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Price 'at peace' with opt-out decision despite missing World Series – theScore

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When the Los Angeles Dodgers step on the field against the Tampa Bay Rays for Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday, veteran left-hander David Price will be watching from home.

Although he won’t be helping the Dodgers try to capture their first title since 1988, the 35-year-old doesn’t regret opting out of the 2020 season due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m definitely missing it, but I’m at peace with my decision,” Price said, according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY. “What I missed the most is the competition, being in the clubhouse, being in the dugout, picking someone up after a rough game or week, having them come over to my room, and forgetting baseball.

“But with a 3-year-old son, a 1-year-old daughter, I’ve got to watch them grow. That’s a time I would have missed out on, and very thankful to be at home with them. I’m a fan. Those guys know I’m watching and pulling for them.”

Price hasn’t sat idly by this season after opting out and forfeiting $11.9 million of salary in the process. He still checks in with his teammates daily to offer guidance and advice.

“Everyone in a Dodger uniform wishes he was here,” said Mookie Betts, who was part of the same trade that landed Price with the Dodgers from the Boston Red Sox. “We talk probably three or four times a week, he texts me after games, he pretty much texts the whole team.”

Price is also connected to this year’s World Series through the Rays, who he suited up for from 2008-14.

The southpaw, who was an integral part of the last Tampa team to reach the World Series in 2008, admitted he’s been rooting for them this postseason, but his allegiance in the big series sits with the Dodgers.

“We’re paying his checks, at least most of his checks,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I hope he’s rooting for us.”

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Canucks anthem singer to perform at anti-mask rally in Vancouver – News 1130

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VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — A rally in Vancouver protesting COVID-19 orders will feature music by Mark Donnelly, the man who has been singing the national anthem at Canucks home games since 2001.

The BC Christmas Freedom Rally is being held in Vancouver Saturday.

“We oppose government orders and will gather for the holidays,” the poster for the event says.

Donnelly is set to perform after a musical parody act and before closing remarks by the organizers.

A previous rally drew a crowd of around 1,000 people to the Vancouver Art Gallery.

In the past, Donnelly has performed the national anthem at anti-abortion rallies.

Team owner Francesco Aquilini tweeted in response to a local newspaper’s publishing of this story “Hey @VancouverSun change the headline to “Former Canucks anthem singer.” #wearamask

NEWS 1130 has reached out to Mark Donnelly and the Vancouver Canucks for comment.

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NBA releases first half of 2020-21 schedule; Raptors tip off vs. Pelicans – Sportsnet.ca

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The NBA released the first half of its schedule for the 2020-21 season on Friday, which will be split up by an all-star break that takes place March 5-10.

The new campaign gets underway on Tuesday, Dec. 22.

The Toronto Raptors will tip off their season against the New Orleans Pelicans in Tampa on Dec. 23.

Toronto will have four of its games nationally televised in the U.S. (Feb. 5 at Brooklyn, ESPN; Feb. 18 at Milwaukee, TNT; Feb. 24 at Miami, ESPN; March 4 at Boston, TNT) and three of them on NBA TV (Jan. 2 at New Orleans, Jan. 16 vs. Charlotte, Jan. 24 at Indiana). They will also play three back-to-backs in the crunched schedule and will have a particularly arduous three-game stretch against the Philadelphia 76ers (twice) and the Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat in late February.

Below is the Raptors’ first-half schedule in its entirety:

Opening night of the season will feature the Golden State Warriors against the Brooklyn Nets, and the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 18), a key date on the league calendar every season, will contain a 10-game slate and feature the Phoenix Suns against the Memphis Grizzlies, the Milwaukee Bucks against the Nets and the Lakers against the Warriors.

Under this season’s 72-game format, each team will play three games against each opponent in its conference (42 total games per team), with each pairing featuring either two home games and one road game or one home game and two road games.

As for the other conference, each team will play two games against each opponent (30 total games per team), with each pairing featuring one home game and one road game.

The second-half schedule of the overall 72-game campaign will be released at a later date, and will include not only the remainder of each team’s contests, but any games that are postponed during the first half that can reasonably be added in.

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Raptors Announce Coaching Staff Changes – Raptors.com

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The Toronto Raptors announced Friday that Chris Finch and Jama Mahlalela (Jah-MAH MAH-la-lay-lah) have been added to Head Coach Nick Nurse’s staff as assistant coaches. In a corresponding move, Patrick Mutumbo will take over as head coach of Raptors 905, replacing Mahlalela. Joining Mutombo in Mississauga from the Raptors staff will also be Brittni Donaldson and John Bennett. Per team policy, financial terms of the deals were not disclosed. 

Finch spent the past three years in New Orleans (2017-20), including last season as Associate Head Coach. He has also served as an assistant coach with Denver (2016-17) and Houston (2011-16). Prior to joining the Rockets, Finch had two successful seasons (2009-11) as head coach with Houston’s G League affiliate the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. He guided the team to consecutive appearances in the G League Finals and amassed a record of 67-33 (.670). The Vipers captured the 2010 G League Championship and for his efforts Finch was awarded the Dennis Johnson Coach of the Year Award.

Raised in Reading, Pennsylvania, Finch played professionally overseas with the Sheffield Sharks (1993-1997) in the British Basketball League (BBL) before beginning his coaching career with the same team. Under his leadership (1997-2003), the Sharks enjoyed the franchise’s most successful run in team history and Finch was named the BBL Coach of the Year in 1998-99. He coached for 12 seasons in Europe with additional stints in Germany (2003-04) and Belgium (2004-09).

On the international stage, Finch took over a dormant Great Britain National Team in 2006 and captured FIBA’s 2007 Division B Promotional Competition. In 2009, his squad qualified for the European Championships for the first time since 1981 and qualified again in 2011. Finch also led the British National Team in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London where Nurse was one of his assistants. 

Finch graduated in 1992 as a two-time All-American from Franklin & Marshall College, and was inducted into the F&M Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.

Mahlalela was an assistant coach with the Raptors for five seasons (2014-18) prior to becoming the head coach for Raptors 905 where he accumulated a record of 51-42 (.548) in two seasons. Mahlalela joined the Raptors front office as director of player development, where he served for two seasons before moving to the bench. 

A native of Mbabane, Swaziland, Mahlalela grew up in the Greater Toronto Area. He played collegiately at the University of British Columbia and was as assistant coach at the University of Toronto for four seasons.

Mahlalela started with the Raptors organization on the community development staff in 2006, leading the Raptors Basketball Academy and various clinics throughout Canada. He was named director of basketball operations for NBA Asia in 2009 and oversaw the League’s clinics, youth programs and elite-level development from his base in Hong Kong.

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