Tuesday Sports in Brief
Major League Baseball did not include an economic proposal during its opening presentation to the players’ union on terms to start the coronavirus-delayed season.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker criticized big leaguers for not being willing to cut pay further at a news conference on Tuesday, and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said his state is open to games without spectators for all the major sports starting Saturday.
The electronic meeting of MLB and the players’ association lasted between three and four hours and consisted of baseball officials explaining their view of the economics, science and logistics of getting the season under way, several people familiar with the session told The Associated Press. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because no details were announced.
Owners gave the go-ahead Monday for a proposal that players receive the percentage of their 2020 salaries based on a 50-50 split of revenues MLB receives during the regular season and postseason, a person familiar with that plan told the AP. That person also spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan was not announced.
—By Baseball Writer Ronald Blum.
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has opened the door for professional sports to return to the state.
Ducey said on Tuesday that professional sports, including MLB, NBA, NHL and NFL can resume without fans on Saturday. The state is slowly starting to reopen during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic with Ducey saying on social media that Arizona is “trending in the right direction.”
Ducey said he’s had discussions with “leaders of some of these leagues” but did not say which ones or elaborate on what activities might take place in Arizona. Last month, he said he’d spoken with Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred and was open to hosting games.
MIAMI (AP) — A person familiar with the results of poll of NBA players taken by their union says there would be “overwhelming” support for any plan that has this season resuming in a safe way amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The poll conducted by the National Basketball Players Association was informal but gave a clear sense that players would like to not only get to the playoffs but also resume at least some of the regular season, according to the person who shared details with The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because it was not to be detailed publicly.
The exact results of the poll were unknown, and the methodology behind the poll — including how many players participated — was unclear.
—By Basketball Writer Tim Reynolds.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Southern California sports academy previously co-owned by Kobe Bryant has retired his “Mamba” nickname and rebranded itself nearly four months after the basketball icon’s death in a helicopter crash.
Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people were killed Jan. 26 as they flew to a basketball tournament at the Mamba Sports Academy.
The Thousand Oaks-based facility said it would return to its original name of Sports Academy. It was founded in 2016. Bryant, who spent 20 seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers and helped the franchise win five NBA championships, joined in 2018.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Churchill Downs on Tuesday released a preliminary list of races that could be used as an extension of the Road to the Kentucky Derby prep schedule, pending agreement by the host tracks.
The 146th Derby was rescheduled for Sept. 5 from its traditional spot on the first Saturday in May because of the pandemic.
The Preakness and Belmont — the other legs of the Triple Crown — have yet to be rescheduled. If they are run before the Derby, points to the top four finishers would be worth 150-60-30-15.
The lone prep race in May will be the $150,000 Matt Winn on May 23 at Churchill Downs.
Other preps have been added on a regional basis, and once the New York Racing Association finalizes its stakes schedule, more preps could be added to the series. The point values for each race will be subject to readjustment based on their proximity to all Triple Crown races.
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona Coyotes president and CEO Ahron Cohen is no longer with the organization, a person familiar with the move told The Associated Press.
The person spoke Tuesday on condition of anonymity because no formal announcement has been made. No other details were provided.
Cohen has been with the Coyotes since being hired in 2015 as chief operating officer and chief legal officer by previous owner Andrew Barroway. Cohen was named president and CEO in 2017 after Steve Patterson stepped back to serve as a consultant and adviser after a year on the job.
Alex Meruelo purchased a 95% stake in the team less than a year ago and signed general manager John Chayka to a long-term contract extension early in the 2019-20 season.
Swedish soccer players and coaches will not be required to take a test for COVID-19 before training sessions or matches as part of the country’s proposed return-to-play protocol during the pandemic.
Instead, they will have to fill in a self-assessment form each morning and email it to their club doctor no later than two hours before arriving for training, or before arriving at a stadium for a match. The doctor will then assess whether the players and coaches are healthy enough to take part.
They must stay at home if they have any symptoms.
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Premier League clubs could be allowed to complete the season at their own stadiums after police pulled back on their insistence that neutral venues were the only safe way of staging games during the coronavirus pandemic.
The league’s leadership held talks with police on Monday night after being told by the 20 clubs that they wanted to be able to play at home, even though fans will not be allowed inside.
Mark Roberts, the head of football policing in England, had been concerned supporters would still gather outside stadiums and place an additional burden on resources as lockdown measures are eased.
But Roberts has softened his stance after “positive” talks with the league and government.
The Mid-American Conference is eliminating postseason tournaments in eight sports, including baseball and softball, and men’s and women’s basketball are among nine sports that will have postseasons scaled back.
The MAC’s announced the cost-cutting move Tuesday in response to the financial crisis being brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
Postseason tournaments will also be discontinued in field hockey, women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s tennis and men’s and women’s soccer. Champions in the 12-team conference will be determined by regular-season results in sports without postseason tournaments.
Men’s and women’s basketball tournaments will only include the top eight teams in the final regular-season standings. Regular-season basketball schedules will increase to 20 conference games and opening round, on-campus tournament games will be eliminated.