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Baseball Is Back...March Madness, Too
Add-On…posted early Wed. a.m.
The Players Championship
--This crazy event finally ended on Monday, with a less than stellar leaderboard by the time they finished up the third round in the morning, not that Casey, Burns and Smith aren’t known to golf cognoscenti….
Anirban Lahiri -9
Sebastian Munoz -8
Doug Ghim -8
Paul Casey -8
Sam Burns -8
Cam Smith -7
Tom Hoge -7
7 tied at -6, including Shane Lowry, Louis Oosthuizen and Will Zalatoris
And after Cam Smith birdied five of his first six holes, we had….
Smith -12 thru 6
Lahiri -10 thru 5
4 tied at -8
It looked like Smith would cruise. But three holes later….
Smith -9 thru 9…after bogeying 7, 8 and 9…
Keegan Bradley -9…11
3 tied at -8
But then Smith, best putter on tour, birdied 10, 11, 12, and 13…and 17, giving him the cushion to withstand a bogey on 18, when he put his approach in the water…proceeding to hit a gorgeous pitch within feet on his 4th shot to secure the trophy…one over Lahiri.
It was Smith’s fifth, and biggest, PGA Tour win, and he bagged a first prize check of $3.6 million, part of the largest-ever purse of $20 million. As Paul Azinger, who was outstanding, put it on Sunday, everyone was grinding just to make the cut, last place being $40,000, which still pays some expenses.
Paul Casey finished solo third, his 19th top three on the tour, but only three wins.
--As alluded to last time, those in the “late-early” tee times for the first two rounds got royally screwed by the weather and so we had a lot of stellar players not make the cut:
Morikawa, Rose, Scott, Simpson, Spieth, Finau, Schauffele, Cantlay and Koepka among them. As Tony Soprano would have remarked, ‘Whaddya gonna do?’
--The World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Fla., was founded in 1998. I was there in 2004 or ’05, when I was in the area for the Daytona 500 and was totally unimpressed. I just didn’t find anything special about it.
But I was there just to go through the museum, not to stay and play one of the many courses on site.
So within the past few weeks, two friends have been in the area, went to the Hall of Fame and had the exact same comment…unimpressed.
I knew it had supposedly undergone a few changes since my visit long ago but evidently not enough.
Well, I mention this because Gary Van Sickle of Sports Illustrated started a column this week thusly:
“The World Golf Hall of Fame? ‘You’ve gotta go!’ legendary golfer Gary Player implores us in the television commercial spots.
“Prepare the irony. After next year, it might be the World Golf of Fame that has to go.
“There have been many signs the Hall of Fame was aging poorly… It’s administrators have long ago vacated their on-site offices at the Hall. The outdoor putting course is gone, along with the try-to-hit-the-replica-island-green contest in the courtyard.”
PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan said during media day, “We’re committed to the World Golf Hall of Fame through 2023. We’re looking at all of our options as we go forward.”
It’s possible that they just might dump the Hall altogether, rather than moving it or taking it digital. The public has been disinterested since it was built.
The four golf courses surrounding the property do well, however, and the homesites sold out.
But the retail section is a bust, save for a restaurant owned by Bill Murray and his brothers.
Van Sickle says that “Those who play (the sport) and watch it and have an interest in Ben Hogan or Jimmy Demaret or Patty Berg or the history of maintenance equipment is a niche of a niche of a niche.
“In other words, there is only a small audience for a golf museum/Hall of Fame. Even Golf Channel, the network that golf fans rely on for daily golf news, has a fairly low viewership. Golf isn’t the NFL or the NBA or NCAA basketball.”
--On a different topic, Commissioner Monahan and the tour are getting increasing heat for their lack of transparency on disciplinary matters, especially with the whole situation surrounding Phil Mickelson, who wasn’t at The Players and who I wrote weeks ago I figured was suspended.
That increasingly seems to be the case, but when Monahan was asked if Mickelson was welcome at The Players, Monahan danced around the topic.
“He stepped away on his own accord, and he’s asked for time,” he said. “He’s been given that time. We don’t comment on disciplinary matters, potential matters or actual matters. But every player is accountable for their actions out here.”
As golf writer Bob Harig notes: “That leaves a lot of room for supposition. And it’s unfair if Mickelson was not suspended. But Monahan can’t say that he’s not, because the next time such a question is asked and he says nothing, then the assumption will be that the player is suspended.
“What a mess.”
Rory McIlroy, a member of the PGA Tour policy board, said: “I’ve always felt that a few of the bans or suspensions, I think that should all be announced. I think we should be more transparent.”
And that includes on financial matters.
All other major American sports announce when players are penalized. Golf should too.
Recall in 2014, Dustin Johnson took a leave of absence to deal with personal issues that Golf.com reported to be a six-month suspension due to a positive drug test. Johnson did not return until the following February, exactly six months.
When told of McIlroy’s comments, Monahan joked he was immediately suspended. And then suggested he is open to Rory’s thoughts.
--Shortly after I posted Sunday, came the shocking news that Tom Brady was un-retiring after less than two months.
The move carries a massive impact on the NFL, leading off with the fact the Buccaneers are right back in the Super Bowl conversation. In the Caesars Sportsbook, Tampa Bay only trails the Bills and Chiefs.
I guess we really shouldn’t have been the least bit surprised. After all, Brady led the NFL in completions, attempts, passing yards and passing touchdowns, while finishing second in the MVP vote to Aaron Rodgers, all this at age 44. He also won 13 games.
And Brady un-retired just ahead of the legal tampering period – when teams can begin preliminary negotiations with pending unrestricted free agents, with Brady’s return making Tampa Bay a more attractive destination.
NFL insider Jason La Canfora says this was not part of some grand scheme: “Brady headed into the playoffs feeling as if this was the end. He believed he was at peace with moving on with his life. …Everyone has the right to change their mind about such an individual decision. …And with the career span of an athlete – even a unicorn like Brady – so short, and their primes so finite, no one should question how and/or when they step aside, and whether or not they want to come back.”
Brady made his announcement on Twitter: “These past two months I’ve realized my place is still on the field and not in the stands. That time will come. But it’s not now. I love my teammates, and I love my supportive family. They make it all possible. I’m coming back for my 23rd season in Tampa. Unfinished business LFG.”
Well, Panthers, Falcons and Saints fans aren’t that happy. In his two years with the Bucs, Brady is 4-0 against Carolina, 4-0 against the Falcons, but, somehow, 0-4 going up against New Orleans, which seems like a total anomaly, everyone knowing the Bucs are better with Brady back.
