Indianapolis 500 postponed until August because of COVID-19
The Indianapolis 500 was postponed Thursday until August because of the coronavirus pandemic and won’t run on Memorial Day weekend for the first time since 1946.
The race will instead be held Aug. 23, three months later than its May 24 scheduled date.
“The month of May at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is my favorite time of year, and like our fans, I am disappointed that we have had to reschedule the Indianapolis 500,” said Roger Penske, the motorsports titan who finalized his purchase of IndyCar and Indianapolis Motor Speedway earlier this year.
“However, the health and safety of our event participants and spectators is our top priority, and we believe that postponing the event is the responsible decision with the conditions and restrictions we are facing,” he said. “We will continue to focus on ways we can enhance the customer experience in the months ahead, and I’m confident we will welcome fans with a transformed facility and a global spectacle when we run the world’s greatest race.”
The Indianapolis 500 began in 1911 but did not run in 1917, 1918 and from 1941-45 because of World Wars I and II. Tony Hulman bought the neglected speedway after the second war and the Indy 500 returned on Memorial Day weekend in 1946.
It has been scheduled for that weekend every year since, a familiar fixture for untold millions of fans over the years. Although inclement weather has occasionally disrupted the prestigious race, it had never been outright rescheduled until now.
“In times like this it is all about leadership and communication. We have both in IndyCar and NASCAR,” said Chip Ganassi, who fields cars in both series. NASCAR has not altered its plan to resume racing May 9.
Postponing the Indy 500 was an inevitable decision but still had to be difficult for Penske, who has already pumped millions into capital improvements to ready the historic speedway for its first 500 under new ownership.
“It’s a shame Roger has to go through this in his first year of owning Indianapolis Motor Speedway but you couldn’t have a better man in charge,” said A.J. Foy, a four-time Indy 500 winner and team owner. “It will still be the Indy 500.I never thought we’d see it like this, but all of the sports field has been affected. I’m just glad that we will be able to race.”
Penske Entertainment Corp. President and CEO Mark Miles said the series chose the August date to get away from extended delays caused by the coronavirus shutdown. The series did not choose Labor Day weekend out of fear of disrupting fans’ traditional plans.
The Indy 500 honors the military before the race, and Miles said the August date gives the speedway “a unique and powerful opportunity to honor the contributions and heroism of the doctors, nurses, first responders and National Guard members serving on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19.”
Miles also thanked NBC, which took over broadcasting the marquee race just last year from ABC. NBC is already scrambling after this week’s
to 2021; the games had been scheduled to open July 24 and run for nearly three weeks.
Penske had been eagerly anticipating the March 15 start of the IndyCar season, but was forced to suspend the series 48 hours before the scheduled opener in St. Petersburg, Florida, when the coronavirus was declared a pandemic.
Four races were initially scrapped and IndyCar said it would resume racing May 9 on the road course at Indy. The opening race is now listed as May 30 at Detroit, but the schedule is in flux.
The Indy road course race will now be run on July 4, a day before NASCAR races at The Brickyard in an unprecedented doubleheader between the series. St. Pete now is listed at the bottom of the schedule with no date listed.
Miles said if the race can be rescheduled, it would be as the season finale in October.
Races at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama, Circuit of the Americas in Texas and Long Beach, California will not be rescheduled. IndyCar moved the August race dates for Mid-Ohio and Gateway outside of St. Louis, while Portland was moved from Labor Day to one week after.
As for the 500,
will begin with practices Aug. 12-13, followed by “Fast Friday” on Aug. 14 and weekend qualifying. The following week is dark until Aug. 20, with the final Indianapolis 500 practice on Friday, Aug. 21 as part of Carb Day.
“I’ll tell you this, no matter what day or month or time they run the Indy 500 it’s the greatest race on the whole planet earth, we’ll just have it in August this time and it will still be super, super good,” said Bobby Unser, winner of the Indy 500 in 1968, 1975 and 1981.
INDIANA HS BOYS BASKETBALL: IBCA/Subway Boys All-State
2020 IBCA/Subway Senior All-State
Braxton Barnhizer, Lafayette Jeff
Carson Barrett, Lafayette Central Catholic
Tre Coleman, Jeffersonville
Dre Davis, Lawrence Central
Johnell Davis, Gary 21st Century
Trey Galloway, Culver Academy
Noah Jager, Bloomington South
Anthony Leal, Bloomington South
Mabor Majak, Hamilton Southeastern
Sincere McMahon, Indianapolis Attucks
Nijel Pack, Lawrence Central
Tony Perkins, Lawrence North
Kiyron Powell, Evansville Bosse
Andrew Welage, Greensburg
Charlie Yoder, Westview
Large School All-State
Nick Anderson, Lake Central
Brayton Bailey, Bedford North Lawrence
Murray Becher, Heritage Hills
Jerry Bracey, Mishawaka Marian
Dillon Duff, Fort Wayne Snider
Malek Edmonds, Brownsburg
Will Geiger, Norwell
Maximus Gizzi, New Palestine
Grant Niehaus, Washington
Tayson Parker, Northwestern
Simon Scherry, Heritage Hills
Josh Smith, Monrovia
Kenny Tracy, Decatur Central
Jake Wadding, Chesterton
Dillon Ware, Danville
Small School All-State
Reece Bauer, Northeast Dubois
Bailey Conrad, Christian Academy of Indiana
Austin Darnell, Washington Township
Trenton Daughtry, Wabash
Andrew Froedge, Blue River Valley
Cooper Hochstedler, North Judson-San Pierre
Ben Humrichous, Tipton
Jake Johnson, Oldenburg Academy
Drew Luce, Wapahani
Elijah Malone, Prairie Heights
Champ McCorkle, Greenwood Christian
Keegan O’Neill, Barr-Reeve
Josiah Ricketts, North Posey
Tre Spence, Wapahani
Jacques Williams, Bowman Academy
Jujuan Allison, Beech Grove
Andrew Anderson, Greenwood Christian
Davion Bailey, Pike
Ethan Bates, Frankton
Avery Beaver, Lafayette Jeff
Conner Bedwell, Delta
Damian Breeck, Switzerland County
Jacob Brown, Connersville
Carson Burtron, Lebanon
Drew Byerly, Franklin Community
Trevon Carlton, Morristown
Tanner Cooley, Bluffton
Cleevas Craig, Richmond
Deontae Craig, Culver Academy
Gavin Dowling, Greenwood
Nate Dukich, Lake Station Edison
Luke Dunn, Yorktown
Dawson Eastes, New Palestine
Trent Edwards, NorthWood
Justin Fickling, South Knox
Michael Florin, South Bend Trinity
Jake Friel, Hebron
Robert Fry II, Ben Davis
Kade Fuelling, Bellmont
Tyran Funches, Evansville Bosse
Easton Good, Lewis Cass
Noah Hedrick, Covenant Christian (Indianapolis)
Gavin Herrema, Kankakee Valley
Jackson Hiester, Evansville Mater Dei
Jay Higgins, Brebeuf Jesuit
Kelyn Hill, Indianapolis Washington
Kole Hornbuckle, Hamilton Southeastern
Anthony Horton, Mississinewa
DeMarcus Hudson, Fort Wayne Bishop Luers
Brevin Jefferson, Southport
Braden Jenkins, North Harrison
Hayden Jones, East Noble
Jacob Jones, Jeffersonville
Treveon Jones, Fort Wayne South
Jackson Kabrick, Jasper
William Keno, Indianapolis Metropolitan
Will Larkin, Winamac
Donovynn Lewis, New Haven
Ben Lins, Covenant Christian (DeMotte)
Tryontae Lomax, Gary 21st Century
Dominic Lucido, Hanover Central
Joseph Martin, University
Bernie McGuinness, Guerin Catholic
Mitch Mendenhall, Woodlan
Colt Meyer, Batsville
Tytan Newton, Richmond
Connor Nolot, Lanesville
Damon Ogletree Jr., Cardinal Ritter
Kevin Palmer, Sullivan
Dylan Patterson, South Central (Elizabeth)
Mike Perkins, Prairie Heights
Hunter Perlich, Churubusco
Derek Petersen, Greenwood Christian
Charlie Peterson, North Central
Jylen Petty, South Bend Washington
Tyler Phelps, Evansville Mater Dei
Preston Phillips, Jimtown
T.J. Proctor, Christian Academy of Indiana
Edreece Redmond, Bishop Chatard
Cale Robertson, North White
Tristan Ross, Pendleton Heights
Kolten Sanford, Evansville Bosse
Anthony Scales, Zionsville
Hunter Schanlaub, Caston
Nicholas Schiavello, Columbus North
Nick Sebastiao, Scottsburg
Dirk Shaw, Rossville
Dylan Stafford, Muncie Central
Alex Stauffer, Northridge
Cortez Stoudemire, Western Boone
Ethan Stuart, Shawe Memorial
Jamar Styles, Hammond
Jake Tarnow, Marquette Catholic
Osvaldo Terrazas, Whiting
Jakylen Thomas, Marion
Isaac Uebelhor, Forest Park
Elijah Vander Velden, Wabash
DeMarcus Vaughn, South Bend Washington
Jordan Walters, Harrison (West Lafayette)
Brock Wilsey, Evansville Day
Mitchell Wilson, Columbia City
Ty Wright, Mooresville
Gavin Yoon, Lawrenceburg
Victor Young, Muncie Central
2020 IBCA/Subway Underclass All-State
Brooks Barnhizer, Lafayette Jeff
Jalen Blackmon, Marion
Luke Brown, Blackford
Caleb Furst, Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian
Luke Goode, Homestead
Connor Hickman, Bloomington South
Kooper Jacobi, Silver Creek
Trey Kaufman, Silver Creek
J.R. Konieczny, South Bend St. Joseph
Khristian Lander, Evansville Reitz
