(TNS)

Tribune News Service

Sports Budget for Saturday, August 1, 2020

Updated at 11 p.m. EDT (0300 UTC)

This budget is now available at http://www.TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.

^TOP STORIES<

^No adrenaline buzz? No more choking? How no fans in the stands affects athletes.<

^SPORTS-NO-FANS-SPORTSPLUS:LA—<There is something eerie about the fans that appear on giant video screens surrounding the basketball court. They clap and shout in cyber-static fashion, like a scene from "Blade Runner." Their cheering blares over loudspeakers.

The NBA hopes this virtual crowd will pump life into empty arenas at the "bubble" in Orlando, Fla., where the league's virus-interrupted season has resumed. Ben Simmons has a suggestion for making things more realistic.

"They better put some boos in there for us," the Philadelphia 76ers star told reporters. "Because if we're not playing hard, we want to hear those boos."

His coach didn't sound convinced. Brett Brown said: "It's like we're playing in a video game."

1150 by David Wharton. MOVED

PHOTO

^Four more Cardinals personnel test positive for COVID-19, bringing uncertainty to series, next steps<

BBN-CARDINALS-CORONAVIRUS:SL — After two rounds of tests Friday for COVID-19, the Cardinals remained quarantined in their Milwaukee hotel hoping that by Saturday morning the results of those tests would end their isolation and the growing concerns of a viral brush fire through their clubhouse.

The "anxiety" described Friday only grew Saturday.

The Cardinals received word by Saturday morning of four additional positive tests on their 58-person traveling party, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch confirmed. They have had six positives test total since arriving in Milwaukee on Thursday. Three are players, including the two players who learned of their positive tests Thursday. They have not been identified.

750 by Derrick Goold in Milwaukee. MOVED

PHOTO

^Lions QB Matthew Stafford placed on COVID-19 list<

FBN-LIONS-STAFFORD:DE — The coronavirus does not discriminate.

Tall, short, skinny, fat, star quarterback or little-known backup.

On Saturday, the Detroit Lions placed quarterback Matthew Stafford on the reserve/COVID-19 list, meaning he either tested positive for the novel coronavirus on Friday or was around someone who had.

Stafford is the biggest-name player in the NFL to go on the list during the first five days of training camp.

Lions players, including Stafford, reported to camp Tuesday and took their first COVID-19 test, a nasal swab in a trailer outside of their Allen Park practice facility.

700 by Dave Birkett in Detroit. MOVED

^Brewers outfielder Lorenzo Cain opts out of 2020 season<

^BBN-BREWERS-CAIN:KC—<While the future of the 2020 Major League Baseball season remains tenuous, Brewers outfielder Lorenzo Cain already has decided to hang up his cleats this year.

"Lorenzo Cain has informed us that he will not participate for the remainder of the 2020 season," the Brewers said in a statement. "We fully support Lorenzo's decision, and will miss his talents on the field and his leadership in the clubhouse."

Cain, who was part of the Royals' 2015 World Series championship team, batted .333 in five games this year.

Milwaukee's season is on hold.

300 by Pete Grathoff. MOVED

PHOTO

^Red Sox ace Eduardo Rodriguez out for season with heart issue<

^BBA-REDSOX-RODRIGUEZ:NY—<The Red Sox have shut down their best pitcher for the rest of the MLB season, however long that lasts. Eduardo Rodriguez has still not been cleared of a heart problem that the team and pitcher believe is related to his bout with the coronavirus.

Rodriguez was diagnosed with coronavirus before summer workouts, then threw a few dozen pitches in his first workout after he was cleared. He cut that workout short due to fatigue, and was later diagnosed with myocarditis. A second round of testing showed Saturday that Rodriguez still had some heart inflammation, and the Red Sox ruled him out for the year.

150 by Dennis Young. MOVED

PHOTO

^Wild defenseman Matt Dumba's speech against racial injustice part of NHL's return to action in Edmonton bubble<

HKN-WILD-DUMBA:MS — The hockey was still hockey.

Connor McDavid's lightning-fast speed, Patrick Kane's stealthy shot and the cacophony of sticks and pucks and bodies crunching into the boards — all of that was on display at Rogers Place when the NHL returned Saturday with a 24-team postseason tournament after a 142-day hiatus.

