NBA PLAYOFFS

Boston 111 Toronto 89

LA Clippers 113 Denver 107

 

NHL PLAYOFFS

Tampa Bay 8 NY Islanders 2

 

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL – INTERLEAGUE

Washington 6 Tampa Bay 1

 

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL – AMERICAN LEAGUE

Minnesota 6 Detroit 2

Seattle 8 Texas 4

Cleveland 5 Kansas City 2

Toronto 12 NY Yankees 7

Oakland 6 Houston 0

 

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL – NATIONAL LEAGUE

Miami 5 Atlanta 4 (10)

Philadelphia 9 NY Mets 8 (10)

Chicago Cubs 5 St. Louis 1

San Francisco 4 Arizona 2

San Diego 1 Colorado 0

 

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

BYU 55 Navy 3

 

IFCA COACHES’ FOOTBALL POLL

THROUGH WEEK 3

6A

  1. Center Grove (3-0)
  2. Brownsburg (3-0)
  3. Lawrence North (3-0)
  4. Merrillville (3-0)
  5. North Central (Indianapolis) (3-0)
  6. Lafayette Jeff (3-0)
  7. Carroll (Fort Wayne) (3-0)
  8. Elkhart (2-0)
  9. Carmel (1-2)
  10. Hamilton Southeastern (2-1)

 

5A

  1. Indianapolis Cathedral (3-0)
  2. New Palestine (2-0)
  3. Valparaiso (2-0)
  4. Fort Wayne Dwenger (3-0)
  5. Decatur Central (2-1)
  6. Whiteland (2-1)
  7. Harrison (West Lafayette) (2-1)
  8. Evansville North (3-0)
  9. Michigan City (2-1)
  10. Zionsville (1-2)

 

4A

  1. Mooresville (3-0)
  2. East Noble (3-0)
  3. Mount Vernon (Fortville) (3-0)
  4. Hobart (2-1)
  5. Evansville Central (3-0)
  6. East Central (2-1)
  7. Jasper (3-0)
  8. Delta (2-0)
  9. Leo (2-1)
  10. Lowell (3-0)

 

3A

  1. Indianapolis Chatard (3-0)
  2. West Lafayette (2-1)
  3. Mishawaka Marian (3-0)
  4. Southridge (3-0)
  5. Guerin Catholic (1-0)
  6. Brebeuf Jesuit (1-2)
  7. Lawrenceburg (2-1)
  8. Gibson Southern (1-2)
  9. Fort Wayne Concordia (1-2)
  10. Mount Vernon (Posey) (3-0)

 

2A

  1. Eastbrook (2-1)
  2. Andrean (2-1)
  3. Heritage Christian (2-0)
  4. Pioneer (2-1)
  5. Eastside (3-0)
  6. Triton Central (2-1)
  7. Evansville Mater Dei (1-2)
  8. South Vermillion (3-0)
  9. Tell City (3-0)
  10. Tipton (1-1)

 

1A

  1. Indianapolis Lutheran (3-0)
  2. Lafayette Central Catholic (1-0)
  3. South Adams (3-0)
  4. Southwood (3-0)
  5. Parke Heritage (2-0)
  6. West Washington (2-0)
  7. South Putnam (3-0)
  8. Adams Central (2-1)
  9. North Judson (3-0)
  10. Churubusco (2-1)

 

 

NCC AND AREA FOOTBALL THIS WEEK

Friday, Sep. 11

Harrison at Lafayette Jeff 7 pm

Tech at Logansport 7 pm

Marion at Anderson 7 pm

McCutcheon at Kokomo 7 pm

Muncie Central at Richmond  7 pm

Knightstown at Union City  7 pm

Monroe Central at Northeastern 7 pm

Tri at Wes-Del 7 pm

Union County at Hagerstown  7 pm

Winchester at Centerville  7 pm

Batesville at Rushville  7 pm

Franklin County at East Central 7:30 pm

Greensburg at Lawrenceburg  7 pm

Saturday, Sep. 12

South Dearborn at Connersville 3 pm

 

OHIO HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

Friday September 11

Arcanum (1-1) at Ansonia (1-1)

Bethel (0-2) at Tri-County North (1-1)

Bradford (0-2) at Mississinawa Valley (0-2)

Covington (2-0) at Twin Valley South (0-2)

Oakwood (0-2) at Brookville (2-0)

Preble Shawnee (1-1) at Franklin (1-1)

Eaton (1-1) at Monroe (0-2)

Bellbrook (2-0) at Valley View (2-0)

National Trail (2-0) at Tri-Village (2-0)

Dixie (1-1) at Madison (0-2)

Northridge (0-2) at Carlisle (1-1)

 

 

INDIANA BOYS SOCCER POLLS

3A ISCA High School Boys Soccer Poll (9/7/20) 

  1. North Central
  2. Noblesville
  3. Chesterton
  4. Zionsville
  5. Hamilton Southeastern
  6. Northridge
  7. Carmel
  8. Carroll (Ft. Wayne)
  9. Crown Point
  10. Castle
  11. Elkhart
  12. Pike
  13. Fishers
  14. Avon
  15. Evansville North
  16. Center Grove
  17. Bloomington South
  18. Plymouth
  19. Westfield
  20. Munster

2A ISCA High School Boys Soccer Poll (9/7/20) 

