Trivia:What is the run differential needed to enact the mercy rule in the Little League World Series?
*Answer at the bottom
WATER COOLER TALK
🏈 The best college NIL deal yet happened yesterday. Alabama cornerback Ga’Quincy “Kool-Aid” McKinstry signed a deal with… Kool-Aid. It’s actually his favorite drink.
🏈 The NCAA is investigating Nebraska’s Scott Frost for various NCAA violations. The news is just another hit for Frost, who's stock has plummetted since coaching an undefeated UCF team in 2017.
12-20 record at Nebraska in three seasons
No bowl appearances
24 scholarship players in the transfer portal since 2019
🏈 The FBI joined the Deshaun Watson investigation. The Bureau is taking a look at the civil suit, examining how the parties have communicated with one another, and determining if extortion has been used as a tactic during the process.
The Cleveland Indians (Guardians?) would need to more than double their current payroll to meet the threshold
🎾 Venus Williams (ranked #112 globally) received a wild card bid to the US Open. The 7-time Major champ hasn’t missed the US Open since 2006.
Road to Williamsport
The world’s best young baseball players are gearing up for their big dance in Williamsport, Pennsylvania at the Little League World Series.
Who: The top two teams from the 8 US regions -- 16 teams total
When: August 19 - August 29
The path was a little different this year: Most years the field only includes the 8 US region winners along with representatives from eight international countries. But, due to the resurgence of the pandemic, this year’s tournament only features US-based teams.
The tournament format: Teams play double elimination, meaning those who lose still have a chance at the championship game through the consolation bracket.
In a typical year, the US teams and international squads each sit in their own bracket. Then, in the championship game, the best US team plays the best international squad.
There's big money in Little League. ESPN extended its coverage of the Little League World Series through 2030. The deal includes over 300 Little League games annually (even more than my brother had to sit through as a kid).
The latest extension builds upon an eight-year, $76 million deal that runs through 2022. ESPN has televised the Little League World Series since 1983.
Today's games (all on ESPN):
Hawaii vs. Connecticut - 1:00 ET
Tennessee vs. Ohio - 3:00 ET
Nebraska vs. New Jersey - 5:00 ET
New Hampshire vs. California - 7:00 ET
In fact, you may be watching baseball's next star. Each of these guys played in the Little League World Series before the MLB:
AROUND THE LEAGUES
Get Out The Brooms
(60-60) New York Mets6vs. (78-43) San Francisco Giants 2 - 12 innings
After owner Steve Cohen publicly called out the team for its lack of offense, the Mets went into overdrive, scoring four runs in the 12th to win their first game in six tries.
(69-52) New York Yankees 5 vs. (69-54) Boston Red Sox 2
The Yankees scored four in the second inning and never looked back, taking a one-game lead for the AL Wild Card over the Red Sox.
The Yankees swept the Red Sox 3-0 this series.
(61-61) LA Angels 3 vs. (58-64) Detroit Tigers 1
Shohei Ohtani continues putting up numbers we have never seen… not even Babe Ruth did this.
Shohei hit his 40th homer of the year (most in the MLB), pitched 8 innings, and struck out 8 batters.
(11-12) New York Liberty83vs. (16-7) Seattle Storm 79
Down 10 heading into the 4th quarter, the Liberty clamped the shorthanded Storm, holding them to only seven 4th quarter points.
Quote:“Hard to understand how professional hitters can be this unproductive.”
- New York Mets owner Steve Cohen is not thrilled with his team’s recent slump.
Highlight 1:Frankly, Dave Portnoy’s golf swing is far worse than expected. We're taking a lefty Brooks Koepka in their charity 1 v 1.
Highlight 2: Hulk - still the best name in soccer - curled a cross into the box, setting up a teammate's unbelievable bicycle kick.