Wednesday’s Den: Mid-week musings…….

13) If you’ve seen HBO’s series Winning Time, about the Magic Johnson-era Lakers, you know this first item was inevitable.

This week, Jerry West’s legal team sent a letter to HBO/Winning Time series producer Adam McKay, demanding a retraction and an apology for what West called “a baseless and malicious assault” on his character.

The letter includes statements from several people who worked/played for the Lakers during that time, including Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

12) If West is upset with his portrayal, wonder what Paul Westhead thinks of his? The hatchet job this show is doing on Westhead isn’t good.

I wasn’t there, have no idea what the truth is, but last week’s show had the Lakers losing couple of games at Indiana/Detroit after Westhead became the Lakers’ interim coach, when in fact, the Lakers won both of those games. That much we do know.

In 2+ years coaching the Lakers, Westhead went 111-50, won an NBA title, then had great success later on in college ball at Loyola Marymount. This HBO program infers that Westhead wasn’t qualified to be a head coach, which is untrue.

11) Tuesday was April 19; woke up to a dusting of snow on the ground. Bleepin’ awesome. I shouldn’t complain too much; two hours southwest of here, they got a foot of snow.

Temperatures got into the 40’s during the day here, so most of the snow didn’t last too long, but enough already with winter. 

10) Ben McAdoo is the new offensive coordinator for the Carolina Panthers; he answered “yes” when asked if Sam Darnold was Carolina’s #1 QB. Then, he took that statement back.

Baker Mayfield is still in QB limbo; Carolina WR Robby Anderson made it clear recently that he doesn’t want Mayfield to be a Panther, but someone in Charlotte is interested in acquiring Mayfield.

Coach Matt Rhule is on the hotseat in Carolina; if the Panthers draft a QB, they’ll play him, the team will inevitably lose, and Rhule will get fired. Happens all the time. Rookie QB’s get coaches fired. Ask Matt Nagy, Jeff Fisher…….its a pretty long list. 

9) There was a trade in baseball Tuesday, albeit an unusual one:
— Mets OF Starling Marte will now wear uniform #6.
— In exchange, Mets IF Jeff McNeil gets a Rolex watch; he will now wear uniform #1. 

8) It is well-known that when he was in 10th grade, Michael Jordan played on his school’s JV basketball team. Not so well known; a 10th grader named Leroy Smith made the varsity that year. Apparently this annoyed Jordan; years later, he invited Smith to Springfield when Jordan was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Leroy Smith wound up playing college ball at NC-Charlotte, which had been in the Final Four when Smith/Jordan were in high school (Cedric Maxwell played there). Smith wound up playing pro ball overseas for six years.

After his playing days, Smith worked for ASICS AMERICA before establishing himself in media, entertainment and the tech space. He is currently the co-founder/President of a tech start-up and the President of a Hollywood film company. So he’s done pretty well for himself, too. 

7) Colorado Rockies gave P Kyle Freeland a 5-year, $64.5M extension; Freeland is from the Denver area, so he must like pitching close to home. Why else would a decent pitcher want to keep pitching in high altitude? 

6) New York 4, Detroit 2:
— Gerrit Cole lasted 1.2 IP, throwing 68 pitches (only 37 strikes), shortest start of his career.
— In three starts this season, Cole has given up 8 runs in 12.1 IP. Part of his job is to take the strain off the bullpen, but that hasn’t happened yet.
— New York’s bullpen threw 7.1 scoreless innings.
— Two starting pitchers tossed a combined 2.2 innings, throwing 110 pitches. 

6) A’s 2, Orioles 1:
— A’s are 7-5; Mark Kotsay is early leader for Manager of the Century.
— Attendance was 3,748; they had 17,000+ for the home opener Monday. 

5) Arizona 1-0, Washington 6-1:
— Diamondbacks scored one run in 18 innings. Yikes.
— Arizona’s team batting average is .156. 

4) Seattle 6, Texas 2:
— Rangers are paying Semien/Seager a combined $57M and they’re 2-8; Seager makes more money than the entire Oakland roster. Baltimore too.
— Jesse Winker hit a couple of fly balls that were caught on warning track; they both would’ve been home runs in Cincinnati.

3) Braves 3, Dodgers 1:
— Max Fried threw seven shutout innings for the World Champs.
— Kenley Jansen got the save against his old team. 

2) Red Sox 2, Blue Jays 1— Toronto is 13-28 in its last 41 games in Fenway Park.

1) This happened only 11 years ago; seems like a lot longer.

I was in a work meeting; can’t remember what it was for, but I was the lowest-ranking person in the room. There were couple of big shots in there. My job was keeping spreadsheets on how long it took to process criminal fingerprints; my job for that meeting was to shut the hell up, unless someone asked about spreadsheets.

We got thru about 45 minutes and I haven’t said a freakin’ word. A lady big shot was called out of the meeting for something else, which held the meeting up for a decent amount of time.

During the lull, one of the big shots started a rant about how Bert Blyleven had been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. He didn’t like Blyleven; suddenly I heard myself talking.

I went on a 90-second rant about how Blyleven struck out over 3,500 batters (3,701 actually), helped two small market teams win a World Series, and most definitely was a Hall of Famer.

The big shot looked at me like “Who the hell are you?” He actually had no idea who I was, which is fair, because I had no real stature in the building, unless spreadsheet nerd was a status.

I do remember his assistant giving me a small smile, don’t think he liked his boss much. Then the lady came back into the meeting, which resumed and I shut up, never to be heard from again.

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.