MILAN — Genoa boosted its hopes of avoiding relegation with a 2-0 win over last-place Spal in Serie A on Sunday.Goran Pandev and Lasse Schöne scored in each half and Genoa also had a penalty saved.It was Genoa’s first win since the restart and lifted the team out of the relegation zone. Genoa is one point above Lecce which hit the woodwork twice in a 0-0 draw at Cagliari.Spal is 11 points from safety with six matches remaining.Later Sunday, Napoli coach Gennaro Gattuso faces AC Milan as an opponent for the first time.The match in Genoa was played at a sluggish pace, with temperatures topping 30 degrees Celsius (90 F) .Pandev fired Genoa in front in the 24th minute and the hosts had a great chance to double their lead 13 minutes later but Iago Falque had his weak penalty saved by Spal goalkeeper Karlo Letica after Arkadiusz Reca tripped Francesco Cassata.Genoa did get a second shortly after halftime when Schöne curled a magnificent free kick into the top corner.It could have had a third moments later but Andrea Pinamonti hit the post.OTHER MATCHESFederico Bonazzoli scored a spectacular goal six minutes from time to help Sampdoria to a vital 3-1 win at fellow struggler Udinese.Bonazzoli acrobatically volleyed in Samp's second goal with a scissor-kick. Bram Nuytinck thought he had equalized moments later but it was ruled out for handball.Samp moved level on points with Udinese, six points above Lecce.Davide Faraoni also scored in similarly impressive fashion to help Hellas Verona draw 1-1 at Fiorentina, which levelled with practically the last kick of the match.Parma scored two stoppage-time goals to fight back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 against Bologna.___More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsDaniella Matar, The Associated Press
Author: The Canadian Press
Posted: July 12, 2020, 7:51 pm
Hamilton raised his fist in the Black power salute and spoke about his lifelong commitment to ending racism.
Author: Yahoo Sports
Posted: July 12, 2020, 7:06 pm
A handful of photos on social media plus praise from his teammates suggest Toronto Raptors big man Marc Gasol will restart the NBA season in much better shape than he was in four months ago.The Spaniard hasn't talked to reporters since COVID-19 shut down the season on March 11, but Raptors coach Nick Nurse picked Gasol's brain recently about his physical transformation."I did ask him about what was the key, 'What'd you do?' and he just said 'Man, it was consistency,'" Nurse said after Sunday's practice at Walt Disney World in the Orlando area"It was just with the situation we've all been in in the last four months, you take out the games and all the long road trips and the late night flights, and all the things that factor in making fitness and nutrition a little harder, take all those out and he just said it was a consistent rhythm, eating at the same time every day, and eating very healthy obviously."Gasol, who helped Spain win the FIBA World Cup in September, has missed 28 games this season with a hamstring injury, but Nurse said he's fully healed."His skills look fantastic as well. He looks like he's in good shape. I don't see any issues," Nurse said.The 35-year-old was originally scheduled to speak to reporters Sunday, but Nurse has asked his players to carefully monitor how they feel in practice and to pull themselves out when feeling fatigued. And so, Gasol left practice early on Sunday, hopping on the early bus back to the hotel rather than staying for the daily Zoom video interviews with media.The Raptors face their first competition in more than four months when they play the Houston Rockets in a scrimmage on July 24. They open the eight-game seeding round Aug. 1 versus the Los Angeles Lakers.A healthy Gasol should make a big difference to Toronto, which had a revolving door of a roster before the shutdown due to injuries, missing 219 man games total — fifth worst in the NBA."I love it, he's in playoff mode right now," rookie Terence Davis said of Gasol. "He'll probably tell you that himself . . . He looks really, really good, he's moving really well. He looks like prime Marc to me ... it's scary."Sunday was the Raptors' second practice at Disney World, which is hosting 22 teams in the NBA's restart despite Florida being a global hot spot for the coronavirus. On Sunday, the state reported 15,299 positive tests, the largest single-day increase in positive COVID-19 cases in any state. Florida now has nearly 270,000 cases.Another appearance in the Finals would see the defending NBA champions stay at Disney World until early October. Since families can't join players on the NBA campus until the second round of the playoffs, the Raptors tried to create a feeling of home for the players. They arrived in their hotel rooms to framed family photos.Waiting in Davis's room was a photo of him and his son Hasaan, who recently turned one, and another of his family at a college game."(The photos) meant a lot, man. It felt like they really care," Davis said. "Obviously I miss my son every day, just being without him, but one day he'll understand what daddy does for a living."While there's videos of players fishing and playing cornhole at Disney World on social media, the Raptors have apparently stuck close to their hotel so far."Getting out on campus, it's not really ideal right now. I'm just trying to get the hang of things and how things are going, like breakfast is sometimes in my room and sometimes it's in the meal room," Davis said. "Maybe I'll venture out but right now it's really about business."Nurse concurred. The farthest he's ventured beyond the hotel and the court was taking an alternate outdoor path to the meal room."I'm not planning on doing much looking around, to be honest with you," he said. "I'm good with working and getting back to the room."There've been complaints about the food in the Disney bubble, but Nurse would only say "it has been a great help for me trying to cut a few (pounds), it's been fitting right in with that plan, so all good, all good."The Raptors' days are scheduled around a hodge-podge of practice times scheduled within a three-hour block.Nurse said being ready to go at a different time each day is part of the new normal."You can't expect there to be all the structure you may want. You kinda accept that, I think all of us for four months have lost the rhythm of our lives, the ways we probably want them to set up," Nurse said. "You've just kind of gotta be open-minded and adaptable and just kind of take it."This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 12, 2020.Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press
Author: The Canadian Press
Posted: July 12, 2020, 7:02 pm
Justin Thomas and Collin Morikawa were in a battle in a playoff at Muirfield Village on Sunday.
Author: Yahoo Sports
Posted: July 12, 2020, 6:55 pm
NEW YORK — Yankees slugger Aaron Judge was held out of action for a second straight day Sunday due to a stiff neck.The 2017 AL Rookie of the Year was scratched from a simulated game Saturday after waking up with a sore neck, and the right fielder was not included in either lineup for an intrasquad scrimmage Sunday.New York manager Aaron Boone said Judge got treatment at Yankee Stadium on Sunday and was improving.“Just thought it was better not to push through it today,� Boone said.The Yankees are set to open a pandemic-shortened season July 23 at Washington.Judge was diagnosed with a broken rib in March and used the coronavirus hiatus to recover. He had been swinging at full strength for at least a couple of weeks before camp opened and had been a full-go in intrasquad action over the past week.The 6-foot-7 star has missed time each of the past two seasons. He broke his right wrist on a hit-by-pitch in 2018 and went on the injured list for two months last year with a left oblique strain.Right-hander Masahiro Tanaka played catch Sunday to 100 feet and is ramping up his cardio but remains in concussion protocol. The Japanese starter was hit in the head by Giancarlo Stanton's 112 mph line drive eight days ago. Boone is still uncertain when Tanaka will return to the mound.Boone said Clint Frazier is expected to resume playing the outfield this week after being limited to designated hitter so far due to plantar fasciitis in his right foot.___Follow Jake Seiner: https://twitter.com/Jake_Seiner___More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsJake Seiner, The Associated Press
Author: The Canadian Press
Posted: July 12, 2020, 6:06 pm
With even Europa League qualification an uphill climb, one of the Premier League's best rivalries felt as insignificant as it has in a long time.
Author: Yahoo Sports
Posted: July 12, 2020, 6:01 pm
A young boy has been arrested in England for sending racist messages to soccer player Wilfried Zaha.
