Baseball’s COVID-19 Problem
As of today, 18 players from the Miami Marlins have tested positive for COVID-19. The positive tests first came back on Monday when, at that point, 11 players and two coaches tested positive.
The team has been quarantining in Philadelphia, where they played last weekend, and all of their games have been postponed through Sunday. Sources told ESPN that the infected players and coaches will be traveling via sleeper buses back to Miami, while the rest of the team will stay in Philly and continue to be tested daily.
Meanwhile, the St. Louis Cardinals had two players test positive last night, postponing today’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers. The teams will play a Sunday doubleheader, which, like all doubleheaders the rest of the season, will be seven innings.
This weekend is a big one for MLB, as ESPN’s Jeff Passan is reporting that Commissioner Rob Manfred told MLBPA executive director Tony Clark that the season could be shut down if things don’t improve.
The Battle for LA…In the Bubble
The NBA is back ladies and gentleman, and the first two games of the restart did not disappoint.
Let’s start our story with the Battle for Tinseltown, with the Los Angeles Lakers beating the Los Angeles Clippers, 103-101.
Before the game, all players, coaches, and referees knelt and linked arms during the National Anthem, with the players all wearing shirts saying “Black Lives Matter,” which is also written on the court.
Anthony Davis was on fire for the Lakers, finishing the night with 34 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. For the Clippers part, Kawhi Leonard had 28 points and Paul George had 30.
The game was a battle until the end, but it was the King himself, aka LeBron James, who played hero. After rebounding his own missed shot, James hit the game-winner. The Clippers and Lakers have split their matchups 2-2 this season in what could very well be previews of the Western Conference Finals.
Jazz vs. Pelicans
The first game of the restart came down to the wire as well, with the Utah Jazz defeating the New Orleans Pelicans, 106-104.
In what is just so 2020, the first points of the NBA restart were made by Utah’s Rudy Gobert. Yes, that’s the same Rudy Gobert who shut down the league with his positive coronavirus test back in March. Even more poetic and kind of awesome, it was Gobert who led the Jazz to victory when he made two free throws in the game’s final seconds. Gobert finished the night with 14 points, 12 rebounds, and three blocks.
Rookie Zion Williamson started the game, playing a little over 15 minutes and scoring 13 points. His minutes were limited, as he missed a fair amount of practice while tending to a family matter. Williamson was done with 7:19 left to go in the game, leading some to wonder why his minutes weren’t managed to have him available at the end of the game.
All players, coaches, and referees knelt with their arms linked for the National Anthem. All players wore shirts saying “Black Lives Matter.”
Antonio Brown Suspended
The NFL announced today that wide receiver Antonio Brown has been suspended eight games for multiple violations of the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy. Brown is currently a free agent.
Should he be signed, Brown would be allowed to participate in the team’s preseason activities, with the suspension taking place once the roster is set on September 5.
Today, the Pac-12 announced that its football schedule will consist of 10, conference-only games, with each team playing five home games and five road games.
The season will start Sept. 26 and the Pac-12 Football Championship Game will be played December 18 or 19.
“The schedule and return to play plans provide for maximum flexibility and the best opportunity to play all fall sports in an environment that prioritizes safety,” said Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott in a statement. “At the same time, we will continue to evaluate the best available science, data and advice of public health officials as we make decisions and any required adjustments going forward.”