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Friday's List of 13: Thinking out loud with weekend here........
13) VCU led by 7 at Richmond with 0:40 left, but blew the lead and lost to the crosstown rival Spiders 86-74 in OT. VCU outscored Richmond 27-17 on foul line, but Spiders made 12-27 behind the arc.
12) Western Illinois led 43-31 with 8:31 left at IUP-Fort Wayne, didn't score another point, but hung on for an ugly 43-40 win; Panthers' last hoop of the game came with 12:35 left. Very strange game to watch.
11) UCLA held Arizona to 5-24 from arc in a surprisingly easy 84-73 win in Tucson, its first win at Arizona in five years. Bruin PG Larry Drew II had nine assists and controlled the game in his 35 minutes on the floor.
10) Weber State got caught looking ahead to this weekend's showdown with Montana; Wildcats got upset 79-74 at Montana State, for their first Big Sky loss this season. Montana beat Idaho State; they have a one-game lead in the Big Sky standings.
9) D’backs-Braves pull off a 7-player trade, sending Justin Upton to Chief Nokohoma’s tent, with Martin Prado heading to the desert. 23-year old pitching prospect Randall Delgado could help bolster Arizona’s starting pitching depth. Also means the Upton brothers are on the same team now.
8) Wonder how group sales people for Miami Marlins are faring this winter? If I had their job, think I’d try and sell fans on coming to ballpark early to see Giancarlo Stanton take BP- with their new/not improved lineup, he might walk 120 times during games this year, so BP will be fans’ best chance to see Stanton pound the ball.
7) Cincinnati Reds’ minor league base stealing phenom Billy Hamilton will start season playing CF at AAA; he stole 100+ bases in A ball LY, and is expected to rise quickly through the Cincinnati chain.
6) Bronx Bombers signed A’s castoff/minor league hitting star Dan Johnson to a minor league contract, but he’ll make their team. Johnson could put up big numbers as a lefty DH in the hideously cheap Bronx ballpark, where anything in the air to rightfield is liable to end up a home run.
5) Its January 24, I see this on CBSSports.com’s fantasy website:
“Holliday not worried about back”.
Just that sentence makes you think un pleasant thoughts if you have him on your team, because if they’re mentioning Matt Holliday’s back in January, he’s got issues.
4) New Mexico State’s head football coach, DeWayne Walker, resigned to become DBs coach for Jacksonville Jaguars; that’s a kick in the teeth to a program that is one of odd schools out in all this conference realignment stuff.
You leave a college head coaching job, you at least have to become an NFL coordinator. Becoming a DB coach is jumping off a sinking ship.
3) Guy that runs NCAA, Mark Emmert, makes $1.6M a year; if a college athlete gets a couple free meals from a booster, he gets declared ineligible for receiving special benefits and is vilified on ESPN like he’s a felon. Seems fair.
2) 77-year old Gary Player is considered one of the best golfers ever; he won nine majors, and $1.8M total in his great career. Brian Gay won $1M last week, has won $17M in his career, with four career wins, none in majors- I couldn’t pick the guy out of a lineup. Timing is everything in life.
1) It is so cold this week back in New Jersey, numbing, hideous weather, but just think; this time next year, the Super Bowl is being played outdoors, only 50 miles north of where I used to live, in New Jersey. Good luck with that!!!
Another List of 13: Random thoughts on a beautiful day here in Florida......
13) Lakers lost 106-93 at Memphis, are now 17-25, 5-15 on road, four full games out of the Western Conference playoffs; they had a team meeting that obviously didn't help. What a mess. A $70M mess.
12) Pistons led by 11 after three quarters in Chicago, lost 85-82, their 17th straight loss to the Bulls. Not good, considering Derrick Rose is out, so Chicago figures to get much stronger when Rose returns.
11) Charlotte Bobcats lost their 16th straight home game; last time an NBA team lost 16 straight home games, it was 1949.
10) Isiah Thomas led Florida International to records of 7-25/11-19/8-21 for a total of 26-65, not very good. It was assumed he could out-recruit most of the Sun Belt teams, but that never happened.
