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Gary Woodland...U.S. Open Champion!!!
[Posted Sunday p.m.]
Baseball Quiz: So I saw where Wade Boggs turned 61 on Saturday, and when you say ‘Wade Boggs’ to me, I think of 200-hit seasons. He had seven, all in succession, and I was mildly surprised it wasn’t one or two more. In the post-1900 era (so ex-Wee Willie Keeler), name the six with eight or more 200-hit seasons. [Hint: Only one of the six was a home run hitter.] Answer below.
Justin Rose -6
Rickie Fowler -5
Xander Schauffele -5
Louis Oosthuizen -5
Aaron Wise -5
Scott Piercy -4
Nate Lashley -4
Tiger Woods -1
--Jordan Spieth was caught on air clearly dissing his caddie, Michael Greller, after Spieth bogeyed the par-4 eighth hole, where his tee shot rolled off the cliff to the right of the fairway to the rocks below.
He then compounded his problem after taking a drop and sent his third shot flying over the green into deep rough and muttered to himself, “Two perfect shots.”
Spieth then appeared to passive-aggressively rip into Greller, saying, “Two perfect shots, Michael. You got me in the water on one and over the green on the other.”
After his 1-over round of 72, Spieth owned up to his blaming of Greller.
“Yeah, I may have looked like the bad guy there, but my intentions were that we should be in play if the ball is hit solidly, and I was out of play on both shots,” Spieth said. “We were talking about potentially one less [club on the second shot], and I said, ‘But isn’t it playing about 60 [yards] with a fade?’ And then he said yes.
“So we both agreed on that. It was clearly a 4-iron off the tee. At the same time, when you hit a couple of shots exactly where you want to, and the first one is in the water and the next one is dead over the green, I’m going to be frustrated that as a team we didn’t figure out how to make sure that didn’t happen.”
This episode may not seem like a big deal, but because of social media, it is in terms of Spieth’s reputation for being one of the real good guys in the sport. He hasn’t won in a while and the frustration is showing.
--Phil Mickelson’s U.S. Open will be memorable for a missed putt on Thursday. An 18-inch missed putt. Fox analyst Paul Azinger said, “That might be the shortest missed putt of anybody’s career on this tour.”
And it’s true. “Even the PGA Tour’s website, which tracks putting performance from an array of distances, doesn’t show how players perform inside 2 feet. The shortest range it lists is inside 3 feet, from where the vast majority of pros make between 99% and 100% of their putts.” [Brian Costa / Wall Street Journal]
Gary Woodland -9 ...after a 65...
Rory McIlroy -5
--There were few big names missing the cut...just Justin Thomas and Tony Finau, along with other lesser figures such as Kevin Na and Alex Noren (who’s had an awful year after a promising 2018 in his debut in the States, following success in Europe).
--There was an accident at Pebble involving a runaway golf cart, when a box fell off and hit the gas pedal. The vendor in charge of the cart was among five injured, with one victim suffering a broken arm, three minor injuries, but the fifth a “spinal injury,” for which I haven’t seen any details.
Brooks Koepka -7
Chez Reavie -7
Woods... E...bye bye...putting woes continue....
For his part, Gary Woodland showed amazing poise down the stretch of his third round, hitting two incredibly clutch par putts on Nos. 12 and 14. The three-time PGA Tour winner has been a solid performer for a while now. Woodland, 35, first won in 2011 and was tenth in the FedEx Cup standings that season. But after a poor 2012, he has finished between No. 26 and 60 in the points race ever since, earning between $1.9 million and $3.3 million each season...the epitome of consistency.
But he has a reputation of not stepping up in the big ones and this is the first time he’s been in the situation he finds himself in in a major on Sunday (he was the 36-hole leader in last year’s PGA before fading down the stretch and finishing T-6). And he’s playing a second straight day with Justin Rose, a proven winner on the big stage, let alone Brooks Koepka looms.
As Paul Azinger said Saturday on the Fox broadcast, Woodland was Koepka before Koepka. A terrific natural athlete (basketball Woodland’s main game), and big bomber off the tee.
But now Gary Woodland has his own chance to grab a big one, a chance to breakthrough.
