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June 5th, 2019
- Welcome Back!
- Check the “My Take” page for the latest commentary on sports & entertainment.
1. What’s New
- The Big Ten hired Minnesota Vikings executive Kevin Warren as its new commissioner, bringing on a former college basketball player and sports agent with a law degree from Notre Dame to replace Jim Delany and become the first black commissioner of a Power Five conference.
- Sponsorship revenue for the NBA and its 30 teams grew by 8.0% for the 2018-19 season, with total revenue eclipsing $1.2B.
- Anthony Joshua’s promoter says a rematch will take place between the British fighter and new world heavyweight champion Andy Ruiz Jr.
- Roger Federer kept accumulating break points and then frittering them away against Stan Wawrinka in the French Open quarterfinals, failing to convert 16 of his initial 17 chances.
- The Major League Soccer Players Association has taken back control of the MLS players’ group licensing rights from the league, according to industry sources, signing a new agreement with REP Worldwide to serve as the exclusive partner and strategic advisor for those rights.
- The players associations of the other major North American professional leagues all control their own group licensing rights, with the NBPA being the last to take that step in 2017.
- The head of Brazil’s soccer body has publicly supported star player Neymar after he was accused of rape. Rogerio Caboclo, the Confederation of Brazilian Football president, says Neymar is “the target of an accusation where there’s no proof.”
- Rachel Garcia hit a two-run homer and gave up one run in five innings, and UCLA routed Oklahoma 16-3 Monday night to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three championship series.
- Johanna Konta produced a remarkably dominant performance against last year’s runner-up, winning 6-1, 6-4 Tuesday to become the first British woman to reach the French Open semifinals since Jo Durie in 1983.
- Illinois is added to the list of states that now have legalized sports betting. Thanks to legislation passed this weekend, the state becomes the fifth to pass some sort of sports betting legislation this year and the 13th overall.
- Since sports venue operators can bring mobile betting online immediately, it’s not hard to imagine a situation in which an integration is built into the Cubs app that allows fans who are watching the game on TV to make in-game bets of all kinds.
- The Australian players’ union has called on FIFA to award the same prize money for the Women’s World Cup that is provided for the men’s tournament.
- Michigan is now a regional champion and on its way to the next round. The Wolverines beat Creighton 17-6 in Corvallis, Oregon, on Monday night, rebounding from 24 hours earlier when they gave up seven runs in the ninth inning and lost 11-7 to the Bluejays, forcing a second regional final.
2. The Professional Lacrosse League is starting to grow its fan base, while trying to impact Major League Lacrosse.
- The Premier Lacrosse League, founded by former Johns Hopkins All-American Paul Rabil, began its inaugural campaign on Saturday at Gillette Stadium.
- Backed by deep-pocketed investors and boasting a television contract with NBC Sports, the PLL is going head-to-head with the Major League Lacrosse and it may very well be a winner-take-all scenario when everything is said and done.
- There is no question the Premier Lacrosse League has impacted Major League Lacrosse already. Some of the world’s finest players left MLL in favor of PLL during the offseason.
- The Premier Lacrosse League brought the fireworks for its first weekend of existence. Two overtime games and a third that came down to the wire. The league couldn’t have scripted its debut much better
- The Professional Lacrosse League (PLL) drew 13,681 fans that made it through the turnstiles over the course of three games.
- PLL social channels generated over 20 million impressions, close to 3 million views, and over 1.1 million engagements over the weekend.
- PLL players posted over 150 times on Instagram alone, leading to an additional 325K interactions and accounting for a 17.06% interaction rate.
3. Las Vegas is not only the betting capital of the world but now hosting professional and college games enhances the bright lights.
- Construction cranes surround the future NFL Raiders football stadium Tuesday, June 4, 2019, in Las Vegas. The Las Vegas Bowl is moving to the new stadium next year, and will feature teams from the SEC or Big Ten conferences against a Pac-12 contender.
- The Big Ten has six-year agreements with 11 bowls , including new deals with Las Vegas and the Belk Bowl in Charlotte, North Carolina.
- The Big Ten will alternate with the SEC in Las Vegas, the expected new billion-dollar NFL home of the Oakland Raiders and in Charlotte, with the Big Ten taking odd-numbered years in Las Vegas and even-numbered years in Charlotte.
- “The city of Las Vegas is a world-class destination that will be attractive to the participants and fans from our schools, and the support provided by the Raiders organization and ESPN will create a tremendous opportunity to elevate this game into a must-see event during the bowl season,” Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said in a statement.
- The Las Vegas Bowl has been matching the Pac-12 and Mountain West or BYU in a game played on the first Saturday of bowl season.
- The new Las Vegas Bowl will be played after Christmas and receive the Pac-12’s top team not participating in the College Football Playoff or a New Year’s Six game.
- “The Las Vegas Bowl provides the SEC with a new and exciting destination for our student-athletes and traveling fans at a location outside our traditional geographic footprint and in a much-anticipated matchup with a Pac-12 Conference opponent,” Commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement.
4. Major League Baseball front and center with draft and mid season scheduled games.
Two days after he declined to speak to reporters immediately following what he called the “most difficult game of my professional career in the outfield,” New York Yankees outfielder Clint Frazier doubled down.
Kyle Schwarber and Javier Baez homered, Kyle Hendricks was solid again through seven innings and the Chicago Cubs beat Colorado 6-3 on Tuesday night to end the Rockies’ season-high eight-game winning streak.
Austin Riley and Josh Donaldson hit three-run home runs in consecutive innings, and the Atlanta Braves rallied for 12-5 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Freddie Freeman added a two-run homer, his 15th, in a three-run ninth inning that sealed the Braves third straight win.
Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera responded to the bad news that he will be moving into a full-time role as a designated hitter by tallying his fifth career grand slam Tuesday night in a 9-6 home win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
Bruce Bochy joined John McGraw as the only Giants managers to win 1,000 regular-season games when San Francisco beat the New York Mets 9-3 Tuesday night behind Stephen Vogt‘s tiebreaking, two-run double in the 10th inning.
Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said he does not expect teams to make changes to the protective netting around ballparks during the season, although he expects conversations to continue about whether netting should be extended.
It was a tough night for umpires across Major League Baseball on Tuesday as plate umpires Mike Everitt and Tom Hallion left their respective games with injuries and second base umpire Scott Barry was also sidelined from his game.
You never know what gems will pop up from the second day of the MLB draft. All-Star rosters are littered with Cy Young winners like Corey Kluber (fourth round) and Jacob deGrom (ninth round), who both pitched at Stetson, an MVP winner in Mookie Betts (fifth round) or an MVP candidate like Paul Goldschmidt (eighth round) or Cody Bellinger (fourth round).
Get rounds 3-10 HERE by David Schoenfield, ESPN Senior Writer