments, which isn’t trivial at all.

11) Check out SportsCenter or MLB Network to see the catch Christian Yelich made to end the bottom of the 5th inning in Philly last night, robbing Nick Williams of what would’ve been his second homer of the night. Tremendous catch.

In the 7th inning of the same game, Giancarlo Stanton made a great diving catch, running towards right-center.

10) Marlins swept a twinbill in Philly Tuesday. Last time the Marlins were .500 was April 27; they were 10-10- now they’re 62-62, and are 9-2 in their last 11 games.

9) Cody Bellinger (ankle) is the 26th different Dodger to go on the DL this season. Alex Wood is also back on the DL with a shoulder problem.

8) A high school QB in Utah named Cammon Cooper completed 49 of 71 passes for 599 yards and 10 touchdowns in his season opener— he is committed to play college ball next season at Washington State.

7) Someone on Twitter counts transfers in college basketball; their count for this season is 807 kids changing teams from LY. With 351 D-I teams, that is 2.3 kids per team, which is a lot.

Some kids bolt for greener pastures; some are unhappy at their playing time, some get run off by an unhappy coach. 2.3 kids per team is an awful lot of transfers, thats for sure.

6) Jets set an NFL record last year by using 75 different players, 49 of whom started at least one game. When you were a home underdog to the 2016 Rams, you know you had a bad year.

5) Former big league 1B Ike Davis is trying to make a comeback as a pitcher; so far, he’s thrown 3.2 scoreless innings in the Arizona Rookie League, allowing six baserunners with 5 strikeouts.

Davis’ father Ron was a good relief pitcher back in the day (1978-88); Ike Davis threw two scoreless innings in mop-up work for the A’s couple years ago.

4) Young OF Herschel “Boog” Powell of the A’s hit his first big league homer Monday, near the barbecue stand in Camden yards run by 74-year Orioles legend John “Boog” Powell. The two men met for the first time Tuesday.

The elder Powell has been retired for 40 years; he was a powerful lefty-hitting first baseman who played on great Oriole teams.

3) David Wright DH’d in the Florida State League Tuesday night, going 0-4 with two strikeouts in his first game action in a long time.

2) Adrian Gonzalez got his 2,000th hit last night, quite a milestone for him.

1) Phillies’ Nick Pivetta threw 46 pitches in the first inning of last night’s nightcap against Miami. He came within one batter of being yanked in the first inning, but wound up being yanked in the second inning, using 64 pitches to get only four outs.

Bartolo Colon threw 61 pitches in the first inning in a game in Seattle a few years ago, which seems to be the modern record for most pitches thrown in the first inning of a game.

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

13) New Jersey Jets have had five head coaches since Bill Parcells left after the 1999 season; here are their records— their first season with the Jets, then the rest of the tenures after.

2000— Al Groh: 1st year: 9-7. Left after that season
2001-05— Herm Edwards: 1st year: 10-6. Rest of tenure: 29-35
2006-08— Eric Mangini: 1st year: 10-6. Rest of tenure: 13-19
2009-14— Rex Ryan: 1st year: 9-7. Rest of tenure: 37-43
2015-present— Todd Bowles: 1st year: 10-6. Since then: 5-11

Total: 1st year of tenure: 48-32. Other seasons: 84-108

I have no explanation for this, but these are the facts- they are not in dispute.

12) Jets’ QB Christian Hackenberg got hit so hard by a Detroit lineman the other night, I actually feared for his health when I saw a replay of the hit. That one had to hurt……a lot.

11) Showtime did an excellent reality series last year following Florida State football; they did one on Notre Dame the year before (I didn’t see that one). This year, they’re following the Navy Midshipmen, which should be interesting, seeing how ballplayers at military academies have to really be good time managers, given their workloads.

10) Part of the reason the Rams paid a King’s ransom for Jared Goff last spring was that they projected ahead to the Class of ’17 QB’s and they didn’t like what they saw. Something to think about if some of this year’s rookie QB’s get on the field early this season.

9) On April 17, the Orioles traded pitcher Parker Bridwell to the Angels for a player to be named later or cash. Bridwell is now 7-1, 2.88 in 11 starts for the contending Angels, with a WHIP of 1.17. If not for Aaron Judge, Bridwell might’ve been Rookie of the Year in the AL.

8) Scott Tolzien is the Indianapolis Colts’ likely starter in Week 1; he has suited up for 51 NFL games in his seven NFL seasons, played in only 9 games, starting three (0-2-1 W-L record). He’s thrown 128 NFL passes, with two TD’s, seven INT’s.

But he also went 21-5 as the starting QB at Wisconsin, so best not to underestimate him.

7) Cardale Jones is the 3rd-string QB for the Chargers; he was 7-15 for 61 yards against the Saints Sunday in a dismal 13-7 loss. Chargers’ only TD was scored by their defense.

Jones left Ohio State early- he started only 11 games for the Buckeyes. If I had to advise a young quarterback, I would advise him to play as much college football as humanly possible, for more than one reason:

— Experience makes you a better player; the more you practice, the better your skills become.
— Experience makes you more confident in your abilities; the more situations you see, the better you will handle the more advanced competition in the NFL.
— You’re older and more physically mature; NFL players are very large grown men.

