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Coronavirus Newsbeat

Friday, July 03, 2020

With baby on the way, Trout unsure if he’ll play

“Honestly, I still don’t feel comfortable with the baby coming,” Trout said via Zoom. “Obviously with the baby coming there’s a lot of stuff going through my mind right now, my wife’s mind, my family. Trying to get the safest and most cautious way to get through a season. I told [general manager] Billy [Eppler] and I told a bunch of guys, it’s going to be tough. I have to be really cautious the next few weeks. The biggest thing is I don’t want to test positive and bring it back to my wife. I’ve thought hard about this and I’m still thinking about this.”

Trout, 28, worked out with his teammates at Angel Stadium on Friday—the first day of official workouts—but he wore a mask while running the bases and during outfield drills. Trout wants to play but said he has nightly conversations with his wife and things could change.

“Obviously, sports is really big for the country right now but we’re risking our families and our lives to go out there and play for everyone,” Trout said. “My mindset is to play. I want to play. It’s just a tough situation. I have to play it by ear. You never know what’ll happen tomorrow or the next day. There could be an outbreak. There are a lot of questions I don’t have the answer to.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 03, 2020 at 05:36 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, mike trout

31 MLB players, 7 staff test positive for COVID-19, or 1.2%

Thirty-one Major League Baseball players and seven staff members tested positive for COVID-19 during intake for the resumption of training, a rate of 1.2%.

MLB and the players’ association announced the results Friday as teams resumed workouts for the first time since the coronavirus interrupted spring training on March 12, two weeks before the season was to start. Opening day has been reset for July 23, the latest in baseball history.

The positive tests occurred among 19 of the 30 teams, according to results of the samples sent to the Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory in South Jordan, Utah. There were 3,185 samples collected and tested through the first week of intake testing.

Individual players have not been identified, but some teams have raised suspicions by placing players on an injured list this week without announcing an injury.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 03, 2020 at 05:12 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Wednesday, July 01, 2020

‘I got crushed’: Chicago Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy details harrowing COVID-19 battle

“It is important to understand that I’m 38 years old,” says Hottovy, who pitched in the major leagues with Boston and Kansas City in 2011 and 2012. “I’ve been poked, prodded, tested for the last 16 years in Major League Baseball. I’ve had no underlying issues, nothing that would red flag me as somebody that would get hit pretty hard with this virus….

He said that “days eight through 14” he suffered significant respiratory issues and contracted what doctors called “COVID pneumonia.”

Additionally, he said, he felt depressed and guilty for exposing his family to the virus, though his wife and children tested negative.

Hottovy pondered opting out of the season but says he will report with the club, even if he’s far from prime physical conditoin.

“The lung capacity, the shortness of breath, the cardiovascular, I’m nowhere near (normal),” he said.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 01, 2020 at 03:39 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

MLB teams can’t identify players who test positive for coronavirus

New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and Chicago Cubs GM Jed Hoyer both said that, under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, teams are not allowed to divulge the name of any player who tests positive.

“The information I’ve been given is [the media] will be left to try to figure that out,” Cashman said during a conference call Tuesday afternoon. “Somebody might be down and out, but we might not be able to speak to why, and it would be a speculating circumstance [where] you would have to use your journalistic superpowers to determine if there’s anything there or not, what the circumstance might be.”

MLB also said Tuesday that a team will not specifically announce a COVID-19 injured list placement for a player who is removed from the club after testing positive, just an injured list trip.

The federal law restricting the release of medical information without a patient’s consent or knowledge means that only players can reveal their positive test status.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 01, 2020 at 02:53 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Rockies’ Ian Desmond opting out of playing in 2020, citing high risk amid pandemic

“With a pregnant wife and four young children who have lots of questions about what’s going on in the world, home is where I need to be right now,’’ Desmond wrote. “Home for my wife, Chelsey. Home to help. Home to guide. Home to answer my older three boys’ questions about Coronavirus and Civil Rights and life. Home to be their Dad.’‘

Desmond, who grew up in Sarasota, Florida, made his major league debut with Washington in 2009. The two-time All-Star played for Texas for one season before signing with the Rockies.

