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FILE - In this July 9, 2017, file photo, Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yu Darvish adjusts his hat as he works the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, in Arlington, Texas. As the hours tick down to baseball's trade deadline, three standout pitchers remain at the center of attention. Sonny Gray, Justin Verlander and Yu Darvish each have the potential to help a contending team down the stretch, and if any of them are traded Monday, July 31, 2017, it would certainly spice up what has been a fairly pedestrian stretch of deals so far. (AP Photo/Richard W. Rodriguez, File)

Trading deadline

Well, that made some noise.

The MLB trading deadline was Monday afternoon, and there were several big deals made as teams atop the standings tried to strengthen their bids for titles — be them regular season or World Series. Let's review the teams that made moves and evaluate, shall we? We think we shall.

Dodgers get Yu Darvish. The Dodgers are now a 9-to-4 pick to win the World Series according to Las Vegas sports books after acquiring Darvish from the Rangers. L.A. has built the best team in baseball by avoiding the urge to trade for deadline rentals like Darvish, who will be a free agent at the end of the season. The Dodgers parted with three young prospects for two months and the postseason for Darvish but if the right-hander with electric stuff helps the Dodgers win it all, then the deal was worth it. And for these Dodgers who are 74-31, winning it all is the only acceptable goal.

Yankees get Sonny Gray. Great move for the Yankees, who shipped some prospects to Oakland for Gray, who is a legit No. 1 starter and in under contract through 2019. The Yankees now have a top-of-the-rotation guy to go with that awesome young lineup. You have to wonder if the A's got enough.

The Cubs are surging and are atop the NL Central, and the defending champs added a shutdown lefty reliever in Justin Wilson. The Nationals also addressed their awful bullpen in the days before the deadline and are going to be a monster hurdle for the Dodgers.

On the flip side, the Astros — the best team in the AL — did very little to improve a starting rotation that needs some help.

Also on the side of not doing much was Boston, which did little while the Yankees got significantly better.    

Ah, the NCAA

UCF kicker Donald De La Haye has been ruled ineligible by the school after he refused to agree to the terms of an NCAA waiver involving his money-making endeavor online.

De La Haye has become a successful YouTuber, making some coin with online videos. The NCAA did not approve because, well, the NCAA does not approve of a lot.

Hey, the rules are the rules and the normally stoic and rigid NCAA did, according to a statement from UCF, offer De La Haye a chance to continue to make money with his videos as long as he "did not reference his status as a student-athlete or depict his football skill or ability."

We can quibble about the validity of the NCAA rules or the merit, but if De La Haye was not compliant of the NCAA rules — and when you are trying to oversee that many athletes, exceptions can become quite dangerous — then he should not be eligible. We can debate the ramifications of online rules and regulations in the wide-open window of free speech and the unknown platforms online and beyond.

All of that is a discussion for a another time. Here's my question:

How is it the NCAA can move like lightning on a player, but we're entering what feels like year 10 of the UNC scandal and nothing, zip, nada when it comes to outcome or decisions or rulings?

Here's a hunch that the NCAA is taking a page from Roger Goodall's jazz-hands play book. "Hey, look at that." "Hey, what about this."

All the while hoping we forget about UNC.  
 

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Coach Mark Mariakis talks to his team, who are wearing "guardian caps" over their helmets, during the Chargers' football scrimmage at Chattanooga Christian School on Thursday, July 27, 2017, in Chattanooga, Tenn. Guardian caps, which are used to mitigate the effects of concussions and blows to the head in football, are seeing increased use as concerns about head injuries in the sport rise.

CTE studies

Another brain study was released over the weekend.

You'll never guess the results. Apparently, playing football is dangerous. Say it ain't so. Man, next thing you know, someone is going to tell us that smoking is not good for you either. Wait

Football is a violent sport that involves big dudes running fast and colliding with other big dudes. Should steps be taken to make it as safe as possible? Sure.

But we're getting a little curious about this storyline. The players know the risks and the stakes and the rewards. Heck, players lie about and even try to ignore the in-the-moment head injuries so they can keep playing.

Here's the next question: What's the next chapter in this story?

The flow chart is pretty simple.