“I worked for this my whole life,” he said Saturday night. “I’ve trained since I started walking... I’ve played sports, I’ve competed. I’ve learned how to win, even if I haven’t done it as much as I’d like. I know what it takes to win. And my game is in a great spot. I’m at a beautiful golf course. I came here to win, and that’s what we’re going out to do tomorrow.”
So on to Round Four....
Koepka came out on fire, birdieing four of his first five holes, with an amazing scramble at No. 2 for par. Woodland also got off to a solid start.
So after 6/7 for the top three....
Woodland -13...thru 6
Koepka -11...thru 7
Rose -11...thru 6
Oosthuizen -9...thru 8
Adam Scott -9...thru 12
Koepka then bogeyed No. 8, but great save at No. 9 for par.
Woodland bogeys 9, now -12, only his third bogey of the week.
Koepka birdies 11, trails Woodland by one.
Koepka hits a poor tee shot on the par-3 No. 12, Woodland with a great par at 11.
But Woodland hits a poor tee shot at 12 and bogeys, and now we have....
Woodland -11...thru 12
Koepka -10...thru 13
Rose -9...thru 12
Woodland bad tee shot on 13....but great par!
Koepka poor approach at par-5 14th, but pars it.
Rose bogeys 13.
Woodland goes for green in two on 14, clears the trap, two-putts for birdie.
Koepka great par at 15.
Woodland -12...thru 14
Koepka -10...thru 15
Rose -8...thru 14...bye bye...
And it was still Woodland -12 as he approached the par-3 17th, whereupon he hit a miserable tee shot, with Koepka, -10, off the green on the par-5 18th in two.
But Woodland hit an awesome second shot, needing to clip it while still on the green to save par on 17.
Koepka then stubbed his third off the green and had to settle for par on his final hole.
And now Woodland, up two, just needed to play conservatively and gets it on the green in three, and then proceeds to sink a long putt for birdie!...what a capper!
And what a great champion. 0-for-7 when holding a lead after 54 holes, he wins the ultimate prize.
A super U.S. Open at the best venue to hold the event...and we thank the weather gods for cooperating.
Jon Rahm -7
--Even Phil Mickelson couldn’t criticize the USGA this week. The feeling coming in was the sport’s governing body had to really try hard to screw up Pebble, and they didn’t. Plus all the rain in May helped keep the greens immaculate, rather than the feared crunchy texture that would come with more normal weather for the region this time of year. Mickelson said after Thursday’s round, “they did a heck of a job.”
--Oklahoma State star Viktor Hovland finished -4, 280, the best score ever for an amateur in the Open. He turns pro this coming week at The Travelers.
--Gotta give Tiger Woods some credit. He started out +4 after just six holes today, looking totally disinterested, but finished -6 the rest of the way to end up -2 for the tournament, T-21.
Final commentary, for the record, next chat.
NBA...Toronto Wins...AD Goes West
--The Toronto Raptors sealed the deal in Game 6 on Thursday, 114-110 over the Warriors in Oakland. Up one point with 9.6 seconds left, Toronto coughed up a turnover on Danny Green’s errant pass, giving Golden State an opportunity to win on a final shot, but Steph Curry’s fadeaway 3-pointer, a good look, wasn’t close and Toronto wrapped it up with some free throws.
Kawhi Leonard was the MVP in the Finals, joining LeBron James and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar as the only players to win Finals MVPs with two different teams (he won with the Spurs in 2014), but it was Kyle Lowry who shined on Thursday...26 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds.
Lowry, the much-maligned veteran point guard, stepped up with huge moments in both the Finals and the Eastern Conference finals against Milwaukee
But Game 6 was also about another devastating injury, as Klay Thompson, who scored 30 points, tore his ACL, joining teammate Kevin Durant in the devastating injury category for a Finals that will be remembered as much for these two going down, asfor Toronto winning Canada’s first NBA title, taking out the dynasty in the process.
Golden State coach Steve Kerr, a total class act, said after:
“It’s hard to put into words how I feel about our team. What I’ve witnessed as their coach over the last five years is just an incredible combination of talent and character and commitment to each other. This just doesn’t happen. A group of guys like this doesn’t come around together and do what they did over the last five years. And I’ve been lucky enough to be their coach. That’s what I told them in the locker room.
