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Thread: 2018 MLB Spring Training Look At All Teams-Trades-Rumours-Injuries ETC. !

  1. #61
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    Thursday’s 6-pack

    Six highest-paid college basketball coaches:

    1) Mike Krzyzewski, Duke: $8,982,325

    2) John Calipari, Kentucky: $7,994,147

    3) Chris Holtmann, Ohio State: $7,149,849

    4) Bill Self, Kansas: $4,954,877

    5) Tom Izzo, Michigan State: $4,359,979

    6) Sean Miller, Arizona: $4,054,853

    Quote of the Day

    “I will never turn my back on you. EVER! You are one of the best coaches I’ve ever had and easily the best person I’ve ever come in contact with!……”
    TJ McConnell, talking about his college coach, Arizona’s Sean Miller

    Thursday’s quiz

    Whose picture is on the $100 bill?

    Wednesday’s quiz

    Mike Krzyzewski played his college basketball at West Point.

    Tuesday’s quiz
    Ulysses S Grant’s picture is on the $50 bill.

    **************************

    Thursday’s List of 13: Doing some thinking out loud…..

    13) St Bonaventure 117, Davidson 113, 3OT— Probably the best college hoop game this season was played Tuesday night; five players scored 30+ points. Six players fouled out. These teams are lined up to meet again in the A-14 semi-finals next week in Washington, DC.

    12) Speaking of which, this is a year where several conference tournaments are in unusual places; ACC is in Brooklyn, Big 14 is in Manhattan, A-14 is in Washington, SEC is in St Louis.

    11) One of the things about college basketball is that once you beat a team, you need that team to do well, so it helps your power rating.

    Case in point: Boise State will be a bubble team if they don’t win the Mountain West- they’ve got a win at Oregon, so it would greatly help the Broncos if Oregon could work its way into the top 60 or even higher.

    10) NIT will have some experimental rules this season; games will be four quarters, and 3-point arc will be moved out a little bit. The four-quarter thing looks like it will happen at some point in men’s basketball, maybe 2019-20— the women’s game already plays four quarters.

    9) All-time major league record for pinch-hit home runs:
    Matt Stairs 23, Cliff Johnson 20, Jerry Lynch 18.

    Stairs is the new hitting coach for San Diego- he was the Phillies’ hitting coach last year.

    8) Shareef O’Neal (Shaq’s son) quickly moved on from Arizona to UCLA for his college choice.

    4) Took the NFL about 90 minutes to move on from Papa John’s to Pizza Hut as official pizza of the league; best thing about this? Lot fewer Peyton Manning commercials.

    7) Mark Few makes $1,934,104 a year at Gonzaga; he is happy where he is, and you can’t buy happy, but he is leaving a lot of money on the table. If Few let it be known that he wanted to be a much higher-paid coach, lot of the big-money schools would be lining up pretty quickly.

    6) Chicago Bears will cut backup QB Mike Glennon after only one year and four starts; Glennon made $18.5M for his time in the Windy City, so hard to feel bad for the guy.

    5) There were two upsets in the NEC tournament last night; #2-seed Mt St Mary lost to Robert Morris, and #3-seed St Francis PA lost to FDU, first time since 2003 that the #2-3 seeds both lost in the first round.

    3) If you’re Sam Darnold, why wouldn’t you throw at the NFL Combine? Quarterbacks shouldn’t back away from any challenges/competition.

    2) Random question: if UConn hired Geno Auriemma to be its men’s basketball coach next year, how would he do? Huskies will probably make a coaching change; their program is a mess right now, going 30-33 the last two years.

    1— Someone ran a poll on Twitter the other day, asking who was the most influential teacher they have ever had. It got hundreds of responses, some of which were “none” but it was cool to see that most people were grateful to teachers who helped them when they were younger.

    Lot of time kids graduate and go on their way and never thank the people who helped them.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    date w-l-t % units record

    02/28/2018 5-6-1 45.45% -540
    02/27/2018 8-5-3 61.54% +1325
    02/26/2018 8-10-1 44.44% -1640
    02/25/2018 7-10-1 41.18% -1990
    02/24/2018 10-7-0 58.82% +955
    02/23/2018 6-13-0 31.58% -4145
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  3. #63
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    Former star Bagwell among guest instructors at Astros camp
    March 1, 2018


    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) Jeff Bagwell played alongside fellow Hall of Famer Craig Biggio for years, helping plenty of Houston clubs reach the postseason.

    Bags knows talented teams. And to him, this group of Astros is something special.

    ''They're a machine right now,'' he said.

    ''Now when these guys step on the field, they know they are better than the team that they are playing against. That's a great feeling to have,'' Bagwell said.

    Inducted into the Hall in 2017, Bagwell hit .297 with 449 home runs in a 15-season career spent entirely with the Astros. The 49-year-old former first baseman is among a list of Houston guest instructors, along with Biggio and pitcher Nolan Ryan, scheduled to appear in camp during the coming weeks.

    Bagwell will work primarily with the first baseman during his three days in camp with the World Series champions, a role that took on greater importance with Wednesday's news that starter Yuli Gurriel will miss the beginning of the season after undergoing hand surgery. Bagwell also work with baserunners.

    ''People forget he was a pretty good baserunner and stole double-digit bases virtually the majority of his career,'' Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. ''Anything he wants to offer we'll take.''

    Drafted by Boston, Bagwell was in the minors when he was traded to Houston. He got to the World Series once, in 2005 when the Astros were swept by the Chicago White Sox.

    Bagwell remains in awe about what the Astros accomplished last season.

    ''I don't know if you can be both, but I was jealous that I was not part of that because I never got the chance to feel that, but I was ecstatic because of these kids man, they are just great kids,'' Bagwell said. ''They go about baseball the right way.''

    Among those stars is Jose Altuve, the AL MVP.

