NEW YORK — Baseball players proposed a 70-game regular-season schedule, a plan immediately rejected by baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred with the sides 10 games and about $275 million apart on plans to start the coronavirus-delayed season.
As part of the union proposal, players would wear advertisement patches on their uniforms during all games for the first time in major league history.
Both sides envision spring training resuming June 26. Counting back, that means pitchers and catchers would have to travel Monday for the start of medical intake testing the following day. While the gap has narrowed, both sides remain opposed to additional concessions, The path toward an agreement remains uncertain and difficult.
Manfred met with Clark in Arizona for about five hours Tuesday, and MLB said Wednesday that they had reached a framework for the season. The union disputed that, saying it was merely another proposal.
The owners’ plan included a 60-game regular-season schedule that would have $1.48 billion in salaries plus a $25 million players’ postseason pool. The union proposal would have $1.73 billion in salaries, plus a $50 million postseason pool.
HILTON HEAD, S.C. — The RBC Heritage began two month later than usual with a little rain, a little sunshine and a lot of birdies, most of them from Jordan Spieth to turn a rough start into a furious finish.
Ian Poulter holed a 30-foot birdie putt and followed with a 5-iron to 4 feet for a birdie that closed out his round of 7-under 64, giving him a share of the lead with Mark Hubbard.
The RBC Heritage, typically a week after the Masters in April, is the second tournament since the PGA Tour returned after 90 days from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The top three players in the world are at Hilton Head — Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Justin Thomas — and none broke par on a day in which 66 players in the 151-man field shot in the 60s. A year ago, only 38 players in the 132-man field opened with rounds in the 60s.
Spieth had a career-best six straight birdies on his back nine and finished with seven birdies over his last eight holes for a 66. Poulter and Hubbard, who started birdie-eagle, were a shot ahead of a group that included Webb Simpson, Ryan Palmer and Viktor Hovland, Colonial winner Daniel Berger, Brooks Koepka, Ernie Els and that incredible bulk, Bryson DeChambeau, were in the large group at 67.
NEW YORK — Frequently suspended wide receiver Josh Gordon has applied to the NFL for reinstatement, a person with knowledge of the move told The Associated Press.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity Thursday because the NFL does not publicly announce such moves. NFL Network first reported Gordon’s application for reinstatement.
Gordon, 29, has been suspended eight times overall by either his team or the NFL, including six times since 2013, mostly for violating the league’s policies on banned substances. He played for New England and then briefly for Seattle last season before being suspended indefinitely.
An All-Pro in 2013 for Cleveland despite missing the first two games while suspended, he led the league with 1,646 yards receiving, but his career has spiraled since. Before the 2014 season, Gordon was suspended for a year for violating the substance abuse policy, a ban that was later reduced to 10 games. But he was later suspended for the season finale by the Browns for violating team rules.
He didn’t play in 2015 or 2016. And in 2018, as a member of the Patriots, he was suspended in December and missed the final three games on the schedule.
MINNEAPOLIS — Dalvin Cook logged off last week from virtual team activities with the Minnesota Vikings, no longer willing to participate until he has secured a new contract.
Cook’s situation is the latest standoff of sorts between an NFL team and a star running back, with the possibility of several more in the coming year in a league that has steadily driven down the financial value of the position.
The Vikings, though, have made no secret of their desire to make Cook the centerpiece of their offense. It’s difficult to envision them not eventually striking a deal with a player they’ve frequently praised for his work in the backfield, in the locker room and in the community. Cook was the only player pictured on a promotional graphic the team created earlier this spring for the release of the 2020 schedule.
A person with direct knowledge of Cook’s decision confirmed to The Associated Press that the Pro Bowl pick will not take part in the remainder of the offseason program or report to training camp without a new contract. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because of the confidential nature of the negotiations.
WASHINGTON — Florida Sen. Marco Rubio introduced a bill that would protect the NCAA from being challenged in court if the association changes its rules to allow athletes to earn money for endorsement deals and personal appearances.
Earlier this week, the NCAA was hit with a federal antitrust lawsuit seeking damages for current and former athletes that could cost the association millions. The lawsuit also seeks to prevent the NCAA from regulating the ways athletes can be compensated for use of their names, images and likenesses.
Rubio’s Fairness in Collegiate Athletics Act also comes six days after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into a law a bill that would open up that market for college athletes in the state. That law goes into effect July 2021. California and Colorado have passed similar laws that go into effect in 2023. The NCAA is seeking help from Congress as more states push forward with their own NIL bills.
The bill gives the NCAA until June 2021 to have new rules in place that will supersede states laws. The NCAA is already working on those reforms, with a target date on January to have legislation its member schools can vote on.
JACKSON, Miss. — The Southeastern Conference is considering barring league championship events in Mississippi unless the state changes its Confederate-based flag.
The NCAA has already said it would not schedule postseason events in Mississippi because of the state flag.
National protests about racial injustice have renewed debate about Confederate symbols. Mississippi has the last state flag that includes the battle emblem: a red field topped by a blue X with 13 white stars. White supremacists put the symbol on the flag in 1894 during the backlash to black political power that developed during Reconstruction.
During a Black Lives Matter protest June 5 outside the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion in downtown Jackson, thousands of people cheered as an 18-year-old organizer, Maisie Brown, called for the removal of all Confederate symbols in the state, including from the flag.
RIO DE JANEIRO — In a sign of the times, the first professional soccer match in South America in nearly three months was staged in a stadium only meters away from a field hospital for hundreds of patients of COVID-19.
Copa Libertadores champion Flamengo beat Bangu 3-0 in a local league game that was witnessed by fewer than 200 people in Brazil’s historic 78,000-seat Maracanã Stadium.
More than 47,700 people have died because of the new coronavirus in Brazil, and nearly 1 million have been infected. Rio de Janeiro state accounts for about 8,000 deaths, but authorities agreed to let soccer return this week after the number of available intensive-care unit beds showed slight improvement. Health experts predict Brazil’s COVID-19 crisis will peak in August.
Goals by Giorgian de Arrascaeta in the 18th minute, Bruno Henrique, in the 66th, and Pedro Rocha in the 88th were celebrated with fist bumps.
Near the Maracanã’s gate 2, a field hospital with 400 beds for coronavirus patients reminded the small group of people at the stadium why many health experts think it is too soon for soccer competition to resume.
TORONTO — Former NHL player Daniel Carcillo is leading a class-action lawsuit against the Canadian Hockey League and its member teams on behalf of players who say they were abused playing major junior hockey.
Carcillo and Garrett Taylor, who played in the Western Hockey League from 2008-10, filed a statement of claim with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.
The CHL and its three member organizations — the WHL, Ontario Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League — are listed as defendants, as are all 60 teams that play under the CHL umbrella.
Carcillo, who played for the OHL’s Sarnia Sting from 2002-05, and Taylor both allege they suffered abuse while playing major junior hockey. The lawsuit seeks damages for negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and breach of contract, and a declaration that the teams and the leagues are vicariously liable for abuse perpetrated by their employees and players.