Friday’s Den: Random thoughts on a busy night

Lot of stuff going on for a Thursday night; was going to do a running diary of the night, with the NBA Draft and baseball trades going on, but a nasty thunderstorm KO’d my DirecTV for 20-25 minutes, so I scrapped that idea.

— First of all, best wishes to Indians’ manager Terry Francona, who is taking the rest of the year off to improve his health— he’s had problems last few years. From all accounts, Francona is a terrific guy and he also been an excellent manager. Get well soon, sir.

Francona is also the answer to a great trivia question; he was the manager of the Birmingham Barons the year Michael Jordan played minor league baseball.

— Blockbuster trade of the day was Dodgers acquiring Max Scherzer/Trea Turner from Washington for four prospects, including their top two, C Keibert Ruiz, P Josiah Gray.

San Diego had been rumored as the frontrunners to land Scherzer, but they got outsmarted by their division rivals.

— Turner came up as a CF, so he is likely to play OF with Corey Seager due back from his hand injury. This also makes it more likely that Seager moves on in free agency this winter.

— Nationals dealt injured slugger Kyle Schwarber to Boston; he has a hamstring issue now, but was pounding the ball before he got hurt. It is unclear if Washington plans to field a team next season, but if they do, it won’t be a very good one.

— Washington 3-8. Phillies 1-11:
Nationals won first game, led 7-0 in nightcap, but blew the lead.
Brad Miller walked it off with a grand slam, after P Aaron Nola pinch-hit and drew a walk.

— Rough day to be a Washington fan. In 2019, they won the World Series, then didn’t get much of a chance to celebrate last year because of the pandemic, now they’re running a fire sale.

— Dodgers also acquired LHP Danny Duffy, so the Trevor Bauer era may be over in LA.

— Bronx Bombers acquired 1B Anthony Rizzo from the Cubs, OF Joey Gallo from Texas; Cubs are even paying Rizzo’s contract the rest of this year.

Rizzo/Gallo don’t pitch, so New York will be trying to outscore teams with an enhanced lineup.

— In 2000, the major league batting average was .270; this year, it is .241; will be interesting to see how much it goes back up next year when they ban the shift.

— Seattle acquired P Diego Castillo to replace departed Kendall Graveman as closer.

— This season, Atlanta Braves are 1-10 in games when they’ve been one game under .500; they’re 51-52 and haven’t been over .500 yet this season.

— Mets acquiring Rich Hill makes it 11 teams in 17 years for the veteran lefty.

— Tuesday afternoon, Detroit scored 17 runs in game without hitting a home run; it was the first time they scored 17+ runs without homering since July, 1961.

— Since 2017, Mike Trout has missed 26% of the Angels’ games due to injury.

— Not sure how this will play out, but Oklahoma City Thunder had 37 draft picks for the next seven NBA Drafts, counting last night- they traded one to Philly, so now they’ve got 36.

NBA rosters have 15 guys on them; what will they do with all those draft picks?

— Russell Westbrook got traded to the Lakers, SO LA’s Big 3 in Lebron James, Anthony Davis and Westbrook. Lakers aren’t much for the rebuilding side of the business.

Russell Westbrook’s career path:
2008-19— Oklahoma City
2019-20— Houston
2020-21— Washington
2021-??— Lakers

Four teams in four years; Lakers became a more interesting team last night.

— Detroit took Cade Cunningham with the first pick of the draft; last time they had the first pick was 1970—they took Bob Lanier, who scored 22 ppg for 10 years— excellent pick.

— The NBA Draft would be better if they didn’t show Spike Lee hovering around the arena. 

— Was listening to an NBA scout/analyst describe one prospect and he says:

“The big question about (Player A) is how much does he like basketball?”

Wow, big wow. If I thought that about a prospect, we’d cross his name off and never even think about drafting him. Excelling in the NBA is really difficult; you better love it enough to work your butt off at it, if you want to succeed.

— A’s 4, Angels 0— First time up, A’s leadoff hitter Mark Canha leaned into an inside pitch, it nicked him and he went to first base. Angels’ P Dylan Bundy was’t happy about it. Next time up, first pitch was a fastball behind Canha’s head.

Frankie Montas was awesome in this game, throwing 7 shutout innings. Starling Marte got on base a couple of times in his A’s debut.

— It takes onions to propose to your girlfriend in public, in a big league ballpark; last week, a guy proposed to his girlfriend in the middle of the 5th inning at Wrigley Field- she said yes, and there were hugs/kisses and everyone was happy.

Few years ago, a guy proposed to his girlfriend at Fenway Park; they put it up on the scoreboard, there wasn’t much of a commotion, until some fans in that area starting chanting…….

“She said no!!! She said no!!!!”

Not good. How do you get out of the ballpark gracefully when that happens? 

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.