    ''His bad swings, he doesn't put in play,'' Bagwell said. ''His really bad ones, he puts in play, they dribble over the plate and he beats them out. And then he can hit .346, too. He's the total package,'' Bagwell said.

    A five-time All-Star, Altuve won his third batting title last season. He also hit 24 homers and scored 112 runs.

    ''Here's a kid that goes out there and leads the league in hitting every year, has over 200 hits - he hit, what, .346 or something last year?'' Bagwell said. ''And all the defenses that you see out there, the shifts and all that, there is no way to defense that kid. He is right field line to left field line. He hits the ball with power to both sides of the field.''

    Shortly after praising Altuve, Bagwell focused his admiration on current shortstop Carlos Correa.

    ''If Carlos stays healthy, he's a once-in-a-generation type player, and so is Altuve,'' Bagwell said. ''And to have both of those guys up the middle, never mind (George) Springer in center, too, but those two guys up the middle they're very special. They're fun to watch, too. They seem like they have fun. They enjoy playing with each other. It's a neat thing to look at.''
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    THURSDAY, MARCH 1
    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS


    MIN at STL 01:05 PM
    MIN +110
    U 8.5

    BOS at HOU 01:05 PM
    BOS +105
    O 8.5

    NYY at PHI 01:05 PM
    NYY -125
    O 8.5

    TOR at PIT 01:05 PM
    TOR -105

    BAL at TB 01:05 PM
    BAL +100

    MIA at NYM 01:10 PM
    NYM -135
    U 8.5

    COL at CHC 03:05 PM
    COL +115

    LAA at SF 03:05 PM
    SF -120
    O 9.5

    CLE at LAD 03:05 PM
    CLE +105

    CHW at CIN 03:05 PM
    CHW +110

    KC at SEA 03:10 PM
    SEA -132
    U 9.5

    MIL at ARI 03:10 PM
    ARI -132
    O 9.5
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Around the bags: At 44, Colon throwing strikes for Rangers
    March 1, 2018


    Bartolo Colon could always throw strikes. Two months shy of turning 45, he still can.

    Colon filled up the strike zone Thursday in his spring training debut for Texas, a two-inning start against San Diego.

    The portly right-hander gave up two hits, including a home run by Wil Myers, struck out Chase Headley looking and walked none. He threw 23 of 32 pitches for strikes, and his fastball was mostly in the mid-80s mph range.

    Colon signed a minor league contract with Texas after going a combined 7-14 with a 6.48 ERA in 28 starts last season with Atlanta and Minnesota.

    ''I feel well and I'm throwing strikes,'' he said. ''I'm happy with the way I feel. All I need to do is keep working hard and then it's up to them.''

    Texas added Colon to see if he had anything left.

    ''He's got deception, a great feel for a pitch and commanding the fastball and puts it where he wants to,'' Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. ''Day one, he walks out here for live BP and young, fresh hitters walk away scratching their heads. They don't see it.''

    ''It's phenomenal, to want to do it at that age,'' Banister said. ''Hey, just to want to do it at that age and then be good enough to continue to do it, it's incredible.''

    AROUND THE GRAPEFRUIT AND CACTUS LEAGUES

    ASTROS 10, RED SOX 5


    Charlie Morton pitched two shutout innings in his first action since closing out Game 7 of the World Series. Houston prospect Kyle Tucker hit his third spring home run.

    Boston starter Rick Porcello struck out four in two scoreless innings. Hanley Ramirez hit his first homer of the spring.

    ORIOLES 5, RAYS 2

    Tampa Bay reliever Jonny Venters pitched his second scoreless inning of the spring. The 32-year-old lefty has been out of the majors since 2012 while recovering from three Tommy John surgeries. Baltimore prospect Ryan Mountcastle doubled in the go-ahead run.

    YANKEES 6, PHILLIES 4

    Miguel Andujar hit two more home runs a day before turning 23 years old. The New York third baseman has four homers this spring and is 6 for 14 (.429). CC Sabathia struck out three in two perfect innings in his spring debut. Aaron Altherr homered for Philadelphia.

    MARLINS 3, METS 2

    Jason Vargas allowed a run on three hits in two innings in his first start for New York. Closer Jeurys Familia pitched a perfect inning. Miami's top pitching prospect, Sandy Alcantara, gave up one run and four hits in a three-inning start.

    Mets center fielder Michael Conforto celebrated his 25th birthday by hitting soft tosses in the batting cage for the first time since shoulder surgery in September.

    NATIONALS 6, BRAVES (SS) 2

    A.J. Cole allowed two hits and struck out three in a two-inning scoreless start for Washington. Nick Markakis went 2 for 2 and scored for Atlanta.

    Bryan Harper struck out two in a shutout inning for the Nationals. His younger brother, Nats star Bryce, had surgery to remove an ingrown toenail Wednesday and he is expected to return to the lineup Saturday.

    TWINS 3, CARDINALS 3, 9 INNINGS

    Adam Wainwright gave up two hits and three walks but no runs in two innings in his first appearance for St. Louis. Marcell Ozuna homered for the Cardinals.

    Adalberto Mejia, a front-runner for the back of Minnesota's starting rotation, surrendered two runs on four hits in three innings.

    BRAVES (SS) 5, TIGERS 2

    Nicholas Castellanos hit his second spring homer and Victor Martinez had his first for Detroit. Ronald Acuna Jr. had two hits for Atlanta.

    PIRATES 4, BLUE JAYS 1

    Top prospect Austin Meadows hit a two-run homer for Pittsburgh and Sean Rodriguez added a solo shot. Pirates closer Felipe Rivero pitched the fourth inning and allowed a hit with two strikeouts in his first spring appearance. Kevin Pillar got three hits for Toronto.

