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Blue Jays await federal exemption letter after getting OK from health officials –



TORONTO – As the Toronto Blue Jays work through the summer camp intake process in Dunedin, Fla., they are only a federal government exemption letter away from shifting their training north to Rogers Centre.

Obtaining the letter, which would allow them to modify terms of the Quarantine Act for returning travellers, is the final step needed for approval of their camp proposal, after getting the green light from federal, provincial and municipal health officials, according to a source directly involved in the process.

There is optimism the exemption – akin the one provided to the NHL – will get done, but time is quickly running out for the Blue Jays, who have a charter ready to leave Dunedin for Toronto as soon as Saturday.

An extended delay in securing the letter, which must come from a federal minister, could force the team to run its camp in Dunedin, since preparations for a tentative July 24 start to the season are already condensed.

The approval is expected to be initially for camp only, as the work over the past week and a half has focused on moving the training to Toronto due to a surge of COVID-19 cases in Florida. There are further details to nail down for the regular season and time to do it, according to the source, although the camp plan will largely serve as a template for hosting the 30 games.

That protocol – developed with and signed off by the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health and Toronto Public Health – extends beyond the measures demanded in MLB’s 2020 Operations Manual and is built around the creation of a bubble at Rogers Centre and the hotel attached.

The Blue Jays, under that plan, would be limited to the dome and hotel’s boundaries, essentially fulfilling the quarantine requirements there. But there are several steps beyond that, as well, the club is taking to limit risk to the wider community:

• Under MLB’s protocol, every player is required to undergo a diagnostic/PCR and serology/antibody testing, a process currently underway. Blue Jays players and staff will undergo a second PCR test, and only those who have had two negative results will be allowed to travel north;

• Once here, the Blue Jays will have additional PCR testing beyond the every-other-day checks mandated by MLB, and anyone who tests positive will remain in isolated quarantine until he produces two negative tests;

• Essential Toronto-based staff allowed to interact with players and staff will undergo the same testing and quarantine process;

• Their security screening before flying to Toronto via private charter will take place either at TD Ballpark in Dunedin or planeside to limit contact with the general public;

• Private buses conforming to physical distancing and cleaning standards set by the Public Health Agency of Canada will be used for transport from Pearson International Airport;

• To minimize contact with hotel staff and the general public, the Blue Jays will have contactless check-ins and food delivery, as well as private dining;

• The team will create a quarantine zone with a dedicated room block at the hotel that is isolated from the general public;

• Access to Rogers Centre will be limited and the building will be divided into tiered areas to further isolate players and staff, while physical distancing will be promoted through staggered outbreaks, with high-touch areas disinfected hourly.

A plan for the regular season would work similarly, with the visiting club operating under similar limitations and isolated in its own block of the hotel.

Adherence is obviously pivotal and, in theory, the harsh penalties for violating the Quarantine Act, as well as the stakes for Major League Baseball should ensure full compliance.

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The operational challenges of playing baseball amid the pandemic were highlighted for the Blue Jays during a recent outbreak at the club’s facility in Dunedin, Fla., and in a series of roster moves Thursday morning.

They reclaimed infielder Breyvic Valera on waivers from the San Diego Padres while also adding right-hander Bryan Baker, infielder Patrick Kivlehan and outfielder Josh Palacios to their 60-man player pool, pushing their total up to 62.

The only way to exceed the max of 60 is if some players are being placed on the COVID-19 Injured List, transactions that don’t have be announced publicly.

Bottom line – they’ve had additional positive tests.

Under terms of the Blue Jays’ plan, those players won’t be able to travel to Toronto until they produce two negative test results. As for their teammates, they should have their training camp locale settled one way or another soon enough.

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Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees – 9/19/20 MLB Pick, Odds, and Prediction – Sports Chat Place



New York Yankees (29-21) at Boston Red Sox (19-32)

MLB Baseball: Saturday, September 19, 2020 at 7:30 pm (Fenway Park)

J.A. Happ (1-2) (3.96) vs. Chris Mazza (1-1) (5.57)

The Line: Boston Red Sox / New York Yankees — Over/Under:
Click Here for the Latest Odds

TV: NESN, YES Stream the MLB Game of the Day all season on ESPN+. Sign up now!

The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox meet in an AL East division matchup in MLB action from Fenway Park on Saturday.

