13) I’m a big fan of the Showtime series Ray Donovan, which stars Liev Schrieber; the Donovan family is from Boston in that show, so Schrieber’s character talks with a Boston accent.
I had no idea until a few months ago that Schrieber also does voice-overs for HBO’s Hard Knocks and other sports specials. That voice doesn’t have a Boston accent. Go figure.
12) There is talk of major league baseball going to a bubble format for the playoffs; American League bubbles would be in LA, San Diego. National League bubbles would be in the two Texas ballparks. World Series is rumored to be headed to the Rangers’ new ballpark in Arlington.
11) Toronto 5, Baltimore 0— Blue Jays’ acquisition of Taijuan Walker pays immediate dividends; he blanked the Orioles for six innings to get the win in Buffalo.
10) A’s acquired utility guy Tommy LaStella from the Angels this week; I’m guessing he will see some time at both 1B, 3B, to let Matt Chapman, Matt Olson get some days off from the field as the playoffs approach- they would probably still DH on those days.
Marcus Semien left Saturday’s game with a side injury, so Chapman will play SS and they will fill in with other guys at 3B for now.
9) Right now, the Phillies are a playoff team; they’re 13-4 when they score 5+ runs, 1-10 when they score fewer than five runs.
8) We talked a couple weeks ago about a pitcher named Chad Bell who was struggling so badly in the KBO that it was painful to watch. It took him 77 pitches to get thru three innings in the game I described. It almost looked like he had the yips about throwing a baseball.
Since then, Bell has turned things around; in three starts since that game, Bell is 2-0, 0.47, allowing one run in 19 innings. Good for him.
7) Bucks 118, Magic 104 (Milwaukee wins series 4-1)
— Game was 67-50 at the half; not a lot of resistance from Orlando.
— Milwaukee plays Miami in the next round.
6) Lakers 131, Portland 122 (Lakers win series 4-1)
— Lakers scored 117.2 ppg in this series.
— LA plays the winner of the Rockets-Thunder series.
5) Rockets 114, Thunder 80 (Houston leads series 3-2)
— Houston outscored OKC 37-18 in third quarter.
— It was such an easy win, Rockets took more 2-point shots than 3-pointers.
4) Golf trivia; Last time a non-major was won by a guy who shot over par for the week was the 1981 Byron Nelson Classic, when Bruce Lietzke won with a score of +1.
3) RIP to the great basketball coach Lute Olson, who passed away this week at age 85.
Olson built a great program from next-to-nothing at Arizona, leading the Wildcats to three Final Fours and the 1997 national title. He also led Iowa to the 1980 Final Four.
RIP to actor Chadwick Boseman, 43; he passed away this week after a 4-year bout with cancer. I remember him from his role as the linebacker who unexpectedly got drafted first by the Cleveland Browns in the movie Draft Day. 43 is way too young to go. RIP, sir.
2) I am seriously tired of being asked for money; animal rights groups, politicians, kids’ groups, groups that fight diseases, you name it. Seems like once you contribute to something, your name gets put on a suckers’ list and they spread that list around. Please go away.
1) If the baseball playoffs started today (they do not):
AL East- Tampa Bay, New York
AL Central- Minnesota, Chicago
AL West- Oakland, Houston
AL Wild Cards- Minnesota, Toronto
NL East- Atlanta, Mia/Phil
NL Central- Chicago, Milwaukee
NL West- Los Angeles, San Diego
NL Wild Cards- Colorado, Mia/Phil