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News, sign-stealing reaction from MLB camps

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Stay up to date with news from around Major League Baseball’s spring training camps as players react to the tumultuous offseason’s sign-stealing scandal, get back on the field and jostle for positions on opening day rosters.

Gary Sanchez responds to Astros cheating with nudity pledge

New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez found the most creative way yet to respond to the Houston Astros cheating scandal. Sanchez spoke to the media on Wednesday and threw some shade at Jose Altuve and the now-infamous video of him clutching his jersey as he ran to home base after a walk-off home run in 2017’s American League Championship Series.

“If I hit a homer and get my team to the World Series, they can rip off my pants,” Sanchez told The Athletic’s Lindsey Adler. “They can rip everything off.”

There was speculation that Altuve didn’t want his jersey ripped off because that would reveal a device that gave him an electric shock to alert him to what pitch was coming. Though that was never proven by MLB, it doesn’t seem like Sanchez is convinced. He knows what he would want in that situation, and that is for his teammates to rip every single shred of clothing from his body in celebration.

Jim Crane to discuss sign-stealing scandal with players

Houston Astros owner Jim Crane wants to talk strategy with his team before the season starts. Crane will meet with Astros players Wednesday to discuss how the team should approach questions about the sign-stealing scandal in 2020, according to ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

The timing of Crane’s meeting is important, as the Astros will open the clubhouse up to the media Thursday. Players will have to answer questions about the scandal for the first time since the team’s FanFest. Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman were among the players to speak at FanFest, but they avoided giving in-depth answers to questions about the scandal.

A few days after FanFest, Crane said Astros players will apologize for the sign-stealing scandal during spring training. Crane appears to be following up on that promise with Wednesday’s meeting. Whether the Astros’ players are receptive to that message will be seen Thursday.

Cole Hamels sidelined due to shoulder discomfort

The regular season hasn’t even started and the Atlanta Braves are already dealing with a troublesome injury. Cole Hamels is experiencing left shoulder discomfort and will be shut down for a few weeks, according to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman.

The 36-year-old Hamels signed a one-year, $18 million deal with the Braves in the offseason. He put up a 3.81 ERA over 141 2/3 innings with the Chicago Cubs in 2019.

The Braves will re-evaluate Hamels’ injury in three weeks. Even if Hamels is ready to go at that point, he won’t have enough time to make the team’s opening day roster, according to general manager Alex Anthopoulos. Given the severity of shoulder issues, the Braves may want to take a cautious approach with Hamels.

Pirates replace Starling Marte with Jarrod Dyson

The Pittsburgh Pirates may have found their replacement for Starling Marte. The team agreed to a deal with Jarrod Dyson on Wednesday, according to Adam Berry of MLB.com.

Dyson, 35, shouldn’t be expected to replace Marte’s production. Over 10 seasons in the majors, Dyson has a .247/.319/.338 slash line. He’s more known for his speed and defense.

While Dyson has mostly been used as a part-time guy over his career, he could be pushed into a starting role in Pittsburgh.

Feb. 11: Shohei Ohtani won’t pitch until at least mid-May

Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani won’t be a two-way star to begin the season. Ohtani, 25, will be limited to designated hitter duties throughout April as he continues to rehab from Tommy John surgery and a knee procedure, according to Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic.

The Angels don’t envision Ohtani getting back on the mound until mid-May. It’s unclear if that’s when the team expects Ohtani to pitch in the majors again, or if that’s when he’ll begin building up his stamina.

Ohtani underwent Tommy John surgery in October 2018. He spent all of last season as the team’s primary DH, hitting .286/.343/.505 over 425 plate appearances. Ohtani’s season ended a few weeks early, as he needed knee surgery to repair a bipartite patella.

When Ohtani joined the Angels prior to the 2018 season, he was considered to have higher upside as a pitcher. In 10 starts, Ohtani posted a 3.31 ERA and struck out 63 batters over 51 2/3 innings.

