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  • All 30 Major League Baseball teams will train at their regular-season ballparks for the pandemic-shortened season after the Toronto Blue Jays received a Canadian federal government exemption on Thursday to work out at Rogers Centre. Toronto will move camp from its spring training complex in Dunedin, Florida., where players reported for intake testing. The Blue Jays will create a quarantine environment at Rogers Centre and the adjoining Toronto Marriott City Centre Hotel, which overlooks the field. Public Health Agency of Canada spokeswoman Marie-Pier Burelle said the players and staff have been issued an exemption to the mandatory isolation order on “national interest grounds.” This exemption does not cover the regular season and player travel between the U.S. and Canada. Blue Jays President Mark Shapiro said the team hopes to know within 10 days where it will play regular-season games. “They felt better about being here,” Shapiro said of the players. “Toronto was a more comforting and safe place for them to be.” COVID-19 cases are surging in Florida as health officials reported a new single-day record total of 10,000 new cases, and before this week several players and staff in Dunedin had tested positive. Ontario reported 153 new cases and businesses in Toronto are reopening as the number of new cases declines. Players are to take private charter flights to Toronto this weekend. Each will need two negative tests before getting on the plane, and each will then be tested every day. MLB required an exemption to a requirement that anyone entering Canada for nonessential reasons must self-isolate for 14 days. The U.S.-Canada border remains closed to nonessential travel until at least July 21. Burelle said MLB is offering “robust measures to mitigate the risk of importation and spread of COVID-19 in Canada.' She said Toronto Public Health and Ontario Public Health also support the proposed risk mitigation measures. “Based on these factors, the Government of Canada has issued an exemption to the mandatory isolation order on national interest grounds for team members and staff of the MLB,' she said. “Blue Jays players and staff who have traveled from outside of Canada will have to stay within the Rogers Centre and the specified areas of the attached hotel for 14 days. ” Burelle noted they have only approved the MLB for the preseason training phase and regular-season games still need to be evaluated. “Players and staff must comply with the MLB’s public health plan,” she said. The border is expected to be closed well beyond opening day in late July. “We do have a plan for that,” Shapiro said of the regular season. 'We still have some areas to address. I would say we're 80% of the way there with pure public health issues, but then there are travel-related issues.' Shapiro said visiting teams would not leave the confines of Rogers Centre and the hotel attached to the stadium if the regular season plan is approved. Shapiro said the Major League Baseball Players Association supports the proposal, but players' union spokesman Chris Dahl said the association had not yet signed off on the plan. 'Never leaving that footprint until they are done playing a three-game series would be the expectation for a visiting team,” he said. The Blue Jays will use four locker rooms and employ social distancing during training camp. They will not play exhibition games with other teams during training camp. Precautions at the hotel include contact-less check-ins and discouraging the use of elevators. “I don't think we could do it any more safely than we are doing it,” Shapiro said. Shapiro acknowledged the plan is not without risk, but said no players or staff have opted out. Dr. Andrew Morris, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Toronto and the medical director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at Sinai-University Health Network, said the government and MLB will face significant blow back from Canada's medical community if they approve a plan that allows players to go back and forth between the U.S. and Canada to play regular season games. He said the U.S. is a disaster right now, particularly in the South and Southwest. “Major League Baseball basically has said we are ignoring all concepts of a bubble, and we’re going to have a moving virtual bubble, and I just don’t see that as workable,” Morris said. “You can hope, desire and want all you want. What COVID has really shown North Americans is hope is not a strategy or a plan. I would be really opposed to the plan for players to go back and forth between Canada and the U.S. without any kind of quarantining. It just doesn’t make sense to me. It’s just madness in my mind.” Federal and local health authorities in Canada approved a plan for the NHL to play in either Toronto or Edmonton, Alberta, but the plan does not involve travel back between the U.S. and Canada. The NHL is selecting hub cities — most likely two — where all the teams will play. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • All 30 Major League Baseball teams will train at their regular-season ballparks for the pandemic-shortened season after the Toronto Blue Jays received a Canadian federal government exemption on Thursday to work out at Rogers Centre. Toronto will move camp from its spring training complex in Dunedin, Florida., where players reported for intake testing. The Blue Jays will create a quarantine environment at Rogers Centre and the adjoining Toronto Marriott City Centre Hotel, which overlooks the field. This exemption does not cover the regular season and player travel between the U.S. and Canada. Blue Jays President Mark Shapiro said the team hopes to know within 10 days where it will play regular-season games. “They felt better about being here,” Shapiro said of the players. “Toronto was a more comforting and safe place for them to be.” COVID-19 cases are surging in Florida as health officials reported a new single-day record total of 10,000 new cases, and before this week several players and staff in Dunedin had tested positive. Ontario reported 153 new cases and businesses in Toronto are reopening as the number of new cases declines. Players are to take private charter flights to Toronto this weekend. Each will need two negative tests before getting on the plane, and each will then be tested every day. MLB required an exemption to a requirement that anyone entering Canada for nonessential reasons must self-isolate for 14 days. The U.S.-Canada border remains closed to nonessential travel until at least July 21, two or three days before opening day. The border is expected to be closed well beyond then. “We do have a plan for that,” Shapiro said of the regular season. 'We still have some areas to address. I would say we're 80% of the way there with pure public health issues, but then there are travel-related issues.' Shapiro said visiting teams would not leave the confines of Rogers Centre and the hotel attached to the stadium if the regular season plan is approved. Shapiro said the Major League Baseball Players Association supports the proposal, but players' union spokesman Chris Dahl said the association had not yet signed off on the plan. 