Just the numbers, with a little commentary sprinkled in as we head to a big weekend for sports fans:
9: That’s how many ex-Oregon Ducks are on the Philadelphia Eagles’ roster. Somehow, I think head coach Chip Kelly is going to make it No. 10 when the Eagles figure out a way to trade up for the No. 2 pick in the NFL Draft. Latest rumors have Cleveland dealing a pair of first-round picks to Tennessee for the No. 2 pick. The Eagles would then package QB Sam Bradford to the Browns and Kelly gets the Duck he really wants. Mariota could be the next Russell Wilson, but he won’t have the same level of talent around him if he winds up in Philly.
11: The number of picks the Seahawks have in this week’s draft. With Seattle reportedly not picking up the option on Bruce Irvin’s contract and rumors of a possible trade with Atlanta, the Hawks might have a serious need for an outsider linebacker. How about former Washington star Shaq Thompson, who could also project as a safety or running back?
$40,955.25: Someone paid that much for a ticket to Saturday’s fight at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, according to StubHub.
$6,820: Via StrubHub, the average price for a ticket to a fight that has brought boxing out of the dark ages.
I’m not predicting a winner, but I am predicting a rematch. The fighters are expected to split $300 million this time around, why not do it again?
.328/.316: Batting averages of prospects Chris Taylor and Jesus Montero at Triple-A Tacoma.
.229/.205/.194/.192/.121: Batting averages of Austin Jackson, Rickie Weeks, Logan Morrison, Dustin Ackley and Mike Zunino.
It’s still early, but if things don’t change by the middle of May, I’m going to figure out a way to get Taylor and Montero in the lineup. Taylor’s a better defensive shortstop than Brad Miller, who should be able to play the outfield or even first base. Montero can be the fulltime DH if you keep Nelson Cruz in RF, or split time at first with Morrison. Release Weeks, try to trade Ackley and hope Jackson and Zunino, both stellar defenders, can figure it out at the plate.
4-0: That’s Felix Hernandez’s record. This is his 10th fulltime season as a starter, and it’s crazy he’s never won 20 games, but that’s because he was part of a lot of bad Seattle teams. He was 19-5 in 2009 when he was second in the Cy Young balloting. He was 13-12 in 2010 when he won the Cy Young and 15-6 a year ago when he should have won the award, but finished second to Cleveland’s Corey Kluber. Prediction: Felix gets to the magical 20-victory mark this season and wins another Cy Young.
10: Numbers of home runs Nelson Cruz has hit thus far. That puts him on pace to hit 77. Here’s a look at his latest blast, measured at 483-feet.
The Nationals, Mariners, and Indians were among the trendy preseason picks to make a big splash this season. The Nats (9-13) just crawled out of the NL East cellar; the M’s (10-11) are third in the AL West and Cleveland (7-13) is last in the AL Central.
The Astros (14-7) and Yankees (13-9), picked for last-place finishes, are first in the AL West and AL East. Not many of the experts gave the Royals much love after reaching the World Series, but KC (14-7) is proving everybody wrong.
The Dodgers (13-8), Cardinals (14-6) and Tigers (14-7) are among the predicted favorites off to solid starts.
Chambers Bay/U.S. Open
$249: That’s what it’ll cost a Kitsap County resident to play Chambers Bay from May 1-July 12, providing you can get a tee time. Here’s my column after playing Chambers Bay this week.
149: This is the 149th edition of the Kentucky Derby. Horse racing is just a blip on the sports radar anymore and the Derby will take a backseat to the fight in Vegas, the NFL Draft and NBA and NHL playoffs. For those of you interested, American Pharaoh is the 5-2 favorite and it’ll break from the No. 18 post position on Saturday. Here’s the derby odds.
20: This is the 20th season of horse racing at Emerald Downs, which opened April 18. There will be racing Friday, Saturday and Sunday this weekend at the Auburn track.