Sunday’s Den: Happy 5th of July, everyone!!!!

13) One of the most interesting parts of baseball season will be how teams handle extra innings, when each half-inning starts with a runner on second base.

Will teams bunt the runner over? Use a pinch-runner? Try to steal third base? Will teams use a pinch-running specialist, since rosters are expanded?

I think the rule itself is dumb, but since it will be used, I’m curious how teams will use it.

12) Another interesting part of baseball is that players won’t be sitting on the bench in the dugout, they’ll be spread out in seats behind each dugout, in the stands.

11) There are ten new managers in the major leagues this season, four of whom have never managed anywhere in the majors before, so they’ve got a whole lot to learn in a very short period of time.

10) Cardinals-White Sox are going to play the Field of Dreams game in Iowa on August 13.

9) Sacramento Kings lost their top assistant coach Igor Kokoskov, who took a head coaching job in Turkey this week. Kokoskov had been the Suns’ head coach for a year, and is head coach of the Serbian national team.

8) FedEx pays Washington Redskins’ owner Daniel Snyder $7.6M a year for naming rights to the Redskins’ stadium in Maryland; now FedEx and other sponsors are putting heat on Snyder to change the teams’ nickname.

If Snyder does change the name of the team, my choice would be Red Tails; this honors the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of all-black fighter pilots during World War II, before the legal desegregation of the military.

As for the Cleveland Indians, my suggestion for a new name? The Cleveland Spiders.

7) I see now where Shaquille O’Neal has invested in Papa John’s pizza and does commercials for them; he is a very successful businessman, so you want him involved in your company.

Several years ago, Papa John’s was my go-to pizza place here in Albany; maybe 7-8 years ago, I go to Las Vegas for 10 days and when I come back, six of the seven Papa John’s in our area had closed down, the only one staying open was across the street from a hospital— they did a huge business from the workers there.

The one Papa John’s that stayed open wouldn’t deliver outside the city limits, and I live about a quarter-mile outside the city of Albany, so that was that. Too bad, it is good pizza.

6) After signing Cam Newton:
— Patriots’ Super Bowl odds went from 28-1 to 25-1.
— Odds to win AFC stayed the same, at 12-1.
— Odds to win AFC West went from +$170 to +$130.
— Newton’s MVP odds went from 100-1 to 40-1
— Over/under on games Newton starts: 8.5.

5) NFLL teams with the most salary cap space:
$37.34M— Cleveland
$36.54M— Washington
$29.31M— Detroit
$24.62M— Detroit

4) Friday night, I was listening to MLB Network’s Harold Reynolds do analysis on an NLCS game from 2014; he was very good as a game analyst, and he doesn’t do that very much. I’m surprised because I usually don’t like his work in the studio; he talks a lot, and seldom says much of anything, but doing analysis of a game he was at, he was very good.

3) With Vince Carter officially retired, the oldest player in the NBA is now 40-year Udonis Haslem of the Miami Heat.

2) Sounds like the eight NBA teams who didn’t make the playoffs in Orlando will be getting together in Chicago in September, so they can practice, play some games and not be at a big disadvantage when next season starts.

1) Joey Chestnut won the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest in Brooklyn Saturday, downing 75 weiners in 10 minutes. The event was held inside this year, making for a cooler environment. No idea if that helps or hurts the contestants.

Over/under for number of hot dogs eaten by this year’s winner: 73.5 (under -$139)

TV highlight of the day: Mets-Braves game from July 4, 1985, a game with a rain delay, then a 19-inning marathon that ended after 4am, with fireworks after. I watched the whole damn thing, then was in work by 8am. Safe to say, it wasn’t my most productive day ever. 

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.