'Never leaving that footprint until they are done playing a three-game series would be the expectation for a visiting team,” he said. The Blue Jays will use four locker rooms and employ social distancing during training camp. They will not play exhibition games with other teams during training camp. Precautions at the hotel include contact-less check-ins and discouraging the use of elevators. “I don't think we could do it any more safely than we are doing it,” Shapiro said. Shapiro acknowledged the plan is not without risk, but said no players or staff have opted out. Dr. Andrew Morris, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Toronto and the medical director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at Sinai-University Health Network, said the government and MLB will face significant blow back from Canada's medical community if they approve a plan that allows players to go back and forth between the U.S. and Canada to play regular season games. He said the U.S. is a disaster right now, particularly in the South and Southwest. “Major League Baseball basically has said we are ignoring all concepts of a bubble, and we’re going to have a moving virtual bubble, and I just don’t see that as workable,” Morris said. “You can hope, desire and want all you want. What COVID has really shown North Americans is hope is not a strategy or a plan. I would be really opposed to the plan for players to go back and forth between Canada and the U.S. without any kind of quarantining. It just doesn’t make sense to me. It’s just madness in my mind.” Federal and local health authorities in Canada approved a plan for the NHL to play in either Toronto or Edmonton, Alberta, but the plan does not involve travel back between the U.S. and Canada. The NHL is selecting hub cities — most likely two — where all the teams will play. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Something still bothers Barry Larkin about his Most Valuable Player award. The other name engraved on the trophy: Kenesaw Mountain Landis. “Why is it on there?” said Larkin, the Black shortstop voted National League MVP in 1995 with the Cincinnati Reds. “I was always aware of his name and what that meant to slowing the color line in Major League Baseball, of the racial injustice and inequality that Black players had to go through,” the Hall of Famer said this week. Hired in 1920 as the sport’s first commissioner to help clean up rampant gambling, Landis and his legacy are “always a complicated story” that includes “documented racism,” official MLB historian John Thorn said. This much is true, in black and white: No Blacks played in the majors during his quarter-century tenure. Jackie Robinson broke the barrier in April 1947, about 2 1/2 years after Landis died. 'Landis is a part of history, even though it was a dark history,” Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker said. Fact is, few fans realize Landis’ name is plastered all over the Most Valuable Player trophies. Most people just call it the MVP. But there it is, prominently displayed on every American League and NL MVP plaque since 1944 — Kenesaw Mountain Landis Memorial Baseball Award, in shiny, gold letters literally twice as big as those of the winner. With a sizable imprint of Landis’ face, too. To some MVPs, it’s time for that 75-year run to end. “If you’re looking to expose individuals in baseball’s history who promoted racism by continuing to close baseball’s doors to men of color, Kenesaw Landis would be a candidate,” three-time NL MVP Mike Schmidt of Philadelphia said. “Looking back to baseball in the early 1900s, this was the norm. It doesn't make it right, though,” said the Hall of Famer, who is white. “Removing his name from the MVP trophy would expose the injustice of that era. I’d gladly replace the engraving on my trophies.” Added 1991 NL MVP Terry Pendleton of Atlanta, who is Black: “This is 2020 now and things have changed all around the world. It can change for the better.” “Statues are coming down, people are looking at monuments and memorials,” he said. “We need to get to the bottom of things, to do what’s right. Yes, maybe it is time to change the name.” “I’ve always thought about that, why is that still on there?” Pendleton said. “No doubt, MVP stands on its own. It doesn’t need a name.” Many hallowed baseball trophies are graced by the names of the greats: Robinson, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Cy Young, Willie Mays, Ted Williams and more. How Landis got etched into the list is easy to trace. A federal judge in Chicago, Landis quickly established his powerful authority as commissioner, banning Shoeless Joe Jackson and the Black Sox for throwing the 1919 World Series. In 1931, Landis decided members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America would pick and present the MVP awards. Before that, the leagues had their own mishmash system. Then during the 1944 World Series, the BBWAA voted to add Landis’ name to the plaque as “an acknowledgement of his relationship with the writers,” longtime BBWAA secretary-treasuer Jack O’Connell said. A month later, Landis died at 78. He soon was elected to the Hall of Fame. “Landis is who he is. He was who he was,” Thorn said. “I absolutely support the movement to remove Confederate monuments, and Landis was pretty damn near Confederate.” Landis’ father, however, was a Union Army surgeon wounded in the Civil War at the battle of Kennesaw Mountain in Georgia, which became the inspiration for the commissioner’s unique name. Born two years later in Ohio — with a slight tweak on the spelling of the mountain — Landis spent time in Indiana and rose to prominence in Chicago. His precise role in racial issues has been debated for decades. Landis broke up exhibitions between Black and white All-Star teams. He invited a group of Black newspaper publishers to address owners in what became a cordial but totally fruitless presentation. Toward the end of his tenure, he told owners they were free to sign Black players. But there is no evidence he pushed for baseball integration, either, as the status quo of segregation remained. “If you have the Jackie Robinson Award and the Kenesaw Mountain Landis Award, you are at diametrically opposed poles,” Thorn said. “And it does represent a conundrum.” O’Connell said no MVP had voiced a complaint to him about Landis since taking his post in 1994. He said Landis’ name on the plaque wasn’t pledged or part of the BBWAA constitution. Any BBWAA member could raise an objection to Landis’ presence. Normally, that would be discussed at the organization’s next gathering, currently scheduled for December at the winter meetings in Dallas. The coronavirus pandemic has put most everything-baseball related in peril — a 60-game season is set to begin in late July, and MVPs are usually announced in November. O’Connell said if someone raised the issue now, it could be brought up to the board and opened to discussion and a vote. To pull Landis’ name “would be a simple matter of redesigning the plaque,” he said. To Larkin, that would remove the tarnish from the trophy. Larkin recalled that shortly after he was voted MVP, he got a call from two-time NL MVP Joe Morgan. The star Black second baseman of the Big Red Machine talked about Landis’ legacy and “he said it never sat well with him, having that name on there,” Larkin recalled. Larkin agrees. “His name should not be represented on a plaque or award of honor, especially at this day and time,” he said. “If his name was taken off, I would not be opposed to it at all.” ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Something still bothers Barry Larkin about his Most Valuable Player award. The other name engraved on the trophy: Kenesaw Mountain Landis. “Why is it on there?” said Larkin, the Black shortstop voted National League MVP in 1995 with the Cincinnati Reds. “I was always aware of his name and what that meant to slowing the color line in Major League Baseball, of the racial injustice and inequality that Black players had to go through,” the Hall of Famer said this week. Hired in 1920 as the sport’s first commissioner to help clean up rampant gambling, Landis and his legacy are “always a complicated story” that includes “documented racism,” official MLB historian John Thorn said. This much is true, in black and white: No Blacks played in the majors during his quarter-century tenure. Jackie Robinson broke the barrier in April 1947, about 2 1/2 years after Landis died. 'Landis is a part of history, even though it was a dark history,” Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker said. Fact is, few fans realize Landis’ name is plastered all over the Most Valuable Player trophies. Most people just call it the MVP. But there it is, prominently displayed on every American League and NL MVP plaque since 1944 — Kenesaw Mountain Landis Memorial Baseball Award, in shiny, gold letters literally twice as big as those of the winner. With a sizable imprint of Landis’ face, too. To some MVPs, it’s time for that 75-year run to end. “If you’re looking to expose individuals in baseball’s history who promoted racism by continuing to close baseball’s doors to men of color, Kenesaw Landis would be a candidate,” three-time NL MVP Mike Schmidt of Philadelphia said. “Looking back to baseball in the early 1900s, this was the norm. It doesn't make it right, though,” said the Hall of Famer, who is white. “Removing his name from the MVP trophy would expose the injustice of that era. I’d gladly replace the engraving on my trophies.” Added 1991 NL MVP Terry Pendleton of Atlanta, who is Black: “This is 2020 now and things have changed all around the world. It can change for the better.” “Statues are coming down, people are looking at monuments and memorials,” he said. “We need to get to the bottom of things, to do what’s right. Yes, maybe it is time to change the name.” “I’ve always thought about that, why is that still on there?” Pendleton said. “No doubt, MVP stands on its own. It doesn’t need a name.” Many hallowed baseball trophies are graced by the names of the greats: Robinson, Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Cy Young, Willie Mays, Ted Williams and more. How Landis got etched into the list is easy to trace. A federal judge in Chicago, Landis quickly established his powerful authority as commissioner, banning Shoeless Joe Jackson and the Black Sox for throwing the 1919 World Series. In 1931, Landis decided members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America would pick and present the MVP awards. Before that, the leagues had their own mishmash system. Then during the 1944 World Series, the BBWAA voted to add Landis’ name to the plaque as “an acknowledgement of his relationship with the writers,” longtime BBWAA secretary-treasuer Jack O’Connell said. A month later, Landis died at 78. He soon was elected to the Hall of Fame. “Landis is who he is. He was who he was,” Thorn said. “I absolutely support the movement to remove Confederate monuments, and Landis was pretty damn near Confederate.” Landis’ father, however, was a Union Army surgeon wounded in the Civil War at the battle of Kennesaw Mountain in Georgia, which became the inspiration for the commissioner’s unique name. Born two years later in Ohio — with a slight tweak on the spelling of the mountain — Landis spent time in Indiana and rose to prominence in Chicago. His precise role in racial issues has been debated for decades. Landis broke up exhibitions between Black and white All-Star teams. He invited a group of Black newspaper publishers to address owners in what became a cordial but totally fruitless presentation. Toward the end of his tenure, he told owners they were free to sign Black players. But there is no evidence he pushed for baseball integration, either, as the status quo of segregation remained. “If you have the Jackie Robinson Award and the Kenesaw Mountain Landis Award, you are at diametrically opposed poles,” Thorn said. “And it does represent a conundrum.” O’Connell said no MVP had voiced a complaint to him about Landis since taking his post in 1994. He said Landis’ name on the plaque wasn’t pledged or part of the BBWAA constitution. Any BBWAA member could raise an objection to Landis’ presence. Normally, that would be discussed at the organization’s next gathering, currently scheduled for December at the winter meetings in Dallas. The coronavirus pandemic has put most everything-baseball related in peril — a 60-game season is set to begin in late July, and MVPs are usually announced in November. O’Connell said if someone raised the issue now, it could be brought up to the board and opened to discussion and a vote. To pull Landis’ name “would be a simple matter of redesigning the plaque,” he said. To Larkin, that would remove the tarnish from the trophy. Larkin recalled that shortly after he was voted MVP, he got a call from two-time NL MVP Joe Morgan. The star Black second baseman of the Big Red Machine talked about Landis’ legacy and “he said it never sat well with him, having that name on there,” Larkin recalled. Larkin agrees. “His name should not be represented on a plaque or award of honor, especially at this day and time,” he said. “If his name was taken off, I would not be opposed to it at all.” ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • The Blue Jays are moving players to their spring training facility in Florida while they await word from the Canadian government about playing in Toronto amid the coronavirus pandemic. Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Monday that city, provincial and federal authorities “kind of gave their approval,” but the Blue Jays are looking for a letter of support from the federal government. He also said Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer, requires a few tweaks to MLB's submitted plan to play, which health authorities have been reviewing. Ford said he was in talks with Blue Jays President Mark Shapiro all weekend. The team later issued a statement that said it is starting to move players and personnel to its training facility in Dunedin, Florida, to begin testing players. “The team will either board a charter flight to Toronto to begin training under a modified quarantine, isolated from the general public, or remain in Florida to conduct training,” the team said in a statement. “The Blue Jays are hopeful to stage training camp and play regular-season home games in Toronto and will continue to work through this possibility.' A couple more teams had thought about resuming training at their facilities in Florida, but that possibility was dashed by a rise in coronavirus cases in the state. Most clubs intend to work out in their regular-season ballparks. Anna Maddison, a spokesman for the Public Health Agency of Canada, said the federal government continues to be in discussion with the Blue Jays. Maddison said Toronto Public Health and Ontario Ministry of Health are also actively engaged with the Blue Jays. 