Positive tests anything but positive news . . . Seem to be everywhere . . . Tough weekend for sports execs

If you’re a sports executive trying to get our league up and running, you aren’t enjoying this weekend.

The NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning shut down their training facility after three players and two staff members tested positive for the coronavirus.

Then the NHL announced that 11 of its players had tested positive after somewhere around 200 had been tested. The Toronto Sun reported that one those players was Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The NHL said in a statement released via Twitter that while it will be providing a weekly testing update, it won’t “be providing information on the identity of the players or their clubs.”

Meanwhile, in baseball, the Philadelphia Phillies closed their training facility in Clearwater, Fla., after confirming that five players and three staff members tested positive. All eight had been working there. At the same time, the Phillies said eight staff members had tested negative, while 12 staff members and 20 players were awaiting results.

The Toronto Blue Jays followed by closing their Dunedin, Fla., facility, which is near Clearwater. One Toronto player, who apparently had been in contact with some of the Phillies, was showing symptoms.

The San Francisco Giants also got into the act, shutting down their Scottsdale, Ariz., training facility after someone who had visited the complex and a family member showed mild symptoms.

The Giants wouldn’t reveal if the person was a player, but said they are awaiting results of tests on about 20 people.

The Houston Astros revealed that they one player tested positive at their facility in West Palm Beach, Fla.

On Friday night, the NFL Network reported that a player from the San Francisco Giants had tested positive. The unnamed player had been working with teammates in Nashville. The other players have been tested and are awaiting results.

The PGA Tour got in on the act Friday when Nick Watney became the first player to test positive. He withdrew before the second round of the RBC Heritage Open at Hilton Head, S.C.

Watney, a five-time winner on the Tour, shot 74 in Thursday’s first round, showed some symptoms and was tested. He had been tested on site on Tuesday and that one came back negative.

And then there was Clemson U, where at least 28 athletes and staff, 23 of them believe to be football players, have tested positive. That was after 315 people were tested.

The U of Tennessee reported one male student-athlete, believed to be a basketball player, had tested positive, as well.

There are at least three positives in the MLS — two with Atlanta United and one with Inter Miami.

The LSU football team has at least 30 players in quarantine because they tested positive or have been in contact with those who did.


Mask

Meanwhile, in Yakima, Wash., the Herald reports right here that hospitals there “have exceeded staffing capacity, prompting Yakima Health District officials to urge residents to forgo gatherings during the Father’s Day weekend to minimize spread of COVID-19.” . . . Dr. Teresa Everson, health officer of the Yakima Health District, said in a statement: “This is the day we have been fighting to avoid for months, when our hospitals can no longer provide their highest level of care because they are overwhelmed caring for patients with severe COVID-19 infection.” . . . Oh boy, this is scary stuff.


Just don’t think there aren’t issues in B.C., too. . . .

After not having been in Kamloops’ largest mall, Aberdeen Mall, since sometime in February, Dorothy and I ventured there on Saturday afternoon. More than anything else, it was a fact-finding mission aimed at finding out how things are there. Perhaps we would be able to stroll some stores, too. You know, just for a change. . . . Wearing masks, we entered through a second-level door and were pleased to see arrows on the floor and other markings that indicated traffic was to move one way down the right side of the walkways and the other way on the left side. . . . It looked promising. Right? . . . Uhh, not for long. . . . As we moved into the mall, it became apparent that we had walked into a disaster. There were people of all ages walking every which way, with very few masks being worn. . . . Arrows? What arrows? Virus? What virus? . . . A few times, I pointed directly at someone walking the wrong way, and then said: “Arrows!” I got blank stares in return. . . . We didn’t go into even one store. We didn’t complete even one lap of the second level. . . . We got out of there in a hurry, and the mall has been taken off our “To Visit” list.


Here’s Bruce Jenkins, in the San Francisco Chronicle:

“As for MLB . . . it has to be troubling to watch huge sections of the country pretend the coronavirus doesn’t exist. Talk all you want about salaries, the number of games, the isolation from families, even commitment to Black Lives Matter: In all sports, most of them returning too soon, COVID-19 will be the ultimate decider.”

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And then there was this from the Chronicle’s Scott Ostler:

“Florida.

“The NBA is about to bubble down in Florida.

“But why Florida? Apparently, there were no leper colonies available.”


A Friday note from Sean Shapiro, who covers the NHL’s Dallas Stars for The Athletic, involving an arena in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas:


Pothole


Ken Campbell of The Hockey News spoke with two former players from the OHL’s Sarnia Sting. Both players vouched for the things Daniel Carcillo claimed happened to him as a rookie, all of them in a lawsuit filed Friday against the CHL and its 60 teams. Former Sting G Ryan Munce said he experienced similar abuse and, at one point, realized that he was suicidal. . . . Munce told Campbell he definitely will be joining the lawsuit, which also includes former WHLer Garrett Taylor, who alleges that he was abused in various ways while with the Lethbridge Hurricanes. . . . Campbell’s piece is right here and, yes, it’s a tough but necessary read.

If you are interested, the Statement of Claim can be found right here. But be forewarned that there are a lot of disturbing details in it.


It’s fair to say that the sport of rodeo has been devastated by the pandemic. Check out this list right here of North American rodeos that have been cancelled.


