13) White Sox TV analyst Steve Stone is on vacation this week, so play-by-play guy Jason Benetti recruited various replacements, one of whom was Bill Walton, who worked Friday night’s game in Anaheim. As usual, I learned a lot from listening, and this is without taking notes:
— South America is the continent with the most bird species living on it.
— There are 129 community colleges in California.
— There are more people living in Orange County than in 21 states.
— “Happy Birthday to You” is the most widely-sung song in this country.
And this historical gem; when Marvin Miller was elected Executive Director of the Major League Baseball Players Association in 1966, the guy he beat out for the job is someone we’ve all heard of: Richard M. Nixon.
12) Philadelphia Eagles did a very smart thing and got QB Josh McCown to un-retire from the NFL and join them as a backup QB. McCown had recently started a studio job with ESPN- he is guaranteed $2M this year, can earn up to $5.4M with incentives.
McCown is 40 years old, has a career 23-53 W-L record in the NFL.
11) Which reminds me that a couple years ago, the reason CBS hired Tony Romo as an analyst is that the guy they hired first (Jay Cutler) also un-retired to play for the Dolphins (for $10M) so CBS scrambled for a replacement. Romo is a really, really good TV analyst.
Still want to hear Cutler, though; he has retired again but is on a reality show with his wife on the E! Channel (Very Cavallari)- he has a dry sense of humor.
10) Arizona P Alex Young is 4-3, 3.98 in his first nine games with the Diamondbacks; problem for Young is that Arizona was shut out in each of his last three starts. Hard to win that way.
9) Saturday was the 34th day in a row that a major leaguer hit two homers in a game.
8) Brewers 15, Nationals 14 (14)— Washington blew an 11-8 lead in 9th inning, then Brewers blew leads in 9th, 13th innings before finally winning just before 1am. Teams play again today, about 12.5 hours after this game ended.
7) Baseball stuff:
— Dodgers P Julio Urias was suspended 20 games by MLB (domestic violence)
— Red Sox put P Chris Sale (elbow) on the IL.
— Colorado put P Chad Bettis (hip) on the IL.
— Braves put OF Ender Inciarte (hamstring) on the IL.
6) On August 17, 2008, leading 7-3 in the 9th inning in Arlington, the Rays intentionally walked Josh Hamilton with the bases loaded and two out, to pitch to Marlon Byrd (who struck out).
— Hamilton was great back then (32 homers, 130 RBI)
— Maddon could do no wrong that year; the Rays made it to the World Series.
Grant Balfour was the pitcher who was told to walk Hamilton, then was taken out of the game; he didn’t look happy when he left the mound. Balfour would later be the A’s closer in 2012-13 when they made the playoffs— he was very good those two years (62 saves).
5) Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens flew to Tennessee Saturday for Darryl Drake’s funeral, despite it being the same day as a 4 o’clock kickoff for the Browns. Kitchens was the RB coach in Arizona when Drake was the WR coach.
4) Rays 1, Tigers 0 (13)— Teams combined to score three runs in 22 innings the last two nights. Detroit batters struck out 24 times, with no walks in this game.
3) Reds 6, Cardinals 1— Rookie Aristides Aquino has 10 homers in his last 11 games; this is a guy that hit .240 with a ,754 OPS in AA ball last season (20 HR’s). Go figure.
2) If the baseball playoffs started today (they don’t):
NL: Atlanta-St Louis-Los Angeles. Wild Card: Cubs @ Nationals
AL: New York-Minnesota-Houston. Wild Card: Rays @ Indians
1) There is a suite at the Palms Hotel in Las Vegas that costs $100,000 a night; the thing is, they also tack on a $39 resort fee, and $9.99 for Interweb access. You’d think for $100K a night, they’d comp the resort fee, and aren’t Interweb fees supposed to be a part of resort fees? Oy.