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Friday’s Sports

Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes (left), gives up on a foul ball as San Francisco Giants’ Austin Slater Thursday in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

MLB

Thursday night and the first baseball game of the season witnessed cardboard fans, umpires wearing masks, Washington star Juan Soto sidelined by COVID-19, all Nationals and Yankees kneeling together before the national anthem. Forgot to mention, Sean Doolittle missed Dr. Anthony Fauci’s curveball in the ceremonial first pitch. Then came the storm-halting game that ended 4-1 for the big-name Yankees over the defending champion Nationals.

Major League Baseball and the players’ union agreed Thursday to an expanded playoff structure that includes 16 teams instead of the usual ten. Since 16 of 30 teams will make the postseason, there’s an excellent chance that they include organizations with a losing record. The division winners in each league will be the 1-3 seeds, the second-place teams in each division will be 4-6, and the two more wild cards will be the 7 and 8 seeds. The first round will be a best-of-three series, and the pairings will be 1 vs. 8, 2-7, 3-6, and 4-5. Bets, please!

Kansas City Royals’ outfielder Hunter Dozier has tested positive for COVID-19. The former SFA Lumberjack is now on the injury list. Their final exhibition game was in St. Louis Wednesday night, but Dozier is back with his wife and kids in Kansas City recovering.

NFL

Well, now we know. The Red Skins are the Washington Football Team for the 2020 season and not the Swamp Monsters. The name is temporary until they can think up of one. Washington will keep its burgundy and gold colors and replace the Indian head logo on helmets with a player’s jersey number. Owner Dan Snyder recently dropped the Redskins name amid pressure from sponsors and after decades of criticism from Native American advocacy groups. On Monday, he hired Terry Bateman as executive vice president and chief marketing officer to oversee the name change and re-branding process.

HIGH SCHOOL

Liberty-Eylau ISD announced Thursday that only students who choose the Traditional Instruction model would be eligible to participate in extracurricular activities. That includes all UIL contests. The school district released procedures for their return to school during the coronavirus pandemic. Traditional Instruction is for students who will be on-campus during the school year.

They scrimmage Mt Pleasant Sep 18 at Sulphur Springs, Take on Frisco Wakeland the 25th at Toyota Stadium, host Lovejoy Oct 2, and have a homecoming with Hallsville on the 9th before district.