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Friday's List of 13: Clearing out a cluttered mind.........
13) The real world doesn't have enough holidays; have to make some of our own, and Opening Day is one of those, though this is a half-day holiday. Get some fast food, watch some ball and its a good afternoon.
12) No New York Met lefty hitter has homered to left field at Citi Field. With the new shorter fences, Ike Davis should get one this year.
11) Adam Dunn's seven HRs, 19 RBI on Opening Day are the most of any active major leaguer.
10) There are 25 guys on a major league roster; if you take away the Pirates' six highest paid players, the rest of the team is making a combined $15M this season. AJ Burnett is making $16.5M himself in 2012.
9) Bill Murray threw out the first ball at Wrigley Field Thursday, but not before he ran around the bases and then slid into home plate.
8) UConn lost its appeal and will be ineligible for both NCAA tournament and Big East tournament next season, which could spell the end of a career for Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun. Looks like players will be able to go to another school and play next season, so they will jump ship.
7) West Virginia is gone from the Big East, UConn is headed downward, and Pitt-Syracuse will be lame ducks in the league next year, before they head to the ACC, so next season figures to be a strange one in the Big East.
6) Mark Cuban makes sense when he says that if a basketball player goes to college, he should be there for 3+ years; thats the way the rule is in baseball. The one-and-done rule is bad for the NBA and college ball both.
5) The Mtn, the TV network dedicated to sports in the Mountain West Conference, is shutting down May 31. Not sure if this is a pre-cursor to the MWC merging with Conference USA, but it could be.
4) Henrik Stenson was -6 thru 10 holes at the Masters, but shot an 8 on the last hole, the first 8 on the 18th at Augusta in five years (Villegas) and was -1 at day's end, four shots out of the lead.
3) Luke Donald almost got DQ'd Thursday, because a fax machine smudge made his 75 score look like 73 and it got misreported. Everything got fixed, but Donald still has some work to do to make the cut.
2) In case you're wondering why Clayton Kershaw came out after three IP in San Diego yesterday, he was very sick before the game but insisted on starting and seeing how far he could go.
1) Murray State and Florida both got good news; their leading scorers will both be back in school next year for their senior seasons. People lose jobs because kids leave school early, and sometimes, guys win big when players stay in school and then go get higher paying jobs. Billy Donovan will be at Florida for a long time, but Murray State's Prohm could strike it rich after next yesr if the Racers have another big season.
Saturday's List of 13: Random thoughts with weekend here......
13) The best trade in New York Knicks’ history was December 19, 1968; they sent Walt Bellamy/Howard Komives to the Detroit Pistons for Dave DeBusschere, a gritty power forward (6-6, he’d be a 3-man today) who was the final piece in the only Knick nucleus to ever win an NBA title, winning in ’70 and ’73. DeBusschere is deceased now, but was such a god in New York he wound up being commissioner of the ABA after he retired.
12) Why do I bring this up? When DeBusschere was a Piston (he was born/raised in Detroit, went to U of Detroit, was Pistons’ 1st round pick in 1962), at age 24, he was named player/coach of the Pistons, a failed experiment (he went 79-143 over three seasons). The way current star players are shredding coaches, or just refusing to try hard, why bother having a coach? Just let the star player coach the team.
11) Bill Russell was player-coach for the last three years of his career, going 162-83 and winning two titles in three years (the three years before the Knicks won their first title), but those were great teams he played on and coached.
10) My point is this; if Dwight Howard hates Stan Van Gundy as a coach so much, let him coach the damn team. Let a couple assistants do the grunt work scouting, have a couple other assistants work on skill development with players in practice but on game night, Howard is the man, the face of the franchise. Lets see how easy he thinks it is then.
9) On the other hand, while Howard is acting like an immature jerk, almost seemed like Van Gundy was trying to get himself fired, knowing the team is dead as it stands now and would never win. Quitting isn’t an option because of the money involved, so he’d probably be relieved to get relieved of his duties.
8) Elias Sports Bureau pointed out that an average of 4.7 runs/game scored Thursday, the lowest scoring day in the big leagues on a day with 7+ games since 1983.
7) CAA, the league with George Mason/VCU, has signed on to have games shown on NBC Sports Network (the old Versus channel), so they're out of the loop for Bracket Busters, which is an ESPN/ABC production.
6) TCU pulled a coup if they really have signed LSU's Trent Johnson as its new coach, as they head into the Big X. Johnson won big at Nevada and did well at Stanford, but struggled at LSU. No way Horned Frogs were going to do any better than Johnson; this is a home run for them.
5) Last year, Cincinnati Bengals' defense was on field for 1,066 plays; they cut a safety this week named Chris Crocker, who was on the field for 1,019 out of 1,066 plays and was a captain. Bengals are way under the salary cap, so why did they cut a guy who is obviously one of their better players?
4) Heading into Friday's games, 37 of the Lakers' 54 games (74.5%) were within 6 points either way in the last 5:00, highest %age in the league.