6) Broncos-Raiders is a bitter rivalry and always has been, but this year’s games should get a boost in intensity. Bill Musgrave is Denver’s new QB coach this season, after the Raiders let him walk after two years of being Oakland’s offensive coordinator.

I’m sure there are no hard feelings.

5) Geniuses at ESPN showed Sonny Gray’s pitching line on the crawl on the bottom of the screen Sunday night; when it showed he had no strikeouts, they were kind enough to add (0 K’s, career low), as if we couldn’t figure out ourselves that zero would be his career low. Oy.

4) Steelers’ coach Mike Tomlin believes live tackling in practice is a necessity to properly prepare for the season;‘s Peter King wrote this weekend that of all the training camps he visited this summer, Pittsburgh/Seattle were by far the most physical.

Most teams are so paranoid about players getting hurt that live tackling is non-existent in most practices.

3) Anquan Boldin retires after 14 years in the NFL and 1,076 receptions; he started out as a QB at Florida State. When he played for the Cardinals, he broke his cheekbone while catching a TD pass and tried to talk his way into staying in the game. Tough guy. Great player.

2) I’m thinking that there will be chaos in some NFL front offices in 10 days or so, when 1,184 free agents hit the streets. Lousy teams will be working the phones, trying to improve their rosters wherever they can by picking up guys the better teams cut. Will be some guys starting for teams in Week 1 who haven’t been on that team for very long.

1) Lot of people are touting Tennessee Titans as a Cinderella team in the AFC, but one thing they better do if they’re going to make the playoffs— beat the Colts. Indianapolis is 15-1 in its last 16 games against Tennessee. That obviously needs to change if the Titans are really contenders.

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

13) Quote of the Day, part 2: Ian Kinsler, on the umpires’ wearing white wristbands Saturday to protest Kinsler’s not being suspended for his comments about Angel Hernandez:

“I really don’t think too deeply into it. I hope they wear the white wristbands for the rest of their careers. I don’t care. I said what I felt and what I thought. If they take offense to that, that’s their problem.’’

Alrighty then.

12) Umpires didn’t wear the wristbands Sunday; they’re getting an audience with commish Rob Manfred soon, to discuss their issues. Doubt they’ll get much satisfaction.

11) 75 players have 20+ homers this year; just three years ago, only 57 guys hit 20+ homers for the whole season— there are still six weeks of games left this year.

10) New York Mets saved roughly $13.6M in salary by trading veterans to contenders in the last few weeks. Thats what small market teams do. New York City is not a small market.

9) The Greek basketball federation attacked the Milwaukee Bucks and the NBA in a statement, describing an “organized and well-staged plan” to keep Giannis Antetokounmpo from playing in the Eurobasket tournament for Greece at the end of the month.

If I was paying a young man $20M a year, damn sure I wouldn’t want him playing in some exhibition tournament in the summer. Too freakin’ bad.

8) Someone in the Indiana University compliance department screwed up, and it cost a freshman DB a year of his football eligibility. The school screwed up by not telling the kid what was required of him to become eligible— I’m guessing someone lost their job over that.

7) NFL exhibition broadcasts that aren’t on national TV can be tough to listen to; they’re infomercials for the local team. Never is heard a discouraging word— exhibition games are sloppy by nature, obviously, but you’d never know it by listening to some of these TV guys.

6) From the sound of the 49ers’ TV guys, CJ Beathard is going to beat Matt Barkley out for the backup QB job in San Francisco. Will Kyle Shanahan keep three QB’s?

5) I didn’t realize mailmen delivered on Sunday; around 5pm, a truck pulled up to the house next door. Can’t remember seeing that before, except maybe around Christmas.

4) Tyler Clippard is the first pitcher since Ted Abernathy in 1970 to save a game for three different teams in the same season.

3) Mets get minor league pitcher Jacob Rhame as Player to be Named Later in the Granderson trade; he was Dodgers #28 ranked prospect and should be up with the Mets next month; he is headed to the AAA Las Vegas 51’s for now.

2) RIP Jerry Lewis, 91, an actor/comedian who raised roughly $1.6B thru his Labor Day telethon to fight Muscular Dystrophy. Thats billion, with a B. He helped a lot of people. RIP, sir.

1) If the playoffs started today (they do not), they’d look like this:
AL: Boston-Cleveland-Houston. Wild Cards: New York/Angels or Twins
NL: Washington-Chicago-Los Angeles. Wild Cards: Arizona-Colorado

Sunday’s List of 13: Random stuff for a summer Sunday……..

13) Lot of major league umpires wore white wristbands Saturday to protest Ian Kinsler not being suspended after he verbally thrashed umpire Angel Hernandez earlier this week.

Earlier this month, umpire Joe West was suspended for three days, simply for saying that Adrian Beltre complained more than any other player.

The statement from MLB is clear; players matter more than umpires.

12) Mets’ game Friday night ended around midnight; Curtis Granderson was traded right after the game, and was in Detroit Saturday afternoon, batting 5th for the Dodgers in a game that started at 4:00. Joc Pederson was sent to AAA to make room for Granderson.

11) Is great to hear 82-year old Dick Enberg calling the Dodgers-Tigers games this weekend. One of the all-time great broadcasters, Mr Enberg called Padre games up until last season. To me, he is best-known for doing college basketball on NBC in the late 70’s/80’s.

