Everything you need to know about the 2020 Masters

It’s here, it’s here, it’s here! As odd as it feels to say on a crisp November morning… the Masters gets underway today! The best weekend in golf is finally upon us and I couldn’t be more thrilled. I have many fond Masters memories — most from back in college when my friends and I would skip classes Thursday and Friday of Masters week and start drinking beers at about 8 a.m. Truly incredible times. (Sorry if you’re reading this, mom.)

Though I will NOT be partying that hard this year, I’m still all jazzed up for golf at Augusta this morning. And that’s saying something considering we’re running on about four hours of sleep because some wild MACtion fired me up late last night and I ended up hunting for a Playstation 5 through the early hours.

That just means we have some golf naps on deck later today, and no golf nap beats a Masters golf nap. Gotta pace ourselves, especially with NFL in store tonight too.

Let’s get it going.


📰 What you need to know

1. How to keep up with our Masters coverage all weekend 🏌

 [*Jim Nantz voice*] Hello friends, welcome to a tradition unlike any other.

This year’s Masters will have a little bit more emphasis on the “unlike any other” part, as it’s being played in the fall instead of the spring and there will be no fans at Augusta National. But even with the alterations caused by the pandemic, it’s still the most prestigious event on the golf calendar and the field is absolutely stacked so we should be in for a treat.

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As we kick things off this morning, let’s set you up with everything you need to know:

Not only will you be able to follow all the action via CBS, but our golf experts are second to none and they’ll have you rolling in analysis, takeaways and recaps over the coming days so you’re absolutely gonna want to keep up with their coverage.

Of the 92 guys that are set to tee off at Augusta today, our crew has hand-selected nine golfers who actually have a real shot of taking home the green jacket on Sunday… and reigning champ Tiger Woods isn’t among that group.


2. What do the Rockets do with James Harden and Russell Westbrook? 🏀


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It’s shaping up to be a very, very eventful offseason for the Houston Rockets already. Not only has the team parted ways with general manager Daryl Morey and head coach Mike D’Antoni, there’s also a good chance they’re going to bid adieu to at least one of their superstar players in the coming weeks. 

  • James Harden and Russell Westbrook both reportedly let the Rockets’ front office know that they are concerned about the direction of the franchise
  • As the team reshapes its roster, Harden is reportedly committed to Houston but Westbrook has reportedly asked for a trade
  • Houston’s front office is reportedly going to be “very aggressive” in terms of adding talent this offseason

Harden and Westbrook clashing in Houston? Well, well, well… who could have seen that coming?! Though the duo worked well at times last season, the Rockets certainly didn’t accomplish what they’d hoped in the one year since making the Westbrook-for-Chris Paul swap. It doesn’t feel like they’re trending in the right direction, either — they’re more of a fringe playoff team than a true contender at this point — and Westbrook wanting out after just one season points to a real lack of faith in their ability to turn things around.

So now Houston has some really big decisions to make, and quickly. With the condensed offseason, this inevitable retooling is going to have to be orchestrated swiftly. The draft is next Wednesday and free agency opens next Friday. This is a team at a crossroads with a new general manager who is a under a ton of pressure to put out an organizational fire & fix glaring issues in just about a week’s time.

No pressure, though.

3. MLB hands out Cy Young awards ⚾


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There might be something in the water in Ohio. Major League Baseball handed out its Cy Young Awards yesterday and the two best pitchers in the league play ball in the Buckeye State.

  • Indians starter Shane Bieber took home the American League Cy Young in unanimous fashion, making him the first unanimous winner in the AL since Justin Verlander in 2011
  • In 12 starts, the 25-year-old Bieber went 8-1 with a 1.63 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 122 strikeouts against 21 walks in 77 1/3 innings
  • Bieber led the AL in wins, win percentage, ERA, hit rate (5.4 hits per nine innings allowed), strikeout rate and WAR
  • Reds ace Trevor Bauer won National League Cy Young, receiving 27 of 30 first-place votes. He’s the first pitcher in Reds history to win the award
  • Bauer, 30, went 5-4 with a 1.76 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 100 strikeouts and 17 walks in 73 innings

It’s not much of a surprise that both of these guys had their names called yesterday, as they both seemed like the obvious choices. It should be noted that Bauer is a free agent and, although the market might be a little cold due to the pandemic and its financial impact on clubs, being able to add “reigning Cy Young winner” to a resume might help a guy secure a few extra bucks.

Just as long as he stays away from drones this offseason.

4. Looking back on the Marshall plane crash as its 50th anniversary approaches 🏈


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It’s been very nearly 50 years years since the team plane carrying the Marshall University football team crashed in West Virginia, killing all 75 people onboard. The official anniversary isn’t until Saturday but our college football writer Dennis Dodd penned an incredible story that went up on our website yesterday. I can’t recommend it enough. 

Dodd’s piece touches on the tragedy, how it still has a profound impact on those closest to it and how they’re still healing. He shares stories of those who could have been on the flight, those who sifted through the wreckage and those who lost loved ones in the crash. All of it makes for an extremely powerful read.

  • Dodd: “Marshall is ranked No. 16 and undefeated at 6-0. Before the noon ET game, a crowd will gather at Spring Hill Cemetery once again to observe the past but also celebrate what they and the university have become. A memorial fountain will be turned off the same time it is every year only to be turned back on in the spring. A sign of renewed life. You see, out of the tragedy has come not a celebration but an annual realization that some good has been made out of the worst thing imaginable.”

You can check out the piece right here.


📝 Odds & Ends


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📺 What to watch tonight

 
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🏈 Colts vs. Titans, 8:20 p.m. | pk | TV: NFLN

🏈 Colorado State vs. Boise State, 8:00 p.m. |  BOISE -14.5 | TV: FS1


📝 Top scores from last night


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🏈 Western Michigan 41, Toledo 38

Western Michigan erased a 10-point deficit with under 50 seconds left to go in the fourth quarter and won on the strength of a fake spike touchdown.
💵 Winning wagers: WMICH -1.5, Over (58.5)


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