Morikawa Wins PGA Championship, MAC Cancels Fall, Laureano & Plesac Violate Protocols, NHL Quarterfinals, Tiz The Law Wins Travers

GOLF

Twenty-three-year-old Collin Morikawa finished 13-under par to win the US PGA Championship. Having turned pro 14 months ago, the championship was only Morikawa’s second major and 28th tournament.  Morikawa joins Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Jack Nicklaus as the only 23-year old winners of the PGA Championship.

FOOTBALL

The Mid-Atlantic Conference (MAC) officially canceled its 2020 college football season and all other fall sports. Many are now wondering when the other Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) conferences will follow suit.

BASEBALL

Major League Baseball specifically outlined in their COVID-19  protocols that any players breaking social distancing guidelines in order to engage or fight with another player or team would be severely punished. It’s no surprise then that Oakland Athletics Ramon Laureano, who charged the Houston Astros’ dugout sparking a bench-clearing altercation, will face discipline. Astros hitting coach Alex Cintron, who was seen egging Laureano on, could face disciplinary action as well.

Cleveland Indians Zach Plesac violated protocol as well when he went out with friends in Chicago after the Indians beat the White Sox on Saturday. Plesac was sent back to Cleveland and will be quarantined for 72 hours and tested daily for COVID-19.

HOCKEY

The quarterfinals of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs are set with 16 teams remaining.

HORSE RACING

Tiz the Law ran away from the competition in an exciting 5 1/2 length victory at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday. Manny Franco guided Tiz the Law through a perfect race and a career-best 109 Beyer Speed Figure. It’s now on to the Kentucky Derby September 5th for this special horse.

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Travers Stakes, Deadline For NFL Opt-Out, 56 Players Positive, Clemson Ranks #1, Ohio State #2, Wine In NBA Bubble, NHL Weekend Games

HORSE RACING

The Travers Stakes takes place on Saturday. The $1 million race is one of the most prestigious in North America. Traditionally the Travers (known as the “Mid-Summer Derby”) is run a few months after the Triple Crown series where the elite 3-year olds have already experienced the grueling 1 1/4 distance of the Kentucky Derby. Now that the Derby has been postponed to September 5th, the horses will be testing their limits at the 1 1/4 distance for the first time.  Eight horses will compete on Saturday, with Belmont Stakes winner Tiz the Law as the even-money favorite.

FOOTBALL

The deadline for NFL players to opt-out of the season if they are concerned about health risks due to COVID-19 has passed. Players who are high-risk and who opt-out will receive a $350,000 stipend, while those who are at a lesser risk and opt-out will receive a $150,000 salary advance. Players can opt-out later in the year as well if a family member becomes sick. For a list of the players who will not be part of the NFL 2020 season, click here.

In related news, the NFL Players Association announced 56 players have tested positive for COVID-19 since the opening of training camp.

It’s still unclear what will happen with college football this season, but that didn’t stop the excitement of seeing the release of the preseason coaches poll. Clemson took the top spot,  followed by Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia, and then LSU rounding out the top 5.

BASKETBALL

In the NBA bubble, wine deliveries and wine consumption have skyrocketed. Players have either purchased wine refrigerators for their rooms or, in the case of Portland Trail Blazer CJ McCollum, have transformed their room into a wine fridge. McCollum keeps his room at 60 degrees when he’s inside and around mid-to-high 50’s when he leaves so as to properly store his 84 bottles of mostly pinot noir from Oregon.

HOCKEY

By Sunday night, the 16-team NHL playoff field will be set. For a list of the weekend games, click here.

 

 

 

 

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UConn Cancels Football, Division II,III Fall Sports Canceled, Big 10 Demands, Bud Light Free Beer In Detroit, Denver, PGA Championship

FOOTBALL

UConn announced it’s canceling its 2020 football season. According to UConn athletics director David Benedict “Ultimately, the student-athletes would rather preserve their year of eligibility with an eye to competing under more typical circumstances during the 2021 season.”

The NCAA also announced Division II and Division III fall sports will be canceled. The sports affected are football, men’s and women’s soccer, field hockey, women’s volleyball, men’s and women’s cross country, and men’s water polo.

By laying out a list of demands for playing in the 2020 season, a group of Big Ten athletes have followed the example set earlier this week by a group of students from the Pac-12. Almost all of the Big Ten players’ demands are related to COVID-19 safety issues. According to reports, there are as many at 1,400 Big Ten and Pac-12 students involved in a potential boycott if their demands are not met.

