👋 Happy Friday! Let's sports.
Today's word count: 1,320 words (5 minutes).
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
In the wake of the Astros scandal, Major League Baseball must decide how best to police in-game clubhouse video — and it has until Opening Day to announce any rule changes.
Why it matters: Players have grown accustomed to (legally) using technology during games, with hitters and pitchers often going into the clubhouse between innings to study video of their previous at-bats and make adjustments.
What they're saying: Red Sox DH J.D. Martinez told SI that the potential in-game video ban is "a joke" that would "take our game back 30 years."
"I think what people don't get is there is a new generation that revolves around technology ... To me, studying my swing and making changes, that's what makes me who I am. I got released doing it the other way."
The other side: Angels 1B Albert Pujols would welcome a return to the days of his youth when players watched footage before and after games, not during them, he told The Athletic (subscription):
"If they want to take it away, then let's go back to old school. ... I think a lot of guys would like that. And I think at the end, you'll find that it's more relaxing. You don't have to think so much. You can trust your skill."
The bottom line: In 2019, MLB banned non-broadcast cameras from ballparks in an attempt to eliminate the illegal use of in-game video. In 2020, the league may have to eliminate — or at least limit — the legal use, too, as it tries to regain the trust of baseball fans.
The USWNT opened its 2020 SheBelieves Cup run last night with a 2-0 victory over England — a rematch of the 2019 World Cup semifinals, which the Americans won 2-1.
Photo: M. Anthony Nesmith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
From 1978 to 2009, five schools — Syracuse, Johns Hopkins, Princeton, North Carolina and Virginia — won every Division I men's lacrosse national championship. Since then, they have won just three.
What's happening: Lacrosse has been the fastest-growing high school team sport for the past two decades and has expanded far beyond its east coast roots, but the number of men's D-I programs has remained relatively flat, especially compared to the women's game (75 men's D-I squads vs. 118 for women).
"With a larger talent pool to draw from and a similar number of programs competing for recruits, a lot more teams are now landing what used to be top-10 talent. It's kind of flattened that pyramid at the top and allowed programs like ours to climb the ladder."— Mike Murphy, Penn men's lacrosse coach, tells Axios
Between the lines: While football powers like Florida, USC and Oregon have added women's lacrosse programs in recent years, they haven't added men's teams partly due to Title IX.
The big picture: Michigan, Utah and Marquette are the only three big-time athletic programs that have gone D-I in men's lacrosse this century, but as the sport continues to grow in popularity, more could follow their lead.
Staff members clean down the competition area during the sports climbing test event. Photo: Clive Rose/Getty Images
Several test events have been canceled in the lead up to the Tokyo Olympics, but Friday's test for sports climbing went ahead, albeit with just a handful of people in attendance.
SAN FRANCISCO — Stephen Curry scored 23 points in his first NBA game in more than four months, but Norman Powell (career-high 37 points) and the Raptors spoiled his return, winning 121-113 to clinch a playoff spot.
NEW YORK — Mika Zibanejad became the third Ranger ever (and 45th player in NHL history) to score five goals in a game, leading New York to a 6-5 overtime win over Washington to pull his team into the thick of the playoff race.
ORLANDO — Matt Every shot a 7-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead into Round 2 of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. The 36-year-old native of nearby Daytona Beach has two career PGA Tour wins, and both came at this tournament (2014 and 2015).
Members of "The Way Back" cast. Photo: Adam Christopher/NBC via Getty Images
Ben Affleck stars as an alcoholic construction worker who finds renewed life purpose as a basketball coach in "The Way Back," which opens in theaters today.
🎥 Watch: Trailer (YouTube)
35 years ago today, 18-year-old Mike Tyson made his professional boxing debut, defeating Hector Mercedes via first-round TKO in Albany, New York.
Checking in on Mike: On a recent episode of his podcast, "Hotboxin' with Mike Tyson," the 53-year-old was moved to tears reflecting on his post-career life during an interview with fellow boxing great Sugar Ray Leonard.
"I know the art of fighting, I know the art of war. That's all I've ever studied. That's why they feared me when I was in the ring. I was an annihilator. It's all I was born for."
"Now those days are gone. It's empty, I'm nothing. I'm working on the art of humbleness. That's the reason I'm crying because I'm not that person no more ... I hate that guy. I'm scared of him."
Go deeper: Watch the full episode (YouTube)
Competitive eater Joey Chestnut has won 12 of the last 13 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contests. Now, he's getting into the hamburger game.
In yesterday's trivia question about Naismith College Players of the Year from non-Power 6 schools, I mistakenly omitted Andrew Bogut (Utah was in the Mountain West back then). To make up for it, here's some Bogut-related trivia...
Answer at the bottom.
Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images
Yesterday, I asked where you think Tom Brady will sign this offseason. Almost two-thirds of you believe he'll be returning to New England.
Enjoy the weekend,
Kendall "Currently on repeat" Baker
Trivia answer: Marvin Williams