The New York Yankees will look to keep the ball rolling after nine straight wins following a 6-5 win over the BoSox on Friday. Gary Sanchez led the way, going 2 for 5 with a home run, a double and three RBIs while DJ LeMahieu and Giancarlo Stanton each had a double and an RBI and Luke Voit added an RBI as well to finish off New York’s scoring as a team in the win. Aaron Hicks went 2 for 5 at the dish while Clint Frazier, Gio Urshela, Gleyber Torres and Aaron Judge all had base hits as well to finish the offense for the Yankees in the victory. Jordan Montgomery allowed four runs on five hits with seven strikeouts over 4.2 innings in the start, not factoring in the decision. Jonathan Loaisiga got the win to improve to 3-0 on the year in relief. J.A. Happ will start here and is 1-2 with a 3.96 ERA and 30 strikeouts this season. In his career, Happ is 12-4 with a 2.95 ERA and 116 strikeouts against Boston.

Check Out Our Cosensus Report To See How Many Handicappers are On A Play

New York Yankees vs Boston Red Sox Free Pick 9/19/20 MLB Pick and Prediction MLB Tips (skip to 1s)

The Boston Red Sox will try to rebound after blowing an opportunity against the Yankees on Friday. Christian Arroyo went 3 for 5 with a home run and four RBIs while Christian Vazquez went 3 for 5 with a pair of doubles and an RBI to round out Boston’s scoring as a team in the win. Xander Bogaerts went 2 for 5 while Alex Verdugo and Jackie Bradley Jr. all had base hits to finish off the offense for Boston in defeat. Martin Perez threw six shutout innings, giving up just three hits while striking out seven, not factoring in the decision. Ryan Weber took the loss in extras to fall to 1-3 on the year, Chris Mazza is expected to start here and is 1-1 with a 5.57 ERA and 22 strikeouts this season. This will be Mazza’s second career start against the Yankees.

Trends will be updated once they’ve been released.

Part of me would’ve liked to consider the over as I don’t trust either of these pitchers as far as I can throw them, and you never really know about which Happ you’re going to get. With that said, I think that the Yankees keep the train rolling here and Mazza’s already faced New York this season, allowing four runs in three innings of work. I don’t see how Mazza keeps the Red Sox in this one. Give me New York by at least two so I’ll side with the Yankees on the run line in this one.


Chris’s Pick
New York Yankees -1.5

The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Sports Chat Place site consensus.

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Wolff shoots 65, takes 54-hole lead at U.S. Open –



MAMARONECK, N.Y. — Matthew Wolff might be too young to realize he’s supposed to hit fairways to have a chance to win the U.S. Open. Or maybe he’s so good it doesn’t matter.

Wolff hit only two fairways Saturday and still matched the lowest score ever at Winged Foot in a major, a 5-under 65 that gave the 21-year-old Californian a two-shot lead over Bryson DeChambeau going into the final round.

Whether it was the first cut or the nasty rough, Wolff kept giving those hips one last swivel before blasting away and giving himself birdie chances. He made enough of them to seize control, and then let so many others crumble.

Patrick Reed, tied for the lead at the turn, couldn’t find the fairway and paid dearly with a 43 on the back nine. Reed had a three-shot lead after two holes. He walked off the 18th green with a 77 and was eight shots behind.

Collin Morikawa won the PGA Championship last month in his first try at age 23. Wolff is playing his first U.S. Open at age 21. Is he next?

“I’m probably going to be a little antsy. It’s the U.S. Open, and I have a lead,” Wolff said. “I’m going to try to keep my nerves as calm as they can be. I put myself in a really good spot. I did everything that I could do up until this point, and tomorrow I’m going to go out there, I promise you I’m going to try my best.”

He was at 5-under 205. Not since Francis Ouimet in 1913 — also the last time the U.S. Open was played in September — has a player won the U.S. Open in his debut.

DeChambeau could easily have gone the same route as Reed, missing left and right, gouging his way out of the grass. But after opening with two bogeys, he kept scrambling away — 15 straight holes with nothing worse than par. He rallied with two late birdies until missing a short par putt on the 18th for a 70.

He will be in the final group for the first time in a major, another quiet affair with no spectators on the course.

The U.S. Open began with 21 players under par. There were six going into the weekend. Now it’s down to three, with Louis Oosthuizen efficiently putting together a 68 to finish at 1-under 209.

