Monday’s Den: Wrapping up a busy weekend……

— Chicago Cubs re-signed OF Cody Bellinger for three years, $80M

Stat of the Day: Last year, Braves’ OF Ronald Acuna had 41 at-bats where the at-bat ended when he was behind 0-2 in the count; he got hit by a pitch once, hit one sac fly, and went 15-39 on the other 39 at-bats. Hitting .385 when you’re down 0-2 is impressive.

Overall, Acuna was down 0-2 in a total of 105 plate appearances; he hit .340 in those at-bats, with five walks.

— MLB is getting greedy; teams not only have spring training caps you can buy, they have a different set of batting practice caps, which will be worn during the season. High quality hats, but they cost freakin’ $45, which saves me lot of $$$.

I have a nice hat collection, but I’m not buying any more Oakland A’s stuff until they start trying to win again. The A’s batting practice cap is a good one, too.

Separate question on a sore subject: Why would own own a pro sports franchise if you’re not going to try to win? The A’s franchise is so mis-managed that it can’t possible go up in value. I’d be very happy if the guy who owns the Golden State Warriors bought the A’s- he’d try to win.

— Cubs have an OF prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong; his mother is the actress Ashley Crow, who was the mom in the movie Little Big League.

— Eight major league teams have new managers this year.

— Houston Astros used only 41 players all of last season, fewest of any team in the major leagues.

Word of the Day: Disgruntled- someone who is angry or dissatisfied.

— One of the things about the transfer portal in college basketball is that teams come together at a different pace; one team that is hot right now are the Loyola Ramblers in the A-15. After a 6-5 start, Loyola has gone 14-2, winning/covering their last seven games in a row. Opponents are shooting 43% inside the arc, the #5 rate in the country.

— Arizona Wildcats have 18 basketball players listed on their roster; eight of them are from other countries. Only three of their players are from Arizona.

— Alabama has four lefties on its team, which is a little unusual.

— Atlanta Hawks’ G Trae Young tore ligaments in the pinky on his left hand; he is out for at least four weeks.

— Oklahoma beat Oklahoma State 84-82 Saturday, possible the last time these rivals will ever play basketball against each other. Oklahoma is bolting to the SEC and there are no scheduled pre-conference meetings in the future.

In this age of college sports where greed is good, it is inconceivable that the teams won’t eventually schedule an annual meeting— the games would sell out, and probably get on ESPN or Fox or something. But for now, the two rivals are going their separate ways.

— UCLA is hiring former NFL offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy was its OC; he coached at UCLA back from 2003-05, and won two Super Bowl rings as an assistant with the Chiefs.

— Famous people with birthdays on February 26
Phil Villapiano, 75
Wayne Gretzky, 63
JT Snow, 56
Marshall Faulk, 51
Jose Reyes, 41

Monday would’ve been Paul Newman’s 99th birthday.

— St John’s 80, Creighton 66
Johnnies were +10 in turnovers (13-3).
St John’s was 32-64 inside arc, 2-8 on 3’s; old-school approach.
Creighton forces fewer turnovers than any team in country.

— Memphis 78, FAU 74
Both teams shot 58%+ inside the arc.
Teams combined to shoot 12-55 on the arc.
FAU split its last six games; they need to right the ship to stay above the bubble.

— South Florida 79, SMU 68
Bulls have won 13 games in a row, 20 of last 21.
SMU was only 15-31 on the foul line.
South Florida shot 63.6% inside the arc.

— Wright State 96, Oakland 75
Oakland led 38-37 at halftime.
Raiders are 8-2 in last ten games, after a 9-10 start.
Wright State is shooting 59.2% inside the arc (#4).

— Ohio State 60, Michigan State 57
Spartans led by 12 with 11:07 left in the game.
Teams combined to shoot 7-33 on the arc.
Michigan State is 1-7 in games decided by 7 or less points.

— Was watching A’s-Dodgers spring training game Sunday; the TV analyst was Rick Monday, who played for the A’s back when I was a little kid- they traded him for P Ken Holtzman after the 1971 season, which made the A’s pitching championship-level. A’s won three World Series in a row after they acquired Holtzman.

Rick Monday played 19 years in the majors, had a career OPS of .804, was a darn good player who is now a terrific analyst with a great voice. He does radio for the Dodgers but in the spring, they do simulcasts on TV. Was excellent listening to him Sunday. 

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.