🏒 Scary scene: Senators defenseman Erik Brännström was stretchered off after taking a big hit on Thursday. He was taken to a local hospital for evaluation.
🏀 East vs. West: The NBA All-Star Game will return to a traditional East vs. West format this season, ending the All-Star Draft that's been in place for the past six years.
🏒 Betting suspension: Senators forward Shane Pinto has been suspended 41 games for activities relating to sports betting, the first time an NHL player has been suspended for gambling since the 1940s.
🏈 Army to AAC: The American Athletic Conference will officially add Army as a football-only member next season. West Point has been an independent in football since leaving Conference USA in 2004.
🏈 HOW TCU TRICKED MICHIGAN
The Michigan sign-stealing scandal seems to expand by the day, with details slowly trickling out and the NCAA now on-campus to investigate.
The latest headline: TCU was aware of Michigan's antics before last year's semifinal clash and used "dummy signals" to dupe the Wolverines en route to a stunning victory, sources tell Yahoo Sports' Ross Dellenger.
Not long after the CFP unveiled the 2022 semifinal matchups, the Horned Frogs staff began receiving phone calls from coaches across the country about what was a well-known fact in the Big Ten coaching community: that Michigan had an elaborate sign-stealing system.
"Literally everybody we talked to knew," said one TCU coach. "They'd say, 'Just so you know, they steal your signals and they're going to have everything so you better change them.'"
One coach told the staff that Michigan "has the most elaborate signal-stealing in the history of the world."
After receiving that information, TCU coaches decided to pull a fast one on the Wolverines, not only changing many of their play-call signals but also using "dummy signals" to trick them.
The dummy signals were old play-calls that had since been changed. Players were told to ignore the dummy signals and run the original play as called with the new signals.
"Sometimes we froze a play before the snap," said one TCU coach. "We'd call a play and then we'd signal in another play with an old signal but we told players to run the original play."
"The guy [Conor Stalions] was wrong a couple of times," one TCU staff member said. "We rewatched the TV version of the game. You can see him standing next to the defensive coordinator. He tells something to the coordinator and he points in the air to mean pass. You can see the playsheet he's holding with our hand signs on them."
📸 PHOTOS OF THE NIGHT
Milwaukee — Damian Lillard exploded for 39 points in his Bucks debut, scoring 14 of Milwaukee's final 16 points (including a dagger step-back three) in a 118-117 win over the 76ers. It's the fourth-most points by any player in their team debut.
Los Angeles — The Lakers erased a 12-point fourth quarter deficit to beat the Suns, 100-95, in the first competitive NBA game between LeBron James (21-8-9) and Kevin Durant (39-11) in nearly five years.
📸 BEHIND THE LENS
Each week, we go "Behind the Lens" with Getty Images to get the backstory on the best photographs in sports.
This week's photo: The field of competitors go over a jump during the men's BMX semifinals at Parque Peñalolen on Day 2 of the 2023 Pan Am Games.
Photographer: Al Bello
Location: Santiago, Chile
Date: October 22
📸 Behind the lens: Here's Al…
This was actually my first time photographing BMX racing. It's a fast-moving sport and the races are over in a matter of minutes, so you really have to pay attention to what's going on in each heat leading up to the finals.
I studied the course and liked the way this jump looked, so I made sure to set up for this shot. I waited for the bikes to cross and it was over in less than a second. Either you get it or you miss it.
Equipment: I used a Canon R3 body and 300mm lens, with a fast shutter speed and wide aperture.
⚾️ DAILY RANKING: TOP 10 PLAYERS IN THE WORLD SERIES
Here are our 10 best players in the World Series based on a combination of factors like season statistics, career playoff performance and current form, Jeff writes.
Corey Seager (SS, Rangers): The 2020 World Series MVP is the favorite to win it again. After putting up ridiculous numbers during the regular season, he's reached base in 27 of his 58 playoff plate appearances, with nearly twice as many walks (12) as strikeouts (7).