Hideki Matsuyama (70), Xander Schauffele (70) and Harris English (72) were at even-par 210. Another shot back was Rory McIlroy, who posted his 68 some three hours before the leaders finished.

“It doesn’t take much around here … and all of a sudden you’re right in the thick of things,” McIlroy said. “No matter where I am at the end of the day, I feel like I’ve got a pretty good shot.”

It all depends on Wolff, an NCAA champion at Oklahoma State who won on the PGA TOUR in his third event as a pro last summer in the 3M Open in Minnesota.

From the first cut of rough on the opening hole, he hit it to right level of the contoured green for a 15-foot birdie. From the right rough on No. 4, he wound up with another 15-foot birdie putt. And then he really poured it on.

He drove next to the green on the short par-4 sixth, getting up-and-down from a bunker for birdie. He holed a 12-foot birdie on the par-3 seventh. And when he finally hit his first fairway on No. 8, he missed a 6-foot birdie attempt.

His lone bogey came on the 16th when he was in such a bad lie in the rough he couldn’t reach the green. And he finished with a most fortuitous hop. His iron off the tee hopped into the thick rough and back out to the first cut. He ripped 7-iron to 10 feet for one last birdie.

“If I don’t hit fairways tomorrow, I know I can play well,” Wolff said with a smile. “Even when I was in the rough, I had a bunch of good numbers and a bunch of good lies.”

And he played a lot of good golf, so good that even at his age, he looked to be a daunting figure to catch.

“I don’t think there’s any `chasing’ out here,” Schauffele said, adding that if Wolff had another good round Sunday it would be “impossible to catch him.”

DeChambeau gave himself hope, among five players within five of the lead on a course where anything goes. Think back to the last U.S. Open at Winged Foot in 2006, when Geoff Ogilvy hit a superb pitch to 6 feet for par that he thought was only good for second place until Phil Mickelson and Colin Montgomerie closed with double bogeys.

“I feel like I’m ready to win out here and win a major,” Wolff said. “It is a major. It’s really important and yes, it is really early in my career. But I feel like I have the game to win. Collin won at 23. I’m 21. And I’m not saying that it’s going to happen. But I put myself in a really good spot, and obviously I’m feeling really good with my game.”

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Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat Game 3



The Boston Celtics needed a win to avoid going down 3-0 in the series against the Miami Heat and they did just that, bringing a different level of energy to get on the board in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Led by their dynamic duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, the Celtics were in control for the majority of the game. Another late push from the Heat put a scare into Boston, but they’d ultimately hold off Miami for the first time this series to bring it to 2-1.

If you missed any of the action we had you covered with live updates, highlights and more from this contest.

Final: Boston Celtics 117, Miami Heat 106

The Heat didn’t make it easy on them, but the Celtics were able to hold on to this one to take Game 3.

Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown were electric in leading Boston to victory. Tatum finished with a near-triple-double of 25 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists while Brown had 26 points, seven rebounds, five assists, three steals and one block. Gordon Hayward looked solid in his first game back, playing over 30 minutes with six points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals to make an impact.

For the Heat, Bam Adebayo’s 27-point, 16-rebound double-double stands out while Tyler Herro’s 22 points (15 in the second quarter) was the only other constant source of offence.


Bam Adebayo got an easy layup to drop to cut the lead to five, but Marcus Smart converted a pair of free throws to bring the lead back to seven. Celtics lead 111-104 with 47 seconds to go.

I repeat… Miami still will not go away. Duncan Robinson knocks down another two 3s to cut the Celtics lead to just eight points and then draws an offensive foul on Jaylen Brown to give the Heat possession with a minute remaining. UPDATE: That offensive foul has been upgraded to a Flagrant 1, giving the Heat two free throws and the ball. Robinson goes 1-of-2 from the line, trailing 109-102 with 1:03 to play.

Miami still will not go away, but Boston’s still scoring easily in the paint, making it tough for the Heat to cut into this lead. Duncan Robinson finally got a 3-pointer to fall to snap Miami’s streak of missed 3s, but Kemba Walker immediately responded with a strong take to the rim to keep the Celtics up 104-88 with under five minutes remaining.

The Heat have missed 14-straight 3-pointers and are being outscored in the paint 54-28. The combination of those two things helps explain the Celtics 97-80 lead with under eight minutes to play in the contest.

