MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
SAN FRANCISCO 8 LA ANGELS 3
MINNESOTA 9 DETROIT 3
BOSTON 6 KANSAS CITY 2
TORONTO 3 CLEVELAND 1
CHICAGO WHITE SOX 5 NY YANKEES 1
TEXAS 5 OAKLAND 3
LA DODGERS 13 SAN DIEGO 7
CINCINNATI 5 MIAMI 2
PITTSBURGH 7 ATLANTA 6
NY METS 11 CHICAGO CUBS 2
MILWAUKEE 12 COLORADO 1
WASHINGTON AT PHILADELPHIA POSTPONED
BOX SCORES: http://hosted.stats.com/mlb/scoreboard.asp
PLAYER NEWS: http://hosted.stats.com/mlb/news.asp
MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
NO GAMES SCHEDULED
NO GAMES SCHEDULED
MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
CHARLOTTE 2 HOUSTON 1
COLLEGE FOOTBALL COACHES PRE-SEASON POLL
|1||GEORGIA (0-0)||1643 (61)||NR|
|3||ALABAMA (0-0)||1489 (4)||NR|
|4||OHIO STATE (0-0)||1485 (1)||NR|
|7||PENN STATE (0-0)||1181||NR|
|8||FLORIDA STATE (0-0)||1145||NR|
|13||NOTRE DAME (0-0)||841||NR|
|17||KANSAS STATE (0-0)||440||NR|
|18||OREGON STATE (0-0)||365||NR|
|20||NORTH CAROLINA (0-0)||315||NR|
|22||OLE MISS (0-0)||303||NR|
|24||TEXAS TECH (0-0)||200||NR|
|25||TEXAS A&M (0-0)||196||NR|
OTHERS: IOWA (169) , SOUTH CAROLINA (89) , FLORIDA (63) , UTSA (59) , PITTSBURGH (52) , UCLA (42) , KENTUCKY (34) , BAYLOR (28) , TROY (25) , ARKANSAS (20) , NORTH CAROLINA STATE (19) , FRESNO STATE (19) , AUBURN (18) , BOISE STATE (18) , MIAMI (FL) (16) , MINNESOTA (16) , MISSISSIPPI STATE (13) , OKLAHOMA STATE (12) , MISSOURI (11) , MARYLAND (10) , SMU (8) , SOUTH ALABAMA (8) , ILLINOIS (7) , WAKE FOREST (6) , AIR FORCE (6) , TOLEDO (5) , WASHINGTON STATE (4) , HOUSTON (3) , DUKE (2) , ARIZONA (2) , BYU (2) , KANSAS (1) , MEMPHIS (1) , JAMES MADISON (1)
Major League Baseball
MLB — Suspended Chicago White Sox SS Tim Anderson for six games and fined him an undisclosed amount, suspended managers Pedro Grifol and Terry Francona for one game and fined them an undisclosed amount and fined RHP Michael Kopech an undisclosed amount for their roles in a benches-clearing on-field incident during an August 5 game against Cleveland. Suspended Cleveland 3B Jose Ramirez for three games and fined him an undisclosed amount, suspended RHP Emmanuel Clase and third base coach Mike Sarbaugh for one game and fined them an undisclosed amount and fined OF Gabriel Arias an undisclosed amount for their roles in a benches-clearing on-field incident during an August 5 game against Chicago White Sox.
BALTIMORE ORIOLES — Claimed RHP Jacob Webb off waivers from the Los Angeles Angels. Transferred RHP Austin Voth from the 15-day IL to the 60-day IL.
BOSTON RED SOX — Selected the contract of RHP Dinelson Lamet from Worcester. Designated LHP Richard Bleier for assignment.
CHICAGO WHITE SOX — Activated RHP Brent Honeywell. Optioned LHP Sammy Peralta to Charlotte (IL).
CLEVELAND GUARDIANS — Claimed CF Ramon Laureano off waivers from Oakland. Designated RHP Chris Vallimont for assignment.
DETROIT TIGERS — Claimed SS Isan Diaz off waivers from San Francisco. Designated LHP Zach Logue for assignment.
HOUSTON ASTROS — Optioned OF Corey Julks to Sugar Land (PCL),.
LOS ANGELES ANGELS — Recalled RHP Zack Weiss from Salt Lake (PCL).
NEW YORK YANKEES — Optioned RHP Jhony Brito to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (IL). Reinstated RHP Jonathan Loaisiga from the 60-day IL. Placed LHP Carlos Rodon on the 15-day IL. Recalled LHP Nick Ramirez from Scranton/Wilkes-Barr. Designated RHP Deivi Garcia for assignment.
TEXAS RANGERS — Placed 3B Josh Jung on the 10-day IL. Recalled INF Jonathan Ornelas from Round Rock (PCL).
CINCINNATI REDS — Reinstated RHP Casey Legumina from the 15-day IL and optioned him to Louisville (IL). Recalled RHP Brett Kennedy from Louisville. Optioned RHP Lyon Richardson to Louisville.
COLORADO ROCKIES — Selected the contract of INF/OF Cole Tucker from Albuquerque (PCL). Optioned INF Coco Montes to Albuqurque.
MIAMI MARLINS —Recalled RHP Eury Perz from Pensacola (SL). Optioned RHP Geoff Hartlieb to Jacksonville (IL). Sent LHP Devin Smeltzer outright to Jacksonville.
MILWAUKEE BREWERS — Traded OF Tyler Naquin to Chicago White Sox in exchange for cash considerations. Reinstated LHP Bennett Sousa from the 60-day IL and optioned him to Nashville (IL). Transferred LHP Justin Wilson from the 15-day IL to the 60-day IL.
NEW YORK METS — Optioned 3B Brett Baty to Syracuse (IL). Recalled SS Jonathan Arauz from Syracuse. Selected the contract of OF Abraham Almonte from Syracuse. Placed LF Starling Marte on the 10-day IL, retroactive to August 6.
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS — Reinstated OF Luis Gonzalez from the 60-day IL and optioned him to Sacramento (PCL).
WASHINGTON NATIONALS — Sent RHP Tanner Rainey to the Florida Complex league (FCL) on a rehab assignment. Announced RHP Paolo Espino cleared waivers and elected free agency.
Women’s National Basketball Association
PHOENIX MERCURY — Signed G Destanni Henderson to a seven-day contract.
National Football League
ARIZONA CARDINALS — Activated LB B.J. Ojulari from the active/physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
ATLANTA FALCONS — Activated DL Calais Campbell. Signed OL LaColby Tucker. Waived DL Matthew Gotel.
BALTIMORE RAVENS — Activated FB Patrick Ricard from the active/physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
CAROLINA PANTHERS — Signed OLB Justin Houston.
CINCINNATI BENGALS — Placed DT Devonnsha Maxwell on injured reserve.
CLEVELAND BROWNS — Signed DE Charles Wiley. Waived WR Ra’Shaun Henry.
DALLAS COWBOYS — Released K Tristan Vizaino. Activated TE Luke Schoonmaker from the non-football injury list.
DETROIT LIONS — Signed OL Bobby Hart. Released LS Jake McQuaide. Waived WR Tom Kennedy with an injury settlement.
GREEN BAY PACKERS — Activated DT Rashan Gary from the active/physically unable to perform (PUP) list. Signed RB Nate McCrary. Activated WR Grant DuBose.
HOUSTON TEXANS — Signed DT Khlalil Davis. Placed OT Greg Little on injured reserve.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS — Waived LB Isaiah Moore with an injury settlement.
LOS ANGELES RAMS — Signed S John Johnson.
MIAMI DOLPHINS— Signed CB Parry Nickerson. Waived QB James Blackman.
MINNESOTA VIKINGS — Waived WR Cephus Johnson III. Signed WR Jacob Copeland.
NEW YORK GIANTS — Activated DL A’Shawn Robinson and OL Marcus McKethan from active/physically unable to perform (PUP) list.
NEW YORK JETS — Signed DT Bruce Hector. Waived QB Chris Streveler. Released DL Isaiah Mack. Placed LBs Maalik Hall and Hamsah Nasirildeen on injured reserve.
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES — Signed LBs Myles Jack and Zach Cunningham. Waived OT Trevor Reid. Placed WR Charleston Rambo on injured reserve.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS — Signed OLB Jordan Ferguson and DT Roderick Perry.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS — Signed DB Avery Young. Waived OL Grant Hermanns.
WASHINGTON COMMANDERS — Signed DB Joshua Kalu. Placed DB Troy Apke on injured reserve.
National Hockey League
ANAHEIM DUCKS — Signed G Alex Stalock to a one-year contract.
ARIZONA COYOTES — Signed D Matt Dumba to a one-year contract.
Minor League Hockey
READING ROYALS — Re-signed F Solag Bakich. Signed F Spencer Kennedy.
WORCESTER RAILERS — Signed D Mike Higgins.
Major League Soccer
ATLANTA UNITED — Loaned D Aiden McFadden to Memphis 901 FC (USL Championship) for the remainder of the season.
NEW ENGLAND REVOLUTION — Terminated the loan of D Ben Reveno to Birmingham Legion FC (USL Championship) and assigned him to Indy Eleven (USL Championship) for the remainder of the season.
USL CHAMPIONSHIP — Announced North Carolina FC to rejoin the league in 2024.
MIDDLE TENNESSEE — Named Brett Carey men’s basketball assistant coach/director of player development.
INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL COACHES ASSOCIATION PRE-SEASON FOOTBALL POLLS
1 CENTER GROVE (9) 91
2 BEN DAVIS 76
IND. CATHEDRAL (1) 76
4 HAMILTON SE 62
5 CARROLL (ALLEN) 46
6 WARREN CENTRAL 43
7 WESTFIELD 35
8 CARMEL 33
9 BROWNSBURG 32
10 FISHERS 9
OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES:
PENN (8), CROWN POINT (7), HOMESTEAD (7), LAFAYETTE JEFF (7),
LAWRENCE CENTRAL (6), ELKHART (4), FRANKLIN CENTRAL (2), LAWRENCE NORTH (2)
1 VALPARAISO (8) 96
2 FW SNIDER 84
3 WHITELAND (1) 77
4 MERRILLVILLE 54
5 BLOOMINGTON SOUTH (1) 49
6 FW NORTH 45
7 MISHAWAKA 33
8 CASTLE 25
9 DECATUR CENTRAL 23
10 HARRISON (WL) 22
OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES:
FW DWENGER (16), CONCORD (7), PLAINFIELD (6), BLOOMINGTON NORTH (4),
CHESTERTON (3), FRANKLIN (3), MICHIGAN CITY (3)
1 EAST CENTRAL (9) 99
2 NEW PALESTINE (1) 81
3 IND. RONCALLI 61
4 EVANSVILLE REITZ 56
5 NEW PRAIRIE 55
6 KOKOMO 45
7 NORTHWOOD 40
8 EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL 32
9 MOORESVILLE 21
10 BREBEUF JESUIT 15
OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES:
COLUMBIA CITY (13), GREENFIELD CENTRAL (8), MT. VERNON (FORTVILLE) (8), LEO (5), HOBART (4),
MARTINSVILLE (2), NORTHRIDGE (2), NORTHVIEW (2), FW WAYNE (1)
1 IND. CHATARD (10) 100
2 LAWRENCEBURG 80
WEST LAFAYETTE 80
4 GIBSON SOUTHERN 61
5 SOUTHRIDGE 39
6 GUERIN CATHOLIC 32
HANOVER CENTRAL 32
8 TRI-WEST 22
9 WESTERN BOONE 21
10 NORWELL 15
OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES:
YORKTOWN (12), DANVILLE (9), OAK HILL (9), MISHAWAKA MARIAN (7),
MONROVIA (6), KNOX (4), SOUTH DEARBORN (4), VINCENNES LINCOLN (3), DELTA (1)
1 EVANSVILLE MATER DEI (9) 92
2 TRITON CENTRAL (1) 74
3 FW LUERS 69
4 LAFAYETTE CC 63
5 ANDREAN 58
6 EASTBROOK 52
7 LINTON-STOCKTON 39
8 IND. SCECINA 34
9 BROWNSTOWN CENTRAL 19
10 LAVILLE 13
OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES:
ROCHESTER (11), HERITAGE CHRISTIAN (8), LAPEL (8), NORTH POSEY (8),
BLUFFTON (7), EASTERN (GREENTOWN) (2), LEWIS CASS (2), TIPTON (1)
1 IND. LUTHERAN (10) 100
2 ADAMS CENTRAL 90
3 NORTH DECATUR 59
4 NORTH JUDSON 58
5 SHERIDAN 45
6 CARROLL (FLORA) 40
7 SOUTH PUTNAM 33
8 PROVIDENCE 24
9 PARK TUDOR 22
10 COVENANT CHRISTIAN 20
SOUTH ADAMS 20
OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES:
TRI (16), TECUMSEH (15), TRITON (12), MONROE CENTRAL (6)
HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN AT BISHOP CHATARD, 7 P.M.
BEN DAVIS AND CARMEL AT WESTFIELD (THREE-TEAM JAMBOREE), 7 P.M.
CATHEDRAL AT FRANKLIN CENTRAL, 7 P.M.
BROWNSBURG AT CENTER GROVE, 6 P.M.
PERRY MERIDIAN AT MT. VERNON, 7 P.M.
NOBLESVILLE AT NORTH CENTRAL, 7 P.M.
KOKOMO AT ZIONSVILLE, 7 P.M.
LAWRENCE CENTRAL AT BLOOMINGTON SOUTH, 7 P.M.
MOORESVILLE AT PENDLETON HEIGHTS, 7:30 P.M.
AVON AT WARREN CENTRAL, 7 P.M.
LAWRENCE NORTH AT FISHERS, 7 P.M.
SCECINA AT NEW PALESTINE, 7 P.M.
COLUMBUS EAST AT MARTINSVILLE, 7 P.M.
WESTERN BOONE AT SPEEDWAY, 7 P.M.
BEECH GROVE AT INDIAN CREEK, 7 P.M.
PARK TUDOR AT HERITAGE CHRISTIAN, 7 P.M.
LAFAYETTE JEFF AT PIKE, 7 P.M.
PLAINFIELD AT TRI-WEST, 6 P.M.
HAMILTON HEIGHTS AT ALEXANDRIA, 7 P.M.
DECATUR CENTRAL AT SOUTHPORT, 7 P.M.
MUNCIE CENTRAL AT GREENFIELD-CENTRAL, 7 P.M.
RONCALLI AT FRANKLIN, 7 P.M.
COLUMBUS NORTH AT GREENWOOD, 7 P.M.
WEST LAFAYETTE AT DANVILLE, 7 P.M.
LEBANON AT BREBEUF JESUIT, 7 P.M.
LUTHERAN AT GUERIN CATHOLIC, 7 P.M.
COVENANT CHRISTIAN AT CARDINAL RITTER, 7:30 P.M.
SHELBYVILLE AND SALEM AT MADISON (THREE-TEAM JAMBOREE), 6:30 P.M.
EASTERN HANCOCK HOSTING JAMBOREE WITH SHENANDOAH, MONROE CENTRAL AND NORTH DECATUR, 7 P.M.
CASCADE AT PARKE HERITAGE, 7 P.M.
HOMESCHOOL CRIMSON KNIGHTS AT EDINBURGH, 7 P.M.
LAPEL AT HAGERSTOWN, 7 P.M.
MONROVIA AT BROWN COUNTY, 7 P.M.
MILAN AT TRITON CENTRAL, 7 P.M.
COVINGTON AT SHORTRIDGE, 7 P.M.
WASHINGTON AT PHALEN ACADEMY, 7 P.M.
IRVINGTON PREP VS. PURDUE POLY, AT HOWE, 7 P.M.
TINDLEY VS. TECH, AT BROAD RIPPLE, 7 P.M.
CHRISTEL HOUSE MANUAL AT TRI, 7 P.M.
CRAWFORDSVILLE AT SHERIDAN, 7 P.M.
INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL WEEK 1
|BOYLE COUNTY (KY.)||AT||GIBSON SOUTHERN||6:00 PM|
|CENTER GROVE||VS.||ST. EDWARD (OHIO)||12:05 AM|
|SOUTHSIDE HOMESCHOOL||AT||PHALEN ACADEMY||5:00 PM|
INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER PRE-SEASON RANKINGS
- COLUMBUS NORTH
- HAMILTON SE
- LAKE CENTRAL
- BLOOMINGTON SOUTH
- CENTER GROVE
- BREBEUF JESUIT
- EV. MEMORIAL
- MISHAWAKA MARIAN
- WEST LAFAYETTE
- SB ST. JOSEPH
- HERITAGE CHRISTIAN (INDPLS)
- GUERIN CATHOLIC
- CULVER ACADEMIES
- WASHINGTON COMMUNITY
- BISHOP NOLL
- BISHOP DWENGER
- HERITAGE HILLS
- ILLIANA CHRISTIAN
- BISHOP CHATARD
- PARK TUDOR
- COVENANT CHRISTIAN (INDPLS)
- FAITH CHRISTIAN
- GREENWOOD CHRISTIAN
- BETHANY CHRISTIAN
- SWITZERLAND COUNTY
- FOREST PARK
- CARROLL (FLORA)
- SOUTH KNOX
- OLDENBURG ACADEMY
- BLACKHAWK CHRISTIAN
- SOUTHWESTERN (SHELBY)
- SOUTHWESTERN (HANOVER)
- NORTH WHITE
- BETHESDA CHRISTIAN
- PROVIDENCE CRISTO REY
- HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN
- SAINT JOSEPH
- CENTER GROVE
- CROWN POINT
- BLOOMINGTON SOUTH
- EAST CENTRAL
- CARROLL (FW)
- EVANSVILLE MEMORIAL
- MISHAWAKA MARIAN
- GUERIN CATHOLIC
- WEST LAFAYETTE
- BISHOP DWENGER
- HANOVER CENTRAL
- HAMILTON HEIGHTS
- TRI WEST
- GIBSON SOUTHERN
- SILVER CREEK
- PARK TUDOR
- MATER DEI
- FW CANTERBURY
- HERITAGE CHRISTIAN
- FAITH CHRISTIAN
- FOREST PARK
- EVANSVILLE CHRISTIAN
- COVENANT CHRISTIAN
- SWITZERLAND COUNTY
- ILLIANA CHRISTIAN
- MUNCIE BURRIS
- DEMOTTE CHRISTIAN
BIG 10 WEEKLY FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
MINNESOTA VS. NEBRASKA
THURSDAY, AUG. 31
WISCONSIN VS. BUFFALO
MICHIGAN STATE VS. CENTRAL MICHIGAN
MICHIGAN VS. EAST CAROLINA
PURDUE VS. FRESNO STATE
RUTGERS VS. NORTHWESTERN
INDIANA VS. OHIO STATE
ILLINOIS VS. TOLEDO
MARYLAND VS. TOWSON
IOWA VS. UTAH STATE
PENN STATE VS. WEST VIRGINIA
MARYLAND VS. CHARLOTTE
PENN STATE VS. DELAWARE
MINNESOTA VS. EASTERN MICHIGAN
ILLINOIS AT KANSAS
INDIANA VS. INDIANA STATE
IOWA AT IOWA STATE
NEBRASKA AT COLORADO
PURDUE AT VIRGINIA TECH
MICHIGAN STATE VS. RICHMOND
RUTGERS VS. TEMPLE
MICHIGAN VS. UNLV
NORTHWESTERN VS. UTEP
WISCONSIN AT WASHINGTON STATE
OHIO STATE VS. YOUNGSTOWN STATE
MICHIGAN VS. BOWLING GREEN
WISCONSIN VS. GEORGIA SOUTHERN
INDIANA VS. LOUISVILLE (IN INDIANAPOLIS, IN)
MINNESOTA AT NORTH CAROLINA
NEBRASKA VS. NORTHERN ILLINOIS
NORTHWESTERN AT DUKE
ILLINOIS VS. PENN STATE
PURDUE VS. SYRACUSE
MARYLAND VS. VIRGINIA
RUTGERS VS. VIRGINIA TECH
MICHIGAN STATE VS. WASHINGTON
IOWA VS. WESTERN MICHIGAN
OHIO STATE VS. WESTERN KENTUCKY
INDIANA VS. AKRON
ILLINOIS VS. FLORIDA ATLANTIC
PENN STATE VS. IOWA
NEBRASKA VS. LOUISIANA TECH
MICHIGAN STATE VS. MARYLAND
NORTHWESTERN VS. MINNESOTA
OHIO STATE AT NOTRE DAME
MICHIGAN VS. RUTGERS
PURDUE VS. WISCONSIN
PURDUE VS. ILLINOIS
MARYLAND VS. INDIANA
MINNESOTA VS. LOUISIANA
NEBRASKA VS. MICHIGAN
IOWA VS. MICHIGAN STATE
NORTHWESTERN VS. PENN STATE
RUTGERS VS. WAGNER
NORTHWESTERN VS. HOWARD
OHIO STATE VS. MARYLAND
MINNESOTA VS. MICHIGAN
ILLINOIS VS. NEBRASKA
IOWA VS. PURDUE
WISCONSIN VS. RUTGERS
MARYLAND VS. ILLINOIS
MICHIGAN VS. INDIANA
WISCONSIN VS. IOWA
RUTGERS VS. MICHIGAN STATE
PURDUE VS. OHIO STATE
PENN STATE VS. UMASS
MICHIGAN STATE VS. MICHIGAN
IOWA VS. MINNESOTA
NEBRASKA VS. NORTHWESTERN
OHIO STATE VS. PENN STATE
INDIANA VS. RUTGERS
ILLINOIS VS. WISCONSIN
PENN STATE VS. INDIANA
NORTHWESTERN VS. MARYLAND
MINNESOTA VS. MICHIGAN STATE
WISCONSIN VS. OHIO STATE
NEBRASKA VS. PURDUE
MINNESOTA VS. ILLINOIS
NORTHWESTERN VS. IOWA (IN CHICAGO, IL)
MICHIGAN STATE VS. NEBRASKA
RUTGERS VS. OHIO STATE
MARYLAND VS. PENN STATE
MICHIGAN VS. PURDUE
INDIANA VS. WISCONSIN
ILLINOIS VS. INDIANA
NEBRASKA VS. MARYLAND
PENN STATE VS. MICHIGAN
OHIO STATE VS. MICHIGAN STATE
PURDUE VS. MINNESOTA
WISCONSIN VS. NORTHWESTERN
IOWA VS. RUTGERS
IOWA VS. ILLINOIS
MARYLAND VS. MICHIGAN
INDIANA VS. MICHIGAN STATE
OHIO STATE VS. MINNESOTA
WISCONSIN VS. NEBRASKA
NORTHWESTERN VS. PURDUE
PENN STATE VS. RUTGERS
NEBRASKA VS. IOWA
FRIDAY, NOV. 24
PURDUE VS. INDIANA
RUTGERS VS. MARYLAND
ILLINOIS VS. NORTHWESTERN
MICHIGAN VS. OHIO STATE
MICHIGAN STATE VS. PENN STATE
MINNESOTA VS. WISCONSIN
COLLEGE FOOTBALL SCHEDULE
SATURDAY, AUG. 26
NOTRE DAME VS. NAVY (DUBLIN, IRELAND) | 2:30 P.M. | NBC
MERCER VS. NORTH ALABAMA (MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA) | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN
JACKSONVILLE STATE VS. UTEP | 5:30 P.M. | CBSSN
NEW MEXICO STATE VS. UMASS | 7 P.M. | ESPN
SAN DIEGO STATE VS. OHIO | 7 P.M. | FS1
VANDERBILT VS. HAWAI’I | 7:30 P.M. | SEC NETWORK
JACKSON STATE VS. SOUTH CAROLINA STATE (ATLANTA, GEORGIA) | 7:30 P.M. | ABC
USC VS. SAN JOSE STATE | 8 P.M. | PAC-12 NETWORK
LOUISIANA TECH VS. FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL | 9 P.M. | CBSSN
THURSDAY, AUG. 31
WAKE FOREST VS. ELON | 7 P.M. | ACC NETWORK
UCF VS. KENT STATE | 7 P.M. | FS1
GEORGIA STATE VS. RHODE ISLAND | 7 P.M. | ESPN+
WESTERN MICHIGAN VS. ST. FRANCIS (PA) | 7 P.M. | ESPN+
UCONN VS. NC STATE | 7:30 P.M. | CBSSN
MINNESOTA VS. NEBRASKA | 8 P.M. | FOX
MISSOURI VS. SOUTH DAKOTA | 8 P.M. | SEC NETWORK
UTAH VS. FLORIDA | 8 P.M. | ESPN
TULSA VS. ARKANSAS-PINE BLUFF | 8 P.M. | ESPN+
UAB VS. NORTH CAROLINA A&T | 8 P.M. | ESPN+
ARIZONA STATE VS. SOUTHERN UTAH | 10 P.M. | PAC-12 NETWORK
FRIDAY, SEPT. 1
EASTERN MICHIGAN VS. HOWARD | 6:30 P.M. | ESPN+
MICHIGAN STATE VS. CENTRAL MICHIGAN | 7 P.M. | FS1
MIAMI (FLA.) VS. MIAMI (OHIO) | 7 P.M. | ACC NETWORK
GEORGIA TECH VS. LOUISVILLE (MERCEDES-BENZ STADIUM IN ATLANTA) | 7:30 P.M. | ESPN
KANSAS VS. MISSOURI STATE | 8 P.M. | ESPN+
HAWAI’I VS. STANFORD | 11 P.M. | CBSSN
SATURDAY, SEPT. 2
IOWA VS. UTAH STATE | 12 P.M. | FS1
KENTUCKY VS. BALL STATE | 12 P.M. | SEC NETWORK
LIBERTY VS. BOWLING GREEN | 12 P.M. | CBSSN
MICHIGAN VS. EAST CAROLINA | 12 P.M. | PEACOCK
PURDUE VS. FRESNO STATE | 12 P.M. | BIG TEN NETWORK
SMU VS. LOUISIANA TECH | 12 P.M. | ESPNU
TENNESSEE VS. VIRGINIA (NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE) | 12 P.M. | ABC
TCU VS. COLORADO | 12 P.M. | FOX
BOSTON COLLEGE VS. NORTHERN ILLINOIS | 12 P.M. | ACC NETWORK
OKLAHOMA VS. ARKANSAS STATE | 12 P.M. | ESPN
OLE MISS VS. MERCER | 2 P.M. | ESPN+/SECN+
IOWA STATE VS. UNI | 2 P.M. | ESPN+
TEMPLE VS. AKRON | 2 P.M. | ESPN+
OHIO VS. LONG ISLAND UNIVERSITY | 2 P.M. | ESPN+
AIR FORCE VS. ROBERT MORRIS | 2 P.M. | ALTITUDE SPORTS
OREGON VS. PORTLAND STATE | 3 P.M. | PAC-12 NETWORK
INDIANA VS. OHIO STATE | 3:30 P.M. | CBS
AUBURN VS. UMASS | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN
MARYLAND VS. TOWSON | 3:30 P.M. | BIG TEN NETWORK
WISCONSIN VS. BUFFALO | 3:30 P.M. | FS1
WESTERN KENTUCKY VS. SOUTH FLORIDA | 3:30 P.M. | CBSSN
WASHINGTON VS. BOISE STATE | 3:30 P.M. | ABC
NOTRE DAME VS. TENNESSEE STATE | 3:30 P.M. | NBC
PITT VS. WOFFORD | 3:30 P.M. | ACC NETWORK
CINCINNATI VS. EASTERN KENTUCKY | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN+
TEXAS VS. RICE | 3:30 P.M. | FOX
APPALACHIAN STATE VS. GARDNER-WEBB | 3:30 P.M. | ESPN+
ARKANSAS VS. WESTERN CAROLINA | 4 P.M. | ESPN+/SECN+
MISSISSIPPI STATE VS. SE LOUISIANA | 4 P.M. | SEC NETWORK
NORTH TEXAS VS. CAL | 4 P.M. | ESPNU
SYRACUSE VS. COLGATE | 4 P.M. | ESPN+/ACCNX
GEORGIA VS. UT MARTIN | 6 P.M. | ESPN+/SECN+
CHARLOTTE VS. SOUTH CAROLINA STATE | 6 P.M. | ESPN+
FLORIDA ATLANTIC VS. MONMOUTH | 6 P.M. | ESPN+
GEORGIA SOUTHERN VS. THE CITADEL | 6 P.M. | ESPN+
JAMES MADISON VS. BUCKNELL | 6 P.M. | ESPN+
MARSHALL VS. ALBANY | 6 P.M. | ESPN+
FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL VS. MAINE | 6:30 P.M. | ESPN+
USC VS. NEVADA | 6:30 P.M. | PAC-12 NETWORK
TEXAS A&M VS. NEW MEXICO | 7 P.M. | ESPN
UL MONROE VS. ARMY | 7 P.M. | NFL NETWORK
VANDERBILT VS. ALABAMA A&M | 7 P.M. | ESPN+/SECN+
COLORADO STATE VS. WASHINGTON STATE | 7 P.M. | CBSSN
BAYLOR VS. TEXAS STATE | 7 P.M. | ESPN+
HOUSTON VS. UTSA | 7 P.M. | FS1
KANSAS STATE VS. SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE | 7 P.M. | ESPN+
OKLAHOMA STATE VS. CENTRAL ARKANSAS | 7 P.M. | ESPN+
MEMPHIS VS. BETHUNE-COOKMAN | 7 P.M. | ESPN+
SOUTHERN MISS VS. ALCORN STATE | 7 P.M. | ESPN+
TROY VS. STEPHEN F. AUSTIN | 7 P.M. | ESPN+
ALABAMA VS. MIDDLE TENNESSEE | 7:30 P.M. | SEC NETWORK
ILLINOIS VS. TOLEDO | 7:30 P.M. | BIG TEN NETWORK
SOUTH CAROLINA VS. NORTH CAROLINA (CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA) | 7:30 P.M. | ABC
PENN STATE VS. WEST VIRGINIA | 7:30 P.M. | NBC
WYOMING VS. TEXAS TECH | 7:30 P.M. | CBS
LOUISIANA VS. NORTHWESTERN STATE | 7:30 P.M. | ESPN+
VIRGINIA TECH VS. OLD DOMINION | 8 P.M. | ACC NETWORK
TULANE VS. SOUTH ALABAMA | 8 P.M. | ESPNU
NEW MEXICO STATE VS. WESTERN ILLINOIS | 9 P.M. | ESPN+
UTEP VS. UIW | 9 P.M. | ESPN+
ARIZONA VS. NORTHERN ARIZONA | 10 P.M. | PAC-12 NETWORK
BYU VS. SAM HOUSTON | 10:15 P.M. | FS1
UCLA VS. COASTAL CAROLINA | 10:30 P.M. | ESPN
SAN DIEGO STATE VS. IDAHO STATE | 10:30 P.M. | CBSSN
SUNDAY, SEPT. 3
RUTGERS VS. NORTHWESTERN | 12 P.M. | CBS
SAN JOSE STATE VS. OREGON STATE | 3:30 P.M. | CBS
FLORIDA STATE VS. LSU (ORLANDO, FLORIDA) | 7:30 P.M. | ABC
MONDAY, SEPT. 4
DUKE VS. CLEMSON | 8 P.M. | ESPN
NFL PRE-SEASON SCHEDULE
THURSDAY, AUGUST 10
HOUSTON AT NEW ENGLAND, 7:00
MINNESOTA AT SEATTLE, 10:00
FRIDAY, AUGUST 11
N.Y. GIANTS AT DETROIT, 7:00
GREEN BAY AT CINCINNATI, 7:00
ATLANTA AT MIAMI, 7:00
PITTSBURGH AT TAMPA BAY, 7:00
WASHINGTON AT CLEVELAND, 7:30
DENVER AT ARIZONA, 10:00
SATURDAY, AUGUST 12
INDIANAPOLIS AT BUFFALO, 1:00
TENNESSEE AT CHICAGO, 1:00
N.Y. JETS AT CAROLINA, 4:00
JACKSONVILLE AT DALLAS, 5:00
PHILADELPHIA AT BALTIMORE, 7:00
L.A. CHARGERS AT L.A. RAMS, 9:00
SUNDAY, AUGUST 13
KANSAS CITY AT NEW ORLEANS, 1:00
SAN FRANCISCO AT LAS VEGAS, 4:00
THURSDAY, AUGUST 17
CLEVELAND AT PHILADELPHIA, 7:30
FRIDAY, AUGUST 18
CAROLINA AT N.Y. GIANTS, 7:00
CINCINNATI AT ATLANTA, 7:30
SATURDAY, AUGUST 19
JACKSONVILLE AT DETROIT, 1:00
MIAMI AT HOUSTON, 4:00
BUFFALO AT PITTSBURGH, 6:30
CHICAGO AT INDIANAPOLIS, 7:00
TAMPA BAY AT N.Y. JETS, 7:30
KANSAS CITY AT ARIZONA, 8:00
NEW ENGLAND AT GREEN BAY, 8:00
TENNESSEE AT MINNESOTA, 8:00
DENVER AT SAN FRANCISCO, 8:30
LAS VEGAS AT L.A. RAMS, 9:00
DALLAS AT SEATTLE, 10:00
SUNDAY, AUGUST 20
NEW ORLEANS AT L.A. CHARGERS, 7:05
MONDAY, AUGUST 21
BALTIMORE AT WASHINGTON (ESPN), 8:00
THURSDAY, AUGUST 24
PITTSBURGH AT ATLANTA, 7:30
INDIANAPOLIS AT PHILADELPHIA (PRIME VIDEO), 8:00
FRIDAY, AUGUST 25
DETROIT AT CAROLINA (CBS), 8:00
NEW ENGLAND AT TENNESSEE, 8:15
L.A. CHARGERS AT SAN FRANCISCO, 10:00
SATURDAY, AUGUST 26
BUFFALO AT CHICAGO, 1:00
SEATTLE AT GREEN BAY, 1:00
CLEVELAND AT KANSAS CITY, 1:00
ARIZONA AT MINNESOTA, 1:00
N.Y. JETS AT N.Y. GIANTS, 6:00
CINCINNATI AT WASHINGTON, 6:05
MIAMI AT JACKSONVILLE, 7:00
BALTIMORE AT TAMPA BAY, 7:00
LAS VEGAS AT DALLAS, 8:00
L.A. RAMS AT DENVER, 9:00
SUNDAY, AUGUST 27
HOUSTON AT NEW ORLEANS (FOX), 8:00
WEEK 1 REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE
DETROIT LIONS AT KANSAS CITY CHIEFS (THU) 7:20P (CT) 8:20P NBC
CAROLINA PANTHERS AT ATLANTA FALCONS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX
HOUSTON TEXANS AT BALTIMORE RAVENS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS
CINCINNATI BENGALS AT CLEVELAND BROWNS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P CBS
JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS AT INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS AT MINNESOTA VIKINGS 12:00P (CT) 1:00P CBS
TENNESSEE TITANS AT NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 12:00P (CT) 1:00P CBS
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS AT PITTSBURGH STEELERS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX
ARIZONA CARDINALS AT WASHINGTON COMMANDERS 1:00P (ET) 1:00P FOX
GREEN BAY PACKERS AT CHICAGO BEARS 3:25P (CT) 4:25P FOX
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS AT DENVER BRONCOS 2:25P (MT) 4:25P CBS
MIAMI DOLPHINS AT LOS ANGELES CHARGERS 1:25P (PT) 4:25P CBS
PHILADELPHIA EAGLES AT NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 4:25P (ET) 4:25P CBS
LOS ANGELES RAMS AT SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 1:25P (PT) 4:25P FOX
DALLAS COWBOYS AT NEW YORK GIANTS 8:20P (ET) 8:20P NBC
BUFFALO BILLS AT NEW YORK JETS (MON) 8:15P (ET) 8:15P ESPN/ABC
TOP NATIONAL RELEASES/HEADLINES
THE NFL’S 11 BEST SLOT RECEIVERS
In the 2022 NFL season, slot receivers were targeted on 39.6% of all quarterback attempts (7,192 of 18,146), so it’s safe to say that slot receiver performance is a huge part of just about every professional passing game. Moreover, with the advent of the 3×1 receiver set in the modern NFL, teams are using more inside and outside slot receivers to expand their route concepts.
As is the cade with slot defenders, slot receivers are no longer the “lesser guys” incapable of playing outside due to whatever size or speed deficits they may carry. Last season, there were seven players with at least 70 slot targets, nine with at least 50 slot receptions, 14 with at least 500 slot receiving yards, and 16 with at least four slot touchdowns. You can put together a decent season for any receiver overall just based on what you do inside. And you can be a force multiplier for your offense based on your inside presence.
READ MORE: https://touchdownwire.usatoday.com/lists/nfl-slot-receivers-cooper-kupp-justin-jefferson-davante-adams/?newsletter_origin=touchdownwire.usatoday.com&newsletter_post_position=0&email=emailaddr
CARDINALS ACTIVATE ROOKIE LINEBACKER BJ OJULARI FROM THE PHYSICALLY UNABLE TO PERFORM LIST
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Cardinals said on Monday that they’ve activated rookie linebacker BJ Ojulari from the physically unable to perform list.
Cardinals coach Jonathan Gannon said Ojulari had been dealing with a knee injury that happened during the offseason, causing him to miss the first two weeks of camp. The 6-foot-2, 248-pounder was the 41st overall pick out of LSU.
Gannon said there was “no timetable” for when Ojulari might be ready to play in a game.
“I’m just excited to get him out there and moving around with his buddies,” Gannon said.
The 21-year-old Ojulari is expected to be a vital piece of the defense, joining holdovers such as Zaven Collins, Isaiah Simmons and Budda Baker. Ojulari’s brother Azeez plays for the New York Giants.
EX-RAIDERS CORNERBACK ARNETTE SAYS HE WANTS TO PLAY IN THE NFL AGAIN AFTER PLEA IN VEGAS GUN CASE
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Former Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Damon Arnette emerged from a Nevada courtroom Monday saying he hopes to play this season in the NFL, maybe with the Dallas Cowboys, after he resolved a felony 2022 gun case by pleading guilty to two misdemeanors.
“If I’m blessed enough to get another chance in the NFL, then I’m going to kill that,” Arnette told reporters after Clark County District Court Judge Ronald Israel sternly instructed him that as a result of his plea, he can’t have guns and can’t be around anyone who has a gun.
“I’ve learned a lot. I’m remorseful about everything,” the 26-year-old Arnette, who lives in Boynton Beach, Florida, told reporters. “I appreciate and respect another opportunity. I’m a better man than I was.”
The former first-round draft pick by the Raiders in 2020 said he had an airline flight booked to Dallas to talk with that team about a contract. The Kansas City Chiefs released him last year from a reserve contract he had signed just days before his arrest in Las Vegas.
COWBOYS RELEASE KICKER VIZCAINO TO LEAVE 28-YEAR-OLD ROOKIE AUBREY AS THE ONLY ONE IN CAMP
OXNARD, Calif. (AP) — The Dallas Cowboys released kicker Tristan Vizcaino on Monday, leaving 28-year-old rookie Brandon Aubrey as the only kicker with two more weeks of training camp in California.
Vizcaino was part of what amounted to an emergency competition at kicker last January after Brett Maher missed four consecutive PATs in a 31-14 wild-card victory at Tampa Bay.
The Cowboys signed Vizcaino to the practice squad but decided not to replace Maher, who had another PAT blocked after the only touchdown Dallas scored in a 19-12 divisional-round loss at San Francisco.
Maher signed about this time last year after a competition in training camp between two unproven kickers flopped. Maher was solid all season until his playoff meltdown.
