Tribune News Service
Sports Budget for Saturday, August 1, 2020
Updated at 6 p.m. EDT (2200 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.
^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
^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
^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
^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
^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
^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
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.
Boston at NY Yankees, 7:07 p.m.
NY Mets at Atlanta, 7:10 p.m.
Cleveland at Minnesota, 7:10 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.
^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
^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
^'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
^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
TNS expects coverage from the following games:
New Orleans at LA Clippers, 6 p.m.
Philadelphia at Indiana, 7 p.m.
LA Lakers at Toronto, 8:30 p.m.
^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
TNS expects coverage from the following games:
Chicago at Edmonton, 3 p.m.
Florida at NY Islanders, 4 p.m.
Montreal at Pittsburgh, 8 p.m.
^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
^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
^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
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