Active member
Sep 26, 2005
Saturday’s 6-pack:
NHL leaders in plus/minus:
+34— Quinn Hughes, Van
+33— Filip Hronek, Van
+31— Gustav Forsling, Fla
+28— Dylan DeMelo, Winn
+23— Brandon Carlo, Bos
+22— Blake Coleman, Cal

Quote of the Day
“The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you’ve got it made.”
Jean Giraudoux

Saturday’s quiz
Bill Russell won two NBA titles as a player-coach with the Celtics; after he retired as a player, what other two NBA teams did Russell coach?

Friday’s quiz
Nuggets, Nets, Pacers, Spurs are the four NBA teams that used to play in the ABA.

Thursday’s quiz
Drew Bledsoe was New England’s quarterback before Tom Brady.


Saturday’s Den: Notes on every major league team

A note or two on every major league team:

National League


Arizona lost the World Series last year; in 2021-22, they finished a combined 92 games out of first place.
Adding lefty starter Eduardo Rodriguez is a good move.

Atlanta has made the playoffs six years in a row, going 24-21 in playoff games.
Braves drew 3,191,505 fans last year, 5th in major leagues.

Cubs were 83-79 LY, 7th time in last nine years they finished over .500.
Craig Counsell is the new manager; he was 707-625 in Milwaukee, 7-12 in playoff games.

Cincinnati starting pitchers had a 5.43 ERA LY; they need to use their surplus of infielders to add a starter or two in a trade.
Reds were minus-38 in defensive runs saved LY, worst in the National League.

Kris Bryant makes $27M a year; in his first two years with Colorado, he played in 122 of a possible 324 games. He’s expected to play 1B this year; Rockies need him to be productive.
Rockies have had five straight losing seasons, since losing 3-0 to Milwaukee in ’18 playoffs.

Added Ohtani, Yamanoto, Glasnow, are prohibitive favorites to win the NL West.
Last three years, Dodgers won 317 games, but went 7-12 in the playoffs. They’ve been in the postseason 11 years in a row.

Marlins were 84-78 LY, their first winning year in a 162-game season since 2009 (they went 31-29 in the shortened 2020 season).
3B Jake Burger hit .303 with an .860 OPS after being acquired from the White Sox LY.

Their GM and manager both bolted; they just traded their ace pitcher, Corbin Burnes.
Milwaukee has been in playoffs five of last six years, but regression is expected this year.

Last year’s $346M payroll netted a 75-87 record, so this year, the Mets have a new manager and a new general manager.
Last three years, Starling Marte played in 120-118-86 games; they need more out of him.

Bryce Harper is going to play 1B, so Rhys Hoskins bolted to Milwaukee. Rob Thomson is 174-129 as Phillies’ manager, 19-11 in playoff games.
Last year, Bryson Stott hit .433 (52-120) when the put the 1st or 2nd pitch of an at-bat in play.

Pittsburgh hasn’t been in playoffs since 2015; their last winning season was 2018 (82-79),, their attendance last year was 1,630,624 (25th in MLB), their payroll was $68,945,975 (#29).
Pirates drafted LSU pitcher Paul Skenes #1 in LY’s draft; how fast will be climb the ladder to the major leagues? Bucs added P’s Marco Gonzales/Martin Perez to fill out this year’s rotation.

Last year was Cardinals’ first losing season since 2007; they still drew 3,241,091 fans (#4 in MLB). They added three older starting pitchers this year: Kyle Gibson, Sonny Gray, Lance Lynn- will it be enough to make them a contender again?
C Willson Contreras had a .754 OPS in first half last year, then had a .959 in second half.

San Diego had a payroll of $256,045,688 last year (#3), they drew 3,271,554 fans at home (#2) but they needed a 20-7 finish to wind up with an 82-80 record. Padres were 9-23 in one-run games; no bueno.
Manager Bob Melvin is in San Francisco now, Juan Soto is in the Bronx, the team’s owner died in November. Expectations for this season are much lower.

Two years ago, the Giants went 107-55, 31-17 in one-run games. The last two years, Giants were 160-164, 47-46 in one-run games. Now, Bob Melvin replaces Gabe Kapler as manager, which figures to be an upgrade.
Giants signed Korean OF Jung Hoo Lee for six years, $113M; he is coming off a broken ankle.

Washington won the World Series in 2019; since then, they’ve won 39.7% of their games, and dumped stars Bryce Harper/Juan Soto.
OF Lane Thomas hit 28 homers, stole 20 bases last year; hopefully they won’t trade him.

American League


Orioles franchise was sold recently, then they traded for pitching ace Corbin Burnes; coming off a 101-61 season, things are looking up in Baltimore.
OF Cedric Mullins was a 30-30 guy two years in a row, but his OPS the last two years was .721/.721, not very good. He is a great centerfielder defensively, though.

Red Sox
Boston finished in last place three of last four years, despite spending $183M/season in payroll the last three years. Ownership told GM Chaim Bloom to take a hike.
Red Sox had MLB’s worst defense LY (minus-51 runs saved); they added P Lucas Giolito, who had a 6.96 ERA in 12 starts after the White Sox traded him last July. Giolito is thought to be much better than that; we’ll see.

White Sox
Chicago was 61-101 last year; they cleaned out the front office and half the coaching staff, but kept manager Pedro Grifol. If they trade P Dylan Cease, will they reap a haul of prospects?
White Sox brought in Brian Bannister to advise pitching coach Ethan Katz; they added C Martin Maldonado, who helped keep the Astros’ pitchers for years in Houston. White Sox will have their third hitting coach in three seasons.

Terry Francona went 921-757 in 11 years managing Cleveland; he will be missed. Replacing him is Steven Vogt, who has never managed at any level- he was playing in the big leagues as recently as two years ago. Not an ideal situation.
3B Jose Ramirez is still productive, but his OPS has gone down three years in a row, and he’ll be 32 in September. Guardians had the #26 payroll last year, went 76-86. Not much optimism here.

Detroit hasn’t been in the playoffs since 2014, their last winning season was 2016, but they ended last year on an 18-10 run; with Michigan winning the college football title and the Lions making the NFC Championship Game, there is positive energy in Detroit.
Tigers added Kenta Maeda/Jack Flaherty to bolster the rotation; Tarik Skubal had a 2.80 ERA in 15 starts LY, so Detroit’s starting pitching should be solid.

Houston has been in the playoffs seven years in a row,, winning two World Series; now they have a new manager (bench coach Joe Espada) but their roster is basically the same. Yainer Diaz is the new catcher, which helps the offense, hurts their defense.
Justin Verlander will be 41 soon, but his rebuilt right elbow is only 3 years old; Dusty Baker will be missed- he won consistently as a big league manager.

Kansas City won the 2015 World Series, haven’t had a winning season since; last two years, they went 121-203- their attendance last year was 1,307,052 (28th), their payroll $96,083,853 (#24), but the Royals have added some veteran free agents this winter, trying to improve.
Michael Wacha/Seth Lugo should improve their rotation, which got pounded last year. Brady Singer’s ERA went from 3.23 in 2022 to 5.52 last year. Royals used 13 outfielders last year, who combined for the 2nd-worst on-base %age of any outfield.

Ohtani moved 40 miles north, but the Angels never made the playoffs with him anyway; Halos haven’t made the playoffs since 2014- their payroll LY was $230,534,276 (#8). Anthony Rendon makes $38M a year for three more years; he’s played in 148 of the Angels’ last 486 games.
Ron Washington is the new manager; he’ll improve the infield defense. Chase Silseth was 3-0, 3.21 in seven second half starts LY. Angels’ rotation might still be pretty good.

Minnesota won AL Central with an 87-75 mark LY; they’ve made playoffs in four of last seven seasons, and won a playoff series LY for first time since 2002. Twins have cut their payroll due to their uncertain local TV situation, which could cost them a lot of $$$.
Twins traded 2B Polanco to Seattle for four prospects; Edouard Julien should replace him. Minnesota AL in both walks/strikeouts LY; they’re still the favorite in a weak division.

New York
Bronx Bombers have paid out over $3B in salary since their last World Series title in 2009; that’s billion, with a B. How does the general manager keep his job? New York went 82-80 LY, with a payroll of $278,651,150 (#2). How does the manager keep his job?
They added free agent-to-be Juan Soto this winter; will they pay to keep him long-term? Soto has a career on-base %age of .421. Can they fix Giancarlo Stanton? He hit .202 the last two years.

Just try to win, please? This is their last year in Oakland, then they’re going into exile for three years (Salt Lake City? Sacramento?) before the new stadium opens in Las Vegas in 2028.
Last two years, A’s went 110-214; they figure to be little better this year, adding Alex Wood and Ross Stripling to bolster the rotation. They’ve got a few decent younger position players, l but this figures to be the third dismal season in a row.

Last three years, Seattle won 90-90-88 games, but missed playoffs LY, after ending a 21-year playoff drought in 2022. This winter, Mariners dumped 3B Suarez, RF Hernandez, LF Kelenic, trying to reduce strikeouts. Adding Jorge Polanco/Mitch Garver should fill those gaps.
Mariners’ attendance was 2,690,418 LY, but their payroll was only $134,466,903 (#18); with the Astros/Rangers dominating the division, going to be tough for Seattle to get back to the playoffs.

Tampa Bay has made the playoffs five years in a row, but they got swept in the Wild Card round the last two years. Their payroll last year was $78,354,272; by way of comparison, the Angels paid Trout/Ohtani/Rendon a combined $106M last year.
Over the last three years, Rays have the 4th-most wins in baseball; the players that win games in October are the players the Rays can’t afford to pay, but getting to the playoffs with the #27 payroll is still damn impressive.

Texas won the World Series LY, in their first playoff appearance since 2016; Bruce Bochy is a great manager, a future Hall of Famer. Their 2B/SS make a combined $58M a year, but they earned that $$$ last year. Seager had a hernia surgery this week, is doubtful for Opening Day.
P’s Scherzer/deGrom earn a combined $83M a year; they’re both out until midseason. It is up to Eovaldi/Gray/Dunning to keep the rotation pasted together until the stars get back.

Blue Jays
Toronto made playoffs three of last four years, but went 0-6 in those playoff games; they’re still putting together their 2024 roster, but Justin Turner just signed, they added Yaniel Rodriguez before that, to help fortify their lineup.
Manager John Schneider may be running out of time; Toronto had the #9 payroll last year- you have the #9 payroll, you’re expected to win some playoff games.

Active member
Sep 26, 2005
Sunday’s 6-pack:
worst teams in country on the foul line
59.4%— Western Michigan
60.3%— Army
62.1%— Wofford, Houston Christian
62.6%— Rhode Island
62.7%— South Carolina-Upstate
62.9%— Western Illinois, Utah Tech

Quote of the Day
“He’s a great player, but I don’t think we can get him in academically.”
Jerry Tarkanian, in the movie Blue Chips

Sunday’s quiz
Who was the Kansas basketball coach, before Bill Self?

Saturday’s quiz
Bill Russell won two NBA titles as a player-coach with the Celtics; after he retired as a player, he coached the Seattle SuperSonics and the Sacramento Kings.

Friday’s quiz
Nuggets, Nets, Pacers, Spurs are the four NBA teams that used to play in the ABA.


Sunday’s Den: Wrapping up a college basketball Saturday

There were 28 games Saturday, where the winning team trailed by 10+ points at one time in the game.

Tennessee 103, Kentucky 92
Zeigler had 26 points, 13 assists for the Vols.
Kentucky scored 91-92 points in last two games, but lost both.
Kentucky PG Wagner is hurt, didn’t play.

Texas A&M 67, Florida 66
Aggies were 13-24 on foul line, Florida 6-11
Gators led by 13 late in first half.
Florida lost this game by 1; they won their previous two games, both in OT.