Dallas chose the same approach this year, and Vizcaino was spotty throughout camp. Aubrey has been shaky at times as well, but slightly more accurate than Vizcaino, a fourth-year player.
While the Cowboys could be on their way to signing a veteran as they did with Maher last year, Aubrey appears set to get all the work leading to the preseason opener Saturday at home against Jacksonville.
Aubrey spent two seasons with Birmingham in the USFL after playing soccer at Notre Dame and getting drafted into MLS in 2017. The Cowboys signed him a month ago.
CHIEFS’ CHRIS JONES CONTINUES HOLDOUT AS PRESEASON OPENER IN NEW ORLEANS APPROACHES
ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (AP) — Chiefs coach Andy Reid had very little to say about missing All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones on Monday.
What he did say carried some weight.
Jones, who is entering the final year of his four-year, $80 million contract, skipped the entirety of the Chiefs’ offseason program and has so far held out all of training camp while trying to secure a new long-term deal. And with their first preseason game now less than a week away, Reid indicated that even superstars such as Jones are missing something by missing camp.
“I don’t know when he’ll be here,” Reid said after Monday’s padded practice on the campus of Missouri Western State University, “but I will tell you that any work he can get is important. It’s a fast game.”
Jones could conceivably hold out the entire preseason, or even the regular season, though it’s unclear what he would gain by that decision. He was evidently fine with relatively modest fines for missing the Chiefs’ mandatory minicamp, and appears to be willing to part with $50,000 daily fines for each day he misses in training camp.
But under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, the fines increase substantially to an entire game check — about $1.1 million in Jones’ case — for each preseason and regular-season game that he is absent.
The Chiefs are likewise in a bind without Jones on the field.
He was easily their most disruptive pass rusher last season, piling up 15 1/2 sacks and then dominating throughout their playoff run to the Lombardi Trophy.
And that was with Frank Clark, who was released to free up some salary cap space, and fellow pass rusher Carlos Dunlop sharing the field and taking some of the attention away from him.
The Chiefs signed Charles Omenihu to help replace the veteran duo, but he was recently suspended for the first six games of the regular season for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy; he was arrested in January, when Omenihu was a member of the 49ers, and accused by a woman claiming to be his girlfriend of domestic violence.
Reid said the Chiefs were expecting a suspension and “we’ll work through it.” But that means relying more heavily on second-year pro George Karlaftis, who had six sacks as a rookie, and first-round draft pick Felix Anudike-Uzomah to rush the passer.
“They’ve handled it well,” said Reid, who had not yet decided how much starters and backups will play on Sunday in New Orleans. “We’ll see how it works out during the preseason and who steps up. We know we have bodies, though.”
The Chiefs did get some positive news along the defensive line Monday when Turk Wharton, who had been rehabbing after surgery to repair a torn ACL, worked into some of the padded team periods for the first time in camp.
“I’m just preparing to get back fully healthy,” Wharton said, “and continue to take my strides so I can play.”
NOTES: DE Mike Danna (calf) returned to practice after missing three sessions. … Omenihu continued to practice Monday, and he is eligible to play during the preseason, but his suspension will begin with Week 1 of the regular season. … CB L’Jarius Sneed missed his fifth practice with knee inflammation. “It swells,” Reid said. “We’re trying to keep the swelling down.”
BROWNS DES ALEX WRIGHT, ISAIAH THOMAS COULD MISS SIGNIFICANT TIME WITH KNEE INJURIES
BEREA, Ohio (AP) — Cleveland’s rebuilt defensive line depth suddenly has some weak spots.
Second-year ends Alex Wright and Isaiah Thomas are both sidelined with knee injuries and could miss significant time — and possibly the start of the regular season.
Before Monday’s practice, which was held outdoors despite a steady rain, coach Kevin Stefanski revealed that Wright and Thomas are hurt while providing few other details or a timetable for recovery.
Stefanski did say the injuries could stretch into the regular season, which begins Sept. 10 against Cincinnati.
During practice, No. 2 running back Jerome Ford suffered a hamstring injury and backup guard Drew Forbes was carted off with a back injury. The extent of their injuries is not yet known. The Browns are off Tuesday and will play their home exhibition opener Friday against the Washington Commanders.
Stefanski said one of the ends was injured in Thursday night’s Hall of Fame game against the New York Jets and the other was hurt during practice Saturday.
Wright and Thomas are listed as Cleveland’s respective Nos. 4 and 5 ends behind All-Pro Myles Garrett, Za’Darius Smith and Ogbo Okoronkwo.
The Browns revamped their defensive front this offseason — Smith came via trade and Okoronkwo as a free agent — after the unit underperformed in 2022.
Wright and Thomas both missed Sunday’s workout along with defensive tackle Maurice Hurst, who got poked in the eye.
Thomas, a seventh-round pick in 2022, was on the field for 25 plays against the Jets. Wright played 15 snaps.
Cleveland selected Wright, who played at UAB, in the third round in 2022. Thomas, a standout at Oklahoma, was picked in the seventh round that year.
The Browns signed end Charles Wiley to help offset the injuries. He played at Texas-San Antonio and spent time with the Baltimore Ravens and New York Giants last season.
NOTES: LB Sione Takitaki took part in team drills for the first time since tearing his anterior cruciate ligament last season. Takitaki intercepted rookie Dorian Thompson-Robinson in the end zone.
SAFETY JOHN JOHNSON RETURNS TO LOS ANGELES RAMS AFTER 2 SEASONS IN CLEVELAND
IRVINE, Calif. (AP) — Veteran safety John Johnson is returning to the Los Angeles Rams after two seasons in Cleveland.
Johnson has agreed to terms and will officially rejoin the Rams’ roster after he passes a physical Monday. He was at training camp Sunday at UC Irvine as an observer.
Johnson should provide much-needed experience and playmaking ability to the Rams’ defense, which is projected to be one of the NFL’s least-experienced groups around Aaron Donald. Los Angeles has parted ways with six of its top seven tacklers from last season in various cost-cutting moves, including the free-agent departures of starting safeties Taylor Rapp and Nick Scott.
Johnson was a third-round draft pick by the Rams in 2017, and he earned a starting job as a rookie. He was a key component of the Rams’ defense during their first Super Bowl season under coach Sean McVay in the 2018-19 season, and he was Los Angeles’ leading tackler in 2020 after missing much of 2019 because of an injury.
Johnson left the Rams in March 2021 for a three-year, $33.75 million free-agent deal with the Browns. After excelling as a strong safety who frequently played near the box in Los Angeles, he was often asked to move away from his strengths in Cleveland, playing as a free safety with more responsibility in pass coverage.
Johnson, who was released by the Browns in March, was popular with fans and in the locker room during his tenure with the Rams.
The Rams opened training camp last month with an incredibly inexperienced secondary at the back of a youthful defense. Their nominal starting strong safety is Jordan Fuller, whose three NFL seasons were the most in the entire Los Angeles secondary before the club signed veteran cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon in late June. Witherspoon also was the only defensive back more than 25 years old.
Russ Yeast and Quentin Lake, a pair of late-round 2022 draft picks, lead the raw group of contenders for the other starting safety job.
Fuller started alongside Johnson as a rookie in 2020 before taking over Johnson’s role and subsequently leading the Rams in tackles in 2021. But Fuller and fellow starting safety Rapp both got injured during the Rams’ subsequent postseason run to their Super Bowl championship, forcing Los Angeles to bring Eric Weddle out of retirement as a replacement alongside Scott.
Los Angeles largely gutted its roster in the offseason and chose to head into 2023 with remarkably few proven veterans after making almost no significant free-agent signings. The late arrivals of Witherspoon and Johnson indicate the Rams have admitted their youngsters need help, at least on defense.
The Rams also could have concerns about the durability of Fuller, who appeared in only three games last season because of a hamstring injury while they went 5-12 in the worst season by a defending Super Bowl champion in NFL history.
The Rams open their preseason schedule Saturday night against the Los Angeles Chargers.
C.J. STROUD TO START FOR TEXANS IN PRESEASON OPENER
The No. 2 pick in this year’s NFL draft is getting first dibs on winning the starting quarterback job in Houston.
Texans coach DeMeco Ryans said Monday that C.J. Stroud will get the start in Thursday night’s preseason opener against the host New England Patriots.
Stroud is locked in a battle with incumbent starter Davis Mills for the No. 1 job. The game will also mark Ryans’ first game as head coach of the Texans.
Ryans told NFL Network that Stroud would start but he didn’t say how many series the rookie will play before giving way to Mills.
Stroud, 21, finished third in the 2022 Heisman Trophy voting after passing for 3,688 yards with 41 touchdowns and six interceptions in 13 games for Ohio State.
He has embraced the training camp challenge with Mills, one of the more intriguing position battles in the league. Veteran Case Keenum is also on the team.
“I don’t want anything given to me. I want to earn everything,” Stroud told reporters last week. “Davis is a great quarterback, and so is Case. And honestly, we’re not focused on that. We’re just focused on getting better and better and better because at the end of the day, if you focus on trying to do something extra or do this here and there, that’s when you start confusing yourself and doing what’s out of the playbook and making mistakes.”
Mills, 24, went 3-10-1 as the starter in 2022, throwing for 3,118 yards with 17 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He’s 5-19-1 as the starter since being drafted in the third round in 2021.
PACKERS ACTIVATING LINEBACKER RASHAN GARY FROM PUP LIST AS HE CONTINUES RECOVERY FROM TORN ACL
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Rashan Gary took a step forward in his return from a torn anterior cruciate ligament by getting activated from the physically unable to perform list.
Packers coach Matt LaFleur said before Monday’s practice that Gary is getting activated. LaFleur noted that Gary will be doing mostly individual work Monday and won’t be participating in any team drills.
Gary, 25, had six sacks and seven tackles for loss in nine games last season before tearing the ACL in his right knee Nov. 6 during a 15-9 loss at Detroit. He had at least one sack in each of the Packers’ first four games.
Although the 2019 first-round pick from Michigan missed nearly half the season in 2022, his six sacks still ranked second on the team, behind Preston Smith’s 8½.
HOUSTON TEXANS OFFENSIVE TACKLE TYTUS HOWARD EXPECTED TO MISS SIGNIFICANT TIME WITH HAND INJURY
(AP) — Houston Texans offensive tackle Tytus Howard is expected to miss significant time after sustaining a hand injury in camp.
“Tytus (Howard), he’s still dealing with that (hand injury) and will probably be out for a while,” coach DeMeco Ryans said Monday. “We’ll re-address that later.”
When pressed on exactly how long Howard is expected to be out, Ryans said: “I’ll let you guys know later.”
The injury comes after Howard agreed to a three-year, $56 million extension just before the start of camp.
A first-round pick in 2019, Howard has started 54 games in four seasons with the Texans.
His injury comes after center Scott Quessenberry was placed on injured reserve Friday after tearing knee ligaments in camp Thursday.
Quessenberry started 16 games for the Texans last season after spending his first four NFL seasons with the Chargers.
REPORT: LIONS SIGNING VETERAN QB BRIDGEWATER
The Detroit Lions are signing quarterback Teddy Bridgewater after hosting the 30-year-old on a visit in late July, sources told NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport.
Bridgewater will reunite with Lions head coach Dan Campbell. The pair spent the 2018-19 season together on the New Orleans Saints.
The 2014 first-round pick provides additional experience under center behind starter Jared Goff. Detroit also has Nate Sudfeld and rookie Adrian Martinez on its quarterback depth chart.
Bridgewater backed up Tua Tagovailoa as a member of the Miami Dolphins last season. The Louisville product passed for 683 yards, four touchdowns, and four interceptions in five games. He earned two starts and finished the year with a 62% completion rate.
The Lions will be Bridgewater’s sixth NFL club. He also had stints with the Minnesota Vikings, Carolina Panthers, and Denver Broncos.
The veteran sports 33-32 record as a starter to go along with 15,120 yards, 75 touchdowns, and a 90.5 career passer rating.
TRAINING CAMP NOTEBOOK: KEY STORYLINES HEADING INTO THE NFL PRESEASON
With the Hall of Fame Game in the books, we’ll recap and analyze the biggest storylines ahead of the first full week of preseason action.
The Jonathan Taylor saga continues
The standoff between the Indianapolis Colts and star running back Jonathan Taylor has intensified.
First, Taylor reportedly requested a trade last weekend over not receiving an extension following a private meeting with Colts owner Jim Irsay. Then, Irsay vehemently shut down any possibility of the star halfback being dealt.
It seemed inevitable that Taylor would earn a lucrative new deal after leading the league and setting a franchise single-season record with 1,811 rushing yards during the 2021 campaign. Even despite his career-low 861 yards in 2022, the Wisconsin product has rushed for 3,841 yards and 33 touchdowns while averaging 5.1 yards per carry through three seasons.
Yet, with the 24-year-old tailback entering the final year of his rookie contract that’ll see him earn $4.3 million, per Over the Cap, the Colts don’t have immediate plans to sign him to a contract extension.
Now, Taylor is on the physically unable to play list to begin training camp. Head coach Shane Steichen didn’t specify the injury that’s preventing the starting tailback from participating in practice. However, there were reports that the rusher suffered a back injury while away from the team this offseason.
As a result, Indianapolis was apparently considering moving Taylor to the non-football injury list, although he quickly refuted the reports. The Colts wouldn’t have to pay Taylor’s salary for the 2023 season if they placed him on the NFI list, and they could potentially prevent him from becoming an unrestricted free agent.
Although the Colts have indicated that they won’t entertain offers for Taylor, there are teams willing to give the star the kind of contract he desires, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. Indianapolis also signed Kenyan Drake on Friday amid the uncertainty, and after Zack Moss underwent arm surgery.
Taylor’s impasse with the Colts is emblematic of the devaluation of running backs across the league. Similar to most clubs, Indy seemingly doesn’t feel compelled to pay its star rusher.
Jets’ hype flight reaches new elevation
The New York Jets have been enjoying the spotlight since the start of training camp. Off the field, quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw shots at Denver coach Sean Payton for calling Jets offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett’s 2022 Broncos tenure one of “the worst coaching jobs in the history of the NFL.” Hackett said Payton broke the coaches’ code. Seems like there’ll be plenty of inspiration when the two sides meet in Week 5.
On the field, the Jets hosted four-time Pro Bowler Dalvin Cook, but a deal has yet to be reached. However, the rusher said the odds are pretty high that he’ll sign a deal with New York. The addition of a tailback that’s rushed for 1,000-plus yards in each of the past four seasons would further elevate the expectations around Florham Park.
Plus, second-year starter Breece Hall is continuing to ramp up his workload after his rookie campaign ended due to a torn ACL. A combination of Cook and Hall, who averaged 5.8 yards per rush and scored four touchdowns in seven games in 2022, would create one of the league’s most formidable backfields. If the Jets don’t add Cook, Michael Carter, Israel Abanikanda, and Zonovan “Bam” Knight are each jockeying for the RB2 spot.
And if that wasn’t enough Jets content for you, you’ll be pleased to know that the season premiere of HBO’s “Hard Knocks” is set to take place Aug. 8.
Pro Football Hall of Fame Game
For the first time in what felt like ages, we finally got to see actual football during an exhibition contest between the Jets and Cleveland Browns. Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson, and most of the notable starters for each team didn’t suit up, but seeing live action was a welcome sight.
Jets quarterback Zach Wilson showed off his arm by completing three of his five passes for 65 yards, including a 57-yard completion to Malik Taylor. Rookie signal-caller Dorian Thompson-Robinson provided a spark to the Browns, as Cleveland pulled off a 21-16 comeback win amid a fourth-quarter delay due to a light malfunction.
Updates on notable holdouts, standoffs
Here’s the latest intel on some of the most notable holdouts, hold-ins, and contract dispute across the league.
Nick Bosa: San Francisco 49ers general manager John Lynch is preaching patience as the team works toward an extension with its star pass-rusher. The reigning Defensive Player of the Year is poised to reset the market at his position. Bosa has tallied 34 sacks over the past two seasons, including a league-leading 18.5 in 2022. It appears to be a matter of time, but this will continue to be a storyline until a deal is announced. While Bosa is incurring a $50,000 fine for each day he misses, they are rescindable since he’s still under his rookie deal, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Josh Jacobs: The stalemate between the 2022 leading rusher and the Las Vegas Raiders continues. Jacobs still hasn’t signed his franchise-tag tender or reported to camp. Head coach Josh McDaniels remains optimistic he’ll rejoin the club, while Ameer Abdullah, Brandon Bolden, Zamir White, and Austin Walter have been taking reps at the position in Jacobs’ absence.
Zack Martin: There doesn’t seem to be any sense of urgency from the Dallas Cowboys to get a deal done for All-Pro offensive lineman Zack Martin. While the guard has held out for a raise (he’s set to earn $13.5 million this season), Dallas has struck a deal with Trevon Diggs and is eyeing extensions for CeeDee Lamb and Micah Parsons. With Martin’s demand currently not high on the Cowboys’ priority list, it’s unclear when his holdout will be resolved.
Chris Jones: In an offseason where several defensive tackles secured extensions, Chris Jones continues to wait for his turn. The four-time Pro Bowler is reportedly seeking an annual average salary of $30 million on his next contract.
While Aaron Donald’s $31.6-million annual salary remains an outlier, Jones has the best shot of approaching his position-leading mark. The two-time Super Bowl winner earned first-team All-Pro honors after tying a career high with 15.5 sacks while adding 17 tackles for loss and 29 quarterback hits.
Kamara handed 3-game suspension
With the hammer hovering over New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara for over a season, it finally came down this past week. Following Kamara’s meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, the league suspended the rusher for the first three games of this season. The ban was a result of Kamara pleading no-contest to a February 2022 criminal case in which he was accused, alongside three other defendants, of beating a man unconscious.
Although Kamara will miss the team’s season opener against the Tennessee Titans, along with matchups against the Carolina Panthers and Green Bay Packers, New Orleans took a proactive approach to addressing the situation. Jamal Williams isn’t a fan of beignets, but he’ll surely salivate at an early-season feature role after leading the league with 17 rushing touchdowns. Rookie Kendre Miller should also earn some snaps after missing most of the club’s offseason activities.
Lackluster QB battles take shape
The 2023 quarterback battles have lacked the accustomed sizzle and flair entering training camp. While a few starting jobs remain up for grabs, a large majority have felt more like a formality. For example, the Carolina Panthers quickly tabbed Bryce Young as their starter just a day into camp. Here, we’ll focus on a couple of other rookies and a pair of veterans aiming to win their respective competitions.
Buccaneers: It initially seemed that Baker Mayfield would just assume the starting quarterback role following Tom Brady’s second retirement in as many seasons. Yet Bucs offensive coordinator Dave Canales said Kyle Trask has really settled in this past week. Both players are splitting first-team reps and will each get a chance to start a preseason contest. Whoever gets the start for the team’s final preseason clash against the Baltimore Ravens will likely be under center for Week 1 against the Minnesota Vikings.
Texans: When Houston used the second overall selection on C.J. Stroud, it appeared it’d only be a matter of time before he’d assume the starting role. However, the Ohio State product finds himself in a close race with incumbent Davis Mills. While Stroud doesn’t want the job handed to him, he’ll have to separate himself from the two-year veteran who has 26 starts under his belt.
Colts:After missing a day of action following a minor nose procedure and looking shaky with the first team, Anthony Richardson has reportedly strung together consecutive practices with the first-team offense that suggest his development is coming along just fine. However, Gardner Minshew remains in the mix to get starting reps.
Injuries beginning to mount
The inconvenient truth about training camp is that no team is spared from its share of injuries. No one wants to see the cart come out or a player miss out on a season before it even begins. This week, there were several scares, as well as a few ailments that’ll impact some teams.
The Los Angeles Rams are breathing a sigh of relief after star wideout Cooper Kupp left practice Monday’s practice with a hamstring injury. Although the ailment was initially expected to keep the former All-Pro receiver sidelined for at least a few weeks, offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur described Kupp as day-to-day. Kupp missed most of the second half of the 2022 season due to a high ankle sprain.
