Week 8 Sports Update

***Due to the COVID-19 crisis, there is no sports/games being played at this time, therefore news is brief and to the point.

NFL: Timing is of the essence when it comes to NFL free agency and offseason acquisitions. The perception of moves can drastically change based on when something happens. 

The Chicago Bears epitomize how poor timing can wreck an offseason and make their moves look far worse in retrospect.

Even without that added caveat, general manager Ryan Pace’s plan looked suspect from the start since he invested heavily in aging veterans.  

When both factors are taken into consideration, the Bears simply failed at the start of the new league year and had the offseason’s worst overall effort. 

Free agency, like spring, serves as a renewal period. The GM’s job is to properly manage the roster so the most growth can occur during the following season. Certain players are pulled, while others are added. 

NBA: Though news of the coronavirus pandemic has been discouraging, NBA executives still cling to hope of arranging a one-site, fan-less, 16-team playoff and a five-to-seven-game regular-season prelude, according to multiple NBA sources.

“They’re very determined to have a champion,” one industry source said.

The playoffs could be reduced to a slew of best-of-three series across the board. A single-elimination format has been all but ruled out — only under consideration as a last resort.

“Nothing is off the table,” another league official said.

MLB: Dealing with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic is not only changing the fabric of Major League Baseball, but it’s also redefining the role of major league managers. This global public health crisis has led to a shift in responsibilities in which the title “major league manager” itself might need an upgrade.

Long gone are the days of authoritative figures like Earl Weaver or Billy Martin, who in the words of Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo, were “the judge, the jury and the executioner.” The responsibilities of the manager’s job have been rewritten, with it being no longer just about how much they know about baseball or guiding their players through spring training and 162 games. Now — perhaps more than ever — it’s also about how much they care.

Week 6 Sports Update

NBA: For 11 days, Luke Janka, an educator from Brooklyn, went from doctor to doctor to emergency room, pleading for a coronavirus test. As his lungs tightened and his desperation spiked, he was finally admitted to a hospital, put on oxygen and administered the test. At the same time, the entire roster of the Brooklyn Nets was quickly tested, even though most players appeared in perfect health. Results came back fast; four players, including star Kevin Durant, tested positive.

NFL: Monday was highlighted by the wide receiver position as there were two blockbuster deals centered around two of the most talented pass catchers the league has to offer. DeAndre Hopkins was traded to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for running back David Johnson and some draft capital. Later in the day, the Buffalo Bills sent a bevy of draft picks (including the No. 22 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft) to the Minnesota Vikings for receiver Stefon Diggs. 

As for Tuesday, it was all about the quarterbacks. Tom Brady announced that he will be leaving the New England Patriots after 20 years with the franchise and he is expected to eventually sign with Tampa Bay. Philip Rivers and the Colts agreed in principle to a deal, as did Teddy Bridgewater and the Panthers. Speaking of Carolina, they also have allowed former MVP Cam Newton seek out a trade. 

MLB: Since last week, Major League Baseball has been engaged in a variety of discussions with stakeholders to identify ways to blunt the wide-ranging impact of the national emergency resulting from the global coronavirus pandemic. As those conversations continue, MLB is announcing today a league-wide initiative that will create a level of uniform compensation for Minor League players, covering the period between now and the originally scheduled start of the Minor League season. MLB is taking this initial step today because of the effects of the season’s postponement on Minor League players and their families. MLB intends to continue working with all 30 Clubs to identify additional ways to support those players as a result of the delayed 2020 season.

Week 5 Sports Update

NBA: Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo acknowledges he initially feared the knee sprain that has caused him to miss his last two games might be a much more serious injury.

“I was nervous right when I fell on the floor,” Antetokounmpo said Wednesday. “I was able to walk it off and play a few minutes and I felt better, but the next day I was extremely sore, so I was nervous.”

Antetokounmpo said he practiced Wednesday but remained uncertain over whether he would play Thursday against the Boston Celtics.

MLB:  The Cardinals are working to extend the contract of longtime catcher Yadier Molina for at least one more year and “probably” two more seasons. Molina, 37, has been the Cardinals’ primary catcher since 2005 and, over the course of his career, has shouldered the largest workload of any backstop in the game. His durability is the stuff of legend, as evidenced by 15 straight seasons of at least 107 games caught and an average of 126.4 games caught per season during that remarkable stretch.

NFL: When NFL free agency begins March 18, Byron Jones is expected to set a new benchmark for defensive back contracts. Teams are anticipating Jones, who has spent his entire five-year career with the Dallas Cowboys, will command a deal worth between $16-18 million per season. Per Over the Cap, Xavien Howard of the Miami Dolphins owns the highest average annual salary among defensive backs at $15,050,000. The Dallas Cowboys seem likely to at least let Jones test the market at this point, though there is still time for things to change leading up to free agency.

Important News for Sports Teams: The potential spread of coronavirus, also called COVID-19, has prompted several leagues, teams and individual players to weigh in on the infectious disease as it has made its way to the United States. Several teams have taken preemptive measures to limit the coronavirus spread, including limiting media access and spectators and canceling events and competitions altogether.

NCAA Tournament games will be played with limited attendance

Week 4 Sports Update

By: Lucas Birch My Blog: Premier League Roundup

MLB: On March 3, the Milwaukee Brewers have reportedly signed former MVP Christian Yelich to an 8-year deal worth $215 million. This is the largest deal that the Brewers have ever conducted in their history. This came at just the right time for the Brewers considering their lack of involvement with key Free Agents in the offseason.

NBA: Lebron vs Zion: The Lakers faced the Pelicans in an NBA matchup. Lebron James had another classic game dropping 34 points, 12 rebounds, and 13 assists. Zion Williamson’s 35 points was not enough to see off the Lakers. The pelicans fell at home 122-114. Could there be a future rematch in the playoffs?

NFL: In recent news, sources are saying that the Jaguars are trading A.J. Bouye to the Denver Broncos for a fourth-round pick. This solidifies the Broncos recovering defense as Bouye was pivotal in one of the best defensive teams in the league last season. Bouye racked up eight interceptions. It will be interesting to see how his following season plays out with the Broncos.