|Articles||Go Fund Me||All-Species List||Hot Spots||Go Fund Me|
|Web Epoch NJ Web Design | (c) Copyright 2016 StocksandNews.com, LLC.|
Jeter and Walker Are In
[Posted Wed. a.m.]
Kansas City Chiefs Quiz: If you’re old like me, age 60 and above, this is for you. Otherwise, learn from your elders. For the 1970 Super Bowl Champion Chiefs (1969 season), name the following: The two quarterbacks, the three running backs with 500 yards rushing, and the top two wide receivers. Answer below.
Hall of Fame Vote
Derek Jeter will become the 26th shortstop to go into the Baseball Hall of Fame this summer, receiving all but one vote (396 of 397) from the Baseball Writers Association of America. Even Jeter couldn’t care less it wasn’t unanimous and I’m not wasting any time on it. It just doesn’t matter.
But Larry Walker snuck in on his final year, 76.6%, and good for him. He was one of the better all-around players of his generation, period, and is deserving.
What most of us were watching for, however, were some of the other vote totals.
Curt Schilling moved up from 60.9% to 70.0%, so he will pass the 75% threshold next year, his next to last year of eligibility.
But for Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds, in their eighth year on the ballot, they moved up only incrementally, and for the first time, yes, there is real danger neither gets in with just two years left.
Clemens went from 59.5% to 61.0%; Bonds from 59.1% to 60.7%. Frankly, I was surprised. I thought they’d move up closer to 65%. This is interesting, and while the Astros verdict had no impact on the tally (the ballots having been sent in prior to Manfred’s ruling), it will influence the vote going forward.
Others like Scott Rolen (35.3%) and Billy Wagner (31.7%) had nice jumps in their vote totals with many years left.
But two I have to highlight are Omar Vizquel and Gary Sheffield.
Vizquel is now up to 52.6% in his third year, so he will deservedly get his plaque in just two or three years, max.
And Sheffield is a bit intriguing. He moved up from 13.6% to 30.5% in his sixth year. It will be interesting to see what kind of jump he gets next January.
Otherwise, that’s it. Play Ball! [Oh, I wish it were that easy.]
Following Sunday’s championship games, once the big early bets were placed in Vegas, the consensus line was Kansas City a one-point favorite, mostly due to the Mahomes factor. And as I go to post we seem to have settled at K.C. giving 1.5.
John Murray, Westgate SuperBook director, told Matt Youmans writing for the Los Angeles Times, “What I saw (in the initial betting) that makes Kansas City favored is Patrick Mahomes is the best player in the NFL. The public is going to want to bet on Mahomes.”
Nick Bogdanovich, William Hill sportsbook director, said of the SB LIV matchup, “If these teams played 100 times, it probably would be 50-50.”
The favored team has won 34 of 53 Super Bowls. However, favorites of three points or less are 8-7.
The over/under, by the way, started at 51 ½ and is now up to 54, last I saw.
Chiefs-49ers is expected to break Nevada’s Super Bowl wagering handle record of $158.6 million set in 2018 when Philadelphia upset New England.
Proposition betting accounts for more than 50% of the game’s handle at some sportsbooks. With Mahomes on the marquee, prop business is expected to be particularly brisk.
Sally Jenkins / Washington Post...on the Mahomes Factor...
“Mahomes’...spirit imbues the entire organization. Understand this about Mahomes’ will to win and hatred of losing: In the two years he has been the Chiefs’ starter, the team has never lost a game by more than seven points. That includes a year ago in the AFC championship game, when their 37-31 overtime defeat to the New England Patriots left them ‘bitter,’ as (coach Andy) Reid put it. Mahomes had nearly choked on it and sworn he wouldn’t let it happen again.
“ ‘To watch the Super Bowl and not be in it, that was something I could barely do,’ Mahomes said Sunday night, and you could hear how much it still bothered him.
“If the Chiefs are an outfit that, as Reid says, ‘gives you four quarters of honest football on every single snap,’ it’s largely thanks to the habits of Mahomes, who merely fought through a dislocated kneecap. Credit Reid for detecting Mahomes’ internal drive and making him a first-round draft pick coming out of Texas Tech three years ago. ‘I was going to do whatever it took to win games,’ Mahomes said. Credit Reid even more for bringing this unconventional, winning-ravenous kid along so brilliantly and so patiently, literally sitting next to him on the bench between every possession for the past two years and taking him through it all like a kindly Little League coach.
