The coronavirus forced baseball’s 17th postponement in 10 days on Saturday, prompting at least two more players to opt out and casting doubt the league can complete a truncated 2020 season.
A Cardinals-Brewers game in Milwaukee was postponed for the second straight day after one more player and several staff members with St. Louis tested positive for the coronavirus in rapid samples, Major League Baseball said. The staff total of positives was three, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. MLB said results of saliva tests will not be available until later Saturday.
Milwaukee then announced that Gold Glove centre fielder Lorenzo Cain will not participate in the rest of the 2020 season.
The Miami Marlins received no new positive results in their latest round of coronavirus testing, MLB said, but second baseman Isan Diaz also opted out.
The Philadelphia Phillies, meanwhile, were permitted to access Citizens Bank Park for staggered workouts beginning in the afternoon.
MLB said no Phillies players have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week and while three staff members have tested positive, it appeared two were attributable to false positives and the third, based on the timing of the positive test, may not have contracted COVID-19 from the Marlins.
MLB rescheduled the postponed Phillies-Yankees games of this week for next week, in New York on Monday and Tuesday and in Philadelphia on Wednesday and Thursday. New York’s game at Tampa Bay on Thursday was rescheduled as part of a doubleheader on Aug. 8.
“What the virus has taught us is this is a day-by-day, week-by-week situation that we live in,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.
Miami will play a four-game series in Baltimore from Tuesday through Thursday, with one game a doubleheader. The Marlins will be the home team for two games.
MLB said it will reschedule the missed Yankees-Orioles game and Marlins-Phillies series.
The people with knowledge of the Cardinals’ and Marlins’ situations spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the tests had not been released publicly.
Two Cardinals players were flagged for positive tests on Friday, forcing the series opener in Milwaukee to be called off. The teams had hoped to resume play Saturday and make up Friday’s game as part of a doubleheader Sunday.
St. Louis learned of its first two positive tests Thursday night from samples taken Wednesday before a game in Minnesota. Players and staff were instructed to isolate in their hotel rooms, and the club said it was conducting rapid testing and contact tracing.
The Cardinals have not been to Miller Park since arriving in Milwaukee, and the Brewers have not reported any positive tests among their players since the season began. Despite that, Cain, a two-time All-Star, informed management that he no longer wanted to participate.
“We fully support Lorenzo’s decision and will miss his talents on the field and leadership in the clubhouse,” Brewers general manager David Stearns said in a statement.
Today’s update: <a href=”https://t.co/9GpP318x9D”>pic.twitter.com/9GpP318x9D</a>
At least 21 members of the Marlins’ travelling party have been infected by an outbreak at the start of a season-opening trip. The team hasn’t played since Sunday in Philadelphia but hopes to resume games next week.
Diaz consistently tested negative while the season was on hold, but he decided to become the first Miami player to opt out. He played in two of the Marlins’ three games before their season was halted.
“This has been a tough week to see so many of my teammates come down with this virus, and see how quickly it spreads,” Diaz wrote on Instagram. “After much deliberation and thought, I have made the difficult choice of opting out for the remainder of the 2020 season.”
Diaz batted .173 as a rookie last year, but the organization has big hopes regarding his potential.
The infected Marlins players and staff left Philadelphia in sleeper buses Friday for Miami, where they will stay together in quarantine. The rest of the team remained in isolation at a hotel in Philadelphia.
Commissioner stresses importance of safety protocols
With six teams idled Friday by the pandemic, Commissioner Rob Manfred spoke to union leader Tony Clark about the importance of players following the sport’s coronavirus protocols.
Manfred and Clark talked about what needs to be done to finish the season, a person familiar with the conversation said. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
The conversation between Manfred and Clark, first reported by ESPN, comes amid growing evidence that the spread of infection threatens to overtake efforts to play ball.
“Some things aren’t looking too good right now, but we have to play up to that point. Players are seeing what can happen,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said.
The Phillies-Blue Jays series in Philadelphia was among two weekend series called off earlier. The Marlins were hit with a virus outbreak in Philadelphia, and both Miami and the Phillies are sidelined for at least a week.
Cleveland players and staff talked about postponing Friday night’s game at Minnesota but played on. The Cardinals had played at Target Field on Wednesday, a day before the Indians arrived.
Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask opts out of NHL playoffs – CBC.ca
Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask has opted out of the NHL playoffs.
The team announced the change on Twitter on Saturday morning, less than two hours before their third game in their series against the Carolina Hurricanes.
“I want to be with my teammates competing, but at this moment there are things more important than hockey in my life, and that is being with my family,” Rask said in a statement. “I want to thank the Bruins and my teammates for their support and wish them success.”
The Bruins are currently tied 1-1 in their series against the Hurricanes.
Jaroslav Halak will take over starting goalie duties for the Bruins.
