MLB will be lucky to finish season amid virus surge: Manfred — Nusfeed.com

FILE PHOTO: Rob Manfred, commissioner of Major League Baseball, takes part in the Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit in New York, U.S., February 8, 2017. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson July 2, 2020 While attempting to clarify comments he made a day earlier that caused a bit of a stir, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred on Thursday admitted the  league will “be lucky” to play a full 60-game abbreviated season.

MLB will be lucky to finish season amid virus surge: Manfred — Nusfeed.com

During an interview on the “Dan Patrick Show” on Wednesday, Manfred said, “The reality is, we weren’t going to play more than 60 games no matter how the negotiations with the players went or any other factor.”

Many saw that comment as potentially something the MLB Players Association could use against MLB should the union file a grievance alleging owners did not negotiate in good faith.

Speaking with USA Today on Thursday, however, Manfred tried to qualify those comments.

“If we had started an 82-game season (beginning July 1), we would have had people in Arizona and Florida the time the second spike hit,” Manfred told the outlet.

“My point was that no matter what happened with the union, the way things unfolded with the second spike, we would have ended up with only time for 60 games, anyway,” Manfred added. “As time went on, it became clearer and clearer that the course of the virus was going to dictate how many games we could play.”

“We just weren’t going to be able to play more than 60 games at that point with everything being shut down,” Manfred continued, before admitting that even now, “the reality is that we’re going to be lucky if we get 60 games now given the course of the virus.”

Opening Day was scheduled for March 26 before the coronavirus pandemic shut down sports.

The league has yet to confirm the official 2020 schedule of 60 games, but Opening Day is expected to be July 23 or July 24.

Players proposed a longer season, but Manfred said owners were never going to sign off on more than 60 games for health reasons.

(Field Level Media)

Blue Jays are in flight north after getting federal government approval for Rogers Centre training camp — Toronto Sun

Baseball is back in Toronto – the training camp version, anyway. The Blue Jays finally received federal government clearance to fly north this weekend where they will use the Rogers Centre to prepare or the 2020 Major League Baseball season. Players and staff were completing intake screening in Dunedin, Fla. on Thursday and are scheduled […]

Blue Jays are in flight north after getting federal government approval for Rogers Centre training camp — Toronto Sun

Baseball is back in Toronto – the training camp version, anyway.

The Blue Jays finally received federal government clearance to fly north this weekend where they will use the Rogers Centre to prepare or the 2020 Major League Baseball season.

Players and staff were completing intake screening in Dunedin, Fla. on Thursday and are scheduled to board a pair of charter flights to Toronto over the next couple of days. The Jays, who have had at least four players test positive for COVID-19, have stressed that those players won’t travel until testing negative.

The Jays have yet to receive clearance to play their 30 home games at the downtown Toronto stadium, but club officials are confident they can finalize a safe plan to gain approval from government and health authorities, both provincially and federallly.

As reported by the Toronto Sun earlier this week, the Jays had backing from provincial and municipal authorities and were awaiting the final clearance from Ottawa.

That came on Thursday which set the wheels in motion to get camp underway.

As many as 60 players are expected to be at the Rogers Centre for initial workouts this weekend. Players will be housed and quarantined in the Marriott Hotel which is attached to the Rogers Centre.

“The plan for hosting summer training camp in Toronto required government and public health approval at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels,” the Jays said in a statement. “At its core, the plan necessitates players and club personnel to enter a closed environment at Rogers Centre, which is isolated from the general public.

“In collaboration with public health agencies, the Blue Jays have established comprehensive protocols to ensure the highest standards of health and safety are met prior to and during travel, and to create a cohort quarantine environment at Rogers Centre and the adjoining hotel.

“These protocols will be in place in addition to those outlined in the 2020 MLB Operations Manual.”

The Jays emphasized that the Rogers Centre remains as the preferred destination for home games and now they have three weeks to cement that permission. TD Ballpark in Dunedin, the team’s spring training home, remains the backup plan.

Tyson Ross opts out of 2020 season — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

On Thursday, free agent pitcher Tyson Ross became the fifth player to opt out of the 2020 season during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Tyson Ross opts out of 2020 season — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

On Monday, Nationals pitcher Joe Ross became one of four players to opt out of the 2020 season due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. On Thursday, Joe’s brother Tyson Ross opted out of the 2020 season as well, per Jon Heyman.

