July 8, 2020
By Al Ortiz
Baseball updates from the Associated Press:
- The latest big name to be sidelined by a positive test for the virus is Eduardo Rodriguez, who was expected to start on opening day for the Boston Red Sox.
- The San Francisco Giants, meanwhile, suspended workouts at Oracle Park as they awaited the results of weekend tests.
- The Chicago Cubs’ workout was also delayed because of this same situation.
- In addition, Boston Red Sox prospect Bobby Dalbec also tested positive for the virus.
- The Washington Nationals and Houston Astros resumed workouts after canceling practices on Monday because of testing delays.
The Houston Chronicle is reporting that Houston Texans Quarterback Deshaun Watson does not want the same contract that Patrick Mahomes signed recently. The gargantuan contract is for 10 years and $503 million - terms that may not be suitable for the fourth year Texans QB. The Chronicle says that "no contract extension is imminent for Watson", who wants a shorter-term contract with his current team.
Reports had been circulating that San Antonio Spurs Coach Greg Popovich was mulling whether or not to coach the team in the NBA's restart in Orlando. However, it has now been confirmed that Coach Pop will indeed coach the team, according to Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News. Pop is the oldest coach in the league, and is in the higher risk age group in terms of coronavirus infection.
More opt-outs are happening as sports leagues around the country are beginning to restart or prepare for a modified season. According to the Associated Press, Felix Hernandez, a former Cy Young Award winner, has announced he will not be participating in the 2020 MLB season due to the coronavirus pandemic. Star Houston Astros infielder Jose Altuve stated recently that he does plan to play the 60-game schedule, meanwhile. The season is less than three weeks away.
Here's some non-COVID news - thankfully: Luka Doncic, the Dallas Mavericks rising superstar and reigning Rookie of the Year, was named the top point guard in the NBA by the Bleacher Report. The rankings included 15 of the top point guards in the NBA this season, and did not include perennial All-World guard Stephen Curry, who has battled injury all season and did not qualify for the list based on number of minutes needed.
In the biggest news of the sports world that could trickle down to Texas, Super Bowl Champion former Texas Tech Quarterback and Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback Patrick Mahomes signed a WHOPPING 10-year, $503 million contract with his team, leaving him in the red, yellow and white - potentially - through the 2031 season. The contract includes $477 million in guarantee mechanisms and a no trade clause. This is the first half billion dollar contract in the history of sports. Let that sink in. This could have a negative impact on the contract negotiations between the Dallas Cowboys and their own starter, Dak Prescott, who might even ask for more money now that the quarterback market has been reset. Congratulations to native Texan Patrick Mahomes!
The MLS is Back tournament match between FC Dallas and the Vancouver Whitecaps has been postponed after numerous positive tests for the COVID-19. The game was originally set for Thursday. FC Dallas announced that six players had tested positive after arrival in Florida for the tournament. Two Whitecaps players tested positive, forcing the team to remain in Canada.
Houston Rockets forward Thabo Sefolosha will not be reporting to Orlando for the NBA restart, and his reasons behind it are becoming a little more clear. On Sunday, Sefolosha told Swiss media that some of his Rockets teammates had tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Sefolosha has a wife and two daughters, and the Swiss report states that they factored into his decision.
Here are some smaller news tidbits from around the world of sports:
- The University of Texas Longhorns have landed a commitment from four-star recruit Jamier Johnson, a cornerback from Pasadena, California.
- The Aggies have secured themselves a cornerback of their own in the form of Philly prospect Tyreek Chapell.
- According to the Houston Chronicle, Astros Pitcher Joe Smith has not reported to the team's camp workouts due to safety concerns.
- The Dallas Morning News is reporting that Rangers Right Fielder Joey Gallo and First Baseman Ronald Guzman are still in the COVID-19 intake process - a process needed to take part in training camp, and a process which has taken longer for the duo than their colleagues.
According to reports, the NFL is considering trimming rosters for teams during training camps. Usually NFL teams carry 90 players throughout their camps, and whittle them down as the camp progresses to the 53-man regular season roster. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, that may change. A league source stated that the rosters could be trimmed to 75 players. The league has already taken precautions, proposing a two-game preseason schedule, instead of the usual four games per team. More on this story as it develops.
Some major news out of the National Basketball Association, as the league is reportedly considering a second "bubble" scenario with non-playoff teams in Chicago. The NBA is already in preparation mode for a restart in Orlando on the Walt Disney Resort campus, where playoff and borderline playoff teams will play. According to ESPN, those teams would participate in mini-training camps and eventual games with play potentially beginning in September. The Orlando schedule is slated to begin in late-July. All Texas NBA teams - the San Antonio Spurs, the Houston Rockets, and the Dallas Mavericks - are included in the Orlando restart.
Here are some news tidbits from elsewhere around the sports world:
- Major League Baseball summer training programs begin on Friday for all teams, the first step towards the abbreviated 60-game season.
- Astros Third Baseman Alex Bregman has hired agent Scott Boras - adding to Boras' list of big name clients that include Stephen Strasburg, Gerrit Cole and Anthony Rendon.
- The NHL has delayed the start of formal training camps as negotiations on the season restart continue, according to the New York Post.
- Finally, it looks like the University of Texas football team is losing a key part of its coaching staff. Director of Football Operations Tory Teykl is expected to head to the University of Kansas, where she will join the Jayhawks football operation.