<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/NHLBruins?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#NHLBruins</a> goalie Tuukka Rask has opted out of the NHL’s Return to Play: <a href=”https://t.co/r3c7wjaTwR”>pic.twitter.com/r3c7wjaTwR</a>
When the NHL first returned to play, Rask missed the start of the play-in due to COVID-19 concerns. After reports of a cough, he quarantined for two days in his hotel room before being allowed to hit the ice.
Rask hasn’t been shy about his criticism when it comes to the playoff environment in Toronto. While you’re trying to play as hard as you can, he said, the series “doesn’t really feel like playoff hockey out there.”
“There’s no fans, so it’s kind of like playing an exhibition game,” he said, adding that while there can still be scrums after the whistle, “there’s no atmosphere.”
Don Sweeney, the Bruins’ general manager, said Rask’s comments weren’t related to his departure but acknowledged that he was having a “tough time being away in this environment.”
“This is playoff hockey, let’s make no mistake about it,” Sweeney said during a media availability before Game 3 on Saturday. “Tuukka, in his own right, felt that he needed to be elsewhere rather than being here in this current situation.
“He’s the same goaltender that went to the Stanley Cup finals in a Game 7 last year … and he’ll be the same player when we get up and running again next year.”
Here are Tuukka Rask’s full comments on the atmosphere up in Toronto: <a href=”https://t.co/5qQU4BDA3N”>pic.twitter.com/5qQU4BDA3N</a>
And while Rask didn’t give any indication to the team that he was “absolutely” going to opt out, Sweeney said the decision didn’t come as a surprise.
“The priority for Tuukka at this point and time — and rightfully so — has to be his family, and we support that,” he said, adding that Rask’s family is healthy and safe.
The Bruins goalie has three daughters, one of them a newborn.
Rask is one of three finalists for the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the NHL’s top goaltender.
Alphonso Davies just wowed the world on this goal (VIDEO) | Offside – Daily Hive
Alphonso Davies has arrived on the global stage.
The 19-year-old Canadian soccer star just wowed fans from around the world setting up a world-class goal in the Champions League quarter-final.
The former Vancouver Whitecaps midfielder who now stars as a left back for Bayern Munich in Germany, Davies’ assist on Bayern’s fifth goal was truly amazing.
🚨 ALPHONSO DAVIES IS WORLD CLASS ALERT 🚨 pic.twitter.com/yjr66geZKD
— DAZN Canada (@DAZN_CA) August 14, 2020
Davies danced past two FC Barcelona players before blowing by a defender and setting up a teammate for Bayern’s fifth goal of the match. I repeat, he did this against FC Barcelona, one of the best teams on the planet.
Bayern won the match 8-2 and will play in the Champions League semi-final on August 19.
It’s been a superb season for Davies, who has taken his game to another level. A key player on Bayern’s Bundesliga championship squad, Davies is now widely considered one of the best left backs in the entire world.
Not only did Davies star on the world stage, he did so playing against one of his idols, Lionel Messi.
This is a dream come true for Davies, who said in 2018 he was most looking forward to playing in Champions League matches prior to making the move to Europe.
“At a very young age, every time you hear that [Champions League] song come on, you know something special is about to happen,” Davies told Daily Hive two years ago.
“Whoever made the Champions League is a brilliant guy… Having the top teams from Spain, England, Germany – all over Europe – to play against each other, it’s exciting to watch.”
He just made it more exciting.
ALPHONSO DAVIES 🔥🔥🔥🤮 sheeesh pic.twitter.com/GcxdRNTClF
— Bryan Zuluaga (@BryanZuluaga11) August 14, 2020
The @MLS academy product Alphonso Davies, is the best left back in the World right now.
7 months after starting in the position full-time for Bayern.
— Stu Holden (@stuholden) August 14, 2020
Alphonso Davies, a ridiculous talent. Absolutely filthy.
— Mod (@CFCMod_) August 14, 2020
Alphonso Davies breaking the internet and Nélson Semedo. All of the filth 🔥
— Melissa Reddy (@MelissaReddy_) August 14, 2020
Alphonso Davies is a generational talent.
That’s one of the best assists you’ll ever see! 🔥🔥🔥
— FootballFunnys (@FootballFunnnys) August 14, 2020
— EL CHAPO (@cwethein_) August 14, 2020
Four separate feints/dummies in one assist, from Alphonso Davies
— Premier League Panel (@PremLeaguePanel) August 14, 2020
Alphonso Davies has been better offensively than Lionel Messi today. He’s a defender.
— Marko (@MarkodoniaFT) August 14, 2020
Lisbon police have an APB on one Alphonso Davies for allegedly “swallowing a man’s soul.”
— Ted Knutson (@mixedknuts) August 14, 2020
Alphonso Davies, take a bow! What a player!
— Eduardo Hagn (@EduardoHagn) August 14, 2020
The best player in the world … Getting helped up by Lionel Messi 😉 pic.twitter.com/YjoZcJ2ffc
— DAZN Canada (@DAZN_CA) August 14, 2020
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