    ROYALS 4, MARINERS 3

    Jorge Soler swatted his third home run of the spring as Kansas City rallied and improved to 5-0, the only unbeaten team in the majors this spring. Seattle starter Mike Leake struck out four innings in three scoreless innings. Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager each had two hits for the Mariners.

    ROCKIES 2, CUBS 2, 9 INNINGS

    DJ LeMahieu had two hits for Colorado. Slimmed-up slugger Kyle Schwarber was 0 for 3 and struck out twice for Chicago.

    BREWERS 6, DIAMONDBACKS 1

    Wade Miley, hoping to crack Milwaukee's rotation, struck out five over 2 1/3 shutout innings. Arizona starter Zack Godley threw three scoreless innings.

    INDIANS 8, DODGERS 7

    Abraham Almonte drove in two runs for Cleveland. Los Angeles left fielder Matt Kemp went 1 for 3. Kemp, who played his first nine years for the Dodgers, is back with them after spending the past three seasons with San Diego and Atlanta.

    ANGELS 11, GIANTS 4

    Los Angeles starter J.C. Ramirez allowed one hit in two shutout innings. San Francisco newcomer Evan Longoria got his first hit of the spring. Giants starter threw three shutout innings.

    PADRES 9, RANGERS (SS) 9, 9 INNINGS

    Delino DeShields had two hits and Shin-Soo Choo added a RBI double for Texas. Christian Villanueva hit a grand slam for San Diego.

    REDS 8, WHITE SOX 7

    Eugenio Suarez went 3 for 3 with a double and his replacement, Cliff Pennington, went 2 for 2 for Cincinnati. Reynaldo Lopez allowed one run on one hit and two walks in two innings for Chicago.

    RANGERS (SS) 9, ATHLETICS 4

    Khris Davis hit a grand slam, his second home run in as many days, for Oakland. Texas prospect Willie Calhoun had two hits, including a homer.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    At 39, free agent Luke Scott eyes baseball comeback
    March 1, 2018


    BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) If a major league team calls with a job offer, Luke Scott intends to be ready.

    So do Neil Walker, Nolan Reimold and Travis Snider, also among more than two dozen free agents working out at the IMG Academy.

    Scott looks around ''Camp Jobless'' - as some have dubbed the Major League Baseball Players Association-run spring training workouts for the unemployed - and sees players he thinks should be on big league rosters.

    When the 39-year-old, who hasn't played in the majors since 2013, looks in the mirror, Scott says the guy staring back at him has still got it, too.

    ''It's not going to be easy, but I don't expect things to be easy,'' said Scott, a .258 hitter over nine seasons with Houston, Baltimore and Tampa Bay.

    ''I'm thankful for this opportunity to have this camp here. I think it's a great idea,'' he added. ''We'll see what happens, if someone will give me an opportunity.''

    Walker, Reimold and Snider are appreciative of the free agent camp, too.

    Former Astros manager Bo Porter has been leading the workouts for two weeks.

    Walker is among the latest additions, arriving late Monday. He earned $17.2 million last season, while batting .265 with 14 homers and 49 RBIs in 111 games for the New York Mets and Milwaukee Brewers.

    The versatile infielder was in the lineup as a designated hitter during a scrimmage Thursday against an amateur team from Japan.

    Tyler Moore hit a first-inning grand slam and Juan Francisco added a solo homer late as the MLBPA held off Japan Railway East 6-5.

    ''I know there are a lot of guys here that are very capable of helping on the big league level,'' Walker said.

    ''For me in particular, I'm not concerned about being somewhere very shortly,'' he said. ''But it's certainly frustrating to a degree to know the production I've had for the last eight years in the big leagues - still in my prime as a 32-year-old, it certainly hasn't played out the way I anticipated.''

    Nevertheless, Walker remains confident ''I'll end up in a spot that's good, and hopefully a winning environment.''

    Like Scott, Reimold, 34, and Snider, 30, are trying to get back to the majors.

    Reimold, a .246 hitter over parts of eight seasons with Baltimore, Toronto and Arizona, last played in the big leagues with the Orioles in 2016.

    Snider, who hasn't played in the big leagues since 2015, batted .244 with 54 homers and 212 RBIs over parts of eight years with Toronto, Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

    ''It's tough to look around and see this many guys that don't have a job right now. Hopefully it changes. That's why we're here,'' Reimold said.

    ''At this point in my career, you know nothing's guaranteed,'' Snider said. ''I felt like I had a pretty good year last year in Triple-A and was hoping to get a job, and ultimately get back to the big leagues,'' Snider said.

    ''This is all part of the process we're going through,'' Snider added. ''But it's not just about me. There's a group of guys who are working hard, making the most of the situation.''

    Scott realizes he's a longshot.

    But the former outfielder, first baseman and designated hitter said he's taken up martial arts while changing his diet since last playing in the majors with the Rays five years ago.

    At 39, he believes he's still capable of being a productive player.

    ''The way the game is now with the youth movement, actually there's a lot of players out there who are older in age, but they're figuring stuff out. The main thing is being able to stay healthy,'' Scott said. ''I've stayed in shape. It's a lifestyle. ... I've got a lot left.''
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Happ preparing for key role with Cubs
    March 1, 2018


    MESA, Ariz. (AP) A year ago, Ian Happ was just looking for a spot on the Chicago Cubs' crowded roster. The touted prospect took balls in the outfield and soaked in the atmosphere of his first big league spring training camp.

    This time around, it's a much different situation. The 23-year-old Happ is working on an encore for his impressive rookie season.

    ''It was a very similar offseason for me as far as preparation, but it was a different mindset,'' he said. ''It was more of understanding of where I needed to get my body. It wasn't guesswork. I knew where I needed to get my body coming into spring training. I had goals and I was able to achieve them.''