Author: Yahoo Sports
Posted: July 12, 2020, 5:53 pm
BIRMINGHAM, England — Trezeguet scored twice as Aston Villa boosted its slim chances of staying in the Premier League with a 2-0 victory against Crystal Palace on Sunday.The Egypt international scored in each half to hand third-from-last Villa its first win in 11 league games and move the team to within four points of safety with three games left.Palace’s run of five straight Premier League defeats is now manager Roy Hodgson’s equal worst sequence in the competition. But the south London club is safe at 12 points clear of the relegation zone.Palace will be without Christian Benteke for the final three games of the season. The former Villa striker was sent off after the final whistle for violent conduct after kicking out at Villa defender Ezri Konsa.“He wasn’t attempting to make any excuses,� Palace manager Roy Hodgson said. "Unfortunately he, like some other players, allowed himself to get heated.�Palace was denied a seventh-minute opening goal when it was decided an effort from Mamadou Sakho was handball, with Villa also having a penalty overturned later on.Dean Smith’s side had taken just two points out of their last 30 available and had scored twice in eight league games.Trezeguet’s opening goal was Villa’s first in 322 minutes, since Ahmed Elmohamady’s equalizer at Newcastle on June 24.Palace’s run of five straight Premier League defeats is now manager Roy Hodgson’s equal worst sequence in the competition. But the south London club is safe at 12 points clear of the relegation zone.___More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsThe Associated Press
Author: The Canadian Press
Posted: July 12, 2020, 5:49 pm
A prolific goal-scorer in college, Canadian forward Evelyne Viens has kicked off her pro career at the NWSL's Challenge Cup in Utah.And after a stop-start pre-season due to the global pandemic, the 23-year-old from L'Ancienne-Lorette, Que., is savouring her time with New Jersey's Sky Blue FC."It was a special feeling, for sure," Viens said of making her league debut off the bench against the OL Reign. "Being new in the league and just being able to play (soccer), I think it's an amazing feeling."But with everything (that happened), with the coronavirus, not knowing if we were even going to have a season, just being able to see soccer and play soccer with the best players in the world, it was a great feeling for me."Sky Blue (1-1-1) faces the unbeaten North Carolina Courage on Monday at Zions Bank Stadium in Herriman. The Courage (3-0-0) have already advanced to the tournament quarterfinals as top seed."Everyone knows how good they are," Viens said of the Courage, who won the league title in 2018 and '19 and were runners-up in 2017. "But I think just being able to put a good game plan and just being able to do what we do best and play our style of soccer, we can go there and hopefully win the game."The game looked to be a battle of Canadian goalkeepers, pitting North Carolina's Stephanie Labbe against Sky Blue's Kailen Sheridan. But Labbe, Canada's No. 1, was listed as questionable on the league injury report Sunday due to a "general medical" issue.Sky Blue is coming off a 2-0 win Wednesday over the Houston Dash that saw Viens come off the bench in the 82nd minute.Viens entered in the 77th minute of Sky Blue's tournament opener — a 0-0 tie June 30 with the OL Reign. She started the next game, playing the first half of Sky Blue's 1-0 loss to the Utah Royals on July 4. Viens was taken fifth overall at the Jan. 16 NWSL draft in Baltimore. Defender-midfielder Rebecca Quinn is the only Canadian to go higher, selected third overall in 2018 by the Washington Spirit.Viens' first crack at training camp lasted just five days because of the pandemic. She rode out the lockdown with other Sky Blue rookies before the teams returned to training."When we came back to soccer, it was such a great feeling just being able to do our job and what we love," she said. Viens turned heads at the University of South Florida, scoring 73 goals in 77 career games to set school and American Athletic Conference all-time records. Her 25 goals as a senior also set school and conference single-season marks.She showed time and time again that she can beat defenders and score from distance with a powerful shot. Her career 169 points and 360 shots were also school and conference records. She also set conference records for points per game (2.19), goals per game (0.95) and shots per game (4.68).Viens, a three-time All-American and 2019 Scholar All-American, was named AAC Offensive Player of the Week a conference-record six times in 2019.It's all the more impressive given Viens' English was limited when she started school in Florida.Former roommate Aubrey Megrath described Viens' English as "zero.""Every time we would talk like 'Hey, how are you?' every (answer) was, 'Good.' Anything you’d say to her, 'Good,'" Megrath told the Tampa Bay Times.Hard work and help from the school changed that.She had not planned to go to a U.S. college but caught the eye of a USF assistant coach who saw her play while scouting a player on the opposing team. They invited her to come see the school."One visit and I was like 'I think the Florida's the place for me.' It was a great chance to develop as a person and as a soccer player. It really turned my life around."Part of the reason Viens flew under the radar was she was not part of Quebec's provincial team, because it would have meant leaving her family to go to Montreal. Viens was selected for Canada's provisional roster for the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament in January but did not make the final roster. She hopes she can play her way into a Canadian camp invitation."I would like to represent my country but at the same time I just want one chance in camp, just to be able to learn from the best there and be able to compete with them. That would be a great opportunity."North Carolina defeated Sky Blue 3-2 when they met in the 2019 regular-season finale. This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 12, 2020.\---Follow @NeilMDavidson on TwitterNeil Davidson, The Canadian Press
Author: The Canadian Press
Posted: July 12, 2020, 5:40 pm
MLB's only international franchise may need to temporarily relocate to the states for the upcoming shortened season.
Author: Yahoo Sports
Posted: July 12, 2020, 5:05 pm
COVID-19 impacted the MLS is Back Tournament again Sunday, with a pair of test results on the eve of kickoff prompting Toronto FC's opening match to be called off.MLS deputy commissioner Mark Abbott made the announcement just minutes before the scheduled 9 a.m. ET start at ESPN's Wide World of Sports complex in the Orlando area.The league said a round of pre-game testing Saturday had returned a positive test for a D.C. United player and an inconclusive test for a Toronto player. The positive test is considered unconfirmed until backed up by a second test.Both players and teams were retested Sunday morning. The match will be rescheduled once results of those tests come back, Abbott said.The tournament has already lost FC Dallas and Nashville SC due to a rash of positive COVID-19 tests."We believe the tournament can still be conducted safely," Abbott told a virtual conference call Sunday morning. "And if at the point we determine it can't, obviously we would make a decision then."In the case of Dallas and Nashville, the decision was made that based on the extent of the positive tests in those teams (and) their ability to train, that the more prudent course was to withdraw them."But we had established a set of protocols that are working as they were designed, which is to identify players that have had positive tests for COVID-19, to remove and separate them from the team and isolate them. And to continue the process of testing the other players ... We view this (case) as the process working."It marked the second delay for both Toronto and D.C. United. They were supposed to meet Friday night but the game was pushed back to Sunday due to Toronto's late arrival at the tournament because of the need for additional COVID-19 testing in the wake of a player reporting symptoms.Under league protocols, players who test positive are isolated while those who test negative "move forward." Abbott said because Toronto only arrived last Monday, the decision was made to await the results of tests conducted Sunday morning before playing the game."When we receive the results of those two complete team retests, we'll be in a position to know when the game could be rescheduled," said Abbott.The deputy commissioner said the results of Saturday's tests came back late Saturday or early Sunday."Obviously it happened over a brief period of time but we were committed to making the right decision," he said.It added to an already stressful morning for the teams given the unusually early kickoff time — made to avoid the Florida heat. Both Toronto captain Michael Bradley and striker Jozy Altidore had criticized the 9 a.m. start, saying it was not conducive to good football.Toronto's pre-game meal was scheduled for 5:30 a.m. As it was, the team never left the league hotel — located a five- or 10-minute bus ride from the playing field.D.C. United players did arrive, leaving soon after."To every DC United supporter, our families & friends, I'm sorry you woke up so early to see us play, to then have the match postponed AGAIN," tweeted D.C. goalkeeper Bill Hamid. "Especially after so many people planned originally to watch the game which was meant to play on Friday! Have a beautiful Sunday regardless."While all 24 remaining teams are staying in the same hotel, they are isolated from each other in the MLS tournament bubble. Players and other personnel are tested every other day.Outside, the number of positive cases continues to climb.On Sunday, Florida reported 15,300 new cases over the last 24 hours — a single-day record in the U.S. since the start of the pandemic.Toronto's next game is Wednesday against the rival Montreal Impact. D.C. United faces New England on Thursday.There were some surprises in Toronto's planned starting 11 Sunday.While it fielded the same back five as it had in its last league game March 7, there were four changes further forward. Bradley and Argentine newcomer Pablo Piatti, who both missed the opening two games of the season, were to return from injury.Tsubasa Endoh and Ako Akinola were also in the starting 11.Altidore did not make the matchday 23. He was late joining the team after spending the lockdown at his Florida home and had to train on his own while fulfilling quarantine.Canadian midfielder Jonathan Osorio also was not slated to dress.Sunday's Sporting Kansas City against Minnesota United game was scheduled to go ahead despite confirmation Friday by Kansas City that one of its players had tested positive.The tournament is the first action for the league since it suspended play March 12 due to the global pandemic. This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 12, 2020.Neil Davidson, The Canadian Press
Author: The Canadian Press
Posted: July 12, 2020, 4:57 pm
Minty Bets and Kevin Iole preview the main event at UFC Fight Night in Abu Dhabi between Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Joseph Benavidez.
Author: Yahoo Sports Videos
Posted: July 12, 2020, 4:52 pm
Minty Bets and Kevin Iole preview the main event at UFC Fight Night between Calvin Kattar vs. Dan Ige.