“Reid says of Mahomes, ‘He sees the whole picture.’ If so, it’s thanks to his coach. Through the lens of Mahomes, it’s finally becoming apparent to laymen and outsiders just why Reid is so respected by his coaching peers and beloved by players: He is simply one of the finest teachers in the history of the game. ‘I’ve been accepted to go out and be who I am,’ Mahomes said.”
What he is is great.
Jason Gay / Wall Street Journal...on how long it’s been since the Chiefs were last in the Super Bowl.
“You don’t need me to tell you that American life was different in 1970. Fifty years ago, you didn’t have to wear a seat belt in the car. You could smoke at the bank. People called you on the phone, and you actually picked it up and talked to them. Nobody wore sweatpants on an airplane.
“Nixon was in office. Beatles had just broken up. The Guess Who were a thing. So were The Carpenters. The top grossing film was ‘Love Story.’ Don’t act like you didn’t cry. You cried!
“Chiefs fans have been crying ever since....The Chiefs developed a reputation for being a team that walked onto the lawn and habitually stepped on its own rake.”
New AP Poll (records thru Sunday)
1. Baylor (33) 15-1
2. Gonzaga (31) 20-1...just a victim of their schedule vs. Baylor’s
3. Kansas (1) 14-3
4. San Diego State 19-0
5. Florida State 16-2
6. Louisville 15-3
7. Dayton 16-2...up 6
8. Duke 15-3
9. Villanova 14-3
10. Seton Hall 14-4...up 8!
11. Michigan State 14-4
12. Oregon 15-4
13. Butler 15-3
14. West Virginia 14-3
15. Kentucky 13-4
16. Auburn 15-2...down 12
22. Arizona 13-5
23. Colorado 14-4
24. Rutgers 14-4
25. Houston 14-4
Congratulations to Rutgers! As I noted might be the case last chat, this is the first time in the poll since 1979. And this is the first time New Jersey has two teams in the top 25 since Seton Hall was joined by Princeton in the last poll of the 1990-91 season. [It’s the first time ever The Hall and Rutgers have been in the poll together.]
Rutgers has a big road test, Wednesday, at 19 Iowa.
--Baylor passed its first test as No. 1 on Monday night, 61-57 over Oklahoma (12-6, 3-3). Last night, San Diego State improved to 20-0 with a 72-55 win at home over lowly Wyoming.
--No big upsets Monday or Tuesday, but last night in Lawrence, Kansas, we had a massive brawl at the end of 3 Kansas’ 81-60 win over rival Kansas State that was both scary and truly embarrassing for both schools.
The Jayhawks were dribbling out the clock when forward Silvio De Sousa was stripped by DaJuan Gordon, who tried to go in for a layup, an incredibly bush-league move. De Sousa recovered and blocked the shot, sending the Wildcats’ freshman to the floor and drawing a technical for taunting, De Sousa standing over Gordon in a belligerent fashion.
Two K-State players then went after De Sousa, and all hell broke loose, players from both benches running onto the floor.
De Sousa threw multiple punches and held a stool above his head before an assistant coach grabbed it from him.
Kansas coach Bill Self called the incident an “embarrassment” and said there would be consequences.
K-State coach Bruce Weber, “It’s my guys – it's my fault. They came here wanting to have a game, compete, and we didn’t compete the way we needed to, and probably a little frustration, especially the young guys.”
Just an amazing group of jerks and a-holes on both sides. Needless to say, there will be multiple suspensions. Both teams should be forced to play one game with an All-Star lineup from their respective school’s intramural programs, which would be great fun.
--Wake Forest lost to Clemson on the road Tuesday, 71-68, dropping us to 2-6 in the ACC. But I only mention the game because the Deacs had six assists...six...all from point guard Brandon Childress. That’s impossible. It didn’t help we were 7 of 30 from three.
--The surprising Miami Heat moved to 30-13 on Monday, 19-1 at home, with a come from behind 118-113 win in overtime over Sacramento. Us Wake Forest fans have been wondering where James Johnson was all season for the Heat, one issue after another keeping him on the sidelines, but the guy is back and contributing, especially on defense in his reserve role.
Monday, though, he busted out with 22 points in 29 minutes on 9 of 11 shooting from the field (4 of 5 from downtown), and then had a key block at the end of OT. Miami is 7-0 in overtime, by the way.
