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Maple Leafs captain Tavares lines up behind coach with plenty of confidence – Toronto Sun

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John Tavares loves playing with Mitch Marner on his wing, but if Sheldon Keefe sees fit to keep Marner with Auston Matthews, the Maple Leafs captain is cool with that.

“He’s trying to do what’s best for the team and get us to play the best we can,” Tavares said of his coach. “We all have a lot of trust in him.”

Marner and Matthews, along with Zach Hyman, have been on the ice for six even-strength Leafs goals since Keefe united them against Detroit this past Saturday.

The play of that trio was crucial as the Leafs sloughed off a bad second period and rallied to beat the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday.

For Tavares, it’s not about what each line can accomplish, but what the 18 players employed each night are able to attain.

“We’re still not even halfway through (the season) yet,” Tavares said.

“We’ve had periods where we’ve seen good results, played with the lead well, and then there’s times where we haven’t.

“It’s finding that consistency and that has been starting to come as of late. Momentum and the belief is building and the trust in each other and the game is getting stronger.”

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MLB announces 38 positive tests – TSN

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

MLB and the players’ association announced the results Friday as teams resumed workouts for the first time since the coronavirus interrupted spring training March 12, two weeks before the season was to start. Opening day has been reset for July 23, the latest in baseball history, and the regular season has been reduced to 60 games in the shortest schedule since 1878.

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

Individual players who test positive are not identified by MLB or the union. Cleveland outfielder Delino DeShields Jr. gave the Indians permission to say he tested positive.

“I think he’s getting frustrated because he’s starting to feel better and he wants to get back here,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “He seems to be feeling much better, which is good news. There’s just the protocols that you have to follow and he’s going to have to do that, and he understands that.”

MLB and the union established a COVID-19 pandemic related injured list with no specific minimum days. There are three reasons specified for placement on that IL: a positive test, exposure to coronavirus or symptoms that require isolation or additional assessment.

Philadelphia put infielder Scott Kingery and pitchers Hector Neris, Ranger Suarez and Tommy Hunter on the 10-day IL with no specified injuries Thursday. The Phillies had seven players test positive for COVID-19 last month, but manager Joe Girardi couldn’t answer whether any of the players were among them because of medical privacy.

New Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke said on a Boston call there have been “some positive tests” but didn’t give any names.

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Blue Jays hosting regular season in Toronto ‘totally different ball game’ – Sportsnet.ca

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The Toronto Blue Jays have been cleared to start their summer training camp at Rogers Centre, but Canada’s deputy chief public health officer says hosting other teams there during the regular season would be a “totally different ball game.”

The Blue Jays, the lone MLB team north of the Canada-U.S. border, received permission from the Canadian government Thursday to use their Toronto stadium during the COVID-19 pandemic for training purposes.

A decision has yet to be made on whether Rogers Centre can host games during the regular season, which would involve constant travel between the border.

Dr. Howard Njoo, Canada’s deputy chief public health officer, said Friday that plan carries risk.

“Certainly we’d have to look very carefully at what proposal would be put forward by Major League Baseball and also the Blue Jays specifically, if they were to entertain the idea of home games and what that would mean for teams coming in,” Njoo said. “What types of precautions or preventative measures would be put in place for those players in their home cities?

“A lot of states have at the present time quite a high level of activity of COVID-19. … I think it’s a matter of looking very carefully at the plan that would be proposed with respect to the regular season and taking it from there.”

Training camps were set to begin around the league on Friday, but the Blue Jays are slightly delayed as their players and staff undergo the intake and screening process at their spring training stadium in Dunedin, Fla.

Team President and CEO Mark Shapiro said Thursday that two negative COVID tests will be required before anyone can board a private charter to Toronto, which he expects to happen this weekend.

Unlike the NHL and NBA, which are planning to play in either hub cities or one large complex once their seasons resume, MLB teams will be travelling for road games against division rivals and teams in the corresponding division of their opposite league.

That would mean Toronto would travel to New York, Boston, Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Miami, Atlanta, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. And teams from those cities would come into Canada on multiple occasions as well.

“Our priority is really safe-guarding the health and safety of all Canadians,” Njoo said. “Certainly there’s lots of aspects we have to look at, not just in terms of the Blue Jays but what the risk would be in terms of themselves travelling back and forth, if they were to entertain having home games at Rogers Centre in Toronto, as well as for visiting teams crossing our border.

“The Blue Jays are the only non-American team, the only Canadian team in Major League Baseball and I think that needs to be part of the thinking for all of Major League Baseball in terms of how they might actually want to move forward (with) plans for the regular season.”

The abbreviated 60-game regular season is slated to start July 23 or 24 and last 66 days.

Several Blue Jays players and staff tested positive for COVID-19 recently and the team had to close its spring training facility earlier this month after one player showed symptoms of the virus.

Florida reported a record-high 10,109 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday while Ontario’s new case total for the same day was 153.

Because anyone entering Canada for nonessential purposes needs to self-isolate for 14 days, MLB needed a letter of exemption from the federal government to allow for a “modified quarantine.”

Toronto’s players and staff are to self-isolate in the hotel attached to the stadium when not on the field.

Canada’s chief public health officer, Dr. Theresa Tam, said that modified quarantine model will lower the risk of players or staff spreading COVID-19 in Toronto.

“Yes, absolutely the idea is that any players coming in, in let’s say a cohort or bubble quarantine situation, has strict protocols to mitigate risk and not to interact or spread illness to the surrounding community,” she said.

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MLB cancels 2020 All-Star Game, Dodgers to host in 2022 – Sportsnet.ca

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LOS ANGELES — Dodger Stadium’s 40-year wait to host the All-Star Game is going to last even longer.

The game scheduled for July 14 was cancelled Friday 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.

Because of the pandemic, opening day has been delayed from March 26 to July 23 or 24.

“Once it became clear we were unable to hold this year’s All-Star festivities, we wanted to award the Dodgers with the next available All-Star Game, which is 2022,” MLB commissioner Robert Manfred said in a statement “I want to thank the Dodgers organization and the City of Los Angeles for being collaborative partners in the early stages of All-Star preparation and for being patient and understanding in navigating the uncertainty created by the pandemic. The 2022 All-Star celebration promises to be a memorable one with events throughout the city and at picturesque Dodger Stadium.”

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 and any player selections from taking place that year. It was pushed back to the next season.

The Dodgers hosted the only the Mid-Summer Classic in Dodger Stadium history in 1980, won 4-2 by the National League.

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