13) Dusty Baker went 192-132 in two years as Washington’s manager, but went 4-6 in playoffs and that cost him his $2M a year job Friday. Nationals have had six managers (not counting interims) since 2006; next year will be #7.
Other Nationals’ news: Daniel Murphy had micro-fracture structure on his knee this week.
12) Had to stay away from Twitter late Thursday, as Dodger fans came out of the woodwork to celebrate their first NL title since 1988. I’ve got nothing against the Dodgers, but any mention of the 1988 World Series makes my stomach churn— I prefer the ’74 World Series.
11) Raiders 31, Chiefs 30— Great ballgame, bizarre ending, with an overturned TD, offensive pass interference and two defensive holding penalties, all in the last 0:18 of the game. Fun game to watch; Oakland’s win makes the AFC West race a lot more interesting.
10) Raiders now have 10 TD’s of 20+ yards this season; 10 of their 17 offensive TD’s came came on plays of 20+ yards. Buffalo Bills’ longest TD play this season? 12 yards.
9) James Harden has averaged over 10 free throws attempted per game the last three years; he is a career 85.4% free throw shooter. It is amazing to me how many times opponents let him drive to his strong hand— he is a lefty— figure it out!!!
Speaking of the Rockets, Chris Paul is already out 2-4 weeks with a bum knee. That didn’t take long. TNT studio guys were saying Thursday that Paul isn’t a good fit with the Rockets’ style anyway.
8) Big 14 basketball media day was in New York City this week, which is weird; they’re having the conference tournament at Madison Square Garden in March, as they try and expand their footprint with Rutgers, Penn State, Maryland now in the league.
But the Big 14 is a midwestern league; would think having media day in Chicago would be a more normal thing to do.
7) Memphis 42, Houston 38— Horrible loss for Cougars, who led 31-14 with 1:31 left in third quarter and 38-28 with 5:51 left in game. Memphis was down 17-0 at halftime- you do the math, Tigers scored 42 points in the second half.
6) Oldest guys in the NBA? Vince Carter, Manu Ginobili, who are both 40 years old.
5) Purdue’s basketball team played in the World University games this summer, which allowed them to have 30 practices and play 11 games, a huge advantage over other teams who take these overseas trips- those teams are allowed only 10 practices.
4) Detroit Tigers hired former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire as their new manager; he was 1,068-1,039 in 13 years with the Twins, going 6-21 in playoff games.
3) Why are foul tips not reviewable via instant replay? Anytime an obvious mistake is made by the umpires, the people in New York City should beep the crew chief on the field and correct things. The missed call on the foul tip in Game 4 of Dodger-Cub series was embarrassing.
2) Clippers clocked the Lakers Thursday night; Lonzo Ball had 3 points, 4 assists in his NBA debut. It is only one game, but if Lonzo is a marked man because his father can’t shut up, then that is too bad, but he’ll get through it. He will be a very good NBA player, in time.
1) Cam Newton skipped a couple of media sessions this week, which probably results in a fine; he can’t win this battle long-term, because he is a QB and the media needs access to him— it is part of why he makes so much money.
I’m not saying Newton is wrong; maybe he just has to adopt the Marshawn Lynch strategy of showing up and saying nothing. If he thinks he is being baited by certain writers, he has to rise above it and find ways to get around all that, for his sake and his employer’s sake.