Ross, 33, is currently a free agent. He racked up 35 1/3 disappointing innings for the Tigers last year, posting a 6.11 ERA with 25 strikeouts and 18 walks.

Mike LeakeRyan Zimmerman, and Ian Desmond are the three other players to have opted out of the 2020 season thus far. None of these players are considered “high risk,” so they are forgoing their salaries and service time.

NBA teams installed their actual courts inside a giant Disney World ballroom — For The Win

See how NBA teams will be practicing at Disney World.

NBA teams installed their actual courts inside a giant Disney World ballroom — For The Win

The 22 NBA teams set to participate in the resumed regular season will relocate to Disney World in Orlando next week to enter the NBA’s bubble and begin training camp – and players will begin training camp on July 9th playing on the same surfaces they used back home.

According to ESPN‘s Rachel Nichols, the NBA had teams ship their own courts to Orlando, where they are being installed. The teams will also be in relatively close proximity – a photo of a gigantic open ballroom shows the Indiana Pacers’ court is adjacent to the Miami Heat’s court, and there’s still room for a couple more in the building.

Laying down the practice floors!

NBA Restart begins July 30th with daily & nightly games on ESPN, TNT, ABC, NBA TV & NBA League Pass! #WholeNewGame pic.twitter.com/whbSl8iqsy

— NBA (@NBA) July 2, 2020

NBA training camp will run from July 9th to 29th, with the regular season set to resume on July 30th.

A Pirates scout got COVID-19 in Venezuela — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

Per The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, Pirates scout Jessie Nava got COVID-19 while in Venezuela and is raising money on GoFundMe for treatment.

A Pirates scout got COVID-19 in Venezuela — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

Per The Athletic’s Ken RosenthalPirates scout Jessie Nava came down with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Venezuela. He is currently hospitalized and there is a GoFundMe to raise money for his treatment with a $5,000 goal. As of this writing, the goal is a little over halfway towards being met, at $2,710.

We’re going to be seeing more and more of this as the months go on and the MLB season progresses. Inevitably, people working within baseball, however tangentially, will be afflicted by the virus. For many of them, they will also need GoFundMe or similar drives — or the benevolence of their employers — to pay for medical treatment.

Hopefully, in Nava’s case, the Pirates get involved directly and help cover his medical costs. Pirates owner Bob Nutting (pictured) and his family have a net worth of $1.1 billion, per CNBCAccording to Forbes, the Pirates are valued at $1.26 billion. (Update: The Pirates have made a “sizable” contribution towards Nava’s medical expenses, per Rosenthal.)

Nava, 32, pitched in the Mariners’ minor league system from 2006-11, making it as high up as Single-A Clinton in ’11.

Follow @Baer_Bill

Two Cincinnati Reds players test positive for COVID-19 — Redleg Nation

With players arriving in Cincinnati on Tuesday to prepare for workouts to get ready for the upcoming season, Reds players and staff underwent testing for COVID-19 as a part of the health and safety plan. Some players underwent testing before arriving. Two of those players have had their tests come back positive. Bobby Nightengale of…

Two Cincinnati Reds players test positive for COVID-19 — Redleg Nation

With players arriving in Cincinnati on Tuesday to prepare for workouts to get ready for the upcoming season, Reds players and staff underwent testing for COVID-19 as a part of the health and safety plan. Some players underwent testing before arriving. Two of those players have had their tests come back positive. Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer had the quickest fingers this morning, beating the other beat writers to the report by a matter of seconds, reporting the news that neither of the two players live in, or were in Cincinnati.

#Reds had 2 players in the organization test positive for COVID-19. They were tested outside of Cincinnati and are not in Cincinnati now.

— Bobby Nightengale (@nightengalejr) July 2, 2020

Major League Baseball and the 30 teams are not allowed to report who the players are that test positive for COVID-19 as it’s considered a “non-baseball” injury, which makes it different from a team announcing that a player has a sprained ankle or some other physical injury suffered while playing. Essentially, the media and fans will have to play “guess who it is” unless the player chooses to announce it themselves. We know that it wasn’t Tucker Barnhart, who announced on twitter yesterday that he tested negative. And if you really want to, you can browse the social media of other players and see that some of them are in Cincinnati and eliminate them as possibilities, too.

