👋 Happy Friday! I'll be on vacation in Italy for the next two weeks, so this is the last newsletter you'll receive until Monday, Dec. 2. I'll miss you! Be back soon.
Today's word count: 1,435 words (5 minutes)
"The holiday shopping season is upon us, and what better way to bring cheer than by signing a free agent." MLB teams will be looking to do just that in the coming weeks, and some of the top targets are listed above.
Yes, but: We could be in for another long, cold winter, as many of the same forces that made last year's free agency so frustratingly slow are still at play.
The bottom line: "It is within this strained atmosphere that baseball's offseason talent marketplace will play out," writes WashPost's Dave Sheinen.
P.S. ... In other baseball news, Mike Trout and Cody Bellinger were both named MVPs last night.
Saturday: No. 10 Oklahoma (-10.5) at No. 13 Baylor
CLEVELAND — Myles Garrett was ejected in the closing seconds of the Browns' 21-7 win over the Steelers last night after ripping the helmet off Pittsburgh QB Mason Rudolph and hitting him with it (video).
NEWARK, N.J. — Cassius Winston (21 points) and No. 3 Michigan State held off fellow preseason All-American Myles Powell (37 points) and No. 12 Seton Hall, 76-73.
NEW ORLEANS — Paul George finished with 33 points and nine boards in his return to the hardwood following shoulder surgery, but the Clippers fell to Jrue Holiday (36 points) and the Pelicans, 132-127, as Kawhi Leonard sat out.
"Ford v Ferrari" tells the remarkable true story of American car designer Carroll Shelby (Matt Damon) and British-born driver Ken Miles (Christian Bale), who together built a revolutionary race car for Ford Motor Company and took on Ferrari at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1966.
Go deeper: "The 24 Hours of Le Mans is auto racing's Boston Marathon, a brutal test of endurance where competitors race stunningly fast cars for 24 straight hours at speeds that can exceed 200 mph." (Car and Driver)
P.S. ... In related news, the NASCAR title race is this weekend at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The four contenders: Denny Hamlin, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr.
A year and six days after he last suited up in the NBA, 16-year veteran and 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony has signed a contract with the reeling Trail Blazers. Could Portland be the place where Melo rewrites his final chapter?
Notre Dame's streak of 273 consecutive home sellouts is expected to end on Saturday when the No. 16 Fighting Irish host No. 23 Navy. It was the second-longest streak in college football history, behind Nebraska's still-active run of 373.
Penguins star Sidney Crosby underwent surgery for a core muscle injury yesterday and will miss at least six weeks. Go deeper on the science of sports hernias to see what he's dealing with.
59 years ago today, Lakers star Elgin Baylor scored a then NBA record 71 points in a 123-108 win over the Knicks.
The big picture: In the history of the NBA, only six players have scored at least 70 points in a game.
Go deeper: Baylor's best career highlights (YouTube)
Tipperary and Kilkenny during a match in Dublin in August. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile via Getty Images
The 2,000-year-old Irish sport of hurling comes to Queens, N.Y. this weekend for the first-ever New York Hurling Classic at Citi Field (Saturday, 12:30pm ET).
Details: The three-game competition will pit 11-man squads from four Irish counties: Limerick, Tipperary, Kilkenny and Wexford. It's a friendly, so it's not official (regular games feature 15-man sides and longer periods).
How it works: Players use curved wooden sticks called "hurls" to hit a leather ball called a "sliotar." The object is to get the sliotar into the other team's goal or over the crossbar to score points.
Go deeper: Here are the last few minutes of the 2014 All-Ireland Final between Kilkenny and Tipperary. Non-stop action. Crowd going nuts. Hurling rules.
At 28 years old, Mike Trout is the second-youngest player to win three MVP awards.
Answer at the bottom.
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Talk in December,
Kendall "Arrivederci" Baker
Trivia answer: Cardinals legend Stan Musial (won his third MVP at age 27)