Big X
Baylor 70, Iowa State 68
Kid on Iowa State hit a 35-footer at the buzzer, but it was just after the buzzer.
Baylor led 40-28 at halftime.
Bears made 12-23 on the arc, won by two points.

Texas 77, TCU 66
Horned Frogs led this game 16-6 early on.
Longhorns outrebounded TCU, 34-21.
Texas F Cunningham is 25 years old, older than NBA star Luka Doncic.

Mountain West
San Diego State 81, Utah State 67
Aztecs are 5-0 SU/4-1 ATS as a MW home favorite.
Utah State is 19-3, despite having a whole new team. None of their players this year scored a point for the Aggies last season- they’re one of 3 teams in country like that.

UNLV 62, Wyoming 48
Rebels won their last three games, giving up 61 ppg.

North Carolina 93, Duke 84
In a 76-possession game, Tar Heels had only 5 turnovers.
Carolina was 9-24 on the arc, Duke 5-19.

Virginia 66, Clemson 65
Cavaliers have won six in a row, are 8-3 in ACC.
Clemson shot only 35.7% from the floor.

Saint Mary’s 64, Gonzaga 62
Gaels are 15-1 in last 16 games, after a 3-5 start.
Three players in this game played all 40:00.
Three Gonzaga subs played total of only 16:00.

San Diego 70, Santa Clara 59
Good upset win for Steve Lavin’s team; Toreros won 3 of last 4 games.

Big East
UConn 77, St John’s 64
UConn has won 10 in a row; they’re shooting 59% inside the arc (#5)
Johnnies have lost five of last six games.

Upsets of the Day:
San Diego (+12.5) 70, Santa Clara 59
Penn State (+9.5) 85, Indiana 71
Idaho (+8.5) 81, Montana State 75
Central Michigan (+7.5) 77, Bowling Green 76 2OT
South Florida (+6.5) 60, North Texas 55
Murray State (+6.5) 71, Northern Iowa 43

Word of the Day– Rivalry- When two people/teams often compete for the same thing.

UCLA 71, Oregon 63
UCLA won five of its last six games, after a 6-10 start.
Bruins raced out to 23-5 lead, but trailed 34-33 at the half.
Oregon lost four of its last six games.

Washington State 90, Washington 87 OT
Coogs won six of their last seven games.
Washington led by 11 points in first half.

Sun Belt
Appalachian State 85, Georgia Southern 84 OT
App State trailed by 9 with 10:47 left, by 3 with 0:59 left in OT
App State was 9-16 on foul line, Georgia Southern 2-6.
Georgia Southern is 5-6 in Sun Belt, after an 0-12 pre-conference mark.

Central Michigan 77, Bowling Green 76 2OT
Falcons lost three of last four games, after a 14-4 start.
Bowling Green led by 4 with 0:52 left in first OT.
Chippewas out-rebounded Bowling Green, 52-37

Missouri Valley
Indiana State 75, Drake 67
Drake trailed 24-7 early; they were only 12-23 on foul line.
Indiana State now has a 2-game lead in the conference race.
Jayson Kent had 20 rebounds, only 6 points for the Sycamores.

Atlantic 15
UMass 66, George Mason 65
Mason tied game on a layup with less than 0:02 left, but they fouled a UMass guy on the inbounds pass, thinking they were still behind. UMass made a foul shot, won the game.
George Mason is 2-5 in its last seven games, after a 13-2 start.

Wofford 88, Western Carolina 86 OT
Wofford shot 65.9% inside the arc.
Western Carolina lost 5 of last 6 games; all five losses were by 6 or fewer points.
Only five players on Western Carolina scored in this 45:00 game.

Hawks 141, Warriors 134 OT
Steph Curry scored 60 points in a losing cause; he was 10-23 on the arc, 12-15 inside it. He will be 36 years old next month. The best shooter……..ever.

Active member
Sep 26, 2005
Tuesday’s 6-pack:
Teams that get the lowest %age of their points on 3’s:
19%— Cal-Bakersfield
19.6%— Cal-Northridge
19.6%— Texas State
20%— Louisiana-Monroe
20.5%— Rio Grande Valley
20.8%— Long Beach State

Quote of the Day
“Obviously, it creates a buzz, it creates another group of young fans, particularly young women, who are interested in seeing why is she going to this game, why is she interested in this game. Besides Travis (Kelce), she is a football fan and I think that’s great for us.”
NFL commish Roger Goodell, talking about Taylor Swift

Tuesday’s quiz
What was the only team to run the opening kickoff of a Super Bowl back for a TD?
Hint: They lost that game

Monday’s quiz
Len Dawson was the Kansas City Chiefs’ QB in the first Super Bowl.

Sunday’s quiz
Roy Williams was the Kansas basketball coach, before Bill Self.


Tuesday’s Den: Clearing out a cluttered mind……..

Back-to-back trends in the NHL
Road teams that won at home night before: 7-14
Road teams that lost at home night before: 9-4
Road teams that won on road night before: 14-17
Road teams that lost on road night before: 21-32
Home teams that won at home night before: 7-6
Home teams that lost at home night before: 5-4
Home teams that won on road night before: 13-13
Home teams that lost on road night before: 14-7

— Last two nights in the NBA, favorites are 15-0 SU, 12-3 against the spread.

— In 2017, Chiefs took Patrick Mahomes with the 10th pick in the NFL Draft; since then, Kansas City is 99-34, winning two Super Bowls.
That same year, Chicago Bears traded up from the 3rd pick to the 2nd pick so they could draft QB Mitch Trubisky; since then, the Bears are 49-68, 0-2 in playoff games.

— In his career, Mahomes is 10-1-1 ATS as an underdog.

— Carolina Panthers’ new head coach is Dave Canales, who has never been a head coach:
2004-05- offensive coordinator, Carson HS
2006-08- special teams coach/TE coach, El Camino College
2009- assistant strength coach, USC
2010-17- WR’s coach, Seahawks
2918-19- QB’s coach, Seahawks
2020-21- passing game coordinator, Seahawks
2022- QB’s coach, Seahawks
2023- offensive coordinator, Buccaneers

— I like watching the VCU-Richmond basketball games; underrated crosstown rivalry, always pretty intense. Teams are both pretty good, too.

— There will be seven Kentucky alums playing in the NBA All-Star Game this year.
When was the last time Kentucky/Kansas were home underdogs on the same day? They were on Saturday.

— If you go to a basketball game at Ole Miss, one of the fans in the front row opposite the benches is Morgan Freeman. That has to be pretty cool.

— SEC has five of the top 17 teams in this week’s top 25.

— Baseball Note of the Day: Royals signed SS Bobby Witt to an 11-year, $288.8M contract extension; good to see a team spend some $$$ to try and improve. Royals are also campaigning for a new ballpark in their downtown area, so that is a part of this move.

— Other baseball stuff:
Twins signed 1B Carlos Santana
Mets signed P Shintaro Fujiyami

— Football coaching stuff:
Liam Coen is the offensive coordinator in Tampa Bay; he was the OC at Kentucky the last couple years, after working for the Rams before that.
Kliff Kingsbury is the new OC in Washington, fueling speculation that Caleb Williams will wind up as Washington’s 1st round pick. Kingsbury/Williams worked together at USC this past year.
Raiders were expected to sign Kingsbury, but instead former Bears’ OC Luke Getsy is the new offensive coordinator in Las Vegas.
Bill Callahan is the new OL coach for the Titans; his son is Tennessee’s new head coach. Bill Callahan had been the OL coach in Cleveland.
Leslie Frazier signed on as a defensive assistant with the Seahawks; he sat out 2023, after being the defensive coordinator in Buffalo.
Miami Dolphins’ new defensive coordinator is Anthony Weaver, who comes to Miami from the Ravens. Weaver is from Saratoga, NY, half-hour north of Armadillo World HQ. Remember seeing him play high school basketball; he set very good screens.

— Bill Walton was on the USC-Oregon game on ESPN Thursday night in LA; he and Dave Pasch sat right near the USC bench. It was interesting to hear them say how coach Andy Enfield and guard Boogie Ellis were having a running dialogue while the game was going on, apparently not a very pleasant one.
They went on to say how USC’s players “weren’t on the same page” which is a euphemism for a team with bad chemistry. Trojans need injured guard Isaiah Collier back soon; they snapped their 6-game losing skid Saturday vs Oregon State, but they’re 9-13 this year, 3-8 in their last year in the Pac-12.

— Former NFL QB Teddy Bridgewater retired this year, he will be the new football coach at his alma mater, Miami Northwestern HS. Bridgewater played nine years in the NFL for six teams, with a 33-33 career record as a starter.

— Bad Beat of the Month: Temple (+10.5) lost 92-80 at Tulane Sunday. In OVERTIME!!!

— Steph Curry has scored 20+ points in a quarter 40 times in his career; Golden State went 34-6 in those forty games.

— Magic 111, Pistons 99— Franz Wagner scored 38 points for Orlando, without taking a foul shot; someone scores 38 without taking a foul shot, that means the other team isn’t being as physical as they should be on defense.

— Celtics were favored by 19.5 points against Memphis Sunday; it was the biggest spread in any NBA game this season. Boston won 131-91.

— They were telling a story on TV this weekend, about a guy applying for a job as an assistant for Michigan State coach Tom Izzo; the guy bought a mannequin in a store, chopped off the right hand and mailed the hand with his application to Izzo, with a note: “I’ll give my right hand to be your assistant coach.”
It worked. Go figure.

Active member
Sep 26, 2005
Wednesday’s 6-pack:
Over/under win totals for this baseball season:
104.5— Dodgers
101.5— Braves
92.5— New York (A)
91.5— Astros
90.5— Orioles
89.5— Phillies

Quote of the Day
“For basketball, have the Power 5 [and] Big East conference commissioners get together and create a salary cap between [$1.5 and $2M]. All contracts delivered to the league and school offices. All other conferences establish their own salary cap. I would never exclude anyone from the NCAA tournament.”
Rick Pitino

Wednesday’s quiz
In the basketball movie Blue Chips, Nick Nolte’s team played against a team coached by which active college basketball coach?

Tuesday’s quiz
Chicago’s Devin Hester ran the opening kickoff of a Super Bowl back for a TD; Bears lost that game 29-17 to the Colts.

Monday’s quiz
Len Dawson was the Kansas City Chiefs’ QB in the first Super Bowl.

Wednesday’s Den: Mid-week musings……..

— Something to think about when filling out brackets next month.
Marquette is 17-5 this year, 8-3 in Big East; in 2.5 years under Shaka Smart, Marquette is 65-25, 36-14 in conference games. Very good.
In his career, Smart has done really well; he had VCU in the Final Four in his second year as their coach. Getting a CAA team to the Final Four is a tremendous accomplishment. But……
Since VCU lost to Butler in the national semifinals in 2011, Smart’s record in the NCAA tourney is 3-9, 3-6 in first round, 0-3 in second round- in those three years when they lost in the second round, they were a 12-seed, a 5-seed, a 2-seed.
Smart’s team are 2-6 in the NCAA’s when they’re the higher seeded team. Three of his six first round losses came in overtime.
Right now, Bracketology has Marquette as a #2-seed.

— Kansas State is 15-8 this year, 5-5 in Big X, nothing special, but they’re 6-0 in overtime games. In two years under Jerome Tang, K-State is 11-0 in overtime games, an amazingly good record.
Wildcats are turning ball over 22.9% of time in Big X games, which is bad; they have the #16 eFG% defense in country, which is very good.

— Clemson 80, North Carolina 76
Tigers have now won two of last three visits to Chapel Hill, after losing their first 59 (yes, 59!!!) visits to UNC.
Joseph Girard scored 21 points for Clemson.
It was a trap game for North Carolina, coming three days after they beat Duke.