“I can’t tell you my gratitude in terms of just being put in this position to be with this group and to coach them and to help them. But I could not be any luckier as a coach to be with these guys every day and to watch them compete and, boy, do they compete. I think they showed that throughout this series and throughout the playoffs.”
Kerr, going back to last Wednesday after the Durant injury and his surgery for his torn Achilles, said the decision to greenlight Durant’s return for Game 5 was a “collaborative” one that included Durant; his agent, Rich Kleiman; the team’s medical staff; and an outside medical expert who provided a second opinion.
“Would we go back and do it over again? Damn right,” Kerr said. “That’s easy to say after the results. Our feeling was the worst thing that could happen would be a reinjure of the calf. That was the advice and the information that we had. At that point, once Kevin was cleared to play, he was comfortable with that. We were comfortable with that. So the Achilles’ came as a complete shock. Had we known that this was a possibility, that this was even in the realm of possibility, there’s no way we ever would have allowed Kevin to come back.”
As for Kawhi Leonard’s future, first, Toronto’s big offseason gamble to in effect rent Leonard for a year worked out rather well, and now there will be pressure for Kawhi to at least stick around another season to help defend the title.
Or he’ll bolt for his hometown Clippers, as long rumored, and no one in Toronto could ever say a bad word about Kawhi doing that.
As for the Warriors, with Durant and Thompson both likely out for all of next season (though Thompson’s ACL recovery might have him playing again next spring...to be optimistic), the Warriors are definitely going to hand Klay his max-deal.
The Durant situation, though, is complicated. Durant can still accept a player-option for one year, $31.5 million, and have the comfort of rehabbing at his home in the Bay Area and with the Warriors’ staff.
On the other hand, there are teams that will still give Durant the max-deal he has craved, even though that team knows the first year is worthless.
The Warriors would be happy to give Durant a max-deal, too, but with their other salary obligations they would be way over the cap, and ownership seems loath to pay a big penalty (luxury tax) when they are also about to move into a very expensive new arena.
Lastly, on Toronto’s win, they certainly took advantage of some huge breaks in the playoffs, namely, Leonard’s four-bounce shot at the buzzer in overtime of Game 7 against the Sixers. Or Milwaukee failing to take Game 3, a double overtime loss that could have had the Bucks up 3-0 in the conference finals.
--The NBA, like the NFL, has mastered the art of keeping interest in the game after their respective playoffs and with the draft (Thurs.) and then free agency (officially July 1), the Lakers, read LeBron, got what they wanted, New Orleans star center Anthony Davis in a huge trade Saturday, to be made official June 30.
New Orleans receives three first-round draft picks, including this year’s No. 4, plus Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart, for AD, who at the moment could play for just one season in L.A. before testing the free agent waters, though virtually everyone assumes Davis will sign a max-deal with the Lakers. Importantly, the Lakers retained Kyle Kuzma, who the Pelicans have wanted all along.
Bill Plaschke / Los Angeles Times
“This was a trade for a championship.
“In dealing Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart and three first-round draft picks to the New Orleans Pelicans for the NBA’s most dominating inside presence Saturday, the Lakers did more than just gain a giant superstar. They created a title team out of a losing team. They turned a group of underachievers into a group that can overwhelm. They returned hope to a hopelessly lost franchise, real hope, ring hope.
“It is a swap Lakers fans desperately sought after watching their team miss the playoffs for a franchise-worst six consecutive seasons. In recent weeks, they’ve witnessed Magic Johnson’s sudden resignation, general manager Rob Pelinka’s botched coaching search and enough front office nonsense to make them wonder if the chaos would ever end. For them to now see one of the NBA’s five best players walk through the door is literally a sight for sore eyes. This was a trade for LeBron James’ interest. You think he’ll emotionally invest in this team now? By creating a legitimate title hope, the Lakers should start seeing the legitimate LeBron.
“This was a trade for potential free agents’ attention. You think somebody like Kyrie Irving would want to join this group? Kemba Walker would also probably love to play here now. They need a point guard, and they should be able to get one. They need a shooter, and they should be able to find one. One of the league’s most unsettling environments just became its most attractive. This was a trade for Davis’ future. He is a free agent at the end of the season, and while his representatives have said he wants to play in Los Angeles, the Lakers no longer have to worry about him spending the year being wooed by someone else. He is a Laker now, and will probably be a Laker for a long time.