    The 23-year-old Happ also looked good in spring training last year, but he began the season with Triple-A Iowa. After a solid start in the minors, Happ was promoted to Chicago in May and hit .253 with 24 homers and 68 RBIs in 115 games, helping the Cubs make it all the way to the NL Championship Series for the third straight year.

    Doesn't look like he is headed back to Iowa anytime soon.

    A switch hitter who was selected by Chicago with the ninth overall pick in the 2015 draft, Happ started in center and hit leadoff Thursday for the fourth time this spring training. He connected for his third spring homer, a two-run drive in the third inning of a 2-2 tie against Colorado.

    ''You know the league is going to continue to adjust to you,'' Happ said. ''It happens throughout your first year and then it's going to happen again this year, so you just have to continue to improve yourself, continue learning how to hit more pitches and learn the game.''

    The matchup with the Rockies was supposed to be the spring training debut for right-hander Yu Darvish, who finalized a $126 million, six-year deal with the Cubs on Feb. 13. But he has been battling an illness and opted for a two-inning bullpen session and a little batting practice.

    Darvish said he is OK and the move was just a precaution. The delay means he likely will pitch in his first game for Chicago on Tuesday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, his former team.

    ''He's not horribly ill, but he's had this thing with his stomach,'' manager Joe Maddon said. ''We're concerned about dehydration. If he goes out there and pitches, sweats a little bit and pulls something, that's not smart.''

    Happ played second base most of the time while he was in the minors, but it looks as if he is ticketed for the outfield this summer. The Cubs have Javier Baez and Ben Zobrist at second, and Happ looks comfortable on the grass after making 82 appearances in the outfield last season, including 41 starts in center.

    But his biggest value for Chicago might be at the plate.

    The leadoff spot was a season-long problem for the Cubs last year after Dexter Fowler signed with St. Louis in free agency. The .246 batting average for the No. 1 hitter in Chicago's lineup was good for 24th in the majors, and the .324 on-base percentage was ranked No. 18.

    While Happ was just OK in 39 plate appearances in the leadoff slot in 2017, his switch-hitting ability and athleticism make him a natural choice when he is in the lineup. He also spent time at the top of the batting order during his college career at the University of Cincinnati.

    ''It's something I've done for a long time,'' Happ said. ''I'm comfortable with it. I feel good about all the at-bats that I've had so far. I'll hit wherever they ask me, but leadoff is definitely a comfortable role for me.''

    Albert Almora Jr. and Kyle Schwarber also are in the mix for the leadoff spot this spring. Schwarber began last year as Chicago's leadoff hitter, but was removed from the spot after he got off to a slow start.

    Channeling his inner Rickey Henderson, widely regarded as the best leadoff hitter of all time, Happ said his philosophy on hitting first is ''be confident.''

    ''The guys that are the best at it are the guys that are confident and the guys that understand that they don't have to change their approach,'' he said, ''that you're already a high on-base percentage guy and you're going to continue to do that in that role.''
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Colon still throwing strikes in his spring debut for Rangers
    March 1, 2018


    SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister remembers the first time he saw Bartolo Colon pitch was in Class A ball in 1995.

    ''He was young and throwing a million it seemed like,'' Banister said. ''Hitters didn't really enjoy getting into the batter's box.''

    Colon is no longer throwing a mid-90s fastball, but at age 44 he is still throwing and retiring hitters. He is in the Rangers camp on a minor league contract with a fastball that averaged 87.8 mph last season.

    In his spring training debut Thursday, Colon threw 23 of 32 pitches for strikes in two innings against the San Diego Padres. He struck out Chase Headley looking, walked none and yielded a solo homer by Wil Myers and a double by Luis Urias. His fastball worked mostly in the mid-80s range.

    ''I think Bartolo has really a good small window percentage, putting pitches where he wants to put them,'' Banister said. ''He was most efficient at small-window targets.''

    Colon went a combined 7-14 with a 6.48 ERA in 28 starts last season with Atlanta and Minnesota. One victory was a complete-game on Aug. 4 against the Rangers. At age 44 years and 72 days, Colon was the oldest pitcher to throw a complete-game victory since Nolan Ryan, who was 45 years, 155 days, on July 4, 1992.

    ''He's got deception, a great feel for a pitch and commanding the fastball and puts it where he wants to,'' Banister said. ''Day one, he walks out here for live BP and young, fresh hitters walk away scratching their heads. They don't see it.''

    Colon won the 2005 American League Cy Young Award with the Angels. If he makes the Rangers, it would be his eighth American League club and he would get a $1.75 million, one-year contract and the chance to earn $1.3 million in performance bonuses based on innings.

    ''It's phenomenal, to want to do it at that age,'' Banister said. ''Hey, just to want to do it at that age and then be good enough to continue to do it, it's incredible.''

    Colon, who was the oldest player in the majors last year, has 240 victories, which is second only to Hall of Famer Juan Marichal's 243 for a pitcher born in the Dominican Republic. He needs five more to match Nicaraguan Dennis Martinez for most victories by a native of Latin American. He acknowledged surpassing those two are a reason he is still pitching.

    ''I have personal goals I want to achieve and hopefully the team will allow me to reach those,'' Colon said through a translator.

    He threw seven first-pitch strikes to the eight batters he faced.

    ''I feel well and I'm throwing strikes,'' he said. ''I'm happy with the way I feel. All I need to do is keep working hard and then it's up to them.''

    While with the New York Mets on May 26, 2016, Colon became the oldest player to hit his first major league home run at 42 years, 349 days. Signing with an American League club, Colon will not get many chances to pick up the bat.

    ''The American League is where I want to be because I don't have to hit or run,'' the portly pitcher said, laughing.

    Colon is listed at 5-foot-11 and 280 pounds, not the type of body one would associate to a long baseball career.

