News updates from the world of sports, as they relate to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic …
- We have our first major sporting event(s) rescheduled for a future date that anticipates the pandemic will be sufficiently quelled:
Breaking: The PGA TOUR has announced the rescheduled dates for three of golf's major championships.
PGA Championship: Aug. 6-9, 2020
U.S. Open: Sept. 17-20, 2020
The Masters: Nov. 12-15, 2020 pic.twitter.com/Hr92NpryqT
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 6, 2020
- Given the nature of golf, it does seem very likely that the PGA will be able to go off in August, even if without crowds. Obviously the big announcement there is the Masters moving from right now, when it is an annual tradition (unlike any other), to the late fall, which is just weird. But, hey, you gotta do what you gotta do at a time like this, and the late date might allow for crowds.
- As for baseball on the world stage, having handled the novel coronavirus as well as any nation, South Korea is preparing for baseball to begin with only a relatively mild delay:
South Korea has done as good a job as any country of containing coronavirus — and now, baseball is being played there, with opening day slated for late April. At ESPN, a look inside how Korea is doing it, through the eyes of Americans playing ball there: https://t.co/Q8yeskkqmJ pic.twitter.com/QyGEs35vMg
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) April 6, 2020
- If all continues to go well, games will begin by the end of this month. What no one knows, though, is what would happen if a player tested positive for COVID-19. Would the entire league have to shut down again? Would they just try to quarantine that player? His teammates? How do you play games when one team is missing? There aren’t answers to these questions yet, and that – to me – marks one huge difference between how MLB and the KBO are proceeding: even after COVID-19 hits its peak and has declined to the point where we feel like it is nearing “under control,” I don’t see any way MLB games resume until widespread rapid testing is in place so that you could be checking players prophylactically – it’s the only way I can see that a positive test doesn’t necessarily shut a whole team down (because if a guy tests positive one morning, you can easily test the entire team and quarantine anyone who tests positive in those 15 minutes).
- Meanwhile, across the pond, if you want to see what it looks like when your league and your players cannot come together on a good solution for the financial side of things, it gets ugly:
Some PL clubs have told players they must fulfil media commitments to give rights holders content in absence of football. But many players unreceptive to extra club duties if taking wage cut/deferral. One of many issues arising behind scenes https://t.co/3uf4U9Rm6c @TheAthleticUK
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) April 5, 2020
- It appears the players in the Premier League do not want to take a salary cut (even as the league is shut down without an expectation that all games will be made up), partly making the argument that doing so would reduce the taxes that they pay to the government in a time of need. They also, per that tweet, don’t want to participate in alternative media engagements. To be sure, some players are participating in measures to donate to various causes, but it sure seems like an organized effort between the players and the league would’ve been quite a bit more helpful and less tone-deaf. I should also add, I know absolutely nothing about the Premier League or player culture, so I’m not dumping on the players here – just offering the facts. And my perspective as a baseball fan is that I’m glad the league and the players got together on a financial approach long before it became a problem.