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Inspiring VODAVIRAL WOW

Children’s Choir Sings Chilling “When You Believe” & The Location They Chose Will Move You

It’s truly magnificent when people lend their talents to honor the memory of fallen soldiers and victims of war.

This stunning rendition of “When You Believe,” a song from the film The Prince of Egypt, will most likely move you to tears based solely on the sheer beauty of the angelic voices of the children who sing it. But when you find out why they’re singing the song, and where they’re singing it, you’ll be running for the Kleenex box.

 The One Voice Children’s Choir is a non-profit organization comprised of children ages four through seventeen who live in Northern Utah. The group recently traveled to Omaha Beach and Brittany American Cemetery and Memorial in Normandy, France in order to perform this song dedicated to the soldiers who fought in World War II, as well as honoring the millions of Jewish victims who died during the Nazi Holocaust.
The choir performs the stirring song while standing on the very sands where the D-Day Invasion took place on June 6, 1944.  While the beaches of Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword Beaches look beautiful and inviting, it’s impossible not to think of the blood spilled there as Allied forces fought to gain a foothold in Continental Europe against the Nazis.
To illustrate that, while time eases the pain of loss, we never forget those who have fought for our freedoms and the lives that were lost, the children’s choir sang this song in English, Hebrew, and French. Conductor Masa Fukuda arranged and produced this amazing rendition of the song.

Here is a sampling of the song’s uplifting lyrics:

There can be miracles
When you believe
Though hope is frail
It’s hard to kill
Who knows what miracles
You can achieve
When you believe
Somehow you will
You will when you believe

With its soaring aerial photography and beautifully costumed child vocalists, the video is truly a joy to behold! It has currently been viewed over 3 million times on YouTube, and we hope you’ll find it as inspirational as we did!

 

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SPORT SPORT_MLB

At least 8 MLB teams pledge more stipends to minor leaguers

NEW YORK (AP) — At least eight major league franchises have informed minor leaguers they will continue to provide allowances after the May 31 expiration of Major League Baseball’s policy guarantying those players $400 per week.

The San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners are promising payments through August, and the Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, Chicago White Sox, Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers have pledged to do so through at least June. The White Sox are even providing those stipends to 25 minor league players recently released.

The Philadelphia Phillies also plan to continue allowances through June, but likely at a reduction from the $400 per week rate. The amount is to be determined, the team said.

Oakland said Tuesday it will suspend pay for all minor leaguers at the end of the month. The Athletics are the only team to announce an end to the allowances.

MLB suspended spring training and postponed the start of the minor league season in March due to the novel coronavirus, leaving low-paid minor league players in lurch. The league launched a policy March 19 that provided most non-40-man roster players signed to minor league deals with stipends through April 8, and it later extended the policy through May 31.

The allowances were a pay raise for many players, with minimum salaries ranging from $290 per week at Class A to $502 per week at Triple-A over the five-month season.

MLB and the players’ association are negotiating terms to start the major league season later in the summer, but it seems likely there will not be a minor league season. Some teams have reportedly begun to release players who aren’t top prospects and won’t figure into their 2020 MLB rosters. The White Sox are the only club to say it will extend allowances to players recently released.

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SPORT SPORT_NFL

Athletes wary about virus, testing upon return

Chris Thompson is an NFL running back. He also is the father of a 4-month-old daughter, Kali. Guess which of those facts matters more to him when he ponders eventually returning to work amid a pandemic.

“If I go practice or play and I come back home with the virus … that’s my biggest worry,” said Thompson, who signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars this month after seven seasons with the Washington Redskins.

“We’re not robots out there,” he said. “People out there are saying, ‘Hey, with all that’s going on, we need sports back in our lives to get our minds off everything.’ That’s all good. But you’ve got to think about this, too: When we start back in training camp, you’re putting 90 guys from 90 different places all together … and it happens a lot that a lot of us get sick.”

These are the sorts of thoughts those who play the games that people love to watch, discuss and gamble on are grappling with as lockdowns brought about by the coronavirus outbreak begin to ease and various sports resume competition — NASCAR and UFC, for example — or attempt to figure out how to, such as Major League Baseball, the NBA and NHL.