    ''There are a lot of Christmas and birthday presents you unwrap that maybe the packaging doesn't look great, but inside there's a tremendous gift that is waiting to be open,'' Banister said.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    March MLB Record: ( All Selections Are For Opinions Only )

    DATE W-L-T % UNITS RECORD

    03/01/2018 9-8-2 52.94% -1.45


    ********************************

    Friday’s 6-pack

    More over/under betting propositions for home runs this season:

    30.5— Kyle Schwarber

    28.5— Charlie Blackmon

    25.5— Francisco Lindor

    25.5— Kyle Seager

    24.5— Corey Seager

    22.5— Greg Bird

    Quote of the Day
    “I think it would be in their best interests to know how our industry financially operates before they start working with legislators across the country on sports gaming bills. I’m not aware of any league inquiries at this time. I would like to see that change in the near future on both levels. I hope we can discuss and meet with the leagues and legislators who are considering or processing sports betting bills. I believe it would be a tremendous benefit for all of them to understand the sports gaming industry and how it operates.”
    Jay Kornegay, VP of Westgate Race and Sports Book

    Friday’s quiz
    NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans have traded their first round draft pick four of the last five years; the one player they did draft. they later traded to Sacramento— who is he?

    Thursday’s quiz
    Benjamin Franklin’s picture is on the $100 bill.

    Wednesday’s quiz
    Mike Krzyzewski played his college basketball at West Point.

    ********************************

    Friday’s List of 13: Random stuff with weekend here……

    13) We’ve entered the age of “guilty until proven innocent.”

    I’m talking now about Sean Miller and the situation at Arizona, where ESPN claimed that Miller was caught on an FBI wiretap talking about an illegal payoff for star player DeAndre Ayton.

    Problem is, there is no recording of this conversation, no transcript of it, and there isn’t 100% agreement on when this conversation supposedly took place, or whether the player being talked about on the tape in question was even Ayton.

    So Miller remains the coach at Arizona, but if he is indeed innocent, where does he go to get his reputation back, since there will always be people that believe he broke the rules?

    12) Arizona xx, Stanford xx— Allonzo Trier was cleared to play by the NCAA, so all-around, it was a solid day to be a Wildcat in Tucson.

    11) Bartolo Colon pitched for the Rangers Thursday; Luis Urias was the Padres’ 2B in the same game. Colon made his major league debut April 3, 1997, two months before Urias was born.

    10) Other than who the Rams take, the one thing I’ll be looking for when the NFL Draft rolls around is where Louisville QB Lamar Jackson winds up. My personal opinion is that there is a place for him in the NFL, but I’m just a guy typing on his laptop.

    One NFL personnel guy has to risk his career on Jackson being an NFL QB.

    9) When the Cleveland Browns interviewed Alabama RB Bo Scarbrough at the NFL Combine, one of the questions they asked him was if he thought God is an Auburn fan.

    What does that have to do with anything?

    8) Minnesota Vikings went 13-3 this past season, their best record in 19 years, but it is likely that none of their three QB’s from last year will be on their 2018 roster.

    Case Keenum had a great season, but it looks like Minnesota will let him test the free agent market; Sam Bradford’s knee is so bad that they’d be stupid to sign him- Mike Zimmer called it “degenerative”, and Teddy Bridgewater had a non-contact injury in 2016 that he still may not be fully recovered from. All three of those quarterbacks are free agents, and all three will likely be elsewhere in a few months.

    7) Bruins led Pittsburgh after the first period Thursday night; it was most goals scored in first period of an NHL game since Arizona led Nashville 6-3 after first period on March 28, 2013.

    6) RB’s Saquon Barkley, Nick Chubb did 29 bench press reps at the NFL Combine.

    Barkley and Chubb had more reps than all but five of the 36 offensive linemen to bench press at the Combine this year.

    5) No quarterback who played at USC has ever started a Super Bowl.

    QB’s from Fresno State, Arizona, Morehead State, Northern Iowa, Navy, Southern Miss and Grambling have all won Super Bowls.

    4) This from ***********:
    “Nevada has seen explosive popularity in sports betting over the past decade. The annual handle rose from $2.8 billion in 2010 to $4.9 billion in 2017……”

    3) If you care about such things, Lee Westwood has the most career earnings at The Masters without ever having won the tournament. Justin Rose is 2nd, Ernie Els is 3rd on that list.

    2) University of Nevada has only seven healthy scholarship basketball players right now; they’ve added three walk-ons in the last month, including two WR’s from the football team. Adding the walk-ons allows them to practice 5-on-5 at least.

    1— Our thoughts/prayers go out to Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly, who once again is battling cancer. He’s a tough guy; we wish him well in this latest battle.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    FRIDAY, MARCH 2
    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS

    PHI at TB 01:05 PM
    PHI +115

    ATL at NYY 01:05 PM
    NYY -175
    U 8.5

    BOS at STL 01:05 PM
    STL -125
    O 8.5

    TOR at MIN 01:05 PM
    TOR +120

    PIT at BAL 01:05 PM
    PIT +100

    MIA at DET 01:05 PM
    DET -132

    LAD at CHW 03:05 PM
    LAD -135
    O 9.5

    SEA at MIL 03:05 PM
    SEA +110

    TEX at CLE 03:05 PM
    CLE -161

    CIN at SF 03:05 PM
    CIN +120

    CHC at LAA 03:10 PM
    CHC +100
    O 9.5

    KC at SD 03:10 PM
    SD -132
    O 9.5

    ARI at COL 03:10 PM
    ARI +110
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Hosmer faces Royals for first time since joining Padres
    March 2, 2018


    PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) It was more than a spring training game for Eric Hosmer.

    The four-time Gold Glove Award winner faced the Kansas City Royals for the first time since signing with the San Diego Padres last month, getting a double and an RBI against the team that drafted him in 2008.

