Saturday’s List of 13: Random Lists of 3……..

When this site started in 2001, I did a few of these lists, then got away from it. Anyway, here are random lists of 3 that I put together…….

— Favorite baseball movies: a) Moneyball, b) For Love of the Game c) Major League

— Favorite pro sports teams: NFL- Rams, MLB- A’s, NHL- Bruins

— Favorite football movies: 1) Any Given Sunday 2) Friday Night Lights 3) Brian’s Song (the original)

— Favorite restaurants in Las Vegas: a) Battista’s (on Flamingo) b) Fellini’s (in Stratosphere) c) Planet Dailies (in Planet Hollywood)

— Favorite non-sports movies: 1) Begin Again 2) Rounders 3) The Bodyguard

— Underrated things/places:
a) Watching hockey in person. Way better than on TV.
b) People watching on the Las Vegas Strip: free entertainment
c) Philadelphia— The whole city. Ton of history. Lot to do; people are lot nicer than the national media makes us think.

— Favorite actresses: 1) Gina Gershon 2) Sela Ward 3) Diane Lane

— Favorite actors: 1) Al Pacino 2) Kevin Costner 3) Jack Warden

— Favorite basketball movies: 1) Blue Chips 2) Fast Break 3) One on One

— Favorite network TV series: a) CSI b) Magnum PI c) Odd Couple

— Favorite mini-series on cable recently: 1) Billions (Showtime), 2) Suits (USA Network) 3) Roadies (Showtime)

— Favorite musicians: 1) Bob Seger 2) Billy Joel 3) Christina Perri

— Favorite sports: a) college basketball b) major league baseball 3) NFL

— Three dinner guests I would choose: 3) Bill Murray 2) Bob Uecker 1) My dad

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

13) Braves 5, Nationals 2— Start of game was delayed over three hours, but it never rained. Seriously. Game started after 10pm, local time. It was supposed to rain, but it never did. Whoops.

Fans who had tickets last night get two freebies to another game; fans who stayed for the game got all kinds of food free during the game.

12) NBA happenings:
— Rudy Gay got $17M for two years from the Spurs.
— Kelly Olynyk got $50M, four years from Miami.
— Miami retained James Johnson: four years, $60M.
— Sacramento gave 40-year old Vince Carter $8M for one season.
— Clippers gave EuroLeague star Milos Teodosic $12.3M for two years.

11) Milwaukee Brewers are 48-40, only NL Central team over .500; they lead the division by 4.5 games. Very surprising.

10) Raiders’ QB David Carr’s new contract with the club is worth a lot more because the Silver and Black are moving to Las Vegas. Had the Raiders stayed in Oakland, because of California tax laws, Carr would’ve gotten paid $8.7M less, after taxes.

9) Apparently the going rate for an NBA general manager is $4M a year; Cavaliers offered Chauncey Billups $1.5M a year, then upped the offer to $2M, which is why Billups declined.

8) Dodgers’ Alex Wood is 10-0, with a 1.67 ERA. Who saw that coming?

7) Marlins’ President of Baseball Operation Michael Hill has been given a 5-year, $10M contract extension; this confuses me, because the Marlins aren’t good, and their payroll is a mess that will have to be dealt with before the team is sold.

And what if the new owners want a new guy in charge? They have to pay Hill $10M to go away?

6) Iona-Manhattan are playing a basketball game at Nassau Coliseum this coming season; I’m curious which school gave up a home game, unless it is a 2-year deal, and they both will. One of the better rivalries in the mid-major MAAC.

5) In 1969, Baltimore’s Dave McNally was 13-0 at the All-Star break, the most wins by a pitcher  without a loss before the All-Star break.

4) 34-year old DeAngelo Williams is an NFL free agent; he tried his hand at pro wrestling last weekend, taking part in Impact Wrestling’s pay-per-view Sunday, after practicing for only three days. Wrestling fans said Williams did really well in the ring, but he still wants to play football.

3) I was at a funeral home last night that had valet parking; never saw that before. Parking lot wasn’t very big, not sure why they needed it.

2) Cubs are defending world champs, but they’ve only got one guy in the All-Star Game, and that guy wasn’t on their team last year- could be first time that has ever happened.

1) Dodgers 5, Arizona 4— LA tore the hearts out of the Diamondbacks’ chests by scoring four runs in the ninth inning- they swept this series, now lead the NL West by 5.5 games.

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

13) Lets see the analytics guys try to quantify this, because you can’t:

In Tuesday’s Milwaukee Brewer game, 3B Travis Shaw threw a ball to first base that wound up going into foul territory, and the runner advanced. Scorer ruled: E5, which ended a 52-game errorless streak for Shaw.

After the game, Brewers’ 1B Eric Thames called the official scorer and told him the error should be his; it was a good throw and he missed it. The error was changed to E3 and Shaw’s errorless streak extended to 53.

Not everyone would do that, but a selfless guy on an overachieving team did it, and there is no way you can quantify that and factor it into his WAR. Too bad, because it matters.

12) Cincinnati Reds’ OF Scott Schebler is a pretty good big leaguer; he is a .259 hitter in 180 major league games. Coming out of high school in Iowa, he had zero baseball scholarship offers, but he did have a couple to play football. Things have turned out pretty well for him.

11) 70 hot dogs (and buns) in 10 minutes. Oy.

I almost get nauseous just thinking about what it must feel like to eat 70 hot dogs in ten minutes. How long before you eat again? Do you just find a restroom and puke your guts out?

10) Orlando Magic waived big guy Stephen Zimmerman, who will be 21 in September and could be heading into his junior year at UNLV, had he gotten/taken intelligent advice. He wasn’t even a first round pick— he was the 41st player taken in the 2016 draft.

Instead, Zimmerman scored 23 points in 108 minutes of garbage time spread out over 19 NBA games, a classic case of a kid turning pro before he is ready. Now he’ll have to climb back to the NBA the hard way— it can still be done, but it ain’t gonna be easy.

He scored 13.4 pts/game in 21 D-League games last year. Now he is either headed back there or over to Europe, when he could still be in college and improving his game and getting a college education, in case this NBA thing never works out for him.

Zimmerman scored 10.5 pts/game for a sub-par UNLV squad in 2015-16; their coach got fired during the season, thats how cruddy the team played. But Zimmerman and his family were convinced he was an NBA star-in-waiting, so he bolted to the draft despite having a game that needed more maturity to be NBA-ready. He shot 62% from the line, both at UNLV and in the D-League last year- -shooting is one part of his game he needs to sharpen up.

