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NEW YORK — Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred knows many fans were angered by the financial fight between Major League Baseball and the players’ association during a pandemic. He says during an interview with The Associated Press that “We owe it to our fans to be better than we’ve been the last three months.” Union head Tony Clark is proud of the position his players took. They will get prorated pay for a 60-game season, not additional salary reductions over 82 games, as MLB first proposed. He calls it “a day’s wage for a day’s worth of work.” By Ronald Blum. SENT: 1,090 words, photos.
GLF—VIRUS OUTBREAK-PGA TOUR
Three weeks into its return to competitive golf, the PGA Tour is on notice. Brooks Koepka and Webb Simpson were among five players who have withdrawn from the Travelers Championship, even though only one of them has tested positive for the coronavirus. The caddies of Koepka and Graeme McDowell tested positive, so both players withdrew as a precaution to other players. So did Koepka’s younger brother. Simpson withdrew when he learned a family member had tested positive. And Cameron Champ tested positive on Tuesday. The tour says there has been seven positive tests out of 2,757 given in three weeks on the PGA Tour and developmental Korn Ferry Tour. By Doug Ferguson. SENT: 947 words, photos.
HKO—HALL OF FAME
Jarome Iginla headlines the Hockey Hall of Fame’s class of 2020 after being elected in his first year of eligibility. Iginla will be the fourth Black player inducted after Grant Fuhr, Angela James and Willie O’Ree. Iginla was the first Black player to lead the NHL in goals and points and was the first Black athlete in any sport to win a gold medal in the Winter Olympics. Iginla is joined in the 2020 class by forward Marian Hossa, defensemen Kevin Lowe and Doug Wilson, Canadian women’s star Kim St. Pierre and longtime general manager Ken Holland. The 18-member selection committee voted remotely because of travel difficulties posed by the coronavirus pandemic. By Stephen Whyno. SENT: 975 words, photos.
BKN–VIRUS OUTBREAK-NBA TESTING
INDIANAPOLIS — The return of Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon has been delayed after he tested positive for the coronavirus. And Sacramento Kings teammates Jabari Parker and Alex Len both announced they are dealing with the virus as well. Those three players issued statements Wednesday and say they expect to be with their teams when the season resumes in Central Florida next month. All 22 NBA teams that will be part of the resumed season began mandated testing Tuesday. League officials have expected that positive tests would be inevitable. But players who test positive now could have time to recover and rejoin their teams before the games start. By Michael Marot. SENT: 680 words, photos.
HOUSTON — The first round of MLB spring training was dominated by the fallout from the Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal. With a second round of spring training just around the corner after Major League Baseball issued a 60-game season on Tuesday night the question is if the Astros will be able to move on from the scandal after an almost four-month layoff. Are baseball and its fans ready to forgive and forget? Or will the venom remain toward this team for its past transgressions? By Kristie Rieken. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos by 3 a.m.
The popular Phillie Phanatic, Mr. Met and Mariner Moose mascots are getting a reprieve. Major League Baseball has reversed a policy it issued last month that banned mascots from ballparks while trying to restrict access and limit contact exposure. MLB now says mascots are welcome, but they’re not permitted on the field. Dave Raymond, the first person to portray the Phanatic in Philadelphia in the late 1970s, says mascots can still pull off plenty of routines to entertain fans watching at home. MLB will start the virus-delayed season next month in stadiums without fans. By Ben Walker. SENT: 430 words, photos.
TOKYO — Local Japanese sponsors have chipped in a record $3.3 billion to support the postponed Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics That’s almost 60% of the income for the privately funded operating budget. Sponsors will be asked to sign up again with the games delayed for a year. A poll published earlier this month by Japanese broadcasters NHK said two-thirds are undecided about extending for another year. Organizers say they will begin the negotiation process in earnest next month. The Japanese newspaper Asahi reported this week that organizers could be asking for “for more sponsor fees payments.” This could face opposition with many companies struggling with the pandemic and a loss of revenue. By Stephen Wade. SENT: 419 words, photos.
LIVERPOOL, England — Liverpool is on the brink of ending a 30-year title drought after beating Crystal Palace 4-0. If Manchester City does not win at Chelsea on Thursday, Liverpool will clinch the Premier League trophy with seven games remaining. And before playing City next week. At Old Trafford, Anthony Martial scored his first Manchester United treble in a 3-0 win over Sheffield United. By Rob Harris. SENT: 515 words, photos.