Update on the latest sports
Redskins, Indians to review nicknames amid race debate
WASHINGTON (AP) — -The Cleveland Indians have announced that they too are reviewing their contentious nickname. The team released a statement on Friday night saying it is committed to making a positive impact in their community and that they embrace their responsibility to advance social justice and equality.
The club said it plans to review a nickname it has had since 1905. In 2018, the Indians removed their Chief Wahoo logo from caps and jersey worn by the team. The red-faced mascot, however, remains on some team merchandise.
The move mirrors one made by the NFL’s Washington Redskins, who Friday said they are embarking on a “thorough review” of their name.
FedEx on Thursday called for the Redskins to change their name, and Nike appeared to remove all Redskins gear from its online store.
In other NFL news:
— A person familiar with the discussions told The Associated Press the NFL plans to consider the NFL Players Association’s recommendation to cancel the preseason though the league prefers to cut the schedule in half. The NFL decided Wednesday to cut its preseason from four games to two. The union’s board of player representatives voted Thursday to ask the league to cancel the entire preseason schedule, according to two people who were part of that conversation. The four people spoke on condition of anonymity because the league and the union haven’t reached an agreement.
-The Green Bay Packers are optimistic they will have fans at Lambeau Field this season, but they note that seating capacity would be cut significantly and spectators must wear face coverings. The NFL club acknowledges the “possibility that Lambeau Field will be unable to host fans for games this season” because of the pandemic. Training camps across the league are to begin in mid-July.
-A person familiar with the request says agent Drew Rosenhaus has asked the Cleveland Browns to trade tight end and former first-round draft pick David Njoku. The person who spoke on condition of anonymity says the Browns have no plans to move Njoku. Rosenhaus told ESPN that “it is in David’s best interest to find a new team at this time.” Njoku has caught 93 passes and scored nine touchdowns in three seasons.
MLB cancels All-Star Game for first time since 1945
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dodger Stadium’s 40-year wait to host the All-Star Game is going to last even longer.
The game scheduled for July 14 has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, and Dodger Stadium was awarded the 2022 Midsummer Classic. The 2021 game is set for Atlanta’s Truist Park, home of the Braves since 2017.
The pandemic had already delayed opening day from March 26 to July 23 or 24. This will be the first time since 1945 that no game will be held.
Travel restrictions because of World War II kept the game scheduled for Boston’s Fenway Park from taking place that year. It was pushed back to the next season.
In other MLB news:
— The Washington Nationals showed up to training camp hoping to follow manager Dave Martinez’s mantra on the way to winning the World Series: go 1-0 every day. Baseball’s defending champions got camp underway with 57 healthy bodies and a 2020 first-round pick on the way. Martinez learned depth catcher Welington Castillo was joining Ryan Zimmerman and pitcher Joe Ross in opting out of the 60-game major league season. But aces Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg looked sharp on the first day of workouts, and there’s plenty of hope ahead as long as the Nationals can remember all the protocols in place.
— New Yankees ace Gerrit Cole is busy on and off the field this week. Cole and his wife, Amy, celebrated the birth of their first child on Tuesday. Cole has been working out at Yankee Stadium. After a near-miss in the World Series last year with Houston, the All-Star right-hander is hoping to help pitch the Yankees to their first championship since 2009. He signed to a $324 million, nine-year contract that set a record as the highest for a pitcher. Cole says the delay caused by the pandemic might benefit the Yankees because it allowed many to heal. The Yankees open on July 23 at Washington.
— Reigning American League MVP Mike Trout participated in the Los Angeles Angels’ first workout of summer camp, but says he hasn’t made a final decision on playing this year. Trout and wife Jessica are expecting the couple’s first child in August. The outfielder said his mindset is to play in the virus-delayed season, but a lot will hinge on how he feels the next couple weeks. The three-time AL MVP continues to have discussions with general manager Billy Eppler and manager Joe Maddon. Trout wore an N-95 mask throughout the two-hour workout at Angel Stadium on Friday. Trout did leave open the possibility of possibly not playing until the baby arrives.
—Tampa Bay Rays ace Blake Snell reported for work after all. The 27-year-old Snell made headlines in May when he said he opposed the idea of players taking further pay reductions to start the season during a pandemic. But he says it wasn’t difficult to start playing again after the players’ agreement with Major League Baseball included their full pro-rated salaries. Snell says most of what he said in May was “correct.”
— Atlanta Braves left-hander Cole Hamels is feeling good as a long layoff has helped him recover from a sore left shoulder. Hamels hopes he’ll be ready for the start of the 60-game season i less than three weeks. He says he is interested in logging quality innings, even if he’s not able to pitch deep into games. The Braves opened their summer training at newly renamed Truist Park. A sore left shoulder could have forced Hamels to miss two months if the season started on time. Instead, the coronavirus pandemic ended spring training in mid-March and allowed Hamels to have a more relaxed approach to his rehabilitation.
