Did you see Mookie's catch?
Betts intensifies rivalry
Good morning, all! I hope you had a terrific weekend.
There is a rivalry intensifying in Major League Baseball and it is not the Yankees vs. Red Sox, which these days is about as intense as milquetoast. These days the action is on the west coast between the upstart San Diego Padres and the best team hedge fund billionaires can buy, the defending World Champion (60-game season) Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Dodgers, perennial NL West Division winners, are favorites to repeat as World Champs. The Padres, to their credit, are not willing to concede a thing. They were baseball’s most active off season club with trades and signings to augment their homegrown talent, led by Fernando Tatis Jr. In fact, you can make a strong case that Tatis and the Dodgers’ Mookie Betts are the game’s two best players. (Sorry, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, but these days you’re not even in the top 10.)
Over the weekend, the Friars and Dodgers locked horns in their first series of the season. The first two games - both LA victories - featured a bench-clearing fracas, a near, bench-clearing bruhaha and a spectacular game-saving catch in game two by Mookie Betts.
Betts, who breaks the hearts of Red Sox fans everyday by no longer wearing their uniform, broke the hearts of San Diego fans Saturday night, with a game-ending catch in the ninth inning with the tying runs in scoring position in LA’s 2-0 victory.
This is how rivalries are made and the weekend activities prove there is a good one brewing in southern California.
NFL loves betting
In case you missed it, on Thursday the NFL became the USA’s last major sports league to announce a deal with a sportsbook. The league cut deals with Caesars Entertainment, FanDuel and DraftKings for five years, totaling $1 billion. Cha-ching! Cha-ching! Cha-ching!
Money sure does talk, doesn’t it? Only four years ago NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reminded reporters that the league and its owners opposed legalized sports gaming:
“The integrity of our game is No. 1. We will not compromise on that.”
Unless, of course, someone waves $1 billion in front of you.
Is it really true about Urban Meyer?
We are getting closer to the NFL draft, thankfully. The big day is April 29. But there is speculation the only reason Urban Meyer came out of coaching retirement and opted to jump to the NFL is because his team, the Jacksonville Jaguars, have the overall number one pick in the draft. It is apparently a given that Meyer will pick Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, if Jacksonville hadn’t picked number one, Meyer would have taken the University of Texas job instead.
So what’s wrong with that?
60 years ago
Sixty years ago, one of the most exciting seasons in baseball history unfolded, when teammates Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle chased Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record. I have launched a new podcast that chronicles this historic season. Two episodes have already been published and a third one will be posted this week. Click on show art below, if you would like to follow the podcast.
Well, there you have it. We are off and running on a new week. As always, thank you for your support.