9) Pretty cool to see Stan Van Gundy watching games at the Orlando Summer League while sitting next to his dad Bill, a coaching lifer who was a small college coach for years.

Flash back to November 1980, I’m a student manager at Albany- we’re in a tip-off tournament at Brockport State near Rochester, NY. Host Brockport plays Upsala in the first round; Brockport’s coach has a neck brace on from a car accident- Bill Van Gundy. Upsala is the #1 preseason team in the country, according to Sports Illustrated.

We sneak by RIT in the first game, Upsala beats Brockport, then we beat Upsala in the title game, beating the #1 team in the country. Basketball without a shot clock; our team ran its offense until Upsala got sick of defending it. It wasn’t pretty, but it damn sure worked.

Who knew that the guy with neck brace would wind up with two famous sons?

8) They had 15,664 fans in Albuquerque Tuesday night for baseball/fireworks, but the game lasted only 2:03, so the fans had to wait a while for the fireworks- the sun hadn’t set yet when the ballgame ended.

7) I’ve never understood why people like fireworks; seriously. They have a free fireworks show in downtown Albany every July 4, and it draws 50,000 people. I know its free, but I just don’t see what the big deal is. Thats what makes the world interesting; different people like different stuff.

6) RIP Gene Conley 86, who played on a World Series champ with the Milwaukee Braves and three NBA championship teams with the Celtics. Not many humans pitched to Willie Mays and also guarded Wilt Chamberlain. RIP, sir.

5) NBA doings:
— You may have heard; Boston gave Gordon Hayward $128M for four years.
— Golden State signed Omar Casspi for one year, $2.1M
— Sacramento signed Zach Randolph for two years, $24M
— Sacramento signed George Hill for three years, $57M.
— Mike Scott gets one year, $1.17M from Washington
— Clippers acquired Danilo Gallinari and gave him three years, $65M.
— Nick Young somehow gets $5.2M for one year from the Warriors.
— Andre Roberson gets $30M for three years from Oklahoma City.

4) Celtics have to trade at least one of these three players: Marcus Smart, Jae Crowder and Avery Bradley, to clear cap room for Hayward. Crowder might be the most marketable of the three, because his contract is very team-friendly.

3) Handicapping baseball is difficult; Cincinnati’s Homer Bailey allowed 14 runs in 4.2 IP in his first two starts this year- with start #3 at Coors Field, it didn’t look good for Bailey breaking his cold spell, but he did. Colorado won 8-1; Bailey put only eight men on base on six innings.

Go figure.

2) Former Louisville guard Russ Smith scored 61 pts/game in his first five games in a Chinese pro league- he had 81 in one game. Smith also owns the G-League scoring record: 65 points.

He has played in 27 NBA games for the Pelicans/Grizzlies, scoring 2.0 pts/game.

1) Marlins 9, Cardinals 6— Giancarlo Stanton homered in innings 1-2, his 22nd multi-homer game. Stanton is incredibly streaky, but when he gets hot, he is great fun to watch.

Wednesday’s List of 13: Happy 5th of July!!!!

13) Gordon Hayward signed with the Celtics, then wrote an article thanking Utah.

I get tired of players bolting teams, then writing an article thanking the previous city for everything. If you loved it so much, why don’t you stay? He gets four years, $128M from the Celtics, but he would’ve gotten that in Utah, too- he might’ve gotten more than that.

Maybe its because I’m an A’s fan and I’ve spent the last 42 years seeing our best players either leave via free agency or get traded (at a loss) before that happens. Losing isn’t fun.

But at least guys who bolt the A’s are leaving for huge raises. This isn’t about money. Jazz traded for Ricky Rubio to try and entice Hayward to stay in Utah. Now what? Their franchise is screwed.

12) Celtics’ title odds jump from 15-1 to 12-1 with Hayward aboard; Utah’s drop from 150-1 to 250-1. If you want to bet on the Jazz to win the NBA title, just go give the money to a homeless guy— at least that money will help someone.

11) Celtics beat the 76ers 89-88 in the first game of the Utah Summer League Monday night; Jayson Tatum finished with 21 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 steals in 34 minutes, while Markelle Fultz put up 17 points, 2 rebounds, 1 assist and 3 blocks for the Sixers.

Who wins these games don’t matter much; both players played well, which matters a lot.

10) Boston Globe newspaper publishes the entire Declaration of Independence every 4th of July.

9) Joey Chestnut won the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest by downing 72 hot dogs in 10:00 in Brooklyn Tuesday. I am told the average American eats 70 hot dogs a year.

8) Daniel Murphy has 34 RBI in 31 games against the Mets, who let him walk two years ago.

7) First-place Milwaukee Brewers are only 33-1 to win the World Series. Not a lot of faith there.

6) Midwestern trivia: Barbed wire was invented in DeKalb, Illinois.

5) Tigers’ star Miguel Cabrera left Tuesday’s game with left hip tightness, bad news for Detroit and Cabrera’s fantasy owners (I am not one).

4) Freddie Freeman was activated Tuesday and is now the Braves’ third baseman, so they can keep Matt Adams in the lineup at first base. He lined a single to center in his first at-bat back.

3) Why are phone solicitors calling me on July 4th, trying to sell me solar energy panels? It is a damn national holiday; go have some potato salad and leave me the bleep alone.

2) I understand the Marlins aren’t very good this year, but their entire pre-game show Tuesday was about the All-Star Game or Home Run Derby, which are a week from now. Enough.

The constant badgering to vote for Justin Bour in the Final 5 voting intrudes on the game.

1) Gonzaga basketball coach Mark Few still hasn’t watched his team’s national title game with North Carolina from three months ago; John Calipari hasn’t watched the Memphis-Kansas national title game his Tigers lost at the very end. Apparently, successful people prefer to look ahead.

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

13) Why a lot of this analytics stuff drives me crazy; if you read this site at all, you know I love numbers, but there are also intangibles and a human element to sports that make it impossible to quantify a ballplayer with one number, even if you’re an Ivy League graduate.

I’ll give you an example of something that actually happened last year.

Player A gets paid to wear a certain style of baseball shoe, but he doesn’t always wear them. Player B goes out of his way to tell the shoe representative about this, which aggravates both the shoe guy and Player A. Player A and Player B get into an actual fight; Player B goes on the DL, which hurts the team. Lets see someone factor that into a player’s WAR.

So quantify the value of Player A and Player B; go ahead, put a number on it. Player B is a cruddy teammate, Player A is a weasel who takes money for something he doesn’t do. No matter what kind of a brilliant education you got, whether it be a junior college, state college, a fancy college or freakin’ high school, you cannot accurately define a ballplayer’s value to a team with one number.

