AP source: No MLB economic plan in 1st session with players
NEW YORK (AP) — As Major League Baseball made an opening presentation to the players' union Tuesday on terms to start the coronavirus-delayed season.
A person familiar with the discussion told The Associated Press that MLB did not make an economic proposal during its opening presentation. The meeting lasted between three and four hours. An agreement with the players’ association is needed to play ball.
Baseball owners gave their go-ahead to their proposal on Monday, a plan that could lead to the coronavirus-delayed season starting around the Fourth of July weekend in ballparks without fans.
Players agreed March 26 to a deal in which they would be paid a prorated share of salaries based on the portion of the 162-game schedule that is played. As part of the deal, if no games are played they would receive service time for 2020 matching what they earned last year. Players are more interested in medical protocols and testing designed to protect them from and detect the new coronavirus.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker criticized major leaguers for not being willing to cut pay further. A member of the family that controls Hyatt hotels, Pritzker's net worth has been estimated by Forbes at $3.4 billion.
AP Source: Poll of NBA players shows desire to play, if safe
MIAMI (AP) — A person familiar with the results of poll of NBA players taken by their union says there would be “overwhelming” support for any plan that has this season resuming in a safe way amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The poll conducted by the National Basketball Players Association was informal but gave a clear sense that players would like to not only get to the playoffs but also resume at least some of the regular season, according to the person who shared details with The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because it was not to be detailed publicly.
The NBA suspended its season on March 11 with 259 regular season games remaining. Players have been paid in full on each of the four paydays that have followed, though that will change Friday when most of the league sees a 25% reduction in their paycheck.
Players stand to lose roughly $850 million in gross salary if the regular season is not resumed and the NBA exercises its right to withhold roughly 1.08% of each player’s salary for any game that is ultimately canceled.
Mariners say some on staff taking 20% pay cuts
SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Mariners have informed its personnel working under uniform employee contracts that certain employees will have a five-month reduction in pay, but there will be no furloughs or layoffs through Oct. 31.
The pay reductions of at least 20% are for staff making $60,000 or more. The UEC covers employees on the major league coaching staff, coaches and coordinators in the minor league system, scouts and performance coaches. Those with larger salaries are expected to take a cut more significant than 20%. UEC employees will receive full benefits through October.
Approximately half of its employees working under a UEC will not have any reduction in pay. The team had previously told employees working under the UEC that they would receive full pay through May 31.
In other virus outbreak-sports news:
—Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has opened the door for professional sports to return to the state. Ducey said on Tuesday that professional sports, including MLB, NBA, NHL and NFL can resume without fans on Saturday. The state is slowly starting to reopen during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
—As Pac-12 football coaches pitched an NCAA-mandated uniform start to the season, some of the latest plans to fight the coronavirus in California further muddled how college teams will return to play in the West. Washington coach Jimmy Lake said Tuesday in a video conference with reporters that he would prefer for all major college teams to begin six weeks of preparation for the season at the same time.
— The club that hosts the Wimbledon tennis tournament says it has made donations worth about $1.5 million to emergency services and charities amid the coronavirus pandemic. The All England Club says it has also made contributions to a relief program to support players whose income is affected by the virus outbreak. This year’s grass-court Grand Slam event was canceled on April 1. It is the first time Wimbledon has been shelved since World War II.
— The NCAA has canceled both sessions of the NCAA Basketball Academy in July because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The sessions were scheduled for July 20-26 at Utah, Winthrop, Wichita State and Connecticut. Up to 1,600 players from the high school graduating classes between 2021 and 2023 were to be selected to the academy, with up to 400 assigned to each region during the two sessions.
— USA Gymnastics will not hold any top-tier events the rest of this year. The organization announced Tuesday it is scrapping the U.S. Classic and the national championships because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization had initially hoped to reschedule the events for later in 2020 after Tokyo Olympics were pushed back to the summer of 2021.
— On the day they were supposed to hold a parade to mark their 2019 WNBA championship, the Washington Mystics have revealed plans for what the team is billing as a “virtual celebration.” The Mystics originally planned to take to the streets of the nation’s capital on Tuesday, but that was scrapped because of the coronavirus pandemic.
