13) After eight weeks of games, the AAF has suspended operations, which is sad for the people who worked there. Players only got paid for the first seven weeks of the season.
Takes lots of money to fund a start-up league like this; there are rumors that the guy from the NHL’s Carolina Hurricanes who invested in the AAF only wanted access to the technology for the league’s betting app, and once he had that, he pulled the plug on spending more money. Supposedly, he dropped $70M on this fiasco. Must be a good betting app.
Not sure what this means, if anything, for the XFL, which starts up next spring.
12) So it is April 2 and here in upstate New York, spring is slowly emerging. It was 46 degrees when I left my house today; in the bank, a guy in line behind me was wearing shorts. Oy.
11) Ronald Acuña signed a $100M extension with the Braves that keeps his contract under team control until 2028. Team-friendly deal.
10) Seattle TV analyst Mike Blowers told an interesting story Monday night:
Blowers was playing for the Mariners in the mid-90’s; Lou Piniella (a noted hothead) was the manager. Blowers made two errors in the 9th inning that cost Seattle the last game of a road trip. Blowers: “Lou was sitting towards the front of the plane; he wasn’t real happy with me.”
Next game for Seattle is a home game; Blowers comes to the plate for the first time, and is booed when his name is announced. He hits a grand slam.
Second time up, Blowers is still booed a little; he hits a 3-run homer.
Third time up, Blowers gets a standing ovation.
Lessons: Baseball is a tough game; people are fickle.
9) Washington Wizards fired team president Ernie Grunfeld after 16 seasons; Wizards are having their first losing season in six years. Washington hasn’t been to a conference final since 1979, so the franchise’s issues go way back before Grunfeld was around.
8) Last Thursday, Michael Reed started in RF on Opening Day for the Giants; he went 0-8 with six strikeouts in four games and Tuesday, he was designated for assignment. Produce or else.
7) Nationals’ SS Trea Turner tried to bunt last night; the ball hit his finger and he left the game, with what looked a lot like a broken finger.
6) Former tennis star Billie Jean King is a minority owner of the LA Dodgers.
5) Few years ago, I’m driving thru New Jersey and stop for gas. I get out of the car and start pumping the gas, and this little Asian guy comes running out of the store, yelling at me, waving his arms. Apparently it is illegal in New Jersey to pump your own gas. Who knew?
Funny thing, they pump it for you but the gas is still cheaper than it is in New York.
4) From Christopher Kamka: Last time Cubs, White Sox, Bulls, Blackhawks all won on the same day was April 21, 2012, the day Philip Humber threw a perfect game for the White Sox.
3) Puerto Rico has a larger population than 21 of the 50 states.
2) Lipscomb 71, Wichita State 64— Shockers led by 11 in second half, but veteran Lipscomb team rallied back, scored last 14 points of the game and will play for the NIT title Thursday night.
Texas 58, TCU 44— If you had Texas-Lipscomb in your NIT brackets, you’re about to get paid. TCU beat the Longhorns twice during the regular season, but came up empty here.
1) Arizona 8, San Diego 5— Zack Greinke hit two home runs, struck out 10 Padres.