Wednesday’s Den: Mid-week musings……..

13) The movie Little Big League was on FS1 last night; the owner of the Minnesota Twins passes away, leaves the team to his 12-year old grandson, who then names himself manager of the Twins. Pretty good movie.

The kid’s mom is played by Ashley Crow; the movie was made in 1994.

In real life, Ashley Crow’s son is Pete Crow-Armstrong, who was drafted in the first round last year by the New York Mets. Crow-Armstrong played at Harvard-Westlake HS in Los Angeles, which once had Lucas Giolito, Jack Flaherty, Max Fried on the team at the same time.

Crow-Armstrong turns 19 tomorrow; in 11 at-bats this spring, he’s 1-11 with four runs scored. This year will be his first full season as a pro.

12) Mets’ 2B Jeff MacNeil was hit by pitches three times in a game last week, by three different pitchers; that doesn’t happen much.

11) Last Mets’ note; former New Jersey governor Chris Christie was recently named to the Mets’ board of directors; hopefully they didn’t put him in charge of parking.

10) Atlantic 14 tried something different this year; they played the first three rounds of their conference tournament March 3-6 in Richmond, then held the final March 14 in Dayton, assuming the two finalists would get on a bus after the game and make the short drive to Indiana, where they would hunker down safely for the NCAA’s. On paper, it made sense.

In reality, VCU couldn’t play in the NCAA Tournament because they had positive COVID tests in their program. Would it have been different had they just played the final in Richmond? We’ll never know.

9) Oregon State Beavers have covered 15 of their last 18 games as an underdog, with 11 wins outright. Beavers play Loyola Saturday, in the Sweet 16.

8) There is an NBA rule that no referee can work the same team’s games more than nine teams in a season; that rule has been waived this season, because of COVID protocols. Referees aren’t traveling as much.

7) Back in the 70’s, Astros’ pitching coach Brent Strom was a major league pitcher; he got hurt, was the second big leaguer to have what is now known as Tommy John surgery. Had he been the first, it would be known as Brent Strom surgery.

6) Al Leiter pitched in the major leagues for 19 years, won 162 games; his son Jack is a pitcher at Vanderbilt now, a highly-touted prospect who is expected to be a first round draft pick this year.

Saturday, Jack Leiter threw a no-hitter, struck out 16 South Carolina hitters, throwing 124 pitches; college managers aren’t as crazy about pitch counts as professional managers.

My question is this: How many major league pitchers will throw 124+ pitches in a game this year? Won’t be many, my guess is three or four.

5) First round of the 16-team NIT saw underdogs go 6-2 ATS; second round is Thursday.

4) One thing handicappers missed out on this season was taking a look at an Ivy League team in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. Over last ten tournaments, Ivy League squads are 8-2 ATS in their first round games.

When the Ivy League teams come back next season after a year off, it’ll be interesting to see how much different these teams are. Last time we saw them, Ivy League was the #16 conference in the country, right in the middle nationally.

3) One of best parts of watching spring training games on MLB Network is the interviews with managers during the game. You can pick up some info here; also good when teams combine broadcasting crews for games. Marlins-Cardinals, Mariners-Rockies have done this.

But when you think of managers being interviewed during a game, can you imagine going back a few years and having Earl Weaver, Dick Williams or Billy Martin being interviewed during a game, even an exhibition game? Thing would have to be on a 7-second delay, for sure.

2) Happy 90th birthday to William Shatner; the actor who became famous as Captain Kirk on Star Trek– he still does commercials that air on Milwaukee Brewer games.

1) Went to the grocery store today, picked up a few things, no big deal, but also walked around the store and located exits, just in case what happened in Boulder ever happens here. Doesn’t hurt to be prepared, but its a sad commentary on our current situation. 

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.