    Hosmer was 1 for 4 in San Diego's 13-5 victory Friday. Hosmer signed a $144 million, eight-year contract with the Padres on Feb. 19 and is in camp with a new team following seven major league seasons with the Royals.

    The 28-year-old first baseman had time to catch up with some old teammates, as well as Royals executive and Hall of Famer George Brett. He also stopped to take a selfie with Royals fans.

    ''It was weird,'' Hosmer said. ''I'm not used to seeing that Royal blue on the other side. It's spring training, but it is a different feeling. It really is. If I were to tell you there were no weird feelings in me before the game, I'd be lying.''

    Hosmer faced off against close friend Danny Duffy, who started for Kansas City. Hosmer popped up in his only at-bat against Duffy.

    ''We were laughing and joking before and the whole at-bat and after,'' Hosmer said. ''It went well. It's crazy. The last time I faced Duffy was in rookie ball or maybe instructional league. It's been about 10 years since I've got to get in the box off him.''

    Duffy remembered Hosmer homered off him in that intrasquad game when they were teenagers.

    ''I never wanted to face him,'' Duffy said. ''I never thought I'd ever have to. That's a perfect world. He's on a route that's best for him. It was just a weird experience. I love the dude.''

    Alex Gordon walked to lead off the game, then chatted with Hosmer at first base. Gordon, Duffy, Perez, Escobar and Hosmer were core members of the Royals' teams that advanced to the World Series in back-to-back years and won it all in 2015.

    Hosmer said changing teams ''doesn't change what we've all been through.''

    ''I've got nothing but love for these guys,'' Hosmer said. ''I'll continue to root for these guys. A lot of us were 18-year-olds when we first got to the organization. We went from 18-year-old kids to grown men and we all kind of went through the maturation. We're family.''

    Royals manager Ned Yost was anything but sentimental about seeing Hosmer, who hit .318 with 25 home runs last season, in a different uniform.

    ''Move on man, it's done,'' Yost said. ''It's gone. It's over. He's with that team. We've got our team and be done.''
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Dodgers' Kershaw breezes through routine spring start
    March 2, 2018


    Clayton Kershaw's second spring training outing went according to plan, save for one poor throw to first.

    The ace left-hander breezed through two scoreless innings for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday, allowing one hit and walking one during a 7-6 victory over the Chicago White Sox at Glendale, Arizona. He worked a perfect inning in his spring training debut against Seattle on Sunday.

    ''Another step. Another inning,'' Kershaw said. ''Definitely things I can do better, but for the most part I'll take it. It was all right. I made some good pitches when I needed to. I made some bad ones, too. Enough to work on for the next one.''

    Leury Garcia dropped a single into left in the first for Chicago's only hit off Kershaw. Garcia raced all the way to third when Kershaw made a wild throw on a pickoff attempt, but Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia grounded out to end the inning.

    ''I just tried to be a little too quick,'' Kershaw said, looking back on his fielding miscue. ''I think I might have, it would have been close, but I didn't make a good throw.''

    After Kershaw departed, there was a scary moment in the third when plate umpire Tony Randazzo went down after he was hit by a pitch from Dodgers reliever Brock Stewart in his collarbone area. Randazzo was carted off, but the White Sox said he ''passed all orthopedic and medical evaluations.''

    Tom Koehler, who replaced Kershaw, got just one out before he was pulled with a right shoulder injury. The Dodgers said he was going to get an MRI.

    AROUND THE GRAPEFRUIT AND CACTUS LEAGUES

    YANKEES 5, BRAVES 4


    Russell Wilson struck out in his first spring training at-bat with the New York Yankees. The Seattle Seahawks quarterback pinch hit for AL Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge in the fifth inning against Atlanta on Friday and swung past a 2-2 pitch from left-hander Max Fried.

    Braves' top prospect Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a two-run homer off Masahiro Tanaka, who retired just four batters and allowed four runs, four hits and a walk in his first spring training appearances. Giancarlo Stanton had two hits, including a double, and prospect Miguel Andujar had a two-run double. Braves closer Sam Freeman retired all three batters he faced in his first appearance. New York improved to 7-1 when Tyler Austin hit a two-run homer in the ninth.

    TIGERS 8, MARLINS 3

    Detroit left-hander Travis Wood has a torn left ACL and medial meniscus in left knee, and the team is evaluating surgical options. Wood twisted the knee during a game Thursday. Miguel Cabrera had two hits Friday, including a two-run double. Matthew Boyd, trying to earn a rotation job, gave up three runs four hits in three innings with five strikeouts.

    NATIONALS 2, METS (SS) 1

    Max Scherzer pitched three perfect innings and struck out five. Ryan Zimmerman doubled in two at-bats in his first appearance of spring training. Tim Tebow and Adrian Gonzalez had back-to-back singles in the fourth inning for a New York split squad. It was Tebow's first hit in seven at-bats. The Mets' only other hit was Gavin Cecchini's leadoff homer in the bottom of the ninth.

    METS (SS) 7, ASTROS 7, 9 INNINGS

    World Series MVP George Springer hit a long two-run homer and new Houston starter Gerrit Cole allowed one run over three innings. Travis d'Arnaud went 2 for 2 with a walk for the Mets, and Brandon Nimmo had an RBI triple.

    PHILLIES 9, RAYS 2

    Philadelphia's top prospect Scott Kingery hit his third spring home run. Phillies ace Aaron Nola allowed two runs and three hits in three innings. Blake Snell allowed one run and one hits in two innings.

    ORIOLES 10, PIRATES 8

    Tim Beckham had two hits, including his first home run, and drove in three runs, and Colby Rasmus homered for the Orioles. Adam Frazier, hitless in his first eight at-bats, had three hits, including a triple and double, and three RBIs. Orioles' No. 2 starter Dylan Bundy gave up five runs and seven hits in 2 1/3 innings.

