NASCAR: Erik Jones to replace Bubba Wallace at Richard Petty Motorsports

NASCAR

Richard Petty Motorsports has announced that Erik Jones will be replacing Bubba Wallace in 2021, driving the iconic No. 43 car.

Jones, 24, is currently with Joe Gibbs Racing, but the organization announced on August 10th that Christopher Bell would be taking his ride. Bell spent 2018 and 2019 under Gibbs in the Xfinity series, and is driving for Leavine Family Racing in 2020. His announcement to Gibbs in 2021 came after Leavine Family Racing announced they were ceasing operations after this season.

After spending his rookie season with Furniture Row Racing in 2017, Jones filled Matt Kenseth’s seat in the No. 20 car in 2018. Jones has picked up two wins in three seasons for Gibbs, finishing in the top-10 48 times and finishing in the top-five 28 times.

In four full-time Cup Series seasons, Jones has finished in the top-20 in points in all four seasons while making the playoffs twice. He failed to advance to the round of 12 both times that he made it.

Jones will be taking over the reigns from Bubba Wallace, who will be departing to a team owned by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan. In Richard Petty Motorsports’ 12 year history, the team has picked up five wins and 46 top-five finishes in 861 races. However, the team hasn’t won since 2014 when Aric Almirola took the No. 43 to victory lane at Daytona in the Coke Zero 400. In 109 races with Richard Petty Motorsports, Wallace picked up nine top-10s and three top-fives.

With the confirmation of Jones to RPM, it leaves just one high-tier ride available in the Cup Series. The No. 88 for Hendrick Motorsports remains free, a ride where Jones was originally rumored to be a favorite.

In 2021 and beyond, Erik Jones will look to get The King and the No. 43 back into victory lane for Richard Petty Motorsports.

Anderson Silva confirms next UFC fight will be his final one

UFC, Anderson Silva

The career of one of the greatest mixed martial artists the world has ever known is coming to an end. Next Saturday night, UFC legend and former middleweight champion, Anderson Silva (34-10,1 NC) will make the walk for the final time in his career.

When the fight was discussed, Dana White hinted that this would be the final UFC fight for Silva. However, Silva told MMA Junkie yesterday that this would in fact be the final time that fans would see him fight inside a UFC octagon.

“For sure, this is the last fight. Probably. I love the sport. I’ve prepared my mind for this. I’ve prepared for fight my entire life, but yes, this is my last fight in UFC. I feel sad because I don’t have this anymore. This is the last one,” Silva told MMA Junkie.

Silva’s run of dominance inside the UFC has only been matched by Jon Jones. He is by far one of the greatest to ever do it, and he has his chance to go out on top next week. However, the fight is not going to be an easy one.

UFC Vegas 12 Main Event

Standing across Silva next Saturday night will be Uriah Hall (15-9). Hall rose to fame in his stint on the Ultimate Fighter where he reminded so many fans of the UFC champion at the time which was Anderson Silva.

Hall looked like he was going to be a title contender right out of the gate. However, Hall never truly lived up to the potential of being the superstar people thought he would be. Instead, his career has been filled with ups in downs.

That being said, he will enter UFC Vegas 12 on a two fight winning streak and having gone 3-1 in his last four fights. It should be a fun striking matchup for the fans next Saturday. The perfect stylistic opponent for Silva to go out on. It will be a fun but sad evening at UFC Vegas 12 regardless of the results.

New York Giants: How Dave Gettleman can survive the 2020 season and keep his job

New York Giants, Dave Gettleman

There is no question that New York Giants’ general manager Dave Gettleman is on thin ice. His team opened the 2020 campaign 0-5, just barely squeaking out a win against a poor Washington Football Team.

Over his three years as GM, the Giants have a combined 10 wins and 28 losses, which is simply unacceptable considering he spent the second overall pick in 2018 on a running back and has failed to solve the issues on the offensive line. The early returns on fourth overall pick Andrew Thomas have been lackluster, as his pass protection ability is poor, and his run blocking us seems to take a step back from his dominance at Georgia.

Hopefully, Thomas can evolve into a capable tackle in the NFL — he has plenty of time to refine his abilities and grow. In favor of Gettleman, he has made several fantastic free agent signings in the recent past, including Blake Martinez, James Bradberry, and Graham Gano.

While his free agents from this past off-season are impressive, we mustn’t forget the trading of a third and fifth-round pick for Leonard Williams, who was set to become a free agent. Of course, the value of drafting Saquon Barkley seems to have backfired, considering he is missing the entire 2020 campaign and dealt with a high-ankle sprain in 2019.

I would be remiss not to mention the Jonathan Stewart and Patrick Omameh signings, as well as the limited returns from the 2018 draft class. The only players that are seemingly contributing to the starting roster are Will Hernandez and Lorenzo Carter. I left out Barkley since he is currently sitting on injured reserve with a torn ACL this season.

When looking at Hernandez and Carter, both are about average, as Hernandez currently hosts a 57.3 overall grade, per PFF. His pass blocking and run blocking have both been below average, taking several steps back from his impressive rookie season in 2018. Whether it’s a change of scheme that is affecting his play or simple degradation, Gettleman’s haul from two years isn’t paying dividends.

We would be ignorant to think that the Giants aren’t planning to move on from him after the 2020 season, but there could be one saving grace.

Dan Graziano of ESPN stated:

 Industry sources are watching the Panthers and Giants for potential openings, and some believe Washington will hire a general manager at some point as well.

The New York Giants are in the race:

Big Blue is currently one game back from being tied for first place with the Dallas Cowboys. Now, Dallas did win their first matchup the season, so they would have the edge given a tie, but without Dak Prescott at the helm, the Cowboys are doomed for failure this year.

