You are using an old web browser. Such browsers do not support modern web technologies and do not offer proper security. Please update your browser or download one of the others suggested for free.
Mozilla Firefox |
Google Chrome |
Internet Explorer |
13) Over last three years, Carolina Panthers (3, all on special teams) have scored the least amount of touchdowns on defense/special teams; they’ve allowed 18. By way of contrast, Bears/Vikings lead NFL with 18 such TD’s over last three years.
12) Hard to believe, but Jacksonville Jaguars haven’t scored a special teams TD in last three seasons; Giants-Rams haven’t scored one in last two years. Giants also have only one defensive TD the last two seasons- they have won a Super Bowl during that time, though.
11) Houston Texans allowed 9.3 ppg less LY than in 2010; hope they gave DC Wade Phillips a raise. Part of reason is that their two games with Indy got lot simpler with Peyton Manning out of action, but Mario Williams also missed 11 games for the Texans.
10) Arizona Cardinals ran 32 plays inside opponents’ 5-yard LY; none of them were completed passes (0-3). Detroit Lions completed eight passes inside the 5, just to Calvin Johnson.
8) Should be noted that former Fordham Ram John Skelton was 6-2 as starting QB of the Cardinals LY. San Diego State rookie QB Lindley is getting solid reviews with the Redbirds this summer. Kevin Kolb? No solid reviews yet this month.
I hesitate to do this, but the Cardinals had some kind of a team meeting this week, after their first preseason game. They're playing Oakland at home on Friday, with Raiders on a very short week. If Arizona can't drill the Raiders in this game, you wonder about them. Sounds like they'll give an effort.
7) Over the last two seasons, Chicago RB Matt Forte has carried ball 15 times on plays that started 5 or less yards from the goal line; he scored only one touchdown.
6) Lot of reasons why teams improve dramatically, but the Lions scored seven defensive TD’s LY, after scoring a total of one the previous two seasons. That and a healthy Matthew Stafford spelled a huge improvement.
5) My dad is 82, and since he is in ICU at the hospital I figure I would share this; he HATES IT when teams throw the ball near the goal line. He’s old school, wants team to run the ball in.
I hesitate to tell him that the 15-1 Packers threw the ball on 24 of 29 plays inside the opponents’ 5-yard line, and scored 19 TD’s on those 29 plays. I hesitate, but I will tell him when I see him in the hospital tomorrow.
4) Fantasy Football note: Atlanta WR Roddy White had 179 passes thrown his way LY, more than anyone in the NFL; new OC Dirk Koetter (former Arizona State HC) is supposed to have a more wide-open approach, so we’ll see what that means for the Falcons.
3) Tampa Bay QB Josh Freeman threw only six INTs in 2010; he threw 22 LY, and now he has a new coach. Those facts are not unrelated.
2) I’m still skeptical of the 49ers; they had a +28 turnover ratio LY, and didn’t allow a TD on defense/special teams- they had two special teams TD’s in Week 1. Breaks of the game aren’t always going to go their way. In the seven seasons before LY, the Niners were -54 in turnovers.
1) Patriots are an elite team for many reasons, one of which is superior special teams. Over last two years, NE scored 13 TD’s on defense/ST’s, while allowing only two, both of which were given up by the offense. They don’t beat themselves. Plus they spy on teams. :-)
13) If you ever meet a guy named Nigel Richards, don’t play Scrabble with him for money; guy just won his third straight (and 4th overall) National Scrabble Championship. I had no idea there was such a thing.
12) Also had no idea Nike Chairman Phil Knight is in his 70’s; he turns 80 on February 24, 2018. To thank him for his support of college basketball, 16 Nike-affiliated college hoop teams have committed to play in a 16-team tournament in November, 2017 in Portland, OR.
Heavy hitters, too; Kentucky-Michigan State-Duke are just three of the teams. This is how far in advance big time teams schedule their preseason tournaments, so its not that unusual to be booked this early, especially considering the heavyweight nature of this one-time event.