The 17-member Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) announced Friday that it has cancelled its fall 2020 sport season. . . . It hopes to begin badminton, basketball, curling, futsal, men’s and women’s hockey, indoor track and volleyball in January. As well, the fall sports of cross-country, golf and soccer will be rescheduled for the spring. . . . There is a news release right here. . . .

On Saturday, the U of Alberta-Augustana, which plays in the ACAC out of Camrose, announced that it had withdrawn its men’s hockey, women’s soccer, men’s and women’s basketball and men’s and women’s volleyball teams from competition for the 2020-21 season.

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PACWEST followed suit on Friday by cancelling league competition in men’s and women’s basketball, soccer and volleyball, as well as golf, for the rest of 2020. PACWEST includes seven B.C.-based schools. . . . There is a news release right here.


“Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said mask wearing ‘has to be voluntary because the Constitution is not suspended just because there is a virus,’ ” writes Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe. “So why, for starters, doesn’t DeSantis also suspend the state’s seat-belt laws and speed limits?”


Check out Slava Malamud’s Twitter feed for, well, let him tell the story . . .


Call

Scattershooting on a Sunday evening while wondering why it’s almost dark at 8:42 . . .

Scattershooting

Jack Finarelli, aka The Sports Curmudgeon, is a reader of newspapers, columnists, surveys, reports and so much more.

Earlier this week, he provided a bit from a column by Bob Molinaro of the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot:

“Our kids need more coaches who can create enjoyable athletic environments. So says a Utah State University study that reports that the average child today spends fewer than three years playing organized sports and quits by age 11. Financial issues also chase them away. But mostly, the kids say they aren’t having fun.”

Finarelli responded, in part:

“That made me think of the old Laurel and Hardy films because that is an example of ‘another fine mess.’ Kids are not having fun playing sports to the point that they stop playing when they are only 11 years old and that must be caused by something other than the games themselves. After all, the sports we are generally talking about here (baseball, football, basketball, soccer, tennis . . .) have all existed for a long time, and all of them used to command healthy and enthusiastic participation beyond age 11.”

He then did a deeper dive and what he came up with is interesting and right here.

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The Sports Curmudgeon also had this take, and even though he lives in the U.S., I’m sure we all can relate:

“Senator Amy Klobuchar is promoting the passage of the Honest Ads Act seeking to prevent foreign actors from buying political ads on social networks.

Even better would be for the Honest Ads Act to apply to all political ads — thereby rendering all of them illegal and keeping them off my TV set and my Internet sites. My life would be a lot better with the enforcement of that law!”



“THE Ohio State University filed a trademark application for the word ‘THE’,” reports Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times. “Smokey THE Bear is livid.”


Here’s Tyler Conway of BleacherReport.com: “If you’ve lost count, the word ‘the’ has been used in this article 22 times. We’ll await the (whoops, 23) cease-and-desist letter.”


One more from Perry: “Mike Tyson said he consumes $40,000 worth of marijuana a month. Joe Frazier? Looks like they called the wrong one ‘Smokin’.”


Onion


You may have heard that the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox are going to play a game next season on the Field of Dreams diamond near Dyersville, Iowa. As comedy writer Alex Kaseberg noted: “They were going to play at the park in The Natural, but the lights still aren’t working.”


ICYMI, Mike Mayock, the general manager of the San Francisco 49ers, told reporters on Sunday that it’s time for prima-donna wideout Antonio Brown “to be all-in or all-out.” . . . This comes after Brown didn’t practice on Sunday, having apparently left the team after taking part in a walk-through on Saturday. . . . If you haven’t heard, Brown wants to wear a 10-year-old helmet that no longer is certified by the NFL or the NFLPA. . . . One can only assume the 49ers aren’t shocked by Brown’s behaviour, or are they really wondering why Ben Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh Steelers keep collapsing in fits of giggles?


PiPiper


The 2019 Kamloops Kidney Walk is scheduled for Sept. 22. Dorothy Drinnan will be walking for a sixth straight year after having a kidney transplant on Sept. 23, 2013. . . . If you would like to support her, you are able to do so right here. . . . Thank you.


ICYMI, the latest ponderings from Patti Dawn Swansson, aka The River City Renegade, are right here. As usual, they are well worth the time, especially with a cuppa joe. Enjoy! . . . A couple of spoilers: She doesn’t want to see Kevin Glenn in blue and gold, and she drops back, then runs a check down on TSN’s Glen Suitor. Good stuff!


Pitcher Adrian Houser of the Milwaukee Brewers has thrown up twice this season on the mound at Miller Park. As Adam McCalvy of MLB.com noted: “Houser is a promising young hurler for the Brewers.”


If you are a fan of the New York Yankees, I really hate to be the one to break it to you, but you just don’t have the starting pitching necessary for an October run. Hey, there’s always next season!


Janice Hough, aka The Left Coast Sports Babe, wonders: “Does Trump want to buy Greenland because he thinks the ‘Green’ part has something to do with golf?”


Here’s Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun with a valid point: “How have NHL stars been penalized by the league’s salary cap? Before the cap, 15 years ago, Peter Forsberg was the NHL’s highest paid player at $11 million a season. Now, it’s Connor McDavid at $12.5 million. That’s less than a one per cent increase per year increase for the sport’s greatest player. Over the same period of time, the value of the Maple Leafs as a franchise has gone from $265 million to $1.4 billion. Up more than 500 per cent. In other words, ownership wins once again.”