Wednesday's Sports in Brief
NEW YORK (AP) — Rob Manfred knows many fans were angered by the financial fight between Major League Baseball and the players’ association during a pandemic.
Spring training was cut short by the novel coronavirus on March 12. The sides reached an initial agreement on March 26, which was to have been opening day. That deal called for players to receive prorated salaries, get $170 million in advances and receive a guarantee of service time in the event no games were played this year.
When it became clear the only way to start the season was to play in empty ballparks, the sides battled publicly over what the agreement meant.
Owners said players needed to accept additional cuts and proposed an 82-game schedule starting around the Fourth of July. Players argued they shouldn’t have to accept less than the original deal called for. But that agreement didn’t bind Manfred to start the season with no gate revenue.
Vitriol rose in baseball’s worst infighting since the 7 1/2-month strike of 1994-95 wiped out the World Series for the first time in nine decades. The union rejected the last proposal for a financial agreement, then finished protocols to play in the pandemic on Tuesday and promised players will start reporting July 1 for a 60-game season scheduled to start July 23 or 24, MLB’s briefest since 1878.
BOSTON (AP) — Eddie Kasko, an All-Star infielder who managed the Boston Red Sox and spent nearly three decades with the team in a variety of roles, died Wednesday. He was 88.
The Red Sox announced Kasko’s death Wednesday night, three days shy of his 89th birthday. No cause was given.
Kasko played 10 seasons in the major leagues from 1957-66 and was an All-Star shortstop for the National League champion Cincinnati Reds in 1961. He batted .318 in the World Series that year, leading the Reds with seven hits during their five-game loss to a mighty New York Yankees team that featured Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford.
TORONTO (AP) — Longtime Calgary Flames captain Jarome Iginla headlined the Hockey Hall of Fame’s six-person 2020 class, making it in his first year of eligibility.
Iginla will be the fourth Black player inducted after goalie Grant Fuhr, women’s hockey pioneer Angela James and Willie O’Ree. Iginla and Fuhr are the only Black NHL players enshrined for their on-ice accomplishments, while O’Ree was chosen in the builder category in 2018 for breaking the league’s color barrier 60 years earlier.
Iginla was joined in the 2020 class by winger Marian Hossa, defensemen Kevin Lowe and Doug Wilson, Canadian women’s goaltender Kim St. Pierre and longtime general manager Ken Holland.
Iginla was the first Black player to lead the NHL in goals and points and was the first Black male athlete in any sport to win a gold medal in the Winter Olympics at the 2010 Vancouver Games.
In addition to two Olympic gold medals in three appearances, Iginla won the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy twice as the NHL’s top goal-scorer and in 2002 won the Art Ross Trophy for the most points and Ted Lindsay Award as MVP voted by fellow players.
Brooks Koepka and Webb Simpson were among five players who withdrew from the Travelers Championship, four of them out of a chain-reaction abundance of caution over the coronavirus that put the PGA Tour on notice.
Graeme McDowell withdrew because his longtime caddie, Ken Comboy, tested positive for the virus.
The tour released results that showed three positive tests at the TPC River Highlands in Connecticut — Cameron Champ and the caddies for Koepka and McDowell. There were no positive tests on the Korn Ferry Tour event in Utah.
As it enters the third week in its return from the COVID-19 pandemic that shut down golf for three months, the tour has administered 2,757 tests at PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour events in five states, with seven positive results.
On the PGA Tour alone, there have been 1,382 tests and four positive results.
Nick Watney was the first player to test positive last week at the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, which was teeming with people on summer vacation.
Champ tested positive on Tuesday at the Travelers and immediately withdrew.
NEW YORK (AP) — The New York City Marathon was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, with organizers and city officials deciding that holding the race on Nov. 1 would be too risky.
Organizers announced the cancellation of the 50th anniversary edition of the world’s largest marathon after coordinating with the mayor’s office and deciding the race posed too many health and safety concerns for runners, volunteers, spectators and others.
Last year’s marathon included a world record 53,640 finishers, with half marathon record-holder Joyciline Jepkosgei of Kenya winning her debut at the 26.2-mile distance. Geoffrey Kamworor won the men’s event for the second time in three years to complete the Kenyan sweep.
Those who registered for the 2020 race will be offered a full refund of their entry fee or a guaranteed entry to either the 2021, 2022 or 2023 marathon. The 2021 New York City Marathon is scheduled for Nov. 7.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The NBA expected positive coronavirus results to happen once players began undergoing mandatory tests, and three players revealed they are dealing with COVID-19.
Indiana Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon and Sacramento Kings players Jabari Parker and Alex Len all said they have tested positive for the coronavirus.
Brogdon and Parker made announcements in the form of statements released by their teams. Len announced his status in an Instagram post. All three said they expect to be with their teams when the NBA season resumes at the Disney complex near Orlando, Florida, next month.
All 22 NBA teams that will be part of the resumed season began mandated testing Tuesday. League officials have expected that positive tests would be inevitable, and believed that starting a testing regimen now — roughly five weeks before games begin at Disney — will give players with positive results time to recover and get back with their teams before those contests start July 30.
Suspended West Virginia defensive coordinator Vic Koenning apologized Wednesday after a player alleged he made a series of insensitive remarks, including against Hispanics.
Koenning was placed on administrative leave Tuesday after safety Kerry Martin posted the allegations on his Twitter account about Koenning.
Koenning apologized to Martin and the school community in a statement on Twitter.
Martin said the latest example of offensive comments by Koenning happened Monday, when the defensive coordinator shared a conversation he had with his son about protests over racial injustice. Martin, who is Black, said Koenning’s “exact words were, ‘if people did not want to get tear gassed, or push back by the police then they shouldn’t be outside protesting.‘”
Martin also said Koenning called him “retarded” during a 2019 workout, has discussed religion and the Bible with players who had different beliefs, and has given his views on politics, including how President Donald Trump “should ‘build the wall and keep Hispanics out (of) the country.’”