NASCAR shows the sports world that it can be done

On Sunday, NASCAR returned to the track and has run three races over the past five days across their top two series. There was a lot of speculation about how successful the races would be in terms of health, and so far, everything has been executed flawlessly. They are proving that sports can still safely operate during the coronavirus pandemic.

Part of the NASCAR health plan included mandatory mask-wearing and health checks for anyone entering the track. Drivers would remain isolated in their motorhomes until race time with little to no contact with their team. Each team would have at least four fewer crew-members at the track than usual.

Some of the other major sports in the United States can pick up on some of the health principles used by NASCAR, like health checks and frequent mask-wearing. Teams could also try to limit the number of staff at games.

The issue in the health aspect of other sports is proximity to other athletes, whether they are on the same team or not. Because of that, frequent testing is an absolute necessity for sports like basketball, baseball, hockey, or football.

But I think that it can be done. Social Distance as much as possible, and try to wear masks when possible in close proximity to others when not in the game. State governors are beginning to encourage professional sports teams to return, and that’s a good sign in terms of general public health.

Hopefully, sports will see what NASCAR did to make a safe return and will use some similar health guidelines in their returns.

Brooklyn Nets: Spencer Dinwiddie Weighs in on possible continuation of NBA Season

Brooklyn Nets, Spencer Dinwiddie

Recognized as one of the most active Brooklyn Nets on Twitter, Spencer Dinwiddie had a few drinks on Sunday night and decided to share his thoughts on the NBA possibly salvaging the rest of this season. Here are a series of Dinwiddie’s tweets from Sunday night:

So according to Dinwiddie, saving this season is not worth it the reasons he listed. He also has a very creative thought process as to how the NBA could play next season without fans. I personally find Dinwiddie’s plan for the NBA extremely feasible and really think the NBA could stand to gain something from listening to his and other players’ suggestions.

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BREAKING NEWS: MLB Is Ready To Present Plan to Player’s Union For the 2020 Season

There’s a lot of speculation about start dates, cancellation rumors, and everything in between. The MLB might actually be gaining traction in their plans to have a 2020 season. The rumors of a plan being released this week were just that, rumors, and no one was truly sure. This all changed today as Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic just tweeted that the MLB has a plan they are ready to present to the Player’s Union, which could be huge for not just the MLB but for all of American sports.

According to the tweet by Ken Rosenthal, there is a meeting expected for tomorrow. The actual details aren’t public as of yet, however. The details of the meeting should be released this week but for now, all we can do is speculate about the plan. This is big for sports like the NBA and NHL who are trying to finish their seasons. If the curve begins to flatten and the MLB starts when they plan to (which reports say would be June for Spring Training and July 1st for the regular season), then we can see the NBA and NHL start back up or begin to draft plans or ideas.

It’s rumored that division realignments, the universal DH, and games in certain states are part of the plan. These changes are to adjust to the current crisis and data about the curve. This effect could propel the sports world back into action as the MLB might spearhead the return of sports. This news should not just excite baseball fans but fans of all American sports as these plans could be what brings back the sports we’ve missed so much these last few months. As new reports come out we will continue to update and inform our readers on the situation. What we can take from this is that things are looking up. The sports world could see things get better fast, but let’s stay patient.

Brooklyn Nets: Nets owner Joe Tsai Helps Detroit Pistons with COVID-19 Relief

Brooklyn Nets owner Joe Tsai has not only done a great job on the court, but he recently has begun to prove he does the right thing off the court as well. Tsai, in combination with the Piston’s owner Tom Gores, recently donated 350,000 KN95 masks and 100,000 medical goggles to the city of Detroit. According to the NY Post article, their plan is to send the masks to “COVID-19 testing centers, homeless shelters and frontline workers of transportation and police departments.” The Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation were responsible for the donation to Detroit after they imported the supplies from China.

Tsai and his wife, Clara, have been heavily active in the fight against Coronavirus. Clara Tsai represents the Nets on governor Andrew Cuomo’s reopening board.  “Many cities in America have been hit hard by the pandemic. Clara and I wish to help the people of Detroit get through these difficult times, and we are grateful that Tom and his organization readily stepped up to help us distribute the supplies,” Tsai said in regards to his contribution. “We have a history of friendship with Detroit and I want to thank Mayor Duggan for directing the PPE to where they are needed most.”

Along with his donation to Detroit, Tsai has also been a mega factor in providing PPE and ventilators to hospitals in New York, New Jersey, and California. He is one of the owners in the NBA who has promised to pay all his employees, both part-time and full time, who work at the Barclays Center. This expense will cost Tsai around $6 million dollars when all is said and done.

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Dr. Fauci cautions a return to sports

Madison Square Garden

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease expert and White House coronavirus taskforce member, expressed caution in a return to sports recently in an interview. He’s been a crucial figure in the COVID-19 situation over the last 60 days and says some sports may not be able to return until 2021.