— South Florida 72, Charlotte 69
Bulls have won eight games in a row, lead the AAC.
Charlotte led by 17 points late in first half.
Selton Miguel scored 22 points for USF; he didn’t start.

— Toledo 91, Eastern Michigan 87
Toledo was 22-29 on foul line, EMU 3-9.
Rockets stay a game behind Akron in the MAC standings.

— Indiana 76, Ohio State 73
Buckeyes led by 12 with 7:27 left to play.
Ohio State has lost five in row, eight of last nine games.

— Minnesota 59, Michigan State 56
Spartans are 1-4 in conference road games.
Michigan State was 7-17 on the foul line.

— Five teams are still unbeaten in conference play:
Ivy- Cornell
Ivy- Yale (they play this Saturday)
Big South- High Point
WCC- Saint Mary’s
America East- Vermont

Baseball Note of the Day: Most career stolen bases, active players:
333- Elvis Andrus
317- Starling Marte
314- Billy Hamilton
296- Jose Altuve
260- Trea Turner

— Famous people who were born on February 7:
Matthew Stafford
Steve Nash
Chris Rock
Garth Brooks
James Spader
Ashton Kutcher

Super Bowl Fact of the Day: Five QB’s who started a Super Bowl against the Chiefs:
Bart Starr
Joe Kapp
Jimmy Garoppolo
Tom Brady
Jalen Hurts

— Houston Astros signed star 2B Jose Altuve to a 5-year, $125M contract extension; he hit .311 in only 90 games LY, with 15 homers, 51 RBI after he broke his thumb in the WBC last spring.

— Random NHL stat: When a team is playing at home for the second consecutive night, the over is 16-8 in that game.

— UFL starts on March 30, with eight teams. Birmingham at Arlington kicks this off, with the second game that day St Louis at Michigan. Spring football is a good thing.

— Philadelphia Eagles will open the 2024 season by playing a Friday night game in Brazil, the NFL’s first-ever game in Brazil.

— New Jersey Giants signed Titans defensive coordinator Shane Bowen to replace Wink Martindale.
Cleveland Browns hired Ken Dorsey to be their new offensive coordinator.

— Does Dan Quinn’s move from Dallas to division rival Washington mean that a Commanders-Cowboys game will be on the docket for Monday Night Football next year?

— Colleges with most players in this week’s Super Bowl:
6- Oklahoma
5- Clemson, Florida, Georgia
4- Michigan, Middle Tennessee, USC, TCU

— Unusual NBA fact- Over the next seven drafts, Oklahoma City Thunder has 35 draft picks, 14 in first round, 21 in the second. Thunder is already 35-15 this year, they’re really good. They’re probably going to package those picks to acquire a star player or two (or three).

Active member
Sep 26, 2005
Thursday’s 6-pack:
— Providence 91, Creighton 87, OT- Six players in this game played 40:00+.
— Auburn 99, Alabama 81- Auburn was 40-50 on foul line; lot of foul shots.
— Xavier 56, Villanova 53- Wildcats lost six of their last seven games.
— Texas State 63, Appalachian State 56- Big upset in the Sun Belt.
— Syracuse 94, Louisville 92- Syracuse shot 72.4% inside the arc.
— Michigan 72, Wisconsin 68- Only 2nd win in last 12 games for Michigan.

Thought of the Day
Everyone makes mistakes.
Not everyone learns from their mistakes.

Thursday’s quiz
Who was the Oakland Raiders’ QB in Super Bowl II?

Wednesday’s quiz
In the basketball movie Blue Chips, Nick Nolte’s team played against a team coached by Rick Pitino (also George Raveling, Bob Knight).

Tuesday’s quiz
Chicago’s Devin Hester ran the opening kickoff of a Super Bowl back for a TD; Bears lost that game 29-17 to the Colts.


Thursday’s Den: A small sampling of Super Bowl prop bets……..

Super Bowl Sunday is a gambler’s paradise; ton of stuff to bet on- one casino puts out a 40-page document on bets you can make. Here is a small sampling……

— 49ers are 2-point favorite; total is 47.5

— first team to call timeout (both teams -115)

— first team with a replay challenge (both teams -115)

— opening kickoff result
Returned +285
Touchback -360

— opening kickoff returned for TD: +5000

— will the first play from scrimmage result in a first down?
Yes +340
No -500

— Total yards gained on first play over/under 3.5 (both teams -115)

— who will have more receiving yards?
Deebo Samuel +6.5 yards
Brandon Aiyuk -6.5

— fumble lost by either team in first half?
No -158
Yes +128

— Christian McCaffrey anytime TD? -220

— Nick Bosa to record 2+ sacks? +350

— Travis Kelce to have 11+ receptions? +550

— Will Patrick Mahomes throw an interception?
Yes -130
No +100

— Will Brock Purdy throw an interception?
Yes +100
No -135

— Will there be a touchdown from the 1-yard line?
Yes -170
No +138

— over/under for McCaffrey’s longest rush:
18+ yards: -120
Under 18 yards: -110

— Famous people who were born on February 8:
Nick Nolte
Mary Steenburgen
Alonzo Mourning
John Grisham
Klay Thompson
Robert Klein
Mary McCormack
Marques Johnson

— over/under for Reba McEntire’s national anthem: 89.5 seconds

— will a kickoff go out of bounds?
Yes +935
No -1500

— 2-point conversion made by either team?
No -325
Yes +275

— will game have a scoreless quarter?
No -450
Yes +360

— over/under for Patrick Mahomes’ passing yards: 261.5

— over/under for Brock Purdy’s passing yards: 245.5

— who will have more receiving yards?
Travis Kelce -13.5 (-115)
Deebo Samuel +13.5 (+105)

— will Travis Kelce score a TD and the Chiefs win?
No -320
Yes +265

— will Christian McCaffrey score a TD and the 49ers win?
No -145
Yes +125

— color of Gatorade bath:
+225- purple
+275- blue
+450- yellow/green
+450- red/pink
+500- orange
+1000- clear/water
+2000- no Gatorade bath

Active member
Sep 26, 2005
Friday’s 6-pack:
— Warriors 131, Pacers 109- Steph Curry was 11-16 on the arc.
— Magic 127, Spurs 117- Franz Wagner scored 34 points, had 7 assists.
— Cavaliers 118, Nets 95- Cleveland has won 8 in row, 16 of last 17 games.
— Bulls 118, Memphis 110- Chicago was +19 with Vucevic, minus-11 without him.
— Timberwolves 129, Bucks 105- Milwaukee is 1-4 with Doc Rivers as coach.
— Suns 129, Jazz 115- Kevin Durant had 31 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists.

Quote of the Day
“We need a backup quarterback. We didn’t have one last year.”
Jets’ owner Woody Johnson, apparently not a fan of Zach Wilson

Friday’s quiz
Bill Russell played 13 years in the NBA, won 11 titles; what college did he go to?

Thursday’s quiz
Daryle Lamonica was the Oakland Raiders’ QB in Super Bowl II.

Wednesday’s quiz
In the basketball movie Blue Chips, Nick Nolte’s team played against a team coached by Rick Pitino (also George Raveling, Bob Knight).


Friday’s Den: Random stuff with the weekend here……..

— “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Ferris Bueller
If you had told me two months ago that on National Signing Day for college football, Nick Saban would be playing in the pro-am at the Phoenix Open golf tournament, I would’ve scoffed at you, but here we are, with Saban hacking away in Arizona, the same day it is announced that he is now part of ESPN’s GameDay, the Saturday morning pre-game show for college football.
I’d rather hear him do analysis on games, but Lee Corso will be 89 in August, so Saban figures to take that spot, eventually.

Blind resumes for two QB’s who aren’t in the Hall of Fame:
Player A: 72-72 in regular season, 8-2 in playoffs, won two Super Bowls.
Player B: 117-117 in regular season, 8-4 in playoffs, won two Super Bowls.
Which guy are you putting in Hall of Fame? Both? Neither?

— 34 of 57 Super Bowls have been decided by 10+ points.
Over the last 22 Super Bowls, #1-seeds are 2-9 when playing an opponent who wasn’t a #1-seed.

— Eliot Wolf is going to be the mew personnel guru in New England; he was the Patriots’ director of scouting the last two years. Wolf has spent most of his career with the Packers.

— Philadelphia Eagles are only NFL team ever to start out 10-1 two years in a row, and not win a championship in either season.

— I’m looking forward to next April’s NFL Draft; the Rams will actually have a first round pick. Last time they had a first round pick was 2016, when they drafted Jared Goff.

— In case you were wondering, Riddler was the villain on the first episode of the old Batman TV series, back when I was a little kid. Frank Gorshin was great in that role.

— Before Thursday’s game in New York, Dallas Maverick star Luka Doncic had played 42+ minutes in five of his last six games; no player in the last six seasons has played that many minutes, without playing in an overtime.
Doncic played 40:00 Thursday, scored 39 points (with 11 assists) in a 122-108 win against the Knicks. Dallas was +18 with Doncic on the floor, minus-4 with him on the bench.

— Utah Jazz outscored Milwaukee 40-13 in the 4th quarter of Sunday’s 123-108 win; they’re the only team in the last 25 years to outscore an opponent by 25+ points in a quarter, while using the same five guys for the entire quarter.

Baseball Note of the Day: Dodgers re-signed lefty P Clayton Kershaw, bringing him back for his 17th major league season. Kershaw won’t be available until sometime next summer; he had surgery on his left shoulder after last year’s playoffs.

— Famous people who were born on February 9:
Joe Pesci
Carole King
Vince Papale
Bill Veeck
Mookie Wilson

Active member
Sep 26, 2005
Saturday’s 6-pack:
College hoop teams whose subs play the fewest minutes:
14.9%— Princeton
16.8%— Ball State
17.6%— Indiana State
17.6%— Citadel
18.2%— Tulane
18.9%— Air Force

Quote of the Day
“It’s always been the turnover or the loose ball or the rebounding that has to get better. Without question, it’s our defense. We’re slow laterally, we’re unathletic and we’re small.”
St John’s coach Rick Pitino

Saturday’s quiz
Where did Brock Purdy play his college football?

Friday’s quiz
Bill Russell played 13 years in the NBA, won 11 titles; he went to college at San Francisco

Thursday’s quiz
Daryle Lamonica was the Oakland Raiders’ QB in Super Bowl II.


Saturday’s Den: Random stuff on a winter night……

— We start today with a TV recommendation: Rolling Along, with former NBA player/US Senator Bill Bradley talking about his life from Missouri childhood to Princeton basketball fame, the NBA, and his 18 years in the Senate.
Rolling Along is on HBO Max; it is like listening to a college History class, taught by someone who was there.

— Purdue’s basketball team is 21-2 this season, 10-2 in conference play; they’re on their way to being a #1-seed in the NCAA Tournament. Will they get there?
Let’s take a look at coach Matt Painter’s March resume:
In Purdue’s last two NCAA tourney games, things didn’t go well:
2022- lost 67-64 to Saint Peter’s in Sweet 16, as a 13-point favorite.
2023- lost 63-58 to FDU in first round, as a 23-point favorite.
Not good, but a small sample size; here is his whole March resume:
1st round- 10-5 SU/10-5 against the spread
2nd round- 6-4 SU/7-3 ATS. He’s been a good first weekend coach, except for last year.
Sweet 16- 1-5 SU/1-5 ATS. No bueno. Purdue was an underdog in 4 of those 6 games.
Elite 8- 0-1 SU/ATS
Overall, Painter is 10-8 ATS in NCAA’s as a favorite, 7-6 as an underdog. I’m not sure why Zach Edey hasn’t gone to the NBA yet, but this will be Painter’s best chance to get to a Final Four.

