The Los Angeles Dodgers went about the formality of releasing infielder Chase Utley from his contract, all so Utley could retire, as he said he would. He won his only World Series title 10 years ago with Philadelphia, but was left off this year's World Series roster by the Dodgers.
If you believe some corners of the internet, Utley will never be forgiven for a take-out slide in 2015 National League Division Series vs. the Mets that all but ended the career of fellow infielder Ruben Tejada. The rules were rewritten after the 2015 World Series to eliminate the threat of injury to middle infielders. At his core, Utley was an old school ballplayer, one of the last of a gradually phased out breed.
Having clinched a share of the Liberty League title a week ago, RPI put all their focus on the annual Battle of The Dutchmen's Shoes vs. Union on Saturday. It was also Senior Day at East Campus Village Stadium, and RPI sought to maintain a perfect record headed into the post-season.
Union, however, had other ideas. After six years in Troy, the Shoes are headed back to Schenectady, as Union routed RPI, 34-10. While they might not have seen much action, if at all, the game also marked the first time former Troy High teammates John Germinerio (now a sophomore at Union) and Matt Ashley (RPI freshman) would play against each other. It'd been two years since they'd been on the ECVA turf together (2016 Section II Class AA Super Bowl). Given the spotty reporting of El Cheapo Media, we'll never know if either one saw the field on Saturday.
Speaking of Section II, we started with 5 teams advancing to state football playoffs. This morning, we're down to 3.
On Saturday, Class D champion Warrensburg dropped a 37-16 decision to Moriah. Less than 24 hours earlier, Class C champion Cambridge-Salem, which, when it was just Cambridge, won the last two D titles, was eliminated by Ogdensburg Free Academy. Class B champion Glens Falls, led by Joseph Girard III, advanced on Friday night by beating Beekmantown, 21-7, at Shenendehowa.
AA Champ Shaker and A titlist Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake had the week off, and begin state play next Saturday.
When the Buffalo Bills play the Jets today, both teams will have veteran backup quarterbacks under center.
The Bills are on their 4th different starting QB this season, having signed Matt Barkley, a bust with Philadelphia and Chicago, two weeks ago. 2nd year QB Nathan Peterman hasn't been officially pronounced a bust himself, but it seems he can't win when it really matters. The Jets, meanwhile, wary of a foot injury by rookie QB Sam Darnold last week, will bring Josh McCown off the bench to start. If Darnold has to be declared inactive, 2nd year QB Davis Webb, acquired from the Giants in the offseason, would be signed from the practice squad to back up McCown.
Another intriguing matchup sees AFC East tyrant New England visiting former defensive star Mike Vrabel and Tennessee. The Titans are coming off an upset of Dallas six days ago, in which the Titans defense did to Dallas what New England did to Green Bay the night prior, shut them down in the second half. You know Vrabel will have Tennessee ready for this one. All he's gotta do is flash his Super Bowl rings to motivate the team. If anything, Vrabel will be ready for anything his former coach, Bill Belichick, will try. The Patriots have already lost to former defensive coordinator Matt Patricia and Detroit earlier this season, but haven't lost since. You know what that means. Crybaby Brady and his ego have taken over. Ex-Patriot and local product Dion Lewis will be in the backfield for Tennessee, part of a 1-2 punch with Derrick Henry. This will be emotional, but not an easy game for either side.