13) So far this spring. UNLV fired Marvin Menzies and Vanderbilt fired Bryce Drew, both after their third season at that school, after seasons where their best player didn’t play after Christmas. Here are the details:
— Menzies was 48-52 in three years at UNLV, 23-31 in Mountain West.
— Drew was 40-59 in three years at Vanderbilt, 16-38 in SEC.
By way of comparison, here is how another coach did in his first three years at his current job:
— Unnamed coach: 38-47 at School A, 13-29 in conference games.
In other words, if Duke had hired Mike Krzyzewski three years ago, he’d be fired by now.
12) A person who has money to burn bet $500 on the Baltimore Orioles to win the World Series this year at 1,000-1 odds. Orioles were 47-115 last year, so good luck with that.
11) How is it Opening Day and Dallas Keuchel and Craig Kimbrel are still free agents?
10) Coaching carousel:
— Alabama hired hoop coach Nate Oats, who 13 days ago signed an extension with Buffalo.
— Stetson hired former UCF head coach Donnie Jones.
— UNLV hired South Dakota State coach TJ Otzenberger.
— Jackrabbits then replaced Otzenberger with assistant coach Eric Henderson
— San Francisco promoted assistant Todd Golden to replace Kyle Smith as HC.
9) Alabama guards John Petty, Kira Lewis, Jr. and Dazon Ingram all announced that they’re transferring out of Alabama’s program; this was before the Crimson Tide hired Oats.
8) Eight different major league teams used a 4-man outfield at least once LY, all against left-handed hitters. Hitters that saw it the most? Lucas Duda and Joey Gallo (7 games). Overall, hitters were 10-37 (.270) when the defense had four OF’s.
7) Last year, 42 different major league players played 5+ different positions.
6) Random golf stat: 2018 European Ryder Cup golf team went 11-1 Thursday in the Match Play tournament in Texas. The guys on the American team went 4-5-2 (Rickie Fowler isn’t playing this week).
5) Teams with best win %age in Sweet 16 games (minimum 12 games):
— Michigan 13-3, last in 2018
— Oklahoma State 11-3, last in 2005
— North Carolina 27-8, last in 2017
— Kentucky 36-12, last in 2-18
4) Charlotte Hornets were 2-0 against the Spurs this season, first time they swept the season series with San Antonio since 1996-97.
3) Oakland A’s traded minor league IF Jesus Lopez, international signing bonus pool space to Toronto for 1B/DH Kendrys Morales.
2) Fernando Tatis Jr. will be 20 years, 85 days old on Opening Day; if he plays, he will be the youngest player to play on Opening Day since Adrian Beltre in 1999.
1) Today is Opening Day in baseball, always a day full of optimism- if you can’t be optimistic when you’re 0-0, when can you be? Not every team has realistic hopes of making the playoffs this year, but you never know. At this time last year, I had zero hope of the A’s making the playoffs, but they wound up winning 97 games!!! Enjoy the season.