Teammates live/travel together most every day from late February til the end of September; too many intangibles involved.

12) Speaking of cruddy teammates, Miguel Montero got traded to the Blue Jays Monday, after he ripped Jake Arrieta publicly for not holding runners close enough to first base, allowing seven stolen bases in one game (that Montero was catching).

11) Kevin Durant took $53M from Golden State for two years when his max was $34.5M a year; wonder what the Players’ Association will say about that?

10) National League has only six starting pitchers, six relievers on the All-Star team. AL has nine starters, three relievers. Six starting pitchers seems like not enough.

9) I’m watching BYU’s Eric Mika play in the Orlando Summer League for the Miami Heat and I’m thinking if he had stayed at BYU then the Cougars probably would’ve been an NCAA tourney team next March. Without him? Not so much.

8) Cuban-born Angel Hernandez has sued major league baseball because he has been passed over several times for a chance to work the World Series despite high marks on evaluations. His suit also charges that even though Hernandez was made a temporary crew chief, it has never been made permanent.

I’m not a fan of Angel Hernandez as an umpire; I’m an A’s fan and I know Oakland skipper Bob Melvin can’t stand him, and Melvin is a pretty even-keel guy.

When instant replay first started a few years ago, Adam Rosales hit a 9th inning home run in Cleveland that would’ve tied the game; it was erroneously called a double. Watching the replay, Stevie Wonder would’ve changed the call on the field to a home run, but Angel Hernandez, on his temporary crew chief assignment, refused to change the call.

Hope he loses his lawsuit, just like the A’s lost in Cleveland that day,

7) Nationals 3, Mets 2— Washington has blown eight leads of 2+ runs in 8th inning or later; if they had a decent bullpen, they’d already be booking hotels for the playoffs. Nationals will still make the playoffs, probably, but they need to reinforce their bullpen this month.

6) Speaking of Washington, how is this for scheduling? Nationals played the 8:00 game Sunday night in St Louis; they played at 6:00 game at home Monday night, then have an 11am game at home Tuesday morning. I can understand why players would be ornery about that.

5) Houston Astros signed 26 international free agents Monday, including 12 players from Venezuela, 10 from the Dominican Republic. These players will not appear in actual games until next year; they’ll report to the Astros’ complex in the Dominican Republic this summer.

4) NBA doings:
— Darren Collison gets $20M for two years from the Pacers.
— Memphis signed Ben McLemore for two years, $11M.

3) Mookie Betts will start in CF for the AL All-Star team in place of the injured Mike Trout.

2) RIP to my cousin Joan, who passed away Sunday night after a lengthy illness. She was the nicest lady, and will be missed.

1) Happy Birthday America. Our country turns 241 years old today; its been a weird year in this country. Hopefully year #242 will be a much better one.

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

13) Colorado Rockies lost eight games in a row recently and the bandwagon was quickly emptying. Baseball season is very long, though; here is what I mean…….

2012 Giants went 2-7 from June 29-July 8; they won the World Series
2013 Cardinals went 0-7 from July 26-31; they lost the World Series.
2014 Giants went 2-9 from June 23-July 4; they won the World Series.
2015 Mets went 0-7 from June 17-24; they lost the World Series.
2016 Cubs went 1-9 from June 30-July 9; they won the World Series.

Every team hits a rough patch during the season, even the really good ones.

12) Major league teams are 76-228 this season when they score two runs in a game; Cardinals are 7-2 at home when they score two runs.

11) Miami Marlins said Brewers’ PH Jonathan Villar had too much pine tar on his bat, so when Marcell Ozuna batted for the Marlins, Milwaukee returned the favor and had two of his bats taken out of play for the same reason. Ozuna then used one of Giancarlo Stanton’s bats and hit a homer to give the Marlins a 7-3 lead. Weird gamesmanship.

10) Odd Fact of the Day: In the last 40 years, only twice has a team broken a losing streak of 8+ games on its manager’s birthday. Both times, in 2008 and 2017, the manager was Bud Black.

9) Brewers’ pitcher Zach Davies got 30 called strikes from plate umpire Joe West Saturday, which is really unusual; only third time this season a pitcher got 30 called strikes in one game. Dallas Keuchel, Alex Cobb were the other two pitchers.

8) Odd to see the Michigan Wolverines’ football team ranked #127 out of 130 I-A team in terms of experience this season- they only have one starter back on defense.

7) Random All-Star Game fact: Rosters have been reduced from 34 to 32 players this year and every team has be represented.

6) Alex Rodriguez hit six home runs on his birthday, more than any major leaguer hit on their birthday.

5) Chris Paul talked free agent PJ Tucker into choosing Houston over Toronto; he took $32M for four years from the Rockets, turned down $33M for three years from Toronto.

You do the math. Tucker must like hanging around with Chris Paul..

4) Padres called up reliever Kevin Quackenbush from AAA Sunday, the 5th time they’ve called him up this season. Unfortunately, he’s also been sent out five times.

3) Mets-Nationals have an 11am game on the 4th of July (Tuesday). Lot of stuff going on in the nation’s capital, so they play the game earlier in the day.

2) NBA happenings:
— Andre Iguodala gets three years, $48M to stay with the Warriors
— Kyle Korner gets three years, $22M to keep shooting jumpers in Cleveland.
— Jodie Meeks gets $7M for two years from Washington
— Taj Gibson gets two years, $28M from Minnesota
— Serge Ibaka gets three years, $65M to stay in Toronto; Kyle Lowry gets three years, $100M to stay with the Raptors.
— Denver Nuggets sign Paul Millsap; three years, $90M. Good day for the Millsaps.

1) If you watch Ray Donovan on Showtime, the new season starts August 6, and Susan Sarandon is joining the cast, which is excellent news.

Sunday’s List of 13: Random thoughts on a summer day……

13) I spent a few days in Boston in August, 2003, saw the A’s play twice at Fenway Park.

One of the things I remember most about the trip is that after the game the first night, the newspaper the next day had 8 PAGES OF RED SOX COVERAGE after a Tuesday night game in August, and this was the year before they won their first World Series in 86 years.

My point is this: If David Price has a thin skin with media coverage, he is in exactly the wrong city. Price is making $30M+ for the next six years, and with that comes scrutiny and praise and if things don’t go well, criticism.

Take some of that $30M and buy some Bose headphones, to drown out the noise.

