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Rockies GM Supports Desmond’s Decision to Skip ’20 Season | Sports News




DENVER (AP) — Colorado Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich says he supports Ian Desmond’s decision to sit out the 2020 season to focus on his young family and help rejuvenate youth baseball in his hometown in Florida.

Bridich says he had a pair of recent conversations with the 34-year-old outfielder who announced his decision in a lengthy and heartfelt Instagram post Monday night.

Desmond wrote that the “COVID-19 pandemic has made this baseball season one that is a risk I am not comfortable taking.” The biracial slugger also mentioned a myriad of issues within baseball, including sexism, homophobia and socioeconomic concerns, as well as the racial reckoning that emerged after George Floyd’s death while in police custody in Minneapolis sparked protests around the world.

“The conversations with Ian felt the exact same that his written words feel to me,” Bridich said, “which is from the heart and honest. … I did not know that he was going to write something as thoughtful and as comprehensive as (he did) but I’m not surprised.”

Desmond, who hit .255 with 20 homers in 140 games last season, had been due $5,555,556 for the prorated share of his $15 million salary, part of a $70 million, five-year contract. He is owed $8 million next year, and his deal includes a $15 million team option for 2022 with a $2 million buyout.

Opting out this summer doesn’t affect his 2021 status, nor does it affect his relationship with Bridich.

“Ian is extremely thoughtful in what he does, he’s thoughtful in how he prepares as a professional athlete, he’s thoughtful as a husband and a father … he’s thoughtful about things that are bigger than him,” Bridich said. “And to this point, the reference has been the team or the clubhouse or the locker room, or things that affect the organization, his charity work, passion projects of his outside of the game of baseball.

“He’s willing to devote a lot of time and energy and thought to all of the things that he does. And so when you have somebody like that who is a professional athlete who is in the thick of it every day and trying to do the very best that he can to hold up his end of the bargain as an athlete, a teammate, a performer and then he’s always willing to think about other people on the team, in the organization and outside the organization, it’s easy to gravitate to people like that.”

Desmond complained about a lack of diversity in baseball and criticized the clubhouse atmosphere, saying it includes racism, sexism and homophobia. Bridich said Desmond didn’t complain specifically about the Rockies’ clubhouse, but Bridich did acknowledge the organization could be more diverse.

In his Instagram post, Desmond said he has been sharing more of his thoughts and experiences as a biracial man since Floyd’s death on May 25. Floyd, a Black man in handcuffs, died after a white police officer held his knee on Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes.

Desmond said his mind started racing during a recent visit to the Sarasota baseball fields that he played on as a kid. He wrote how they looked run down and neglected, and how important youth baseball was for him growing up.

Desmond said he wants to help Sarasota Youth Baseball get back on track.

It’s a big loss for Colorado, who placed Desmond on the restricted list Tuesday and agreed to a minor league deal with Matt Kemp. The veteran slugger owns a .327 batting average with 21 home runs and 77 RBIs over 86 career games at Denver’s downtown ballpark.

“Yeah, we’re well aware of the damage that he’s done against us,” Bridich said.

Kemp, who is expected in Denver by Thursday, will have to earn his way onto the roster, and he’ll benefit from the National League using the designated hitter when pro baseball attempts to start the coronavirus-delayed season in late July.

“The DH is an obvious benefit in terms of his potential place on our major league roster,” Bridich said. “That was going to be the case whether Ian opted in or opted out, and so again, it’s a right-handed power bat. He’s got a sense of the strike zone, we’ve seen it for how many years? And he’s very motivated to get back on the field and continue his career and play well. Whether that’s in the outfield or only at DH, we have to let some weeks pass before we can make any decisions like that.”

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IHSA keeping options open for fall sports – News – The McDonough County Voice




MACOMB – New Illinois High School Association guidelines have thrown a wrench into many school’s offseason athletic plans.

The new guidelines place new limits on schools looking to get started on preseason work.

The guidelines do not allow any contact drills/physical contact among athletes, mandate all individuals must wear a mask when inside, practice social distancing inside and outside when athletes and coaches do not have to wear masks and place a 50-person limit to all indoor activities, including fans.

Scrimmages also are not allowed.

“The changes and adjustments to Phase 4 ‘Return to Play,’ guidelines could come periodically in the coming weeks as the testing numbers fluctuate,” IHSA executive director Craig Anderson wrote in an email to schools on Thursday. “While these changes to our guidance document have been shared with IDPH (Illinois Department of Public Health), we do not have our document approved. When we do have it approved with these changes, we will pass along an updated copy.

“We appreciate your patience and understanding.”

While Phase IV did allow for more activities than Phase III in the Restore Illinois plan, Anderson and the IHSA are supportive of additional IDPH conditions.

“The Phase 4 guidelines optimize safety while allowing IHSA teams to gather in groups of 50 coaches and students or less to conduct practices or contests,” Anderson wrote.

In an interview with WRMJ radio on Friday, Anderson admitted that all options are on the table for the IHSA, whether it be flipped seasons, a shortened fall season or three shortened seasons.

