The Dodgers have a plan and it begins and ends with Shohei Ohtani
It appears as if the Dodgers are setting themselves up to make a run at Shohei Ohtani next offseason.
Good morning and welcome to The Morning Column presented by The Sporting Tribune. Please subscribe if you haven’t done so already. It’s free and will be delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. OK, let’s get to it!
1. The Dodgers have a plan and it begins and ends with Shohei Ohtani
It appears as if the Dodgers are setting themselves up to make a run at Shohei Ohtani next offseason. That’s the only reason to explain the moves the Dodgers have not made this offseason, according to The Sporting Tribune’s Blake Harris.
You may be asking yourself, why plan for 2024? Well, there’s one main reason. Actually, there are a few. Before I get to the main prize, let’s talk about the other. Julio Urias will be a free agent. I’m not sure what he’ll get on the open market, but it’ll be a lot. Sure, the Dodgers may attempt to extend him in 2023, but Urias is a Scott Boras client. That likely means it won’t happen. Whatever Urias’ price tag is, the Dodgers need to have money available to try and bring him back. So, you want to have money available to attempt to bring your ace back. Now let’s get to the real prize of the 2023 offseason.
2. USC QB Caleb Williams the big favorite to win Heisman
USC quarterback Caleb Williams was named the Associated Press Player of the Year, Walter Camp Player of the Year and Maxwell Award Winner on Thursday and is the big favorite to win the Heisman Trophy on Saturday. The Sporting Tribune has more on Williams becoming a lock to win the Heisman.
Williams remained a heavy -2000 favorite to win the Heisman Trophy at most sportsbooks on Thursday, meaning a $10 bet would win you $10.50 total. TCU quarterback Max Duggan was a distant second at +2000, meaning a $10 bet would win you $210 total. By Thursday night some sportsbooks had removed the Heisman odds from their boards with the result being viewed as a foregone conclusion.
3. World Cup Quarter-Finals Preview
The FIFA World Cup quarter-finals start Friday. For many of the nations and players, it means more than a chance at individual glory. Morocco is playing for their continent. Messi and Modric are playing for their national legacy. Brazil... they just play for the love of the game. The Sporting Tribune’s Chandrima Chatterjee previews all the World Cup quarter-finals matchups.
Of the 32 who dreamt of World Cup glory, only 8 remain. Argentina, Netherlands, Brazil, Croatia, France, England, Portugal and Morocco. This Friday and Saturday mark the Quarter-finals of the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Football purists have been anticipating the next stages of the tournament, where usually all that matters is the quality of the game.
4. Rebels earn an 'A' in chemistry
An impressive 9-0 start and a high NET Ranking has people around the nation noticing Kevin Kruger's UNLV team. The Sporting Tribune’s Steve Carp has more on the Rebels’ remarkable start this season.
I was watching UNLV’s basketball team practice inside the Mendenhall Center the other day and amid the usual sounds of squeaky sneakers across the floor and the rat-tat-tat of basketballs bouncing off the hardwood were squeals of joy, laughter from both players and coaches and smiles on faces. Lots of smiles. So, this is what chemistry looks and sounds like?
5. Newly arrived Baker Mayfield rallies Rams past Raiders
Baker Mayfield, who was just signed by the Rams two days earlier, engineered a 98-yard game-winning touchdown drive to cap off an improbable 13-point comeback in the final minutes. The Sporting Tribune has more from Mayfield’s incredible debut.
Mayfield, who was picked up off the waiver wire from the Carolina Panthers on Tuesday, completed 5 of 6 passes for 80 yards on the final drive. Los Angeles (4-9) went 98 yards in eight plays with the help of two Las Vegas penalties. Mayfield replaced starter John Wolford on the Rams' second possession and completed 22 of 35 passes for 230 yards as they ended a six-game losing streak. Mayfield led a 75-yard scoring drive earlier in the fourth quarter that Cam Akers capped with a 1-yard touchdown run at the 3:19 mark, pulling Los Angeles within 16-10. The Raiders (5-8) ended their last, desperate chance with Derek Carr's second interception of the game. Taylor Rapp picked him off near midfield with two seconds left.
6. 76ers, Lakers both looking to end recent slides
The Lakers will aim to avoid a third straight setback after losing on consecutive nights to the Cavaliers and Toronto Raptors. The Sporting Tribune has more on the Lakers’ matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers tonight.
To be fair, the Lakers fell 126-113 to the Raptors without LeBron James (left ankle) and Anthony Davis (non-COVID illness). They were also without Patrick Beverley (right knee) and Wenyen Gabriel (left shoulder). And Juan Toscano-Anderson left in the fourth quarter with a sprained right ankle. Gabriel and Toscano-Anderson will sit out Friday night. “As disappointed as I am in losing the game, you know, you never like to lose, I’m not upset. I’m not distraught,” Lakers coach Darvin Ham said. “We pulled it together and we competed like we should have done from the start.”
7. Odds and Ends presented by Circa Sports
Here are some odds at Circa Sports if you’re thinking about placing a wager today:
8. Ticket Time presented by TickPick
Here are the “get in” prices for tickets if you’re thinking about going to a game this week:
9. On the Air presented by Pirnia Law
Here are the game times and television channels for professional teams in the region today:
10. The Arash Markazi Show presented by The Sporting Tribune
On Thursday’s show, the crew talked to Uncle Ardy of Pirnia Law about being an official partner of the Los Angeles Chargers but actually being a massive Raiders fan.
Listen to The Arash Markazi Show presented by The Sporting Tribune on The Mightier 1090 ESPN Radio in Southern California, 98.5 The Fan in Las Vegas and the Hawaii Sports Radio Network 95.1 FM and 760 AM in Hawaii. You can also listen to the show on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Play and Stitcher.
Thank you for reading. Please click below to subscribe to The Morning Column presented by The Sporting Tribune. It’s totally free and will be delivered to your inbox every morning.
That’s it for today. Talk to you all on Monday!