12) Red Sox manager John Farrell was in Kansas City Saturday to see his son Luke make his major league debut on the mound for the Royals; he got KO’d by the Twins in the 3rd inning. While that was going on, the Red Sox won 5-0 in Toronto without their manager.

I was surprised after reading that Farrell got the day off to go to Kansas City for the day, with the Red Sox in the pennant race and all.

11) Quote/Tweet of the Day, part 2:
“I strongly suggest that a young baseball pitcher NOT throw a curveball until they are 14 or 15 yrs old to protect your growth plate.”
Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven, owner of one of the best curveballs ever

10) Jose Abreu’s first 13 home runs this year came on the road, but he homered at home the last two days. When the weather heats up, so does Abreu’s bat- he should be play for Arizona or Miami, where it is always hot.

9) Chicago Bears were -20 in turnovers last year, are 14-34 the last three years, and now have all-new QB’s this season. No pressure on John Fox……..think of the Rams last year. Jeff Fisher on a hot seat with a similar QB situation; it didn’t end well.

8) Braves’ 3B coach Ron Washington is a great infield instructor and from all accounts, also a terrific guy- he worked for the A’s for a long time. Three hours before the Braves-A’s game Saturday, he was hitting grounders in foul territory down the first base line to a teenager, the son of A’s groundskeeper Clay Wood, helping him get better. Cool thing to see.

7) It still boggles my mind that Steph Curry will now make $40M a year , though Zack Greinke makes $34.4M and he will only pitch 32 games at most this year.

6) They drew 14,014 fans at a minor league game in Sacramento Friday night to see Madison Bumgarner throw in a rehab start. Bumgarner threw 3.2 innings.

5) NBA doings:
— Minnesota signed PG Jeff Teague for three years, $57M
— Golden State gave Shaun Livingston $24M for three years; he started a total of eight games the last three years, played 17.7 mpg LY.
— Clippers re-signed Blake Griffin for five years, $173M. Griffin missed 80 games the last three seasons, when the Clippers were 12-15 in playoff games.
— Jrue Holiday gets five years, $126M to stay in New Orleans.
— JJ Redick gets $23M for one year from the 76ers. JJ Redick. $23M. Oy.

4) Quote of the Day, part 3, from an NBA scout:
“When you’re watching a game live, you aren’t necessarily looking at the game. You’re looking at how the player warms up, how he reacts when the team is losing, how he reacts to the coach yelling at him, how he interacts with his teammates, whether he has confrontations with the referee or fans, how he acts during timeouts, how he handles being benched. There are so many things that you’re watching for that have nothing to do with the player’s skills.”

3) If you’re an NBA fan, the Orlando summer league is on NBA TV the next few days, then the Las Vegas summer league kicks off Friday, with 24 teams in it.

2) I write this once a year and it remains true; every high school/college basketball player should watch the NBA summer leagues, if only for a little while, so they can see firsthand how difficult it is to make it to the NBA and then make a roster for good.

Watch for a little while, then go find a gym and work on your game. A lot.

1) July 1 was Canada Day and it is also Bobby Bonilla-gets-paid Day; every July 1 from now until 2035, Bonilla will get $1.19M from the Mets.

Mets released Bonilla in January 2000 even though they still owed him $5.9 million in salary. Rather than accept the $5.9 million up front, Bonilla agreed to defer the money in exchange for 8% interest- the first payment came in 2011, by which time the $5.9M had grown to $29.8M.

Owner of the Mets, by the way, is the head of baseball’s Finance Committee.

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

13) Late Thursday night, White Sox led New York 4-3 in top of 7th. NY had two outs, bases empty and Aaron Judge was up, with Didi Gregorius up next.

Chicago manager Rich Renteria walked Judge intentionally, even though the bases were empty and Gregorius was the go-ahead run. Gregorius grounded out on the first pitch.

This was the third time this season a batter was walked intentionally with the bases empty; Andrew McCutchen and Anthony Rizzo were other two, NL players, so I’m guessing those were extra inning games with the pitcher up next and no extra hitters left on the bench.

12) Joe West was umpiring first base in Milwaukee last night; bottom 4th, 0-0 game, and a ball that seemed to be thrown from the upper deck drilled West in the back of the head. West pulled the Marlins off the field, the game was delayed for about 10 minutes. Don’t think the culprit was identified.

11) Apparently David Price got into a verbal altercation with NESN TV analyst Dennis Eckersley on the Red Sox’ flight from Boston to Toronto Thursday night. No one is saying much right now, but this would be the second time this year Price has had a problem with a media member.

If you’ve got thin skin with the media, playing in Boston isn’t a good place for you.

10) Bartolo Colon was DFA’d by the Braves this week; his big league career started the same day Turner Field opened in Atlanta, so he actually lasted longer in the majors than a stadium did.

There is a chance some team (the Mets?) will still give Colon one more chance to pitch in the big leagues, but it also could be the end of a stellar career.

I’ll never forget the night Colon won a game for the A’s in Anaheim; at one point, he threw 38 consecutive strikes, just changed speeds all the time, with tremendous location. He has been great fun to watch.

9) Steph Curry is a 2-handicap in golf; he got a sponsor’s exemption to play in a web.com event this weekend in Nashville, a spot that an aspiring pro could’ve used. Lot of the pros were not amused by this.

8) Random observation and not a complaint: You know what never happens anymore? At the end of an inning, no one ever rolls the ball back to the mound- they toss the ball in the stands instead. Back in the day, catchers just rolled the ball back to the mound after a strikeout that ended an inning.

7) Is it tough being a comedian? A guy like Will Ferrell, Bill Murray, when they’re out in public, I’m guessing people approach them a lot, then expect them to be funny, but they’re people just like us and have cruddy days sometimes. Can’t always be easy.

6) Klay Thompson signed a 10-year, $80M deal with Chinese brand Anta to wear their sneakers and apparel. Thompson’s brother Trayce got called up again by the Dodgers this week.

5) Sign of the times; Rhode Island changed its foreign tour plans from a London/Paris trip to a trip to the Bahamas from August 7-13.

4) Brewers’ utility guy Nick Franklin got thrown out of a game he wasn’t playing in in the first inning the other night; the next day, Milwaukee TV guys casually mentioned that manager Craig Counsell wasn’t happy with the ejection, since it left the Brewers’ bench short for the rest of the game.

Shortly after that, Franklin was DFA’d; Friday, he got traded to the Angels.

3) Phillies’ OF prospect Nick Williams made him MLB debut last night; he is from Galveston, TX and was a WR on his HS football team, but he wasn’t the #1 WR. Mike Evans was the #1 WR- he is one of the better WR’s in the NFL now, with the Buccaneers.