In his Instagram post, Desmond said he has been sharing more of his thoughts and experiences as a biracial man since George Floyd’s death on May 25 in Minnesota. Floyd, a Black man, died after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for more than seven minutes.

Desmond said his mind started racing during a recent visit to the Sarasota baseball fields that he played on as a kid. He wrote about how they looked run down and neglected and how important youth baseball was for him growing up.

“Why can’t we support teaching the game to all kids—but especially those in underprivileged communities?’’ Desmond wrote. “Why aren’t accessible, affordable youth sports viewed as an essential opportunity to affect kids’ development, as opposed to money-making propositions and recruiting chances? It’s hard to wrap your head around it.’‘

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 30, 2020 at 09:37 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Monday, June 29, 2020

Mike Leake To Opt Out Of 2020 Season

Diamondbacks right-hander Mike Leake is planning to opt out of participating in the 2020 season, Steve Gilbert of MLB.com reports (via Twitter). Leake becomes the first known player to choose not to play amid public health concerns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, although others will surely follow suit.

D-backs general manager Mike Hazen has confirmed the decision, tweets Zach Buchanan of The Athletic. The details surrounding Leake’s decision aren’t known, nor need they be shared. As Hazen went on to tell reporters: “I think those conversations are personal in nature” (Twitter link via the Arizona Republic’s Nick Piecoro). Leake’s agent, Danny Horwits, offered the following statement (via ESPN’s Jeff Passan):

“During this global pandemic, Mike and his family had many discussions about playing this season. They took countless factors into consideration, many of which are personal to him and his family. After thorough consideration, he has choen to opt out of playing in 2020. This was not an easy decision for Mike. He wishes the bet of luck and health for his Diamondback teammates this season and he’s looking forward to 2021.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 29, 2020 at 02:13 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, mike leake

What Randomness Could a 60-Game MLB Season Bring?

In the bottom of the fifth inning of a game against the Orioles on June 6, 2019, Rangers left fielder Danny Santana lifted a one-out fly ball to center. When O’s center fielder Keon Broxton caught it, his Texas counterpart Delino DeShields hurried home from third, scoring what would be the winning run in a 4-3 Rangers victory. With that win in the books, the Rangers’ record stood at 32-28. Through 60 games, they were in wild-card position. “Playoff baseball may come back to Arlington sooner than expected,” Sports Illustrated’s Michael Shapiro wrote that week…

If last season had stopped after 60 games, the Rangers would have won the second wild card. The Cubs would have won the NL Central, and the Phillies would have won the NL East. In other words, three out of the 10 teams that were in playoff position at that point didn’t end up making the playoffs. That’s pretty typical: According to data from Baseball Prospectus, 36.5 percent of teams during the divisional era (1969 to 2019, excluding the 1981 and 1994 strike seasons) that were in playoff position through 60 games didn’t end up making the playoffs.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 29, 2020 at 09:00 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Several Rangers employees test positive for COVID-19, less than two weeks after mandate to return to office

Earlier this month, CBS Sports reported that the Texas Rangers had become the first known Major League Baseball team to bring workers back into the office—and had done so despite surging COVID-19 cases in Tarrant County. Not even two weeks have passed, yet CBS Sports can confirm a report by ESPN’s Jeff Passan that “several members” of the organization have tested positive for the coronavirus in recent days, according to an internal announcement.

CBS Sports has since obtained and reviewed the internal memo issued to Rangers employees on June 11, days before the mandate to come back went into effect.

The memo, entitled “Front Office Re-Opening Guidelines,” does not explicitly require employees to return to the office, but the section on remote work leaves little room for interpretation. “We are excited to invite everyone back to work,” the memo reads. “Remote work may be offered depending on the circumstances to employees who have child care issues or who have a medical condition and are in need of an accommodation.”

