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NHL, union reach tentative return-to-play deal

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By The
Associated Press

The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world:

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The National Hockey League and NHL Players’ Association have reached a tentative agreement to return to play this season and extend the collective bargaining agreement.

The four-year extension of the CBA finalized Monday, coupled with the sides’ agreement on protocols for training camps and games, paves the way for hockey to resume this summer. Training camps would open July 13 and games would resume Aug. 1 if approved by the league’s board of governors and players’ executive committee and full membership.

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Fordham’s football game against Hawaii on Sept. 12 has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Rams have now canceled their first three games. A school spokesman said Fordham will announce later this week whether the entire fall season will be canceled or potentially moved to the spring.

Fordham is a football-only member of the Patriot League, whose Council of Presidents announced last month a guidance plan for fall competition. One of the key provisions of that plan was that “No Patriot League teams will fly to competitions and, with rare exceptions, regular season competition will exclude overnight travel.”

The Rams were supposed to open the season against Stony Brook on Aug. 29 and then host Bryant on Sept. 5 before heading to Hawaii.

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Texas Rangers slugger Joey Gallo has tested positive for the coronavirus, though the team said the All-Star right fielder is asymptomatic.

General manager Jon Daniels said Monday that Gallo is isolated at his apartment in Dallas and not around teammates. Daniels said Gallo told him that he feels as good as he ever has.

Gallo initially took a saliva test as part of the team’s intake process June 27, and got a positive result two days later. The 26-year-old Gallo took a nasal swab test on June 30 which came back negative, but then had another saliva test that came back positive Sunday.

After being one of the local players that had been able to work out at the Rangers’ new ballpark the past several weeks, Gallo has missed the first four days of summer camp at Globe Life Field, including Monday. Daniels had said Sunday that Gallo was still in intake testing.

Gallo has 110 career homers in his 418 big league games. After consecutive 40-homer seasons, he had 22 homers in 70 games last season and was an All-Star before right wrist surgery. He homered in the All-Star game.

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England rugby will lay off 139 positions because it expects to lose 107 million pounds ($134 million) in revenue in the short term.

The Rugby Football Union will begin consulting with staff before announcing the redundancies at the end of August, chief executive Bill Sweeney said on Monday.

“To ensure we have a sustainable RFU we have announced to colleagues that it is proposed that the total number of roles across the organisation will reduce by 139,” he wrote on the union website.

“We have already made some significant cost savings. We furloughed 60% of our organisation; implemented a three-month pay reduction which has been extended for some; introduced pension pauses; and refined business planning and introduced stadium and office running efficiencies to reduce costs.

“Unfortunately, this is not enough to run a sustainable operation and safeguard our future.”

Sweeney predicts it will take five years for the RFU to recover, and the union will lose 20% of its normal revenue over that period.

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Frances Tiafoe will not play in the World TeamTennis season after testing positive for the coronavirus.

The American was playing in a weekend tournament in Atlanta and was tested after feeling symptoms during his match on Friday. He withdrew from the event the following day and said he was following the recommended quarantine protocol.

He was set to play for the Washington Kastles during the World TeamTennis season, set for July 12 to Aug. 2. It’s being played entirely at The Greenbrier in West Virginia because of the pandemic, instead of around the country as usual.

Under league rules, a player had to test negative before being allowed to travel to the resort. The league announced Monday that because Tiafoe’s positive test was within the advance travel window, he was ineligible to compete this season.

Tiafoe, a quarterfinalist at the 2019 Australian Open, will not be paid for this season.

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Atlanta Braves outfielder Nick Markakis has opted out of the 2020 season.

The 36-year-old Markakis said he was uneasy about playing the season without fans and then was swayed by his telephone conversation with teammate Freddie Freeman, who has tested positive for COVID-19 and has fever and other symptoms.

“Just hearing him, the way he sounded on the phone, it was tough,” Markakis said Monday. “It was kind of eye-opening. What everything that’s going on, not just with baseball but all over the world, it makes you open your eyes.”

