Yesterday’s roller-coaster sports day was full of emotions. We said goodbye to a college basketball legend and witnessed the only bad sports team in Las Vegas clean house. But by night’s end, there was reason to celebrate. For the first time in franchise history, the Texas Rangers are World Series champs!
Photo: Daniel Shirey / Getty Images
Texas Rangers Win Game 5 (5-0) Behind Eovaldi’s Shutout & Celebrate Franchise’s 1st World Series Title
After 63 years and three trips to the Fall Classic, the Texas Rangers are (finally) World Series champions! Another road win was the story on Wednesday in Phoenix as Nathan Eovaldi spun a shutout and the Rangers plated four runs in the 9th to secure their first title. Corey Seager won his 2nd World Series MVP and joined an exclusive list, and Bruce Bochy just added to his managerial legacy. So many storylines, so little time.
What Happened in Game 5?
The Rangers and D-Backs played a scoreless opening six innings as Texas rode the arm of Nathan Eovaldi (6 IP, 5 Ks, 4 Hits, 0 Runs). The Rangers found the go-ahead run in the 7th, and it was 1-0 heading down the stretch. In the 9th, Jonah Heim hit a single up the middle that was mishandled in center field. That led to extra bases and a 3-0 lead. Moments later, Marcus Semien crushed a two-run shot, and the Rangers could feel it. Texas closer Josh Sborz went three-up, three-down to close it out, and the celebration began.
Bigger in Texas: 3rd Time’s the Charm
The World Series victory was a long time coming for Rangers fans — 63 years to be exact. Texas reached the World Series twice (back-to-back) in 2010 and 2011, but they lost to the Giants and Cardinals, respectively. The third time’s the charm! Fans might remember how Texas went BIG in the 2021 offseason when they allocated half a billion (almost $500M) to the free-agent acquisitions of Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, and Jon Gray. This year, they added two pitchers before the deadline in Jordan Montgomery and Max Scherzer. Then Adolis Garcia turned into a machine. Texas spent all of the regular season dueling with the Astros and Mariners for a postseason spot, but once they got into October, they shined.
World Series MVP: Corey Seager
No surprise here. Corey Seager homered in three of the first four games of the Fall Classic. He went 2-for-4 on Wednesday night and finished the World Series 6-for-22 with 3 HRs and 6 RBIs. Seager is the fourth player in MLB history to win multiple World Series MVP awards (Dodgers, 2020). The other three are Hall of Famers: Reggie Jackson, Bob Gibson and Sandy Koufax.
Bruce Bochy’s Legacy Cemented
We already knew Bruce Bochy was heading to the Hall of Fame, but winning his fourth World Series title — the first outside of San Francisco — cemented his legacy. Bochy’s 26-year managerial career is full of ups and downs, but three titles with the Giants (2010, 2012 and 2014) and one in Texas is enough to make him the sixth manager ever with four titles. He beat the Rangers in that 2010 championship, and now he’s brought Texas their first World Series in franchise history.
Watch: Rangers Blank D-Backs (5-0) to Win 1st World Series
Congrats to the Texas Rangers, your 2023 World Series champs!
ESPN: World Series 2023: How Rangers’ Rapid Rebuild Led to a Title
FOX Sports: Rangers Redemption: At Long Last, Texas Wins Its 1st World Series
CBS Sports: “We Didn’t Care Where We Were” — Rangers’ World Series Concludes With 11-0 Road Record
Photo: Justin Casterline / Getty Images
Bob Knight, Legendary Indiana Basketball Coach, Passes Away At Age 83
From chairs to championships, all aspects of Bob Knight’s legacy helped shape a generation of college basketball players, coaches, and fans. The legendary Indiana coach passed away at his home in Bloomington, Indiana on Wednesday. He was 83 years old.
Long-time college basketball fans will certainly remember when Knight threw a chair on the court as the hallmark technical foul that got him ejected against Purdue in 1985. He walked to the locker room amid cheers from the IU fans, but Knight was so much more than temper tantrums. He was a beloved figure despite his tough exterior and some unpolished moments. Those complicated nuances of the Bobby Knight persona were well documented over the last half-century. And as I type this, I can’t find a single photo of the Hoosier icon where he’s smiling for the camera (and there are hundreds of photos). That wasn’t Knight. He wasn't one for the photo ops or the flare and pageantry, but rather the toughness, determination and will to win. His Hall of Fame resume speaks for itself. No smiles necessary.
Bobby Knight’s Hall of Fame Resume
- 902 Wins (6th All-Time)
- 3-Time AP Coach of the Year
5-Time Big Ten Coach of the Year
- 11 Big Ten Championships
- 5 Final Fours
- 3 National Championships
- 1 Undefeated Season (1976)
Knight became the youngest coach of a Division I program in 1965 when he took over Army at the age of 24. That’s where he earned the nickname “The General.” Later, at Indiana, he amassed 24 NCAA Tournament appearances in 29 seasons, winning three national championships and etching his name atop the NCAA record books.
The first of those titles came in 1976 when the Hoosiers went 32-0 — the last perfect undefeated season in men’s college basketball (47 years). A few teams have sniffed that record, but no one has replicated it. Combined with his stints at Army and Texas Tech, Knight coached 43 total seasons and impacted multiple generations of basketball players. He had the most wins (902) of any Division I coach when he left the game (now 6th all-time). He also won a championship as a player at Ohio State.
Rest in peace, Bobby Knight. A Hoosier legend... The General. May your chair in heaven be Crimson and Cream, and ready for anything.
