MLB coronavirus restrictions likely just the first pivot from business as usual

first_img“Honestly, I really do enjoy talking with you all,” Nationals manager Davey Martinez said, from his normal spot on that same breezy patio. “It’s actually good. But MLB’s taking all precautions, and not just MLB, but everybody. It’s there, it’s happening and everyone’s trying to be very cautious.” MORE: Breakdown of sports events, leagues affected by coronavirusSuch is life in the new setup. Clubhouse access for media is temporarily gone as leagues figure out how to balance concerns of health and safety, while guarding against unnecessary overreactions as officials get a handle on how the virus is impacting America. In some cases, like here at Nationals camp, it feels a bit like a show — doing something headline-worthy without really doing anything impactful — considering there were a grand total of six reporters and one cameraman present. But that’s not really the point. This new development, which was announced in an email sent out by MLB at 7:17 p.m. ET on Monday night, marks the latest change. The second half of the email talked about the clubhouse access restrictions, but the first half is what’s relevant to what’s next: “The health and safety of everyone in our communities is of the utmost importance to us. We have been engaging on an ongoing basis with a wide range of public health experts, infectious disease specialists, and governmental agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to obtain the latest information. We are regularly conveying the guidance from these experts to Clubs, players, and staff regarding prevention, good hygiene practices and the latest recommendations related to travel. We are continuing to monitor developments and will adjust as necessary. While MLB recognizes the fluidity of this rapidly evolving situation, our current intention is to play Spring Training and regular season games as scheduled.”Yep, that “our current intention” part is key. This almost certainly will not be the last development, for baseball or other sports in North America. More substantive, dramatic changes are surely on the horizon, developments that have nothing to do with media access.The annual tennis tournament at Indian Wells — the BNP Paribas Open — is known as the fifth major in tennis circles. It’s been canceled. That’s in California, which is also where Santa Clara County banned all public gatherings of more than 1,000 people through the end of March, which means the San Jose Sharks have to figure out what to do with their three home hockey games this month. Will they play in front of an empty area? Not play the games? And this news just broke this morning. The Ivy League has decided to cancel the League’s upcoming Basketball Tournaments and implement highly-restrictive, in-venue spectator limitations for all other upcoming campus athletics events.📰 » https://t.co/Y4nEjbsh0N pic.twitter.com/8zsrweXVXo— The Ivy League (@IvyLeague) March 10, 2020RIVERA: It’s not bad that Brewers gave Christian Yelich deferred moneyThe more events that are canceled or played in front of empty arenas, the easier it is for the next team/league to follow suit.  WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — On the first day of MLB’s new media restrictions, put in place on Tuesday in coordination with the NBA, NHL and MLS to assuage fears of the ever-growing coronavirus situation, Nationals catcher Kurt Suzuki sat down at a table on the breezy patio behind his team’s clubhouse instead of in front of his locker for an interview with Sporting News. A square table’s worth of space separated the two. About an hour earlier, Ryan Zimmerman met with a Nationals beat writer in the TV interview room, and not long after that started, Andrew Stevenson chatted with another beat reporter in an empty office. After Zimmerman was finished, rookie Luis Garcia met with a third beat writer in the TV room.  And maybe that’s a good thing. There’s still so much we don’t know about what type of impact the coronavirus will have in the United States. There’s no standard operating procedure here, and there are no concrete answers. Only best guesses. Worst-case scenario for overreacting is games get canceled for no reason. Worst-case scenario for underreacting is the sporting events we love helping to spread a virus that has already killed thousands across the globe and has entire countries shut down. Restricting media access in spring training isn’t going to do much, but it was a step that MLB — in concert with the NBA, the NHL and MLS — felt it needed to take because, well, it had to take at least one step in that direction. So baseball took the tiny one. And in the bigger picture, as long as this isn’t a ploy for future non-health/safety restrictions, that’s fine. It’s an inconvenience. But don’t let this tiny development be a distraction from the truth that bigger steps are almost certainly coming, though, as the American sports world scrambles to figure out a way to deal with a global health threat.last_img read more

