Ring the Ketel Bell 


By: Jeff Yoder

Happy Friday 

You made it to the weekend. Well done, team. We’re one week closer to the hottest season in sports, and the infamous “Sports Equinox” is on the horizon (Oct. 30).

A walk-off in the desert made things interesting last night, and we’ll need the next three days to determine who’s playing in the Fall Classic. Plus, Michigan is back in hot water, and the Jaguars are… the hottest team in football? Weekend edition, here we go.

Letter Rip!


Ketel Bell: Marte Walks It Off

Photo: Mary DeCicco / Getty Images

Diamondbacks Win Game 3 on Ketel Marte’s Walk Off (2-1); Astros Blitz Rangers (10-3) to Even Series

A Phillies-Rangers World Series? Not so fast. The tides turned in the NLCS and ALCS over the past 24 hours as the Astros rolled the Rangers for the second straight day and the Diamondbacks stunned the Phillies with a Ketel Marte walk-off. The weekend ahead should determine who plays in the Fall Classic. If not, we’ll have some exciting Game 7s in store early next week.

NLCS Gm 3: D-Backs def. Phillies (2-1)

Don’t sleep on the Diamondbacks just yet! Ketel Marte has been the only offensive bright spot for the D-Backs in the NLCS, and he came up clutch in Game 3. A scoreless pitcher’s duel betwen Brandon Pfaadt (5.2 IP, 9 Ks, 2 Hits) and Ranger Suarez (5.1 IP, 7 Ks, 3 Hits) finally found life in the 7th inning. The Phillies and D-Backs were tied 1-1 coming into the 9th frame before Arizona loaded the bases with just one out, and Marte struck a walk-off single to center field. Ball game. Marte (3-for-5, 1 RBI) has tallied 13 hits and 5 RBIs in October. Only Trea Turner (16 hits) has more. There’s life in Arizona. PHI Leads Series (2-1)

ALCS Gm 4: Astros def. Rangers (10-3)

The all-Texas battle added a chapter on Thursday that was nothing like the pitcher’s duel in Arizona. Houston’s bats wasted little time coming to life. They plated three runs in the 1st inning and four more in the 4th to extend a 7-3 lead. Insurance runs down the stretch put the game out of reach. Jose Abrea and Chas McCormick both went deep, and we’re all square in Texas. Series Tied (2-2)

Tonight’s Schedule

ALCS Gm 5: Astros at Rangers (5:07 pm, FS1)

NLCS Gm 4: Phillies at D-Backs (8:07 pm, TBS)

Read More

SI: Marte’s Walk-Off Shows That Anything Is Possible With These Diamondbacks

FOX Sports: Home-Cooked: Astros Toast Rangers at Globe Life Field to Tie ALCS



Another Michigan Investigation

Photo: Steven Branscombe / Getty Images

Michigan Football Under Investigation for ‘Sign-Stealing’ Violations

Back for more, NCAA? In the ever-changing world of college sports recruiting violations, some programs have been victims of NIL-driven challenges. How to compete (and remain competitive) in this landscape is a moving target, but one college football program finds itself at the center of the violation station once more.

The University of Michigan is under investigation by the NCAA for a potential “sign-stealing” violation. The news comes in the middle of a season where Michigan is 7-0 after head coach Jim Harbaugh served a three-game suspension for recruiting violations during the 2020 Covid-19 dead period. These new accusations could come with a bigger penalty.

Sign-Stealing Explained: The NCAA has prohibited in-person scouting of opponents since 1994, but UM has reportedly sent scouts to Big Ten games in an attempt to record play calls and signals. While analyzing sideline behavior is far from a violation, sending assigned staff to attend opponents’ games (and allegedly recording video) is against the rules. It’s a similar ethics violation with similarity to the famous ‘Spygate’ controversy of the 2007 season.

Why It Matters: Michigan is ranked No. 2 in the nation, and they’ve held every opponent to 10 points or less in a season of absolute mastery on the defensive side of the football. The Wolverines are attempting to sign Harbaugh to a multi-year extension before the end of the season, but rumors of him returning to the NFL remain. Michigan is set to play #7 Penn State, Maryland, and #3 Ohio State in November. Wins would put them in the College Football Playoff. Sanctions could impact the future while paving the way for Harbaugh’s exit.