Blake Sisley, Heritage Hills
Malik Stanley, Warren Central
Pierce Thomas, Brownsburg
Keon Thompson, Merrillville
Blake Wesley, South Bend Riley
Large School All-State
Shamar Avance, Lawrence North
Luka Balac, Munster
Blake Barker, Columbus North
Tayshawn Comer, Cathedral
Michael Eley, Fort Wayne Snider
Gus Etchison, Hamilton Heights
Jake Heidbreder, Floyd Central
D.J. Hughes, Lawrence North
Brady Hunt, Delta
Christopher Mantis, Lowell
Braden Smith, Westfield
Lane Sparks, Greensburg
Peter Suder, Carmel
Jayden Taylor, Perry Meridian
Leland Walker, North Central
Small School All-State
Andrew Bennett, Shenandoah
Koron Davis, Bowman Academy
Connor Essegian, Central Noble
Brycen Graber, Barr-Reeve
Lincoln Hale, Linton-Stockton
Landon Jordan, Churubusco
Jakeb Kinsey, Shenandoah
Hagen Knepp, Barr-Reeve
Lane Lauderbaugh, South Decatur
Foster Mefford, Southwestern (Hanover)
Colson Montgomery, Southridge
Jake Moynihan, Seton Catholic
Payton Sparks, Winchester
Kolden Vanlandingham, Northeastern
Cole Wireman, Kouts
Reggie Abram, Hammond
Stephen Atkinson, Owen Valley
Landen Babusiak, Hanover Central
Jurrien Ballard, Princeton
Cameron Banks, Heritage Hills
Silas Bauer, Loogootee
Joey Bomba, Bloomington South
Caedmon Bontrager, Lakewood Park Christian
Brett Bosley, Paoli
Holden Bowsman, West Washington
Jayden Brewer, Avon
Ayden Brobston, Frankton
Mason Brooks, North Putnam
Vinny Buccilla, Hamilton Southeastern
Zane Burke, Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian
Jaylen Carson, Indianapolis Attucks
Jake Chapman, Tri-Central
Luke Collinsworth, East Central
Quentez Columbus, South Bend Adams
Kyle Crim, Morristown
Marcus Davidson, Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian
Connor Davis, Parke Heritage
D’Ante Davis, Lawrence Central
Blake Davison, Leo
Owen Dease, Evansville Reitz
Michael Donoho, South Spencer
Riley Duncan, Cowan
Trey Flatt, Covenant Christian (Indianapolis)
Joshua Fleming, Rensselaer Central
Dae’von Fuqua, Clarksville
Dra Gibbs-Lawhorn, McCutcheon
Baylin Graf, Bloomfield
Travis Grayson, Chesterton
Jesse Hall, Crawfordsville
Langdon Hatton, North Harrison
Jalen Jackson, Carroll (Fort Wayne)
Sidney Jefferies, South Bend Adams
Hunter Johnson, South Decatur
Edward Jones, Pike
Rasheed Jones, Marion
Yanni Karlaftis, West Lafayette
Randy Kelley, Sullivan
Jace Kelly, South Spencer
Nick Klaiber, Bloomington North
Andrew Kroft, Richmond
Thomas Latham, New Haven
Dakota Lee, Indianapolis Metropolitan
Will Lovings-Watts, Jeffersonville
Carter Lumpkin, Northeastern
Brenden Lytle, Fort Wayne Bishop Dwenger
Tai McClung, Mississinewa
Kaden McCollough, Shenandoah
Styles McCorkle, Greenwood Christian
Miles McGowen, Mooresville
Logan McIntire, North Harrison
Pete Moe, Cathedral
Tyler Myers, Evansville Day
Hayden Nern, Bluffton
Julian Norris, Evansville Bosse
Branden Northern, Silver Creek
Andrew Oesterling, Oldenburg Academy
Jackson Paul, Churubusco
Logan Pinkerton, Covington
Darrell Reed, Hammond
Jake Reichard, Plymouth
Joe Reidy, Woodlan
Logan Rohrbacher, East Central
Cody Samples, South Ripley
Kyle Sanders, Western
Coleman Sater, Edgewood
Brayden Saxton, South Bend Adams
Brett Sickafoose, Whitko
Jeffrey Simmons, Fishers
Kamari Slaughter, Portage
Javon Small, Franklin Central
Billy Smith, Brebeuf Jesuit
Sam Smith, Northridge
Aaron Steinfeldt, Bloomington North
Carter Stoltzfus, Northridge
Deaglan Sullivan, Mishawaka Marian
Landen Swanner, Mississinewa
Caleb Swearingen, Northview
Isaiah Swope, Castle
Will Terry, South Bend St. Joseph
Naylon Thompson, Fort Wayne Bishop Luers
Gabe Trevino, Eastside
Jackson Ullom, Monroe Central
Brian Waddell, Carmel
Kobe Ward, Danville
Brody Whitaker, Greencastle
Jakar Williams, New Haven
Harold Woods, Hammond
Sawyer Yoder, Central Noble
PRE-SEASON INDIANA HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL POLLS
1)Penn 0-0 (154)
2)Lake Central . 0-0 (122)
3)Columbus East 0-0 (114)
4)Crown Point 0-0 (108)
5)Hamilton SE. 0-0 (94)
6)Andrean 0-0 (78)
7)Columbus North 0-0 (66)
8)Center Grove 0-0 (40)
9)Carmel 0-0 (36)
10)Noblesville 0-0 (26)
Avon H.S., Carroll (Fort Wayne , Fishers , Homestead , Jasper , Jeffersonville , Munster , New Albany , Northridge , Westfield.
1)Edgewood 0-0 (144)
2)South Bend St. Joe 0-0 (98)
3)Crawfordsville 0-0 (86)
4)Western 0-0 (84)
5)Silver Creek 0-0 (70)
6)Brebeuf 0-0 (54)
7)West Vigo 0-0 (52)
7)Yorktown 0-0 (52)
9)Lebanon 0-0 (42)
10)New Prairie 0-0 (38)
Danville , Evans. Memorial , Griffith , Guerin Catholic , Hanover Central , Heritage Hills , Indian Creek , Indpls Chatard , Kankakee Valley , Northwood , Norwell , Providence , South Dearborn , South Vermillion , Southridge.
1)Alexandria 0-0 (88)
2)Lafayette Central Catholic 0-0 (64)
3)Indpls Scecina 0-0 (58)
4)Cass 0-0 (56)
4)North Posey 0-0 (56)
4)Speedway 0-0 (56)
7)Wapahani 0-0 (46)
8)Delphi 0-0 (36)
9)University 0-0 (20)
10)Linton-Stockton 0-0 (16)
Blackford , Boone Grove , Covenant Christian , Laville , Monroe Central , South Adams , Wheeler.
1)Washington Twp. 0-0 (128)
2)Daleville 0-0 (96)
3)Tecumseh 0-0 (78)
4)Lanesville 0-0 (72)
5)North Miami 0-0 (66)
6)Shakamak 0-0 (62)
7)Rossville 0-0 (58)
8)Riverton Parke 0-0 (44)
9)Barr-Reeve 0-0 (40)
10)Kouts 0-0 (30)
Clinton Central , FW Blackhawk Christian , Fremont, Hauser , Loogootee , North Daviess , North White , Rising Sun , South Central (Union Mills), Trinity Lutheran , Wes-Del.
NFL keeping its draft in April as scheduled
Commissioner Roger Goodell told NFL teams on Thursday that the draft will go on as originally scheduled for next month.
The draft will still take place April 23-25. It was originally scheduled for a big outdoor production in Las Vegas, but those plans were scrapped because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In a memo obtained by The Associated Press, Goodell said that “public health conditions are highly uncertain” and there was no guarantee of significant improvement by moving it to a later date as reasons for not moving the date of the draft.
The draft, which has become a huge extravaganza since leaving New York in 2015, will be scaled down and “televised in a way that reflects current conditions.”
Prospects and their families will not be at the draft. It is possible the draft will more resemble a studio TV show.
Even without the big party on the Strip, the draft should still draw considerable attention and TV ratings while the rest of the sports world is largely shut down because of the coronavirus.
Goodell instructed the 32 teams to close their facilities to all but a select few employees on Wednesday. On Thursday, he told teams to plan to conduct draft operations outside of team facilities and with the ability to talk to other teams as well as draft headquarters.
Roger Goodell threatens discipline for those questioning NFL Draft timing
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell is laying down the law.
Goodell sent a memo to NFL teams on Thursday informing them that the date of the league’s draft would remain the same: April 23-25. Goodell also said in the memo that teams would have to conduct draft operations at a location away from the team’s facility, which may help level the playing field for teams located in states/cities where there are harsher coronavirus-related lockdown rules.
Also in the memo, Goodell threatened discipline for those who question the timing of the draft.
Some general managers and front offices have wanted the draft postponed because they have not been able to properly prepare for the potentially franchise-altering event as usual.
The way some clubs draft, maybe not overthinking these decisions would actually help them.
AP source: Colts continue building defense by signing Rhodes
The Indianapolis Colts signed free agent cornerback Xavier Rhodes on Thursday, adding another potentially key piece to their defense.
Rhodes agreed to a one-year deal, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Indianapolis has not yet announced the deal.
The seven-year veteran has spent his entire career with Minnesota after the Vikings took him in the first round of the 2013 draft. He was selected to three Pro Bowls and was an All-Pro in 2017 when he had 56 tackles and two interceptions.
Colts general manager Chris Ballard has made a concerted effort to upgrade the defense this season. Last week, he sent a first-round draft pick to San Francisco for All-Pro defensive tackle DeForest Buckner. Ballard added another big body Wednesday by signing another former 49ers defensive tackle, Sheldon Day.
Rhodes joins the Colts after finishing last season with a career-high 63 tackles but with no interceptions for the first time since his rookie season. He could serve as a replacement for starting cornerback Pierre Desir, who signed with the New York Jets last weekend after being released by the Colts.
Rhodes has started 97 of 104 games and has 372 tackles and 10 interceptions in his career.
AP source: MLBers keep service time in deal; draft may trim
Players agreed to a deal with Major League Baseball that would preserve service time in the event this season is canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, but left open details of what a configured schedule would look like.
