13) First of all, get well soon to 73-year old Art Howe, who has COVID in Houston; Howe played 11 years in the major leagues, managed for 14 more. Howe is in the ICU, but hopes to be back home soon. We wish him a quick recovery.
Howe went 600-553 in seven years managing the A’s, going 205-159 the last two years; in the movie Moneyball, they made Howe look like an overweight schmuck who got kind of lucky, which is total BS. He played infield in the majors and wasn’t fat; Philip Seymour Hoffman looked more like Whitey Herzog than Howe.
Plus, you don’t win 205 games in two years with a tiny payroll, unless you’re a good skipper.
Anyway, get well soon, Art Howe. Thats the important thing now.
12) Sandy Koufax was obviously a great pitcher; he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1972, the first year he was eligible, but he did have a very unusual career.
First six years: 36-40, 4.10
Last six years: 130-47, 2.21
Three of his last four years, Koufax threw 311+ innings, then he retired, at age 30. He won 26-27 games his last two years; you assume he would’ve won a lot more games had he not retired.
11) I’m watching A League of Their Own on TV the other night, the 1992 movie where Tom Hanks manages a girls’ baseball team; the character who runs the league is Ira Lowenstein- he looks familiar to me, but I can’t place who he is, so I look on IMDB.com.
Actor’s name is David Strathairn, and the reason he looks familiar is that he played Black Jack Foley in eight episodes of Billions the last couple years. Now 70 years old, Strathairn has 137 acting credits. Interesting to look thru actor’s careers and see all the different roles they tackled.
10) We see Ahmad Rashad on The Last Dance a lot; he is very good friends with Michael Jordan, but Rashad was a big-time athlete himself, playing 10 years in the NFL (he missed a year in the middle with a knee injury), catching 495 passes for 13.8 yards/catch and 44 TD’s.
Rashad’s daughter Condola plays Kate Sacker on Billions, so the family has competed for airtime the last three Sundays, with The Last Dance and Billions on at the same time.
9) Lonnie Smith played 17 years in the major leagues, for six different teams; he made the World Series five times, with four of those six teams. Smith had a career .371 on-base percentage and was a fast runner; valuable guy. He led the NL in runs scored (120) in 1982.
8) Was watching Game 6 of the 1980 NBA Finals the other day, the game where the Lakers won the NBA title in Magic Johnson’s rookie team; the announce team was Brent Musburger, Bill Russell and Hot Rod Hundley, who broadcast Jazz games for a long time. Interesting crew.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar stayed back in LA with a leg injury, but Russell astutely pointed out right before tipoff that the 76ers would have trouble matching up with the Lakers’ smaller lineup.
40 years ago, and Game 6 of the NBA Finals wasn’t shown live on CBS; they showed it at 11:30, after the local news. After that season, the tape-delayed broadcasts ended, as the league started its rise in popularity.
7) Looking at the Miami Dolphins’ schedule for this fall; six of their last nine games are against teams coming off a primetime game, two more are against teams coming off a bye.
6) Korean baseball games end in a tie after 12 innings; in 720 regular season games last year, there were only seven tie games.
5) Green Bay fired basketball coach Linc Darner after five years: the guy went 51-39 in Horizon League games, made the NCAA’s once (his first year) and had a contract thru 2026, though his buyout is only one year of base salary.
Not sure why it happened, and the timing is weird, too.
4) Horse racing knowledge:
— New York racing opens at Belmont June 1. No fans.
— Preakness Stakes has been re-scheduled for October 3rd.
3) You wonder if the success of all these virtual meetings, virtual drafts will hurt the business in cities where conventions are a big deal, like Las Vegas and Miami? Will be interesting to see as we go forward if the convention business changes any.
2) When the Champions’ Golf Tour resumes this summer, Jim Furyk and Mike Weir will both be 50+ years old and eligible to play, where they figure to make a lot of money.
1) I actually enjoyed watching the NASCAR race Sunday; I know nothing about cars, but it was just fun to watch a live event that wasn’t on at 5:30am.
Apparently they have another NASCAR race this Wednesday; unless they replay a Korean baseball game at the same time, I’ll be watching.