My Monday blog

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#1
Today marks the start of my third tour of duty in San Jose, Costa Rica.

Non-combat duty, of course.

After all, Costa Rica abolished its army in 1948, a move that virtually no other country in the world can claim.

Unlike neighboring countries Panama and Nicaragua which are plagued by chronic poverty and widespread violence, Costa Rica boasts a proud population whose overall quality of life is the envy of all Central American countries.

I will spend the next three months here before heading back to the States for EOG's Sixth Annual Day at the Races in early August.

Visitors are allowed to stay in Costa Rica as tourists or on business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa.

The 90-day time frame is universally-accepted by most countries, including the United States, with terrorist exceptions adopted recently in the U.S. for visitors from Iran, Iraq, Sudan or Syria.

Nearly 50,000 Americans call Costa Rica their adopted home.

A popular one-liner describes Costa Rica as "Home of the Wanted and Unwanted."

In every pound of humor, there is an ounce of truth.

Americans escaping the long arm of the law (the Wanted) and those who lack a reason or purpose for living in the United States (the Unwanted) have flocked to this exotic hideaway, often labeled "The Happiest Place in the World."

No longer do I consider myself a stranger in Costa Rica despite my Tarzan Spanish.


COACHING MATTERS.....Not all biases are unfair or dangerous.

In the sports betting arena, my strongest bias is a belief that has served me well.

I assign disproportionate weight in favor of smart, well-coached teams and downgrade poorly-coached squads that commit silly errors and constantly repeat mistakes.

The New England Patriots, led by Bill Belichick, and the Boston Celtics, coached by Brad Stevens, are two examples of smart teams that promote a culture of execution, providing the smart guys a built-in advantage before the game starts.

The Pats and Celts rarely lose a game unless opponents clearly outplay them.

Conversely, ill-prepared teams beat themselves all the time with poor decisions, unforced errors and a lack of poise when it matters most.

Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni fell to 49-49 in the NBA postseason after his team lost at home as a significant 7-point home favorite over shorthanded Golden State in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals last Friday night.

D'Antoni's teams in Phoenix, New York, Los Angeles and now Houston always seem to promise a lot and deliver very little.

Other head coaches whose teams have underachieved famously include Dusty Baker, Mike Singletary, Norv Turner and Billy Tubbs.

But the poster boy for miserable coaches is former Oakland Raiders head coach Bill Callahan.

He coached in Oakland for only two seasons and his team was on the short end of a 48-21 beatdown to his former boss Jon Gruden and Tampa Bay in Super Bowl XXXVII.

Callahan's team went 4-12 straight-up and 3-12-1 against the spread the season after the Super Bowl appearance, causing the embattled coach to call his squad "the dumbest team in America."

He was understandably fired after the 2003 season but landed on his feet as head coach of the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

The losing continued in Lincoln.

Cornhusker fans suffered through a four-year term with Callahan before he was impeached from office after going 27-22 (20-25 against the spread) and only 1-10 against teams in the Top 25.


MONDAY'S BEST BET.....Play 907-908 Houston Astros-Detroit Tigers UNDER 8 (EVEN) widely available.

Only baseball diehards recognize Brad Peacock and Matt Boyd for their under-the-radar accomplishments this season.

Both pitchers exit outstanding efforts.

Peacock pitched from the windup for the first time in more than two years and the change in delivery produced a career-high 12 strikeouts over seven scoreless innings in a 9-0 win over Kansas City.

Boyd tossed six innings of one-hit ball in a 10-3 victory over the Angels last Wednesday, dropping his ERA to 2.86 in more than 50 innings of work this season.

No Jose Altuve (hamstring strain) for the Astros.
 
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John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#2
Last month, I told ComptrBob about my dislike of Houston head coach Mike D'Antoni.

Basketball is a team game.

And yet D'Antoni promotes a lot of one-on-one isolation sets where James Harden is dominating the ball while his capable teammates become mere spectators.

I cried to Bob about one-on-one basketball being the least-efficient form of offensive play.

Bob then added a caveat, "One-on-one basketball is inefficient unless John Kelly is guarding LeBron James."

Leave it to ComptrBob to offer a barb and a tweak all in one line.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#5
No doubt, Valuist and 300.

How about only three home runs allowed in eight starts this season for Boyd.

And 63 strikeouts against only 11 walks.
 
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John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#6
Comerica Field still plays big but not as big as when they first opened the stadium in 2000.

The left-field fences were shortened up 25 feet before the 2003 season.

A lot of fly balls still die in center field, however.

Distance from home plate to the center-field wall is 420 feet.
 