As part of the agreement approved by the union Thursday night, players will not challenge the loss of their salaries if no games are played.
Management will advance $170 million in salary payments over two stages, and that money does not have to be returned if the season is canceled. Player salaries this year are expected to total roughly $4 billion.
Management was given the right to cut the amateur draft in both 2020 and 2021, and to freeze the values of signing bonus money at 2019 levels.
Details were divulged to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the agreement who spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement was made.
Teams are set to approve the roughly 17-page agreement Friday, the person said.
Opening day was to have been Thursday, but was pushed back to mid-May at the earliest because of the virus outbreak. The spring training schedule was cut short on March 12 because on the pandemic, and it remains unclear when and if baseball can resume.
Both sides agreed to make a “good faith effort” to schedule as many games as possible this year, subject to government rules, travel, player health and economic feasibility.
They also agreed to consider playing past the usual end of the postseason in late October and early November, even if it involves using neutral sites and domes. They would consider a large increase in doubleheaders to get as many games in as they can, to play without fans and to revise the postseason format.
Seven-inning games for doubleheaders have not been given much discussion but also have not been ruled out.
Players considered service time the key, and older players were willing to give up money to keep younger colleagues on track for big-money contracts next offseason.
If there are no games this year, anyone currently on a 40-man roster, 60-day injured list or an outright assignment to the minor leagues with a major league contract would receive 2020 service time equaling what the player accrued in 2019. If a partial season is played, service time would be the equivalent of what the player would have received over a full schedule.
Mookie Betts, Trevor Bauer, Marcus Stroman, George Springer and JT Realmuto would be eligible for free agency, even if no games are played. The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Betts from Boston just before spring training with the assumption they would have the 2018 AL MVP for one season.
But the trade-off was players would give up their salaries if there is no season, other than the $170 million being advanced to those on the low end of the salary scale. Different tiers of players will receive the advance payments, aimed at those on the lower end of the salary scale.
In the event of a shortened season, 2020 salaries would be prorated depending on how much of the season is played.
Management has the right to cut the amateur draft from 40 rounds to as few as five this year and 20 in 2021, and also has the right to delay the draft to as late as July 20 this year and next. It had been slated to start June 10 this year.
In addition, signing bonuses may be deferred in both years, with 10% due within 30 days of each contract’s approval and 45% on July 1 in each of the following two years.
In a late change, signing bonuses for undrafted players subject to the draft will be capped at $20,000 and not $10,000 as MLB proposed earlier.
Management also has the right to push back the start of the signing period for international amateur players from July 2 to the following Jan. 15 for both this year and for 2021. Then end of each signing period could be delayed from June 15 to Dec. 15.
In the event of a canceled season, all players who were eligible for salary arbitration last offseason would receive the same salaries in 2021 as they were due in 2020.
They agreed salary arbitration decisions next offseason could not be used as precedents and statistical comparisons in arbitration would be adjusted to account for lesser opportunities in a shorter season. In the event of a partial season, qualifying offers to free agents after the season would be based on the full salary total of the top 125 players and not the prorated portion.
When the agreement is finalized, all rosters will be frozen, including trades, signings, optional and outright assignments, placement on the injured lists and designations for assignment. A flurry of options were announced by teams on Thursday.
The union’s executive board and other players gathered on a telephone conference call and unanimously approved the agreement.
Former Astros star Jimmy ‘The Toy Cannon’ Wynn dies at 78
Jimmy Wynn, the diminutive Houston slugger whose monster shots in the 1960s and ’70s earned him the popular nickname “The Toy Cannon,” has died. He was 78.
The Astros said the three-time All-Star outfielder died Thursday in Houston, but did not provide further details.
Just 5-foot-9, Wynn was packed with power. He hit more than 30 homers twice with Houston, including a career-high 37 in 1967 at the pitcher-friendly Astrodome.
“Jimmy’s success on the field helped build our franchise from its beginnings,” the Astros said in a statement. “After his retirement, his tireless work in the community impacted thousands of young people in Houston. Although he is no longer with us, his legacy will live on at Minute Maid Park, at the Astros Youth Academy and beyond.”
At the time of his death Wynn worked in the Astros’ front office as a community outreach executive. Celebrated everywhere he went, Wynn often was seen around the ballpark interacting with players and fans alike.
Wynn became known for his long home runs and two became particularly famous.
The first came on June 10, 1967, when he knocked one out of Cincinnati’s Crosley Field, over the scoreboard in left-center and onto the highway outside of the stadium.
Almost three years later, on April 12, 1970, he became the first player to hit a home run into the upper deck of the cavernous Astrodome when he sent a pitch from Phil Niekro more than 500 feet down the left field line.
Wynn spent his first 11 seasons in Houston, first with the Colt .45s and then with the Astros before making stops with the Dodgers, Braves, Brewers and Yankees in a 15-year major league career.
Wynn left the team as the franchise leader in hits, home runs, RBIs and walks. Overall, he finished with 291 homers with 964 RBIs and 225 stolen bases in his career.
He led the majors with 148 walks in 1969 and stole a career-high 43 bases in 1965. Wynn scored 100 runs or more three times with Houston.
Wynn’s No. 24 jersey was retired by the Astros on June 25, 2005, and he was inducted into the inaugural class of the Astros Hall of Fame on Aug. 3, 2019.
In June 2011, he was honored by the franchise when the Astros and Minute Maid dedicated the Jimmy Wynn Training Center, a state-of-the-art baseball facility at the Astros Youth Academy.
Born in Cincinnati on March 12, 1942, Wynn grew up there before attending Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. He made his MLB debut on July 10, 1963, at 21 and hit four homers with 27 RBIs in 70 games that season.
Wynn had the first of his eight 20-HR seasons in 1965 when he hit 22. He hit 33 homers in 1969 with Houston and his last 30-home run season came in 1972 when he slugged 32 and had a career-high 108 RBIs for the Dodgers.
Wynn played in his only World Series in 1974 and homered for the Dodgers in a five-game loss to Oakland.
Pandemic fallout: NCAA slashes distribution by $375 million
The NCAA will distribute $225 million to its Division I members in June, a whopping $375 million less than had been budgeted after the coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of the big-money men’s basketball tournament.
Ohio State President Michael Drake, chairman of the NCAA board of governors, said the association will undertake cost-cutting measures to be determined in the upcoming weeks.
“The association has prepared for a financial catastrophic event like the one we face now,” Drake said Thursday. “While we certainly have challenges ahead, we would be in a far worse position had it not been for this long-standing, forward-focused planning.”
The NCAA had been scheduled to distribute $600 million to more than 300 Division I schools from April to June. Instead, it will hand out far less.
Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby told reporters his 10-member league would have expected about $24 million from NCAA distributions. Instead, he estimated, the Big 12 will receive about $10 million.
The NCAA pulled in more than $1 billion in revenue last year, including $867.5 million from the television and marketing rights for the Division I men’s basketball tournament. But March Madness was canceled March 19, a week before the first round was scheduled to begin.
The NCAA said $50 million will come from its reserve fund while a $270 million event cancellation insurance policy will help pay off the remaining distribution. Some $53.6 million will be distributed to member schools through the Equal Conference Fund, which is split equally among Division I basketball playing conferences.
“Our priority is to ensure that we are able to support student-athletes and continue to provide opportunity as broadly as possible,” said University of Kentucky President Eli Capilouto, the Division I board chairman.
The remainder will be proportionally distributed
Division II is projected to receive $13.9 million, $30 million less than last year. Division III is expected to receive $10.7 million, $22 million less than last year.
REPORT: CONCERN THAT COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON COULD BE IN JEOPARDY
We’re no longer talking about the possibility that spring sports around the United States could be canceled amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Said conversation has turned to the football world. It was noted earlier on Wednesday that the start of the 2020 NFL season could be in jeopardy.
Now comes this information from multiple credible sources indicating that fans should be concerned about the college football season.
College football insider Dan Wolken noted that this has been the topic of conversation around the college world over the past week.
ESPN’s Dustin Fox followed that up by reporting that people around the college football world are concerned about the 2020 season.
The 2020 NCAA Men’s and Women’s College Basketball Tournaments have already been canceled. Major League Baseball, the National Hockey League and the National Basketball Association have already suspended their seasons.
With a vast majority of college students now studying remotely and no end in sight as it relates to COVID-19, the possibility of the 2020 college football season being impacted increases on a near-daily basis. That’s for sure.
AP Source: 20% base salary reductions for top NBA executives
Top NBA executives are having their base salaries reduced by 20% for the foreseeable future, a person with knowledge of the details said Thursday.
The reductions affect the roughly 100 highest-earning executives, as the NBA joins the NHL and NASCAR in cutting salaries while competitions are on hold because of the coronavirus.
The cuts are effective immediately and affect NBA employees both inside the league headquarters in New York, and in global offices, the person told The Associated Press. The person was granted anonymity because the reductions were not announced publicly.
The reductions were first reported by ESPN.
Health benefits remain unaffected and there are no changes for the rest of the organization, including support and administrative staff.
The NBA suspended its season on March 11 when Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz became the first player to test positive. The league is still discussing scenarios for resuming play once allowed.
It had already been a challenging season for the NBA financially, with a loss of revenue from China following Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey’s tweet in support of Hong Kong anti-government protesters. Games were taken off the air and relationships with business partners were damaged, with Commissioner Adam Silver saying during last month’s All-Star Game that the league could lose hundreds of millions of dollars.
Then came the coronavirus, which for most people causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.
The pandemic has caused a huge impact on sports leagues. The NHL is cutting salaries for league employees 25% starting next month. NASCAR officers will have a 25% reduction in salary, while all other employees will have their salary reduced by 20%.
NBA executives have given up salary before, with former Commissioner David Stern taking no pay during work stoppages in 1998 and 2011.
NBA teams will make their next scheduled salary payments to players April 1, but it remains unclear if they will get what would be their next check April 15. The league could say the pandemic falls under what is legally known as a “Force Majeure Event” – the term for unforeseeable circumstances, such as war or an epidemic. Per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, when that clause is invoked, players could lose 1.08% of their annual salary for each game missed.
