13) Good discussion on strategy during the interesting Phils-Nationals game Sunday night; Phillies walked 19-year old Juan Soto to load bases with two out, with Daniel Murphy coming up next. Alex Rodriguez said he wouldn’t have done that. ARod gives opinions before the fact and that makes him fun to listen to.
Its a gray area, since Soto has been hitting really well and Murphy just recently returned from a long injury absence, but Murphy has a long history as a terrific hitter. Plus if you walk Soto the bases are loaded, which puts more pressure on the pitcher.
Sure enough, Murphy gets a hit, the Nationals go on to win, but it is part of what makes baseball so interesting; we’ll never know what Soto would’ve done had they chosen to pitch to him.
12) James Harden won MVP in the NBA; Victor Oladipo won Most Improved Player and Ben Simmons won Rookie of the Year.
11) This is a funny tweet from Rachel Harper- I have no idea who she is, but…….
“For the past two years the ticket man at my station has baffled me. Some days we get on like a house on fire, chatting about life. Other days he won’t even return a hello…turns out to be a pair of identical twins who both work there…….
TWO SEPERATE MEN.
TWO YEARS GUYS.”
10) Oklahoma football coach Lincoln Riley has a new contract worth $5M a year; in his first year as coach of the Sooners, they were 1st first nationally in total yards (8,114), yards per play (8.29), touchdowns (80), yards per game (579.6) and averaged 5.6 yards per rushing attempt.
TheMMQB.com has an interesting article with Riley this week, about how NFL coaches are going to Norman to pick Riley’s brain about how the Sooners do things.
The NFL has become more like college ball, in part because NFL coaches now have less time to work with players in the offseason, much like how college coaches are limited (20 hours a week) during the season.
9) Los Angeles Rams have a financial literacy program every rookie has to finish before signing his first contract and getting his first check. They help the players prepare for the all new things they’re about to experience, both good and bad.
Rams’ CEO Kevin Demoff’s dad was Marvin Demoff, a really good player agent back in the day, so he knows the pitfalls of what can happen if a player’s personal life gets messed up. Also, it is different living in an entertainment center like Los Angeles; lot more opportunities.
8) When Sam Darnold fell to the Jets with the 3rd pick in the NFL draft in April, their people were so happy they wanted to put the card in right away, but for TV purposes, the NFL made them stretch it out for the whole 15:00, before Darnold was announced as the Jets’ pick.
Jets’ GM Mike Maccagnan took five scouting trips to see Darnold play live in 2017, and VP of player personnel Brian Heimerdinger spent 17 nights in Los Angeles during the season, doing his due diligence on Darnold. Lot of grunt work in scouting.
7) A Jets’ scout’s report marked Baker Mayfield a perfect 9—exceedingly uncommon—as a teammate, leader and worker, but gave him lower grades elsewhere.
6) This past week was Week 12 of our fantasy baseball season; with three weeks til the All-Star break, it is kind of the dog days of baseball, especially for bad teams.
Surprised me that the three bottom teams in our fantasy league all won this past week; that doesn’t happen much. Competitive league, lot of close games. Makes it more fun.
5) Denver Nuggets and star Nikola Jokic agreed on a 5-year, $146.5M maximum contract.
4) Turns out the Chargers would’ve wanted Lamar Jackson to play some WR had they drafted him, and there was no way he would agree to that, which is part of why he wouldn’t run the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.
I think when we see the Ravens play this fall, if he doesn’t start, Jackson will get on the field for some trick plays, lining up at WR but he’ll throw the ball off of end-arounds and stuff like that. Ravens are smart enough to call it “two QB’s on field at once” not “Lamar playing WR.”
3) Ilya Kovalchuk signed a 3-year, $18M deal with the LA Kings; he is 35, and hasn’t played in the NHL since 2013. In the last five seasons, no NHL player over age 35 has scored more than 30 goals in a season.
2) Congrats to Detroit Tigers Leonys Martin and Jose Iglesias, who are now American citizens. Good for them!!!
1) RIP to Richard Harrison, “Old Man” on the Pawn Stars TV show, who passed away Monday after a long battle with Parkinson’s Disease.
Rick Harrison, owner of the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop that is featured on Pawn Stars, said this: “He was my hero and I was fortunate to get a very cool ‘Old Man’ as my dad. He lived a very full life and through the History television show ‘Pawn Stars’ touched the lives of people all over, teaching them the value of loving your family, hard work and humor.”