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The World Series beat the NFL in the ratings last night

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Austin Karp of SportsBusiness Journal reports that Game Five of the World Series between the Indians and Cubs beat the regular-season Eagles-Cowboys Sunday Night Football game in the ratings. Pretty decisively too: the Cubs and Indians generated a 15.3 rating. The Eagles-Cowboys: 11.6. It’s the first time a World Series game has beat the Sunday Night Football rating head-to-head since 2011.

There are a lot of people who have sent me this info and have asked me to write a “Hey, maybe baseball ISN’T dying” post. Or to, alternatively, write a “Football is Dying, You Guys” post. Given the issues the NFL has had this year with declining ratings, I suppose one could do that at least half-credibly.

But I’m not gonna read that much into it, really. Yes, the NFL has some challenges these days and, I suspect, there may be some oversaturation of football on TV that is starting to be felt, but I don’t see some serious new trend emerging out of this. Last night’s game was a possible clincher for a team that hasn’t had one in 68 years facing off against a team that hasn’t been in the World Series for 71 years. A team which also happens to possess one of the largest and most geographically dispersed fan bases in the country. The Cubs and Indians was destined to be a big ratings grabber and, not surprisingly, it’s grabbing big ratings.

I’m sure Major League Baseball is pleased by this and that the NFL is less-than-pleased, but I will not declare football dead or baseball, um, undead, even with my tongue placed in my cheek based on a year that I suspect is a bit of an outlier. Of course, I’ll reassess if the Pirates and Mariners make the Series next year and still beat out a big NFL game. That’d really be somethin’ eh?

Cole Hamels done for year after just 1 start for Braves

Cole Hamels triceps injury
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ATLANTA — After making just one start for the Atlanta Braves, Cole Hamels is done for the season.

Hamels reported shortly before the start of a four-game series against the Miami Marlins that he didn’t feel like he could get anything on the ball. The left-hander was scheduled to make his second start Tuesday after struggling throughout the year to overcome shoulder and triceps issues.

The Braves placed Hamels on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Sept. 18,, but that was a mere formality. General manager Alex Anthopoulos already contacted Major League Baseball about replacing Hamels in the team’s postseason player pool.

“Cole knows himself and his body,” Anthopoulos said. “You trust the player at that point when he says he can’t go.”

The Braves began Monday with a three-game lead in the NL East .and primed for their third straight division title.

Even with that success, Atlanta has struggled throughout the shortened 60-game series to put together a consistent rotation beyond Cy Young contender Max Fried and rookie Ian Anderson.

Expected ace Mike Soroka went down with a season-ending injury, former All-Star Mike Foltynewicz was demoted after just one start, and Sean Newcomb also was sent to the alternate training site after getting hammered in his four starts.

The Braves have used 12 starters this season.

Anthopoulos had hoped to land another top starter at the trade deadline but the only deal he was able to make was acquiring journeyman Tommy Milone from the Orioles. He’s on the injured list after getting hammered in three starts for the Braves, giving up 22 hits and 16 runs in just 9 2/3 innings.

“There’s no doubt that our starting pitching has not performed to the level we wanted it to or expected it to,” Anthopoulos said. “I know that each year you never have all parts of your club firing. That’s why depth is so important.”

Hamels, who signed an $18 million, one-year contract last December, reported for spring training with a sore shoulder stemming from an offseason workout.

When camps were shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic, Hamels was able to take a more cautious approach to his rehabilitation. But a triceps issue sidelined again before the delayed start of the season in July.

The Braves hoped Hamels would return in time to provide a boost for the playoffs. He also was scheduled to start the final game of the regular season Sunday, putting him in position to join the postseason rotation behind Fried and Anderson.

Now, Hamels is done for the year, his Braves’ career possibly ending after he made that one appearance last week in Baltimore. He went 3 1/3 innings, giving up three runs on three hits, with two strikeouts and one walk in a loss to the Orioles.

Hamels reported no problems immediately after his start, but he didn’t feel right after a bullpen session a couple of days ago.

“You’re not going to try to talk the player into it,” Anthopoulos said. “When he says he isn’t right, that’s all we need to hear.”

Atlanta recalled right-hander Bryse Wilson to replace Hamels on the 28-man roster. The Braves did not immediately name a starter for Tuesday’s game.

With Hamels out, the Braves will apparently go with Fried (7-0, 1.96), Anderson (3-1, 2.36) and Kyle Wright (2-4, 5.74) as their top three postseason starters.

Hamels is a four-time All-Star with a career record of 163-122. He starred on Philadelphia’s World Series-winning team in 2008 and also pitched for Texas and the Chicago Cubs.

Last season, Hamels went 7-7 with a 3.81 ERA in 27 starts for the Cubs.