Brady’s 2022 schedule includes games against the Super Bowl champ Rams, the Packers and Aaron Rodgers, and the Chiefs with Patrick Mahomes.
--It was pretty funny, except to the buyer, that literally hours before Brady un-retired, some fan bought Brady’s “final” TD pass. As in he spent $518,000 for the football Mike Evans caught for a TD from Brady, Evans then tossing it into the stands. It’s not his “final” TD ball much longer, so, you know, it’s basically worthless.
--The NFL free agent market is opening, with deals and trades becoming official at 4 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday.
Among the free agent quarterbacks we have Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota, Teddy Bridgewater, Tyrod Taylor and Jacoby Brissett. [Oops, scratch Taylor off this list.]
Mitchell Trubisky was the first among this group to sign, agreeing to terms with the Steelers on Monday, according to reports. This might work out.
We also now know Deshaun Watson could easily be traded, perhaps to Carolina or New Orleans. And San Francisco is readying a trade for Jimmy Garoppolo, though he had offseason shoulder surgery.
Baker Mayfield and Derek Carr could be traded. Actually, Mayfield, late Tuesday, issued a statement thru social media thanking Cleveland fans for their support through the good and bad times, strongly hinting he is gone. The Browns met with Watson yesterday.
--The Giants made a terrific move in signing the above-mentioned Tyrod Taylor for two years, $17 million ($8.5 million guaranteed) to back up the oft-injured Daniel Jones. Meaning, Taylor could see extensive action. At least New York has a quality backup, unlike last season’s s---show when Jones went down.
--Final pre-tournament AP Poll
1. Gonzaga (54) 26-3
2. Arizona (7) 31-3
3. Kansas 28-6
4. Baylor 26-6
5. Tennessee 26-7
6. Villanova 26-7
7. Kentucky 26-7
8. Auburn 27-5
9. Duke 28-6
10. Purdue 27-7
11. UCLA 25-7
12. Texas Tech 25-9
13. Providence 25-5
14. Wisconsin 24-7
15. Houston 29-5
16. Iowa 26-9
17. Arkansas 25-8
18. Saint Mary’s 25-7
19. Illinois 22-9
20. Murray State 30-2
21. UConn 23-9
22. USC 26-7
23. Boise State 27-7
24. Colorado State 25-5
25. Texas 21-11
Gonzaga and coach Mark Few are still looking for that elusive first national title, having lost to Baylor in last year’s national championship game.
The top four teams in the poll landed on the top four seed lines of the tournament.
Gonzaga in the West, Arizona in the South, Kansas the Midwest and Baylor in the East Region.
Villanova, Kentucky, Auburn and Duke were 2-seeds, with Tennessee getting snubbed, to some, in getting a 3.
No team has been No. 1 in the final Top 25 and gone on to win the national championship since Kentucky in 2012, though each of the last six national champs finished among the top six in the final poll, including Baylor, which was third last season.
--Yes, I was rather irritated Sunday night after seeing the bracket reveal. And ticked Indiana and Michigan got in. Shocked Seton Hall did as well.
Not that Wake Forest deserved to be in over these three, but we were freakin’ 13-7 in a Power Six conference, fifth, even if it was in a down year for the ACC. We’ll soon learn just how ‘down’ it really was.
The Big Ten does not deserve nine teams. But the ultimate test is how many make it to the Sweet Sixteen. Last year the Big Ten also had nine teams and only one made it that far. The Pac-12 had four of five make it to the Sweet Sixteen.
Anyway, I only fill out one bracket and I did mine in about five minutes late Sunday night.
So it’s a totally haphazard piece of work….and I actually came up with Seton Hall in the Final Four. I thought beginning of the season they had the talent. Well, I have them losing to Duke in the national title game, Kansas and North Carolina my other final four picks.
I said about six weeks ago I thought Duke had what it took but they have obviously underperformed royally recently. That said, I can’t change my opinion now.
I also only have 13-seeds Vermont and Chattanooga pulling off first-round upsets. No 12-seeds doing the same.
Last night in the play-in round, 12 Indiana beat 12 Wyoming 66-58.
11 Notre Dame and 11 Rutgers square off tonight.
It’s a full 32-team field for this one, with the final four at Madison Square Garden, which is the huge attraction for so many of these teams.
Yes, it’s a disappointment for teams like Texas A&M, SMU and Dayton, while the likes of Wake Forest have to suck it up.
SMU, Dayton, Texas A&M and Oklahoma are No. 1 seeds.
Wake, BYU, North Texas and Xavier are 2-seeds.
Wake’s first game is tonight against 25-8 Towson. I have a commitment at that time and will probably just catch the last 10 minutes or so. We better win this one.
St. Bonaventure had a nice 76-68 opening win last night on the road at Colorado. The Bonnies shot 10 of 20 from three, 8 of 9 from the line. Funny how that’s a successful formula.
Women’s NCAA Tournament
--The four No. 1 seeds in the first-ever 68-team field are South Carolina, Louisville, Stanford and North Carolina State.
The No. 2 seeds are Iowa, Baylor, Texas and UConn
--The Women’s tournament started in 1982, with Louisiana Tech the first winner.
UConn has 11 titles (but none since 2016), Tennessee 8, and Stanford and Baylor have 3 each.
--Days into the shortened spring training the Padres face disaster, with All-Star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. likely needing surgery for a broken left wrist that could cost him three months, according to GM A.J. Preller on Monday.
Preller has to be furious. Tatis apparently suffered the injury in the offseason in the Dominican Republic when he received scrapes on his hand and knee in a motorcycle accident in December. He then felt it when he began preparing for spring training.
Last year, Tatis had a series of injuries to his left shoulder, yet still led the N.L. with 42 home runs in 130 games and finished third in the MVP balloting.
Last spring, he signed a 14-year, $330 million contract with San Diego.
But this obviously should have been treated professionally in December…let alone his stupidity in riding a motorbike when someone else has made a massive investment in you. Bad stuff happens in the D.R.
--The flipside of Tatis is the story that emerged Monday concerning first baseman Pete Alonso, who was driving alone to training camp from his hometown of Tampa on Sunday when his car was struck by a distracted driver who ran a red light.
Alonso said his vehicle flipped three times, but he said he’s fine and would participate in a full workout on Tuesday (which he then did).
“Yesterday I got in a really kinda brutal car accident. …To me this is just really special to be here,” Alonso said from camp. “This is a really special spring training because yesterday was a really close experience to death.”