2) Whoever decided the All-Star break should be four days instead of three deserves a raise; players are getting tired now, you can see it. Giving them a 4-day break is a solid idea.

1) Westgate Casino in Las Vegas now has a food court in the sportsbook, which I’m looking forward to visiting next month. There is no better place in Las Vegas to watch games/eat than the Westgate. #2, in my mind, is the South Point Casino.

Friday’s Den: NFL trends to ponder as June ends…….

Cardinals:
— Arizona is 14-9 vs spread as an underdog under Arians (1-3 LY)
— Redbirds are 10-5 in last 15 games as a road favorite.
— Cardinals were 5-2-1 LY when gaining 350+ total yards, 2-6 when they did not.

Falcons:
— Over was 13-2-1 in their games LY; they scored 30+ points in six of eight home games- their last 12 games in 2015 stayed under.
— Atlanta is 9-3 vs spread as an underdog under Quinn.
— Falcons made Super Bowl LY after being an underdog in four of their first five games.

Ravens:
— Baltimore lost their last six road games LY, finishing 8-8 after a 3-0 start.
— Since 2013, Ravens are 3-7-2 vs spread as a road favorite.
— Baltimore is 0-7 vs spread the week before playing the Steelers.

Bills:
— Buffalo has its fifth head coach in eight years; they haven’t made the playoffs since 1999.
— Over was 10-2 in their last 12 games LY.
— Last three years, underdogs are 15-7-2 vs spread in Buffalo’s road games.

Panthers:
— Since 2013, Carolina is 15-8-2 vs spread as a home favorite- they’re 15-9 as favorites of more than 3 points.
— Panthers are 5-12 as road favorites under Ron Rivera.
— Cam Newton’s shoulder is the most important question for Carolina; is he healthy?

Bears:
— Chicago was 55-57 while Jay Cutler was in Chicago; now he’s a TV analyst.
— Last five years, over is 26-14 in Bears’ road games.
— Chicago is 6-9 vs spread in home divisional games; they last made playoffs in 2010.

Bengals:
— Under was 8-2 in Bengals’ last 10 games LY, 6-2 in their last eight games in 2015.
— Since 2008, Cincy is 14-6-1 vs spread as a home underdog.
— Bengals were 6-9-1 LY, after being 52-27-1 from 2011-15- their last playoff win? 1990.

Browns:
— Cleveland is 6-20 against the spread in its last 26 games.
— Since 2013, Browns are 4-9 vs spread as a favorite.
— Cleveland is 1-17 in season openers; their last winning season was in 2007.

Cowboys:
— Since 2009, Dallas is 23-13 vs spread as a road underdog.
— Under Jason Garrett, Dallas is 13-29 as a home favorite; 5-12 vs NFC East foes, 8-17 vs everyone else.
— Cowboys were -22 in turnovers in 2015; last year, with a rookie QB playing, they were +5.

Broncos:
— Since 2011, Denver is 20-10-1 vs spread as a road favorite; since ’12, they’re 21-13-1 as a home favorite.
— Last six years, Broncos are 14-4 vs spread in AFC West road games; they were 0-3 last year.
— Who is the QB? They have a new coach. Interesting year for the Broncos.

Lions:
— Their last playoff win was in 1991, 38-6 over the Cowboys.
— Since 2012, Detroit is 8-17 vs spread on natural grass.
— Since 2011, Lions are 3-8-1 vs spread as a home underdog.

Packers:
— Since 2010, Green Bay is 33-18-2 vs spread as a home favorite.
— Packers are 11-7 in last 18 road games vs NFC North foes, 12-18 vs non-divisional opponents.
— Since 2012, Green Bay is 7-14 vs spread on artificial turf.

Texans:
— O’Brien is supposed to be a QB guru, but he’ll have his 4th QB in four years this year.
— Houston is 11-4-1 as a home favorite, 4-0 as a road favorite under O’Brien.
— Texans were 5-0 last year in games decided by less than seven points.

Colts:
— Indy was 8-8 the last two years, after going 49-31 the five years before that.
— Colts are 8-2 in last ten games as a home underdog, but were 0-2 last year.
— Since 2012, Indy is 22-8-1 vs spread in game following a loss.

Jaguars:
— Since 2010 Jaguars are 11-27-2 as a home underdog.
— Since 2012, over is 24-16 in Jacksonville road games.
— Jags are 7-14 vs spread in games following their last 21 wins.

Chiefs
— Kansas City is 43-21 under Reid, but only 1-3 in playoff games.
— Chiefs are 10-2 vs spread in last dozen AFC West road games.
— Since 2006, KC is just 16-31-1 as a home favorite.

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

13) James Dolan owns the Knicks and he also owns Cablevision; he fired Phil Jackson and has to eat $24M in salary. Cable TV customers in NYC and Long Island can expect their cable bills to go a little bit higher fairly soon. Someone has to pay for Dolan’s incompetence.

Now the question is this: Will the Knicks buy out Carmelo Anthony’s contract and let him walk for nothing (Houston? Cleveland?)

12) Speaking of the Rockets, they traded Patrick Beverly, Lou Williams and Sam Dekker, plus a #1 draft pick to the Clippers for Chris Paul. Paul and James Harden both ranked in the top 7 in the NBA last year in time of possession with the ball, so someone (Harden) is going to have to adjust to having the ball less.

11) Quote of the Day, part 2: Washington Nationals stole seven bases against the Cubs Tuesday night; Chicago catcher Miguel Montero wasn’t happy about it. He said this:

“That’s the reason they were running left and right today, because they [pitcher Jake Arrieta] were slow to the plate,. Simple as that. It’s a shame it’s my fault because I didn’t throw anyone out.

“It really sucked, because the stolen bases go on me. But when you really look at it, the pitcher doesn’t give me any time, so yeah, ‘Miggy can’t throw anyone out,’ but my pitchers don’t hold anyone on.”

Montero was DFA’d Wednesday, which means he basically got cut, unless they can find a trade partner in the next 10 days.

10) UCLA guard Bryce Alford will be on Golden State’s summer league team next week in Las Vegas. Summer league is great if you like the NBA— you can meet lot of people there, because everyone comes/goes out the same doors. I had great fun on my visits to the summer league.

9) Colorado Rockies pitcher Jeff Hoffman is 3-0, 1.67 in four road starts, 1-1, 8.22 in three home starts at Coors Field. He is doing really well in his rookie season.

