13) Ezekiel Elliott got a 6-year contract extension from the Cowboys worth more than $90M, with $50M+ in guarantees. Cowboys are 28-12 in regular season games when Elliott plays, and so he got paid.
12) Scary moment in Houston Tuesday night when Astros CF George Springer made a leaping catch in centerfield, but then stumbled and the back of his head hit the wall. Springer was in obvious pain and left the game.
11) Rhode Island is the 7th state with a mobile sports betting app; 13 states have sports betting, but the mobile app really increases betting handle.
I was sitting at a bar when we heard that Andrew Luck retired; imagine being able to grab your phone, jump into the betting app and trying to capitalize on that news? Would’ve been fun.
10) Football Outsiders Almanac projects the Miami Dolphins to be the NFL’s worst team; their projection is the worst one for any team since the 2012 Rams, who also had a new coach (Jeff Fisher) but they improved from 2-14 (under Steve Spagnuolo in 2011) to 7-8-1 that year.
What Miami is doing this seems similar to what the Raiders did LY, when they traded Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper for draft picks. Raiders finished 4-12 last year.
9) Speaking of the Raiders, my review of HBO’s Hard Knocks this summer:
— They didn’t show when guys get released, which is usually the most interesting part of the show; most of the late cuts get picked up somewhere else, anyway.
— Too much Jon Gruden; he’s gotten ton of airtime the last few years.
— Antonio Brown is finally healthy (His father was a great player in the Arena League– played for the Albany Firebirds)
Was reading an article that said that Gruden/Mike Mayock wanted no part of being in Hard Knocks, but this was owner Mark Davis’ doing. That probably explains why HBO wasn’t given very good access.
8) By the way, Raiders have already fined Antonio Brown $53,950 for missing mandatory preseason activities.
7) Washington QB Jake Haener has transferred to Fresno State, where he’ll play for Jeff Tedford, who was Aaron Rodgers’ college coach. He’ll sit this season out and then will be eligible to play two more years.
6) Michigan State lost its long snapper, a 5th-year senior; he’s being replaced by a freshman.
5) New York 4, Texas 1— Bronx is now 10-0 the last ten times Will Little umped the plate in one of their games.
4) Around 11pm Wednesday, someone wagered $30,000 on the Buffalo Bills over 6.5 wins this season; the Westgate SuperBook reacted by moving up Bills’ win total up to 7 wins.
3) TV guys totally missed this Monday night, but there was a play in the Notre Dame-Louisville game Monday night when ND quarterback Ian Book threw a pass away, with the ball going way out of bounds- it drilled a Louisville cheerleader in the face.
Turns out the young lady broke her nose and is seeing a specialist for treatment. Not good.
2) Something to keep in mind when handicapping September baseball; some of the teams that aren’t contending aren’t 100% trying to win; they have to take a look at their younger players, and some teams have innings limits on their pitchers.
Wednesday night in Arizona, San Diego took starting P Chris Paddack out of a 0-0 game in the sixth inning because he hit the 90-pitch mark; if the Padres were contending, no way he comes out there. But they don’t want Paddack overextending himself, so he came out.
1) I still disagree with teams who bat their pitcher 8th, and I’ve spent way too much time thinking about why they do it. It makes very little sense to me.