No player has ever hit more than 38 homers with a batting average below .200. He now has 45 homers and a .196 average.

Joey Gallo used to own this curious high/low sub-category of the baseball records. In 2021, he set the record for the most homers by a player below .200, when he went yard 38 times while batting .199.

Schwarber already holds the dubious record for the lowest batting average by a player with 45 or more homers. He led the NL in homers last year with 46 while batting .218.

There were players in previous eras that had low averages with many homers, but they were not usually good at reaching base. Dave Kingman batted .210 with 35 homers one year, but his OBP was an embarrassing .255. That was nearly a duplicate of a season posted by Tony Armas three years earlier, when he batted .218 with 36 homers and a pathetic .254 OBP.

Reflecting the new trends in baseball, both Gallo and Schwarber are actually quite good at reaching base, despite their low batting averages. Schwarber has a .344 OBP this year, thanks to 123 walks. Gallo’s OBP was .351 in 2021 because he drew 111 walks.

(Those OBPs are above average. To illustrate, Schwarber gets on base more often than Bo Bichette, even though Bichette’s batting average is above .300. Many all-time greats had lifetime OBPs below .344: Dave Parker, Ernie Banks, Andre Dawson, Cal Ripken, Pudge Rodriguez, Don Baylor, Johnny Bench …)

Week three is almost as bad as week two. Many of the top teams are still rolling up overwhelming victories against hapless non-conference pushovers. Many have even taken to scheduling FCS teams.

  • Oklahoma put up 66 against Tulsa
  • Ohio State rolled up 63 against Western Kentucky, including 35 in the second quarter.
  • Washington State put 64 on the board against winless, hapless Northern Colorado. (Northern Colorado is an FCS team that lost 42-7 last week against a team called Incarnate Word, another FCS school that I’ve never heard of. The week before that, they lost 31-11 to another FCS school. So maybe they were stretching more than a little by scheduling a nationally ranked opponent this week.)
  • UCLA scored five touchdowns in the first quarter against an FCS school before they got bored and emptied the bench. They were up 14-0 in the game’s first 74 seconds. By the end of the game they had used 5 quarterbacks, not to mention 13 different ball carriers who combined for 404 rushing yards.
  • Miami also curb-stomped an FCS school.

You get the idea.

I can’t say I was really impressed by any of the top teams, but none of the top ten lost. #1 Georgia had a little scare went they went to the locker room at halftime with a 14-3 deficit, but they won by shutting South Carolina out in the second half.

The most significant upset happened just below that group as #11 Tennessee lost to Florida. I’m not sure that was so much an upset as a case of an underrated team beating an overrated one, but in the words of the immortal Dalton, “Opinions vary.”

Side note: I guess my days of ragging on Rutgers are over. They improved to 3-0. I think their dream bubble may burst next week when they take on #2 Michigan in Ann Arbor, but they have come a long way since 2016, when Michigan beat them 78-0 at Rutgers! (The next time they met at Rutgers, in 2018, Michigan won by a mere 35 – not enough to cover the spread!)


Brilliant, funny headline! (But no actual article. From the Onion.)

Here’s another:

Resilient Aaron Rodgers Vows To Return More Detached From Reality Than Ever

“In a way, maybe this is a blessing in disguise. Although it sucks to be injured and not be out on the field with my teammates, it will give me time to reflect on the batshit things I believe in and maybe even detach from reality altogether.”

I never care for week two of the college season. It usually involves the top teams hosting non-conference pushovers to give the home crowd something to cheer about.

