TORONTO – Dave Hudgens’ status as Toronto Blue Jays bench coach appears unaffected by Major League Baseball’s discipline of the Houston Astros for electronic sign-stealing, the fallout of which widened Thursday to claim New York Mets manager Carlos Beltran.
The well-respected Hudgens, 63, joined the Blue Jays last season after four years as hitting coach for the Astros, including the tainted 2017 campaign that led to commissioner Rob Manfred to ban GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch for a season, strip the club of four draft picks and issue a $5-million fine.
Luhnow and Hinch were subsequently fired while Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora, the former Astros’ bench coach described as a ringleader of the sign-stealing plot in MLB’s report, parted with the club Wednesday. Beltran, depicted as another plot organizer, split with the Mets on Thursday before he managed even a single game with the club.
As things stand now, Hudgens, who was not named in the report and co-operated fully with the league’s probe, is on firm ground.
“As I said Dec. 27, the date we had the (Hyun-Jin) Ryu news conference, Dave Hudgens was a member of the Houston Astros and participated 100 per cent with the investigations (by Major League Baseball),” Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said in an interview Wednesday. “We’re glad he’s here as a Toronto Blue Jay.”
When asked if the commissioner’s ruling had any impact on his status or the way the Blue Jays’ view his future, Atkins replied: “I can’t comment further on the investigations that potentially may be ongoing or not.”
Major League Baseball continues to investigate the Red Sox, who are accused of electronic sign stealing during their World Series championship 2018 season under Cora, which likely prompted Atkins’ slight equivocation. But given the depth of detail into the Astros’ actions in the initial report and the lack of mentions for Hudgens, it seems he’ll avoid discipline.
Meanwhile, the scandal continues to expand in the wake of Beltran’s split with the Mets, and a question now is how deep Major League Baseball, its executives and its players will dig into the countless skeletons buried in the game’s closet.
There is growing anger at the extent of the Astros’ cheating, but some are also reluctant to cast stones lest their own actions be examined. The resulting reckoning has the potential to spread as far and as deep as the sport’s steroid scandal at the beginning of the century.
GameThread Wild Card Game #2: Jays at Rays – Bluebird Banter
We are only at the second game of the series, but the Jays are already facing elimination. Fortunately (?) they have their ace going today, so hopefully they’ll be able to pull out a win.
Here are today’s lineups. Both Shaw and Panik will get starts, Vladdy will DH and Gurriel has been moved up in the lineup.
Tonight, I will be watching this game:
At home alone
At home with family or friends
Out with family or friends
70 votes total
How many innings will Ryu pitch tonight?
More than 6
88 votes total
How many runs will the Jays score tonight?
83 votes total
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Anthony Davis Plans To Make Nine More Finals With LeBron James – RealGM.com
When LeBron James joined the Miami Heat in 2010, he predicted they could win upwards of seven titles. James ended up winning two titles in four trips to The Finals before returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014.
Anthony Davis, appearing in his first Finals, believes he and James could reach The Finals in every year of this decade.
“You see the work and preparation LeBron puts in every day, and you understand why this is his 10th NBA Finals appearance. He never stops. I plan to follow this motherf—er to hopefully nine more Finals,” Davis told Yahoo Sports. “We’re all ready to go.”
Davis is 27 years old while James turns 36 in December.
“I knew what I wanted,” he told Yahoo Sports. “I wanted what he had,” pointing to James.
NFL postpones Pittsburgh-Tennessee game after 9 in Titans organization test positive for COVID-19 – CBC.ca
The Pittsburgh-Tennessee game originally scheduled for Sunday will be played either Monday or Tuesday after a new positive coronavirus test result Wednesday among the Titans, the NFL announced.
The NFL said a new date and time would be announced as soon as possible and that the postponement would allow additional time for further testing.
On Tuesday, the NFL said three Titans players and five team personnel had tested positive for COVID-19. The Titans have closed their facility at least through Friday and will not be able to practice in any fashion together until Saturday at the earliest. The league did not say Wednesday if the ninth positive test was a player or a personnel member.
Titans coach Mike Vrabel said soon after the announcement Wednesday: “Some of them are indeed experiencing flu-like symptoms, nothing I think out of the ordinary. We anticipate they will feel better shortly. Nothing of overly concern. But my concern is always with the health and safety of our players, our staff and their families.”
As for a potential Saturday return to working out, Vrabel was skeptical.
“I wouldn’t just assume that Saturday,” he said. “We are preparing to play the football game now as early as Monday. Again, I think the focus and the understanding of this football team is now going to be shifted toward playing on Monday. I’m confident the league will allow us time … to get some good practice in, to get on the field and move forward with the game.”
Threat of suspensions for not wearing masks
In order to maintain safety, the league is threatening teams with possible suspensions for sideline personnel, including coaches, who do not properly wear face coverings during the pandemic.
Forfeiting draft picks also could be among disciplinary measures for teams that fail to comply with league/players’ union protocols.
In a memo obtained by The Associated Press, Troy Vincent, who oversees NFL football operations, told the 32 teams Wednesday that “accountability” is required on the sidelines.
“We will continue to address lack of compliance with accountability measures that may also include suspensions of persons involved, and/or the forfeiture of a draft choice(s),” Vincent wrote.
The NFL has fined several coaches $100,000 for lack of compliance, including Sean Payton of New Orleans and Jon Gruden of Las Vegas, who both have said they contracted and recovered from the coronavirus. Teams were fined $250,000.
Showdown of undefeated teams
Both the Titans and Steelers are 3-0 and among the NFL’s seven undefeated teams.
Tennessee beat Minnesota 31-30 on Sunday in Minneapolis, and the Vikings’ team facility is closed at least through Wednesday.
“The Steelers-Titans game, originally scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. ET, will be rescheduled to allow additional time for further daily COVID-19 testing and to ensure the health and safety of players, coaches and game day personnel,” the NFL said.
“We’re going to trust the medical experts,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said. “If they deem it safe for us to proceed, we’re going to go down there with the intention of playing and playing to win.”
Cleveland Browns centre J.C. Tretter, the president of the players’ union, said the outbreak was a reminder that everyone must be more vigilant despite low testing numbers across the league.
“It’s easy to fall into a sense of ease or relax on some of the protocols,” he said Wednesday. “But the protocols are what’s keeping us going, making sure that we’re making the right decisions. We have been going really smoothly for a long time and now there was some expectation that this was eventually going to happen. It’s tough to keep the virus completely out.”
The Titans placed a pair of key players, defensive captain and lineman DaQuan Jones and long snapper Beau Brinkley, on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday.
The Vikings said they had no positive test results on Wednesday and were planning to reopen their facility on Thursday. Players and coaches were set for virtual meetings on Wednesday, in lieu of practice for their scheduled game on Sunday at Houston.
Oshawa wedding declared an outbreak event after eight people test positive for COVID-19 – CP24 Toronto's Breaking News
Surge in health-care worker COVID-19 cases causing burnout, nurses union says – CBC.ca
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