UNDATED (AP) — A person familiar with the decision says Major League Baseball is closing all of its spring training sites over concerns about the coronavirus pandemic. The person spoke Friday night on condition of anonymity because there was no official announcement. Earlier in the day, the Philadelphia Phillies said five players tested positive for COVID-19 this week at the team’s spring complex. At least four teams in Florida and Arizona had already closed their camps. The moves came while MLB owners and players try to negotiate a deal to start the season. They had hoped to begin a second round of spring training by next weekend.
UNDATED (AP) — Canadian health officials’ approval of the NHL’s return-to-play proposal has led the league to consider designating one or more cities north of the border to serve as hubs for its 24-team playoff format. NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly wrote in an email to The Associated Press on Friday that the approval followed productive discussions with government health officials. The approval comes as the NHL has entered the advanced stages of selecting its hub cities, which include three located in Canada. the NHL, however, encountered a setback with the Tampa Bay Lightning closing their facilities after three players and some staff members tested positive for COVID-19.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington Post editorial board is calling on Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to change his football club’s name. Under the headline, “Change the name of the Washington NFL team. Now,” the newspaper says in an editorial posted online Friday that if Snyder won’t switch the nickname, the professional football league itself ought to do so. The Post says, “This should be an easy call" and urges Snyder or the NFL to "get on the right side of history.” Snyder has owned the team since 1999 and steadfastly refused to consider a change to the nickname.
HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Astros have signed second baseman J.C. Correa, getting the brother of star shortstop Carlos Correa on the third try. The Astros signed the younger Correa for $20,000, the maximum allowed for an undrafted free agent. Houston had picked Correa in the later rounds of the last two drafts. This year’s draft was drastically cut to only five rounds because of the coronavirus pandemic. Correa hit .245 in 14 games as a senior for Lamar University this year before the season was shortened by the virus. In 2019, he led the school with a .332 batting average, 10 home runs and 44 RBIs.
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — Webb Simpson has the lead at Hilton Head. Bryson DeChambeau is one shot behind. And the biggest move of the day was a player who made it to the course, but not the tee. That was Nick Watney, who withdrew after becoming the first player to test positive for the coronavirus. Watney tested negative when he arrived Tuesday. He experienced symptoms Friday, took another test and it returned positive. He will be in self-isolation for at least 10 days. And while golf goes on, the weekend at Harbour Town figures to be about more than birdies and bogeys.