Players have the choice to opt out of the 2020 season if they would like to. They don’t get paid, nor do they get the service time – but they can choose to sit out if they do not feel comfortable playing for any given (or ungiven) reason. So far the number of players to opt out is small, but includes former Reds pitcher Mike Leake. Manager David Bell told the media on Wednesday morning, as first reported by C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic, that no Cincinnati players had opted out as of now.

#Reds David Bell says as of now, nobody has opted out

— C. ???????????? (@ctrent) July 2, 2020

The first workouts at Great American Ballpark and Prasco Park – the teams second training site in Mason, Ohio – will begin on Friday. There are currently 57 players on the Reds 60-man player pool roster – though with the two positive tests, only 55 players will be present.

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Phillies, Blue Jays place players on IL, COVID-19 speculation ensues — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

The Phillies and Blue Jays placed a handful of players on the 10-day injured list, inviting speculation about which players might have COVID-19.

Phillies, Blue Jays place players on IL, COVID-19 speculation ensues — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

With ‘summer camp’ about to get under way, MLB.com’s transactions log is back up and running. As of this writing, two teams have placed players on the injured list: the Phillies and Blue Jays. For the Phillies, Héctor Neris, Tommy Hunter, Ranger Suárez, and Scott Kingery are on the 10-day IL. The Blue Jays have Brandon DruryJonathan Davis, Hector Perez, and Elvis Luciano DL’ed. None of the players have reasons listed for their appearance, so speculation about which players might have the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) has ensued.

On Tuesday, I discussed the tricky spot MLB teams are in regarding disclosure of players affected by COVID-19. Due to the Basic Agreement, teams aren’t allowed to disclose their players’ medical issues if they aren’t employment-related (consider a cancer diagnosis versus a torn UCL). The lack of transparency — whether for nefarious reasons or not — for COVID-IL players will simply invite rampant speculation, and that is what we have seen early on. Fans and members of the media alike are wondering which players, if not all of them, are suffering from the virus. Since a player’s placement on the IL typically comes with a reason for said placement, it won’t be difficult to parse which players are there for COVID-19 and which are not.

The most important thing is that players have privacy and control over their medical information. That being said, the highly public and competitive nature of their jobs has resulted in transparency regarding their medical information. One wonders if the headaches caused by the speculation might result in the current policy being amended. Players could have generic reasons listed for their placement, or teams could simply reveal which players have COVID-19. There isn’t an easy fix, but the current system doesn’t appear to be the solution.

Follow @Baer_Bill

BLUE JAYS CLAIM VALERA

BLUE JAYS ROSTER MOVES

The Toronto Blue Jays have claimed INF Breyvic Valera off waivers from the San Diego Padres.

Additionally, RHP Bryan BakerINF Patrick Kivlehan and OF Josh Palacios have been added to the Club Player Pool.

Valera, 28, played in 17 Major League games last season, splitting time between the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays. The 5-11, 190 lb. infielder batted .234 in those 17 contests and connected for his first career home run on the final day of the regular season. In 54 career games, the native of Montalban, Venezuela, holds a .223 batting average while playing for five teams. He has also slashed .299/.360/.397 across 1,001 Minor League contests.

– BLUE JAYS –

ACHARA OUT FOR SEASON WITH TORN ACL

ACHARA OUT FOR REMAINDER OF SEASON WITH ACL TEAR

Toronto FC announced today that rookie midfielder Ifunanyachi Achara tore the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee. He will undergo surgery on Tuesday, July 7 and as a result will miss the remainder of the 2020 season.

            Achara made his MLS debut and scored the game winning goal earlier this year in Toronto FC’s home opener against New York City FC on March 7. He was selected 25th overall in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft and signed with TFC on February 21.

-TORONTO FOOTBALL CLUB-

Brett Brown says Ben Simmons is good to go for NBA’s restart — The Sports Daily

When the Philadelphia 76ers take the court on Aug. 1 against the Indiana Pacers in Disney World, they will have their All-star point (…)

Brett Brown says Ben Simmons is good to go for NBA’s restart — The Sports Daily

When the Philadelphia 76ers take the court on Aug. 1 against the Indiana Pacers in Disney World, they will have their All-star point guard back in the starting lineup.

