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Update on the latest sports

By The Associated Press | Posted - Jun. 29, 2020 at 6:29 p.m.



VIRUS OUTBREAK-MLB-NATIONALS

Zimmerman and Ross won’t play

WASHINGTON (AP) — The reigning World Series champion Washington Nationals will be without at least two holdovers from last year’s team. Longtime infielder Ryan Zimmerman and pitcher Joe Ross are opting out of playing as Major League Baseball tries to get back amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

General manager Mike Rizzo says the team supports Zimmerman and Ross deciding not to play the 60-game season that’s set to start in late July.

Zimmerman says his family situation factored into his decision. His mother is at high risk for the coronavirus because of multiple sclerosis, and he has three young children including a newborn. The 35-year-old says the decision doesn’t mean he’s retiring.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MLB-LEAKE

Diamondbacks pitcher Leake opts out

PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Mike Leake is opting out of the 2020 season due to concerns about the coronavirus.

Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen did not elaborate on Leake’s decision during a Zoom call, but the pitcher’s agent issued a statement saying he made a personal decision not to play during the pandemic.

Hazen also said two players on Arizona’s 60-man roster tested positive for COVID-19, as did another player not in Arizona.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MLB-CANADA

Ontario premier says approval near for Toronto games

TORONTO (AP) — The premier of Ontario says Major League Baseball is close to winning approval to play in Toronto amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford says city, provincial and federal authorities “kind of gave their approval,” but the Toronto Blue Jays are waiting for a letter of support from the federal government. He also says Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer, requires a few tweaks to the plan.

MLB requires an exemption, as anyone entering Canada for nonessential reasons must self-isolate for 14 days, and the U.S.-Canada border remains closed to nonessential travel until at least July 21.

NBA-WIZARDS-WALL

Wizards rule out John Wall returning this season

WASHINGTON (AP) — John Wall will not join the Washington Wizards for the resumption of the NBA season this summer, ending the chances of the five-time All-Star guard playing his first game since 2018.

General manager Tommy Sheppard effectively ruled out Wall returning this season when he said Monday the 29-year-old wouldn’t be part of the Wizards’ traveling party to Central Florida. Among the factors in the decision was a cap of 35 people per team in the quarantined bubble at Walt Disney World. The COVID-19 pandemic also hindered Wall’s progress in his rehab from multiple surgeries.

Wall hasn’t played an NBA game since December 2018. Surgery for bone spurs in his left heel ended that season; while he was working his way back from that, he tore his left Achilles tendon and needed another operation in 2019. He declared himself “110 percent” healthy in late May.

PGA-WATNEY RECOVERS

Watney bored in isolation, nervous about how he got virus

Monday marked the 10th day of self-isolation for Nick Watney, the minimum required for PGA Tour players who test positive for the new coronavirus.

He said he is feeling good except for some minor fatigue, perhaps brought on by a major case of boredom, and except for the distinction of becoming the first of what now is five players and two caddies who have tested positive since the PGA Tour returned amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

He lost his sense of smell, a sensation he described as “gnarly,” but said that is coming back. And perhaps the strangest sensation is being at a golf resort without playing golf. He remains in Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, as the PGA Tour has moved on to Connecticut, and now Detroit this week, and then two weeks in Ohio. The show goes on.

Three more players tested positive during the Travelers Championship — Cameron Champ before the tournament started, Denny McCarthy after his first round and Dylan Frittelli after he missed the cut. Two caddies tested positive, which caused a chain-reaction of withdrawals. Harris English tested positive Monday at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit.

NBA-CAVALIERS-BELL

Source: Cavs agree to 2-year deal with free agent Bell

CLEVELAND (AP) — A person familiar with the deals says the Cleveland Cavaliers have agreed to terms with free agent forward Jordan Bell on a two-year contract and signed forward Dean Wade to a multiyear deal.

The person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the deals says the additions fill two roster openings for the Cavs ahead of the NBA reopening its transaction window.

The 6-foot-8 Bell was a second-round pick in 2017. He spent his first two seasons with Golden State. Wade played in 12 games for Cleveland last season.

MLB-ATHLETIC SIGNINGS

A’s top draft pick Tyler Soderstrom gets $3.3M signing bonus

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Left-handed hitting catcher Tyler Soderstrom, selected 26th by the Oakland Athletics in the amateur draft, has agreed to a minor league contract with a $3.3 million signing bonus. Sodorstrom’s deal was above the slot value of $2,653,400.

Oakland also announced Monday that it finalized a deal with fifth-round selection pitcher Stevie Emanuels. He got a $400,000 bonus as the 157th pick, which had a slot value of $333,300.

Soderstrom has been added to the club’s 60-player pool with workouts scheduled to begin later this week. The 18-year-old star from Turlock High, who batted .450 as a junior in 2019 with his senior season cut short this year by the coronavirus pandemic, is set to report to the A’s alternate site, likely to be Stockton.

Emanuels went 3-1 with a 0.79 ERA and 38 strikeouts in four starts over 22 2/3 innings this year for the University of Washington.

The A’s also added three non-drafted free agents: right-hander Garrett Acton out of Illinois, catcher Cooper Uhl from Loyola Marymount and outfielder D.J. Lee of the University of Richmond.

ZANARDI INJURED

Second surgery for Zanardi

SIENA, Italy (AP) — Italian auto racing champion turned Paralympic gold medalist Alex Zanardi has undergone a second brain surgery. It comes 10 days after an emergency operation following a crash on his handbike.

The latest surgery lasted 2½ hours. Zanardi was then returned to the intensive care unit in a medically induced coma at the Santa Maria alle Scotte Hospital in Siena. The hospital says in a medical bulletin, “His condition remains stable from a cardio-respiratory and metabolic viewpoint, grave from a neurological viewpoint.”

The 53-year-old Zanardi lost both of his legs in an auto racing crash nearly 20 years ago.

KAEPERNICK-NETFLIX

Netflix to dramatize Kaepernick’s path to activism

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Colin Kaepernick is joining with Emmy-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay on a Netflix miniseries about the teenage roots of the former NFL player’s activism.

Neftlix says the limited series, titled “Colin in Black & White,” will examine Kaepernick’s high school years. In 2016, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback began kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality. His actions drew both support and criticism, with President Donald Trump among his detractors. Kaepernick became a free agent in 2017 but went unsigned.

Writing on the six-episode series was completed in May, Casting details and a release date were not immediately announced for “Colin in Black & White.”

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