Reporters from The Associated Press spoke to more than two dozen athletes from around the globe — representing seven countries and 11 sports — to get a sense of how concerned or confident they are about resuming competition. What emerged, above all, was a sense that they are going through the very same sort of calculus that much of the rest of society is: What is safe nowadays? How do I, and my family, stay healthy, especially with no cure or vaccine yet?

“There’s certainly an element of the unknown,” New Jersey Devils defenseman Connor Carrick said. “This has not been studied all that long still, even thought it feels like an eternity some days.”

Or as Bethanie Mattek-Sands, who has won nine Grand Slam tennis doubles titles, explained: “It’s sort of even tough to gauge what I should be worried about.”

Mattek-Sands did say she thinks those in charge of her sport will do their best to protect participants, which matched the general consensus among those the AP interviewed.

They also consider the optics.

“You’d have these billionaire (team) owners that are probably social distancing in their boxes, while you have guys on the field playing a game with no fans,” said Kelvin Beachum, an NFL free agent. “I think that would be very, very awkward.”

Nearly unanimous was a wariness about enough COVID-19 testing — what types, how many, how often — and other precautions (contact tracing, for example) that leagues, unions and governing bodies might institute as they develop protocols.

Most echoed Thompson’s sentiment that “we should have constant testing,” but there was hesitation about too many nasal swabs or blood samples.

“If the tests don’t come back for a couple of days and whatnot, how does that really work?” said two-time Olympic champion ski racer Mikaela Shiffrin. “It’s good to know if you test positive or negative. But if we’re talking about being tested today so we can race tomorrow, but the results don’t come back for two days, it doesn’t really help.”

Ryan Zimmerman, a member of the World Series champion Washington Nationals, was adamant: “Someone is going to need to be able to assure us that the testing put forward will be able to catch this before it can cause some sort of outbreak among people in close quarters.”

Some wondered whether they would agree to get a seasonal flu shot if required, the way it was in Australian rugby. Two athletes said they never get seasonal flu vaccines — one also didn’t want recommended shots before a recent trip to Africa — and aren’t inclined to change that.

Others weren’t sure they would agree to get a COVID-19 vaccine if mandated by a league.

“I think it would stop at some sort of vaccine to play,” St. Louis Cardinals All-Star shortstop Paul DeJong said. “There is a fine line between what (MLB) can do to protect us and some things they can do to kind of exert power over us.”

For those in sports such as golf or tennis that require international travel, there are questions about how easy it will be to hop from country to country — and how easy it’ll be to avoid catching or spreading the virus.

“You are so concerned that you don’t want to be the cause of somebody else’s … death,” said Padraig Harrington, a three-time major golf champion from Ireland. “Traveling, you have the fear that you are going to get it — and you still maintain that fear of passing it on to someone who is vulnerable.”

He mentioned his 80-year-old mother, but the list goes beyond athletes’ relatives: coaches, training staff, officials, arena workers and, if there are any, spectators. Plus those folks’ families.

“The pressure to ‘get back out there’ makes it clear,” Olympic long jump champion Tianna Bartoletta said, “that athletes aren’t necessarily being seen as the humans they are, with the families they have.”

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SPORT

Boston Marathon canceled for 1st time in 124-year history

BOSTON (AP) — Organizers canceled the Boston Marathon on Thursday for the first time in its history, bowing to the social distancing requirements of the coronavirus outbreak and ending a 124-year run that had persisted through two World Wars, a volcanic eruption and even another pandemic.

The race, which draws a field of 30,000 and already had been postponed from April 20 to Sept. 14, will be replaced by a virtual event in which participants who verify that they ran 26.2 miles (42.2 km) on their own will receive their finisher’s medal.

“It became clear as this crisis developed that Sept. 14 was less and less plausible,” Mayor Marty Walsh said at a news conference outside City Hall, where runners traditionally gather for a pre-race pasta dinner.

“This is a challenge, but meeting tough challenges is what the Boston Marathon is all about,” Walsh said, invoking the response to the finish line bombings seven years ago. “It’s a symbol of our city’s and our commonwealth’s resilience. So it’s incumbent upon all of us to dig deep, like a marathon runner, like we did in 2013, and keep that spirit alive.”

Although the title of Boston Marathon champion is contested by a few dozen elite athletes, the field includes more than 30,000 recreational and charity runners, with as many as 1 million people lined up along the course trek from Hopkinton to Boston’s Back Bay. That presented organizers with a social distancing problem that won’t be solved by the fall.