Alonso said he had to kick his windshield in trying to get out of the flipped-over car, his wife in a separate car behind him.
Further details weren’t available, but he was obviously wearing his seat belt. What a nightmare.
--Meanwhile, as expected, baseball is furiously trying to catch up on the player personnel side with the short window before Opening Day. The Braves acquired slugging first baseman Matt Olson from the Oakland A’s, which meant Atlanta would not be retaining longtime star Freddie Freeman, with all signs pointing to Freeman signing with the Dodgers.
Atlanta sent Oakland four prospects, including former Wake Forest starting pitcher Ryan Cusick, who was a first-round draft pick by Atlanta last year and promptly struck out 34 in 16 innings in his brief minor league stint last summer.
Olson slammed 39 home runs, drove in 111 and had a .911 OPS. He was an All-Star and is also a two-time Gold Glover. Plus, he’s about to turn 28, while Freeman turns 33 in September.
--Back to the Mets, pitcher Jacob deGrom announced he would opt out of his contract at the end of the season, reiterating he wanted to remain a Met the rest of his career, while adding he’ll be in constant contact with the organization throughout the upcoming offseason. But he doesn’t want extension negotiations to be an in-season distraction – the same tact he took in 2019.
DeGrom is in the midst of a five-year, $137.5 million contract. He’s making $33.5 million this year and is on the books for $30.5 million next year if he doesn’t opt out.
But he just saw new teammate Max Scherzer sign a 3-year, $130 million contract.
DeGrom made only 15 starts last season, going 7-2 with a 1.08 ERA. It was looking like an historic campaign until he was derailed by an elbow injury. He said he’s fully healthy and manager Buck Showalter said he’s penciled in as the Opening Day starter.
--The Yankees and Twins pulled off a blockbuster trade late Sunday night, New York sending catcher Gary Sanchez and infielder Gio Urshela to Minnesota for former AL MVP Josh Donaldson, shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa and catcher Ben Rortveldt.
Yankees fans are saying good riddance to the drastically underperforming Sanchez, but they’re unhappy they didn’t sign Carlos Correa, and instead appear to be committed to Kiner-Falefa at short…at least for now.
I don’t know. Kiner-Falefa is a Gold Glove shortstop. And Donaldson, while 36 and on the decline, is an upgrade at third offensively. The problem with him is the Yankees are taking on the entire $50 million remaining on his contract.
It’s expected the Yanks will be making more moves. They need a lefty slugger. Olson would have been a perfect fit.
Well, I wrote the above early Monday and last evening we learned the Yanks re-signed first baseman Anthony Rizzo for two years, $32 million.
Rizzo was less than stellar once coming over to New York from the Cubs last season, batting just .249 with a .768 OPS in 173 at-bats.
Yankees fans cannot be happy. No Olson, no Freddie Freeman.
--Lastly, for now, the Yankees and Mets have to deal with New York City’s private employer mandate when it comes to Covid and vaccinations. The issue that has impacted Kyrie Irving’s ability to play in New York, is the same for baseball or any other non-government employee.
The probability of the mandate changing by Opening Day is almost 100 percent, in my mind. At the same time, the players need to get the shots…for PR purposes and also the ability to play in Toronto, which has a mandate.
--The Minnesota Timberwolves are having a surprisingly successful season, 40-30, and Monday night, center Karl-Anthony Towns had himself a night to remember in a 149-139 win over San Antonio.
Towns scored an NBA season-best 60 points (along with 17 rebounds), including 32 in the third quarter, the fourth most in a single quarter over the last 25 seasons. The 60 are the most by a center since Shaquille O’Neal in 2000.
--So then Tuesday, the Nets’ Kyrie Irving had 60 of his own, 20 of 31 from the field, 8 of 12 from three, in Brooklyn’s 150-108 rout of Orlando.
Irving broke the Nets’ franchise-mark, which was Deron Williams’ 57 in 2012. Kyrie’s previous career-best was also 57.
Bazooka Joe says: “Both Kyrie and Karl-Anthony hail from New Jersey!”
After Manchester City’s disappointing 0-0 draw at Crystal Palace, Monday, the standings….
Played (out of 38) – Points
1. Man City…29 – 70
2. Liverpool…28 – 66 …yes, they are very much in it!
3. Chelsea…28 – 59
4. Arsenal…26 – 51
5. Man U…29 – 50
6. West Ham…29 – 48
7. Wolves…29 – 46
8. Tottenham…27 – 45
Relegation Battle (last three dropped to Championship League, not to be confused with Champions League)
17. Everton…26 – 22 …never relegated in PL history
18. Watford…29 – 22
19. Burnley…27 – 21 …the team Everton needs to be concerned with
20. Norwich…29 – 17
--Alex Ovechkin passed Jaromir Jagr for third place on the NHL’s all-time goals list, scoring his 767th Tuesday night at Capital One Arena, Washington defeating the Islanders in a shootout, 4-3.
The ageless Ovechkin has 37 goals on the season as he continues his pursuit of Wayne Gretzky’s NHL record of 894. Gordie Howe sits in second at 801.
--Chase Briscoe won his first NASCAR Cup Series race at Phoenix Raceway on Sunday (after I posted). Driving for Tony Stewart’s Stewart-Haas Racing team, Briscoe pulled away from Ross Chastain (another big start for him) and Tyler Reddick.
Your editor’s DraftKings lineup was a winner! Good lord…I thought this day would never come, being on DK double-secret probation for poor play.
--Maewyn Succat wasn’t particularly religious growing up – or even Irish, for that matter. Born in Britain around A.D. 390, Maewyn grew up in a well-to-do Christian family, complete with slaves and property. At 16, however, Maewyn was kidnapped and whisked away to Ireland where he himself became a slave and tended sheep for six or seven years. It was then he became deeply religious.
Eventually, legend has it, Maewyn began to hear voices, one of which told him to escape back to Britain. He managed to gain passage on a ship, but once he reunited with his family, the voice told him to return to Ireland.
Before returning, he was ordained as a priest and changed his name to Patricius, or Patrick, inspired by the Latin root “patr“ for “father.”
Patrick began to drink heavily. Actually, this part of the story isn’t known. I just thought I’d embellish it some.
At the time, most of Ireland was pagan and he had a tough job changing things as a missionary – often beaten and imprisoned by Irish royalty and pagan chiefs. After his death, Patrick was largely forgotten.
