Play ball? Experts send mixed signals on MLB 60-game season
(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)NEW YORK Thirty baseball teams from 28 cities, trying to play 60 games each amid a coronavirus pandemic that seemingly hasnt peaked in the United States. It could be a disaster.Public health experts have mixed feelings about baseballs hopes to open its season July 23. Unlike the NBA and NHL, Major League Baseball teams won't be sequestered into bubbles they'll be traveling all around the country. MLB has provided teams with a 113-page operations manual detailing protocols for its pandemic-shortened 60-game regular season. I do think that they do provide substantial benefit and decrease the risk of transmission, Adalja said of baseball's off-field protocols.
MLB's testing sweep brings some success but optics are issue
PHOENIX Major League Baseball's COVID-19 testing sweep appears to be having some success even as large swaths of the United States continue to struggle with containing the fast-spreading virus. In addition to five players, one staff member tested positive. The solution here is really to make sure that we expand testing, Adalja told The Associated Press. Testing results will be watched closely as players and coaches disperse around the country, travel on buses and planes, and stay in hotels. Freeman and and pitcher Touki Toussaint who also previously tested positive for the virus worked out at Truist Park on Friday.
Ballparks to use crowd noise from video game during season
Taking a cue from two European soccer leagues, Major League Baseball will play crowd noise from its official video game through ballpark sound systems during games. England's Premier League and Spains La Liga were the first to return to action with crowd sound from video games. Brewers infielder Eric Sogard said Thursday that the crowd noise did help step up the competition for some guys during intrasquad games. The Korean baseball league pipes in crowd noise at stadiums so they are not completely silent but it is barely audible during games aired on ESPN. Some fans and broadcasters are leery of artificial crowd noise because it takes away a unique opportunity to hear players' conversations during games this season.
NHL's older coaches debate wearing masks, taking precautions
In this photo provided by the Dallas Stars NHL hockey team, interim head coach Rick Bowness watches practice in Frisco, Texas, Tuesday, July 14, 2020. You get out there and you miss it, the Dallas Stars coach said. You realize how much you enjoy being out there.The NHLs oldest head coach still worries about COVID-19 but not enough to stop doing his job. Im going to have to adjust to it, there is no question. The average age of the 24 head coaches in the playoffs is just under 54, the second-oldest behind the NBA among North Americas four major professional sports leagues.
News outlets seek to unseal files on Saints owner Tom Benson
News outlets including The Associated Press headed to court Wednesday seeking to unseal court records involving the mental competency of billionaire Tom Benson when he rewrote his will to give his third wife ownership of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans sports franchises. Attorneys for Benson oppose the request to unseal the proceedings, contending Benson's privacy concerns continue even after his 2018 death. Reese dismissed the lawsuit following eight days of testimony, ruling Benson was mentally sound when he ousted his estranged daughter and grandchildren from ownership positions with his teams. Gayle Benson, a devout Catholic with close ties to Archbishop Gregory Aymond, inherited Benson's business empire and has defended the Saint's public relations work on behalf of the cash-strapped archdiocese, which recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The team and church leaders have opposed a request by the AP to release thousands of internal emails documenting the public relations work.
Post-Redskins, Washington has long road toward new nickname
Tuskegee Airmen Inc. said it would be honored and pleased to work with the organization if thats Washingtons new name. Former Washington linebacker Will Compton voiced his support for Red Wolves by saying he liked that name so much hed want to return for a day. Its going to take time to come back to the heyday of Washington winning and having full stadiums and people really supporting them, Derdenger said. Its going to take a long time for this new branded team to get to that point, but its certainly possible. And you know what helps them get to that point quicker is if they win.___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
MLS returns to action after poignant moment of silence
(AP Photo/John Raoux)KISSIMMEE, Fla. Nearly 200 players took the field for an 8-minute, 46-second moment of silence to protest racial injustice before Major League Soccers return to action Wednesday night. Players wore black T-shirts, black gloves and black facemasks emblazoned with Black Lives Matter. The shirts had varying slogans that included Black And Proud, Silence Is Violence and Black All The Time. The group was formerly called the Black Players Coalition of MLS but changed its name this week to Black Players for Change. MLS players had weeks to decide what to do prior to the MLS is Back tournament at ESPNs Wide World of Sports complex at Disney World.
