Ohtani went 9-2 with a 3.18 ERA while also mashing 46 home runs and leading the league in triples.
The Angels superstar also won AL MVP by a unanimous vote.
🏈 The NFL and NFLPA agreed to change covid protocols, allowing players who test positive but are asymptomatic to quarantine for five days instead of 10.
The move mirrors the NBA’s protocol change made on Monday.
Christmas With the Harbaughs
With Covid already causing Bowl cancellations and scheduling adjustments, the College Football Playoff (CFP) Committee did their best Dua Lipa and made up some new rules for the biggest matchups.
The issue? The rules are less contingency and more cancellation requisites:
If a CFP team is unable to participate in the semis, they will forfeit the match and the remaining team advances to the national title game.
If three CFP teams are unable to play in the semis, the remaining team is crowned champion.
If two opponents are unable to play, the winner of the other semifinal matchup is named champion.
The National Championship game can be postponed from January 10th to as late as January 14th to accommodate potential outbreaks... a grand total of four days.
It’s odd the networks, event coordinators, and CFP committee found so little gameday flexibility given each Playoff game is worth ~$156 million as ESPN pays $470 million annually for the media rights.
The teams are taking caution: Given the new rules and potential forfeits, the CFP programs are all taking different precautions.
Alabama is keeping a close eye on players after two coaches, including offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien, tested positive. Both coaches will likely exit protocols before the semifinal game.
Michigan kept players in a bubble for the holiday, call it Christmas at the Harbaughs.
Georgia got to Miami early, closed practice to the media, and set up a players-only lounge in the hotel to keep the team from enjoying too much of what Miami has to offer.
Luke Fickell took the opposite route at Cincinnati, giving players time off to be with families around the holidays.
Assuming the games happen, here's what you should know:
Cotton Bowl:#4 Cincinnati (13-0) vs. #1 Alabama (12-1) – Fri. 3:30 ET on ESPN
Here’s a quick fact for you – the SEC is 0-4 in bowl games after Auburn and Mississippi State lost yesterday while the Group of 5 is 5-0. Basically, Cinci is a lock (not betting advice).
Key matchup: Alabama features arguably the country’s best receiver, Jameson Williams, while Cinci has two of the best coverage corners. If Cinci’s corners can hold up, they have a chance to stop the Tide offense.
Odds: ALA -13.5
Orange Bowl:#3 Georgia (12-1) vs. #2 Michigan (12-1) – Fri. 7:30 ET on ESPN
Key matchup: Both UGA and Michigan feature elite defensive lines anchored by surefire top-5 picks. Whichever gets the most pressure on the opposing quarterback likely wins the game.
Odds: UGA -7.5
Sprint’s pick: Alabama and Michigan move on to face each other in what could be the most-watched Natty ever.
The other Bowls
Peach: #12 Pitt (11-2) vs. #10 Michigan State (10-2) – Thurs. 7:00 ET on ESPN
Fiesta: #9 Oklahoma State (11-2) vs. #5 Notre Dame (11-1) – Sat. 1:00 ET on ESPN
Rose: #11 Utah (10-3) vs. #6 Ohio State (10-2) – Sat. 5:00 ET on ESPN
Sugar: #7 Baylor (11-2) vs. #8 Ole Miss (10-2) – Sat. 8:45 ET on ESPN
Giphy / Tyler Herro
(22-13) Miami Heat 119 vs. (17-17) Washington Wizards 112
Tyler Herro (32 pts, 6 reb) looks like the guy we all saw in the 2020 Bubble, averaging over 20 points per game this year.
Herro, along with Jimmy Butler (25 pts, 15 ast), made up for the fact the Heat only had eight players available to play.
Liverpool’s chase of the Premier League’s top spot took a hit after they dropped points to Leicester and now sit six points back of Man City.
It wasn’t for a lack of effort – Liverpool owned a 63% time of possession and outshot Leicester 21 or 6.
Stat:LeBron became the third player in NBA history to reach 36,000 career points while Steph Curry became the first to hit 3,000 threes.
Highlight: Minnesota offensive lineman Daniel Faalele became the largest player to score a touchdown in college football history at 6'9" and 380 pounds.
Quote: “If you think about it, I’ve never held a job in my life. I went from being an NFL player to a coach to a broadcaster. I haven’t worked a day in my life.”
– NFL Hall of Famer, John Madden.
Meme: RIP to a legend.
END OF YEAR WATCHLIST
Kansas City Chiefs (11-4) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (9-6) - Sun. 1:00 ET on CBS
Arizona Cardinals (10-5) vs. Dallas Cowboys (11-4) - Sun. 4:25 ET on FOX
Minnesota Vikings (7-8) vs. Green Bay Packers (12-3) - Sun. 8:20 ET on NBC
Philadelphia 76ers (18-16) vs. Brooklyn Nets (23-9) - Thurs. 7:00 ET on NBATV
Golden State Warriors (27-7) vs. Denver Nuggets (17-6) - Thurs. 9:30 ET on NBATV
(35 pts) Arsenal vs. (47 pts) Man City - Sat. 7:30 AM ET on USA
ML: MNC -210
(41 pts) Chelsea vs. (41 pts) Liverpool - Sun. 11:30 AM ET on USA
ML: LIV +155
#16 LSU (12-0) vs. #11 Auburn (11-1) - Wed. 7:00 ET on ESPN2
#1 Baylor (12-0) vs. #8 Iowa State (12-0) - Sat. 2:00 ET on ESPNU
B. Cal has the longest National Championship drought of the four, dating back to 1937. Texas A&M (1939), Stanford (1940), and Wisconsin (1942) aren’t far behind. The longest active streak among any team, though, is Rutgers who last won in 1869 in college football’s inaugural season.