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Tuesday's List of 13: Nobody asked me, but........
13) Kentucky Derby is this week; only a few entries remaining in our Derby contest and looking forward to the second favorite 2 minutes in a mans life.
12) Redskins don’t have their first round draft pick in 2013 or 2014, why did they use a 4th-round pick on another QB, when they had Grossman/ Beck, two perfectly good backups? They drafted Kirk Cousins and cut Beck, when they could’ve kept Beck and drafted a young player for another position that would increase their depth. This could help explain why the Redskins haven’t won their division since 1999.
11) What does NFL Draft Expert Mel Kiper Jr do this week, or until college football starts?
10) I had forgotten that Larry Brown coached the 2004 Olympic basketball team to a bronze medal. Still think Gregg Popovich should be the Olympic coach.
9) Why is Jamie Moyer starting games for the Rockies? Because he’s lefty? He’s 49 and gives no evidence of being good. Four of the nine guys in the Mets’ lineup Sunday weren’t born when Moyer broke into the big leagues. Why not let a younger guy pitch and get some experience?
8) Before Sunday night’s improbable comeback win in Memphis, Clippers hadn’t won a playoff game since May 10, 2006. Hopefully they won’t have to wait six years for their next win.
7) Utah State and San Jose State are joining the Mountain West; Louisiana Tech and UT-San Antonio are off to C-USA, as the WAC’s football side crumbles.
6) Turns out that Robert Griffin III was born in Japan; his parents were in the military and stationed there.
5) Tampa Bay Rays signed Hideki Matsui, who did OK with the A’s LY, playing the field in second half of the season. Not sure he’ll do that on the carpet at Tropicana Field, but he can still help a team with his bat.
4) SI.com had a note today about how Theo Epstein wanted to add Jose Bautista off waivers from Toronto in September ’09; he hit .235 with 13 homers that year. Ownership vetoed the move; in 2010-11, Bautista hit a combined 97 homers with 227 RBI. No wonder Epstein jumped ship, but then again, he gave Carl Crawford $140M and also signed John Lackey.
3) Three weeks ago, Virginia Tech assistant basketball coach James Johnson quit to go to Clemson, at which point the AD apparently thought to himself that he’s tired of losing good assistants/recruiters who didn’t want to work for Seth Greenberg, so he fired Greenberg and made Johnson head coach.
Coaching an ACC team shouldn’t be an entry level head coaching job, so the Hokies might move women’s coach Dennis Wolff (former men’s coach at Boston U) over to be Johnson’s assistant. Big difference between being a recruiter and running an entire program. Further proof that Tech is a football school.
2) Binghamton made the NCAA tournament a few years back because Kevin Broadus, their coach at the time, was about as ethical as a used car salesman with a law degree. Things fell apart, the Bearcats’ program was gutted, but Broadus landed on his feet, welcomed back at Georgetown as an assistant coach.
Meanwhile, Mark Macon, the former Temple guard who was cleaning up Broadus’ mess, went 23-70 and got fired this week. The guy who made the mess got his old job back. Where does Macon go for his next job?
1) Next week I’m off to Cancun for spring vacation, so I’ll be watching playoff games and baseball in the Mexico. Good stuff.
Lets play another. With futures on Philadelphia, St. Louis and a small Finals future on Kings in Hockey and big futures from December in the NBA on Oklahoma City and Miami Heat gonna sit back and watch most of the playoffs. Although I feel the Bulls will roll tonight.
-- Celtics beat the Hawks in Atlanta without Rajon Rondo, as his backup Bradley played 42 minutes with only one turnover.
-- Bulls weren't as fortunate without Derrick Rose, losing 109-92 at home to the 76ers, who outscored Chicago 36-14 in the third quarter.
-- Nationals lost their fifth straight game with Ryan Zimmerman out hurt; they've scored seven runs in the five games.
-- Angels' Jerome Williams threw a 3-hit shutout at Minnesota, which is hurting with Justin Morneau injured.
-- First place Tampa Bay hosted Seattle the last two nights, but drew less than 10,000 fans both games, even with Felix Hernandez going Monday. At that rate, Rays aren't going to last much longer in the Bay Area.
-- Buck Showalter won his 1,000th game as a major league manager when his much-improved Orioles beat the Bronx Bombers 7-1.
Wednesday's List of 13: Doing some thinking out loud.........
