Sports Reasonable end-of-season reactions for every AL team
Opinion: In thrashing Aaron Rodgers, Buccaneers prove they're more than the Tom Brady show
Tom Brady put the Bucs in the spotlight this season, but it was the defense that stood out Sunday as Tampa Bay made a statement against Aaron Rodgers.Let Devin White, the high-energy Bucs linebacker, relay the prodding that came from his coordinator on the sideline. After falling behind 10-0, the Bucs needed to change their mindset in a hurry.
The most chaotic season in Major League Baseball history is, against some odds, complete. Let's take a look at some reasonable reactions - as reasonable as one can get over a 60-game season - for every American League team:
Baltimore Orioles: There are more growth assets here than previously thought. It seemed there was little reason to watch the Orioles when it was announcedwould miss 2020 to undergo treatment for colon cancer. However, appears to be a legitimate piece. The 26-year-old hit .261/.315/.575 with 11 homers over 37 games before going down with an injury.
Fantasy football waiver wire: Eagles' Boston Scott poised to assume starting role in Week 7
Likely absence of starter Miles Sanders makes Boston Scott the top addition to Week 7 fantasy rosters; WR Keelan Cole offers consistent production.Unless they've been dropped a few weeks ago by panicky fantasy GMs, high-upside players who have the potential to be long-term starters just aren't out there. Le'Veon Bell's value certainly jumped after the Kansas City Chiefs picked him up, but he's unlikely to be available in most leagues.
Boston Red Sox: The real work begins for Chaim Bloom. Sure, it took some work to find the best trade package for, but building a sustained winner made possible by the 'financial flexibility' of shipping away a franchise player is the tough stuff. To his credit, seems like the real deal, hitting .308/.367/.478 with six homers and four steals.
Chicago White Sox: Tradingand , losing 100 games ... it's all been worth it. While it wasn't a 108-year championship drought, the White Sox rebuild felt never-ending for a little bit there. Now, general manager Rick Hahn's vision has hit the field. Rookie outfielder was elite through the first half of last season. Slugger took a step forward. looked like an MVP candidate. Even was quietly elite. And had his best year ever. The pitching needs work, but adding Michael Kopech next year is huge for this legitimate World Series contender.
Browns' Odell Beckham Jr. on COVID-19: 'I don't think it's going to enter this body...it's a mutual respect'
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. said he doesn't believe he will be infected with coronavirus because "it's a mutual respect."The Cleveland Browns wide receiver told reporters Wednesday he doesn't believe he can contract COVID-19, which has killed more than 210,000 Americans. The 27-year-old missed practice last week due to a non-related-COVID-19 illness.
Cleveland Indians: This could be the last we've seen ofin Cleveland. The four-time All-Star shortstop is the star most likely to be dealt this winter. Lindor is under team control for one more year and is coming off his worst season. The silver lining here is contention isn't out of the question, depending on what the Indians get back for Lindor. With , , and atop the rotation, scoring runs will be extremely difficult for opponents.
Detroit Tigers: Bad teams can be a bit exciting. It would've been perfectly acceptable for the Tigers to get beat all season in hopes of securing the top selection in back-to-back drafts. Instead, they started the service-time clocks on two of their most exciting young arms:and . Did they immediately shove? No, but it sure beats having your top prospects play intrasquad games at the alternate training site all year. Competing at the major-league level represents development.
Opinion: Cardinals had every reason to lose to Seahawks but didn't. Maybe that's a sign of growth.
Nothing about Cardinals' overtime victory was textbook, unless you are studying chaos theory. QB Kyler Murray made mistakes, and so did the coach.As running back Chase Edmonds said after the game, you know Seattle is going to be playing in the offense, so "this is one of those games where you find out how real are we?"
Houston Astros: Most of the hatred around the league should subside. It seems like fans could be allowed into stadiums in a limited capacity for 2021, and certain Astros players will hear their fair share of boos. People won't forget, but time does heal some wounds. The Dodgers won a title, so it's not likewill continue throwing at Houston players. No, there are bigger fish to fry for the Astros, like maintaining a competitive roster without and potentially losing to free agency.
Kansas City Royals: You can't win if everything about your team screams mediocre, with the noted exception of- whose comeback was nothing short of incredible. No player with at least 100 plate appearances on the Royals roster posted a wRC+ over 110 - : 108; : 106; : 106; : 104; : 89. It feels like Kansas City is actively trying to reconstruct the 2015 team, and it just isn't going to bear any fruit. On the plus side, 's debut season was relatively promising despite some middling results and a small problem surrendering the longball.
