13) You look at the benches in the NBA Summer League and you see two rows of coaches, maybe 8-9 coaches for each team. NBA teams spend lot of money on player development, which is more important now because players come into the league younger than ever before.
One of the first books I remember reading was The Open Man, Dave DeBusschere’s diary of the Knicks’ 1969-70 title team. For a 12-year old kid who was falling in love with basketball, I went thru that book pretty quickly.
One thing that stands out now was that coach Red Holzman had NO ASSISTANT COACHES; Dick McGuire was his advance scout and trainer Danny Whalen kept track of timeouts and served as an assistant coach of sorts, but Holzman did all the actual coaching.
The game has changed drastically in that regard.
12) George Karl’s son Coby is on the Lakers’ bench coaching during summer league; he is also the all-time leading scorer in Las Vegas Summer League history, with 337 points. Archie Goodwin is next, at 318 points.
11) Miami Marlins were 23-42 on June 10, but since then, they’re 16-14, hanging in there and hitting the ball well- they had 22 hits in a game in Washington Sunday. Don Mattingly has done a fine job keeping a talent-shy roster competitive in games.
10) Cincinnati Bengals may have seen one of the errors of their ways; they were 31st last year in $$$ spent on their offensive line, letting LT Andrew Whitworth bolt to the Rams.
Bengals are now 22nd in OL spending for this coming season; they hope it results in a QB who gets hit a lot less this season.
9) San Diego Padres lost their last 13 games against Clayton Kershaw, scoring a total of 12 runs off Kershaw in those 13 games.
8) An unnamed AL scout after watching the Kansas City Royals recently:
“I think someone will bite on Lucas Duda as a lefty bat off the bench. They won’t get enough for Duffy or Merrifield to move them. They’ll definitely move Moustakas and he will help someone. Won’t get the big return. Doesn’t happen anymore.”
7) Houston Astros’ contract situation in the near future:
— Verlander, $28M a year thru 2019 (Detroit is paying $8M of that)
— McCann, $17M with an option after this year (NYY is paying $5.5M of that)
— Keuchel, $13.2M, free agent this season
— Reddick, $13M a year thru 2020 (yikes)
— Gurriel, $12.4M this year, $10.4M in ’19, $8.4M in ’20.
— Altuve, $9M this year and next, then a $29M/year deal kicks in
— Morton $7M, free agent after this season
— Cole $6.75M, arbitration this winter, then free agent after 2019.
— Carlos Correa isn’t a free agent until after 2021
— Alex Bregman isn’t a free agent until after 2022
Astros have some serious decisions to make about their starting pitchers this winter; their young position players are going to keep Houston strong for a long time.
6) When the Indians blew a 4-0 ninth inning lead in a 7-4 to the Reds Tuesday, it was in large part the manager’s fault. Terry Francona told pitching coach Carl Willis to get “OP” up in the bullpen, he meant Oliver Perez, but Willis thought he said “OT” meaning Dan Otero, so Willis told the bullpen coach to get Otero warmed up.
Few minutes later, Francona went to the mound, waved to the bullpen for a pitching change and was surprised to see Otero come to the mound instead of Perez. Whoops.
5) Baseball doings:
— Indians’ OF Lonnie Chisenhall (calf) is out 8-10 weeks.
4) Injury-plagued Duke alum Harry Giles, who Sacramento drafted in 2017 despite having two ACL injuries before getting to the NBA, has played 23.3 mpg in his first three summer league games this month, scoring 12 ppg, grabbing 7.5 rpg.
3) There are 19 Kansas Jayhawk alums playing in Las Vegas this week.
2) There is guy named Chris Majkowski who is a radio engineer for Mets’ games and he has worked 4,011 consecutive games, dating back to 1993- imagine not missing one day of work for 25 years? Majkowski threw out the first pitch before the Mets’ game Wednesday.
1) Astros’ closer Ken Giles blew a 9th-inning lead Tuesday, appeared to curse out manager AJ Hinch when he was removed from the game, then was sent to AAA today. Alrighty then.