The memo then identifies an employee in the human resources department to contact for “approval of that request,” indicating two things: 1) returning to the office is not a voluntary arrangement; and 2) the team is retaining the right to deny requests as it sees fit.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 27, 2020 at 09:54 AM | 113 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, rangers

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Will fans be allowed at MLB games in 2020 season? Astros owner says ‘that’s the plan’ in Texas

Houston Astros owner Jim Crane was asked about having fans at Minute Maid Park this season on Wednesday and told
reporters (including MLB.com’s Alyson Footer) “that’s the plan.”

“We still have to go through the player protocol. We’re still focused on that,” Crane said. “I think the intent at some point is to get the fans in the ballpark.” Crane added that having fans purchase tickets as well as concessions and merchandise at the ballpark is the “only thing we can do to counter” financial losses stemming from the pandemic.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker recently said Chicago could allow fans into Wrigley Field and Guaranteed Rate Field this season, with as many as 8,000 fans per venue being allowed (via NBC Sports Chicago).

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 25, 2020 at 10:32 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

MLB trade deadline moved to Aug. 31, teams can have 30 players on Opening Day roster in latest draft of league proposal

Here are some roster-related highlights of the proposal, which is subject to change before the season begins in late July.

* The trade deadline would move from July 31 to Aug. 31, representing the halfway point of the regular season.

* On Opening Day, teams would be able to carry up to 30 players on their active roster. On the 15th day of the season, the active roster limit would decrease to 28, and it further decrease to 26 players on the 29th day of the season. Teams would then have regular 26-man active rosters for the rest of the season and postseason.

* The transaction freeze that has been in place since March 26 would be lifted at noon on the fifth day prior to spring training, allowing teams to start tweaking their rosters.

* The deadline for players to become postseason-eligible would be Sept. 15 (meaning they would have to be in an organization on that date to qualify for postseason play).

* The number of active days required for Rule 5 players would be reduced proportionally to the number of days in the revised season.

* Three days before spring training, teams would submit a list designating the 60 players who will be part of their “player pool” of eligible participants in the season. That pool would include every 40-man roster and a series of non-roster players under contract. Not all of those players will be invited to major league spring training.

Here is the complete 2020 Operations Manual which spells out safety protocols and transaction rules.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 24, 2020 at 01:34 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Would MLB Be Better Off in a Bubble? Experts Say ... Maybe

“The Twins and the Rockies have different public health leaders and different public health perspectives and, quite frankly, are in different places in the coronavirus outbreak right now than the Rangers and the Diamondbacks,” says Dr. Dawn Comstock, a sports epidemiologist at the Colorado School of Public Health. “You’re going to have to deal with different public health mandates.”

Compare this to the other major leagues about to start play. The NBA, WNBA, and MLS will have their bubbles in Florida. The NHL is in the process of picking its two hub cities, and the NWSL will be in Utah. These “bubbles” will see players isolated in one environment for weeks or months, with minimal movement in or out, and all basic needs met inside. Of course, no bubble will be flawless: “That’s an ideal circumstance that may work on Mars,” says Dr. Schaffner. “But it’s unlikely to work in the United States.” It also has potentially serious ramifications for players’ and staffers’ mental health and general well-being. In terms of planning, however, it offers one cohesive environment, operating in one community. That’s significantly different from MLB.

“It’s sort of a pick-your-poison situation,” Dr. Binney says. “You could centralize all the risk. But if that city explodes, then your whole league is in trouble. Or do you want to accept the more dispersed risk, where one of your teams is probably going to be in trouble at any given time, but maybe not all of you will have to shut down?”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 24, 2020 at 11:32 AM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Charlie Blackmon, two other Rockies test positive for coronavirus following workouts at Coors Field

Rockies players Charlie Blackmon, Phillip Diehl and Ryan Castellani have all tested positive for coronavirus following recent workouts at Coors Field, major-league sources told The Denver Post.

Several Rockies have been working out at Coors Field this month, including taking live at-bats. The positive tests came late last week, said the sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. One player was showing symptoms and the other two were asymptomatic.