Sports jumps on PPP bandwagon, but big leagues take a pass
However, none of the four major North American sports leagues the NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball were among the businesses that applied, according to the data. The data showed businesses that applied for and received loans, though some may not ultimately have taken the funds. An AP survey completed in May found 32 U.S. Olympic sports organizations about 70% of all federations had applied for PPP loans. With their seasons shut down, more than a dozen minor league baseball teams turned up on the PPP rolls. The Big South Conference, Conference USA, Southland Conference and Big Sky Conference all listed less than two dozen full-time employees, according to the data.
Floridas Mann returning for sophomore year, chance to start
GAINESVILLE, Fla. Florida guard Tre Mann is returning for his sophomore season. Mann surprised the Gators by announcing in late April he planned to explore his professional options. But once starting point guard Andrew Nembhard opted to transfer he eventually landed at Gonzaga last month that opened the door for Mann's return to Gainesville. Mann should get a shot at playing the point, although Florida also has sophomore Ques Glover and former Cleveland State standout Tyree Appleby at the all-important position. Two Florida starters guard Scottie Lewis and forward Keyontae Johnson decided to stay in college after the coronavirus pandemic wiped out the postseason.
Report shows $480,000 in donations to cover Pence legal aid
WASHINGTON Donors contributed nearly $480,000 last year to cover Vice President Mike Pences legal expenses from special counsel Robert Muellers probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 elections, according to Pences financial disclosure report. The annual report, released Tuesday, shows that a dozen donors contributed to the trust fund in May of last year. The report states the money was used to pay a bill from McGuireWoods LLP. Many government officials have turned to legal defense funds over the years to finance their legal representation. The report states that every contributor had to certify that they are U.S. citizens, the money came from personal funds and that Pence did not solicit the contribution, among other requirements.
Rocky business restart and an enticing offer for MLB
Following are developments Thursday related to the national and global response, the work place and the spread of the virus. Disneyland has pushed back the reopening of its parks in California because state approval will not arrive in time. The company said the state will not issue guidelines until after July 4, not enough time to open within two weeks. MARKETS: Stocks are flat to lower as COVID-19 infections surge in a number of states including Florida, Texas and South Carolina. BOXING MATCH: Professional sports are attempting a comeback even without crowds that have been prohibited because of social distancing rules.
Bubble-free life means MLB players, coaches must be careful
PHOENIX Baseball's bubble-free environment is an anomaly as the sports world tries to come back amid the coronavirus pandemic. Arizona Diamondbacks GM Mike Hazen said he'll be constantly reminding everyone in his organization about the delicacy of the current situation. The younger guys that are single that, you know, tend to be a little bit more social, Woodward said. The first step toward a successful season is getting all the players to their home cities. Chicago White Sox GM Rick Hahn said his team's travel department has a busy week ahead, but that they've been planning on this scenario for quite a while.
Michelle Wie West gives birth to a daughter
Michelle Wie West now has a little one of her own. The former U.S. Women's Open champion announced on Instagram that she and her husband, Golden State Warriors executive Jonnie West, are parents of a daughter born Friday. Kenna baby, I have waited my entire life to meet you, Wie, the former U.S. Women's Open champion, wrote on Instagram. They named her Makenna Kamalei Yoona West. Kamalei is a Hawaiian for beloved child.Wie and West, the son of NBA great Jerry West, were married in August.
Around sports world, Juneteenth celebrated like never before
Weve never posted about Juneteenth, but it is always the right time to do better than before," read a tweet posted by the New England Patriots. The Miami Heat celebrated the day with a pledge to make financial contributions and other commitments to organizations trying to eliminate racial inequality. Hockey's San Jose Sharks told fans that it was fine to not know where to start when it comes to understanding the significance of Juneteenth. In recognition of Juneteenth, our front office is starting a new tradition," read a statement on the Sharks' site. As an organization, we will be dedicating time on this day each year to actively participate in Juneteenth.