“There’s no way to hold this usual race format without bringing large numbers of people into close proximity,” Walsh said. “While our goal and our hope was to make progress in containing the virus and recovering our economy, this kind of event would not be responsible or realistic on Sept. 14 or any time this year.”

The longest-running annual marathon in the world, the Boston Marathon began in 1897 when 15 men drew a starting line in the dirt in Ashland and headed for the city to commemorate the first modern Olympic Games the previous year. In 1918, the format was modified to a relay due to World War I; the 2013 race was stopped when two bombs exploded at the finish line, several hours after the winners had finished but while many recreational runners were still on the course.

Boston Athletic Association CEO Tom Grilk said the race also had to adjust when temperatures along the course approached 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) in 2012; ten years ago, ash from a volcanic eruption in Iceland grounded air travel and prevented many European runners from coming to Boston.

“There is a pretty rich history of accommodation and addressing reality. This is this year’s reality,” Grilk said.

“The spirit of Boston and the spirit of the Boston Marathon is to be strong and to be smart. When necessity drives you in a direction you might not have liked, you need to have the strength, the wisdom and the guidance from public officials to do what’s right.”

The race was scheduled in April on the state holiday to commemorate the battles in Lexington and Concord that marked the start of the Revolutionary War. Traditionally, the Red Sox have scheduled their first pitch for that morning so baseball fans could wander over to Kenmore Square after the game to see the runners pass by with one mile to go.

In announcing postponement in March, Walsh cited the desire to salvage the estimated $211 million pumped into the city’s economy each year. The B.A.A. and marathon runners also raise about $40 million for charity.

The B.A.A. said those who paid the entry fee for this year’s race can get their money back. They will also have a chance to participate in the virtual marathon, which they can run between Sept. 7-14. A downloadable “virtual toolkit” will include a printable finish line and winner’s tape.

Those who provide proof of a finish in less than 6 hours will receive a program, T-shirt, medal and runner’s bib.

The Sept. 12 B.A.A. 5K also was canceled.

Qualifying times for this year’s race will be eligible for the 2021 Boston Marathon, which is scheduled for April 19. The 125th anniversary edition is scheduled for April 18, 2022.

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SPORT SPORT_NCAA

Ewing out of hospital after being treated for COVID-19

Georgetown basketball coach and former NBA great Patrick Ewing has been released from the hospital and is recovering from COVID-19 at home, his son said Monday.

The 57-year-old Hall of Famer who played for the Hoyas in college and the New York Knicks in the NBA announced Friday that he had tested positive for the coronavirus and was being treated at a hospital.

Patrick Ewing Jr. said three days later on Twitter that his father was doing fine after receiving treatment and thanked the doctors and nurses who looked after him during his hospital stay. He also thanked fans for their thoughts and prayers after his father’s announcement.

“My father is now home and getting better,” Ewing Jr. wrote. “We’ll continue to watch his symptoms and follow the CDC guidelines. I hope everyone continues to stay safe and protect yourselves and your loved ones.”

As a player, the 7-foot Patrick Ewing helped Georgetown win the 1984 NCAA men’s basketball championship and reach two other title games. During his four years playing, Georgetown went 121-23, a winning percentage of .840.

He was taken with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1985 draft after the Knicks won the NBA’s first lottery. Ewing wound up leading New York to the 1994 NBA Finals, where they lost to Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets.

Ewing played 17 seasons in the NBA, 15 with the Knicks.

After retiring as a player, he spent 15 years as an assistant or associate coach with four teams in the pros. In April 2017, he returned to Georgetown for his first job as a head coach at any level.

In his first three seasons at his alma mater, Ewing’s teams went a combined 49-46, with zero trips to the NCAA Tournament.

In 2019-20, Georgetown finished the season with seven consecutive losses and a 15-17 record.

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SPORT SPORT_NCAA

NCAA weighs moratorium amid push to offer fall sports

The NCAA Division I Council debated Wednesday whether to let a moratorium on voluntary workouts on campus expire at the end of the month as a growing number of college leaders express confidence that fall sports will be played in some form.