After the three players tested positive, all of the other players who were working out at Coors Field were tested for coronavirus. Those tests came back negative. Per Major League Baseball protocol, Coors Field has been closed for the week.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 23, 2020 at 10:13 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Monday, June 22, 2020

Does A Short-Season MLB Champ Deserve An Asterisk?

Teams that led their divisions at the 50-, 60- and 70-game mark — by win percentage1 — were even more likely to go on to make the playoffs. Just over 72 percent of teams leading their respective divisions through 70 games went on to make the postseason, compared with 67.7 percent through 60 games and 63 percent through 50 games. The more games that are played, the better picture we get of who the best teams are; but as seen at the 50-game mark, most division winners establish themselves early.

But how many go on to win the World Series? Only two eventual title winners since 1995 did not have a winning record through 50, 60 or 70 games: the 2003 Florida Marlins and the 2019 Washington Nationals, which had losing records at all three thresholds. The average number of wins for title winners through 50 games was 29.9, or a .598 win percentage. That was 36.2 wins through 60 games (.603 win percentage) and 41.8 wins through 70 games (.597 win percentage).

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 22, 2020 at 01:35 PM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

How MLB teams are developing prospects with baseball on hold

The Mets have utilized Zoom conference calls with their development staff and young players as well as one-on-one discussions to review and log activity, Banner wrote. Reese said the Yankees have produced videos for their charges, some of the “pump-up” variety and others instructive and reinforcing like showing a hitter a past at-bat in which he laid off a tough pitch and followed by stroking a friendlier offering for a double.

“We’re doing whatever we can to make players more aware of what they need to work on,” Reese said. “Hitting, strength and conditioning, mental — each of those departments have broken into groups. We have our Double-A hitting coach [Ken Joyce] working with our Double-A-ish hitters.”

The mention of minor-league levels prompts the question: Does a lost 2020 for the youngsters simply push everyone back a season? The player set to play at Double-A this year and Triple-A next year will instead do the former in 2021 and the latter in 2022? It needn’t be that simple or penurious, Reese said, explaining, “I think we’ve gotten better at scouting, better at evaluating the players that we have. It’s a little bit less ‘Graduate level by level.’

“It’s not just, ‘Hey this guy hit .300.’ It’s, ‘What was the quality of each of his at-bats?’ There’s a better chance to figure that stuff out.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 22, 2020 at 09:28 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Rangers become first known MLB team to have front-office employees back to work despite Texas’ COVID-19 spike

Despite the widespread uncertainty about both the season and COVID-19, the Texas Rangers are having front-office employees return to Globe Life Field, three months after the majority of them began working remotely. A team spokesperson confirmed to CBS Sports that the team was entering a new phase of the reopening plan. The Rangers are the first known team to have front-office employees return to their offices, according to league sources. The move comes with the team also in the process of preparing to potentially play games in front of a half-filled stadium later this summer.

When asked whether the team was requiring employees to come in, and if exceptions were being made for individuals who identified as high risk (due to either their age or pre-existing medical conditions), a spokesperson responded by writing: “We are working with all employees to make them feel comfortable in returning to the office, but individuals with medical conditions, child care issues, and other concerns are being accommodated on a case-by-by basis and are able to continue working remotely at present.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 17, 2020 at 11:05 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Dr. Anthony Fauci says MLB should consider not playing into October

“If the question is time, I would try to keep it in the core summer months and end it not with the way we play the World Series, until the end of October when it’s cold,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in a telephone interview with The Times on Tuesday. “I would avoid that.”

Owners have expressed concern about an increase in coronavirus cases, notably in the home states of nine of the 10 teams that would be grouped in the Western region. Those outbreaks have “increased the risks associated with commencing spring training in the next few weeks,” MLB Deputy Commissioner Dan Halem wrote to players’ union negotiator Bruce Meyer on Monday.

Nonetheless, Fauci said, playing in July likely would be less risky than playing in October.

“Even in warm weather, like in Arizona and California, we’re starting to see resurgences as we open up,” Fauci said. “But I think the chances of there being less of an issue in the end of July and all of August and September are much, much better than if you go into October.”