    TWINS 2, BLUE JAYS 1

    Joe Mauer had a hit an and RBI, and Eddie Rosario led off the second inning with his first home run. Twins starter Jake Odorizzi struck out three in 2 2/3 hitless innings. Cavan Biggio, the son of Astros Hall of Famer Craig Biggio, tripled in his only at-bat for Toronto.

    RED SOX 9, CARDINALS 6

    Boston's Drew Pomeranz left after one inning due to left forearm tightness. Bud Norris of the Cardinals came out after 2 1/3 innings due to a left hamstring spasm.

    Drew Pomeranz made his first start for Boston, but he had to leave for precautionary reasons on a 2-2 count to the first batter of the second inning with left forearm tightness. Red Sox Hall-of-Famer Carl Yastrzemski made a visit to camp. Andrew Benintendi went 2-for-2 with his first home run and a double for the Red Sox, while prospect Sam Travis homered twice and drove in four runs. Tommy Pham had two hits, including a triple, for St. Louis.

    MARINERS 4, BREWERS 2


    Dan Vogelbach, hoping to make the roster while Ryon Healy recovers from hand surgery, has two hits for Seattle, including a three-run homer. Mike Zunino singled for his first hit in 11 at-bats. Junior Guerra, chasing a spot in Milwaukee's starting rotation, allowed four hits in three shutout innings. Seattle's Marco Gonzales gave up three hits in three shutouts innings..

    REDS 3, GIANTS 2

    Madison Bumgarner pitched three perfect innings in his second start and struck out four. Cincinnati's Homer Bailey gave up two runs and two hits in three innings, and Reds closer Raisel Iglesias struck out one in a hitless fourth inning. Prospects Steven Duggar and Kyle Jensen had solo homers for the Giants.

    INDIANS 9, RANGERS 4

    Jason Kipnis hit a three-run homer and Jose Ramirez singled twice and drove in two runs for Cleveland. Trevor Bauer pitched three innings and gave up a run and three hits while striking out four. Cleveland closer Cody Allen pitched a perfect fifth in his first appearance. Joey Gallo homered for Texas. Indians All-Star shortstop Francisco Lindor went 0 for 3 and is batting .083.

    ROCKIES 15, DIAMONDBACKS 6

    Chris Iannetta homered twice and drove in five runs for Colorado. No. 2 starter Chad Bettis allowed four runs and six hits in 2 1/3 innings. Jake Lamb hit a grand slam for Arizona and Paul Goldschmidt singled and drew two walks in three trips.

    CUBS 6, ANGELS 4

    Jose Quintana made his first start for Chicago and allowed one run and three hits in one inning. Los Angeles starter Garrett Richards gave up two hits in three shutout innings. Jason Heyward led off for the first time this spring training and doubled for his first hit. Ian Kinsler, Mike Trout, Justin Upton and Albert Pujols combined to go 0 for 10 at the top of the Angels' batting order.

    PADRES 13, ROYALS 5


    Austin Hedges had two hits, including his fourth home run for San Diego, while Wil Myers singled twice and drove in a run. Jorge Bonifacio hit a three-run homer and Whit Merrifield had two hits for Kansas City, which lost its first big league exhibition. Royals ace Danny Duffy retired his first five batters, then issued consecutive walks. Christian Villanueva followed with the only hit off Duffy, a two-run double.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Red Sox limit Sale's spring workload
    March 2, 2018


    FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) Boston ace Chris Sale is scheduled to start an intrasquad game on Sunday and could have five spring training outings before the Red Sox opener.

    The extra spring training rest is by design. Sale was 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA last year and led the major leagues with 214 1/3 innings and 308 strikeouts.

    He tailed off at the end of the season, going 7-4 with a 4.09 ERA. That's been his pattern: He is 59-22 with a 2.74 ERA in 133 first-half starts during eight big league seasons and 32-36 with a 3.28 ERA in 127 second-half starts.

    ''We've kind of gotten together a couple of times and talked about different things and different schedules to kind of build up through spring training,'' Sale said.

    New manager Alex Cora, pitching coach Dana LeVangie and the training staff have conferred on the plan.

    ''We're all involved in the training room, in the weight room,'' Sale said. ''We've all got together and talked about coming up with a formula for longevity and building up. I think last year, I came into spring training kind of too amped up, too ready to go and I think we're kind of looking for more of a gradual buildup.''

    Sale, who turns 29 on March 30, hopes this new approach will keep him strong throughout the season.

    ''I can't say for certain because I haven't really done it,'' he said. ''But that's the plan, that's our end goal seeing things as a whole instead of so kind of in front of you. We're working on something to create longevity and maintain strength throughout the whole year.''

    Sale hopes limited work in spring training will translate into longer outings later in the season.

    ''I think that's part of it,'' Sale said. ''Kind of like a plane takes off, kind of that gradual buildup instead of just a heavy workload up front, and just maintaining that. I'm confident, obviously, in the people I have in my corner and I'm confident in myself to be able to stay on track. It's kind of weird doing something different, that I've never done, but like I said, I have faith and trust in everyone here and in myself to see this process through and make sure that we're on the positive side of things.''
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Yovani Gallardo wants to stay ahead of curve with Brewers
    March 2, 2018


    PHOENIX (AP) Yovani Gallardo's curveball helped him get to the major leagues, a pitch so effective it helped the right-hander become Milwaukee's career strikeouts leader.

    Back with the Brewers again after signing a minor league contract, Gallardo is returning to the curveball in an effort to regain his form after two disappointing seasons.

    Gallardo was selected by Milwaukee in the second round of the 2004 amateur draft, and he reached the big leagues three years later. The curveball was Gallardo's top secondary pitch through his first four big league seasons.

