13) Weird season for the Cleveland Indians, who won a weak AL Central by 13 games; Twins finished second, but at 78-84, so Indians coasted into the playoffs with a lame bullpen that blew many games the season. When Cleveland got swept by the Astros, I was wondering if there are Indian fans who even think their team had that good a season?
12) Watching Jose Altuve hit a double in the gap in left-center Monday, no way is he 100%; there is something wrong with his knee. Normally he would’ve rounded second and threatened to try for a triple- he labored just to get to second base.
11) Why do playoff games have six umpires, with extra umps in outfield on each foul line? With instant replay, they just aren’t needed. They probably weren’t needed before replay.
10) Los Angeles Rams scored 173 points in their first five games; nine years ago, the Rams went 1-15 and scored 175 points all season.
9) There are 11 unbeaten teams left in college football; Cincinnati is ranked #25, lowest of those 11 unbeatens.
8) There are 27 players who won five NBA championship rings; 13 of those 27 guys also won a sixth championship ring.
7) Los Angeles Dodgers’ GM Farhan Zaidi is an MIT graduate with a doctorate in economics; when he was a kid, his father moved their family from Canada to the Philippines. Zaidi found a copy of Bill James’ Baseball Abstract in a bookstore on a military base, and from reading that book he studied his way into becoming a major league GM. Pretty cool.
6) When the Giants/Dodgers moved to California in 1958, the Dodgers won three World Series in their first eight years in LA, but they also finished under .500 four times in their first 11 seasons there. Dodgers haven’t won a World Series since 1988.
Meanwhile, the Giants had winning seasons their first 14 years in the Bay Area, but never won a World Series in SF until 2010, when they won three in five years.
5) 76ers star Joel Embiid signed a multi-year endorsement contract with Under Armour, making him highest-paid big man on a shoe deal. Embiid had been with Adidas.
Lot of money in sneakers.
4) Kansas Jayhawks lost their last three games, so they fired offensive coordinator Doug Meacham this week; HC David Beaty will take over his duties. Kansas has a bye this week; they play Texas Tech next.
3) Tweet of the Day, from Nick Friedell, who covers the NBA for ESPN.com:
“Rajon Rondo remains one of the most unique personalities in the NBA. He just helped workers at T-Mobile Arena roll some beer kegs down the hallway before walking back into the Lakers locker room.”
2) Final Four baseball teams: Brewers-Dodgers-Astros-Red Sox
Only one guy ever played for all four teams; utility man Mark Loretta.
1) RIP to coach Tex Winter, one of the greatest basketball minds ever, who passed away this week at age 96. Winter is probably best known as one of Phil Jackson’s lieutenants in the NBA, but he also won 453 games as a college head coach. RIP, sir.