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MLB's arbitration window has ended, closing the book on a strange part of the offseason that over-indexes on lawyers and sometimes leads to bad blood between player and club.
How it works: The process began in early December, hit another milestone in mid-January and finally ended this past Friday.
Chris Hogan, a 10-year NFL veteran who won two Super Bowls as a wide receiver with the Patriots (2016, 2018), has decided to transition back to lacrosse — his first love.
The backdrop: Hogan starred for Penn State's lacrosse team from 2007-10 before enrolling at Monmouth University to play one season of football. The 33-year-old will be available for selection in the Premier Lacrosse League's Entry Draft on March 25.
New York Rangers star Artemi Panarin is stepping away from the team after his former KHL (Russia) coach, Andrei Nazarov, told a Russian tabloid that he beat up an 18-year-old girl in Latvia in 2011.
Why it matters: Nazarov is a staunch supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin, while Panarin has shown support for opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was recently sentenced to 2.5 years in prison.
40-point games, once a threshold that signaled a rare offensive explosion, have become commonplace in today's NBA.
Why it matters: With teams shooting more threes and scoring more points than ever this season, the league is on pace for a record 143 40-point games.
When Minor League Baseball begins its 2021 season, there will be 25% fewer teams than there were at this time last year.
The state of play: The realignment removes a net of 40 teams from 2020, for a total of 120 teams across 39 states.
In a league where every movement is tracked and every statistic is measured, chemistry remains the rare, unquantifiable variable that dictates NBA wins and losses.
The intrigue: Fostering NBA chemistry has become increasingly difficult now that players change teams so often. But nothing has ever impacted chemistry-building quite like the pandemic. The question is: has it helped or hurt?
The NBA said in the statement Wednesday that "all teams will play the national anthem in keeping with longstanding league policy."
Why it matters: The statement came after Dallas Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban said his team hadn't played the national anthem during home games so far this season and didn't plan to do so moving forward. The Mavericks are believed to be the first American professional sports team to cease the practice.
MLB is slightly altering the construction of its baseballs in the hopes of deadening them off the bat.
Driving the news: The league sent a memo to all 30 teams outlining changes that would "center the ball within the specification range" of bounciness — a range that has always been wide enough for significant variance among balls.
The Dallas Mavericks haven't played the national anthem during home games this season and don't plan to play it moving forward, owner Mark Cuban confirmed to Axios.
Why it matters: The Mavericks are believed to be the first American professional sports team to cease playing the anthem at home.
Super Bowl LV was watched by a total of 96.4 million viewers, according to Nielsen ratings provided by CBS Sports.
Details: The broadcast broke records as the most live-streamed NFL game ever, averaging 5.7 million viewers per minute — up 65% from last year's big game.