Good morning newsletter readers and thanks for checking in again on all the latest across the sports world. It's Shanna McCarriston to catch you up on everything.
The World Series began last night and it has me reminiscing on when I worked the Fall Classic back in 2018 when the Red Sox took on the Dodgers. I worked for the Red Sox at the time, so when they won I got a World Series ring with my name on it. It is the closest I will ever feel to actually being a professional athlete.
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In today's newsletter, we'll talk about much more than the World Series. We've got NFL Power Rankings, possible deals that could take place before the NFL trade deadline and more.
Let's get to it.
📰 What you need to know
1. Braves crush Astros in Game 1 of World Series, but lose Charlie Morton ⚾
Game 1 of the 2021 World Series took place last night between the Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros and, folks, it was quite lopsided. The Braves won 6-2 by scoring early and often. And by early, I mean during the first at-bat of the game when Jorge Soler became the first player to hit a home run in his first career World Series plate appearance.
Besides that historic Soler dinger and the Braves' potent offense, the other big story revolved around Braves starter Charlie Morton.
- The 38-year-old pitcher didn't return for the third inning and won't pitch again in this World Series after suffering a fractured right fibula
- The injury seemingly occurred when he was struck in the shin area by a Yuli Gurriel batted ball in the second
- The wildest part is that Morton stayed in the game after being hit by the comebacker. He faced three batters and struck out two of them before getting out of the inning and not returning
As for the big picture, teams that take a 1-0 series lead in a best-of-seven series have gone on to win 64 percent of the time, so it's good news for Atlanta (but nothing is set in stone yet, of course). Teams that take a 2-0 lead historically go on to win 84 percent of the time in best-of-seven series ... so tonight's game holds high importance.
2. NFL Power Rankings: Bengals are rising 🏈
This past weekend in the NFL, you could argue that the most impressive team was the Cincinnati Bengals. They improved to 5-2 after a 41-17 win over the Baltimore Ravens. I'll admit, even after the Bengals got off to a good start in the game, I had my doubts. I mean, they are the Bengals after all and I thought once they play the Ravens, who had looked excellent, some of Cincinnati's weaknesses would be exposed.
As my confidence in the Bengals grows, so does my concern about the Kansas City Chiefs. They only have one more win than the New York Giants, to put it in even more perspective (and wouldn't you know it, those two teams are set to play on Monday night next week).
Kansas City is the team that moved down the most in this week's NFL Power Rankings, dropping seven spots following a 27-3 loss to the Titans. The Patriots, who have the same record as the Chiefs -- coming off a 54-13 win over the New York Jets -- moved up six spots this week, the most of any team.
Let's take a look at how some of the other teams fared in this week's rankings:
- No. 1: Cardinals (7-0), did not move
- No. 2: Packers (6-1), did not move
- No. 3: Rams (6-1), did not move
- No. 4: Buccaneers (6-1), did not move
- No. 5: Cowboys (5-1), did not move
- No. 6: Bills (4-2), moved up one spot
- No. 7: Bengals (5-2), moved up five spots
- No. 8: Titans (5-2), moved up five spots
- No. 9: Ravens (5-2), moved down three spots
- No. 10: Chargers (4-2), moved down two spots
For full rankings and commentary, click here.
3. Potential NFL trades that should happen before the deadline 🏈
The 2021 NFL trade deadline is on Nov. 2 and we could actually see some major shakeups in the league before then. There's a good chance we'll see teams that are getting hot improve their rosters, while other teams in worse positions will attempt to stock up on draft capital.
CBS Sports' own Cody Benjamin was kind enough to put together a list of 10 deals that teams should consider ahead of this year's deadline. Some even involve some pretty big names.
Here are five that caught my eye:
- Ravens acquire Bears WR Allen Robinson, Potential cost: 2022 second-round pick, 2023 fifth-round pick
- Packers acquire Texans WR Brandin Cooks, Potential cost: 2021 third-round pick
- Titans acquire Eagles DE Derek Barnett, Potential cost: 2022 conditional third-round pick
- Buccaneers acquire Jets S Marcus Maye, Potential cost: 2023 fourth-round pick
- Saints acquire Bears QB Nick Foles, Potential cost: 2022 seventh-round pick
For commentary on all 10 potential trades, click here.
4. Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman steps down following sexual assault probe 🏒
Chicago Blackhawks president of hockey operations Stan Bowman has stepped down following the findings of an independent investigation regarding allegations of sexual assault against the team's former video coach Brad Aldrich. Senior vice president of hockey operations Al MacIsaac is leaving the Blackhawks as well.
The investigation found that two Blackhawks players were sexually assaulted by Aldrich in May of 2010 and that Bowman failed to properly report the sexual assaults. As Bowman served as general manager, Kyle Davidson will be the interim GM while the team looks for a permanent replacement.
Bowman released a statement following the organization announcing his departure and in it he noted that he "assumed" the franchise had handled the issue.
- Bowman: "Eleven years ago, while serving in my first year as general manager, I was made aware of potential inappropriate behavior by a then-video coach involving a player. I promptly reported the matter to the then-President and CEO who committed to handling the matter. I learned this year that the inappropriate behavior involved a serious allegation of sexual assault. I relied on the direction of my superior that he would take appropriate action. Looking back, now knowing he did not handle the matter promptly, I regret assuming he would do so."
Chicago has been fined $2 million by the league for "inadequate internal procedures and insufficient and untimely response in the handling of matters related to former video coach Brad Aldrich's employment with the Club and ultimate departure in 2010." The league and the Blackhawks came to an agreement that $1 million of the fine will be given to a local organization in the Chicago community that gives counseling and support to survivors of sexual abuse.
📝 Odds & Ends
- The Texans and Dolphins have reportedly agreed on a Deshaun Watson trade, but Miami wants his legal issues resolved first
- Rob Manfred defended the Braves' team name and their use of the tomahawk chop ahead of Game 1 of the World Series
- LeBron James on playing against Ziaire Williams, a former teammate of his son Bronny: 'It's a weird dynamic'
📺 What to watch tonight
⚾ Braves vs. Astros, 8:09 p.m. | HOU -115 | TV: FOX
🏀 Grizzlies vs. Trail Blazers, 10 p.m. | POR -2 | TV: ESPN
🏒 Flyers vs. Oilers, 10 p.m. | EDM -160 | TV: TNT
🏅 Best thing I saw on the internet
In 2019 Bills Mafia supported Josh Allen after his grandmother Patricia Allen's death. Bills fans donated $1.4 million to Buffalo's John R. Oishei Children's Hospital and now the hospital is honoring Patricia by unveiling the Patricia Allen Pediatric Recovery Wing.
- Allen: "It was an honor and a privilege to tour the Patricia Allen Pediatric Recovery Wing. My family and I cannot even begin to express our gratitude for the support this community has shown us. The dedication and commitment that the staff at Oishei shows families and patients during their time in the hospital absolutely exemplifies what it means to live in the city of good neighbors here in Buffalo."
The quarterback was able to tour the 10th-floor wing. The wing also honors the 27,000 fans who donated to the Patricia Allen Fund with a playroom called the Bills Fans Fun Zone.