Baseball seeking a second lab for MLB COVID-19 tests — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

How this can be accomplished at a time when experts are saying there is, once again, a shortage of COVID-19 tests is an open question.

Baseball seeking a second lab for MLB COVID-19 tests — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

By Craig CalcaterraJul 7, 2020, 8:18 AM EDT5 Comments

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reported last night that Major League Baseball is “actively pursuing an additional medical lab site to increase the speed and efficiency” of MLB COVID-19 tests.

The current setup — as planned by MLB and approved by the MLBPA as a part of the plan to play the 2020 season — is for all MLB COVID-19 tests to be sent to and processed by MLB’s PED testing lab in Salt Lake City, Utah. As you likely heard, there have been delays in the administration of COVID-19 tests and in the shipping of tests to Utah, but to date no one has reported that the lab itself has not been able to handle the tests once they’ve arrived there. If MLB is looking for a second lab site a week into this process, it suggests that their plans for the Utah lab might not be working the way they had anticipated.

The issues with testing have created unease around the game in recent days, with some players and team executives speaking out against Major League Baseball’s handling of the plan in the early going. Commissioner Rob Manfred, meanwhile, has responded defensively to the criticism.

Meanwhile, the New York Times reported this morning that, months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the United States still lacks testing capacity. From the report:

Lines for coronavirus tests have stretched around city blocks and tests ran out altogether in at least one site on Monday, new evidence that the country is still struggling to create a sufficient testing system months into its battle with Covid-19 . . .“It’s terrifying, and clearly an evidence of a failure of the system,” said Dr. Morgan Katz, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins Hospital . . . in recent weeks, as cases have surged in many states, the demand for testing has soared, surpassing capacity and creating a new testing crisis.

It’s less than obvious, to say the least, how Major League Baseball plans to expand capacity for MLB COVID-19 tests while America as a whole is experiencing “a new testing crisis” and a “failure of the system.” At the very least it’s less than obvious how, even if Major League Baseball can do so, it can do so ethically.

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Joe West is not opting out of the 2020 season — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

West: “I don’t believe in my heart that all these deaths have been from the coronavirus.”

Joe West is not opting out of the 2020 season — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

By Craig CalcaterraJul 7, 2020, 10:26 AM EDT2 Comments

Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic spoke to everyone’s favorite umpire, Joe West. He reports that even though West is considered high-risk for COVID-19, and even though he has the right to opt-out with full pay because of it, West is not opting out of the 2020 season.

West, who is 67 years-old, has a history of high blood pressure, and who is overweight, tells Rosenthal that Major League Baseball expected him to opt-out and was “taken aback” and “shocked” when he told them that he would not do so.

Partially it’s because he wants to set the all-time record for games worked. He’s 65 games of Bill Klem’s record and, if he works 2020, he can set the record early next year. Partially it’s because he’s not concerned about his health, telling Rosenthal, “If this game hasn’t gotten me by now, no virus is going to get me.” He says that he’s lost some weight and that his doctor says his heart is “as healthy as a horse’s.”

It’s also, it seems, because West is something of a COVID-19 skeptic:

“I said, ‘Look, most of these people that they’re reporting are dying are not healthy to begin with. I’ve lost 25 pounds over the winter. I’m playing golf every day in the heat. I’m fine. I’m not going to back down now.’

“I don’t believe in my heart that all these deaths have been from the coronavirus. I believe it may have contributed to some of the deaths. I said, ‘I’m not going to opt out. I’m going to work. And I’m going to work until you take me off the field or I get hurt, whatever. I’m working.’”

Alrighty then.

West — whose reputation as a game arbiter is not the greatest — goes on to add that baseball needs his seniority, referring to young umps without senior umps’ guidance as being “in a boat without an oar.”

Joe West is not opting out of the 2020 season. That’s his right and his reasons are his reasons, I suppose.

Good luck, everyone.