— I’m guessing the Las Vegas Raiders aren’t thrilled that the arch-rival Chiefs are using their facilities to practice for Sunday’s Super Bowl.
Patrick Mahomes, by the way, is 10-1-1 ATS as an underdog in his career. He made $37M this season; 49ers’ QB Brock Purdy is on a 4-year contract, worth a total of $3.73M ($932,000/year)

— Chiefs/49ers both get 16% of the tickets for the Super Bowl; the host team Raiders get 4% of the tickets to sell.

— NFL is going to have a regular season game in Brazil next year, one in Spain in 2025.

— Netflix is going to do a Hard Knocks-type show on the Boston Red Sox this season; not sure exactly when it will be on TV, but it will be about the 2024 season. This is something that is long overdue; baseball needs all the TV exposure it can get.

— With spring training starting next week, interesting to note that the Atlanta Braves have won the NL East six years in a row, and they’re favored to win it again this season.

Baseball Note of the Day: Active career leaders in strikeouts:
3,367- Max Scherzer
3,342- Justin Verlander
2,944- Clayton Kershaw
2,189- Chris Sale
2,152- Gerrit Cole

Movie of the Day: The Intern (2015)- A 70-year old retiree becomes a senior intern at an online fashion site. Robert DeNiro is the intern, Anne Hathaway is the person who owns the fashion site. She doesn’t intend to give him much work, but he proves to be quite useful, a source of support and wisdom. Good movie.

— Boston College hired Bill O’Brien as its new football coach; O’Brien was 54-52 as coach of the Houston Texans from 2014-20. He was 15-9 in two years at Penn State (2012-13) and spent the last three weeks as Ohio State’s new offensive coordinator, after working with the Patriots this past season.

— Ohio State filled the OC opening by hiring UCLA Chip Kelly, who once upon a time, went 28-36 coaching in the NFL (Eagles/49ers). Kelly was 46-7 in four years coaching Oregon, 35-34 in six years at UCLA.
UCLA has to act fast to replace Kelly, because in today’s bizarre world, UCLA’s players will get poached by other schools if the Bruins don’t name a new head coach soon.

— Michigan Wolverines hired former Ravens/Giants DC Wink Martindale as its new defensive coordinator, where his biggest job will be how to stop Kelly’s offense next November.

— Amazon Prime Video is going to have a Wild Card playoff game on TV next season

— Guard named Ish Smith holds the NBA record for most teams; he’s played on 13 different teams in his career.

— There are eight sets of twins playing college basketball this season.

— Last defending champion to make the Sweet 16 in the NCAA basketball tournament was Duke, way back in 2016.

— VCU 49, Dayton 47
Only 2nd loss in last 18 games for the Flyers.
Teams combined to shoot 9-38 on the arc.
Dayton was only 9-18 on foul line.

— Nevada 70, San Diego State 66, OT
Teams combined to shoot 6-32 on the arc.
Wolf Pack won four of its last five games.
San Diego State lost four of last five road games.

Active member
Sep 26, 2005
Sunday’s 6-pack:
Six of the Arizona Diamondbacks’ best prospects:
1) Jordan Lawlar, SS
2) Druw Jones, OF
3) Tommy Troy, SS
4) Ivan Melendez, 1B/3B
5) Geno Groover, 3B
6) Jansel Luis, 2B/SS

Quote of the Day
“When you look annoyed all the time, people think you’re busy.”
George Costanza, on Seinfeld

Sunday’s quiz
Who holds the record for the longest field goal in Super Bowl history?

Saturday’s quiz
Brock Purdy played his college football at Iowa State.

Friday’s quiz
Bill Russell played 13 years in the NBA, won 11 titles; he went to college at San Francisco


Sunday’s Den: Wrapping up a sports Saturday

— Gonzaga 89, Kentucky 85
Kentucky has lost 3 in row at home, for first time since 1966.
Wildcats led by 6, with 12:30 left in game.
Zags shot 56% inside arc; this is a huge win for their NCAA resume.

Alabama 109, LSU 92

Bama starts four seniors; they were 18-44 on the arc.
Crimson Tide has won 11 of its last 13 games.
This was a 78-possession game, NBA-level tempo.

Florida 81, Auburn 65
Riley Kugel scored 22 points in 29:00; he didn’t start.
Gators have won five of their last six games.
Auburn never led; they were only 14-26 on foul line.

Texas A&M 85, Tennessee 69
Aggies were 11-28 on arc; for year, they’re shooting 27.2% on arc (#357)
A&M had 14 offensive rebounds; they’re #1 in country on offensive boards.

Big East
Marquette 86, St John’s 75

There were 59 3-pointers taken in this game, only 15 foul shots
Tyler Kolek scored 27 points, dished out 13 assists.
St John’s led by 15 late in first half.
Marquette shot 59.4% inside arc, made 14-27 on the arc.

Big X
Kansas 64, Baylor 61

Jayhawks star McCullar didn’t play.
Kansas was +13 (21-8) in turnovers, only won by 3.
Baylor was 8-26 on the arc, 11-20 inside the arc.

Houston 67, Cincinnati 62
Cincinnati led this game 32-29 at halftime.
J’Wan Roberts was 10-15 from floor; rest of Cougars were 17-54 (31.5%)
Houston has the best eFG% defense in the country.

UCLA 61, California 60

UCLA won, despite shooting 36.2% from the floor.
Bruins won 7 of their last 8 games, after a 6-10 start.

South Florida 69, Rice 65

Bulls made 12-27 shots on the arc.
USF has won nine in row, 15 of last 16 games.
Last 3 years, Bulls were 21-47 in AAC play; they’re 10-1 this year.

Horizon League
Green Bay (+11.5) 84, Youngstown State 83

Green Bay made 14-29 on arc; they were down 8 early in 2nd half.
Green Bay is 12-2 in its last 14 games; last 3 years, they were 16-71.

Upsets of the Day:
UNLV (+12.5) 80, New Mexico 77
Green Bay (+11.5) 84, Youngstown State 83
Arizona State (+11.5) 85, Utah 77
Cal-Riverside (+8.5) 88, Cal-Irvine 78
Buffalo (+8.5) 82, Georgia Southern 81 OT
Pepperdine (+7.5) 72, LMU 63
Tarleton State (+7.5) 82, Seattle 77
Kansas City (+6.5) 65, North Dakota 47
Canisius (+6.5) 73, Iona 69

Baseball Note of the Day: Last year, Blake Snell was the first Cy Young Award winner in 64 years to lead the major leagues in walks allowed.

Movie of the Day: The Big Short (2015)- In 2006-07, a group of investors bet against the United States mortgage market, because they discovered how flawed and corrupt the market is. They wound up making a lot of $$$.
Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell, Marisa Tomei, Christian Bale lead a stellar cast; the guy who wrote the book, Michael Lewis, is same guy who wrote Moneyball.

— Appalachian State 109, Toledo 104, 2OT
App State was down 9 with 2:19 left in regulation.
Four Toledo starters played 41:00+.
Sun Belt went 9-2 against the MAC in their inter-league challenge Saturday

— Yale 80, Cornell 78
Cornell led by 15 with 4:53 left in first half.
Yale was 21-27 on foul line, Cornell 8-11.
Both teams entered the day 6-0 in Ivy League games.

— UNLV 80, New Mexico 77
Rebels swept New Mexico this year, 83-73/80-77
UNLV won its last four games, after a 9-9 start.

— Cal-Riverside 88, Cal-Irvine 78
Ben Griscti, a 6-11 Australian, hit 6-10 on arc, scored 26 off bench.
Loss drops the Anteaters into a first-place tie with Cal-Davis.

— Vermont 72, UMBC 70
UMBC led this game 25-5 with 9:40 left in first half.
Vermont started week 8-0 in league, lost by hoop Thursday.
Catamounts’ win keeps them a game ahead of Bryant in America East.

— Lehigh 94, Lafayette 90, 2OT’s
Lafayette led 33-12 midway thru first half.
Lehigh was 28-33 on foul line, Lafayette 10-14
Lafayette is 9-3 in Patriot League, 1-12 in non-conference games.

— Rutgers 78, Wisconsin 56
Scarlet Knights made 10-17 on the arc.
Wisconsin has lost four in a row, after a 16-4 start.
Badgers are 4-8 when they allow 72+ points, 12-0 when they allow less than 72.

Active member
Sep 26, 2005
Monday’s 6-pack:
Six of the Atlanta Braves’ best prospects:
1- AJ Smith-Shawver, P
2- Hurston Waldrep, P
3- JR Ritchie, P
4- Owen Murphy, P
5- Spencer Schwellenbach, P
6- David McCabe, 1B/3B

Quote of the Day
“Buddy, when he’s over the shot, shut the hell up, man. Come on, he’s trying to hit a damn golf shot here. It’s our (bleep)ing job.”
Golfer Billy Horschel, scolding a fan at the Phoenix Open

Monday’s quiz
Who was the Chiefs’ quarterback before Patrick Mahomes?

Sunday’s quiz
Steve Christie held the record for the longest field goal in Super Bowl history, before there were two field goals longer than his last night. Harrison Butker now holds the record for the longest FG in a Super Bowl- 57 yards.

Saturday’s quiz
Brock Purdy played his college football at Iowa State.


Monday’s Den: Super Bowl knowledge and other stuff…….

Chiefs 25, 49ers 22, OT
Second overtime game in Super Bowl history; Kyle Shanahan was the OC for Atlanta in the other overtime game, when the Falcons blew a 28-3 lead and lost to New England.
Chiefs’ first four drives: 15 plays, 89 yards, no points.
Chiefs’ last four drives: 37 plays, 224 yards, 15 points.
Chiefs are first team in 20 years to win back/back Super Bowls.
49ers were 0-6 this season when they scored less than 24 points.
Chiefs were 9-19 on third down, San Francisco 3-12.
Over the last 23 Super Bowls, #1-seeds are 2-10 when playing an opponent who wasn’t a #1-seed.
Mahomes threw for 333 yards, ran for 66 more; he is 89-25 SU as an NFL starter, 15-3 in playoff games.
AFC won seven of the last ten Super Bowls.
Underdogs are 9-4 ATS in last 13 Super Bowls.
This was the 15th Super Bowl with a scoreless first quarter.
There has never been a punt returned for a TD in a Super Bowl.
49ers’ WR Jauan Jennings joins Nick Foles as the only two players with a TD pass and a TD catch in a Super Bowl.

Word of the Day: Pinnacle- the most successful point, the highest point of a person’s career.
Not to be confused with pinochle, a card game for 2+ players using a 48-card deck.

— Seattle Seahawks are hiring Ryan Grubb as their offensive coordinator; he was supposed to have that job at Alabama next season, but now that isn’t happening. Grubb is expected to being offensive line coach Scott Huff with him from Tuscaloosa.

— Tom Brady is expected to own 7% of the Las Vegas Raiders fairly soon; my calculator tells me that his share of the team will be worth $406M.

Baseball Note of the Day: Tampa Bay Rays signed manager Kevin Cash, MLB’s longest-tenured manager, to a contract extension. Cash is 754-636 managing the small-market Rays, going 15-19 in playoff games.

Movie of the Day: The Rainmaker (1997)- An underdog lawyer takes on a fraudulent insurance company; Matt Damon is the lawyer, Danny DeVito also works for the firm. Jon Voight is the opposing lawyer in a wrongful death suit; Danny Glover is the judge.
John Grisham is a great story teller; this movie is no exception.

