Major League Baseball is tossing around plenty of ideas these days to start a shortened season delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. Such as a DH in the National League, neutral-site games, personal rosin bags for pitchers. Now a proposal that would genuinely upend the sport: Up to 16 playoff teams. More than half the 30 clubs advance. No need to finish over .500, probably. This skewed season, perhaps 35 wins in 76 games or so, could be enough to play into October. What’s next, the Winnipeg Jets in the World Series?
In New Zealand, the Dunedin-based Highlanders are hoping 20,000 fans will attend Saturday’s Super Rugby Aoteroa match against the Chiefs. It is the first major rugby match played in front of fans since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. The Auckland-based Blues expect as many as 35,000 to attend Sunday’s event against the Wellington-based Hurricanes because of the large number of national team All Blacks involved.
Jim Nantz will be alone in the broadcast booth when the PGA Tour resumes its schedule Thursday. That’s not the only voice CBS Sports wants to hear at Colonial. In announcing the broadcast and production plans for the return to golf, CBS Sports Chairman Sean McManus said the network would have what Nantz dubbed a “confession cam.” Players would walk into a tent during the round and talk briefly into a remote camera.
Fields and facilities in Northeast Texas have been empty since mid-march, but Monday athletes returned for day one of the optional summer workouts. Coaches started getting everyone back in shape for the fall. The UIL gave the green light to schools as long as specific guidelines are followed, like pre-screening the athletes for COVID-19 symptoms and splitting teams into smaller groups. The most significant problem for coaches was trying to keep athletes six feet apart after not being around each other. After a lot of planning, most coaches think everything is going to work out during the workouts.