That means Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, the league’s highest-paid player this season, could lose about $435,000 for each game that ultimately is not played. A player who had a two-way contract converted to a regular NBA deal for this season would stand to lose about $9,700 per game.
However, none of that would become finalized until such time as the league officially cancels games. That has not yet occurred.
UFC light heavyweight champ Jones arrested, accused of DWI
UFC light heavyweight champion Jon “Bones” Jones has been arrested on suspicion of DWI and other offenses after officers heard gunshots and found him in a parked car with a handgun and a half-empty bottle of liquor early Thursday, Albuquerque police said.
The 32-year-old Jones was arrested on suspicion of aggravated DWI, negligent use of firearms, possession of an open container of alcohol and no proof of insurance for a vehicle, police said.
Police said Jones was found in the driver’s seat of a parked vehicle with the engine running about 1 a.m. Authorities said Jones showed signs of intoxication and a handgun and a half-empty bottle of liquor were in the vehicle.
Bernalillo County jail records indicate Jones was released after being booked.
Online court records don’t list an attorney for Jones who could comment on his behalf.
Jones (26-1) retained his title in February by beating Dominick Reyes by unanimous decision.
LATEST COVID19 SPORTS NEWS
Louisville says the father of junior wide receiver Corey Reed Jr. died Wednesday morning from coronavirus in an Atlanta hospital. Corey Reed Sr. was 43.
Cardinals coach Scott Satterfield expressed “deepest condolences” to Reed and his family in a release and said the program is there to support them. Satterfield added, “This horrible virus has affected so many people, and it’s even more difficult when it touches someone in the UofL football family.”
Reed caught eight passes for 145 yards in 13 games in 2017 and played in two contests the next season. He returned to Louisville this spring after transferring to Iowa Western Community College.
Rafael Nadal and Pau Gasol have launched a campaign to encourage donations in the hope of raising 11 million euros ($12.1 million) to help Spain fight the coronavirus.
The tennis and basketball stars said in videos posted on social media that they are supporting a Red Cross fundraising effort to help with the public health crisis.
Nadal and Gasol say they have made donations and urged others to follow their lead. Former Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas quickly said he would pitch in.
Nadal says “I believe that we are who we are in large part thanks to your support and now we have to be there for you.”
Spain has 56,188 infections and more than 4,000 fatalities from the virus.
Two major triathlons in Spain have been postponed and the world university triathlon championship in Hungary has been canceled because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The Olympic mixed relay qualifying race had already been relocated to Valencia from Chengdu, China, and was scheduled for May 1.
A World Cup event in Valencia had been scheduled for the next day. It’s the seventh World Cup race to be postponed.
The International Triathlon Union says it will try to find new dates for both.
The university worlds were to be staged on June 27-28 in Kecskemet.
A soccer exhibition between Mexico and Colombia on May 30 at Denver has been canceled because of the new coronavirus pandemic.
Soccer United Marketing, the wing of Major League Soccer that was promoting the match, said Thursday the federations will attempt to reschedule the game before the World Cup in November 2022.
The Italian soccer federation has offered up its hotel and auditorium for people having their health monitored amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The facilities outside Florence are normally used by Italy’s national soccer teams and also host high-level courses for coaches and sporting directors.
Federation president Gabriele Gravina says “now that we are not playing soccer, to return to doing so we need to win together the most important match against coronavirus.”
Italy has nearly 75,000 infections and more than 7,500 fatalities from the virus.
Real Madrid and Spanish sports authorities say the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium will be used to store donations of medical supplies to help combat the coronavirus outbreak.
The soccer club says it will use the stadium to store private donations. They will then be distributed by government authorities to hospitals.
Spain has 56,188 infections and more than 4,000 fatalities from the COVID-19 virus.
Civic groups, businesses and individuals are donating much-needed masks and any material that can used to make protective gear for doctors and nurses.
Four German soccer clubs have pledged 20 million euros ($21.9 million) to support other teams struggling to stay afloat after games in the country were suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Leipzig and Bayer Leverkusen will forgo 12.5 million euros ($13.7 million) in as-yet undistributed TV money and add another 7.5 million euros ($8.2 million) from their own funds. All four clubs played in the Champions League this season, giving them extra income.
The German Football League, which oversees the top two divisions, will decide how the money is distributed. The league has previously said it fears many clubs could face financial collapse if games can’t resume.
Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says “in these difficult times, it’s important that the stronger shoulders support the weaker shoulders.”
Paris Saint-Germain is selling a new jersey online with the profits going to local hospitals and nursing staff dealing with the coronavirus outbreak.
The French champion’s jersey bears the emblem “Tous Unis” (All United) on the front.
A total of 262,500 euros (about $288,000) will be raised if all 1,500 jerseys priced at 175 euros ($192) are sold.
PSG president Nasser al-Khelaifi says “we can only be sensitive to and grateful for the astounding work” that medical staff on the front line have done against the virus.
The Spanish Grand Prix on the MotoGP circuit scheduled for May 3 has been postponed because of the coronavirus outbreak.
It is the fifth MotoGP race to be canceled or postponed.
The next race at risk is the French Grand Prix on May 17 at Le Mans.
The Turkish Boxing Federation says national team member Serhat Guler and trainer Seyfullah Dumlupinar tested positive for the coronavirus after returning from an Olympic qualifying competition in London.
The federation says the boxing team went to a training camp in Sheffield on March 3 to prepare for the competition and traveled to London on March 11. All team members stayed at the same hotel and ate at the same cafeteria.
The IOC is running the qualifying competitions for boxing because governing body AIBA has been suspended.
The Turkish team competed on March 15 and 16 and returned home on March 17 after the IOC halted the competition. All team members were quarantined on return.
The federation says Guler and Dumlupinar are being treated in the hospital. Two other boxers who complained of high fever are awaiting the results of their tests.
Jaguars, Dennard part ways after agreeing to 3-year contract
The Jacksonville Jaguars and cornerback Darqueze Dennard have parted ways nine days after agreeing to a three-year, $13.5 million contract in free agency.
The Jaguars said Thursday “the two sides could not come to an agreement on the final contract terms.”
Dennard agreed to the deal March 17, the night before the official start of the new league year. The contract included $6 million guaranteed.
But it never got signed, and the Jaguars decided to move in a different direction. They agreed to terms Tuesday with journeyman cornerback Rashaan Melvin on a one-year contract worth $2.25 million.
Dennard had been one of six defensive players to agree to join Jacksonville in free agency. The list also included linebacker Joe Schobert, defensive lineman Rodney Gunter, linebacker/pass-rusher Cassius Marsh and defensive tackle Al Woods.
The Jaguars are hoping to make more significant, long-term additions to their depleted roster with 12 picks in next month’s NFL draft.
Still, they signed Dennard to be a projected starter. He served mostly as a nickel cornerback during his six years in Cincinnati, but was expected to play outside in Jacksonville. The Jaguars need to replace cornerback A.J. Bouye, who was traded to Denver earlier this month for a fourth-round draft pick.
Jacksonville also traded three-time Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey early last season and lost veteran Josh Robinson to retirement later in the year.
Now, they have Melvin, returning starter Tre Herndon and Parry Nickerson as options. They likely will need to draft a cornerback next month.