  1. Mishawaka Marian
  2. Evansville Memorial
  3. Concordia Lutheran
  4. Guerin Catholic
  5. Gibson Southern
  6. Speedway
  7. Washington Community
  8. West Lafayette
  9. Leo
  10. Brebeuf Jesuit
  11. NorthWood
  12. Oak Hill
  13. Yorktown
  14. Heritage Hills
  15. Tri-West
  16. West Noble
  17. Batesville
  18. Joseph (South Bend)
  19. Vernon (Mt. Vernon)
  20. Lebanon

1A ISCA High School Boys Soccer Poll (9/7/20) 

  1. Argos
  2. Lakewood Park Christian
  3. Providence
  4. Jac-Cen-Del
  5. Park Tudor
  6. Greenwood Christian Academy
  7. Heritage Christian
  8. South Knox
  9. Lutheran (Indianapolis)
  10. Scecina Memorial
  11. Cascade
  12. Covington
  13. Central Christian Academy
  14. Lakeland Christian Academy
  15. South Spencer
  16. Bethany Christian
  17. Illiana Christian
  18. Southwestern (Shelbyville)
  19. Bethesda Christian
  20. North White

 

 

INDIANA BOYS TENNIS POLL

1.Carmel

2.Zionsville

3.North Central

4.Jasper

5.Center Grove

6.Munster

7.Brownsburg

8.Fishers

9.HSE

10.Guerin Catholic

11T.Columbus North

11T.Harrison (WL)

13.Homestead

14.Castle

15.FW Carroll

16.Penn

17.TH South

18.Westfield

19.West Lafayette

20.Cathedral

21.SB St. Joseph

22.Brebeuf

23.FW Canterbury

24.FW Dwenger

25.Whiteland

26T.Bloomington S.

26T.Jeffersonville

28.Loogootee

29.Floyd Central

30.Westview

 

 

INDIANA BOYS CROSS COUNTRY POLL

  1. COLUMBUS NORTH
  2. CARMEL
  3. NOBLESVILLE
  4. BREBEUF
  5. FISHERS
  6. HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN
  7. CENTER GROVE
  8. FRANKLIN CENTRAL
  9. FLOYD CENTRAL
  10. ZIONSVILLE
  11. BLOOMINGTON SOUTH
  12. NORTHVIEW
  13. FORT WAYNE CONCORDIA
  14. NORTH CENTRAL
  15. GOSHEN
  16. CROWN POINT
  17. BLOOMINGTON NORTH
  18. LAKE CENTRAL
  19. CHESTERTON
  20. WESTFIELD
  21. WESTVIEW
  22. GUERIN CATHOLIC
  23. BROWNSBURG
  24. TERRE HAUTE NORTH
  25. WARSAW

 

 

INDIANA GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY POLL

  1. CARMEL
  2. FORT WAYNE CARROLL
  3. COLUMBUS NORTH
  4. HAMILTON SOUTHEASTERN
  5. ZIONSVILLE
  6. FRANKLIN CENTRAL
  7. PENN
  8. CHESTERTON
  9. NOBLESVILLE
  10. NORTH CENTRAL
  11. FLOYD CENTRAL
  12. BROWNSBURG
  13. HOMESTEAD
  14. WEST LAFAYETTE
  15. FISHERS
  16. BLOOMINGTON NORTH
  17. NORTHVIEW
  18. FORT WAYNE CONCORDIA
  19. WESTFIELD
  20. LAKE CENTRAL
  21. BREBEUF
  22. FRANKLIN COMMUNITY
  23. EDGEWOOD
  24. BISHOP CHATARD
  25. CENTER GROVE

 

 

The game plan from Boston coach Brad Stevens was simple: Start things off with an increased effort on defense to set an immediate tone.

The Celtics did exactly as he asked – and put the reigning NBA champions on the ropes.

Jaylen Brown scored 27 points and the Celtics never trailed, rolling past the Toronto Raptors 111-89 in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series on Monday night.

Boston now leads the series 3-2 and can earn a trip to the East finals on Wednesday.

“We were playing with great purpose,” Stevens said. “You could feel that from the get-go.”

Kemba Walker scored 21 for the Celtics, whose starters outscored Toronto’s starters by a whopping 93-45. Jayson Tatum scored 18, Daniel Theis and Brad Wanamaker each had 15 and Marcus Smart added 12 for Boston.

“The job’s not finished yet,” Brown said. “We’ve still got a lot of work that needs to be done.”

Fred VanVleet scored 18 for Toronto, which trailed by as many as 30. Norman Powell scored 16 for the Raptors, while Pascal Siakam and Kyle Lowry managed 10 points apiece. Matt Thomas also had 10 for Toronto.

Here’s what Toronto got out of its first 18 possessions: five points on 2-for-15 shooting, a stretch that included everything from missed open layups to airballed contested jumpers, along with five turnovers in the game’s first 8:53.

“I know it sounds crazy .. but I thought our offense was awesome for like the first eight minutes,” Raptors coach Nick Nurse said. “I thought it was awesome. I don’t think those shots could have been more open.”

They were down 18-5 after all that, and it got worse in a hurry.

 

 

Kawhi Leonard blocked a dunk at the rim with one finger. It was part of a defensive effort that deserved a big hand for propelling the Los Angeles Clippers down the stretch.

Paul George scored 32 points, Leonard added 23 along with a big late block and the dynamic duo helped the Clippers rally for a 113-107 win over the Denver Nuggets in Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinal series Monday night.

