Lucas Giolito Getty Chicago White Sox
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Happy Thursday, everyone! Hope you're well.

Let's get right to it.

Good morning to everyone but especially to...


Wednesday night's Shohei Ohtani rumors started with a report that the Angels will take him off the trade market and pursue pitching help in an attempt for a playoff push. A few hours later, they made good on the second part of that report. The Angels acquired righties Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo López from the White Sox in exchange for a pair of prospects -- catcher Edgar Quero and lefty Ky Bush -- in the first major trade surrounding the deadline.

  • Giolito, 29, is in the midst of a bounce-back year with a 3.79 ERA and a 3.12 strikeout-to-walk ratio. After three straight top-11 Cy Young finishes from 2019-21, Giolito had a rough 2022 but has rounded back into form. He will be a free agent at the end of this season.
  • Giolito was the No. 2 player on R.J. Anderson's "best players who could be moved" list behind, you guessed it, his now-teammate Ohtani.
  • The Angels are 52-49, seven games behind the Rangers in the AL West and four games behind the Blue Jays for the final AL Wild Card spot.

The glass-half-full viewpoint says the Angels have played well recently winning six of their last seven, Giolito will be a major boost, and when Mike Trout (and several other key players) return, the push for a playoff berth is truly on. The glass-half-empty viewpoint says by not trading Ohtani and now by gutting the minor-league system of its top prospects, the Angels risk the ultimate worst-case scenario of missing the playoffs and getting essentially nothing in return for Ohtani.

I can see arguments for both. But at the end of the day, to me, this is a win for the Angels and their fans. They're committed to trying to win with the likely AL MVP and another one of the best players on Earth, potentially in their last season together. This organization hasn't made the playoffs since 2014 and hasn't won a playoff game since 2009. Playing meaningful games late in the season is fun. Watching Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout play meaningful games late in the season would be really fun. Let's hope the Angels -- now with two more arms to rely on -- can get there, and maybe beyond.

Honorable mentions

Not so honorable mentions

⚽ USWNT guts out 1-1 draw vs. Netherlands

Sophia Smith Getty USWNT 2023 World Cup Netherlands
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The winning streak is over, but at least it's not a loss. The United States women's national team got a hard-fought 1-1 draw against the Netherlands, with Lindsey Horan's powerful header off a corner in the 62nd minute canceling out Jill Roord's wonderful 17th-minute strike.

  • With the draw, the USWNT remains atop Group E with four points. The Netherlands also have four points, though with an inferior goal differential (+1 vs. +3).
  • Horan and Rose Lavelle, who assisted the goal, both earned an 8/10 in Sandra Herrera's player ratings.
  • However, by getting out-coached for much of the match and making just one substitution (Lavelle), coach Vlatko Andonovski earned just a 5/10.

It was far from perfect. In fact, at times, the USWNT was clearly on the back foot. It's the first non-win at the World Cup for the USWNT since 2015. But when they needed a goal to earn something from the match, the USWNT dug deep and showed resiliency, writes our Pardeep Cattry.

  • Cattry: "It likely will not be the last major test for the USWNT during this tournament with the quality of the opposition better than it's ever been. The ability to rally back and rescue a point against a talented Dutch team, though, may prove to be a valuable experience as the World Cup progresses."

Colorado approaching return to Big 12; conference's presidents and chancellors unanimously approve Buffaloes

Colorado Buffaloes Getty Logo
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The realignment carousel never rests for long. Colorado is nearing a return to the Big 12, with Big 12 presidents and chancellors voting unanimously to accept Colorado as a new member per CBS Sports' Dennis Dodd and the Buffaloes potentially applying today.

  • Colorado held "substantive" talks with the Big 12 back in May, and things progressed from there, with interest especially increasing over the past few days. A second Colorado Board of Regents meeting is scheduled for Thursday at 5 p.m., and the application could follow.
  • In 1947 Colorado joined the Big Six, which later would become the Big Eight, and was a founding member of the Big 12 in 1996 before leaving for the Pac-12 in 2011.
  • The Big 12 formally added BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF for this year, putting the conference at 14 teams before it loses Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC in 2024.
  • Dennis also reported in June that the conference reached out to basketball powerhouses UConn and Gonzaga.

There's no denying Colorado's recent hiring of Deion Sanders as head football coach vastly improves the Buffaloes' attractiveness, and there's no denying the Pac-12's issues securing a media rights deal vastly improves the Big 12's attractiveness, writes our Dean Straka.

🏈 Five NFL veterans who need strong training camps, plus updates from around the league

Michael Thomas Getty New Orleans Saints
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All 32 NFL teams will be in training camp today, finally marking the full, unbridled return of the country's most popular league. It's a time of optimism. Every team is undefeated. There will be training camp darlings who unexpectedly earn roster spots and first looks at stars who make their team's fans even more excited. The possibilities are endless.

But there's a downside, too. Some big-name veterans need to show they can still live up to their billing or risk falling down the depth chart -- or off the roster entirely. Chris Trapasso took a look at five such players, including a former record-breaking wide receiver.

  • Trapasso: "Michael Thomas, WR, Saints -- Let's start here with a refresher on how little we've seen Thomas since he set the NFL single-season catch record (149) back in 2020 with Drew Brees. ... 10 out of a possible 50 most recent regular-season contests. Goodness. And, now, he's 30. ... Without an 'I'm Back' type declaration in camp, Thomas may suddenly be in a place unimaginable for him even two years ago -- near the bottom of the Saints' target pecking order."

CBS Sports has reporters all over covering training camps, so here's some in-person reporting:

We also have highlights and notes from around the league!

🏈 Former Minnesota players, staffers level allegations against P.J. Fleck

P.J. Fleck Getty Minnesota Golden Gophers Football
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Former Minnesota football players and staffers made significant allegations against current Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck, comparing the program to a "cult" full of intimidation and toxicity. Among the allegations in the report are...

  • Fleck interfered with medical protocols, pushing for players to return prematurely
  • Fleck created the "Fleck Bank" in which players with enough "coins" weren't punished for positive drug tests and other violations of team rules
  • strange traditions that included clapping for Fleck every time he entered a room and memorizing information from the "Fleck Book"
  • coaches were obsessed with players' weights to the point of at least one player defecating "pink liquid"

Minnesota athletic director Mark Coyle voiced his support for Fleck in a statement.

This isn't the first issue Fleck has encountered. In 2018, CBS Sports obtained a memorandum in which a former employee warned the Minnesota board of regents of a toxic culture within the program and alleged medical staffers were illegally prescribing the powerful anti-inflammatory drug Toradol. A resulting investigation largely exonerated those involved.

Fleck will speak at Big Ten Media Days today.

📺 What we're watching Thursday

 We're watching the Women's World Cup. Here's how.