2020 NFL QB RATINGS
If the COVID19 virus allows, the NFL Draft will be held in April. It will no longer be in Las Vegas but it is expected to be held in another location without a crowd (like the good old days). Today we rank the best QB prospects:
RANK/2019 STATS, COMPLETIONS/ATTEMPTS/YARDS/TD/INT
#30 Tommy Stevens, Mississippi State….97-161-1,155-11TD-5INT
#29 Jake Luton, Oregon State…222-358-2,714-28TD-3INT
#28 Quentin Harris, Duke….209-357-2,078-16TD-11INT
#27 J’Mar Smith, Louisiana Tech….236-367-2,977-18TD-5INT
#26 Nathan Rourke, Ohio….200-328-2,820-20TD-5INT
#25 Kevin Davidson, Princeton….209-313-2,569-20TD-6INT
#24 Tyler Huntley, Utah….220-301-3,092-19TD-4INT
#23 Ben DiNucci, James Madison…268-378-3,441-29TD-6INT
#22 Mason Fine, North Texas….257-414-3,088-29TD-9INT
#21 Josh Love, San Jose State….293-481-3,923-22TD-8TD
#20 Tom Flacco, Towson….215-356-2,831-22TD-6INT
#19 Kelly Bryant, Missouri…181-292-2,215-15TD-6INT
#18 Brian Lewerke, Michigan State….260-436-3,079-17TD-13INT
#17 Bryce Perkins, Virginia…319-495-3,530-22TD-12INT
#16 Nick Tiano, Chattanooga…174-329-2,242-14TD-10INT
#15 Blake Barnett, South Florida…40-77-434-4TD-2INT
#14 Riley Neal, Vanderbilt….149-258-1,585-9TD-5INT
#13 James Morgan, Florida International…..207-357-2,585-14TD-5INT
#12 Steve Montez, Colorado…..255-405-2,808-17TD-10INT
#11 Cole McDonald, Hawaii….326-511-4,135-33TD-14INT
THE TOP 10
#10 Shea Patterson, Michigan….214-381-3,061-23TD-8INT (6’1” 205, athletic and creative, needs better feel)
#9 Anthony Gordon, Washington State….493-689-5,579-48TD-16INT (6’2” 199, a one year starter at WState)
#8 Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma…..237-340-3,851-32TD-8INT (6’1” 220, still a work in progress as a passer)
#7 Nate Stanley, Iowa…..237-399-2,951-16TD-7INT (6’4” 235, ran pro style offense, lacks arm strength)
#6 Jacob Eason, Washington….260-405-3,132-23TD-8INT (6’6” 225, Great arm strength)
#5 Jake Fromm, Georgia….234-385-2,860-24TD-5INT (6’2” 215, Pocket QB, lacks great arm strength)
#4 Jordon Love, Utah State….293-473-3,402-20TD-17INT (6’4” 225, Played in Mountain West, still unpolished)
#3 Justin Herbert, Oregon….286-428-3,471-32TD-6INT (6’6” 226, He is pro ready)
#2 Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama…..180-252-2,840-33TD-3INT (6’1” 215, Injured late in 2019)
#1 Joe Burrow, LSU…..402-527-5,671-60TD-6INT (6’3” 215, Burrow started his career at Ohio State)
NFL MOCK DRAFT 5.0
1: CINCINNATI….Joe Burrow QB
LSU • SR • 6’4″ / 221 LBS
2: WASHINGTON….Chase Young EDGE
OHIO STATE • JR • 6’5″ / 264 LBS
3: DETROIT….Derrick Brown DL
AUBURN • SR • 6’5″ / 326 LBS
4: NY GIANTS….Andrew Thomas OL
GEORGIA • JR • 6’5″ / 315 LBS
5: MIAMI….Tua Tagovailoa QB
ALABAMA • JR • 6’0″ / 217 LBS
6: LA CHARGERS….Justin Herbert QB
OREGON • SR • 6’6″ / 236 LBS
7: CAROLINA….Jeff Okudah CB
OHIO STATE • JR • 6’1″ / 205 LBS
8: ARIZONA….Jedrick Wills Jr. OL
ALABAMA • JR • 6’4″ / 312 LBS
9: JACKSONVILLE….Mekhi Becton OL
LOUISVILLE • JR • 6’7″ / 364 LBS
10: CLEVELAND….Isaiah Simmons LB
CLEMSON • JR • 6’4″ / 238 LBS
11: NY JETS….Henry Ruggs III WR
ALABAMA • JR • 5’11” / 188 LBS
12: LAS VEGAS….CJ Henderson CB
FLORIDA • JR • 6’1″ / 204 LBS
13: SAN FRANCISCO….CeeDee Lamb WR
OKLAHOMA • JR • 6’2″ / 198 LBS
14: TAMPA BAY…..Tristan Wirfs OL
IOWA • JR • 6’5″ / 320 LBS
15: ATLANTA…..Jerry Jeudy WR
ALABAMA • JR • 6’1″ / 193 LBS
16: DALLAS….Cesar Ruiz OL
MICHIGAN • JR • 6’3″ / 307 LBS
17: MIAMI….Ezra Cleveland OL
BOISE STATE • JR • 6’6″ / 311 LBS
18: LAS VEGAS…..Justin Jefferson WR
LSU • JR • 6’1″ / 202 LBS
19: JACKSONVILLE….Jordan Love QB
UTAH STATE • JR • 6’4″ / 224 LBS
20: PHILADELPHIA….Denzel Mims WR
BAYLOR • SR • 6’3″ / 207 LBS
21: MINNESOTA…..K’Lavon Chaisson EDGE
LSU • SOPH • 6’3″ / 254 LBS
22: NEW ENGLAND….A.J. Epenesa EDGE
IOWA • JR • 6’5″ / 275 LBS
23: NEW ORLEANS….Kristian Fulton CB
LSU • SR • 6’0″ / 197 LBS
24: MIAMI….Tee Higgins WR
CLEMSON • JR • 6’4″ / 216 LBS
25: SEATTLE…..Yetur Gross-Matos EDGE
PENN STATE • JR • 6’5″ / 266 LBS
26: BALTIMORE…..Patrick Queen LB
LSU • JR • 6’0″ / 229 LBS
27: TENNESSEE…..Zack Baun LB
WISCONSIN • SR • 6’2″ / 238 LBS
28: GREEN BAY…..Cole Kmet TE
NOTRE DAME • JR • 6’6″ / 262 LBS
29: SAN FRANCISCO…..Damon Arnette CB
OHIO STATE • SR • 6’0″ / 195 LBS
30: KANSAS CITY…..Noah Igbinoghene CB
AUBURN • JR • 5’10” / 198 LBS
Ovechkin, Crosby favor NHL going directly into playoffs
Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby are on the same page: They would like the NHL to go directly to the playoffs if and when play resumes.
The two rival Metropolitan Division captains shared their views Thursday during a video conference call hosted by the league.
“I mean, you try to get in as many games as you can, I think. But I wouldn’t mind starting right in the playoffs,” said Crosby, whose Pittsburgh Penguins were third in the division standings when the season was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Crosby acknowledged the more regular season games that can be squeezed in would be better for the integrity of the playoffs.
Ovechkin had the same idea.
“For, me of course, the more games we play, it’s going to be better for our fans and it’s going to be better for teams fighting for the playoffs,” said Ovechkin, whose Washington Capitals lead the division. “But I’d rather start the playoffs right away.”
Ovechkin then broke into a smile and said, “Sorry guys,” referring to the other three players on the video call. Columbus Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno didn’t take offense and said: “Don’t say sorry to me. We’re in a playoff spot.”
The calls featured representatives from each of the eight Metropolitan teams. Similar calls featuring players of teams from the league’s other three divisions will take place into next week.
There is no timetable for when play will resume and it has not been determined whether the league will complete the regular season. There were 189 games left on the schedule when play was stopped, and both conferences featured tightly contested playoff races.
In the East, Carolina and Columbus were tied with 81 points in holding the conference’s two wild-card spots, with the New York Islanders (80 points), New York Rangers (79) and Florida (78) all in contention.
Teams also had not played an equal series of games, with the Islanders having played 68 to Columbus’ 70.
In the West, Winnipeg (80 points) and Nashville (78) held the conference’s two wild-card spots, with the Predators having the edge over Vancouver despite being tied in points. Minnesota sat a point back.
Harlem Globetrotters great Curly Neal dies at 77
Fred “Curly” Neal, the dribbling wizard who entertained millions with the Harlem Globetrotters for parts of three decades, has died. He was 77.
The Globetrotters said Neal died in his home outside of Houston on Thursday morning.
“We have lost one of the most genuine human beings the world has ever known,” Globetrotters general manager Jeff Munn said
. “Curly’s basketball skill was unrivaled by most, and his warm heart and huge smile brought joy to families worldwide.”
Neal played for the Globetrotters from 1963-85, appearing in more than 6,000 games in 97 countries for the exhibition team known for its combination of comedy and athleticism. He became one of five Globetrotters to have his jersey retired when his No. 22 was lifted to the rafters during a special ceremony at Madison Square Garden in 2008.
Neal was a crowd favorite with his trademark shaved head, infectious smile and ability to dribble circles around would-be defenders. He was a key player during the Globetrotters’ most popular era in the ‘70s and ’80s, appearing on TV shows and specials like “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “Love Boat” and “Gilligan’s Island.”
Neal and the Globetrotters also appeared in numerous TV commercials, episodes of “Scooby-Doo” and had their own cartoon series.
Neal was a star high school player in Greensboro, North Carolina, and led Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte to the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association title after averaging 23 points per game as a senior. He was inducted into the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in a 2008 class that included North Carolina coach Roy Williams.
Neal also was inducted into the Globetrotters’ Legends ring in 1993 and continued to make appearances for them as an “Ambassador of Goodwill.”
White Sox option RHP Kopech to Triple-A Charlotte
Right-hander Michael Kopech was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte by the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.
The 23-year-old is among the top pitching prospects. He missed last season after he had Tommy John surgery in September 2018, but he hit triple-digits on the radar gun during his first spring training appearance on March 10.
Kopech was acquired by Chicago in the December 2016 trade that sent Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox. Kopech made his big league debut in 2018, going 1-1 with a 5.02 ERA in four starts.
His salary in the minors is $277,500, down from the minimum $563,500 in the majors.
Chicago was scheduled to host the Kansas City Royals on Thursday on opening day, but the start of the season has been pushed back until mid-May at the earliest because of the new coronavirus pandemic.
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PREVIEW: BALTIMORE ORIOLES
2019 RECORD: 54-108
MANAGER: MIKE ELIAS
FIVE YEAR WINNING TREND:
The Orioles remain in a re-build mode following another 100+ losing season. They have little salary to spend on free agents or the ability to acquire top talent outside the amateur draft. Another season in the basement of the American League East is probable. Losing more than last year’s 108 games is likely after trading pitcher Dylan Bundy and Jonathan Villar.
Baltimore fans must realize there is no quick fix to this franchise.
The starters posted a robust 5.57 ERA in 2019, the worst in baseball…again. John Means is their best starter going 12-11 with an ERA of 3.60 as a rookie. Means was a total surprise after making the team out of spring training. Means was the fifth Baltimore rookie to make the All-Star team and the first since catcher Andy Etchebarren in 1966.
Alex Cobb is expected to be the number two starter following an injury filled 2019. Asher Wojciechowski was picked up from Cleveland on July 1 and is projected to be the third starter this season.
Baltimore used 18 pitchers as starters in 2019. Others who will audition for the opening day roster include Kohl Stewart, Minnesota’s top draft pick in 2013, David Hess, Keegan Aikin, Brandon Bailey and Michael Rucker. Bailey and Rucker were selected in the Rule 5 draft from Houston and the Cubs respectively.
Like the starting pitching, the bullpen was a disaster in 2019. They couldn’t hold a lead or keep deficits close and ended up being responsible for 126 of the major league – record 305 home runs given up by the pitching staff. Mychal Givens had a career – high 4.57 ERA despite a career – best 33.1% strikeout rate. Givens is expected to be trade bait before the season begins. Hunter Harvey is returning from Tommy John surgery and has the potential to be a strong closer. Dillon Tate has an excellent arm and should be strong in relief. Others expected to come out of the bullpen include Miguel Castro, Richard Bleier, Paul Fry, Tanner Scott and Shawn Armstrong, who was acquired from Seattle.
When Baltimore traded Jonathan Villar, the weekend the Orioles dramatically. Villar played in all 162 games, sharing second base with Hanser Alberto and shortstop Richie Martin. Alberto hit .398 against lefties which ranks second in major league baseball. He is expected to become the full – time second baseman. Martin made the big jump from Double-A to the majors and struggled hitting just .208. Stevie Wilkerson is a utility player who can handle any infield position, play outfield and even pitch in emergencies. Former Colorado Rockie Pat Valaika will also compete at second base and shortstop.
