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Friday’s Sports

MLB

The league and the MLB Players Association (MLBPA) have agreed to play seven-inning doubleheaders during the 2020 season, starting as early as Saturday, Aug. 1. Having seven-inning doubleheaders instead of a pair of nine-inning games is common practice in the minor leagues. Texas is at Oracle Park facing San Francisco for a 9:10 start. Houston is out west as well in Anaheim against the L.A. Angels at the same time.

Who would have thought that a rain delay would be a problem at the ballpark? The Miami Marlins, who have suffered the worst COVID-19 outbreak in sports, complained about the inability to socially distance during a rain delay against the Atlanta Braves just days before the season started. Manager Don Mattingly said, “We had all these guys and nowhere to go. Then we’ve got a zillion guys in the dugout, so there’s no way we’re social distancing.” Chicago and Cincinnati didn’t happen Thursday night because of rain and COVIDD-19.

NHL

The first step toward closing the NHL’s most unique season begins Saturday by starting the expanded 24-team playoffs in Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta. A nine-day slate of potentially 52 games, depending on the eight best-of-five series results, will begin with the Carolina Hurricanes facing the New York Rangers at noon (Eastern) in Toronto. Meanwhile, the top four teams in each conference will play a round-robin series to determine seeding for the first round to begin.

NFL

The Dallas Cowboys say they are canceling season tickets for the 2020 season. Tickets are on a single game basis with season ticket holders getting priority.

SEC

The Southeastern Conference, which has produced 10 of the last 14 national champions, delivered the grimmest signal Thursday that this will be a season like no other if there’s a season amid a raging pandemic that shows no signs of fading away. Following drastic moves already instituted by the Big Ten, Pac-12 and Atlantic Coast Conference, the SEC announced a 10-game, conference-only schedule that won’t begin until late September. The Big 12 will likely have to follow suit, despite making an aggressive push to play a full, 12-game schedule even as potential non-league opponents dries up. The Baylor-Ole Miss game scheduled for Sept. 6, canceled.

REGION XIV

Herb Richardson is the man who practically started the TJC women’s basketball program. The Livingston native died Wednesday after a brief illness at the age of 93.

DIXIE

Paris Woodall is the site for the 2020 Texas Super Series starting Saturday. Paris hosts “O” Zone, Division I North, AAA-Division I North, T-Bal Division I North, “O” Zone, Division II, and AAA, Division II. Teams participating are Atlanta, Bonham, Daingerfield, DeKalb, Delta County, Gilmer, Hallsville, Hawkins, Howe, Lindale, Longview, Palestine-Jones, Paris American, Paris National, Red River County, Sims, Spring Hill, S&S Sports, Sulphur Springs, Whitewright, and Winnsboro. Center, Hallsville, and Henderson are hosting the other tournaments. Hooks and Hughes Springs entered the Center tournament.