Taking a look at Washington, who are moving through quarterbacks faster, and the Giants are moving through head coaches, we can assume they will be at the bottom of the barrel. The Philadelphia Eagles, on the other hand, are dealing with significant injuries across the board. This gives the Giants a rather sad and egregious path to winning the NFC East division.

If, in fact, the Giants were to escape the NFC East as the number one seed, that might convince ownership that Gettleman is deserving of another season as GM. While his poor decision making and lack of awareness for his draft capital have become apparent, turning over the front office again might now be good for the continuity behind the scenes.

Personally, I believe that ownership will allow Gettleman to retire after this campaign, easing his transition out of the NFL and sparing him the embarrassment of a midseason firing. However, anything is possible given the state of the NFC East.

 

WATCH: Yankees’ monster prospect Jasson Dominguez launches homers

New York Yankees, Jasson Dominguez

The Martian is what they call them, and seeing him in person does not disappoint. New York Yankees monster prospect Jasson Dominguez has lit the MLB ablaze, despite never taking an at-bat at the major-league level.

Dominguez, a star-studded outfielder, stands at 5-foot-10 and 195 pounds. While that might not seem like a big frame, it is important to note that he is 17 years old. He has been compared to players like Mike Trout, Mickey Mantle, and Bo Jackson — he signed a $5.1 million international deal with the Yankees in 2019.

His insane blend of tools makes him a potential candidate for generational talent, but of course, nothing is set in stone until you perform at the big league level. Like most minor leaguers, the COVID-19 pandemic stalled their development and forced them to practice on their own accord. They will likely return to play in 2021, but Dominguez is still popping home runs and turning heads at a remarkable rate.

Check out his latest blast below:

Some might say his bat represents a cannon, and the sound the ball makes is simply astonishing. Whether it be the crack of a whip or the sound of 1000 home runs hit over the course of Yankee history, Dominguez is next in line to become a Yankee namesake. But, we’ve heard this story before, recently with Estevan Florial, who is a five-tool prospect that simply can’t remain healthy. Last year, he broke his wrist, and without a season to utilize due to Covid, his development will once again be pushed back.

The reviews on Jasson don’t disappoint, though:

“He’s possibly the best combination of tools, athleticism, and performance that I’ve run across. Now, there’s a whole lot of time, a whole lot of at-bats, and a whole lot of proving it between now and hopefully reaching the major leagues. Given his baseball background, his baseball acumen, his desire, his competitive nature, his work ethic, it’s never an easy thing to drop $5.1 million on one player, but he made it pretty easy.” – Yankees international scouting director Donny Rowland, via Baseball America’s Ben Badler

MLB News: The Ray’s Glasnow allows six runs in Dodgers win in Game 1 (videos)

Tyler Glasnow won over the New York Yankees, but the Los Angles Dodgers took him for six runs in Game 1 of the MLB 2020 World Series. On a beautiflul night in Arlington, Texas the Tampa Bay Rays and the Dodgers took to the field to play the first game of the seven game Fall Classic. The first three innings of the game were uneventful and both pitchers put down their opponents.

Tyler Glasnow first faced trouble in the bottom of the fourth inning. With Muncy on base, Cody Bellinger hit a homer to right center, scoring Muncy for the Los Angeles lead. The Tampa Bay Rays got a run back when Kevin Kiermaier homered to right field in the top of fifth inning.

The bottom of the fifth was a nightmare for Glasnow and the Rays, as the game got out of reach. Glasnow allowed four Dodger runs in the fifth inning, and Ray’s reliever Yarbourgh couldn’t prevent two more runs, left on base by Glasnow from scoring. Meanwhile, the Dodger’s starter Clayton Kershaw sat for nearly 30 minutes. But that didn’t stop him as he pitched a scoreless top of the sixth inning.

Mookie Betts waited until the bottom of the frame to hit his first home run of the postseason, a long one to left field. Fleming in for Yarborough, struggled as he allowed two balls to the wall for the Dodgers 8-1 lead. Devin Floro took over for Kershaw in the seventh inning. Ji-Man Choi, with two on, pitch hit for the Rays causing a pitching change as the Dodgers went to Victor Gonzalez as Rays countered with Mike Brosseau, the ALDS hero. Brosseau singled, allowing another Rays run for the Dodgers 8-2 lead. Kiermaier, who got the home run against Kershaw, singled, driving in another Ray’s tun. Gonzalez got out of the inning with a comebacker double play, Dodgers 8 Tampa Bay 3. Clayton Kershaw got the win and Tyler Glasnow the loss.

Tampa Bay didn’t seem to have it altogether like they did in the ALCS. The Los Angeles Dodger’s Clayton Kershaw showed off for the Dodgers being dominant, allowing only two  hits and one earned run. Previously he had to deal with near-constant criticism about his postseason track record, he delivered six innings of one-run ball. He struck out eight batters and allowed two hits and a walk wiping away any criticism of his performance. Meanwhile Tyler Glasnow struggled throwing 112 pitches before the fifth inning. That the most pitches thrown in so few innings in postseason history, since they were tracked in 1988.

Mookie Betts did it all in the game, he scored two runs one from his homer in the sixth innings. He became the first player in World Series history with 2+ steals, a homer, and 2+ runs in a single game! But the real hero of the game was Cody Bellinger. He homered and made a fantastic over the wall catch to prevent an Austin Meadows home run.

The best of seven MLB series will continue tonight in Arlington at Globe Life Field at 8:08 pm. Tony Gonsolin of the Dodgers will face Blake Snell of the Ray. Both teams will then have a day off on Thursday as they revert back to the Rays having home field advantage for the next three games at the same Globe Life Park. A game six and seven if needed will be on Monday and Tuesday of next week.  For MLB the bubble in the postseason has been very successful, not a single players has come down with the coronavirus.