“This was a trade for Kyle Kuzma’s empowerment. They kept Kuzma! Can you believe they somehow made a major trade for a big-time star and still managed to hold on to arguably their best young player and fan favorite? Kuzma was one of the Lakers kids whose play suffered last year when he was worried that James wanted to trade him. He should worry no more. James clearly wants him.
“This was a trade for Golden State’s vacancy. With the Warriors finally decimated and probably gone, the path to the NBA Finals has been cleared for another dominant West team, and the Lakers just became it.
“This was, finally, a trade for Pelinka’s reputation. The most criticized executive in the league just pulled off a deal that makes the Lakers relevant again. He not only saved the LeBron James era from crumbling almost before it began, he also probably saved his job, and that strange sound he’s hearing today is applause....
“Just imagine if they sign Irving this summer and lock down Davis next summer, employing two 27-and-under stars just as James is receding into the sunset. Talk about championship sustainability. This trade could eventually result in more than one ring.
“Of course, there will be boos. Some folks around the league will probably think the Lakers gave up too much....
“(But) the Lakers have to win now, or they will be blowing the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity afforded them by one of the best players ever. The Lakers have to win now, or risk losing the attention of a city that has grown sick of all the drama.
“So, three first-round draft picks is a ton of picks. So what? James could be retired by the time those picks are cashed.”
Meanwhile, there is, admittedly, the issue of agent Rich Paul, AD’s agent, as well as LeBron’s agent and long-time friend. Ironically, Paul was on the cover of Sports Illustrated this week. He will indeed have undue influence on the Lakers. Rich Paul is now essentially running the team. At some point down the road this won’t be a good thing, but Lakers fans have zero reason to be concerned today.
Magic Johnson, whose departure was ugly, threw bouquets at everyone in the Lakers organization for the Davis trade.
“Great job by Owner Jeanie Buss bringing Anthony Davis to the Lakers!,” Johnson tweeted. “Laker Nation, the Lakers are back in a championship hunt! Congratulations to the entire organization. I know LeBron James has a big smile on his face. I’m loving this!”
“Laker Nation, you wanted the great Jeanie Buss to step up and bring a championship team back to LA and she’s doing just that! And the Lakers still have over $30 million of cap space to spend on free agents starting June 30th.”
After an eight-minute Twitter gap from his other complimentary statements, Johnson then grudgingly took the high road and gave Pelinka, who he hired in 2017, his props.
“Great trade Rob Pelinka! Job well done,” Magic tweeted.
Then there was LaVar Ball on the trading of son, Lonzo. “I guarantee...it will be the worst move the Lakers ever did in their life and they will never win another championship. Guarantee it.”
Ball said he didn’t care about where Lonzo plays, adding it’s important for him to have the trust of an organization, which LaVar believed wasn’t the case in Los Angeles.
But LaVar has lost the juice of L.A. for his failing Big Baller Brand...and a lot of us who despise LaVar are finding this most amusing.
As for the rest of the league, Boston had some hope of acquiring Davis, even if for a one-year rental, as the difference for winning a title next season.
Golden State loses, for obvious reasons. The injuries to Durant and Thompson are bad enough, but the Davis trade could doom the Warriors’ hopes of a return to championship form in 2020-21.
One other...while Kyrie Irving is now being linked to the Lakers, reports this weekend have him signing with Brooklyn, and not the Knicks, with the Nets then letting point guard D’Angelo Russell walk...Russell then becoming an attractive free-agent alternative for a lot of teams.
St. Louis Blues...champions....
Since Game 7 was after I last posted, just have to note the 4-1 win by the Blues that propelled them to their first Stanley Cup title in their 51-year history, with center Ryan O’Reilly named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the postseason MVP after he scored eight goals with 14 assists in 26 playoff games. O’Reilly’s first-period deflection made him the first player since Wayne Gretzky in 1985 to score in four straight Stanley Cup Finals games.
But goalie Jordan Binnington was the star of Game 7 with 32 saves, including 12 in the critical first period as the Blues took a 2-0 lead at the break.