— Here are the 11 Big East teams, and their national rankings, as far as the %age of their points they get on the foul line. Apparently there aren’t a lot of fouls called in Big East games.
#85- DePaul
#88- Georgetown (#333 on 2-point shots)
#143- Seton Hall
#157- Xavier
#190- Villanova
#209- UConn
#214- Butler
#224- Providence
#300- St John’s
#345- Marquette
#347- Creighton (there are 362 teams in Division I)
Weird thing is, top two teams on the list are the two worst teams in the league.

— Georgia Tech has beaten both Duke/North Carolina in ACC games this season, but despite that, Yellow Jackets are 3-10 in the ACC- they beat Clemson in a double overtime game.

— Creighton is 4-1 ATS as a Big East road favorite; they’re 0-6 ATS as a home favorite.

— In his last five games, Virginia senior Jake Groves is 16-22 on 3-point shots.

— 17 of the top 25 teams in last week’s college basketball poll lost this week.

— Clemson G Joe Girard played in 125 games in his four years at Syracuse; had to be weird for him when the Tigers visited the Carrier Dome Saturday. Girard scored 18 points in Clemson’s 77-68 win Saturday.
This season, Girard is making 43.9% of his 3-point shots; Clemson is 16-7 and is likely headed to the NCAA’s for the first time since 2017, and third time since 2012.

— Referee Doug Shows’ itinerary so far this month:
2/1- Appalachian State @ Georgia State
2/2- St Bonaventure @ Dayton
2/3- Tennessee @ Kentucky
2/4- UAB @ Southern Methodist
2/6- Ole Miss @ South Carolina
2/7- Alabama @ Auburn
2/10- Mississippi State @ Missouri
2/11- UAB @ Tulsa
Shows worked eight games in the first 11 days of February; he’s in his 50’s.

Active member
Sep 26, 2005

2024 MLB spring training start dates: Baseball season begins as pitchers and catchers report to camp​

Baseball is coming back in Arizona and Florida this month​

[IMG alt=" Mike Axisa

By Mike Axisa

17 mins ago•1 min read

Spring training is here. Pitchers and catchers have begun reporting to camps in Arizona and Florida this week, and exhibition games will begin by the end of the month. Opening Day 2024 is scheduled for Thursday, March 28. MLB announced the spring training reporting dates for each team in January.

Each team sets its own spring training reporting dates each year, though all camps open within the span of a few days of each other. Pitchers and catchers always arrive first. The position players don't have to show up until a few days later.
It must be noted that, because they will open the regular season with the Seoul Series in South Korea, the Dodgers and Padres will report to spring training a little earlier than everyone else. The Dodgers hosted their first workout for pitchers and catchers on Friday, and the Padres followed suit Sunday. The two-game Seoul Series is scheduled for March 20-21. The Dodgers and Padres will go to South Korea, play two games, then return to Arizona and complete spring training.

Here now are this year's spring training reporting dates and workout schedules. Players usually arrive the day before the first workout. As a reminder, Cactus League teams train in Arizona and Grapefruit League teams work out in Florida.

2024 Cactus League spring training reporting dates

team logo
Wed., Feb. 14Mon., Feb. 19
team logo
Chi. Cubs
Wed., Feb. 14Mon., Feb. 19
team logo
Chi. White Sox
Wed., Feb. 14Mon., Feb. 19
team logo
Wed., Feb. 14Mon., Feb 19
team logo
Thurs., Feb. 15Tues., Feb 20
team logo
Thurs., Feb. 15Tues., Feb. 20
team logo
Kansas City
Wed., Feb. 14Mon., Feb. 19
team logo
L.A. Angels
Wed., Feb. 14Mon., Feb. 19
team logo
L.A. Dodgers
Fri., Feb. 9Weds., Feb. 14
team logo
Thurs., Feb. 15Tues., Feb. 20
team logo
Wed., Feb. 14Mon., Feb. 19
team logo
San Diego
Sun., Feb. 11Fri., Feb. 16
team logo
San Francisco
Thurs., Feb. 15Tues., Feb. 20
team logo
Thurs., Feb. 15Tues., Feb. 20
team logo
Wed., Feb. 14Mon., Feb. 19

Active member
Sep 26, 2005
2024 Grapefruit League spring training reporting dates

team logo
Thurs., Feb. 15Tues., Feb. 20
team logo
Thurs., Feb. 15Tues., Feb. 20
team logo
Wed., Feb. 14Mon., Feb. 19
team logo
Wed., Feb. 14Mon., Feb. 19
team logo
Weds., Feb. 14Mon., Feb. 20
team logo
Thurs., Feb. 15Tues., Feb. 20
team logo
Weds., Feb. 14Sun., Feb. 18
team logo
N.Y. Mets
Wed., Feb. 14Mon., Feb. 19
team logo
N.Y. Yankees
Thurs., Feb. 15Tues., Feb. 20
team logo
Weds., Feb. 14Mon., Feb. 19
team logo
Wed., Feb. 14Mon., Feb. 19
team logo
St. Louis
Wed., Feb. 14Mon., Feb. 19
team logo
Tampa Bay
Wed., Feb. 14Mon., Feb. 19
team logo
Thurs., Feb. 15Tues., Feb. 20
team logo
Wed., Feb. 14Tues., Feb. 20

Active member
Sep 26, 2005
Tuesday’s 6-pack:
Six of the Baltimore Orioles’ best prospects:
1- Jackson Holliday, SS
2- Samuel Basallo, C
3- Coby Mayo, 3B
4- Colton Cowser, OF
5- Heston Kjerstad, OF
6- Joey Ortiz, 2B/SS

Quote of the Day
“I’m excited and honored to be back with a great organization. I’m thrilled to work with Mike McCarthy, for whom I have had a ton of respect in our NFC North days, and to do anything I can do to help the Joneses and the Cowboys.”
Mike Zimmer, the Cowboys’ new defensive coordinator

Tuesday’s quiz
Who was the 49ers’ coach, last time they won a Super Bowl?

Monday’s quiz
Alex Smith was the Chiefs’ quarterback before Patrick Mahomes.

Sunday’s quiz
Steve Christie held the record for the longest field goal in Super Bowl history, before there were two field goals longer than his last night. Harrison Butker now holds the record for the longest FG in a Super Bowl- 57 yards.


Tuesday’s Den: Nobody asked me, but……..

— If you want to bet on next year’s Super Bowl, the AFC team is -1, with a total of 48.5.
Next year’s Super Bowl is in New Orleans, the 11th Super Bowl on Bourbon Street.

— Patrick Mahomes is 3-1 in Super Bowls; Chiefs trailed by 10+ points in all four games.

— San Francisco 49ers have now been in the postseason six times since 2012; all six times, 49ers went WWL in the playoffs.
Was little surprised to read that the 49ers’ players didn’t know the new overtime rules for the playoffs; Kansas City’s players had gone thru the new rules during training camp.

— Dallas Cowboys are hiring Mike Zimmer as their new (old?) defensive coordinator; Zimmer was the Cowboys’ DC from 2000-06. He was the Vikings’ head coach from 2014-21.

— Pittsburgh Steelers told QB Mitch Trubisky to take a hike, saving them $3M on next year’s salary cap, leaving Kenny Pickett as the only QB on their roster, fueling speculation that they might trade with Chicago for Justin Fields.

— UCLA hired Deshaun Foster as its new football coach; he had just taken a job as running backs coach for the Las Vegas Raiders. Foster played at UCLA, then played seven years in the NFL, before working the last 10 years as an assistant with the Bruins; he’ll help as far as keeping the current roster intact.

Baseball Note of the Day: Pittsburgh Pirates signed C Yasmani Grandal for one year, $2.5M.

Word of the Day: Prescient- having knowledge of things or events before they exist or happen. A good handicapper needs to be prescient.

Tennessee Vols are 17-6 this season, 7-3 in the SEC; last 3.5 years, Tennessee is 87-34, 42-21 in SEC games.
Rick Barnes has been a college head coach since 1987. Here is some of his March resume:
15-12 SU in first round games, 8-18-1 ATS. 8-18-1 es no bueno.
8-7 SU in second round (7-8 ATS)
3-5 in Sweet 16 games (3-5 ATS)
1-2 in Elite 8 games, 0-1 in national semifinals (2003, with Texas)
Breaking down his first round record, Barnes is 7-0 SU if a #3-seed or better, 8-12 if he isn’t.
Overall, he is 15-28-1 ATS as an NCAA Tournament favorite, 4-6 as an underdog.

— Indiana State is in the top 25 this week, for the first time since 1979, when Larry Bird played there.

— Duke 77, Wake Forest 69
Duke shot 63.3% inside the arc.
Teams combined to shoot 13-51 on the arc.
Duke has won 14 of its last 16 games.

— Texas Tech 79, Kansas 50
Tech was 10-26 on the arc, Kansas 3-16.
Jayhawks are 1-5 in Big X road games.
Kansas coach Self got ejected with about 6:00 left.

— Charlotte 49ers named Aaron Fearne their full-time basketball coach, taking the interim tag off his title. Fearne was hired as interim coach last June, when Ron Sanchez quit as head coach to become an assistant at Virginia.
Charlotte is 15-8 this year, 9-2 in the AAC. Fearne has been at Charlotte for five years, after spending 17 years with the Cairns Taipans of the Australian Basketball League.

— A basketball hoop is exactly two basketballs wide.

— Only three weeks until the first college basketball conference tournament gets started.

— Spring training starts this week; never a bad thing.

— There are two outdoor hockey games at Giants Stadium in New Jersey this weekend; Devils play Philadelphia Saturday night, Rangers-Islanders play Sunday afternoon.

— Monday was Abraham Lincoln’s 214th birthday; always enjoyed February 12 when I was working, since it was a day off. Happy birthday, sir.

Active member
Sep 26, 2005
Wednesday’s 6-pack:
Nevada sports books’ profits for last six Super Bowls:
2024- $6,802,264
2023- $4,361,646
2022- $11,063,412
2021- $12,574,125
2020- $18,774,148
2019- $10,780,319

Quote of the Day
“We’re the second-smallest city with both an NFL franchise and Major League Baseball club, and we want to sustain ourselves as a major league city. We want these franchises to thrive here for another 50 years.”
Kansas City Royals owner John Sherman, on building a new ballpark there

Wednesday’s quiz
Who is the all-time leading scorer for the New York Knicks?

Tuesday’s quiz
George Seifert was the 49ers’ coach, last time they won a Super Bowl, 30 years ago.

Monday’s quiz
Alex Smith was the Chiefs’ quarterback before Patrick Mahomes.


Wednesday’s Den: Mid-week musings……..

— This is the age of transfers in college sports; of the top 20 scorers in the Big 6 conferences, 14 of them started their college careers at another school.

— When I was in high school, I took Spanish for three years, but apparently, I didn’t maintain a lot of the stuff I learned. Was watching the Caribbean World Series on ESPN+ last week- they broadcast it in Spanish. Couldn’t understand a freakin’ thing they said, except that izquierda is left. At least they had good graphics, so it was easy to follow what was going on.

— Total of $185.6M was wagered in Nevada on the Super Bowl this year, beating the previous record by $6M. Sportsbooks posted a profit of $6.8M on the game.
This year’s Super Bowl was also the most-watched TV show ever.

— Orlando Magic retired Shaquille O’Neal’s number 32 Tuesday night; O’Neal played the first four years of his career for the Magic- they went 208-120 in regular season with Shaq, losing 4-0 in the 1995 NBA Finals, to Houston.

— Two things I’m curious about:
How much $$$ does Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter make?
How much $$$ did Christopher Walken get for that BMW commercial during the Super Bowl?

— Since 2018, major league teams who spent the most draft bonus $$$ on pitchers:
Royals, Pirates, Rangers
Since 2018, major league teams who spent the least draft bonus $$$ on pitchers:
Red Sox, Astros, A’s

— San Francisco Giants signed OF Jorge Soler for three years, $42M. Soler hit 36 homers for Miami last year, had an .853 OPS.

