— Happy 98th birthday to the great football coach Marv Levy; he won four consecutive AFC titles coaching Buffalo, also won two Grey Cups with the Montreal Alouettes.
— Major League Baseball does an awful job of marketing itself; they need to have a Hard Knocks-type program in spring training, so younger people can get an inside look at what an interesting game/process baseball is. Lot of down time in spring training, would be simple to do.
They also need an in-season Hard Knocks show that runs from the All-Star Game to the trade deadline; would’ve been fun to see behind the curtain with the Mets, Rangers in the last few days. You want your sport to be more popular, work harder at promoting it.
— Detroit Lions have already sold out all their home games this season, first time they’ve done that in the 21 years they’ve played at Ford Field.
No pressure; Lions haven’t won a playoff game since 1991.
— Back in 1997, Lions’ RB Barry Sanders was the NFL’s highest-paid player. He was a great running back.
This season, 49ers’ Christian McCaffrey is the NFL’s highest-paid running back, but he ranks 110th in salary amongst all players.
— Minnesota Twins called up P Dallas Keuchel Thursday; Keuchel had a 1.13 ERA in six minor league starts this year. Last year, he was 2-9, 9.20 in 14 major league starts for four different squads. His career record is 101-91, 3.98 in 257 big league starts.
— Rangers 5, White Sox 3— Max Scherzer wins his first start for Texas; he gave up three runs in the first inning, but blanked Chicago after that, striking out nine White Sox.
— Phillies 4, Marlins 2— Michael Lorenzen wins his Phillies’ debut, getting 24 outs on 101 pitches. JT Realmuto homered for the Phils.
— Orioles 6, Blue Jays 1— Jack Flaherty wins his Baltimore debut; he retired 15 Blue Jays in a row at one point. Ryan Mountcastle and Austin Hays both had four hits for Baltimore.
— Movie of the Day: Moneyball (2011)— Story of the Oakland A’s attempt to assemble a baseball team on a small budget by employing computer-generated analysis to acquire new players.
Brad Pitt played A’s GM Billy Beane, Jonah Hill played Paul DePodesta (they called him Peter Brand in the movie, but he was DePodesta, who Beane’s right-hand man back then). Philip Seymour Hoffman played manager Art Howe, Kerris Dorsey played Beane’s daughter; she later played Ray Donovan’s daughter on that great Showtime series.
Having been an A’s fan since I was 5 years old, I obviously read the book and couldn’t wait to see this movie. In 2004, I met Michael Lewis, who wrote the book, and got to pick his brain for a few minutes- this was before the movie was made. He’s a good guy.
— College Football Trend of the Day: since 2016, Fresno State is 7-0-1 ATS as a home underdog.
— Arizona Wildcats are bolting the Pac-12 for the Big X; they were in the Pac-12 since 1978, never once played in the Rose Bowl, but Arizona obviously has a really good basketball program.
— Browns 21, Jets 16
Cleveland outscored the Jets 14-0 in second half.
Browns had 23 first downs, the Jets 9; total yardage was 346-188
— Cubs 5, Reds 3— Chicago has scored 150 runs in its last 20 games, 7.5 runs/game; they’re only two games out of a playoff spot.
— Royals 9, Mets 2— Ugly week for the Mets; they threw in the towel on this/next season by trading several players, then got swept by the woeful Royals, who are 35-75.
Brady Singer tossed eight shutout IP for Kansas City.
— Mariners 5, Angels 3
Cade Marlowe hit a grand slam on an 0-2 pitch in 9th inning for the game-winning runs.
Two of the three Mariners who were on base got there with a walk.
Shohei Ohtani only pitched four innings; he has a broken fingernail.
Ohtani hit his 40th home run after he stopped pitching.
Eugenio Suarez has an RBI in nine straight games.