10) Umpire Adam Hamari is from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan; he had the plate in Detroit Saturday, and had lot of family at the game. Do friends/relatives of umpires cheer loudly for good calls? Do they take grief if a call goes against the home team?

9) Giancarlo Stanton is the 4th big leaguer to hit 23 homers in a 35-game span; the other three were Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa.

8) Brooklyn Nets will play regular season games against the Thunder and Heat in Mexico City in December.

7) Detroit’s Justin Upton hit a homer Friday night; when he was between 2nd and 3rd base, he suddenly backtracked and went back to touch first base again, just to make sure he got it. Never saw that before If you miss first base, you dion’t even get credit for a hit, much less a homer, run scored and an RBI.

6) Tight end Nick O’Leary caught three passes for 50 yards for Buffalo Thursday night; the Florida State alum is the grandson of golfing great Jack Nicklaus.

5) Not only did Joc Pederson get sent to AAA, but San Diego sent RF Hunter Renfroe down to AAA El Paso— he was in an 8-for-64 skid at the time of his demotion.

4) 53-year old Davis Love III is three shots out of the lead after three rounds of the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina. Love’s son is also in the Wyndham field; the last time a golfer won a PGA Tour event when his son was in the field? Craig Stadler, at the 2003 BC Open.

3) Seattle Seahawks lost starting LT George Fant for the year with an ACL injury; Fant was a basketball player at Western Kentucky but had improved enough to become an NFL starter.

2) Donald Trump sent out a tweet Saturday where he spelled “heal” “heel”; he did it twice in the tweet so it wasn’t a typo. I’m just asking: whose job is it to tell him that he spelled the word wrong? Don’t think that is a job I’d want. His 11-year old kid should know the difference between heel and heal.

1) Former Boston Bruins’ coach/TSN hockey announcer Don Cherry sang Take Me Out to the Ballgame at Wrigley Field Saturday, dressed in a suit jacket, with, um……cherries on it. Cherry was a really good coach who is a complete character as a TV analyst.

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

13) Rashard Davis returned punts for the Eagles Thursday night; the free agent from James Madison was signed earlier this week.

Last Saturday, while the chaos in Charlottesville was going on, Davis was working as a waiter in a restaurant in Charlottesville near the park where the mayhem with the statue of Robert E Lee occurred. He was hiding from his boss in the restaurant as he took calls from his agent updating him on the Eagles’ deal.

One day you’re a waiter, the next day you’re playing ball on national TV. Pretty cool.

12) Something to think about when college football kicks off next weekend; only one of the last 19 national champs lost a non-conference game, Ohio State in 2014 (to Virginia Tech).

11) There were 345 replay reviews in the NFL last year, the fewest since 2009, and 70 less than in 2015.

10) 130 free agents changed teams in the NFL this offseason, also the fewest since 2009.

9) Bill Belichick’s coaching record: 263-125
Tom Brady won-loss record: 208-61
Belichick’s record without Brady: 55-64

8) Baltimore Ravens play in London in Week 3, but they don’t have the usual bye the next week- they host their rival, the Steelers. Ravens don’t have their bye until Week 10.

7) Penn State gave coach James Franklin a 6-year contract extension, worth $34.3M. Franklin is 25-15 at PSU, 14-11 in league games, 1-2 in bowl games; Nittany Lions were 11-3 last year.

6) Jacksonville kicker Jason Myers struggled in Thursday night’s loss to Tampa Bay, now they’re bringing in Dan Carpenter to compete with Myers. Maybe it is contagious; Jacksonville lost to the Buccaneers Thursday, who just fired their kicker last weekend.

5) Le’Veon Bell’s agent had an agreement with the Steelers on a contract back in mid-July, but Bell nixed the deal at the last minute. Not sure if that was a great move by him.

4) Arizona football coach Rich Rodriguez is being sued by his old agents for $230,250; he fired them a couple of years ago, but they say he didn’t pay them enough. Rodriguez agreed to pay them 10% of the money he made from CBS Sports Network, 4% of his money from Arizona.

Rodriguez is a good dude; I have no idea about this lawsuit, but when he left CBS to coach at Arizona, the crew at CBS left his chair empty for their first show without him, thats how much they thought of him.

3) During the Blue Jays-Cubs game Friday, the Cubs’ roving reporter interviewed hockey star Patrick Sharp, who was sitting in the stands. Sharp grew up rooting for the Jays, but he tried to be political saying which team he was rooting for.

2) Not the best week to be a statue, eh? Except for the home run sculpture in Miami, which Dade County says can’t be taken out of Marlins Park.

1) Some good news for Marlins’ fans; David Samson is out as team president. This is a guy who was president of a baseball team who went on Survivor during baseball season— he was the first person voted out on Survivor.

At one point, he was Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria’s stepson. Now the Marlins are rid of Loria and Samson, and they’re much better off.

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

13) Joey Votto recently reached base 2+ times in 20 consecutive games, one short of Ted Williams’ all-time record of 21; an underrated record. Votto’s on-base %age this year is .448— muy bueno.

12) Then why doesn’t Votto bat leadoff, with a .448 OB%? Isn’t that what leadoff hitters are supposed to do, get on base? Cincinnati bats fleet-footed Billy Hamilton 1st, but his on-base % is a woeful .298.

