The Friday Show Prep

This one doesn't actually come as a surprise to me, which is sad, considering the success they had this year.

It was announced Thursday morning that Joe Girardi was not going to be back next season as manager of the New York Yankees. 

That the team was one game away from the World Series this season seems a bit inconsequential at this point. 

The dysfunction between upper management and the field skipper was palpable all season long. Too much young talent and an old-school mentality, too often this season, seemed at odds with one another.

There was a time earlier this season when the Yankees were barely scraping by as a postseason contender. A Bronx Bombers hot streak down the stretch, combined with some notable collapses with other American League teams (Seattle, Los Angeles Angels to name a few) aided the cause and pushed the team into the playoffs.

I'd like to say that the success the team had was enough to keep Girardi on the payroll next season, but maybe the Game 7 exit in Houston merely made the inevitable seem a little more comfortable for an organization wanting to go in the proverbial "different direction".

Who knows what makes a business want to do this? A new branding, a new image, a new face of the franchise perhaps?

But if the measure of success for any new manager, coach, face of the franchise is to do better in the first year of that new regime than the prior year, I'd like to personally wish the new Yankees manager the best of luck in 2018.

It's World Series or bust!

Have fun with that in New York City.  

Ravens roll over Dolphins on Thursday Night Football

First, the facts...

Baltimore 40, Miami 0. 

Yes, the game was pretty unwatchable, unless you enjoy watching the Dolphins get obliterated on national television, or if you like to watch a quarterback nearly get decapitated.

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was on the wrong end of a brutal hit to the head by Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso as the quarterback attempted to slide in the second quarter. Flacco lost his helmet and had to be helped off the field, never to return to the game after going through concussion protocol.

Alonso was flagged for the late hit, but didn't leave the game.

That wasn't the only incident in the game, and in fact, it may not be the incident that gets the most attention.

Midway through the fourth quarter and with the game totally out of reach for the Dolphins, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh shoves and appears to wrap his fingers around the throat of backup quarterback Ryan Mallett.


Those actions, in addition to an obvious amount of frustration on the Miami side of things, led to multiple penalties and only a long night even worse for the Dolphins, who fall to 4-3 on the season, but rank as the lowest scoring team in the NFL this season, with a paltry 13.3 points per game average on the season.

The World Series resumes tonight

Game 3 of the World Series is tonight, and the scene shifts to Houston, where the Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers are all tied at a game apiece. Dodgers starting pitcher Yu Darvish will get a homecoming of sorts tonight. Darvish spent the majority of his career with the Texas Rangers before being traded to Los Angeles this past summer. Lance McCullers, Jr., will be on the mound for the Astros. Gametime tonight is 6 p.m.

2017 World Series Game 2: Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

For Houston, the task is simple. Do not let this series go back to Los Angeles.

A sweep of games 3, 4 and 5 this weekend in Houston would mean they could claim the crown in front of their home crowd. The Astros have to feel good knowing they've yet to lose at home this postseason, and even if they did lose in one of the next three games, they already have a win at Dodger Stadium.

I expect tonight to be a bit like the late innings of Game 2, with bullpens having a large role in the outcome. Neither of tonight's starting pitchers are huge strikeout powerhouses, they rely on strong defenses and get a lot of ground ball outs.

My NFL best bet this weekend

It may not be the best game on the docket this weekend (actually it's not that bad a game all things considered), but I'm fascinated by the showdown between Carolina (+2) on the road at Tampa Bay. 

The Panthers do have some injury concerns going forward, but the Buccaneers have statistically one of the worst pass defenses in the league. Cam Newton (love him or hate him) can exploit those weaknesses and make enough plays down the field to wreak havoc on the Bucs, who suddenly find themselves losers of three straight games and spiraling out of control in the NFC South.

Wrong team favored in this one. Take Carolina (+2) and straight up over the Bucs.

Great show coming up this morning on FIRST SPORTS.

We'll chat the World Series and the exit of Yankee manager Joe Girardi with baseball writer Paul West from P Dub's Sports Hub, plus we'll have college and NFL best bets with Lee Sterling of Paramount Sports. NASCAR's next road to the Monster Energy finals will be previewed with our friend Sam Atwell of The Race Report and we'll get a peek at Sunday's clash between the Cowboys and Redskins with Dallas Cowboys Radio Network sideline reporter Kristi Scales.

Also, a reminder that I'll be off on Monday and Tuesday of next week (just a chance to recharge the batteries if you will). When we're back, we're gonna be top heavy with Breeders' Cup coverage live from Del Mar as well as UFC217 previews with the return of GSP, getting ready to face Michael Bisping for the middleweight title strap.


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