    But he started throwing his slider more frequently in 2011 and by 2015, when he was dealt from Milwaukee to Texas, Gallardo spun curves only about 11 percent of the time.

    ''My cutter had been such a good pitch for such a long period of time that it got me away from what I did to get here in the first place,'' Gallardo said. ''That's what we're trying to do here in spring.''

    Gallardo is encouraged so far by the results. In two exhibition appearances, he has allowed four runs, though only one earned, two hits and three walks over 2 2/3 innings. The lone earned run on a homer by San Francisco's Jarrett Parker.

    ''I've been able to make some good pitches from behind in the count and get outs,'' Gallardo said. ''I just wasn't able to do that (the last two years). For whatever reason, I was maybe trying to be too fine.''

    Pitching coach Derek Johnson has stressed to all his hurlers the value of occasionally working higher in the zone. For Gallardo, going high with the fastball could be a complement to his curve.

    ''The last outing against the Giants, I elevated and got soft contact and some ground balls,'' Gallardo said. ''Then, I could drop the curveball at the right time for a swing-and-a-miss.''

    Less than a month remains before the regular season opens March 29 in San Diego. Gallardo is not sure of his chance to make the big league roster.

    ''I'm going to keep going out there and trying to throw the ball the way I'm throwing it right now. Everything else is out of my control,'' he said.

    Left-hander Wade Miley also could be in the mix for one of the two spots open. Like Gallardo, Miley is trying to rebound from a rough season of his own. In camp on a minor league contract, Miley has thrown 4 1/3 scoreless innings.

    Miley struck out five Thursday in a 2 1/3-inning start against the Diamondbacks. He allowed a major league-high 93 walks last year.

    ''He just feels crisp right now,'' manager Craig Counsell said. ''He pitches with some good pace. Velocity's very good for early in the spring.''
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    White Sox prospect Jimenez hampered by left knee tendinitis
    March 2, 2018


    GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) The Chicago White Sox are going to hold out top prospect Eloy Jimenez for a couple days to help the outfielder recover from patella tendinitis in his left knee.

    Jimenez is taking medication, and manager Rick Renteria says they want to give it time to work before putting together a plan to get the slugger back on the field.

    The 21-year-old Jimenez is regarded as one of the top prospects in baseball. He isn't expected to begin the season in Chicago, but could make his major league debut this summer.

    Chicago also scratched shortstop Tim Anderson for Friday's spring training game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Renteria said it was a personal matter.

    *********************

    Scott Kazmir making progress in comeback from hip injury
    March 2, 2018

    TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Scott Kazmir is making progress in his comeback from a hip injury and bid to win a spot in the Atlanta Braves rotation.

    The 34-year old left-hander pitched two scoreless innings and worked out of jams during both frames Friday in the Braves' 5-4 loss to the New York Yankees.

    ''I wouldn't say I'm there yet, but I feel like I'm getting better and better, and that's the progression I would like to have,'' Kazmir said.

    Kazmir is 108-96 with a 4.01 ERA over 12 seasons. He didn't pitch last year.

    Aaron Judge walked with one out in the first, took third on Giancarlo Stanton's double and was stranded when Gary Sanchez flied out and Greg Bird struck out.

    ''Fell behind a lot of guys but was able to make some pitches to get some outs,'' Kazmir said.

    Tyler Wade hit an inning-ending grounder in the second, leaving a runner at third.

    **********************

    Angels' Cozart adjusting to new team
    March 2, 2018

    TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) Zack Cozart was set to move from shortstop to second base after leaving Cincinnati for a $38 million, three-year contract with the Angels. Then general manager Billy Eppler asked whether he would be willing to shift to third, which would allow Los Angeles to acquire Ian Kinsler from Detroit.

    ''I was about to fly out for my physical, and Billy called and he just said `Hey, I hate to do this to you, but I have a chance to swing this trade for Kinsler that's going to make our team much better,''' Cozart recalled. ''He told me `If you're not comfortable with it than I won't make the trade, simple as that.'''

    Cozart admitted being a little shocked.

    ''The whole point of me coming to the Angels and to switch positions anyways was because I felt like the Angels were doing everything they can to win,'' Cozart said. ''So it was easy to say `of course I'll do it.'''

    After postseason appearances early in his career, the Reds finished no better than fourth place in the NL Central from 2014 through last season.

    ''There's no hard feelings that they didn't see me as part of the rebuild,'' Cozart said. ''The last couple of years with the Reds were tough with wins and losses. There's no way around that. But I'm happy where I'm at right now and I'm looking forward to helping the Angels win.''

    Cozart was a first-time All-Star last year and set career highs last year in batting average (.297) and home runs (24), and he tied his best with 63 RBIs. He thought back to a knee injury that limited him to 53 games in 2015.

    ''To be rewarded last year at the break was cool,'' Cozart said. ''That's a little bit of an individual bonus. I don't like to harp on those too much, but it was a cool experience.''

    Kinsler said the move from shortstop to third should be easier that a switch to second. He is getting used to his new infield teammates, which include shortstop Andrelton Simmons.

    ''We all have a pretty significant amount of experience in the major leagues, so everything's gone smooth,'' Kinsler said.

    Cozart played third base and batted fifth for the Angels against the Chicago Cubs on Friday, Cozart's second spring training game. He got his first hit and scored twice in the Angels' 6-4 loss.

    ''It was a little weird at first, just because the angles are so much different. My whole life I played shortstop, so literally, just sliding over you would think would be easy,'' Cozart said. ''Just figuring out the positioning part of it, the way the ball comes off the bat differently, it's going to take a little bit of time.''

    Note: Angels RHP/DH Shohei Ohtani pitched in a minor league game at Milwaukee's facility in Phoenix. He struck out eight and allowed two earned runs and four hits in 2 2/3 innings.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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