11) Indiana Hoosiers had 14 scholarship basketball players, but you can only have 13; one of their incoming freshmen suddenly didn’t meet the academic standards, so he’s off to either prep school or another college. All of which means Indiana is loaded this year. Feel bad for the kid, but if he’s good enough to play at IU, he’ll land somewhere good.
10) From 2009-11, Jake Peavy made 16-17-18 starts, or 51 out of a possible 105 (48.6%), not very durable. All of a sudden, in this, his walk year, Peavy has made 23 starts and averaged just over seven innings per start. In his last seven outings, the formerly brittle Peavy has thrown 115-120-122-121-114-104-124 pitches. Sounds like a salary drive to me.
9) Cowboy TE Jason Witten has a lacerated spleen, and could miss the start of the season. I’m no doctor, but I think a lacerated spleen is more serious than it sounds. NFL players don’t wear enough pads around their hips/ribs.
8) St Louis Cardinals are 11-20 in 1-run games, 5-13 in 2-run games, 47-21 in games decided by 3+ runs. Sounds like a team that has underachieved, but is ready to make a serious run down the stretch, just like LY.
7) Miami Marlins have scored zero or one run in 10 of Josh Johnson’s 23 starts.
Staff at Showtime is scrambling to come up with interesting pieces on the Marlins’ reality show, since the team itself is so depressing to watch.
6) Felix Hernandez got 26 misses on 58 Tampa Bay swings in his perfect game Wednesday, tied for 3rd most in big leagues this season. Francisco Liriano (30) had the most on July 13 against the A’s, the first game after the All-Star break.
CC Sabathia got the Rays to miss on 27 swings June 7; Chris Sale induced 26 Tampa Bay misses May 28 and Max Scherzer got 26 misses from the Pirates May 20. Its an underrated stat, swings/misses. The less the ball’s in play, the fewer mistakes that can happen in the field.
5) Dodgers are 12-2 in the eastern time zone this year; lot of things have broken LA’s way this season, from the new ownership group to Melky Cabrera’s suspension. Would expect Dodger Stadium to be awful crowded the rest of the season.
4) Major league batters are hitting .255 this year, same as LY, when they had their lowest batting average since 1989. Its getting to the point where lot of teams have neither lot of power or lot of speed; takes three hits to score a run. No-hitters ain’t what they used to be.
3) How does a major league team (Red Sox) hire a manager but not allow him to pick his own coaches? Would think this is, for the most part, a recipe for disaster.
These guys spend so much time together; they need to get along. I can see one coach who is established staying to work for different managers, but not the majority of a staff, like in Boston, especially with Francona/Valentine being such polar opposites as people. Just seems odd.
2) Cablevision finally signed on to show NFL Network. Time Warner is still an NFLN holdout, what a joke, which would be aggravating me greatly if I didn’t have DirecTV. NFL Network is a good channel that any football fan would enjoy watching.
1) Further proof NFL preseason is mostly bogus: Browns 35, Packers 10.
-- Steelers' LB LaMarr Woodley donated $60,000 to cover participation fees for every student-athlete in Saginaw public schools. We hear so many bad things about athletes. Great to hear stuff like this!!!!
-- Eastern Michigan basketball coach Rob Murphy wanted to quit to be a scout with the Orlando Magic, but the $210K buyout was too much, so he stays at EMU. That sounds like a terrific working arrangement.
-- Mets' Matt Harvey had a 5-pitch inning against the Reds, think it was the 7th, facing five hitters. Don't see that a lot.
-- Chipper Jones had two homers on Chipper Jones Bobblehead Night.
-- Dan Straily got his first big league win when it mattered most, on last game of an Oakland road trip during a pennant race. He beat the Royals, 3-0.
-- San Diego Padres sold for $800M this week, so if you ever want to own a big league ballclub, better start saving your pennies.
-- Umpire Jim Joyce saved a woman's life at the ballpark in Phoenix prior to Monday night's game, performing CPR on her. Good for him!!!!
-- Nationals treat Stephen Strasburg's arm like fine china, but they brought him back after a 51-minute rain delay last night, after he had thrown 47 pitches in the first 2.2 innings. Interesting.
-- Xavier expelled Dez Wells, its best returning basketball player; could be a long winter for the Musketeers, who've been decimated by defections.