'All parties are committed to mitigating the risks of the spread of COVID-19 in Canada,' she said in an email. MLB requires an exemption from the restrictions that apply to the rest of Canada during the pandemic. Anyone entering Canada for nonessential reasons must self-isolate for 14 days, and the U.S.-Canada border remains closed to nonessential travel until at least July 21. Dr. Andrew Morris, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of Toronto and the medical director of the Antimicrobial Stewardship Program at Sinai-University Health Network, said it would be a bad look for the governments to turn a blind eye to public health for the purpose of resuming professional sports just as Ontario is getting its COVID-19 numbers under control. “This sets a pretty concerning precedent by allowing people from high-prevalence areas and waiving quarantine for them,” Morris said. “We’ve been pretty cautious about opening up our border. I guess now it’s essential purposes plus baseball.” Morris noted the NBA will play within one confined area and the NHL within two, but baseball's plan to have all 30 teams traveling makes it hard to imagine there won’t be a spread of the virus. Morris said Canadian health officials would lose credibility if they grant the exemption. “These are decisions that are beyond public health. I really hope it doesn’t backfire,” he said. A senior Canadian government official said last week that if MLB submitted an acceptable restart plan to the government, an exemption letter similar to the one provided to the NHL could be provided. The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter. MLB announced last week it will have a 60-game regular season that will start July 23 or 24 in ballparks without fans. Federal and local health authorities in Canada have approved a plan for the NHL to play in either Toronto or Edmonton, Alberta, but the plan does not involve travel back and forth between the U.S. and Canada. That decision last week comes as the NHL enters the advanced stages of selecting its hub cities — most likely two — from an original list of seven in the U.S. and three in Canada. Vancouver, British Columbia has been dropped from consideration. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • The Washington Nationals will try to defend their World Series title without at least two holdovers from last year's team, including one of the faces of the franchise. Longtime infielder Ryan Zimmerman and pitcher Joe Ross elected not to play this season, the team announced Monday. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Major League Baseball is attempting to start a 60-game season in late July. General manager Mike Rizzo said Zimmerman and Ross are opting out for the safety of themselves and their families. “We are 100% supportive of their decision to not play this year,” Rizzo said. “We will miss their presence in the clubhouse and their contributions on the field.” Zimmerman was due $740,741 and Ross $555,556 as prorated portions of their salaries, originally $2 million for the first baseman and $1.5 million for the pitcher. Only players deemed high risk are paid if they opt out. Zimmerman, who said last week he was undecided, ultimately said his family situation factored into not playing. His mother is at high risk for complications from the coronavirus. He also has three young children, including a newborn. “Everyone knows how much it means to me to be part of a team and I will miss that camaraderie dearly this year,” Zimmerman said in a statement. “Of course I would love to pursue back-to-back titles. I cannot speak for anyone else, but given the unusual nature of the season, this is the best decision for me and my family.” Zimmerman has been writing a diary for The Associated Press since the coronavirus shut down sports this spring. In the 10th installment last week, he expressed concerns about playing in 2020. “I have a 3-week-old baby,” Zimmerman said. “My mother has multiple sclerosis and is super high-risk; if I end up playing, I can pretty much throw out the idea of seeing her until weeks after the season is over. There’s a lot of factors that I and others have to consider. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer; it’s everybody’s individual choice.” The 35-year-old who has been a fixture for the Nationals since 2005 said this does not mean he’s retiring. He’s still deciding on his future beyond this season. “This time has made me realize how lucky I am to play the game,” Zimmerman said in April. “It’s kind of shown me that I’ll be OK, either way: Whether I continue past 2020 or not, I’ll be great whenever I retire.” Zimmerman is a two-time All-Star infielder who has played 15 years in the majors, all with the Nationals. He holds most of the team’s career hitting records, and his two homers and seven RBIs last postseason helped Washington win its first World Series title. The 27-year-old Ross has five seasons of major league experience and underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow in 2017. He appeared in 27 games last season and was in line to compete to be the Nationals' fifth starter. ___ More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world: ___ DeAndre Jordan says he has tested positive for the coronavirus and won’t be joining the Brooklyn Nets in Florida when the NBA season resumes. Jordan announced his status on Twitter, hours after fellow Nets player Spencer Dinwiddie told The Athletic that he had tested positive and was experiencing symptoms. They give the Nets at least six players who have tested positive for the virus. The other four were back in March, when Kevin Durant said he was one of them. Jordan wrote that he had learned of his diagnosis Sunday night after returning to New York and it was confirmed again Monday. Jordan signed with the Nets last summer, joining Durant and Kyrie Irving. The 2016 U.S. Olympic gold medalist spent most of the season as a reserve but had moved into the starting lineup at center for both games after Jacque Vaughn replaced Kenny Atkinson as coach in March. ___ Arizona will pause bringing additional athletes back to campus for voluntary workouts as a precaution amid a massive surge of coronavirus cases in the state. The school had one positive test among 83 student-athletes who had already returned to campus for voluntary workouts. That person is going through the athletic department’s protocol. Monday's decision to stop athletes from coming back to campus came shortly after Republican Gov. Doug Ducey closed bars, nightclubs, movie theaters, gyms and water parks for 30 days. Arizona has continued to set records with newly confirmed cases of the virus eclipsing 3,000 seven times in recent days. ___ Michigan’s athletic department is projecting a $26.1 million deficit for the upcoming fiscal year. The school says in a news