Corbin Carroll (RF, D-backs): The 23-year-old rookie had a season for the ages and he's continued making history in October with a lethal combination of power and speed.
Adolis García (RF, Rangers): The Cuban slugger is on an absolute tear, with five home runs in his last four games and 15 RBIs in the ALCS alone, the most ever in a postseason series.
Ketel Marte (2B, D-backs): The NLCS MVP has played in 16 career playoff games and recorded a hit in all of them, the longest streak ever to start a postseason career.
Nathan Eovaldi (RHP, Rangers): The Texas native has a sterling 2.87 career postseason ERA and he's been as good as ever this month, going 4-0 with 28 strikeouts and just four walks.
Zac Gallen (RHP, D-backs): Though he's struggled during the playoffs (5.24 ERA in four starts), Gallen spent much of the season as a Cy Young favorite and will likely finish top five for the award.
Jordan Montgomery (LHP, Rangers): The midseason acquisition from St. Louis was nails down the stretch and he's been a stud this postseason, going 3-0 with a 2.16 ERA in four starts plus a critical Game 7 relief appearance.
Paul Sewald (RHP, D-backs): The midseason acquisition from Seattle is 6-for-6 in save opportunities this month, with zero runs and three hits allowed in 11.1 innings pitched.
Evan Carter (LF, Rangers): The 21-year-old rookie made his MLB debut 49 days ago but has looked like a seasoned vet in the playoffs, reaching base safely in every game while cracking six doubles and a homer for a .987 OPS.
Kevin Ginkel (RHP, D-backs): Ginkel went 9-1 with a 2.48 ERA this season and, like Sewald, has yet to allow a run through nine playoff innings, giving Arizona a lockdown bullpen.
Honorable mention: An All-Star and a future Hall of Famer are missing from the list only because of recent form. But don't be surprised if Marcus Semien (.510 OPS in the ALCS) or Max Scherzer* (9.45 ERA in the ALCS) rises to the occasion.
*New injury: Scherzer returned last week from a shoulder strain but is now dealing with a cut on his thumb, which he pitched through in both sub-par ALCS starts. He's still planning to pitch through the pain, but admits it could get bloody.
📆 OCT. 27, 2004: THE CURSE IS BROKEN
19 years ago today, the Red Sox broke the Curse of the Bambino, completing a sweep of the Cardinals to win their first World Series in 86 years, Jeff writes.
Must-watch video (but only if you’re ready to cry): Later that evening, Boston native Paul Smith shared a moment at the graveyard with his father, a lifelong fan who had passed away three years earlier. He wasn't alone.
⚾️ 2011: Cardinals 3B David Freese hit a game-tying triple and a walk-off home run in Game 6 of the World Series, staving off elimination against the Rangers with one of the most incredible performances* in postseason history.
⛳️ 2019: Tiger Woods won the Zozo Championship for his 82nd and most recent PGA Tour victory, tying Sam Snead's record for the most all-time.
⚾️ WORLD SERIES TRIVIA
The Rangers are one of six active MLB teams without a World Series title.
Question: Can you name the other five?
Hint: Three NL, two AL.
Answer at the bottom.
📺 WEEKEND WATCHLIST
This weekend's sports slate is headlined by the World Series, MLS and NASCAR playoffs, the Rugby World Cup Final, the NBA's first weekend back, the 191st Manchester Derby, Fury-Ngannou, and of course, your standard dose of football.
⚾️ World Series: Games 1 and 2 in Arlington, Texas.
⚽️ MLS Playoffs: Round One (best-of-three series) kicks off.
🏁 NASCAR Playoffs: The penultimate race of the season.
🏉 Rugby World Cup Final: South Africa vs. New Zealand.
🏈 CFB Saturday: No. 8 Oregon at No. 13 Utah is the headliner.
🏈 NFL Sunday: Full slate of games with no teams on byes.
Trivia answer: Rays, Rockies, Mariners, Brewers, Padres