Pacers’ Victor Oladipo opts out of NBA restart

first_imgThe two-time All-Star guard — who has played just 13 games this season after taking the floor only 36 times in 2018-19 — cited his lengthy injury history when explaining why he has opted out of the rest of the season.MORE: List of players opting out of NBA restart”I feel like I’m at a great place in my rehab and getting closer and closer to 100 percent,” Oladipo said. “With all the variables, from how I have to build my 5-on-5 workload back up, to the increased risk of a soft tissue injury which could delay my rehab, and the unknown exact set up of the bubble, I just can’t get my mind to being fully comfortable in playing.” The Pacers are fifth in the Eastern Conference at 39-26 this season as they prepare for the NBA’s 22-team plan to finish the 2019-20 season in Orlando starting on July 30. The first of Indiana’s eight seeding games is on Aug. 1 against the Philadelphia 76ers.  The team is also without guard Jeremy Lamb, who tore the ACL in his left knee in February.  #IndianaStyle x @VicOladipo pic.twitter.com/9QuYi0W3Mv— Indiana Pacers (@Pacers) July 2, 2020″I really want to play, and as a competitor and teammate this is tearing me apart,” Oladipo said. “I have to be smart and this decision hasn’t been easy, but I truly believe continuing the course I’m on and getting fully healthy for the 2020-21 season is the right decision for me.” MORE: Key dates, schedule for restart of NBA season The second overall pick in the 2013 draft, Oladipo’s best season was his first with the Pacers, averaging 23.1 points, 5.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.4 steals over 75 games in 2017-18.  It looked as if Oladipo had finally blossomed into a player worthy of his draft slot, but rupturing tendons in his quadriceps twice has prevented the 28-year-old from making consistent contributions over the last two seasons.  Oladipo joins a growing list of players who have opted out of the restart, including Washington Wizards forward Davis Bertans, Los Angeles Lakers guard Avery Bradley and Portland Trail Blazers forward Trevor Ariza. Victor Oladipo has chosen not to join the Indiana Pacers for the restart of the 2019-20 NBA season in Orlando, Fla., saying that he would not be comfortable playing.  Oladipo announced his decision on Friday in an article with The Athletic.  last_img read more

Survey: rural Iowans want candidates to address climate change

first_imgDES MOINES, Iowa — As presidential hopefuls make their final pitches to Iowans before the upcoming caucuses, rural residents say they want to hear more about climate change.Some political observers might think climate change is an issue more important to voters in coastal areas. But according to the Center for Rural Affairs, 91% of respondents to a recent survey said they were either “very” or “extremely” concerned about climate change affecting their lives.Kalya Bergman, policy associate with the Center, said the participants were rural Iowans of all backgrounds.“Educators, farmers, business owners, parents and all other backgrounds, and they’re all concerned about and willing to take steps to address climate change,” Bergman said.Climate researchers say Iowa has seen the largest per-decade increase in annual average rainfall at more than 1 inch of precipitation. Bergman said the flooding from the higher rainfall totals is a direct threat to the more than 1 million people living in rural Iowa, where a lot of food and energy is produced.Kevin Griggs runs EOR Iowa, an environmental engineering and consulting firm. He said he believes the state is on the front lines of climate change. And he’s seen it first hand through the work his company does.“Things like invasive species – plant and animal species, even some fish species,” Griggs said.Unlike recent presidential elections, some of the Democratic hopefuls in 2020 have taken notice of voter concerns in Iowa. That includes TV ads that focus on the Green New Deal, or fielding questions about the topic during forums.Meanwhile, the Center for Rural Affairs says voters they’ve spoken to hope candidates will take actions like promoting programs that reward farmers for taking part in conservation and renewable energy initiatives.last_img read more

