John's Weekly Sports Wrap-Up: Mookie Betts Traded, XFL Launches, and Michigan State's New Coach
Red Sox Trade Mookie Betts to Dodgers
In a move that was reported last week, nearly fell apart, then reworked and finalized earlier this week, the Boston Red Sox agreed to trade 4-time All-Star and 2018 American League MVP Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers received Betts as well former Cy Young winner David Price from the Red Sox, in exchange for outfielder Alex Verdugo and prospects Jeter Downs and Connor Wong. The deal comes on the heels of the cheating scandal that has rocked baseball and resulted in 3-manager firings in the past month. The Dodgers acquisitions, add to an already explosive lineup and make them presumptive favorites in the National League to get back to the World Series for the 3rd time in the last 4 years.
Launch of the XFL
In 2001, billionaire entertainment mogul Vince McMahon launched XFL in the hopes of creating a successful alternate football league. The league only lasted one season, but in 2018, McMahon announced he would try again. The new version of the XFL launched on Saturday and Sunday to positive reviews from around the sports world. Alternate rules, mic'd up officials and coaches, and hard-hitting action thrilled football fans everywhere who have longed for a spring football league. The league features a 10 game season for 8 teams, in 2 conferences, with all 8 teams playing on Saturday or Sunday of each week. The top 4 teams will go to a single-elimination playoff-bracket, culminating in the championship game on April 26. It remains to be seen if McMahon's second attempt for an alternative football league will succeed.
Mel Tucker Named New Head Coach at Michigan State
College Football was shocked last week with the sudden news that Michigan State Coach Mark Dantonio was retiring from his post. He led the Spartans to three Big Ten championships, six bowl wins and an appearance in the 2015 College Football Playoff while becoming Michigan State's all-time leader in wins with 114 in 13 seasons. On Wednesday Michigan State announced that former Colorado Head Coach and Georgia Defensive Coordinator Mel Tucker would become the new head coach. Tucker joins the program after a 5-7 season with the Buffaloes and signed a 6-year contract paying him $5.5 million annually.
What To Watch This Weekend
The NBA All-Star weekend festivities start tonight. Things kick off with the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game and the Rising Stars Challenge. Saturday night features the Slam Dunk Contest, the 3-point Shootout, and the Skills Competition, and Sunday night wraps things up with the 2020 All-Star Game. In major college basketball, top-ranked Baylor hosts #14 West Virginia. Week 2 of the XFL kicks off on Saturday as 4 matchups will be featured on ABC and Fox.