“Safety, for the players and for the fans, trumps everything,” said Fauci in an interview with the New York Times. “If you can’t guarantee safety, then, unfortunately, you’re going to have to bite the bullet and say, ‘We may have to go without this sport for this season.'”

In previous interviews, the 79-year-old has said that he thinks sports can come back with several precautions. One of those sports he has said is baseball, stating he’s a big Washington Nationals fan.

Right now, NASCAR has a set return date in May, and the PGA has set dates to play in June. The MLB is working on a plan to begin the regular season in home stadiums by the end of June. The NBA and NHL are working on scenarios to play the remainder of their regular season and playoffs, while the NFL is working on possible scheduling alternatives. The WNBA has postponed the start of its season.

“I would love to be able to have all sports back,” said Fauci. “But as a health official and a physician and a scientist, I have to say, right now, when you look at the country, we’re not ready for that yet.”

Each day, the situation is improving, and more states are beginning to ease stay-at-home restrictions. Sports would obviously be great to have back and a good distraction, as long as all participating bodies are as safe as possible.

NBA Targeting May 8th for Practice Facilities in Certain States To Open with Strict Guidelines

Madison Square Garden

As certain states in America begin to loosen restrictions on their stay-at-home order, it seems as though the NBA will allow certain team facilities to begin opening in the next few weeks. While Adrian Wojnarowski reported this news on Saturday, Shams Charania broke down the news further earlier today in several tweets.

Marc Stein tweeted shortly thereafter the guidelines regarding the opening of practice facilities in specific states. The restrictions stated in the memo include no more than four players being permitted at a facility at any one time, no head or assistant coaches can participate, no group activity meaning practices or scrimmages, and players remained prohibited from using non-team facilities such as public health clubs, gyms, etc.

Even with restrictions being lifted in certain areas of the country, there are still several franchises pushing back against the NBA initiative. The Atlanta Hawks, who play in a state (Georgia) where restrictions have been lifted, are hesitant to send players into the team facility as early as next Friday. Woj details the reason why the Hawks and other NBA franchises are not keen on opening the facilities so soon in the tweet below:

It is yet to be determined if the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks would be among the teams allowed to return to their practice facilities on May 8th, though they will most likely not be, since the Covid-19 pandemic has hit New York harder than anywhere else in the country.

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How the New York Yankees are staying active during the off-time

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole

It has been a month since the New York Yankees and the rest of Major League Baseball were supposed to begin the new season. Despite the shutdown and no baseball, the Bombers have been staying active to stay prepared for a possible season.

Luke Voit

Despite not being the fastest guy on the team and having zero career stolen bases, Luke Voit is remaining fit. If it’s not benching 135lbs. with each hand, Voit is also doing something to better himself.

Aroldis Chapman

Now, this is someone you don’t want to see in the middle of a brawl on the field. Aroldis Chapman doesn’t throw 100mph+ without putting in the work.

Gerrit Cole

Definitely a bummer that we haven’t seen Gerrit Cole pitch in pinstripes yet, but he’s remaining active and is still throwing to keep his arm healthy.

Mike Ford

Mike Ford has begun something new during this time off. Here he is doing yoga while he works out on LBI as well. Hey, if yoga helps Mike Ford to hit pinch-hit walk-off home runs, I’m all for it.

Kyle Higashioka

Absolutely no remorse here for his wife. Kyle Higashioka is working on his swing while his wife feeds the pitching machine. Higgy’s swing is looking good, and having him as the backup catcher for the Yankees is big.

Gary Sanchez

Gary Sanchez gets every New York Yankees fan hyped up with this video. El Kraken is down in the Dominican Republic and is staying active with baseball activities.

Yankees, Mets Stand to Lose Hundreds of Millions if Games Are Played Without Fans

New York Yankees

One of the resumption plans that Major League Baseball is pondering is one where teams play games in empty stadiums to adhere to the social distancing rules put in place to stem the spread of the Coronavirus.

While this idea is gaining some traction as summer nears, it is far from a perfect world. The games will be televised and some revenue will be recouped but for both the haves and have-nots of the game, they will still not see a good chunk of their normal revenue.

The New York Yankees have the most to lose, approximately $470 million in stadium revenue according to Michael Ozanian of Forbes SportsMoney. The Mets stand to lose $161 million.

Those figures are derived from “the sum of tickets, concessions, sponsors, parking and team stores, minus stadium debt service”, all which would be lost should the empty stadium plan go forward.