NCAA spokeswoman Michelle Hosick said the topic was on the agenda for the council for Wednesday, though it was not clear a decision would be made. The moratorium on athletic activities for all sports currently runs through May 31.

From Notre Dame to LSU and more, a number of schools have announced plans to reopen their campuses for the fall semester and conferences have begun setting up plans for how to play football amid the coronavirus pandemic. The latest came this week with the Florida State system announcing plans for its 12 schools and more than 420,000 students.

Many questions remain, including specific safety protocols and whether fans would be allowed if games proceed.

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said he believes the Buckeyes could safely play home games with 20,000 to 30,000 fans in its home stadium, which seats about 105,000.

“I think we can get there,” Smith said.

Smith said he hadn’t figured out yet how those 20,000 to 30,000 spectators would be chosen. He said masks and other precautions would be required to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

First there’s the matter of making sure players can safely practice.

Middle Tennessee athletic director Chris Massaro said his school plans to take the temperature of players daily and make sure they are wearing masks. Massaro has even discussed moving some equipment from the weight room to the Red Floyd Stadium concourse to make sure workouts allow social distancing.

“We’re a little bit kind of almost like guinea pigs,” Middle Tennessee coach Rick Stockstill said. “We’re the ones that are coming back first, football’s coming back first all across the country. So we’ve got to make sure we’re doing our part so there’s not a setback, and it’s going to take all of us buying in and doing whatever we can to keep everybody else healthy and safe.”

The presidents of Miami and Notre Dame said in separate interviews they expect the football season to be played.

Notre Dame President Fr. John Jenkins told MSNBC he expects to have clarity on how — or if — the football season can happen in the next few weeks.

“The team itself, I feel we can manage that one,” Jenkins said. “Then the question is people in the stands. We have an 85,000-person stadium. Can we get 85,000 people in there? That will be a big challenge to do that. But could we get a smaller number — 10,000, 15,000, 20,000? I don’t know.”

Miami President Julio Frenk told CNN he hopes the Hurricanes can play this fall and that safety would be the top priority.

“They will probably play in empty stadiums, like so many other sports,” Frenk said.

Scott Woodward, the athletic director at defending national champion LSU, said his school was preparing to welcome back its athletes after the Southeastern Conference’s closure of athletic facilities to students is slated to end May 31.

LSU will offer summer classes online and doesn’t have plans to reopen its campus to the general student population at least until the fall semester.

Most athletic departments need the revenue generated from football to fund their other sports. Hundreds of schools are reeling financially from the effects of the pandemic. Athletic departments, particularly at smaller schools and in Division II, have already cut a number of sports.

The NCAA this week lowered the minimum and maximum number of games Division II schools are required to play in all sports next year. The move includes a 33% reduction in the minimum number of games needed for sponsorship and championship qualification in most sports.

Under the plan, D-II schools must play at least five football games to maintain NCAA sponsorship and at least seven games to be eligible for playoff consideration. The maximum number of allowable games is 10.

The requirements would return to normal in 2021-22.

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SPORT SPORT_NFL

NFL teams can reopen training facilities with government OK

A limited number of NFL teams are reopening their training facilities Tuesday, while many are prohibited by government restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Commissioner Roger Goodell gave the 32 clubs the go-ahead for limited reopenings as long as state and local municipalities allow them. Coaching staffs and all players except those undergoing injury rehabilitation are barred from the facilities in the first phase of the league’s plan.

With such states as California, New York, New Jersey, Washington, Michigan, Massachusetts and Virginia still under heavy restrictions, that immediately leaves 11 franchises unable to use their facilities. The Raiders, headed for Las Vegas for the upcoming season, still have their training complex in Alameda, California.

The Ravens, Vikings, Titans, Buccaneers, Browns, Panthers, Eagles and Packers have chosen not to reopen Tuesday. The Jaguars have set May 26 for their reopening.

Among the teams taking advantage of using their buildings on the first day they are allowed are the Falcons, Texans, Cardinals and Colts.

“We’ve spent the entire quarantine period preparing to reopen,” the Colts said in a statement, ”… but it will be very gradual and deliberate. And of course we’re taking steps to make sure we’re in compliance with state and local regulations, and NFL and CDC guidelines.”

That means primarily employees that must be in the office to do their jobs: people who need to access files that are only at the office; maintenance workers; trainers; and technology workers.