Alberto and Rio Ruiz did most of the work at third base last season. Ryan Mountcastle is one of the organizations top prospects and has been moved from shortstop to third base. He can also play in left field. Chris Davis has three years remaining on his franchise – record $161 million contract which has proven to be one of the team’s biggest mistakes. Davis hit just .179 with 12 home runs and 36 RBI. Moving Davis will be difficult to do because of that huge contract. Trey Mancini is expected to take over at first base on a full – time basis. Mancini is a converted outfielder who hit 35 home runs and drove in 97 in 2019.
Renato Nunez had 31 home runs and 90 RBI but isn’t strong on defense.
Baltimore expected Cedric Mullins to be the future in centerfield. He was the opening day starter in 2019, but after going 6 – 64 he was optioned to the minors and never returned. He will be back in camp competing for a starting spot with Austin Hays, Anthony Santander, Dwight Smith Jr., and DJ Stewart. Stewart may not be ready for opening day after undergoing ankle surgery in the off-season. Hays became the first major league rookie to record five or more RBI, a stolen base and an outfield assist since RBI’s became an official stat in 1920.
Baltimore spent most of the 2019 season using Pedro Severino and Chance Sisco behind the plate. Severino was acquired from Washington and hit a career-high .249 with 13 doubles and 13 home runs for the Orioles. Severino was a liability on defense with 10 passed balls. Sisco struggled hitting major league pitching and remains below average on defense. Baltimore will look to Austin Wynns to provide more competition at this position.
Nunez is better suited as a designated hitter that he is as an infielder. If he produces like he did in 2019 the Orioles will gladly give him the DH role full-time. Davis will also get some at-bats as the DH. Mountcastle, Mullins, Smith and Mason Williams could be extra outfielders, and Wilkerson will be a utility player. Ruiz will be on the bench when he’s not starting at third base. Valaika will also be a utility option.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
305…. Home runs allowed by Baltimore pitching, a major league record.
10….. Consecutive games that Baltimore hit at least two homeruns to set a major-league record.
8….. Number of Baltimore players who made their major-league debut in 2019.
1.93…. Relief pitcher Mychal Givens’ ERA in the eighth inning.
6.69….. Givens’ ERA in the ninth-inning.
4….. Position players used as pitchers last season.
7…… Number of times that a position player pitched last season.
.429….. Batting average against relief pitcher Miguel Castro with the bases loaded.
.398…..Hanser Alberto’s batting average against left-handed pitching, second-highest in the majors.
2…… Number of Tommy John surgery is for left-hander Josh Rogers, the second coming in July.
58….. Baltimore used 58 players during the season, the most in club history.
38……. Baltimore used a club – record 38 pitchers in 2019
35/38….. Mancini joined Colorado’s Trevor Story as the only players with 35 home runs and 38 doubles.
WHAT THE SCOUTS ARE SAYING:
Baltimore has a huge hill to climb in order to compete with New York, Boston, and Tampa Bay. Many feel they are headed in the right direction, but it’s going to be slow and painful. They rebuilt their front office, changed scouting and player development, but when making those changes it could take years to make an impact at the top level. Finding Means last season was a real key. That’s why they are excited to find other players that can produce like he did in 2019. Look for Austin Hays to get a chance to prove himself after showing big power in the minors. Oriole fans can count on Trey Mancini and Hanser Alberto, but overall it’s going to be very ugly this season. They have no other alternatives but to work on the organization’s infrastructure, build the farm system and wait.
There a lot of work to be done before Baltimore can be taken seriously in the American League East. Their payroll could be the lowest in major league baseball and they will vie for the top draft pick again this season. Management is hoping that a data driven approach is the way to go in Baltimore. They are hoping Houston will be there model. Fans have stopped coming to Camden Yards because of the losing, but the front office is confident better times are ahead.
TOP 10 PROSPECTS:
C Adley Rutschman
LHP DJ Hall
RHP Grayson Rodriguez
INF/OF Ryan Mountcastle
OF Yusniel Diaz
SS Gunnar Henderson
LHP Keegan Akin
RHP Dean Kremer
RHP Michael Baumann
LHP Zac Lowther
2020 AREA HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL CAPSULES
The Indiana High School Baseball season hasn’t been cancelled yet. The IHSAA is holding out hope the season can still begin sometime after May 1st. If they do, here are the top returning players to look for:
RICHMOND: LAST SEASON 18-11
Senior Gabe Crowe, .368BA, 29R, 21RBI, 11SB…2-0 3,21ERA, 25K
Junior Colton Fox, .292BA, 14RBI….1-1 2.33ERA
Senior George Dickman, 17RBI
Senior Jarred Flood, 1-0 4.59ERA 9APP
Sophomore Hayden Scalf, 2-1
SETON CATHOLIC: LAST SEASON 14-11
Senior Josh Brown, 16R, 16RBI, 8SB…5-1 2.02ERA, 41K, .246OBA
Senior Brandon Chandler, .348, 23H, 13R, 20RBI, 6SB
Junior Luke Leverton, .479, 26R, 34H, 24RBI, 7 2B…6-2 2.00ERA, 86K, .134OBA
CENTERVILLE: LAST SEASON 6-18
Sophomore Bryce Robertson, .246, 5RBI, 11BB
Sophomore Zach Thompson, .224, 8RBI
Junior Cameron Newman, .219
Senior Brent Cones, .292, 19H, 8RBI, 15SB
Sophomore Keegan Schlotterbeck, .221, 17H, 8RBI
Senior Brennan Kean, .233, 10RBI, 5SB
HAGERSTOWN: LAST SEASON 26-2
Senior Brady McMillen, .250, 8RBI, 9SB….8-1 1.26ERA, 46K, .146OBA
Senior Collin Romack, .250, 3SB
Junior Dom Anderson, .333, 23RBI, HR, 5SB….8SV, 59K
Senior Camden Rhoades, .410, 34H, 22RBI, HR, 16SB
LINCOLN: LAST SEASON 7-16
Junior Bryce Pennington, .357, 20H, 8RBI, 20R, 10SB….1-2 5.88ERA
Junior Alex Hokey, .205, 16R, 10SB
Sophomore Nolan Miller, .293, 12RBI, 11R
Junior Mason Dick, .217, 9RBI, 8SB….4-4 3.33ERA, 50K
Junior Evan Roettger, .344, .440OB%, 21H, 16RBI, 10R…4.33ERA
Senior Cameron Gwin, .228, 6RBI, 2-4 23K
NORTHEASTERN: LAST SEASON 12-11
Senior Cade Bray, .320, 8RBI, 20BB, 8SB
Junior Justin Bane, .427, 27R, 32H, 24RBI, 5 2B, 18SB…2-4 3.93ERA, 2SV, 48K, .237OBA
Senior Seth Middleton, .400, 24H, 10RBI
Sophomore Ben Deitsch, 7RBI, 0-1 3.75ERA
Junior Damian Esquivel, .341, 14RBI…1-1 4.87, 19K
Senior Zack Jaykoski, .256, 8SB
UNION COUNTY: LAST SEASON 24-6
Junior Mason Wicker, .352, 25R, 31H, 19RBI, 10 2B, 7SB
Junior Alex VanWinkle, .284, 20R, 23H, 16RBI, 7SB…2-0 2.23, 2SV, 31K
UNION CITY: LAST SEASON 8-15
Senior Nic Wells, .315, 14R, 23H, 11SB…3-4 5.38ERA, 37K
Junior Hunter Reagan, .311, 23H, 11R….1-1 4.27ERA, 32K
Senior Cole Hughes, .244
WINCHESTER: LAST SEASON 5-17
Senior Chandler Retz, .220, 8RBI, 2HR
Sophomore Brooks Burelison, .206, 14H, 5RBI…0-1 4.45ERA
Junior Parker Sheets, .171…3-3 5.29ERA, 25K
Senior Ross Culy, .290, 18H, 13R, 8RBI, 7SB
TODAY IN SPORTS HISTORY-1996
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates- Cigar, the great American thoroughbred who traveled more than 6,000 miles to race here, held off a breathtaking stretch challenge tonight to win the $4 million Dubai World Cup by half a length and collect racing’s richest prize. It was the 14th straight victory by the extraordinary 6-year-old bay, but it also was by far the narrowest of that streak. Soul of the Matter closed from the outside to run eye to eye with Cigar with just three-sixteenths of a mile to go, and the jockey Jerry Bailey had to ask the horse for more than he had ever asked before.
The triumph left Cigar just 2 victories short of the legendary Citation’s record of 16 consecutive victories, vaulted Cigar past Alysheba as racing’s career leading money winner and swelled his international reputation. Still, Cigar’s trainer, Bill Mott, said his horse was not at his best, underscoring just how risky and unusual an undertaking the race was for such a valuable horse. Mott said that as Cigar and Soul of the Matter thundered side by side down the stretch, he was counting the 11 training days that Cigar had lost after sustaining a bruised right foot only five weeks ago. “Tonight you saw him reach down and find something he hasn’t had to use every time he’s run,” Mott said. “It was just sure grit, and it’s really good to see that he’s got it in him.”
Gambling is not permitted in the Persian Gulf emirate of Dubai, where the eclectic scene at tonight’s six-card race included foreigners in miniskirts, Sudanese workers in turbans and members of the ruling family in royal robes. But for those who placed their bets outside the country, Ladbrokes, the British odds-making firm, had Cigar as the heavy even money favorite. Soul of the Matter, a 5- year-old bay, was listed by British bookmakers at 25‚1.
Cigar, who started from the eighth position in an 11-horse field, was the last one loaded into the starting gate for the mile-and- a-quarter race on the sandy Nad al- Sheba track. He slipped on the way out, leaving him in the middle of the pack with five furlongs to go. Cigar took the lead from the pacesetter, L’Carriere, on the final turn into the long three-furlong homestretch, but then Burt Bacharach’s Soul of the Matter roared from last place to make the final challenge. “I was a bit worried,” said Bailey, who wore the red, white and blue silks of Cigar’s owner, Allen Paulson.