Leonard did a little bit of everything as he grabbed 14 rebounds and dished out six assists. He also had two blocks, including one late on a dunk attempt by Jamal Murray at the rim. Leonard’s middle finger appeared to get just enough of the ball to keep it out of the basket.

“I didn’t know it was one finger. It was a heck of a play. It was impressive,” Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. “I didn’t even know where he came from. It was a heck of a play.”

Los Angeles takes a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 is Wednesday.

With his team trailing 97-90 early in the fourth quarter, Rivers called a timeout to calm down the Clippers. Fueled by defense, Los Angeles went on a 14-4 run to take a 104-101 lead. The Clippers wouldn’t trail again.

“The game came down to one of the two teams was going to play some defense,” Rivers said. “For 3 1/2 quarters both teams were basically scoring. In the last six minutes it was our defense.

“We had our lapses. There’s no doubt about that. But overall, when we locked in we were really good.”

Lou Williams all but sealed the win with a driving layup that extended the lead to six with 2:04 left. George turned in a torrid shooting night. He finished 12 of 18 from the floor, including five 3-pointers.

 

 

Braydon Point and the well-rested Tampa Bay Lightning resembled a refreshed team eager to come off an extended break after switching cities in the NHL playoff bubble.

The New York Islanders, on the other hand, looked predictably travel- and game-weary.

Point scored twice and added three assists in an 8-2 romp over the Islanders to open the Eastern Conference finals on Monday night. Nikita Kucherov had four assists, and scored his 34th career playoff goal to move one ahead of Martin St. Louis for first on the franchise list.

The Lightning showed no signs of rust following a near week-long break after eliminating the Boston Bruins in their second-round series with a 3-2 double-overtime win on Aug. 31. They instead resembled a refreshed team by scoring three times on nine shots to build a 3-1 lead by the 10:46 mark of the first period, and matched a franchise record for most goals scored in a playoff game.

The Islanders, by comparison, came out flat, looking like a team that spent Sunday flying to Edmonton, Alberta, from Toronto, a day after a 4-0 win over Philadelphia in Game 7 of their second-round series.

“Let’s be honest, this is a one-off. They had to grind through a seven-game series and then travel and play and change time zones,” Lightning coach Jon Cooper said.

“Now we’re on even terms. There’s no travel. Everyone gets the same rest,” he added. “It’s easy to say now that the game turned out the way it did. Bottom line is, you’ve got to take advantage of a tired team.”

Point and Kucherov’s five-point nights set a franchise playoff record. Yanni Gourde scored twice, Victor Hedman had a goal and two assists and Ryan McDonagh and Ondrej Palat also scored for the second-seeded Lightning.

Andrei Vasilevskiy made 23 saves, and the Lightning have won five straight, matching their longest playoff run since 2016.

Game 2 is Wednesday.

 

 

Kyle Hendricks hit his spots and kept hitters off balance. It was a command performance at a big moment for the Chicago Cubs.

Hendricks went eight innings, and the NL Central-leading Cubs beat the second-place St. Louis Cardinals 5-1 on Monday.

Led by Hendricks and a 10-hit attack, Chicago closed out the five-game series on a winning note after losing three straight. It leads the defending division champions by 2 1/2 games.

Hendricks (5-4) gave up a run and seven hits in his second straight win. He also struck out four and walked none in his 38th consecutive start with two walks or less – the most by a Cubs pitcher since at least 1901.

“I didn’t know that to be honest with you,” Hendricks said. “It’s something I’m shooting for, I guess. It’s a good result to have, to know that what I’m going out there and trying to do is coming across. I’ve just got to keep focused on that, keep moving forward and not giving them free bases.”

Hendricks’ poise and control have made him one of the Cubs’ most reliable pitchers since he debuted in 2014.

“He’s a guy that you just can mark it up to consistency every fifth day,” manager David Ross said. “That’s such a powerful thing in major league baseball, to have a guy that you know is gonna take the bump, give you a solid outing, not gonna beat himself, is gonna keep you in the ballgame. Very poised in any situation. I don’t know where this group would be (without him).”

Javier Baez had three singles and scored a run, helping the Cubs earn a split of the 10-game season series against the Cardinals. Jason Kipnis had two hits and drove in a run. Willson Contreras made it 5-0 with a two-run single against Johan Oviedo in the fifth.

Oviedo (0-2) went 4 2/3 innings in his fourth major league start, allowing three earned runs and eight hits.

 

Jurickson Profar hit an RBI double with no outs in the ninth inning for the San Diego Padres, who got a brilliant performance from right-hander Dinelson Lamet to beat the Colorado Rockies 1-0 on Monday night for their sixth victory in eight games.

The victory was costly, though, because first baseman Eric Hosmer broke his left index finger attempting to bunt in the first inning. Manager Jayce Tingler said Hosmer could be out two to six weeks.

“Knowing Hos, he’s a tough guy, and knowing his pain tolerance … with some good luck and some good fortune, it heals up and at that point it’ll be up to pain tolerance,”Tingler said. “If we can get it to that point I feel very confident betting on the man.”

The Padres have options at first base. Rookie Jake Cronenworth played well at first base when Hosmer missed several games early in the season with a stomach ailment, and the Padres obtained Mitch Moreland during a flurry of trades in the days before last week’s deadline.

“This one hurts,” Tingler said. “But at the same time we’re going to have some guys step up. We’re going to hold ground and we’re going to get him back. When he gets back we’re going to be in a good position.”

