Friday’s Den: Random stuff on a summer day……..

Long time ago, one of the best teachers I ever had in high school was really smart:

He was a licensed pilot.
He was a licensed pharmacist.
He was a basketball referee.
He was a high school Chemistry teacher.

After we took tests, he would walk around the room returning the papers; if you did badly, a sarcastic remark or a sneer would accompany the paper. If you did well, silence.

He was a very good teacher, so much so that I tried harder in that class that in any other class I ever had— I didn’t handle sarcastic remarks very well. LOL

He said two words that year that I had never heard before:

busywork and nonsensical— he said nonsensical a lot.

He didn’t give us much homework: “If I give you homework, it is important. I’m not going to give you busywork.” He gave us homework  once a week, maybe less.

My reason for telling you all this is that it is NONSENSICAL that in baseball, teams that are local rivals are only playing each other four times this season. 

A’s-Giants, Dodgers-Angels, Mets-Bronx, Cubs-White Sox. 

The energy at these games is palpable, the crowds much bigger. Since when do the geniuses that run MLB turn down extra money? It is nonsensical.

Baseball needs geographic re-alignment; maybe it’ll happen when they expand to 32 teams in a few years, but it would help the financial bottom line a lot, and that makes sense.

— Shohei Ohtani is really good at baseball:
Angels 6, Detroit 0— Ohtani threw a complete game, 1-hit shutout.

Angels 11, Detroit 4— Ohtani hit two homers, knocked in three runs.

Last time a guy tossed a shutout and hit two homers on the same day?
Sonny Siebert, way back in 1971— he did it in the same game, back when pitchers hit.

Baseball trades:
— Angels acquired P’s Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez from White Sox for two minor leaguers.

— Milwaukee acquired 1B Carlos Santana from Pittsburgh, for 18-year-old SS Jhonny Severino

— Dodgers traded P Noah Syndergaard to Cleveland for SS Amed Rosario. 

— Amazing baseball stat; San Diego P Blake Snell is having a very good season. He has a 2.61 ERA in 21 starts, with 147 strikeouts in 114 IP. He is a free agent after this season, but there is this caveat for potential suitors: 

In 21 starts this season, Blake Snell has gotten only 3 outs ALL SEASON after the 6th inning. He’s finished the 6th inning in 11 of 21 starts— not great. He’s finished 7 innings once.

Aces are supposed to be really good pitchers, but they’re also supposed to take the strain off the bullpen that night. Pitching 5 or 6 innings doesn’t do that. Snell is going to break the bank this winter; I’m just not sure signing him will be a good value.

— Another weird baseball stat: Chris Bassitt has started 22 games for Toronto this year- they’re 13-9 in those games, but Blue Jays scored 6+ runs in 5 of the 22 games— they’re 0-5 in those games, which makes absolutely no sense. Nonsensical, you might say. 

— Broncos coach Sean Payton went out of his way this week to rip former Denver coach Nathaniel Hackett, calling Hackett’s coaching job last year “one of the worst coaching jobs in the history of the NFL” Alrighty then.

Maybe this is Payton’s way of getting in good with his new QB, Russell Wilson. 

Hackett works as offensive coordinator for the Jets now; you may have heard, they have a new QB this season, Aaron Rodgers.

Jets visit Denver in Week 5; that should be interesting. 

— Mets are 10-24 this season vs left-handed starting pitchers; would they be looking to add a right-handed bat at the trade deadline?

— Cincinnati Reds are 3-9 in their last 12 games against Milwaukee; they’re 32-9 in their last 41 games against everyone else.

Since All-Star break, Reds are 0-6 in games where game-winning run scored from the 7th inning on.

— Tampa Bay is 3-9 in its last 12 home games; they were 34-10 in their first 44 home games. 

— Movie of the Day: Heaven Can Wait (1978)— An NFL quarterback, accidentally taken away from his body by an overanxious angel before he was meant to die, returns to life in the body of a recently murdered millionaire. You have to use your imagination a little with this one.

Warren Beatty is the QB, Jack Warden the team’s trainer. James Mason is the supervisor of the angels. Oh yeah, the guy played for the Rams, back when the Rams made the playoffs every year, but had never been in a Super Bowl. A few actual LA Rams are in the movie, as are Dyan Cannon, Charles Grodin, Julie Christie.

To say that I loved this movie is an understatement; I still have the actual movie poster from the theater it played in. For a long time, I thought it was the only time I would ever see the Rams win a Super Bowl. 

— College Football Trend of the Day: since 2018, UCLA is 6-12 ATS as a home favorite. 

— Oregon signed football coach Dan Lanning to a contract extension; he now makes $45M over the next six seasons, all totally guaranteed.

Should Lanning want to leave Eugene for another job, he would owe Oregon a $20M buyout. 

— Turn back the clock to August 12, 1987; back then, the trade deadline was August 31, and Detroit needed a pitcher for the stretch run, so they traded a minor leaguer to the Braves for Doyle Alexander, who went 9-0, 1.53 for the Tigers down the stretch, and they made the playoffs. Great trade for Detroit, right?

Well………the minor league pitcher they traded was John Smoltz. 

Sometimes it takes years to properly evaluate a trade. 

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.