NFL commissioner Goodell encourages team to sign Kaepernick
FILE - In this Dec. 12, 2018, file photo, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell speaks during a news conference in Irving, Texas. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)Roger Goodell would like to see Colin Kaepernick back in the NFL this season. The NFL commissioner said during ESPN's The Return of Sports special on Monday that he is encouraging teams to sign the 32-year old quarterback, who hasn't played the past three seasons. If he wants to resume his career in the NFL, then obviously its gonna take a team to make that decision. I hope were at a point now where everybodys committed to making long-term, sustainable change, Goodell said.
What Would Have Been: US Open final round for Father's Day
FILE - In this June 16, 2019, file photo, Gary Woodland poses with the trophy after winning the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament in Pebble Beach, Calif. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the golf to watch on Father's Day this year will not be the U.S. Open as is usually the case. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)The golf to watch on Father's Day this year won't be the U.S. Open as is usually the case. There also will be no live baseball to watch this week from either the major leagues or the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. TRIVIA BREAK: When was the last time the U.S. Open wasn't played on Father's Day? TRIVIA ANSWER: 1975, when the U.S. Open finished on June 22, the week after Father's Day.
Heat is on: Hectic NASCAR tests drained drivers at Homestead
And after an exhausting few days, NASCAR is about to offer another daunting test at Homestead-Miami Speedway. I think its a great test of will. Its a great test to the drivers. And several drivers, Wallace included, severed ties with a popular helmet designer this week over social media posts largely related to the flag. Track officials at Homestead are renaming one of the facilitys trademarks, the tunnel at Turn 3 that leads drivers into the track, in Johnsons honor.
Not magic? Disney sues Florida county over property taxes
ORLANDO, Fla. One thing that is not magic to Walt Disney World is the property taxes it must pay to a Florida county. Disney is once again suing the Orange County property appraiser over 2019 tax assessments for its theme parks, resorts, employee buildings and other structures. The Orlando Sentinel reports that Property Appraiser Rick Singh says the Disney complex has been undervalued for years. According to the Disney lawsuits, Singh listed the assessed value for the Magic Kingdom the worlds busiest theme park at $504 million. Disney World has been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic and plans a phased reopening starting July 11.
Ill-considered posts lead to lost jobs amid protests, crisis
Craig Gore, who has worked on the shows S.W.A.T. and Chicago P.D., was fired Tuesday from the forthcoming Law & Order: Organized Crime spin-off because of Facebook posts. Many others from public-facing institutions and businesses have been sanctioned, demoted, suspended or fired for impolitic statements online in recent days. A Denver officer was fired Tuesday for writing Lets start a riot as the caption to an Instagram picture of himself and two fellow officers smiling in riot gear. An officer in Fulton, New York, posted an Instagram image that read, Black lives only matter to black people unless they are killed by a white person and found himself out of a job. These people who are getting fired or resigning, they're not realizing this.___Follow AP Entertainment Writer Andrew Dalton on Twitter: https://twitter.com/andyjamesdalton.
What Would Have Been: Triple Crown finale and French finals
The Belmont Stakes usually wraps up a five-week span that includes the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness. All have been pushed back, though the Belmont Stakes will now go first on June 20. (Richard Rasmussen/The Sentinel-Record via AP, File)The final leg of horse racing's Triple Crown would have been set and the French Open finals would have been contested this week if not for the coronavirus pandemic. All have been pushed back, though the Belmont Stakes will now go first on June 20. TRIVIA BREAK: With the Belmont Stakes being the first Triple Crown race this year, followed by the Kentucky Derby on Sept. 5 and the Preakness on Oct. 3, the Triple Crown will be run out of its usual order for the first time since when?