Hosmer was having a good season, hitting the ball in the air more than he had in recent seasons. He was hitting .291 with eight homers and 32 RBIs, and was part of the Padres’ “Slam Diego” outburst in mid-August, when they became the first team in history to hit four grand slams in four straight games.

Pinch-hitter Greg Garcia started the winning rally when he poked an opposite-field single past third baseman Nolan Arenado leading off the ninth. He was replaced by speedy pinch-runner Jorge Mateo, who scored on Profar’s double to right off Carlos Estevez.

“It felt great. It felt really good,” Profar said.

 

 

Chad Green and Adam Ottavino were routed during a 10-run sixth inning that included Danny Jansen’s grand slam, and the Toronto Blue Jays rallied to beat the Yankees 12-7 Monday night and send skidding New York to its sixth loss in seven games.

New York has lost four straight and 14 of 19, dropping into third place in the AL East, two games behind second-place Toronto and 6 1/2 back of Tampa Bay. At 21-20 overall following a 16-6 start, the Yankees have dropped into the AL’s eighth and final playoff position.

With general manager Brian Cashman making a rare road trip, New York led 6-2 when Green replaced Jonathan Holder going to the bottom of the sixth. Green, Ottavino and Luis Cessa needed 67 pitches and 43 minutes to get three outs.

“It’s the worst feeling in the world,” Ottavino said. “You let your team down. It’s always tough when you feel like you’re the reason why you lost the game.”

Toronto loaded the bases with a pair of walks and Randal Grichuk’s one-out single, and first baseman Luke Voit charged Rowdy Tellez’s two-hopper but allowed the ball to bounce off the palm of his glove and into foul territory for an error as a run scored.

Ottavino (2-3) relieved, and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a two-run, opposite-field single that bounced past Voit and down the right-field line. Guerrero stole second and Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who had three hits, lined a fastball into left for a tying single.

Gurriel stole second, Jonathan Villar walked and Travis Shaw lined a fastball up the middle for a two-run single and an 8-6 lead after Ottavino shook off catcher Kyle Higashioka three times.

“He was just having a tough time seeing signs,” Higashioka said “It was pretty dark there.”

 

 

Dustin Johnson hit his stride at just the right time and it paid off in a big way.

Johnson finally won the FedEx Cup on Monday by holding his nerve, hitting just enough fairways and making a few key putts when his lead began to shrink. He tapped in for birdie on the last hole for a 2-under 68, giving him a three-shot victory over Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele in the Tour Championship.

Johnson won the $15 million prize, the biggest in golf. Equally important was getting his named etched on that silver FedEx Cup trophy alongside some of the best from his generation, starting with Tiger Woods and most recently Rory McIlroy.

“This is a tough golf course. No lead is safe,” Johnson said. “The guys gave me a good fight today.”

He became the first No. 1 seed at the Tour Championship to win the FedEx Cup since Tiger Woods in 2009.

Johnson was staked to a five-shot lead at 19-under par – 9 under on his own score and starting the tournament at 10 under as the No. 1 seed in the FedEx Cup.

He finished at 21 under.

Schauffele, who tends to bring his best to big moments, and Thomas each got within three shots on the front nine. They both closed to within two shots deep on the back nine at East Lake.

Johnson gave the lightest fist pump – that’s big emotion for him – when he holed a 20-foot par putt on the 13th hole that kept his lead at three. He made nothing but pars on the back nine until the outcome was no longer in doubt.

Thomas made bogey from a wild tee shot to the right on the 17th. Schauffele also had to scramble on the 17th, escaping with par after a tee shot into the bunker. And on the par-5 18th, Johnson unleashed a drive that started left along the pine trees and faded gently toward the middle of the fairway.

That set up a birdie from the front bunker, a hug with brother Austin, his caddie, and a trophy he long wanted.

Schauffele had the lowest score over 72 holes at 15-under 265, but without a victory this year, he started at No. 14 in the FedEx Cup, spotting the world’s No. 1 player seven shots.

Schauffele and Thomas tied for second, each earning $4.5 million.

Jon Rahm, the No. 2 seed, closed with a 66 to finish fourth and earn $3 million. Scottie Scheffler, who a year ago was getting ready to start his rookie year, had a 66-65 finish and was fifth for a $2.5 million payoff.

And so wrapped up the strangest season on the PGA Tour, which doesn’t feel like the end at all except for the $15 million awarded to Johnson, $14 million now and $1 million deferred.

The new season starts Thursday. Two majors are still to be played.

Golf was shut down for three months and when it restarted, Johnson was No. 111 in the FedEx Cup. He won the Travelers Championship and a month later began a stretch that brought him to the prize he desperately wanted.

In four straight tournaments against the best fields, he had the 54-hole three times and was tied in the other. He converted one into an 11-shot win. He lost to a 65 by Collin Morikawa at the PGA Championship and to a 65-foot putt by Rahm at the BMW Championship.

He badly wanted the last one, and even staked to a five-shot lead to par at East Lake, it was never easy.

Johnson made an 18-foot birdie early that was important because Schauffele kept hitting it close. Johnson had consecutive birdies through the par-5 sixth and his lead remained at five.

But he went well right off the tee at No. 7 and had to pitch back to the fairway. He three-putted from 55 feet on the fringe at No. 8 and dropped another shot. The lead kept shrinking. Johnson rolled his long birdie putt on the par-3 ninth some 7 feet by, and he made the par putt coming back to keep his lead at 3.

