Today in sports: the first game of the World Series will be wet, cold, and windy, NBA players are planning a well-paid, multi-continent exhibition tour, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers would like to be England's NFL team.
- The World Series will start tonight in St. Louis, assuming the light rain that's been falling all day doesn't suddenly start to pick back up again. The Weather Channel is optimistic that baseball will be played tonight, but the conditions sound brutal. In addition to the steady drizzle, wind gusts between 20 and 30 miles an hour will be blowing throughout the game, bringing the on-field wind chill down into the high 30s. That's not any player's idea of ideal of playing conditions, and it certainly won't help Texas Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton, who's been limited by a left groin strain for the past five weeks, hit his first home run of the playoffs. Of course tonight he'll be trying to hit off Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter, who has an inflamed right pitching elbow and a long history of arm injuries. [The Weather Channel and Fox Sports]
- Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Derrick Rose, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Amare Stoudemire, Chris Bosh, Rajon Rondo, Blake Griffin, Russell Westbrook, Carlos Boozer, Paul Pierce and Kevin Love are among the NBA players in talks to participate in a barnstorming exhibition tour as the lockout continues to drag on. According to sources, the "two-week, six-game, three-continent" jaunt would begin October 30 with a game in Puerto Rico, followed by two games in London, one in Macau, and two in Australia. Bryant, Bosh, Pierce, Griffin and Wade have already signed contracts with organizer Calvin Darden that will pay them "salaries ranging from six figures up to $1 million," with an unspecified amount going to charity. [ESPN]
- The Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers are playing at Wembley Stadium in London this weekend. This is the fifth straight year the NFL has held a regular season game in the United Kingdom, and will be adding a second one soon, even though coaches and players have consistently groused about the length of the trip and the poor field conditions at Wembley Stadium. One team that doesn't seem to mind the trip is Tampa: this will be their second London game and touched down at Heathrow late Monday night, while the Bears aren't departing Chicago until Thursday evening. The Buccaneers have developed a loyal following with English NFL fans and they're owned by Joel Glazer, who also owns Manchester United. NFL International vice president Chris Parsons said last week the league thinks there's a "tremendous benefit for a team to return to the U.K. on an annual basis" and the Buccaneers could certainly use the help. Every single one of the team's home games in Florida has been blacked out locally after failing to sell out, which makes an annual home game thousands of miles from home something to look forward to. Plus, London's newspapers can't get enough shots of Tampa's cheerleaders going to parliament. [Tampa Bay Online]
- Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick is backing off from his remark last week that Notre Dame Stadium is "the quietest place we play" -- kind of. What he meant to say, he explained to the South Bend Tribune on Tuesday, is that is that the Notre Dame student section is "as loud and as engaged and effective as any in the country," but that the "other seven-tenths of the stadium could do better and needs to match the students’ enthusiasm and intensity..in that regard we are a quieter place to play." [South Bend Tribune]