Yes, a remarkable achievement for the Blues, who were in last place on Jan. 3, when Binnington then took over in net, going 24-5-1 in the regular season, then 16-10 in the playoffs.
As for the city of St. Louis, boy, they deserve this one, after being abandoned twice by NFL franchises (the St. Louis Cardinals to Arizona; the St. Louis Rams to Los Angeles). And the baseball Cardinals have been in a rare playoff drought these days.
--The Yankees have been going through a rough stretch, 4-8 after a 38-19 start to the season, the Yanks snapping a three-game losing streak in Chicago Saturday 8-4. The starting staff has sucked and there is no way they can win a title without picking up a quality starter.
[Though today they won again, 10-3, as James Paxton (4-3, 3.93) went six, allowing 2 earned, for the win, the Yankees back to 43-27, a half-game ahead of the 43-28 Rays.]
So the Yanks, after whiffing on Dallas Keuchel, instead acquired designated hitter and first baseman Edwin Encarnacion*, the American League home run leader with 21, a guy with 401 career homers, seven straight seasons of 32+. Encarnacion makes the team better, no doubt, and the Yankees are about to get Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge back in the coming days as well.
*The Yankees sent 19-year-old pitching prospect Juan Then (sic) to Seattle. The kid supposedly has great stuff but is years away from hitting the majors, if he ever does, which is how you use a deep farm system to your advantage, wrote the Mets fan, whose team has a hideous system.
But they need pitching. Emblematic of this is CC Sabathia, who is hanging on by a thread (wait, that’s Masahiro Tanaka and his fragile elbow). Sabathia, pitching on one leg, heroically, had a 2.97 ERA his first seven starts of this his final season, but over his last four its 6.97.
Meanwhile, White Sox fans have every reason to be psyched. They entered Sunday’s play at 34-35, which is actually pretty good, with some terrific young talent, including Tim Anderson and rookie slugger Eloy Jimenez, who has 11 home runs in his first 167 big-league at-bats.
And then there’s Lucas Giolito, who I mentioned the other day for his remarkable turnaround from a miserable 2018, 10-13, 6.13 ERA. Friday night, Giolito improved to 10-1, 2.22, after allowing one run in six innings in the 10-2 ChiSox’ win.
As the New York Times’ Benjamin Hoffman points out, “Since 1901, there have been just 27 seasons in which a pitcher threw at least 170 innings and had an ERA higher than 6. Of the 26 such examples before Giolito, only two, Darryl Kile and Mike Hampton, managed ERA’s of less than 4 the next season. And both of them owed their turnarounds to being traded away from the Colorado Rockies and their thin-air park.”
--Speaking of Coors Field, they played an old-fashioned game at the park on Friday night, San Diego beating the Rockies 16-12 in 12 innings, after the Padres scored six in the ninth to send it into extra innings, Hunter Renfroe with three home runs, including the game-winner in the 12th.
The Padres had never overcome a deficit of six or more runs in the ninth during a win or loss, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. On the flip side, the Rockies had never blown a lead of six or more runs in the ninth inning.
The Padres then lost to the Rockies 14-8 on Saturday, in another Coors Field throwback affair.
Yes, the last few years there have seen far fewer outbursts at the mile-high stadium compared with past history, but it’s also true that most of the Rockies do still have quite a disparity in their splits, home and away, and this impacts their potential trade value.
Case in point, All-Star Charlie Blackmon, who we all agree is a superb all-around ballplayer.
But this year, after going 4-for-6 Saturday, you can’t escape the fact that while he is batting .332 with 15 home runs and 44 RBIs out of the leadoff spot, a 1.025 OPS, the dude is batting .450 at home, 13-26, 1.486, and .233 on the road, 2-18, .629.
[Just saw the Padres won today, 14-13! Hunter Renfroe hit another two home runs to give him 23 on the season, while Charlie Blackmon went 3-for-6, a homer and three RBIs.]
--My Mets had one of the worst days in recent franchise history Friday, though it all started Thursday night, when closer Edwin Diaz came into the ninth with a 4-2 lead against the Cardinals at Citi Field, and promptly allowed St. Louis to tie it up at 4-4, the game then suspended for rain.