“As of today, as a result of recent decisions we’ve had to make, and of the last couple of days, it has me a bit concerned,” Anderson told WRMJ. “It’s getting more complicated with the different adjustments that have been made to what was our Phase 4 guidelines that we had approved and have now had some setbacks. But I remain hopeful that even with these setbacks, that we will get back to more activities soon as long as our schools continue to do it safely and we don’t have any spikes or spread of the virus.”

As of right now though, no immediate decision is expected.

While some schools are remaining cautious and will continue summer work, Macomb director of athletcis Steve Horrell announced Thursday on Twitter that Macomb Junior and Senior High ‘athletic workouts and practices will be temporarily suspended but will resume once a safe and manageable plan is in place.’

Despite the rapid change to the guidelines, Horrell did say Macomb is in the process of making adjustments to get a new plan in place soon.

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Paytm likely to bag online betting contract: RWITC | More sports News




Zavaray Poonawalla

MUMBAI: Leading digital payments platform Paytm is likely to bag the online betting contract of the Royal Western India Turf Club. “Yes, it almost a done deal,” RWITC chairman Zavaray Poonawalla told TOI on Friday.
After the Bangalore Turf Club and Royal Calcutta Turf Club got the permissions from their respective state governments, it is likely that RWITC will also get the Maharashtra government’s nod to conduct online betting.
Poonawalla also announced that the Pune Season 2020 will start on August 23 rehearsal for which will take place on Independence Day. “But it is subject to govt. clearance,” added Poonawalla who is also currently the chief of the Turf Authorities of India, an umbrella organization of the various race clubs in the country.
“There will be no punters allowed on the opening day,” informed one of the leading breeders in the country. “On the opening day, only stewards, jockeys and most likely horse trainers will be allowed at the races,” added Poonawalla.
The punters can watch races on the RWITC website. “We will make it affordable for our punters so that they can watch races,” said the leading builder. But many of the punters are not internet savvy. “We will try to educate them,” he added.
The 75 percent stakes money to the horse owners will continue for the Pune Season as well. “We are high in spirit and very much confident that we will be able to start racing now but all will depend on Maharashtra Government’s permission,” stated Poonawalla.

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F1 2020 calendar increases with additions of Mugello and Russia




Ten races now confirmed for revised calendar with Mugello in Tuscany and Sochi in Russia added to September’s schedule

Last Updated: 10/07/20 10:46am

Formula 1 have added two more races to the developing 2020 calendar – including a debut for Italy’s Mugello circuit to mark Ferrari’s 1,000th race.

Mugello in Tuscany will follow the Italian GP at Monza, on September 11-13, with the Russian GP in Sochi confirmed for its original slot of September 25-27.

It means there are now 10 confirmed dates, with F1 still working towards a schedule of between 15 and 18 races to conclude in December.

“We are delighted to announce Mugello and Sochi will be part of the 2020 calendar and want to thank all our partners for their support in recent weeks,” said F1 chairman Chase Carey.

“We had great start to our season in Austria last weekend and we are increasingly confident in our plans to race throughout the remainder of 2020.

“The Russian Grand Prix is major moment in our season and we are looking forward to being back in Sochi in September. We are equally excited to see Formula 1 race for the first time at Mugello, an occasion that will mark Ferrari’s 1,000th Grand Prix.

“Both races will be a huge boost for fans with more announcements on the next races in our calendar coming in the weeks ahead.”

The 2020 F1 calendar – so far
COMPLETED: Austrian GP, Red Bull Ring
THIS WEEKEND: Styrian GP, Red Bull Ring
July 19: Hungarian GP, Budapest
August 2: British GP, Silverstone
August 9: 70th Anniversary GP, Silverstone
August 16: Spanish GP, Barcelona
August 30: Belgian GP, Spa-Francorchamps
September 6: Italian GP, Monza
September 13: Tuscan GP, Mugello
September 27: Russian GP, Sochi

Mugello is owned by Ferrari and will become the third Italian circuit to host an F1 grand prix after Monza and Imola. F1 teams held an in-season test there in 2012, while Ferrari ran there a fortnight ago in preparation for the start of the new season in Austria.

“To be able to celebrate an extraordinary anniversary like the thousandth grand prix for Scuderia Ferrari at our own home at Mugello is an incredible opportunity,” said Ferrari team boss Mattia Binotto.

“Mugello is not just one of the most spectacular and challenging tracks for drivers and cars, it is also a structure that has made sustainability one of its priorities.

“This commitment has taken it to levels of excellence both for Italy and the world. There are lots of people to whom we send thanks for turning this opportunity into reality – above all Formula 1’s chairman and CEO Chase Carey, who knows and appreciates the value that our team represents for this sport, to the extent that he was prepared to recognise this anniversary in the official name of the event.”

The new Formula 1 season is underway in dramatic style on Sky Sports F1 and continues this week with the second race at the Red Bull Ring – the Styrian GP. Find out more & subscribe.

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