#7
Back in 2000, when Comerica opened, they wanted a pitchers ball park. Originally, the left power alley was 395' from home plate. So what did they do? The Tigers traded for Juan Gonzalez from Texas. He played in Detroit 1 year before wanting out. He was averaging about 45 HR's for the Rangers for 4 years prior to coming to Detroit. His one year in Detroit, he hit 22 HR's, then played in Cleveland the next year hitting 35 hrs.

And yes, a lot of fly balls do die out there. In old Tiger Stadium, it was 440 feet to CF, so the 420 we now have is an improvement!
 
#8
JK....you are in Costa Rica and I just arrived in Thailand a couple days ago.....see you at Arlington the first weekend in August....

Good luck with the Tigers under.....I also need it.....
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#9
JK....you are in Costa Rica and I just arrived in Thailand a couple days ago.....see you at Arlington the first weekend in August....

Good luck with the Tigers under.....I also need it.....

Eager to see you in Chicago, Arturo.

I'm available for Uber service from O'Hare.

Take care.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#10
Back in 2000, when Comerica opened, they wanted a pitchers ball park. Originally, the left power alley was 395' from home plate. So what did they do? The Tigers traded for Juan Gonzalez from Texas. He played in Detroit 1 year before wanting out. He was averaging about 45 HR's for the Rangers for 4 years prior to coming to Detroit. His one year in Detroit, he hit 22 HR's, then played in Cleveland the next year hitting 35 hrs.

And yes, a lot of fly balls do die out there. In old Tiger Stadium, it was 440 feet to CF, so the 420 we now have is an improvement!

It was dubbed "Comerica National Park" when it first opened.

Hehe.

Good story about Juan Gonzalez.

Similar situation happened in the Twin Cities.

Why did the Minnesota Twins build a new ballpark in 2010 with such a high right-field wall when they had left-handed hitting stars Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau on their roster?
 
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#12
Back in the day, the Royals and Cardinals built their rosters to suit their ballparks.
Whitey Herzog was the 'architect' of both those teams. First the Royals who fired him, and then the Cardinals who, subsequently, hired him.

He's in the Hall of Fame as a Manager, but he should be in the Hall of Fame as a General Manager.
 

winkyduck

TYVM Morgan William!!!
#13
For me when it comes to underachieving coaches 2 names immediately come to mind

Marty Schottenheimer
Bruce Boudreau

Most now about Marty since it was the NFL. His teams played great for 16 games. Then come post-season time, when coaching matters, Marry's brand of ball got exposed. He loved to run the ball and play conservative. If he got up 7 he tried to run out the clock and it failed him. He would have no place in the game today.
 

winkyduck

TYVM Morgan William!!!
#15
MONDAY'S BEST BET.....Play 907-908 Houston Astros-Detroit Tigers UNDER 8 (EVEN) widely available.

Only baseball diehards recognize Brad Peacock and Matt Boyd for their under-the-radar accomplishments this season.

Both pitchers exit outstanding efforts.

Peacock pitched from the windup for the first time in more than two years and the change in delivery produced a career-high 12 strikeouts over seven scoreless innings in a 9-0 win over Kansas City.

Boyd tossed six innings of one-hit ball in a 10-3 victory over the Angels last Wednesday, dropping his ERA to 2.86 in more than 50 innings of work this season.

No Jose Altuve (hamstring strain) for the Astros.
OUCH

3 "meaningless" runs in T9 making it 8-1. OUCH!
 
#16
Comerica Field still plays big but not as big as when they first opened the stadium in 2000.

The left-field fences were shortened up 25 feet before the 2003 season.

A lot of fly balls still die in center field, however.

Distance from home plate to the center-field wall is 420 feet.
One caveat you always have to remember about Comerica:

It’s the only ballpark in MLB where home plate faces SOUTH. So when those early-season cold north winds blow and it seems like good hitting weather, the wind is actually howling OUT to dead center or left center.

Such was the case tonight, and it looked to this untrained eye like it definitely aided the Chirinos and Marisnick homers.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#18
Whitey Herzog was the 'architect' of both those teams. First the Royals who fired him, and then the Cardinals who, subsequently, hired him.

He's in the Hall of Fame as a Manager, but he should be in the Hall of Fame as a General Manager.
Interesting point, Foresthill.
 

John Kelly

Born Gambler
Staff member
#19
One caveat you always have to remember about Comerica:

It’s the only ballpark in MLB where home plate faces SOUTH. So when those early-season cold north winds blow and it seems like good hitting weather, the wind is actually howling OUT to dead center or left center.

Such was the case tonight, and it looked to this untrained eye like it definitely aided the Chirinos and Marisnick homers.
I'll file this note away.

Good research, EJD.
 
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