NEW YORK (AP) — The players’ association hasn’t embraced a plan reached between baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and union head Tony Clark to start the pandemic-delayed season on July 19 or July 20. Each team would play 60 games, and players would get full prorated pay, about 37% of their salary. The wild-card round would expand from two games to eight best-of-three series this year. The designated hitter would be used in all games for the first time. Some on the players’ side consider the framework merely another plan subject to more bargaining.
UNDATED (AP) — The NCAA Division I Council has approved a plan to allow college basketball players to start working with their coaches for the first time since the pandemic wiped out March Madness. Required activities for both men’s and women’s teams can begin July 20 and last up to eight weeks until Sept. 15 or the first day of classes, whichever comes first. Those activities include weight training, conditioning and skills instruction with coaches supervising for up to eight hours per week. Skills instruction cannot exceed four hours per week and no days off are required.
NEW YORK (AP) — Serena Williams is planning to play in the 2020 U.S. Open. The 23-time Grand Slam singles champion said in a video shown during the U.S. Tennis Association’s tournament presentation that she “cannot wait to return” to New York for the major championship she has won six times. The 38-year-old American was the runner-up in Flushing Meadows each of the past two years.
TOKYO (AP) — The contentious issue of the billions being spent on the postponed Tokyo Olympics has entered the debate in the race for governor of Japan’s capital. Incumbent Yuriko Koike is a strong favorite to be reelected — and a strong supporter of the Olympics — in a field of more than a dozen candidates. In the field is Taro Yamamoto. He is a popular actor turned politician. He said in a debate this week that the Olympics should be called off and the billions redirected to help people struggling with the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
NEW YORK (AP) — Shaq and Gronk are about to throw down with each other for a cause. Shaquille O’Neal and Rob Gronkowski – with seven championship rings between them – will compete against each other June 27 in Shaq’s Fun House Vs Gronk Beach, a virtual party combining fun and music and a benefit for social justice. They’ll compete in six different challenges with the winner earning a donation to his charity. O’Neal is competing for Boys & Girls Clubs of America, while Gronkowski is playing for the NAACP. DoorDash will donate one meal for each viewer up to 1.25 million meals in conjunction with Feeding America.