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 17, 2020 at 09:26 AM | 50 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Monday, June 15, 2020

Several Major League Baseball players and coaches have tested positive for COVID-19

Major League Baseball informed the players union Monday that several major-league players and coaches have tested positive for COVID-19, believing it might be unsafe to start the season early even if they soon reach an agreement in their labor dispute.

The news of the positive tests, and fear of a second wave of the virus wiping out the postseason, MLB deputy commissioner Dan Halem says, is the primary reason they are adamant about finishing the regular season on Sept. 27.

He vigorously denies the union’s assertion that MLB is stalling to play as few regular-season games as possible to save money.

“Your recent letters have all expressed the concern, in one form or another, that players are being ‘asked to take on extraordinary burdens and risks in the current environment,’” Halem said Monday in a letter to lead union attorney Bruce Meyer, obtained by USA TODAY Sports. “However, the Association’s proposals to play as many games as possible, as deep into the fall as possible, increases the health risks to players and staff, which is not something we are prepared to do.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 15, 2020 at 10:41 PM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Friday, June 12, 2020

Player and MLB pitching coach tested positive for coronavirus

Two people involved in the game — one described as a major league pitching coach and one a 40-man roster player — have contracted COVID-19, multiple sources told The Post.

No one would name the people who contracted the virus. But those aware of the situation say the pitching coach had the virus weeks ago and is now recovered. The 40-man roster player was described as having contracted the virus more recently, but with the belief that he has not infected anyone else involved in the game.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 12, 2020 at 11:28 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

MLB Instructs Teams To Find Taxi Squad Sites Ahead Of Potential Season

As part of the negotiations, the sides have discussed expanding major league rosters and clubs by having a “taxi squad” of 20-25 players in reserve. With the minor league season in doubt, the taxi squad would provide an outlet for top prospects to continue playing while giving MLB teams a source to call players up from during the season.

In an indication that the taxi squad setup is the likely outcome, multiple officials told Baseball America this week that MLB teams have been instructed to find a site for their taxi squads to play within 100 miles of their MLB stadium.

It is expected that those workouts will not be full games. Without an opposing team to play, there likely will not be enough players for taxi squads to play full split-squad games.

Instead, the taxi squad will likely play simulated games where pitchers and hitters get much-needed live innings and at-bats to stay in game shape and be ready to be added to the MLB roster as needed. Normally with sim games, pitchers will sit down and get back up between “innings” to simulate the up-and-down of a normal game. Taxi squads are not expected to travel with the MLB team.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 12, 2020 at 02:53 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Monday, June 08, 2020

MLB may be sports biggest loser during COVID-19 pandemic

For baseball, that meant a near-monopoly on the summer months, a perfect runway for its practically bottomless inventory. But if necessity is the mother of invention, it’s also the father of encroachment. And for the next two years, the threat of the NBA will grow even more real.

Should baseball reach an agreement to play this season, it will enjoy an exclusivity window of only three weeks in early July, as the NBA projects its games will resume in late July.

If both leagues avoid shutdowns caused by a rash of coronavirus cases, baseball will find itself head-to-head with hoops into its playoffs, as Game 7 of the NBA Finals is tentatively scheduled for Oct. 12.

Next season will be no better: The NBA plans a Dec. 1 tipoff of the 2020-21 season, pushing its regular season into May, the Finals into July, the draft after that. That’s a full season of moving more of its inventory head-to-head with baseball, rather than football. And the NBA could very well like the results.

“There will be encroachment on the typical MLB calendar,” says Ganis, “and if that is successful, they may find ratings and fan interest so great, they may encroach another month or longer on the traditional baseball season. That would be very bad for Major League Baseball.”

Particularly with the sport already taking a significant drop at the box office, with attendance drops of 4% in 2018 and an additional 1.6% in 2019. Throw in what would likely be an almost fan-free 2020 season, with health and economic concerns lingering into 2021, and a sport that still relies on attendance for at least 40% of its revenues will be scrambling to stanch further losses.