So they resumed it at 6:00 p.m., Friday, prior to the regularly-scheduled contest, and Diaz found himself on the mound again, whereupon he gave up a run in the top of the tenth, the Cardinals winning 5-4. So Diaz blew the same game, twice. And on a night when Mets fans were treated to Diaz Game Over T-shirts upon arrival.
So in the next game, the Mets’ Jeurys Familia, he of the three-year, $30 million contract, inherited a 5-4 lead in the eighth and promptly surrendered four runs, on two home runs, the Mets losing 9-5; Familia’s ERA now 6.91!
The problem here is, even if the Mets want to concede that their experiment of bringing their one-time closer back to New York for three years is a bust, no one is going to take him off their hands without the Mets eating virtually all of the remaining contract. We’d be likely to get no more than a bag of balls and a $25 gift card from Dunkin’ Donuts in return.
Anyway, the Mets eked out an 8-7 win Saturday night, as Diaz tried to give it away yet again in the ninth, New York losing Noah Syndergaard to a hamstring issue in the process, while today, the Metsies outhit the Cards 10-3...and lost 4-3. So we’re 34-37 and it blows.
--It’s no secret, I’m a big fan of Max Scherzer. You gotta admire greatness, and that’s what he’s been for years now.
So Friday night, the Nationals beat the Diamondbacks behind Scherzer’s 7 innings, 2 earned, 10Ks, as he’s finally back to 5-5, despite his fine 2.81 ERA. He’s been like Jacob deGrom, circa 2018...zero offensive support.
But is he on the trade bloc? Most say that there is no way the Nats would give up on the season already, but everyone has a price.
--The night before the Scherzer game, Arizona’s own high-profile starter, Zack Greinke, took a no-hitter into the seventh before exiting after 7 1/3 scoreless in a 5-0 win over the Nats, Greinke exiting only because of a 63-minute rain delay. He improved to 8-2, 2.65, as he continued to fulfill his massive, $35 million per, contract.
--Charlie Morton suffered his first loss in 22 starts on Saturday, as the Angels defeated the Ray 5-3 in St. Petersburg, Morton falling to 8-1, 2.37.
--Two nights earlier, the Angels’ Shohei Ohtani hit for his first career cycle in L.A.’s win over the Rays by the same 5-3 score as Saturday. Ohtani thus became the first MLB player born in Japan to accomplish the feat, Ichiro never having done so, which is kind of surprising.
But I saw where Angels players have hit for the cycle eight times in franchise history, including Jim Fregosi, who accomplished the feat twice; 1964 and 1968.
Ah yes, Jim Fregosi, he of the Jim Fregosi for Nolan Ryan trade, Dec. 10, 1971. Fregosi hit .232 in 340 at-bats for the Mets in 1972 and was run out of town the next season. Nolan Ryan went on to have a rather fine career, I think you’d agree.
--In the David Ortiz case, authorities have said they will reveal the motive and the man responsible for the attempted hit this coming week. For now the number arrested in relation to the case is up to nine.
--A jersey worn by Babe Ruth has become the most expensive piece of sports memorabilia ever sold.
The garment went for $5.64 million at auction in New York on Saturday, breaking the previous record of $4.4 million which was set in 2012 – also for one of Ruth’s New York Yankees jerseys.
The shirt dates from the 1928-30 period of Ruth’s career.
“The legacy and significance of Babe Ruth to the game of baseball and American popular culture is unmatched by any other figure in the history of this country,” the president of Hunt Auctions, David Hunt, said in a statement.
The record-breaking jersey was one of 400 pieces of Ruth memorabilia supplied by his family and private collectors and put up for sale at Yankee Stadium.
The identities of the seller and the buyer have not been made public.
--The College World Series is just getting started in Omaha and nothing of note to report as yet, as in no teams eliminated.
--Lastly, Sports Illustrated has a regular feature on food served up at minor league ballparks, and I can’t help but wish I could attend a Portland (Maine) Sea Dogs game to check out their “Fried Dough Burger”... “eight burger patties, cheese, crumbled bacon, lettuce and tomato, sandwiched between two pieces of fried dough.” The Sea Dogs also serve lobster popcorn (lobster and popcorn drenched in melted butter).
I’m drooling...and can’t find my bib.