Markakis became the second Braves player to opt out. Over the weekend, pitcher Félix Hernández said he wouldn’t play this year.

Dodgers pitcher David Price, Washington infielder Ryan Zimmerman and Colorado outfielder Ian Desmond are among the other players who have opted out.

Following nine seasons with Baltimore, Markakis was entering his sixth season with Atlanta. He was competing for a spot in a crowded Braves outfield following the offseason signing of Marcel Ozuna.

Manager Brian Snitker plans to play Ozuna and Ronald Acuña Jr. every game, though Ozuna could be the designated hitter. Markakis, Ender Inciarte, Adam Duvall and others were competing other spots and were joined by rookies Cristian Pache and Drew Waters.

Markakis hit .285 with nine homers and 62 RBIs in 2019, a year after he was an All-Star. He said he doesn’t know how opting out could affect his hopes for playing in 2021.

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Count the Tennessee Titans among the NFL teams offering season-ticket holders the option of opting out of this season and putting that money toward 2021 or getting a refund.

The Titans sent a letter to their season-ticket holders Monday. The team also posted a notice on its website.

Tennessee told season-ticket holders the team suspended any payment plans July 1 for this season.

Team officials will be working with state and local governments on how many fans will be allowed to attend games at Nissan Stadium, which seats approximately 69,143.

But the Titans say the coronavirus pandemic makes it “increasingly likely” that NFL teams will be playing in front of fewer fans this season.

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The National Hockey League says 35 total players have tested positive for the coronavirus over roughly the past month.

The league says 23 of 396 players checked for COVID-19 at team facilities have tested positive since voluntary workouts began June 8, a 5% rate. In that same period of time, it is aware of 12 additional positive test results.

The NHL and NHL Players’ Association on Sunday night agreed on protocols to start training camps and resume the season. That includes daily testing once games get under way for players, coaches and staff.

Resuming is contingent on each side approving an extension of the collective bargaining agreement and the return to play agreement.

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Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell says shortstop Luis Urias and pitcher Angel Perdomo tested positive for COVID-19 before the intake process.

Counsell says both players are asymptomatic.

This marks the second setback for Urias since the Brewers acquired him from San Diego in November. Urias, who is expected to compete with incumbent Orlando Arcia for the starting shortstop job, underwent surgery in January to repair a broken bone in his left hand.

Major League Baseball and the players’ association announced Friday that 31 players and seven staff members tested positive for COVID-19 during intake for the resumption of training, a rate of 1.2%. Teams resumed workouts Friday for the first time since the coronavirus interrupted spring training on March 12, two weeks before the season was to start.

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The Washington Nationals have canceled Monday morning’s team workout because of COVID-19 testing delays.

Players and staff were tested Friday, and general manager Mike Rizzo says the team still hasn’t received its results. Rizzo said it’s not safe to continue holding camp without accurate and timely testing and that the workout was canceled to prevent putting players and staff at risk.

Rizzo says: Major League Baseball “needs to work quickly to resolve issues with their process and their lab. Otherwise, summer camp and the 2020 season are at risk.”

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Two players on the Indiana Fever were among the seven positive tests for the coronavirus across the WNBA, the team announced.

The league and teams didn’t reveal who the players were. All 137 WNBA players were tested over the past week as the teams prepared to head to Florida on Monday for the upcoming season, which will be played at IMG Academy.

The Fever will delay their travel by at least five days to self-quarantine in case any of them came into close contact with the infected players.

The WNBA hopes to start training camp later this week, with the regular season set to begin around July 24.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.



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Major League

The moment a rugby legend walked off the field maybe for the last time

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By Rugby Onslaught

The curtain may have come down on Matt Giteau’s legendary rugby career with another trophy to his collection, after guiding LA Giltinis to Major League Rugby victory on Sunday.

The 38-year-old Australian was named man of the match in the 31-17 win over Rugby ATL and the LA Memorial Coliseum.