Author: Yahoo Sports Videos
Posted: July 12, 2020, 4:33 pm
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Rob Pimental spent a good amount of time thinking about everything the Miami Heat would need for what could be a three-month trip to Walt Disney World.He is the Heat equipment manager. Every jersey, sock, sneaker, whatever the team needs, it’s his responsibility to have it ready. So, when it came time to figure out what was getting packed for Disney, Pimental came to a realization.“Pretty much everything,� said Pimental, who confessed to having a few sleepless nights of worrying. “I’m the type of guy who wants everything on hand, so I literally packed up my entire equipment room and brought it with me.�He’s not alone.All 22 teams in the NBA restart had to pack more than ever, for a road trip like none other. Every team is assured of spending at least five weeks at Disney, and some could be there for three months. The challenges for players and coaches are obvious, but the challenge for equipment managers — among the unsung heroes of this restart plan — aren’t anywhere near as visible to those watching games from afar.“This is what equipment managers were built for, honestly,� Orlando Magic equipment manager Jacob Diamond said. “We have some of the smartest guys around the league that do what I do and at the end of the day, for us, it’s really no job too big, no job too small. Our coaches are relying on us, our players, and this is history right here. So, it’s kind of cool to be a part of it — even though it’s extra work.�For this trip, Diamond has a two-room suite in the hotel that the Magic are calling home.It’s not a perk. He needed the space.Luggage is lined up around all four walls, with more bags in the middle of the room, along with a clothes rack, a large trunk and a bunch of bright blue bags with the Magic logo stacked over by the sliding door that leads to the balcony. He knows the contents of each, where every item is, so if Nikola Vucevic needs a certain pair of socks or Aaron Gordon needs a certain type of compression gear, Diamond finds it in a flash.“I made sure I overpacked for this rather than underpacked,� Diamond said. “It’s not so easy to have things sent here. I’d rather have things here, ready to go, so here we are.�Toronto Raptors equipment manager Paul Elliott prides himself on typically taking only what he needs. He tends to take 45 bags on a standard road trip; by NBA standards, that is packing light.Not this time. For this trip, Elliott’s count was 176 bags.And while most teams only had to move their operation once — from their home facility to Disney — Elliott had to pack the Raptors up twice, first from Toronto to their pre-camp workouts at Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, and then again to get the stuff up to Disney.“I looked at it as what they were going to take for a two-week Western road trip, took what I would usually pack for that, and kind of quadrupled it,� Elliott said. “I just had to make sure I had enough options for these guys to accommodate them when they need. I just want to be prepared.�More gear is on the way.By the time games start, the 22 teams will have more than 4,000 jerseys between them. Every team brought three sets of uniforms — typically, two jerseys each for each player. Then the decision was made to give players at Disney the opportunity to wear jerseys with a message raising awareness about social injustice and racial inequality, and those huge shipments are expected to arrive in the next few days.When Elliott started unloading the Raptors’ 176 bags, several staff members who aren’t usually tasked with helping with equipment ran to his aid. More bags will be going back to Toronto when the season ends; Elliott had his assistant send him empty ones to accommodate the new jerseys.“We’ve got the greatest staff for that sort of thing,� Elliott said. “Nobody’s above anything. They just want to make sure it’s done properly.�Washington coach Scott Brooks said the Wizards are using a similar everybody-must-help approach, and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra insisted his team do the same.“There’s an absolute understanding that this is an all-hands-on-deck situation,� Spoelstra said. “And that means bags, laundry, cleanup, everything — not just for equipment managers, but everybody. ... We’re all going to be involved in every aspect of it.�Days will be long for equipment managers. Each team only sent one; it’s not unusual for two equipment personnel to travel, but that wasn’t possible on this trip because of the restrictions on the amount of people who can be in the NBA bubble.Extra work will add up as well. After practices or games, equipment managers will have to load up the sweaty gear, take it back to the hotel, then call a shuttle to pick them up and take them to the laundry facility built for the restart — 66 washers and 66 dryers, all lined up inside what once was a batting cage at the Atlanta Braves’ former spring training complex.There’s also a code among the equipment managers. While the 22 teams will be trying to beat each other, the equipment staffs are working together and helping one another where possible.“We all understand each other’s daily battles,� Diamond said, “because we share the same ones.�The real comforts of home are gone for the next several weeks. The trick, Pimental said, is making sure players don’t have to worry about getting what they need.“It’s something we’ve never done before,� Pimental said. “But we’ll make it work.�___More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsTim Reynolds, The Associated Press
Author: The Canadian Press
Posted: July 12, 2020, 4:17 pm
Check out highlights from Saturday night’s loaded card at Fight Island.
Author: Yahoo Sports Videos
Posted: July 12, 2020, 4:04 pm
Montreal Canadiens forward Max Domi will wait seven to 10 days before deciding if he will join his teammates at training camp.Domi, who has Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease, and the team have agreed on the waiting period before making a call on whether he'll return in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.Training camp for all 24 teams in the NHL's return starts Monday.Domi had 17 goals and 27 assists in 71 games this season.The season is scheduled to restart with a best-of-five qualifying round beginning Aug. 1 in Toronto and Edmonton. The Canadiens will face the Pittsburgh Penguins in Toronto.This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 12, 2020.The Canadian Press
Author: The Canadian Press
Posted: July 12, 2020, 3:30 pm
Brad Treliving joked recently NHL coaches only need a couple video sessions to prepare for an opponent, find a weakness, correct a problem or add a wrinkle.So what about 142 days?"Every game might end 0-0," the Calgary Flames general manager quipped.With summer training camps set to open Monday as the NHL lurches forward in its plan to restart a season stopped in its tracks four months ago by COVID-19, the temptation might be to spring a surprise or two — maybe a new power-play setup or a tweak to the penalty kill — when the games return Aug. 1.Coaches for the 24 teams set to feature in the league's return have had ample time to plan, brainstorm and re-assess their systems and rosters. The 16 taking part in the best-of-five qualifying round have known for nearly seven weeks which opponent they'd be lining up against if the league got back up and running. But don't expect to see massive changes — especially early — from the men standing behind the benches in those empty arenas in Toronto and Edmonton once the puck is dropped.They have enough to worry about when it comes to their own players."Every coach is going to look at and break down the opponent and have a game plan to attack," continued Treliving, whose club will take on the Winnipeg Jets in the qualifying round. "But because of the uniqueness of this time, there's more of a focus to get your team ready. I remember last year preparing for the playoffs and we're sitting there going, 'What are we going to do with the four days between our last regular-season game (and the playoffs)?'"We thought we had two months to prepare last year and we were dealing with four days. You're dealing with four months here. So the focus for the 24 teams is how do we get up to speed? How do we get to our 'A' game when we haven't played for so long?"Like most teams, Montreal Canadiens head coach Claude Julien and his staff met remotely via video conference on a regular basis after the NHL suspended the schedule because of the pandemic in mid-March.And after it was announced they'd be facing the Pittsburgh Penguins in the qualifying round, those preparations ramped up significantly."I'm a believer that as a coach you can never get too much information — as much as you can get is great," Julien said. "The important part is what you share with your players. That's where you have to be careful."Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan said his focus will be shaking off the rust and getting his group prepared for a situation that will see teams go from zero to 100 in short order."There are significant challenges from a mindset standpoint and making sure that we get out of the summer hockey mode or the social distancing skates into real competitive hockey," he said. "Because that's what we're going to be faced with in a short period of time."But Toronto Maple Leafs winger Zach Hyman, whose club is set to face the Columbus Blue Jackets in the qualifying round for a spot in the usual 16-team playoffs, still believes there could be some subtle changes around the league."This is the unknown," he said. "When you go in from the regular season into playoffs, you don't really tweak too much, you just kind of roll into the playoffs, rolling off your momentum from the regular season. This is a completely different beast, where what you watched a couple months ago may not be the team that you're playing against in the summer. It's almost like a brand new year with the same rosters."It'll be interesting to see how everything turns out around the league with the long layoff."Canucks defenceman Christopher Tanev said he expects Vancouver's coaches to have plenty to share about the Minnesota Wild."I'm sure they'll have a lot of information," he said with a smile. "They'll know every little detail about the team and every player."The Wild, however, shouldn't expect more than the basics on the other side."It's unique that we've known who we're playing here for a while," Minnesota interim head coach Dean Evason said. "The challenge, at least for our group, is we don't want to overload them."The Boston Bruins are in a slightly different position as one of the top-4 teams in the Eastern Conference. They'll take part in round-robin games against Washington, Tampa Bay and Philadelphia to determine the No. 1 seed on that side of the playoff bracket, but the Bruins won't know their first-round opponent until after the qualifiers."We're not going to introduce a whole lot of new concepts," Boston head coach Bruce Cassidy said. "Even though you've had a lot of time to dream up a lot of different things, I don't know if it's the best time — a short turnaround with a lot of the line — to start messing too much with your game."We're going to try to keep it as simple as we can."For all the time coaches have had, that might end up being their best play. This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 12, 2020.___Follow @JClipperton_CP on TwitterJoshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press
Author: The Canadian Press
Posted: July 12, 2020, 3:02 pm
NBA players tweeted #FreeWoj to support the veteran NBA reporter after ESPN reportedly suspended him.
Author: Yahoo Sports
Posted: July 12, 2020, 2:43 pm
MLS has postponed Sunday morning’s match between D.C. United and Toronto FC after a player "produced an initial unconfirmed positive COVID-19" test.
