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Monday, March 30, 2020

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White Sox P Carlos Rodon has funny reaction to his bad ‘MLB The Show’ avatar

Carlos Rodon

Carlos Rodon thinks his video game likeness is a just little bit unflattering.

The Chicago White Sox lefty was streaming himself playing the popular game “MLB The Show” this weekend when a Twitter user took note that he notched a complete-game victory using himself. Rodon hilariously responded by expressing his disapproval of the undershirt worn by his player avatar.

Undershirt or not, Rodon had a much more memorable performance in the game than his 2019 as a whole was. The 27-year-old went 3-2 with a 5.19 ERA in just seven starts before having to undergo Tommy John surgery in May.

While he is on the mend though, Rodon can at least take comfort in the fact that other MLBers have faced greater disrespect at the hands of the game.

Coronavirus creates major challenges for executives ahead of NFL, NBA Draft

Roger Goodell booed

We already know that the NFL Draft will look a lot different this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the NBA Draft may end up in a similar situation. Beyond how it looks, though, the people making draft decisions are going to have to lean on different scouting strategies this year.

NFL pro days have been canceled, and teams have essentially halted all travel for team employees. That means that, aside from their NFL Combine interactions, teams are going to be relying on tape to scout players. As executives have explained to Tom Pelissero, this could lead to significant issues.

NBA teams also fear that in-person interviews and workouts will be scrubbed by similar travel restrictions. NBA scouts and executives are at even more of a disadvantage, as the cancellation of postseason tournaments deprived them of chances to see top prospects in pressure environments against top competition.

One executive told Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher that it will be a draft heavy on scouting, and it would “expose” GMs who had not seriously put in the legwork during the season.

“This is a basketball person’s draft, based on actual basketball play,” the executive said. “The high-ranking decision-makers who have been working all year aren’t going to miss a beat. It’s going to expose the GMs who were flying around with their teams staying in Four Seasons rather than going [to scout] in Dayton, Ohio, and staying at the Courtyard Marriott. If there are no more data points coming in, they’re screwed.”

There is already speculation that one prospect could be hurt by the complications that could come with the process. Executives in both leagues are dealing with similar problems, and it will be a massive challenge for them to deal with as the pandemic continues.

Report: Clippers could pursue Kris Dunn in free agency

The LA Clippers have already made several in-season moves to improve their roster, and now they could be looking ahead to offseason upgrades as well.

Clippers beat writer Jovan Buha of The Athletic noted in an article this week that there have been “multiple rumors” linking the team to Chicago Bulls point guard Kris Dunn and that there “appears to be some smoke there.”

Dunn, the former No. 5 overall pick, has seen his role decrease in Chicago this season, ceding minutes to Tomas Satoransky and rookie Coby White. While he has still made 32 total starts, Dunn’s averages are down to 7.3 points and 3.6 assists per game and there have been other signs that he could be on the outs.

The 26-year-old is due for restricted free agency this offseason, but it’s unclear if the Bulls will even tender him a qualifying offer. Though a shaky shooter and inefficient scorer, Dunn brings defense and energy the Clippers could use next year, especially with newcomer Reggie Jackson also hitting free agency.

Alex Ovechkin not concerned about missed milestones from suspended season

Alex Ovechkin

There are many storylines that come from the pause on sports leagues due to the coronavirus pandemic. One is that some players are losing valuable time in their chase for milestones.

Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin is one of those players. He’s two goals shy of reaching 50 on the season. That would be the ninth time he’s done that, tying an NHL record. He’s also 188 goals shy of matching Wayne Gretzky’s career mark of 894.

Now 34, Ovechkin isn’t getting any younger. If the NHL resumes by going straight to the playoffs, Ovechkin would miss out on his 50-goal season and lose valuable time chasing Gretzky as well. Ultimately, though, he’s not too concerned by this.

“Of course, you want to score 50,” Ovechkin said, via J.J. Regan of NBC Sports Washington. “But right now, like everyone is saying, the most important thing is be stay safe and to get this thing done. It sucks to not score 50 and to not get another milestone, but you have to think about your family, people and fans to be more safe. I’m pretty sure the sooner this is going to be over, the sooner we’re going to start back playing hockey. It’ll be nice to score again 50 goals or reach those milestones, but right now our mind is on just trying to be safe. It’s a scary situation.”

