CHICAGO (AP) — The Chicago Cubs were glad to be back on the field, resuming workouts Friday for the first time since Major League Baseball shut down camps in March. New manager David Ross said he felt like a “12-year-old thinking about baseball and how much you’ve missed it in this time.” With the season cut from 162 games to 60, the Cubs are gearing up for a sprint they hope ends in the playoffs after missing out for the first time since 2014. Chicago went from 95 wins in 2018 to 84 last season and finished behind St. Louis and Milwaukee in the NL Central. The Cubs kept their roster largely intact. But they made one big change when they hired Ross to replace Joe Maddon.
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Milwaukee Brewers veteran Ryan Braun says he’s more likely to play beyond 2020 because of the unusual circumstances of this pandemic-shortened season. Braun had said in January that the upcoming season could be his last. He now believes this year’s 60-game schedule won’t wear him out as much as a full, 162-game season. Braun can also benefit from the National League adopting the designated hitter this season. The former MVP is entering the final season of a five-year, $105 million contract and will turn 37 in November.
NEW YORK (AP) — Freddie Freeman tests positive for COVID-19. Masahiro Tanaka gets hit in the head by a line drive. David Price announces he won’t play this season for the sake of his health and his family’s health. Sobering examples of the game’s potential danger took place at camps across the country as Major League Baseball teams continued preparing to start their pandemic-shortened season later this month. The return of baseball didn’t offer much cause for celebration on this Fourth of July.
Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka was alert and sent to a hospital after he was hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of slugger Giancarlo Stanton during live batting practice Saturday, a frightening scene during the team’s first official summer camp workout. Tanaka’s hat flew off and he immediately collapsed to the ground, cradling his head at Yankee Stadium. Trainers quickly ran to Tanaka, who stayed down for a few minutes before sitting up. Trainers tended to his head and appeared to check his vision. Tanaka was helped to his feet and walked off the field with help. Yankee’s Manager Aaron Boone also announced that All-Star infielder DJ LeMahieu and right-hander Luis Cessa tested positive for the coronavirus before traveling to New York and are self-isolating at home.
Elsewhere in the majors:
— Dodgers pitcher David Price won’t play this season because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic, delaying his Los Angeles debut until next year. The five-time All-Star became the latest player to opt out, posting Saturday on Twitter that he wouldn’t participate in the 60-game season that’s scheduled to begin July 23. Price’s announcement came a day after Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout said he wasn’t comfortable with the current climate and might not play. Washington first baseman Ryan Zimmerman, Colorado outfielder Ian Desmond and Arizona pitcher Mike Leake are among those who have already said they’re out this year.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Scott Dixon retook the lead with 18 laps to go and pulled away from Graham Rahal to earn his first IndyCar Grand Prix victory. The five-time series champion beat Rahal to the checkered flag by 19.9469 seconds. It’s the first time in Dixon’s 20-year career he has opened the season with back-to-back victories. He won the season opener last month at Texas. Dixon, of Chip Ganassi Racing, also broke Team Penske’s five-year reign on the IndyCar GP title. Dixon’s 48 career wins are third all-time behind A.J. Foyt and Mario Andretti.
UNDATED (AP) — The NBA announced the schedule Saturday for scrimmages at the Disney complex in Florida, with 33 games set for between July 22 and July 28. Each of the 22 teams that will be part of the season restart has been scheduled for three games. All three arenas at the ESPN Wide World of Sports complex that will be used for the restart will also play host to the scrimmages. There will be between three and six games per day during that six-day span. The season will officially resume with the start of seeding games on July 30. Teams begin arriving at Disney for a brief quarantine followed by the start of their training camps on Tuesday.
DETROIT (AP) — Matthew Wolff had a roller-coaster round that went well enough Saturday to give him a three-shot lead in the Rocket Mortgage Classic. Wolff shot his second straight 8-under 64 to move into position for his second PGA Tour victory. He was at 19-under 197 at Detroit Golf Club.