13) Planning way too far ahead: NFL announced that the 2020 NFL Draft will be held in Las Vegas, and I’ve already penciled that week in for a visit to the desert- thats going to be fun.
I’ve always wanted to go to the draft so that will get checked off the list next year; plus, the A’s AAA team plays in Vegas suburb Summerlin now so that could be a very busy week.
12) Speaking of Las Vegas, the Raiders are moving there in 2020, but it looks like they don’t have a home for 2019, with the city of Oakland suing the team.
My pick for where the NFL goes is San Antonio’s domed stadium, there is no NFL tenant there now- thats where the Saints played their home games when the Superdome was damaged after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
11) Odd baseball stat: Over last two years, Texas Rangers’ DH Joey Gallo has hit 81 home runs but only 70 singles. That doesn’t seem possible, but it is true.
10) Kawhi Leonard is a great basketball player, but the Toronto Raptors are 7-1 in games he’s missed this season; they just beat Clippers/Warriors without him on back/back nights.
9) This is Finals Week for most colleges, so hardly any college basketball this week, so credit to MLB Network for saving the TV week at the Winter Meetings, even though there wasn’t a lot of action as far as free agent signings or trades- lot of good conversation, though.
8) Word of the Day: Quisling- a traitor who collaborates with an enemy force.
Learned this word from watching Billions on Showtime, which is a great series that is well worth your time. When they used the word on Billions, had to go online and look it up, had never heard it before. Neither did one of the characters on the show.
7) This from Chris Fallica: Last 20 times an SEC team has been a 6+ point underdog in a bowl, (this goes back to 1999), the SEC team is 16-4 vs spread with 11 SU wins. Kentucky, Florida are both getting more than six points in their bowl games this month.
6) ESPN’s Jeff Van Gundy is one of us, a sports junkie- the guy is ESPN’s #1 NBA analyst but he went to two high school basketball games last week, and was complaining that high school hoop games (in most states) don’t have shot clocks (they do here in NY).
There was a Duke-North Carolina basketball game in the late 70’s that was 7-0 Duke at halftime; this was just before ESPN started and six years before the shot clock came to college ball, but I was in college back then and basketball without the shot clock was a game that coaches could strangle and they often did. Much better game now, way better.
5) Chargers 29, Chiefs 28— Wow, Chargers scored with 0:04 left to make it 28-27, then went for 2 and the win and ran a play that was totally wide open for the score. Bolts led this game only :04, but it was the right :04.
Teams are tied at 11-3, but Chargers have one more divisional loss, so Chiefs’ game in Seattle next week becomes a huge game in the AFC West.
4) Charlie Morton gets $30M for two years from the Tampa Bay Rays that makes Morton the highest-paid Ray (or Devil Ray) ever, at $15M a year.
3) There was a 3-way trade in baseball:
Indians get: Carlos Santana and Jake Bauers.
Mariners get: Edwin Encarnacion and a competitive balance draft pick.
Rays get: Yandy Diaz and a player to be named later
2) Not only is Carson Wentz highly doubtful for Sunday night against the Rams, he could easily be done for the season. Wentz has a broken vertebrae in his back.
1) Best wishes to Seattle Mariners’ GM Jerry Dipoto, who was hospitalized this week with blood clots near his lung. Get well soon, sir.