English champion Ellis so close to title double

first_img2 Apr 2013 English champion Ellis so close to title double Harry Ellis came close to adding the French International Boys Championship to his English crown but was beaten 3 and 2 by Germany’s Dominic Foos in the 36-hole final at Le Touquet. In a match of two halves, Ellis generally held the upper hand in the morning round, getting to 3-up after 13 holes before going into lunch with a one-hole advantage. But it was a different story in the afternoon. Foos levelled at the first hole then made the decisive move by winning three holes-in-a-row from the seventh and adding another at the 11th to be 4-up. Although Ellis won the 13th, it was too steep a hill to climb and the end came at the 16th where Foos closed out his success. Overall it was a successful sortie for the English youngsters, four filling the top seven spots in the qualifying but that meant they were all in the same half of the match play draw. Jack Singh Brar, Ellis’s Hampshire colleague, departed in the first round against Jeppe Andersen by 2 holes but the Dane lost in the quarter finals to Ashton Turner, who had claimed a 2 and 1 win over Vitek Novak of the Czech Republic in round one and a 1-hole success against Sweden’s Fredrik Nilehn in the second. Derbyshire’s Bradley Moore overcame Jonas Liebich of Germany 4 and 3 then French international Kenny Subregis 4 and 2 before bowing out to Ellis 3 and 1 in the quarter finals. Ellis reached the last eight with wins over Alan de Bondt of Belgium and Frenchman Pierre Mazier. In another all-English clash in the semi-finals, Ellis came out on top by 1-hole against Turner to set up the final with Foos. The Nations Cup, decided over the two stroke play qualifying rounds, saw England1, made up of Ellis, Singh Brar and Turner, take top spot on 284, six strokes better than Norway1 with England2, comprising Robert Burlison, Bobby Keeble and Bradley Moore, and Sweden1 third on 290.  Match Play results: 1st Rd: A Turner (Eng) bt V Novak (Czk Rep) 2&1; J Andersen (Den) bt J Singh Brar (Eng) 2 holes; B Moore (Eng) bt J Liebich (Ger) 4&3; H Ellis (Eng) bt A de Bondt (Bel) 3&2. 2nd Rd: Turner bt F Nilehn (Swe) 1 hole; Moore bt K Subregis (Fra) 4&2; Ellis bt P Mazier (Fra) 4&3 Quarter Finals: Turner bt Andersen 5&4; Ellis bt Moore 3&1. Semi-Finals: Foos (Ger) bt P Melching (Fra) 3&2; Ellis bt Turner 1 hole. Final (36 holes): Foos bt Ellis 3&2last_img read more

Former Indian opener VB Chandrasekhar no more

first_imgAdvertisement ydrl7NBA Finals | Brooklyn Vsa7oWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E2zci3( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 9Would you ever consider trying this?😱a49Can your students do this? 🌚2fRoller skating! Powered by Firework Ex-Indian batsman and selector VB Chandrasekhar has committed suicide on Thursday evening. His body was found hanging from the ceiling fan in his residence. The Tamil Nadu left-handed opener who was only six days short of his 58th birthday, is survived by his wife and two daughters. Chandrasekhar, who played only 7 ODIs for India between 1988 and 1990, had a prolific domestic level career aggregating 4999 runs in 81 games with a high score of 237 not out. According to Chennai police, Chandrasekhar’s wife Soumya told them that he was depressed due to the losses that he had incurred in his cricket business.Advertisement Chandrasekhar who was also a qualified engineer, made his first-class debut at the age of 25 played in a formidable Tamil Nadu side including WV Raman, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan and K. Srikkanth. His record of the fastest hundred in an Irani Trophy game against Rest of India that brought him into national reckoning was only broken a few seasons ago.  The hard-hitting batsman in his later years became a national selector, state coach and a commentator. He also owned the Tamil Nadu Premier League team – VB Kanchi Veerans and ran a cricket academy.Advertisement “I was at the other end of the pitch and to see him tear the ROI attack apart which had bowlers like Sanjeev Sharma and Narendra Hirwani was a sight I will never forget. He was an absolute entertainer and a great friend and this is shocking news for me,” said former India captain and chief selector K. Srikkanth.Suresh Raina, Anil Kumble, S. Badrinath and other Indian cricketers have also expressed their condolences.Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

