13) One thing I’ve noticed the last few days; more and more ballplayers slide into home plate head-first, which is a bad idea. Too easy to get hurt.
Back when catchers could block the plate more, you NEVER slid into home head-first, because you might break your neck, but now that catchers have to leave a lane for the runner to slide, it has become more of a thing, but it is a bad thing.
Your fingers/head/neck are more at risk when you slide head-first. Alec Bohm dislocated a finger sliding head-first into second base this week. Sliding feet-first is the better idea.
12) Ten guys on the Kansas City Royals didn’t make the trip to Toronto this weekend; they’re not vaccinated, so they can’t get into Canada. Oy.
Bigger issue is this: one of the players is Andrew Benintendi, who will be a free agent after the season and is being sought after by some contending teams. Royals would probably like to deal him; are AL teams shying away from Benintendi because of this?
If the team that trades for Benintendi has to play Toronto in the playoffs, he still won’t be able to go there, which obviously defeats the purpose of trading for him.
Royals 3, Blue Jays 1— Angel Zerpa, the 22-year old pitcher Kansas City brought up to fill the void by all the absent players, is 2-5, 4.36 in 11 starts in the AA Texas League this year. Against Toronto, he gave up one run in five IP (73 PT). Go figure.
11) Blue Jays fired their manager Wednesday, good/convenient timing with the depleted Royals coming to town, but they still lost Thursday, which isn’t good for them.
10) Washington’s Juan Soto homered in the 9th inning in both games of the Nationals’ twinbill Tuesday; he is the first major leaguer to do that since 2004, when Rob Mackowiak of Pittsburgh did it against the Cubs (game 1 homer was a walk-off tater).
By the way, I get lot of these statistical nuggets from Doug Kern, who is an excellent follow on Twitter.
9) Mariners 6, Rangers 5— Ty France had the game-winning, 2-run single in the 8th inning; Seattle has now won 11 games in a row. Texas led 5-1 in the 7th inning.
8) Interested observer at the Las Vegas Summer League was one of the new owners of the Minnesota Timberwolves. You may have heard of him; Alex Rodriguez, who has been known to play high stakes poker now and then.
7) I’m looking thru the TV shows they have on Paramount+, and I find the Odd Couple, one of the all-time great TV comedies. Loved it when I was a kid; have watched every episode many times over the years.
Paramount+, which costs $$ to sign up for, charges you more to watch Odd Couple episodes, which ran from 1970-75. I am NOT paying money to watch 50-year old re-runs, all of which I’ve seen…….many times. Could you be any more greedy?
6) Indiana Pacers signed C Deandre Ayton to a four-year, $133M offer sheet, but Phoenix Suns matched the offer, so now Ayton can’t be traded before January 15, and he would have the right to veto any trade for one year.
All of this hinders any hopes the Suns had of trading for Kevin Durant.
5) Philadelphia 76ers’ star Joel Embiid recently became a citizen of France, which is very good news for the French national basketball team.
4) NBA star CJ McCollum has been doing some TV work on ESPN during summer league; he said something very interesting the other night.
McCollum is a star player; he said that every 10th game or so, he gets a technical foul on purpose just to make sure the officials are aware the he is on the court. In other words, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Star players generally get the benefit of close calls, anyway.
His broadcast partner pressed him a little bit on it; McCollum says he keeps track of when he gets the technicals, and he sticks to the 10-game schedule.
3) Right now, Miami Dolphins are a 3-point home favorite over New England in Week 1 of the NFL season. This will be only the second time since 2003 that the Patriots are an underdog in Week 1— they were an underdog at Arizona in Week 1 of 2016 season, when Jimmy Garoppolo started in place of the suspended Tom Brady. Patriots won the game, 23-21.
If you care about such things, Arizona’s QB in that 2016 game was Carson Palmer.
2) Pairings for the Jimmy V college basketball twinbill this fall:
Duke vs Iowa…….Texas vs Illinois
1) If the baseball playoffs started today (they do not):
NL: Mets, Brewers, Dodgers Wild Cards: Atlanta, San Diego, St Louis
AL: New York, Twins, Astros Wild Cards: Tampa Bay, Seattle, Tor/Bos