“The loss of stadium revenue would necessitate a radical change in baseball’s revenue-sharing formula, whereby 48% of net local revenue from the previous season is pooled and shared equally among the 30 teams,” writes Ozanian. “The challenge for the league if this stadium revenue is lost is that much of this money is used for more than just paying players at the major league level. Rather, it’s often used for all kinds of operational needs, like staffing, the minor leagues, scouting and debt. In other words, the money is fungible.”

Not only will the top teams suffer but the bottom teams as well. The top five revenue earning teams – the Yankees, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs, Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants – contributed more than $250 million combined toward the revenue sharing pool.

If that revenue disintegrates, many teams on the bottom half of the revenue sharing pool will get little to nothing. The poor will get poorer. Last season, the Miami Marlins, Tampa Bay Rays, Kansas City Royals, Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds each received more than $20 million from the pool.

Ozanian mentions that many sponsors who have already committed to advertise would likely not terminate their agreements with teams but rather have those funds rolled over until games were being played in front of audiences again.

Fans, however, do not feel the same way. Some who bought tickets for postponed games are taking legal action over ‘expensive and unusable tickets for unplayable games’ as stated in a lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.

“Baseball fans are stuck with expensive and unusable tickets for unplayable games in the midst of this economic crisis,” the lawsuit said. “Under the pretext of `postponing’ games, at the directive of MLB, teams and ticket merchants are refusing to issue refunds for games which are not going to be played as scheduled — if ever.”

I personally bought a 20-game ticket package for the Mets this season worth over $8,600 and have not heard anything from the club other than that nothing has been decided upon yet when it comes to refunds or credits.

Being a former vice president in a Fortune 500 corporation I understand their position. Thus far, I’ve only lost two games of the 18 and am willing to wait for the Mets and MLB to sort this out drrung this time of such social and economic uncertainty.

Others don’t have this luxury, however, and want their money back now. This will work itself out over time as the response to the pandemic shifts. How long that will take is still very much unknown.

Brooklyn Nets: Jason Collins says having Coronvirus was “Sickest I’ve Ever Been In My Life”

Jason Collins, Brooklyn Nets

Jason Collins has been one of several former athletes to have contracted COVID-19 in the last month. Collins played in the NBA for 15 seasons from 2001 – 2014, his most prominent years being with the New Jersey Nets. Collins recently opened up to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News about what it has been like for the former Brooklyn Nets center to deal with this virus.

Even as a recently retired professional athlete, Dealing with COVID-19 No Joke

Jason Collins believes he contracted the virus in early March during a trip to Barclays Center when he attended the Brooklyn Nets Pride Night Game. He first started experiencing symptoms on March 11th.  Collins, along with Chris Cuomo, has been one of the public figures to address in detail what the side effects of the Coronavirus have been like.

He explained that even though he knew he had COVID-19, Collins didn’t start to worry until the ninth day when he began to feel severe chest pains. “It felt like I got punched by Mike Tyson,” Collins explained to Bondy. “Like Mike Tyson in his prime, right in the heart. And all the feeling that was associated with that.” Collins says it felt like he was having a heart attack, and checked himself into the hospital a day later. The doctors explained that is what the peak of the virus feels like and that his heart was just fine.

“It was definitely the sickest I’ve ever been in my life,” Collins relayed to Bondy. Hopefully, shared experiences from public figures such as Collins and Cuomo can help those who have been dealing with similar symptoms but have not yet been confirmed to have the virus.

To end this story on a positive note, Collins is “fully recovered and equipped with coronavirus antibodies,” according to Stefan Bondy and New York Daily News. We hope those dealing with the virus can find inspiration from his story and recover as soon as possible.

New York Mets: Governor Cuomo says Jeff Wilpon is Open to Playing Season

With all sports at a standstill, it is good to hear any type of news related to baseball. Los Angeles Mayor, Gary Garcetti, said having no live sports until 2021 is possible, Governor Andrew Cuomo had a different take. On his brother’s, Chris Cuomo, CNN program, Andrew spoke of a conversation he had with New York Mets owner Jeff Wilpon.

Wilpon said he would be open to playing in an empty stadium but at the cost of players taking a pay cut. Immediately this brings up the typical cheap comments about Wilpon, but he is not alone here. Most owners throughout sports are going to see an economic loss. Even when fans are allowed to congregate in stadiums, attendance will very slowly work its way back up.

Bring Back Some Type of Sport

Cuomo made it very clear that he wants sports brought back this year. What Wilpon told Cuomo is only a thought during a phone call. A lot more has to be drawn up before any of this takes place.

MLB’s CBA expires following the 2021 season, and forcing players to play with reduced salaries will make negotiations tougher. Tony Clark and Rob Manfred are also poor at their jobs as union rep and commissioner, respectively. All of this combined makes the situation of players taking pay cuts to play in empty stadiums an unlikely case.

On top of that is the uncertainty of the Coronavirus. The timeline is very uncertain, and the ramped-up social distancing does not help baseball’s cause.