Sunday’s Den: Wrapping up a sports Saturday……

13) Here is why baseball adopted the extra innings rule for this 60 games-in-66-days season.

— Last two years, 73% of minor league games using the extra inning rule ended in the first extra inning.
— 93% of the games ended in the first two extra innings.
(minor league doubleheaders have 7-inning games)

A 15 or 16-inning game would drain a team’s pitching staff, especially once rosters get down to 26 guys. This rule discourages that from happening.

12) Late Friday night, A’s beat the Angels 7-3 in 10 innings, the first major league game with the extra inning rule, where every half-inning starts with a runner on 2nd base.

— Shohei Ohtani was the first-ever “ghost runner”; his interpreter had to tell him to go to second base in the top of the 10th. He didn’t know what was up.
— Matt Olson walked the game off with a first-pitch grand slam, after he threw Ohtani out at third on a ground ball in the top of the 10th.
— Oakland reliever Burch Smith gets the win, so I have to tell my Burch Smith story…….

11) Burch Smith made his MLB debut for the Padres on May 11, 2013 in Tampa Bay, a Saturday afternoon game. I’m in Las Vegas, staying at the SunCoast casino, where the sports book is right next to their movie theater, where they serve Orville Redenbacher popcorn, which is very good.

Here’s the thing; I had read that Smith is a prospect, but this is before we had the mobile apps on our cellphones for our fantasy league, so do I:
a) add him to my roster, sight unseen?
b) stay in my room, and follow the game on my laptop and see how he does?
c) go down to the sportsbook, watch the game and if he does well, run up to my room and add him, but risk someone else adding him first?
d) forget about picking him up

I wanted to watch him pitch, so I take a chance and use one of my monthly pickups and add him to my roster. What could possibly go wrong?

10) I go downstairs to the sports book, get my popcorn and a cherry Coke, and settle in as he throws a scoreless first inning, striking out two guys. Padres are up 2-0. I’m pretty happy.

Then Tampa Bay scores six runs in the 2nd inning, and Smith is gone, without getting another out. No bueno. Even the popcorn tasted worse after that.

In three May starts, Burch Smith gave up 15 runs in 7.1 IP, and I mercifully dumped him. He was sent down by San Diego, came back in September, but after that never got back to the majors until 2018— he hurt his arm in there somewhere and had an operation. Now he is the answer to a trivia question; first winning pitcher in a game with a ghost runner.

Moral of the story: Have some patience and get the mobile app on your phone.

9) After two days of baseball, 22 of 30 teams are 1-1; Astros, Cardinals, San Diego are only unbeaten teams left. Dodgers are 2-1, Giants 1-2.

8) Washington P Stephen Strasburg was scratched from his start with a nerve issue in his hand; it isn’t considered serious. Erick Fedde stepped in and threw four decent innings. Washington survived five errors; not often you make five errors and win.

7) In week 1 of the NFL last year, there 157 players on active rosters who played college football at the I-AA level. Delayng I-AA football until the spring is going to make NFL scouts work a lot harder before the ’21 draft.

6) New Jersey Jets traded S Jamal Adams and a 4th-round pick in 2022 to Seattle, in exchange for S Bradley McDougald, a 1st-round pick in 2021, 3rd-round pick in 2021, and 1st-round pick in 2022. Big haul for the Jets.

5) Washington QB Alex Smith was cleared to resume football activities this week; Smith had a gruesome broken leg in a 2018 game and has undergone 17 surgeries since then, and survived sepsis, which was life-threatening. He is 36 years old but still wants to play.

17 surgeries… less than two years. Oy.

4) Lot of good shooters in the Curry family; Dallas’ Seth Curry made 6-6 behind the arc in the scrimmage against the Lakers the other day. Impressive display of shooting.

3) Knicks hired Tom Thibodeau as their new coach, an excellent hire.

2) Statue of Liberty was struck by lightning four times Wednesday; seems like a fitting thing to happen in 2020.

1) Happy birthday to Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek, who turned 80 years old earlier this week.

RIP to the great Regis Philbin, who passed away this weekend at age 88; Mr Philbin was the host of a lot of TV shows; he won six daytime Emmy awards, and holds the world record for most hours on US television, according to Guinness World Records, with more than 16,700 hours on air. He was also a supply officer in the Navy from 1953-55.

He always seemed like a good guy, a pleasant human. RIP sir. 

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.