GFI alumi are part of major league baseball history

first_imgFrom small beginnings in home town stadiums, many of the faces that have crossed the home plate in Grand Forks have made their way to stardom in the major leagues.Brent Lillibridge played in the 2003 Grand Forks International with the Seattle Studs. He is seen here crossing home plate after belting a home run against the Reno Astros in the championship game.Lillibridge was an outstanding player at the University of Washington and would be chosen in the fourth round of the 2005 amateur draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Later he was traded to the Atlanta Braves and made his MLB debut April 26, 2008. He was then traded to the Chicago White Sox.He was part of White Sox history earlier this season when, on April 11, he hit the 10,000th home run in the history of the Sox franchise. One article describes Brent as outgoing and an individual of deep faith who tries to connect with the White Sox fan base. Apparently he makes as much usage of Twitter as anyone on the team. Just a couple of weeks after he hit that milestone home run for Chicago he was once again in the news: Versatile, skilled Lillibridge makes statement, screamed one headline. Another said, Utility player secures White Sox win with pair of defensive gems.This occurred in the ninth inning of a 3-2 victory over New York in Yankee stadium. To make back to back game saving catches is a rare feat. After watching these sparkling defensive plays on video one can only shake their head. In fact, two of baseball’s all-time greats, Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter were doing just that, reflecting some exasperation and frustration but no doubt accompanied with admiration for the athletic ability and hustle of Lillibridge.Making this night in the Big Apple even more remarkable was that Brent, normally an infielder, was playing in right field for only the eighth time in his career.White Sox Manager Ozzie Guillen quipped, “I finally found my closer.”From Grand Forks to Chicago; from this small town in Southern B.C. to New York and Yankee Stadium; from James Donaldson Park, an intimate ballpark on the United States/Canada border to 40,000 seat United States Cellular Field (formerly Comiskey Park)… and the story continues… the GFI – don’t miss it!Brent’s saving catch on video:http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/whitesox/5052025-574/in-case-you-missed-the-game-saving-catches-by-white-sox-of-brent-lillibridge-video.htmllast_img read more

3 North Rupununi communities receive $2.6M in grants

first_imgMinister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock, on Friday last handed over the sum of .6 million in community grants to the villages of Kwatamang, Rupertee, and Fair View in Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo), to facilitate the undertaking of green, sustainable projects under the Presidential Grant Fund.Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs Minister Sydney Allicock (left) presenting the cheque to Fair View Toshao Lucy MarslowKwatamang and Rupertree each received $800,000, for construction of a community centre and a sanitary block respectively; while a sum of $1,000,000 was presented to Fairview for the construction of a Village Office.Toshao and representative of the Fair View community, Lucy Marslow, explained that construction of the village office would add to the many projects being commenced to facilitate community development, as she expressed gratitude to the Government for its continued support.Thus far, a total of $300,000 has been injected into the construction of a hot meal kitchen, and there are plans to construct a village restaurant, for which some $5 million are to be received. These ventures are a part of the Community Development Project (CDP).Minister Allicock, at the time attending the North Rupununi District Development Board (NRDDB) meeting in Apoteri, encouraged proper management of funds and maintenance of projects.last_img read more

Cop dies in Lethem accident

first_imgA Police Officer died on Tuesday evening following an accident at Pirara Bridge, Lethem, Region Nine (Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo).Dead is Inspector Ian Welch, who was stationed at the Lethem Police Station.According to reports reaching Guyana Times, at least six other ranks were injured in the accident.Details of the accident are sketchy, but this publication was told that it occurred about 17:15h as the ranks were returning from routine patrol duties. More details in the February 15 edition of Guyana Times.last_img

Guyanese escapes from T&T Immigration Detention Centre

first_imgPolice in Trinidad and Tobago are currently searching for five detainees who escaped from the Immigration Detention Centre, Wallerfield on Thursday.Looptt.com reported that at about 22:30h on Thursday, Cpl. Jeanville and a party of officers attached to the Arima Criminal Investigations Department (CID)Jose Luis Ramirez Yanez (left) and Ryan Badalreceived a report of escaped detainees and visited the Centre to conduct enquiries.While there, officers received information about how the detainees escaped and immediately launched a manhunt for the following persons: Krishna Bailey, a 22-year-old Jamaican national; Ryan Badal a 23-year-old Guyanese and three Venezuelan nationals; 24-year-old Rodney Noel Reyes Mendoza; 27-year-old Jose Luis Ramirez Yanez and 32-year-old Luis Carlos Sifontes.The five men were last seen at 15:00h on Thursday.last_img read more

North Peace Cricket Foundation raising money for wildfire evacuees during season closer

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The North Peace Cricket Foundation is going to be raising money for the nearly 35,000 B.C. residents forced from their homes at their final game of the season this weekend.Foundation president David Joel says that this weekend’s final game will be between the Road Runners and the Northern Strikers. The two teams ended up winning the season semi-finals against the Chandigarh Lions and the Northern Bulls to advance to the finals, which are taking place this Sunday at North Peace Secondary School.Joel says that the club is also going to be raising money for the Canadian Red Cross during the game. For more information, visit the club’s website or Facebook page.- Advertisement –last_img