AP Exclusive: MLB projects $640K per game loss with no fans
UNDATED (AP) — Major League Baseball owners have made their pitch as they try to convince players to accept less pay due to the coronavirus pandemic.
MLB has told players their prorated salaries would contribute to an average loss of $640,000 for each game over an 82-game season in empty ballparks. That’s according to a presentation from the commissioner’s office to the union that was obtained by The Associated Press.
The 12-page document was dated May 12 and paints a grim picture of a $10 billion industry shuttered by the pandemic. It was an initial step in negotiations aimed at starting the delayed season around the Fourth of July.
Some players have publicly balked at the notion of less pay, and the union has called for more transparency in baseball’s financial records.
Teams say the proposed method of salvaging a season delayed by the coronavirus pandemic would still cause a $4 billion loss and would give major league players 89% of revenue. The Yankees would have the highest loss at $312 million.
Teams contend they lose more money with each additional game played. The players' union, however, believes clubs would lose less money with more games. In addition, many teams and/or their owners have stakes in their regional sports network that would benefit from additional games.
Owners voted Monday to propose salaries be based on a 50-50 split of revenue, a framework players say is tantamount to the kind of salary cap they will never accept. Teams gave the players' association their virus-testing plan Friday and have waited to make their economic proposal.
Meanwhile, MLB has created a 67-page draft of its proposed 2020 Operations Manual, which has been obtained by The Associated Press and was first reported by The Athletic.
Among the routine changes include players possibly arriving in uniform and being discouraged to take showers at ballparks. Team personnel will be banned from eating at restaurants on road trips, and mascots like the Phillie Phanatic and Mr. Met would be prohibited from the ballparks. The traditional exchange of lineup cards would be eliminated, along with high-fives, fist bumps, bat boys and bat girls.
Spitting is prohibited along with water jugs and the use of saunas, steam rooms, pools and cryotherapy chambers. Hitting in indoor cages is discouraged, batting gloves encouraged.
Batting practice pitchers are to wear masks, dugout telephones disinfected after each use. Players may not touch their face to give signs, and they’re not allowed to lick their fingers. Teams are encouraged to hold meetings outdoors, players spread apart.
Teams will be allowed to have 50 players each under the plan, with the number active for each game still be negotiated.
In other developments related to the coronavirus pandemic:
— The 145th Preakness Stakes has been rescheduled for Oct. 3. Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan disclosed the new date for the Preakness on NBC, which also had a hand in the decision because it televises the race. Saturday’s announcement was delivered less than hour before the original post time for the Triple Crown race.
— Live golf returns to television Sunday with a four-man charity Skins game at Seminole Golf Club in Juno Beach, Florida, to benefit coronavirus relief. There won’t be any caddies, so Rory McIlroy and Dustin Johnson against Rickie Fowler and Matthew Wolff will be carrying their own bags. The only rake will be carried by a rules official. Another rules official will be the only person to handle the flagstick, if necessary. It will be the first live action on TV since the opening round of The Players Championship on March 12.
— New York will allow horse racing tracks and Watkins Glen International car track to reopen with the easing of the coronavirus outbreak. But Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Saturday was quick to add a caveat: “No crowds. No fans.” At his daily briefing, the Democrat says he could envision a return of Major League Baseball in New York, also without fans, adding: “If it works economically, that would be great.”
— Germany's Bundesliga (BOON’-dehsh-lee-guh) resumed its soccer season resumed Saturday after a two-month break caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Borussia Dortmund defeated Schalke 4-0 in the first Ruhr derby (DAHR’-bee) to be played in an empty stadium. Also, Hertha Berlin won 3-0 at Hoffenheim, Freiburg drew at Leipzig 1-1, Paderborn drew at Fortuna Düsseldorf 0-0, and Wolfsburg won 2-1 at Augsburg. They were the first games to be played in the league since March 11.
— The head of the World Health Organization said Saturday it will not be easy to make next year's Tokyo Olympics a safe global gathering after the pandemic. The WHO's director general called for “national unity and global solidarity” to fight the coronavirus outbreak ahead of the Olympics. The Summer Games were postponed this year and should bring athletes from more than 200 countries to Japan. The opening ceremony is now due on July 23, 2021.
