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This is an article version of the CBS Sports HQ AM Newsletter, the ultimate guide to every day in sports. You can sign up to get it in your inbox every weekday morning here.

Good morning to everyone, but especially to ...


No, the Yankees didn't win their AL East showdown against the Orioles last night. However, there was cause for celebration because ace Gerrit Cole was back on the mound and turned in a rock solid start.

After missing the first 75 games of the season with elbow inflammation, Cole made his 2024 debut, and it did start off on a shaky note. Cole allowed a pair of well-struck doubles and an earned run in the first inning, but he really settled in from there.

Ultimately, Cole went four innings, striking out five batters while allowing three hits and two earned runs. (Cole did lobby for one more inning, but he was persuaded to call it a night by manager Aaron Boone.)

Those aren't the most eye-popping stats, but given the circumstances it was a very encouraging step forward for the reigning AL Cy Young winner. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Cole's first start was his velocity.

In his breakdown of Cole's outing, our own Dayn Perry highlighted that heat.

  • Perry: "Encouraging for Cole and the Yankees is that his fastball topped out at 97.5 mph. Overall, the 28 fastballs he threw averaged 95.1 mph. That's down a bit from his usual levels, but it's nothing concerning given that he's still getting stretched out."

The Yankees wound up losing the game, 7-6, in 10 innings. That put something of a damper on Cole's return to the mound at Yankee Stadium, but it was still a positive night overall. New York still owns first place in the AL East, and now its top arm is back in the rotation.

👍 Honorable mentions

And not such a good morning for ...

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Sparks rookie Cameron Brink is out for the rest of the 2024 season after tearing her ACL in Tuesday's game against the Connecticut Sun.

Brink, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, went down awkwardly while driving the lane against Sun forward Brionna Jones. The injury looked bad at the time, and those initial fears were confirmed on Wednesday when she underwent further evaluation.

Once her season-ending injury was confirmed, Brink posted a message for her fans on Instagram.

  • Brink: "You never think it will happen to you. And despite all the hard work sometimes it does. This is hard to fathom but I know it will only make me stronger. I will not be derailed and I will continue to love this life- I'm not defined by basketball, but it is something that I love deeply and I will work everyday to get back to it. It's not goodbye basketball it's just a see you later. I'm always so thankful for your thoughts and prayers."

Prior to the injury, Brink's WNBA career was off to a strong start. Not only was she averaging 7.5 points and 5.3 rebounds per game, but she was also on pace to become the first rookie since Brittney Griner to average at least two blocks per game.

Due in part to her defensive acumen and high work ethic, Brink had already earned praise from WNBA MVPs Diana Taurasi and A'ja Wilson.

What makes Brink's injury even more disappointing is that fans won't get to see her in the 2024 Paris Olympics. Brink was set to represent Team USA as part of the 3x3 women's basketball roster later this summer.

👎 Not so honorable mentions

🏀 NBA offseason primer


The 2023-24 NBA season is officially in the books, and now it's time to look ahead to what should be an eventful summer. Our team of experts at CBS Sports has the upcoming offseason covered from every angle.

For starters, there is an impressive list of potential free agents with just a couple weeks until the negotiation window opens. In his list of the top 30 free agents, our own Brad Botkin has some questions about where LeBron James and Paul George wind up.

  • Botkin: "Will LeBron leave the Lakers? Probably not, but it's not out of the question. George, on the other hand, is a serious threat to exit L.A. with the Philadelphia 76ers armed with max cap space and highly motivated to add George alongside Joel Embiid and Tyrese Maxey, the latter of whom is also a free agent (restricted)."

One player who will not be hitting free agency is Pacers star Pascal Siakam. He signed a $189.5 million max contract to remain with the Pacers on Wednesday.

Of course, the NBA trade market always provides plenty of drama, and this summer will be no exception. The biggest name in trade rumors right now is Heat superstar Jimmy Butler.

If the Heat decide that Butler's asking price is a little too rich for their blood, there will be more than a few suitors lined up to add him. Our own Sam Quinn has already picked out a few possible landing spots.

Butler isn't the only name being floated in trade talks these days, and there will surely be plenty of movement over the next couple months. Quinn compiled his list of the top 75 trade targets, and Hawks standout Trae Young is among the marquee names near the top.

1. Jimmy Butler, Heat
2. Trae Young, Hawks
3. Darius Garland, Cavaliers
4. Brandon Ingram, Pelicans
5. Dejounte Murray, Hawks

Finally, the 2024 NBA Draft begins in less than a week, and CBS Sports' Kyle Boone has provided in-depth scouting reports on each of the top 10 prospects. Boone's No. 1 prospect, Alex Sarr, sets himself apart with elite versatility.

  • Boone: "In a wide-open 2024 NBA Draft class, Sarr -- literally and figuratively -- stands above the competition with his big frame, movement skills and long-term potential. He's a center with a blend of guard skills who can play in the post and out to the perimeter."

🏌Travelers Championship preview


The final signature event of the PGA Tour season will take place this weekend as a field of 71 golfers heads to TPC River Highlands for the Travelers Championship.

One of the golfers who will not be in attendance for the Travelers championship is Rory McIlroy, who is coming off a heartbreaking loss at the U.S. Open.

Scottie Scheffler, on the other hand, will be teeing off at TPC River Highlands this weekend as he looks to rebound from a terrible U.S. Open showing. In our Travelers Championship preview, Patrick McDonald says he still has plenty of confidence in Scheffler.

  • McDonald: "The world No. 1 experienced a number of professional firsts at Pinehurst. He carded four straight over-par rounds for the first time in 120 professional starts and averaged just one birdie per round on top of that. The level of concern is still a zero as Scheffler hit the ball like he normally does but was fooled on the putting surfaces."

Despite his U.S. Open struggles, Scheffler is the favorite to win at TPC River Highlands. Here are the top five contenders, according to the oddsmakers:

  • Scottie Scheffler (7/2)
  • Xander Schauffele (7/1)
  • Ludvig Åberg (12/1)
  • Collin Morikawa (12/1)
  • Viktor Hovland (18/1)

Check out our entire slate of expert predictions, including winner, contender and sleeper picks.

📺 What we're watching Thursday

Euro 2024 -- Slovenia at Serbia, 9 a.m. on Fox
Euro 2024 -- Denmark at England, 12 p.m. on Fox
Travelers Championship -- Round 1, 3 p.m. on Golf Channel
Euro 2024 -- Spain at Italy, 3 p.m. on Fox
🏀 Sparks at Liberty, 7 p.m. on Prime Video
Giants at Cardinals, 7:15 p.m. on Fox
Copa America -- Argentina at Canada, 8 p.m. on FS1