The Blackhawks toppled the Oilers, 6-4.

And in a surprise cameo, Wild defenseman Matt Dumba joined both teams lined up around center ice and addressed a national TV audience in Canada and the United States with a nearly three-minute speech on racial injustice.

600 by Sarah McLellan in Edmonton, Alberta. MOVED

PHOTO

^BASEBALL<

^Marcos Breton: Send 'em home. Just stop. Baseball's coronavirus season experiment reeks of failure.<

^BBO-BRETON-COLUMN:SA—<Nobody wants to watch baseball more than I, but Major League Baseball needs to shut it down now.

Cancel the rest of this cursed MLB 2020 season. Send everybody home. Let baseball be the symbol of how not to respond to a worldwide pandemic.

Actually, we have plenty of examples of that starting in the Oval Office. But baseball needs to stop now because it can't protect its people. And if it can't protect its players and personnel from a deadly virus, why are they playing games? Why are they risking lives and infections?

500 by Marcos Breton. MOVED

PHOTO

^Bob Raissman: Baseball broadcasters should be calling out players violating coronavirus protocols when they see it<

^BBO-RAISSMAN-COLUMN:NY—< In their never-ending quest to make their telecasts seem normal, baseball's TV voices are reluctant to hold players accountable for violating on-field coronavirus protocols.

Baseball is continuously testing players, but does anyone really know when this mysterious coronavirus strikes? When and where it can be spread from one player to another? Is it happening on the field during game action?

Watching games on YES, SNY and national outlets like ESPN and Fox, there are a variety of instances where the virus could have been spread.

500 by Bob Raissman in New York. MOVED

PHOTO

^Tigers vs. Reds rained out; historic doubleheader set for Sunday<

BBO-REDS-TIGERS-POSTPONEMENT:DE — The Detroit Tigers' game Saturday against the Cincinnati Reds was postponed because of inclement weather. The game was called after steady rain continued to fall for about an hour after the scheduled 1:10 p.m. start. The game had been moved up from its original 6:10 p.m. start.

The teams are scheduled to play a straight seven-inning doubleheader at 12:10 p.m. Sunday. It is slated to be the first-ever scheduled doubleheader in major league history to feature two games of fewer than nine innings of regulation, narrowly beating Sunday's Cardinals/Brewers twinbill, set for 2:20 p.m. after Saturday's game was canceled due to COVID-19 concerns.

400 by Carlos Monarrez in Detroit. MOVED

^Phillies will play Yankees Monday after two of three coronavirus tests were 'false positive'<

BBN-PHILLIES-CORONAVIRUS:PH — The Phillies will return Monday from a seven-day layoff to play the Yankees after it was determined that two of the team's three positive COVID-19 tests appear to be false positives.

Major League Baseball said in a statement that the team's last potential exposure to COVID-19 was last Sunday's game against the Marlins, which was played after the Marlins learned that four players had tested positive in three days for the coronavirus.

The Phillies will play the Yankees on Monday and Tuesday at Yankee Stadium before playing them on Wednesday and Thursday at Citizens Bank Park.

400 by Matt Breen in Philadelphia. MOVED

PHOTO

^After almost a week in quarantine, Marlins learn they'll resume season Tuesday in Baltimore<

^BBN-MARLINS-SEASON:MI—<The Miami Marlins have been quarantined at their team hotel in Philadelphia since their series finale against the Phillies on Sunday, waiting to get their COVID-19 outbreak under control and for guidance from Major League Baseball to give them clarity about the immediate future of the team's season.

On Saturday, the first day without a positive COVID-19 test result since the outbreak truly started to show itself on Sunday, the team learned its fate: For the immediate future, the Marlins are staying on the road.

MLB announced Saturday that the Marlins, who had 18 players and two coaching staff members test positive, will head to Baltimore to play four games in three days against the Orioles.

550 by Jordan McPherson. MOVED

PHOTO

^Craig Kimbrel's status as Cubs closer is uncertain after his rough start to season<

BBN-CUBS-KIMBREL:TB — Does David Ross have his first closer controversy?

