The 2021 Major League Baseball season kicks off this afternoon. For the
first time since 1964, every team plays its opening game on
the same day.
What's different this year?
Quite a bit:
The 162 game schedule returns. That’s more games than the NFL (16),
English Premier League (38), and NBA (72) regular seasons combined
Most stadiums are set at 20% capacity, while the Texas Rangers are
full capacity just for Opening Day
Superstars, such as Nolan Arenado and Trevor Bauer, changed
Welcome back to these All-Stars who opted out of
the 2020 season:
Zoom out: It’s a big year for baseball. After
attendance has fallen in six of the last seven seasons (not counting 2020),
the MLB is testing rules in the minors promoting more
hits and quicker games while also betting outdoor stadiums make it
easier for teams to bring back fans.
After spending a year in an apartment, a hotdog and a sunny afternoon at the
ballpark sound quite nice.
Not since the famous GameStop saga of January 2021 has anything united both
sides of the political spectrum. That is, until the NCAA argued for amateur
athletics in front of the Supreme Court.
Quick background: NCAA v. Alston is the first
antitrust case against the NCAA to make its way to the Supreme Court since
the 1984 Board of Regents
case. Then, the Court ruled, “In order to preserve the character and
quality of the product, athletes must not be paid, must be required to
attend class, and the like.”
Times are changing
Fast forward to 2021 and the Supreme Court is striking
a different tone. Two Justices, one from each side of the political
aisle, scorched the NCAA.
“It does seem schools are conspiring with competitors to pay no
salaries to the workers who are making the schools billions of
dollars on the theory consumers want the schools to pay their
workers nothing. That seems entirely circular and even somewhat
disturbing.” - Justice Kavanaugh
“The way you talk about amateurism, it sounds awfully high-minded.
But schools that are naturally competitors have all gotten together
in an organization to fix athletic salaries at extremely low
levels.” - Justice Kagan
Looking ahead: The final decision is expected this
summer. If the Court rules in favor of the athletes, expect a wave of follow
up NIL (Name, Image, Likeness) and revenue-sharing cases to come quickly
AROUND THE LEAGUES
(30-17) Milwaukee Bucks 112 vs. (30-18) LA Lakers 97
Andre Drummond made his Lakers debut but left early with a toe
injury. Meanwhile, Giannis (25 pts, 10 reb) got whatever he wanted
against the depleted Lakers.
(25-21) Dallas Mavericks 113 vs. (23-25) Boston Celtics 108
Luka Doncic (36 pts, 8 reb, 5 ast) made sure the Celtics couldn’t
complete the comeback.
FIFA World Cup Qualifying
England 2 vs. Poland 1
A late go-ahead goal by Harry Maguire kept England atop Group I.
North Macedonia 2 vs.
Germany, winners of four World Cups and the #13 team in the world,
of chances and ended up allowing an 85’ winner. Suddenly,
the Germans have no room for error to qualify for the 2022 World
(22-8-4) Colorado Avalanche 9 vs. (16-14-5) Phoenix Coyotes 3
The Avalanche scored five goals in the first period and honored
those who passed in the Boulder shooting last week with ‘Boulder
Toronto Blue Jays (0-0) vs. NY Yankees (0-0) - 1:05 pm ET on ESPN
LA Dodgers (0-0) vs. Colorado Rockies (0-0) - 4:10 pm ET on ESPN
NY Mets (0-0) vs. Washington Nationals (0-0) - 7:09 pm ET on ESPN
Houston Astros (0-0) vs. Oakland A’s (0-0) - 10:07 pm ET on ESPN
Charlotte Hornets (24-22) vs. Brooklyn Nets (33-15) - 7:30 pm ET on TNT
Denver Nuggets (29-18) vs. LA Clippers (32-17) - 10:00 pm ET on TNT
Carolina Hurricanes (23-8-3) vs. Chicago Blackhawks (17-15-5) - 8:00 pm ET
WATER COOLER TALK
⛳ The LA County sheriff’s office investigation into the Tiger Woods
crash has concluded. The detectives determined what caused the accident but
reveal the details due to privacy concerns.
🏈 Seahawks WR and fantasy football stud Tyler Lockett signed a 4
year, $69 million extension to keep catching long balls from Russell Wilson.
⚾ Someone broke into the Chattanooga Lookouts’, a Minor League
Baseball team, stadium and stole
the mascot suit. A devastating loss for the Lookouts who start their
season on May 4th.
⚾ Francisco Lindor agreed to a 10 year, $341 million deal with the
Mets, the third largest contract in MLB history.
🥊 Endeavor, already the majority owner of the UFC, bought the rest of
the brand. And Elon Musk is set to join
the company’s board.
🏀 UConn freshman Paige “Buckets” Bueckers became the first freshman
to win the AP Women’s Player of the Year. Next up: the Final Four.
A. A 21-year-old Bob Feller threw a no-hitter on
Opening Day of the 1940 season. The Indians legend dominated the Chicago
White Sox for a 1-0 win.