— The Texas Rangers have opened their summer camp in their new home. Their first official workout in their new stadium with a retractable roof came three weeks before they expect to finally play a game there. Left-hander Brett Martin was away from the team after he tested positive for COVID-19 during intake testing this week. Martin was already at higher risk because he has Type 1 diabetes. The pitcher had some mild symptoms with congestion and fatigue.
— Prized shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. wore a facemask throughout the reboot of spring training for the San Diego Padres, who reported that outfielder Tommy Pham tested positive for COVID-19 and is asymptomatic. Pham will be able to return when he clears the protocol. Pham was obtained in an offseason trade with Tampa Bay in exchange for outfielder Hunter Renfroe. Tatis and outfielder Franchy Cordero appeared to be the only players who wore a mask through the whole workout at Petco Park.
_The Cincinnati Reds resumed with a familiar scene: hitters slapping batting-practice pitches around Great American Ball Park while a mash-up of disco, rap and Motown reverberated. It looked and sounded like baseball but felt very different in many ways. Manager David Bell hadn’t slept well the last few days, anxious over how to hit a restart button on a shortened season while keeping players safe from COVID-19. Outfielder Nick Senzel is worried about whether major league players will be cautious when they go out in public, so not to catch and spread the coronavirus.
— Carlos Carrasco is making another comeback. The popular Indians pitcher is eager to get back on the mound after missing most of last season while battling leukemia. The 33-year-old is in remission but he’s at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19. Carrasco has the blessing of the team’s medical staff to play as baseball resumes, and he’s thankful his teammates will look out for him. Carrasco spent the months since baseball was paused by working out at his home in Florida. He even installed a mound near his front yard so he could throw.
— Indians outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. has tested positive for the coronavirus and is being quarantined from his teammates and has only had “very mild symptoms” at this point. He will have to twice test negative before he’s permitted to re-join the ballclub.
— Most of the Los Angeles Dodgers were masked men when they gathered to restart spring training. Players arrived and departed Dodger Stadium at staggered times. They worked in groups divided between pitchers and position players while maintaining a safe distance. Clayton Kershaw says he trusts his teammates to take precautions when they’re away from the ballpark in order to complete the shortened 60-game season. Testing has shown an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in California.
-Mets’ Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom ran sprints by himself in shallow right field and then grabbed his personal bag of baseballs to throw off a bullpen mound. No hugs or handshakes or good-natured ribbing with teammates close by — because there weren’t any. Players kept a safe distance even while simply walking across the diamond at Citi Field, adapted from home ballpark to spring training site as the Mets prepare for opening day in three weeks. Welcome to Major League Baseball in the age of the coronavirus.
— The Seattle Mariners kicked off summer camp trying to figure out how to get pitchers ready in just three weeks. One way the Mariners hope to combat worries about putting strain on pitchers’ arms is by going with a six-man rotation for the full 60-game season. The Mariners most likely already have the six starters set between Marco Gonzales, Yusei Kikuchi, Kendall Graveman, Justus Sheffield, Justin Dunn and Taijuan Walker. They may end up averaging just one start per week during the shortened season.
— A top Canadian government health official says the Toronto Blue Jays aren’t guaranteed to get an exemption for the regular season. The Blue Jays got one to hold training camp in Toronto this week. But the regular season will require players to frequently travel back and forth between the United States. The official noted that a lot of American states that have teams are seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases.
— The Chicago Cubs were glad to be back on the field. . New manager David Ross said he felt like a “12-year-old thinking about baseball” and how much he missed it. With the season cut from 162 games to 60, the Cubs are gearing up for a sprint they hope ends in the playoffs after missing out for the first time since 2014. Chicago went from 95 wins in 2018 to 84 last season and finished behind St. Louis and Milwaukee in the NL Central. The Cubs kept their roster largely intact. But they made one big change when they hired Ross to replace Joe Maddon.
— Baseball’s return to Comerica Park meant Michael Fulmer was back on the mound in Detroit. The right-hander had Tommy John surgery and missed the whole 2019 season. He said this was his first time throwing off the game mound at Comerica Park in about a year and a half.
— Chicago White Sox pitcher Michael Kopech missed the start of the team’s summer camp due to a personal matter. General manager Rick Hahn said he doesn’t have a timeline for the return of the 24-year-old right-hander. Kopech is coming back from Tommy John surgery in September 2018. He hit triple-digits on the radar gun during his first spring training appearance.
NBA RESTART-TOP SEEDS
Bucks, Lakers look to shed rust or rest for playoffs?
MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers have all but guaranteed themselves the top two playoff seeds and face a balancing act when the NBA returns to action.
While other teams will be fighting for a postseason berth or playoff seedings when they play the final eight regular season games in Florida, the Lakers and Bucks will be looking to shake off the rust after a 4 ½-month hiatus and staying as healthy as possible.
Milwaukee owned the NBA’s best record at 53-12 and the Lakers were No. 1 in the West at 49-14 when the pandemic halted play in mid-March.