-- A's turned a triple play in fifth inning, their first triple play in Oakland since 1983. Brett Anderson made his first start of the year and pitched seven excellent innings in the A's 5-1 win over Minnesota.
-- Luck of the draw: Because A's-Rays have Sunday off, A's are missing David Price. Thanks to the Republican convention for that break.
-- University of New Orleans got accepted into Southland Conference, allowing them to stay D-I, after they previously decided to drop down to Division III. Hurricane Katrina really hurt the school's finances.
Spooky List of 13: Doing some thinking out loud...........
13) Former big league pitcher Ron Darling is an excellent analyst on Mets’ telecasts; he was talking about the Little League World Series, how they have pitch counts but let kids throw curve balls; he estimated more than half the pitches in the game he saw were curves, which can screw up a young kid’s arm, if thrown too often or with poor mechanics. Doesn’t make sense to allow curves if you’re preaching safety by having a pitch count.
12) How ridiculously deep is LSU’s football program?
Houston Texans have a 5-foot-5 return man named Trindon Holliday who already has run both a punt and a kickoff back for TD’s this summer; he was on LSU’s football team for two years, but only got into one game, yet he’s run two kicks back for TD’s in NFL games, even if they were exhibition games. What an abundance of talent LSU has!!!
Holliday won an national title as part of LSU’s 4 x 100 relay team in 2008, so he may be short, but he’s fast as hell.
11) Stupid Scheduling 101: Eagles play Cleveland this Friday, then play the Browns in two weeks, in the season opener. Teams will show as little as possible to each other, so once again, fans paying full price are going to see a glorified scrimmage.
10) Red Sox fired pitching coach Bob McClure Monday; I have two thoughts, other than the obvious-- this isn't his fault!!!!
a) It is stupid to hire a manager, especially an experienced one, and not let him bring his own coaching staff with him.
b) From what I’ve read in the Boston papers, Bobby Valentine is a very bright guy who has almost no people skills. He doesn’t get along with many people. Wonder what the ESPN Sunday Night crew thought of him?
9) Former Colorado pitching coach Bob Apodaca was pitching coach when Valentine managed the Mets; he is rumored to be the Sox’ pitching coach if Valentine is around next March, which would make him Boston’s fifth pitching coach in 30 months.
8) I’m not inferring anything here, just reporting facts: Mariners were 42-55 when they traded Ichiro Suzuki, they’re 18-9 since then. Bronx Bombers are 15-13 since acquiring Suzuki; they were 59-38 before the trade.
7) NFL’s lawyers must be relieved to hear the San Diego County medical examiner say that Junior Seau had no brain damage from playing football. Someone online last week published a study that said former NFL players actually live longer than former baseball players. Interesting.
6) ESPN is doing an hour-long, all-access show on Ohio State football. Good exposure for (former ESPN employee) Urban Meyer’s program.
5) Eagles’ backup QB Nick Foles looked better Monday night than he ever did playing for the Arizona Wildcats. Andy Reid’s team does a superior job of coaching QB’s.
4) Not sure what motivated the A’s to announce their acquiring Stephen Drew during Monday night’s game, while a player he will be replacing on the roster was still playing in the game. Seemed insensitive; not like Drew is such a huge acquisition that it deemed an immediate announcement.
3) I’m amazed by the number people on Facebook who take pictures of their food and then post them; why do this?
2) According to people, hot plays for season over/under win totals are: Bears, over; Miami and New England, under.
1) If you have a gut feeling that the Super Bowl this year will be Jaguars-Vikings, you can get 10,000-1 odds on that online. I’m just sayin’……..
Catching up on another List of 13: Nobody asked me, but........
13) This is probably impossible to know for sure, but it would be neat to find out exactly how many fantasy baseball leagues there are in this country-- it has be in the thousands. Lot of money changing hands.
12) In every league except for AL-only leagues, someone owns Melky Cabrera, and he was carrying a lot of those teams to winning seasons.
Until his 50-game suspension.
