13) Warriors 114, Trailblazers 111— Is it getting to the point where you ask if Kevin Durant has played his last game for Golden State? Warriors lead this series 2-0; Durant isn’t close to getting back on floor, and in this series at least, they don’t even seem to need him
12) In 2020, ESPN is opening a studio at The Linq Hotel along the Las Vegas Strip; Caesars will serve as ESPN’s official odds data supplier across TV and digital programming and content.
11) Arizona Cardinals’ 8-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson is being suspended the first six games of the 2019 season for violating the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.
10) Scott Pioli resigned as assistant GM of the Atlanta Falcons this week; he said he wasn’t fired, isn’t sick and doesn’t have another job lined up, but there is speculation that he might be going to TV or is a candidate for the vacant Jets’ GM job.
9) Quote of the Day, part 2; Chris Sale talking about getting pulled with 17 strikeouts:
“I don’t think there’s any pitcher on the planet … you’ve got 17 punchouts, you definitely want to go out for [another] inning. I’d love to have gone back out there, but I respect him as much as anybody on the planet and I’ll never question anything he does, even in regard to that.”
8) Ian Anderson is the Braves’ #1 pitching prospect, drafted in the first round of the 2016 draft out of Shenendehowa HS here in the Albany area. So far this season, Anderson is 2-3, 4.04 in eight starts in the AA Southern League; he’s walked 28 hitters in 35.2 IP, which is alarming.
He is only 21, but he’s going to have to cut down on those walks to succeed in the majors.
7) Here is the difference in this year’s A’s and last year’s A’s (so far):
— 2018— A’s were 46-29 in games decided by one or two runs.
— 2019— A’s are 10-13 in games decided by one or two runs.
Beating a cruddy team like Detroit 17-3 doesn’t impress me; holding a one-run lead in the 9th inning is very impressive, especially on the road.
6) College basketball transfer portal:
— Texas Tech G Khavon Moore bolts to Clemson.
— Oregon big man Miles Norris bolts to UC Santa Barbara.
5) Bruins 4, Hurricanes 0— Boston sweeps Eastern Conference final 4-0, moves on to the Stanley Cup final against the San Jose-St Louis survivor.
4) Brown University offered 7th grade QB Ryan Downes, a 6’3 13 year-old who is at IMG and already generating some interest from recruiters.
Not sure what they actually “offered” him, since Ivy League schools do not give athletic scholarships, but no doubt they have their ways of paying for the right kid, if he expresses an interest in their school.
3) Yale did a smart thing and signed basketball coach James Jones to a contract extension thru 2026. Last five years, Yale is 52-18 in Ivy League games, making NCAA’s twice in last four years.
2) Gene Simmons of KISS gave a news conference in the Pentagon briefing room Thursday.
Seriously, he did. He was there to help promote military service and thank the service members who were there.
Simmons’ mother survived a Nazi concentration camp when she was 14, and because of that he has always been a big supporter of our troops, so good for him for doing that.
1) Happy birthday to the great Joe Tait, the voice of Cleveland sports when I was a kid, who turned 82 this week. Loved listening to him call Cavalier games, and also Indian games on WWWE with Herb Score as his baseball analyst.
Before cable TV became a big thing (yes, I am that old), listening to games on the radio was fun for this teenager. WWWE was within range of upstate New York, so listened to Mr Tait a lot.