Bud Light is promising free beer in either Detroit or Denver this season if either one of their kickers breaks the NFL record for the longest field goal. It all started when Broncos kicker Brandon McManus stated he wanted to break the record. Bud Light chimed in and said the company would give away free beer in Denver if McManus succeeded.  Current record holder (at 64-yards), Detroit’s Matt Prater jumped in saying he’d like to break his own record. Bud Light then stated it would supply free beer to the entire cities of Detroit or Denver if either one of these kickers could accomplish this feat.

GOLF

The 2020 PGA Championship begins today at TPC Harding Park in San Francisco. The event marks the first major of the year, and 95 of the top 100 players are competing.

 

 

 

 

 

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“The Rock” Buys XFL For $15Mill, Saints Sequester In Hotel, Cardinals Major COVID-19 Outbreak, Ledecky’s Chocolate Milk Swim

FOOTBALL

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, along with partners RedBird Capital and Dany Garcia (Johnson’s ex-wife and business partner),  bought the XFL for $15 million. The XFL was previously owned by Vince McMahon, who tried to revive the League in 2020 (after his first attempt 19 years ago), but was unable to get any traction due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Johnson stated in a press release, “The acquisition of the XFL with my talented partners, Dany Garcia and Gerry Cardinale, is an investment for me that’s rooted deeply in two things — my passion for the game and my desire to always take care of the fans. With pride and gratitude for all that I’ve built with my own two hands, I plan to apply these callouses to the XFL, and look forward to creating something special for the players, fans, and everyone involved for the love of football.”

In NFL news, the New Orleans Saints rented out the top floors of the Loews Hotel in New Orleans for the players, coaches, and other staff to hole up during the next month of training camp in order to keep the team healthy. Saints coach Sean Payton insists “It’s not a bubble. It’s a sequester.”

BASEBALL

The St. Louis Cardinals are dealing with a major outbreak of positive COVID-19 cases. The number has now grown to 13 affected, and the team will be unable to play for another week.

SWIMMING

Check out Katie Ledecky’s #gotmilkchallenge on TikTok. She swims the length of the pool with a glass of chocolate milk on her head. Amazing.

 

 

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Pac-12 Players List Of Demands, Hawk-Eye Live, Cespedes Sit Out Season

FOOTBALL

A group of Pac-12 football players are threatening to sit out the upcoming season unless the Conference addresses their concerns. The list of demands include:

  1. Increase in health and safety protocols and protections including medical insurance for six years post-eligibility
  2. Commitment to social justice issues including a special task force
  3. Redistribution of revenue, specifically 50% of each sport’s revenues evenly distributed among athletes

TENNIS

We will see major technological innovations throughout the sporting world over the next few months and years. One such innovation, called Hawk-Eye Live, will replace line judges at tennis tournaments with an automated system. The U.S. Open (August 31st-September 13th) will use this system.

BASEBALL

The New York Mets announced Yoenis Cespedes will opt-out of the season due to concerns over COVID-19. Many players are deciding to opt-out of their season, but Cespedes did it in an unusual (and seemingly disrespectful way).  Over the weekend, Cespedes did not show up for the game against the Atlanta Braves. The team sent security to his hotel room and found the room completely cleared out. Cespedes did not tell anyone he was leaving, sparking speculation he’s upset with the team for his lack of adequate playing time.

 

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LeSean McCoy A Buccaneer, Jazz & Lakers Win In NBA First Night

FOOTBALL

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are serious about helping out their new quarterback Tom Brady. According to ESPN, the team signed veteran running back LeSean McCoy to a one-year deal.

BASKETBALL

Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert, the first NBA player to test positive for COVID-19, scored the first and last points as the Jazz beat the New Orleans Pelicans 106-104 on Thursday night. In a puzzling coaching decision, the Pelicans benched their star player Zion Williamson for the final 7 minutes of play. He played a total of 15 minutes and scored 13 points in his team’s loss.

In the second game of the night, LeBron James finished big for the LA Lakers and helped them pull off a 103-101 win over the LA Clippers.

 

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NBA Returns, Notre Dame Part Of ACC This Year

BASKETBALL

The NBA returns tonight. As of now, there are no known outbreaks in the Disney bubble, so if all continues to go well, the NBA will plan for a 10-week continuation of the season. Here’s how it will work: The 22 teams quarantining in Orlando will play eight “seeding games” in the next two weeks. The seeding games count toward the team’s regular-season standing, and whichever teams are in the top seven in each conference at the end of two weeks will then earn a playoff berth. The eighth playoff seed must be more than four games ahead of the ninth seed, or there will be a play-in-series. Here’s the lineup for tonight: Jazz vs. Pelican at 6:30 pm, Clippers vs. Lakers at 9:00 pm, and Indians vs. Twins at 9:00 pm.