The Denver Broncos appear to have been plagued by the injury bug early in camp. Receiver Tim Patrick saw his campaign come to an end in training camp for the second time in as many seasons after tearing his Achilles. Denver’s wideout depth chart took another hit when K.J. Hamler announced he was diagnosed with a mild heart condition called pericarditis. The Penn State product was waived, but the Broncos plan to bring him back in the near future as he’s only expected to be sidelined for weeks after dealing with chest pains.
Additionally, linebacker Jonas Griffith reportedly tore his ACL, while cornerback Riley Moss will be sidelined for at least a month after undergoing core muscle surgery.
Trayveon Williams, who’s projected to be among the contenders to back up Joe Mixon in Cincinnati this season, had to be carted off the field after going down Tuesday. Fortunately, he’s only sustained a mild ankle sprain that should keep him on the shelf for a couple of weeks. The fifth-year player is competing with rookie Chase Brown and Chris Evans to replace former teammate Samaje Perine.
Atlanta Falcons cornerback Jeff Okudah was carted off the field after sustaining an ankle injury during a one-on-one drill in practice Friday, although the severity and nature of his injury weren’t disclosed. Although the former Detroit Lion suited up for 15 games last season, the 2020 first-round pick was seeking a fresh start after his first two seasons in the league were derailed by multiple ailments.
In a story that illustrates that NFL stars are just like us, Calvin Ridley was hobbled in practice Tuesday due to a sore foot as a result of some ill-fitting cleats. Talk about a bad shoe day. Ridley returned to practice the next day but was plagued by a few drops.
Highlight-reel moments from practice
George Pickens is quickly making a name for himself by making highlight-reel grabs look routine. The Pittsburgh Steelers receiver was back at it again in practice this week, making a remarkable snag during a one-on-one drill against Joey Porter Jr. Ever the gentleman, Pickens handed the rookie a souvenir shortly afterward. Porter didn’t seem to be too impressed with Pickens’ gesture.
Kansas City Chiefs wideout Justyn Ross has been turning heads since camp opened up. After going undrafted in 2022 and missing the team’s Super Bowl run last year following foot surgery, Ross is stepping up in camp with Kadarius Toney on the mend and Rashee Rice still learning the ropes. The 23-year-old put his superb route-running on display with a smooth shake of a defender, calmly wiping his gloves on a towel before hauling in the reception. It looks like Patrick Mahomes will have himself another impressive target this season.
Jason Brownlee might not be a household name at the moment, but that could soon change. The undrafted wideout made a sensational one-handed catch similar to Odell Beckham Jr.’s. The Southern Miss product appears to be in a good spot to make the final roster.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS
GEORGIA RANKED NO. 1 IN PRESEASON COACHES POLL
Two-time defending national champion Georgia will open the 2023 season ranked No. 1 in the coaches poll.
Georgia received 61 of 66 first-place votes in the USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll released Monday.
Coach Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs open the season against Tennessee-Martin on Sept. 2 in Athens, Ga.
No. 2 Michigan has its highest preseason ranking since the poll was introduced in 1991.
No. 3 Alabama received four first-place ballots and No. 4 Ohio State picked up the other one.
LSU checks in at No. 5, giving the SEC three of the top-five slots.
Southern California, Penn State, Florida State, Clemson and Tennessee round out the top 10.
The rest of the poll published Monday:
13. Notre Dame
17. Kansas State
18. Oregon State
20. North Carolina
22. Ole Miss
24. Texas Tech
25. Texas A&M
WAKE FOREST WR DONAVON GREENE WILL MISS 3-5 MONTHS WITH KNEE INJURY
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — Wake Forest receiver Donavon Greene has a knee injury that could keep him out for the season.
The school announced Monday that Greene would miss three to five months after suffering the injury on the first day of preseason camp. Greene was expected to take a leading role among the receivers working with new starting quarterback Mitch Griffis.
“Donavon Greene is a great player and an even better person,” coach Dave Clawson said in a statement. “He will play a key role off the field this season as he works towards a speedy and safe recovery in the coming months.”
Greene was second on the team last year with 642 yards receiving on 37 catches, including six touchdowns. Wake Forest had lost leading receiver A.T. Perry to the NFL. But Greene’s return, along with Jahmal Banks and Taylor Morin, offered plenty of depth.
Greene missed the 2021 season with a knee injury. Wake Forest opens the season against Elon on Aug. 31.
UTAH CHARTS NEW COURSE WITH BIG 12 MOVE
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah is back together with BYU, and the Utes think they are poised for a successful transition to the Big 12 Conference.
Utah will compete in the Big 12 in all sports starting in 2024 after accepting an invitation to join the league on Friday. Arizona and Arizona State also accepted Big 12 invitations on the same day. The three schools followed Colorado, which announced a return to the league it helped found in 1996 in late July. The Buffaloes originally left the Big 12 for the Pac-12 in 2010, joining that league with the Utes in 2011.
Their move came after Oregon and Washington bolted for the Big Ten earlier in the day.
This isn’t Utah’s first move into a power conference. But unlike when it left the Mountain West Conference to join the Pac-12, the Utes expect to be competitive from day one in the Big 12.
“We want to get in there and win and win right away,” Utah athletic director Mark Harlan said Monday. “We have no reason to believe that we can’t.”
Failure to land a suitable media rights deal led to Utah and other Pac-12 schools looking for new homes. Commissioner George Kliavkoff presented a deal with Apple that had revenue projections based heavily on reaching subscription benchmarks, and it included an opt-out clause after only two or three years.
Utah felt the streaming-only media deal with the potential for lower revenue than what other power conferences offered was too risky.
“We were plugging numbers and looking at everything like everyone else was,” Harlan said. “You got to have a collective group to move forward at the end of the day. It ended where it was.”
Utah will receive a full share of the $31.7 million each Big 12 school expects to earn from the league’s media deal starting in 2025. The Utes also enter a league that’s arguably the toughest men’s basketball conference from top to bottom, and one that is positioning itself to be the No. 3 FBS conference behind the Big Ten and the SEC.
“I wouldn’t bet against the Big 12,” Utah President Taylor Randall said. “That’s what makes us so excited to be there.”
Joining the Big 12 also puts Utah and BYU in the same conference for the first time since 2010 when both schools played in the Mountain West. It means The Holy War — one of the nation’s most intense college football rivalries — will highlight annual Big 12 conference schedules.
The schools last met in 2021 when BYU won 26-17 to snap a nine-game losing streak in a series that started in 1896.
“For me, it’s always been fun,” Randall said. “We’re looking forward to that. We’ve appreciated the way we’ve worked together (with BYU) over the years when we’ve not been in the same conference. We’re certainly looking forward to the years where we will be.”
Beyond BYU, Utah also has familiarity and rivalries with Colorado, Arizona, Arizona State, and TCU to build on in the Big 12.
Switching conferences in 2024 will create a short-term dilemma for nonconference scheduling in football. Future scheduled games with BYU, Baylor, and Houston will be folded into league play. As a result, Utah needs to fill two out of three nonconference slots in 2024, 2025, 2026, and 2027.
ACC CONSIDERING WESTWARD EXPANSION, WITH EYE ON STANFORD AND CAL, AP SOURCE SAYS
The four remaining Pac-12 schools still aboard for next season — California, Stanford, Oregon State and Washington State — have options if they are looking for another conference.
The Atlantic Coast Conference is exploring the possibility of adding the West Coast schools, with an emphasis on California and Stanford in the San Francisco Bay Area, a person with knowledge of the discussions told The Associated Press on Monday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the ACC was not making its internal discussion public and the conversations were still in early stages.
The American Athletic Conference also has interest in expanding West and adding all four Pac-12 teams, a person with direct knowledge of that league’s internal discussion told AP on condition of anonymity. The AAC has schools as far West as the Dallas area.
The Pac-12 lost five members last week after a potential media rights contract with Apple left the schools seeking a better deal. Arizona, Arizona State and Utah announced they would join Colorado in the Big 12 next year while Oregon and Washington decided to follow USC and UCLA to the Big Ten, also next summer.
The four remaining Pac-12 schools still aboard for next season — California, Stanford, Oregon State and Washington State — have options if they are looking for another conference.
The Atlantic Coast Conference is exploring the possibility of adding the West Coast schools, with an emphasis on California and Stanford in the San Francisco Bay Area, a person with knowledge of the discussions told The Associated Press on Monday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the ACC was not making its internal discussion public and the conversations were still in early stages.
The American Athletic Conference also has interest in expanding West and adding all four Pac-12 teams, a person with direct knowledge of that league’s internal discussion told AP on condition of anonymity. The AAC has schools as far West as the Dallas area.
The Pac-12 lost five members last week after a potential media rights contract with Apple left the schools seeking a better deal. Arizona, Arizona State and Utah announced they would join Colorado in the Big 12 next year while Oregon and Washington decided to follow USC and UCLA to the Big Ten, also next summer.
2023 COLLEGE FOOTBALL PREVIEW: GEORGIA BULLDOGS
2022 Record: 15-0 overall, 8-0 in SEC
Head Coach: Kirby Smart, 8th year: 81-15
It’s time to settle in because this Georgia thing isn’t slowing down anytime soon.
Maybe because it seems so new, and that’s why there hasn’t been a national outpouring of emotion one way or another when it comes to the first outright no-split back-to-back national championship run since 2011 and 2012 Alabama and before that 1994 and 1995 Nebraska.
Maybe it’s because there’s nothing villainous about Georgia football yet – there’s no hate-watching or Evil Empire factor like there is with Duke basketball, or the New England Patriots, or Alabama football, or Bama Rush.
Maybe it’s because the household name skill guys aren’t there.
Did Georgia even have a running back or wide receivers last season? Certainly the NFL talent level has been jaw-dropping, but when it comes to the marketable star power to make Joe and Jane Casual Fan tune in … Stetson Bennett? (Trust me, I tried to make the “he deserves to be a Heisman finalist” case and couldn’t get any non-voter to buy.)
Maybe it’s because America was out doing something delightful on New Year’s Eve – seriously, CFP, I love you, but accept the L already on the idea to play the semis on December 31st – and wasn’t fully engaged with the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl when the Ohio State game-winning 50-yard field goal attempt hooked into the lumber yard to give Georgia the national title, because …
Maybe it’s because, you know, TCU. Yeah, Michigan vs Georgia in Los Angeles would’ve been massive, even if that turned out to be 65-7, too.
Maybe it’s because Georgia winning two national titles hasn’t been the unabashed party like 2019 LSU. Maybe it’s because it wasn’t crazy dramatic – in two totally different ways – like Clemson’s “we beat Alabama!” excitement in 2016 and 2018.
Maybe it’s because the Georgia faithful aren’t there yet like Alabama fans are with just two speeds, win and throw the national title on the pile, or don’t win it all and the world is a dark place of sad with no meaning.
Whatever the reason, the high-end success has been way overdue and well earned. Georgia was knocking on the door of the elite back room of the club for years, and it’s the program’s time. I wrote at least three different Bulldog season previews over the last 20 years saying something to the effect of “eventually, it’ll be Georgia’s turn.”
(Honestly, doing what I do, if I had to pick one reason it’s the big game/skill guy star power thing. Think of it this way – you know exactly what I’m talking about when I run down the line. 2020 Mac-to-Devonta, 2019 Burrow, 2018 Trevor, 2017 Tua-to-Devonta, 2016 Deshaun, 2015 Derrick beat Deshaun, 2014 Zeke beat Mariota, 2013 Jameis, 2012 Bama beat Notre Dame, 2011 Bama LSU Part 2, 2010 Cam, 2009 Bama beat Texas, 2008 Tebow beat Bradford, or …)
Whatever. Georgia has put it all together and deserves this 29-1 run over the last two seasons to be on par with anything anyone has pulled off. Try this …
22 out of Georgia’s 30 games over the last two years were against teams that went bowling. 16 of the 27 games 2011 and 2022 Alabama played were against teams that went bowling, and two of them were losses. (Admittedly unfair since there weren’t as many bowls, but …) 12 out of the 25 games 1994 and 1995 Nebraska played were against teams that went to a bowl game.
Oklahoma won outright national titles in 1955 and 1956, and out of the 21 games it played it faced a grand total of four teams that finished with a winning record – the 1955 team beat one team that finished with more than four wins in a ten game season.
And America wants to gripe about the 2023 Georgia schedule.
This is the best team in college football again – last year’s team was actually sort of young. It has a pipeline of four and five-stars who keep rising up, it has another amazing rotation of running backs, another amazing group of defensive linemen, another amazing offensive line, another amazing corner tandem …
That doesn’t mean Georgia is a lock to win another national title. It does mean it’ll be deep in the discussion again, and especially in an expanded College Football Playoff after the 2024 season, and in 2025, and …
The defense has been the star of the two national championship runs, but the offense was even more of a machine. The D was ninth in the nation in total defense. The O was fifth, averaging over 500 yards per game with a terrific balance, peak efficiency, and finished No. 1 in the nation in red zone efficiency. All of that, and it did the near-impossible by being explosive while still being able to control the clock.
Former offensive coordinator Todd Monken is now with the Baltimore Ravens, and back in the fun is Mike Bobo, the Georgia offensive coordinator in the late 2000s to mid-2010s. Nothing stops, the O might be even better at the skill spots, and …
It all starts with a killer of an offensive line. The Bulldog front five paved the way for 205 rushing yards per game, was fourth in the nation in sacks allowed, and second in tackles for loss allowed. It might have been the most underappreciated position group in the country last season, and it gets a slew of key guys back starting with C Sedrick Van Plan and the guard tandem of Xavier Truss and Tate Ratledge.
They’re all great, but there’s a shot OT Amarius Mims is the first of the bunch drafted next next year and it’s possible the most talented blocker of all is 6-4, 330-pound redshirt freshman Earnest Greene, who’s expected to take over for 14th overall pick Broderick Jones at left tackle.
Leading rusher Kenny McIntosh is done, but Georgia went with a deep enough rotation to be just fine with the ground game. Daijun Edwards was second on the team with 769 yards, Kendall Milton is a 220-pound breakaway threat who averaged seven yards per pop with eight scores, and Brandon Robinson is another 220-pounder who added 330 yards and the fourth back in the mix. They’ll all produce big behind the great line, but …
McIntosh was also a terrific receiver catching 43 passes last season. Fortunately the receiving corps is stronger. The top target is Brock Bowers – a do-it-all tight end with top ten overall talent and receiving skills – leading the way with 63 grabs for 942 yards and seven touchdowns.
Top wide receiver Ladd McConkey returns after making 58 grabs, Marcus Rosemy-Jacksaint is a dangerous deep threat who’ll get the call on the X now, and coming in from Missouri is the team’s top receivers, Dominic Lovett after catching 56 passes for 846 yards and three scores – he hit Georgia for six catches for 84 yards last season. Also coming over is Mississippi State transfer Rara Thomas after making 62 grabs with 12 scores over the last two seasons. But …
Who’s going to throw them the ball? Stetson Bennett was even better than you think, throwing for over 4,000 yards last year with 27 touchdown passes, just seven picks, and running for ten scores. That, and he pulled the Missouri game out of the fire and came up massive late to pull off the thriller over Ohio State. He was the walk-on-made-good story. The current Georgia quarterbacks are all big-time recruits with all the tools and talent needed to rip it up.
5-star sophomore Brock Vandagriff is a good all-around quarterback who could be the most effective runner of the bunch. 4-star redshirt freshman Gunner Stockton can also move, but he’s likely the third guy in the mix. 5-star Dylan Raiola is the most talented option, but he’s not arriving until 2024, so the odds-on favorite is 6-4, 215-pound junior Carson Beck. Let’s just call him a 4.5-star prospect who has the most experience in the system and should be the best passing option – for now. This will all be locked down in fall camp.
Alabama and Ohio State have this problem all the time, and now Georgia is experiencing the job of having a ton of NFL talent to replace. 19 Bulldog defensive players were drafted over the last three years with five selected last season – and there’s a lot more where that came from. The coordinator combination of Will Muschamp and Glenn Schumann is fantastic, and they have a whole lot to work with starting with …
The secondary lost likely NFL starters CB Kelee Ringo (Eagles) and S Christopher Smith (Raiders) and somehow might be even better. The safety combination of Malaki Starks, Javon Bullard, and Tykee Smith is next level – Starks was third on the team with 68 stops, Bullard is a possible first rounder who can get into the backfield. Kamari Lassiter is the new top corner, getting Smoke Bouie from Texas A&M helps, and sophomore Daylen Everette is likely taking over for Ringo.
Linebackers Smael Mondon and Jamon Dumas-Johnson are destructive forces. They finished 1-2 in tackles, respectively, combining for 146 stops and 17 tackles for loss. Nolan Smith might have been the 30th pick overall to the Eagles, and Robert Beal is off to the 49ers, but Chaz Chambliss has been around long enough to be a factor at one of the outside spots.
Jordan Davis, then Jalen Carter, and now Warren Brinson? Brinson isn’t at the level of the first two, but he’s yet another huge active defensive tackle who’ll keep the production going next to 320-pound Nazir Stackhouse and 295-pound Zion Logue on the nose. That bunch will eat up everything, top pass rusher Mykel Williams – just 4.5 sacks, but he has a burst – will do more at one end spot, and the pressure in the backfield will come from everywhere.
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL
MLB ROUNDUP: RED SOX END SKID, SINK ROYALS ON WALK-OFF SLAM
Pablo Reyes hit a grand slam against Carlos Hernandez with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the host Boston Red Sox to a 6-2 victory over the Kansas City Royals on Monday in the opener of a four-game series.
It was the first home run of the season for Reyes, who collected three hits and scored three times in the win. Boston had lost four straight games and seven of its last eight.
The home run came minutes after Royals manager Matt Quatraro was ejected for arguing a ball-four call. Hernandez fell to 1-7 this season. Kenley Jansen (3-5) pitched a scoreless top of the ninth to earn the win. He struck out two.
Kansas City starter Cole Ragans went 6 2/3 innings. He gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits, walked one and struck out a career-high 11. Designated hitter MJ Melendez had three hits for the Royals.
Brewers 12, Rockies 1
Freddy Peralta retired the final 20 hitters he faced after allowing a first-inning solo homer to pace Milwaukee over visiting Colorado in the opener of a three-game series.
Peralta (8-8) allowed just one runner in seven innings, a one-out blast in the first by Ezequiel Tovar, who hit his 11th home run of the season. Peralta matched his career high with 13 strikeouts with no walks in his 94-pitch outing.
Elvis Peguero and Andrew Chafin each tossed a perfect inning to preserve the one-hitter and maintain Milwaukee’s lead of 1 1/2 games over Cincinnati in the National League Central.
Dodgers 13, Padres 7
Mookie Betts capped an eight-run fourth inning with a grand slam to lead visiting Los Angeles to a victory over San Diego.
The Dodgers were trailing 5-4 when Betts connected for his 31st home run of the season. David Peralta added an RBI double and Jason Heyward ripped a two-run double as part of the fourth-inning outburst.
Catcher Luis Campusano had four hits and drove in four runs for the Padres, who scored five runs in the third to jump out to an early lead.
Twins 9, Tigers 3
Ryan Jeffers and Carlos Correa hit three-run homers during the first two innings and Minnesota won its fifth straight game by pounding host Detroit.
Correa scored two runs and drove in four for the American League Central Division leaders. Winning pitcher Pablo Lopez (7-6) scattered five hits and didn’t walk a batter while recording eight strikeouts in seven innings.
The Tigers have lost nine of their last 12 games. Nick Maton hit a three-run homer for Detroit. Joey Wentz (2-10), making his first start since June 28, surrendered eight runs and 10 hits in three innings.
Reds 5, Marlins 2
Brandon Williamson allowed one run on three hits over 6 2/3 innings as host Cincinnati earned a victory over Miami in the opener of a three-game series.
Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Joey Votto homered for the Reds, who snapped a six-game losing streak.
Jorge Soler and Jazz Chisholm Jr. each went deep for Miami, which lost its fifth straight game. Twenty-year-old right-hander Eury Perez (5-4), making his first major league start since July 6 after being sent down to the minors to rest, took the loss, allowing four runs on five hits over 4 2/3 innings.
Pirates 7, Braves 6
Jared Triolo hit a two-run single during a six-run third for Pittsburgh, which topped visiting Atlanta.
Connor Joe homered, Andrew McCutchen hit an RBI double and Henry Davis and Liover Peguero each added an RBI single for the Pirates, who have won two straight games and three of their last four.
Atlanta starter Spencer Strider (12-4) had his shortest outing of the year, giving up six runs and five hits in 2 2/3 innings. Ozzie Albies went deep for the Braves.
Blue Jays 3, Guardians 1
Cavan Biggio hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning to break a scoreless tie and help lift visiting Toronto to a win against Cleveland in the opener of a four-game series.
Toronto starter Hyun Jin Ryu made his second start since returning from Tommy John surgery in June of 2022, but his night was cut short when he was hit in the lower right leg by a line drive off the bat of Oscar Gonzalez at the end of the fourth inning.
Enyel De Los Santos (4-2) started the eighth for the Guardians after rookie right-hander Gavin Williams had blanked the Blue Jays on one hit over seven innings. De Los Santos gave up a one-out, broken-bat single to Daulton Varsho before Biggio lifted a changeup over the fence in center field for a 2-0 lead.
Mets 11, Cubs 2
Pete Alonso tied career highs with two homers and six RBIs for host New York, which snapped a six-game losing streak with a win over Chicago in the opener of a three-game series.
Alonso hit a three-run homer off Drew Smyly (8-8) in the first and laced a two-run shot against the Cubs’ left-hander in the third before closing out the scoring with an RBI single off backup catcher Tucker Barnhart in the eighth. Kodai Senga (8-6) earned the win by allowing two runs over six innings.
Cody Bellinger was 3-for-3 with two RBIs for the Cubs. Smyly allowed seven runs on eight hits and two walks while striking out five over five-plus innings.
White Sox 5, Yankees 1
Andrew Vaughn smacked a two-run home run and made a game-saving defensive play to lift host Chicago past New York.
Chicago stretched its winning streak to three games while sending the Yankees to their third loss in four games. New York went 1-for-12 with men in scoring position while leaving 13 runners on base.
Gerrit Cole pitched seven-plus innings. He fell to 10-3 after spacing four runs and five hits with two walks and three strikeouts.
Giants 8, Angels 3
San Francisco scored six runs in the ninth inning to rally past Los Angeles in Anaheim, Calif., sending the reeling Angels to their seventh loss in a row.
The Angels led 3-2 going into the ninth, thanks in part to a home-run-robbing catch by center fielder Mickey Moniak in the eighth. Moniak leaped and reached above the wall to pull back pinch hitter Joc Pederson’s potential game-tying blast.
It became a moot point in the ninth when the Giants pounded Angels closer Carlos Estevez, who was charged with his second consecutive blown save after beginning the season with saves in 23 consecutive chances. San Francisco finished with 11 hits.
Rangers 5, Athletics 3
Mitch Garver had three hits and two RBIs to help Texas come from behind and beat host Oakland.
Travis Jankowski’s fielder’s choice in the eighth inning pushed across the tiebreaking run for Texas, which has won a season-high seven consecutive games. It is the Rangers’ best streak since they also won seven straight in June 2018.
Zack Gelof had a two-run double for the Athletics, who dropped to 5-27 against American League West teams this season.
MLB SUSPENDS CHICAGO’S TIM ANDERSON 6 GAMES, CLEVELAND’S JOSÉ RAMÍREZ 3 FOR FIGHTING
CLEVELAND (AP) — Tim Anderson’s decision to pick a fight with José Ramírez cost him more than a sore jaw.
Chicago’s shortstop was suspended six games and Ramírez for three games by Major League Baseball for throwing punches and touching off a lengthy, wild brawl between the White Sox and Guardians on Saturday night.
Major League Baseball announced the discipline for Anderson and Ramírez on Monday, along with other suspensions and fines following one of baseball’s ugliest fights in several years.
Anderson and Ramírez also were fined an undisclosed amount. Both players are appealing.
Anderson was handed the harsher penalty for instigating the fight as he and Ramirez faced off in the middle of the infield like boxers inside the ropes. Anderson connected with a couple punches before Ramirez dropped him with a blow to the face.
Also, Cleveland manager Terry Francona, Guardians closer Emmanuel Clase and third base coach Mike Sarbaugh have been suspended one game each. Chicago manager Pedro Grifol was also suspended for one game.
In addition, White Sox pitcher Michael Kopech and Guardians rookie Gabriel Arias have been fined an undisclosed amount for their actions.
Francona and Clase will serve their suspensions Monday when the Guardians open a four-game series with Toronto. Grifol also will serve his suspension Monday when the White Sox host the New York Yankees. Sarbaugh intends to sit on Tuesday.
“When something like that happens, there’s going to be a price to be paid,” said Francona, who expressed gratitude that Michael Hill, MLB vice president of on-field operations, had reached out to him.
Francona didn’t offer opinion on the severity of Ramírez’s penalty.
“He’s going to appeal,” he said. “My hope is that he always can lower it because he’s such a good player. I thought they seemed to me to be extremely conscientious in what they were doing, at least when I talked to them.
“If you’re the home team or you want your guys to get none, you want them to get 20. That’s probably not the way it’s going to work.”
Losing Ramírez for as much as a series is another challenge for the Guardians, who are trying to stay connected with the first-place Minnesota Twins in the AL Central. Cleveland begins the week 4 1/2 games back.
The White Sox are 23 games under .500 and already planning toward next season after moving some veterans at the trade deadline.
This is Anderson’s third suspension since 2019.
The two-time All-Star was suspended for one game four years ago when his bat flip after a home run against Kansas City led to him being hit with a pitch and triggering a benches-clearing altercation. Last season, Anderson made an obscene gesture toward fans in Cleveland and got a one-game ban.
Blue Jays manager John Schneider joked that the timing of the suspensions may help his team.
“I don’t hate the fact that Clase is unavailable tonight,” he said, “and I hope I Ramírez begins his suspension tomorrow.”
Anderson and Ramírez exchanged several punches near second base in the sixth inning, and the Guardians’ All-Star third baseman landed a right haymaker to the White Sox shortstop’s chin, knocking him onto the infield dirt.
Players and coaches for both teams joined in and there were other flareups during the extended melee. The umpiring crew needed more than 15 minutes to get things under control so the game could be resumed. Chicago won 7-4.
The dustup began innocently with Ramírez sliding headfirst into second with an RBI double. He slid between Anderson’s legs and seemed upset by a hard tag. Ramírez jumped to his feet and the two exchanged words, with Ramírez pointing in Anderson’s face as second base umpire Malachi Moore tried to step between.
Anderson then dropped his glove and challenged Ramírez by raising his hands and assuming a boxer’s stance. The players threw punches with Ramírez connecting with a blind punch that dropped Anderson on his backside and triggered both teams to join in.
Following the game, Ramírez said he had been upset with Anderson for some previous actions.
“He has been disrespecting the game for a while,” Ramirez said through interpreter Agustin Rivero. “It’s not from yesterday. It’s from before. I even had the chance to tell him during the game, ‘Don’t do this stuff. That’s disrespectful. Don’t start tagging people like that,’ because in reality, we’re here trying to find ways to provide for our families.”
When he got to his feet, Anderson continued to try and get at Ramírez.
He was guided off the field only to return moments later and tried to get at Ramírez before he was physically carried into the dugout by teammate Andrew Vaughn, who wrapped his arms around Anderson.
The White Sox and Guardians completed their season series Sunday and won’t face each other again until 2024.
SINGLETON TO BE CALLED UP BY ASTROS, AFTER LAST PLAYING IN MAJORS FOR HOUSTON IN 2015
HOUSTON (AP) — Jon Singleton is being called up by the Houston Astros, returning to the team he last played for in 2015.
Singleton told The Associated Press he was heading to Baltimore on Monday to join the team for the opener of a three-game series with the Baltimore Orioles, who have the best record in the American League.
The first baseman adds some depth at a position where José Abreu is the starter. Abreu has underperformed in the first year of a three-year $58.5 million contract, hitting just .237 with 10 homers and 56 RBIs.
The left-handed slugger has been playing at Triple-A Sugar Land after signing a minor league deal with the Astros on June 24 following his release from the Brewers. He’s been great since joining the Space Cowboys, hitting .333 with 12 homers, 28 RBIs and a 1.138 OPS.
Singleton was in the Astros organization until before the 2018 season when he asked for his release after being suspended 100 games after a third positive drug test while playing at Double-A Corpus Christi. He was regarded as one of the top infield prospects while with the Astros organization from 2011 until his release after being acquired in a trade with Philadelphia.
Singleton didn’t play organized baseball from 2017 until 2021 when he restarted his career in the Mexican League. After his release from the Astros, he didn’t plan on playing baseball again.
He discussed that time period this weekend in Sugar Land before he learned he’d be rejoining the Astros.
“When I did walk away from baseball, I honestly wasn’t thinking about playing baseball anymore at all,” he told The AP. “It wasn’t even a thought. But once I started working out and going to the gym every day and things start to progress, then baseball became a thought again.”
“So things have really come full circle,” he continued.
He credited his recent success to his preparation off the field.
“I think my mindset, mentally, my mental state, that’s been huge for me,” he said. “The last five to six weeks, just small things I’m doing to prepare myself and just reminding myself what I need to do every day just to be ready.”
The 31-year-old appeared in 114 games for the Astros in the 2014 and 2015 seasons after signing a five-year $10 million contract. He last appeared in a major league game for the Astros on Oct. 2, 2015.
He made his return to the majors for the first time since that game when he appeared in 11 games with the Brewers before his release.
Outfielder Corey Julks was optioned to Sugar Land Sunday to make room for Singleton on the roster. The Astros were off Monday and visited the White House where they were honored by President Joe Biden for winning the World Series.
MANAGER: DODGERS’ CLAYTON KERSHAW ‘VERY LIKELY’ TO START THURSDAY
Left-hander Clayton Kershaw is “very likely” to return to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ starting rotation on Thursday, manager Dave Roberts said Monday.
Kershaw hasn’t pitched since June 27, when he held the Colorado Rockies to one hit over six innings. After that outing, he was placed on the injured list with left shoulder soreness.
The Dodgers have set their rotation for the first three games this week. Tony Gonsolin will pitch Monday afternoon against the San Diego Padres, with Julio Urias and Bobby Miller scheduled to start Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively, in Phoenix when the Dodgers play the Arizona Diamondbacks.
That would line up Kershaw, 35, to pitch at home Thursday to start a four-game series against the Rockies. In his career, he has a 27-11 record with a 3.33 ERA and 312 strikeouts in 49 starts against Colorado.
The Dodgers had been targeting an early August return for Kershaw, a three-time National League Cy Young Award winner.
Kershaw is 10-4 with a 2.55 ERA in 16 starts this season. He has struck out 105 batters in 95 1/3 innings.
In his 16th season, all with the Dodgers, Kershaw has a 207-91 career record with a 2.48 ERA and 2,912 strikeouts.
GUARDIANS CLAIM OF RAMON LAUREANO OFF WAIVERS
The Cleveland Guardians claimed outfielder Ramon Laureano off waivers from the Oakland Athletics on Monday.
Laureano, 29, was designated for assignment by the A’s on Saturday.
He was batting .213 with six homers and 21 RBIs in 64 games this season, his sixth with Oakland. Laureano is a career .246 hitter with 68 home runs and 205 RBIs in 471 games.
Laureano has spent two stints on the injured list this season with a left groin strain and a right hand fracture.
The Guardians designated right-hander Chris Vallimont, 26, for assignment in a corresponding transaction.
DRAFTING TOP WORLD SERIES CONTENDERS AFTER TRADE DEADLINE
It’s August. We’re beyond the Trade Deadline. Contending rosters are what they are for the rest of the season, absent potential minor changes from within; the rosters are essentially locked in from here on out.
Given that, and given the trades we’ve seen over the last few weeks, who now looks best positioned to win the World Series? That’s exactly the question that MLB.com’s Mike Petriello and Will Leitch will attempt to answer — a little more than four months after their first draft. This time, they are drafting 21 contenders in order of “who is most likely to win a ring.” (Why 21? Because that’s how many teams had playoff odds of at least 10 percent at FanGraphs after the Deadline passed.)
Will chose first. There couldn’t possibly be a surprise at the direction he went.
1. Atlanta Braves
Leitch: How might you nitpick the Braves if you desperately wanted to? Let’s see. They wouldn’t have the rotation advantage in a theoretical NLDS against, say, the Brewers, or maybe the D-backs, or even the Phillies. The bullpen has a bunch of good arms but no one who makes you feel like, if you’re down a run heading into the seventh, the game is already over. Ronald Acuña Jr. had his worst month of the season in July. (He still had a .918 OPS.) They’re only on a 102-win pace, and “102” is quite definitively less than “162.”
Otherwise, good heavens, who in the world wants to face this team in October? This lineup is terrifying top to bottom, and they’re packed with stars who are at their peak or will be hitting it at any moment. The 2021 Braves were a postseason buzzsaw, one of the most fun October teams I can remember. This team is better even before you account for the fact that they have a healthy Acuña. They’ll need to win another World Series, I think, before they can pass the Dodgers as the NL’s premier franchise. But they’re the obvious pick to do so.
2. Texas Rangers
Petriello: It feels almost unfair to the Braves to have any other team second. It feels like it should be more like “1) Braves, 2-6) spots held empty out of respect, 7) the next-best team.” That’s how large the gap feels here, in part due to how they’re the only team that’s absolutely guaranteed to win their division, and in part because of how loaded their roster is. But a second team we must pick, and so I choose the Rangers, who probably did the most in the weeks leading up to the Deadline to improve their right-now chances, adding not only Max Scherzer and Jordan Montgomery, but also Aroldis Chapman earlier in July.
And, I might add, Austin Hedges, who, despite his extreme offensive shortcomings, is something like the best defensive catcher in baseball, which is suddenly an extremely important addition given the uncertainty over whether All-Star Jonah Heim’s wrist will allow him to return this year. Maybe they’ll win the division, and maybe they won’t, but they’ll be in the postseason either way. Suddenly, instead of starting a top three of, let’s say, Jon Gray, Dane Dunning, and Andrew Heaney (if Nathan Eovaldi’s arm prevents him from being available) it’s Scherzer, Montgomery, and [pick one]. Add that to the only lineup that’s scored more runs than Atlanta? Honestly, if they do this, it’s the greatest short-term turnaround in history, given that they lost 102 games all of two years ago.
3. Houston Astros
Leitch: There are more close division races at this point in the season than I can remember, which should make the last couple of months even more exciting than usual. But there’s clearly no race more packed with intrigue than the AL West. It has two intrastate rivals. It has the defending champs against the team they’ve long tormented. It has two old Cy Young Award-winning gunslingers facing off after being acquired at the Deadline (from the same team). And it has significant stakes: Whoever comes out on top gets a first-round bye instead of a potential first-round matchup with the Rays or Orioles.
What makes it even more fun is that I also think they’re the two AL teams with the best chances to win the World Series. The Astros haven’t quite felt like the Astros most of this year, so it’s all the more impressive that they’ve hung with the Rangers (a team having an all-timer of a year) and may end up passing them soon. And in the end, I’m glad you took the Rangers, because I do believe in the Astros a little bit more, particularly because, with the Justin Verlander trade, they’ll have the best No. 1 starter. The Astros may look and act a little differently than they used to, but they remain stacked. They might just sneak up on everybody and win this thing again.
4. Los Angeles Dodgers
Petriello: The fourth pick, and I already feel terrible about it! I don’t even really like the Dodgers more than the Rays or Orioles, necessarily, but I do think the path here is a somewhat easier one, because A) I think they’ll win the division, and B) I think they’ll get that bye into the second round. Meanwhile, the AL path looks … harder. So, while it’s definitely disappointing that the Dodgers couldn’t do more to reinforce their roster than the hopes-and-prayers path of “Yeah, sure, we can make Lance Lynn, Joe Kelly, Ryan Yarbrough, and Amed Rosario better,” I do think there’s an argument that we spent so much time last winter and this summer focusing on what they didn’t do that it’s perhaps overshadowed the fact that this team has the fifth-best winning percentage in baseball — and that Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman are playing at an MVP level.
They’ll get Clayton Kershaw back (probably). They could get Walker Buehler back (maybe). Maybe they’ll get Blake Treinen back? Remember Jimmy Nelson? Wouldn’t it be funny, anyway, if this is the Dodger roster that actually wins a full-season title, in the year when every review of their approach was “more vulnerable than they’ve been in a decade?”
5. Tampa Bay Rays
Leitch: I actually went back and forth between the Rays and Orioles here, which, wow, what a thing to say when we’re talking about World Series contenders. (The human being who got the win in the last Orioles postseason victory: Bud Norris! Delmon Young batted fifth for them in that game.) The Orioles are the hot pick right now, and why wouldn’t they be? They’re playing with an infectious joy that has a lot of fans of soon-to-be-eliminated teams jumping on their October bandwagon. But the Rays are still the Rays, and after a bit of an injury-related dip, they look more like the team that got off to that incredible start. And now they have Aaron Civale, who, even if you’re not entirely on board with him, clearly does make them better. (And it sure seems like the Rays have earned the benefit of the doubt on pitchers).
The rest of the division hardly stayed idle, though it’s sort of funny how much of the Deadline fortifications seemed to come from the Cardinals, one of the most disappointing teams in baseball. The Rays might not be the all-timer team we thought they were in May. But they’re good enough to still win this division and position themselves well heading into October. And they’re exactly the sort of team to be afraid of once they get there.
6. Baltimore Orioles
Petriello: Thank you, Will, for choosing between the Rays and Orioles so I did not have to. OK, let’s do this: Since June 1, the Orioles are an AL-best 35-21, while the Rays are a middling 28-28. I choose to believe the Ryan O’Hearn renaissance is for real. I choose to believe that when Cedric Mullins Jr. returns next week, he’ll be an added jolt to a lineup that hardly needs one. I choose to believe that Gunnar Henderson, who has raked since a slow April, is The Next Big Thing. I choose to believe there’s magic in teams that are so young, talented, and assured that the fact that they didn’t do much at the Deadline will be viewed as confidence in what’s there, not disappointment in what’s not.
I also choose to believe that they’ll fix trade acquisitions Jack Flaherty and Shintaro Fujinami, and that Yennier Cano’s July struggles are a blip and not the inevitable signs of fatigue, and that Félix Bautista will keep on having one of the greatest seasons in relief history with no hiccups, thank you very much. Because as much as I like Baltimore’s lineup, I am absolutely terrified by a pitching staff that doesn’t have even a No. 2 starter, much less a No. 1, and has a bunch of young arms blowing past any previous innings totals. (See: Tyler Wells backing up so bad he ended up in Double-A). I’m all-in on this talented, young lineup, but I’m pretty worried about this pitching staff simply running out of gas before the finish line.
7. Milwaukee Brewers
Leitch: I know, I know: This seems early. But regardless of any skepticism one might or might not have about the Reds — and while I think they’re as well-positioned the next few years as any team in this division, in 2023 they sure look like a team that’s going to run out of gas — the Brewers look like a team about to find itself.