 

Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: June 08, 2020 at 03:42 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

MLB isn’t including public health officials enough as it pushes to start up 2020 season during pandemic

Yet, of the 28 city and county health departments that the News contacted prior to June 2, only five confirmed any interaction with MLB or the local team in their jurisdiction regarding health and safety measures, and only four reported they received MLB’s health and safety protocol from the league or club.

Since MLB’s June 2 claim, three health departments — Cobb County (Braves), Detroit (Tigers) and Minneapolis (Twins) — have reconfirmed that neither MLB nor their respective teams have contacted them to discuss plans.

Of the departments that spoke to us, multiple health officials and representatives told the News that the lack of communication with the league — or awareness of their plans — made them reluctant to address health and safety measures.

Other local health leaders presented serious questions — if not irreconcilable conflicts — with the proposed procedures in place, or at least what they understood of them. And that’s when health departments spoke at all.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 08, 2020 at 01:21 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

Friday, June 05, 2020

Inside MLB’s financials fight—and the numbers to solve it

And there you have it. Distilled to the simplest form, Major League Baseball is in crisis because of a $326 million problem.

The players will say: That is $10,880,000 per team, or the cost of a decent No. 4 starter. And they are right.

The owners will say: That is another $326,400,000 on top of the $3.5 billion we are already set to lose. And though there is no publicly available documentation to substantiate those claims, the lack of gate revenues alone is a significant enough blow that some sympathetic to the union acknowledge the league’s finances have been hampered.

Now comes the difficult part. The negotiating endpoints have been established. So has the chasm between the parties.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 05, 2020 at 01:53 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus

AZSnakepit James Attwood: Should Rob Manfred Drop the Hammer ?

It has come to light, from numerous sources now, that the March agreement which ownership and the MLBPA hammered out to address the COVID-19 pandemic includes a return-to-work/no-strike clause, in which the Commissioner is granted sweeping authority to unilaterally restart the season at whatever number of games ownership agrees to and to do so on whatever date he sees fit, assuming that local municipality guidelines are being met. That is a very big deal…........The Commissioner, and by extension, the owners he works for, hold the ultimate trump card. Not only can a return to work be mandated, but a player strike in response would be in violation of the agreement.

 

Jack Sommers Posted: June 05, 2020 at 12:20 PM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, work stoppage

Sources: MLB inclined to allow local governments to decide if fans are allowed at potential games

Call it home-state advantage.

As Major League Baseball and its Players Association wobble toward an agreement to start the COVID-19-delayed season, the Rangers could be handed a huge advantage if the schedule ever gets underway: fans.

According to two major league sources Thursday, MLB is inclined to allow local and municipal governance to take precedence when it comes to allowing fan attendance at games.

On Wednesday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that Texas-based teams could now allow attendance up to 50% of stadium capacity. The announcement was an expansion of the state’s previous policy of 25%, which had been in effect for two weeks, but had not yet been tested by any league. All plans would also be subject to change based on health and safety protocols.

Texas is the only state to have opened to pro sports with fans, though some other states have indicated they would consider adjusting their stances as they meet various thresholds in containing the coronavirus outbreak. Texas is home to two MLB teams, the Rangers and Houston Astros.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 05, 2020 at 09:45 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, coronavirus, rangers

Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Reigning CL MVP Hayato Sakamoto one of two Giants players to test positive for COVID-19

Two Yomiuri Giants players have tested positive for the new coronavirus, the Central League team announced Wednesday, casting a shadow over Nippon Professional Baseball’s plan to start the 2020 season on June 19.

Giants shortstop Hayato Sakamoto and catcher Takumi Oshiro are the first pro baseball players in Japan known to have tested positive for the pneumonia-causing virus since Hanshin Tigers pitcher Shintaro Fujinami and two teammates were infected in late March.

In order to limit the further spread of the virus, the Giants canceled Wednesday’s practice game against the Seibu Lions.

NPB started playing practice games Tuesday after settling on a June 19 start to the season. A 143-game campaign that was due to begin on March 20 has been shortened to 120 games due to the delay. The contests were going to be held behind closed door initially.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 03, 2020 at 10:19 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: coronavirus, japanese baseball, npb

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