Saturday’s Den: Random thoughts on a summer day

13) Alex Rodriguez banked $441M during his great playing career, signing with Texas as a free agent in in 2001, then signing another huge deal with Bronx six years later, so he knows all about how the finances of baseball work.

But now that he wants to own the Mets, A-Rod comes out in favor of a salary cap. Ha!!!!

Major league reliever Jerry Blevins had this to say about A-Rod:

“What a hypocrite @arod. Take your steroids and make your millions THEN tell the players they need to change. What a joke. Good luck trying to get content from the very players you’re trying to sell out to get your ownership group selected.”

12) July 19, 1990, thirty years ago this week, the Twins turned two triple plays in the same game, only time it has ever been done. Minnesota lost the game 1-0 in Fenway; both DP’s were started by Gary Gaetti.

11) The 18-year old daughter Long Beach State basketball coach Don Monson tested positive for the Coronavirus this week; she is an athlete, heading to Gonzaga to row for the crew team. Monson said said his daughter felt better later in the week, but was still under the weather.

Please wear a mask when you go out; the virus doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, young or old.

10) Ted Barrett has been a major league umpire for 26 years; he is also an ordained minister and was an amateur boxer as a kid. Interesting combination of activities.

9) Philadelphia 76ers are going to play Shake Milton at point guard, and Ben Simmons at power forward; word out of Orlando is that things have gone well in practice so far. Simmons is a great passer; too bad he can’t shoot that well, but now he’ll be closer to the basket.

8) My Mt Rushmore of Oakland A’s managers:
Dick Williams, Bob Melvin, Tony LaRussa, Art Howe

7) Yasiel Puig signed a free agent deal with Atlanta, then tested positive for Coronavirus, so he’s a free agent again.

6) Gambling is hard: Golfer Ryan Palmer missed the cut last week, shooting 14-over par in two days.

This week, on the same golf course, Palmer is 9-under after two days, and tied for the lead in the tournament, on the same freakin’ course. Go figure.

5) Pitcher HJKang of the Kia Tigers in the KBO was 16-8, 2.29 in the KBO last year, one of the best pitchers in the league. So far this year, he is 5-5, 6.31 in 13 starts and since he is 32 now, there are whispers that he is on the downhill side of his career.

4) Gaylord Perry threw threw 303 complete games in his Hall of Fame career, going 314-265 over 22 years.

There are currently only five active pitchers with 20+ complete games. Baseball sure has changed a lot over the last couple decades.

3) Terry Francona was manager of the Red Sox in 2004, when they won their first World Series in 86 years. Francona was fired won the World Series again in ’07, but got fired in 2011.

Joe Maddon was manager of the Cubs in 2016, when they won their first World Series in 108 years; he got told to take a hike by Chicago only three years later.

The common thread here? Theo Epstein was the GM of both these teams; guess he doesn’t value the job the manager does very much. Only a cynical person would say that Epstein wants the front office to get the credit for all that winning.

2) April 27, 2012; Bryce Harper, Mike Trout got called up to the major leagues for the first time, on the same day.

1) Long time ago, when Jim Valvano was coaching NC State, the Wolfpack had a 5-6 guard named Spud Webb, who turned out to be a damn fine player- he played 12 years in the NBA, but at 5-foot-6, he had his doubters in college.

Webb played JC ball at Midland College; he was recruited to NC State by Tom Abatemarco, Valvano’s top recruiter. When the two coaches went to the airport to meet their new player, Valvano sees a really short kid pick his bag off the luggage rack and walk towards them. Valvano says to his assistant, “If that’s him Tommy, you’re fired.”

Webb was a very good player, so Tommy didn’t get fired. 

Friday TV highlights: Moneyball was on, and I found the Rockford Files on peacocktv.com, a new streaming service that is owned by NBC, and is free (for now). Rockford Files was a good show- James Garner.

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.