Wild-card action...Weather to blame for attendance slump?...College corruption trial
CHICAGO (AP) — The Rockies visit Chicago for a wild-card showdown with the Cubs tonight after both teams lost tie-breaking games with division crowns on the line. Colorado missed out on a first NL West title in a 5-2 loss at the Dodgers, and the Cubs fell to Milwaukee 3-1 with the NL Central on the line. Both teams are calling on ace left-handers. Chicago will start Jon Lester and may follow with Cole Hamels, while Colorado gives the ball to Kyle Freeland.
NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball’s average attendance dropped 4 percent to 28,830, its lowest since 2003 after 14 consecutive seasons topping 30,000, and six stadiums set record lows. In a season of unusually cold and wet weather, 17 of the 30 teams experienced drops. The average is down 14.4 percent from its high of 32,785 in 2007, the last year before the Great Recession. There were 54 postponements, the most since 1989, and 26 of them were higher-drawing weekend games.
NEW YORK (AP) — A federal prosecutor contends that an Adidas executive and two other men hatched a scheme to exploit blue-chip college hoops recruits for profit by showering their families with secret cash payments from the athletic gear giant. The allegation came in the opening of a New York trial of an alleged conspiracy to make payments in violation of NCAA rules of up to $100,000 to secure commitments by the recruits to attend Adidas-sponsored programs.
UNDATED (AP) — Hockey fans have often criticized NBC’s coverage for not showing more of the NHL’s young stars and the up-and-coming teams. That changes when the season opens Wednesday as the network goes with a new approach. Much like the NBA does on Thursdays, the NHL has tried to make Wednesday its night for must-see TV. NHL chief content officer Steve Mayer says that Wednesday Night Rivalry proved how special that night can be for the league.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Penn State is stopping the use of helicopters to make announcements outside the football stadium after a state police chopper flew so low over an unruly tailgating crowd that it sent tents and other items flying. A Penn State Police spokeswoman said Tuesday it will stop using a helicopter to make crowd announcements until the issue can be fully examined. The Federal Aviation Administration is also looking into a complaint about the incident before last weekend’s game.