Sports LEADING OFF: Key showdown at Fenway, Cards on 12G streak
N.B. teen takes his collection of Connor McDavid hockey cards to next level
Recchi Robichaud spent his pandemic growing his hockey card collection of his favorite player NHL superstar Connor McDavid.Recchi Robichaud, 14, now has nearly 500 cards of the reigning MVP. And when he's not working at his part-time job, or in school, he's adding to the collection.
A look at what's happening around the majors Friday:
WILD, WILD EAST
Yankees ace Gerrit Cole starts the opener of a crucial three-game series at Fenway Park with the Red Sox two games ahead of New York for the top AL wild card. Boston has won seven straight to build a small cushion over the Yankees and Blue Jays.
With New York closing the season against AL East foes Boston, Toronto and Tampa Bay, Cole said Wednesday he is drawing inspiration down the stretch from a story he had been told recently about ancient warriors honing their warfare skills against elite fighters from neighboring cities to stay sharp.
Aaron Rodgers rebukes those who are critical of his work ethic: 'Absolute (expletive)'
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers vented on the "Pat McAfee Show," saying he's fed up with people who are not in his life publicly questioning his actions.Emphasis on candid.
“If they weren’t practicing against the best that they could find, they may be surprised if a formidable army came out of somewhere and they hadn’t been practicing against elite opponents,” he said. “So maybe that’s similar to this situation, where we’ve been playing against a lot of elite opponents.
“Sure we’ve lost some of the battles, but we still have the war ahead of us,” he added.
Cole (15-8, 3.03) will face Red Sox RHP Nathan Eovaldi (10-8, 3.58) in a showdown of pitchers likely to receive AL Cy Young Award consideration.
The Cardinals take a 12-game winning streak into a doubleheader at Wrigley Field hoping to extend their best stretch in 39 years. St. Louis has solidified itself as the front-runner for the second NL wild card with this spurt, the longest in club history since a 12-game run in 1982. The franchise record is 14, set in 1935.
Justin Fields takes over as Bears' starting quarterback vs. Browns with Andy Dalton out
Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields will make his first NFL career start on Sunday against the Browns as Andy Dalton remains out.Days after Chicago Bears coach Matt Nagy was adamant that Andy Dalton would remain the starter, he announced Wednesday that the rookie Fields will start at quarterback Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.
St. Louis left-hander J.A. Happ (4-2, 4.33) will face Cubs lefty Justin Steele (3-3, 4.20) in the opener, and Cardinals right-hander Jack Flaherty (9-2, 3.08) is slated to oppose righty Zach Davies (6-11, 5.49) in the nightcap.
BANNED BLUE JAY
Toronto reliever Ryan Borucki is appealing a three-game suspension levied by Major League Baseball for intentionally hitting Tampa Bay's Kevin Kiermaier with a pitch in the latest salvo in a spat between the two AL East competitors.
MLB announced the punishment, which includes an undisclosed fine, on Thursday before the Blue Jays began a four-game series at Minnesota. Manager Charlie Montoyo was also suspended for one game and handed an undisclosed fine. He served his punishment immediately.
Borucki appealed the decision by MLB senior vice president Mike Hill, delaying the discipline until completion of the process before MLB special adviser John McHale Jr.
Opinion: Justin Fields could run away with Chicago Bears' starting QB job
Matt Nagy said that he plans to give Andy Dalton back the starting QB job once the veteran is healthy, but Justin Fields could change things quickly.Instead, his face remained blank and devoid of emotion, his words flat yet measured.
Borucki was ejected from the game after plunking Kiermaier in the back in the eighth inning on Wednesday. That came two days after Kiermaier scooped up a Toronto scouting report that had fallen off catcher Alejandro Kirk’s wristband during a play at the plate and refused to hand it back.
Major League Baseball is experimenting with pre-tacked baseballs at some Triple-A games during the last stretch of the minor league season. The test run could be a step toward updating the big league balls after the league cracked down midseason on the use of illegal sticky substances used by pitchers to improve grip.
Pitchers have complained that the current major league ball is slick and that the mud rubbed on it before games is inconsistent, sometimes becoming dry and powdery.
The prototypes used in Triple-A have a substance applied to them to create a bit of tackiness. The league hopes to find a ball that will be easier for pitchers to grip but won’t allow them to enhance the spin rate of their pitches.
Only a few Triple-A teams will use the prototype balls over the final 10 games because MLB has limited supplies.
Reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Shane Bieber is set to pitch for Cleveland for the first time since June 13 after dealing with a strained right shoulder. Bieber was 7-4 with a 3.28 ERA and 130 strikeouts in 90 2/3 innings prior to the injury.
He'll face a White Sox team that clinched its first AL Central crown since 2008 on Thursday. Dylan Cease (12-7) is Chicago's probable starter.
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The Associated Press
LEADING OFF: NL East showdown, wild Cards at 16, Yanks-Jays .
A look at what’s happening around the majors Tuesday: ___ NL EAST SHOWDOWN Zack Wheeler (14-9, 2.79 ERA) pitches for Philadelphia in the opener of a pivotal three-game series at Atlanta. Charlie Morton (13-6, 3.53) is on the mound for the Braves, who lead the NL East by 2 1/2 games over the Phillies with a few days left in the season. “I think you get to the end of the year and you look for an opportunity to get to the playoffs, and that’s exactly what we have," Philadelphia manager Joe Girardi said. "That’s what we’re all looking forward to. It’s exciting. We have a shot.” Atlanta has led the division since Aug. 15 and is trying to win it for the fourth straight year.