As my late father liked to say, “You can’t steal first base.”

11) Reds 13, Cubs 10— Jon Lester gave up nine runs in 1.2 IP, then left with a lat injury. Reds blew a 9-0 lead but rallied late for the win.

10) Our thoughts/prayers go out to the people in Barcelona, after the terrorist activity Thursday; basketball teams from Arizona-Clemson-Oregon State-Tulane are all in Spain right now.

Everyone on all four teams is safe and sound. They’ll be glad to get home.

Oregon State’s team was having dinner in the hotel when the terrorist activity happened, right in front of that hotel.

9) Atlanta Falcons’ new domed stadium has Chick-fil-A in it, but Chick-fil-A never opens on Sunday for religious reasons and the Falcons have only one non-Sunday home game this season.

8) Angels had Thursday off, in between series with Nationals/Orioles, so Mike Trout was in Philly last night to see his beloved Eagles play Buffalo.

7) Colorado has yo-yo’d OF Raimel Tapia up and down from AAA a lot this year; he is obviously major-league ready, but the Rockies don’t have a full-time slot for him right now.

Since going back to Albuquerque the last time August 12, Tapia is 12-21 (.571) for the Isotopes. He will be a starter in the major leagues next year, whether in Denver or somewhere else.

6) On July 23, 2013, Nicky Delmonico was traded from Baltimore to the Brewers for Francisco Rodriguez, in a deadline deal; in February 2015 he was released by Brewers.

Now he is hitting .396 in his first 54 plate appearances with the White Sox— he homered twice in LA Wednesday. He is only 25; sometimes it takes a while to become an overnight sensation.

5) Mets had catcher Travis d’Arnaud playing 3B Wednesday night, for the first time in his career; Asdrubal Cabrera and D’Arnaud swapped between 2B and 3B 23 times.

4) Oakland Raiders are 1-5 vs spread in their last six pre-bye games; they covered their last five post-bye games.

3) Last eight years, Minnesota Vikings are 8-0 vs spread in the game just before their bye; they’re 1-7 vs spread in the first game after their bye.

2) Colorado’s star 3B Nolan Arenado got hit on the hand by a batted ball yesterday and left the game; looked like the ball hit him in the same spot where he was hit by a pitch in Miami last weekend. Rockies need Arenado in the lineup and more importantly, in the field.

1) If you’re a fantasy football owner, what do you do with Ezekiel Elliott? Dallas has an early bye, so for fantasy purposes, Elliott’s 6-game suspension is really seven games, since he isn’t eligible to play until Week 8 against Washington. Most fantasy regular seasons are 13 games, right?

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

13) I hope Ryan Fitzpatrick writes a book someday; he went to college at Harvard, which means he didn’t get an athletic scholarship, but he still made the NFL and entering his 13th year as an NFL quarterback. Tampa Bay is his 7th team.

Fitzpatrick played for four teams in four years, but what is weird is that he started 9+ games in all four of those years— there is no way anyone else has ever done this before, not at QB.
2012 Buffalo, 16 starts
2013 Tennessee, 9 starts
2014 Houston, 12 starts
2015 NJ Jets, 16 starts

What a unique career; if he makes the Buccaneers this summer and it looks like he will, it is unlikely he’ll play much, with Jameis Winston entrenched as the Bucs’ starting QB.

12) In 42 games batting in the #4 or #5 slot this year, Giancarlo Stanton hit .262 with 11 HR, 30 RBI, and an OB% of .335.

In 71 games since moving to the #2 slot in the order, Stanton is batting .302, with 33 HR’s, 64 RBI and a .404 on-base %age.

11) They told a funny story on the Padres’ game yesterday; there used to be an umpire named Frank Pulli, who was considered to be one of the better umpires. Pulli was doing an exhibition game behind the plate and after he calls a borderline strike on David Bell, he says to Bell:

“You better swing the bat today; it’s my grandson’s birthday”, inferring he had a party to go to and this was going to be a fast game.

10) Good grief; heard the other night that they change the bases in major league games every three innings, and then sell the bases online. Game used bases!!!! Greed knows no bounds.

9) Interesting comment from an NFL coach/executive, I can’t remember who it was, someone with the Colts or Lions, but they came out and said that NFL teams get more out of joint practices during the week than they do from the exhibition game that is played on the weekend, which is a good piece of knowledge.

8) Houston Astros swing at more first pitches than any team in baseball; they’ve hit 47 homers not eh first pitch of an AB, most in the majors this season.

7) Didi Gregorius batting cleanup, Todd Frazier batting 8th; interesting lineups Joe Girardi puts on the field. Manager of the Year in the AL will be tough to decide, if the Angels make the playoffs. Girardi and Mike Scioscia are both doing really good jobs this season.

6) Mets have saved a total of roughly $9M from their salary dumps this summer (Duda, Walker, Bruce, Reed). Too bad they’re not in a big city with a new, publicly-funded stadium, then they could actually try and w— oh wait, New York City is a big city. The Wilpons are slimy; thank the Lord they don’t own the A’s.

