MLB Rumors

Jeff Passan: Eight more players and two coaches with the Miami Marlins have tested positive for COVID-19, as an outbreak has spread throughout their clubhouse and brought the total of cases in recent days to at least 14, sources familiar with the situation tell me and @JesseRogersESPN. Adrian Wojnarowski: The MLB couldn’t sell a bubble in Arizona to its players association. Without a comprehensive national plan to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the NBA never believed it could play outside of a closed environment. So far, the NBA’s Orlando experiment is working.
The market for basketball cards has been steadily rising over the years with more and more modern card sales coming from the basketball side. “At the present time, I would say that basketball in some cases is stronger than baseball and in other cases is neck-and-neck with baseball,” Goldin said. “I have a tremendous amount of overseas bidders from China, we’ve had bidders from the Middle East, bidders from Australia and from Europe. With baseball, it’s completely North American; it’s 99 percent from North America. With basketball, it could be as much as 50 to 60 percent overseas bidding because it’s more of a worldwide sport. “It’s growing and I believe potentially could have more growth than baseball in the collectability aspect of it.”

Joe Tsai not bidding for Mets

Mike Singer: Mason Plumlee explains how he wound up a part of the J-Lo, A-Rod, Kelce, Urlacher, Beal bid to own the Mets. Also reveals Nets owner Joe Tsai is part of the deal. @masonplumlee Let’s Go Mets! NetsDaily: Twitter may explode if this is true! Joe Tsai: Sorry Twitter, it is not true. I grew up as a Mets fan and I have a lot of respect for Alex and Jennifer. But I’m not involved in bidding for the Mets. Gotta focus on basketball.
Jerry Reinsdorf: “He last played baseball in high school at 17, and at the age of 31, he was playing in AA. We should have started him in A-ball, but the press accommodations weren’t adequate. So, 14 years later, he competed in AA, hit over .250 in the Arizona Fall League. If he had played another year, I really believe he would have made the big leagues.’’
How do you feel about the turn on marijuana in sports, particularly with the NBA? It feels like things are changing around the country but sports is coming slow. Al Harrington: Things are definitely changing. The MLB is no longer testing. The NFL is still testing with no penalty, which is kind of weird. The NBA is kind of the last to the party, but they’re going to not test for cannabis in the bubble with the mental ride that they’re about to go through. Change is happening slowly but surely. When we get the schedule to change and start to do real research on stuff like that, that’s when we’ll be off to the races in regards to opening up cannabis to all of sports.
Rodriguez, who last starred with the Yankees, and fiancée Lopez have put $300 million of their own money toward the bid. Other investors include future Hall of Fame offensive lineman Joe Thomas, who spent his entire career with the Cleveland Browns, two-time NBA All-Star Bradley Beal from the Washington Wizards, and Denver Nuggets center Mason Plumlee. “Being a former athlete and having a chance to be a part of a group trying to purchase a professional team, it’s pretty cool,” Urlacher told ESPN on Monday. “It’s especially cool to be involved with Alex. Alex is the man. You’ve got Kelce, Joe Thomas, DeMarco Murray. It’s great to be in a group with them.”
One Inter-Miami CF player tested positive for coronavirus. The team has chosen not to identify the player but says he did not experience any symptoms before being tested. The virus also hit the NHL on Friday. The Tampa Bay Lightning is shutting down its facility after several players and staff members tested positive for the virus. In the MLB, the Philadelphia Phillies shut down it’s training complex in Clearwater, Florida today after players tested positive. The news, according to a local disease specialist, shouldn’t deter the NBA or MLS from re-starting the season in a controlled setting in Orlando next month.
“As long as they are testing players, as long as they are quarantining the players who have been identified as being positive for the virus, and as long as we don’t have the audience and don’t have folks come to the games. I think the games look bizarre by not having an audience, but [the hub] provides a nice source of recreation for everybody else,” said Kleper De Almeida, a Infectious Disease Specialist in South Florida.
The Players Coalition has gathered the signatures of more than 1,400 current and retired athletes, coaches, general managers and staff members from the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball, including on a letter to the United States Congress supporting a bill to end qualified immunity, which makes it difficult to sue police officers for brutality. Among the prominent athletes and coaches who signed the letter are Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Carson Wentz, Dak Prescott, Myles Garrett, Alex Bregman, CC Sabathia, Steve Kerr and Gregg Popovich. U.S. Representatives Justin Amash, L-Michigan, and Ayanna Pressley, D-Massachusetts, introduced the bill June 4, seeking to eliminate the doctrine of qualified immunity and give Americans a better chance to hold police and other public officials accountable in court, when the citizens believe their constitutional rights are violated.
