Well folks, it’s now “normal”, and y’all are asking the wrong man about what exactly that was, but, the “new normal” in the sports world is a constant re-defining moment after moment.
Let’s take a look at what we know this week:
The Return of Tiger
Golf has been back for a few weeks now, and with no crowds, it has been an adjustment. However, the golfers seem to enjoy it. Ratings are good, and about to get better as Tiger Woods will return to play this weekend. The Woods Memorial, being held in Muirfield, Ohio. Last time we saw Tiger in real competition was Pre-Covid…depending on who you ask…and he shot an 11 over and finished 68th. There was the charity tournament in May that he played with Peyton Manning, Phil Michelson and Tom Brady, but this will be his first real test. Expect this to be a warm-up for the PGA Championship August 6th. Woods has won the Woods 5 times and will tee-off on Thursday. Pairings have not been announced as of the publishing of this article.
Baseball swears they are coming back July 23rd. At least that is what every other Fox Sports commercial says. According to MLB.com..here is what you need to know :
- The regular season will begin with Opening Night on July 23, followed by Opening Day on July 24. Opening Night will feature Yankees v. Nationals and Dodgers v. Giants. Then Opening Day will feature all the good teams( I joke..but seriously, Go Cubs!)
- There will be more inter-divisional games because of the 60 game shortened season.
- Each team will play 60 games. To limit travel distances, teams will play a majority of games against their division opponents (40, or 10 against each division opponent) and the rest against their geographic counterpart in the other league (in other words, AL East vs. NL East, AL Central vs. NL Central, AL West vs. NL West
- The same it has been since 2012: Five playoff teams from each league (three division winners, two Wild Card winners), with the winner of the Wild Card Game in the AL and NL advancing to a best-of-five Division Series against the top division winner. The League Championship Series and World Series remain best-of-seven.
- DH will be used in both leagues.
- Trade Deadline is Aug. 31 instead of July 23
- To help ease players into competition, each club will have a 30-man roster for the first two weeks, 28 for the next two weeks, and 26 for the remainder of the season. Additionally, each club can carry up to a three-person taxi squad on the road once the regular season begins.
- Teams will have 60 players eligible to play in 2020 — all players on a 40-man roster “that the Club anticipates participating” during the season will be part of the player pool, with the rest made up of non-40-man roster players under contract.
- With a tight schedule and a desire to limit time on the field, the Minor League rule for extra innings will be in effect. That means every half-inning after the ninth will begin with a runner on second base. The designated runner would be the player who made the final out in the prior half-inning (or a pinch-runner for that player), and the pitcher would not be charged with an earned run if that runner scores (it would be scored as if the runner had reached on an error).Please note that this rule is only in place for 2020 and only in effect for the regular season. Extra innings in the postseason would not begin with a runner on second.
- Three-batter minimum: This is an offseason rule change for 2020 that will remain. Relievers who enter the game must face at least three batters or finish an inning before being removed (with exceptions for injury or illness).
More on the start of baseball next week including my much-anticipated picks to win. Well much anticipated by me.
New Facemask Revealed for NFL Players
A new facemask designed by Oakley, has been unveiled by the NFL as response to how players are going to keep from getting each other sick. The mask is described as “Clear plastic with slits or holes in it that block any direct path of a droplet, but do promote air flow, communication, soundwaves.” by Oakly and NFL.com.
The thought by Oakley, who already equips 700 players with eye shields, that this would be an easy addition to player helmets instead of proposed N95 masks.
The NBA season is set to resume July 30. 22 teams will return to play. Some players are opting to not play. The finals would end no later than October 31. Still seems to be more questions than answers here. We will let this one go for another week and re-visit it.
Wayne’s World fans know I am talking hockey. The tournament is scheduled to begin Aug .1 with the Stanley Cup Qualifiers, which will include 16 teams playing eight best-of-5 series and a round-robin among the top four teams in each conference to determine seeds for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. More on this as we get closer to the date.
This is the biggest question mark of them all. Right now it ain’t looking good y’all. The best to hope for would be in conference play only beginning late September. We will keep an eye on it and Jon Rawl of The Y’all Show will be talking with those in the know at the end of the month.
We could go on…. MLS came back, but not until after Nashville and Dallas dropped out. NASCAR seems to be doing well, even though Jimmy Johnson tested positive. F1, Premier League, boxing, and UFC seem to have it figured out. Horse Racing continues its resurgence. We will be doing more sports updates as things become more sure and get underway.
Until then- Play Ball!!!