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•  In Week 17 of the National Football League…

Washington 20, Philadelphia Eagles 14

Las Vegas Raiders 32, Denver Broncos 31

Tennessee Titans 41, Houston Texans 38

Seattle Seahawks 26, San Francisco 49ers 23

Miami Dolphins 26, Buffalo Bills 56

Baltimore Ravens 38, Cincinnati Bengals 3

Pittsburgh Steelers 22, Cleveland Browns 24

Minnesota Vikings 37, Detroit Lions 35

NY Jets 14, New England Patriots 28

Dallas Cowboys 19, NY Giants 23

Atlanta Falcons 27, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 44

Green Bay Packers 35, Chicago Bears 16

Jacksonville Jaguars 14, Indianapolis Colts 28

LA Chargers 38, Kansas City Chiefs 21

Arizona Cardinals 7, LA Rams 18

New Orleans Saints 33, Carolina Panthers 7

•  From the Wall Street Journal:

"There’s no crying in baseball. Except in 2020. 

"If there’s a Baseball Heaven, the team of players who died in 2020 is loaded. It features seven Hall of Famers, including four of the best pitchers of all-time and three superstars of the 1960s and ‘70s in the field. And that doesn’t include one of the most prodigious hitters of the era who hasn’t made it to Cooperstown. 

"In a remarkably tragic year for the world, that pain of the pandemic year was acute in baseball. More than 100 former major-league players died, the most in four decades, according to Stats LLC.

In one 42-day span alone, five Hall of Fame members passed away: New York Mets pitcher Tom Seaver, speedy outfielder Lou Brock, longtime St. Louis Cardinals ace Bob Gibson, New York Yankees left-hander Whitey Ford and Cincinnati Reds second baseman Joe Morgan. Detroit Tigers slugger Al Kaline died last April, and knuckleballer Phil Niekro passed away last week.

It was a grievous run that raised a question: Was this the greatest collection of baseball players to ever die in a single year? 

"The answer is yes—and it isn’t even close."

•  From the Boston Globe:

"The Red Sox are breaking new ground, hiring Bianca Smith as a minor league coach. She will be the first Black woman to serve as a professional baseball coach in the history of Major League Baseball, league officials confirmed Thursday.

"Smith, 29, will work with the minor league players in Fort Myers, Fla., and her focus will mainly involve position players, a team official said."

According to the story, "Smith comes with a track record: She played softball at Dartmouth College (2010-12), was director of baseball operations and a graduate assistant at Case Western Reserve (2013-17), and served as an assistant coach at the University of Dallas (2018).

"Smith’s major league experience goes back to 2017, when she interned for the Texas Rangers in their baseball operations department. She spent time working at Major League Baseball in amateur administration before interning in the Cincinnati Reds baseball operations department.

"Smith currently serves as assistant baseball coach and hitting coordinator at Carroll University in Wisconsin, a position she’s held since 2019."