The NCAA Committee on Infractions will likely decide on the case in 2024. And while penalties shouldn’t be catastrophic, Harbaugh might be ready to move on. Who knows? Maybe a national championship is in store for the Wolverines and this is one of those “blow-over” stories.

Read More

AP: Michigan Says Its Cooperating With NCAA Investigation Into Sign-Stealing

SI: Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh Issues Statement on NCAA’s Sign-Stealing Investigation

CBS Sports: NCAA Investigates Michigan for In-Person Scouts, Notifies Michigan State Ahead of Week 8 Matchup



Jags to Riches

Photo: Jonathan Bachman / Getty Images

Christian Kirk’s Late TD Lifts Jags Over Saints on Thursday Night Football (31-24) — Jacksonville’s 4th Straight Win

Duuuval! The Jacksonville Jaguars are taking names in October after a fourth straight win on Thursday night. The Jags held off a rally from the Saints last night at the Superdome. New Orleans came back from 15-down to tie the game at 24-all in the 4th quarter, but a 44-yard strike from QB Trevor Lawrence to WR Christian Kirk gave Jacksonville the win. Lawrence, who was playing with a sprained left knee, has been fantastic ever since the Jags went to London. Jacksonville won two games in the international series before two more back in America. On the flip side, it’s been tough sledding for the Saints who have now dropped three out of four. New Orleans had a chance to tie the game late, but TE Foster Moreau dropped the game-tying touchdown.

QB Comparison

T. Lawrence (JAX): 20/29, 263 total yards, 1 TD

D. Carr (NO): 33/55, 315 total yards, 1 TD, 1 INT

Other Top Performers

RB T. Etienne Jr. (JAX): 17 touches, 77 yards, 2 TDs

RB A. Kamara (NO): 29 touches, 153 yards

TE T. Hill (NO): 9 touches, 68 yards, 1 TD

WR C. Kirk (JAX): 6 receptions, 90 yards, 1 TD

Where They Stand: The Jags (5-2) are now streaking to the top of the AFC after four straight wins, and they lead the AFC South while only trailing the Chiefs (5-1) and Dolphins (5-1) in the standings. New Orleans (3-4) have dropped four of the last five, but they’re still alive in the NFC South race.

Watch: Jags Hold Off Saints Comeback on TNF (31-24)

Read More

DAZN: Trevor Lawrence, Jagaurs Eke Out Nail-Biter on the Road Against Saints

CBS Sports: Saints TE Foster Moreau Consoled by Teammates After Dropping Game-Tying TD





Today’s Must-Watch List

MLB Playoffs

ALCS Gm 5: Astros at Rangers (Fri. 5:07 pm, FS1)

NLCS Gm 4: Phillies at D-Backs (Fri. 8:07 pm, TBS)

NLCS Gm 5: Phillies at D-Backs (Sat. 8:07 pm, TBS)

ALCS Gm 6: Rangers at Astros (Sun. 8:03 pm, FS1)

NFL Week 7 (Sunday)

Bills at Patriots (1:00 pm, CBS)

Lions at Ravens (1:00 pm, FOX)

Chargers at Chiefs (4:25 pm, CBS)

Dolphins at Eagles (8:20 pm, NBC)

College Football (Saturday)

#7 Penn State at #3 Ohio State (Noon, FOX)

#17 Tennessee at #11 Alabama (3:30 pm, CBS)

#2 Michigan at Michigan State (7:30 pm, NBC)

#16 Duke at #4 Florida State (7:30 pm, ABC)

#14 Utah at #18 USC (8:00 pm, FOX)

Clemson at Miami (8:00 pm, ACCN)


Devils at Islanders (Fri. 7:30 pm, NHLN)

Hurricanes at Avalanche Sat. 9:00 pm, ESPN+)


EPL: Chelsea vs. Arsenal (Sat. 12:30 pm

MLS: St. Louis City SC vs. Seattle Sounders (Sat. 9:00 pm)

ITA: AC Milan vs. Juventus (Sun. 2:45 pm)

NWSL Playoffs (Quarterfinals)

OL Reign vs. Angel City FC (Fri. 10:00 pm)

NC Courage vs. NJ/NY Gotham FC (Sun. 7:00 pm)

NASCAR Playoffs

Homestead-Miami Speedway (Sun. 2:30 pm)

*All Times ET

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