--I was ticked off Monday. For decades the Knicks have played at the Garden on MLK Day, a matinee, and with the markets closed, it was a nice diversion. Probably the one game all year I caught pretty religiously as there was zero competition.
But this Monday, the NBA shunted the Knicks out to Cleveland for a 5:00 p.m. game, the Knicks winning 106-86. Yes, I caught the last quarter, but the timeslot sucked (my job being to watch news at that time).
--I saw a disturbing story on Atlanta Hawks forward Chandler Parsons that he suffered “severe and permanent injuries” in a car wreck last week that jeopardizes his career.
Parson’s attorney says the injuries he suffered in Wednesday’s crash include a traumatic brain injury, disk herniation and a torn labrum. Parsons was leaving practice when he was hit by a driver who was charged with DWI.
The Hawks said last week that Parsons suffered a concussion and whiplash. The team then added “associated disk injury” later.
Parsons is in concussion protocol and hasn’t been on the bench with the team.
There was a time, 2012-15, that I loved watching Parsons play when he was with Houston and Dallas, when he was averaging 16 points, 5 rebounds, with a good 3-point shot, just an exciting player. But it’s been nothing but injury issues since and he’s played only five games with the Hawks this season. We wish him luck.
--Need another example of how lousy the coming baseball season is going to be? Look no further than Mets pitcher Marcus Stroman, who shared a video of himself pitching against Houston in 2017 (while with Toronto) during which there seems to be the noise of a garbage can banging, part of the Astros’ scheme to relay signs to hitters.
“I remember wondering how these guys were laying off some of my nasty pitches,” Stroman said. “Relaying all my signs in live speed to the batter. Ruining the integrity of the game. These dudes were all about the camera and social media. Now, they’re all quiet!”
If I were Stroman, I’d plunk a few of them. And make it hurt. [Just imagine the Yankees-Astros' series this season, like the final week of the season, four games in New York. Could get bloody. Just remember, sports fans....I’m talking about the players setting things right themselves...no help from the fans...no throwing bottles or batteries at players, people, but calling the Astros every name in the book is more than fair game this season...]
--Bill Plaschke / Los Angeles Times
“The theft of the 2017 World Series championship continues.
“A week after the revelation of their sign-stealing scandal, the pathetic Houston Astros are still cheating the Dodgers.
“They’re cheating them out of any show of remorse. They’re cheating them out of any words of regret. They’re cheating them out of any transparency that could lead to any sort of closure.
“The arrogant Astros have spent the week behaving like innocent bystanders in an accident whose smoking wreckage somehow landed on their front lawn.
“We’re cleaning it up, they told us.
“The grass will grow back even stronger, they promised.
“Nothing to see here, they claimed.
“Not once has any member of the organization accepted blame for causing the mess in the first place. Not one person has uttered a word recognizing the pain their actions brought upon other teams. There has been zero accountability for what has been stolen, and from whom.
“How about, ‘Hey baseball, we’re sorry’?
“Or how about, ‘Hey Dodgers, this is exactly how we cheated you in that World Series, and we regret the indelible damage it caused’?
“Instead, did you hear Astros owner Jim Crane in his recent post-scandal news conference?
“About the sign stealing, he said, ‘There’s nothing that’s clear to suggest it affected the outcome.’
“Yu Darvish and Clayton Kershaw might disagree.
“About whether this tainted the World Series championship, Crane said, ‘I think absolutely not. I think we’ve had a very good team for a number of years before 17, we were turning the corner....I don’t think it taints it.’
“Wrong. It taints it forever.”
--Meanwhile, the issue of Colorado superstar Nolan Arenado will be a big one the first half of this year as the fractured relations between Arenado and Rockies’ management would appear to be irreparable.
Back in September, Arenado said he was upset with the direction of the team, which then led the Rockies to begin shopping him, just a year after signing him to an eight-year, $260 million contract, including an opt-out clause following the 2021 season.
But while there is an incentive for the Rockies to act this season, like before the trade deadline, rather than wait another year, any team acquiring Arenado will require the Rockies pick up a portion of the remaining contract, while Colorado will demand a king’s ransom in prospects.
Nonetheless, any number of teams are linked to Arenado, including the Cardinals, Braves and Rangers, the Yankees, and possibly the Mets.