But Bailey responded with hands and whip to urge Cigar first a nose, then a shoulder and finally a half-length ahead in a race that the jockey, speaking of his mount, said was “not his best performance, but it was his best effort.” Gary Stevens, who rode Soul of the Matter, said he believed his horse had actually nosed in front for a moment. “I think it’s been quite some time since anybody’s got past Cigar,” he said. But Bailey, North America’s 1995 Jockey of the Year riding the 1995 Horse of the Year, said, “Nobody was going by me, even if we went around again.”
Cigar tied Citation’s American record for consecutive victories with his 16th straight four months later. Cigar won 19 of his 33 career races and was named Horse of the Year in 1995 and ’96.
TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY
1902 A Chicago Daily News headline reads, ‘Manager of the Cubs is in Doubt Only on Two Positions,’ marking the first time that the team’s nickname has appeared in print. Although the moniker has been around since 1890, the Orphans, also once known as the Colts and White Stockings, will not officially adopt the Cubs as its new name until 1907.
1935 At Asahi Field, a pitching duel between Tokyo’s future Hall of Fame Russian pitcher Victor Starffin and San Jose Asahi’s Russell Hinaga ends with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the ninth when Russell Hinaga singles, plating the winning run to give the hometown Japanese American semi-pro team a 3-2 victory over the Tokyo Giants. The visitors, who will avenge their loss to the ‘Morning Suns,’ next year, are touring the United States to promote the formation of a professional Japanese league, which will be established in the Land of the Rising Sun next season.
1967 Giants’ right-hander Juan Marichal ends his 29-day holdout when he becomes the third $100,000 major league pitcher in history, joining Dodger hurlers Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale. The ‘Dominican Dandy’ also reported to spring training late last season but proceeded to win his first ten games en route to a 25-6 record.
1973 Twins’ right-hander Jim Perry becomes the first player to use the ’10 and 5 rule’ when he okays his trade to the Tigers for minor league pitcher Dan Fife and cash. During his one season in Detroit, Gaylord’s brother will post a 14-13 (.519) record along with an ERA of 4.03 in 35 appearances with the team.
1973 Hoping to make the team in spring training, right-hander Denny McLain is released by the Braves, in effect ending his career two days before his 29th birthday. During his ten-year major league tenure, the former 30-game winner compiled a 131-92 career record with an ERA of 3.39.
1981 Boston’s Gold Glove catcher Carlton Fisk is declared a free agent by major league baseball, much to the chagrin of the Fenway Faithful. The 33 year-old backstop can now negotiate with other teams for his services because he received his contract from the Red Sox two days after the deadline.
1987 The Mets trade backup catcher Ed Hearn, right-hander Rick A. Anderson, and pitching prospect Mauro Gozzo to the Royals for David Cone and minor leaguer Chris Jelic. The 24 year-old right-hander, who will compile an 80-48 (.625) record during his first six seasons in New York, posts a 5-6 mark this season, with Hearn appearing in only 15 games for Kansas City.
1989 Sports Illustrated exposes Pete Rose’s gambling activities. The article alleges ‘Charlie Hustle’ bet from the Riverfront Stadium dugout using hand gestures with an associate.
1992 The Brewers trade Gary Sheffield to the Padres for pitcher Ricky Bones and minor leaguers Jose Valentin and Matt Mieske. Sheffield, Milwaukee’s first-round pick (sixth overall) in the 1986 draft, will hit .330 for his new team this season, winning the National League batting crown.
2002 After being told he would not be an everyday player, the Expos give 37 year-old Jose Canseco his unconditional release. The 1986 Rookie of the Year and 1988 MVP of the American League ends his 17-year career with 462 home runs while batting .266, playing with five different clubs in the Junior Circuit.
2002 The Cubs, in desperate need of a closer due to Tom Gordon’s muscle tear, trade righties Julian Tavarez (10-9, 4.52) and Jose Cueto as well as southpaw Dontrelle Willis and catcher Ryan Jorgensen to the Marlins for Antonio Alfonseca (4-4, 28 saves) and right-hander Matt Clement (9-10, 5.05). Willis, next season’s Rookie of the Year in the National League, will become a twenty-game winner for the Fish in 2005.
2008 At the start of spring training, Hideki Matsui, who already made plans for marriage in a few weeks, a fact not known to the team, makes a wager with some of his teammates about who would be the first to get married. A surprised Derek Jeter and Bobby Abreu agree to pay off the bet after learning the Yankee slugger pulled a fast one on them by getting ‘hitched’ in New York on the club’s off-day yesterday.
2009 In a Kansai Independent League game played at the Osaka Dome, knuckleballer Eri Yoshida makes her debut, becoming Japan’s first female professional baseball player. The 17 year-old faces two batters on Opening Day, walking one and striking out the other, in the ninth inning of the Kobe 9 Cruise’s 5-0 victory over the hometown Gold Villicanes.
2011 Boston starter Daisuke Matsuzaka will make a $1 million contribution to the Red Sox Foundation for victims of the earthquake and tsunami in his native Japan. The team’s official charity has raised more than $1.3 million in response to the March 11th disaster, including personal donations from other Japanese players Hideki Okajima, Junichi Tazawa, and Itsuki Shoda.
2011 The Nationals trade Nyjer Morgan to the Brewers in exchange for minor league infielder Cutter Dykstra and cash. Washington sends the light-hitting fleet-footed outfielder to Milwaukee to obtain the Class A minor league third baseman, the son of former major leaguer Lenny Dykstra.
2012 Embattled owner Frank McCourt agrees to sell the Dodgers to a group that includes former LA Lakers star Magic Johnson and former baseball executive Stan Kasten for $2 billion, the highest amount ever paid for a team in the history of professional sports. The sale price far exceeds the $1.47 billion Malcolm Glazer paid for the English soccer team Manchester United in 2005.
WORLD SERIES HISTORY-1909
The Pittsburgh Pirates, a regular Series contender, won their seventh National League championship in 1909, behind the brilliant play of veteran superstar Honus Wagner. (He would add his eighth and final title two years later) Wagner had hit .339 for the Buccos and Pittsburgh’s pitching staff was just as dangerous. Howie Camnitz and Vic Willis won twenty-five and twenty-two games, respectively, for the Pirates and Lefty Leifield posted nineteen victories. Detroit returned for their third consecutive Fall Classic determined to erase the memories of their previous efforts. The Tigers were also backed up by the heavy bat of Ty Cobb (who had just won his third consecutive American League batting title) and a formidable pitching staff featuring Mullin, Willett and Summers who had a combined seventy victories. None of this mattered though as the Pirates big three were unable to win a single game in the Series and only one Detroit standout, Mullin, performed as predicted by chalking up two victories.
The Tigers managed to outplay the Pirates veteran starters, but they couldn’t handle newcomer Babe Adams, who had compiled a 12-3 record for the Pirates in 1909. Adams drew the start for Game 1 and responded with a six-hitter, 4-1 victory that was sparked by playing Manager Fred Clarke’s game-tying homer in the fourth inning. Once again, Detroit had lost the lead… and lost the game.
Game 2 was tipped in Detroit’s favor with a three run outburst in the third inning that was ignited by the spectacular home plate stealing of Ty Cobb. The Tigers had managed to square the Series at one game apiece and were looking for more. Pittsburgh regained the lead in Game 3 when they jumped on the back of Honus Wagner, who had three hits, three runs batted in and three stolen bases and rallied to an 8-6 victory. The win-swapping continued when Tiger ace George Mullin actually lived up to his reputation and threw a five-hit, shutout while striking out ten Pirates in a Game 4 victory.
Once again, Detroit had tied it up, but were unable to repeat as the Babe Adams threw another six-hitter, resulting in an 8-4, Game 5 triumph. The resilient Tigers found themselves back in business the next afternoon when Mullin, after being roughed up for three first-inning runs, surrendered only one more and wound up with a seven-hit, Game 6 winner. With the Series going down to a climactic seventh game (the first to go the distance) Pittsburgh’s Fred Clarke went with two game winner, Babe Adams as his pitcher, while Detroit Manager Hugh Jennings decided on Bill Donovan, a complete-game winner in Game 2.
Donovan was off to a miserable start as he hit the first Pirate batter and went on to walk six of them in the first two innings. He was pulled after three with Adams confidently holding a 2-0 lead. Pittsburgh never looked back as the Bucco’s Babe nailed his third six-hitter of the Series and an 8-0 championship victory. It was the Pirates third post-season appearance, second official Series and first World Championship. Honus Wagner continued to prove his Cooperstown worthiness by hitting .333, with seven RBIs and six stolen bases. Playing manager Fred Clarke set a record with four walks in Game 4. On the other side, future Hall of Famer Ty Cobb did not fare as well. Appearing in what would be his last Series (although he would be an active player through 1928), Cobb batted only .231 but led Detroit with six RBIs.
MAJOR LEAGUE’S BEST PLAYERS
Sam Agnew is best remembered for being the catcher for both of Babe Ruth’s pitching victories in the 1918 World Series. Although Agnew did not get a hit in the four Series games in which he played that season, he caught Ruth’s complete game shutout in Game One and eight innings of Ruth’s pitching in the tightly-contested Game Four before being removed for pinch-hitter Wally Schang in the bottom of the eighth; Schang singled and scored the game-winning run. A Hartford Courant subhead in mid-September, when a number of players appeared in an exhibition game in Connecticut’s capital, read, “Ruth and Agnew Regarded as One of Strongest Batteries in Majors.”
Agnew shared the catching duties with Schang and Wally Meyer in 1918, catching the most games of the trio. He was known for taking risks trying to throw out baserunners, which contributed to his leading the league in errors twice in three years while with the St. Louis Browns, with 28 errors in 1913; 25 in 1914; and 39 in 1915. In 1918, however, Agnew made only 13 errors, one of the lowest totals of his career, albeit in fewer games.