After a slow start (for him, anyway), Corbin Burnes looks like his Cy Young self again, and he’s got old running mate Brandon Woodruff alongside him again. Speaking of former award winners, Christian Yelich has been giving off some real 2019 vibes lately himself. They were smart and surgical at the Deadline, bringing in some real OBP juice with Mark Canha and Carlos Santana, at discount prices. They have a bullpen that has been getting the job done yet again. Devin Williams has been magical and he hasn’t even been the best reliever on this staff. (That would be Joel Payamps). And they have a manager in Craig Counsell who always seems to be finding every little advantage his team can get. I’m not sure they’re passing the Dodgers for a No. 2 seed — though they might! — but they have exactly the sort of roster that thrives in the postseason. They’re my big postseason sleeper pick … assuming, of course, they can get in. Look out for these guys. Remember where you heard it first.
8. Toronto Blue Jays
Petriello: I think I’m taking a risk here by picking a team highly unlikely to finish higher than third in its own division — one that might not even make the playoffs. But I feel the same way about the Blue Jays as I did at the start of the season, which is that if there’s any team likely to get red hot for exactly the right four weeks in October, it’s them. They might be history’s most disappointing “10 games over .500 team” this side of the Dodgers, but they are still 13 games over, and that’s with a roster that has rarely, if ever, been running on all cylinders at the same time.
I’ll admit to being more than a little worried about George Springer’s subpar offensive production, and I have no faith whatsoever in Alek Manoah figuring it out, plus Bo Bichette’s knee is a concern now as well. Still, Kevin Gausman might win the AL Cy Young Award, José Berríos has been much better than last year, Hyun-Jin Ryu is back, and I think they have a sneakily outstanding bullpen, especially since they added Jordan Hicks, and Jordan Romano’s back injury isn’t expected to be serious. Throw in much-improved defense in the outfield, and the never, ever, ever-ending hope that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is just going to sort out whatever his incredibly frustrating problems are and, well … it remains a very frustrating team. But one good enough to do this, nonetheless.
9. Philadelphia Phillies
Leitch: I feel like the drop-off happened really fast this year: Are we already at the Phillies? At the very least, it makes a bit more sense to have faith in them this year than it did last year, and we saw how that turned out. Neither Aaron Nola nor Zack Wheeler have been what they were last year, but they’re still a 1-2 you feel good about in that rotation, and Michael Lorenzen was a nice little Deadline addition. The way I’m looking at Nola and Wheeler is the way you have to look at the Phillies in total, almost like an NBA team that rested its stars in the regular season to have them ready for the playoffs. There are so many big names who haven’t played up to expectations in 2023, from Nola and Wheeler to J.T. Realmuto to Bryce Harper to Trea Turner. And yet, here they still are, in the second NL Wild Card spot, without ever quite looking like themselves.
So that’s my bet here: The Phillies lumber into the postseason and then come alive in October like the veterans they are. The NL Wild Card race is lunacy right now, but the Phillies look as likely as anyone to emerge from the wreckage. And as we saw last year, anything can happen then.
10. San Diego Padres
Petriello: I … think? This is lunacy, right? The Padres are still under .500 and out of a playoff spot, but it’s straw-grasping time here. Hey! Did you know that they’ve mostly been torpedoed by an absolutely unbelievable 0-10 mark in extra-inning games, which is a disaster but is also not really predictive of anything? Hey! Did you know that even though adding Ji Man Choi and Garrett Cooper aren’t headline-grabbing moves, they’ll go a long way toward fixing a 1B/DH situation that was second-weakest in baseball?
I feel like when we talk about “expensive, underperforming 2023” teams, the Mets and Padres understandably got lumped together a lot. But while it felt like the Mets just always showed us who they really were, the Padres still have that glimmer of “but if they do figure it out, it’s going to be special” sheen there. I hope. I really hope.
11. Boston Red Sox
Leitch: It would seem impossible for a team like the Red Sox to sneak up on anyone. But with the (semi-understandable) agita about losing Betts and Xander Bogaerts and all of that, it’s almost like no one has noticed that the Red Sox are pretty good. The rotation is a little better than anyone realizes — James Paxton Renaissance Hive Assemble — and the bullpen is performing exactly the way you’d want them to, holding down the fort enough for the offense to do its thing. In retrospect, their offseason moves look savvy and prudent, as was trusting that Triston Casas would eventually figure it out. He has been one of the best hitters in baseball for the last month-and-a-half.
Having much faith in them come October may come down to how much you want to trust in a healthy Chris Sale, which is to say: not much. But they looked like the clear last-place team in this division heading into the year, and while that still might be their fate thanks to the high level of competition, for now they’re right in the thick of the Wild Card chase.
12. San Francisco Giants
Petriello: Sure, why not. I do think the 61-51 Giants are getting slept on a little, in part because 2022’s follow-up to 2021’s miracle was unimpressive, and in part because most of the notice they got last winter was about “failing to sign the top-tier free agents they thought they were going to sign.” But Farhan Zaidi and friends did a solid job of adding depth and competency — and even though rookie catcher Patrick Bailey hasn’t hit all that much, he is something absolutely special behind the plate. (That’s whether you look at metrics, where he’s tied for 2023’s best defensive catcher, or just the highlights, when he’s doing things like “ending a game on a back-pick at first base.” Who does that? He does.)
Though they have an outside chance at the division, it’s more likely they’ll get in as a Wild Card, and it’s not that hard to see them making noise. I’m into the bullpen that has essentially-tied-for-best-in-baseball OBP against, and Logan Webb and Alex Cobb are a solid enough top two in a best-of-three series. But really, I like this team’s Guys. They just seem to have a higher Guy-per-roster-spot ratio of anyone in baseball, in terms of non-star players who you could easily see doing something legendary in the playoffs. LaMonte Wade Jr.? Absolutely a Guy. J.D. Davis? Definite Guy qualities. I’ve watched enough Pat Burrell / Cody Ross / Darin Ruf moments over the years to know that AJ Pollock is hitting a walkoff in the NLDS, Will.
13. Los Angeles Angels
Leitch: Time for a heart pick? Time for a heart pick. The whole Angels thing right now is to believe. So let’s believe that …
All the new additions, none of whom are spectacular but all of whom are better than what they had, will catch fire at the right time.
Mike Trout is going to come back and be Mike Trout (and that’s old Mike Trout, not necessarily 2023 Mike Trout).
The space-time continuum will implode before the calendar hits 2024 and therefore there’s no reason to worry about anything that happens then.
You have a moral obligation to try to win while Shohei Ohtani is being Shohei Ohtani in your uniform.
My brain tells me only the fourth one is true, and I’m not even entirely sold on that one. But my heart wants to plunge headfirst into all four. Their playoff odds are so low mostly because of their brutal schedule in August, but if they can survive this month (big if), maybe in September, Trout and Ohtani can carry them. And if they can get in? Well, then, the Angels become Earth’s Team. We all want to see it. Do I think we see it? No. But I want to badly enough that I choose to believe.
14. Arizona Diamondbacks
Petriello: I have now selected the entire NL West this side of Denver. This seems like a bad strategy! (It is a bad strategy.) Here’s what I’ve got: A few star-level players in Corbin Carroll, Christian Walker, Ketel Marte and Zac Gallen. A bullpen that just added a high-quality arm in Paul Sewald, and please do not ask anyone outside the desert to name even a single other member of the relief corps. A quietly good Deadline addition in Tommy Pham, who is having a pretty solid season and should be a nice veteran reinforcement for a lineup that could really stand to be lengthened out a bit. I don’t, for the record, believe Arizona is winning the World Series, because the pitching staff is thin. But hey, they’re fun, and they have some stars. I like fun. I like stars.
15. Miami Marlins
Leitch: How many games higher in the standings are the Marlins right now if they hadn’t sent down Eury Pérez to manage his innings? They’re a half-game out in the Wild Card race right now, and, I don’t know, it seems fair to ask whether they’re going to end up a half-game out at the end of the year and cursing not having their best pitcher for the whole summer. (Pérez is returning on Monday.) This may seem unfair, sure: Pérez is ostensibly a big part of the Marlins’ future. But in every other way, the Marlins are, and have been, playing for right now. This is a team, and a front office, that needs to prove it can break through, and they added pieces at the Deadline accordingly. (It would be wild if Josh Bell just suddenly went nuts over the last two months.)
I’m just staying that seasons like this don’t really come along all that often for the Marlins, and maybe you want to take advantage of them in every way you can, while you can. If they can sneak in, a 1-2 punch of Pérez and Sandy Alcantara could give them a puncher’s chance in any series. So what’s the play, Marlins? Are you in, or are you out?
16. Cincinnati Reds
Petriello: Remember all things I just wrote about the D-backs where it was all “well, I don’t think they’re actually winning because I don’t trust the pitching, but they’re young and they have some fun stars, and wouldn’t that be exciting,” and well, the Cincinnati Reds. I suppose, given the fact that the Reds have a much clearer path to a division title than the D-backs do, the math would suggest I should have taken Cincinnati over Arizona. But despite that NL Central boost, I have more questions about the Reds, in part because the rotation remains an enormous problem, one which was not at all addressed at the Deadline, and also because they have fewer stars I trust. (That’s right. We all love Elly De La Cruz. I hope he ends up in the Hall of Fame some day. But right now, he’s batting .240/.290/.438 since July 1). There is, I guess, a non-zero chance they win the Central by one game and then go on the kind of high-intensity, cardiac-level event for a month that you make movies about. But I’m not really banking on it.
17. Chicago Cubs
Leitch: The underlying numbers have long argued that the Cubs may be the best team in this division, and their recent eight-game win streak may have brought them back closer to the water level where they should be. The Cubs don’t really have any huge stars, but you could argue they have fewer holes than anyone else in this division, and they’ve got one clear skill (defense) that doesn’t really slump and makes everything else better. They’ve got a tougher schedule than you might think down the stretch — they won two of three vs. the Braves over the weekend, but play three more against Atlanta in the final week — but if you’re not sold on the Brewers or the Reds, the Cubs could absolutely make a run. They clearly think it’s possible: They were surprisingly stout at the Deadline. They believe. Maybe we should, too.
18. Minnesota Twins
Petriello: … fine
I don’t even know where to go here. A likely division winner at No. 18 is a pretty solid value choice, I guess, but we also all know that this is only happening because the AL Central is something like the sorriest division we’ve ever seen, and the complete lack of movement at the Deadline doesn’t exactly inspire confidence here. They didn’t get the righty bat they needed, or the extra reliever, and that’s frustrating because they’ve built one of the best rotations this club has had in decades. I will say this: I really like rookie Edouard Julien, and I keep hoping Carlos Correa will find a way to turn around what’s been a very disappointing season. But if the best case here is “plays in a weak division,” it’s a hard case to make.
19. New York Yankees
Leitch: With all the relentless negativity going on in The Bronx right now, is it possible to make a case for the last-place Yankees? Well, Aaron Judge could go all Babe Ruth on the league over the last two months. That is, after all, how they made the playoffs last year. But the pieces around Judge in 2023 are even thinner than they were then, and if Carlos Rodón doesn’t figure it out soon (he left Sunday’s start with hamstring tightness), the rotation may actually be worse than that atrophying lineup. The Yankees were relatively quiet at the Deadline, and they were smart to be. Do you think this team is worth adding to right now? The Yankees clearly don’t. It’s tough to argue with them.
20. Seattle Mariners
Petriello: As I’m asked to choose between Seattle and Cleveland, the phrase I keep coming back to is “a run.” That is: Which of these unlikely contenders have a better shot of going on a shocking last-minute run? I guess, like the Reds, the better answer is the one with the clearer path to October. (That’s Cleveland, but the Guardians are 4 1/2 games out in the Central.) But give me Julio Rodríguez heating up, give me a rotation that lost none of its pieces via trade, give me some hope that newcomer Dominic Canzone is quietly a super sleeper. It’s not going to happen, but I’ll take the talent here over a Cleveland lineup that’s struggled to score runs and a Cleveland rotation that traded away one of its few healthy pitchers in Aaron Civale.
The All-Star Game was fun, anyway.
21. Cleveland Guardians
Leitch: I’ll say this: If the Guardians win the World Series, Aaron Civale is going to have a truly amazing story to tell every time someone asks about his World Series ring.
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
UCONN TO FACE NORTH CAROLINA IN JIMMY V CLASSIC
Defending national champion UConn will face North Carolina at the Jimmy V Classic on Dec. 5 at New York City’s Madison Square Garden.
The matchups for the 29th annual doubleheader were announced on Monday, with 2023 Final Four participant Florida Atlantic facing Illinois in the other game. Both contests will air on ESPN.
The event is named for legendary North Carolina State coach Jim Valvano and benefits the V Foundation for Cancer Research. The foundation has distributed more than $310 million in cancer research grants in its 30-year history.
“It’s an honor to be invited to participate in the Jimmy V Classic to help raise funds for such a worthwhile cause that hits close to home for my wife Andrea and me, with the loss of her father to this dreaded disease,” UConn head coach Dan Hurley said, per ESPN. “I know our team and our UConn fan base are thrilled to be coming to Madison Square Garden to compete against one of the most storied programs in college basketball. We are very much looking forward to Dec. 5.”
Hurley’s Huskies return starters Tristen Newton and Alex Karaban and sixth man Donovan Clingan from the lineup that captured the school’s fifth NCAA Tournament title last season.
UNC is looking to bounce back after entering 2022-23 as the preseason No. 1 team only to finish 20-13 and miss the NCAA tourney.
FAU returns all five starters from the Cinderella squad that finished 35-4 last season, falling to San Diego State 72-71 in the Final Four.
Illinois, which beat Texas in overtime in last year’s Jimmy V Classic, features returners Terrence Shannon Jr. and Coleman Hawkins and transfers Quincy Guerrier (Oregon) and Marcus Domask (Southern Illinois).
DUMBA SIGNS A 1-YEAR, $3.9 MILLION DEAL WITH COYOTES AT BJUGSTAD’S URGING
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Give Nick Bjugstad a big assist on Matt Dumba’s arrival in the desert.
Giving in to the pressure from his former Minnesota teammate and seeing what Arizona is building, Dumba signed a one-year, $3.9 million deal with the Coyotes on Monday.
“Bjugy was texting me every other day and he caught me, put the clamps on me at one of the weddings we were at a couple of weeks ago, too,” said Dumba, who lives and trains in Arizona during the offseason. “He was always dropping it in my ear and it was awesome to see guys really enjoy Arizona, the coaching staff, the style of play that they’re growing into.”
Dumba played 10 seasons with Minnesota after the Wild selected him with the seventh overall pick in the 2012 NHL draft. He served as an alternate captain for the Wild the past two seasons, playing more of a shutdown role after being one of the NHL’s better two-way defensemen.
The 29-year-old had a 50-point season while playing all 82 games in 2017-18 and has scored 20 points at least seven times. The Saskatchewan native had four goals and 14 assists in 79 games last season.
“He is a talented, reliable, physical defenseman who competes hard every night and will contribute offensively,” Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong said in a statement. “He is also a great leader who will add a veteran presence to our blue line. We are very excited to have him on our team this season.”
Dumba should give the Coyotes a huge boost on the blue line and provide veteran leadership on a young team. He won the King Clancy Memorial Trophy in 2019-20, an award given to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.
Dumba will likely fill a top-four spot on a Coyotes blue line that will also include Sean Durzi, acquired from the Los Angeles Kings in an offseason trade for a 2024 second-round draft pick. Arizona also added Alex Kerfoot, former Wild player Jason Zucker and brought back Bjugstad as the franchise rounds into the third year of a rebuilding project.
“Playing against them last year, I thought they played tremendously hard, played free, saw a lot of good things,” Dumba said. “I’m very excited to join this squad.”
PENGUINS AND THE CAPITALS KEEP MAKING MOVES TO TRY TO REMAIN NHL PLAYOFF CONTENDERS
The Stanley Cup banners hanging in Pittsburgh and Washington aren’t collecting dust yet. The Penguins won their third, fourth and fifth championships in 2009, 2016 and 2017, while the Capitals hoisted the Cup for the first time in franchise history in 2018.
Still, the core players from those title-winning teams aren’t getting any younger: Sidney Crosby celebrated his 36th birthday Monday and Alex Ovechkin turns 38 next month. The Penguins’ 16-year playoff streak and the Capitals’ eight-year playoff streak ended last season.
The moves made this summer show both teams are willing to sacrifice some future success to keep winning now. Pittsburgh over the weekend traded several players and two high draft picks to land Norris Trophy-winning defenseman Erik Karlsson, a deal that came on the heels of Washington signing power forward Tom Wilson to a seven-year contract extension.
New Penguins general manager Kyle Dubas and longtime Capitals GM Brian MacLellan are trying to jam open their teams’ contending window as long as possible — a difficult task in the NHL in the salary cap era.
“It is challenging,” MacLellan said. “We got some young guys that are still coming, but our goal is to remain competitive. I think it’s a tricky balance, but we’ll see if we can pull it off. I think it’s important for Ovi, for all our veteran guys that we remain competitive, give them a chance to compete.”
In replacing Ron Hextall and Brian Burke — they were fired after Pittsburgh missed the playoffs for the first time since 2006 — Dubas took a big swing at upgrading immediately by getting Karlsson from San Jose. Perhaps more significant than what he gave up is the $10 million annually the Penguins have committed to the 33-year-old Swede over the next four seasons.
Dubas isn’t worried about sending a message to veteran leaders like Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang or coach Mike Sullivan. But it speaks volumes about the direction the team is going in, with no sign of a rebuild in sight.
“I think it’s just the affirmation that we believe that they have a chance to contend and compete for a championship, and there’s a lot of work that has to be done,” Dubas said. “Obviously, the team missed the playoffs last year and there’s no dancing around it and we’ve tried to supplement as best we can.”
MacLellan, unlike Hextall, sold at the trade deadline when it was clear Washington was likely to miss the playoffs. He, too, has tried to supplement the core that remains from the Cup run, signing winger Max Pacioretty and trading for defenseman Joel Edmundson.
Pacioretty turns 35 in November and Edmundson is 30 — the same age Wilson will be when his new $45.5 million contract kicks in for the 2024-25 season. Nicklas Backstrom is nearing 36, T.J. Oshie turns 37 in December and John Carlson 34 in December.
The Capitals think that experience can be a benefit in trying to get back into the playoffs.
“There’s a lot of winners in that room, and when you don’t make the playoffs, it’s a failure,” Wilson said. “We’re hungry, we’re excited to get back at it and get this thing moving back in the right direction.”
The timeline is clear. Ovechkin is signed for three more years and is in hot pursuit of Wayne Gretzky’s career goals record, currently 75 behind a mark that long seemed impossible to approach.
Wilson’s deal carries him four years beyond Ovechkin with the expectation he’ll become the face of the franchise and succeed his longtime Russian teammate as captain. But it also locks him in at a $6.5 million cap hit through 2026 to contribute to the Gretzky chase and perhaps another playoff run or two.
“We’re going to keep pushing,” Wilson said. “A good team and a team that’s winning games means he’s scoring goals, and we’re checking both those boxes at the same time.”
The Penguins, with Malkin 37 and Letang 36 like Crosby, are determined to win enough games to remain a perennial playoff team. That’s no easy task in the Metropolitan Division trying to keep up with Carolina, New Jersey and the New York Rangers and in the Eastern Conference with young Buffalo and Detroit among the teams on the rise.
Getting Karlsson should be a boost, at least in the short term, as Dubas tries to silence the doubters who don’t think Pittsburgh can remain in the Stanley Cup mix.
“We have to go out and prove it,” he said. “I think the doubts are fair. I think the criticisms are fair. Now we have our belief, and then it’s about us to go and execute it.”
CHRIS BUESCHER WINS 2ND STRAIGHT NASCAR CUP RACE AT MICHIGAN
BROOKLYN, Mich. (AP) — Chris Buescher has earned half of his four career NASCAR Cup Series victories in a stunning, nine-day stretch of success.
Buescher won his second straight NASCAR Cup Series race by holding off points-leader Martin Truex late in the FireKeepers 400 on Monday and is surging with his top performances toward the end of the regular season.
“It’s certainly very good timing as we head into the playoffs in a few short weeks,” said the 30-year-old Buescher, who was in the No. 17 Ford for RFK Racing.