Mr Hoffman is from Colonie, NY (just outside Albany), went to Shaker HS, which is in north Colonie— I live in south Colonie. Sam Perkins, the former NBA star, also went to Shaker High before moving on to play ball at North Carolina.

8) In extra innings at AT&T Park in San Francisco, when the seagulls are hovering over the field waiting for the game to end so they can swoop down into the bleachers and get their dinner, what happens if a fly ball hits one of the seagulls? Is it a live ball?

I asked on Twitter and it turns out if a batted ball hits a seagull, it is a live ball, much as if the ball hit an umpire. Seagulls are a part of the field, it turns out.

7) Major league umpire John Tumpane umped the plate in the Rays-Pirates game last night, but he got a very important save hours before the game even started.

Tumpane saved a woman’s life Wednesday; the woman was going to jump off the Roberto Clemente Bridge in Pittsburgh, but Tumpane, on his way back to his hotel from lunch, noticed her and talked her out of jumping.

He spent several minutes with the woman, 911 was called and the woman was taken away in an ambulance.  Hope things work out well for her.

6) There is a ballpark in the AA Texas League that has a swimming pool in right-center field, kind of like the Diamondbacks’ ballpark, except this pool is elevated— takes a longer poke to hit the ball in this pool than the pool in Phoenix.

5) Quote of the Day, part 3:

“I’d see a quarterback and be like, ‘Dude is garbage, and I’m over here in the kitchen cooking turkey necks!?’ I hate to name-drop, but [Ryan] Fitzpatrick is still playing!? He leads the league in interceptions, and he’s still (bleep)ing getting paid? I mean, what the (bleep) is going on?”
Former NFL QB Vince Young

4) Baseball transactions:
— Reds put Brandon Finnegan (shoulder) on the DL, activated Austin Brice
— Royals recalled LF Jorge Soler from AAA.
— Giants put 3B Conor Gillaspie, P Mark Melancon on the DL, brought up 3B Jae-Gyun Hwang and P Dan Slania
— New York put DH Matt Holliday on DL, recalled 3B Miguel Andujar
— Detroit activated DH Victor Martinez, sent John Hicks down to AAA.
— Arizona put Nick Ahmed (hand) on DL, brought Ketel Marte up from AAA
— Mets put P Robert Gsellman (hamstring) on DL, brought Matt Reynolds up from AAA.
— Atlanta activated P Bartolo Colon off the DL, sent Jason Hursh to AAA.

3) Happy birthday to a pair of legends this week: NASCAR’s Richard Petty turned 80 years old, and comic genius Mel Brooks turned 91.

2) Chicago Cubs currently have 15 players on their active roster age 27 or younger; nine of Cubs’ 10  players who are 28+ are pitchers.

1) Was surprised to hear that when Sean McVay interviewed for the Rams’ coaching job, in his very first interview with the team, he spent two hours watching film with QB Jared Goff. I’m pretty sure that is highly unusual, for a coaching candidate to spend that much time with a player BEFORE he has the job.

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

13) The Supreme Court has agreed to take up the question of whether the federal government can prevent states from legalizing sports betting. Arguments are expected to be heard this fall, with a decision expected next year.

New Jersey is at the forefront of all this, but if they win, a bunch of other states will hop on board too- they won’t want their citizens taking their betting action out of state.

12) You think about NFL games; when the point spread is 3 or less points, those are the 50-50 games a team needs to win to be playoff contenders.

Since 2012, the Chicago Bears are 9-25-3 against the spread in games where the spread was 3 or less points. Thats why coaches get fired and quarterbacks get released.

11) Indians manager Terry Francona hasn’t been feeling well; he left the dugout early in Monday’s game and didn’t manage the Tribe last night. Doctors have ruled out any major health issues, which is good news. We wish him well.

10) Atlanta Falcons were an offensive juggernaut last year, winning the NFC; over was 16-2-1 in their games, and OC Kyle Shanahan is now the head coach of the 49ers.

In 2015, those same Falcons were only 8-8; their last 12 games stayed under the total. No one was looking to hire Shanahan as a head coach. Things can change a lot in one year.

9) Charlie Sheen is selling Babe Ruth’s 1927 World Series ring; he is expected to collect over $600,000 on the deal.

8) If you bet “under 10” in the Cubs-Nationals game Monday night, you probably came close to a meltdown. Cubs led 2-0 after eight innings; even after they grabbed a 5-0 lead in the top of the 9th, you looked like a winner, but Washington rallied to within 5-4 and had two men on with Zimmerman up and two out. If Nationals tie the game, the over hits, but he made an out and under bettors took a huge sigh of relief.

7) Dodgers had homered in 17 straight games before Ricky Nolasco shut them down Monday nite. Nolasco was 0-6 in his last seven starts coming into that game.

6) Lakers hired Arizona alum Miles Simon as an assistant coach, meaning ESPN is minus one college basketball analyst. Lakers coach Luke Walton is also an Arizona alum, but he was in Tucson after Miles had moved on to pro ball.

5) On the Indians’ game last night, they showed a Cincinnati Reds player taking out A’s 2B Dick Green while breaking up a double play during the 1972 World Series.

It was basically a cross-body block; the Indians’ play-by-play guy said it would be a penalty in the NFL today, blocking below the waist. Our games have changed a lot over the years.

4) Things I’ve learned watching TV: Heineken is served in 192 countries.

3) The Manning Passing Academy has grown to 1,200 campers, with 48 college QB’s as counselors at the camp, which was held this year at Nicholls State in Thibodeauz, LA. Most of the best college QB’s heading into this season were counselors at this camp.

Friend of mine’s son went to the Passing Academy 14-15 years ago; he enjoyed the experience. If I remember right, former LSU/Patriots’ QB Tom Hodson was his counselor that week.

2) All-Star balloting: Marlins’ LF Marcell Ozuna has 1,270,464 votes, is #3 in the NL voting; his more famous teammate, Giancarlo Stanton, has 1,069,313- that surprised me.

1) A’s 3B prospect Matt Chapman came up to the majors couple weekends ago, the A’s won all four games he played in, then he woke up that Monday morning with a swollen knee- he had an infection. Young man was in the hospital for several days, but is out now and is expected to come off the DL sometime next week. Chapman is a really good fielder.

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

13) Cody Bellinger (whose dad is from beautiful downtown Oneonta, NY- right down the road from Cooperstown) has a 34.4% HR/FB rate, meaning that 34.4% of his fly balls go over the fence, incredibly high.

