UPDATE: Darn it, too good to be true. Sam Mellinger has tweeted the winning ticket and it appears as though the numbers were a “quick pick,” meaning they were automatically generated (note the “QP” after the number). Oh well. I guess it always was strange to think that a fan liked Mark Gubicza more than Brett Saberhagen.
10:30 AM: Not gonna lie. I bought a lottery ticket before that $580 million drawing the other day. This despite the fact that I am fully aware of the folly of doing so and the odds against winning. My reasoning is, at least when the jackpots get huge, that a few minutes of lottery fantasies are worth a buck or two. I’m not planning my life around winning a lottery and I don’t buy tickets that often, but it can be fun.
My problem, though, is that I don’t go all-in. I am aware of the randomness of it all, so I don’t pick my own numbers, I don’t believe any certain numbers have magic of significance to them and I don’t believe that any amount of superstition will help me win. In light of this, however, I probably should re-think that approach:
One of the two Power Ball winners is from Dearborn, Missouri, about 30 minutes North of the Kansas City Metro area. The winning numbers? 5 (George Brett), 16 (Bo Jackson), 22 (Dennis Leonard), 23 (Mark Gubicza), 29 (Dan Quisenberry), and the power ball of 6 (Willie Wilson).
After taxes and discounting for present value the winner likely does not have enough money to buy the Royals himself. But I bet he’ll find a way to spend his millions more effectively than David Glass spends his.
On Sunday, it was reported that second baseman Neil Walker and the Mets were discussing a potential three-year contract extension worth “north of $40 million.” Those discussions took a turn for the worse. The Mets feel extension talks are “probably dead,” according to Mike Puma of the New York Post.
Walker underwent a lumbar microdisectomy in September, ending his 2016 season during which he hit .282/.347/.476 with 23 home runs and 55 RBI over 458 plate appearances.
The Mets may not necessarily need to keep Walker around as it has some potential options up the middle waiting in the minor leagues. Though Amed Rosario is expected to stick at shortstop, Gavin Cecchini — the club’s No. 3 prospect according to MLB Pipeline — could shift over to second base.
The story of Rick Ankiel is well known by now. He was a phenom pitcher who burst onto the scene with the Cardinals in 1999 and into the 2000 season as one of the top young talents in the game. Then, in the 2000 playoffs, he melted down. He got the yips. Whatever you want to call it, he lost the ability to throw strikes and his pitching career was soon over. He came back, however, against all odds, and remade his career as a solid outfielder.
It’s inspirational and incredible. But there is a lot more to the story that we’ve ever known. We will soon, however, as Ankiel is coming out with a book. Today he took to the airwaves and shared some about it. Including some amazing stuff:
On drinking in his first start after the famous meltdown in Game One of the 2000 National League division series against the Braves:
“Before that game…I’m scared to death. I know I have no chance. Feeling the pressure of all that, right before the game I get a bottle of vodka. I just started drinking vodka. Low and behold, it kind of tamed the monster, and I was able to do what I wanted. I’m sitting on the bench feeling crazy I have to drink vodka to pitch through this. It worked for that game. (I had never drank before a game before). It was one of those things like the yipps, the monster, the disease…it didn’t fight fair so I felt like I wasn’t going to fight fair either.”
Imagine spending your whole life getting to the pinnacle of your career. Then imagine it immediately disintegrating. And then imagine having to go out and do it again in front of millions. It’s almost impossible for anyone to contemplate and, as such, it’s hard to judge almost anything Ankiel did in response to that when he was 21 years-old. That Ankiel got through that and made a career for himself is absolutely amazing. It’s a testament to his drive and determination.