13) John S. Middleton owns 48% of the Philadelphia Phillies; he went to college at Amherst and then Harvard Business School, so he is a very smart human.
His family owned a retail tobacco shop in Philadelphia that evolved into a manufacturer and marketer of pipe tobacco and cigars; Middleton wound up selling the company for $2.9B, thats billion, with a B.
12) Middleton flew to Las Vegas this past weekend to try and help recruit Bryce Harper to play for the Phillies. Harper still hasn’t decided; spring training has been going on for a week.
If I’m Mr Middleton, I tell Harper and his scumweasel agent; enough already. You have one more hour to decide, either sign with us or we move on. Begging someone to take $300M isn’t cool. Sign on the dotted line or we’ll go in a different direction.
Regular season starts in 30 days; time to make a decision.
11) A 71-year old man in California was convicted of a double murder 40 years ago, but it turns out the guy didn’t do it, so he was released from prison in 2017, and was recently awarded $21M in a settlement with the city of Simi Valley.
What do you if you’ve been in jail for the last 40 years and all of a sudden you’re not only free, but rich as hell? Would make an interesting movie.
10) For 11 months out of 12, weekday television completely sucks; ESPN has hired so many nitwit talking heads it is difficult to keep them all straight. There is a lot of political talk on TV but that pretty much makes me want to puke. So during the day, it is either movies or music.
Except for the next month, when preseason baseball games are on TV every day, and that is a great thing. Who cares that the games don’t matter? It is live baseball; nothing wrong with that.
9) Saw Tim Tebow play baseball for first time over the weekend; he looked decent as a hitter. a lefty, he lined out to left one time, and then he hit a pretty good drive to left-center, but the CF for Houston made a great diving catch, saving a double or a triple. Sounds like he will start this season at AAA Syracuse; will be interesting to follow.
8) Giants-Cubs spring training game this weekend drew 9,277 fans in Scottsdale; spring training has become very popular. One of these years I may have to venture out to the desert to see some baseball. I’m guessing A’s spring training games don’t draw 9,000+.
7) This season is the Cincinnati Reds’ 150th anniversary; to celebrate, the Reds will wear fifteen different throwback uniforms. Thats right, 15 different sets of uniforms. Hopefully they’re giving their equipment guys a bonus for keeping all of that straight.
6) Looking ahead to conference tournament play in a couple weeks; Iona is 16-2 in its last 18 MAAC tournament games. Gonzaga has won its last 17 WCC tournament games; last time the Zags didn’t win the WCC tournament was in 2012, when they lost to Saint Mary’s.
5) Nets 101, Spurs 85— San Antonio has now lost seven of its last eight games; last time they missed the playoffs was 1996-97, the season Gregg Popovich replaced Bob Hill as head coach. Right now, San Antonio is 33-29, but seem headed in the wrong direction- if the season ended today, they’d be the #8 seed in the West.
4) It was so windy in beautiful upstate New York Monday, I fully expected to see the Wicked Witch of the West riding past my house on her bicycle, with a bunch of monkeys flying above (obscure movie reference— the Wizard of Oz). Very cold, but mercifully, no damage around my house and even better, no snow.
3) In the AAF, there are no kickoffs; if you want to “onside kick”, you have a 4th-and-12 on your own 28-yard line, and the game progresses from there. Happened for the first time this past week, and the team converted the first down, so they kept the ball.
2) Stumbled across one of my favorite movies this weekend; Searching for Bobby Fischer, a movie about a little kid who is a chess prodigy, starring Joe Mantegna as the kid’s father and Ben Kingsley/Lawrence Fishburne as the kid’s chess mentors.
If you ever get a chance to see this movie, it is worth your time.
1) Thanks to WeTV for running a Law and Order marathon every Sunday night; it came in especially handy after the Super Bowl, when I didn’t exactly feel like watching SportsCenter that night. One of the best TV shows ever made, Law and Order was on for 20 years; 456 episodes.