release it expects athletic department revenues to drop by more than $50 million for the fiscal year that starts July 1 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the current fiscal year, Michigan says it expects athletics to bring in $187.4 million, with expenses of $186.4 million. For the upcoming year, it’s projecting revenue of $135.8 million and expenses of $161.9 million. Expenses are expected to drop in part because many coaches and other senior staff are taking 10% pay cuts, including football coach Jim Harbaugh and men’s basketball coach Juwan Howard. Staffers with salaries between $100,000 and $150,000 are having their pay slashed by 7.5% and those who make between $50,000 and $100,000 will get a 5% cut. The athletic department says it expects to see a 50% drop in revenues from ticket sales. But it cautions that’s just a projection and could change. ___ Brooklyn Nets guard Spencer Dinwiddie says he has tested positive for the coronavirus. Dinwiddie told The Athletic he is experiencing symptoms and it is unclear if he can play when the NBA season resumes. His absence would be a significant blow to the Nets. He has played well this season with Kyrie Irving out of the lineup because of injuries. Dinwiddie says he tested negative for the virus multiple times after returning to New York and took part in a couple practices. But he has since tested positive and says he has a fever and chest soreness. He is at least the fifth Nets player to test positive. The previous four were in March, with Kevin Durant saying he was among them. Dinwiddie is averaging 20.6 points for the Nets, who have a half-game lead over Orlando for seventh place in the Eastern Conference. They are set to face the Magic on July 31 in their first game back. ___ Dan Hughes will not coach the Seattle Storm during the 2020 WNBA season over concerns about his risk for severe illness if he were to test positive for COVID-19. The decision was made following a medical assessment by the league and in consultation with Hughes’ primary care physician. The WNBA is set to begin its season in late July with all teams playing in Florida. Hughes, 65, had surgery last year to remove a cancerous tumor from his digestive tract. He missed nine games while recovering from the surgery. Seattle promoted Gary Kloppenburg to head coach for the season. Kloppenburg served as the interim coach last season while Hughes was recovering from surgery. ___ New York Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen says one player on the team’s 40-man roster has tested positive for the coronavirus, in addition to multiple minor leaguers. Van Wagenen did not identify any of the players on a video call with reporters, nor did he detail their conditions or reveal when they tested positive. He says the club is optimistic the player on the 40-man roster will be able to return to action early in training camp, which begins Friday at Citi Field. “He is recovering and we feel like he’s in a good position, but we’ll sort of wait and see once we get everybody here in camp,” Van Wagenen said. The GM said none of the positive tests occurred at the club’s regular spring training complex in Port St. Lucie, Florida. ___ The Chicago Bears are offering full refunds to season ticket holders because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Season ticket holders who choose that option will be able to renew their seats for the 2021 season, the team says. The Bears are not sure how many fans will be allowed at Soldier Field this season. Chicago is scheduled to open at Detroit on Sept. 13 and host the New York Giants a week later. The Bears also have home preseason games against Cleveland and San Francisco on Aug. 15 and 29. ___ Chicago Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer says two staff members have COVID-19 and were experiencing mild symptoms. Hoyer would not reveal their names. He says one was tested because “a friend of a friend had it and he’d been in contact with that person,” and the other was “out of an abundance of caution.” Hoyer says no players have tested positive or opted out of this season because of concerns about the coronavirus, nor have any coaches. ___ The New York Jets are offering fans refunds or payment deferrals on season tickets this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. The team began emailing season ticket holders Monday to alert them about their options. The Jets also are deferring season ticket payments for July, as they have done each of the last three months. Jets season ticket holders will have the option to get a full refund on 2020 tickets or defer all payments toward the 2021 season. Season ticket holders who choose one of those options can also opt to keep their same seats in 2021. Also, season ticket holders with personal seat licenses who opt for the deferred payment or refund on tickets will also be able to defer their PSL payment, which is due in November to November 2021. The team says those fans who make automatic payments on their season tickets will continue to have their payments made unless they opt for the deferral. The Jets have not made individual game tickets available as they continue to monitor the situation regarding government restrictions and regulations during the pandemic. NFL teams are scheduled to report for training camp on July 28. __ Austin Peay has suspended voluntary workouts and closed its facilities after a cluster of positive tests for the coronavirus among its athletes. The Governors currently have 11 athletes who have tested positive. The FCS-level school in Clarksville, Tennessee, did not identify the sports involved. Austin Peay closed its facilities Saturday. Athletic director Gerald Harrison said in a statement Monday that the positive tests are regrettable but procedures put in place worked as expected. That includes isolating those who tested positive along with people at risk through contract tracing in self-quarantine. Austin Peay also is cleaning and disinfecting its facilities. Austin Peay won the Ohio Valley Conference football championship last season and lost in the FCS quarterfinals. ___ The Carolina Hurricanes will help deliver meals to local healthcare workers to thank them for their work amid the coronavirus pandemic. The team announced a five-week program Monday to deliver 1,000 meals in partnership with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. It begins Wednesday when Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour assists with the first delivery, this one to the UNC Health Wakebrook behavioral health campus in Raleigh. More meals will be delivered each Wednesday through July. ___ San Francisco Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi says minor league center fielder Hunter Bishop has tested positive for the coronavirus. Zaidi says Bishop got his test result on Friday and has mild symptoms. Bishop would have been on the club’s roster of 51 players announced Monday for the start of camp later this week. Zaidi says Bishop is in Arizona and wasn’t around any others from the organization. The 22-year-old Bishop is the team’s first-round draft pick from 2019, selected 10th overall out of Arizona State. The Giants are planning their first workout Friday. ___ Miami Marlins