Author: Yahoo Sports
Posted: July 12, 2020, 1:52 pm
WOLVERHAMPTON, England — Wolverhampton brushed aside an uninspired Everton 3-0 in the Premier League on Sunday to keep its faint hopes of a Champions League place alive.After a slow start at Molineux, Wolves slowly took control and went in to the break 1-0 ahead after scoring in first-half injury time through Raul Jimenez.The home side doubled its lead 46 seconds into the second half when Leander Dendoncker glanced in.Diogo Jota made it 3-0 with 16 minutes remaining when he latched onto a brilliant pass and rifled low past a helpless Jordan Pickford in the Everton goal.The win moves Wolves up to sixth place in the table and within three points of Manchester United in the last Champions League position.The Associated Press
Author: The Canadian Press
Posted: July 12, 2020, 1:12 pm
BARCELONA, Spain — Antoine Griezmann could miss the rest of the Spanish league because of a muscle injury.Barcelona said tests conducted on Sunday showed that Griezmann has a right thigh injury that will keep him sidelined.The club did not say how long the Frenchman is expected to be out, but he is not expected to fully recover for Barcelona's last two league matches. It also remains unclear if he will be fit for the team's Champions League game against Napoli in August.Barcelona is one point behind Spanish league leader Real Madrid, which visits midtable Granada on Monday.Griezmann was substituted at halftime of Barcelona's 1-0 win at Valladolid on Saturday.___More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsThe Associated Press
Author: The Canadian Press
Posted: July 12, 2020, 11:52 am
COVID-19 and the threat it poses to the NHL's plan to restart the 2019-20 season remains the overarching storyline as 24 teams prepare to open summer training camps Monday before heading to the hub cities of Edmonton and Toronto on July 26. With that firmly in mind, The Canadian Press takes a look at some of the hockey-related themes as the six clubs from north of the 49th parallel prepare to gather together as full groups for the first time since the schedule was suspended March 12. CALGARY FLAMESThe Flames will take on the Winnipeg Jets in the only all-Canadian matchup of the best-of-five qualifying round that leads into the usual 16-team playoff bracket. Calgary is slated to be without Travis Hamonic after he opted out of the return plan due to "family considerations." Calgary will miss the steady defenceman against Winnipeg's firepower up front, but perhaps even more pressing will be the need for Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan to find their offensive games against Vezina Trophy candidate Connor Hellebuyck in the Jets' goal following sub-par regular seasons. The Flames will also need a big performance from winger/leading scorer/general pest Matthew Tkachuk after Calgary was stunned by Colorado in the first round of last spring's playoffs following a 107-point campaign. EDMONTON OILERSLed by Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, the Oilers are set to take on the Blackhawks in the qualifying round. Edmonton sat 11 points clear of Chicago at the time the NHL suspended its schedule. Draisaitl won the regular-season scoring race with 110 points, 13 ahead of the second-place McDavid. Edmonton has the benefit of not having to travel to its hub city, and knows Rogers Place well, but that's where the advantage of playing in the Oilers' home rink probably ends. They also won't have Mike Green, who was acquired at the trade deadline from the Detroit Red Wings, after the blue-liner also chose to opt out, citing "deeply personal family health reasons." The Blackhawks were all but eliminated from playoff contention back in March, but were handed a lifeline by the NHL's return-to-play plan. The series looks like a mismatch on paper, but don't discount the pedigree of a team led by three-time Stanley Cup champions Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane. MONTREAL CANADIENSLike the Blackhawks, the Canadiens were playing out the string back in March, but now find themselves with an opportunity to write an incredible story. Montreal will take on the Pittsburgh Penguins, who sat 15 points clear of the Habs at the time the league shut down, in the qualifying round. The Canadiens suffered through two excruciating eight-game losing streaks this season, and were also cut down by a number of injuries. And while they'll be heavy underdogs against Pittsburgh's battle-tested group led by Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, Montreal has playoff experience of its own in Shea Weber, Brendan Gallagher and Carey Price. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFSThe Leafs were experiencing a rollercoaster season before the pandemic struck. From off-ice controversy, to finally naming a captain, to a coaching change, to playing well below expectations, Toronto's 2019-20 was never dull. Now the club will take on the Columbus Blue Jackets in the qualifying round for the right to make the playoffs. Auston Matthews took a big step forward, having already set career-highs with 47 goals and 80 points when the schedule was halted. But after The Toronto Sun reported last month the star centre tested positive for COVID-19, there are obvious questions about his ability to play at the highest level when the games start to count Aug. 1. Toronto has plenty of firepower apart from Matthews, including Mitch Marner, John Tavares and William Nylander, but the play of netminder Frederik Andersen could be the difference against a bruising Columbus team that will get a big boost with the return of a healthy Seth Jones on its blue line. VANCOUVER CANUCKSAnother contrast in styles sees the Canucks take on the Wild in the qualifiers. Vancouver is led by its young core of Elias Pettersson, Quinn Hughes and Brock Boeser. Hughes and Pettersson both said recently they felt physically refreshed after the long break forced on the league by the coronavirus. Both can expect plenty of attention from Minnesota's veteran roster and strong defence corps led by Ryan Suter. How they deal with that could be the difference. Vancouver goalie Jacob Markstrom is the main reason the Canucks looked primed to make the playoffs for the first time since 2015 before the campaign was shut down. Vancouver's thin on post-season experience, but that could be a good thing in a scenario like no other. WINNIPEG JETSAfter the Jets lost some massive pieces on their blue line last summer, Hellebuyck stepped up and kept Winnipeg in the fight. The netminder was 31-21-5 with a 9.22 save percentage and a 2.57 goals-against average in 2019-20 and is the main reason the Jets found themselves in a playoff spot back in March. Winnipeg and Calgary played just once in the regular season, and that was an outdoor game in Regina, so neither team has much to go on in terms of recent head-to-head play. Kyle Connor scored 38 times for the Jets this season, while Mark Scheifele (29), Patrik Laine (28) and Blake Wheeler (22) also cracked the 20-goal mark.This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 12, 2020.___Follow @JClipperton_CP on TwitterJoshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press
Author: The Canadian Press
Posted: July 12, 2020, 11:00 am
It won’t be so easy for Usman against Burns, whose style, both personally and professionally, couldn’t be more different than Masvidal’s.
Author: Yahoo Sports
Posted: July 12, 2020, 7:48 am
Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole breaks down UFC 251's title fights.
Author: Yahoo Sports Videos
Posted: July 12, 2020, 6:26 am
After all the bitter talk and Masvidal promising to “baptize� Usman, they embraced after the fight and seemed to end their feud.
Author: Yahoo Sports
Posted: July 12, 2020, 6:10 am
Judges had it 48-47 twice for Volkanovski and 48-47 for Holloway. Yahoo Sports had it 49-46 for Holloway.
Author: Yahoo Sports
Posted: July 12, 2020, 5:08 am
Jose Aldo was on his knees and not fighting back at the end of his UFC 251 match. The ref waited quite a while before stepping in.
Author: Yahoo Sports
Posted: July 12, 2020, 4:43 am
Aldo looked like the Aldo of old in the second, but Yan showed the composure of a champion and came back strong in the third to turn the tide of his fight.
Author: Yahoo Sports
Posted: July 12, 2020, 4:12 am
