San Diego Padres. The revamped Padres rallied Sunday for an extra-inning win over the Dodgers in what has become baseball's most-entertaining rivalry. The teams played seven games over the last 10 days and the energetic bunch of Padres won four of them, and had fun doing it. Young rising superduperstar Fernando Tatis Jr. — who is there with Acuña Jr. and Soto and the rest of the fun-loving, big-swinging stars barely old enough to buy a Bud Light — homered off Trevor Bauer and had a little fun with the hard-throwing Dodgers ace, who took it in stride. I'm all for baseball's next generation embracing having fun celebrating homers and Ks.
Coach Cal. The UK basketball boss can be gruff — and he's never met a good question he can't spin into a recruiting spiel — but he was aces on social media with a heartfelt tribute to former UK player Terrence Clarke, who was killed earlier this month in a car wreck.
Jacob deGrom. There's dealing, and then there's deGrom-level dealing. In fact the term DeGrominant is about to become a thing. Friday night, the Mets ace authored a two-hit, 15-K shutout against the Nationals. But the hard-throwing deGrom is making Rembrandts look as common as dogs playing poker or a velvet Elvis. He has an 0.31 ERA and 50Ks in 29 innings to start 2021. How about these numbers: Average four-seam fastball speed is 98.9 (that's the average gang); 73.0 strike percentage (and 84 of his 109 pitches Friday were in the zone); opponents' average with runners in scoring percentage is a Blutarsky-esque 0.0.
East Ridge. With the Top Golf and the improvements to Camp Jordan — hey, if they add a Chick-Fil-A by definition, everything is better right? — and now the Red Wolves' complex getting ready to roll, the southern suburb to our fair city is getting a big-time overhaul. Here's more from TFP BID-ness ace Mike Pare.
PGA event. Count me among the folks who enjoy the change in style and the team event in Louisiana. The traditional stroke-play, individual events are fine, but this is really a nice change of pace for me. (And yes, that we may have won a little coin on the outcome Sunday always helps in the enjoyment level.) Speaking of coin, local fav Keith Mitchell and Brandt Snedeker used a red-hot weekend to move into a tie for fourth and each pocketed $209,667. That's a good weekend of work friends.
Everything about the Braves on Sunday. Everything. OK, the seven-inning doubleheaders are fine, but how can Madison Bumgarner not get credit in the history books for a seven-inning no-hitter? That's nuts. But speaking of no hitters, well, the Braves played 14 innings and got one more base hit than Spy did Sunday. One. A Freddie Freeman single in Game 1, and that was it in a 5-0 and 7-0 sweep by Arizona.
Everything coming out about the mess at LSU. Here's more on the school banning Derrius Guice and taking his name form the record books as well as firing the law firm that all-but-looked the other way at the sexual harassment claims against former coach Les Miles. This is clearly beyond the $100 handshake or run of the mill big-time college sports shadiness.
THE Ohio State students demanding school sever ties with Columbus police. Nuts.
The Oscars. I didn't watch because I was at a softball field all day Sunday — congrats 10u Mocs on winning the Harrison tournament — but considering I was completely unaware of any of the movies or any of the people in any of the movies this year, I wouldn't have anyway. And I normally watch those types of things.
Yes, I am stoked.
I love the draft. You know this.
And we will talk some draft every day this week. Deal? Deal.
Well start here: Not doing a draft contest this year. Too many moving pieces and in truth, it has always had the lowest participation. (Plus, we have the Derby coming Saturday, so we'll still have a contest. If you want to play the Derby Contest, the rules are easy. Pick the winner and get a point; pick the last-place finisher and get 1.1 points. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy. Winner gets lunch on me.)
As for today's draft talk, let's talk about picking WRs, especially in round 1. I heard Peter King talking about this and it really makes you wonder if drafting WRs in some regard has become like drafting RBs in terms of value later in the draft. Not in practice mind you — because WRs (especially Alabama WRs) are way, Way, WAY more common in round 1 than RBs — but in theory.