president of baseball operations Michael Hill says a player who was asymptomatic has tested positive for the coronavirus. Hill didn’t identify the player, but said he “feels great” and will go through MLB protocol to join the team. Hill said he would be surprised if any Marlins players opt of the season because of health concerns. ___ Longtime Washington Nationals infielder Ryan Zimmerman and teammate Joe Ross have decided not to play this season. General manager Mike Rizzo said Zimmerman and Ross opted out “for the personal health and safety of themselves and their loved ones,” adding the team supports their decisions. Zimmerman said in a statement his family situation factored into his decision. His mother is at high risk for complications from the coronavirus because she has multiple sclerosis, and he has three young children, including a newborn. He told The Associated Press last week he was still undecided on whether to play. As part of his announcement, the 35-year-old Zimmerman said he’s not retiring. Ross is a 27-year-old right-hander with five years of major league experience, all with Washington. ___ Harris English is the fifth PGA Tour player to test positive for the coronavirus. The positive test for English was part of the pre-tournament screening process at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit. English did not play last week at the Travelers Championship in Cromwell, Connecticut. Since its return to golf, the tour had no positive tests the opening week in Texas; one positive test in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina; and three positive tests — plus two positive tests for caddies — in Connecticut. English says in a statement he feels healthy and supports the tour’s additional policy of not letting anyone at Detroit Golf Club until the test results were back. Previously, a player could practice but not enter the clubhouse while waiting on the results. English started the season with limited status and has risen to No. 27 in the FedEx Cup. He must self-isolate for 10 days, meaning he will miss the next two tournaments. ___ The National Hockey League says a total of 26 players have reported testing positive for the new coronavirus since voluntary workouts began June 8. Monday's update includes four additional cases among those tested at team facilities, to go along with the 11 announced June 19. The league says it’s aware of 11 other players testing positive outside the voluntary workout protocol. The NHL said more than 250 players who worked out at team facilities were administered more than 1,450 COVID-19 tests. The league and players are in the final stages of agreeing to resume the season. Training camps can open as early as July 10 if an agreement on testing, health and safety protocols and “hub” cities to host the games can be reached. ___ NBA All-Stars Kemba Walker and Trae Young, and U.S. women’s Olympians Sue Bird and Breanna Stewart will be coaches for an online basketball camp set up in response to coronavirus restrictions. The camp for children of all ages was launched by former NBA player and longtime TNT basketball studio analyst Kenny Smith. Two-time NBA All-Star Victor Oladipo and WNBA star Brittney Griner are also set to work “The Jet Academy,” with more participants to be announced. The camps begin July 20 at www.jetacademycamp.com and can be streamed on any device. Schedule details and pricing are available on the website. Smith has run a camp for 25 years in North Carolina, where he played collegiately. But camps have been limited or canceled in many locations because of rules limiting sizes of gatherings because of the virus. ___ NASCAR may be racing during the coronavirus pandemic. Celebrating in early December now is off the schedule. The motorsports series has canceled its Champion’s Week and Cup Series awards scheduled for early December in Nashville, citing the uncertainty from the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the industry. NASCAR moved Champion’s Week to Nashville in 2019 from Las Vegas. NASCAR still plans to celebrate its champions from the Xfinity Series to the truck series and promises details to come. And NASCAR says the series looks forward to returning to Nashville in 2021. ___ More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Major League Baseball is set to resume “spring training” this week while moving toward the start of a shortened 60-game season in late July. If not for the coronavirus pandemic, the league would have reached the halfway point of its usual 162-game schedule. Wimbledon would have also been getting started at the All England Club. The Associated Press looks at some of the sporting events that had been scheduled the week of June 29-July 5: WORLD SERIES REMATCH: The Houston Astros were scheduled to spend July 4 in the nation's capital during a three-game series against the defending World Series champion Washington Nationals. Houston won all three games at Nationals Park last October. But the Nationals won every game at Minute Maid Park, with Howie Kendrick's two-run homer in the seventh inning of Game 7 putting them ahead to stay. The two teams have played each other this year, in spring training games at the complex they share in West Palm Beach, Florida, before MLB shut down all camps in mid-March. TRIVIA BREAK: When the New York Mets and Atlanta Braves played their marathon July 4 game in 1985, the one that ended with a postgame fireworks display at 4 a.m. on July 5, how many innings and how many rain delays were there? (Answer at bottom). WASH IN TEXAS: Ron Washington is the winningest manager for the Rangers, and led them to their only two World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011. Washington, Atlanta's third base coach since 2017, would have been back in Texas for a three-game interleague series, though in a different ballpark than the one where he managed. Washington was near the end of his eighth season with Texas in 2014 when he stepped down for personal reasons. TENNIS: Wimbledon was scheduled to start Monday, but it was canceled for the first time since 1945 during World War II. Novak Djokovic and Simona Halep would have been the defending champions at the All England Club, while Roger Federer — who owns a men’s-record eight championships on Wimbledon’s grass courts and has appeared in the tournament 21 consecutive times — is sidelined until 2021 because of arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. The tennis tours are scheduled to resume in August. TOUR DE FRANCE: The three-week cycling race would have just been getting started. There are nine consecutive days of racing to open the Tour de France, and that would have gone through this week before the first of only two rest days during the race usually run in July. The 21-stage race will now start Aug. 29 and finish Sept. 20. TRIVIA ANSWER: The Mets won 16-13 after scoring five runs in the top of the 19th inning. The game took more than six hours to play, not including the two rain delays. ___ More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • The Braves have released their initial player pool for the 2020 season. These are the players who will be eligible for the Braves throughout the 60-game campaign. Pools include those currently on