Craig Kimbrel's two rough outings and the shortened 60-game season might leave the new Cubs manager with no choice but to call an early audible.

"That's a good question," Ross said Saturday when asked if he would give Kimbrel the ball in a save situation. "I appreciate you asking. I'm not sure on that yet. But I'll get back to you."

So is Kimbrel the closer?

"I'm in the middle of conversations with Craig," Ross said.

400 by Paul Sullivan in Chicago. MOVED

PHOTO

^Paul Sullivan: Baseball is in crisis mode as more MLB players and staff test positive for COVID-19<

BBO-SULLIVAN-COLUMN:TB — Seems like just yesterday Anthony Rizzo was providing hand sanitizer at first base for Brewers shortstop Orlando Arcia.

It was a Rockwellian moment for the restart of the 2020 baseball season, giving viewers reason to smile and briefly put the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic on hold.

"We're playing in unusual circumstances," Rizzo said afterward, admitting he was just trying to bring some fun back after the lengthy shutdown.

But only eight days later, baseball already was in crisis mode.

1000 by Paul Sullivan in Chicago. MOVED

PHOTO

^Miguel Sano goes deep twice, Kenta Maeda shines on the mound as Twins beat Cleveland, 3-0<

BBA-INDIANS-TWINS:MS — Kenta Maeda was so effective for the Twins in their 3-0 victory over Cleveland on Saturday that it's more noteworthy to recap the one thing that didn't go right for him.

Maeda was working over Bradley Zimmer in the fifth inning like he did every other Cleveland hitter on Saturday: Avoiding hard-hit balls and being unpredictable while shutting down the entire batting order.

And he got Zimmer to make weak contact on a 2-2 slider, the second out was about to be made.

But the ball was hit weakly enough for it to be a close play.

550 by La Velle E. Neal III in Minneapolis. MOVED

PHOTOS

^Yankees swat two more homers in 5-2 win against rival Red Sox<

BBA-REDSOX-YANKEES-CORRECTION:NY — The Yankees have now scored 17 straight runs via homer, including all five in Saturday's 5-2 win over the Boston Red Sox.

With the win, the Yankees improved to a MLB-best 6-1 through seven games. Every other team except for the virus-ridden Miami Marlins has at least two losses so far.

Aaron Judge hit a solo shot in the first inning, giving him a home run in four straight games for the first time in his career. It came off the bat at 110 mph and went 455 feet.

The next inning, Gio Urshela hit his first MLB grand slam.

450 by Dennis Young in New York. MOVED

PHOTOS

^Michael Wacha's poor start, listless bats doom Mets in 7-1 loss to Braves<

^BBN-METS-BRAVES:HK—<Unlike in the series opener, Saturday's game between the Mets and Braves contained no drama.

In this case, that's not good for New York.

The Mets were uncompetitive. Right-hander Michael Wacha struggled, another concerning sign for a pitching staff that is, for the most part, sputtering. Meanwhile, the bats were silent a night after scoring double-digit runs.

The Braves defeated the Mets, 7-1, at Truist Park on Saturday. New York (3-6) has lost four in a row since winning both games in Boston.

It might seem early, but the Mets are already through 15% of the shortened season.

600 by Justin Toscano. MOVED

^Saturday's games<

TNS expects coverage from the following games:

Chicago White Sox at Kansas City, 7:05 p.m.

Houston at LA Angels, 7:07 p.m.

Tampa Bay at Baltimore, 7:35 p.m.

LA Dodgers at Arizona, 8:10 p.m.

San Diego at Colorado, 8:10 p.m.

Pittsburgh at Chicago Cubs, 8:15 p.m.

Texas at San Francisco, 9:10 p.m.

Oakland at Seattle, 9:10 p.m.

^NFL<

^Jeff McLane: Will Carson Wentz embrace mentorship role with Jalen Hurts?<

FBN-MCLANE-COLUMN:PH — If anyone knows how Jalen Hurts feels, it's Carson Wentz.

Wentz once walked into a quarterback room not exactly full of open arms. He once toed the line between deference to veterans with competition against them. He once came to the Eagles a rookie looking for a mentor.

