13) It is likely that three NFL teams will start their 6th different Opening Day QB in six years when they open the season in September.
Vikings will be starting newly-signed Kirk Cousins; Houston and Cleveland have dealt away their Week 1 starting QB from last year, so Deshaun Watson will go for Houston if healthy and who knows what the Browns will do at QB, but it’ll be someone new.
It is really hard to win when you have no continuity; Vikings are strong at every other position, but their decision to let Case Keenum walk after he played so well LY will be highly scrutinized. Houston seems set at QB for the next decade if they can keep Watson healthy.
12) Dodgers won 40 more games than the Giants last year, which is eye-opening. San Francisco adds Longoria/McCutchen this year, but neither one of them pitches, although Bumgarner was not healthy last year, and now he is, so that’ll help.
Once your nucleus of talent gets old, it is tough to re-boot and stay a contender without a total rebuild. Will be interesting to follow the Giants this season.
11) Damn, the Red Sox hit only 168 homers last year, least in the AL. My A’s hit 234 and they were a bad baseball team. Will JD Martinez help that correct their power shortage?
10) Speaking of Boston, they’ve got $30M of dead money on their payroll this year, most in the major leagues— Rusney Castillo and Pablo Sandoval account for all of that.
9) Three NFL teams proposed a rule that would limit the amount of early games a western team can play during the regular season. Under the proposal, no team would be scheduled “to play more than three away games with a scheduled kickoff time prior to 1:00 p.m. in the time zone of their home stadium (without consent).”
For instance, during the 2017 season, the 49ers played five road games that kicked off at 1pm ET, which feels like a 10am game to them. Couple years ago, the Rams played a 9:30am game in England, which is a 6:30am start if you’re on West Coast time.
8) Cubs’ 1B Anthony Rizzo has been hit with 70 pitches the last three years, seven more than anyone else in the major leagues during that time.
7) Graceland 83, LSU-Alexandria 80— NAIA national title game drew 6,377 fans in Kansas City, as Graceland, from Lamoni, IA won the championship. Tough loss for Alexandria, which lost in the national semifinals by a basket last year.
6) Louisville sent interim basketball coach David Padgett packing; he’ll be fine eventually, but where do the Cardinals go from here?
If you’re Chris Mack, do you really leave your alma mater (Xavier) for a job where the team is likely to go on probation? Louisville might be a lucrative job, but the fanbase is spoiled and the chances of winning right away are almost nil, which won’t please the fanbase.
5) Western Kentucky 92, Oklahoma State 84– Hilltoppers are headed to New York City for the NIT semifinals next week- they won at USC, then 46 hours later, won in Stillwater, OK. Not an easy thing to do.
4) This made me feel old; Bobby Orr turned 70 this week.
For my 9th birthday, friend of my parents gave me a subscription to Sports Illustrated; the first issue that came in the mail had Bobby Orr on the cover and I became a huge Bruins fan- their loss in OT in Game 7 of the ’79 Stanley Cup semifinals remains one of my saddest moments as a sports fan.
Got to meet Bobby Orr at a minor league baseball game in the mid-80’s; nice man with really bad knees. He was playing in a celebrity softball game and he purposely hit fly balls so he didn’t have to run.
Do a search on Bobby Orr rushing the puck and you’ll see a guy who revolutionized the sport; he was so exciting to watch. Hard to believe he is 70 years old; to me, he’ll always be the guy flying thru the air after scoring the game-winning goal in the 1970 Stanley Cup playoffs.
3) There are no instant replays in spring training baseball games; I’m pretty sure the umpires have adopted a “When in doubt, call him out!!” mentality.
2) Since 2004, the defending national champ is 8-19 vs spread in NCAA tournament, and Florida went 4-2 when they repeated in 2007, so it is 4-17 without the ’07 Gators.
1— Combined seeds for the teams in the Sweet 16 this year is 85, the highest total since 2000.