Those people will have their temperature taken when entering the building and must wear personal protective equipment. The Colts have set up one-way hallways with arrows on the carpet pointing to the proper direction, and there will be limits on how many people can be in rooms at the same time.

Coach Frank Reich was realistic about a full return to the training complex.

“The guys who have been hurt, who have been coming into the building, keep coming in and rehabbing and doing their thing,” he said. “Our trainers have done a great job of keeping up with everybody. I feel good about the progress that each one of our injured guys is making. Other than that, as soon as we can get more players in the building — we want that to make up for a little bit of lost time. The sooner we can get together and get out there working, the better it will be.”

The Steelers are doing a soft reopening Tuesday mainly for medical personnel and rehabbing players. They expect to ramp up use of their facility next week under league guidelines.

As the Cardinals reopen, only essential staffers will be involved, far fewer than the 75 allowed at the facility.

The Falcons have done a soft opening, too, with only about 15 people at their complex on Tuesday. Those numbers will increase over the next week.

“The fact that some teams can get in today with limited staff in non-football functions, we didn’t think in any way, shape or form that created a competitive balance issue,” said Falcons President Rich McKay, who also is co-chairman of the league’s powerful competition committee.

The Falcons train in Flowery Branch, Georgia, about 45 miles from their downtown Atlanta stadium.

“There’s one entrance to come in and out of. There’s all the social distancing to be complied with,” McKay added. “Everyone’s temperature is checked at the door and you’re asked a series of questions. Everyone must put gloves on and wear a mask the whole time unless they’re alone in a closed office. We don’t have the cafeteria open. We don’t have the team meeting rooms open.

“As we move around building, we’ll see if there are areas that give us a challenge and go from there.”

The Texans sent less than 10 people to their facility, and said, “We are considering this Phase Zero which will lead in to Phase 1 (up to 70 to 75 people) in the future.”

The Vikings are one of the teams to delay their return to their facility. Star receiver Adam Thielen notes it’s important not to rush things.

“When they say it’s OK,” he said of when he anticipates players being approved to enter team facilities.

“I’m not paid to know when that is, but when they say it’s OK to be back and the facilities open up to players, I’ll be there, and I’ll be comfortable with it. I’m trying to control what I can control. That is not one of those things that I can control.

“For me, I’m leaving it up to the professionals, and when they say we can go back and we can start practicing, I’ll be there and I’ll be excited to be back.”

Goodell has extended virtual workouts for teams through most of June. All of the clubs normally would be having organized team activities (OTAs), which are voluntarily, at this time.

According to the Tampa Bay Times, though, new Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady worked out with teammates at a local high school Tuesday morning.

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SPORT

Belmont set for June 20 without fans, leads off Triple Crown

The Belmont Stakes will be run June 20 in New York without fans and serve as the opening leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown for the first time in the sport’s history.

The New York Racing Association on Tuesday unveiled the rescheduled date for the Belmont, which will also be contested at a shorter distance than usual. The 2020 Belmont will be 1 1/8 miles instead of the 1 1/2-mile “test of the champion” that has been the race’s trademark for almost a century.

“The Belmont Stakes is a New York institution that will provide world-class entertainment for sports fans during these challenging times,” NYRA president and CEO Dave O’Rourke said. “While this will certainly be a unique running of this historic race, we are grateful to be able to hold the Belmont Stakes in 2020.”

This is the first time the Belmont will lead off the Triple Crown ahead of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness. The Kentucky Derby was moved from May 2 to Sept. 5 and the Preakness from May 16 to Oct. 3 amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Belmont was originally scheduled for June 6. But racing in New York halted in late March after a backstretch worker tested positive for COVID-19, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo didn’t give the green light to resume until Saturday.

Live racing is gradually ramping up operations across North America because tracks feel they can operate safely and still make money without fans on site because of online betting and TV revenue. More than $90 million was wagered off track last year on Belmont day, and NYRA gets a cut of that money along with revenue from NBC.

Horse racing officials have grappled with the complexities of a shifted Triple Crown season that doesn’t require the same of 3-year-olds in contention as it has in years past. The Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont are usually run during a six-week span in the spring.