Bears' Nick Foles, Matt Nagy respond to ESPN analyst Brian Griese's comments during 'Monday Night Football'
Nick Foles had to clarify eye-opening comments ESPN "Monday Night Football" analyst Brian Griese relayed during the Rams-Bears broadcast.The Rams' rebound performance took a toll on the Bears offense, which only managed to get a field goal in the defeat. Late in the fourth quarter of the lopsided game, ESPN analyst Brian Griese — a former NFL quarterback — mentioned something eye-opening Bears quarterback Nick Foles shared during a production meeting Sunday.
Los Angeles Angels: Hopefully, the new regime puts more emphasis on building a pitching staff. Former general manager Billy Eppler, who was fired at the end of the season, wasn't the problem in Anaheim. Far from it. Landingand were coups. But it seems almost insulting to this fanbase to have on the offensive side and then a pitching staff led by , , and . It's time - and has been time - to stop playing and invest in any form of run prevention.
Minnesota Twins: This one hurts. There's no way around it. Minnesota was arguably the AL's second-best team and looked like a legitimate World Series threat. And, this time, they didn't have to face the Yankees. However, the Twins still fell flat on their faces in spectacular fashion, unable to score runs against a pretty weak Astros pitching staff to extend their unfathomable playoff losing streak to 18 games., one of their best players at creating runs, could depart via free agency, and the White Sox look like the AL Central's club on the rise. There's work to do for the Twins.
New York Yankees: The Yankees are almost definitely the hardest team to evaluate after a 60-game season. On the one hand, they should be better than this, and staying healthy is a tired excuse for their struggles. On the other hand, no other team could've weathered prolonged absences from, , and before going on to thump the Indians and take the eventual AL pennant winners to a do-or-die Game 5 in the ALDS. This has to stop at some point, though. New York can't continue as the team that underperforms because of injuries. This is the Yankees. Invest in more depth.
Reasonable end-of-season reactions for every NL team
The most chaotic season in Major League Baseball history is, against some odds, complete. Let's take a look at some reasonable reactions - as reasonable as one can get over a 60-game season - for every National League team: Arizona Diamondbacks: There's a bit of an identity crisis going on. Is this the team that acquired Starling Marte in the offseason, or is it the team that traded him away midseason? Is this the organization that forked over $85 million to land Madison Bumgarner - who posted a horrendous 6.
Oakland Athletics: Staying relevant is going to be difficult. It's somewhat annoying that a team coming off a division win would seem to have 'relevance' as their goal, but that's status quo for the A's. Losingand - which is an eventuality if they continue to conduct business the way they always do - will lower them a peg. Maybe Oakland comes out of this looking like contenders, but it seems like 2021 will be about continuing to rely on , , and while hoping and progress.
Seattle Mariners: Something is happening here. It isn't exactly clear, but it starts withand taking huge steps forward and showing the front office there are pieces to build around. With Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez in the system, this team could quickly enter wild-card contention. An ace would help, but has proven to be a very reliable No. 2.
Tampa Bay Rays: This season was a colossal victory. People are going to say otherwise for a myriad of reasons: Losing the last games of the year, Kevin Cash liftingin the decisive Game 6 of the World Series, and there's no proof fan attendance would've increased. But they're wrong, and that's short-sighted. The fact is, it's the Rays - not the Dodgers - who are changing baseball. Executives and managers around the league have already been hand-picked from the Rays organization - Chaim Bloom in Boston, Rocco Baldelli in Minnesota, Charlie Montoyo in Toronto, heck, even Andrew Friedman in L.A. Now, after Tampa thumped the AL en route to a World Series berth, every single team is going to try to emulate them.
Opinion: First NASCAR championship in Phoenix was missing several thousand things
After its first Cup championship, Phoenix Raceway received positive reviews from the drivers, but the lack of fans in the stands was hard to ignore.What if people don’t show up?
Texas Rangers: How did the Rangers get this terrible? Honestly. The offense was historically bad. Accumulating a minus-2.4 WAR, according to, the Rangers were pretty much as bad as the 2019 Tigers, who played a full season instead of an abridged 60-game version. Detroit had the lowest team wRC+ since 1947 - when Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier. Compounding matters, the team wasn't good at suppressing runs, either, with the trade imploding and pretty much everyone - save for - underperforming. The Rangers allowed the fourth-most runs in the AL despite playing in a pitcher haven. It's back to the drawing board.
Toronto Blue Jays: It's time for the next step. Making it to the postseason in 2020 was like finding money in your couch cushions for the Jays. No one really expected it, it might not even be yours to keep, but it's a nice surprise. There are still growing pains ahead. Canbecome elite? Who can fill out the rotation behind ? The expectations are there to repeat as at least a fringe contender. The Jays' winning percentage this year pro-rated over 162 games would equate to an 86-76 record, and that seems like a good place to start.
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Basketball recruiting: Breaking down the ACC's early signing period classes .
The ACC is expected to bring in another big haul of top-end talent. Here's how it shakes out.It's safe to say, though, that recruiting never stopped.