Sports & CLASSIFIEDS THE BALTIMORE SUN TUESDAY, JUNE 30, 2020 | WHEN SPORTS STOOD STILL Keeping an eye on the world of sports during the coronavirus crisis: Nats’ Zimmerman opts out of season The Nationals will try to defend their World Series title without at least two holdovers from last year’s team, including one of the faces of the franchise. Longtime infielder Ryan Zimmerman and pitcher Joe Ross elected not to play this season, the team announced Monday. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Major League Baseball is attempting to start a 60-game season in late July. Earlier in the day, Diamondbacks right-hander Mike Leake opted out of the season due to concerns about the coronavirus. Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said Zimmerman and Ross are opting out for the safety of themselves and their families. “We are 100% supportive of their decision to not play this year,” Rizzo said. “We will miss their presence in the clubhouse and their contributions on the field.” Zimmerman was due $740,741 and Ross $555,556 as prorated portions of their salaries, originally $2 million for the first baseman and $1.5 million for the pitcher. Only players deemed high risk are paid if they opt out. Zimmerman, who said last week he was undecided, ultimately said his family situation factored into not playing. His mother is at high risk for complications from the coronavirus. He also has three young children, including a newborn. “Everyone knows how much it means to me to be part of a team and I will miss that camaraderie dearly this year,” Zimmerman said in a statement. “Of course I would love to pursue back-to-back titles. I cannot speak for anyone else, but given the unusual nature of the season, this is the best decision for me and my family.” Zimmerman has been writing a diary for The AP since the coronavirus shut down sports this spring. In the 10th installment last week, he expressed concerns about playing in 2020. “I have a 3-week-old baby,” Zimmerman said. “My mother has multiple sclerosis and is super high-risk; if I end up playing, I can pretty much throw out the idea of seeing her until weeks after the season is over. There’s a lot of factors that I and others have to consider. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer; it’s everybody’s individual choice.” The 35-year-old who has been a fixture for the Nationals since 2005 said this doesn’t mean he’s retiring. He’s still deciding on his future beyond this season. American Magic skipper hopes to make team but in new role — Associated Press By Bill Wagner As skipper and executive director of American Magic, Terry Hutchinson is participating in his fifth America’s Cup campaign. In the previous four, Hutchinson was a key member of the afterguard — serving as mainsail trimmer aboard America One (2000), tactician for both Stars & Stripes (2003) and Emirates Team New Zealand (2007) and skipper of Artemis Racing (2011-12). Normally, it would be a no-brainer that Hutchinson would be calling tactics onboard American Magic when the Prada Challenger Selection Series begins in mid-January. However, this is not your typical America’s Cup cycle as the boats being used have never been seen before. Defending champion Emirates Team New Zealand made the radical decision to contest the 36th America’s Cup in 75-foot foiling monohulls. That was a departure from the previous two America’s Cup regattas, which featured wingsailed foiling catamarans. However, the basic technology carried forward and Hutchinson naturally sought sailors intimately familiar with foiling. That is why American Magic’s afterguard consists of helmsman Dean Barker, mainsail trimmer Paul Goodison and flight controller Andrew Campbell. Barker, a 47-year-old New Zealand native, participated in both foiling America’s Cups — steering for Team New Zealand in 2013 and SoftBank Team Japan in 2017. Goodison, a 43year-old from Great Britain, is a pioneer in the foiling field — a three-time world champion in the Moth class. Campbell, a 36-year-old San Diego native, was with Oracle Racing throughout the last America’s Cup cycle. THE QUOTE “It’s terrible timing. But that’s been 2020 for us. We all know the right thing to do is to not play, to take a stand. ... This is not going to end this summer regardless. ... Our fight was long-term. That was part of my decision.” As camp nears, Orioles report no positive virus tests or player opt-outs. They know that could change. By Jon Meoli think it’s well-received, and so far, no one has decided not to come. We’ll see how it goes.” Outside of the on-field, competitive aspect of the game, perhaps nothing is more crucial to the league’s restart than those two aspects — positive tests within the sport, and what will happen to those who decide not to play for health and safety reasons. Around the game Monday, players started to inform their teams that they wouldn’t be participating in the 2020 season. First, Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Mike Leake opted out, and according to a team announcement, so did Washington Nationals star Ryan Zimmerman and pitcher Joe Ross. While players who have (or live with others who have) underlying conditions that could make them more vulnerable to the worst effects of COVID-19 could be paid their pro-rated salary and receive service time if they opted out, players who do not were not guaranteed anything. — Raptors guard Fred VanVleet on the difficult decision to take part in the NBA restart next month amid the coronavirus pandemic and protests for social justice An initial wave of Orioles players and coaches are due at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Wednesday for testing ahead of a three-week training camp to prepare for the 2020 season. As of Monday evening, executive vice president/general manager Mike Elias said that no one from the team has opted out of the season yet, even as other players from around the league announced their intentions of doing so. Elias also said that the Orioles fortunately haven’t had any positive tests for COVID-19 as players return to their home stadiums this week for sanctioned workouts for the first time since the pandemic shut the game down in March. But he knows things could change. “Our approach is that this is an unusual situation that everyone’s got their own circumstances,” Elias said on a video call with local reporters Monday. “We’re not pressuring anyone or shaming anyone that feels they should be here. We’re making that known and I MLB NBA NHL 60-game season set to open July 23/24 22-team return in late July in Orlando Dates, sites TBD for 24-team playoff NWSL MLS WNBA Tournament began Saturday in Herriman, Utah Tournament to begin July 8 in Orlando Season to begin in late July in Bradenton, Florida See page 4 See page 4 HUTCHINSON, ORIOLES,
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