On Wednesday afternoon, Sixers head coach Brett Brown told reporters that Ben Simmons is fully recovered from his back injury, which he suffered on Feb. 22 against the Bucks.

“He’s good to go. He’s put in a tremendous amount of work for me to be able to confidently say that,” he said on a conference call (h/t Tim Bontemps of ESPN).

“As you search for silver linings with this pandemic and the way things have shaped up, it would be hard-pressed for me to find something more obvious than this: It’s enabled Ben to reclaim his health. He’s good to go, and we look forward to watching him with what I’m told is effectively 100 percent health.”

Back in April, ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan reported that the former first-round pick would be ready to go if the 2019/20 season resumed.

Additionally, MacMullan also mentioned that the Sixers plan was to bring back Simmons towards the end of the regular season, to get prepared for the NBA playoffs.

However, as we all know, the NBA had their season suspended on Mar. 11, which allowed Simmons and other players to recover from their respective injuries.

With Simmons back in the fold, the Sixers should be in good shape heading down to the bubble in Orlando, Florida, barring any other foreseen circumstances.

When healthy, Simmons is one of the best two-way players in the league and adds another dimension to the Sixers’ offense. This season, the former LSU standout is averaging 16.7 points, 8.2 assists, and 7.8 rebounds per game.

Nuggets expect to have All-Star Nikola Jokic for NBA restart — BMNews

[ad_1] The Denver Nuggets expect to have All-Star center Nikola Jokic at their disposal for the NBA’s restart, head coach Michael Malone said. Jokic remains in his native Serbia having reportedly tested positive for coronavirus as the NBA plans to resume after the 2019-20 season was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The […]

Nuggets expect to have All-Star Nikola Jokic for NBA restart — BMNews

The Denver Nuggets expect to have All-Star center Nikola Jokic at their disposal for the NBA’s restart, head coach Michael Malone said.

Jokic remains in his native Serbia having reportedly tested positive for coronavirus as the NBA plans to resume after the 2019-20 season was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The league is set to return via a 22-team format at the Disney World complex in Orlando, Fla., on July 30, with the New Orleans Pelicans, Utah Jazz, Los Angeles Lakers and LA Clippers in action on the first day back.

MORE: Schedule for NBA restart in Orlando

Denver is scheduled to resume its campaign against the Miami Heat in the Orlando bubble on August 1, and the Nuggets expect Jokic to return to the United States in time.

“Nikola feels great,” Malone told reporters via a Zoom call on Wednesday. “We are working on getting him back here.

“Next Tuesday we depart for Orlando; the hope and expectation is that Nikola Jokic will be with us on that plane.

“From everything that I have heard and talked to him, he feels great, he feels fine and is excited to get back.”

Prior to the coronavirus crisis, Jokic was averaging 20.2 points, 10.2 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game for the Nuggets.

The Nuggets were third in the Western Conference with a 43-22 record, behind leaders the Lakers (49-14) and the Clippers (44-20).

Denver, meanwhile, opted to close down their practice facility following COVID-19 cases.

“We have closed down the facility,” Malone confirmed. “We felt it was the right thing to do. Today was supposed to be the first day of Phase 3 where all our players were required to be back in the gym and we are allowed to work with them albeit just 1-on-0.

“We have put the safety of our team ahead of this Phase 3. There is a chance we can open the gym up before we leave, depending upon results in the coming days. I am not going to get into who tested but we have had multiple people in our travel party test positive.”

MORE: Key dates and more to know about the NBA restart

Amid the unprecedented situation, Malone feels this season’s NBA championship will be the toughest ever contested.

“There has been this ongoing dialogue and conversation that whoever wins it this year, there will be an asterisk by their name and I don’t buy that at all,” Malone later added.

“If you are able to go into a bubble and be isolated from your friends and family, to have no home-court advantage, to have a league interruption of four months and you are able to spend 90 days and come out of there a champion, I think this will be the toughest championship ever won. There is no asterisk.”