Dellin Betances says he’ll be ready by opening day

New York Mets reliever Dellin Betances offered up some promising news Tuesday. The 31-year-old righty said he expects to be ready to go opening day after battling various injuries in 2019, according to Joel Sherman of the New York Post.

Betances was limited to one game last season due to shoulder and lat injuries. After striking out the only two hitters he faced, Betances partially tore his Achilles tendon while celebrating his return. He became a free agent a few weeks later and signed with the Mets in December.

A healthy Betances would provide a significant boost to the team’s bullpen. Over 381 2/3 career innings, Betances has a 2.36 ERA. He’s expected to open the season as a setup man, but could become the Mets’ closer if Edwin Diaz struggles again.

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Police news – Sept. 24 | News, Sports, Jobs

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Firearm stolen

FLEMINGTON — The theft of a firearm is under investigation by state police at Lamar.

The theft took place sometime between Sept. 5 and Sept. 19 on West Fourth Street in Flemington Borough, Clinton County.

Police said a SCCY CPX-2 9mm firearm with a stainless slide and teal polymer frame went missing from the glove box of a 2016 Chevrolet Cruze. Anyone with information about the theft is asked to contact police at 570-726-6000.

The firearm is valued at $279.

Harassment

BEECH CREEK — A 23-year-old Beech Creek man was charged with harassment after allegedly shoving a 23-year-old Beech Creek woman multiple times during an altercation, state police at Rockview said.

The incident occurred along North Eagle Valley Road, Liberty Township, Centre County on Sept. 7, police said.

Drug possession

BELLEFONTE — A case is pending a preliminary hearing involving drug possession along Interstate 80 near mile marker 1523 in Boggs Township, Centre County, state police at Rockview said.

Sanford Hill, 31, of Toledo, Ohio, was stopped for speeding on Sept. 18 when a probable cause search yielded a small amount of marijuana in his 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt, police said.

Harassment

BEECH CREEK — A case of harassment was investigated by state police at Lamar on Sept. 21.

According to police, Amber Williams, 26, of Beech Creek and Jessica Wetzel, 30, also of Beech Creek became involved in a physical altercation at 9 Bittner Lane in Beech Creek Township, Clinton County. Williams and Wetzel shoved each other inside the residence. Both Wetzel and Williams received non-traffic citations for harassment, which were filed through magisterial district justice 25-3-02.

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Fate of high school extra-curriculars in Moose Jaw — including sports — could be decided this week

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Series of meetings between various stakeholders to culminate Friday as various options to be reviewed

The immediate future of high school sports and extracurricular activities in general in Moose Jaw could well come down to decisions made this coming Friday.

With the Saskatchewan High School Athletic Association releasing a new set of Return-to-Play guidelines earlier this week, questions quickly turned to where local sports are currently at — and the answer showed just how much effort is going into making the correct decision in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Derrick Huschi is the commissioner for high school football in the city. He’s also the Prairie South School Divison Superintendent of School Operations for North K-12 schools and 9-12 schools and as such has had a front-row seat with regards to preparations currently being put in place.

Prairie South has worked closely with the Holy Trinity Catholic School Division in their planning, with a series of meetings between a wide range of stakeholders set to culminate Friday when the associated parties aim to put together a plan going forward.

“It is what it is, and there are some inconsistencies that we’re working on,” Huschi explained. “We don’t totally understand some of the stuff and we’re not like community programs, we have to make sure we align with the Re-Open Saskatchewan plan and Return to School plan 100 per cent. That adds a little bit more of a dynamic to it all.”

The key to the whole process is finding a solution that works and is as safe as possible for everyone involved. What that looks like remains to be seen, but there’s always the haunting spectre of COVID hanging over the proceedings, and what might happen in light of certain decisions.

“What effect could it have in a school if something does happen?” Huschi queried. “If it’s a student in a community and we’re talking about one student, that’s one thing. But if it happens to be a whole bunch of kids in one building, that changes the whole dynamic again. So we’re working on it, but just don’t have the definitive answer.”