Wentz knows what it's like to have a quarterback take him under his wing — and not. And he said he will take the former approach with Hurts.

"I've been fortunate enough to be surrounded by a lot of good quarterbacks," Wentz said. "That's not going to change my approach to the game personally and for how I'll help him. I'm going to be here for him, help him to understand the ins and outs of the game."

1150 by Jeff McLane in Philadelphia. MOVED

PHOTO

^Steelers rookie receivers have excelled before. Is Chase Claypool next?<

FBN-STEELERS-CLAYPOOL:PG — Randy Fichtner has seen many rookie receivers excel with the Steelers over the years. He's been an assistant coach on Mike Tomlin's staff since 2007 and has witnessed the development of some of the game's top playmakers at the position.

Antonio Brown, Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders, Martavis Bryant and JuJu Smith-Schuster are just some of the players he has coached. Brown didn't blossom until near the end of his rookie year, and he has more receptions and yards than anyone in the league over the past decade. Others, such as Smith-Schuster, made more immediate impacts.

Chase Claypool is the next Steelers receiver Fichtner is tasked to develop.

750 by Ray Fittipaldo in Pittsburgh. MOVED

^Jets CJ Mosley opts out of 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns<

FBN-JETS-MOSLEY:NY — The Jets suffered their second significant blow in a week after C.J. Mosley informed them that he is opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns.

A few days after the Jets traded away All-Pro Jamal Adams, they lost a player that was expected to be the engine of Gregg Williams' defense this season.

Mosley, who signed a 5-year, $85 million last year, played just two games last season due to a nagging groin injury that ultimately required core muscle surgery.

300 by Manish Mehta in New York. MOVED

PHOTO

^'There's something about him': Tua Tagovailoa already making an impression on his Dolphins teammates<

^FBN-DOLPHINS-TAGOVAILOA:FL—<It's only been a matter of days since they actually met in person for the first time this week after being restricted to virtual meetings since the end of April.

But it seems like Ryan Fitzpatrick and Tua Tagovailoa have already hit it off.

So much so, they have already had the conversation that may seem the most uncomfortable to have for other football players in their scenario heading into the Miami Dolphins' 2020 football season.

"I don't know how much time it will be before Tua is in the lineup. I know that I'm the placeholder. And we've already had that conversation," Fitzpatrick said on Saturday about eventually surrendering his role as the team's starting quarterback for Tagovailoa.

700 by Safid Deen. MOVED

PHOTO

^NBA<

^Heat return with 125-105 rout of Nuggets, as Adebayo, Butler lead way<

^BKN-HEAT-NUGGETS:FL—<The Miami Heat were whole. The Denver Nuggets were lacking 60% of their starting lineup. So Erik Spoelstra's team seized the moment Saturday during the NBA's quarantined restart at Disney World.

Moving within 1 1/2 games of the Boston Celtics for the No. 3 playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, the Heat opened their eight-game seeding schedule at the Wide World of Sports complex with a 125-105 victory over the injury ravaged Nuggets.

"I think our guys really wanted to compete and play well," Spoelstra said, with this the Heat's first regular-season game since the March 11 shutdown due to the new coronavirus pandemic.

With the game's All-Star centers essentially playing to a standoff, the Heat got greater support for Bam Adebayo than the Nuggets did for Nikola Jokic.

950 by Ira Winderman. MOVED

PHOTOS

^Heat take knee during anthem at Disney, except Meyers Leonard; Jimmy Butler wears his name<

^BKN-HEAT-NOTES:FL—<As was the case around the NBA during the first two days of the league's regular-season resumption, almost all of the Miami Heat players and staffers took a knee during the national anthem that preceded Saturday's game against the Denver Nuggets.

The exception was center Meyers Leonard, who has family military ties. He stood at attention during the Star Spangled Banner, wearing a "Black Lives Matter" shooting shirt.

900 by Ira Winderman. MOVED

PHOTO

^Paul George's 28 points power Clippers to rout of Pelicans in NBA bubble<

BKN-PELICANS-CLIPPERS:LA — The NBA has gone to great lengths during the restart of its season to make players forget — if even for a moment — that they are playing inside empty gymnasiums. Music thumps during most possessions. Fans watching from home are digitally stitched onto videoboards ringing the court.