With the NBA's return looming in Disney World, ESPN is suspending its star reporter.
Author: Yahoo Sports
Posted: July 12, 2020, 3:24 am
Hardaway's Memphis team underperformed last season. That was apparently the cause of a shooting between family members.
Author: Yahoo Sports
Posted: July 12, 2020, 2:40 am
Multiple players have publicly doubted to the efficacy of the bubble.
Author: Yahoo Sports
Posted: July 12, 2020, 1:48 am
Roman Polak of the Stars and Mike Green of the Oilers are opting out of playing, and Lightning captain Steven Stamkos will try to play after recovering from injury.In the aftermath of a deal being struck to resume the NHL season, Aug. 1, Green, Polak and three other players joined Calgary defenceman Travis Hamonic in choosing not to participate in the expanded 24-team playoffs."Due to the uncertainties surrounding COVID-19 and after much consideration, I’ve decided for deeply personal family health reasons not to participate in the return to play,� Green said in a statement. After a trade from Detroit, the defenceman played two games for Edmonton before injuring his right knee.Boston’s Steven Kampfer, Montreal’s Karl Alzner and Vancouver’s Sven Baertschi also decided to opt out. Kampfer, who played 10 games with the Bruins this season, said his wife and son have a congenital defect that could cause complications with the virus and called it “one of the hardest decisions� he has had to make.Polak is a pending free agent who last month agreed to a deal in his native Czech Republic next season and told reporters there he wasn't planning on returning to the NHL if play resumed. Baertschi, who spent most of this season in the minors, is under contract through 2020-21.“Sven informed us late yesterday that he has chosen to opt out of the NHL return to play program," Canucks general manager Jim Benning said. "It was a difficult decision but ultimately one we respect and understand.�The Lightning won't have Stamkos at 100% for the opening of camp because of a lower-body injury, but they're optimistic he'll be ready when games get under way in early August. GM Julien BriseBois said Stamkos fully recovered from core muscle surgery in early March but was injured again during voluntary workouts.“We don’t have a specific timeline for when he will be a full participant in camp, but we expect he will be ready in time for games,� BriseBois said. “He’s here, he’s skating, he’s been getting treatment, he’s been coming to Amalie (Arena) doing his dry land work. But he will not be a full participant on Day One of training camp."While Stamkos has a better chance of being ready for Tampa Bay's next game than he would have after surgery if the playoffs had started in mid-April, the Flames will have to cope without Hamonic when they open their series against Winnipeg on Aug. 1.Hamonic became the first player to publicly choose not to play in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Hamonic's daughter was hospitalized last year with respiratory issues, and he and his wife also have a baby boy. Their health concerns, not the soon-to-be 30-year-old's impending free agency, led him to opt out.“I wish I could lace up my skates and be out there battling, blocking a shot and helping my team win, but my family has and always will come first,� Hamonic said. “Being my little kids’ dad every day is the most important job I have. I love this game and my team. This is a decision that is extremely hard for me to make."The Lightning already got a pandemic scare when three players and additional staff tested positive for the novel coronavirus last month. The positive test results forced the team to close its facilities for a brief period of time.The Minnesota Wild, who face the Canucks in the qualifying round, ruled out defenceman Greg Pateryn indefinitely with an upper-body injury. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly said Saturday the league will be taking over injury and illness disclosure from teams as a way of protecting player privacy.“Medical privacy is important in this process,� Daly said. “Having said that, we understand as a league we have an obligation of some transparency with respect to the COVID virus in particular, so at least for now we’re going to maintain a policy where the league is announcing on basically league numbers and clubs are really prohibited from giving any information with respect to COVID test results, and, for purposes of making the system work, any injury information going forward.�___For more AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsStephen Whyno, The Associated Press
Author: The Canadian Press
Posted: July 12, 2020, 1:46 am
ANAHEIM, Calif. — Albert Pujols' 20th season in the majors is about to begin with the Los Angeles Angels. When it does, the 40-year-old slugger is likely to be the oldest player in the big leagues.Although time has chipped away at Pujols' mountainous talent, he has never believed his advancing age will prevent him from putting up more big numbers on the diamond. His recent years of diminishing overall production have been counterbalanced by still-steady power numbers, and they have done nothing to hurt his confidence — particularly as he heads into this short season with big plans.After struggling through injuries that slowed him earlier in his 10-year contract with the Angels, the three-time MVP is feeling better than he has in years as he heads into the ninth season of that mammoth $240 million deal. He fervently hopes this will be the year when the Angels finally get their first playoff victories of his tenure.“When you don’t have that hunger and that joy and that passion coming to the ballpark and hanging out with your teammates, that’s when you walk away,� Pujols said Saturday. "The game will let you know. But I still feel like I was in 2001 with the Cardinals, when I came to camp to make that ballclub. I still have that hunger and that desire.�Pujols is still a key component of the Angels' lineup even though his West Coast numbers have never reached his St. Louis prime. He is eager to build on last season, when his 23 homers gave him 656 for his career, putting him just behind Willie Mays (660) for fifth place in baseball history.Pujols believes he can do it because he's healthy. He is nearly two years removed from three surgeries that were necessary after the 2018 campaign."Being healthy brought me more joy for the game,� he said. “Talk to any athlete, and you start going through injuries and tough parts of your career, and you start doubting yourself. When you stay healthy like I have, it’s like, ‘Wow, this how it felt when I was 25 and in my 30s.’�Pujols is likely to be the Angels' regular first baseman, according to new manager Joe Maddon, who understands both Pujols' limitations and exceptional qualities.“He is definitely a Level 5, ‘All I want to do is win’ guy,� Maddon said. “He has been there, done that before. I’m watching him hustle on and off the field, running to first base, (and) to say he gets it is ridiculous. He’s gotten it for so many years.�Pujols believes he can stay healthy while pushing himself to the limit in a shortened season, realizing the importance of every at-bat in this truncated time frame. Although he has never been a particularly fast starter, with his career batting average in April ranking as the worst of any month in his career (.280), he doesn't feel like he's starting cold this season at the height of summer.“Right out of the gate, you need to be ready to go,� he said. “You don't have a lot of games to wake up. It's a short season. ... I think you need to take every day, every game like it's the last game of your life, pretty much.�Pujols received widespread praise earlier in the pandemic when he agreed to pay the salaries of the Angels' staffers in the Dominican Republic for five months. The Angels have been particularly aggressive among major league clubs in cutting expenses during the pandemic by furloughing or dropping employees.Pujols said he didn't write the check to earn praise, or because it was for his fellow Dominicans.“I felt in my heart that I was capable to help those people,� Pujols said. “It's something that I felt was needed.�___More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsGreg Beacham, The Associated Press
Author: The Canadian Press
Posted: July 12, 2020, 12:39 am
Terry Gray had already been suspended from the sport for sexual misconduct with a minor.
