13) One of the underrated things about NBA TV is not only how the Van Gundy brothers both became NBA head coaches (and good ones) but then they both became TV personalities, in very different ways.
Stan Van Gundy talks technical basketball very simply and teaches it well; Jeff is more of a character, providing comic relief on occasion. Both are well worth listening to.
40 years ago, November 1980, our college basketball team at Albany played in the Brockport State tip-off tournament; the Brockport coach was Bill Van Gundy, who had come to western New York after coaching junior college ball in California. Bill Van Gundy was their dad, a guy who coached in obscurity but raised two smart sons.
12) Suns 128, Thunder 101— Phoenix is an unlikely 6-0 since they started playing games in the bubble; they were 26-39 before the pandemic.
11) New Orleans Pelicans missed the NBA playoffs, which means JJ Redick misses the playoffs for the first time in his 15-year NBA career.
10) Padres’ P Dinelson Lamet had a no-hitter thru six innings Sunday, but with a 9-0 lead, he gave up a homer to Kole Calhoun in the 7th inning. San Diego’s TV guys seemed relieved; Lamet had arm surgery a couple years ago; it can be difficult to take a pitcher out when he has a no-hitter going, and Lamet was around the 80-pitch mark.
He faced one more batter, and the Padres got him out of there; too valuable a talent to risk getting hurt while pitching in a 9-1 game.
9) One of the odd things about baseball this year is the spare players sitting in the stands instead of the dugout; some pitchers have taken to sitting in the stands behind home plate, to get a better angle on pitches.
8) Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon is a lefty hitter who is 18-27 this season against left-handed pitching, which is damn impressive.
7) Cleveland Indians P Mike Clevinger will have his next start skipped after he violated COVID protocol while in Chicago over the weekend. Two of the Indians’ five starting pitchers are now under quarantine, not an ideal situation.
6) Was watching a KBO game (very) early Sunday morning; Hanwha Eagles have a pitcher named Chad Bell who pitched in 31 games for the Braves in 2017-18. Was painful to watch him try and throw strikes; he didn’t get anyone out until his 37th pitch of the game, the 7th batter.
Bell is 31 years old, is 0-7, 7.94 in 10 starts of the worst team in the KBO. Felt bad for the guy struggling so much; felt worse for whoever thought it was a good idea to sign him.
5) Who retrieves all the foul balls/home run balls hit into the empty bleachers at major league games? Has to be at least a couple dozen every game.
4) Mountain West Conference cancelled fall sports Monday; will be interesting to see if these schools play football next spring.
3) Mets’ P Marcus Stroman opted out of the rest of baseball season; he is a free agent this winter and is coming of an injury- he ay be headed to signing a one-year deal in 2021, wth an eye on a big money deal before the 2022 season.
2) If the KBO playoffs started today (they don’t):
1) NCDinos 47-26-2
2) Kiwoom Heroes 48-33
3) Doosan Bears 43-33-2
4) LGTwins 43-35-1
5) Kia Tigers 40-35
1) If the baseball playoffs started today (they don’t):
AL East- New York, Tampa Bay
AL Central- Minnesota, Detroit
AL West Oakland, Texas
AL Wild Cards- Cleveland, Baltimore
NL East- Miami, Atlanta
NL Central- Chicago, Cincinnati
NL West- Colorado, Los Angeles
NL Wild Cards- San Diego, Philadelphia