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Pelicans’ Brandon Ingram ‘Not Very Confident’ NBA Will Finish 2019-20 Season —

Matthew Hinton/Associated PressThe NBA is set to resume the 2019-20 season at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, on July 30, but New Orleans Pelicans star Brandon Ingram told reporters Monday he’s “not very confident” the league will actually be able to finish the season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”This is something that’s never…

Pelicans’ Brandon Ingram ‘Not Very Confident’ NBA Will Finish 2019-20 Season —

Matthew Hinton/Associated Press

The NBA is set to resume the 2019-20 season at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida, on July 30, but New Orleans Pelicans star Brandon Ingram told reporters Monday he’s “not very confident” the league will actually be able to finish the season amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This is something that’s never been done before, and there’s still a lot of question marks,” his teammate Lonzo Ball added, per Doug Mouton of WWL-TV. 

There are major question marks heading into the NBA restart, given the recent spike in coronavirus cases around the United States and the complexities of gathering 22 teams to conclude the season, even with those teams quarantined in Orlando and subject to rigorous testing and safety protocols. 

While some leagues around the world have had great success minimizing the threat of COVID-19—the English Premier League didn’t have a single positive test in its most recent round of testing—other leagues have already hit major complications.

Most notably, FC Dallas announced Monday it had been withdrawn from the MLS is Back Tournament after 10 players and one coach tested positive for the coronavirus.  

The NBA has had some players withdraw from the return to play, most notably Los Angeles Lakers guard Avery Bradley and Brooklyn Nets center DeAndre Jordan, but no major stars have chosen to sit out at this point. 

If major stars do test positive for the coronavirus in Orlando and are forced to miss time, however—especially once the playoffs begin—it will be fascinating to see how the NBA reacts. Namely, will they want to proceed with a postseason devoid of some of the game’s biggest stars?

That’s a hypothetical for now. And for now, players like Ingram are planning to compete for a title in Orlando. But as players like Ingram and Ball demonstrated Monday, there are very real doubts within NBA circles about how—or if—the league’s restart will actually work. 

FC Dallas bows out of MLS return due to positive test results — ProFootballTalk

American sports leagues like to think they’re always in control of their situations. As they try to resume or commences seasons, each is being periodically reminded that, when it comes to a pandemic, the virus controls the situation. Case in point: As Major League Soccer tries to resume its season, FC Dallas has bowed out. […]

FC Dallas bows out of MLS return due to positive test results — ProFootballTalk

American sports leagues like to think they’re always in control of their situations. As they try to resume or commences seasons, each is being periodically reminded that, when it comes to a pandemic, the virus controls the situation.

Case in point: As Major League Soccer tries to resume its season, FC Dallas has bowed out. Via ESPN.com, the club has experienced a total of 14 positive cases — 13 players and one coach.

The team was due to face the Vancouver Whitecaps on Wednesday. Dallas has now pulled out of that match, and all others it would have played.

The even is scheduled to run from July 8 through August 11. It will commence with one fewer team.

LAFC, Galaxy, Toronto FC, Rapids, Whitecaps round out MLS arrivals — SBI Soccer

While one team is on the way out, five others just made their way in. The flights to the MLS is Back Tournament were completed on Monday following the arrivals of a handful of clubs. Toronto FC, LAFC, the LA (…)

LAFC, Galaxy, Toronto FC, Rapids, Whitecaps round out MLS arrivals — SBI Soccer

Dwight Howard says he’ll join Lakers for NBA restart — Press Telegram

Dwight Howard will join the Lakers for the restart of the NBA season, he announced Monday night. The 34-year-old center went on CNN Tonight on Monday to confirm that he will play for the after about a month of speculation that he might sit out. One of the Lakers’ key rotation players, Howard’s commitment helps…

Dwight Howard says he’ll join Lakers for NBA restart — Press Telegram

Clippers facility shuttered, but players exhibiting enthusiasm online — Press Telegram

