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good morning! Be like Jacob Poeltel today.
The expansion of baseball is happening. Commissioner Rob Manfred wants it. Cities want teams. It should be a reality soon.
The Athletic’s baseball team has been doing some great work this week, highlighting potential expansion sites:
- Portland: Stephen G. Nesbitt writes that plans are already underway to build a 32,000-capacity stadium. The city is there and so are the investors.
- Nashville: Andy McCullough reports that the foundation for an MLB team is already being built — and they already have a name chosen.
Las Vegas, Charlotte, and others are leading candidates for new teams, too. Manfred said he wanted a solution for the Athletics and Ray, both of whom were embroiled in nasty negotiations over a new stadium, before MLB officially expanded to 32 teams. But it’s coming, and the A and/or Rays could be in a new city, too.
Stay tuned this week for more cities.
LeBron James would be the leading scorer in basketball any day now. We’ll be keeping track of his pace regularly in these digital pages, but be sure to bookmark our playlist on the site.
James, however, is on edge multiple Milestones this year:
- Points: 316 away Who ever recorded Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. It is expected to break the record on February 7.
- Steal: is the ninth all time with 2170. He should pass Clyde Drexler and move into eighth this year.
- Follow-ups: No. 33would probably overtake David Robinson tonight for No. 32.
- Assists: No. 6, but must pass (excuse the pun) Mark Jackson and Steve Nash this year to reach No. 4, behind friend Chris Paul. It is quite realistic that James will eventually pass second-placed Jason Kidd.
Let’s summarize: More points than anyone else, more steals than Drexler, more rebounds than Robinson and more assists than Nash. Plus many more future seasons. But if James retires tomorrow, he’ll end up with the best statistical career ever.
We can do Jordan vs. LeBron any time. Let’s save it for the holiday season. Just as much as James is doing now.
In yesterday’s pulse poll, we had some amazing clarity on one aspect of Tom Brady’s future: You guys really don’t think he’s dating the Pirates. Voting detail:
- 51 percent of you think He’s heading to the FOX booth
- 46 percent I think he’s playing somewhere else
- only 3 percent I think he’s back with the Bucs
Vic Tafur gives a great article on why Las Vegas, a popular theoretical landing place for Brady, doesn’t actually make sense. We are still waiting for any official word from Brady about his future.
Summary / s
Titans hire a new GM
Sources have confirmed that Ran Karthon is the new general manager at Tennessee the athlete. Carthon, the former director of player personnel for the 49ers, inherits the bizarre situation in which his predecessor, John Robinson, was fired despite overseeing six straight winning seasons before this season’s slight fumble.
Michigan OC put on vacation
The program put joint offensive coordinator Matt Weiss on leave after university police began investigating alleged computer access crimes at Schembechler Hall, where the football offices are located, in December. Weiss joined the Wolverines in 2021 after 12 seasons with the Ravens.
Account holders of Voyager Digital, a cryptocurrency company under Chapter 11 proceedings, have sued Mavericks owner Mark Cuban for promoting the company. As part of the lawsuit, Rob Gronkowski — an official ambassador for the Voyager brand — has been called to testify, and may be added as a defendant in the lawsuit. Gronkowski joins former teammate Tom Brady as Super Bowl champions-turned-goals in cryptic lawsuits.
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Jacob Bueltel, The Key to Everything
Did you know the NBA trading deadline is three weeks? You can pretend you did. Madness is imminent, but the main character can be an underrated center.
Yesterday, Shams Charania published a sprawling notebook of things he’d heard as the deadline loomed, focusing on Tottenham center Jacob Poultel, the 27-year-old big man who could be a leading domino in trade talks around the league. essence:
- Poeltl is best described as very efficient. He’s a great victory player, a great offensive roller and an outstanding defender. He came into his own with some admittedly bad teams.
- Which brings us to the crux of Poeltl’s predicament: Tottenham wants to keep him for the long term, according to Shams, but the midfielder is a free agent after this season and wants to play for a competitor. The Spurs…are not in that position, and they may not be able to afford the high price Poeltl would command on the open market. Trade is possible.
Celtics are interested. So are the Raptors, who drafted Poeltl in 2016 before trading him to San Antonio in the Kawhi Leonard trade. There will be other suitors as well.
Everything can flow from there. Shams’ full piece is worth a read, with info on other commercial pieces like Terry Rozier, Eric Gordon, Pascal Siakam, and more. connect in.
・Big upset last night: No. 13 Kansas State upset No. 2 Kansas in overtime.
・Jay King makes it clear that Derrick White is the best player in the NBA.
・David Ubben has a great new feature, chronicling the backstory of how Deion Sanders landed in Colorado. Jeremy Bloom and Gravel are involved.
・Sabreena Merchant’s mock WNBA draft here. Boston’s high is No. 1, but a clear No. 2 is emerging.
・Why can’t teams just hire Sean Payton? A useful explanation of his contractual rights.
・Lions offensive coordinator Ben Johnson remains in Detroit, which is a huge win for a major franchise. Johnson received interest in head coaching jobs this offseason.
・Corey Brunman ranks his highest 154 prospects in the NHL under 23. Always an illuminating read.
・John Hollinger expects the Nuggets, Grizzlies, or Pelicans to reach the NBA Finals as Western Conference champions.
(Photo: Brad Penner/USA Today)