👋 Happy Friday! On the eve of Game 3, the Astros have fired assistant GM Brandon Taubman for inappropriate comments directed at a female reporter.
Today's word count: 1,124 words (4 minutes).
Photo: Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images
Thanks to technological innovation and a young crop of players obsessed with gaining even the slightest edge, the world of NHL skate blades is in the midst of a revolution.
Why it matters: Unlocking the combination of profile (i.e. shape) and depth that best suits each player can provide them with a huge advantage on the ice.
How it works: "There are different geometries for different positions (and skating strides, and weight classes, etc.), and the range of options is only broadening as profiling precision improves," writes The Athletic's Sean Gordon (subscription).
The bottom line: "Skating axiomatically comes down to a trade-off between biting into the ice (i.e. control, agility in turns) and gliding across it (i.e. speed, efficiency)," writes Gordon.
President John F. Kennedy signs baseballs for Senators players in 1960. Photo: Robert Riger/Getty Images
"Professional baseball was still considered an uncertain gamble when it returned to Washington in 2005 after more than three decades away. The original Senators were a laughingstock, finishing below .500 in 42 of their 60 seasons," write WSJ's Brian Costa and Jared Diamond (subscription).
Carlos Vela and Adama Diomande each scored twice as LAFC beat Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the LA Galaxy, 5-3, for their first win in the "El Trafico" rivalry.
The defending champion North Carolina Courage will face the Chicago Red Stars in the NWSL Championship on Sunday (3:30pm ET, ESPN). Here's a match preview.
Vlatko Andonovski, who spent the last two years as coach of the NWSL's Reign FC, is set to become the next manager of the U.S. women's national team, replacing Jill Ellis.
SAN FRANCISCO — Four months ago, Kawhi Leonard won a title in the last game at Oracle Arena. Last night, he spoiled Golden State's fun once more, scoring 21 points and dishing out nine assists to lead the Clippers to a 141-122 win on opening night at the Chase Center.
HOUSTON — Reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo put up a triple-double (30-13-11) in just 28 minutes to lead the Bucks to a 117-111 win over the Rockets in a star-studded opener featuring the last three MVPs.
DETROIT — Second-year guard Trae Young had 38 points (6-10 from deep), nine assists and seven rebounds as the Hawks opened the season with a 117-100 win over the Pistons.
Following an inaugural campaign that exceeded all expectations, the Premier Lacrosse League is adding a seventh team ahead of its second season.
The Phillies have hired former Yankees skipper Joe Girardi, the Angels have hired former Cubs skipper Joe Maddon and the Cubs and Padres have hired first-time managers in David Ross and Jayce Tingler.
Power Five teams have used at least one tight end on 86.5% of all offensive snaps this year, a rate roughly 34% higher than it was at the same point in the 2014 season, per FiveThirtyEight.
51 years ago today, the U.S. men's basketball team beat Yugoslavia, 65-50, to win their seventh straight gold medal.
Notably absent: UCLA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who declined an invitation for reasons that were bigger than basketball.
"I really, really wanted to join the team. … But the idea of going to Mexico to have fun seemed so selfish in light of the racial violence that was facing the country. The previous summer had seen two major riots [Newark and Detroit]. And on April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., had been assassinated."— Abdul-Jabbar in his book, "Coach Wooden and Me"
A reader told me that he and his son love doing the trivia each morning, so I asked if his son would help me out. 13-year-old Billy Cannon from Chevy Chase, Md., provided the questions this week. Thanks, Billy!
In the past 10 World Series (2008-2018), MLB's three oldest stadiums (Wrigley, Fenway, Dodger) have all hosted games.
Answer at the bottom.
New Zealand practicing in the rain today ahead of their match against England. Photo: Hannah Peters/Getty Images
It's North vs. South (Hemispheres) at the Rugby World Cup this weekend in Tokyo, as the top four teams in the official world rankings go head-to-head in the semifinals.
Go deeper: Previews, predictions (ESPN)
ICYMI: No. 16 SMU beat Houston, 34-31, last night to stay perfect.
With two minutes left in last night's Redskins-Vikings game (Minnesota won 19-9), the crowd gave franchise legend Adrian Peterson, now with Washington, a prolonged ovation. Chants of "AP!" rang throughout the stadium.
What they're saying: "I had to hold tears back, to be honest," said Peterson, who moved into sixth place on the all-time rushing list earlier in the game. "It was special, a special moment."
Enjoy the weekend,
Kendall "Dalvin Cook might single-handedly win me my fantasy league" Baker
Trivia answer: Yankee Stadium (opened in 2009)