In his first year replacing Thomas at FIU, Richard Pitino has the Panthers at 10-8, 5-4 in Sun Belt; playing and coaching are separate jobs- just because you were a great player doesn’t mean you can coach.
9) Former NBA guard Lindsey Hunter has no coaching background at all; he was still an NBA player three years ago, but the Phoenix Suns named him interim coach, replacing the fired Alvin Gentry, who was fired mainly because guy that put this Suns team together (not Gentry) did a terrible job.
8) If Sacramento Kings do move to Seattle and they build a new area in King County, the NHL is expected to follow suit and put a team in Seattle for the first time. Just not sure which team.
7) Winnipeg Jets moved to Manitoba from Atlanta last season; they still played an Eastern Conference schedule, but were supposed to switch to the Western Conference schedule for this year, but I notice they haven’t, because of the lockout-compressed schedule. Going to be even more of a headache for the Jets making long trips to the southeast with compressed schedule.
6) Travel Channel has a show named Meatball Paradise, which does not sound nearly as promising as Street Eats, which examines street vendors in different cities. Not sure how much you can do with a show about meatballs, although others might claim that it'll be, um.....saucy.
5) Arizona Diamondbacks gave Cliff Pennington $5M for two years; he has a .249 career batting average, .313 career on-base percentage, but he is a pretty good fielder. A's got better when he moved to 2B late last year.
4) Good grief, Papa John's Pizza spends lot of money advertising; there is so much competition in pizza- I can think of seven pizza places within three miles of my house, and thats just off the top of my bald head, and doesn't count bars that also might sell pizza.
3) New Orleans Hornets will unveil their new Pelican logo/team colors on Thursday; wonder if Charlotte team will go back to being Hornets, now that that nickname is available again?
2) It is eleven degrees back in New Jersey as I type this. And all my facebook friends are wondering why I moved to Florida and have not come back to visit. Maybe they didnt hear it is warm in Florida.
1) Why do people smoke? I mean, temperatures are so cold so often back in Jersey and you see people bundled up, freezing their butts off, outside smoking. Why? Its unhealthy. What am I missing? Just don’t get it.
Saturday's List of 13: Thinking warm thoughts on a cold day....
13) Terry Francona’s book came out this week; one thing for damn sure: if I owned the Red Sox, not only would he still be managing the team, there’s be a freakin’ statue of him by the entrance to the stadium.
Red Sox fans whined and cried for years about not winning the World Series; Francona wins two titles for them, and it seems like they couldn’t wait to show him the door. Whole thing was just very odd. I’ll miss him on ESPN, he just seems like a regular guy.
12) Pat Riley wrote a book where he talked about stages of team building, as an organization grows from the ground floor up. Sounds like the Red Sox went through what Riley calls “The Disease of Me” where everyone wants to take credit for the team’s success. A truly successful team doesn’t care who gets the credit, just that the team wins. Quite often, human nature flows against that, which is why teams have trouble maintaining their success.
11) Not that I’m paranoid or anything, but The Sporting News put out their 2013 baseball preview magazine this week, with 16 different regional covers, so people can buy the one with their favorite team on it.
One small problem; none of the 16 have the Oakland A’s on their cover. You remember the A’s; won AL West last year, best story of last September and of last several Septembers. Media nitwits have no respect. None. Zero.
10) Oakland University in Michigan won their basketball game Thursday; Travis Bader scored 47 points for the Grizzlies, whose next game is against Western Illinois, the team that won its game Thursday 43-40 in Fort Wayne. Interesting to see how many points Mr Bader scores tonight.
9) Cool video on ESPNU of Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel throwing a football from upper deck at Kyle Field at Texas A&M into a portable basketball hoop set up on football field. Its on YouTube somewhere and its worth looking up if you like trick shots.
8) Former Chargers special teams coach Rick Bisaccia signed on at Auburn in same capacity earlier this month, but he didn’t last long there; he’s now the special teams coach for the Cowboys. Must be a good coach to be in such demand.