5) Strange ballgame in Oakland Tuesday night; A’s led Kansas City 4-3 after seven innings but their bullpen imploded in the 8th and KC led 8-4- there was no joy at Armadillo World HQ, that is for sure. Then Oakland scored six runs in the bottom of the 8th; Matt Joyce hit a bases loaded double after the Royals walked Rajai Davis intentionally so they could pitch to Joyce with the bases loaded (lefty-lefty BS).

Weird game with a happy ending, unless you had the Royals or the under.

4) Last season was first time since 2003 that both Super Bowl teams missed the playoffs the following season.

3) Since 2005, the defending Super Bowl champ is 4-7 in playoff games the next season, with Seattle in 2014 getting two of the four wins.

2) Last year was first time in eight years that the Super Bowl loser missed the playoffs the following season. Last time the Super Bowl loser made it back to the Super Bowl the next season? The 1993 Bills, losing their 4th consecutive Super Bowl.

1) 1994 Patriots are the last team to repeat as Super Bowl champs.

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

13) One thing Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon has changed in baseball is that he introduced “themed” road trips, where players dress up in outfits that correspond to where they’re going, breaking up the monotony of a long season.

For instance, the Diamondbacks flew to Houston last nite, so they all dressed up like astronauts, with helmets and all. When some teams go to Toronto, they all wear NHL jerseys. Sounds goofy, but it make people laugh, and laughter is healthy. Winning also helps.

12) Houston Astros swing at the first pitch of an at-bat more than any other team; they’ve hit 47 first-pitch homers this year, most in the major leagues.

11) 64 players have 20+ homers this season; in 2014, 57 players hit 20+. It is only August 16.

10) Vic Fangio is defensive coordinator for the Bears; he coached under Jim Mora Sr with the Philly/Baltimore Stars in the old USFL in 1984-5. He must have some excellent stories.

9) Buffalo Bills haven’t made the playoffs since 1999; they’ve been 8-8 three times, 9-7 twice during that stretch, but no postseason games. They’re 24-24 the last three years, but now with a new GM are stockpiling draft picks for the next few years, which could very well be the start of the post-Brady era in the AFC East.

8) Battle for Atlantis is a very good hoop tournament in November. 1st-round matchups:
— Villanova vs Western Kentucky
— Purdue vs Tennessee
— SMU vs Northern Iowa
— NC State vs Arizona

7) Jose Altuve is hitting “only” .305 on the road this year with six homers; on the road, he is batting .417, with 12 homers. Go figure.

6) St Joseph’s College in Connecticut is starting a basketball program in 2018-19; one of the candidates for the head coaching job is former UConn coach Jim Calhoun, who is 75. He isn’t working on ESPN anymore and says he is interested in the position; his wife apparently has the last word on whether he takes the job or not.

5) Mike Shula is Carolina’s offensive coordinator; he was Alabama’s head coach from 2003-6, just before Nick Saban, but other than that, has never coached college football— he’s been an NFL assistant coach for 26 of the last 30 years.

4) Lets not forget that Nick Saban left college ball briefly for the NFL; he went 48-16 at LSU, is 114-19 at Alabama, but in between, he went 15-17 as coach of the Dolphins in 2005-6, famously choosing Daunte Culpepper over Drew Brees as a free agent QB signing. No one’s perfect.

3) In my opinion, Buck Showalter is a great manager; his Orioles are 21-10 in games this season where the winning run scored after the 6th inning- they’re 38-50 in other games. Last two years Baltimore is 71-53 in games decided by 1 or 2 runs.

Look at their pitching staff and explain how they’re in contention.

In his career, Showalter is 1,488-1,375 as a big league skipper; New York and Arizona won World Series right after he left. He is 606-542 in Baltimore, making playoffs three of last six years. They hadn’t made the playoffs for 13 years before he got to Camden Yards.

2) Milwaukee is 13-22 this season in games where winning run scores from 7th inning on; they’re 61-59 overall, which makes them 48-37 otherwise. Brewers have legit shot to be a Cinderella playoff team, but they need to be better in the late innings.

1) The bar is low for new Rams’ coach Sean McVay; the 2003 Rams went 12-4. Since then, they’ve gone 8-8 twice and lost 10+ games in 7 of the other 11 years, with three 7-9 years and a 7-8-1 season thrown in. No winning seasons since 2003; we’re not asking for much!!!!

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

13) Cool to see Chad Bettis pitching for the Rockies Monday night, coming back from testicular cancer to make it back to the major leagues. Not only that, but he shut the Braves out for seven innings. Had to be a very emotional night for Mr Bettis. Good for him.

12) Looking forward to Hard Knocks tonight, when the Bucs part ways with kicker Roberto Aguayo. Tampa Bay TRADED UP to draft a kicker in the 2nd round, then cut him a year later. If I owned the Bucs, I’d want some answers on that one.

Nick Folk is now the Buccaneers’ 7th kicker since 2013.

11) Worst base running play ever Sunday: Phillies have bases loaded, one out, down 4-1. Nick Williams is up; he flies out to short CF- the runner on third tags up but doesn’t try to score. When the throw from the outfield gets by the cutoff man, the guy on second takes off for third, only to find a teammate standing on third when he got there. Oy.

Pay attention; this is why losing teams lose, they get mentally tired and stop paying attention. This was just an awful, careless play by a bad team. Hard to watch.

