Friday’s Den: Random stuff with weekend here…….

13) We know that spring training stats don’t mean anything, but when you’re 1-33 this spring at the plate, when do you get upset/concerned, even if you’re a 10-year major league veteran? 

St Louis IF Matt Carpenter is struggling mightily in exhibition games; the season starts in less than a week. Are the Cardinals worried? Should they be? Should he be?

Watched the Cardinals’ game Wednesday; Carpenter had a fly ball caught at the fence in CF, so he might not be far off. If he goes 2-4 on Opening Day, all will be forgotten.

12) Bad news for the White Sox; LF Eloy Jimenez tore a pectoral muscle Wednesday, when he tried to reach over the fence to rob an opponent of a home run. He is expected to be out for 5-6 months, meaning he will miss just about all of this season.

11) 68-year old Lon Kruger retired from coaching, ending a really good 44-year career; his son Kevin just became head coach at UNLV— there are rumblings that Lon Kruger is moving back to his old Las Vegas home— he coached the Rebels as recently as 2011, still has a house there.

Kruger is one of only three coaches to lead five schools to the NCAA Tournament; he also coached the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA for a while.

10) Apparently Washington owner Dan Snyder is going to spend $840M to buy out the other owners in the Washington NFL team. What a character this guy must be.

At some point, someone has to write a book/make a movie about Snyder and how he runs his team; he’s had some interesting head coaches- Mike Shanahan, Steve Spurrier, Joe Gibbs, Marty Schottenheimer, Ron Rivera. You’d think they’d win more.

Snyder bought the team in 1999; since then, Washington is 2-4 in playoff games.

9) Back when I was a kid, in the mid-70’s before ESPN, before the Interweb, before lot of stuff, we had this channel on our cable system, channel 3 on the box. It was tremendous.

All it was was this: a light blue background with messages typed on it.

On weekdays, it was a stock market ticker, but at 7pm, that shut down and it became a sports ticker, with scores updated as they happened. On NFL Sundays, they’d post scores as they happened, as in:

TD LAR
Ferragamo 23 TD pass to Waddy
LAR 24-17, 10:43 left in 3rd

The amount of time I spent with that channel on was probably excessive, but after the 4:00 NFL TV game ended, with no Sunday night games back then, the quickest way you’d find out the other late scores was to have channel 3 on. We always had channel 3 on.

8) When MTV started in 1981, channel 3 used MTV as its background music, back when Rosie O’Donnell was actually funny. So you got entertained while you followed the day’s action.

Of course, it wasn’t always good news; New Year’s Eve 1974, I went bowling with friends, came home, put channel 3 on and found out that my hero, Catfish Hunter, had left the A’s as a free agent to sign for more money with another team. 15-year old me wasn’t happy.

No bueno.

7) NIT games Thursday:
— Mississippi State 68, Richmond 67— Bulldogs hit a 3-pointer with 0:01.3 left.
— Colorado State 65, NC State 61— Teams combined to make 8-45 on arc. Yikes.
— Memphis 59, Boise State 56— Tigers won 12 of their last 15 games.
— Louisiana Tech 72, Western Kentucky 65— Tech made 11-19 on arc, WKU 9-30.

6) This has to be a strange year for baseball front offices; not only are they playing a 162-game season, after last year’s shortened 60-game season, but the minor leagues are re-booting, after not doing anything last year. Thats over 100 teams, spread out all over the country. Lot of work to do getting everything re-organized.

5) They were talking on TV about sending players to the minor leagues and do players get upset when they sent down?

Can’t be as bad as when NFL players get cut; in the NFL, you’re cutting the guy loose, out on the street, where he has to find a new job. In baseball, they’re getting sent to the minors, but they could be back to the major leagues very quickly- they’re not losing their job, just getting sent down to the next level.

4) Joe Flacco signed on to be the Philadelphia Eagles’ backup QB this season.

3) As I type this, Charlotte Hornets are #4 seed in Eastern Conference, even though they’ve given up more points than they scored this season. If the playoffs started right now, Hornets would host a first round playoff series.

Last time a team scored fewer points than they gave up, and still hosted a first round playoff series that year was 2008, when Cleveland did it.

2) As of 2pm Thursday there were 840 kids in the college basketball transfer portal; there are 357 Division I basketball teams, so you do the math. Lot of players jumping ship.

1) Congrats to the great sportscaster Dick Stockton, who retired this week after a 55-year broadcasting career. 55 years!!!

He was doing Red Sox games on channel 38 in Boston when I was in high school, back in 1975. He called the game well, but it was never about him. Enjoy your retirement!!! 

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.