No putt was bigger than the 13th, when his lead was down to two shots over Schauffele. Johnson went from left rough to right of the green and chipped weakly to 20 feet. He drilled the par putt, restored the lead to three and was on his way.

“It’s a very tough trophy to win,” Johnson said. “I controlled my own destiny, but I still had to go out and play well. I had a lot of great players right behind me. It got close at the end. I knew it was going to come down the stretch and I’d have to hit some golf shots.”

 

 

The NBA bubble has held. So has the NHL’s double bubble. The WNBA and MLS, no leaks.

In this unprecedented landscape of sports in a pandemic world, one indisputable fact has emerged: bubbles work.

Thousands of tests, minimal to no positive COVID-19 test results.

So as the NCAA gets set announce its plans for the 2020-21 college basketball season, there are clear precedents and blueprints in place should it decide to go the bubble route.

“It’s certainly viable,” said Mark Starsiak, vice president of sports at Intersport, a Chicago-based sports marketing and media agency, “From a basketball standpoint, I think we can follow those models.”

The college football restart has been scattershot. The season has already started, yet 53 FBS schools have the pads and helmets hanging on hooks while waiting for better pandemic news.

A much more unified plan is in place for the college basketball season.

The NCAA is hoping to start the season in late November/early December, with a vote by the Division I council expected Sept. 16.

A partnership between the Pac-12 and Quidel Corp. to potentially do daily, rapid COVID-19 tests on athletes should help smooth a return to the court.

The question then becomes: What’s the best way to safely play basketball again?

Bubbles may be the answer.

While bubble football would be next to impossible logistically, basketball could fit nicely.

The travel parties are much smaller and college basketball already has plenty of multiple-team events, from holiday and conference tournaments to the NCAA Tournament. Add the effective safety measures of the pro leagues, find suitable sites and bubble basketball could work.

The NCAA is already looking at it, reportedly filing a trademark for the phrase “Battle in the Bubble.” Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont also said there have been preliminary talks for bubble basketball at the Mohegan Sun resort.

“The idea of a bubble would be a really good idea, just to isolate all the teams who want to play against each other in that bubble and keep things safe, keep away from the public and keep us in our own area where we’re able to play the game the right way and safely,” Duke sophomore forward Wendell Moore, Jr. said.

A big key will be finding the right places to bubble.

The NBA has the ideal setup at Disney World, but college basketball might be better suited to follow the NHL’s lead.

Hockey’s two bubbles – Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta – cordoned off areas enclosing the arena and several nearby hotels. All personnel entering are tested and strict protocols are in place for vendors delivering food and packages into the bubbles.

Similar bubbles for college basketball could be set up at smaller resorts, cities with arenas and hotels nearby, or Division II or III schools with arenas not being used during the pandemic.

The NCAA could set up pods of multiple nonconference teams, conference tournaments could be held in similar fashion and so could the NCAA Tournament.

In other words, basketball bubbles could pop up all over the country.

“Maybe do it for maybe a week or two at a time, playing a certain amount of games and getting retested after you come back or something like that,” Memphis coach Penny Hardaway said. “It’s possible, but it’s not going to be easy.”

Pulling off a college basketball bubble, however, comes with a caveat.

NCAA players are considered students, so academics would have to be part of the equation.

Division I players are already accustomed to doing school work on the road and the majority take primarily online classes. To make the bubbles work, socially distant space would have to be carved out for the players to take their classes and study.

The programs may also have to rethink the size of their traveling parties.

“Discussions about the right amount of tutors or academic staff would need to take place,” said Starsiak, who has operated high-level sports and entertainment events for 15 years. ”

You have to look at, do we need three managers this time around? No, probably not. Do you take two and have a tutor or an academic come with us? Yeah, I think you could. I think there’s a way to kind of combine both things to have some live, in-person resources.”

The NCAA is going to do everything possible to have a basketball season.

The pandemic wiped out the NCAA Tournament last spring and the NCAA collected $270 million in cancellation insurance instead of the $1 billion TV payout it normally gets. A second straight year without March Madness could be devastating.

Bubbles may be the way to go.

 

 

Cam Heyward knew his father, Craig “Ironhead” Heyward, bounced around the NFL during a decade-plus career as a running back that saw him suit up for five different teams.

As much as Heyward admires his dad, he wasn’t eager to follow him down that particular path.

Now, he doesn’t have to. Not after the All-Pro defensive tackle signed a five-year contract with the Steelers that runs through 2024, when Heyward will be 35.

The deal eliminates some unwanted uncertainty for Heyward, who admitted he was ready for a “farewell” tour this season as he prepared to enter the final season of the current deal he signed in 2015. As late as Saturday afternoon, Heyward felt pessimistic something could be worked out.

A meeting with Steelers president Art Rooney II early Sunday helped talks regain momentum. By Monday morning, the 31-year-old had a pen in his hand knowing he will likely be a Steeler for the duration of his career.

He’s well aware of how rare such stability can be. He need only to look at his father’s journey through a handful of cities – including one-year stops in three of them – as proof.

“There was a time where Atlanta was offering him a contract and he had just come off a Pro Bowl year and they were ready to go in a different direction,” Heyward said.

“And to be such a different situation than what my dad goes through, I always feel like I am competing against him and I kind of like it that way – it lets me know that he’s still there and it keeps me grounded.”