10) Bills traded for WR Jordan Matthews last week; he got a chip fracture in his sternum during his first practice with Buffalo, and is now week-to-week.

9) Baltimore Ravens signed backup QB Thad Lewis; he’s started six NFL games in his career and has bounced around a lot of rosters— I liked him when he was a backup for the Rams, but what this really is is a signal that Colin Kaepernick is going to have a hard time finding an NFL job.

8) Milwaukee Bucks’ star Giannis Antetokounmpo makes only $25,000 a year to wear Nikes; now that he is a star (his Bucks’ contract is four years, $100M) and his shoe contract is about to end, he is going to break the bank with a new shoe deal.

7) White Sox traded Tyler Clippard to the Astros, as Houston struggles to improve its pitching. Astros will be Clippard’s 6th team in the last three seasons- he must be very good at packing.

6) NFL should have their 2018 draft at a casino in Niagara Falls, seeing how Buffalo/Cleveland both have six picks in the first three rounds next year. Lake Erie will be the draft’s epicenter.

5) It cost $40 just to park for Patriots’ home games in Foxboro. Even exhibition games.

4) Matt Nagy is the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator; his dad was a high school coach in New Jersey who once coached Jets’ head coach Todd Bowles.

The elder Nagy played in the World Football League in the 70’s, a league that played for a year and a half and had some really good players. Matt Nagy played QB for four teams in the Arena League, including for coach John Gregory, who had previously coached Kurt Warner in Iowa.

3) I’m not fond of kids having press conferences to announce their choice of college. Too many young people are attention junkies; just post on Twitter when you’ve made a decision and thats that.

2) Bryce Harper got hurt slipping on a wet base Sunday; for the love of God, lets not over-react and get rid of bases the way they are. Having a kid dry off the bases in between innings would be fine, but lets not get wacky over this and put in flat bases or something like that.

The horse collar tackle rule in the NFL came about because Bo Jackson got hurt on a tackle like that while he was playing for the Raiders. A star gets hurt, people go nuts. Relax.

1) Get well soon to wrestling legend Ric Flair, 68, who is in an ICU in a Georgia hospital with heart problems. Flair has been a positive voice and a great entertainer for decades; hope he feels better soon.

Monday’s Den: Notes on NFC teams…….

Random notes on NFC teams:

Arizona— Carson Palmer turns 38 on Dec 27; only 27 NFL QB’s have thrown 200+ passes at age 38 or older— 13 of those 17 are or will be in the Hall of Fame. Arizona had the oldest offense in the NFL last year; their time to win a Super Bowl is this year, or else. Over is 13-3 in Arizona road games the last two years; since 2014, under is 14-9-1 in Cardinal home games.

Atlanta— Blew a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl, fired their DC, lost their OC, have a new stadium this year. Falcons scored 58 TD’s last year, punted 48 times with only 11 turnovers— they were only the third team since 1996 to score a TD on more than 33.3% of their drives. Now what? Underdogs are 13-3 vs spread in Falcon home games, since Quinn has been coach.

Carolina— How is Cam Newton’s shoulder? That is Question #1. Panthers were -2 in turnovers LY (6-10), after being +20/+3/+11 the three years before that (15-1/7-8-1/12-4). Over last four years, Carolina is 4-10-1 vs spread as a road favorite- their front office had in-fighting this winter— the GM got fired— will that affect the players?

Chicago— QB Mike Glennon played QB at NC State after Russell Wilson bolted for Wisconsin; then he went 5-13 over two years as a starter in Tampa Bay before they drafted Jameis Winston. He’s thrown 11 passes the last two years, is now renting the Bears’ #1 job until they decide that #1 pick Mitch Trubisky is ready to be the starter. Awkward situation.

Dallas— Dak Prescott makes $540K this year, $630K next year, which bails Dallas out of a lot of its salary cap quandries. Cowboys ran the ball 59.4% of time on 1st down LY, averaged 5.1 yds/rush on those runs, and averaged 8.9 yds/pass on play action passes. As a result, Cowboys faced 3rd-lowest number of 3rd downs in NFL. Will Prescott fight the sophomore jinx this year?

Detroit— As a Ram fan, I was frustrated by how bad OT Greg Robinson was for the Rams the last few years; now he is a Lion and is the LT, protecting Matthew Stafford’s blind side. Detroit’s backup QB’s are Jake Rudock/Brad Kaaya. Lions have lost nine playoff games in a row- their last playoff win was in 1991. If Detroit makes the playoffs this year, I’ll be very surprised.

Green Bay— Since 1992, Packers have had Favre/Rodgers at QB, two first-ballot Hall of Famers. They won Super Bowl in ’96 and ’10, lost in ’97- should they be winning more than they have? Pack made playoffs last 7 years and 14 of last 20 years, but are just 13-13 in playoff games since Favre won his Super Bowl. Last three years, Green Bay is 14-7-2 vs spread as a home favorite.

LA Rams— 31-year old Sean McVay was hired to develop Jared Goff as a QB, but before that, they have to put together an offensive line that can protect him. 35-year old Andrew Whitwroth was brought in from Cincinnati to play LT and fortify the line. Rams were 4-5 LY, led Miami 10-0 with 5:00 to go in Goff’s debut in Game #10— had they won that game, Jeff Fisher would likely still be the Rams’ coach.