Turner Sports analyst and Hall of Famer Charles Barkley didn’t feel the need to hedge in a Monday appearance on the Paul Finebaum Show. “We’re gonna make a decision in the next week,” Barkley said. “I’m 100% sure we’re going to play. I know my friends in Major League Baseball are going to play. I know that the (NHL) is going to play. … I do know this, talking to my bosses at Turner: We’re going to play basketball. It is gonna be in Florida and Vegas, or just Florida.”
Storyline: Season Resuming?
The radiothon aired on 94.5 ESPN Milwaukee and 100.5 ESPN Madison from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday. Connaughton was joined on-air by Bucks teammates Donte DiVincenzo, Kyle Korver, Khris Middleton and Antetokounmpo, Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry, general manager Jon Horst and head coach Mike Budenholzer, along with numerous other guests from across the sports world including Aaron Rodgers, Matt LaFleur, Craig Counsell, Greg Gard, Josh Hader and Yelich.
Quibi and LeBron James’ Uninterrupted sports media company are teaming up for a new docuseries about a cheating scandal that has gone down in baseball infamy. The short-form content platform has ordered “Sign Language” (working title), a series which aims to give viewers an inside look at the Houston Astros sign stealing scandal and its unprecedented fallout. Per the logline for the series, it will look to “transcend the baseball diamond to explore larger themes of greed, cheating, corruption, sportsmanship, and social media activism.” News of the series comes around two months after it was announced that “Slow Burn” producers Leon Neyfakh and Andrew Parsons are looking to hit a home run with a podcast about the Astros’ controversial World Series-winning 2017 season, which they then intend to adapt into a scripted series.
The Houston Astros sign-stealing scandal is about to get the documentary treatment thanks in part to NBA superstar LeBron James. Quibi announced Friday that the docuseries tentatively titled “Sign Language” will debut on the streaming service at a later date and will be produced by James’ Uninterrupted sports media company.
Storyline: LeBron James Business
Texas’ professional sports teams want to resume playing games, Texas Sen. John Cornyn said Wednesday after participating in a video meeting with officials from many of the state’s major league franchises. But the likes of the Dallas Cowboys, the Dallas Mavericks, the Texas Rangers and others “don’t want to be sued into oblivion” or be “responsible for a public health outbreak” when they return to the field or court amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the senator said.
While the regular season typically starts in mid- to late October, the league would push back the 2020-21 campaign until Christmastime. It’s unclear if that means next season would be shortened to get back on its normal schedule or not. What I find especially interesting is the NBA appears intrigued with competing more against MLB and less vs. the NFL, according to a source. That would seem to be a favorable trade for commissioner Adam Silver and the league.
One potential concern for the NBA could be the warm summer temperatures resulting in some condensation in arenas such as the Wells Fargo Center, where the hockey ice sits beneath the basketball court. The season wouldn’t coincide with college basketball as much, plus the NBA draft and start of free agency would have to be pushed back to accommodate the later end of the pro season, but none of those should be deal-breakers. Players wouldn’t have their summer off, which would be an adjustment.
Storyline: Coronavirus
Alex Rodriguez: I thought that what he tried to do in baseball is one of the greatest accomplishments in his career. He’s getting on a bus and playing Double-A. That’s one of the hardest leagues to play in because that’s where all the great pitching goes, the fire ballers throwing north of 95 miles an hour. The weather was north of 95 degrees, and you’re on buses, not on planes. Unfortunately, the benchmark as a great, Hall-of-Fame hitter is .300. Because you’re Michael Jordan, you’re going to be judged on a completely unfair barometer. For him to have a hitting streak, to hit north of .200, and to steal so many bases, I just thought it was remarkable.
When former Oakland A’s general manager Sandy Alderson was asked by ESPN’s Buster Olney on Tuesday’s “Baseball Tonight” podcast about a deal that came close to being completed in his career that the media never really found out about, he dropped a significant, and timely, bombshell. “If you recall when Jordan stopped playing basketball and decided to try baseball and ultimately went down the Birmingham Barons — the Chicago White Sox affiliate,” said Anderson, 71. “When I heard that was happening — or about to happen — I called the agent right away and said, ‘Hey look, I understand he may be going to Double-A. I don’t even know who the 25th man is on our major league team right now. I will sign him and put him on the major league roster. He’ll be part of our 25-man team. Tomorrow.”
Alderson, who is now a senior adviser with the A’s and has spent about 40 years in baseball, went on to say that he was “totally serious” and Jordan’s agent, David Falk, “hemmed and hawed.” Alderson said somebody ultimately accused him of tampering. “It ended up creating some discussion because I ended up getting a phone call or a message from the White Sox saying, ‘Hey what is going on here? This guy is going to be part of the White Sox organization,’ ” Alderson said.