While Heyward is aware that the new contract takes him into his mid-30s, he believes he’s fresher than his resume suggests. The nine-year veteran spent a significant portion of his first two seasons as a backup to Brett Keisel.

 

 

Spectators will be allowed at the French Open this month despite the growing number of coronavirus cases in the country, organizers said on Monday.

They unveiled the health protocols for the clay-court grand slam, which will take place at Roland Garros in western Paris from Sept. 27 after being postponed from its May start due to the pandemic.

“Since the international circuit restarted, Roland Garros will be the first tournament with the privilege of hosting an audience,” French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli said.

Serena Williams and Maria Sakkari, after their spectator-free U.S. Open match on Monday, questioned how the French can open the doors to fans but the players have to be in a bubble. The French are restricting the players to two hotels.

“If there are fans, then we should be able to stay elsewhere, then,” Williams said. “Yeah, that’s interesting, because there is no private housing but there’s fans.”

Williams was OK with fans in attendance, but wanted to know more from French Open organizers about “how we will be protected.”

Sakkari agreed.

“To have fans and have us in a bubble? For me, it doesn’t really make sense,” Sakkari said. “For me, it was a shocking announcement to have fans.”

In accordance with the latest government guidelines capping attendance to 5,000 people in regions such as Paris, the federation has scaled down its plans.

The federation wanted to welcome 50% to 60% of capacity, the equivalent of about 20,000 fans per day. Instead, Roland Garros will be divided into three zones based on the three main courts, with 5,000 people each for the Philippe Chatrier and Suzanne Lenglen courts. The zone surrounding the third biggest court will host a maximum of 1,500 spectators a day.

Wearing a mask on site will be mandatory, while all accredited people at the tournament will have to pass virus tests to be admitted in the Roland Garros bubble.

Tournament director Guy Forget said all players will be tested upon their arrival in the French capital city. They will be authorized to play if they return a negative test and will undergo a second test 72 hours later. Players will then be tested every five days as long as they remain in the draw, and will have to stay in the two hotels booked by organizers.

Organizers also decided to give more money to the early losers, in a gesture of solidarity toward the players who have been the hardest hit financially by the crisis.

“The prize money for first-round losers will thus increase by 30% compared to last year, to 60,000 euros ($71,000),” they said in a statement. “A major effort has also been made on the qualifications, with an allocation up 27% compared to 2019. The first-round losers in qualifications will receive a 10,000 euros ($11,800) check.”

French officials have confirmed more than 30,000 deaths from COVID-19 while the number of new daily cases surpassed 8,000 last Friday.

 

 

Spectators will be allowed at the French Open this month despite the growing number of coronavirus cases in the country, organizers said on Monday.

They unveiled the health protocols for the clay-court grand slam, which will take place at Roland Garros in western Paris from Sept. 27 after being postponed from its May start due to the pandemic.

“Since the international circuit restarted, Roland Garros will be the first tournament with the privilege of hosting an audience,” French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli said.

Serena Williams and Maria Sakkari, after their spectator-free U.S. Open match on Monday, questioned how the French can open the doors to fans but the players have to be in a bubble. The French are restricting the players to two hotels.

“If there are fans, then we should be able to stay elsewhere, then,” Williams said. “Yeah, that’s interesting, because there is no private housing but there’s fans.”

Williams was OK with fans in attendance, but wanted to know more from French Open organizers about “how we will be protected.”

Sakkari agreed.

“To have fans and have us in a bubble? For me, it doesn’t really make sense,” Sakkari said. “For me, it was a shocking announcement to have fans.”

In accordance with the latest government guidelines capping attendance to 5,000 people in regions such as Paris, the federation has scaled down its plans.

The federation wanted to welcome 50% to 60% of capacity, the equivalent of about 20,000 fans per day. Instead, Roland Garros will be divided into three zones based on the three main courts, with 5,000 people each for the Philippe Chatrier and Suzanne Lenglen courts. The zone surrounding the third biggest court will host a maximum of 1,500 spectators a day.

Wearing a mask on site will be mandatory, while all accredited people at the tournament will have to pass virus tests to be admitted in the Roland Garros bubble.

Tournament director Guy Forget said all players will be tested upon their arrival in the French capital city. They will be authorized to play if they return a negative test and will undergo a second test 72 hours later. Players will then be tested every five days as long as they remain in the draw, and will have to stay in the two hotels booked by organizers.

Organizers also decided to give more money to the early losers, in a gesture of solidarity toward the players who have been the hardest hit financially by the crisis.

“The prize money for first-round losers will thus increase by 30% compared to last year, to 60,000 euros ($71,000),” they said in a statement. “A major effort has also been made on the qualifications, with an allocation up 27% compared to 2019. The first-round losers in qualifications will receive a 10,000 euros ($11,800) check.”

French officials have confirmed more than 30,000 deaths from COVID-19 while the number of new daily cases surpassed 8,000 last Friday.

 

 

TODAY IN BASEBALL HISTORY

1885       George H. Rawlings patents a close-fitting baseball glove which features padding made of felt and rubber in the fingers, thumb, and palm. The owner of a St. Louis sporting goods store invented the padded piece of equipment to prevent players from bruising their hands when catching a ball.

1896       Baltimore sweeps a twin bill from 12th-place Louisville, beating their National League opponents at Oriole Park, 10-9 and 3-1. The Birds, who won all three games against the Colonels in yesterday’s tripleheader, establish the mark for the most victories in two consecutive days with their five wins.