7) Delonte West signed on with the Texas Legends of the D-League; hard to believe he’ll be there very long. Once he gets in shape, there are several NBA teams he can help out.
6) Golden State’s Stephen Curry is only player in NBA averaging 20+ ppg who didn’t make it to the All-Star game.
5) Stanley Cup champ LA Kings are off to a rough 0-3 start, scoring only four goals; they were the #8 seed in the West LY, will be interesting to see if they can right things fairly soon.
4) One more Oakland A’s note; they lost catcher George Kottaras on waivers to Royals Friday; acquisition of John Jaso made Kottaras expendable—he helped the A’s last fall with some timely hits.
3) February 6 is the next big day in college football; ESPNU is going to have ten hours of coverage of National Signing Day, when decisions are made that will affect games played as far away as 2017. Recruiting is a fascinating subject. If you like college football, you should read Bruce Feldman’s book Meat Market, about Ole Miss recruiting in the Ed Orgeron era.
2) Do you ever watch the Winter X Games on ESPN and wonder where are the guys who suck at those events? I mean, the gold medal guys flips his snowmobile; do the losers have the skidoo land on their heads? There have to be some serious injuries, right?
1) Hard to believe its been 25 years since Pitt’s Jerome Lane broke a backboard dunking during a game on ESPN, when Bill Raftery yelled, “SEND IT IN JEROME!!!” into his mike, sealing the event as an all-time classic. Guy who threw Lane the ball was current Arizona coach Sean Miller. Time flies when you’re having fun, I guess.
Sunday's List of 13: Wrapping up a sports Saturday.........
13) Guy who won $75,000 at the Miami Heat game Friday night by making a halfcourt shot has to shell out $22,000 of it to taxes. What a country.
12) Maybe that guy should go play for Northern Illinois, who lost 42-25 at Eastern Michigan, making 1-33 behind the arc. Huskies were 1-31 from the floor in the first half, trailing 18-4. Four points in a half? Really?
11) Huge week in Philadelphia, as Villanova beat Louisville/Syracuse, and LaSalle beat Butler/VCU. Curious to see how Villanova backs up its home wins; LaSalle's win over VCU was in Richmond, so its more impressive.
10) Oakland's Travis Bader followed up his 47-point outburst Thursday, with a 26-point effort Saturday, as Grizzlies beat Western Illinois 67-60.
9) South Dakota State avenged an earlier loss to North Dakota State, beating Bison 69-53, holding them to 16 second half points. These are two best teams in Summit League; one of them will likely be in March Madness.
8) Arizona State whacked UCLA 78-60 in Tempe, creating a three-way tie for second in Pac-12 loss column; if Herb Sendek leaves ASU after this season, it'll be because he's going to a better job. The man can coach.
7) NC State ended a 13-game losing streak to North Carolina, holding off the Tar Heels 91-83, in a game they led by 28 at one point. Problem for the Wolfpack now is to go to Virginia and win as a road favorite- they've lost at Maryland and Wake Forest already, two inferior teams.
6) Mountain West is now 3rd-ranked league in country by kenpom.com, the website I used for statisitical analysis. Big Dozen/Big East are #1/#2.
5) Louisiana Tech blew a 35-22 halftime lead, but Raheem Appleby hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:26 left to give Tech a 51-48 win at shorthanded Utah State, keeping the Bulldogs unbeaten in WAC play. Appleby's hoop were Tech's only points in last 6:42 of play.
4) Akron won its 11th straight game 68-64 over Buffalo, despite trailing 30-10 in the first half; Zips are unbeaten in MAC play.
3) Montana nipped Weber State 76-74 in a battle of Big Sky titans; not the best weekend for the Wildcats, who lost at Montana State Thursday.
2) Sounds like Tennessee Titans are getting ready to hire Gregg Williams as defensive coordinator, providing the NFL reinstates him; considering the Rams refused to re-hire him, that Ram-Titan game almost has to be on TV in primetime next year, right?
1) You know when a team has runners on 1st and 3rd, and pitcher fakes a throw to 3rd, then throws to 1st? Can't do it anymore, its a balk, which begs the question, what took them so long?