--The U.S. women advanced into the knockout round of the World Cup with a 3-0 win over Chile today (with a game Thursday against Sweden before round of 16 play commences). That second goal on the corner kick was super sweet.
--At least $9 billion has been bet – legally – on sports in the U.S. in the year since New Jersey’s victory in a U.S. Supreme Court case. Together with Nevada, Delaware, Mississippi, West Virginia, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania, the total so far is $8.9 billion, but this doesn’t count figures from those states for May, meaning the total number is closer to $10 billion.
New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement shows gamblers bet $319 million on sports in May alone.
New Jersey took its first sports bets last June. Since then the state’s casinos and racetracks have taken in $2.94 billion, much to the delight of gambling companies...and New Jersey officials.
“Overall the first year in New Jersey has been spectacular, but to be honest, I couldn’t give you enough positive adjectives to serve justice to the question,” said Johnny Avello, head of digital sportsbooks for DraftKings. “The future is mind-blowing, and with states active and an additional seven authorized to offer sports wagering in 2019, DraftKings is positioned to capitalize on these and subsequent markets.”
FanDuel had similar comments, ditto William Hill US.
--The Wall Street Journal had a piece on Brian Lamb of C-Span fame and his favorite books, among which are “The Professor and the Madman,” by Simon Winchester (1998).
“In 1857, the organizers of the first Oxford English Dictionary enlisted the help of thousands of volunteer linguists. For 22 years, one of their most prolific contributors was W.C. Minor – an American and a sex-obsessed convicted murderer confined for 38 years to Broadmoor, one of Britain’s most notorious insane asylums. Simon Winchester writes a riveting tale of this young surgeon, who went mad after his service in the Civil War, made his way to England and, in 1872, committed London’s first murder by gunshot. From his cell, Minor procured books and contributed 10,000 entries in the OED. His identity remained unknown to the editors for many years. Unforgettably, we read that Minor’s linguistic contributions ended in 1902 when he demonstrated the use of the word ‘autopeotomy’ by cutting off his penis to cure himself of his demons.”
You’re reading....Bar Chat....
Top 3 songs for the week 6/18/77: #1 “Dreams” (Fleetwood Mac) #2 “Got To Give It Up” (Marvin Gaye) #3 “Gonna Fly Now” (Bill Conti)...and...#4 “Feels Like The First Time” (Foreigner...about eating your first Fried Dough Burger...) #5 “Lucille” (Kenny Rogers...still had his original face at this point...) #6 “Undercover Angel” (Alan O’Day) #7 “Lonely Boy” (Andrew Gold) #8 “I’m Your Boogie Man” (KC & The Sunshine Band) #9 “Sir Duke” (Stevie Wonder) #10 “Angel In Your Arms” (Hot...classic ‘C’ week...I was home after my first full year at Wake...busboy at the local hotel restaurant, room service on weekends, which is when I learned that the top floor of the hotel was, err, err....really can’t tell you, sorry....)
Baseball Quiz Answer: Most career 200-hit seasons....
Pete Rose 10
Ty Cobb 9
Paul Waner 8
Lou Gehrig 8
Derek Jeter 8
I was surprised with Gehrig. If you haven’t looked at his career recently, head to baseballreference.com and do so. It really blows you away all over again, plus the guy didn’t strike out much.
1969 New York Mets, cont’d:
The Mets took their 29-24 record to Los Angeles for a 3-game weekend set.
June 13: Mets lose 1-0, Jerry Koosman giving up an unearned run in 7 innings, the Mets falling to Alan Foster, who throws the complete game shutout for his first win of the season for L.A.
June 14: Mets win 3-1 behind Tom Seaver (10-3, 2.41), who goes 8 innings, one run, with the save to Tug McGraw. But Seaver also delivered the go-ahead 2-run single, after Art Shamsky had hit his first homer of the season earlier.
June 15: Mets lose 3-2 to Don Drysdale, who is pitching in his final season, with 3 1/3 innings in relief from Jim Brewer for the save. Jack DiLauro took the loss for New York, a spot start for him, 6 innings, 3 runs.
So the Mets head back east for four in Philadelphia, their record 30-26, a full 9 games back of the Cubs. But there is a big trade in the offing, Mets fans....Hmmmm.
Next Bar Chat, Thursday...NBA Draft preview.