Most of the major powers did just that: Penn State won 63-7, Clemson won 66-17, LSU won 72-10, Florida State won 66-13, Oregon State won 55-7 and Louisville won 56-0. All of those were homecoming games except for Penn State, which played its first two at home. Those were the most dramatic examples, but not the only ones. In other home games involving top teams, Georgia won 45-3, Ohio State won 35-7, Kansas State won 42-13, Michigan won 35-7, Michigan State won 45-14, Washington won 43-10, Syracuse won 48-7, TCU won 41-6, West Virginia won 56-17 and Duke won 42-7. Even Army and Navy managed to find teams weak enough that they could shut them out in front of a home crowd. In Army’s case, they managed a 57-0 curb-stomping. Which team could be bad enough to lose 57-0 to Army? That would be the Delaware State Hornets. They are an FCS team, and apparently not a good one, given that they lost in week one to a Division II team!

#6 USC probably didn’t think they were following the pattern. They actually hosted their conference rival, Stanford, which normally fields a fairly competitive team. (Stanford beat USC in 2021.) This year doesn’t seem to be so normal. USC scored 49 in the first half, whereupon they emptied the bench.

However, there was a major exception to the pattern. Mighty Alabama, #3 in the nation and the perennial team to beat in college football, hosted the Texas Longhorns and got their asses handed to them. Except on Alabama’s own campus and among ‘Bama alumni, not a single tear will be shed over that one.

Thanks to laterals, five Cal runners managed to evade 155 Stanford defenders.


Time had expired in the 1982 game, and Stanford’s 144-piece marching band was so certain their boys had already won, that they were already doing their thing near the goal line. Cal’s 5th runner, Kevin Man, had to wend his way through the band to score the winning touchdown. Damndest thing you’ve ever seen!

This represented an amazing comeback, because they had lost one game by a country mile in their pool. There were nine teams that finished pool play without a defeat, and Spain was not one of them. They got their asses handed to them in a humiliating 4-0 loss to Japan.

They used that defeat as motivation, and won all four playoff rounds, all against pool winners, including Sweden and England, two teams that had perfect 3-0 records in pool play. (Sweden had knocked off the other 3-0 team, Spain’s nemesis Japan, in the quarter-finals.)

There are 0.51 errors per game this year, the lowest number in recorded history.

Details here

Nobody in a position to know has come forward to say that scorers have explicitly been asked to be more lenient, but players and broadcasters have been talking about it all year. All everyday players benefit from the new trend. An error is bad for the hitter. Even though he reached base without making an out, which is the basic goal of the game, it is scored as 0-for-1, as if he made an out. The “E” is obviously not wanted by the fielder either. The pitchers, however, don’t like the new trend, since it converts unearned runs into earned runs, thus inflating their ERAs.

This one had to be one of the least expected perfectos in history.

  • In his last two starts, German was totally shelled (ten runs in three innings, seven runs in two innings).
  • German had never even thrown a complete game in his entire career.
  • He had only won 10 games in the last four years combined.
  • He came into the game with an ERA over 5.

I wouldn’t call it the least likely perfecto. After all, a younger German had once been one of the best pitchers in the league, In 2019 he posted an 18-4 record.

In comparison:

Philip Humber (who?) threw one in 2012, a year in which he had a 6.44 ERA. Humber was then with his fourth team in seven years, and had won only 11 major league games in the previous six summers. He would soon be out of the majors altogether, following a disastrous 0-8 mark in 2013. He finished his MLB career 16-23 with a 5.31 ERA. Many people wondered how he ever got to the majors in the first place. His lifetime ERA in triple A ball was 4.57, and he did not finish with a lifetime w/l pct over .500 at any level.

The perfecto was his first win of the year, and it would be more than a month before he would win another, but it takes talent to throw a perfecto against major league hitters, and he flashed his best self that day against a Mariners line-up that included Ichiro!

If you created a fictional character with Jim Brown’s life, your book would be panned as unrealistic.

Imagine if Michael Jordan could also play soccer like Messi or Pele. What if Mohammad Ali could also hit like a baseball like Babe Ruth? That imaginary super-athlete existed in flesh and blood as Jim Brown, the only man I can name who, in his day, was the best in the world at two different sports (football and lacrosse). Many say he is the GOAT of lacrosse, and he has his supporters for the same status in football.