Football is violent. Football players get hurt, and ramming your head over and over into things greatly increases brain injuries. Football rules and equipment have become safer, but there is no way to make a game based in collisions completely safe. Period.

We're just puzzled by all the hand-wringing to be honest. And the singular and repetitive focus on football.

Do we really believe that in a generation football will be gone? Of course not.

Jets rookie safety Jamal Adams said recently that the ideal place for him to die would be on the field. He has taken a lot of criticism for that. Most of it seems pretty over the top to be frank.

Adams was answering a question about CTE, and his answer may seem draconian. But Adams loves to play. He's great at it, and the game is going to make him a millionaire.

If he wants to give his life to play, why is that anyone else's concern.

Now his priorities may change. Heck, think what was most important to you when you were 21 and felt invincible.

Maybe it's that time of the sporting calendar that this narrative reappears. Football is back; football players have huge risks of brain injuries. But here's a thought: What's the ultimate end of the masses trying to protect all of us from ourselves?

This and that

— Steve Bartman is getting a World Series ring from the Cubs. Discuss. 

— Thought this was interesting. Rob Gronkowski is now eating like Tom Brady. Well other than the fact that Gronk is still drinking 'Co-Colas.' Giddy-up. Did you see the stat that the Patriots have a 51 percent chance of making the Super Bowl according to ESPN's computer analytics. That's nuts. https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/rob-gronkowski-is-trying-tom-bradys-diet-plan-but-skipping-one-key-part/

— Colin Kaepernick and the Baltimore Ravens are in serious discussions about a contract. Great. If it happens, good for them. If it doesn't, well, OK. If/when the Ravens sign Kaepernick

— considering all the hand-wringing and faux outrage from a lot of the media — will the media hail the Ravens are the most opened-minded organization in all of sports? Maybe, because through all of this hollow controversy, the single most missed issue is that this is a business decision above all else.  

— Atlanta got swept in Philly. Not good. Side note: Did you know the Dodgers were 20-3 in July, and two of those losses came against the Braves? That said, tonight is a pretty intriguing opportunity against those Dodgers. No, it's not about the standings. That's a mismatch. The Dodgers are an MLB-best 74-31; the Braves are 48-56 after losing eight of their last 10. Nope, the intrigue tonight is from Braves rookie starting pitcher Lucas Sims, a former first-round pick who will make his major league debut. Sims has an average fastball in the low-90s but has a plus-plus curveball that he uses in any count. Sims has allowed a lot of homers this year in Triple-A, and opponents have feasted when he starts to miss high with his fastball. Still, if Sims and fellow rookie Sean Newcomb can establish themselves in the final two months of 2017 as meaningful and effective pieces of the rotation moving forward, that would be huge for a team that should be expected to contend next year.   

— Really enjoyed this column from TFP ace Mark Wiedmer on the ages going lower and lower in the recruiting cycle. http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/sports/columns/story/2017/aug/01/wiedmer-long-college-softball-coaches-will-be/441248/

Today's question

Hey, you know what day it is? It's Tuesday.

That means doughnuts are tasty (every day is a good day for a doughnut) and it's time for some 'True or False.' Who's in?

True or false, the Dodgers will win the World Series. True or false, they should change the rules of football — again — for more player safety. True or false, Colin Kaepernick will be in a camp by the end of the week.

And feel free to drop a couple of T or Fs, too.

As for Aug. 1 — where in the world did July go? — it's a full day in history.

On this day in 1936, Adolph Hitler opened the Berlin Olympic Games. On this day in 1986, John McEnroe married Tatum O'Neal.

William Clark — of Lewis and Clark fame — was born on this day in 1770. Francis Scott Key — who wrote the Star-Spangled Banner — was born on this day in 1779. Dom DeLuise was born on this day in 1933. Jerry Garcia was born on this day in 1942. Rappers Chuck D (born Chuck Ridenhour) was born on this day in 1960 and Coolio (born Artis Leon Ivey Jr.) was born on this day in 1963.

As for a Rushmore, well, real-life Vanessa Huxtable (Tempest Bledsoe) of The Cosby Show turns 44 today. Yes, 44.

Rushmore of family-based sitcoms. 

Go.

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