DENVER (AP) - Colorado Rockies outfielder Ian Desmond plans to sit out this season to be with his family and help grow youth baseball in his hometown in Florida.
The 34-year-old Desmond, who cited his pregnant wife and four kids, wrote on Instagram that the “COVID-19 pandemic has made this baseball season one that is a risk I am not comfortable taking.” The biracial slugger also mentioned a myriad of issues within baseball, including racism, sexism, homophobia and socioeconomic concerns.
Desmond, who hit .255 with 20 homers in 140 games last season, had been due $5,555,556 for the prorated share of his $15 million salary, part of a $70 million, five-year contract. He is owed $8 million next year, and his deal includes a $15 million team option for 2022 with a $2 million buyout.
PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Mike Leake is one of the first players to opt out of the 2020 season due to concerns about the coronavirus.
Diamondbacks general manager Mike Hazen announced Leake’s decision shortly before Washington teammates Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross opted out of the virus-shortened season.
Hazen also said two players on Arizona’s 60-man roster tested positive for COVID-19, as did another player not in Arizona.
The 32-year-old Leake started 10 games for Arizona after being traded from Seattle for outfielder Jose Caballero and cash in a 2019 deadline deal. Leake went 3-3 with a 4.35 ERA with Arizona and earned his first AL Gold Glove Award for his time with the Mariners.
Leake was included in the Diamondbacks’ 60-player pool released earlier Monday, but will be moved in a later transaction. He was expected to compete for a spot in the Diamondbacks’ starting rotation during the 60-game season.
TORONTO (AP) - The Blue Jays are moving players to their spring training facility in Florida while they await word from the Canadian government about playing in Toronto amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Ontario Premier Doug Ford said Monday that city, provincial and federal authorities “kind of gave their approval,” but the Blue Jays are looking for a letter of support from the federal government.
He also said Dr. David Williams, Ontario’s chief medical officer, requires a few tweaks to MLB’s submitted plan to play, which health authorities have been reviewing.
The team later issued a statement that said it is starting to move players and personnel to its training facility in Dunedin, Florida, to begin testing players.
NEW YORK (AP) - Spencer Dinwiddie and DeAndre Jordan said they have tested positive for the coronavirus, potentially leaving the Brooklyn Nets without two starters when the NBA season resumes.
Jordan said he won’t be in Florida with the Nets when they return from the suspension of the 2019-20 season, while Dinwiddie told The Athletic that he was experiencing symptoms and it was unclear if he would be at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports complex.
At least six players on the Nets have tested positive for the virus. The other four were back in March, when Kevin Durant said he was one of them.
Dinwiddie said he tested negative for the virus multiple times after returning to Brooklyn and took part in a couple practices. But he has since tested positive and said he has a fever and chest soreness.
Jordan announced his status on Twitter, saying he learned of his diagnosis Sunday night and it was confirmed again Monday.
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 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.
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Colin Kaepernick is joining with Emmy-winning filmmaker Ava DuVernay on a Netflix drama series about the teenage roots of the former NFL player’s activism.
“Colin in Black & White” will examine Kaepernick’s high school years to illuminate the experiences that shaped his advocacy, Netflix said Monday.
Kaepernick, born to a white mother and Black father, was adopted in Wisconsin by a white couple who moved to California when he was a child.
In 2016, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback began kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality, drawing both support and criticism, with his detractors including President Donald Trump. Kaepernick became a free agent in 2017 but went unsigned.
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) - 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 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.
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.
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