Giants cornerback sought by police turns himself in
UNDATED (AP) — New York Giants cornerback DeAndre Baker has turned himself in to police in Broward County, Florida.
Baker has been charged with four counts of armed robbery with a firearm and four counts of aggravated assault with a firearm. His lawyer, Bradford Cohen, says he has affidavits that will prove Baker’s innocence.
Baker had been sought by police since Thursday, along with Seattle Seahawks cornerback Quinton Dunbar. Warrants were issued for both men after multiple witnesses accused them of an armed robbery at a party Wednesday night in Miramar, Florida.
Dunbar had not surrendered to police as of Saturday afternoon.
In other NFL news:
— Redskins receiver Cody Latimer is facing five charges, including felony illegal discharge of a firearm, following his arrest in a Denver suburb Saturday morning. The Douglas County sheriff's office says deputies arrested the 27-year-old after responding to a report of shots fired inside an apartment in Englewood, Colorado. Deputies say they found three individuals in the apartment, one with minor injuries unrelated to a gunshot. Latimer came to the Redskins from the Giants after starting 10 of his 15 games last season, catching 24 passes for 300 yards and two touchdowns.
— The Rams have re-signed defensive end Morgan Fox and released defensive tackle Tanzel Smart. The team didn't disclose the terms of its new deal with Fox, who has been a depth contributor on the Rams' defensive line since 2016. He signed with Los Angeles as an undrafted free agent out of Colorado State-Pueblo.
— Former Chicago Bears CEO Michael McCaskey has died after a lengthy battle with cancer at 76, according to the team. McCaskey assumed operational control of the franchise in 1983 as president and CEO following the death of George Halas, a founding father of the NFL and the franchise. Michael McCaskey became chairman in 1999 and remained in that role until George McCaskey took over in 2011.
— Former NFL studio host Phyllis George has died at 70 following a long fight with a blood disorder. The 1971 Miss America became a female sportscasting pioneer on CBS's “The NFL Today.” George got into television in 1974 at CBS on “Candid Camera” and joined Brent Musburger and Irv Cross in 1975 on “The NFL Today.”
Alex Bowman signs 1-year extension with Hendrick Motorsports
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Alex Bowman has signed a one-year contract extension to remain with Hendrick Motorsports through 2021.
The announcement Saturday came the day before NASCAR resumes its season at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina. Bowman goes into the event already qualified for the playoffs as winner at California on March 1, two weeks before the season was suspended by the coronavirus pandemic.
Bowman is fourth in the Cup standings and in his third full season driving the No. 88 for Hendrick.
Ernie Gonzalez, winner of 1986 Pensacola Open, dies at 59
PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Former PGA golfer Ernie Gonzalez has died at 59. The PGA Tour said he died Friday in a Chicago hospital of Alzheimer’s.
Gonzalez played 119 events over a four-year span from 1985 through 1988, when he finished 207th on the money list. The Californian's lone victory was in the 1986 Pensacola Open, when he made five birdies and an eagle over his final nine holes of the second round for a 63 and a one-shot lead. The last 36 holes were wiped out because of rain, making Gonzales the victor.
His largest payoff was $48,000 for a tie for third in the Vantage Championship, two weeks after his victory in Pensacola.
Ex-Stanford two-sport star Zach Hoffpauir dies at 26
UNDATED (AP) — Zach Hoffpauir, a two-sport standout at Stanford who was recently hired to coach safeties on the University of Northern Colorado football team, has died at age 26. The university says he died in his sleep Thursday.
Hoffpauir earned All-Pac 12 honors as a safety in football and played two seasons in the Arizona Diamondbacks’ minor league system after starring as an outfielder on the Cardinal baseball team.
Lim Hee-jeong leads women's golf in South Korea by 3 shots
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Lim Hee-jeong shot an 8-under 64 for a 15-under total and a three-stroke lead after three rounds of the KLPGA Championship.
She was followed by Park Hyun-kyung and overnight leader Bae Seon-woo.
The women’s tournament joins baseball and soccer as sports running again in South Korea.