Ray Flowers, who writes guruElite.com and is a fantasy sports expert, wrote that a 34.4% rate is unsustainable. He posted the last seven guys to lead MLB in HR/FB rate:

2016 Ryan Braun 28.8%
2015 Nelson Cruz 30.3%
2014 Jose Abreu 26.9%
2013 Chris Davis 29.6%
2012 Adam Dunn 29.3%
2011 Giancarlo Stanton 24.8%
2010 Joey Votto 25.0%

Will be curious to follow this thru the summer and on to next season.

12) Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal was at the plate Sunday with the bases loaded and LA trailing 4-3; Grandal struck out, but before he did, all three baserunners scored on a pair of wild pitches by Colorado reliever Adam Ottavino. Never saw that happen before.

11) Baltimore Orioles are 37-38, after starting the season 22-10, but they’ve still won their last eight games where the winning run scored from the 7th inning on. Starting pitching is what has been failing the Orioles.

10) St Louis Cardinals called Randal Grichuk up from AAA over the weekend and immediately put him in the lineup, batting cleanup. Not sure I’ve ever heard of that before. Most teams try to break guys in slowly when they come back from the minors. Grichuk then homered in his first two games back with the Redbirds.

9) Umpire Chad Whitson has umpired 12 games behind the plate this year- the home team won all 12 games, if you care about things like that.

8) UConn basketball player Vance Jackson transfers to New Mexico and will have three years left to play after he sits a year, a good get for new Lobos’ coach Paul Weir.

7) Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak and former Chiefs’ RB Christian Okoye used to own  independent league baseball teams in the Golden State League, which was in business from 2004-10. Five GBL teams merged with the North American League in 2010.

6) Whats up with the CFL schedule makers? Calgary/Ottawa play twice this season, in Weeks 1-2. What genius thought that was a good idea? Do they draw the schedule out of a hat?

5) Royce Lewis was the #1 pick in the baseball draft, by Minnesota; he homered in his first at-bat in pro baseball, going 2-4 in the GCL Twins’ 5-2 win over the GCL Orioles. Lewis is an 18-year old shortstop from San Juan Capistrano, CA. Great athlete; they’re unsure if he’ll stay at SS.

4) Colorado Rockies have an infield prospect named Brendan Rodgers who just got called up to AA Hartford- he is supposed to be very good. Rodgers has already been on a roster in our 16-team fantasy league for several months— thats how deep our league is- kid who got called up to AA this weekend is already in a fantasy league.

3) Baseball transactions:
— Colorado Rockies put OF Carlos Gonzalez/P Tyler Anderson on the 10-day DL
— Rays acquired SS Adeiny Hechavarria from Miami for RHP Ethan Clark
— New York put Aaron Hicks (oblique) on the DL, activated Jacoby Ellsbury from the DL
— Milwaukee acquired C Stephen Vogt on waivers from Oakland.
— Dodgers put OF Franklin Gutierrez on the DL, activated 2B Mike Freeman

2) Virginia’s Malcolm Brogdon won NBA Rookie of the Year and he wasn’t even a first round draft pick. Brogdon played in 75 games (imagine that?!?!) and scored 10.2 pts/game. He was the 36th pick in the draft last year— excellent choice by the Bucks.

1) Ben Simmons was captured on video this weekend throwing a basketball off a wall, then catching it with one hand and dunking it, just the kind of stress his healed foot doesn’t need.

Simmons missed all of last year (his rookie season) with a broken foot, so doing dunking tricks isn’t exactly the smartest thing he should be doing— he lands the wrong way and his foot breaks again. At some point, he needs to take better care of himself.

I know I sound like the “Get off my lawn!!!” guy, but I’m thinking that behind closed doors, the 76ers’ management couldn’t have been very happy either, when they saw the video.

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

13) When I was a kid 1,000 years ago, actually 1970, baseball gave the fans the All-Star vote back; it had been taken away after Cincinnati fans stuffed the ballot boxes in 1957.

It was so much fun to take the ballot and then figure out who the best players were at each position. You argued with your friends who was better than who, and that made it fun.

Nowadays, these goofy teams just openly promote fans to vote for guys on their team, even if their team sucks. No one ever mentions about voting for the best players. Every team has to be represented in the game anyway, why not just vote for the best guys?

12) New York Mets promoted Tim Tebow and his .222 batting average up a level in Class A, I’m guessing to make room at the entry level for the new players they just drafted.

I’m giving Mets’ hierarchy the benefit of the doubt here; they’re having a bad season, I’m just hoping, for their sake, they don’t plan on making Tebow a major leaguer later this season, to inflate attendance when the team is totally out of contention.

If you want to placate the fans, how about making Amed Rosario a major leaguer? He is hitting .320 at AAA and is a solid prospect at shortstop. Fans would love to see a big part of their future play in person. Just a thought.

11) I was going to give this Big3 basketball thing a shot Monday night, watch some half-court basketball with former NBA players, then I find out the games were played Sunday afternoon. Whats the bleeping point of showing games on tape delay?

By the time the games come on TV, everyone who cares about it is going to know who won.

10) Oklahoma is a 48-point favorite over Texas-El Paso in the football season opener Sept 2. Sooners have a rookie coach, they visit Ohio State the following week- they’ll have to be looking past the Miners, right? Plus they’ll keep some of their offensive weapons under wraps.

9) Northern Illinois opened up as a 2-point favorite over Boston College (a MAC team favored over an ACC squad?), but now the Eagles are a 2.5-point favorite.

8) Eight NBA teams have deals to have advertising patches on their uniforms next year.

7) June 25, 2010, Edwin Jackson threw a no-hitter, winning 1-0. He threw 149 pitches in the game. Jackson is 93-114, 4.65 in 275 major league starts- this was his 15th year in the majors.

6) One of the many reasons why baseball is cool is that the ballparks are so different. Sunday in Miami, Giancarlo Stanton hit a vicious line drive for a homer to left field. the ball barely cleared the fence, it was hit so low.

If he hits that same ball in Boston or Houston, it is likely a single, since the fences there are so much higher, and he hit it so hard, the LF would’ve retrieved the ball quickly and it would’ve been hard for Stanton to get a double.

5) Miami’s Dee Gordon has gone 310 AB since his last home run, the longest active drought in the major leagues.

4) Ichiro Suzuki became the oldest major leaguer ever to start a game in centerfield when he started for the Marlins Sunday.

3) Cubs’ SS Addison Russell left Sunday’s game with a bad shoulder, leaving Chicago with an outfield of John Jay, Kris Bryant (starting 3B), Willson Contreras (starting C). Cubs are 38-37 and just treading water; lucky for them, they’re in a bad division and still have a good shot at winning it.

