Friday’s List of 13: Random stuff with weekend here…….

13) In the 50 years of divisional play in baseball, only three times has a team won its division with a road record that was 10+ games under .500. This year’s Cubs are 23-38 on the road; they’re tied for first place in the NL Central. 

12) I’m guessing that these NFL joint practices where teams meet up for a couple days and practice against each other are more helpful than just a normal team practice. Breaks up the monotony of training camp- practicing against new faces increases whatever intensity there is. 

11) Marlins 13, Dodgers 7— If a baseball game was ever played in a library, it would’ve sounded like this; the 5,000 or so fans who were there didn’t make much noise, to the point where the Dodger TV guys were talking about how players/managers were more likely to be ejected on a day like this, because the umpires could hear every word they said. 

10) Interesting discussion on ESPN the other night on how catchers now value pitch-framing more than blocking low pitches or throwing out baserunners trying to steal. 

As long as there is no baserunner on third, catchers now often stay on one knee and focus on getting their pitchers called strikes. There has been an increase in wild pitches/passed balls in recent years, and this is the reason why, not because pitchers’ stuff is any nastier. 

9) When you look at stats for AAA pitchers this year, important to keep in mind that they’re using the major league (juiced) baseball this year for the first time. 

Last year, Lehigh Valley led the International League wth 145 homers; so far this year, eight of the 14 IL teams have hit more than 145 and the season still has a few weeks left. 

8) Last nine baseball seasons, the first player to get to 30 home runs has been a different player every year. Jose Bautista reached 30 homers first in both 2010-11. 

7) Baseball stuff:
— Reds scratched 1B Joey Votto (lower back).
— A’s signed P Matt Harvey to a minor league deal. I’m not sure having Harvey pitch in Las Vegas is an ideal situation, seeing how Harvey has had issues getting to the ballpark on time in his career. 

6) Michigan’s basketball program offered a scholarship to rising Class of ’20 recruit Jace Howard, an unranked forward prospect from Miami. Chances are the Wolverines will get him, seeing how Jace Howard is the son of new Michigan coach Juwan Howard. 

5) JT Realmuto caught only one game as a high school senior; he played shortstop mostly, but a wise scout projected him as a catcher and now Realmuto is a very wealthy catcher. 

4) If you’ve ever seen the reality show “Chrisley Knows Best,” on USA Network, you probably won’t be seeing it anymore. Todd and Julie Chrisley were indicted on tax evasion and fraud charges, and are in custody in Georgia. 

The 12-count indictment also alleges the Chrisleys committed bank fraud and wire fraud conspiracy, as well as other illegal stuff. 

3) DeMarcus Cousins hurt his knee Monday while working out in Las Vegas; fears are that he tore his ACL. He signed a one-year, $3.5M contract with the Lakers in July, has earned $83M+ in salary in his career, but he hasn’t had much injury luck the last few years.

2) Former Oklahoma/Steelers QB Landry Jones became the first quarterback to sign a contract with the XFL, which begins play next February. Jones had recently worked out for the Detroit Lions after one of their backup QB’s got hurt. 

The XFL’s first player draft is in October. 

1) Great name for a racehorse: Tequila Sheila (25-1) ran in the 5th race at Gulfstream Thursday. Good name, slow horse; Tequila Sheila didn’t hit the board, or come close. 

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.