Saturday's Dirty Dozen: Odds and ends for a spring Saturday.....
12) They drew 13,766 fans in Syracuse Friday night for the first AAA start for Nationals' prospect Stephen Strasburg, who allowed no runs in six IP, giving up a hit and a walk, with six strikeouts. He also drove in a couple of runs. Syracuse is going make big $$$ for the next month, then Strasburg is headed to our nation's capitol for 12-14 years.
11) Despite making only one AAA start, Strasburg is already owned in 87% of fantasy leagues on CBSSports.com. Aroldis Chapman is owned in 74% of CBS leagues.
10) Cavaliers' coach Mike Brown pushed the right button when he made his team practice on its day off; Cleveland shot 59% from floor, ran out to a 36-17 first quarter lead and crushed the Celtics in Boston by 29.
9) I hope JaMarcus Russell gets another shot in the NFL. If I were advising the young man, I'd have him go play Arena Football, which is a great molder of QBs, just ask Kurt Warner or Tommy Maddox, whose careers were made by the AFL.
8) Right now, the AFL's leading passer is one Chris Greisen, who passed for 1,678 yards, with 35 TDs and no INTs in his team's first five games. . Yes, thats 35 TDs and no INTs. The Arena League is a lot of fun.
7) If I'm ESPN, I show every Denver preseason game; the #1 story this August is going to be how well Tim Tebow handles NFL defenses, even though preseason defenses are most always very vanilla.
6) Cubs brought Starlin Castro up to play shortstop Friday; the phenom knocked in six runs, including a 3-run homer in his first at-bat, setting a major league record for RBI in his MLB debut. (Ben Grieve was last guy to knock in five runs in his debut, in '97). Ryan Theriot moves over to play 2B; the guy Castro replaced in the lineup, Mike Fontenot, wound up hitting a grand slam as a pinch-hitter in the Cubs' 14-7 win in Cincinnati.
5) Jim Calhoun's five-year, $13M contract is for recruiting purposes; the NCAA investigation and Calhoun's advancing age and health are probably going to send him to the golf course before that, unless he can recruit well enough to get UConn back to an elite level. Right now, the odds of that happening just don't seem very good.
4) Backup PG Goran Dragic torched the Spurs for 23 points in fourth quarter, as Suns ran out to a 3-0 series lead with a 110-96 win Friday in San Antonio. Up to that point, in 11 quarters, Dragic had scored a total of seven points in the series. The front office gets credit for finding Dragic.
3) When I retire I'd like to study how the whole stock/bond market works. Seems like trading is like gambling and handicapping in a lot of ways, think studying it would help me in my handicapping. Still down the road, but something to look forward to.
2) I'm reading a terrific book by Jay Dobyns called Hells Angel, which is all about this cop infilitrating the Hells Angels.
1) Eldrick Woods made the cut at -3 at PLAYERS, tied with both Woody Austin and Brett Quigley; he's nine shots out of the lead. If this ordinary play continues and I'm one of his corporate sponsors, I'm showing up at his condo before his next tournament with Rachel Uchitel and dropping her off. At some point, doesn't he have to resume his old ways if he's to regain his dominance of the sport? Either that, or I'm not sponsoring him anymore. Signing up Quigley or Austin would be a hell of a lot cheaper.