But then the legend slowly began to grow until he was honored as the patron saint of Ireland.
Yet Saint Patrick’s Day started out as a minor religious holiday in 1631. The church declared it a feast day; pubs closed and observers went to church.
But at least according to the Washington Post, the first St. Patrick’s Day parade in honor of St. Patrick was actually in St. Augustine, Florida, in 1601. Although it was a Spanish settlement, St. Patrick was regarded as the patron saint of corn in the settlement. And wouldn’t ya know, but the tradition of a parade spread throughout the U.S. and abroad, including Ireland.
National Geographic says that after one million Irish emigrated to the United States during the Irish potato famine from 1845-52, the Irish, discriminated against and poor, began eating corned beef from neighboring Jewish butchers and delis. The corned beef, simmered with cabbage, turnips, or potatoes, was inexpensive and became a staple. Over time, this became closely associated with St. Patrick’s Day itself.
Meanwhile, 13 million pints of Guinness were consumed on the holiday in 2017, per this old article I read.
--We note the passing of William Hurt, star of many of 1980s top films. He died of natural causes at the age of 71.
Hurt was one of the leading men in that decade, appearing in movies such as “Broadcast News,” “Body Heat,” and “The Big Chill.”
In a long-running career, Hurt was nominated for an Academy Award three times, winning for 1985’s “Kiss of the Spider Woman.” He made his film debut in “Altered States.”
In 1986’s “Children of a Lesser God,” co-star Marlee Matlin took the Oscar for her performance as a deaf custodian at a school for the deaf. Hurt played a speech teacher. The two had an off-screen romance that was not Hurt’s first experience with his private life finding notoriety.
Let’s just say it was a mess and leave it at that. The guy is dead.
--Another reason to love Dolly Parton. She announced Monday that she was pulling out of this year’s nominations for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, saying she hasn’t “earned that right.”
Parton explained her position on her official social media pages, noting she did not want to take votes away from the remaining nominees.
“Even though I am extremely flattered and grateful to be nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, I don’t feel that I have earned that right. I really do not want votes to be split because of me, so I must respectfully bow out,” she wrote.
Other artists who have made both the Rock Hall and Country Hall of Fame include Brenda Lee, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Chet Atkins, Hank Williams and the Everly Brothers.
Parton was named on the Rock Hall shortlist last month, alongside fellow first-time nominees Eminem, Lionel Richie, Duran Duran and A Tribe Called Quest. Other nominees include Rage Against the Machine, Pat Benatar, Dionne Warwick, Carly Simon, Judas Priest and Beck.
So Parton then adds, “This has however inspired me to put out a hopefully great rock ‘n’ roll album at some point in the future, which I have always wanted to do! My husband is a total rock ‘n’ roll freak and has always encouraged me to do one.”
“I wish all of the nominees good luck and thank you again for the compliment,” Parton concludes. “Rock on!”
Next Bar Chat, Sunday p.m.
[Posted Sun. p.m., just as NCAA B-Ball brackets were revealed…and boy I’m pissed…]
Add-On up top by noon, Wed.
Men’s Division I Hockey Championship Quiz: The first NCAA hockey championship was held in 1948. Name the seven schools to win five or more titles. [No school has four.] Answer below.
--I have to admit, I was shocked to learn of the settlement in baseball’s labor dispute on Thursday afternoon. I thought we were headed for a settlement at the end of the month with a May 1st start date, 130-game season, no one giving a hoot.
But with an agreement reached, and a 162-game schedule (games will be scheduled for ‘off days’ in the current calendar and the regular season extended three days, as well as adding doubleheaders), the mood, I imagine, for most fans, including yours truly, has flipped 180-degrees.
[For the record, the players’ board voted to accept the deal by a 26-12 margin. The executive subcommittee voted 8-0 against the deal, while 26 of 30 team reps voted in favor. Dissenting team reps were the Mets, Yankees, Astros and Cardinals. The owners then voted unanimously to accept it. Five members of the executive committee are represented by Scott Boras.]
Why not get fired up? We have a full season of baseball! Something on the tube to watch, when you grow tired of war coverage (and I do not mean that flippantly, it’s such a freakin’ godawful tragedy), every day of the week, especially for July and August, once the NBA and NHL playoffs are over.
You just hope that while there are some loose ends to clear up, that with a new five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement, the players and the owners can agree to just focus on the game for at least the next three seasons, before murmuring over the next CBA begins in 2025. As in I’m actually looking forward to NEXT spring training and true normalcy.
But it’s Play Ball on April 7th.
Among the big changes and the keys to the deal, running through 2026:
Minimum salaries are up from $575,500 last year to $700,000 this year. It will rise to $780,000 by the end of the deal…a big win for the players.
The Competitive Balance Tax (luxury tax) threshold starts at $230 million this year and rises to $244 million by 2026; penalties for those $60 million over the threshold.
The new deal also includes the creation of a pre-arbitration bonus pool, an allotment of $50 million that’s dispersed annually to players who have fewer than three years of service time in the majors and who perform well. As to how this really works, frankly, I don’t give a damn right now.
There’s a six-team draft lottery, which is supposed to dissuade tanking, but the baseball draft is such a crapshoot…rarely is there that one talent that stands out above all the rest in the country.
That said, I do have to note the stretch of No. 1 overall picks from 2009-2012….
2009: Stephen Strasburg*
2010: Bryce Harper
2011: Gerrit Cole
2012: Carlos Correa
*Mike Trout was the 25th pick of the first round in ’09.
But in terms of the changes on the field….
We have a universal DH…I was just looking up a starting pitcher and absentmindedly looked for his hitting statistics…no need to do that anymore! All for it. I wouldn’t have said that a few years ago but let’s move on.
No seven-inning doubleheaders. I had come to accept them.
No runner on second base to start extra innings. I had come to accept this too.
A 12-team postseason…and let’s face it…don’t concern yourself with this until August. I sure am not. What seems clear is there will be no more Game-163 tiebreakers, with MLB utilizing NFL-type tiebreakers.
The two sides tabled one sticking point – the international draft – and agreed to a July decision deadline there.
One move that is kind of under the radar is that players can no longer be optioned more than five times in a season before being exposed to waivers. There were 56 players who were optioned at least six times last year, including 35 pitchers.
But for now, with such a short window, for starters, roughly 30 percent of players on 40-man rosters were signed internationally and you have the old problem of obtaining work visas to return to the United States.