It is uncertain whether the 103-cap Wallaby will return next season or retire, and he is yet to confirm where his future lies. But it was an emotional send-off he received when he left the field in the final ten minutes of the match, embracing his longtime Wallabies teammate Adam Ashley-Cooper as he walked off. The 37-year-old Ashley-Cooper has confirmed that he will retire after LA’s victory, and Giteau may follow him.

After the match, Giteau was quizzed about his future but still could not give any confirmation about his career, which has now spanned two decades and saw him make his Australia debut in 2002.

“I don’t know [what’s next], I think it’s going to be pretty hard to top this one,” the former Heineken Champions Cup winner with Toulon said.

“It’s definitely Adam Ashley-Cooper’s last game, for me I don’t know, this is fairytale stuff.

“It’s hard to answer because there’s so many emotions at the moment.”

 



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The Sports Report: Clippers in familiar playoff territory

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Howdy, I’m your host, Houston Mitchell. Let’s get right to the news.

Andrew Greif on the Clippers: The Kawhi Leonard free-agent sweepstakes have begun again.

The first-team All-NBA forward is now an unrestricted free agent after declining his player option with the Clippers that would have been worth $36 million next season, according to a person with knowledge of the situation who is not authorized to speak publicly.

The decision was not unexpected and could be the precursor of Leonard returning to the team on a new contract when free agency opens Monday afternoon. Veteran center Serge Ibaka did exercise his option on Saturday.

Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi Leonard

(Associated Press)

Leonard signaled the likelihood he would choose this route in December when he noted that, if healthy, “the best decision” would be to enter unrestricted free agency. The chief reasoning is not necessarily because of a wandering eye but timing — Leonard has completed his 10th NBA season, making him eligible to sign a maximum contract worth 35% of a team’s salary cap. If he re-signs with the Clippers, he will earn $39 million next season, or $3 million more than he would have earned had he opted into his player option.

If Leonard, 30, chooses to return to the Clippers, he has several options he can pick from regarding the length and structure of his deal. The maximum length and value of any contract he can sign to return right now is four years and around $176 million.

A one-year deal with a player option for the second season could allow him next summer to sign up to a five-year extension worth close to $235 million.

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LAKERS

Broderick Turner on the Lakers: For the Lakers, landing Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards via trade was the splashiest move in the NBA so far heading into the free-agency period, which starts Monday.

By sending out Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrel and the draft rights to Isaiah Jackson, the Lakers now have just five players under contract and will have to be creative to field a team around Westbrook, LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

Adding the salaries of James, Davis, Westbrook, Marc Gasol and Alfonzo McKinnie together, the Lakers’ payroll stands at about $131 million, leaving them with not much money to spend on free agents.

The Lakers have their own players they would like to re-sign: restricted free agent Talen Horton-Tucker and unrestricted free agent Alex Caruso.

The Lakers will have the taxpayer mid-level exception of $5.9 million to use and the veteran minimum exception.

Rob Pelinka, the Lakers’ vice president of basketball operations, has a lot of decisions to make for the roster rebuild. Here’s a look at players that the Lakers probably will look at and some who desire to join the team:

Read the list by clicking here.

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NBA free agency roundtable: Lakers and Clippers options include big names, small pay

DODGERS

Justin Turner celebrates with Corey Seager and Chris Taylor after scoring runs on a double by Albert Pujols.

Justin Turner celebrates with Corey Seager and Chris Taylor after scoring runs on a double by Albert Pujols.

(Associated Press)

Mike DiGiovanna on the Dodgers: Corey Seager returned from a 10-week stint on the injured list because of a right-hand fracture on Friday. Mookie Betts returned to the lineup for Sunday’s 13-0 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks in Chase Field after missing two weeks because of right-hip inflammation.

Three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer, acquired from the Washington Nationals with shortstop Trea Turner on Friday, will make his Dodgers debut against the Houston Astros Wednesday night in Chavez Ravine.

