Holly's Take

Could XFL shutdown be a clue that the NFL is delaying the start of the 2020 season?

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Friday night on Late Hits I checked in with Patrick Creighton and Jayson Braddock.

Earlier Friday morning there were rumors out of the XFL closing shop. Shortly after, ESPN alerted everyone that the league shut down for good.

I spent all day talking to my fellow colleagues around the league. From players, to personal, coaches… Whoever. In case you missed the segment, here's what I was able to report:

There was a 9-minute conference call between the head office and XFL employees (not players). In this call, they were given specific instructions and guidelines on turning in their things. They were also asked NOT to ask any questions. The call was ended when the head office hung up on everyone.

I reached out to multiple players also got conformation that they were paid on Friday with an additional amount added onto this check. While some players told me they expected this to be their last check, others told me they were to be paid until May 31st. No word from HR yet. It is now Monday and the XFL officially filed bankruptcy. Safe to say that the additional amount on their check was not a Good Friday gift from the Easter Bunny.

The worst part of what I was told was from another side conference call. According to a source, ALLEGEDLY there was a call that happened between Vince McMahon and Roger Goodell. I was not on this call, OBVIOUSLY but here's what my sources said: Goodell wanted XFL shut down because "when the COVID-19 vaccine is found and we are allowed to be in large groups again," the NFL wanted to be the first to host live stadium games. The word from this call is that the NFL does plan on postponing or eventually cancelling the 2020 NFL season. As of now, the main focus is the virtual draft that we're all looking forward to. I strongly believe that IF this call did happen, the NFL will not tell us that they plan on postponing until the absolute last minute when they have to. It's their job to give us hope and keep us positive during these crazy times. I respect that. It may be way into the end of summer before we hear anything. IF we hear anything.

Now, BEFORE you freak out... Please note, this is what I've been told from a source. However, I received this information from the same sources that confirmed the conference call AND the paycheck information. (And the first positive COVID test on an XFL player I reported to you… That was a humble brag real quick). As much as I hope this news is fake and I am completely wrong, it's my job to let you know. As much as I do NOT want to believe that the NFL could be postponed, there is a very good chance it eventually is. As Patrick Creighton talked about on Late Hits a few days back, there was a phone call between Donald Trump and some "guys in high places." Obviously, the President knows more than the public is told. I'm pretty sure the elite business men such as Roger Goodell and others know as well.

So now I leave you guys with this...

How much Netflix, online poker and Instagram Live stories of pushup challenges can we take? How long until we really get sports back? Are we prepared to face this IF we don't get sports back in 2020?

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Houston is falling down the rankings

Tigers pound Odorizzi, Astros with homers as Houston drops fourth in a row

The Astros have not looked great in their last four games. Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

After watching their hot start of 6-1 cool down to a 6-4 record with three straight losses, the Astros returned to Minute Maid Park on Tuesday night, looking to do a better job at home against a beatable Tigers team.

Recent games' woes would continue, though, with Houston's pitching getting blasted by the opposing offense and their own bats primarily quiet.

Final Score: Tigers 8, Astros 2

Astros' Record: 6-5, tied for second in AL West

Winning Pitcher: Matthew Boyd (2-1)

Losing Pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (0-1)

Astros score first, then Tigers unload on Odorizzi

Houston looked to have something brewing in the bottom of the second, with three singles in the first four batters of the inning, the third an RBI-single by Myles Straw to put the Astros in front 1-0. However, Matthew Boyd would limit the damage, getting back-to-back strikeouts to end the threat.

After two easy innings for Jake Odorizzi in his regular-season debut for his new team, he would allow a game-tying solo homer to Akil Baddoo, his fourth of the year, in the top of the third. Detroit struck again in the top of the fourth, getting a leadoff double to set up a two-run go-ahead home run to jump ahead 3-1.

They didn't stop there, getting another two-run bomb later in the same inning; a frame that would take Odorizzi 31 pitches to get only one out before Houston would bring in Bryan Abreu to get the last two outs. Odorizzi's final line in his debut: 3.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 3 HR, 0 BB, 4 K, 80 P.


Detroit continues home run parade, Houston loses fourth in a row

Abreu would hope to do what Luis Garcia did the night before, eat up as many innings as possible after a poor outing from Houston's starter. The Tigers would get yet another two-run homer, though, in the top of the fifth, extending their lead to 7-1, with all seven runs coming over a three-inning span. For good measure, they'd knock one more out with two outs in the top of the ninth, making it 8-1.

As far as Houston at the plate, other than their string of hits to bring in a run earlier in the second, they were getting nothing done against Boyd, who would go six and two-thirds innings. Detroit's bullpen would finish things off, despite an all-too-late sac fly by the Astros in the bottom of the ninth, with Houston dropping their fourth-straight game and continuing to lose ground in the division.

Up Next: The finale of this three-game set with Detroit will be an hour earlier on Wednesday, getting underway at 6:10 PM Central. Lance McCullers Jr. (1-0, 1.80 ERA) will try to maintain his perfect record and improve upon his two five-inning one-run starts for the Astros, going opposite of Michael Fulmer (0-0, 2.57 ERA) for the Tigers.

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