MiLB teams sue insurance providers over denied virus claims — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

Fifteen minor league baseball teams have filed a lawsuit alleging breach of contract by insurance providers after being denied claims for business-interruption insurance due to the coronavirus pandemic.

MiLB teams sue insurance providers over denied virus claims — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

Associated PressJun 23, 2020, 4:05 PM EDT

Fifteen minor league baseball teams have filed a lawsuit alleging breach of contract by insurance providers after being denied claims for business-interruption insurance due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Major League Baseball announced Monday that it will attempt to play a 60-game regular season, but its minor league clubs – many under threat of losing affiliations amid negotiations with MLB – are unlikely to play until at least 2021.

Minor league franchises said in the suit filed Tuesday that even though they continue to pay yearly premiums to insurance providers for business-interruption insurance, they have been denied coverage after Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred indefinitely suspended their seasons in March.

Minor league teams are mostly small, independently owned businesses, and their model depends on affiliates receiving players, coaches and other team personnel provided by major league clubs.

Government restrictions on mass gatherings are also precluding minor league teams from hosting fans at their ballparks, by far the greatest source of revenues for those franchises. Over 40 million fans attended minor league games involving 176 affiliates last season.

The suit claims teams are stuck with over $2 million in expenses on average, including as much as $1 million in ballpark lease payments, marketing costs, food and beverage supplies, and salaries and benefits for permanent employees.

Teams say providers are citing two reasons for denying claims – because losses are not resulting from direct physical loss or damage to property, or because policies include language excluding coverage for loss or damage caused by viruses.

Teams say the loss of use of their ballparks due to government restrictions on fan gatherings and their inability to obtain players qualifies as physical loss. They allege the latter clause is void because it’s unenforceable and inapplicable.

The likely loss of the 2020 season comes at an already challenging time for the minors. The Professional Baseball Agreement between MLB and minor league team owners is set to expire after this season, and MLB proposed reducing the guarantee minimum of affiliates from 160 to 120.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, names Philadelphia Indemnity Insurance Co., Acadia Insurance Co., National Casualty Co., Scottsdale Indemnity Co., and Scottsdale Insurance Co. as defendants. Defendants did not immediately responded to requests for comment.

Obituary: Delores Brumfield White (1932-2020) — RIP Baseball

RIP to Dolores “Dolly” Brumfield White, who was the Joe Nuxhall of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. She started as a 15-year-old in the AAGPBL and spent seven seasons in the league. Her death was announced on May 29 — she had just celebrated her 88th birthday three days prior. White played for the […]

Obituary: Delores Brumfield White (1932-2020) — RIP Baseball

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19 — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

The NPB season will be played without fans. Teams can being practice games on June 2.

Japanese Baseball to begin June 19 — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

By Craig CalcaterraMay 25, 2020, 10:31 AM EDTLeave a comment

Japanese League commissioner Atsushi Saito announced that Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19. Teams can being practice games on June 2. There will be no fans. Indeed, the league has not yet even begun to seriously discuss a plan for fans to begin attending games, though that may happen eventually.

The season will begin three months after its originally scheduled opening day of March 20. It will be 120 games long. Teams in each six-team league — the Central League and Pacific League — will play 24 games against each league opponent. There will be no interleague play and no all-star game.

The announcement came in the wake of a national state of emergency being lifted for both Tokyo and the island of Hokkaido. The rest of the country emerged from the state of emergency earlier this month. This will allow the Japanese leagues to follow leagues in South Korea and Taiwan which have been playing for several weeks.

In the United States, Major League Baseball is hoping to resume spring training in mid June before launching a shortened regular season in early July. That plan is contingent on the league and the players’ union coming to an agreement on both financial arrangements and safety protocols for a 2020 season. Negotiations on both are ongoing. Major League Baseball will, reportedly, make a formal proposal about player compensation tomorrow.

Follow @craigcalcaterra

Twins’ Double-A team lists stadium on Airbnb — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

The Pensacola Blue Wahoos, the Double-A affiliate of the Twins, has listed its stadium on Airbnb, a creative way to create income during a pandemic.

Twins’ Double-A team lists stadium on Airbnb — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

Shutdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic have caused businesses across the country to get creative in order to remain in the black. Count Minor League Baseball teams among them. The Pensacola Blue Wahoos — the Twins’ Double-A affiliate — listed its home ballpark on Airbnb.

👀 pic.twitter.com/IT0WdEZ6ba

— Pensacola Blue Wahoos (@BlueWahoosBBall) May 23, 2020

Those who pay $1,500 per night can spend the night at the ballpark, gaining access to the field, batting cage, and clubhouse. The bedroom contains 10 beds and three bathrooms. If guests want to, they can play on the field as balls, bats, and helmets are included in the deal.

The Wahoos will have a stadium representative on site at all times to answer questions and ensure rules are followed.

Minor league teams are heavily reliant on gate revenue, which has vanished during the pandemic. It would not be surprising to see other teams follow the Blue Wahoos’ lead, listing their stadiums on Airbnb as a way to create a little bit of income.

Follow @Baer_Bill

Preston Tucker wins car after hitting homer in KBO League — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

Outfielder Preston Tucker of the Kia Tigers won a Kia Sorento when he hit a ball that landed in the “Home Run Zone” on Sunday.