Turner, who is on the COVID-19 injured list, could join the team as early as this weekend, adding much-needed speed, some more power and defensive versatility to the lineup.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has spoken for months about “holding serve” in the National League West while weathering all the injuries and the loss of pitcher Trevor Bauer to a domestic-violence investigation.

The defending World Series-champion Dodgers won’t be at full strength until left-hander Clayton Kershaw returns from an elbow injury, but if they’re going to overtake the first-place San Francisco Giants, who hold a three-game lead over them in the division, they need to make their move soon.

And if their inability to seize control of a division they’ve won for eight straight years didn’t concern the Dodgers over the past two or three months, it should now.

“We have to be like that all year,” said Betts, who singled and scored in the seventh inning Sunday and led off the ninth with a homer. “It’s kind of hard to just turn it on right now. So we have to do a better job of displaying some urgency.

“That’s what we did really well last year. We haven’t done it as well this year. We just have to start playing with some urgency and getting some things to turn our way instead of waiting for it.”

ANGELS

Jack Harris on the Angels: Some major-league debuts are storybook. Some are like nightmares. And others fall somewhere in the middle, where flashes of brilliance and glimpses of promise are overshadowed by novice mistakes and an overall lack of production.

Reid Detmers’ introduction to the majors on Sunday was the latter, as the Angels’ top pitching prospect gave up six runs over 4 1/3 innings in the team’s 8-3 loss against the Oakland Athletics.

The day started well, went terribly in the middle and ended with a fizzle, the 22-year-old left-hander riding the full range of emotions during his first outing on a big-league mound.

“It was definitely a dream come true,” Detmers said. “Obviously it didn’t go as planned, but that’s baseball. You just got to bounce back.”

GOLD CUP

United States players celebrate their extra-time victory over Mexico.

The United States celebrates its victory over Mexico in the Gold Cup final.

(David Becker / AP)

Miles Robinson scored on a header in the 117th minute, and a United States junior varsity lineup upset a mostly front-line Mexico team 1-0 on Sunday night to win the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Kellyn Acosta, the only player in the U.S. starting lineup who gets playing time when the first-choice roster is together, took a free kick, and Robinson outjumped Edson Álvarez and headed the ball in on one hop to the right of goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera.

Robinson, a 24-year-old defender in his fourth Major League Soccer season with Atlanta, got his third international goal in nine international appearances, his second goal of the tournament.

Matt Turner got his fifth shutout in six matches of the Gold Cup, the championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean. The Americans won all three knockout matches by 1-0 scores.

The U.S. won its seventh Gold Cup title, its first since 2017, matching Mexico for the most in the 15 tournaments. Canada won in 2000. It was just the second victory for the Americans in seven finals against El Tri.

The U.S. has won nine consecutive games overall and 14 home games in a row.

GILTINIS

Johnny Ryberg #14 of L.A. Giltinis runs for a try against Rugby Atlanta during the first half.

Johnny Ryberg #14 of L.A. Giltinis runs for a try against Rugby Atlanta during the first half.

(Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images for LA Giltinis)

Luca Evans on the Giltinis: The air was heavy with silence. Members of the L.A Giltinis sat in a pregame circle in their locker room, gazing at the floor. This Sunday match was of prime importance — the championship game in their dominant inaugural Major League Rugby season.

Tension diffused like a popped balloon, though, as coach Darren Coleman strolled over from his office in a goofy suit jacket and a bright-pink tie over blue shorts. To chuckles, he told them the story of his introduction to the Giltinis: He was taking his dog for a walk on a golf course in Australia at the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown when he got a call from owner Adam Gilchrist.

“I reckon life’s just a series of journeys,” Coleman told his team. “You never know what happens when you go for a walk with your dog.”

Hours later, the Giltinis’ journey of a season came to a triumphant close, with a 31-17 win over Rugby ATL at the Coliseum to clinch the MLR championship.

