Major League Baseball’s considerations of creating a bubble for postseason games are apparently growing more serious.
Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported Wednesday that the league is in “serious talks” about a possible playoff bubble. The league is said to prefer a two-city bubble, with California, Texas, and Chicago-Milwaukee under consideration as potential sites.
There are serious talks about doing big (2-city) bubbles for postseason. 2 may make sense (1 per league). Possibilities LA-SD, CHI-MILW, TEX-HOU. Not easy since they prefer multiple stadiums to accommodate 8 teams that r indoors or mostly rain-free (Ie SoCal). @BillShaikin on it
One issue that the league will have to face is October weather. That’s likely why places like New York aren’t under consideration, and why Chicago’s two outdoor stadiums may prove challenging. Southern California would likely be the best option for the league if possible, as the weather is nice and two stadiums in Los Angeles and a third in San Diego provide ample options.
The league had initially decided against a bubble for the season, and top players were opposed to that idea. That’s not changing. A postseason bubble would be more feasible with fewer teams needing to be accommodated and a shorter period of time that players would be required to be away from family.
One Big Ten school that was absolutely intent on playing college football in the fall appears to be giving up on that dream.
Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said Wednesday that, after initial exploration, the Buckeyes will no longer pursue avenues to play football in the fall despite the Big Ten’s cancellation of fall sports. Smith said the school will instead turn all its attention toward preparation for a spring season.
Just got off the phone with #Buckeyes AD Gene Smith, who confirmed Ohio State is no longer exploring options for fall competition. "There's not a fall option. We had hoped and just realized that not too long ago. We're all about the spring and how do we set that up."
One has to wonder if other schools who are exploring similar avenues might soon come to the same conclusion. The Nebraska Cornhuskers have made clear that they are looking at other options to play. However, Ohio State coach Ryan Day floated a conference switch as well, and it’s clearly been discovered that it just isn’t a feasible option.
Day has seemingly come to terms with that and is now pushing for a season beginning in January. We’ll see if he and Smith start pushing the Big Ten on such a scenario now that they’ve accepted that fall is out of the question.
Antetokounmpo’s absence could impact the Western Conference playoff race. The Grizzlies will need to beat the Bucks in order to qualify for the play-in game as either the eighth or ninth seed. Antetokounmpo’s absence for Milwaukee could be significantly beneficial for the Grizzlies in that scenario.
The MVP candidate chalked his actions up to frustration after Tuesday’s game, which saw him ejected for the headbutt. It will cost him an extra game as well, but the good news for Antetokounmpo is it’s a functionally meaningless contest from Milwaukee’s point of view.
Justin Verlander still hopes to return this season, and he intends to take the first steps toward doing so next week.
According to Brian McTaggart of MLB.com, Verlander aims to begin throwing a baseball next week, and has been making “excellent” progress in his recovery from a right forearm strain.
Initial reports indicated that Verlander would likely be out for the season with the arm injury, but he immediately disputed those reports and stated his intention to return before the season ended. The 36-year-old is clearly making progress in his rehab if he’s set to receive clearance to begin throwing.
Verlander is the reigning AL Cy Young winner, posting a 2.58 ERA and 300 strikeouts in 2019. There may be a sense of urgency for the Astros to get him back, as the team has lost six of the last seven games.
The Houston Rockets are dealing with a potentially significant injury just ahead of the NBA Playoffs.
Guard Russell Westbrook underwent an MRI and was diagnosed with a strained quadriceps muscle in his right leg. He will not play in the final two seeding games, and his status will be re-evaluated ahead of the postseason.
#Rockets announced that Russell Westbrook underwent an MRI in Orlando for a quadriceps injury. The results revealed a strained quadriceps muscle in his right leg. Westbrook will be out Friday against PHI and his status will be re-evaluated before the playoffs start next week.
The Rockets will not want to see Westbrook hobbled during the postseason and will take precautions accordingly. The hope is that this won’t prove serious and he’ll have no issues in the playoffs, but it significantly changes the Rockets’ outlook if he’s not 100 percent.
Westbrook is averaging 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 7.0 assists per game in his first season with Houston.
It appears that George Kittle and the San Francisco 49ers may be moving out of their contractual stalemate.
According to Michael Silver of NFL Network, Kittle and the 49ers are “making progress” in contract talks on a deal that would make Kittle the highest-paid tight end in NFL history.
In reference to the @grantcohn report: I'm told the 49ers and George Kittle are 'making progress' on a lucrative contract extension… which means the emoji may be obsolete. He's on track to be the highest-paid TE in league history, by far.
Last we heard, Kittle and the Niners weren’t on the same page. While the organization is willing to pay up to keep the star tight end happy, the indication was that Kittle essentially wanted to be paid like a star receiver. It appears that gap may be bridged soon.
Kittle caught five touchdowns and racked up 1,053 yards receiving in 2019, the second consecutive 1,000-yard receiving season for the 26-year-old.
Deion Sanders still has his eyes on coaching football, and Barstool Sports’ support of that ambition was a factor in why they were able to land him.
According to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, Sanders’ agreement with Barstool comes with a promise from the company that it will support his efforts to find a college football coaching job. This was confirmed by Constance Schwartz, Sanders’ representative.
“You are not wrong on coaching in the future and Barstool is very supportive of that,” Schwartz told Marchand. “He is coaching now, but, as you said in your article yesterday, he still has aspirations to coach at the college level and Barstool is fully on-board for that.”
Sanders has made no secret of his desire to coach a college football team. He openly tried to land the job at his alma mater Florida State and has said he intends to have a job in the sport by 2021. If that works out, Sanders’ stay with Barstool could be a fairly brief one, but the company appears to be comfortable with that scenario.