The Los Angeles Dodgers were happy to acquire pitcher Yu Darvish from the Texas Rangers before the trading deadline. They might have been even happier they didn’t have to give up 23-year-old Walker Buehler, the former Henry Clay and Vanderbilt star who is the organization’s best pitching prospect.
ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick quoted an American League scout calling Buehler’s stuff “flat-out electric.” And Tuesday, Buehler pitched five scoreless innings for Oklahoma City to earn his first Triple-A win.
Not that the Dodgers need more help. Heading into Wednesday night, they owned the best record (75-31) in all of Major League Baseball.
▪ For a Heisman Trophy winner, Lamar Jackson isn’t feeling the love. ESPN released its ranking of top 50 college football players for 2017. The Louisville quarterback was sixth on the list. He even trailed two quarterbacks — Southern California’s Sam Darnold and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield.
▪ The Cincinnati Reds should put rookie outfielder Jesse Winker in the starting lineup for the rest of the season. See what the rookie can do. Nothing to lose.
▪ In his first start on dirt, Good Samaritan won last Saturday’s Jim Dandy at Saratoga, beating both Kentucky Derby winner Always Dreaming and Preakness winner Cloud Computing. The next day, Girvin won a hotly-contested Haskell Invitational by a mere nose at Monmouth. In other words, heading into the Travers on Aug. 26, the 3-year-old division is wide open. And apparently not all that good.
▪ Rick Stansbury fooled no one by suspending Mitchell Robinson after the five-star freshman left Western Kentucky? Now, Stansbury has granted Robinson his release. The probable next stop for the Louisiana native: LSU.
▪ Vontaze Burfict can’t stop, won’t stop. The Cincinnati Bengals linebacker, notorious for targeting the knees of opposing running backs, hit teammate Giovani Bernard low during a non-tackling drill on Tuesday. Bernard is coming off ACL surgery. A Bengal-on-Bengal fight broke out. Later, however, Bernard said everything was cool.
▪ I wrote this week that offensive stability should serve Kentucky well with offensive coordinator Eddie Gran and quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw returning. A Twitter follower responded, “The preparation for GTech was stellar.” Ah, to be a Kentucky football fan.
▪ RIP Ara Parseghian, the legendary Notre Dame football coach, who died Wednesday at the age of 94. In my youth, would love to watch the Notre Dame game replays on Sunday mornings where the late, great Lindsey Nelson would say, “And after a succession of punts …”
▪ The latest Pete Rose scandal has caused the Philadelphia Phillies to cancel a ceremony honoring Charlie Hustle. Some are calling for the Reds to remove Rose’s statue from Great American Ball Park. With Pete, the coast is never all clear.
▪ Jay Bilas was right to call LaVar Ball “misogynistic” and a “buffoon.” So will ESPN now ignore the raging narcissist? Don’t bet on it.
▪ Tough break for former Western Hills and UK star JT Riddle, who will miss the rest of the Miami Marlins’ season because of a shoulder injury. In his first MLB shot, Riddle was hitting .250 with three homers and 31 RBI.
▪ Speaking of Frankfort natives, happy trails to Mike Strange, long-time sports writer and talented columnist for the Knoxville News Sentinel, who retired last week. Before his journalism gig, Mike’s claim to fame was as a member of the 1966-67 Franklin County basketball team that won the 11th Region to reach the boys’ state tournament where, alas, the Flyers lost to Jim McDaniels and Allen County.