Aaron Judge joins elite company with 60th home run, plus Nathan MacKinnon is the NHL’s new richest man

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Let’s get started right away.

Good morning to everyone, but especially to…

AARON JUDGE AND THE NEW YORK YANKEES…

We were planning to debut and Aaron Judge Watch in today’s newsletter, and the first edition didn’t look promising. Going into the ninth inning, he was 0 for 3 with a walk, and the Yankees followed the humble pirates 8-4. Then came the history. Then came the victory.

Judge scored his 60th home run of the season, and Giancarlo Stanton hit a walk-off grand slam in a wild 9-8 win. Judge is just the sixth player to hit 60 home runs in a seasonparticipate Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Roger Maris and Babe Ruth.

  • Judge is one home run behind Maris (61 in 1961) for the one-season AL record.
  • The jury’s 60 home runs by his team’s first 147 games are behind only Bonds in 2001 (64) and McGwire in 1998 (62).
  • Judge is on pace for 66 home runs this seasonwhich would put him in a draw for third most of all time.
  • Judge leads MLB average, home runs and RBI — the Triple Crown categories.

Four batters later Stanton launched his third walk-off grand slam, which is equal for most in MLB history. While Judge’s home run chase is the biggest storyline, Stanton’s slam was huge: the Yankees’ AL East lead over the blue jays would have dwindled to just 4.5 games with a loss.

A few more notes about Judge…

…AND ALSO GOOD MORNING TO NATHAN MACKINNON

One of the NHL’s brightest stars now has the NHL’s largest contract. Fresh from leading the Avalanche to a Stanley Cup title, Nathan MacKinnon has signed an eight-year $100.8 million contract to remain in Colorado.

  • The $12.6 million per year is the highest in the leaguesuperlative Connor McDavidis $12.5 million.
  • MacKinnon, 27, was set to become a free agent after the upcoming season. Last season, he scored 88 points in the regular season and 24 playoff points as the Avalanche won their first title since 2001.
  • MacKinnon has been a Hart Trophy (league MVP) finalist for two of the past three seasons.

Honorable Mentions

And not such a good morning for…

USATSIA

THE OKLAHOMA SOONERS AND THE OKLAHOMA STATE COWBOYS

One of the most iconic rivalries in college football will soon be gone: When Oklahoma joins the SEC in 2025, the Bedlam Series rivalry game against State of Oklahoma — which dates back to 1904 and has been played every year since 1910 — goes away too.

To give you an idea of ​​how long ago 1904 was, Oklahoma was three years away from becoming a state.

  • Oklahoma has a 89-20-7 lead in the seriesbut the Cowboys won last year’s meeting, and this year’s matchup (November 19) should be excellent with both teams are currently in the AP Poll top 10.
  • Oklahoma State’s non-conference schedule is full in five of the next six seasons. Oklahoma has openings from 2027, but Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione said, “Oklahoma State has shown no interest in planning future football games, so we are moving forward.” Oklahoma State AD Chad Weibergin the meantime, blamed Oklahoma joining the SEC.
  • It’s just the latest college football rivalry to end recently. Among the others: Oklahoma-Nebraska, Texas-Texas A&M and Pitt-West Virginia.

The Bedlam series has been bedlam time and time again. Even if the on-field action doesn’t live up to the hype, it’s a rivalry unlike any other. Money makes the world go round, and that’s especially true in college football, but rivalry is what makes the sport so fun and unique. This news is a big downer.

Not so honorable mentions

NFL Power Rankings Entering Week 3, Things We Learned From Week 2

After Week 1, our NFL reporter Pete Prisco said not to overreact. However, after week 2, he could change his mind about one of the league’s most talked-about players.

  • Prisco: “I think maybe I was wrong about Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. …It was a special performance for sure, throwing 469 yards and those six scores, but it helped to make it up against a Ravens defense that was terrible. That said, Tagovailoa was impressive… and looked like a passerby who may have just had his moment that kicked off his career.”

Note the word “power”. The Dolphins — one of only six undefeated teams left — are still only eighth in Pete’s Latest NFL Power Rankings. Here’s the top five:

  • 1. Bills (previous: 1)
  • 2. Leaders (previous: 2)
  • 3. Corsairs (previous: 3)
  • 4. Eagles (previous: 4)
  • 5. Packers (previous: 9)

The cardinals were the biggest climbers, going from 21st to 12th after their comeback against the RaidersWhile the foals fell from 14 to 25 after a shutout loss in Jacksonville. The Colts went into the season as a playoff hopeful, but are so far winless.

Another team with high expectations but without a win: the Bengal. Joe Burrow has been fired 13 times, the most in the league. and Jeff Kerr says: multiple parties are at fault in his “One thing we’ve learned about every NFL team” column.

Responding to the NBA Top 100: Impact of Stars Returning from Injury

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In case you somehow missed it, our NBA experts revealed their Top 100 NBA Players on Tuesday, and it got a lot of responses. As our NBA columnist Bill Reiter writes, “There are as many arguments as there are players.”

Like I said in Tuesday’s newsletterLast season, four players in the top 50 didn’t play at all:

  • Kawhi Leonard (8)
  • Zion Williamson (17)
  • Jamal Murray (35)
  • Ben Simmons (42)

Are those rankings fair? Are we expecting too much from these players after career-changing injuries, or are we underestimating them because it’s been so long? With Leonard, Murray and Simmons all on teams considered top-10 title favorites by Caesars Sportsbook, their performance against their rankings has a huge impact. Simmons is very intriguingnotes Bill.

  • Repeat: “He’s a former Rookie of the Year, All Star, All-NBA and All-Defense ultra talent. As in, he’s good. … In a year? He could languish at the bottom of our list, or even get rid of it altogether… Or he could be much, much higher. When things go that way — in the top 20 where a player with his gifts belongs — the nets could be the most dysfunctional team in the league and the most talented.”

For all of Bill’s biggest takeaways, Click here.

If you thought chess was boring, think again

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This is my first time covering chess in this newsletter. I will never forget – or not see – it.

On Monday, Magnus Carlsenthe world’s best player and world chess champion since 2013, resigned on his second move in a match against Hans Niemann in the Julius Baer Generation Cup. Retirement is essentially unprecedented in professional chess, and Carlsen didn’t say why he decided to retire. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

  • On September 4, Niemann defeated Carlsen in the Sinquefield Cup, ending Carlsen’s 53-match winning streak. Niemann thanked a “ridiculous miracle” for helping Carlsen start the game.
  • Carlsen withdrew from the tournament the next day and gave no reason.
  • Grandmaster and online streamer Hikaru Nakamura theorized that Carlsen withdrew because he suspected Niemann of cheating. Niemann admitted to cheating before, and he has also been banned from Chess.com for suspected cheating.

This is where things really derail, explains our staff writer Isabel Gonzalez who has taken a deep dive into the situation:

  • Gonzalez: Unfortunately for Niemann, the speculation didn’t stop there. Rumors of deception continued to spread, and even Tesla CEO Elon Musk got involved as a particularly strange rumor started to gain traction online. A Reddit post suggested that Niemann could have used a sex toy to cheat. There is no concrete evidence and the claim may seem outrageous, but technically it would be possible to use vibrations to communicate.”

The Sinquefield Cup said there were no signs of anyone cheating at the eventbut Carlsen’s latest retreat has only fanned the flames.

What we watch on Wednesday

⚽ Pride vs Courage7 p.m. on Paramount+
Gotham FC vs. Reign7 p.m. on Paramount+
thorns against Louisville racing10pm on Paramount+