Buescher, who won last week at Richmond, led 52 of the 200 laps. With 12 laps left, Truex challenged him with door-to-door driving before sparks were seen under his No. 19 Toyota and he faded.
“I felt like we were a little better, but it is just really hard to pass the leader on equal tires,” Truex said.
Truex made a savvy move in the No. 19 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing to win Stage 2. Shortly after pitting, he went high before dropping low to surge past Daniel Suarez and finished second to earn a 57-point lead over Denny Hamlin in the standings.
“He was a rocket most of the day and for Chris to hold him off is really impressive,” said Brad Keselowski, who was proud of his fourth-place finish as a driver and win as a part-owner of RFK Racing.
Hamlin was third followed by Keselowski and Kyle Larson.
Buescher gave Ford its ninth straight victory at Michigan to extend the longest winning streak by a manufacturer at a track that has hosted Cup races since 1969.
“To be here in Ford’s backyard and get this done and have so many Ford folks with us here, it is a special weekend,” he said. “You always have a little more on your shoulders here.”
The race was suspended Sunday due to rain, which delayed the start and later led to a red-flag stoppage that lasted 19-plus hours before the race resumed under cloudy skies the next day.
Two of the top drivers didn’t make it to Monday. Many of the fans that filled the stands and the infield on Sunday, giving the track one of its biggest crowds in years, did not return to see the end of the race.
William Byron and Kyle Busch, who have a combined seven wins this year, were knocked out of the competition on the first day of the two-day race. Busch spun out and hit a wall after making side-by-side contact with Ryan Blaney early in the race and Byron ran into a wall without anyone around him shortly after Truex won the first stage.
“I put myself in a bad spot,” Busch said. “I really hate that I did that.”
Buescher became the first Cup driver to win consecutive races since Byron had victories at Las Vegas and Phoenix in March. He’s the first RFK driver to have consecutive victories since 2010, and the first to win multiple times in a year for the organization since 2017.
“I kind of like being an underdog and under the radar,” said Scott Graves, Buescher crew chief. “But I also know with a couple wins, it’s hard to hide.”
Chase Elliott lost control after just 34 laps Sunday due to a tire failure.
“It was really early in the day to have a tire blow like that,” the Hendrick Motorsports star said. “It was really weird. It’s a bummer, but not surprised. Add it to the list.”
Elliott missed six Cup races with a broken left tibia that he suffered in a March 3 snowboarding accident.
The 2020 Cup champion, winless this year, is No. 22 in points and likely needs to win one of the last three races in the regular season to earn a spot in the playoffs.
The series shifts to the Indianapolis Road Course — where Tyler Reddick won last year — for the Verizon 200 on Sunday.
PGA TOUR UNVEILS ‘24 SCHEDULE, PATHWAYS TO QUALIFY FOR SIGNATURE EVENTS
The PGA Tour released its schedule for the 2024 regular season and FedEx Cup playoffs on Monday, unveiling its new name for so-called designated tournaments — “signature” events — as well as how players will access them.
The signature events initially were a response to the threat from LIV Golf, which had drawn several big-name players away from the PGA Tour with record purses and signing bonuses.
Even though the PGA Tour and LIV’s financiers, the Saudi Public Investment Fund, have a partnership in the works, the signature events will stay as a way to bring the best players on the tour to the same events with higher purses.
The eight signature events for the 2024 regular season are the Sentry (formerly called the Sentry Tournament of Champions), the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, the Genesis Invitational, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the RBC Heritage, the Wells Fargo Championship, the Memorial Tournament and the Travelers Championship.
The Players Championship and the three legs of the FedEx Cup playoffs — the FedEx St. Jude Championship, the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship — are also elite, high-purse events previously counted among the designated events. What separates the signature events is their limited-field status, five of which will be played without a 36-hole cut.
The three player-hosted tournaments — the Genesis (Tiger Woods), the Memorial (Jack Nicklaus) and the Arnold Palmer — will have a 36-hole cut limited to the top 50 players and any player within 10 shots of the lead. The winner of these events will receive $4 million, or 20 percent of the full purse, up from 18 percent previously.
The other five signature events will do away with the traditional cut after the second round.
Seven of the eight signature events were also designated events in 2023, the only new addition being the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in place of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. The Pro-Am will be adjusted so that amateurs will only compete alongside the reduced field of 80 professionals for the first two rounds, while the focus turns exclusively to the professionals for the weekend.
With signature events’ fields “anticipated to be between 70-80 players,” per a news release, the PGA Tour also laid out how eligibility will work. The top 50 members from the 2022-23 FedEx Cup standings will be eligible for every signature event, and other tour members can play their way in throughout the season via “The Next 10” and “The Swing 5.”
The Next 10 refers to the top 10 members in the FedEx Cup season standings not otherwise exempt into signature events. The Swing 5 is more of a snapshot of players’ recent performances — the top five points-earners from the stretch of standard tournaments preceding each signature event.
“We are excited about the roll-out of the PGA Tour’s reimagined schedule and what the season will offer to our fans: a January start with stars competing head-to-head more often, alongside the weekly drama of life-altering moments and the emergence of new stars,” commissioner Jay Monahan said in a news release.
The tour’s announcement made no mention of the PIF or LIV Golf, and other financial details were limited.
At least one new tournament is coming to the 2024 schedule with the debut of the Myrtle Beach Classic, to be played opposite the Wells Fargo Championship May 9-12 with 300 FedEx Cup points going to the winner. Another new event is expected be announced as an alternate to the Scottish Open July 11-14.
The FedEx Cup champion will be crowned Sept. 1 at the end of the Tour Championship in Atlanta, with a record $25 million bonus awarded to the season-long points winner.
The tour will reveal more about the 2024 “FedEx Cup Fall” season at a later date.
TOP INDIANA NEWS/RELEASES FROM ORGANIZATIONS
5 TAKEAWAYS FROM DAY 8 OF COLTS’ TRAINING CAMP
The Indianapolis Colts are over halfway through training camp before it leads into the preseason games, conducting their eighth practice at the Grand Park Sports Complex in Westfield on Sunday.
The mid-afternoon practice session was held outdoors after the previous practice forced the team to work indoors due to weather. It was another padded practice as the team prepares for the preseason opener in less than a week.
(READ MORE: https://coltswire.usatoday.com/lists/indianapolis-colts-training-camp-2023-takeaways-anthony-richardson-day-8/?newsletter_origin=coltswire.usatoday.com&newsletter_post_position=0&email=emailaddr
PURDUE WOMEN’S GOLF
SEASON-OPENING BOILERMAKER CLASSIC HIGHLIGHTS WOMEN’S GOLF SCHEDULE
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue Women’s Golf will open the 2023-24 campaign at home, hosting the Boilermaker Classic (Sept. 4-5) to highlight the team’s upcoming season.
Kicking off the second season under head coach Zack Byrd, Purdue will welcome 14 schools to West Lafayette for the Boilermaker Classic. The 54-hole stroke play tournament will be contested on the Kampen-Cosler Course at the Birck Boilermaker Golf Complex.
The tournament is looking for volunteers for a variety of jobs during the two-day event. Anyone interested in volunteering for the Boilermaker Classic can contact assistant coach Lauren Guiao at firstname.lastname@example.org.
After the season-opening home tournament, the Boilermakers travel to nine different states and Puerto Rico as part of their schedule. Purdue goes from West Lafayette to East Lansing for the Mary Fossum Invitational (Sept. 17-18), hosted by Michigan State. Rounding out the month of September, the Boilermakers compete in the Schooner Collegiate in Norman, Oklahoma (Sept. 23-25). Purdue ends the fall in traditional fashion, traveling to Wilmington, North Carolina for the Landfall Tradition (Oct. 27-29). The Boilermakers have wrapped up every fall season there since 2011.
Flipping the calendar to 2024, an old mainstay is back on the schedule to begin the spring season. For the first time since 2020, the Boilermakers serve as hosts of the Puerto Rico Classic at Grand Reserve Golf Club in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico (Feb. 4-6). A regular on the Purdue schedule from 2003-2020, the tournament makes its triumphant return following a three-year hiatus. Purdue remains south in February, teeing it up at the Spartan Sun Coast Invitational in Sarasota, Florida (Feb. 18-19).
Beginning in March, which features a trio of tournaments, the Boilermakers make the trek west for The Show in Las Vegas (March 4-5). One week later, Purdue competes in the Briar’s Creek Invitational on the coast of South Carolina (March 11-12). Closing out a busy stretch, the Boilermakers return to The Bruzzy Challenge at Dornick Hills Country Club in Oklahoma (March 30-31).
In the final tune-up before the conference championship, Purdue tees off at the Lady Buckeye Invitational in Columbus, Ohio (April 15-16). After back-to-back years at Fox Chapel Golf Club in Pittsburgh, the Big Ten Championship (April 19-21) moves to Bulle Rock Golf Course in Havre de Grace, Maryland, just outside of Baltimore.
Rounding out the schedule, the Boilermakers plan to hear their names called for postseason play in one of six NCAA Regionals (May 6-8) with sights set on a trip to the NCAA Championships in Carlsbad, California (May 17-22).
Purdue returns a plethora of talent for the 2023-24 campaign, bringing back five golfers that competed in at least eight tournaments a season ago. Momo Sugiyama leads the way after earning All-Big Ten accolades in her first season as a Boilermaker. Kan Bunnabodee, a 2022 First Team All-Big Ten honoree, played in all eight spring tournaments after missing the fall due to injury. Ashley Kozlowski cracked the lineup 11 times throughout 2022-23, and Jocelyn Bruch reached double digits with 10 tournament appearances. Jade Gu made an impact as a redshirt freshman, competing in eight events.
BUTLER WOMEN’S GOLF
BUTLER WOMEN’S GOLF ANNOUNCES 2023-24 SCHEDULE
The 2023-24 Butler women’s golf schedule will feature five fall events and six in the spring in the build-up to the BIG EAST Championships.
Coach Christie Cates and the Bulldogs will open the season Sept. 10-11 at the Redbird Fall Invitational, hosted by Illinois State in Normal, Ill. The Bulldogs will look to defend their team crown from the 2022 event.
The five fall tournaments will run through Oct. 18-19 when the Bulldogs travel to Ohio for the Dayton Flyer Invitational.
The Bulldogs will host their annual Fall Invitational Oct. 2-3 as Butler welcomes a number of teams to the team’s home course at Highland Country Club.
The spring portion of the schedule begins with a pair of events in the Phoenix area as Butler will be part of the field in respective events hosted by Bowling Green (Feb. 13-14) and Western Michigan (Feb. 24-26).
Butler will host the Don Benbow Spring Invitational in Tampa, Fla., March 11-12. Following one more event in Florida, the Bulldogs will close out the regular season in the Midwest with the Colonel Classic hosted by Eastern Kentucky (April 1-2) and the IUPUI Invitational (April 13-14).
The season culminates at the BIG EAST Championships April 20-22 as the event returns to Callawassie Island, S.C.
The young Butler roster features only a single senior for the upcoming campaign, returning the entire squad from a year ago. As a freshman, Kelli Scheck led the team in scoring average during the 2022-23 season (76.55). Her season included tying the program record for a single round relative to par with her four-under 67 March 13 at the Florida Gulf Coast Spring Break Shootout.
NOTRE DAME FOOTBALL
HOW NOTRE DAME IS HOLDING STRONG AMID COLLEGE FOOTBALL CHAOS
College football fans have gone from the lazy and hazy dog days of summer to a daily news bonanza seemingly overnight. Even just within the Notre Dame program alone, the news has been fast and furious between camp coverage, green jerseys, apparel deals, TV booth announcements, recruiting, etc. But if we pull the scope back a bit further, we can see that there are much bigger moving dynamics in play.
The Pac-12 is no longer going to exist. Oregon and Washington are headed to the Big 10, others to the Big 12. Some unfortunate schools will no longer be in a Power 5 conference, which will permanently damage them. Top ACC schools are trying to secure outside funding to escape the conference. Meanwhile, Notre Dame sits in South Bend Indiana comfortably enjoying the freedom of Independence.
(READ MORE HERE: https://fightingirishwire.usatoday.com/lists/college-football-notre-dame-is-holding-strong-amid-college-football-chaos/?newsletter_origin=fightingirishwire.usatoday.com&newsletter_post_position=0&email=emailaddr
EVANSVILLE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
UE WOMEN’S BASKETBALL ADDS SMITH TO 2023-24 CLASS
EVANSVILLE, Ind. – Head Coach Robyn Scherr-Wells has announced the signing of freshman point guard/shooting guard Tené McFarquhar-Smith for the upcoming women’s basketball season.
“I am thrilled to welcome Tené to Evansville!” says Scherr-Wells. “Her athleticism and ability to play the point with pace fills a need we have in our program. We love the way she leads on the floor and her basketball IQ. She makes good decisions in pick and roll action and can finish at the rim. She is a very capable shooter and will keep the defense honest with her ability to knock down shots.
“What sold me on Tené was her character, work ethic, and personality. She and I connected instantly which is very important between a point guard and her head coach. I know Tené will be a great ambassador for Evansville on and off the court!”
Smith joins the Purple Aces with a wealth of experience on both the local and national stage in Canada. A Brampton, Ontario native, she spent the past year playing for the Kings Christian Collegiate women’s basketball team. With the King’s, Smith averaged shooting totals in the double-digits, including a career best 17-point performance against Crestwood Preparatory College.
“With a welcoming coaching staff, an intimate campus, and a playing style that fits me like a glove, basketball at the University of Evansville is more than a game but a pursuit of passion, which is why I’m ecstatic to start my journey at UE!,” Smith says of her signing.
Smith played club basketball with the Brampton Lady Warriors. During the regular season, the Lady Warriors had a perfect record of 57-0 under Head Coach Keith Johnson. Smith was also a member of Team Canada for the Jr. NBA Global Tournament. With the Canadian Jr. NBA team, she participated in the tournament finals and was recognized as an International Champion and a World Champion Silver Medalist.
Along with her involvement in the Jr. NBA program, Smith was a member of Team Ontario with Canada Basketball. She was named a Canada Basketball Targeted Athlete, a program that identities top Canadian athletes that receive additional training and development opportunities. She also played with Canada Elite on the Under Armour Circuit.
Away from the court. Smith enjoys reading and discovering new R&B music. She will be majoring in psychology during her four years in Evansville.
SMALL COLLEGE ATHLETIC SITES:
INDIANA WESLEYAN ATHLETICS: https://iwuwildcats.com/
EARLHAM ATHLETICS: https://goearlham.com/
WABASH ATHLETICS: https://sports.wabash.edu/
FRANKLIN ATHLETICS: https://franklingrizzlies.com/
ROSE-HULMAN ATHLETICS: https://athletics.rose-hulman.edu/
ANDERSON ATHLETICS: https://athletics.anderson.edu/landing/index
TRINE ATHLETICS: https://trinethunder.com/landing/index
BETHEL ATHLETICS: https://bupilots.com/
DEPAUW ATHLETICS: https://depauwtigers.com/
HANOVER ATHLETICS: https://athletics.hanover.edu/
MANCHESTER ATHLETICS: https://muspartans.com/
HUNTINGTON ATHLETICS: https://www.huathletics.com/
OAKLAND CITY ATHLETICS: https://gomightyoaks.com/index.aspx
ST. FRANCIS ATHLETICS: https://www.saintfranciscougars.com/landing/index
IU KOKOMO ATHLETICS: https://iukcougars.com/
IU EAST ATHLETICS: https://www.iueredwolves.com/
IU SOUTH BEND ATHLETICS: https://iusbtitans.com/
PURDUE NORTHWEST ATHLETICS: https://pnwathletics.com/
INDIANA TECH ATHLETICS: https://indianatechwarriors.com/index.aspx
GRACE COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://gclancers.com/
ST. MARY OF THE WOODS ATHLETICS: https://smwcathletics.com/
GOSHEN COLLEGE ATHLETICS: https://goleafs.net/
HOLY CROSS ATHLETICS: https://www.hcsaints.com/index.php
TAYLOR ATHLETICS: https://www.taylortrojans.com/
VINCENNES ATHLETICS: https://govutrailblazers.com/landing/index
|BALTIMORE||70||42||.625||–||35 – 21||35 – 21||24 – 14||18 – 7||10 – 7||8 – 2||W 4|
|TAMPA BAY||68||46||.596||3||37 – 19||31 – 27||20 – 14||18 – 5||11 – 11||6 – 4||W 1|
|TORONTO||64||50||.561||7||30 – 24||34 – 26||11 – 23||17 – 6||14 – 11||6 – 4||W 4|
|BOSTON||58||54||.518||12||31 – 26||27 – 28||16 – 14||12 – 8||12 – 10||3 – 7||W 1|
|NY YANKEES||58||55||.513||12.5||35 – 28||23 – 27||15 – 21||11 – 9||16 – 13||4 – 6||L 2|
|MINNESOTA||60||54||.526||–||33 – 24||27 – 30||12 – 17||22 – 15||11 – 8||6 – 4||W 5|
|CLEVELAND||54||59||.478||5.5||29 – 27||25 – 32||7 – 9||18 – 18||13 – 12||2 – 8||L 3|
|DETROIT||49||63||.438||10||23 – 33||26 – 30||4 – 18||18 – 13||9 – 13||3 – 7||L 2|
|CHI WHITE SOX||46||68||.404||14||24 – 29||22 – 39||7 – 16||19 – 17||9 – 17||5 – 5||W 3|
|KANSAS CITY||36||78||.316||24||21 – 36||15 – 42||5 – 16||13 – 27||4 – 11||7 – 3||L 3|
|TEXAS||67||46||.593||–||40 – 20||27 – 26||14 – 11||17 – 5||18 – 13||7 – 3||W 7|
|HOUSTON||64||49||.566||3||31 – 25||33 – 24||8 – 9||11 – 11||24 – 13||6 – 4||W 1|
|SEATTLE||60||52||.536||6.5||31 – 26||29 – 26||11 – 13||12 – 11||19 – 11||8 – 2||W 5|
|LA ANGELS||56||58||.491||11.5||29 – 28||27 – 30||12 – 11||14 – 8||16 – 18||2 – 8||L 7|
|OAKLAND||32||81||.283||35||17 – 40||15 – 41||7 – 19||7 – 11||5 – 27||4 – 6||L 1|
|ATLANTA||70||40||.636||–||37 – 20||33 – 20||22 – 6||14 – 5||11 – 9||6 – 4||L 3|
|PHILADELPHIA||61||51||.545||10||30 – 21||31 – 30||12 – 16||11 – 8||14 – 13||6 – 4||W 2|
|MIAMI||58||56||.509||14||34 – 24||24 – 32||14 – 19||11 – 10||10 – 12||2 – 8||L 5|
|NY METS||51||61||.455||20||27 – 23||24 – 38||16 – 14||6 – 14||15 – 13||3 – 7||W 1|
|WASHINGTON||49||63||.438||22||22 – 34||27 – 29||10 – 19||12 – 14||14 – 14||6 – 4||W 4|
|MILWAUKEE||61||53||.535||–||32 – 26||29 – 27||10 – 9||24 – 12||9 – 15||4 – 6||W 1|
|CINCINNATI||60||55||.522||1.5||29 – 29||31 – 26||13 – 14||14 – 22||16 – 9||3 – 7||W 1|
|CHI CUBS||58||55||.513||2.5||32 – 28||26 – 27||10 – 16||21 – 14||9 – 8||6 – 4||L 1|
|PITTSBURGH||51||61||.455||9||27 – 28||24 – 33||8 – 6||13 – 17||16 – 15||6 – 4||W 2|
|ST. LOUIS||49||64||.434||11.5||25 – 33||24 – 31||10 – 9||13 – 20||10 – 16||3 – 7||L 1|
|LA DODGERS||65||46||.586||–||34 – 20||31 – 26||11 – 7||16 – 14||17 – 12||7 – 3||W 2|
|SAN FRANCISCO||62||51||.549||4||33 – 24||29 – 27||10 – 12||18 – 9||18 – 11||6 – 4||W 1|
|ARIZONA||57||56||.504||9||28 – 28||29 – 28||13 – 15||11 – 10||18 – 14||2 – 8||L 6|
|SAN DIEGO||55||58||.487||11||30 – 28||25 – 30||13 – 13||8 – 15||15 – 17||6 – 4||L 2|
|COLORADO||44||68||.393||21.5||25 – 30||19 – 38||14 – 17||10 – 12||7 – 21||4 – 6||L 1|
TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY
1903 In the third inning of the 4-3 nightcap loss to New York at the Polo Grounds, Dodger starter Henry Schmidt is thrown out of the game after he throws the baseball out of the park. The Brooklyn hurler became very angry when opposing pitcher Joe McGinnity dashed home from third base while his infielders argued the close call at the bag.