RAMS

The Rams reported to training camp Tuesday in Irvine and started workouts Wednesday. Click here for our live blog of updates throughout training camp.

CHARGERS

The Chargers reported to training camp Tuesday in Irvine and started workouts Wednesday. Click here for our live blog of updates throughout training camp.

OLYMPICS

Where’s the Olympics coverage? You will be receiving a special Olympics edition of the Sports Report, which should hit your inbox around 7 a.m. PT each day, and will run daily during the Games. You can also check out all of our Olympics coverage by clicking here.

THIS DATE IN SPORTS

1864 — The first Travers Stakes at Saratoga is won by Kentucky, a horse that scores 20 consecutive victories.

1912 — John McDermott wins the U.S. Open golf championship for the second straight year with a 294 total.

1952 — Five American boxers win gold medals at the Olympics, marking the first time the U.S. wins the unofficial team title. The five medalists are flyweight Nate Brooks; light welterweight Charley Adkins; middleweight Floyd Patterson; light heavyweight Norvell Lee and heavyweight Eddie Sanders.

1967 — The New Orleans Saints play their first preseason game and lose to the Rams, 77-16.

1979 — New York Yankees catcher Thurman Munson is killed in a plane crash practicing takeoffs and landings near his Ohio home.

1986 — Jackie Joyner sets the world record in the heptathlon at the U.S. Olympic Festival in Houston with 7,158 points.

1992 — Vitaly Scherbo of the Unified Team wins gold medals in the vault, rings, pommel horse and parallel bars to give him a total of six gold, the most won by a gymnast in a single Olympic Games.

1996 — Down to her final long jump attempt and fighting an injured hamstring, Jackie Joyner-Kersee leaps out of sixth place and ends her Olympic career with a bronze medal. Joyner Kersee jumps 22 feet, 11 3-4 inches for her sixth Olympic medal.

1998 — Brandie Burton closes with an even-par 72 for a tournament-record 18-under 270 to win the du Maurier Classic by one stroke over Annika Sorenstam. It’s the lowest score in relation to par at a women’s major, breaking Betsy King’s 17-under 267 in the 1992 LPGA Championship.

2005 — In the largest trade in NBA history, Antoine Walker is dealt from Boston to Miami in a transaction involving five teams and 13 players. The Heat acquire point guard Jason Williams and small forward James Posey from Memphis, while the Grizzlies receive guard Eddie Jones from the Heat. The New Orleans Hornets and Utah Jazz also are involved in the deal.

2009 — Catriona Matthew wins the Women’s British Open for her first major title, beating Karrie Webb by three strokes just 10 weeks after giving birth to her second child.

2012 — Carmelo Anthony and the U.S. men’s Olympic basketball team rewrite the record books in a 156-73 romp over Nigeria. Anthony scores 37 points, including 10 of 12 3-pointers, to break the U.S. single-game scoring record in less than three quarters. When Andre Iguodala hits a 3-pointer with 4:37 left, the Americans surpass the previous Olympic record of 138 points set by Brazil against Egypt in 1988.

2012 — Gabby Douglas becomes the third straight American to win gymnastics’ biggest prize when she wins the all-around Olympic title.

2012 — Michael Phelps wins his first individual gold medal of the London Games in the 200-meter individual medley. The U.S. star becomes the first male swimmer to win the same individual event at three straight Olympics, capturing his 20th career medal — and 16th gold.

2015 — American Pharoah delivers an encore performance in his first race since winning the Triple Crown, by cruising to a 2 1/4-length victory in the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park.

2015 — Inbee Park rallies to win the Women’s British Open to become the seventh woman to win four different major championships.

And finally

Gabby Douglas’ gold medal performance in the 2012 Olympics. Watch it here.

Until next time…

That concludes today’s newsletter. If you have any feedback, ideas for improvement or things you’d like to see, email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.



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LA Giltinis Take USMLR Championship Against Rugby ATL 31-17 Sunday – CBS Los Angeles

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