Weekly Sports Roundup - 11-7-17
Perhaps the only industry with more movement than Hollywood is professional sports. We'll recap it all here in our regular look at the happenings across the world of sport.
The Houston Astros won their first World Series in franchise history, defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games. Centerfielder George Springer, a TLA and Greg Genske client, was named series MVP after hitting .379 with an MLB record five home runs during the series. Third baseman Alex Bregman, a Brodie Scoffield signee, deserves his share of credit after hitting a walk-off single in Game 5 and playing outstanding defense the entire series. But shortstop Carlos Correa, a fellow Greg Genske client, stole the show by proposing to his girlfriend on the field immediately after the game, going from zero rings to two in a matter of moments. For the Dodgers, it was a successful season but now questions remain. High-priced pitcher Yu Darvish was rocked in both of his two starts in the series- two Dodger losses- and now enters free agency with his agent Joel Wolfe at Wasserman. Dodgers brass must debate whether to re-sign him or perhaps target Japanese superstud Shohei Otani, who has made it clear to MLB teams he will be coming over from his native Japan this offseason. The 23-year old Otani, who some call the Japanese Babe Ruth because of his ability to both pitch and hit at an extraordinarily high level, has signed with Nez Balelo and CAA in his search for a team on this side of the Pacific. There are likely to be a host of teams after him, with the Dodgers certainly in the mix.
The NFL's trade deadline was this past week, and this season's edition provided far more drama and dealmaking than is typically seen this time of year. The move with the biggest implications league-wide has to be the San Francisco 49ers acquiring New England Patriots backup QB Jimmy Garoppolo for a second-round draft pick. Not only does this move seemingly ensure that Tom Brady ends his career as a Patriot, it gives Garoppolo the chance to earn a big-money deal as the unquestioned starter in the Bay Area as he moves into free agency with Don Yee and Yee & Dubin Sports. The Seahawks acquiring LT Duane Brown from the Texans is a huge get for an organization that has long struggled to protect QB Russell Wilson. Brown had held out for a new contract this summer with agent Kennard McGuire at MS World, and had not received one. He gets a fresh start to earn long-term security with a Seattle team that has been looking for stability at the offensive line for several years now. More curiously, the Panthers and Dolphins both gave up on promising young talents at the deadline. Carolina sent WR Kelvin Benjamin, a Todd France signee, to Buffalo, while Miami traded RB Jay Ajayi, a Select Sports Group client, to Philadelphia. With both teams in the playoff hunt and needing all the talent they can get, there must be more to the story of why they jettisoned some of their best young players.
Big changes coming out of Milwaukee this morning with the news that the Bucks have acquired guard Eric Bledsoe from the Phoenix Suns. The disgruntled but nevertheless highly talented 27-year-old has wanted out of Phoenix for some time and GM Ryan McDonough was eventually able to find a new home for the Klutch Sports and Rich Paul client. In return, the Suns receive skilled big man Greg Monroe and a first-round pick. Monroe, a David Falk signee with career averages of 14 points and nearly 9 rebounds, gets a chance to show off what he can do before re-entering the free agency market this summer. Phoenix might also seek to buy out the remainder of Monroe's contract and make him a free agent immediately, in order to free up more time for some of their young players like Neustadt Group signing Dragan Bender or Goodwin Sports Group's Marquese Chriss. Meanwhile, Bledsoe becomes certainly the best player that Bucks' star Giannis Antetokounmpo has ever played with. Expectations are now higher than ever in Milwaukee, and the microscope will be placed squarely on still-growing Bucks coach Jason Kidd, a Jeff Schwartz client at Excel Sports Management. Role players like guard Malcolm Brogdon, a Danielle Cantor client, and wing Khris Middleton, who is with Michael Lindeman at Excel, will have to step up if the Bucks are to return to the NBA's elite.
While the Vegas Golden Knights continue their impressive play out west, the best team in the league can be found in Tampa, Florida. The Lightning lead the NHL in points with 24, and seek to return to the Stanley Cup Finals after a disappointing loss in 2015. Center Steven Stamkos is finally healthy again and playing some of the best hockey of his career, leading the NHL in points with 25 and assists with 18. Just last year, agents Don Meehan and Mark Guy of Newport negotiated a massive 8 year, $68 million contract for Stamkos, and the Lightning certainly aren't regretting a thing right now. Teammate Nikita Kucherov isn't far behind himself- his 23 points are second in the league and nobody has more than his 14 goals. The Dan Milstein client at Gold Star Management forms one of the game's best duos with Stamkos, one that Tampa certainly hopes to be able to ride well into the postseason. With youngster Andrei Vasilevski, a Rolland Hedges signee, in goal leading the league in wins and veteran defenseman Anton Stralman second in the league in plus minus, Lightning general manager and hockey legend Steve Yzerman believes he has built a team capable of sustained excellence like the kind he enjoyed as a Hall of Fame player with the Detroit Red Wings.