Minnesota— Vikings went 8-8 with a +11 turnover ratio; no bueno; they had 54 third-and-1’s last year, converted 11-15 (73.3%) times when they threw the ball, 25-39 (64.1%) when they ran it. Sam Bradford is 32-45-1 as an NFL starter, 14-15 since leaving the Rams. Minnesota hasn’t won a playoff game since 2009; since ’05, they’re 1-4 in playoff games. Vikings have had eight #1 QB’s over the last 12 years. Bridgewater’s knee injury last summer was incredibly bad luck.

NJ Giants— Giants have had one #1 QB since 2005; Eli Manning has played all 192 games, and that is his greatest strength— he shows up to work every week. Giants won Super Bowl after 2007/2011 seasons, going 4-0 in playoffs both years; other than those two years, since 2001, Big Blue is 0-5 in playoff games. Have been in playoffs twice in last eight years, are 1-5 in Week 1 the last six years- they open vs Dallas this year for 5th time in last six years.

New Orleans— Does signing Adrian Peterson mean Saints will run ball more to protect a poor defense and a 38-year old QB? NO scored 400+ points the last six years, but made playoffs only once in last five years, going 7-9 in other four. Last three years, Saints are 5-13-1 vs spread as a home favorite, 5-0 as home dogs- they’re 3-8 in last 11 tries as a road favorite. Over is 16-8 in Superdome games the last three years; over is 13-11 in NO road games during that time.

Philadelphia— Eagles missed playoffs five of last six years; their last playoff win was in 2008, but they had to be happy with rookie QB Wentz LY. This will be first time since 2012 that Iggles had same #1 QB as year before (Michael Vick). Philly was 4-1 vs spread as a home underdog LY, after being 1-10 in that role from 2007-15. Eagles were favored in only two of their eight home games LY; the last five years, they’re 5-9-1 vs spread in home games vs divisional rivals.

San Francisco— Four head coaches in four years is never good; they’re 7-25 since Jim Harbaugh took his act to Ann Arbor. Over last five years, 49ers have averaged 3.96 starts per draft pick, which is poor, so John Lynch runs franchise now; smart guy, but he’s never done this before. As of June 3, 51 of 90 players on roster were acquired since Lynch took over- they let 27 of 31 free agents walk. Kyle Shanahan is the new coach, after helping Falcons win NFC title last season.

Seattle— Seahawks are 56-23-1 the last five years; they’ve won at least one playoff game in 8 of last 10 seasons, but throwing that INT on goal line at end of Super Bowl will haunt them until they win another Super Bowl. Russell Wilson is 8-4 in playoff games; he was a 3rd-round pick, just like Joe Montana, who was 16-7 in playoff games. Seattle is 6-10 vs spread as a road favorite the last three years; under Carroll, they’re 26-11 vs spread as a home favorite.

Tampa Bay— Bucs haven’t made playoffs since 2007; their last playoff win was the Super Bowl 15 years ago- they were 9-7 LY, their first winning season since ’10. Adding DeSean Jackson will give Jameis Winston another explosive option; listening to the first episode of Hard Knocks, this is a confident team that expects to make the playoffs, but they’ll need to play better at home. Last three years, Tampa Bay is 8-16 vs spread at home, 2-6 in divisional home games.

Washington— Sean McVay is in LA; they fired their DC, so two new coordinators this season for Jay Gruden, who goes back to calling plays. Skins were 17-14-1 the last two years; since 2006, they are 0-3 in playoff games. Last time Washington was a playoff game, Joe Gibbs was coach. Gruden is 4-8 vs spread as a home favorite; last two years, Washington is 9-4 vs spread coming off a loss. Last five years, over is 25-14-1 in Redskin road games.

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

13) There is only one cut in the NFL this summer, from 90 to 53 players on Labor Day weekend, which means that 1,184 guys will hit the streets all at once, and lesser teams will scurry around and try to improve their roster by adding guys the better teams release.

12) I’m thinking it hurts HBO’s Hard Knocks some that there is one less cut date; that is the best part of the program, watching coaches tell guys they didn’t make the team. Sad for the player but compelling TV— lot of times those players move on and play for other teams anyway.

11) St Louis Cardinals are first team to score 8+ runs in six straight wins since ’06 Braves.

10) Cardinals-Pirates are playing a game in Williamsport, PA next weekend, five miles from where the Little League World Series takes place.

Williamsport has a team in the Class A NY-Penn League, so there is a stadium in place there, unlike last year, when Marlins-Braves played a game on a military base in South Carolina, where a stadium was basically built for that game.

9) Tampa Bay Bucs traded up to draft Florida State kicker Roberto Aguayo in the 2016 Draft, but he’s been a disappointment and been beaten out by Nick Folk. Aguayo missed an extra point and a 47-year old FG Friday night— he got cut Saturday, which should make for an interesting scene on Hard Knocks Tuesday night.

8) If you’re not contending for a Wild Card spot in the American League, your team stinks, because some of the contending teams aren’t very good.

7) Pat O’Hara is a QB coach for the Houston Texans; he was in the terrific football movie Any Given Sunday, playing Dennis Quaid’s backup QB who also gets hurt, which forces Jamie Foxx’s (#3 QB) character into the game, where he becomes a star.