WaPo: Bob Knight, Polarizing Powerhouse Coach of College Basketball, Dies at 83
ESPN: The Coaching Legacy Bob Knight Leaves Behind
SI: Mike Krzyzewski Shares Heartwarming Tribute to the Late Bob Knight
Raiders Hit The Reset Button 🔘
Photo: Ethan Miller / Getty Images
Raiders Fire Josh McDaniels (Head Coach), GM & OC, Bench Jimmy G, And Hit the Reset Button
If you watched Monday Night Football, or any Raiders games this season, you weren’t surprised by Wednesday morning’s breaking news. The Las Vegas Raiders may have a 3-5 record, but they’re the only team in the NFL yet to break 21 points in a game. Their 26-14 loss to the Lions was too ugly for a team with that much talent, and it came to a breaking point. House cleaning… The Raiders fired head coach Josh McDaniels, GM Dave Ziegler and offensive coordinator Mick Lombardi on Wednesday.
Raiders in Review
It was only three years ago when the Raiders moved from Oakland to Las Vegas. They built the brand new Allegiant Stadium off the strip and came roaring into their new digs with a $100 million tied to head coach Jon Gruden and GM Mike Mayock. The Gruden scandal was a national embarrassment. In came Josh McDaniels, a highly-coveted member of the Bill Belichick coaching tree. But McDaniels’ record as a head coach has been abysmal (20-33). His only real selling point has been his extensive time as Tom Brady’s coordinator in New England.
The Raiders are 3-5 with all three wins coming against the Broncos, Packers and Patriots — three teams with losing records. Vegas signed WR Davante Adams to a 5-year, $140 million contract and QB Jimmy Garoppolo to a 3-year, $73 million contract while refusing to pay RB Josh Jacobs this offseason. They’re a mess. And the trainwreck in primetime on Monday Night Football sealed the fates of the offensive staff and GM. The visual of Davante Adams slamming his helmet after a wide-open touchdown was under-thrown was the final straw for owner Mark Davis.
Hours after McDaniels and Ziegler were fired, Jimmy G was benched in favor of rookie QB Aidan O’Connell. Then they canned OC Mick Lombardi, too. Rebuild imminent.
The Ringer: The Raiders’ Josh McDaniels Era Was a Complete Disaster
USA Today: How Attractive is Raiders Head-Coching Job After McDaniels Firing?
CBS Sports: Who Is Antonio Pierce? Meet the Raiders Assistant Replacing Josh McDaniels
Year 21: 'Bron Still Got It 💪
Photo: Media News Group / Pasadena Star-News / Getty Images
LeBron James (35-12-7) Fuels Huge Lakers Comeback in Scintillating Battle of L.A. (130-125, OT)
A busy night in the NBA saw 26 teams in action (13 games), and the Lakers-Clippers exclamation point to end the night was one to watch. The Lakers rallied from 15 points down to force overtime before a frenetic finish that included an epic epic alley-oop from Austin Reaves to LeBron James. LeBron proved he still has a lot to give in Year 21, coming close to a triple-double (35 points, 12 rebounds, 7 assists) in the overtime thriller. He was one of multiple stars who showed up for the intra-city duel. This game was awesome. Both teams are off to 3-2 starts.
K. Leonard (Clippers): 38 pts, 6 rebs, 5 asts
L. James (Lakers): 35 pts, 12 rebs, 7 asts
P. George (Clipeprs): 35 pts, 6 rebs, 2 stls
A. Davis (Lakers): 27 pts, 10 rebs, 4 blks
D. Russell (Lakers): 27 pts, 6 asts
R. Westbrook (Clippers): 24 pts, 11 rebs, 8 asts, 4 stls
Watch: Lakers Rally to Beat Clippers in Overtime Thriller (130-125, OT)
Other NBA Highlights
*Celtics (4-0) & Mavericks (4-0) Are NBA's Last 2 Undefeated Teams
🏈 NFL Trades We Wish Happened
For the second straight year, the NFL trade deadline brought with it a flurry of activity. We'll soon discover how these moves impact the rest of the 2023 season, but it's also fun to wonder what might have been. (Bleacher Report)
🏀 9 Thoughts From the NBA’s 1st Week
Anything can happen over a few days, especially when players are still adjusting to new teams. From the Lakers and Celtics to Zion and Wemby, here’s what stood out (for better or for worse) from the first week of the 2023-24 regular season. (The Ringer)
⚽️ USMNT Stock Watch Abroad
The current European league season is about two months old, depending on the league in question. As such, a fair bit of data is now available in terms of American players performing overseas. Here is ESPN's stock watch for those USMNT players abroad. (ESPN)
🏈 NFL (Thursday Night Football)
Titans at Steelers (8:15 pm ET, PRIME)
Raptors at 76ers (7:00 pm ET, NBATV)
Spurs at Suns (10:00 pm ET, NBATV)
Panthers at Red Wings (7:00 pm ET, ESPN+)
Hurricanes at Rangers (7:00 pm ET, ESPN+)
Maple Leafs at Bruins (7:30 pm ET, Hulu)
Stars at Oilers (9:00 pm ET, ESPN+)
Jets at Golden Knights (10:00 pm ET, ESPN+)
Download The Sportsletter's Must-Watch Calendar
Did Someone Forward You This Email? Subscribe Here
Feedback? Contact Our Editor: Jeff@TheSportsletter.com
Not Loving The Letter? Unsubscribe
Copyright © 2023 The Sportsletter
717 Market Street, San Francisco, CA, 94103