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Saturday, October 20, 2018

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Clemson trolls NC State with laptop photo on play card

Dabo Swinney

Clemson Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney acknowledged after Saturday’s 41-7 win over NC State that his team did troll the Wolfpack with an image on a play card.

Those watching the game may have noticed that Clemson used an image of a laptop computer on one of their play cards from the sideline.

Swinney admitted after the game that the laptop card was an “ultimate troll move.”

How was it a troll job by Clemson? NC State head coach Dave Doeren complained about the referees following last year’s loss to the Tigers and even said he wanted Clemson to be investigated for having a laptop on the sideline. Clemson said the laptop belonged to a member of the program’s social media team.

We’re wondering what the Tigers enjoyed more: beating NC State, or getting in the laptop dig.

Jim Harbaugh blames ‘bush league’ Mark Dantonio for pregame scuffle

Jim Harbaugh headset

It’s safe to say that the pregame incident between Michigan and Michigan State was not forgotten by the Michigan side after their 21-7 win over the Spartans.

The two teams scuffled before the game as Michigan players clashed with Michigan State’s pregame “Spartan walk.” Michigan alleged that the Spartans came out ten minutes late to interfere with Michigan’s warmups, and he took full aim at the Spartans and coach Mark Dantonio after the game, calling their actions “bush league” and saying that his respect for them had dropped.

Dantonio was asked to respond in his own postgame press conference, and he wasn’t buying Harbaugh’s line of attack at all.

These are two coaches that have never particularly been fond of each other heading two teams that feel the same way. It’s even more true when this was only Michigan’s third win in the last 11 against the Spartans after historically dominating the rivalry. Michigan clearly wanted to make a statement, were motivated to do so, and were happy to say so after their two-touchdown victory.

Chris Sale jokingly blames belly button ring for ALCS hospitalization

Chris Sale

Chris Sale pulled a fast one on the media this weekend.

On Saturday, Sale blamed a belly button ring for causing irritation and putting him in the hospital, subsequently keeping him from starting Game 5 of the ALCS.

Sale did not appear to be joking when he said this, though he later told a teammate he would try to pull a huge practical joke.

The Red Sox had chalked Sale’s absence up to a “stomach illness.”

He’s apparently good to go for Game 1 of the World Series, and we assume the team will ask him to stay away from belly button rings until the season is over, at the very least.

Report: Rob Gronkowski ‘highly unlikely’ to play Sunday

Rob Gronkowski

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski looks like a no-go for Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Gronkowski has not traveled with the team to Chicago, and is considered “highly unlikely” to play.

There hadn’t been any real indication that Gronkowski was in danger of missing this one. He’d been dealing with a lingering back injury, but it hadn’t appeared serious enough to keep him out until Friday, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport.

The back issue has been plaguing Gronkowski for some time, but he’s played through it. He hasn’t been ruled out yet and we’ll have to wait for more information, but it appears likely to cost him at least one week.

Red Sox could use Mookie Betts at second base in World Series

Mookie Betts

The Boston Red Sox are running into a problem that many other American League clubs have in the past, and they’re looking at an unorthodox way to address it.

The Red Sox are facing an outfield logjam, with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Mookie Betts well-established from left to right field. However, unless they’re willing to move or bench one of them, Boston won’t have a spot in the lineup for designated hitter J.D. Martinez when playing in a National League ballpark.

Manager Alex Cora’s solution may well be moving Betts to the infield.

Betts at second isn’t exactly as foreign as it might look at first glance. He was a middle infielder during his minor league career, and he briefly filled in there when the Red Sox had an injury emergency late in the season. He might not be elite defensively, but it would allow the Sox to keep both his and Martinez’s bats in the lineup without the benefit of the DH.

Jets reportedly releasing Terrelle Pryor

Terrelle Pryor

The New York Jets are releasing wide receiver Terrelle Pryor, according to a report.

Pryor, who is expected to miss about two weeks with a groin tear, will hit the open market, with the Jets reportedly interested in bringing him back.

This one is a bit of a surprise, even if Pryor isn’t lighting the world on fire. Pryor and the Jets have clashed over injuries before. It wouldn’t be a surprise if he went elsewhere at this point. He hasn’t had a significant impact this season, with 14 catches for 235 yards and two touchdowns through six games.

Brewers P Corey Knebel appears to have foreign substance on arm

Corey Knebel arm substance

Corey Knebel pitched great for the Milwaukee Brewers during Game 6 of the NLCS at Miller Park on Friday, shutting down the Los Angeles Dodgers once again.

Knebel entered the fifth inning with two on and one out and got out of the jam with a flyout and strikeout. He then held the Dodgers scoreless in the sixth, allowing just a hit-by-pitch.

When the FS1 TV cameras showed Knebel on the mound during the game, there was something that stood out: his left forearm was glistening. The shininess was unnatural compared to the rest of his arm and hand.

Knebel appeared to have a greasy foreign substance on his left arm. Pitchers can often get better break on their stuff by using slick substances, which is why it would be in their interest to use something even if it’s against the rules.

Why don’t managers called for checks of pitchers if they see such things? We did see one check in the ALCS, but it was of a catcher and went nowhere.

The prevalence of foreign substances used by pitchers is believed to be so wide that managers don’t want to call out someone else unless they know everyone on their team is clean. MLB reportedly considered a crackdown on the issue last year, but they obviously have not done much.