My sons league had the first round of the playoffs last week, and his defending champ, who traded David Price to get Melky and a couple other guys this year, got KO’d from the playoffs. This is all pretty random, like a grenade blowing up your team. Wonder how good Melky will be next year.
11) Colts have five TD’s and a FG in Andrew Luck’s first 11 NFL drives. I know its not real regular season games, and it’ll get harder once the exotic blitzes start, but they have to be pretty happy with him so far.
10) Tennessee named Jake Locker its starting QB; Locker is a poor man’s Tebow; gritty leader type, good runner, not an accurate passer. His passing didn’t improve much playing for QB guru Steve Sarkisian at Washington. Makes you wonder how good he’ll be in the NFL.
9) Bookmaker has posted over/under of 39.5 for passing touchdowns this year by USC’s Matt Barkley; for Arkansas’ Tyler Wilson, 23.
8) A’s-Rays have a scheduled day off Sunday, which is rare; Republican National Convention is in Tampa Bay area next week, so teams are clearing out for that event. They’ll play a Thursday-Saturday series instead.
7) When Pirates scored three runs in 19th inning Sunday, they became first team since '85 Expos to score 3+ runs after the 19th inning in a game.
6) Rams have three coaches’ sons on their coaching staff; special teams coach John Fassel’s dad coached the Giants in Super Bowl XXXV. Gregg’ Williams’ son Blake is the LB coach and Jeff Fisher’s son Brandon is an assistant secondary coach after playing ball at Montana.
5) Heard a commercial today for Dodge Darts; when did they bring those back? A buddy in my neighborhood back in high school had one of those; it had a hole in the floor in the back seat area, kind of a built-in trash disposal. Glad to hear Darts are back.
4) Chicago Cubs are 1-12 when Chris Volstad starts; why does he keep getting the ball? Why not try him as a closer, or just let someone else start. How could it be any worse?
3) Milwaukee pitcher Mike Fiers was 6-4, 1.93 in his first 12 starts, getting misses on 118 of 610 (19.3%) swings, which is pretty good. In his last two starts, his miss rate is down to 7-57 (12.3%) and he is 0-2, 15.43.
What changed so quickly? 14 of last 29 balls put in play against him went for hits. Is he hurt? Not locating as well? Am curious to follow him from here on in. Why does this happen? Inquiring minds want to know.
2) West Virginia University was named the #1 party school in America, with Iowa 2nd and Ohio U third. College administrators say publicly they don’t want their school on this list, but behind closed doors, you know they realize it helps increase the number of applications. Its like gambling and the NFL; they publicly shoo it away, but privately are glad it exists.
1) College football starts a week from Thursday; how cool is that?
Thanks for the kind words for Dad, List of 13: Stuff I learned reading magazines.........
13) Friday, October 5 is going to be an excellent day; two single-elimination Wild Card baseball games. Winner moves on, loser goes home. Good stuff.
12) So when the kids from Penn State became free agents, USC coach Lane Kiffin calls up a booster, uses the guy's private plane to fly to New York. Kiffin and a few of his coaches met with Silas Redd for 3.5 hours at his high school coach's house and nine days later, the kid became a Trojan.
When I mention about college teams having resources, thats what I'm talking about. Access to private planes is a huge resource for college teams.
11) Wisconsin Badgers will be starting another transfer QB from the ACC this year, this time Maryland transfer Danny O'Brien, who was ACC Rookie of the Year in 2010.
10) Miami Marlins have won two World Series titles, but have never won a division title; they've got a new $634M stadium ($200M less than Citi Field) but a terrible team playing inside of it. Since 1997, they've never finished higher than 22nd in attendance; this season they're #18.
9) Penn State's football stadium is Beaver Stadium (shouldn't that be the name of Oregon State's stadium?); capacity was 46,284 when Joe Paterno was named head coach in 1966. Capacity now is 106,572.
8) Amar'e Stoudemire is paying Hakeem Olajuwon a reported $100,000 to work out with him for two weeks so Olajuwon can teach him post moves. Isn't that what the Knicks' coaches are supposed to do?
7) If you look at the ten pitchers who pitched the most innings last year, you'll see they averaged 238.2 IP per man.