But every so often, during breaks in play, the gyms turn stone silent. That was the case Saturday afternoon, with 4:04 remaining in the third quarter inside HP Field House on the Disney World property. The Clippers led New Orleans by 36 points and Paul George, whose eight 3-pointers were responsible for much of the dominance, was heading to the bench.

400 by Andrew Greif in Orlando, Fla. MOVED

PHOTOS

^Sixers torched by Warren, undermanned Pacers, 127-121<

BKN-76ERS-PACERS:PH — Nothing changed.

The 76ers still commit too many mistakes. Their chemistry is still in question. And the Sixers still have a knack for underachieving.

On Saturday, they suffered a 127-121 defeat to the undermanned Indiana Pacers at the VISA Athletic Center in a seeding-game opener for both teams.

But the Sixers dropped to 39-27 after losing to a Pacers squad (40-26) playing without All-Star post player Domantas Sabonis (left foot plantar fasciitis) and guards Jeremy Lamb (torn left anterior cruciate ligament) and Malcolm Brogdon (neck injury).

Unfortunately for the Sixers, T.J. Warren was healthy.

650 by Keith Pompey in Orlando, Fla. MOVED

PHOTO

^Saturday's games<

TNS expects coverage from the following games:

LA Lakers at Toronto, 8:30 p.m.

^NHL<

^Hurricanes use aggressive start, strong penalty killing to top Rangers in series opener<

^HKN-RANGERS-HURRICANES:RA—<Brady Skjei got in the first blow, a big one.

Jaccob Slavin scored the first goal on the first shot, also a big one.

And Justin Williams won the first fight of the postseason, dropping the gloves to throw some 38-year-old fists.

The Carolina Hurricanes came into Game 1 of their NHL qualifying series Saturday against the New York Rangers in a combative, intense mood, ready to fight, skate, compete and do whatever it took to win a postseason game unlike any other in NHL history.

The Canes outlasted the Rangers 3-2, using some timely goals, aggressive penalty killing and strong-enough play in net from goalie Petr Mrazek to gain the early edge in the best-of-five series at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.

800 by Chip Alexander. MOVED

PHOTOS

^Blackhawks turn back clock in 6-4 victory, riding offensive surge to stun Oilers in Game 1 of play-in series<

^HKN-BLACKHAWKS-OILERS:TB—<The Blackhawks looked like a team that turned back the clock to their Stanley Cup days of five years ago during Saturday's 6-4 win over the Oilers in Game 1 of their best-of-five play-in series in Edmonton.

The Oilers rallied with two goals in the third period, but the Hawks held on to take their postseason opener and the first Western Conference game of the NHL's return to play from the COVID-19 pause. Edmonton had ground to make up as the Hawks scored four goals in the first period, including three in less than a four-minute span.

300 by Phil Thompson. MOVED

PHOTOS

^Panthers drop playoff opener against Islanders after slow start<

^HKN-PANTHERS-ISLANDERS:MI—<Everything the Florida Panthers spent the last week worrying about — the slow starts, the early deficits, the defensive mistakes — was playing out in real time Saturday. The Panthers knew exactly what the New York Islanders were going to try to do in the first game of their qualifying series for the Stanley Cup playoffs in Toronto and, because it's a five-game series, they worried about how one game might shift the balance of their postseason hopes.

Now Florida is running out of wiggle room. The slow start — exactly what they worried about — doomed the Panthers in Game 1 at Scotiabank Arena. The offense took too long to find any rhythm, the defense broke down a few too many times and Florida is now two games from elimination following a 2-1 loss to the Islanders in Ontario.

850 by David Wilson. MOVED

PHOTOS

^Jim Souhan: Props to the NHL and Commissioner Gary Bettman for saving its season<

HKN-SOUHAN-COLUMN:MS — The Wild will resume play on Sunday night.

Unlike the Vikings, their trainer in charge of coronavirus testing has not tested positive for the coronavirus.

Unlike the Vikings, the Wild have not had a slew of players placed in COVID protocol for either testing positive or being exposed to someone who has tested positive.