As for Commissioner Rob Manfred, on Thursday he acknowledged what had long been evident: Baseball’s labor relations have deteriorated on his watch – and it is his job to fix that.
“One of the things that I’m supposed to do is promote a good relationship with our players,” Manfred said. “I’ve tried to do that. I have not been successful in that.”
Of course all of the above doesn’t necessarily improve the ‘game’, and on this, MLB will have the right in 2023 to implement a pitch clock, a restrictive shift forcing all four infielders to be on the dirt when the pitch is thrown, and enlarge the bases, though the bases are 3 inches larger for this season, so I’m not sure how this will play out.
--Clayton Kershaw agreed to a new one-year contract to stay with the Dodgers, pending a physical, definitely the right move. The guy is only 33, but the three-time Cy Young winner is clearly just a shell of his former self and this could easily be his last season. He should finish it up in a Dodger uniform.
L.A. has a terrific rotation on paper…Walker Buehler, Julio Urias, Tony Gonsolin, Andrew Heaney and David Price.
--There is no way I’m keeping up with all the roster changes to come in this crazy few weeks before April 7, save for the big free agents (Carlos Correa, Freddie Freeman, Trevor Story, and Kris Bryant), and I was pleased to see my Mets acquire All-Star starter Chris Bassitt from the A’s, a veteran piece we needed for the rotation that has question marks, including the health of Jacob deGrom.
But we gave up two good pitching prospects in the process.
The Giants signed quality lefty starter Carlos Rodon for two years, $44 million…yes, the money is out there.
--Speaking of the Dodgers, MLB continues what is now an eight-month investigation into sexual assault allegations against pitcher Trevor Bauer, the administrative leave extending through March 19, so Bauer can’t report to the Dodgers training camp, though there was no chance the Dodgers would let him play.
Although Bauer was cleared last month of criminal charges, the league retains the right to suspend him for violating its policy on sexual assaults. Commissioner Manfred is expected to do so.
The league did not handle player business during the lockout. It is now expected to pursue an interview with Bauer, providing him with information from its investigation and offering him a chance to respond.
--Mets pitcher Max Scherzer was a key figure in the labor negotiations, sitting on the players union’s executive committee, and when he arrived in training camp he was asked how he celebrated the end of the 99-day lockout.
“I drank a lot.” He also expressed the sentiment of all of us. Now, “Let’s just talk baseball.”
--Las Vegas has the Dodgers as the World Series favorites. The Astros, Yankees and Mets are up there.
--We note the passing of former pitcher Odalis Perez, 44. According to multiple sources, Perez died following an accident at his home in the Dominican Republic. He apparently fell from a ladder while he was alone at home and his brother found him. Just awful.
Perez spent 10 years in the majors, going 73-82, with his best season 2002 with the Dodgers when he went 15-10, 3.00, making the All-Star team for the only time in his career.
--I’m writing what follows prior to the Selection Sunday show and the seedings for the NCAA Championship. It’s been a very dark few days here at Bar Chat, starting Wednesday with Wake Forest inexcusably losing its first round ACC Championship game in Brooklyn to Boston College, who I told you last Chat we had beaten by 30, 87-57, earlier this season.
I also told you that this was a “Must” win for the Deacs to move further into March…the Big Dance…and we f’n blew it royally.
The Deacs were playing like crap from the beginning, but then we were finally getting our act together, suddenly up ten, 65-55, with 6:06 to play.
But Wake fans knew we were in deep trouble when not only did B.C. fight back to tie it at 66-66 with 3:04 to play, but then our second star (to Alondes Williams), Jake LaRavia, a 77% free-throw shooter, missed two from the line and we struggled to just get it into overtime, 70-70. During this critical stretch, Wake hit just one of five from the line, and 13 of 24 for the game, while B.C. was going 24-34…and that was it. We sucked in OT, fell 82-77, and our season was over.
The only way Wake could sneak into the NCAA tournament, and an 11 vs. 11 play-in game, was for all kinds of things to happen in our favor and they didn’t.
Four days later I am still furious. It wasn’t bad coaching, our guys just choked. It’s also true that with Wake not playing last weekend, the team literally had a week to think about just how important this one game was and that obviously impacted them. And while I’m glad coach Steve Forbes got an extension, why the school felt compelled to hand it to him before the B.C. game I’ll never know. He wasn’t going anywhere. Just wait until after the ACC tournament.
Rutgers did the same thing with its coach Steve Pikiell…granted him an extension before their first Big Ten tournament game against 24 Iowa on Friday, unnecessarily, and RU went out and lost 84-74. They, too, desperately needed this one game to punch their ticket into the NCAAs and they blew it.
Thursday, for us Jersey hoops fans looking for someone to root for, Seton Hall, needing probably two wins in the Big East Championship to get to the Big Dance, lost to 20 UConn 62-52, falling to 21-10, 11-8, which won’t be good enough.
And St. John’s, which needed to win the Big East tourney outright, lost a heartbreaker to 8 Villanova, 66-65.
Just an awful stretch….
But wait, there’s more! So Friday afternoon, while I was working on that other column I do, my 2021-22 “Pick to Click,” St. Bonaventure, was taking on Saint Louis in an A-10 Championship quarterfinal. The Bonnies needed to win the tournament to get into the NCAAs, everyone knew that, but they were also capable of accomplishing this.
However, they had beaten a very solid Saint Louis team twice already this season and defeating the same team three times is not easy…and St. Bonaventure and its five seniors finished up their careers (maybe…as discussed before…it’s up in the air….), 57-56 losers to the Billikens.
But it’s how the Bonnies lost that was so crushing. They missed their last four free throws…in the final minute! Osun Osunniyi missed two at the 1:00 mark, and then Kyle Lofton, an 80.9% free-throw shooter, missed both of his attempts with 1.1 seconds left, the Bonnies needing just one to send the game into OT, both for the win, and he choked. Man, I didn’t sleep well at all Friday.
I feel for the incredibly loyal St. Bonaventure fans, who deserved far better this season and instead they finish 20-9, 12-5…a season that saw them ranked No. 16 early on, crumbling into a cloud of dust. Hell, I invested a ton of time, and money, in these guys myself. I probably watched all but four of their games all year. And drove way too far to see them in person.
Well, we know one thing after all the above…the NIT is going to have a strong local contingent. St. Bonaventure, St. John’s, Seton Hall and Rutgers. Throw in Wake Forest and the potential exists for a decent final four at the Garden.