--I missed a big moment on the European Tour last weekend at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. Lee Westwood, 46, won the event, two shots ahead of Frenchman Victor Perez, and Englishmen Tommy Fleetwood and Matthew Fitzpatrick, Louis Oosthuizen fifth; as in a very nice field.
For Westwood, it was his 25th European Tour victory – 44th worldwide. He thus joined Mark McNulty and Des Smyth as the only Euros to win on the circuit in four different decades.
--Tiger Woods returns this week at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines and it’s an outstanding field...the real season has begun...Rory, Jon Rahm, Justin Rose, Xander Schauffele, Rickie Fowler, and, we’ll get to see if Jordan Spieth is ‘back.’ There are many others of note...should be fun. Hopefully Tiger is in the hunt on the weekend to liven things up further.
--Speaking of Tiger, he very much wants to be on the U.S. Olympic team and the other day, the New York Times’ golf writer, whose name I won’t use because I don’t want to embarrass (them), wrote that Tiger, who needs to be among the top four American players ranked inside the world top 15 as of June 22, was fifth best heading into the Farmers Insurance Open.
But the article, dated Jan. 20, should have noted that the new rankings came out Jan. 19 and Tiger is now indeed the fourth American, behind Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson, but ahead of Patrick Cantlay, who was ahead of Tiger the week before.
This is why, boys and girls, I do my own work on something like this. It’s a lesson to teach your kids.
It’s also an interesting side-story through June, and it’s a major incentive for Tiger to play well in what is sure to be a fairly limited schedule, unless come end of May he is forced to play more to attempt to make the team.
--Another interesting transfer portal play in College Football, as former Houston star quarterback D’Eriq King announced Monday that he is transferring to Miami, a big ‘get’ for the Hurricanes as they try to bounce back from a 6-7 season.
King, who had an outstanding junior season in 2018 for the Cougars with 36 touchdown passes and just six INTs, plus 674 yards rushing with 14 TDs, played the first four games for Houston this season and then sat out the remainder of 2019 to preserve his redshirt and eligibility for 2020.
The problem for King is that Miami is lacking talent, as opposed to, say, what Jalen Hurts knew he’d find when moving to Oklahoma for his final year.
--Baseball America’s preseason College Baseball Rankings:
3. Arizona State
6. Texas Tech
9. Mississippi State
17. North Carolina State
19. North Carolina
20. Wake Forest!
Kind of ironic that after I mused about scholarships and how tough it was for Wake to compete with NC State and UNC, the above is released. Wake is returning the nation’s RBI leader in slugger Bobby Seymour. But will we come up with any pitching? We better.
--I threw Antonio Brown into the December file after his latest dust-up with the law, but otherwise I’m tired of this guy....throw him in jail, hopefully for a long time, so that he can’t hurt anyone. He’s a danger to the public, period. America is also very tired of the dirtball.
--Some tales from the Animal Kingdom, and heroism on the part of ‘Man’....
“A hero New Hampshire father suffocated a coyote to death with his bare hands after the beast attacked his child on Monday, police said.
“Ian O’Reilly was walking with his wife and three kids on a trail near Judes Pond in Kensington around 11 a.m. when the wild animal jumped out of the woods and grabbed the 2-year-old child by the jacket, cops said.
“That’s when ‘the dad went into protection mode,’ kicking the coyote before choking it, said Kensington Police Chief Scott Cain.
“O’Reilly told local outlet WFXT that he was running on instinct and adrenaline when he wrestled the beast to the ground, eventually killing it after a 10-minute skirmish.
“ ‘There was no interest in it going away so ultimately I had to make the decision to become the aggressor and jumped on it, attacked it and was able to get it to the ground,’ O’Reilly said.”
O’Reilly said, “When I was able to get on top of it I put my hand around its snout so it wasn’t able to attack me anymore.
“From there...I shoved [its] head into the snow...and then eventually was able to expire it through suffocation,” he said. “Ultimately one hand on its windpipe and one hand on its snout did the trick.”
O’Reilly was bitten in the arm and chest and is being treated for rabies as a precaution.
Thankfully, thanks to the toddler’s heavy-duty snowsuit, the coyote didn’t break the skin with his bite.
Earlier that day, the same coyote is believed to have pounced on a moving car nearby!
“About 15 minutes later, it attacked a 62-year-old woman and her three dogs on a porch in Kensington, attempting to get into the house.” The woman is being treated for rabies. [New York Daily News]
No doubt, these days in the northeast, coyotes (No. 394 on the All-Species List and dropping fast) are the scariest animal to deal with.