1916       Twenty-three fans attending the game against the Yankees at soaked Shibe Park, the smallest crowd in American League history, witness A’s switch-hitter Wally Schang become the first player in major league history to homer from both sides of the plate in the same game. The feat, not well publicized because reporters thought the heavy rain would postpone the game and did not attend the contest, will not be accomplished again in the Junior Circuit until 1940.

1925       In the nightcap of a doubleheader at Fenway Park, Babe Ruth belts his 300th career home run. The milestone blast is given up by southpaw Buster Ross in the Yankees’ 7-4 win over the Red Sox.

1933       In the second game of a doubleheader against Detroit, Red Sox outfielder Mel Almada makes his major league debut at Fenway Park. The Huatabampo, Sonora native is the first Mexican to play in the major leagues.

1939       Bob Feller, with his 12-1 victory over the Browns in St. Louis, becomes the youngest modern-era player to win 20 games. The 20 year-old Indians’ fireballer finishes the season 24-9 while posting a 2.85 ERA.

1940       Johnny Mize hits homers #’s 38, 39, and 40 in the first game of a doubleheader, becoming the first player to hit three homers in one game four times in his career. Despite the ‘Big Cat’s’ heroics, the Cardinals drop a pair to the Pirates, 16-14 and 9-4.

1942       The first exhibition game between two Negro League teams is finally played in Boston when the Philadelphia Stars edge the Baltimore Elite Giants in a rain-shortened seven-inning game at Fenway Park, 8-7. The Cradle of Liberty, unlike many metropolitan areas in the East and South, did not have a Black team represent the city, nor did the community embrace the concept of hosting Negro League contests.

1949       Red Schoendienst steals the team’s last stolen base of the season when he takes second base in the Cardinals’ 8-0 victory over the Cubs at Sportsman’s Park. The Redbird third baseman will lead the club with eight pilfered bags, accounting for more than half of the all-time National League low of 17 the entire club will swipe this season.

1955       The Dodgers clinch their eighth National League pennant with a 10-2 victory over the Braves at Milwaukee’s County Stadium. Brooklyn’s 17-game lead makes it the earliest date that a team has captured a flag in baseball history.

1957       Before their departure to play on the West Coast for next season, the Dodgers and Giants face one another for the final time in New York. The Jints beat the Bums at the Polo Grounds, 3-2, to finish the intense 68 year-old storied rivalry with a 656-606 advantage over Brooklyn in the battle between the boroughs.

1958       Roberto Clemente blasts three triples in the Pirates’ 4-1 victory over the Redlegs at spacious Forbes Field. The ‘Great One’ becomes the first Pittsburgh player to accomplish the feat since 1952 when center fielder Carlos Bernier, batting leadoff, collected a trio of three-baggers also against Cincinnati in the same ballpark.

1963       At Connie Mack Stadium, Braves left-hander Warren Spahn tosses a complete game, edging Philadelphia, 3-2. The triumph is the southpaw’s 20th victory and ties Christy Mathewson’s record of thirteen seasons of twenty or more wins.

1964       The Mets announce the signing of 18 year-old right-hander Bill Denehy. The recent high school graduate, who struck out 151 batters in 81 innings, posted a 10-1 record for Woodrow Wilson High School in Middletown, Connecticut, and won three tournament games en route to leading his team to the state championship.

1965       In a promotion to increase Kansas City’s poor attendance, Bert Campaneris becomes the first major leaguer to play all nine positions in a single game. After being involved in a collision at home plate in the ninth inning, Campy is replaced by Rene Lachemann as the team’s catcher in the A’s eventual 5-3, 13-inning victory over California.

1967       The Mets, at the urging of their fans, honor former Dodger pitcher Sandy Koufax, who retired last season when arthritis ended his career prematurely at the age of 30. The Brooklyn-born southpaw, who threw a no-hitter against New York in 1962, started twenty games against the Amazins, compiling a 17-2 record, that included 14 complete games and 5 shutouts.

1968       Ralph Garr steals the first of his 172 stolen bases, swiping home as a pinch-runner for Joe Torre in the Braves’ 4-1 victory over Houston. In 1973, the ‘Road Runner’ will break Atlanta’s record for stolen bases with 35, surpassing his mark of 30 he established in 1970 during his rookie season.

1972       Pirates manager Bill Virdon posts his 100th different lineup in the 131st game of the season. The starting nine for the eventual NL Eastern Division winners beats the Expos in the second game of a doubleheader at Jarry Park in 12 innings, to complete the sweep of the twin bill, 4-2.

1973       Billy Martin, dismissed six days ago by the Tigers, signs a multi-year contract to manage the last-place Rangers. The fiery 45 year-old skipper, who was at the helm when Detroit won the American League East title last season, replaces Whitey Herzog, who was fired yesterday after compiling a 47-91 (.341) record in the first season of his Hall of Fame managerial career.

1977       Cubs’ relief pitcher Bruce Sutter strikes out the first six batters he faces, including three men in the ninth on nine pitches. The future Hall of Famer will earn his sixth victory in seven decisions when the Cubs beat Montreal in 10 innings at Wrigley Field, 3-2.

1980       Commissioner Bowie Kuhn suspends Ferguson Jenkins as a result of the drug arrest last month. The suspension will last only two weeks before an independent arbiter surprisingly reinstates the Cubs right-hander.

