About 60 years ago, Dinah Washington sang:
What a difference a day makes…
Here in the DC area, hockey fans are lamenting what a difference a year makes. In 2018 – after more than 40 years of frustration – the Capitals won the Stanley Cup and they partied all over the area. For once, Mighty Casey had not struck out.
The Caps had developed a bad history in the Stanley Cup playoffs. When they took a series to a 7th game – whether home or away – the Caps always seemed to invent a way to lose that game. It was so regular an occurrence that Tony Kornheiser, in his days as a Washington Post columnist and local sports radio talk show host, came to call the Caps:
- The Choking Dogs of April
All that negativism was supposedly washed away in the plentiful libations from Lord Stanley’s Cup last year. And then last night happened…
- Playing at home, the Caps led the Hurricanes in Game 7 of their playoff series. The Caps led 2-0 after one period and led 3-1 late in the second period. Ultimately the game went to Double OT and the Hurricanes won the game 4-3 breathing life into those old memories of the Choking Dogs of April. It is not a happy day in the DC area.
#2 son was at the game last night. His text messages reflected significant concern about the way the game was going when the Hurricanes scored a short-handed goal in the second period. He also predicted OT before the game was tied in the third period. Given the record of his texts and the outcome last night, #2 son should Google “Cassandra” as a way to reconcile what he saw and felt last night…
The Pittsburgh Steelers missed the playoff last year in a maelstrom of controversy and intrigue among players. LeVeon Bell was holding out; he is now off to play for the Jets; Antonio Brown had taken his talents – and his temper – to the Raiders courtesy of a trade; that leaves Ben Roethlisberger, Mike Tomlin and Juju Smith-Schuster as the remaining soap opera cast members in Pittsburgh. Seemingly, the Steelers are happy with this arrangement because they just extended Ben Roethlisberger’s contract by 2 years and gave him a signing bonus of $37.5M. In total, the contract extension adds $63M to Roethlisberger’s bank account – assuming it all plays out as designed – and will carry through the 2021 season in which Roethlisberger will be 39 years old.
Behind Roethlisberger on the Steelers’ depth chart this morning are:
- Josh Dobbs
- Mason Rudolph
The Steelers have acted to secure their QB of the present and near future with this contract extension; looking at that depth chart, the Steelers need to pay close attention to their QB of the future situation. If they are convinced that one of those guys is “The Guy” to take over the helm, they are in good shape. If they are not so convinced…
The Toronto Blue Jays have called up Vladimir Guerrero, Jr.; he will make his MLB debut against the Oakland A’s tomorrow. If you believe in genetics, this kid ought to be an offensive presence in the Jays’ lineup. His father, Vladimir Guerrero, is in the Hall of Fame with some gaudy stats:
- In a 16-year MLB career, he hit .318 with an OPS of .931.
- He hit 449 HRs and drove in 1496 runs scoring 1328 runs on his own.
- He was an All-Star in 8 seasons; he was MVP in 2004.
- He led the AL in intentional walks 4 consecutive years.
Vlad Jr. had been hitting .367 for the Buffalo Bisons in the AAA International League…
Soon after the NFL released its schedule for 2019, the Westgate Sportsbook in Las Vegas posted lines for all the Week 1 games. Forget that the Draft has not yet happened nor is there any inkling as to what kinds of injuries might occur during Training Camp/Exhibition Games; the lines are up. I am not going to regale you with all of them here, but there are 4 that have an angle to them:
- Skins at Eagles – 8 (46.5): This could be an interesting attempt to find a “middle bet”. If you take the Skins +8 here and then something bad happens to the Eagles in the run-up to the season, the line could drop a few points setting up the chance to win both bets if you later take the Eagles “minus something less than 7 points”.
- Chiefs – 5.5 at Jags (52.5): Andy Reid’s teams tend to start fast …
- Lions at Cardinals “pick ‘em” (49): I doubt that I would want to bet this game in April 2019 or in September 2019.
- Broncos at Raiders – 2.5 (43): Jon Gruden returns to Monday Night Football – – fortunately not as the color analyst…
Finally, Greg Cote had this comment in the Miami Herald last weekend about an event in Miami that will take place today:
“Miami Corporate Run on deck: The annual Miami Corporate Run clogs/hits downtown streets this Thursday evening. Last year’s run drew 28,265 entrants from 850 companies. Hey you all: Less running, more working!”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………