Preston Tucker wins car after hitting homer in KBO League — HardballTalk | NBC Sports

Former MLB outfielder Preston Tucker has gotten off to a blazing hot start in the KBO League. Entering Sunday’s action, Tucker was hitting .475/.543/.925 with four home runs and 19 RBI in 46 plate appearances.
Tucker kept up the hot hitting on Sunday and won himself a car in the process. Per MLB.com’s Alex Fast, Tucker’s fifth home run — a solo shot to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning — hit the “Home Run Zone” just beyond the fence in right-center field at Kia Challengers Field. There, a Kia Sorento perches on a small platform. Tucker’s blast appeared to strike the roof of the car. Players who homer into the “Home Run Zone” win the car as a prize.



Preston Tucker won a Kia Sorento today.

He’s currently tied for the HR lead in the KBO with 5.



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The blast was not enough, however, as Tucker’s Tigers lost to the Doosan Bears 6-4. The homer was Tucker’s only hit on the afternoon.
Tucker, 29, spent parts of three seasons in Major League Baseball from 2015-18 with the Astros, Braves, and Reds. In total, he hit .222/.281/.403 with 23 home runs and 68 RBI in 651 trips to the plate.

JONES: Canadian back to playing baseball in Korean League — Edmonton Sun

It was 4:07 a.m., Sunday when the mystical dragon responded from Incheon. Read More

JONES: Canadian back to playing baseball in Korean League — Edmonton Sun

It was 4:07 a.m., Sunday when the mystical dragon responded from Incheon.

Which is to say that was the time on this side of the ocean the first baseman of the SK Wyverns connected from South Korea. SK is the conglomerate that sponsors the team. Wyverns translates to mystical dragons.

Jamie Romak is the only Canadian baseball player currently playing in the just-underway Korean pro league. He holds the Canadian record for foreign league home run in a single season with 45 from 2018 set with his current club.

The London, Ont. native who made it to the majors with the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, ought to sign on as a consultant with the Toronto Blue Jays when it comes to the MLB plans of returning to action in empty stadiums.

If there has been a nation that has provided an example of how to manage the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been Korea. And the eyes of every major professional sports league in the world ought to be on the Korean league.

more

ONES: Canadian back to playing baseball in Korean League — Edmonton Sun

Taiwan baseball fans allowed inside stadium but must sit apart — AP

There are fans in the stands for baseball in Taiwan even though they are spaced far apart as a safeguard against the spread of the coronavirus

Taiwan baseball fans allowed inside stadium but must sit apart —


NEW TAIPEI CITY, Taiwan (AP) — There were fans in the stands for baseball in Taiwan on Friday, albeit spaced far apart as a safeguard against the spread of the coronavirus.

Up to 1,000 spectators are now allowed at each ballpark in Taiwan, but they are still barred from bringing in food and concession stands are still closed.

“This means our government’s disease control measures are quite rigorous,” said 34-year-old fan Frank Cheng, an electronics industry worker from New Taipei City.

Cheng went to see his hometown Fubon Guardians play the UniLions with four of his friends. Their body temperature was checked at the entrance and they all sat at least three seats apart.

Before the game started, Taiwan health and welfare minister Chen Shih-chung appeared at home plate wearing jersey No. 0, an emblem of the government’s hope for zero coronavirus cases.

When the season opened on April 11 after a three-week delay, only players, team personnel and cheerleaders were allowed in the stadium. The league later proposed allowing 200 fans per game and the Centers for Disease Control gave clearance for 1,000, league spokesman Tai Si-song said.

But instead of dancing together in support of their teams, Guardian fans stood on their own moving to the cues of cheerleaders and mascots. Friends leaned across seats to talk to one another while security guards told people wandering around the aisles to find a place to sit.

When the Guardians scored, fans still shouted through the team’s signature blue bullhorns to the drum rhythms coming from behind first base. Cheerleaders, the only people in the stands without facemasks, led the usual chants.

“There’s plenty of social distance here,” said Guardians fan Sun Ming, a 29-year-old finance sector worker from New Taipei City. “I think the disease prevention is quite effective and therefore we can have this chance to attend the game.”

The Taiwan league has five teams and started its season ahead of professional baseball in Japan, South Korea and the United States.

As of Friday, stadiums will leave three seats between spectators, even if they come in groups. Every second row will be left empty, ensuring no one coughs on someone else from behind. The league’s smallest stadium at 11,000 seats can accommodate 1,000 people with that spacing plan and without opening the bleachers, Tai said.

“If we were to add people, that would impinge on the safe space,” Tai said.

In New Taipei City, about 900 people bought tickets to watch the Fubon Guardians at the 12,500-seat venue, the club said. Tickets were still selling into the second inning.

A second league game was taking place at the same time in Taiwan’s largest stadium, which has 19,000 seats.

Games in previous years averaged 6,000 fans each.

The government in Taiwan reported 440 coronavirus cases on Friday among a population of 23 million. Many Taiwanese still stay indoors after work in case the coronavirus outbreak suddenly worsens.

Cape Cod Baseball League Unanimously Decides To Cancel 2020 Season — NESN.com

Vacations on Cape Cod will be without one of their signature pastimes this summer. And elite collegiate baseball players, who were robbed of their season by the coronavirus, will now have another opportunity to showcase their talents to Major League Baseball scouts ripped away. The Cape Cod Baseball League has officially canceled its 2020 season…

Cape Cod Baseball League Unanimously Decides To Cancel 2020 Season — NESN.com