Ovechkin recently reached 700 career goals, and he likely does still have a few years left in him. He’s taking the right view on this — he’ll have his chances, but for now, public health is more important.

Here’s what new White House guidelines could mean for sports schedule

President Donald Trump announced Sunday that his administration is extending social distancing guidelines nationally until April 30.

Trump also stated his hope to be able to open up the country and return to normal life by June 1.

These are estimates, and things are subject to change if outbreaks progress in certain areas and aren’t brought under control. Many states have strict orders in place urging residents to stay at home, which should help, but there is no guarantee that the guidelines won’t be extended beyond that.

June could still be a time to start thinking about getting pro sports up and running. That’s a timeline that has been suggested for MLB in the past. The situation is very fluid, and current measures have to work before we can even think about sports again. There is also no guarantee that fans will be able to attend events when they begin again. Either way, it looks like there could be some sports action again come mid-summer, but almost certainly not before that.

LeBron James shows he’s staying hard at work during NBA shutdown

LeBron James

Nobody knows when the NBA will be able to resume, but it’s pretty clear that LeBron James will be ready when it does.

James posted on his Instagram story Sunday that he was hard at work on his usual day off because he can’t find anything else to do with himself.

He’s probably not the only NBA player feeling this way. The fact that nobody quite knows when the NBA will be back makes it harder for players to plan, but it will probably be weeks, if not months. We know that he’s not enthusiastic about starting the playoffs right away when the league does resume, but that won’t stop him from being prepared if that’s the case.

Jimmy Johnson avoids Jerry Jones response to Ring of Honor question

Jimmy Johnson won two Super Bowl titles with the Dallas Cowboys, but his infamously bad relationship with owner Jerry Jones has kept him out of the team’s Ring of Honor.

Johnson will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year, but Ring of Honor recognition does not seem to be coming. On Sunday, a fan asked him how he would feel if Jones inducted the former coach into the Ring of Honor, and Johnson’s answer spoke volumes.

Perhaps Johnson misread the question and thought he was being asked about his Hall of Fame induction, but we’re guessing Johnson responded exactly as he intended to.

In short, Johnson’s Hall of Fame induction means a lot to him, as we’ve already seen. The Ring of Honor does not. Jones does not like Johnson, and the feeling seems to be mutual, and it’s best left at that.

NBA urging players who recovered from coronavirus to help with medical research

Rudy Gobert

The NBA caught several positive cases of the coronavirus among its players early, and those players are recovering or have recovered already. Now, they may be able to provide significant help for medical researchers working to treat the virus.

The NBA’s “NBA Together” program is encouraging players and staff who have recovered from COVID-19 to consider donating plasma to a national program looking into potential treatments for the disease, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Why plasma? There is evidence that those who have recovered from COVID-19 are immune to reinfection, as the body creates antibodies to identify and fight the virus. Scientists are studying whether these antibodies can be used to create immunity in those who have not contracted the virus, as well as if it can help those already ill recover.

Several NBA players have already recovered from the virus, including the league’s first two cases. Perhaps they can help develop lifesaving treatments as the pandemic continues to unfold.

Eric Ebron shows off incredible social distancing golf cart

Golf is one of the leisure activities people can still safely take part in while practicing responsible social distancing, and Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Eric Ebron seems to have figured out the perfect way to play a round.

On Sunday, Ebron shared a photo on social media of his awesome “social distancing” golf cart. It’s basically a mix between a golf cart and a motorcycle.

Many golf courses have closed around the United States, as certain regions have prohibited all non-essential business from remaining open during the coronavirus outbreak. However, other courses are currently open with strict rules in place for players keeping their distance from one another. Ebron should have no issue with that.

Tom Brady spends his Sunday rewatching Super Bowl LI

Tom Brady

Sports networks have turned to archived games to entertain fans while live sports are on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. It turns out it’s not just fans who are tuning in, either.

FOX re-aired its broadcast of the New England Patriots’ Super Bowl LI comeback against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. That caught the attention of Tom Brady, who made no secret of the fact that he’s settling in to watch the game.

When you can watch yourself spark a comeback from down 28-3 in the Super Bowl, why wouldn’t you? Maybe Brady will even share some insights about the game from his privileged position.

It’s also a signal that, despite rumors of chilliness in his departure from New England, Brady still has fond memories of his Patriots days. It’s hard not to when you won as much as he did.