Scheduled doubleheaders could make a comeback as MLB tries to play a full season — The Associated Press

Scheduled doubleheaders might be a necessity to make up games once an MLB season delayed by the new coronavirus gets under way.

Scheduled doubleheaders could make a comeback as MLB tries to play a full season —

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Pat GrahamAP Mar 19, 2020 at 10:48p ETMajor League Baseball may consider scheduling doubleheaders as it attempts to play a full 162-game schedule in 2020. Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s play two? Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black would be down for doubleheaders.

Maybe even a couple a week.

That might be a necessity to make up games once a baseball season delayed by the new coronavirus gets under way.

“In theory, yeah, I think all of us would be up for some sort of doubleheader situation,” Black said during a conference call Thursday. “The thing that’s going to be in front of all of us is it’s going to be the same for everybody. It’s got to make sense for the clubs and the players.”

Opening Day has been pushed back from March 26 to mid-May at the earliest, and both sides are committed to playing as many games as possible.

Translation: Doubleheaders could be on the docket.

“I know that when we’re able to safely play, we’re going to have to think of creative ways to get in as many games as possible given all the time that’s going to be lost,” said Farhan Zaidi, the president of baseball operations for the San Francisco Giants. “I don’t really have any specific thoughts on that, but I know everybody’s going to be thinking through ways to do that.”

Two pitchers announced they are having Tommy John surgery and will miss the season whenever it starts: Boston ace left-hander Chris Sale and San Francisco right-hander Tyler Beede.

Major League Baseball announced minor league players shut out of spring training camps amid the novel coronavirus outbreak will receive allowances from teams through April 8, and a plan is underway to compensate those players during the postponed portion of the regular season. Minor leaguers will receive allowances of $400 per week from teams in a lump sum for the next three weeks — a significant bump from their usual spring per diems of $100-200 per week. Teams hope that will allow players to cover housing, food and other expenses through the previously scheduled end of spring training.

The Rockies and Arizona Diamondbacks halted their voluntary workouts at their shared Salt River Fields complex in Arizona. This was after the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community decided to temporarily cease operations there in the wake of the pandemic.

Some of the Colorado players may travel to Denver with Coors Field open for workouts. The Mile High City sure looked a lot different than Scottsdale on Thursday as a snowstorm hit the area.

More than anything, Black wants his players to treat this time away like it’s December and the season is still in the distance.

Don’t ramp up.

Black said that when a timetable is known, the teams will be given approximately three weeks to get back in shape as part of a second spring training. That’s plenty of time for a starting pitcher to work his way into form.

“There’s no need to throw bullpens. We’re a ways away from that,” Black said.

Hit in a cage — if one’s available. Work out at their gym at home. Or play catch — with social distancing in mind.

“They get together and go to a local park, they go to a high school, they go somewhere where there’s a stretch of grass and they play catch,” Black said. “They’re not going to play closer than six feet together, right? You can play catch.

“Guys are on the down low. They’re probably not doing much baseball activity right now. There’s a sense this is going to be much longer than first anticipated by baseball.”

Seattle shuttered its facility in Peoria, Arizona. The Mariners had initially planned to keep the facility open and work with players in small, staggered groups of 10, but general manager Jerry Dipoto said most of the 40-man roster had gone home.

“As we got to the point yesterday where we pulled the plug there were about 10 or 12 guys that were actually coming down and taking advantage of the workout time,” Dipoto said. “And frankly, we were concerned with the idea of group gatherings of any sort, particularly after we got the news yesterday there was a positive test of a baseball staffer down here in Arizona with another club.”

On Wednesday, the Cincinnati Reds, whose training facility is in Goodyear, Arizona, said an employee who works year-round at the complex tested positive for COVID-19. All Reds employees who were in contact with the employee during spring training are being tested and have self-quarantined. Dipoto said no Mariners players or staff have reported showing any symptoms of coronavirus.

In Dallas, there are about five major leaguers working out at the Texas Rangers’ youth academy. It’s closed to public and has been sanitized.

At their facility in Bradenton, Florida, the Pittsburgh Pirates have a small contingent of players that work out on an informal basis, rotating in and out to make sure there’s not more than a handful at a time.

Opening Day would’ve been next week. That’s hard for Black fathom in light of what’s happening around the world.

“I miss the build-up to Opening Day. I miss what that’s all about. I love our sport. I love the people in it,” Black said. “I’m probably as practical as they come and a realist, and aware of what’s going on and that takes a precedence over our sport and our jobs.”

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Lakers and Sixers announce coronavirus positives — Asportsupdate

New York (AFP) Two members of the Los Angeles Lakers have tested positive for the new coronavirus on Thursday as the Philadelphia 76ers also confirmed that three of their players had contracted the disease. The Lakers said they tested their players because on March 10 they played the Brooklyn Nets, who had four players previously […]

Lakers and Sixers announce coronavirus positives — Asportsupdate

The Lakers said they tested their players because on March 10 they played the Brooklyn Nets, who had four players previously test positive for the virus. The Lakers said team doctors are closely monitoring the two players.

“We learned today that two Lakers players have tested positive,” said Lakers spokesperson Alison Bogli in a news release. “Both players are currently asymptomatic, in quarantine and under the care of the team’s physician.

“All players and members of the Lakers staff are being asked to continue to observe self-quarantine and shelter at home guidelines, closely monitor their health, consult with their personal physicians and maintain constant communication with the team.”

The Sixers said the positive cases were uncovered after health authorities warned that certain players, coaches and support staff may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Like the Sixers, the Lakers declined to name the players who tested positive.

The Boston Celtics and the Denver Nuggets also announced positive tests on Thursday for COVID-19.

On Wednesday, commissioner Adam Silver said NBA players should be considered “super spreaders” of the disease. His comments came amid criticism that wealthy athletes are getting tested for the virus ahead of critically ill patients in American hospitals.

The Sixers said the three individuals were in self-isolation while being monitored by medical professionals.

“Three individuals have received positive test results for COVID-19,” the Sixers said. “All other tests results are currently negative. We have reported this information to state and local health authorities as required.”

“The health of our players, staff, fans and community is paramount, and we continue to be guided by medical experts at this time,” the team said.

Marcus Smart Becomes First Celtics Player To Test Positive For COVID-19 — NESN.com

The Boston Celtics have had their first player test positive for COVID-19. Marcus Smart took to Twitter on Thursday to announce he’s officially tested positive for the coronavirus. He is the first Celtics player to do so as of now. A statement released by the team, which did not identify Smart, noted it is awaiting…

Marcus Smart Becomes First Celtics Player To Test Positive For COVID-19 — NESN.com