FOOTBALL

For the first time in its 132-year history, Notre Dame will be a member of a conference. The ACC announced its 10 conference game schedule which includes Notre Dame joining the conference for one year and playing a full ACC schedule. The first game is slated for September 7th. The SEC and Big 12 are expected to announce their new schedules soon.

 

 

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Marlins Season Suspended, Mahomes Joining Royals Ownership Group, 6 Pats Opt-Out Season

BASEBALL

After 15 players and two staff members of the Miami Marlins tested positive for COVID-19 in the last few days, Major League Baseball suspended the team’s season. With a shortened 60-game schedule, it’s unclear how the Marlins (and their opponents) will make up the missed games.

FOOTBALL

Super Bowl-winning quarterback Patrick Mahomes is on a roll in Kansas City. Not only did he sign a $503 million contract extension with the Chiefs a few weeks ago, but on Tuesday the Kansas City Royals announced Mahomes will be joining their ownership group.

Mahomes grew up with baseball. His father was an MLB pitcher for 11 seasons, and Mahomes was a 37th-round pick in the 2014 draft.

In other NFL news, six New England Patriots players (Hightower, Cannon, Chung, Bolden, Vitale, and Toran) have chosen to opt-out of the NFL season due to Coronavirus concerns.

 

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Marlins Players Test Positive And Could Jeopardize Season, Dr. Fauci Trading Cards Hit Record High

BASEBALL

Just a few days into the baseball season and we’re already having issues. The Miami Marlins had to postpone their home-opener on Monday night because at least 14 players tested positive for COVID-19. Over the weekend, a few players had tested positive, but instead of postponing their matchup against the Phillies on Sunday, they decided via a group text chat to play. According to MLB’s operation manual, the teams have the ability to decide what to do if there are multiple positive results.

No one knows what this means for the rest of the teams and for the rest of the MLB season. It’s possible these players will quarantine, and there won’t be any major outbreaks. It’s also possible, however, that other teams could have been infected by the Marlins players, and the season could be compromised.

According to MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, “I don’t put this in the nightmare category. It’s not a positive thing, but I don’t see it as a nightmare. … That’s why we have the expanded rosters. That’s why we have the pool of additional players.”

Unlike the NBA and MLS, major league baseball rejected the idea of playing in a “bubble” (where, as of now, there are no reported cases). The NFL also rejected the idea of playing in a quarantine “bubble” so will be paying close attention to how this all develops.
In other baseball news, baseball card manufacturer Topps set a record for selling over 50,000 limited edition trading cards featuring Dr. Anthony Fauci (who threw out the ceremonial first pitch last week to kick off the MLB season).

 

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Cespedes Hits HR As DH, Verlander’s Forearm Strain, Jamal Adams A Seahawk, Together Mode In NBA, Lou Williams Quarantined After Strip Club

BASEBALL

On Friday, the New York Mets Yoenis Cespedes became the first designated hitter in Major League Baseball to hit a home run in a regular-season game between two National League Teams. The new designated hitter rule allows players like Cespedes, who have suffered injuries, to perform during this shortened season.

There was a buzz over the weekend about the Houston Astros Justin Verlander missing the rest of the season due to a forearm strain, but Verlander weighed in and said he would be back.

FOOTBALL

The Seattle Seahawks picked up safety Jamal Adams and a 2022 fourth-round pick from the New York Jets in exchange for safety Bradley McDougald and a 2021 first-round and third-round pick as well as a 2022 first-rounder. Adams hasn’t been shy about wanting to leave the Jets, so it didn’t come as much of a surprise that the Jets unloaded him prior to the beginning of the season.

BASKETBALL

The NBA is getting creative in bringing the fan experience to the arena. They are experimenting with allowing fans to virtually appear and interact with each other at upcoming games. They will be using Microsoft Team’s new together mode” which will allow fans to feel like they are participating. “Together Mode uses AI segmentation technology to digitally place participants in a shared background, making it feel like you’re sitting in the same room with everyone else in the meeting or class.”

The NBA is also working with its broadcast partners to use more camera angles to enhance the at-home viewing experience.

Los Angeles Clippers Lou Williams will need to quarantine for 10 days inside the Disney bubble. He left the bubble for a funeral (which would have required a 4-day quarantine), but then photos of him at a strip club with rapper Jack Harlow appeared on social media getting Williams in trouble. Williams will miss two seeding games and forfeit up to $150,000 in salary.

 

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