2) If the baseball playoffs started today (they don’t), they would look like this:
AL: New York-Minnesota-Houston. Wild Cards: Boston-Cleveland
NL: Washington-Milwaukee-Los Angeles. Wild Cards: Arizona-Colorado

1) A guy named Bo Dietl is running for mayor of New York; he is a former NYC police detective who made $1.8M in 2015 as a security consultant— he’s done some TV work on FOX News and was in the movies Goodfellas and The Wolf of Wall Street.

Dietl has worked for both Roger Ailes and Steve Bannon as a detective in either divorce or sexual harassment cases, so that tells you where his philosophies would generally reside.

Only reason I ever heard of the guy was because he did a TV ad for Arby’s a couple of years ago; looked him up at the time, was surprised to find out he was playing himself in the commercial.

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

13) A’s 10, White Sox 2— Oakland had three players hit their first MLB home run in this game, the first team to do that since 1914- the Kansas City Packers.

White Sox manager Rich Renteria got tossed for the second day in a row; he’s not thrilled with the Jim Wolf/GregGibson umpiring crew.

12) Franklin Barreto is a highly-touted shortstop prospect for the A’s; he played 2B in his big league debut— he didn’t get to Chicago until Saturday morning, but homered in his first MLB game, which started at 1:30 in the Windy City. Quite a day for the young man.

11) Its been a decade since the San Francisco Giants had only one player in the All-Star Game; looks like thats going to be the case this season.

10) Jordan Spieth leads the Hartford Open after three rounds; last seven times he held the 54-hole lead, he won the tournament six times— he T2 at the 2016 Masters.

9) Canyon Barry (Rick’s son) is playing with the Knicks’ team in the Orlando summer league, but New York doesn’t have a team in Las Vegas this summer— will the Knicks sign him or will he play for someone else in Las Vegas?

Canyon Barry studied nuclear engineering in college, so NBA offenses should be a snap.

8) If I’m keeping a scorebook at a ball game nowadays, I score where the ball went, and take notes on who actually fielded the ball. If a ball is hit to shortstop but is fielded by the 3B, that is misleading, so I would put 6-3 down (noting it was hit to where the SS normally is) then note it was the 3B who actually fielded the ball.

7) Baseball transactions:
— Arizona sent OF Jeremy Hazelbaker to AAA.
— Tampa Bay activated C Wilson Ramos, DFA’d Derek Norris
— Bronx DFA’d 1B Chris Carter, brought up 1B Tyler Austin.
— Texas put P Martin Perez (thumb) on the DL.
— Astros sent P Joe Musgrove down to AAA, activated Lance McCullers.
— Giants DFA’d 3B Aaron Hill, brought up rookie 3B Ryder Jones.

6) Dodger reliever Pedro Baez drew a 4-pitch walk with the bases loaded Thursday night, first pitcher to do that since the Cubs’ Courtney Duncan on May 5, 2001.

5) Dodgers’ SS Corey Seager got a Grade 1 hamstring strain Friday, isn’t supposed to go on the DL— like the rest of us, he is day-to-day.

4) I’m skeptical of the pitch speeds radar guns give out in stadiums; those guns can be calibrated to be “hot” or “cold” and can give inaccurate readings.

For instance, when I got my speeding ticket, the gun was “hot” and therefore inaccurate. 🙂

3) Orioles 8, Rays 3— First time since June 2 that Baltimore held a team under five runs.

2) Mets 5, Giants 2— San Francisco is 27-50; last year, they lost their 50th game on August 12.

Jason deGrom is the first Mets’ pitcher since Johan Santana in 2010 to finish eight innings in three consecutive starts.

1) Mark Leiter Jr got his first big league win against the Diamondbacks Friday. Arizona is managed by Torey Lovullo.

Lovullo was once traded for Mark Leiter Sr on March 19, 1991, six days after Mark Jr was born.

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

13) Can you imagine being a high school/college pitcher, being really excited about the draft, and then being picked by the Colorado Rockies? Can’t be a good feeling- Coors Field is the worst pitchers’ park in the major leagues, thanks to the high altitude.

12) Must be fun recruiting for teams at Fresno State these days, with alums Derek Carr, Aaron Judge and Paul George in the news so much, all for very good reasons.

11) Miami Marlins batters swung at 71 of Max Scherzer’s pitches Wednesday; they missed 30 of them and got only two hits. Scherzer threw 118/121 pitches in his last two starts; you wonder if they’ll give him an extra day of rest, or make sure he is held under 100 pitches in his next start.

Don’t want your meal ticket getting burned out in June, especially when you have such a big lead in your division.

10) Mets’ TV guy Keith Hernandez was exasperated watching the Dodgers pummel the Mets this week; late Wednesday night, with LA way ahead of another game, Mets’ skipper Terry Collins was writing down some notes on a card.

“What could he possibly be writing on that piece of paper?” Hernandez said.

9) Dodgers are 21-4 when they hit 2+ homers in a game, 4-16 when they don’t hit any homers, 23-6 when they hit one.

8) San Antonio is moving up from AA to AAA baseball next year; they’re going to get a new ballpark at some point. Sounds like Colorado Springs is out as a AAA city- hard to have your young pitchers throwing in high altitude, without losing their confidence.

Amarillo is expected to take San Antonio’s place in the AA Texas League.

7) NBA’s  projected salary cap will come in at $99 million, $5M higher than last year, but about $2 million less than estimates in April. The crummy playoff season, with so many fewer games than there could’ve been, was blamed for the decrease.

The luxury tax was lowered from $121 million to a projection of $119 million.

6) When the Colorado Rockies had their expansion draft in 1992, two of the guys they picked are now major league managers— Joe Girardi and Brad Ausmus.

5) Minnesota Twins/Cleveland Indians will play two regular season games in Puerto Rico next season.

4) Kansas City Chiefs gave coach Andy Reid a contract extension, then surprisingly fired GM John Dorsey, who had been with the Chiefs for four years.

3) Remember a few years ago, when a guy named Frank McCourt owned the Dodgers and got into a nasty divorce dispute involving the ball club with his future ex-wife? Well, that ex-wife is now going to be the US ambassador to Belgium. Hope she can get the baseball package on TV over there.

2) IUPUI was invited to replace Valparaiso in the Horizon League. Valpo replaced Wichita State in the MVC, after the Shockers jumped to the AAC.

1) Woman named Nina Skye was recently fired from her teaching job at a religiously-affiliated preschool in Los Angeles; the reason?

Turns out Christian preschools aren’t fond of their teachers being porn stars.

Whoops.