Baseball Note of the Day: There were 16 times last year when a player had 7 plate appearances in one game; Jose Altuve is the only guy who had two of those.

Word of the Day: Callous- someone who does not feel or show any concern about the problems or suffering of other people.

— Syracuse 86, North Carolina 79
Tar Heels have now lost three of their last five games, after a 10-0 run.
Syracuse shot 71% inside the arc.
Three players in this game played all 40:00.

— Illinois State 80, Indiana State 67
Sycamores get in top 25 for first time since 1979, then lose as 17-point favorites.
Indiana State had won 10 games in row; they still lead MVC by a game.

— San Diego State 71, Colorado State 55
Colorado State led 44-30 at half; they got outscored 41-11 in 2nd half.
Aztecs are 5-1 ATS as a Mountain West home favorite.
Bill Vinovich was a ref in this game; he was the referee in Super Bowl Sunday,

— Pitt 74, Virginia 63
Panthers made 14-32 shots on the arc.
Loss snaps Virginia’s 8-game winning streak.

— Kentucky 75, Ole Miss 63
Kentucky snaps their 3-game home losing streak.
Wildcats played nine guys 13:00+; unusual depth for this era.

— Baylor 79, Oklahoma 62
Jayden Nunn scored 27 points, on only 12 shots from floor.
Baylor made 11-21 shots on the arc.

— Drake 78, Evansville 75
Atin Wright banked in a 40-foot runner at the buzzer for the win.
Drake made 13-27 on arc; they’re 21-5, 12-3 in the Valley.

Active member
Sep 26, 2005
Thursday’s 6-pack:
Six of the Boston Red Sox’ best prospects:
1- Marcelo Mayer, SS
2- Roman Anthony, OF
3- Kyle Teel, C
4- Ceddanne Rafaela, OF/SS
5- Miguel Bleis, OF
6- Wilyer Abreu, OF

Quote of the Day
“It is just unconscionable that we have allowed guns to have this much power — and inflict this much death — in our beautiful, freedom-loving country.”
Claire McCaskill, former US Senator from Missouri, and a Chiefs’ fan

Thursday’s quiz
Where did Kevin Durant play his college basketball?

Wednesday’s quiz
Patrick Ewing is the all-time leading scorer for the New York Knicks.

Tuesday’s quiz
George Seifert was the 49ers’ coach, last time they won a Super Bowl, 30 years ago.


Thursday’s Den: Doing some thinking out loud……..

— San Francisco 49ers fired defensive coordinator Steve Wilks Wednesday, three days after the 49ers lost the Super Bowl in overtime. Shanahan had said Tuesday that he expected all of his coaches to be back next year, which tells you it wasn’t his decision to fire Wilks.
49ers were #8 in NFL in yardage allowed this year, #3 in points allowed; obviously they won a lot of games, damn near won the Super Bowl. Surprising to see a coordinator from a very good team get fired.

— Ohio State is 9-25 in its last 34 conference games; they fired basketball coach Chris Holtmann Wednesday. Holtmann was in his 7th year at Ohio State; his team made four of last five NCAA Tournaments, but only went 4-5 in those events.
Buckeyes have to pay Holtmann $12.5M to go away.

— One of the quirks of the college basketball season is that bubble teams need the teams they beat to do really well, so their wins look better to the Selection Committee.
For example, Gonzaga is a bubble team right now; they beat Kentucky, so they need the Wildcats to finish strong, so that win impresses people next month.

— Why are Central Florida and BYU in the same league? Teams played Tuesday night in Provo; according to MapQuest, the schools are 2,324 miles apart. It is nonsensical for these schools to be in the same league, not to mention very expensive.

— JJ Redick is replacing Doc Rivers on ESPN’s NBA broadcast team, after Rivers left three months into his first season of a 3-year contract to return to coaching with the Milwaukee Bucks.

— Retired P Adam Wainwright is going to work games for both MLB Network and FS1 this coming season, after an excellent 18-year career on the mound.

Baseball Note of the Day: Michael Wacha is pitching for Kansas City this season, his 6th team in the last six seasons; he’s done really well the last two years, but he keeps moving around.

Word of the Day: Prognosticate- predicting the outcome of a future event.

— Detroit 81, IUPUI 66
Detroit was favored by 5.5 points, despite being 0-26 coming into the game.
Detroit only played seven guys; four of them are seniors. Not much hope for the future.

— Auburn 101, South Carolina 61
Auburn shot 61% inside arc, 12-20 on the arc.
Auburn is 6-0 SU/ATS in SEC home games.
Loss ends South Carolina’s 7-game winning streak.

— Michigan State 80, Penn State 72
Malik Hall scored 29 points, had 10 rebounds.
Penn State made 12-23 on the arc, still got beat at home.

— Milwaukee 71, Cleveland State 68
Panthers won despite being minus-11 (19-8) in turnovers.
Cleveland State led by 11 points late in first half.

— UMass 69, Richmond 59
UMass held Richmond to 33.3% from the floor.
Only second loss in last 14 games for the Spiders.

— Northern Kentucky 58, Green Bay 57
Loss ends Green Bay’s 5-game winning streak.
Teams combined to shoot 13-54 on the arc.
Green Bay is 12-4 in the Horizon, but NKU swept their two meetings.

— Wednesday was supposed to be a really happy day in Kansas City, with a parade to honor the Super Bowl champion Chiefs. Instead, a person was murdered, and 21 others injured, 11 of them children, in this country’s 48th mass shooting in the first 45 days of 2024.
The people who make the laws in this country suck at their jobs, to allow things like this to keep happening. 11 kids got shot Wednesday!!! at a freakin’ parade……..horrendous.

Active member
Sep 26, 2005
Friday’s 6-pack:
Six of the Oakland A’s best prospects:
1- Mason Miller, P
2- Tyler Soderstrom, C/1B
3- Jacob Wilson, SS
4- Luis Morales, P
5- Denzel Clarke, OF
6- Lawrence Butler, OF

Quote of the Day
“It seemed like I was going to get traded, but here we are. That’s why I try not to get too caught up in it until something happens. I wasn’t overly concerned or paranoid about anything. I was focusing on getting my body ready. Wherever I was going to be sent to was second to that.”
White Sox P Dylan Cease, who was rumored to be traded, but so far, he hasn’t been

Friday’s quiz
What is the last team to win consecutive national titles in college basketball?

Thursday’s quiz
Kevin Durant played his college basketball at Texas.

Wednesday’s quiz
Patrick Ewing is the all-time leading scorer for the New York Knicks.


Friday’s Den: Random stuff with the weekend here…….

— So far this offseason, 30 college football teams have changed head coaches, the most in the last 12 years.
Georgia State coach Shawn Elliott quit this week to become the tight ends’ coach at South Carolina, on the surface an odd move; he led the Panthers to five bowl games in seven seasons, winning four of them.
This situation seems to be unique; Elliott’s family still lives in Columbia, SC from his previous job with the Gamecocks (2010-16), and apparently he promised his daughter that he would be there for her senior year of high school, which is this coming year.

— In the NBA, Memphis Grizzlies-Houston Rockets have made 16 trades with each other over the last 29 years, making them the most frequent trade partners in the league.

— Wednesday night in San Francisco, Detroit Pistons F Isaiah Stewart was arrested after a scuffle with Phoenix Suns’ Drew Eubanks that happened before the game. The two men were separated by police; the investigation is ongoing as to what actually happened.

— So far this season, BYU’s basketball team has taken 774 3-point shots (36%), 762 2-point shots (58.4%). Very unusual for a team to take more 3’s than 2’s for a whole season, but BYU has the #13 eFG% in the country, plus they’re 18-6, 6-5 in the Big X, so it is working for them.

— The last four years, DePaul’s basketball team is a combined 33-84, 11-53 in Big East games; last time the Blue Demons had a winning season in conference play?
Try 2007, when Jerry Wainwright was the coach; DePaul hasn’t made the NCAA’s since 2004. Isn’t Chicago supposed to be a high school basketball hotbed? Why are they always so bad?

— Thursday night in Brooklyn, Fairleigh Dickinson’s basketball team got stuck in an elevator before their game at LIU; FDU wound up winning 84-82 in overtime, but not before they were stuck in the elevator for 10 minutes, with the lights out.

Baseball Note of the Day: Baltimore Orioles already have injury issues:
P Kyle Bradish (elbow strain) is on the IL
3B Gunnar Henderson (oblique)
P John Means (elbow) is behind in his recovery from a previous injury
Rookie C Samuel Basallo (stress fracture in elbow) is also going to the IL

Movie of the Day: Runaway Jury (2003)- A juror on the inside and a woman on the outside manipulate a court trial involving a major gun manufacturer.
Excellent cast: John Cusack is a corrupt juror, Gene Hackman works for the plaintiff’s lawyers as a consultant, Dustin Hoffman is the winning lawyer, Bruce McGill is the lawyer.
John Grisham wrote the book this movie is based on; Brian Koppelman/David Levien wrote the screenplay- they’ve also written Rounders, Billions.

— North Texas 76, Memphis 66
Mean Green made 16 of 28 shots on the arc.
Jason Edwards was 1-7 inside the arc, 7-9 outside the arc.
Memphis is 3-5 in last eight games, after a 15-2 start.

— Purdue 84, Minnesota 76
Zach Edey had 24 points, 15 rebounds.
Golden Gophers led 43-35 at halftime.
Minnesota covered its last seven games, is 11-2 ATS in Big 14 games.

— UCLA 64, Colorado 60
UCLA was +9 in turnovers (14-5).
Bruins have won 8 of last 9 games, after a 6-10 start.

— Drexel 79, Hofstra 77
Hofstra led by 13 in first half, scored 1.20 points/possession, but still lost.
Drexel starts four seniors; they’re 9-4 in the CAA.

— Middle Tennessee 76, New Mexico State 69
Aggies led 44-27 early in second half.
Blue Raiders were 19-23 on foul line, New Mexico State 6-11.

— Tarleton State 80, Texas-Arlington 78
Tarleton shot 61.3% inside the arc.
Texans have won six in row, are 11-3 in the WAC.

— It is February 16, and already, three guys on my fantasy baseball team are on the injured list. Season doesn’t start for six weeks!!! No bueno.

Active member
Sep 26, 2005
Saturday’s 6-pack:
Six of the Chicago Cubs’ best prospects:
1- Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF
2- Cade Horton, P
3- Matt Shaw, SS
4- Owen Caissie, OF
5- Moises Ballesteros, C/1B
6- Jordan Wicks, P

Quotes of the Day
“We would prefer to have a free-agent signing period, ideally probably in December with a deadline that drove people to make their deals, get things settled. We actually made proposals to that effect, to the MLBPA. They were not warmly received……..we’d rather have two weeks of flurried activity in December, preferably around the winter meetings.”
Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred

“Deadlines are death-lines to the players. It’s a death of their right (to free agency). It’s an artificial reason not to get your value. Teams cannibalize deadlines. Everything they would do would be around the deadline. ‘I’ll wait and get this value at this time, because I have a deadline,’ rather than, ‘What’s the player worth?'”
Agent Scott Boras

Saturday’s quiz
Who is the all-time leading scorer for the Los Angeles Lakers?

Friday’s quiz
Florida Gators are the last team to win consecutive national titles in college basketball, in 2006 and 2007.

Thursday’s quiz
Kevin Durant played his college basketball at Texas.

