There Will Be Football
Fangirl Nation, there will be football and training camp will start on time.
The league presented a plan for the coronavirus pandemic that included operations and economics and per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, it has been approved by the players.
Also from ESPN, one of the agreements is a fund that will reimburse benefits eliminated due to COVID-19 up to 2023. The fund would also pay players back for any guaranteed money lost.
Are you ready for some football?
Baseball, Baseball, We’ve Got Baseball
Grab your peanuts and Cracker Jack, because baseball is back! Last night, the boys of summer took to the field, with the defending World Series Champion Nationals hosting the New York Yankees.
Our story begins in Washington, D.C., with Dr. Anthony Fauci throwing out the first pitch. Was it a great pitch? No. Was it a good pitch? No. But, in fairness, the good doctor has been a little busy so, we’re going to give him a pass (pun intended).
The Nats were without star Juan Soto (more on that a couple slides over), while pitcher Gerrit Cole made his Yankee debut, pitching five innings, allowing one hit, one run, walking one, and striking out five. Not too shabby.
Because apparently in 2020, we can’t have nice things, the game was shortened due to rain. The Yankees get the win, 4-1.
Before the National Anthem, members of both teams knelt in a moment of unity to promote social justice.
Mookie Betts and the Los Angeles Dodgers
Next up on our Opening Day parade, Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, and the Los Angeles Dodgers played host to the division-rival San Francisco Giants, and beat them, 8-1.
One day after signing a 12-year, $365 million contract extension that will keep him in LA, like, forever, Betts had one run and one hit in the Dodgers’ win. Betts, who had said four years ago he would always stand for the National Anthem, knelt for the National Anthem, while Max Muncy and Bellinger stood next to him with their hands on his shoulders.
“I wasn’t educated,” Betts said. “That’s my fault. I need to be educated on the situation. I know my dad served and I’ll never disrespect the flag, but there’s also gotta be change in the world, and kneeling has nothing to do with those who served our country.” Bravo, Mookie. Bravo.
Several Giants players and their manager, Gabe Kapler, knelt as well.
Dustin May got the start in place of Clayton Kershaw, who had back soreness. May pitched 4.1 innings, allowing one run, seven hits, and striking out four. Kiké Hernandez continued his Opening Day domination, going 4-of-5 with two runs and five RBIs.
Major League Baseball’s Expanded Playoffs
Major League Baseball is expanding its postseason to eight teams per league, which will include three division winners, three second place teams, and two Wild Card teams for a total of 16 playoff teams, which is more than half the league.
Gone is the sudden-death Wild Card game, but in its place will be a best-of-three-game Wild Card series, with the higher-seeded team getting all three games at home. The Division Series will still be a best-of-five, with the League Championships and World Series still being best-of-seven.
All NBA teams in the bubble are taking part in scrimmages. The Los Angeles Lakers lost to the Dallas Mavericks, 108-104, yesterday, but Lakers star LeBron James had more important things to discuss.
With #Justice4BreonnaT” written on his game shoes, James opened his postgame media availability saying, “First of all, I want to continue to shed light on justice for Breonna Taylor and to her family and everything that’s going on with that situation.”
James talked about the Black Lives Matter movement, but emphasized that is not a movement but a “lifestyle.”
“It’s just heartbreaking, man,” James said. “You guys don’t understand. Unless you’re a person of color, you guys don’t understand. I understand that you might feel for it, but you could never truly understand what it is to be Black in America.”
James continues to speak on issues that matter, issues that are bigger than basketball, and to use his influence to enact real change. Bravo, LeBron. Bravo.
MLB in the Time of COVID-19
Yesterday, Washington Nationals left fielder Juan Soto tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of the team’s season opener. Soto is asymptomatic but will need two negative tests before he can get back to playing.
Also in the NL East, the Atlanta Braves were without catchers Tyler Flowers and Travis D’Arnaud as they opened the season today against the New York Mets, as both displayed coronavirus symptoms. Both have tested negative, but the team is being cautious.
Meanwhile, for the Toronto Blue Jays, home is where they can play baseball, and where they can play baseball is in Buffalo. The Blue Jays will be using Sahlen Field, home of their Triple-A affiliate Buffalo Bisons. So, it’s basically like they’re crashing with their cousins.
The team needed a home for 2020 when the Canadian government said no dice, due to concerns around the coronavirus pandemic and travel.
The Washington Football Team
The NFL team in Washington is changing its name after years of criticism over its racially insensitive moniker.
For now, the team will be known as the Washington Football team and all references to their previous name will be removed from their uniforms, the stadium, and everything in between.
Last week, The Washington Post detailed sexual harassment and verbal abuse allegations from 15 women who worked for the NFL team.
The team’s new coach, Ron Rivera, told ESPN, “There’s a lot of things we’ve gotta change and correct so we can go forward. We’re trying to create an inclusive culture, a culture where people buy in and support us, help us, we support them, we help them. We want to change it to the point where people are proud of who we are as we go forward as an organization.”