Here’s where things stand at this point.

The Saskatchewan School-Based Administrators and the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation are of the position that schools should not be entertaining extra-curriculars at this point, while the Saskatchewan Health Authority has yet to pass down clear guidelines for extra-curriculars in schools.

That ‘do we, don’t we’ goes down to individual staff members locally. Some are all for getting back on the field and in the gym, some remain concerned that doing so is taking an unnecessary risk, going back to the ‘what if’ scenario of an extra-curricular-connected outbreak.

“So we’re trying to juggle all those things to find what’s best, plus we have all our other re-open plans,” Huschi said. 

“We sent out a survey to all of our staff last week, asking ‘what are your priorities’ and we got some feedback. Holy Trinity is doing the same thing. Then they met with their board, we’re meeting with our board, then the local teachers associations are meeting, and we’re bringing all that information together on Friday and we’re going to sit down and see what our stakeholders are telling us for the next steps.”

Some things might be clarified before that meeting if the Saskatchewan Health Authority releases a rumoured update to the Re-Open Saskatchewan plan, but that remains up in the air.

It’s all part of steady progress to this point, with the two school divisions taking an incremental approach to the ever-evolving situation.

“So we don’t want to get too far ahead, we want to make sure we’re working in the right direction,” Huschi said.

If the green light is given, from a sports point of view plans are in place and facilities are booked for a relatively quick start to the football, soccer, cross-country and volleyball seasons. The only question is to what form the leagues would take — mini-leagues intra-school, or by grade, how many aside in each sport and so on.

“So there’s a lot of different things in play right now, and we’ll have to see what decisions are made,” said Huschi.



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Five highlights from the speech from the throne | NanaimoNewsNOW

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A federal testing assistance response team will be created to quickly meet surging testing needs, including providing tests in remote and isolated communities.

Thanking Canadians for doing their part by wearing masks, the government also promised to continue providing personal protective equipment by building domestic production capacity and securing supply chains internationally.

Extending the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy

As more lockdowns are anticipated to prevent small clusters of COVID-19 from turning to major outbreaks, the Liberal government promised to provide additional financial support for businesses that will have to temporarily shut down as a result of a local public health decision.

The broader Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy will be extended through the next summer to help business overcome the burden the pandemic. 

The government also again promised a transitional Canada Recovery Benefit for those who won’t qualify for benefits under the new expanded employment-insurance system that is to replace Canada Emergency Response Benefit by the end of this month. 

Creating a new Canadian Disability Benefit

Highlighting that COVID-19 has disproportionately affected Canadians with disabilities, the government said it will bring forward a disability inclusion plan that will include a new Canadian Disability Benefit, an employment strategy for Canadians with disabilities and a better process to determine eligibility for government disability programs and benefits.

The Liberals promised to work with the provinces and territories to set new national standards for long-term care so that seniors get the best support possible, and to take additional action to help people stay in their homes longer.

Major support for clean-technology companies

Aiming to make Canada a world leader in clean technology, the Liberals promise a new fund to attract investments in making zero-emissions products. The government will also cut the corporate tax rate in half for these companies.

The government promises a clean-power fund. This fund will be included with projects like the Atlantic Loop that will transmit surplus clean power to regions transitioning away from coal.

Manufacturing, natural-resource, and energy sectors are promised financial support from Ottawa as they work toward a future in which Canada has net-zero greenhouse-gas emissions.

Tackling systemic racism

The Liberals say a fight against racism will be informed by the experiences of racialized communities and Indigenous Peoples.

Addressing hate speech online, providing more economic support for specific communities and increasing diversity in public procurement are all on the Liberals’ agenda.

As Black Canadians and Indigenous people are overrepresented in the criminal justice system, the government promised to take steps to ensure that criminal justice is used to keep people safe, and not to be discriminatory or counterproductive.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept, 23, 2020.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

Maan Alhmidi, The Canadian Press

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