In real life, O’Hara was mostly a backup QB at USC; he played for seven different Arena League teams and has had a very interesting career. NFL Films should do a feature on him.

6) Total plays run from scrimmage in last February’s Super Bowl: Patriots 93, Falcons 46.

5) Cincinnati Bengal fans should be slow to criticize coach Marvin Lewis, who is 118-110-3 in 14 years as the Bengals’ coach, From 1984-2002, before Lewis took over, Cincy went 116-192 under four different head coaches. Be careful what you ask for……..

4) Denver Broncos have only one road game in the first six weeks this season; they have a bye and four home games, then play on road in Weeks 7-9, with a Week 8 Monday night game, then a Week 9 game in Philly six days later. Unusual schedule; Denver has a new head coach and very little experience at quarterback.

3) Consider the career of former NFL QB Tony Banks:
— From 1996-98, Banks went 14-29 as QB of the Rams. When they cut him loose after 1998, they won the Super Bowl in ’99 behind Kurt Warner, who backed up Banks in ’98.

— In 2000, Banks started the first eight games for the Ravens, going 5-3, but Games 7-8 were 10-3/14-6 losses, so Banks was replaced by Trent Dilfer……and the Ravens won the Super Bowl.

I’ll leave the facts there and let you make your own judgments.

2) Gregg Williams is the new defensive coordinator in Cleveland; he has his son Blake back on the coaching staff this year. Blake Williams was on the Rams’ coaching staff as linebackers’ coach in 2012, the year Gregg Williams was suspended by the NFL because of Bountygate, but apparently the other coaches couldn’t stand young Williams and he was shown the door.

1) If I was an NFL head coach (a frightening thought), my team would go for it on 4th down a lot and go for 2 after every TD in exhibition games. Games don’t matter; it is a good chance to get more plays to evaluate your players. Thats what these exhibition games and mainly for….that and ripping off fans who pay regular season prices to watch games that don’t matter.

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

13) Buffalo Bills had an active Friday; they traded WR Sammy Watkins and a 2018 6th-round pick to the Rams, getting CB E.J. Gaines and an ’18 2nd-round pick in return.

They also traded CB Ronald Darby to the Eagles for WR Jordan Matthews and a 2018 3rd-round pick. Buffalo now has six picks in the first three rounds of the 2018 draft.

In 2014, Bills traded two first-round draft picks to move up and acquire Watkins ahead of Mike Evans, Odell Beckham, Jr. Oy.

12) Dallas Cowboys’ RB Ezekiel Elliott was suspended by the NFL for six games; Dallas has a Week 6 bye, so Elliott can return for the Week 8 game with the Redskins.

11) Indians @ Rays Thursday night; attendance was 9,533
Indians @ Rays Friday night; attendance was 16,794

When the Rays move to Canada and become the Montreal Expos, this is why…….

10) Eagles’ backup QB Matt McGloin was 28-42 passing in Green Bay Thursday; lot of passes for a third-string QB to throw in an exhibition game.

9) Chicago Bears have a veteran QB trying to hold off a first-round draft pick, with a head coach on the hot seat. Sound familiar?

The 2016 Rams had a veteran QB (Case Keenum) trying to hold off a first-round draft pick (Jared Goff), with a head coach on the hot seat (Jeff Fisher).

Hope this season works out better for Coach Fox than last year did for Jeff Fisher.

8) Didn’t help Chicago’s new QB Mike Glennon when he threw a pick-6 0:48 into the Bears’ first preseason game, Thursday vs Denver. People are not patient in today’s world.

7) One of the prettiest plays of the weekend was Miami backup QB David Fales throwing a 99-yard TD to Damore’ea Stringfellow, an undrafted free agent from Ole Miss.

6) Golfer Patrick Cantlay eagled the 7th hole at the PGA Thursday and Friday. Hard to do.

5) Dodgers started this season 10-12; they’re 71-21 since. LA was 9-11 when they called Cody Bellinger up to the big leagues on April 25- you do the math.

4) Houston Astros were 58-27 in their first 85 games, with a 3.91 team ERA.
Since then, they’re 13-16, with a 5.20 team ERA.

3) Cardinals’ pitcher Lance Lynn got drilled in the top of his head by a line drive hit by Lorenzo Cain Thursday night, but he stayed in the game and pitched six innings. St Louis swept four games from Kansas City- they hit grand slams in consecutive games Wednesday/Thursday for the first time in six years.

2) Jeffrey Loria has apparently sold the Miami Marlins for $1.25B, thats billion, with a B, to a group of 16 investors, most famous of which is Derek Jeter, who will run the baseball side. Fans in Miami are better off without Loria.

1) Over the last seven years, A’s/Nationals have made ten separate trades; it is almost like your local fantasy league, where certain people only trade with certain other people.

But in a business where teams are worth $1B or so, or more, do teams really do each other favors when one team is in contention and the other isn’t?

On July 16, the A’s sent Sean Doolittle/Ryan Madson to bullpen-starved Washington- the Nationals also added Brandon Kintzler from the Twins. Problem solved for Washington.

When the A’s needed a catcher in 2013, all of a sudden Kurt Suzuki fell into their lap, a gift from the Nationals. It helps to have friends.