1913 On April 25, the American Association minor league contest was stopped with the score tied 1-1 due to rain and replayed on June 15, resulting in a 6-6 tie after nine innings when the game ended because of darkness. The game is started again on August 7, and after the 13th, the 2-2 contest is halted once more due to darkness, but after four attempts, Minneapolis finally beats Indianapolis today, 11-2.
1915 Gavvy Cravath ties a major league mark when he hits four doubles in the Phillies’ 14-7 victory over Cincinnati. The Philadelphia outfielder also establishes a franchise record when he drives in eight runs in the Redland Field contest.
1921 Appearing as a pinch-hitter in the top of the ninth inning, Browns’ second baseman Luke Stuart hits a home run in his first major league at-bat. The 29-year-old rookie infielder, the first American Leaguer to accomplish the feat, strokes his only career round-tripper in a 16-5 loss to Washington at Griffith Stadium off future Hall of Famer Walter Johnson.
1922 Pittsburgh bangs out another 19 hits in their 7-3 win after collecting 27 safeties in their 19-8 rout in the first game of the twin bill. The Pirates’ barrage at Philadelphia’s Shibe Park establishes a major league record with 46 hits in a doubleheader.
1933 William Veeck, president of the Cubs, proposes a series of Midsummer Classic games. Although the idea receives some support, it will be 64 years before a team from the American League plays a club from the National League during the regular season.
1941 In New York, Les Brown and his Orchestra record “Joltin’ Joe” for Columbia Records. The song about Yankee outfielder Joe DiMaggio’s hitting streak plays incessantly on radio stations across the country, eventually reaching number 12 on the charts.
1947 Phillies right-hander Schoolboy Rowe pinch hits for Johnny Sain to become the first major leaguer to appear in different All-Star Games representing National League and American League teams. In the 1936 Midsummer classic, the former Philadelphia A’s ace threw three innings of relief against the NL stars.
1953 Southpaws Whitey Ford and Bob Kuzava blank the White Sox, 1-0 and 3-0, respectively, for a Yankee doubleheader sweep. Kuzava gives up his only hit in the ninth inning, a one-out double to Bob Boyd.
1954 Gil Hodges bats three times in the eighth inning when the Dodgers score 13 runs en route to a 20-7 rout of the Reds at Ebbets Field. The first baseman will go 1-for-3 in the frame with a leadoff triple but will be responsible for all three outs when he hits into a double play and flies out to centerfield to end the Brooklyn barrage.
1956 Robin Roberts gets his fourth victory in the past ten days when the Phillies beat New York at the Polo Grounds, 8-3. Philadelphia’s shortstop Ted Kazanski becomes just the fourth player in franchise history to hit an inside-the-park grand slam.
1970 Five years after the Mets bestow the honor to their first skipper, the Yankees retire Casey Stengel’s uniform #37 during Old Timers Day at the Stadium. The ‘Old Perfessor,’ who won seven World Series during his twelve-year tenure with the team, managed the Bronx Bombers from 1949 to 1960.
1972 After much speculation about the team’s future, the Yankees sign a thirty-year lease to play in the ‘new’ Yankee Stadium starting in 1976. After completing the Stadium’s 50th-Anniversary next season, the Bronx Bombers will play their home games for the next two years at Shea Stadium while remodeling the ‘House that Ruth Built.’
1973 At Royals Stadium, Red Sox DH Orlando Cepeda collects four doubles in the team’s 9-4 win over the Royals. ‘Cha Cha,’ who signed with Boston in January, was the first player since the inception of the new position to be added to a roster specifically as its designated hitter.
1976 In the first game of a doubleheader against Kansas City at Comiskey Park, the White Sox take the field wearing shorts. After a 5-2 comfortable win in the opener, Chicago dons long pants for the nightcap, coming out on the short end to the Royals, 7-1.
1982 The Yankees trade 1978 playoff hero Bucky Dent to the Rangers for outfielder/first baseman Lee Mazzilli. The popular Yankee infielder, batting only .191, was nearly elected to the All-Star Game by the Bronx Bombers’ fans.
1982 In the 9-5 Angels’ victory over the Mariners at the Kingdome, Doug DeCinces hits three home runs in a game for the second time in less than a week. The California third baseman also poked a trio of round-trippers against Minnesota six days ago.
1988 In the first scheduled night game at Wrigley Field, the Cubs play host to the Phillies. The game does not become official when the contest ends in the third inning because of a fierce thunderstorm.
1989 In his major league debut, former Met farmhand Mauro Gozzo blanks the Rangers for eight innings, helping the Blue Jays go over .500 for the first time since Opening Day. Toronto will eventually win the American League East.
1990 Throwing just three pitches to one batter in relief at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Jeff Ballard records three outs when he snags A’s second baseman Willie Randolph’s line drive, starting a 1-6-3 triple play. The Orioles’ left-handed reliever throws the ball to Cal Ripken to catch Terry Steinbeck off second base, with the shortstop relaying the ball to Sam Horn to triple up Walt Weiss at first base.
1997 At Busch Stadium, Mark McGwire, recently acquired from the A’s, hits his 364th career home run on a pitch thrown by Phillies’ right-hander Mark Leiter for his first National League round-tripper. The Cardinals slugging first baseman will go deep 220 times in the Senior Circuit, all for the Redbirds.
1998 The Twins’ Paul Molitor becomes the fifth player in major league history to have at least 3,000 hits and 500 stolen bases with his 5-for-5 performance and the theft of his 500th base. The 41-year-old joins Ty Cobb (4,191 hits, 892 steals), Honus Wagner (3,415, 722), Eddie Collins (3,315, 744), and Lou Brock (3,023, 938) as the only players to reach this milestone.
2000 In the bottom of the ninth, A’s closer Jason Isringhausen throws just two pitches, and the Yankees go from losing 3-2 to winning 4-3. Bernie Williams and David Justice hit home runs on the first pitch they see from the Oakland reliever.
2000 Cubs hurler Phil Norton becomes the 18th pitcher in major league history to give up four homers in one inning in the Dodgers’ 7-5 victory at Chavez Ravine. Kevin Elster, Darren Dreifort, Gary Sheffield, and Shawn Green all take the 24-year-old southpaw deep in the bottom of the fourth inning.
2000 After kissing one another in the seventh inning, the Dodgers ask a female couple to leave Dodger Stadium immediately, told never to “set foot back on the premises” for “lewd behavior.” The pair had planned to sue the organization, deciding not to after the team apologized, promising to contribute 5,000 tickets to GLBT organizations and continue sensitivity training for all its employees.
2000 Darren Dreifort hits two home runs to help his cause in the Dodgers’ 7-5 victory over the Cubs. The starting pitcher hurls 6.2 innings, going deep in the bottom of the fourth and fifth frames.
2002 Closer John Smoltz records his 40th save in the 114th game of the Braves schedule, making it the earliest point a relief pitcher has reached that mark in a season. Lee Smith of the Cardinals accomplished the feat in his 117th game in 1993, and White Sox closer Bobby Thigpen turned the trick in 118 games en route to setting the major league record with 57 saves in 1990.
2004 At Yankee Stadium, less than an hour after the Blue Jays lose to New York for their fifth consecutive defeat, Toronto fires their manager, Carlos Tosca. First-base coach John Gibbons will be the interim skipper for the remainder of the season.
2006 Mark DeRosa makes two outs in one at-bat, ending the McAfee Coliseum contest in a most unlikely manner in the Rangers’ 7-6 loss to the A’s. The right fielder swings and misses, making the second out of the inning, but when his momentum causes contact with Jason Kendall, who is trying to prevent Jerry Hairston Jr., from stealing second, plate umpire Jim Joyce calls interference on the batter for the third and final out.
2009 Albert Pujols drives in three runs in the Cardinals’ 5-3 victory over Pittsburgh at PNC Park, surpassing the 100 RBI mark for the ninth straight season to start his career. The only major leaguer with a longer streak was Hall of Fame outfielder Al Simmons, who accomplished the feat for 11 consecutive seasons, beginning with his rookie year with the A’s in 1924.
2010 At Chase Field, a sellout crowd is on hand to see the Diamondbacks retire Luis Gonzalez’s uniform #20. The five-time All-Star, best remembered for his ninth-inning walk-off single in Game 7 of the 2001 World Series off Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, played eight years in Arizona, leaving the team in 2006 as the franchise’s all-time home run leader with 224.
2014 Bartolo Colon joins Juan Marichal and Pedro Martinez in becoming the third hurler from the Dominican Republic to win 200 major league games. The 40-year-old portly right-hander accomplishes the feat when he goes eight innings, giving up six hits and one run, in the Mets’ 5-4 victory over Philadelphia at Citizens Bank Park, 5-4.
2014 Justin and B.J. Upton, in the Braves’ 7-6 victory over Washington at Turner Field, both homer in the same game for the fifth time, setting the major-league record for brothers. The Atlanta teammates, who go deep off Stephen Strasburg, surpass the mark they previously shared with Jeremy and Jason Giambi and Vladimir and Wilton Guerrero.
2015 At Safeco Field, Jamie Moyer, the winningest pitcher in Mariners’ history, becomes the ninth member of the team’s Hall of Fame. During his 11 seasons with Seattle, the left-hander compiled a record of 145-87 (.625), leading the franchise in wins, innings pitched (2,093), and starts (323).
2019 Bo Bichette, playing in Toronto for the first time, extends his doubles streak to nine games, setting a new record he shared with Yadier Molina (Cardinals, 2016) and Derrek Lee (Cubs, 2008). The 21-year-old Blue Jays shortstop also establishes a new mark by collecting 13 extra-base hits in the first 11 games of his major league career, becoming the first rookie with extra-base hits in nine straight games since Ted Williams’ debut in 1939.
2020 With his first 11 pitches at PNC Park, Derek Holland begins his start by giving up four home runs before recording an out in the Pirates’ eventual 11-5 loss to the Tigers. After leadoff hitter Niko Goodrum goes deep and Jonathan Schoop follows with a single, the 33-year-old southpaw gives up consecutive round-trippers to Miguel Cabrera, C.J. Cron, and Jeimer Candelario.
BASEBALL HALL OF FAME
A catcher’s value can be derived from much more than just his offense, and there’s no greater example of this than Ray Schalk. The undersized backstop was a workhorse for the White Sox clubs of the 1910s and 1920s, and he’s regarded as the finest defensive catcher of the Dead Ball Era.
Schalk made his big league debut one day before his 20th birthday in August 1912, then took over as the White Sox’s everyday catcher in 1913. Schalk’s most notable offensive feat was his 30 stolen bases in 1916, establishing a record for catchers that stood until John Wathan broke it in 1982.
Where Schalk really made his name was on defense. Combining his sharp mind for the game with a blue-collar approach, Schalk proved adept at handling a wide variety of pitching styles. A true workhorse, Schalk led the American League in games caught seven times, including his 1920 season when he caught 151 of Chicago’s 154 games. His defensive prowess stands out even more since he was excelling during many years where the spitball was legal.
Schalk was also credited with catching four no-hitters in his career, though one of those was taken away when the standards for no-hitters were adjusted in 1991.
“If I was a good catcher, it was because I learned from the masters,” Schalk said. “I caught pitchers of long experience and they hammered the game into me. I had to learn or lose my job. They made me a star.”
Schalk pioneered aspects of the catcher’s position often taken for granted. An active part of the infield, he was believed to be among the first catchers to back up throws to first base on ground outs or third base on throws from the outfield. He also recorded putouts at every base over the course of his career, even second base, and he led AL catchers in fielding percentage five times and caught stealing percentage three times.
Schalk was a member of the 1919 Black Sox team which threw the World Series against the Reds. Schalk himself was clean, and hit .304 in the Series, though he suspected something was amiss when his pitchers kept crossing him up. But Schalk always refused to impugn his teammates publicly.
Schalk later spent two seasons as a player-manager for the White Sox in 1927-28, followed by a long career coaching in the minor leagues and with Purdue University.
Schalk was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1955. He passed away on May 19 1970.
August 8, 1961 – The last of 6 exhibition meetings of the NFL and the CFL took place as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats took apart the Buffalo Bills in Hamilton, 38-21. This was the lone victory of the CFL against its then rival league. It was probably the reason why no games have been played since between the two leagues.
August 8, 1975 – Country Singer Hank Williams Jr. falls off of the mountain side of Montana’s Ajax Peak. The tumble was nearly 500 feet during a recreational mountain climb by the entertainer. Incredibly he survived with a skull fracture and multiple facial fractures. We are sure glad he survived as Williams later wrote and performed Monday Night Football Intro song “Are you Ready for Some Football”. Now try getting that song out of your mind all day, or better yet leave it there!
August 8, 1984 – Carl Lewis wins his 3rd Gold Medal on the Olympic Games in LA. Earlier in that same year Mr. Lewis was drafted in the 12th round of the NFL Draft by Gil Brandt and Tom Landry of the Dallas Cowboys. He declined the football offer to stay true to his Olympic track endeavors and it paid off with Gold!
August 8, 2004 – Legendary Broncos QB, John Elway and former Lions running back Barry Sanders join defensive end Carl Eller and tackle Bob Brown as being the Pro Football Hall of Fames inductees on this date.
August 8, 2021 – The Pro Football Hall fo Fame enshrined 8 new members to their hallowed halls. Receiving bronze busts were Peyton Manning, John Lynch, Charles Woodson, Alan Faneca, Calvin Johnson, Coach Tom Flores, Drew Pearson and Player Personnel Director Bill Nunn.
Hall of Fame Birthdays for August 8
August 8, 1961 – Raleigh, North Carolina – Bruce Matthews Pro Football Hall of Fame. Matthews spent 19 season in the NFL with the Houston and Tennessee Oilers and Titans. The sturdy offensive lineman played his college ball at USC from 1979 to 1982. Matthews was selected ninth overall by the Houston Oilers in the 1983 NFL Draft. For his career Bruce started in 293 of his career 296 NFL games and became a 14-time Pro Bowl selection spanning three different decades! Matthews was a 10-time First-team All-Pro as he was also was named to the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team and inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007. Matthew is the brother of linebacker Clay Matthews and uncle of linebacker Clay Matthews III.
August 8, 1970 – Trev Alberts was a linebacker out of the University of Nebraska who was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. According to the FootballFoundation.org Alberts was one of the most decorated defensive players in Nebraska history, Trev Alberts became the Cornhuskers’ first Butkus Award winner in 1993 as the top linebacker in the nation. Trev is Nebraska’s all-time career leader in sacks and is tied for the school’s single-season record and in his senior season was a unanimous First Team All-American as he helped the Huskers to an undefeated regular season and the national title game against Florida State at the Orange Bowl. Trev was selected with the fifth overall pick in the 1994 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts, spending three seasons with the franchise. As of late Alberts spent time as a college football analyst for ESPN and CBS Sports Network, and he now serves as the director of athletics at the University of Nebraska Omaha.
NOT YET IN THE HALL OF FAME BIRTHDAY
August 8, 1986 – Carmel, New York – Wide receiver Pierre Garcon who played his college ball at Mount Union from 2005-07 was born. Per a Yahoo.com report, Garcon was selected 205th overall by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2008 NFL Draft and stayed with the Colts franchise from 2008-11. Pierre also had stints with Washington and San Francisco. For his career he hauled in 564 receptions for 7,068 yards and 37 touchdowns. Garcon even led the NFL in receptions in 2013 with 113 caught passes!
FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME
Position: Wide Receiver
Place of Birth: Winfield, WV
Date of Birth: Jun 19, 1967
Considered to be one of the greatest players ever to wear a Marshall University uniform, Mike Barber is just the second player in school history to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. During his remarkable collegiate career, Barber was selected twice for First Team All-America honors, three times for First Team All-Southern Conference, and in 1988, was selected as the National Player of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association. Barber led the nation in receiving while setting single-season conference records with 106 receptions and 1,757 yards in 1987. He ended his collegiate career with 4,262 yards receiving as well as 249 receptions, enough to earn recognition as Marshall’s Athlete of the Decade for the 1980s. Following his collegiate career, Barber was selected in the fourth round of the 1989 NFL Draft by the San Francisco 49ers and played in the league for five years. After football he became a successful businessman and a prominent figure in West Virginia youth sports including Little League Baseball.
NUMBERS IN SPORTS
25 – 10 – 14 – 20 – 37 – 45 – 7 – 4 – 6 – 9 – 11 – 5 -13 – 8 – 10 – 12 – 14 – 15
August 8, 1920 – The Detroit Tigers beat the New York Yankees 1-0 in shortest AL game which lasted only a mere 73 minutes. Tigers pitcher Howard Ehmke used his curve ball effectively to allow only three New York hits fanning eight of the Yankees batters. Babe Ruth was one of the Yanks held hitless.
August 8, 1922 – The Pittsburgh Pirates set record of 46 hits in a doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies. The scores of 19-8 and 7-3 were part of a run the third place Pirates were making on the NL top dogs of the New York Giants and St Louis Cardinals. For the three game series against the Phils the Pirates had an amazing 68 hits in the span going back the Monday August 7 game.
August 8, 1963 – Los Angeles Dodgers Frank Howard (Number 25) and Bill Skowron (Number 14) were the third duo to hit consecutive pinch home runs with starter Al Ferrara, Number 20 adding one for LA too but the Dodgers still tumbled by the score of 5-4 to the Chicago Cubs as Ron Santo, Number 10 belted two wall clearers of his own for Chicago.
August 8, 1970 – The New York Yankees honored Casey Stengel, retiring his Number 37.
August 8, 1976 – Historic Uniform Alert! The Chicago White Sox entered the field for a game with the entire roster wearing shorts.
August 8, 1987 – Milwaukee Brewers’ Rob Deer , Number 45 struck-out 5 times in a game. Bo Jackson also tied the record of 5 Ks in a game earlier in the 1987 season with Kansas City on April 18.
August 8, 1988 – Minnesota Twins turned the 2nd triple-play of year in 6-2 win over Cleveland
August 8, 1988 – It was something never tried before but they would have to wait a bit longer to accomplish the feat. The Chicago Cubs and the Philadelphia Phillies attempted to play the first game ever under the lights at Wrigley Field but the contest was a rain out in 4th inning with Chicago leading, 3-1
August 8, 1990 – Carlton Fisk (Number 72) tied the record set years earlier by Johnny Bench (Number 5) for a catcher hitting 327 career home runs.
August 8, 1992 – The original US ‘Dream Team’ wins the basketball gold at the Barcelona Olympics 117-85 over Croatia; features superstars Michael Jordan (Number 9), Magic Johnson (Number 15), Larry Bird (Number 7), Scottie Pippen (Number 8), Charles Barkley (Number 14), Patrick Ewing (Number 6), John Stockton (Number 12), Chris Mullin (Number 13), Christian Laettner (Number 4), Karl Malone (Number 11), David Robinson (Number 5) and Clyde Drexler (Number 10)
August 8, 1997 – Seattle Mariners, The Big Unit, Randy Johnson, Number 51 struck out 19 Chicago White SoxAugust 8, 2004 – John Elway, Number 7 of the Denver Broncos was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame