Sunday’s Den: Wrapping up a sports Saturday

13) This is very random, because it is 2:50am and my mind is wandering, but think back to a Giants-Eagles game in 1978, November 19 to be exact.

Giants were 5-6, Eagles 6-5, both teams fighting to become playoff contenders. Giants led 14-0 early, 17-6 after three quarters- they led 17-13 and were killing the clock when QB Joe Pisarcik tried to handoff to a running back, but the exchange was fumbled, the Eagles ran the fumble in for the game-winning TD that propelled them to their first playoff game in 18 years.

This game was unusually relevant for many reasons:

— Teams didn’t take a knee back then; this game started teams taking a knee.
— This was the first of four straight playoff years for the Eagles; they won the NFC in 1980.
— Eagles’ DB who scored the winning TD? Herman Edwards.
— Guy who coached the Giants that day? John McVay, Sean McVay’s grandfather.

— John McVay was fired after that season, replaced by Ray Perkins. Perkins coached the Giants for four years, then replaced Bear Bryant as the coach at Alabama.
— Eagles’ coach that day was Dick Vermeil, who had gone 9-19 his first two years in Philly; this game was the turning point for his program.
— Vermeil left the Eagles after the ’82 season, went on TV for 14 years, then returned to the NFL with the Rams in 1997— he won the Super Bowl there, in his third season as head coach. 

You just wonder how many careers would’ve been different had that fumble never happened. 

Major league leaders after nine days:
12) batting average:
.556— Yermin Mercedes, CWS
.471— Ryan Zimmerman, Wsh
.462— Ketel Marte, Ariz
.458— Nelson Crux, Minn

11) runs scored:
11— Jose Altuve, Hst
10—  Mark Canha, A’s
9— Castellanos, Moustakas, Senzel, all on the Reds
8— Mike Trout LAA, Garrett Hampson Colo, Adam Eaton CWS

10) RBI’s::
14— Tyler Naquin Cin/Nate Lowe Tex
12— JD Martinez Bos
11— Kyle Tucker Hst, Jonathan India Cin

9) Mike Trout has been on base 22 of 39 times this season; he’s already walked 10 times.

8) Tampa Bay 4, New York 0— Why does Aaron Hicks bat third? He isn’t a good hitter. 

— he’s a career .234 hitter, .331 OB%. For his CAREER
— he’s hitting .147 this year.
— He’s hit more than 15 homers once in his career.
— You put this guy between Judge and Stanton in the lineup? Why?

7) Arizona 8, Cincinnati 3— Reds are fun to watch; they have some guys who can hit, not sure how good their infield defense is. Suarez should be playing third. They have lot of outfielders; not sure what happens when Akiyama comes off the IL.

6) Manager AJ Hinch got suspended for a year because of the Astros’ cheating thing, then he went to Detroit— the Astros didn’t hire him back after his suspension.

Alex Cora got suspended for a year for the same thing, but the Red Sox brought him back as manager after the suspension was up. Whats the difference?

5) Alex Rodriguez and billionaire Marc Lore are teaming up to buy the Minnesota Timberwolves of the NBA; Mr Lore used to be the CEO of Walmart eCommerce.

4) Candidate for Bad Beat of the Week: If you had A-Rod’s Timberwolves (+8.5) Friday night, you went to bed a bit queasy- they lost 145-136, in overtime to the Celtics in Boston.

3) Colorado Rockies’ OF Raimel Tapia walked Saturday, his first walk in his last 131 at-bats, which may explain why he got dropped from leadoff to the 6-spot in the order Saturday.

Tapia is hitting .258 this year, with a .281 on-base %age. That ain’t good enough to bat leadoff.

2) Marlins 3, Mets 0— Jacob deGrom has allowed one run in 14 IP this season, striking out 21 guys, but he doesn’t have a win, because the Mets usually don’t hit when he pitches. Guy is the best pitcher in baseball, with a 2.75 ERA, 1.05 WHIP in 184 career starts, but his record is only 70-51.

1) Happy 85th birthday to the great football coach John Madden, who became way more famous later on, as a TV analyst/pitch man. Had the pleasure of meeting coach Madden in St Louis in 1995, after a Rams’ game; good guy, very big guy, pretty much like he seems on TV.  

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.