— The Diamond League event in London is the latest track meet to be canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. The meet had been scheduled for July 4-5 at the Olympic Stadium. British Athletics says, “the decision has been made in light of the ongoing global pandemic.”
—London Mayor Sadiq Khan says he believes it is too early for the Premier League to be planning a resumption of the season amid the coronavirus pandemic. Premier League clubs Arsenal, Chelsea, Crystal Palace, Tottenham and West Ham all play in the capital. The mayor’s office says the league should resume only “when it is safe to do so.”
— Swedish soccer players will not be required to take a test for COVID-19 before practice sessions or matches. Players will instead have to fill in a self-assessment form each morning before arriving at training or a match. The club doctor will then assess whether the player is healthy enough to take part. Players must stay at home if they have any symptoms.
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — The Arizona Cardinals have re-signed cornerback Kevin Peterson to a one-year contract.
The 26-year-old Peterson played in 14 games last season and started three.
He was pushed into a bigger role because of Patrick Peterson’s six-game suspension and Robert Alford’s season-ending injury. He had 16 tackles, two passes defended and six special teams tackles after joining the team off waivers from the Rams in September.
In other NFL news:
—Offensive lineman Danny Pinter has become the first of Indianapolis' nine draft picks to sign his rookie contract. The 6-foot-4, 306-pound Ball State alum was selected in the fifth round last month, No. 149 overall. Pinter played high school and college football in Indiana and now will have a chance to play in the NFL with his home-state team. Pinter signed a four-year deal worth roughly $3.6 million.
AP Source: Coyotes president Cohen no longer with team
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona Coyotes president and CEO Ahron Cohen is no longer with the organization.
That word from a person familiar with the move, who spoke to The Associated Press Tuesday on condition of anonymity because no formal announcement has been made. No other details were provided.
Cohen has been with the Coyotes since being hired in 2015 as chief operating officer and chief legal officer by previous owner Andrew Barroway. Cohen was named president and CEO in 2017 after Steve Patterson stepped back to serve as a consultant and adviser after a year on the job.
Alex Meruelo purchased a 95% stake in the team less than a year ago and signed general manager John Chayka to a long-term contract extension early in the 2019-20 season.
The Coyotes were still in contention for a Western Conference playoff spot when the NHL season was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Cohen practiced as a corporate attorney in Phoenix before joining the Coyotes.
Purdue's top defender to enter basketball transfer portal
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — First, Nojel Eastern entered his name in the NBA draft. Now the rising senior has put his name into the NCAA's transfer portal.
Either way, it sounds as if the Purdue guard could become the second veteran in a month to leave the Boilermakers program after coach Matt Painter made the announcement Tuesday. Center Matt Haarms announced in April that he would play his final season at Brigham Young.
As a junior, Eastern averaged 4.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 2.7 assists while shooting just 42.0% from the field and 48.5% from the free-throw line. He will have one year of eligibility remaining.
Women's golf starts up in South Korea -- without fans
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The South Korean women’s golf tour is starting up again with the KLPGA Championship opening on Thursday, an event that will be played without fans on the course.
Women’s golf in South Korea joins Korea’s professional baseball and soccer leagues, which have already restarted in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
The tournament at the Lakewood Country Club located east of the capital Seoul was originally schedule for April 30 through May 3.
Organizers said social distancing will be practiced by players and tournament officials. Players will also have hand sanitizers available. It was not clear if players would take coronavirus tests.
The 150-player field is topped by Park Sung-hyun, Kim Sei-young and defending champion Choi Hye-jin.
Former Madrid player questioned in drug-trafficking raid
MADRID (AP) — Former Real (RAY’-al) Madrid forward Edwin Congo has been interrogated by police conducting a drug-trafficking operation in Spain.
Congo, who is Colombian, told the “El Chiringuito” television show late Tuesday he was asked to accompany officers to a police station for interrogation and was later allowed to return home.
He denies any wrongdoing and say he entered the police station with his hands restrained as a “protocol.”
Congo says he was questioned about his relationships with some of the people being investigated by police.