Some Strange Stuff Today …

          Yesterday, I said that I could not find the MLB record for the worst run differential by a team in a season.  Soon after I posted the rant, Doug put this in the comments section:

“Worst ever: 1932 Boston Red Sox at – 349

“Best ever: 1939 NY Yankees at +411”

Thanks to Doug.  I am honored to have a cadre of smart and interested readers here.  Moreover, Doug’s data show that the 2023 Oakland A’s are still on track to make history.  Not good history, mind you; but history.

This year’s Oakland A’s are on pace to have a minus-442 run differential which is almost 100 runs worse than the record now held by the 1932 Red Sox.  At this rate, the A’s might blow by the old record sometime around Labor Day with maybe a couple dozen games left on the schedule.  Yowza!

Moving on …  Forbes is often useful as a data source for these rants when I need information about someone’s personal wealth or an estimate of a sports franchise’s value.  However, today I want to provide a quote from Forbes about BetOnline – – one of the companies that offers Internet based sports wagering:

“BetOnline is the brand behind the bold move to offer the first-ever Special Olympics odds. Operating globally in the online gaming sector for more than 25 years, BetOnline is known for setting the industry bar when it comes to creativity and innovation.”

I will stipulate that the good folks at Forbes know lots more about international companies in that business sector than I do, and I take at face value their assessment that BetOnline is the creative/innovative genius in that sector.  Having said that, I think it is just a bit sleazy to take bets on the Special Olympics AND I think that anyone who “gets down” on an event in the Special Olympics needs an intervention from his/her family and friends.

Next up …  In the regular Olympics – – the games that will take place in Paris in 2024 – – the Associated Press reports that a new competition will take place there and then.  The event will be called “Artistic Swimming”; for those wondering what that might be, you can think of it as “Men’s Synchronized Swimming”.  The AP report quotes one of the men who will try to qualify for the Olympics in Artistic Swimming saying:

“I think it’s a huge opportunity for the sport to grow and attract more men.  By keeping men out you’re limiting the sport. By including men you’re going to see an upshift in the popularity and the numbers.”

I agree with that statement simply because I think it would be very difficult to create a situation where I would see a downshift in “popularity and the numbers”.

Switching gears …  With Shannon Sharpe having abruptly left FS1, the network has not been able to come up with a “debate opponent” for Skip Bayless on the show Undisputed.  So, the show has gone into a two-month hiatus and is scheduled to return around the end of August.  While I am not a regular viewer of contrived sports debate programs like Undisputed and/or First Take over on ESPN, I am a bit surprised that a sports network would not be able to find a temporary fill-in while it searched for a permanent presence on the show.  I am interested, however, in speculative reporting that appears sporadically about who might be in line to take Shannon Sharpe’s place.  So, far, I have seen these five names floated:

  1. Richard Sherman:  He has the requisite level of bombast for the job and can certainly handle “debates” involving football.  Does he know enough/care enough about other sports?
  2. Michael Irvin:  Ditto everything I said about Richard Sherman above…
  3. Stephen A. Smith:  The thinking there was that Smith is unhappy at ESPN because Joe Buck, Troy Aikman and Pat McAfee all make more money than he does, and he would jump to FS1 to rejoin Bayless as an on-air tandem.
  4. LaVar Ball:  Wow!
  5. Jay Mariotti:  If FS1 wants the “debate topics” to be “hotly contested”, this is a pairing that would achieve that end.  Mariotti was the most combative of the panelists on Around the Horn when he was a staple on that program.  Moreover, there was a time when Bayless and Mariotti were lead columnists at rival newspapers in Chicago.  I would surely tune in to see some of the confrontations staged by these two guys.

One more thing …  I read a report that Netflix is going to do another one of its docuseries programs on – – wait for it – – Jerry Jones.  Ten each one-hour episodes on Jerry Jones.  If you forced prisoners of war to watch that in its entirety, I think you would be in violation of the Geneva Conventions.

Finally, I shall close today with an item from The Official Dictionary of Sarcasm:

Karaoke:  A once-in-a-lifetime chance for lonely untalented people to be even more sad and pitiable than they are in everyday life.”

[Aside:  I believe the word “karaoke” derives from a Japanese word that means, “No, you can’t sing either.”]

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………



3 thoughts on “Some Strange Stuff Today …”

  1. I have another suggestion for the chair across from Bayliss, some guy named Jack Finarelli. it’s pretty obvious that his positions on the issues are almost always on the opposite side from Skip; he has numerous erudite opinions to present from a long history of sports learning, watching and knowledge; and he has the time to input into research needed for the opinions to present in the show (and a ton of resource partners to discuss these with in preparation). The best part is that with a little makeup and an ESPN paid makeover, he’d be the new star of the network.

  2. When I read the ring-of-hell predictions for the 2023 Oakland A’s, I hearken back to 1972 – 1974, when the team ruled the world of baseball.

    1. TenaciousP:

      The 1970s Oakland A’s – – and their owner, Chuck Finley – – were done in by free agency.

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