Take it back to 1991, that figure was 249.1. Back to 1971, two years before the DH, and it was 307.4. The best pitchers pitch less innings now.
6) Friday night in Milwaukee, the Brewers are unveling a 7-foot statue of the great Bob Uecker outside Miller Park. Uecker parlayed his mediocre playing career into a Hall of Fame broadcasting/acting career and is beloved in Wisconsin, so Friday night should be pretty cool.
5) LSU mascot Mike the Tiger, an actual bengal tiger, can eat as much as 30 pounds of food a day. He also lives in a 13,000-square foot space on the LSU campus in Baton Rouge. Mike has it pretty good.
4) How do you explain to someone who knows nothing about college sports that San Diego State and Boise State are both going to belong to both the Big East and Big West, starting next season? It makes no freakin' sense.
3) ESPN showed four high school football games and two Little League games yesterday; I kept waiting for them to show up in their truck and televise kids skateboarding down our street, but I guess the X Games are in June. Its become a tradition for them to televise high school games a week before the colleges take over the airwaves.
2) 26 of the 30 major league teams have gotten a new stadium since 1991. Fenway/Wrigley are obviously the oldest stadiums.
1) I didn't learn this in a magazine, but Adrian Gonzalez homered in his first AB as a Dodger. Guess he was glad to get out of Boston.
Weekend List of 13: Random stuff with the weekend here......
13) If you say you don’t like baseball’s Wild Card, think of this: in 1993, the Giants won 103 games but didn’t make the playoffs.
What could be more unfair? Wild Card makes September a really interesting month. It’s the best thing former used car salesman Alan R. Selig has done as Commissioner.
12) Since 1995, Miami Dolphins are 3-7 in playoff games, with none of the losses by less than 14 points- in 1999, they lost a playoff game 62-7 to Jacksonville.
11) He may do a great job with the Buccaneers, but it is still surprising to me that Greg Schiano is an NFL head coach. Did you ever once watch Rutgers play over the last decade and think, “This is a guy who will be highly sought after by the pros.”? Me either.
10) There was a rumor going around this week that the Sacramento Kings are looking into a move to Virginia. This is a franchise that has gone from Rochester-Cincinnati-Kansas City-Omaha-Sacramento. Whats one more out of the way place?
9) Ever hear of Anthony Calvillo? He’s one of the best QB’s in the Canadian Football League history, throwing for over 73,000 yards for one of the league’s better teams. He's won three Grey Cup titles, and is still going strong despite turning 40 on Thursday. Calvillo played college ball at Utah State and has been Montreal's QB since 1998.
8) Former Minnesota Gopher football coach Tim Brewster was supposed to work at CBS College Sports this season, but when Mississippi State’s WR coach got in trouble with the NCAA, he got sent packing and Brewster was hired.
7) Washington Nationals are pretty much stuck adhering to the Strasburg Shutdown Plan, since now, with doctors having advised a shutdown, if they were to ignore the advice and Strasburg got hurt, scumweasel agent Scott Boras has hinted there could be a lawsuit in the works.
6) Who in Boston is taking credit for the Aaron Cook signing, or will they use the “Aceves had to take the closer’s role when Bailey got hurt” excuse? There will be lot of happy/relieved people when this Red Sox season is over. Boston scored 13 runs Thursday night and still lost.
5) Cincinnati and the Giants have both used only six starting pitchers this season. San Diego has used 14.
4) Over last three seasons, Orioles are 74-49 in one-run games, 128-197 in all others.
3) This is hard to do; David Price didn’t allow a run in his last two home starts, but Tampa Bay lost both games, both 1-0 in 10 innings.
2) Rays are 14-3 since Evan Longoria came back (a little early maybe) from his hamstring issues. He has mostly DH’d since then, but he is an indispensable part of the lineup, just like Oakland’s Yoenis Cespedes (A’s are 12-20 without him in lineup).
1) Wednesday afternoon’s attendance in St Pete: 11,892. Thursday night’s attendance: 11,613. When the Rays wind up playing in Nashville or San Antonio or Portland or Charlotte or New Jersey, Rays’ fans will have no one to blame but themselves and the economy.