Author: Yahoo Sports
Posted: July 12, 2020, 12:00 am
NEW YORK — Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman has tested positive for the coronavirus and is experiencing mild symptoms.New York manager Aaron Boone said Saturday that Chapman “overall is doing well� but “will not be here for the foreseeable future.�The AL East champions are scheduled to start the virus-delayed season on July 23 at Washington.Hours after Chapman's diagnosis, Yankees slugger Aaron Judge was scratched from a simulated game with a stiff neck. The 2017 AL Rookie of the Year was set to bat second and play right field at Yankee Stadium but was taken out of the lineup shortly before first pitch.Judge declared himself “game ready� earlier this week after being diagnosed with a broken rib in March. The 6-foot-7 slugger used the coronavirus shutdown to get healthy and had been swinging at full strength for at least a couple of weeks before reporting for preseason camp last week.Boone said Judge's neck “locked up" but he doesn't expect it to be a long-term issue.“Hopefully he can be in there tomorrow,� he said.Chapman threw a bullpen session Tuesday, and Boone wouldn't comment on whether the left-hander had been at Yankee Stadium since. Boone said the team had done contact tracing, and no other players or personnel would be forced to isolate because of Chapman's positive test.“We’re following all protocols,� Boone said. “We have not had any other positive tests. We adhere to all the contact tracing things. We feel like we’ve handled it and are handling it.�“Again, you know, this is something that even moving forward, a positive test is probably going to come our way. It's about doing all the things that hopefully as a whole keep us safe and healthy,� he said.Through the first week of monitor testing across all 30 major league camps, 17 out of 7,401 samples produced positives, a 0.2% rate far below the national average around 9%. Atlanta star Freddie Freeman, Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez, Colorado outfielder Charlie Blackmon and Texas slugger Joey Gallo are among the players to miss time due to COVID-19.The list now includes the 32-year-old Chapman, a six-time All-Star with 273 career saves, including 37 last season when he had a 2.21 ERA.New York is also without infielder DJ LeMahieu and right-hander Luis Cessa, who both tested positive prior to the start of preseason camp last week and are still isolating at home.“It’s obviously just another reminder," Boone said, "that we have to be vigilant as far as wearing our masks when possible, the distance, the decisions we’re making away from the field, to best we can stay out of harm’s way.�The Yankees will open their regular season against the World Series champion Nationals. If Chapman isn't back by then, Boone said left-hander Zack Britton would be a “natural guy� to replace him, but a formal decision hasn't been made. The 32-year-old Britton has 145 career saves, most coming with Baltimore from 2014-17.“Britton has been an elite closer in this game for a long time," Boone said.Right-handed starter Masahiro Tanaka played catch on the field Saturday, one week after he was hit in the head by Giancarlo Stanton's 112 mph line drive. Tanaka is still in concussion protocol and the club doesn't yet have a timeline for his return to the mound. Boone said Tanaka is responding well to treatment and testing.___Follow Jake Seiner: https://twitter.com/Jake_Seiner___More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsJake Seiner, The Associated Press
Author: The Canadian Press
Posted: July 11, 2020, 11:32 pm
A strong majority of players have opted to wear NBA-approved social justice messages on their jerseys.
Author: Yahoo Sports
Posted: July 11, 2020, 11:03 pm
A look at what’s happening around European soccer on Sunday:ITALYNapoli coach Gennaro Gattuso revisits his past when he faces AC Milan as an opponent for the first time. Milan, of course, is the team with which Gattuso won two Serie As and two Champions Leagues as a player. Milan was also the team that Gattuso coached from 2017 to 2019 before he left by mutual consent at the end of last season. Both Napoli and Milan have performed well lately, with Napoli having won the Italian Cup and Milan coming off a comeback win over Juventus. In other games, it’s: Genoa vs. Spal; Cagliari vs. Lecce; Fiorentina vs. Hellas Verona; Parma vs. Bologna; and Udinese vs. Sampdoria.ENGLANDLeicester can move back into third place in the Premier League with a win at Bournemouth, which is looking increasingly likely to be relegated. Chelsea’s loss at Sheffield United has given Leicester the opportunity to reclaim third spot with three matches remaining in the race for Champions League qualification. Bournemouth is six points adrift of safety after Watford and West Ham won on Saturday. Tottenham hosts Arsenal in a north London derby with consequences for Europa League qualification. One point separates the rivals who are realistically out of the running for the Champions League places. Wolverhampton hosts Everton and second-to-last Aston Villa desperately needs to beat Crystal Palace at home if it is to stay up.SPAINJulen Lopetegui’s Sevilla hosts a relegation-threatened Mallorca seeking a win to clinch Spain’s last Champions League berth for next season. Sevilla is undefeated in 12 straight Spanish league games and is finishing the season strong with three wins in a row. It will be without injured goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik, meaning Yassine Bounou will defend the net. Athletic Bilbao and Valencia are trying to stay in the fight for a Europa League berth in their respective matches at Levante and relegation-threatened Leganés. Eibar faces the already-relegated Espanyol trying not to slip into the drop zone.___More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsThe Associated Press
Author: The Canadian Press
Posted: July 11, 2020, 11:02 pm
ROME — The little squad from Bergamo can play with the big boys.If anyone still doubted Atalanta’s credentials in Serie A or the Champions League, a 2-2 draw at eight-time defending Italian champion Juventus on Saturday showed just how competitive “the Dea� can be.Juventus needed two penalties from Cristiano Ronaldo -- including a 90th-minute equalizer -- to prevent Atalanta from winning its 12th straight match in all competitions.“We faced the team that has the best form in Europe right now,� Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri said. “Playing against Atalanta is an enormous problem right now -- not just for us but for everyone.�Duván Zapata gave Atalanta an early lead before Ronaldo equalized for the first time after the break. Then second-half substitute Ruslan Malinovskyi scored 10 minutes from time to set up a late assault from Juventus.“We wanted to see where we were at, because we’re going to be facing teams like this in the Champions League,� Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini said. “We were able to do everything we intended to do.�Still, Juventus stretched its lead over second-placed Lazio to eight points. Although with six rounds remaining, third-placed Atalanta -- which is one point further back -- might be the Bianconeri’s biggest challenger.Motivated to play for Bergamo, which has had more than 6,000 deaths from the coronavirus, Atalanta is shaping up as a dangerous opponent for Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League quarterfinals.The highest-scoring team in Italy threatened from the start and Zapata completed a give-and-go with Alejandro “Papu� Gómez before firing in a low shot for his 15th goal of the season.A handball from Marten de Roon led to Ronaldo’s first penalty, then Atalanta had more chances before Malinovskyi drilled in a powerful shot from the edge of the area after being set up by fellow substitute Luis Muriel.Muriel, however, was whistled for a handball to set up Ronaldo’s second penalty and, just like the first one, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner converted his spot kick into the left corner of the net.With 28 goals in 28 games, Ronaldo moved within one score of Lazio’s Ciro Immobile atop the league scoring chart.“We knew that if we didn’t move the ball quickly, with one or two touches, we would struggle against Atalanta," Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci said. “They were so fired up and we struggled at the start, but kept our heads and waited for the right chance.�Neither handball appeared intentional.“The interpretation of the rule is not the same here as elsewhere. Other countries don’t give penalties like that,� Gasperini said. “But these are the rules here, so fine.�LAZIO LETDOWNLazio’s once-promising bid for a first Serie A title in two decades has been decimated during the restart.The Roman squad conceded a stoppage-time winner in losing to Sassuolo 2-1 at home for its third straight defeat.Entering the restart, Lazio trailed Juventus by only one point.Inside a scorching Stadio Olimpico, Francesco Caputo nodded in the winner for his 16th goal of the season, sending Sassuolo to its fourth straight victory. The Emilia-Romagna squad has lost only once in the restart -- to Atalanta — and is starting to move into contention for a Europa League spot in eighth place.Luis Alberto gave Lazio an early lead with a deflected shot before Giacomo Raspadori equalized after the break with his first Serie A goal.Also, fifth-placed Roma won at Brescia 3-0 with goals from Federico Fazio, Nikola Kalinic and Nicolò Zaniolo.PARMA POSITIVEParma announced that a non-playing member of the team tested positive for the coronavirus.Parma said the person was without symptoms and was being isolated. Every other team member tested negative but the squad was being kept under observation at the club’s training centre.According to the league’s virus protocol, Parma can still play its home game against Bologna on Sunday.___More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports___Andrew Dampf is at https://twitter.com/AndrewDampfAndrew Dampf, The Associated Press
Author: The Canadian Press
Posted: July 11, 2020, 10:35 pm
LeBron James says his thoughts on social justice can't be contained on the back of a basketball jersey.The Los Angeles Lakers superstar won't wear one of the NBA-approved social justice messages on the back of his jersey when the NBA resumes competition later this month in the Orlando bubble.“It was no disrespect to the list that was handed down to all the players,� James said Saturday in a confernece call from Florida. “I commend anyone that decides to put something on the back of their jersey. It’s just something that didn’t seriously resonate with my mission, with my goal."As part of the NBA's recognition of the nationwide invigoration of the social justice movement sparked by the death of George Floyd, NBA players are allowed to choose from a lengthy list of possible messages for their jerseys during the league's restart. James is among just a few who declined to choose one of the messages, he said.“I would have loved to have a say-so on what would have went on the back of my jersey,� James said. "I had a couple of things in mind, but I wasn’t part of that process, which is OK. ... Everything that I do has a purpose, has a meaning. I don’t need to have something on the back of my jersey for people to understand my mission or know what I’m about and what I'm here to do."The 35-year-old superstar has a long history of social involvement and advocacy for progressive causes. James speaks frequently of what he feels is a responsibility to campaign for positive social change from his powerful position in sports and pop culture.“This is the mission I've been on for a long time now,� James said. “It's great that a lot of people's ears are opening. A lot of people are understanding, a lot of people are recognizing. A lot of people still don't get it, and a lot of people are still afraid to talk about the racism that goes on in America, especially for our people. ... But we have some ears, and we will continue to push the envelope and let everyone know that we are human as well. We don't want to be just be used for our God-given abilities.�JaVale McGee, the Lakers’ veteran centre, said he will wear “Respect Us� on his jersey in Orlando.“It’s a blessing to have this platform,� said McGee, whose asthma has him being particularly cautious during the pandemic. “We have way more of a voice playing basketball … Our fans are basketball fans over anything. This is the biggest platform we can speak about social injustices. That’s the best time to talk about it.�James also said he didn't consider not playing in the NBA's restart, believing the league can be a positive force through its visibility and competition. He expressed no concerns for his health inside the bubble.“I believe the NBA and (Commissioner) Adam Silver, they took all precautionary measure to make sure that we as a league are as safe as we can be,� James said. “Obviously, in anything that you do, there can be things that can happen, so we will cross that line if it happens. But we're doing everything to make sure everyone stays safe during this pandemic. Adam Silver has given me no reason to not believe him since he took over. I have no concerns. I'm here 100% and in great health.�___More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsGreg Beacham, The Associated Press
Author: The Canadian Press
Posted: July 11, 2020, 10:26 pm
Usman’s wrestling and clinch work carried the way as he rolled to a unanimous decision victory over Masvidal.
Author: Yahoo Sports
Posted: July 11, 2020, 10:20 pm
The paramedic was hit by a 108 mph line drive and sustained multiple facial injuries.
Author: Yahoo Sports
Posted: July 11, 2020, 10:18 pm
