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Skating straight to playoffs? … Big league disappointment … A’s furloughs

UNDATED (AP) — Just in case the NHL season resumes, teams will go straight into the playoffs. Twenty-four teams would resume play. Under the expanded format, the top four teams in each conference will play for seeding while the other 16 face off in best-of-five series. The NHL and its players’ union must still figure out safety protocols and other issues, including where to play in two host cities.

UNDATED (AP) — MLB players are said to be extremely disappointed with a sliding-scale compensation proposal by big league teams. Players had expected a 50-50 revenue-sharing plan that owners initially approved for their negotiators on May 11. The union said “the sides also remain far apart on health and safety protocols” aimed at starting the coronavirus-delayed season around July 4.

OAKLAND (AP) — Oakland Athletics owner John Fisher says the team will be placing  its scouts and a significant number of other front office employees on furlough, suspending pay for minor leaguers and cutting the salaries of other executives as part of a cost-cutting move in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Fisher called it a “tremendously difficult day.”

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s top-flight soccer league is ready to resume its season within weeks of the country’s pro baseball league starting play. Both leagues have been on hold amid the coronavirus pandemic. The J-League is expected to officially announce its plans later in the week. Japanese news agency Kyodo reports that league matches will resume on June 27 or July 4. The resumption will be without fans. That is also the plan when baseball begins play on June 19.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles FC will seek a new name for its 2-year-old Banc of California Stadium after a restructuring of the bank’s partnership with the Major League Soccer club. LAFC didn’t announce a time frame for the removal of Banc of California from the stadium’s name or the selection of a new naming rights partner. The stadium will be known by its current name for the immediate future. Banc of California agreed in 2016 to a reported 15-year, $100 million deal to have its name on the $350 million stadium built by LAFC’s deep-pocketed ownership group.

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