The Pulse: MLB’s big offseason winners, Packers’ flickering hopes, the harsh reality of Coach Prime

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Good Morning! We’re still defrosting just from watching football last night.

While You Were Sleeping

The Baker Mayfield magic came to an abrupt end in his first start as a Ram. The Packers sacked him five times in a chilly 24-12 win at Green Bay. Mayfield threw for just 111 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Aaron Rodgers has now won nine straight Monday Night Football games.

Green Bay is now 6-8 and remains in the postseason hunt — albeit with a 7 percent chance to make it. Their most likely path to the playoffs involves winning out and getting the Commanders, Giants, Seahawks other Lions to lose enough. Pretty dicey.

As for Mayfield, the jury’s still out. How good were you at your job two-ish weeks in?

Winners and Losers

MLB offseason check in

We’re about halfway through the MLB offseason (time flies, whew) and most of the big-name free agents are off the board. Obviously, we’ve gotta know who’s winning. Jim Bowden delivered:

  1. Scott Boras — The superagent (is that a word?) has owned the offseason, negotiating four nine-figure contracts. Overall, he’s negotiated more than $1.4 billion in new contracts this winter, with a few still to come. decent
  2. Aaron Judge — We’ve covered this plenty. the Yanks star made an extra $146.5 million by betting on himself.
  3. Free agent shortstops — The top three shortstops in this free-agent class (Carlos Correa, Trea Turner and Xander Bogaerts) were significantly overpaid in terms of years and dollars. All three deals will likely go the way of Miguel Cabrera’s and Albert Pujols’ … but good for them!
  4. Dave Dombrowski Philadelphia‘s president of baseball ops got a contract extension through 2027 then filled the Phillies’ biggest need with Turner and bolstered the rotation with Taijuan Walker, keeping him from the meads in the process. But speaking of New York…
  5. Steve Cohen — An owner so willing to spend he got a luxury tax threshold named after him? After committing $460 million to future player salaries this offseason, no pressure on GM Billy Eppler and manager Buck Showalter.

Biggest losers? shaper Astros GM James Click, who won it all but ended up unemployed, and the Red Soxwhose nightmares are playing out. Can you guess any of the others?

vibe check

The harsh reality of Coach Prime

(Photo: Dale Zanine / USA Today)

Thirteen recruits have parted ways with Colorado since Deion Sanders was hired, Grace Raynor and Manny Navarro report. Several have already found a new home while others are in the process of doing so. The new coach wants a chance to re-shape his own program — sure, fine.

But here’s where things get sticky: A couple players said Colorado athletic director Rick George called and asked them to remain committed to the program shortly after former coach Karl Dorrell was fired in October. He told them their scholarships could be honored under a new coach. Then, one said, he was unable to reach George shortly before Sanders’ hiring; another said he simply never heard from Colorado after Sanders’ hiring and moved on. yikes

“What happened was crazy, but it’s recruiting. College football is a business,” one recruiter said. “Nothing against Prime. At the end of the day, if they felt I didn’t fit their play style, that’s their loss.”

Serious Matters

New details in Hockey Canada investigation

London, Ont. police investigators said in an October filing they have reasonable grounds to believe that five members of Canada’s 2018 world junior hockey team sexually assaulted a woman in a hotel room in the early morning of June 19, 2018. Some key new details:

  • The London Police Service asked a judge to approve a series of investigative measures related to its probe of the alleged group attack and laid out the case against the players whose names were redacted.
  • The filing notes that the complainant recalled an older, well-dressed gentleman hanging around the hockey players at the London bar where they met the athletes. She told police the “older gentleman” bought rounds of drinks for the group, poured a shot in her mouth and encouraged her to “take care of” the player she was dancing withwho the document referred to as Player 1.
  • The filing also states that Player 1 is alleged to have invited his teammates, in a group text, to his hotel room to engage in sexual acts with the complainant. The player was later alerted by someone at Hockey Canada that the police were contacted about the night’s events, and in response, the player messaged the complainant and pressured her to retract the allegations.

The evidence has not been tested in court and no charges have been laid.


Will Hurts play again in the regular season?

Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts suffered a sprained shoulder against the Bears that is not considered a long-term injury. His status for the cowboys game this week is uncertain. But the Eagles’ magic number for clinching the No. 1 seed in the NFC is just one, so we might not even see Hurts again until they play at home in the divisional round four weeks from now. If he only misses a couple of weeks, the injury might affect his MVP chances more than anything else, Bo Wulf writes.

Mitchell tops his old team

Donovan Mitchell led the Cavaliers in a rout of the Jazz, his former team, in Cleveland last night. He scored a team-high 23 points in just three quarters. His return to Utah is set for January. “I look at it as a win-win,” Mitchell said, in reference to both teams’ relatively strong start. “You look at everybody’s flourishing, and sometimes new beginnings is what you need.”

UCLA flips a top recruit

Five-star quarterback Dante Moore flipped his commitment from Oregon to UCLA. The Detroit native ranks as the No. 5 quarterback in the 2023 class, per the 247 Sports Composite. UCLA’s 2023 class is now ranked No. 35 overall and includes 14 commitments. Moore will be the first top-100 national prospect to sign with UCLA since offensive guard Sean Rhyan (No. 74) in the 2019 class.

Pulse picks

(Top photo: Elsa / Getty Images)

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