1985       At Wrigley Field, Pete Rose gets two hits off Chicago hurler Reggie Patterson, including his historic single that ties Ty Cobb’s career record of 4,191 hits. The game will be suspended due to darkness, enabling the Reds’ player-manager to break the Georgia Peach’s record at home.

1993       Retiring the final 17 batters in a row, 24 year-old right-hander Darryl Kile no-hits the Mets in a 7-1 Houston victory at the Astrodome. Jeff McKnight, who had walked, scores New York’s lone run on a wild pitch after advancing to third base on an error.

1995       With a 3-2 victory over the Orioles at Jacobs Field, the Indians clinch the American League Central Division, reaching the postseason for the first time since 1954. Mike Hargrove’s Tribe, which posts a 100-44 record, will win the division with the largest margin in baseball history, finishing 30 games ahead of the Royals.

1996       Mets catcher Todd Hundley joins Mickey Mantle as the only other switch hitter to hit 40 home runs in a season when he goes deep off Joe Borowski in the seventh inning of the team’s 6-2 victory at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. The 27 year-old backstop’s round-tripper also breaks the club record for most homers in a single year, established in 1988 by Darryl Strawberry.

1996       A Gary Sheffield fifth-inning round-tripper against the Expos’ Pedro Martinez breaks the major league home run record for a season. The previous record of 4,458 round-trippers was established in 1987.

1998       Cardinal first baseman Mark McGwire connects off of Cub hurler Steve Trachsel and sends a 341-foot line-drive over the left-field fence for his historic 62nd home run, breaking the single-season home run record set in 1961 by Roger Maris. Big Mac’s historic homer comes in the fourth inning of a nationally televised game.

2002       Rafael Palmeiro’s sixth inning homer against Tampa Bay establishes a new major league record with a Ranger player hitting a home run in 26 consecutive games. The previous mark was shared by the 1941 Yankees, the 1994 Tigers, and the 1998 Braves.

2003       At Camden Yards, 64 year-old Steve Dalkowski throws the ceremonial first pitch to relief pitcher Buddy Groom before an Orioles game against Seattle. In 1963, on the day he was fitted for his big-league uniform, the Baltimore fireballing farmhand hurt his arm pitching in an exhibition game and never appeared in the major leagues.

2005       At Troy’s Bruno Stadium, the Vermont Expos end the season by winning their seventh straight game, beating the Tri-City ValleyCats, 15-9. With the NY-Penn team changing its name next season, the game marks the last time the word Expos will appear on a uniform.

2007       Alex Rodriguez, hitting his 50th and 51st home runs, joins Babe Ruth (1920-54, 1921-59, 1927-60, 1928-54), Roger Maris (1961-61), and Mickey Mantle (1956-52, 1961-54) to become only the fourth player in Yankee history to hit 50 or more homers in a single season. The Yankee infielder’s second homer breaks the major league mark of 49 homers hit by a third baseman, shared with Mike Schmidt (Phillies-1980) and Adrian Beltre (Dodgers-2004).

2008       The Red Sox break the Cleveland Indians’ attendance record with their 456th consecutive regular-season sellout at Fenway Park. To commemorate the streak, which began on May 15, 2003, team owners, current players as well as club icon Johnny Pesky greet and thank fans entering the ballpark prior to the game against the Rays.

2008       Mark Saccomanno, a life-long fan of the team just called up a few hours before the start of the game, hits a home run on the first pitch he sees as a major leaguer, contributing to the Astros’ 3-2 victory over the Pirates at Minute Maid Park. The 28 year-old Houston native, who will not connect for another round-tripper in his career, is the first to accomplish the feat as a pinch-hitter, and he becomes the fourth player in franchise history to homer in his initial big-league at-bat.

2008       Gary Sheffield’s second home run of the game is the 250,000th round-tripper in major league history. The Tigers slugger, who needs only four more to reach a personal milestone of 500 homers, hit the round-tripper that set the record for the number of home runs hit in the major league in a season, bringing the total to 4,458 blasts.

2010       Tim Wakefield becomes the oldest player to win a game for the Red Sox since 1920, when the 44 year-old starter goes five innings in Boston’s 11-5 victory over Tampa Bay at Fenway Park. In 1998, Dennis Eckersley, at the age of 43 years and 349 days old, was credited with the win after getting two outs in relief in a game against Baltimore.

2012       A healthy Stephen Strasburg makes his last 2012 appearance four days sooner than his much-debated scheduled season shut down set by the Nationals. The 24 year-old power right-hander, who underwent Tommy John surgery in 2010, was put on a strict innings limit by Washington, who will lose the NLDS to St. Louis, after compiling the best record in major league baseball.

2012       Darwin Barney sets the National League record for consecutive errorless games by a second baseman with 124, surpassing Ryne Sandberg, another Cub infielder, who played his consecutive errorless streak at second between the 1989 and 1990 seasons. The major league mark for consecutive errorless games at second base is 186, established by Tiger infielder Placido Polanco from 2006-08.

2018       Ryne Stanek, facing one batter in the fifth inning of the Rays’ 10-5 victory over the Orioles, becomes the first pitcher to start 25 games and make 25 relief appearances in the same season since Hugh Mulchy accomplished the feat in 1937 with the Phillies. The Tampa Bay right-hander, used as one of the team’s “opening” starters, finishes the year compiling 66.1 innings, making 59 total appearances, which includes 29 starts.