Active member
Sep 26, 2005
Sunday’s 6-pack:
Six of the Cincinnati Reds’ best prospects:
1- Noelvi Marte, 3B
2- Rhett Lowder, P
3- Connor Phillips, P
4- Edwin Arroyo, SS
5- Chase Petty, P
6- Carlos Jorge, 2B/OF

Quote of the Day
“Please just leave my players, let them be young and learn and keep attacking me. I may be the worst in the country, just attack me and leave these kids alone.”
Kentucky coach John Calipari, after his team won 70-59 at Auburn

Sunday’s quiz
Which college’s basketball team is known as the Anteaters?

Saturday’s quiz
Kobe Bryant is the all-time leading scorer for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Friday’s quiz
Florida Gators are the last team to win consecutive national titles in college basketball, in 2006 and 2007.


Sunday’s Den: Wrapping up a basketball Saturday…….

Only 17 days until the first conference tournament starts.
Four weeks until Selection Sunday

Kentucky (+8.5) 70, Auburn 59

Wildcats held Auburn to 30.9% from the floor.
Auburn’s first loss at home this season.
Antonio Reeves took 20 shots, had one assist; his job is to shoot.

LSU 64, South Carolina 63
Tigers had lost six of last seven games coming in.
Carolina led 41-25 early in second half.
Alabama leads Tennessee by a game.
Bracketology has SEC with nine teams in NCAA’s right now.

Washington State 72, Stanford 59

Coogs are very quietly 20-6; they’ve won seven games in a row.
Wazzu has #20 eFG% defense in country.
Coogs had great balance; four guys had between 13-15 points.

Colorado 92, USC 89, 2OT
Buffs overcame being minus-12 (21-9) in turnovers.
USC led 65-49 in second half.
Colorado shot 56.4% inside the arc.
Arizona leads Washington State by half a game, Oregon/UCLA by 2 games.
Bracketology has the Pac-12 as a 3-bid conference.

NC State 78, Clemson 77

Clemson led by 12 with 10:19 left in game.
Tigers’ last three losses were all by one point.

Virginia 49, Wake Forest 47
Cavaliers somehow won, despite going 1-11 on foul line.
Virginia has won nine of its last ten games.
Bracketology has Wake Forest as first team out of the field of 68.
North Carolina, Duke are tied for first; Virginia is a game behind.
Bracketology has the ACC as a 4-bid league.

Cleveland State 81, Youngstown State 73

Vikings shot 66.7% inside arc, were +8 in turnovers (18-10)
Youngstown led by 6 with 12:37 left in game.

Wright State 101, Robert Morris 71
Wright State has won six of its last eight games.
Raiders have the #2 eFG% in the country.
Oakland/Green Bay are tied in loss column atop the Horizon.
This is a one-bid league; their conference tournament will be fun to watch.

Big East
UConn 81, Marquette 53

Huskies have won 14 games in a row (9-4 ATS in last 13)
UConn had 18 offensive rebounds; Eagles had 17 defensive boards.

Creighton 79, Butler 57
Creighton shot 65.7% inside the arc.
Bluejays outscored Butler 45-22 in second half.
Creighton was 9-10 on foul line, Butler 3-3. For the whole game.
UConn has three-game lead over Marquette, four games over Creighton.
Bracketology has four Big East teams in the Field of 68.

Big 12
TCU 75, Kansas State 72

Jameer Nelson hit a 3-pointer with 0:01.1 left for the win.
K-State shot 66.7% inside arc, 1-15 on arc, 25-29 on foul line.
Wildcats led by 8 with 12:30 left in the game.

Kansas 67, Oklahoma 57
Dickinson had 20 points, 16 rebounds for Kansas.
Jayhawks snap a 4-game road losing streak.
Oklahoma led 34-29 at halftime.
Houston/Iowa State are tied for 1st; Baylor is a game behind.
Bracketology has Big X with nine teams in NCAA’s right now.

Upsets of the Day:
Hampton (+11.5) 67, Towson 61
Mercer (+10.5) 88, Samford 84
Abilene Christian (+9.5) 63, SF Austin 62
Kentucky (+8.5) 70, Auburn 59
NC State (+7.5) 78, Clemson 77
California (+7.5) 82, Washington 80
LaSalle (+6.5) 82, UMass 81
Northern Colorado (+6.5) 80, Sacramento State 75
Eastern Michigan (+6.5) 69, Bowling Green 60
LSU (+6.5) 64, South Carolina 63

Word of the Day: Tenuous- uncertain, flimsy, likely to change.
Wake Forest’s 49-47 loss Saturday makes their status as an NCAA Tournament team very, very tenuous.

Atlantic 15
St Bonaventure 81, Davidson 80 OT

Bonnies were 23-30 on foul line, Davidson 13-18.
Davidson is 12-18 in A-15 since Bob McKillop retired; his son took over.
Wildcats are 0-3 in overtime games this season.

LaSalle 82, UMass 81
LaSalle led 71-53 with 10:22 left in game, then held on.
Explorers had lost 9 of last 10 games coming into this game.
Dayton, Richmond, Loyola are all tied for 1st in loss column; VCU is a game behind.
Bracketology has the A-15 as a one-bid league, for 2nd year in a row.

Missouri Valley
Southern Illinois 74, Indiana State 69
Indiana State led by 13 in first half.
Teams combined to shoot 13-52 on the arc.
Sycamores lost last two games, after a 22-3 start.
Indiana State/Drake are now tied for first, two games ahead of Bradley.

Southern Conference
Mercer 88, Samford 84

Samford had won 23 of its last 24 games, before this game.
Samford was 28-36 on foul line; Mercer shot 62.5% inside arc.
Samford leads Chattanooga by a game in SoCon standings.

Ivy League
Princeton 73, Yale 62

Tigers avenged an earlier loss to Yale, hand Bulldogs their first Ivy loss.
Princeton shot 65.5% inside the arc.
Yale/Cornell are now tied for first, with Princeton a game behind.
Harvard/Columbia are tied for 4th; Ivy League tournament has only 4 teams in it.

Mountain West
Colorado State 75, Utah State 55

Rams out-rebounded Utah State, 45-32.
Aggies are 2-3 in last five games, after a 19-2 start.

Nevada 69, UNLV 66
Wolf Pack out-rebounded UNLV, 37-17
Rebels’ Boone brothers shot a combined 6-20 from the floor.
San Diego State, Utah State, Boise State are all tied for first.
7 of the 11 teams in the Mountain West have either 4 or 5 MW losses.
Bracketology has this league with six teams (6!!!) in the NCAA’s.

Ohio Valley
UT-Martin 88, Morehead State 82

Junior G Sears scored 31 points, he played all 40:00.
Morehead loses second game in a row, after a 20-5 start.
UTM outscored Morehead 7-0 over final 1:38 of the game.

Western Illinois 68, Tennessee State 61
Leathernecks are 10-4 in OVC; their last winning conference season was 2013.
This is also their first season in the OVC; Summit League is a better league.
Tennessee State shot only 33.3% from the floor.
Morehead State leads three teams by a game: (Little Rock, UT-Martin, WIU).

Active member
Sep 26, 2005
Monday’s 6-pack:
Six of the Cleveland Guardians’ best prospects:
1- Chase DeLauter, OF
2- Brayan Rocchio, SS
3- Daniel Espino, P
4- Kyle Manzardo, 1B
5- Juan Brito, 2B/3B
6- Angel Martinez, 2B/3B

Quote of the Day
“We are so unathletic that we can’t guard anybody without fouling. For me, I’ve always enjoyed the first year, and I’m not gonna lie to you: this is the most unenjoyable experience of my lifetime. This has been so disappointing.”
St John’s coach Rick Pitino

Monday’s quiz
Who was the second President of the United States?

Sunday’s quiz
Cal-Irvine’s basketball team are the Anteaters.

Saturday’s quiz
Kobe Bryant is the all-time leading scorer for the Los Angeles Lakers.


Monday’s Den: Wrapping up a sports weekend…….

— Ohio State 73, Purdue 69
Buckeyes fired their coach Wednesday, pull a big upset four days later.
Ohio State was 2-9 in its last 11 games, coming into Sunday.
Purdue was minus-8 in turnovers (14-6), shot 3-9 on the arc.

— Seton Hall 68, St John’s 62
Johnnies led 38-19 with 3:09 left in first half.
St John’s lost 8 of its last 10 games, blowing halftime leads in last three. After the game, Rick Pitino wasn’t happy with his team’s defense.

— Utah 70, UCLA 69
Utah scored off an offensive rebound at the buzzer for the win.
Utes had lost their previous six road games.
UCLA’s last three games (2-1) were decided by total of six points.

— South Florida 90, Florida Atlantic 86
USF led by 25 with 8:38 left, hung on for dear life.
Bulls won 17 of last 18 games, after a 2-4 start.
USF leads Charlotte by a game, FAU/SMU by two games.
LY, South Florida coach Amir Abdur-Rahim led Kennesaw State to a 26-9 record, made the NCAA’s; this year, his Bulls are 19-5, 12-1 in AAC in his first year at USF. Previous four years, Bulls were 45-62, 21-47 in conference games. Great coaching job.

— SMU 106, Memphis 79
Mustangs led 58-36 at halftime; dismal effort by Memphis.
Tigers lost six of their last nine games, after a 15-2 start.
SMU won its last six games, is 19-7, 10-3 in conference games.

— Niagara 80, Quinnipiac 66
Niagara has won its last eight road games, longest active streak in country.
Purple Eagles made 9-17 on arc, 27-27 on foul line.
Quinnipiac lost its last two games, after a 19-4 start.

Baseball Note of the Day: Players went 9-6 against the owners in contract arbitration cases this year, first time since 2019 the players had the advantage.
OF/2B Whit Merrifield signed a one-year, $8M deal with the Phillies.

Word of the Day: Subterfuge- Deceit used in order to achieve a goal.

— Rider 104, Manhattan 62
Broncs shot 77.8% from the floor, the highest shooting %age in a D-I game by any team since January 24, 2005.

— Thursday in Utah, Golden State’s Klay Thompson came off the bench for the first time since his rookie season, 12 years ago; he scored 35 points (13-22 from floor, 7-13 on arc) as the Warriors beat the Jazz, 140-137.

— LA Chargers are paying Jim Harbaugh $16M a year? Really? Wow. Sean Payton is the only coach in the NFL making more $$$ than Jim Harbaugh. John Harbaugh makes $12M a year.

— Four guys were teammates with both Michael Jordan and Lebron James:
Brendan Haywood
Larry Hughes
Jerry Stackhouse
Scott Williams

— Rangers-Islanders played hockey outdoors at Giants Stadium in New Jersey Sunday; they drew 79,690 fans, a day after the Flyers-Devils drew 70,328 fans in the same stadium Saturday night. 150,000 fans for two games; pretty, pretty good.
No way the NHL knew what a gold mine they had on their hands when they started these outdoor games.

— NBA All-Star Game: East 211, West 186- Somewhere, some poor soul bet the under in this game, which had no chance of winning. None.
Teams combined to shoot 67-168 (39.9%) on the arc
Teams combined to shoot 96-121 (79.3%) inside the arc

— RIP to Charles (Lefty) Driesell, the great college basketball coach who passed away over the weekend, at age 92. He had a great career.
Driesell coached at four colleges:
1960-69- Davidson- 176-65
1969-86- Maryland- 348-159
1986-97- James Madison- 159-111
1997-2003- Georgia State- 103-59

Driesell was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2018; he made the Elite Eight four times, but his best team was probably his 1974 Maryland team, which was ranked #3 in the country but lost the ACC title game in overtime- back then, only one team from each league made it to the NCAA’s.

Today, that team would’ve been a #1-seed in the tournament, but they didn’t even get in- they won the NIT very easily that season. Bad timing; NC State had David Thompson that year.
Driesell was known as much for his personality as coaching; he promised to make Maryland “the UCLA of the East” back when the Bruins won the NCAA’s every year. He won a lot of games and he was fun to listen to.