Because let's face it, over the last five-plus years, the guys catching passers who were caught on day two have been wicked good, and because so much of a WRs success depends on fit and functionality, taking one early looks to be risky and questionable returns against the very core of the definition of draft value.
Granted there are three receivers who could be possible top-10 picks, and count me among the folks who think Ja'Marr Chase is going to be an absolute dude, so maybe this year is not the best example.
But know this: The last time three WRs went in the top 10 was 2017, and it's safe to say Corey Davis, Mike Williams and John Ross (who went 5-7-9, respectively) were major disappointments.
And know this too, in terms of value at WR in round two: Yes, Calvin Ridley and Justin Jefferson have been great and worthy of first-round status, but are they better than DK Metcalf, Michael Thomas, A.J. Brown or a slew of the round two picks since 2017?
So, while everyone is talking about the almost certain QB-QB-QB start to Thursday's first round and what the Falcons may do at 4 — King also hinted that the cap-strapped Falcons could go WR like Chase at 4 and deal Julio Jones later this summer for cap relief — the conversation about the receivers is an interesting one.
This and that
— It's truly impossible to put any spring game in the winner or loser category. (Maybe the lone exception being that great scene at Nebraska many moons ago when they let young fan Jack Hoffman score a TD.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Jmisv1Spck Because at its core, if the offense lights it up — like UT did Saturday in the Orange and White game — then it's clear the defense has work to do, too. But by all accounts, the quarterbacks certainly appear to be having a grand time in Josh Heupel's new offense. Here's more from TFP college football expert David Paschall, because, well, you know the rules. And that was before fleet-footed former Michigan quarterback Joe Milton announced he was transferring to Rocky Top.
— OK, want to know what changed my mind about the transfer rule in college sports? Instances like Kim Mulkey leaving Baylor and going to LSU. Understand the move — and who doesn't want more money — completely, but if someone as established as a Hall of Famer like Mulkey pulls up stakes and rolls, why shouldn't players be able to too? As for what's happening with Syracuse — the women's team has had 12 players enter the portal this offseason — that feels like there has to be some dirt under that Orange rug, no?
— Count me 100 percent on board with this. We have talked about my stance against the federal government picking up the almost $1.6 trillion in college student loan debt out there. That said, Joe Biden's rumored proposal of making community college free is a great idea. I supported it when Tennessee did it; I support it across the country. Love this idea.
— Speaking of golf, did you see the video of Cameron Champ playing a shot Saturday with an alligator right behind him? It certainly would have unnerved me.
— You know the rules, especially when it's breaking news, but here's TFP sports editor and prep sports guru Stephen Hargis on the soap opera that has become Tyner Academy football. After kicking legendary coach Wayne Turner to the curb after last season and luring rising coaching star Tyrus Ward from Brainerd, the Rams Train will have to roll on down the tracks and find a third coach since Thanksgiving. Here's Hargis on Ward leaving after a month or so on the job because of an undisclosed opportunity.
— We are in such a place that real headlines read like Onion headlines. How about this trending on Twitter on Monday morning: "There is no legal requirement for Americans to cut red meat consumption, say fact-checkers." McRibs for everyone.
— Speaking of strange days, Trevor Lawrence has signed an endorsement deal with a cryptocurrency portfolio management app. Seriously. And he was paid in cryptocurrency, which has already increased in value since Friday.
Weekend winners and losers — have at it.
As for Multiple Choice Monday, and know the draft will be a common theme this week, how about this:
Which QB do you think is the second-best in this class?
> Zach Wilson
> Mac Jones
> Justin Fields
> Trey Lance
As for today, it's national pretzel day. Pretzel, friend or foe?
Chernobyl happened on this day 35 years ago. Did anyone watch the HBO mini-series on the nuclear disaster in Russia?
On this day 80 years ago, the first stadium organ was introduced at Wrigley Field.
Rushmore of ball-park songs. Go.