Thursday’s Den: Nobody asked me, but……..

13) We start today with a story…….

Way back in January 1996, I’m an assistant basketball coach at Schenectady HS; our team was young but rapidly improving. We’re playing at home, but we lose a close game when a charge is called on our best player at a pivotal point in the game. Sketchy call.

Ref who made the call was a vice-principal at the school where our best player used to attend, before he transferred to Schenectady after 8th grade. Go figure.

After the game, I go out to dinner at Across the Street Pub, which was on my way home; first two people I see when I walk in the door? That ref and an assistant coach from the team we just lost to, yukking it up at the bar. I nod hello and go to a table in the back.

We only lost two more games that season, lost in the sectional final in 1997, then won the state title in 1998. Sometimes it takes difficult learning experiences for a team to come together, and that loss was one of ours.

12) One of the cool things about college sports is that different schools excel at different sports; for instance, Vanderbilt usually sucks at football, but they’re a national power in baseball.

Clemson is one of the best football programs in the country, but they’ve never won the ACC basketball tournament.

11) QB Jamie Newman transferred from Wake Forest to Georgia last winter, but now he’s opted out of playing this season and will prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft, leaving USC JT Daniels as the Dawgs’ new #1 signal caller.

Wake Forest was 8-5 last year; Newman would’ve been a big addition for the Dawgs.

10) Indians 5, Royals 0— Triston McKenzie tossed six innings of shutout ball on his 23rd birthday, as Cleveland improved to 23-14.

9) Braves 7, Red Sox 5— Adam Duvall homered three times for Atlanta.

8) Rockies 9, Giants 6— San Francisco scored 29 runs in two games in Denver, the most runs they’ve scored in consecutive games since 1993.

7) Free agent RB Leonard Fournette signed on with the Tampa Bay Bucs.

6) Disappointed to hear that Wednesday was Bert Blyleven’s last game as a TV analyst for the Minnesota Twins; a Hall of Fame pitcher, Blyleven has been a TV analyst for the last 25 years. He will continue working as a special assistant for the Twins.

5)  Heat 116, Bucks 114 (Miami leads 2-0)
— Jimmy Butler made two foul shots with 0:00 left for the win.
— Tyler Herro scored 17 points off the bench for Miami.
— Miami had blown a 6-point lead with 0:27 left.

4) Rockets 104, Thunder 102 (Houston wins 4-3)
— Houston had balanced scoring; four guys scored between 17-21 points.
— Both teams played only eight guys.
— Chris Paul had 19 points, 11 rebounds, 12 assists in a losing cause.

3) If the baseball playoffs started today (they do not):
AL East- Tampa Bay, New York
AL Central- Chicago, Cleveland
AL West- Oakland, Houston
AL Wild Cards- Minnesota, Toronto

NL East- Atlanta, Philadelphia
NL Central- Chicago, St Louis
NL West- Los Angeles, San Diego
NL Wild Cards- Miami, Colorado

2) RIP to the great pitcher Tom Seaver, 75, who passed away this week; one of the best pitchers I’ve ever seen, Seaver won 311 big league games, led the league in strikeouts five times. RIP, sir.

1) If you’ve watched much poker on TV, you’ve seen Mike Sexton, who has done World Poker Tour events on TV for years, with Vince Van Patten. Mike Sexton is really sick these days, and the prognosis isn’t good. We send our prayers out to him.

This, from actress/poker player Jennifer Tilly:
“There is a beautiful story about Mike in @nolandalla’s book “One of a Kind”  Stu Ungar was on the skids & couldn’t afford to buy his daughter school books or clothes. Mike sent a limo over with his credit card and told him take your kid out shopping, get her whatever she needs.”

We’re praying for an ace on the river, Mike.

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.