RIP, sir.

Active member
Sep 26, 2005
Wednesday’s 6-pack:
— Creighton 85, UConn 66- Huskies had won 14 games in a row.
— Saint Mary’s 70, San Francisco 66- Gaels have now won 14 in a row.
— Texas Tech 82, TCU 81- Frogs led by 10 with 6:21 left in game.
— Utah State 68, San Diego State 63- Aztecs are 1-5 in last six road tilts.
— Syracuse 87, NC State 83- Bell scored 26 points, all in the first half.
— Arkansas 78, Texas A&M 71- Big upset in the SEC.

Quote of the Day
“They need to make an adjustment to help us players be in a better position to win. Everybody in this organization wants to win. We, as players, want to win. I think they need to make adjustments to help us win. I’m not saying the team is not OK right now but they need to be conscious of what are the weaknesses and what we need right now.”
Red Sox 3B Rafael Devers

Wednesday’s quiz
When the United States won the gold medal in hockey at the 1980 Olympics, who did they beat in the gold medal game?

Tuesday’s quiz
Scott Skiles holds the NBA record for most assists in a game, with 30.

Monday’s quiz
John Adams was the second President of the United States.


Wednesday’s Den: NBA trends……

NBA trends (thru All-Star break)
Hawks (24-31):
— 2-4 last six games SU
— 4-18 ATS as a home favorite
— over 6-2 last eight home games
— 3-7 ATS if they played night before.

Celtics (43-12):
— won last six games SU (3-6 ATS last nine)
— 2-7 ATS last nine as a home favorite.
— under 7-3 last ten home games.
— 5-4 ATS if they played night before.

Nets (21-33):
— lost five of their last six games.
— 10-4 ATS as home favorite.
— 2-11 ATS last 13 road games.
— under 5-1 last six games
— 2-6 ATS if they played night before.
— fired their coach during All-Star break.

Hornets (13-41):
— won last 3 games, covered 5 of last 6 games.
— 7-18 ATS as a road underdog.
— under 8-3 last eleven road games.
— 5-4 ATS if they played night before.

Bulls (26-29)
— 3-2 SU last five games, 9-4 ATS last 13 games.
— 5-2 ATS as a home dog, 6-2 as road favorite.
— over 6-1 last seven games.
— 4-5 ATS if they played night before.

Cavaliers (36-17):
— won 18 of their last 20 games SU (4-5 ATS last nine).
— 12-9 ATS as home favorite, 8-5 as road favorite.
— You’re reading
— under 8-3 last eleven games.
— 3-4 ATS if they played the night before.

Mavericks (32-23):
— won their last six games (5-1 ATS).
— 8-11 ATS as home favorites, 9-2 as road favorites.
— under 6-2 last eight games.
— 6-3 ATS if they played night before.

Nuggets (36-19):
— lost last three games (1-5 ATS last six games)
— 7-13 ATS as a road favorite
— under 11-2 last 13 games.
— 2-8 ATS if they played night before.

Pistons (8-46):
— 3-2 SU in last five games, 12-4 ATS last 16.
— 8-3 ATS last 11 as a home dog, 7-3 last 10 as road dog.
— under 5-1 last six home games
— 2-8 ATS on first night of a back/back.

Warriors (27-26):
— won eight of last ten games SU
— 6-15 ATS as a home favorite
— 17-8 ATS on the road.
— under 7-3 last ten games
— 7-4 ATS if they played night before.

Rockets (24-30):
— lost five of last six games SU
— 17-10 ATS at home, 8-14 as road dogs.
— under 3-1 last four games.
— 5-3 ATS if they played night before.

Pacers (31-25):
— won four of last six games SU.
— 9-5 ATS as a home underdog.
— under 4-1 last five road games.
— 1-8 ATS if they played night before.

Clippers (36-17):
— 11-3 SU in last 14 games (9-5 ATS)
— 12-5 ATS as a road favorite.
— over 6-2 last eight road games.
— 5-3 ATS if they played night before.

Lakers (30-26):
— 6-1 SU last seven games (5-2 ATS)
— 2-8 ATS as a road favorite.
— over 10-4 last 14 games.
— 3-7 ATS if they played night before.

Grizzlies (20-36):
— won last two games SU, after an 0-9 skid.
— 11-15 ATS at home.
— over 6-1 last seven games
— 6-4 ATS if they played night before.

Heat (30-25):
— won six of last eight games SU (7-1 ATS).
— 11-10 ATS as home favorites, 1-6 as home underdogs.
— under 8-1 last nine games.
— 3-5 ATS if they played the night before.

Bucks (35-21):
— lost 7 of their last 10 games.
— 11-16-1 ATS as home favorites.
— under 8-2 last ten games.
— 4-5-1 ATS if they played the night before.

Timberwolves (39-16)
— won/covered five of their last six games.
— 12-10 ATS as a home favorite.
— over 6-1 last seven games.
— 3-4 ATS if they played the night before.

Pelicans (33-22):
— won seven of last eight games SU
— 16-8 ATS as an underdog.
— under 6-1 last seven road games.
— 5-2 ATS if they played the night before

Knicks (33-22):
— lost five of their last six games (0-6 ATS)
— 20-8 ATS as a favorite, 7-11 as a road underdog
— You’re reading
— under 6-1 last seven road games
— 2-6 ATS if they played night before.

Thunder (37-17):
— won five of their last seven games (3-6 ATS last nine).
— 15-7 ATS as a home favorite, 8-3 as a road dog.
— over 6-0 last six games
— 6-2 ATS if they played night before.

Magic (30-25):
— 6-2 SU/5-3 ATS last eight games
— 11-4 ATS as home favorite, 4-2 as road favorite.
— under 5-0 last five games.
— 6-5 ATS if they played night before.

76ers (32-22):
— 3-9 last 12 games SU.
— 22-13 ATS as a favorite, 8-10 as an underdog.
— under 4-2 last six games.
— 4-8 ATS if they played night before.

Suns (33-22):
— 7-2 SU/ATS last nine games.
— 11-15 ATS as a home favorite, 7-10 road favorite.
— under 5-2 last seven home games
— 4-3 ATS if they played night before.

Trailblazers (15-39):
— 0-6 SU/2-4 ATS in last six games.
— 4-1 ATS last five road games
— under 6-3 last nine road games
— 7-2 ATS if they played night before.

Kings (31-23):
— lost four of last six games SU.
— 11-4 ATS as an underdog.
— over 7-1 last eight games
— 3-5 ATS if they played night before.

Spurs (11-44):
— 1-8 SU/2-7 ATS last nine games
— 9-13 ATS as a home underdog, 13-18 as a road dog.
— under 10-1 last eleven games.
— 3-3 ATS if they played night before.

Raptors (19-36):
— 3-16 SU/7-12 ATS last 19 games
— 5-8 ATS as a home dog, 11-12 as road dogs.
— over 5-1 last six home games.
— 3-7 ATS if they played night before.

Jazz (26-30):
— 2-7 SU/ATS last nine games
— 18-9 ATS at home, 9-16 as a road dog.
— over 4-1 last five games
— 3-6 ATS if they played night before.

Wizards (9-45):
— 0-8 SU last eight games (4-1 ATS last five).
— 8-15 ATS as a home underdog.
— under 7-1 last eight home games.
— 4-3 ATS if they played night before.

Active member
Sep 26, 2005
Thursday’s 6-pack:
Top 6 teams in the college baseball top 25:
1- Wake Forest
2- LSU
3- Arkansas
4- Oregon State
5- Cal State-Fullerton
6- TCU

Quote of the Day
“A life of frustration is inevitable for any coach whose main enjoyment is winning.”
Chuck Noll

Thursday’s quiz
Who was the third President of the United States?

Wednesday’s quiz
When the United States won the gold medal in hockey at the 1980 Olympics, they beat Finland 4-2 in the gold medal game. (they beat Russia in the semi-finals).

Tuesday’s quiz
Scott Skiles holds the NBA record for most assists in a game, with 30.


Thursday’s Den: Doing some thinking out loud…….

— Today is/was my dad’s birthday, and also my Aunt Josephine’s. Two of the nicest people I’ve ever met, I was lucky to know them. Hopefully they’re up in heaven having a good laugh today.
— Pet Peeve Department:
a) “He’s a winner” You hear this on TV and it makes my blood boil, because for every winner, there is a loser, and no way in hell is anyone automatically “a loser”
b) College basketball analysts tend to call games in the same leagues, and they become shills for that league.
The Big X analysts: “Teams in the Big X play harder than any league in the country”
The SEC analysts: “The SEC is deeper than it has ever been; best league in the country”
Not good. Just announce the game; stop being a shill.

— You can make this wager at Circa in Las Vegas:
UConn or Purdue to win the college hoop national title: +260
Any other team in the country to win the college hoop national title: -320

— Baseball futures bets for this season:
Ronald Acuna stolen bases: over/under 56.5
Oakland A’s wins: over/under 56.5
Hopefully for my sake, Acuna won’t get more steals than the A’s get wins, or it’ll be another long summer for me (A’s fan since 1965). Oakland has improved its starting pitching, they figure to be a little better, but they were 50-112 last year. No bueno.

— MLB Network re-played a show about Hall of Fame pitcher Dennis Eckersley the other day; I was reminded that he threw a no-hitter for the Cleveland Indians in 1977, his third year in the major leagues. I listened to that game on the radio, with the great Joe Tait on the mike.
In that game……..from 1977
Eckersley allowed only one baserunner (he walked Tony Solaita)
Rick Manning was the Indians’ CF: he is still an analyst on Guardians games.
Duane Kuiper was the Indians’ 2B: he is still a play-by-play guy on Giants games.
Jerry Remy was the Angels’ 2B that day; he wound up in the same TV booth with Eckersley, doing Red Sox games for years.
Ray Fosse was the Indians’ catcher that day; he worked A’s games on TV for 30 years.
Bobby Bonds played for the Angels that day; Barry Bonds’ dad, and a hell of a ballplayer.
Stressful no-hitter; Cleveland scored a run in the first inning, the only run of the game. Time of the game: 2:02.

— Over the last 2.5 years, NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder is 126-85-7 (.597) against the spread.

— New Jersey Giants went 6-11 this past season, despite a +12 turnover ratio; they’re only NFL team in the last 20 years to have a +12 or better turnover ratio, and finish with a loosing record.

— For some reason this weekend, ESPN showed a buzzer beater in a D-3 game between Cortland-Plattsburgh, two schools in New York State where it gets very cold at this time of year. When I was in college, spent a few nights in those two gyms; we never got on ESPN.

Baseball Stuff:
Salt Lake City, Nashville are frontrunners for baseball’s next round of expansion, which should happen in the next few years.
1B Eric Hosmer retired Tuesday; he played 13 years in the big leagues, hit 198 home runs with an OPS of .762. He won three Gold Gloves, was an All-Star in 2016.
SS Amed Rosario gets a one-year, $1.5M deal with the Tampa Bay Rays.
P Hyun Jin-Ryu went home to Korea to finish up his baseball career; he pitched in the big leagues for 10 years, went 78-48, 3.27 in 185 career MLB starts.

Movie of the Day: Last Vegas (2013)- Four senior citizens who’ve been best friends since childhood head to Las Vegas, for the bachelor party of the one friend (Michael Douglas) who has never been married. He is marrying someone who is half his age, which complicates things.
Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman, Robert DeNiro, Kevin Kline, Mary Steenburgen; obviously an epic cast of characters.

— Washington State is in the college basketball top 25 for the first time since 2008; Coogs have won seven in a row, 10 of last 11 games- they have the #2 eFG% defense in the country.

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