“Everything’s going to be different this year, right?” trainer Mark Casse said. “If well-planned out, it can be just as exciting. Why not? I don’t know if it’s necessarily the time of year. It’s just the events, and you’re still going to have great events.”

The Belmont is only being run two weeks after it was scheduled, but the shorter distance changes the complexion of the race and the Triple Crown. It has been run at 1 1/2 miles each year dating to 1926 and last ran at 1 1/8 miles in 1894.

NYRA said the distance adjustment was made “to properly account for the schedule adjustments to the Triple Crown series and overall calendar for 3-year-olds in training.”

Just 13 horses have won the Triple Crown, most recently Justify in 2018 and American Pharoah in 2015.

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SPORT SPORT_MLB

New MLB rules: shower at home, don’t spit, Mr Met stay away

NEW YORK (AP) — Major League Baseball will look somewhat like high school ball this year under protocols to deal with the new coronavirus, with showers at ballparks discouraged and players possibly arriving in uniform, like they did when they were teenagers.

Team personnel will be banned from eating at restaurants on road trips.

Even the Phillie Phantic and Mr. Met will be missing, banned from the field along with all other team mascots.

The traditional exchange of lineup cards would be eliminated, along with high-fives, fist bumps, and bat boys and girls, according to a 67-page draft of Major League Baseball’s proposed 2020 Operations Manual. A copy was sent to teams Friday and obtained by The Associated Press. The guidelines, first reported by The Athletic, are subject to negotiation with the players’ association.

Teams will be allowed to have 50 players each under the plan, with the number active for each game still be negotiated.

Spitting is prohibited along with water jugs and the use of saunas, steam rooms, pools and cryotherapy chambers. Hitting in indoor cages is discouraged, batting gloves encouraged.

Batting practice pitchers are to wear masks, dugout telephones disinfected after each use. Players may not touch their face to give signs, and they’re not allowed to lick their fingers. Teams are encouraged to hold meetings outdoors, players spread apart.

Teams were asked to respond with their suggested input by May 22. The protocols were written by MLB senior vice presidents Patrick Houlihan, Bryan Seeley and Chris Young, and vice president Jon Coyles. Young is a former pitcher who retired after the 2017 season.

Protocols include details on testing for team staff, who are divided into three tiers. All others may not enter clubhouses, dugouts and the field.

Seats in the empty stands near the dugout should be used to maintain distance, according to diagrams in the manual, and the next day’s starting pitcher can’t sit in the dugout. Everyone must keep their distance during “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America,”

Fielders are “encouraged to retreat several steps away from the baserunner” between pitches. First and third base coaches are not to approach baserunners or umpires, and players should not socialize with opponents.

Managers and coaches must wear masks while in the dugouts. The entire traveling party — including players — must wear personal protective equipment while on buses and flights. Restaurants are off limits on the road, including the ones in hotels, as are hotel fitness centers.

“We emphasize that this is a first draft, and will undergo several rounds of changes as we collect comments and suggestions from the clubs, the players’ association, players, and government officials,” deputy commissioner Dan Halem wrote in an email to owners, team presidents and CEOs, and general managers that accompanied the protocols.

“The document is designed to set minimum standards and identify best practices, but we have attempted to provide clubs with enough flexibility to achieve the desired health and safety objectives in a manner that is tailored to their particular circumstances, including ballpark configuration, location, and the nature of any local governmental regulations or restrictions,” Halem wrote.

Scoreboard video is prohibited but music allowed. While there won’t be fans, at least not at the start, it will provide a familiar background audio for the telecasts critical to MLB’s bottom line.

A ball will be thrown away after it is touched by multiple players, and throwing the ball around the infield will be discouraged. Personnel who rub baseballs with mud for the umpires must use gloves.

“Individuals must avoid any physical interactions (such as high-fives, fist bumps, or hugs) while at club facilities,” the manual says.

Tier 1 people in the plan include players, managers and coaches plus two each from among physicians, athletics trainers and bullpen catchers plus one strength and conditioning coach.

Tier 2 includes clubhouse staff, additional coaches, medical and training staff, traveling staff, owners, front office, translators, communications staff, video personnel, the head groundskeeper and security plus players’ union and MLB staff along with contractors.

Tier 3 covers broadcast personnel and other event services.

