Pirates Sign The Rest Of 2020 Draft Class, Add Non-Drafted Catcher

July 3, 2020 2:49 am

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced they have signed Competitive Balance A round selection Carmen Mlodzinski, second round pick Jared Jones and third round pick Nick Garcia from the 2020 First-Year Player Draft. The 21-year-old Mlodzinski (selected 31st overall), was a Baseball America second-team pre-season All-American selection as a redshirt sophomore in 2020 at the University of South Carolina. In four starts this past season with the Gamecocks, Mlodzinski went 2-1 with a 2.84 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 25.1 innings of work. The 18-year-old Jones, selected 44th overall in the second round, was rated as the No. 41 overall draft prospect by Baseball America. Jones finished his high school career at La Mirada (CA) High School with a 20-6 record, 0.89 ERA and .150 batting average against. During his senior year, Jones also posted a 0.82 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 17.0 innings of work. The 21-year-old Garcia, selected 79th overall in the third round, was rated as the No. 70 overall draft prospect by MLBPipeline.com. Garcia went 4-1 with a 2.00 ERA in five appearances (five starts) this past season for Chapman (CA) University. He also finished the 2020 campaign ranked 18th among NCAA Division III pitchers with 36 strikeouts Garcia was a 2019 American Baseball Coaches Association and D3Basball.com first-team All-American after going 9-0 with 12 saves, a 0.64 ERA and 82 strikeouts in 30 appearances. He was also a 2019 Division III Baseball National Championship All-Tournament team selection for NCAA Division III-champion Chapman University. The team also signed non-drafted free agent catcher Joe Jimenez.

Three-Way Tie For First At Rocket Mortgage Classic

July 3, 2020 2:51 am

DETROIT (AP) – Doc Redman took a step toward remaining among those to make the cut in every event since the PGA Tour resumed, opening with a 7-under 65 to share a one-shot lead with Scott Stallings and Kevin Kisner in the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Redman closed his first round Thursday with four straight birdies and seven over the last eight holes at the Detroit Golf Club. He went from being a Monday qualifier to finishing second at the inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic last year. The 22-year-old Redman is shooting to take the next step with his first PGA Tour victory.

Pressure Mounting For Washington Redskins To Change Nickname

July 3, 2020 2:44 am

WASHINGTON (AP) – The title sponsor of the Washington Redskins’ stadium wants the NFL team to change its name. In a statement today, FedEx said they “have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name”. The company paid the team $205 million in 1999 for the naming rights to FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. In addition to the stadium name and sponsorship agreement, FedEx CEO Frederik Smith is a minority owner. Majority owner Daniel Snyder has shown no indications he’ll change the name since buying the team in 1999. On Thursday night, Nike appeared to remove all Redskins gear from its online store. The other 31 NFL teams were listed and a search for “Redskins” came up with no results. Nike did not immediately respond to an email message seeking comment.

Social Justice Movements To Be Added To NFL Pregame, Helmets

July 3, 2020 2:45 am

“Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” will be performed live or played before “The Star-Spangled Banner” prior to each NFL game during Week 1 and the league is considering putting names of victims of police brutality on helmet decals or jersey patches, a person familiar with the discussions told The Associated Press. The person said the league is working collaboratively with players to recognize victims of systemic racism throughout the season in a variety of ways.

Flyers Forward Completes Cancer Treatment

July 3, 2020 2:50 am

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Philadelphia Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom has completed radiation treatments for a rare form of bone cancer. He rang the bell at Abramson Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital, which signifies that he has completed his radiation treatments. The 23-year-old was diagnosed in December with Ewing’s sarcoma, a cancerous tumor that grows in the bones or in the tissue around bones. Lindblom says he’s grateful the cancer was caught early and he’s happy to be alive.

Source: NFL Cutting Preseason In Half

July 2, 2020 3:47 am

UNDATED (AP) – A person with knowledge of the decision tells The Associated Press that the NFL will cut the preseason in half and push the start of exhibition play back a week to give players more time to get in shape. Teams haven’t been able to gather together since last season because of the coronavirus pandemic. The league and the players association have been meeting to find ways to make sure they can have games in a safe environment. The exhibition slate will now begin Aug. 20 instead of Aug. 13. Teams will begin reporting to training camp July 28.

MLB Players Begin Reporting

July 2, 2020 3:48 am

UNDATED (AP) – Baseball players began reporting to their teams Wednesday in the most significant step yet as MLB presses ahead with its plan for a 60-game sprint of a season. Most players underwent a battery of health checks, not only for COVID-19 but also for any other lingering ailments from spring training, ahead of planned workouts beginning Friday and Saturday. And one thing was clear: Despite rising numbers of positive tests and some players opting out, most players and executives are bullish about the season taking place in just a few weeks.

NHL; Healthy Kessel Expected To Boost Coyotes

July 2, 2020 3:49 am

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A healthy Phil Kessel should give the Arizona Coyotes a big lift when the NHL season resumes. Kessel labored during the first part of his inaugural season in the desert while battling injuries. The 32-year-old right wing suffered a groin injury early and didn’t have the same explosiveness he had in the past, scoring 14 goals with 24 assists in 70 games. The NHL’s shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic allowed Kessel to heal, giving the Coyotes hope of a deep playoff run.

Baseball’s Minor Leagues Cancel Seasons

July 1, 2020 3:42 am

NEW YORK (AP) – Baseball’s minor leagues canceled their seasons Tuesday because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the head of their governing body said more than half of the 160 teams were in danger of failing without government assistance or private equity injections.  The National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, the minor league governing body, made the long-expected announcement. National Association president Pat O’Connor says the leagues “don’t have national TV revenues.” O’Conner estimated 85-90% of revenue was related to ticket money, concessions, parking and ballpark advertising. The minors drew 41.5 million fans last year for 176 teams in 15 leagues, averaging 4,044 fans per game.

NHL; Hurricanes Return To Home Ice

July 1, 2020 3:47 am

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – Members of the Carolina Hurricanes have returned to their home ice at PNC Arena as the team began voluntary training sessions amid the second phase of the NHL’s return plan.  In a video conference with reporters, captain Jordan Staal said the players went through safety protocols that included wearing a mask and getting a temperature check when arriving at the arena, as well as “keeping your distance as best you can.”  The team had announced last week that roughly 16 players were expected to participate, divided into two groups, with workouts closed to the public and media.