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TIMELINE UNCERTAIN ABOUT RETURN OF $PORT$

 

Last updated 4/7/2020 at Noon



KAZ’S KORNER

It seems like each day the world fights the Coronavirus, the more annual sports events get postponed until next year.

The most recent biggie was the announcement Monday morning on ESPN’s “First Take” show that the 149 th Open set for July 16-19 has been canceled until next year and will be played at Royal St. George in 2021.

There actually will be professional baseball played this spring—the Korean League—which is set to begin April 21.

But if one player tests positive for the virus, the league will halt all games for two weeks.

Let’s see how this idea works out.

The 2020 NFL draft is still set for later this month, but will be done without any fanfare at the location.

Instead, when a team makes its selection, the camera will switch to that team’s headquarters where the prospect will either be shown with the head coach or will have a Skype from his home.

However, NFL teams will have less information on these future pro football players, using game film, but not having medical information or the personal interviews unless the player was invited to the scouting combines after the bowl games and national championship games were played.

Hall of Fame NFL coach Bill Polian, who spent 32 years constructing super teams for the Indianapolis Colts, believes it’s time to use his throwback approach.

“Really, all you need, and it’s especially true in a time like today, you need the game film, the physical exam, which may be difficult right now, and the measurables,” he told the Associated Press for Monday’s article.

“So, if a player has been to the combine, that’s all you really need.

If a player hasn’t been to the combine or is from a small school, then you’ve just got to go on the game film and you’d be slightly less accurate.” Gone for the most part this year are access to in-person interviews, campus workouts and visits to team headquarters.

But Polian has a reassuring message for borderline prospects.

NFL teams have been unearthing talent for decades—many years with no combines and no pro days, the article concluded.

For what it’s worth, President Donald trump said he believes the NFL season will start on time in September, according to ESPN, during a conference call with sports commissioners.

The slowdown of the virus will have a huge bearing on college football this fall.

According to the Associated Press, the athletic directors at the nation’s biggest sports schools are bracing for a potential financial crisis related to the Coronavirus pandemic.

A recent survey of 130 athletic directors at major college football schools, 63 per- cent forecast a worst-case scenario in which their revenues decrease by at least 20 percent during the 2020-21 school year.

Even an abbreviated football season could cause schools to lose that much.

California governor Gavin Newsom said he does not expect NFL or college games to be played in full stadiums later this year.

“I’m not expecting that to happen in

this state,” Newsom said.

“One has to be very cautious here, one has to be careful not to overpromise.” As far as major league baseball is concerned, all these unemployed players will benefit from the $173 million in work stoppage salaries from March 26 through May 24, or an earlier date if baseball starts back before May 24.

Houston Astros’ ace pitcher Justin Verlander and his wife Kate Upton revealed on an Instagram video Saturday that they’ll choose an organization each week to donate his entire paycheck.

They plan to highlight the group’s contributions to the coronavirus pandemic, too.

According to the Associated Press, players with single salaries—like Verlander—will receive $4,775 per day in advance pay for the first 60 days of the season, which amounts to $33,425 per week and $286,500 for the 60-day time frame.

If the MLB season resumes in reasonable time, it will try to play as many games as possible, and perhaps several doubleheaders to recoup a portion of the receipts lost during the spring.

If this happens, MLB general managers are suggesting that teams increase pitching staffs from 13 to 15 or 16 and increase the rosters from 26 to 28.

They would also like to extend the season into November, playing games in indoor stadiums or even at their spring training sites in Florida and Arizona.

KWICKIES…Baseball America’s website lists the best 50 games pitched in the abbreviated 2020 college baseball season and our grandson Logan Smith is listed No. 22 for his one-hit shutout victory for West Point Army over nationally-ranked Duke on opening day (Feb.14).

Kobe Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash Jan. 26, and fellow NBA greats Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett got into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame in their first year as finalists along with WNBA great Tamika Catchings.

Also named to this year’s class was two-time NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich, Baylor women’s coach Kim Mulkey, 1,000-game winner Barbara Stevens of Bentley and three-time Final Four coach Eddie Sutton.

For what it’s worth, former Houston Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch are suspended for only the 2020 major league baseball season even if baseball does not resume this year, according to ESPN last week.

Both suspensions were scheduled to end “the day following the completion of the 2020 World Series.” Iowa State will save more than $3 million after its coaches and other athletic department staff members are getting pay cuts for one year to help offset lost revenue from the coronavirus pandemic.

Hall of Famer Bobby Mitchell died last week at age 84.

Mitchell played for the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Browns.

Mitchell was the first African-American to play football in Washington.

Former Lake Charles High track sensation and Denver Broncos and LSU wide receiver Orlando McDaniel has died due to complications of the coronavirus at the age of 59.

As a hurdler on LSU’s track team, McDaniel placed second in the NCAA 110-meter hurdles in 1980.

He played only one season in the NFL after being drafted in the second round by the Broncos in 1982.

JUST BETWEEN US…An editorial on Sunday’s sports page of the Houston Chronicle rips Texans’ head coach and GM Bill O’Brien for trading wide receiver

DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals recently. It said that O’Brien’s explanation for the trade was shameful and shows what happens when the wrong man is given too much power. “A good general manager would explain to his head coach that if he isn’t good enough to coach Hopkins, he should resign and go looking for work elsewhere. Hopkins salary for the 2020 season is only the 11 th highest at his position. The highest paid wideout will make $10 million more this season than Hopkins’ contract calls for.

 

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