As a major leaguer, Agnew was never known for his hitting. Playing in 72 games in 1918, the right-handed batting Agnew got only 33 hits in 199 at-bats, finishing the year with a .166 average, no home runs, and six runs batted in. In fact, Agnew never hit better than .235 or drove in more than 24 runs in any of his seven major league seasons.
Samuel Lester Agnew’s first professional baseball experience came in California with Vernon of the Pacific Coast League in 1912. There, the Farmington, Missouri, native had a strong offensive season, hitting .283 with five home runs. His performance caught the eye of the St. Louis Browns, who selected Agnew in the day’s equivalent of the Rule 5 draft. One thing that had caught their eye: He was reported to be the only catcher in the United States who had caught more than 100 games without a passed ball.
Agnew made his major league debut with the Browns two days before his 25th birthday, on Opening Day, April 10, 1913, in a 3-1 St. Louis victory over Detroit. Agnew’s rookie season was his best offensively: The 5-foot-11, 185-pound backstop had a career-high nine doubles and five triples and stole 11 bases. Agnew also hit the only two home runs of his career in 1913, the first a three-run homer off Boardwalk Brown on June 11 and the second a solo homer served up by Russ Ford on July 13 at Sportsman’s Park.
Agnew’s rookie success was short-lived. On July 25, 1913, in a game against the Washington Senators, Agnew suffered a broken jaw after being hit by a Joe Engel fastball. During that game, which ended in an 8-8 tie after 15 innings, Johnson struck out 15 batters in the last 11 innings. Agnew was hospitalized for a week, until August 1; he began work again with the Browns on August 20. He completed the year hitting .208 with the two homers and 24 RBIs. After the regular season was over, Agnew took part in a spirited city championship series in which the Browns beat the Cardinals, the final doubleheader apparently degenerating, as reported in the New York Times to a “fist fight between players, numerous verbal battles between the managers, the desertion of the umpires, and many other existing features.”
Agnew caught more than 100 games in both 1914 and 1915 for the Browns, but the team languished, finishing in seventh place in both seasons. In 1914, he caught 115 games and hit .212, driving in only 16 runs. The following year, he hit .203 in 104 games with 19 RBIs. Incidentally, he led the league in passed balls both years, with 18 and 17 respectively. Once more, the Browns won the St. Louis city series. Agnew made one headline after a bizarre moment on August 18, 1914, when he was called out by the umpire while sitting in the Browns dugout. With two runners on base, when Tilly Walker came up to bat in place of Doc Lavan, umpire Evans noticed that, according to the lineup card, the Browns had been batting out of order. Agnew was supposed to be batting, not Lavan. Agnew was called out and Wallace, who had singled, was removed from first base.
On December 16, 1915, Agnew was sold to the Boston Red Sox, who wanted him to serve as a backup to incumbent catcher Pinch Thomas. He had impressed with his ability to cut down basestealers; in 1915, Agnew had thrown out Harry Hooper six times. Despite his anemic batting average, the Boston Globe termed the new acquisition “a fine all-around player” and asserted that “he is a pretty good batter.” The price was apparently $10,000. League president Ban Johnson announced that the deal would not be allowed to go through, but he was soon forced to back down
Although Agnew played in only 40 games in 1916 with Boston, he was involved in one of the most dramatic incidents of that season. During a June 30 game, Senators shortstop George McBride threw his bat at Boston pitcher Carl Mays, who had hit McBride with a pitch. In the ensuing brawl, Agnew reportedly punched Washington manager Clark Griffith in the face. The outcry was so great that Agnew was arrested on the field, and Boston manager Bill Carrigan was required to bail him out of jail. Fortunately for Agnew, all charges were ultimately dropped.
Agnew and Hick Cady both backed up Thomas throughout the 1916 season. Thomas, Cady, and Carrigan all saw service in the World Series, but Agnew did not. He was, however, the first player to report to Hot Springs for spring training in 1917.
Now 30 years of age, Agnew caught more games than any other Boston catcher in both 1917 and 1918. Appearing in 85 games to Thomas’s 83 in 1917, he hit .208 and drove in 16 runs. In 1918, after a brief holdout in spring training, Agnew appeared in 72 of the season’s 126 games, batting just.166.
Agnew did have his moments in the 1918 World Series: Though hitless in nine at-bats, he threw out three of the four Chicago Cubs baserunners who tried to steal against him and played errorless defense.
As noted above, Agnew and Babe Ruth were among those who played in a three-game exhibition series in Hartford; the final game on September 15 saw Ruth outpitch Dutch Leonard, 1-0, and Agnew single in the winning run in ninth inning of the rubber game.
In March 1919, Agnew was purchased by the Washington Senators. The move was surprising in that the Senators were still managed by Clark Griffith, with whom Agnew had brawled three years earlier. The Washington Post headline read: “Griff Will Have Real Scrapper. Claims Agnew, Red Sox Catcher, Who Punched Him in 1916.” As one contemporary article noted, “Griff is likely to have a little difficulty in getting [Agnew’s] signature to a contract. [Lest] we forget, a couple of years ago, Griff and Sam had a punching match at Fenway Park, which resulted in Sam being grabbed by a man who wears a blue coat and brass buttons.”
The six-year veteran was a known quantity at the time, but it was his work behind the plate — rather than at it –that presented value. The Post noted, “When it comes to slugging, as we know it in baseball, Sam is in the never-was class. Anything over a .200 batting average is as found money to him. But Sam can catch.” His defensive work had improved remarkably during his years in Boston.
With the Senators, Agnew played behind catcher Val Picinich. He caught only 36 games for the seventh-place Senators, appearing in six other games, and batting a career-high .235, with 10 RBIs. But he often served as the preferred catcher for Walter Johnson, because, according to the Post‘s J.V. Fitz Gerald, “he puts plenty of life and ginger in his work, something Johnson likes in a batterymate.”
Agnew’s major league career was over following the 1919 season. In addition to the eventual Hall of Famers who Agnew played with in Boston, Agnew in his career had also been a teammate of Walter Johnson, Branch Rickey, and George Sisler.
Agnew’s career actually got a boost after he left the major leagues. He was purchased by the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League for the 1920 season, where he became, according to his obituary in the August 1, 1951, issue of The Sporting News, “a favorite with the fans in the Bay Area” over what would become almost an eight-year stay with the team. There was a hitch at the start of the long relationship, though, when he balked at the pay he was offered. The Washington Post said he “shocked” the team with his salary demands. The Coast League played a longer season, and Agnew said he would need more than he was paid in the major leagues for that very reason, since he “must hire a man to run his farm for a longer period.”
In four of those seasons, Agnew batted over .300, and he hit more than 10 home runs in a season five times. Agnew was a key contributor to the 1925 Seals team that went 128-71, hitting 20 home runs, driving in 85 runs, and batting .326.
With the Seals, Agnew had the chance to catch Lefty O’Doul, Ernie Shore, and Walter Mails, among others. In the Coast League, Agnew also formed a strong friendship with Seals teammate Archie Yelle, a major leaguer with the Detroit Tigers from 1917 to 1919. Agnew’s obituary in The Sporting News recounted the following incident, as told by Agnew’s good friend, sportswriter Abe Kemp:
“One day, Agnew suspected that Yelle was injured in a close play at the plate. Archie brushed Sam aside when he offered to catch the remainder of the game. After the game Yelle dressed beside [Charley] Graham [the manager of the Seals]. As he took off his right shoe, blood splattered over the floor.
“‘When did you get cut, Arch?’ ” said Graham.
“‘In the second inning,’ ” replied Yelle.
“‘Why didn’t you mention the accident when it took place?’ ”
“‘Sam has been working too hard,’ was Yelle’s laconic answer.”
Agnew was ambitious. In late 1922, while playing some winter ball with San Bernardino’s Santa Fe team, he partnered with two area men and organized the San Bernardino Baseball and Amusement Association, which planned to build a ballpark and launch a new Class B or Class C league in Southern California. In January 1923, backed by “unlimited financial interests” (Los Angeles Times), he shifted to trying to purchase the Salt Lake City Bees ballclub and move it to San Bernardino. The move never happened and Agnew kept on playing.
Agnew finished his playing career with Hollywood of the PCL, playing for the Stars at the end of the 1927 season and throughout 1928. At age 41, Agnew finished his playing career and opened a gas station in Boyes Springs, California.
Sam Agnew’s brother was Troy Agnew, who had an accomplished minor league career and was the player-manager for the 1924 Okmulgee Drillers team that had a 110-48 record in the National Association. Troy went on to run the Augusta franchise of the Sally League in the 1930s, and Sam managed. Troy later bought the Palatka Azaleas in the Florida State League.
Troy hired Sam to manage the Azaleas to start the 1937 season. However, according to a July 29, 1937, newspaper account, the Agnew brothers had several run-ins with the local community, “including a report that the city had refused water to [the team] to sprinkle the diamond and police to patrol the park. Now Mayor J.W. Campbell is rallying the citizens to the support of the club as a civic enterprise to show the Agnews the city is behind the team.” Sam Agnew soon left to become the manager of the team in Augusta, under his brother Troy.
In December 1939, Sam Agnew purchased the Meridian, Mississippi, team in the Southeastern League, where “he will be in complete charge next season,” according to one newspaper report. With experience managing minor league teams in San Diego, Augusta, and Palatka under his belt, Sam had taken the next step. The team had been known as the Scrappers since 1937, but fans argued for a name change to something more robust. Sam approved a contest run by the local Meridian Star newspaper to pick a new name, and the team became the Bears for the 1940 season. But the Mississippi team struggled to be economically viable from the start, and Sam publicly proposed relocating the team to Florida, making his tenure as owner a rocky one.
Agnew battled a severe heart condition in his later years. He slipped into what his obituary called a “semi-coma” for months before having a “miraculous” recovery in November 1950. His heart trouble caught up with him, however, and Sam Agnew died on July 19, 1951, at a hospital in Sonoma, California, at the age of 63. He was survived by his wife, Dorothy. Agnew is buried at Chapel of the Chimes Cemetery in Santa Rosa, California.