Unlike Minnesota United or members of the NWSL, the Wild are not part of a league that has had entire teams withdraw because of COVID.

Unlike the Twins, they are not part of a league that has seen 17 games postponed in the first 10 days of play because of the virus.

650 by Jim Souhan in Minneapolis. MOVED

PHOTO

^Saturday's games<

TNS expects coverage from the following games:

Montreal at Pittsburgh, 8 p.m.

^COLLEGE FOOTBALL<

^Mark Bradley: Will COVID-wrought changes become football fixtures?<

^FBC-BRADLEY-COLUMN:AT—<Disclaimer: What follows is cart-ahead-of-the-horse stuff. We're not sure any of the changes enforced on college football by the coronavirus will apply in 2020, let alone any year beyond this. (The NCAA could move to cancel everything next year, though it probably won't.) Some if not all tweaks could be one-shot — or, if the 2020 season doesn't happen, no-shot — deals. But in the South we're hard-wired to discuss to college football 24-7-366, and we can't help but ask:

Will Notre Dame's guest ACC membership lead to permanent football fidelity? Will 10-game conference schedules become the across-the-board standard?

950 by Mark Bradley in Atlanta. MOVED

^COLLEGE BASKETBALL<

^Vahe Gregorian: Mention of John Lewis evokes emotional, telling response from Missouri's Cuonzo Martin<

^BKC-GREGORIAN-COLUMN:KC—<Among the advantages of the video conference phenomenon given rise amid the pandemic is the glimpses it might afford into the sorts of stuff you might never see or know otherwise.

Maybe it's what someone displays in their background, like a rendering of David slaying Goliath behind Royals general manager Dayton Moore from his home. Or what they might have at their disposal and be inclined to call upon at this very different sort of distance.

1100 by Vahe Gregorian. MOVED

PHOTO

^Kofi Cockburn announces his return to Illinois for his sophomore season — just hours after Ayo Dosunmu said he's coming back<

^BKC-ILLINOIS-COCKBURN:TB—<Illinois will have its two stars back on the court in orange and blue next season.

A day after guard Ayo Dosunmu announced he will return to Illinois for his junior year and bypass the NBA draft, Kofi Cockburn followed suit. The 7-footer will play his sophomore for the Illini in 2020-21, keeping the team's dynamic duo from last season intact.

"IM BACK!!" Cockburn announced in a tweet Saturday afternoon.

Cockburn took the Big Ten by storm in his first year with Illinois, averaging 13.3 points and 8.8 rebounds and posting 12 double-doubles. He was named the conference's Freshman of the Year.

200 by DeAntae Prince. MOVED

PHOTO

^GYMNASTICS<

^UCLA gymnast Kalyany Steele finds acceptance after coming out as bisexual<

GYM-UCLA-STEELE:LA — Felicia Hano fastened the cape around Kalyany Steele's shoulders and Steele took off running. The rainbow-striped fabric flapped behind her. She wore the word "PRIDE" in bold, white letters on her back. She slapped hands with fans who cheered, smiled and clapped for the freshman who had just stuck her bars dismount. Only a select few in Pauley Pavilion on Feb. 9 for UCLA's Pride Meet knew what the moment meant to her.

Steele came out as bisexual to her teammates only days earlier.

"It just felt like I was being celebrated," Steele said.

1100 by Thuc Nhi Nguyen in Los Angeles. MOVED

PHOTO

^HORSE RACING<

^Bob Baffert's Thousand Words is a surprise winner in Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar<

^RAC-BAFFERT-THOUSANDWORDS:LA—<The Shared Belief Stakes at Del Mar never had been a Kentucky Derby prep race until this topsy-turvy year when the first Saturday in May is now the first Saturday in September when it comes to the most-known race in the sport.

So it should not have come as a shock when the race yielded a surprise winner in Bob Baffert's Thousand Words, who upset heavily favored Honor A.P. to win 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, which added to the 33 he'd already accumulated, and makes him certain to be eligible to run Sept. 5.

Thousand Words, more lightly considered than Baffert's other horse in the race, Cezanne, a $3.65 million purchase, went to the front and never relinquished the lead in the 1 1/16-mile race.

450 by John Cherwa. MOVED

PHOTO

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