3) For years, Rams-Titans played an exhibition game against each other and practiced together for a few days before the game, but now that Rams have former Titan mentor Jeff Fisher running the show, no more. Wonder why.
2) You wonder why some of these college coaches change jobs; often its due to a bad relationship with the AD, especially if a new AD comes in, a guy who didn't hire the coach (see K-State/Frank Martin).
Friend of mine knew a coach in a place where the two ADs had backgrounds in swimming and judo; they were clueless about team sports and therefore made people miserable in the athletic department. People work better when they're respected and they're happy. ADs who were football/hoop coaches are generally better to work for, because they have an understanding of what a coach goes through.
1) Last thought on Dwight Howard: with the money Orlando pays him, he should play his ass off every night, no matter who the coach is, even if the team was coached by Moe, Larry and Curly. Howard has a part in the new Three Stooges movie. He actually tried playing against them.
A few things to look at with Dwight Howard stirring up all of this controversy. The soon to be 'Brooklyn Nets' nay want to revisit their options when it comes to potentially signing this cry baby if indeed the team is still interested a couple of seasons from now since he will start next season in Orlando. New city, somewhat restructured team, Barclays Center in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn. While NJ will go after some big names in the draft and do their best to keep Deron Williams around, you have to wonder the mindset of this regular defensive player of the year who has suddenly caused problems for a team with the playoffs right around the corner.
For the latest sports news, capper picks and tracker results, turn to JTG, the leader in BTB information
With Isiah Thomas gone from FIU, winning just 26 games in 3 seasons for an anemic 29% winning rate, Knicks fans can only hope that Jim Dolan avoids trying to lure him to NY in some capacity. With the Knicks holding a 1.5 game lead for 8th place in the East and hopefully Amare Stoudemire getting closer to returning, this is not the time for discouraging details from the NBA mecca. While the team is likely searching for a new coach next season, this is Mike Woodson's golden opportunity to prove his record since replacing D'Antoni is no fluke. I say give him a shot next season and remove the interim tag.
For the latest sports news, capper picks and tracker results, turn to JTG, the leader in BTB information
Headed out to American Reunion tonight so gonna take it easy. Not much to choose from in the evening in bases so will go with a favorite. As most of you know I dont play many large favorites. This is as big as I go. Had the Mets this afternoon but wasnt strong enough to post. GL
Sunday's List of 13: Random thoughts on a sports Sunday.......
13) College kids who aspire to be pro athletes should take courses in school that help them learn how to handle money; its sad when guys squander tons of money and wind up broke. Coaches should encourage kids to learn about how to say no to parasites that follow big money around.
12) There's a chance Felix Hernandez could start against the A's seven times this season; thanks to the nitwit owner of the A's for agreeing to the Japan trip, where he sold off two home games to people who rooted for the other team, and in the process got an extra game against Felix, one of baseball's top pitchers. Well done.
11) A's have now lost their home opener eight years in a row.
10) ESPN's Darren Woodson said 95% of the stuff Gregg Williams said on tape in that locker room speech is fairly common in pro football. People need to get used to the idea that the NFL is an extremely violent sport, part of why it is so popular.
9) When Central Michigan fired its basketball coach Ernie Zeigler, they also fired their best player, his son Trey. The younger Zeigler transferrred to Pitt, where he can play in 2013-14. He's a darned good player.
8) When Lucas Duda homered in the 4th inning Saturday, he became first player to take advantage of the new shorter dimensions at Citi Field. Last year, Duda's homer would've hit the bottom of the fence, not gone over it.
7) I'm probably late with this, but heard it for the first time this week: if you mix Arnold Palmer iced tea with vodka, the drink is called a John Daly.
6) San Diego State-Syracuse are playing on a battleship next fall to tip off the college basketball season, just like Michigan State/North Carolina did last fall- they both wound up as #1 seeds, so it had to help a little.
5) This is the first time since 1980 Bronx Bombers/Red Sox are both 0-2 in the same season; Hideki Kuroda is Bombers' second best starting pitcher?
4) So Joe Girardi walked Sean Rodriguez intentionally Thursday, in the first inning; Rodriguez, who is 6-21 in his career against CC Sabathia, will never be confused with anyone you would walk intentionally, except to pitch to a pitcher. Carlos Pena is 4-35 with two homers against Sabathia; the second homer was a grand slam that followed the intentional walk. Whoops.
3) Pena became only the fifth player in MLB history to hit a grand slam in his team's first inning of the season. Last guy to do it was Juan Encanarcion in 1995, against John Smoltz and the Braves.
2) Kobe Bryant took 20 shots from the floor Friday, 11 more free throws, and had no assists, in a game Andrew Bynum got tossed out of for taunting the Houston bench. Bryant sat out Saturday's game, and Lakers had their worst loss of the season. Sounds like some more drama behind the scenes.
1) What would the odds be that, through first 1,000 games of their careers, that Prince Fielder and his father Cecil both had 232 home runs? There's a guy you need to walk intentionally, not freakin' Sean Rodriguez.