Players must wear masks while in restricted areas “except while on the field or engaging in other strenuous activities” and lockers must have at least 6 feet between them. If needed, temporary clubhouse space will be added, preferably outdoors or areas with better ventilation.

“Showering in club facilities should be discouraged,” the plan says. “To the extent showering occurs, clubs should explore modifications to facilities to allow for physical distancing and hygiene” such as installing partitions and limiting the number of players using the showers at the same time.

Teams “should consider requiring (on-field staff) to arrive at club facilities dressed for the day’s activities in order to limit time spent in the clubhouse or locker room.”

Only medical personnel allowed near injured players.

There will be staggered reporting dates for the resumption of spring training. When pitchers and catchers arrive, only five players may work out at a time. Then come full team workouts, with small groups encouraged but not required, followed by exhibition games. There will be intake screening upon arrival followed a self-quarantine for 24-48 hours until results are available. Players not assigned to big league team when the season starts will remain at spring training or another separate facility.

All games at spring training facilities in Florida and Arizona, whether exhibition or regular season, must be scheduled for 7-9 p.m. local time unless MLB gives specific consent.

A fifth umpire would be allowed when the temperature reaches a certain level, allowing for rotation, including sharing of plate umpire duties, Teams should take batting practice on back fields.

Among the road trip changes:

—Use of Uber, subways and public buses is banned.

—Private airports encouraged and if not available, teams are to use private aviation facilities to board and exit.

—Transportation Security Administration screen should take place at ballparks if it can be arranged.

—In-flight catering is limited.

—Lower floors are to be used if possible at hotels, so stairs can be used instead of elevators, and private areas arranged for entrances, exits and check-in.

—Six staggered bus trips will be scheduled to and from the ballpark.

Team staff, including players, will be given thermometers for self screening and are to take two tests in quick succession each morning.

At the ballpark, people will be given temperature checks twice a day and multiple fluid swabs each week. Comprehensive Drug Testing will collect samples and Sports Medicine Research and Testing Laboratory in Salt Lake City is to provide results within 24 hours.

Family members of players, umpires and the households of anyone covered under the plan will be offered access to testing and PPE. The individuals are encouraged to avoid crowd when away from ballpark.

Anyone with a temperature of 100 or higher or who exhibits COVID-19 symptoms or has come in contact with someone confirmed to be infected will be subject to rapid testing at a nearby site. A person cannot rejoin the team until testing negative twice in tests taken at least 24 hours apart. The person also must not exhibit symptoms or COVID-19, and the team physician and MLB medical staff must determine the person not at risk.

If an individual is exposed to a person with an infection, that person must show no signs of disease, be tested daily for at least seven consecutive days and undergo more frequent temperature checks. The person also must wear a mask at all times except while on the field.

Each spring training and regular season ballpark must have dedicated testing and isolation areas. MLB also will offer testing of people who live in same household as covered individuals and to health care workers/first responders in big league cities.

Most tests will take saliva but there may be oral or nasal swabs. Blood samples will be collected less frequently for serology testing used to detect antibodies.

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SPORT SPORT_NFL

NFL cornerbacks Baker, Dunbar released from jail on bond

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — NFL cornerbacks DeAndre Baker and Quinton Dunbar were released from Broward County Jail on Sunday, a day after surrendering on felony charges stemming from a cookout at a Miramar home.

Baker posted a $200,000 bond after a Zoom hearing with Broward Circuit Judge Michael Davis. The New York Giants defender is charged with four counts of armed robbery with a firearm and four counts of aggravated assault with a firearm in the Wednesday incident.

Dunbar is charged with four felony counts of armed robbery. The Seattle Seahawks player posted a $100,000 bond.

Baker and Dunbar were attending the cookout Wednesday night when a fight broke out, and Baker pulled out a handgun, the warrant said. Baker, Dunbar and two other men began robbing people of thousands of dollars, watches and other valuables, witnesses told investigators. The players’ lawyers say they have witnesses who will clear them.

Baker was one of three first-round draft picks the Giants had last season. He was the 30th pick overall out of Georgia. He played in all 16 games, starting 15. He had 61 tackles and no interceptions.

Dunbar signed with Washington as an undrafted free agent out of Florida in 2015 and was traded to the Seahawks in March. He started 11 games for the Redskins last season, making 37 tackles and four interceptions.