13) 34 years ago this weekend, I made my first-ever visit to Las Vegas; stayed at a motel across the street from Circus Circus. Drove in from Los Angeles with my sister. Here are some of the quick things I remember from that trip:
— There is a sign on the highway from Barstow to Las Vegas: “If you don’t turn your air conditioner off, your car will overheat” Alrighty then.
— It was 112 degrees when we drove onto the Strip.
12) I wanted to bet the Mets against the Montreal Expos; the guy at the counter looks at me and says “Nice pick, but the game started 90 minutes ago”. I had forgotten to change my watch to west coast time. Whoops.
— I did bet the Mets to win the World Series that weekend, so I can say that I won my first-ever bet in the desert.
— Went into a sporting goods store in the Forum shoppes; they had the hat of my every pro team up on the wall. My eyes lit up, and that was the moment when my hat collection started.
11) I was like Linda Blair in The Exorcist; my head was spinning around like a top. So much to see, so many numbers to consume. It was so damn hot, but it was definitely a different world than I was used to.
— We stayed around 12-14 hours, say several casinos, then drove back to LA in the middle of the night, when it had cooled off to 95 or so. Quite a day.
10) A’s 3, Mariners 2 (10)— Weird strategy by Seattle, very weird. Down a run but with a fast guy on 2nd and no one out in the 10th, their #2 hitter, tries to sacrifice on an 0-1 pitch, fouls it off, then looked like he was bunting for a hit on the 0-2 pitch, but he popped out to the pitcher.
Giving up an out when you’re down a run is weird, especially with a decent hitter up. Don’t get me wrong, I was glad they fouled it up, but it wasn’t good strategy. The extra inning rule needs to go after this season, but it is providing some interesting stuff to think about.
9) Braves 7, Mets 1— Freddie Freeman DH’d for only the third time in his career, which is weird since he’s been in the majors for 11 years now. Even playing for an NL team, you’d think he would’ve DH’s some in their games in AL ballparks.
8) Dodgers’ pitching ace Clayton Kershaw makes his 2020 debut Sunday in Arizona, on the same weekend that the Detroit Lions put Kershaw’s high school teammate Matthew Stafford on the COVID-19 list. This is why having an NFL season is going to be dicey; NFL quarterbacks are so valuable, a starter has to miss a few weeks/months, and that team is in the ashcan.
7) I’m an advocate of higher-seeded teams picking their opponents in the first round of the playoffs. It was done in the G League for a while; we do it in our fantasy baseball league.
Would make for a great TV show, when the #1 seed has to announce who they choose to play in the first round of the playoffs. Then #2 has to choose, and so on……
6) Raptors 107, Lakers 92— Kyle Lowry scored 33 points, grabbed 14 rebounds as Toronto beat the Lakers for the 11th straight time.
5) Pacers 127, 76ers 121— TJ Warren scored 53 points for Indiana, which was +18 in the 41:00 that Warren played, minus-12 in the 7:00 he sat out.
4) Angels 5, Astros 4 (10)- Halos had lost their previous 64 games when they trailed in the 9th inning or later.
3) Rhode Island mistakenly issued tax refund checks signed by Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse instead of the state treasurer and controller. Now, I could be Captain Obvious and call it a goofy thing to do, but I’d rather let you insert your own joke here.
2) RIP to the great actor Wilfred Brimley, who passed away this weekend at age 85; he had a great acting resume. I remember him most from The Firm, Tender Mercies and The Natural “I should’ve been a farmer” Tremendous career, distinctive voice. Rest in peace, sir.
1) St Louis-Milwaukee series was cancelled this weekend, then Brewers’ OF Lorenzo Cain opted out of playing anymore this season. Can’t say I blame him.
I love watching baseball, I’m enjoying these games, but the owners are putting the players at tremendous physical risk by forging ahead with this season. Part of me thinks we should just bag the whole thing and play again next year.