13) Now that the steroids era is over in baseball, home runs are down; there are very few real fast players anymore, so not lot of running, teams are defending better, thanks to spray charts and improved scouting, so the best way to keep scoring up in baseball is to move fences in at stadiums where teams are having trouble hitting. I’m looking at you, Miami/San Diego.
12) The casual fan perceives baseball as slow/boring/too low scoring, mostly because casual fans are part of today’s attention deficit culture that requires constant stimulation. Fences have already been moved in at Comerica in Detroit and CitiField in Flushing. I’d expect the Marlins to move fences in next year—how do you have a young star like Giancarlo Stanton and build a park where a home run is an oddity?
11) Ryan Braun had three homers and a triple Monday night in San Diego, 15 total bases, a tremendous night, which reminds us that one of baseball’s more underrated records is Shawn Green’s 19 total bases in one game. Going to be hard to break that one.
10) Restaurant chain PF Chang’s got sold for $1.1B, meaning Mongolian Beef will be more expensive pretty soon. Not good.
9) Tennessee Volunteers have seven new assistant football coaches, which could be a good thing, but also signals that the ones who left weren’t overly confident of Tennessee’s chances moving ahead. None of the seven who left were fired, by the way.
8) St John’s hooper Amir Garrett is heading to Arizona as soon as his school year is over, going to the Cincinnati Reds’ player development camp. Garrett is a 6-6 lefty pitcher. Reds gave him a million bucks, hoping he cam become a big league hurler. He doesn't have much experience.
7) I wonder what an owner like Arte Moreno in Anaheim thinks when he’s paying Vernon Wells $25M a year and Wells just isn't very good?
6) Orioles are off to good start, but they might be worried about Jake Arrieta; in his first three starts, he induced 27 misses on 140 opponents’ swings. In his last two starts, only six misses on 67 swings.
5) Northern Illinois QB Chandler Harnish had a free agent deal all set with the Chargers but was drafted by the Colts with the last pick of the draft, so he goes to Indy instead of the Chargers. Think he was happy about that?
4) Do major league teams practice sliding? I'm serious. Evan Longoria tore his hamstring sliding Monday night; does he practice sliding the right way?
3) Astros had seven pitchers face seven consecutive batters Monday night, after they left starter Norris in too long, costing him a win. No one had ever used seven pitchers on seven consecutive batters before. Ever.
2) SMU's athletic department lost $113M over the last seven years; thats not a misprint. Wonder how the academic side at SMU feels about that.
1) Anaheim Angels have been shut out in Ervin Santana's last four starts-- they've been outscored 20-0 in those games. Ouch.
Does it honestly pain people to just say "Yankees" when breaking down the 'if the season ended today' potential MLB playoff picture? Respect never earned but more often than not due for the team with the most championships.
Who says the Knicks are going through some tough times? Sure they're down 0-2 to the Heat, but when Carmelo Anthony shifted to power forward when Stoudemire was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his back, the Knicks went 9-4. With Shumpert unavailable, expect Toney Douglas to get some time off the bench while Novak and Smith will blend in at small forward. then you have Fields as the shooting guard and Davis at the point. If there's any momentum left to feed off of, you're coming home to the mecca so play like a team inspired and is facing their last games of the second season.
Is it me or does anybody else notice that when Derrick Rose is out Chicago Bulls final scores tend to be higher? The # 1 defensive team in the league loses scoring without last year's MVP, but they transpose into a faster unit who is more vulnerable trying to stop their opponents while playing at an upward tempo. Some notes and food for thought for those who lean towards the under that receive lower opening totals to boot as it is. The proof is in the regular season, and a dedicated handicapper's best kept secret.
How ironic was it for Buck Showalter to win his 1000th managerial game at the House that Ruth built? Baltimore remains just one game behind the first place Rays, and Matusz wins for the first time since June 6th, 2011, snapping a 14 start winless streak that saw him go 0-12 with a 10.47 ERA.
Very impressed with Boston last night witout Rondo, as Paul Pierce scored 36 points and grabbed 14 rebounds tying the series at one game apiece with an 87-80 win over Atlanta. The big ticket also turned in a good game with 15 points and 12 boards, but with Bradley getting plenty of playing time and shooting the ball well contributing 14 points, they may have just saved themselves from this series thanks to a legit shot back home.
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