--So I was in no mood Saturday to watch much hoops, though I did catch the Big East final, 8 Villanova defeating Creighton, 54-48, with the Blue Jays just 3 of 29 from behind the arc, Nova only 8 of 32. Ugh.
And then I put on the ACC final, Duke vs. Virginia Tech. IF Wake was to miraculously sneak into the tournament, Duke had to win this. But the Blue Devils gave Coach K another reason to yell and scream, playing like crap all over again, as they had the previous Saturday against North Carolina, Duke losing to the Hokies 82-67 as Va Tech’s Hunter Cattoor had a career-high 31.
This is a Virginia Tech squad that Wake Forest beat 80-61, in Blacksburg, but that was very early in the season, and give the Hokies credit. After a 2-7 start in ACC play, they went 9-2 the rest of the way, while Wake was suffering a killer loss on the road, late, to Clemson, and then our B.C. debacle.
--Rick Pitino has done a great job at Iona, embracing his position and telling all suitors, he’s staying in New Rochelle, New York. Pitino’s Gaels won the MAAC regular season title, going 17-3, and were headed towards another NCAA appearance, but then they were upset by Rider (14-18) in the quarterfinals Wednesday, 71-70. “That was a great basketball game. Rider won it,” Pitino said after. I feel bad for Iona.
Saint Peter’s (19-11, 14-6) then won the MAAC tournament, 60-54 over Monmouth, so New Jersey has a representative in the Big Dance.
We would have had a second, but Princeton lost the Ivy League Championship final today to Yale, 66-64.
Well, I just watched the bracket reveal….and now I’m more ticked off. I have to post this column and move on. I’m not saying Wake deserved to be in….but we weren’t even “first four out.”
#SnakeIsland13…NCAA Selection Committee.
And I’m shocked both Rutgers and Seton Hall got in. And, yes, Mark R. (Notre Dame alum), I’m appalled ND is in a play-in game.
The Big Ten gets nine teams. I’m out for blood. I hope this conference royally sucks. At the same time, the ACC needs to show they deserved better in terms of the seeding.
Much more to say in my midweek Add-On.
To the Demon Deacons, it’s time to put up or shut up. Win the freakin' NIT!!!!
--On the doorstep of the NCAA tournament and on the heels of another round of allegations, LSU fired head basketball coach Will Wade.
In the days after the school received a notice of allegations from the independent Accountability Review Process – which is handling investigations of impropriety for the NCAA – LSU said goodbye to a coach who had led the Tigers to a 22-11 season that will finish in the NCAA tournament.
This will be the second time that Wade has left the team before March Madness. He was suspended in 2019 for the SEC and NCAA tournaments after he was caught, through a federal wiretap, mentioning a “strong-ass offer” to a recruit.
The NCAA notice of allegations, which was obtained by ESPN, contains eight Level I violations against LSU. Seven of those are associated with the men’s hoops program and the other with the Tigers’ football team. Wade himself is accused of five Level I violations.
--Cuonzo Martin is out at Missouri after five seasons, finishing 78-77, and just 35-53 in SEC play. He took the Tigers to two NCAA tournaments but lost in the first round in each. And his team went just 5-13 in the SEC this season.
--Georgia fired men’s basketball coach Tom Crean in the wake of a 6-26 season.
Crean’s tenure at Georgia ends after four seasons and a 47-75 record, including a 15-58 mark in SEC games.
Georgia went 14-12 in 2020-21, but the transfer of its two leading scorers from last season – Sahvir Wheeler to Kentucky and K.D. Johnson to Auburn – stalled the progress of the program. This year the Bulldogs were 1-17 in the SEC.
So once again the question is asked, with Georgia’s success in football, why can’t the hoops program be successful? Since the 2002-03 season, they’ve been to the NCAAs only three times.
--Gregg Popovich became the winningest coach in NBA regular-season history, getting his 1,336th victory when the Spurs rallied to beat the Utah Jazz 104-102 on Friday night.
Popovich broke a tie with Don Nelson, the friend and mentor he served as an assistant under while with Golden State for two seasons beginning in 1962.
As you’d expect to be the case with Popovich, there was zero fanfare, a man who ignores his achievements. As he explains it, he simply shows up to work and rolls the ball onto the court.
But he has five NBA championships, 13 division titles and was recently named one of the 15 greatest coaches in league history.
--I watched the entire Nets-76ers game on Thursday…Ben Simmons’ return to Philadelphia and, as you’d expect, Simmons was booed and cursed at, the crowd loudly chanting “F—k Ben Simmons” multiple times.
But what was fun was seeing Brooklyn wipe out the Sixers 129-100, Simmons handling it well on the sidelines, smirking. [His return to the court is still an unknown factor.]
In a potential playoff matchup, Kevin Durant had 25 points, 14 rebounds, 7 assists, with Kyrie Irving (22 points) and Seth Curry (24) doing their thing.
But I have to admit I watched the whole game because I like to see former Demon Deacon James Johnson play and the veteran came up big, 16 points, 5 blocks off the bench, doing his part to limit Joel Embiid and James Harden to a combined 8 of 34 from the field.
--So this afternoon, the Nets and Knicks hooked up, the latter playing better of late, and with the game being in Brooklyn, Kyrie still couldn’t play due to Covid issues, but was in the crowd (which, yes, is rather absurd), as the Nets let Durant do his thing…his eighth career game of 50 points, 53 in fact, plus nine assists, and Brooklyn is now 35-33 after a 110-107 win, the Knicks falling to 28-40.
I can’t help but note that the other day, the Knicks beat the Mavs in Dallas 107-77, as the Mavs shot 6 of 44 from three! [The Knicks were only 9 of 34 themselves.]
--After all the quarterback moves of the past week, Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson learned he will not face criminal charges stemming from the allegations of sexual misconduct made against him by multiple women, a grand jury in Texas determined Friday.
The decision by the Harris County grand jurors could clear the way for Watson to be traded by the Texans in the coming days or weeks and to resume his NFL career this coming season, although he still faces accusations by women in civil lawsuits and possible disciplinary action by the league.
--With the ongoing explosion in quarterback salaries, Aaron Rodgers’ $50 million new annual average at the forefront, the gap between the non-quarterback with the highest average salary, T.J. Watt’s $28 million a year, and Rodgers, $22 million, is the largest ever between the NFL’s top-paid QB and the league’s top-paid non-quarterback, according to Spotrac, a website that tracks player salaries in various leagues.