--From the Los Angeles Times: “A mountain lion attacked a 3-year-old boy Monday afternoon at a wilderness park in Lake Forest in Orange County. Shortly after, a Sheriff’s deputy killed a mountain lion in the vicinity.
“The child suffered neck injuries and abrasions, but his injuries are not thought to be life-threatening. Authorities feel confident they killed the right cat because it was in a tree along with the backpack the boy’s father threw at it.”
Yup, that’s a pretty telling clue.
It was in January 2004, also in Whiting Ranch, that a mountain lion killed avid biker Mark R., 35, of Foothill Ranch. [I don’t need the lad’s family reliving it in more spots than it already is today as a result of the latest incident. The cat partially buried the victim.]
--Congratulations to former NFL quarterback-turned-professional baseball player-broadcaster et all, Tim Tebow, who tied the knot the other day with Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, the South African who was Miss Universe 2017.
Now we’ve been told, cough cough, that Mr. Tebow has been ‘saving himself,’ cough cough, for the right woman. For that reason I have no further comment and I yield back my remaining time to Mr. Sekulow....
--Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston shared a warm reunion at the SAG Awards on Sunday, after they snagged separate acting trophies, Ms. Aniston’s outfit leaving little to the imagination.
And that’s your Bar Chat Hollywood Minute!
Top 3 songs for the week 1/25/64: #1 “There! I’ve Said It Again” (Bobby Vinton) #2 “Louie Louie” (The Kingsmen) #3 “I Want To Hold Your Hand” (The Beatles...out of nowhere, literally, rocketed to 3rd...just the beginning...)...and...#4 “Surfin’ Bird” (The Trashmen) #5 “Popsicles And Icicles” (The Murmaids) #6 “Out Of Limits” (The Marketts) #7 “Hey Little Cobra” (The Rip Chords) #8 “Forget Him” (Bobby Rydell...poor guy doesn’t know this is his last hit...the British Invasion is upon us...) #9 “Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um” (Major Lance) #10 “Drag City” (Jan & Dean)
Kansas City Chiefs Quiz Answers: For the 1970 Super Bowl Champs, the two QBs were Len Dawson and Mike Livingston*; the three RBs with 500 yards rushing were Mike Garrett (168-732, 4.4), Robert Holmes (150-612, 4.1) and Warren McVea (106-500, 4.7); and the top two wide receivers were Otis Taylor (41-696, 17.0) and Frank Pitts (31-420, 15.2).
Mike Garrett also caught 43 passes for a 10.0 avg., while Robert Holmes had 26 receptions for a 10.2 avg.
Fred Arbanis was the tight end (16-258, 16.1 avg.). Gloster Richardson was the third WR (23-381, 16.1 avg.).
*As for the quarterback situation, the Chiefs began the season with Len Dawson and his backup, Jacky Lee. But Dawson injured his knee in the second game of the regular season, while Lee broke a bone in his ankle in the third contest. Thus, the third-string quarterback, Mike Livingston, took over until Dawson came back near the end of the year, Dawson then the QB throughout the playoffs. [To his credit, Livingston, despite throwing only four touchdown passes and six interceptions, was 6-0-0 as a starter before Dawson’s return.]
K.C. had the best defense in the AFL that year, powered by Curly Culp, Buck Buchanan and Willie Lanier, allowing just 177 points, as Coach Hank Stram was then forced to rely on his three running backs, the “mini-back” trio, for most of the offense.
But in the opening game of the playoffs, the Chiefs relied on the defense again, perhaps the most famous goal-line stand in league history, stopping the defending Super Bowl champion Jets on three tries from the 1-yard line to highlight a 13-6 victory.
K.C. then beat Oakland 17-7 in the AFL Championship game, and then the Vikings in the Super Bowl, 23-7.
See a pattern? Dee-fense...Dee-fense....
In three playoff games the Chiefs’ offense didn’t muster 300 yards in any of them, but the defense gave up less than that amount in each as well. Also, in the Super Bowl, the K.C. defense turned the Vikings over five times.
One more. The Jets’ win in Super Bowl III was viewed by many as a fluke so K.C. was a two-touchdown underdog. Instead, the importance of the Chiefs’ win was final confirmation for those needing it that the AFL was on par with the NFL.
Next Bar Chat, Monday.