Donald Trump urging commissioners to resume play

On a 45-minute call with Silver and the heads of 11 other prominent sports organizations, President Trump shared his frustration with the absence of sports and urged the commissioners to resume play as soon as possible, according to multiple sources. People close to multiple commissioners involved said they would continue to follow the advice of the health professionals, as opposed to Trump’s urges.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 3164 more rumors
Storyline: Coronavirus
The coronavirus pandemic could cause roughly $1 billion in lost advertising for broadcasters of the top three U.S. pro sports leagues, according to ad firm MediaRadar. The advertising information company released its findings showing how the virus would affect ad spend for the sports industry. The analysis found that combined, the National Basketball Association, National Hockey League and Major League Baseball would generate a roughly $1 billion for broadcasters.
Flyers standout Glaude Giroux, Sixers forward Tobias Harris, Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins, Phillies catcher Andrew Knapp, Phillies infielder Scott Kingery, ONE Championship fighter Eddie Alvarez, Eagles defensive back Jalen Mills, Eagles tight end Zack Ertz and his wife, Julie, a member of U.S. woman’s soccer team, and Sixers limited partner Michael Rubin are among the growing list of supporters.
Storyline: Coronavirus
Bryant was not an active player like Munson when he died, but he remained as synonymous with the Lakers as anyone who had ever worn the purple and gold. I asked Jackson, still a special adviser to the Yankees, for any counsel he would offer if a current Laker were to ask him. “You can’t,” Jackson said. “There’s no giving advice on this. It’s too emotional, too personal. It’s with you every day in L.A.” Jackson would say only that it’s “very important” for a team soaked in sorrow “to have a leader there.” For his Yankees, it was Murcer. For the Lakers, the pillars have been Coach Frank Vogel, General Manager Rob Pelinka (Bryant’s former agent and Gianna Bryant’s godfather) and LeBron.
Storyline: Gianna Bryant Death
LeBron James: Listen I know I don’t play baseball but I am in Sports and I know if someone cheated me out of winning the title and I found out about it I would be F*^king irate! I mean like uncontrollable about what I would/could do! Listen here baseball commissioner listen to your players speaking today about how disgusted, mad, hurt, broken, etc etc about this. Literally the ball(⚾️) is in your court(or should I say field) and you need to fix this for the sake of Sports! #JustMyThoughtsComingFromASportsJunkieRegardlessMyOwnSportIPlay
Christian Yelich wasted no time getting from the NBA dunk contest to the Milwaukee Brewers spring training complex. On Saturday night, the 2018 National League most valuable player was a willing accomplice to the Bucks’ Pat Connaughton as he competed with three others in the annual mid-season dunk competition in Chicago. After taking a private plane overnight, there he was, bright and early Sunday morning, in the Brewers’ clubhouse at American Family Fields of Phoenix.
Asked if he were nervous about Connaughton jumping over him, Yelich said, “No, I didn’t have anything to be nervous about on that one. I was just standing there trying to keep still and hold the ball the right way, so I didn’t mess it up for him. It was cool. There was great energy in the stadium. For him to do it right on the first try, it was fun to watch. If he made it farther, I would have had a little bit more responsibility on another one.”
Storyline: All-Star Contest
New Boston Red Sox outfielder Kevin Pillar, who grew up in the Los Angeles area as a Lakers and Kobe Bryant fan, was most impressed by Bryant’s post-basketball career and had hoped to emulate it when he was done playing baseball. Pillar said he hopes to write a children’s book about baseball like the one Bryant wrote about basketball, but he had been waiting until his career was over to approach Bryant about it. “That’s something that’s going to haunt me,” Pillar said.
6 months ago via ESPN
Pillar’s fandom went as far as to name his daughter “Kobie” after she was born in October 2017. He shared the story with the Toronto Sun in January 2018 of how he and his wife, Amanda, landed on the name. “My wife wouldn’t admit to naming her after Kobe Bryant,” Pillar told the newspaper, “but it was a name I grew up around and obviously I was a big Kobe Bryant fan, there’s no secret there. We wanted to name our daughter something with a K. We wanted her to be KP; that was the nickname I had growing up. We bounced around a bunch of different K names, and Kobe came out one day on a road trip and the name Kobie Rae came out and it was in our final two.
6 months ago via ESPN
Bucks Forward Pat Connaughton took to social media on Wednesday to recruit a Wisconsin sports star for Saturday night at the NBA Slam Dunk Contest in Chicago. Connaughton is one of four selected for the annual skills competition that’s a staple of NBA All Star Weekend. Connaughton tweeted a photo of a note to Christian Yelich that read “Christian, I have a great idea! Meet me in Chicago this weekend. P.C.” (Pat Connaughton)
6 months ago via WKOW
The NBA appears to have solved the situation in its own game by essentially leading teams by the nose toward the information it seeks. “We have to give our next two opponents courtside seats to make sure they can hear our (play) calls,” said an executive from one club. “And then every team has access to the Camera 1 view (showing the entire court) of every game. About the only thing I think would be illegal is if someone placed a microphone in our huddle,” he added with a laugh.