the 40-man roster and additional players who could be selected or promoted to the big-league club later. The maximum pool size is 60, though most teams’ first lists left room for additions. In the Braves’ case, their initial pool included 56 players, 17 of whom are non-roster invitees. The list featured 30 pitchers, seven catchers, 12 infielders and seven outfielders. They can fill the four open spots at any time. The following players comprise the Braves’ pool (non-roster players marked by asterisk): Right-handed pitchers (18): Ian Anderson*, Jasseel De La Cruz, Mike Foltynewicz, Shane Greene, Felix Hernández*, Luke Jackson, Chris Martin, Mark Melancon, Darren O’Day, Chad Sobotka, Mike Soroka, Josh Tomlin*, Touki Toussaint, Jacob Webb, Patrick Weigel, Bryse Wilson, Kyle Wright, Huascar Ynoa   Left-handed pitchers (12): Tucker Davidson, Grant Dayton, Max Fried, Cole Hamels, Tyler Matzek*, A.J. Minter, Kyle Muller*, Sean Newcomb, Philip Pfeifer, Chris Rusin*, Jared Shuster*, Will Smith Catchers (7): Logan Brown*, William Contreras, Travis d’Arnaud, Tyler Flowers, Alex Jackson, Shea Langeliers*, Jonathan Morales* Infielders (12): Ozzie Albies, Yonder Alonso*, Johan Camargo, Charlie Culberson*, Freddie Freeman, Adeiny Hechavarría, Pete Kozma*, Peter O’Brien*, Austin Riley, Braden Shewmake*, Yangervis Solarte*, Dansby Swanson Outfielders (7): Ronald Acuña, Adam Duvall, Ender Inciarte, Nick Markakis, Marcell Ozuna, Cristian Pache, Drew Waters*  Note: A player(s) could still decide to opt out of the season because he or a family member is high-risk. General manager Alex Anthopoulos said last week he didn’t expect anyone to opt out at this time, but the situation is fluid. The Braves also announced reliever Jeremy Walker was placed on the 45-day injured list with a right shoulder impingement. Opening-day rosters will consist of 30 players. That will drop to 28 players after two weeks and 26 players after a month. The pool players who aren’t on the roster will work out at the Braves’ Alternate Training Camp at Coolray Field in Lawrenceville. The list didn’t contain any surprises. Like most teams, the Braves were expected to carry a handful of their top prospects. While not yet official, there won’t be minor-league baseball in 2020, meaning there’s value in carrying prospects even if they don’t play in the majors this season. Anderson, Pache and Waters are the Braves’ top three prospects. Each could make his debut this season, though it’s easier to find opportunity for Anderson than it is the outfielders. The Braves already are dealing with a crowded outfield of veterans. Each of the Braves’ top trio likely already was to debut over the course of a normal 162-game season. That still may be the case, but it’s impossible to project how rosters will unfold over the next few months. Muller, the tall hard-throwing lefty, isn’t expected to join the Braves this season. Instead, he’ll likely continue his development at the alternate camp. The same can be said of Langeliers, whom the team drafted in the first round a year ago and hopes will become its backstop of the future. Perhaps the most notable inclusion was Shuster, whom the team drafted 25th overall earlier this month. When camp opens, it will be Shuster’s first experiences in the organization. As for the major-league team, Soroka, Fried and Foltynewicz headline the rotation. Hamels, who battled shoulder discomfort during the original spring training, is expected to be ready for opening day, according to Anthopoulos.  Hernandez, a former Cy Young winner, showed enough in the exhibition season to provide hope he’ll be able to cover innings. Newcomb was transitioning back into a starter after spending most of last season in the bullpen, and the Braves could rely on him in both roles this season. The pool highlights the Braves’ young pitching depth. Wright, Toussaint and Wilson could play important roles, especially in the early part of the season as pitchers log fewer innings. Anderson, De La Cruz, Weigel and Davidson could make their MLB debuts. The Braves’ bullpen is still deep, featuring former All-Stars Melancon, Greene, O’Day and Smith, along with the strike-throwing Martin. Tomlin and Jackson are expected to be important contributors again. Dayton, Sobotka, Webb, Ynoa, Pfeifer, Rusin, Minter and Matzek provide additional depth. Acuna, Albies, Freeman and Ozuna top the Braves’ lineup, creating one of the better foursomes in baseball. Riley, Camargo, Swanson, Inciarte, Markakis, Duvall and the catching duo of Flowers and d’Arnaud round out a strong group of core position players.  Additional depth includes Culberson, Alonso, O’Brien, Kozma, Hechavarria, Solarte, Waters and Pache. Shewmake, the Braves’ second first rounder of 2019, isn’t expected to make his debut this season. It’s reasonable to think the Braves will try to add another veteran catcher to the mix. If Flowers or d’Arnaud misses time, their third catcher is the inexperienced Jackson, who appeared in four major-league games last year. Contreras, who was added to the 40-man roster this offseason, could crack the bigs this summer but doesn’t solve the inexperience issue. While teams cannot exceed the 60-player limit, they can make transactions that would alter their pools. Signings, releases, waiver claims, designation for assignment, the injured list and other standard moves are permitted during the season. The trade deadline is Aug. 31, just over a month into the season. The deadline for initial player pools was 4 p.m. ET Sunday. Summer training camp begins Wednesday. Opening day is slated for July 23 or 24.

News

  • There are new rules in place for the holiday weekend if you plan to rent an Airbnb. The company says guests under 25 years old with fewer than three positive reviews will not be able to book an entire home close to where they live Airbnb didn’t reveal how it defines what is “close.” Airbnb said it wants to weed out any potential problems, specifically unauthorized house parties and feels this is the best way to do so. The company says it’s a nationwide policy, but it is most relevant for a handful of cities. The company says its technologies would block that guest from booking. “No one policy is going to stop all unauthorized parties. We’re also conscious that just because you’re 25 or older doesn’t mean that every single person in that group is booking for the right reasons too,” spokesperson Ben Breit told WSB-TV. Guests under 25 with at least three positive Airbnb reviews and no negative reviews won’t be subject to the restrictions. Airbnb began stepping up efforts to ban “party houses” last November after five people were shot and killed during an unauthorized party at an Airbnb rental in Orinda, California. At the time, Airbnb set up a rapid response team to deal with complaints from neighbors and started screening “high risk” bookings, such as reservations at a large home for one night. In a message to hosts, the company said reducing unauthorized parties is even more of a priority right now as states try to avoid coronavirus outbreaks. “With public health mandates in place throughout the country, we’re taking actions to support safe and responsible travel in the United States,” the company said. The Associated Press contributed to this story.
