Thursday’s Den: Doing some thinking out loud…….

13) 76-year old Tony LaRussa is already in the Hall of Fame as a manager, but he came back this season, after a 10-year absence, to manage the White Sox. So far, the results are mixed.

On the field, Chicago is doing well; they’re 26-16, atop the AL Central.

Off the field, there have been issues.
— LaRussa didn’t know the extra inning rule, and put closer Liam Hendriks in as a ghost runner to start an extra inning, when he could’ve used the guy who hit before Hendriks’ spot in the order. LaRussa has a law degree; this would qualify as malpractice.

— LaRussa went out of his way to publicly rip one of his players when the guy hit a home run off a position player while the White Sox led, 15-4. If he has a problem with the “unwritten rules” of the game, tell the guy in private. Publicly calling him clueless was a tone-deaf move. 

— Despite their good record, White Sox are 2-9 in games where the winning scored from the 7th inning on- those games are where managers can make a difference.

If LaRussa loses the respect of the players, a promising season could go in the ashcan. 

12) Grizzlies 100, Spurs 96:
— Valanciunas was +26 in his 38:00; they were minus-22 when he was on bench.
— DeRozan shot only 5-21 from the floor.
— Memphis visits the Warriors Friday night, in a play-in game.

Lakers 103, Warriors 100:
— Golden State was up 13 at the half.
— Caruso scored 14 points in 30:00 off bench for LA.
— Lakers move on to play Phoenix in the playoffs. 

11) Padres 3, Rockies 0— Not only is Colorado 2-17 on the road, they’ve been shut out in seven of the 17 losses.

10) Why some teams win, and some teams lose; this trade was made July 31, 2018:
— Pittsburgh Pirates got Chris Archer.
— Tampa Bay Rays got Tyler Glasnow, Austin Meadows and a minor leaguer. 

Archer was 6-12, 4.92 in 33 starts for the Pirates.
Glasnow is 16-9, 3.08 in 43 starts for the Rays.
Meadows has an .855 OPS in 224 games for Tampa Bay.

9) MLB teams with best record in games where winning scores from 7th inning on:
11-2— Cincinnati, Oakland
9-4— NY Mets
9-5— San Diego

MLB teams with worst record in games where winning scores from 7th inning on:
2-9— White Sox
4-11— Minnesota
5-13— Atlanta
4-8— LA Dodgers, Baltimore

8) Tigers 6, Mariners 2— Detroit has quietly won eight of its last ten games.

7) New York 2, Texas 0— Corey Kluber throws a no-hitter on 101 pitches, already the 7th no-hitter this season. Three teams (Seattle/Cleveland/Texas) have been no-hit three times each.

6) Scheduling quirk: A’s have played only nine of their first 44 games against AL West rivals, all of them against Houston. Astros played 29 of their first 43 games against division rivals.

5) Brandon Woodruff has been pitching really well for Milwaukee, but he hasn’t been getting lot of support at the plate; four of his nine starts have been 0-0 after five innings.

4) Mets traded for OF Cameron Maybin, then batted him 3rd in their game in Atlanta last night. 34-year old Maybin is on his 10th team in his 14-year career.

At the time of the trade, Maybin was hitting .103 in the minors; not sure why he batted third.

3) NBA hasn’t expanded since 2004; rumors are that the league will expand soon, to make up some of the money they lost during the pandemic. Cities rumored to be in the running for an expansion team: Seattle, Louisville, Las Vegas.

2) Sports betting was legalized in Florida this week.

1) Happy 84th birthday this week to the great 3B Brooks Robinson; had the chance to meet Mr Robinson long time ago, maybe 1990 or so, at an event in Glens Falls. Bunch of us were huddled around a TV, watching an NFL playoff game; something strange happened in the game; Brooks just shook his head and laughed “Can you believe people bet on this stuff?”

Very nice man, one of the greatest fielders ever. Happy birthday, 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.