Sunday’s List of 13: Clearing out a cluttered mind…….

13) Watching the Kentucky Derby Saturday, it reminded me of the one and only time I’ve ridden a horse, the same day Secretariat won the Belmont Stakes. June of 1973, my 8th grade field trip. 

I get on this horse and make the mistake of asking the lady the horse’s name: “Jumper”

Jumper didn’t enjoy the next half hour any more than I did, other than his wandering off the path to munch on bushes and ignoring anything I said to him. When he finally broke into a gallop, I wrapped my arms around his neck and held on for dear life. 

We both escaped unscathed, but not my finest moment. 

12) 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah has sex three times every day while his owners charge a $200,000 fee per impregnation- that makes the owners about $30,000,000 a year.

11) The transfer epidemic in college basketball has become ridiculous. 

University of Albany (my alma mater) went 22-10 last year, lost at Louisville 70-68, but then they finished 4th in America East, the 25th (out of 32) ranked league in America. If you’re in America East and lose by a hoop at Louisville, you’d expect better than 4th, right? 

Apparently there were chemistry-related issues. Since the season ended, the Great Danes have lost four transfers, including their two best returning players. David Nichols, a 6-0 G who shot 37% from the arc- he graduated and will be a grad transfer at Florida State next fall. 

Joe Cremo is a 6-4 G who is a local kid (Scotia HS) who in three years at Albany shot 41.8% on the arc. Losing Cremo is a huge blow to Albany, but he is now being recruited as a grad transfer like he is freakin’ Steph Curry.

10) He announced his “final 5” a while ago: Creighton, Gonzaga, Oregon, Penn State, Texas, but since then, he’s taken visits to Villanova and Kansas, where he was this weekend.

We’ll see how this all turns out, but being a low major D-I coach ain’t as much fun anymore. It almost sounds like the recruiting (poaching) these high major teams do now is intoxicating to the players involved and they enjoy the attention it brings a little too much. 

9) Cavaliers 105, Raptors 103— Lebron James is freakin’ amazing; his runner off the glass to win this game at the buzzer was a tremendous shot. 

Last five years, Toronto Raptors are 263-147 in regular season games, but only made it to the “Final Four” of playoffs once, losing Eastern Conference final two years ago. Looks like they’ll fall short this year, too. 

If you own the Raptors, do you stay the course, as far as your coach goes? I would, but in this day and age, when a coach struggles to win playoff games (Dwane Casey is 21-29 in NBA playoff games), he quickly becomes expendable. 

8) Since 2009, Detroit Tigers have averaged 4.71 runs/game with Miguel Cabrera in the lineup, 4.11 when he is out. Cabrera is on the DL now with a hamstring injury. 

7) Jacksonville Jaguars were much-improved last year; lot of credit goes to Leonard Fournette, their rookie RB from LSU, but Fournette missed three games LY, and Jaguars won those three games, 27-0/23-7/45-7, while running ball for 158.3 ypg, so maybe not. 

6) Former NFL running back Isaiah Pead lost part of his left leg in a car accident couple years ago; he was running Saturday, wearing a prosthetic lower left leg for the first time. The smile on his face said a lot. Pretty cool. 

5) Wow there aren’t many catchers who can hit the ball; in my 16-team fantasy league, if you have a backstop who can hit, its a pretty big edge. Half the teams in my league don’t even have a backup behind the plate. 

4) Cardinals 8, Cubs 6 (10)— Marcell Ozuna tied game with a 2-run single in bottom of 9th, then Kolten Wong sent everyone home happy with a walk-off tater in the 10th inning. 

3) Celtics 101, 76ers 98 OT— 76ers have been favored in all three games of this series, but lost all three to a team playing without its two best players. 

Philly’s (lack of) basketball IQ hurt them here, as Ben Simmons got an offensive rebound with 0:18 left and his team winning but shot the ball instead of pulling it out and making the Celtics foul him, or someone else. 

2) Umpires who call highest %age of strikes (when starting P is in game):
Foster 20.9%, Culbreth 20.8%, Lentz 20.6%, Hernandez 20.4%

1— Umpires who call lowest %age of strikes (when starting P is in game):
Reynolds 14.1%, Holbrook 14.8%, Barksdale 15.2%, Bucknor 15.5%

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.