Tuesday’s Den: Nobody asked me, but…….

  College basketball lost a giant this week; former Princeton coach Pete Carril passed away, at age 92.

Carril went 514-261 coaching Princeton, winning 13 Ivy League titles, making the NCAA’s 11 times; he won the 1975 NIT, but he became most famous in 1989, when his 22-point underdog Tigers lost 50-49 to Georgetown in the first round of the NCAA’s, barely missing out on the first-ever 1-16 upset.

That was the night Dick Vitale was in the ESPN studio with Bob Ley; at halftime, Vitale said if Princeton pulled the upset, he would stand on his head on live TV. After the game, he still tried to do it, which made for some weird TV for a few minutes. 

Carril’s last win as a head coach came in 1996, when his 10-point underdog Tigers upset UCLA 43-41, in a 4-13 first round game. 

He was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1997; after leaving Princeton, he was an assistant coach for the Sacramento Kings. 

Pete Carril was a basketball genius. RIP, sir.

— Texas Rangers fired manager Chris Woodward Monday; Texas is 52-63 this season; they won their first game with interim manager Tony Beasley last night.

In four years as manager, Woodward’s Rangers were 211-287. This year, Texas was 6-24 in one-run games under Woodward- they won 2-1 last night, under Beasley. 

You pay two guys (Corey Seager/Marcus Semien) $57M a year and you go 51-63, someone has to be the scapegoat. In this case, it was the manager. Someone should remind the GM that pitching is an important part of baseball; Seager/Semien aren’t pitchers. 

— Tigers/Guardians split a doubleheader Monday; they’ve been playing against each other since 1901. The series record?

Detroit has won 1,143 times. Cleveland has also won 1,143 times. Exactly even. 

— Historian Michael Beschloss is a very good follow on Twitter; he was posting stuff about the old TV show The Addams Family this week. I’m not really sure why, but he pointed out that the actor who played Lurch (Ted Cassidy) had been a radio announcer at WFAA in Dallas before he got the role on The Addams Family.

On November 22, 1963, the day John F Kennedy was assassinated, Cassidy was on the air at the time of the shooting.

Cassidy was also occasionally used to play Thing, the hand that would appear out of a box to give Mr/Mrs Addams things they needed, like the mail. Check it out on YouTube.

— Dodgers P Tyler Anderson is 13-2 this season; weird thing is, in his two losses, the Dodgers were shut out both games, first at Colorado, then by the Royals. You wouldn’t expect a team like the Dodgers to get shut out in Denver and Kansas City, but they were.

— Jets’ QB Zach Wilson is having knee surgery in Los Angeles today; don’t they have good knee surgeons in New York or New Jersey? Why send him all the way to California?

— Minnesota Twins were 41-33 when they announced that pitching coach Wes Johnson was quitting to take the same job at LSU. LSU is paying Johnson $750,000 a year; the Twins were paying him $350,000, making the Twins look like huge cheapskates.

Twins are 18-22 since then; they’re two games out of first place in the AL Central, also two games out of the last Wild Card slot. Minnesota is fading; Joe Ryan has been getting waxed in road games. Having a good pitching coach might’ve helped them.

— Kansas City Royals started seven rookies Monday night, the most they’ve started in any game since 1991.

— Tampa Bay 4, New York 0— Bronx was shut out for second game in a row for first time since 2016; they’re 8-16 since the All-Star break.

They’ve got injury issues; Stanton, LeMahieu, Carpenter are all hurt.

New York still leads the AL East by 10 games, but this is where moving the trade deadline up to August 2 is a big thing. Trade deadline used to be August 31, but now they can’t poach guys from  some stiff team to re-inforce their lineup.

Time for Aaron Boone to do some managing.

— Detroit Tigers have used 16 different starting pitchers this season, most in the major leagues.

— LSU QB Myles Brennan quit football this week; he played in 18 games over five seasons for LSU, replacing Joe Burrow as the Tigers’ QB in 2020.

Brennan entered the transfer portal last winter when former LSU coach Ed Orgeron was fired, but new coach Brian Kelly talked him into staying. Kelly then poached QB Jayden Daniels from Arizona State, and Brennan saw the writing on the wall, so he is walking away form football.

— As I’m typing all this, I’m watching ESPN’s fantasy football marathon; must be an awful lot of $$$ in hosting fantasy football leagues. I’m no good at fantasy football, but live TV is most always fun.

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.