Saturday’s Den: Random stuff with the weekend here……..

— Wynton Bernard played CF for the Colorado Rockies Friday, his major league debut after playing in the minor leagues for 11 years, 863 games for four different organizations. He was playing in an independent league two years ago. Can you imagine how freakin’ excited he was to actually be in a major league game?

Bernard went 1-3 in his first MLB game, with a stolen base and a run scored.

— More good news; this week, a friend of mine’s mom had an interview to become an American citizen. She passed the test and next month she will be sworn in as an American citizen, after living here since 1965.

There are lot of people in our country now who seem to want to ruin it; here is a person who can’t wait to become a citizen, so she can vote in November. Congratulations, Doris!!!

— NFL preseason games are fun to watch and all, but if you think teams really want to win those games, that’s not always true.

Thursday night in Foxboro, Patriots lead the Giants 21-20 with 1:55 left; Giants had the ball on New England’s 12-yard line, 1st-and-10.

In a game that mattered, the Giants would run the ball three times, Patriots would call three timeouts, Giants would kick a field goal and New England would have 1:30 or so to rally.

In this game, Giants ran the ball three times, Patriots called no timeouts, Giants kicked a field goal at the gun, and everyone went home.

Preseason games are played for two reasons:
1) make $$$ from ticket sales
2) evaluate players further down the roster

— Exception here seems to be the Baltimore Ravens, who have won 21 preseason games in a row, are 19-2 ATS in those games.

Does it translate to the regular season? Ravens are 5-1 ATS in their last six season openers, 5-1 ATS in last six home openers.

— San Diego Padres’ star Fernando Tatis was suspended 80 games for PED’s, which ends his season; he will also miss the first 32 games next season. Tatis hasn’t played at all this season because of a broken wrist.

By my calculations, the suspension will cost Tatis $3,214,814 in salary— he was supposed to make $5.71M this year, $7.71M next year. 

— One of more underrated aspects of NFL offenses is which voice is in the quarterback’s ear; the QB has an earpiece in his helmet, which turns off when the :40 second clock hits :15. Maybe this is why younger QB’s can play sooner in their career than they used to- they can be coached for :25 after every play.

As a Rams’ fan, I’ll never say anything bad about Jared Goff; he won an NFC title game on the road in New Orleans, was 44-23 as a quarterback when Sean McVay was the voice in his ear. 

Goff is 3-17-1 otherwise; 0-7 in his rookie year, 3-10-1 with Detroit LY. They were saying on the Lions’ preseason game Friday that they haven’t decided who is calling plays this year, which is odd. Ben Johnson is the 36-year old rookie offensive coordinator for Detroit. 

— We mentioned this a few weeks ago, and it still holds; Los Angeles Dodgers are 78-33 this year, with only eight one-run wins (8-9). So if you bet the Dodgers, is it smart to lay 1.5 runs instead of just playing the money line? 

— Detroit Tigers fired GM Al Avila, with Detroit 43-71 this season, despite having a payroll of $113M- they’re paying Javier Baez $20M, Eduardo Rodriguez $14M. Aging star Miguel Cabrera is making $32M this year and next; lot of $$ for not a lot of production.

In 2017, Avila traded Detroit’s catcher to the Cubs; the catcher was Alex Avila, his son. Wonder what Mrs Avila had to say about that.

— Speaking of the Tigers, in their game with Cleveland Thursday, the base umpires had a rough time. In the first 3.5 innings, teams challenged three calls on the bases; all three calls were overturned. The dugout reporter on TV said the first base ump was getting hammered by fans near the first base dugout.  

— Minnesota Vikings QB Kirk Cousins tested positive for COVID, didn’t make the trip to Las Vegas for the Vikings’ first preseason game. Cousins is unvaccinated, which complicates things a little bit. 

— NBA is retiring #6 from now on for all teams, to honor the late Bill Russell; players who currently wear #6 can still wear it, but teams can no longer issue #6 to a player. Last year, 25 NBA players wore number 6, including Lebron James. 

— NIT basketball tournament has most always had its Final Four in Madison Square Garden, but this winter the semis/finals will be in Las Vegas— they’ll be in Hinkle Fieldhouse in 2024, where the climactic scenes of Hoosiers were filmed, in Indianapolis.

— Michigan State basketball coach Tom Izzo signed a 5-year, $31M contract extension. 

— I’m not a huge fan of the movie Field of Dreams; much prefer Kevin Costner’s other baseball movies, but MLB has gone all-in on promoting games in the Iowa cornfield.

I’m curious if MLB would consider playing an All-Star Game in Iowa; the Home Run Derby would be tremendous!!! Even if they had two All-Star Games in one season- they actually did that from 1959-62.

Maybe the Futures Game would work in Iowa; having regular season games there seems like a lot of work for not much return.

— Angels are 9-52 this season when they allow 4+ runs, 40-12 when they do not. 

— Astros’ OF Michael Brantley had shoulder surgery, is out for the season.

— Jets QB Zach Wilson hurt his right knee Friday; his backups are Joe Flacco, Mike White. If Wilson’s injury is severe, would the Jets deal for Jimmy Garoppolo? Jets’ coach Saleh came to New Jersey from the 49ers, as did OC LaFleur. 

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.