Dan Fouts, the Hall of Fame quarterback, said he thinks the quarterback salary explosion stems from the work of his former head coach, Don Coryell. Fouts was at the center of “Air Coryell,” the innovative and high-scoring offense he ran with the Chargers from 1978 to 1986.
“You can blame Don Coryell, and I’m serious,” Fouts said. “You can look back at his years with us and how everything has accelerated. TV, contracts, money for TV announcers and salaries.
“I think there’s a direct correlation between the way the game is perceived now and the popularity of the game due to television and the driving force behind that is how exciting the game is and there’s nothing more exciting than a good passing game.” [Josh Peter / USA TODAY]
In 1983, Fouts was given a six-year contract reportedly worth $6 million a year. [Fouts says it was $4.6 million.]
Troy Aikman then signed an 8-year, $50 million deal with Dallas in 1993.
Drew Bledsoe signed a 10-year, $103 million deal with New England in 2001.
Today, 13 NFL quarterbacks have signed deals worth more than $100 million, according to Spotrac.
By contrast, Fran Tarkenton, a Hall of Fame QB who played from 1961 to 1978, never made more than $180,000.
--Meanwhile, the Washington Football Team, err, Commanders (what an awful name), acquired quarterback Carson Wentz from Indianapolis for a package of draft picks.
--The Bears traded 3X All-Pro linebacker/edge rusher Khalil Mack to the Chargers on Thursday for a second- and third-round draft pick. Mack and Joey Bosa on the same line is a scary prospect. The Bears needed to shed a massive contract as they retool with a new coach and general manager.
--Cleveland acquired wide receiver Amari Cooper from Dallas for a fifth-round pick (the teams swapping sixth-rounders). Good move for the Browns, whose production at the position last season was minimal, doing Baker Mayfield no favors.
--The New York Post’s Andrew Marchand first reported that Joe Buck was leaving Fox Sports for ESPN, where he will become the voice of “Monday Night Football,” thus joining longtime partner Troy Aikman in the MNF booth, a massive upgrade from what ESPN had, I think you’d agree. [I never understood the Buck haters…the guy is good.]
Buck had one year and near $10 million remaining on his Fox contract, but he’s being allowed to leave after spending decades with the network. He’ll now sign a five-year, $60-$75 million deal with ESPN, according to Marchand.
ESPN shares Big Ten football games with Fox, so in exchange for letting Buck out of his contract a year early, Fox will receive the ability to choose one Big Ten game earlier next season. The two networks have a drafting system to pick games.
By the way, ESPN pays the Manning brothers Aikman-like money for their Manningcasts as well, which I find beyond absurd. For you Buck haters, I watched an hour of a Manningcast and hated it. But then I’ve long thought Peyton Manning is a fraud (albeit a Hall of Famer). And Eli’s charmed life has that little black cloud from his sports memorabilia deal from way back.
But I digress.
Last season’s MNF booth was comprised of Steve Levy, Louis Riddick Jr. and Brian Griese. Griese has now become the 49rs’ quarterbacks coach. Levy is teed up to do Demolition Derby and Barrel Jumping events from Lake Placid, last I saw. Riddick is good.
So we still have 77-year-old Al Michaels out there as a free agent, as he holds off on the Amazon.com “Thursday Night Football” hosting job to see who his partner would be.
Michaels wanted his old buddy Cris Collinsworth, but Collinsworth reupped with NBC to partner with Mike Tirico for Sunday Night Football.
--The weather gods were not kind to those teeing it up at the fifth major, The Players Championship, at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., this weekend and we will have a Monday finish.
The tournament was delayed after about half the field had completed the first round on Thursday, and they only got a few hours of play in on Friday, and then Saturday’s action was delayed a few hours at the start until the dreadful weather finally cleared.
‘Cleared’ as in what was left was cold and wind and for those who completed their round on Saturday, the scoring average was 75.37, the worst since a Saturday in 2016 when the field average was 75.59. Only two players, Justin Thomas (69) and Bubba Watson (68), broke 70 among the 50+ who finished their round. The 18th hole had a scoring average of 5.04 for the 57 who went through it, which if it holds for the full field would be the hardest it’s played in tournament history. The 17th was similarly brutish, playing to a 3.70 average.
Keegan Bradley shot a one-under 71 on Saturday that he called “one of the best rounds of my life.” How tough was the wind? He hit a 9-iron from 95 yards out at the 12th, and at the 16th, he pulled the same club from 208.
Brooks Koepka shot a second-round 81, being a victim of the “late-early” first two rounds pairings, while the “early-late” golfers were the ones who got their first round in on Thursday, before the weather came in, and then they largely didn’t tee off again until Sunday.
Well…I’m posting as play in the third round is underway…a Monday finish ahead.
Lahiri, Burns and Hoge on top at -8…but it should be great fun tomorrow.
--Tiger Woods was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame on Wednesday and his 14-year-old daughter, Sam, stole the show.
She stood in front of the golf glitterati and business tycoons and calmly introduced her iconic father.
“Although I never met my dad’s most influential role model – my grandfather, Earl Woods, I feel like I can hear his voice every day reminding me to ‘train hard, fight easy,’” Sam said. “This is an old special forces saying that he ingrained into my dad, who now says it to Charlie and I.
“Recently, Dad had to train harder than ever. About a year ago you were stuck in a hospital bed at one of your ultimate lows and one of the scariest moments of your life and ours. We didn’t know if you’d come home with two legs or not. Now, not only are you about to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, but you’re standing here on your own two feet. This is why you deserve this, because you’re a fighter.”
Sam then brought the house down with a story about the day she was born, the same day of the final round of the 2007 U.S. Open at Oakmont, where Angel Cabrera won.
“In 2007, my dad got himself in position to make an 18-foot putt to force a U.S. Open playoff, which he missed by a foot,” she recalled. “He then had to rush to the airport, flew from Pittsburgh to Orlando and drove to the Winnie Palmer Hospital. Within five minutes of walking into the hospital room, still wearing his red golf shirt, on June 18th, I was born.
“He may have lost that day, but he won the greatest gift of all.”
Tiger then took the stage. “Crap,” a watery-eyed Woods said, trying to lighten the moment. “I just lost a bet to [Steve] Stricker that I wouldn’t cry. Thank you, Sam.”
Without notes or a teleprompter, Woods went on to focus largely on his modest upbringing in Southern California. He recalled learning the game at the Heartwell par-3 course in Long Beach and smiled at the memory of coming home with a pocket full of dollars, much to his mother Kultida’s chagrin. He spoke solemnly of the sacrifices his parents took to allow him to travel the country playing junior golf tournaments, where he faced discrimination as a biracial kid in a lily-white game.