In other NBA news:
— Utah center Rudy Gobert is standing tall, even after having coronavirus and dealing with an enormous amount of scorn after being diagnosed. Gobert was the first NBA player to test positive for the virus and that prompted many to blame him for the league’s shutdown in response to the pandemic. Plenty of eyes will be on Gobert when the NBA season takes a giant step toward returning by having teams gather at the Disney complex in Central Florida over the next few days.
— Plenty of aches and pains around the NBA have healed in the almost-four-month span since the league had to suspend its season because of the pandemic. That means the 22 teams that will be arriving at the Disney campus near Orlando, Florida next week should be coming in with mostly healthy rosters. Keeping players healthy once they get to Disney will be another challenge, as workloads ramp up quickly for the July 30 resumption of games. But at least at the start of camps, rosters will be deeper than they were when the league shut down on March 11.
— A person with knowledge of the situation says that the Miami Heat have closed their training facility after a second player tested positive for coronavirus. The Heat will have players at the arena over the coming days to satisfy their NBA-mandated testing requirements but will not reopen the gym for individual workouts before leaving for the Disney complex near Orlando on Wednesday. The second player’s identity was not released by the team. Heat guard Derrick Jones Jr. tested positive for coronavirus last week.
— The Indiana Pacers will finish this season without Victor Oladipo after the two-time All-Star decided to sit out because of the risk of re-injuring his right knee. Pacers president of basketball operations Kevin Pritchard said Friday in a statement that the timing of the league’s restart and Oladipo’s lack of 5-on-5 activity makes it difficult for the guard to commit to play “at the high level he expects with regards to further injury.”
Jimmie Johnson 1st NASCAR driver to test positive for virus
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — NASCAR star Jimmie Johnson has tested positive for the coronavirus. The seven-time champion will miss what was supposed to be his final Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this weekend. He will be sidelined and miss testing an Indy car on the road course at Indianapolis Motor Speedway next week. Johnson had talked about the test and the possibility of running the Indianapolis 500. Hours later, he said he had tested positive for the coronavirus.
GOLF-ROCKET MORTGAGE CLASSIC
Bryson DeChambeau tied for early 2nd-round lead in Detroit
DETROIT (AP)— Bryson DeChambeau chose to compete in the Rocket Mortgage Classic while many of the PGA Tour’s top players skipped the tournament in Detroit. He’s aiming to take full advantage of the relatively weak field and course. DeChambeau had four birdies on his back nine Friday to close with a 5-under 67, giving him a share of the lead among the early starters in the second round. Matthew Wolff, Seamus Power and Mark Hubbard also were in front at 11-under 133 after the first wave of players finished their second round.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-VIRUS OUTBREAK CANCELATIONS
Navy-Lafayette joins lists of college football cancellations
UNDATED (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic is already impacting the 2020 college football schedule.
The Sept. 12 game between Lafayette College and Navy is the latest game to be canceled. Navy is seeking to fill the date with another opponent.
Several other games have already been wiped from the schedule. Those include the Southern-Tennessee State game in Detroit on Sept. 5 and the annual Southern Heritage Classic in Memphis on Sept. 12, featuring Jackson State versus Tennessee State.
RACIAL INJUSTICE-OKLAHOMA STATE
Oklahoma State’s Gundy takes pay cut in wake of T-shirt flap
STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy has taken a hit financially as part of an internal review prompted by sharp criticism from his star running back for wearing a T-shirt promoting a far-right news channel.
Athletic director Mike Holder says it was Gundy’s idea to take a $1 million pay cut and shorten his contract by a year. The rollover deal now covers four years instead of five.
Two weeks ago, Chuba Hubbard lashed out at Gundy on social media for wearing a T-shirt promoting One America News Network.
Hamilton picks up where he left off on 1st day of F1 season
SPIELBERG, Austria (AP) — World champion Lewis Hamilton has picked up where he left off on the first day of the Formula One season, by setting the fastest times in the first two practices for the Austrian Grand Prix. The previous time Hamilton drove competitively was on Dec. 1 when he dominanted and won last season’s finale at the Abu Dhabi GP. He had already secured a sixth title to move one behind Michael Schumacher’s F1 record. Seven months later, including a four-month suspension because of the pandemic, Hamilton looks typically assured. The British driver twice finished ahead of his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas while rival Ferrari lacked speed.
Elsewhere in F1 Racing:
— Rival teams still want answers about whether Ferrari’s engine last season was legal or not, after an investigation was closed following a private settlement with governing body FIA. Questions were raised as to whether Ferrari’s fuel-flow exceeded its maximum permitted amount of 100 kilograms per hour. Teams argued that this may have been a key reason for Ferrari’s notably superior speed on long straights and its remarkable run of six straight pole positions. The FIA is now prepared to share its conclusions but needs Ferrari’s permission and the Italian manufacturer is refusing.