Part of San Francisco’s new multi-phase plan to reopen the city announced on Thursday means the Warriors could return to Chase Center to practice as soon as June 15. But Phase 2B of Mayor London Breed’s strategy, which allows “sports with no fans” in San Francisco in two weeks, also could soon be rendered meaningless…Coronavirus: San Francisco’s plan means Warriors can resume practicing soon — Times-Standard
The Rays, Nationals, Mets, Brewers, Mariners, Orioles, and Reds were among the teams to release minor league players from their contracts today.Teams release bunches of minor leaguers — HardballTalk | NBC Sports
The last seven months have been brutal for Minor League Baseball. In November, before the coronavirus pandemic caused many businesses to shut down, Major League Baseball was considering eliminating over one-quarter of their minor league teams. The idea received blowback, including condemnation from sitting members of Congress. Then the pandemic happened and MLB shut down operations for the time being. While MLB works on getting some semblance of a 2020 season going, there will be no minor league season. MLB will get to eliminate 40-plus minor league teams after all, aided in part by the coronavirus.
The baseball shutdown has been tough on minor leaguers, who are only paid — and severely underpaid, at that — during the regular season. They are not paid during spring training or offseason. Thankfully, MLB stepped up and agreed to pay minor leaguers $400 per week through May 31. That day is fast approaching. The Athletics announced they will not be paying their minor leaguers after May 31. The Rangers, Padres, White Sox, Braves, Mariners, Marlins, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Mets and Astros announced they will continue their players at least through the end of June. The Marlins, Padres, and Mariners will pay theirs through the end of August.
As part of the March agreement in which MLB ownership and the MLB Players Association agreed on prorated salaries for the 2020 season, if there is one, the 2020 draft was shortened to five rounds. The 2021 could be only 20 rounds. Also part of the agreement, teams can sign an unlimited amount of undrafted players for $20,000, a significant boon for ownership considering sixth-round bonus slots last year ranged from $237,000 to $301,600.
Sadly, there has been more minor league carnage. Many teams have been releasing minor league players recently: the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Rockies, Rays, Nationals, Mets, Brewers, Mariners, Orioles, and Reds are who we know of so far, thanks to reporting from Jon Heyman and Robert Murray. Veteran outfielder Carlos González made the most headlines, as he was released from his minor league contract with the Mariners today. An agent Heyman spoke with called the whole thing “literally a war zone out there.” It’s worth noting that some of these releases likely would’ve happened at the end of spring training.
The Athletic’s Emily Waldon spoke to another agent who was more colorful about the issue. He said, “So, they can claim they’re still paying guys, but actually threw a third of the system overboard to save what? Less than 300k?” The agent added, “Also, why aren’t the players and leagues webpages pages updated with the releases? So no one can see the carnage? Don’t need to clear 50+ spots before a five-round draft.”
The shortened draft is going to cause a lot of players who otherwise would’ve been picked today to play for junior colleges. Some will give up on their baseball dream altogether. Eliminating more than 40 minor league teams — cutting thousands of baseball jobs in the process — will cause many to pick other lines of work. Cutting players in the middle of a pandemic will have the same effect. Long-term, why would anyone choose to chase a baseball dream? It was a tough road before, but it will be even tougher going forward. Two-sport star Kyler Murray chose to pursue a career in the NFL rather than MLB; it’s easy to see younger kids seeing a more realistic and lucrative road in other sports as well. The owners get to save a negligible amount of money in the short-term, but the popularity of the sport is going to hurt immensely from these self-inflicted austerity measures.
As the coronavirus pandemic has closed gyms across the country, people have gotten pretty creative with their home workouts. That includes the Boston Celtics, center Enes Kanter revealed on FS1’s “First Things First,” and it’s led him to believe that banner number 18 is in store because of it. “Just because we still don’t know…Enes Kanter Says Celtics’ Workout Improvision Reveals ‘Championship Mentality’ — NESN.com
RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Lawyers for Zion Williamson are asking a judge to block his former marketing agent’s request to have him answer questions about whether he received improper benefits before his only season at Duke. CBS 17 News on Thursday obtained a document filed last week in a Florida court seeking a stay of […]Zion Williamson seeks to avoid answering questions about improper benefits — CBS17.com
Boras says owners are “asking for more salary cuts to bail them out of the investment decisions they have made”Boras to clients: Don’t bail out the owners — HardballTalk | NBC Sports
The English Premier League football season is set to restart on 17 June, three months after it was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic. The first games to be played will be Aston Villa v Sheffield United and Manchester City v Arsenal. A full fixture set of fixtures will then be played on the weekend…English Premier League Football to Restart on June 17 — Variety
The first games to be played will be Aston Villa v Sheffield United and Manchester City v Arsenal.
A full fixture set of fixtures will then be played on the weekend of June 19-21, with the games taking place behind closed doors.
Clubs are reportedly still discussing the idea at a meeting on Thursday, but it is understood all have agreed in principle at this stage.
On Wednesday, clubs unanimously voted to resume contact training, having started non-contact training last week.
Premier League players and staff will continue to be tested twice a week. Any players or staff to test positive must self-isolate for a period of seven days.
Liverpool currently sit 25 points clear at the top of the Premier League table while Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Norwich City are in the relegation places.
There will be no settling for a virtual enshrinement for this year’s inductees into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The ceremony, which was supposed to take place the last weekend of August, will be honoring NBA players like Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett and the late Kobe Bryant among others. For many reasons, the…NBA Rumors: Hall Of Fame Pushes Enshrinement Of Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett To 2021 — NESN.com
One of the biggest questions around the NBA’s return to play is if the league held the season in a centralized location to quarantine players, would they have to leave their families? But as the NBA is in discussions with Walt Disney World Resort as its likely host, it’s reportedly also working with the Players’…NBA Rumors: League, NBPA Working On Plan For Player Families At Campus Site — NESN.com
The NBA Store is located in New YorkNBA being sued for missed rent payments amid coronavirus shutdown — ProBasketballTalk | NBC Sports