Woods did not gloat about his accomplishments or dwell on his injuries. He didn’t speculate about the future or hint at a return to competition. Instead, he just wanted to express his gratitude to the room full of special people who helped him.
“I know that golf is an individual sport,” Woods said. “We do things on our own a lot for hours on end, but in my case, I didn’t get here alone. I had unbelievable parents, mentors, friends, who allowed me and supported me in the toughest times, the darkest of times, and celebrated the highest of times.
“So I just want to say thank you to my mom, Sam, [girlfriend] Erica [Herman], Charlie, everyone here, all my friends that have come to be here. This is an individual award, but it’s actually a team award. All of you allowed me to get here. I just want to say thank you very much from the bottom of my heart.”
Golf fans just want to thank Tiger. It was a pretty boring sport before he came along. He changed everything.
--I’ll do the standings in the Add-On, Wed., as Man City plays Crystal Palace on Monday, but in a biggie on Saturday, Cristiano Ronaldo turned back the clock (the UK has yet to spring forward) with a hat-trick, his first at Old Trafford in 14 years, Man U needing them all in a 3-2 win over Tottenham, a killer loss for the Spurs.
Liverpool beat Brighton 2-0.
Today, Everton lost to the Wolves 1-0, so their potential relegation nightmare continues.
Arsenal went back into the fourth spot, and has games in hand, following a 2-0 win over Leicester City.
And Chelsea beat Newcastle 1-0, to stay solidly in third place. The club is in a bit of a state of flux as the British government said it will enable Chelsea to continue playing after it imposed sanctions on its owner, Roman Abramovich, halting his plan to sell the team.
Abramovich had put it up for sale, but Britain’s asset freeze and sanctions on him bar that process under the terms of the license granted to the club.
So the government issued Chelsea a special license to play fixtures, pay staff and enable ticket holders to attend matches.
“Football clubs are cultural assets and the bedrock of our communities. We’re committed to protecting them,” said Nadine Dorries, Britain’s minister for sport. What a shitshow.
--New York Rangers fans, such as moi, are just waiting around for the playoffs, the eight teams in the East basically set, it’s just the order that is to be worked out the remainder of the regular season. I’m pumped. This is gonna be fun.
In the West, however, you have a ton of teams still in the playoff hunt.
--But last night, I watched the entire St. Lawrence-Quinnipiac ECAC playoff game on ESPN+…had it on the computer while the TV was tuned in to the ACC championship game.
Trader George’s Saints of St. Lawrence were overmatched on paper but played a terrific game, only to fall 4-3 in overtime, after losing Game One of the best-of-three series 4-1 the night before. I told George to get me a certain player’s mailing address because I want to send him some beer money for the gang.
Meanwhile, in the same ECAC tournament, Pete M.’s Colgate Red Raiders pulled off a terrific 4-2 win over Cornell Saturday to send their series to a deciding Game Three today.
And the upstate Indians then beat Cornell 2-1 to advance to the semis.
Plus, Pete’s Red Raiders are a 14-seed in the NCAA hoops championship. They can beat 3-seed Wisconsin!!!
What a day for Colgate.
What a disaster for Wake Forest.
--In FIS World Cup skiing action at Are, Sweden, this weekend, Mikaela Shiffrin’s troubles continued, with a third in the giant slalom, rival Petra Vlhova winning it, and then a poor ninth in the slalom, won by Katharina Liensberger.
But, amazingly, Shiffin still holds the overall World Cup season points lead, barely, over Vlhova, as they now finish up with four races in Meribel, France.
--Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from Indian Wells and the Miami Open – the first two Masters Series events of the year – because of coronavirus rules. Regulations require any non-U.S. citizen to have a Covid vaccination before entering the country.
But then at Indian Wells, yesterday, Naomi Osaka broke down in tears after suffering a second-round loss to Veronika Kudermetova, having been heckled by an ugly asshole in the stands shouting, “Naomi, you suck.”
Osaka recalled the treatment Serena and Venus Williams suffered at the same event in 2001, which led to them boycotting the event until 2015 for Serena, 2016 for Venus.
--Brad K. first alerted me to a story that went national…the death of two men, killed by a rampaging camel at a petting zoo in Tennessee.
Bobby M. and Tommy G. (no sense using their last names and adding to their family’s sorrow years down the road…since Bar Chat ‘sticks’) were cornered and attacked by the frenzied camel.
The Obion County Sheriff’s Office got a call about a loose camel attacking people near the Shirley Farms Petting Zoo Thursday afternoon.
When deputies arrived, they found the two unconscious victims and the unhinged creature on the loose.
As deputies moved one of the victims into an ambulance, the camel reappeared and attacked a sheriff’s office vehicle. Officers put the camel down, as they say in the rampaging camel world.
Bobby and Tommy succumbed to their injuries and were declared dead at the scene. It’s not clear how the camel got loose.
A family member of one of the victims told WTVF that the two men had been at the farm to try and help capture the camel (in case you were wondering why two grown men would be at a petting zoo). The animal cornered and attacked them, stomping the men to death, the relative said.
A camel expert told the outlet that when fully grown, the animals “have enough strength to crush arms and legs along with your neck while kicking forward and backwards.”
“Most animals can only kick backwards. Camels will do a combination of all those things while kneeling forward to crush you,” the expert said.
So yet another reason not to ride a camel in the Sahara, sports fans. And probably another reason why you don’t see camels in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
Top 3 songs for the week 3/15/69: #1 “Dizzy” (Tommy Roe) #2 “Proud Mary” (Creedence Clearwater Revival) #3 “Everyday People” (Sly & The Family Stone)…and…#4 “Build Me Up Buttercup” (The Foundations) #5 “Traces” (Classics IV featuring Dennis Yost) #6 “Crimson And Clover” (Tommy James and The Shondells) #7 “This Girl’s In Love With You” (Dionne Warwick) #8 “Indian Giver” (1910 Fruitgum Co.) #9 “Time Of The Season” (The Zombies) #10 “This Magic Moment” (Jay and The Americans…B+ week…)
Men’s Division I Hockey Championship Quiz Answer: Seven schools with five or more titles….
Michigan 9 (last one in 1998)
Denver 8 (2017)
North Dakota 8 (2016)
Wisconsin 6 (2006)
Boston College 5 (2012)
Boston University 5 (2009)
Minnesota 5 (2003)
Add-On up top by noon, Wed.