Collaboration or bust.Given the gravity of the new coronavirus pandemic and the abrupt decision to place the NHL season on pause in March, it didn’t take commissioner Gary Bettman and union chief Don Fehr long to realize they were going to have to work together if play was to resume any time soon.Nearly four months to the day since the last puck dropped, the two sides put aside past differences to have a return-to-play plan in place, and the assurance of labour peace through September 2026 to go with it.“When we got to March 12 and decided to take the pause, that began a period of perhaps unprecedented collaboration and problem solving,� Bettman said during a Zoom conference call with reporters Saturday, a day after the league and players ratified a 24-team expanded playoff, set to begin Aug. 1, and a four-year extension of the collective bargaining agreement.“It was a recognition by both sides that we were being confronted with an incredibly difficult, a novel, unprecedented situation. I believed we would get to this point because it was the right thing to do for the game and for everybody involved in the game.�Fehr, the NHL Players’ Association executive director, not only agreed with Bettman, but went out of his way to credit the owners for the approach.“I was persuaded well before the end of March that not only was this different, but it was being approached in a fundamentally different way. I always thought we would find a way to reach an agreement,� Fehr said.The bond established between the two was apparent during the 55-minute session, with Fehr agreeing with Bettman and then acknowledging how unusual that was by by saying: “I think that indicates something about the approach that was taken in these talks.�Training camps are set to open Monday, which also represents the deadline for players to determine whether to opt out without penalty. If all goes as planned, teams will depart for their two respective hub cities, Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta, on July 26 to open a two-month playoff leading to the awarding of the Stanley Cup.Many uncertainties remain, with Bettman and Fehr unable to provide definitive answers.While acknowledging the likelihood of players testing positive for COVID-19, deputy commissioner Bill Daly was unable to say how many players would have to do so for the league to postpone or cancel the playoffs altogether.Though conference playoffs and Stanley Cup Final are scheduled to be held in Edmonton, a person with direct knowledge of the plans told The Associated Press the site might change if the pandemic spikes in Alberta’s capital. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because it is an alternate plan that's not been discussed publicly.Bettman and Daly, who are based in New York, weren’t even sure if or when they could cross the border to personally attend games because those entering Canada are required to self-isolate for a 14-day period.The only certainty is the NHL became North America’s latest professional sport to forge a path back to playing, but minus the public hiccups experienced by its counterparts.Major League Baseball’s season was nearly scuttled before the two sides agreed to a 60-game format. Less than three weeks before NFL training camps are set to open, the league is experiencing push-back from its players on whether to play preseason games next month. Major League Soccer has had two teams already withdrawing from competition because of the number of players testing positive for the coronavirus.And not only is hockey on the verge of returning, the CBA extension assures 12 straight years of labour peace, the NHL’s longest stretch since Bettman took over in 1993. During that time, play has been halted three times by lockouts, the last in 2012-13, when the season was shortened to 48 games.“I think Don and I both recognize labour peace was something we couldn’t even quantify how important it was,� Bettman said. “But we both knew that for the business of the game to come back strong, there was enough disruption going on in the world that we didn’t have to add to it.�Fehr said the months-long talks to reach a solution were a matter of perseverance.“This is a very bad analogy, but you have to sort of navigate the kayak in a storm until the storm’s over, and then make sure the kayak isn’t full of holes so that you can go on and sail it in calmer seas,� Fehr said in a separate interview with The AP. “Or to put it another way there was never any pretense that this was business as usual.�Owners benefit because they can generate much-needed revenue through sponsorships and advertising, even though games will be played in empty arenas.Though players will likely lose a portion of their salaries for seasons to come to make up for 50-50 split of revenue, they benefit from a CBA that includes the possibility of returning to the Olympics, after the NHL opted out from the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea. The new labour agreement also addressed players’ demands to gain a post-career subsidy for health care.___AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno contributed to this report.___For more AP NHL coverage: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsJohn Wawrow, The Associated Press
Author: The Canadian Press
Posted: July 11, 2020, 10:07 pm
BARCELONA, Spain — Arturo Vidal scored for Barcelona to sneak past feisty Valladolid 1-0 on Saturday and keep the pressure on leader Real Madrid as the Spanish league approaches its climax.Barcelona closed to within one point of Madrid, which has a game in hand, as it tries to defend a title it has won for two consecutive years.Vidal scored in the 15th minute after being set up by Lionel Messi, who, like most of his teammates, had a discreet outing at Valladolid’s empty José Zorilla Stadium.Madrid plays at Granada on Monday. Its final two matches are against a Villarreal fighting for a Champions League berth and a Leganés fighting to avoid relegation. Barcelona has games against Osasuna and Alavés. Madrid holds the tiebreaker if they finish level on points.“We will give it our all, and then wait and see,� Vidal said. “It doesn’t depend on us. If it is not meant to be, then on to the Champions League (in August).�In a surprise move, Barcelona coach Quique Setién dropped striker Luis Suárez from his starting lineup for the first time in seven matches. Instead, he played with four midfielders and charged playmaker Riqui Puig with linking with Messi and Antoine Griezmann.Barcelona dominated from kickoff and attacked at will down the right side through Nelson Semedo.Valladolid’s Jordi Masip denied Puig after he was set up by Semedo in Barcelona’s first dangerous attack, but the former Barcelona goalkeeper was beaten by Vidal after another long buildup by the visitors.Semedo, Puig, and Messi all exchanged quick passes in a tight area before Messi slipped the ball to Vidal inside the box. The Chile midfielder used one touch to line up a powerful shot that he blasted from a tight angle in off the far post.Kike Pérez had Valladolid’s only scoring chance in the first half on a rare counterattack. But he stumbled when trying to shoot and Marc-Andre ter Stegen smothered the ball.GRAY GRIEZMANNGriezmann seemed to play well enough to reclaim his spot in the starting 11 in the last two matches after an idle period when Setién didn’t use him. But the French world champion had a difficult night at Valladolid. He was unable to link with Messi on a promising counterattack early on, and he wasted a golden chance to double the lead before halftime when he scuffed a pass from Semedo right in front of the goal.Setién sat Griezmann at halftime due to an unspecified physical problem and sent on Suárez. After 10 minutes of seeing Valladolid beginning to mount attacks, Setién replaced Puig and Clement Lenglet, who had a yellow card, with Ivan Rakitic and reserve team defender Ronald Araújo.Valladolid, however, continued to press for the equalizer and Ter Stegen dove to parry a header by Enes Unal in the 60th.Valladolid, which is partly owned by Brazil great Ronaldo, spends less than 5% of what Barcelona spends on its star-studded squad. Still, it reached the second half with stronger legs and succeeded in pressing Barcelona into its area.Setién acknowledged his team is reaching the end of this sprint-finish to La Liga, with matches every three days, on fumes.“It was very hot and the pitch was very dry and several players didn’t have the energy to do much more than run enough to keep up with the play,� Setién said.“The jitters we have at the end comes from the fact that we could have put the win away in the first half and knew we could have trouble with our fitness in the second half.�Other than his assist for Vidal, Messi was limited to a pair of shots, including a free kick that Masip palmed over his bar.Valladolid was left in 14th place at a safe distance from the relegation battle.ATLÉTICO TO CHAMPIONSA late goal by Diego Costa ensured 10-man Atlético Madrid clinched a Champions League berth after edging Real Betis 1-0.Costa used his chest to knock in a free kick in the 74th after his team lost Mario Hermoso to a direct red card for a hard tackle from behind of a Betis player.NOT SAFE YETCelta Vigo stayed in danger of falling into the relegation zone after losing at Osasuna 2-1. Osasuna’s José Arnaiz headed in the winner in stoppage time.___More AP soccer https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsJoseph Wilson, The Associated Press
Author: The Canadian Press
Posted: July 11, 2020, 10:06 pm
Four months to the day after COVID-19 shut down the NBA, the Toronto Raptors were finally back on the floor together.The Raptors, who'd been based in Naples, Fla., for the past two weeks, but limited in practice to one player per hoop, took the floor for the first time Saturday at Walt Disney World for the NBA's restart after the team passed its COVID-19 tests.It felt partly like the first day of training camp, they said. But also a little like the NBA champions had never been apart. "For the most part it was really good . . . the trust factor really, really showed up," coach Nick Nurse said. "A lot of guys are doing a lot of things that we normally do, just right from the get-go here which was great."Obviously there was some rust and some things that stick out that you have to keep an eye on, or that we're going to have to change, but from a starting point it seems like a really good jumping off point today for us."The defending NBA champions made the two-hour trip from Naples on Thursday in style, pulling into Disney World in two black buses that, unique to the Raptors, had "Black Lives Matter" painted in huge white block letters. They were immediately tested upon arrival in the NBA semi-bubble, which is home to 22 teams. They were tested again at 7 p.m. local time on Friday, then got the all-clear Saturday at 10 a.m.Nurse said the testing protocol has become the new normal."I think the first couple times we did it here and certainly going way back to March 11 (the day the league suspended play), when we went off and got tested, your level of anxiety was a lot higher then for sure," Nurse said. "But I think it's always: cross your fingers, knock on wood, good thoughts, all that stuff every time."The Raptors, who tip off the eight-game seeding round on Aug. 1 versus the Los Angeles Lakers, could be at Disney World for the next three months. Nurse packed his guitar. Marc Gasol arrived with his own Nespresso coffee machine. The players checked into rooms decorated with family photos — courtesy of Raptors staff.Pascal Siakam said he spent the 36 hours of hotel quarantine playing video games, and thinking about "being ready mentally and being excited about being back together as a team."We just wanna play, man. I miss playing basketball. It definitely felt like a basketball atmosphere, and that's all I really care about."Nurse said he felt his way through the first practice he'd coached in four months."I had some thoughts about what the structure of the practice would look like and we did it totally different than we normally would," he said. "Again just based on the situation I think it's important for us to play, but I also think it's important to kind of ease in or taper in a little bit because we're conscious of health in general."The coach, who'd raved last week about the fitness level of his players, went heavier than he'd expected to, and "I just told the guys to please self-monitor and let's not let's not get carried away, we got a long way to go here today."Siakam said while there was some rust, the Raptors, who were second in the Eastern Conference when the league shut down, were all excited to be back on the floor together."That's what you wanna see, you wanna see people wanting to play," he said. "It doesn't matter how long you were off, once you get on that floor, the competitive spirit comes out and everyone wants to win, and that's what you wanna see from a team."Fred VanVleet said there was a "first day of school type" feeling for the entire team."We've got to flush some things out these next couple of weeks and get ready to play, but kind of take a marathon approach still, we've still got a long way to go," the guard said. In Naples, the Raptors hadn't left the hotel grounds except for practice. They had gotten in a few rounds of golf and tennis games on the hotel grounds.Siakam got a new appreciation for tennis. "I love tennis. I watch tennis all the time. Even back home, I used to watch tennis a lot," he said. "I thought it was fairly easy to be honest until I got there. They're definitely some tough athletes in the things that they do. I definitely respect it more. It's hard. I don't think it’s for me. Marc is pretty good, actually. I feel like Marc is definitely the best that I have seen play."The Raptors will have a chance to explore their new digs in the next few days."I think there will be a little bit more stuff for us to do as time goes by, and everybody gets tested and safe and locked in, I think we'll have more things to do," VanVleet said.Florida has been ravaged by COVID-19 in the past few weeks. The Sunshine State has topped 250,000 cases with about 10,300 new cases reported on Saturday.VanVleet said there's a greater sense of safety in the NBA bubble."When we were in Naples, we couldn't control everybody else," he said. "I think everybody inside of this bubble is under the same guidelines, so that's probably the biggest difference."This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 11, 2020.Lori Ewing, The Canadian Press
Author: The Canadian Press
Posted: July 11, 2020, 9:46 pm
Korver wrote an essay in April to acknowledge his white privilege and his commitment to change.