Judging by the large piles of footwear pictured on his Instagram feed, Clippers sneakerhead/center Montrezl Harrell is just about ready to go. He and his Clippers teammates will join the 21 other NBA teams bound for the Orlando bubble this week, where the league will finish its 2019-20 season that was interrupted by the coronavirus…

Clippers facility shuttered, but players exhibiting enthusiasm online — Press Telegram

Jaylen Brown Reveals Why Celtics Almost Didn’t Attend Orlando Restart — NESN.com

The NBA is preparing to resume its 2019-20 season in late July at Walt Disney World Resort, though several players from across the league have opted to sit out. And according to Jaylen Brown, a number of Boston Celtics players considered not going to Orlando, as well. Among the players’ chief concerns included the ability…

Jaylen Brown Reveals Why Celtics Almost Didn’t Attend Orlando Restart — NESN.com

The NBA is preparing to resume its 2019-20 season in late July at Walt Disney World Resort, though several players from across the league have opted to sit out. And according to Jaylen Brown, a number of Boston Celtics players considered not going to Orlando, as well. Among the players’ chief concerns included the ability to speak out on social issues and the NBA’s willingness to support their message should they do so.

This came after several C’s players — including Jaylen Brown, Marcus Smart, Enes Kanter and Vincent Poirier — attended protests addressing racial injustice and police brutality following the recent deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery. All of this, plus a lack of direction regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, sparked concern amongst the team. “I think a lot of guys are choosing to go down to Orlando because we have an ability to play for something bigger than ourselves,” Brown said Monday, via MassLive’s Tom Westerholm. “I think a lot of people — including myself — had some apprehensions not just because of social injustice but COVID-related, etc. And a lot of us just initially, even on this team, just didn’t want to go. But I think the ability and the option to play for something bigger than yourself, I think a lot of guys will sign up for that nine times out of 10. Ten times out of 10.”

Initially, Brown was worried about the NBA’s resumption taking away the momentum gained by the Black Lives Matter movement. But his mind since has changed. “Those were my first thoughts,” Brown said, per Westerholm. “Just the role that sports plays in our society, that it could serve as a distraction. But now, with the conversations that we’ve had, I think it’s going to enhance, rather than dim, the light that’s being spread right now. I think everybody wants to watch basketball and the NBA, and we have voices of influence in our communities and we have obligations to our communities, not just obligations to our organizations. The more the NBA understands that, the better everybody will feel about it, especially players.”

The Celtics are scheduled to resume play July 31 against the Milwaukee Bucks.

Read more at: https://nesn.com/2020/07/jaylen-brown-reveals-why-celtics-almost-didnt-attend-orlando-restart/

BLUE JAYS SCHEDULE

TORONTO BLUE JAYS ANNOUNCE 2020 60-GAME SCHEDULE

Fans can watch, play, and listen all season long on Sportsnet, SN NOW, the Sportsnet Radio Network, the MLB Ballpark app, and by following @BlueJays on social media

The Toronto Blue Jays today announce the 2020 60-game schedule. The team opens on the road on Friday, July 24 at 6:40 p.m. vs. the Tampa Bay Rays, before starting their first homestand on Wednesday, July 29 against the defending World Series Champion Washington Nationals. The regular season concludes at home on Sunday, Sept. 27 vs. the Baltimore Orioles.

The Blue Jays have unpaused the season and are asking fans to get in on the action by cheering them on from home. Fans can watch, play, and listen to their Blue Jays by tuning in to SN and SN NOW; listening on the Sportsnet Radio Network; playing games to win prizes on the MLB Ballpark app; and checking out behind-the-scenes content on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Fans are encouraged to check back often as there will be unique ways for them to connect and engage with the Blue Jays at the ballpark, from home!

While no final decision has been made on a site for Blue Jays regular season home games, the club’s preference remains Rogers Centre. The team continues to pursue this option with the health and safety of the general public and the team at the forefront and will communicate an update as information becomes available.

The full schedule is available at bluejays.com/schedule and in the attached PDF.

– BLUE JAYS –