And he was also an amateur star in several other sports.

And his athletic achievements were just the beginning of his legend.

Rolen earned 76.3% of the votes from submitted ballots, just barely enough.

I’m ambivalent about this selection.

  • The six most comparable players are not in.
  • Rolen has ZERO black ink (never led the league in anything), compared to a score of 27 for an average Hall of Famer.
  • He has a gray ink score of 27 (meaning he was rarely among the leaders), compared to a gray ink score of 144 for an average Hall of Famer.
  • In 17 years in the majors, he was only in the top ten in the MVP balloting one time.

On the other hand, he did put in a lot of solid years, was an excellent fielder, and his lifetime WAR of 70 is HOF caliber, ahead of many current solid HoFers, including (for example) Ernie Banks.

So whether he belongs depends on whether you think the primary criterion should be superstardom at his peak, or the total value of his career.


There’s a lot of speculation about his future, but Brady is saying nothing.

Will a guy with that much pride be willing to quit on a sour note?

Can he get up for another season?

Weird NFL stat: Dallas kicker Brett Maher missed four PATs in Monday’s game. To put that in perspective:

  • Matt Stover only missed three in his life – and he played in the NFL 19 years, suiting up for 297 regular season games and 16 more playoff games! At one point he made 469 in a row.
  • Rian Lindell missed only one PAT in 14 years (212 games) and made his first 321 attempts. He is the all-time leader in PAT% at 99.8%

Georgia won the final game by more than eight touchdowns. They were favored, but I’m pretty sure they covered the spread.

What an embarrassment, and what an anti-climax! The two semi-final games were terrific, and since THE Ohio State University should have beaten Georgia (Ohio State led by 14 at the end of the third period), it seemed that the Bulldogs were vulnerable.

That was an illusion.

TCU had nothin’. Georgia scored on every possession in the first half.

Anyway, congrats to the Bulldogs. The won their second consecutive championship by finishing undefeated and beating the second-place team 65-7. How often do you get to play the third stringers in a national championship game? In sports, that’s as good as it ever gets.

The last time I remember a team approximately as dominant was that UCLA basketball team in 1966-67 that was #1 wire-to-wire. Kareem was so dominant that they changed the college rules after that season, banning the dunk. Sadly for the rest of the teams in college hoops, the sky hook was totally legal, so Kareem won two more championships, with a combined record of 58-2.

No dunking allowed? Boy, was that a different time!

Well, yeah, maybe that.

Or maybe because he’s an old coot playing a young man’s game with a mediocre receiving corps.

Hard to say.

To be fair, Brady has not been bad. He leads the league in completions. He is second in the NFL in interception percentage, and is the very best in the NFL at avoiding the sack, which is impressive for an old codger who had no foot speed even when he was young (so he’s not doing that with his legs). The only weakness evident from his stats is that he is second-last in the league in yards per completion and yards per attempt, but that kinda tells you more about the Bucs’ offensive strategy than about Brady himself.

By the way, although they suck mightily, the Buccaneers are in first place in a division of ultra-suckitude (despite a 6-8 record and a point differential of minus 41), so Brady might get one more (extreme long shot) chance at the Owl.


France +110
Argentina +170
Croatia +750
Morocco +900

France and Argentina are heavily favored in the semis.

Interestingly, Croatia and Morocco are the two undefeated teams, but are the underdogs with the longest odds. Argentina lost that shocker to Saudi Arabia in pool play. France did also drop a game (to Tunisia) in pool play, but they didn’t make an effort to win that game. They had already clinched a spot in the elimination rounds, so they rested their starters against Tunisia.

Croatia and Morocco have already played each other in the tournament. They were in the same pool, and drew. Morocco won its other two games to win the pool, while Croatia finished with a win and two draws.

SIDEBAR: The country of Croatia has fewer than four million people, a small pool to draw a great national team from.