  • Jillian Wuestenberg, 32, and Eric Wuestenberg, 42, were charged Thursday with felonious assault after pulling a gun out on a Black mother and her children when a confrontation escalated outside a Chipotle in Michigan. Each of them had a loaded firearm and concealed pistol licenses. Deputies seized the two handguns, Sheriff Mike Bouchard said. On Thursday, the couple was arraigned and were given a $50,000 personal bond.  “As part of the bond conditions, they must turn over all firearms, not engage in any assaultive behavior, and may not leave the state,” sheriff’s officials told The Detroit News. The Detroit News first reported on the three-minute video posted online that shows part of the interaction. Takelia Hill, who is Black, told the newspaper that it happened after the white woman bumped into Hill’s teenage daughter as they were entering the fast food restaurant. The video footage [WARNING: Contains graphic language] starts after that, in the parking lot. A woman since identified as Jillian Wuestenberg is heard arguing with Hill and her daughters. Wuestenberg climbs into the vehicle, rolls down the window and says, “White people aren’t racist,” and, “I care about you,” before the vehicle she was in starts to back away. Her husband, who had led his wife to the vehicle, turns to the camera and asks, “Who ... do you think you guys are?,” using an expletive. Then, as someone is standing behind the vehicle, Jillian Wuestenberg jumps out and points a handgun in the direction of a person who’s recording. She screams at people to get away from her and her vehicle. A woman shouts, “She’s got a gun on me!” and urges someone in the parking lot to call the police. Wuestenberg then lowers the gun, climbs into the passenger seat and the vehicle drives off. Cooper, the prosecutor, told The Associated Press that her office viewed the available video and looked at the facts before filing charges. “It is an unfortunate set of circumstances that tempers run high over, basically, not much of an incident,” she said of the initial alleged spark that caused the confrontation. Bouchard said people are “picking sides” and that threatening calls were made to the sheriff’s office dispatch center after the videos were posted online. “We don’t see sides. We see facts,” he said. “There’s a lot of tension in our society, a lot of tension among folks and people with each other. I would just say this, we are asking and expect our police — and rightfully so — to deescalate every situation they possibly can, and we should be doing that. But I would say that needs to happen with us individually in our own lives and situations, that we interact with each other and deescalate those moments.” The Associated Press contributed to this story.
  • The United States Geological Survey reported that a 4.9 magnitude earthquake struck this morning near Puerto Rico around 9:55 a.m. EDT. The quake was felt across the U.S. territory and is the latest in a series of tremors that began in late December and have damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes. Ángel Vázquez, who oversees the emergency management agency in Ponce, said a house collapsed in the town of Lajas. The house was empty and slated for demolition, according to Kiara Hernández, spokeswoman for Puerto Rico’s Department of Public Security. Víctor Huérfano, director of Puerto Rico’s Seismic Network, told The Associated Press that the tremor is an aftershock related to the 6.4-magnitude quake that struck in early January, killing at least one person and causing millions of dollars in damage. The Associated Press contributed to this story.
  • With The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race postponed this year, the Atlanta Police Department warned people against running or walking the course on the Fourth of July. APD noted in a tweet Friday that the course will not be closed to car traffic on Independence Day. With hashtags including #MyPersonalPeachtree and #APDCares, the police department said in the tweet that people should avoid running or walking the course on Saturday for safety reasons. >>Read MORE on AJC.com. [Summary]
  • The Washington Redskins issued a statement that they will “undergo a thorough review of the team’s name.” “This process allows the team to take into account not only the proud tradition and history of the franchise but also input from our alumni, the organization, sponsors, the National Football League and the local community it is proud to represent on and off the field,” Majority owner Daniel Snyder said in the the statement. Snyder had previously shown no indication he would change the name since buying the team in 1999, but was quoted in the release. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that he supports “this step.” The title sponsor of the Washington Redskins’ stadium, FedEx asked the NFL team to change its name in a statement Thursday. The company paid the team $205 million in 1999 for the naming rights to FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. Amid the national debate over race, pressure has been mounting on the organization to abandon the name called a “dictionary-defined racial slur” by experts and advocates. Investors this week wrote to FedEx, PepsiCo and other sponsors asking them to request a change. FedEx is believed to be the first to take action. Nike appeared to remove all Redskins gear from its online store Thursday evening according to The Associated Press. The other 31 NFL teams were listed and a search for “Redskins” came up with no results. The team last week removed the name of racist founder George Preston Marshall from its Ring of Fame at FedEx Field, and a monument to him was removed from the site of the old RFK Stadium. Washington, D.C., mayor Muriel Bowser also said the name was an “obstacle” to the team returning to the District. The team’s lease at FedEx Field expires in 2027, and it is still talking to Washington, Virginia and Maryland about building a new stadium. The Associated Press contributed to this story.
  • Two people are dead after a shooting Friday morning near North Carolina A&T State University. The shooting happened just before 6:30 a.m. near North Dudley and and Salem streets in Greensboro. The victims, 34-year-old Rodney Letroy Stout and 34-year-old Bakeea Abdulla Douglas both died of their injuries, according WGHP. Police said they are now investigating the case as a homicide. The university sent out an Aggie Alert at 7:15 a.m., encouraging students and staff to “stay behind closed and locked doors until further notice.” University officials said the shooting involves a “male suspect wearing a white t-shirt with black pants and a black mask traveling in an unknown direction.” No arrests have been made.