Author: Yahoo Sports
Posted: July 11, 2020, 9:42 pm
Gregg Popovich fondly remembers his freshman year at the United States Air Force Academy, even though as a first-year cadet he was extremely limited in where he could go and what activities were allowed.Lockdown at Walt Disney World, he said, reminded him of those days.“But two days, anybody can do that,� the San Antonio coach said Saturday.He made it through that freshman year with ease, made it through the two days of in-room Disney quarantine as well, and now the longest-tenured and oldest active coach in the league is free to roam within the NBA bubble in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. That doesn’t mean he didn’t have reservations about being part of the NBA restart, given the ongoing issues of racial strife, social inequality and the coronavirus pandemic.“If you’re thinking person, you’re going to look at all sides of a situation,� Popovich said. “And, especially being 71 years old, I thought, ‘Is this where I want to spend a lot of my time, doing this, under these circumstances?’�The answer was yes, and Popovich was running his first practice in more than four months Saturday as the Spurs began getting ready for a playoff push. When the season resumes July 30, San Antonio will be 12th in the Western Conference — only a half-game from ninth, where the Spurs would have to be and within four games of the No. 8 spot to force their way into a play-in series.“I honestly do believe — it’s not just being a loyal soldier of the NBA, I’ve done my share of criticizing here and there when I thought it was necessary — I don’t know where else you would be as safe as we are right now," Popovich said.LeBron James completely agrees with that sentiment.Like the Spurs, the Los Angeles Lakers — the West leaders, with James leading the way back into title contention after six consecutive years of not even making the playoffs — took to the Disney practice courts for the first time Saturday. And James said the notion of not being part of the restart “'never crossed my mind.�“This beautiful game of basketball, that brings so many people together, that brings happiness, that brings joy to the households, to so many families ... I'm happy to be a part of the biggest sports in the world," James said. “And I’m happy to have a platform where not only people will gain joy from the way I play the game, from the way our team plays the game, but also from what I’m able to do off the floor as well."And on the health standpoint, James, like Popovich, raved about what NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and many others teamed together to make happen at Disney.“They took all precautionary reasons, measures to make sure that we as a league are as safe as we can be," James said. “Obviously, in anything that you do, there can be things that could happen, but we will cross that line if it happens."But Popovich's age called into question whether he should be at the restart.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people 65 and over can be more vulnerable to the virus. The NBA has three head coaches who have celebrated that birthday; New Orleans' Alvin Gentry, 65; Houston's Mike D’Antoni, 69, and Popovich. Pelicans assistant Jeff Bzdelik, 67, and Los Angeles Lakers’ assistant Lionel Hollins, 66, are not at Disney for the restart.“We have special guidelines and special things that we have to abide by,� Spurs forward Rudy Gay said. “I think going into this bubble, everybody has to take the proper precautions and do their own part ... not just our team, but other teams. It’s definitely serious. It’s a serious issue. But we vow to do the right thing.�Popovich points to rising virus numbers in Texas as proof that on the NBA campus, where players and coaches will be tested daily and exposure to the outside world is basically cut off, his health shouldn't be more at risk.And to him, this is much more than basketball. The NBA restart will be about raising awareness on social issues and combating racism, and Popovich wants to be a big part of that conversation.“If this bubble works, I’m safer here than I would be in Texas,� Popovich said. “And since the decision was made to do this to start the season again, under these circumstances, with all the precautions, what a great opportunity.�___More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsTim Reynolds, The Associated Press
Author: The Canadian Press
Posted: July 11, 2020, 9:38 pm
NEW YORK — Yoenis Céspedes is sure he'll be ready to start the pandemic-delayed season with the New York Mets.Out of the lineup for almost two years, the 34-year-old slugger said Saturday he finally is close to fully recovered from a string of injuries to his feet and legs.“I don't have an exact percentage on how I feel, but I feel way better than I did back in March,� Céspedes said through a translator on a video conference call.When the coronavirus outbreak halted spring training March 12 and pushed back opening day about four months, that gave Céspedes more time to rehab and heal up.He said he woke at 5 a.m. for workouts seven days a week during the hiatus, which helped him a lot.“I think possibly in the beginning in March I felt like I probably wouldn't have been ready for the season, I wouldn't have been ready in time. But I know for certain now that I will be ready and I'm very excited for the season to start in two weeks,� he said.The Mets open at home July 24 against Atlanta. And with the designated hitter available in the National League this year, Céspedes is a prime candidate for that role during a shortened schedule of 60 games.The two-time All-Star outfielder missed last season and most of 2018. He had surgery on both heels and then broke his right ankle in a nasty fall at his Florida ranch in a reported run-in with a wild boar.“Honestly, the hardest part is getting to the point where my legs are right now, the way they feel . They can still feel better. But the way they feel right now, I didn't think I could get to this point,� he said.“I think what changed was that I started to feel more motivation, that I could return back to the form that I used to be at.�Céspedes said at spring training in February he expected to come back this year, and he’s looked healthy and dangerous in the batter’s box since summer camp opened July 3 at Citi Field.He cracked a two-run homer off Seth Lugo during an intrasquad game Thursday. But rather than trot around the bases after the ball cleared the fence, Céspedes simply walked back to the dugout.It seems his only remaining hurdle is showing he can sprint full speed without issue.“I've been able to start running close to as normal as possible, and I think that's been the biggest stride," Céspedes said. “Just the way that my body feels now, it's been great.�Late last month, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said the team was optimistic Céspedes would be ready for the season. Van Wagenen also noted Céspedes is a five-tool athlete and won’t necessarily be limited to DH duty if healthy.The left fielder is entering the final season of a four-year contract.“The way that my body's feeling right now and the way that I've been able to run, I feel so much better and I feel like I'll be able to play the outfield if that comes up,� he said.Céspedes hasn’t played since July 20, 2018 — his only major league game after May 13 that year.“To be honest, I’m not out here to prove anything to anyone. I’m out here to prove something to myself — that after three surgeries that I can come back and play the way that I know that I can,� he said.___More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsMike Fitzpatrick, The Associated Press
Author: The Canadian Press
Posted: July 11, 2020, 9:37 pm
BRIGHTON, England — In-form Raheem Sterling scored a hat trick as Manchester City began a potentially turbulent few days by blowing away Brighton 5-0 to secure second place in the English Premier League on Saturday.Gabriel Jesus and Bernardo Silva also were on target to help City emphatically end a run of three straight away losses.Pep Guardiola’s side is assured of finishing runner-up to already-crowned champion Liverpool, but whether it qualifies for next season’s Champions League remains another matter.The club will discover on Monday the outcome of its appeal against a two-year ban from European competitions following alleged breaches of club licensing and financial fair play regulations.While that ongoing issue remains a major concern, there was plenty for City to smile about on the field as Sterling took his goal tally in all competitions to 27, making it the most prolific campaign of his career to date.City was at its mesmerising best and, on another day, would have won by an even greater margin as Jesus and Kevin De Bruyne each hit the goal frame.City has 23 goals in seven matches since the restart of the league last month.Brighton was outclassed and repeatedly afforded its dominant opponents lots of space, without offering any resistance. The Seagulls remained eight points clear of the relegation zone following a second home defeat in just four days, after 3-1 to Liverpool.De Bruyne captained City as Guardiola rotated his squad by making six alterations to the team which thrashed Newcastle 5-0 in midweek.Sterling made the breakthrough, expertly bending a finish into the bottom right corner from 20 yards (meters) after he was allowed too much space when Jesus nodded Riyad Mahrez’s searching pass into his path.City doubled its advantage two minutes before the break when De Bruyne’s outswinging corner from the right was helped on by Rodri, allowing Jesus a simple tap-in at the back post.De Bruyne curled a free kick against the post just after the restart, with Brighton goalkeeper Mathew Ryan grateful to clutch Sterling’s follow-up effort.Sterling quickly atoned for squandering that chance by heading in Mahrez’s delightful cross from the right to put the result beyond doubt with 37 minutes still to go.City’s play was verging on exhibition stuff at times and, just three minutes later, Silva added another by finishing off a rebound after Ryan failed to hold his initial effort.The healthy lead allowed Guardiola to make a string of second-half changes, which perhaps halted the team's momentum and spared Brighton too much embarrassment.Sterling still had time to secure his treble — and it arrived nine minutes from the end, in bizarre fashion.After falling to the ground inside the box, the England international somehow managed to head the ball goalward and make it seven goals in as many games since the restart to claim the match ball as Dan Burn failed to clear on the line.___More AP soccer: https://apnews.com/Soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_SportsThe Associated Press
Author: The Canadian Press
Posted: July 11, 2020, 9:27 pm
TORONTO — Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo knows where he'd like the team to play its home games this season: the friendly confines of Toronto's Rogers Centre.Montoyo was asked on Saturday about reports that the Blue Jays are investigating playing their home games in Buffalo, N.Y., normally the home of their triple-A affiliate, as a way of navigating ongoing border and quarantine restrictions put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.The reports came after two players tweeted that spending all season in quarantine when in Toronto would present significant challenges."They're focused on getting ready to play, wherever that is," said Montoyo. "Of course, we're all hoping it's here. We love this city, we love Toronto, and we're hoping it's going to be here."Spring training is being held at Rogers Centre in downtown Toronto, with players having to undergo regular tests for the novel coronavirus. The players are staying at the hotel inside the stadium.Major League Baseball has released a shortened 60-game schedule that is set to begin in less than two weeks and the Blue Jays are the only team that does not yet have a firm home field. The federal government gave the green light for the Blue Jays to hold training camp in Toronto, but has not made a decision on games.The Blue Jays open the season July 24 at Tampa Bay. The home opener is July 29 against Washington."We're going to have spring training (in Toronto) which is great news for all of us because this is the safest place you can be right now, that's why I'm so happy we're here right now," said Montoyo.Several media outlets reported on Friday that Blue Jays players and staff had been warned that if they were caught outside of their bubble on the streets of Toronto during camp that they could face a potential $750,000 fine and potential jail time, which are listed as penalties under the federal government's Quarantine Act.Infielder Travis Shaw, who signed with the Blue Jays as a free agent in December, tweeted his displeasure at potentially spending an entire summer inside the stadium."We were told two weeks ... not all summer ... all summer is a bit much," he said. "All summer isn't going to happen. Not an option."Outfielder Randal Grichuk replied to Shaw's tweet."I wanna make it clear, we're not asking for special treatment," said Grichuk. "We understand that we need to stay in a 'quarantine bubble.' We wanna make sure everyone is safe. The toughest part is them not allowing our family to come with us. That’s what makes it tough for a lot of guys."In an email reply, the club confirmed that before arriving in Toronto, players understood the maximum penalties for leaving the Rogers Centre footprint during camp.Montoyo said he spoke with Shaw earlier Saturday and that the infielder claimed that what he said came out wrong.First baseman/designated hitter Rowdy Tellez also addressed media on Saturday and he said that where the team plays its home games is not top of mind as the Blue Jays rush to prepare for the season."I don't think anybody's really focused on that right now," said Tellez. "I just think we're focused on being the best team we can be."I don't think that's in anybody's mind right now. We're just trying to play some ball."This report by The Canadian Press was first published on July 11, 2020.Follow @jchidleyhill on TwitterJohn Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press
Author: The Canadian Press
Posted: July 11, 2020, 9:26 pm
The NHL will return this summer after the league struck a major deal with the NHLPA on Friday.
Author: Yahoo Sports Canada
Posted: July 10, 2020, 11:23 pm