End of third quarter: Celtics 89, Heat 74

The Heat went on a run to keep things close, but the Celtics responded right back with a run of their own to close the quarter.

Jayson Tatum (20 points) and Jaylen Brown (24 points) are stealing the show, while Kemba Walker’s 16 points has been a steadying hand for Boston’s offence. Bam Adebayo had emerged a bit more in that third quarter, up to a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds, but Miami has still been quiet offensively as a whole.

There hasn’t been much from Heat superstar Jimmy Butler in this one just yet, as the All-Star forward has just 10 points shooting 3-for-9 from the field.


And following that 11-1 Heat run, the Celtics go on a 7-0 run of their own to regain control of the game at 89-73. The streak was capped off by this and-one dunk from Jayson Tatum on an ill-advised foul from rookie Kendrick Nunn.


Three consecutive missed layups for the Celtics breathe a little bit of life into the Heat. Miami has since gone on an 11-1 run to cut Boston’s lead to just nine at 82-73 with under two minutes remaining in the third quarter.

The Heat are hanging around but are struggling to score consistently. Bam Adebayo converts an and-one to help cut into the Celtics’ lead a bit, as Boston has yet to extend their lead to 20. Even with Adebayo’s strong finish, it’s still a convincing 16-point Celtics lead at 78-62.

The Celtics hold a commanding 76-58 lead as they begin to figure out this Heat zone that gave them so much trouble in Games 1 and 2. This dime from Marcus Smart to a cutting Jaylen Brown helps in that department.


Halftime: Celtics 62, Heat 50

Some team halftime stats:

The Celtics held off Tyler Herro’s red-hot second quarter to maintain a 12-point lead heading into the half.

Herro was on fire, scoring 15 points in the quarter shooting 6-for-7 from the field with four 3s, but Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown turned things around with easy transition buckets for the Celtics to ignite the run.

Tatum is flirting with a triple-double at halftime with 13 points, seven rebounds and seven assists. Brown is leading the scoring charge with 17 points shooting an efficient 8-for-12 from the field.

Herro is the only Heat player in double figures with 18 points. Bam Adebayo is a perfect 4-for-4 from the field for eight points, but Boston is doing a much better job of keeping him away from easy lobs at the rim. Goran Dragic and Jimmy Butler have both been quiet, scoring six points apiece in the first half.


A 9-0 Celtics run negates Tyler Herro’s hot streak, giving Boston a 60-48 lead with under a minute to play in the half. Fiesty defence has turned into transition buckets for the Celtics.


JAYSON TATUM! After receiving a technical foul for arguing a call, the Celtics’ All-Star forward throws down a vicious dunk in transition to spark a run. Boston now leads 45-37 with 6:48 left in the second frame.


Welcome to Game 3, Tyler Herro. The rookie has scored 11 of Miami’s last 14 points, knocking down three straight 3s to bring his team back in to this one. The Heat still trail 40-36 with just over eight minutes remaining in the half.


End of first quarter: Celtics 31, Heat 23

Jayson Tatum gets a 3-pointer to go just before the quarter comes to a close to give the Celtics a 31-23 lead.

Boston did a much better job of taking care of the ball in the first frame than they did in Game 2, only recording one turnover in the quarter. They’re bringing better energy on the defensive end, making life tough for the Heat who are shooting 35.3% from the field through one period. In a balanced scoring effort, Jae Crowder is the team’s leading scorer with just five points.


Gordon Hayward checks in for the first time since the first round of the playoffs and immediately makes a play, dropping a sweet pass to Daniel Theis for a layup. The Celtics remain in the lead 22-17 with 2:54 left in the quarter, as the Heat are hanging around with all five starters finding their way into the scoring column early.

The Celtics have come out strong, shooting 7-for-11 from the field to take an early 16-9 lead. Jaylen Brown has it going, scoring six points shooting 3-for-4 from the field to get Boston started off right.



Here’s your first look at Gordon Hayward going through the motions ahead of his return in Game 3.


Same starting five for the Celtics as well – Kemba Walker, Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Jayson Tatum and Daniel Theis.


Same starting five for the Heat – Goran Dragic, Duncan Robinson, Jimmy Butler, Jae Crowder and Bam Adebayo.


Celtics head coach Brad Stevens announced pregame that he expected Gordon Hayward to be available in a role off the bench for Game 3, and now he’s officially listed as active.


Source:- NBA CA

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