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The Sports Report: World Series Game 1 is here

Joc Pederson and his daughter Poppy Jett celebrate on the field after the Dodges beat the Braves in Game 7.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

Jorge Castillo on the Dodgers: When Andrew Friedman left the Tampa Bay Rays to become the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations in October 2014, he left more than a job.

The front office had spent years together building the low-budget operation into a legitimate perennial World Series contender opposite big-money behemoths. Executives went to each other’s weddings. They were around for their children’s births. They built a bond beyond baseball. Friedman was leaving some of his best friends.

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One day, they joked, they would meet in the World Series.

And for it to actually happen,” Friedman said, “is surreal.”

It’ll happen Tuesday when the Rays, the organization that gave a 28-year-old Friedman the front-office reins in 2006, and the Dodgers, the storied franchise he’s attempting to finally guide over the championship hump, meet for Game 1 of the World Series in the strangest of circumstances — at a neutral site with limited fans to conclude a pandemic-shortened Major League Baseball season.

First pitch is scheduled for 5:09 p.m. PDT at Globe Life Field.

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“I’ve been trying to process it,” Friedman said.

The Rays — led by manager Kevin Cash and general manager Erik Neander, who began his career as an intern for Friedman — beat the Houston Astros in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday to punch their ticket first. The Dodgers joined them the next night with a win over the Atlanta Braves in Game 7 on Sunday to complete their comeback from a 3-1 series deficit.

The Dodgers are back in the World Series for the third time in four years, still searching for their first championship since 1988 — a decade before Tampa Bay played its first game as an expansion team.

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Helene Elliott: Most unpredictable of seasons produces a World Series matching MLB’s two best teams

Commentary: Remembering 1988, when the Dodgers and Lakers both won titles

Dodgers fans make themselves at home in Globe Life Field, and the players notice

Fan-to-fan kindness: How one Dodgers fan got a free trip to World Series

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Rays still zig while others zag, long after Andrew Friedman left for the Dodgers

Dodgers World Series history: 20 times they played for title

Dodgers-Rays World Series schedule

All times Pacific

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Dodgers are home team for Game 1, 2, 6 and 7

All games at Arlington, Texas

Game 1: Today, Tampa Bay vs. Dodgers, 5 p.m., Fox

Game 2: Wednesday, Tampa Bay vs. Dodgers, 5 p.m., Fox

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Game 3: Friday, Dodgers vs. Tampa Bay, 5 p.m., Fox

Game 4: Saturday, Dodgers vs. Tampa Bay, 5 p.m., Fox

Game 5*: Sunday, Dodgers vs. Tampa Bay, 5 p.m., Fox

Game 6*: Tuesday, Oct. 27, Tampa Bay vs. Dodgers, 5 p.m., Fox

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Game 7*: Wed., Oct. 28, Tampa Bay vs. Dodgers, 5 p.m., Fox

*-if necessary

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RAMS

Gary Klein on the Rams: With a “Monday Night Football” game against the Chicago Bears coming next week, the Rams get an extra day of preparation — and perhaps reflection — before they play again.

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Coach Sean McVay and his players are determined to put Sunday night’s 24-16 defeat to the San Francisco 49ers behind them. The Rams dropped to 4-2 and 0-1 in the NFC West after their worst performance of the season.

“I don’t believe that last night is reflective of the caliber that we can play at,” McVay said Monday during a videoconference.

The Rams will need to be better against a Bears team that improved to 5-1 with a victory Sunday over the Carolina Panthers.

“We got punched in the mouth this past week, and we’re just ready to get that taste out of our mouth and get back to work,” Rams linebacker Micah Kiser told reporters. “That all you can really do.”

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Quarterback Jared Goff and receiver Cooper Kupp must re-establish their connection. The defensive front needs to rediscover its formula for pressuring quarterbacks. And the Rams must make sure the pre-snap penalties that plagued them were an aberration.

TODAY’S LOCAL MAJOR SPORTS SCHEDULE

All times Pacific.

Tampa Bay vs. Dodgers, 5 p.m., Fox

THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1923 — Zev, winner of the 1923 Kentucky Derby, beats England’s Papyrus, winner of the 1923 Epsom Derby, in a $100,000 match race at Belmont Park. The race, the International Special, marks the first time an English champion is sent to the U.S. to race. The race is so popular that it is broadcast on the radio, a first.

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1944 — Michigan State and Maryland attempt one pass, the fewest in college football history. The Terrapins threw the pass, while the Spartans did not attempt a pass and Michigan State wins the game 8-0 in College Park, Md.

1963 — Clem Daniels of the Oakland Raiders rushes for 200 yards and two touchdowns in a 49-26 victory over the New York Jets.

1972 — The Buffalo Braves score an NBA record 58 points in the fourth quarter, but still lose to the Celtics at Boston Garden, 126-118.

1976 — The Philadelphia 76ers acquire Julius Erving from the New York Nets for $3 million.

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1979 — John Tate beats Gerrie Coetzee in a 15-round decision in Pretoria, South Africa, to win the vacant WBA heavyweight title.

1984 — Rueben Mayes of Washington State rushes for 216 yards and scores four touchdowns to overcome a 28-7 halftime deficit and lead the Cougars to a 49-42 victory over Stanford.

1990 — The Cincinnati Reds complete one of the biggest upsets in baseball history, beating the Oakland Athletics 2-1 to win the World Series in four games.

1994 — George McCandless, 83, becomes the oldest harness driver to win a pari-mutuel race when he guides Kehm’s Scooter to victory in the fourth race at Freehold (N.J.) Raceway.

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2004 — Just three outs from getting swept in the AL championship series three nights earlier, the Boston Red Sox finally beat the New York Yankees, winning Game 7 in a 10-3 shocker to become the first major league team to overcome a 3-0 postseason series deficit.

2007 — Matt Forte sets a Conference USA rushing record with 342 yards on 38 attempts, including a 9-yard run in overtime to lead Tulane to a 41-34 victory. Forte set the conference record in regulation, finishing with 327 yards.

2010 — Vancouver enforcer Rick Rypien is suspended indefinitely, pending a hearing, for grabbing a fan in the Canucks’ loss in Minnesota on Oct. 19. The NHL later sentences Rypien to a six-game suspension.

2012 — Kasey Carrier of New Mexico sets a Mountain West Conference record 338 yards rushing and has three TDs in a 28-23 loss to Air Force.

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2016 — Nneka Ogwumike’s short jumper with 3.1 seconds left gives the Sparks a 77-76 victory over the defending champion Minnesota Lynx for their first title in 14 years in the deciding game of the WNBA Finals.

2018 — Earlham sets a Division III record for consecutive losses with 51 with a 64-20 loss to Franklin. Earlham, which hasn’t won since 2013, breaks the 38-year record held by Macalester College of Minnesota.

And finally

Kirk Gibson homers to win Game 1 of the 1988 World Series. Watch it here.

Until next time...

That concludes today’s newsletter. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.

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