13) Basketball great Bill Russell passed away this weekend, at age 88.
— He played 13 years in the NBA, won 11 championships; he had more championship rings than fingers to put them on.
— In his 13-year career, he missed the NBA Finals once.
— He also won two national titles playing in college, at San Francisco.
— He won an Olympic gold medal, in 1956 in Australia.
— Russell played in 10 Game 7’s in the NBA playoffs; he played 488 of a possible 495 minutes in those games, and grabbed 29.3 rebounds/game.
When I posted my top 15 basketball players of all time, I had Russell on my first team, with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Magic Johnson. I still believe that.
Russell did a lot of good work off the court too; it wasn’t easy to be in his position in the 50’s/60’s. I remember him working NBA games on TV after he retired; he had a great laugh.
12) Since 2016, Washington Redskins/Commanders have started 11 different QB’s, the most of any team in the NFL.
11) Today is August 1; Cleveland Browns have no idea who their quarterback will be in 41 days, when they open their season in Charlotte.
The decision of Deshaun Watson is expected to come down Monday, which should be a very interesting thing. If Watson gets a full year, do they trade for Jimmy Garoppolo?
10) Jacksonville Jaguars signed a kicker named Elliott Fry, who has already spent time with eight other NFL teams. He is 3-4 on field goals, 5-6 on PATs in his NFL career. He also went 14-14 kicking FG’s for the Orlando Apollos in the AAF couple years ago.
9) Things I learned this week; if you own a golf course and you bury a dead relative near the first hole, it technically becomes a cemetery. Cemeteries aren’t taxed. Golf courses are taxed.
You can also charge people to view the gravesite.
Now, only a complete scumbag would do something like this, but it happens…….
8) August 1st and Mariners-Astros don’t play any more this season? Seems unusual for division rivals not to play in the last two months of the season.
7) Seattle ace Robbie Ray against the Astros this season:
3 starts, 14 runs allowed in 10.2 IP. No bueno.
6) Pittsburgh Pirates have only 12 wins from their starting pitchers this season, the fewest by any team in their first 100 games since at least 1906.
5) Rangers 5, Angels 2— Halos’ rookie Reid Detmers struck out 12 guys in 7 IP, also had an immaculate inning— striking out the side on nine pitches in the 2nd inning.
Detmers is the first pitcher since Mike Fiers in 2015 to throw a no-hitter and an immaculate inning in the same season. Weird thing is, Fiers was traded in between his immaculate inning and his no-hitter. He did those things for different teams.
Another oddity; Detmers was sent down to AAA in between his accomplishments.
Last pitcher to throw a no-hitter and an immaculate inning for the same team in the same year was Sandy Koufax, in 1964.
4) Trey Mancini was credited with an inside-the-park home run last week, in a day game vs Tampa Bay. He hit a normal fly ball to right field, the RF missed the ball— it hit him in the face and bounced 30-40 feet away to his left.
Here’s the thing: the RF had his sunglasses on top of his hat, instead of wearing them. This was an error all the way, a bad decision by the official scorer.
3) Pretty good field for the Myrtle Beach Invitational in November:
Murray State-Texas A&M
2) An “unnamed NFL assistant coach” was critical of Chiefs’ QB Patrick Mahomes last week; it takes lot of balls to anonymously criticize one of the game’s best quarterbacks, without attaching your name to it.
Let us go to the numbers:
— five years in the NFL, Mahomes is 50-13 in regular season, 8-3 in playoff games.
— he won consecutive AFC title games, splitting two Super Bowls.
— 151 TD passes, 37 INT’s; pretty good numbers. Damn good.
Lot of really good QB’s don’t have eight playoff wins; Mahomes is only 26 years old.
Like I said, takes a lot of onions to criticize the guy, but if you do, you damn sure need to attach your name to it.
1) If the baseball playoffs started today (they do not):
NL: Mets-Brewers-Dodgers. Wild Cards: Atlanta, San Diego, Philadelphia
AL: New York-Minnesota-Houston Wild Cards: Toronto, Seattle, Tampa Bay