FEARS MOUNT RE­GARD­ING MLB SEA­SON

Chicago Sun-Times - - OUTDOORS -

With six teams idled Fri­day by the coro­n­avirus pan­demic, MLB com­mis­sioner Rob Man­fred spoke to union leader Tony Clark about the im­por­tance of play­ers fol­low­ing the sport’s safety pro­to­cols.

Man­fred and Clark re­port­edly talked about what needs to be done to fin­ish the sea­son. The con­ver­sa­tion be­tween Man­fred and Clark comes amid grow­ing ev­i­dence that the spread of in­fec­tion threat­ens to over­take ef­forts to play ball. Man­fred re­port­edly warned the play­ers that the sea­son could be shut down Mon­day.

Con­cerns have been ex­pressed about lax be­hav­ior by play­ers on the field — such as spit­ting or high-fives — and off.

The lat­est game to be post­poned was the Brew­ers’ home opener against the Cardinals, which was called off hours be­fore the first pitch af­ter two Cardinals play­ers tested pos­i­tive for COVID-19.

DO­SUNMU RE­TURN­ING TO ILLI­NOIS

Star guard Ayo Do­sunmu an­nounced in a 90-sec­ond video on Twit­ter that he will re­turn to Illi­nois and with­draw from the NBA

Draft. Do­sunmu av­er­aged 16.6 points and 4.3 re­bounds while shoot­ing 48.4 per­cent as a sopho­more last sea­son, when he earned first-team all-Big Ten hon­ors.

Illini cen­ter Kofi Cock­burn, an­other early en­trant for the NBA Draft, told CBS Sports that he’ll an­nounce his plans Satur­day. He might re­turn, too, con­sid­er­ing his name hasn’t ap­peared in any mock drafts. The NCAA dead­line to with­draw from the draft is Mon­day.

The Pac-12 set Sept. 26 as the start date for its 10-game, con­fer­ence-only foot­ball sched­ule, join­ing the SEC in push­ing back its sea­son three weeks be­cause of the coro­n­avirus pan­demic. The plan adds a cross­di­vi­sional game to each team’s slate, cre­ates two open dates and moves the con­fer­ence cham­pi­onship game back two weeks from Dec. 4 to Dec. 18 or 19.

TODD GOES UP BY 2 IN ST. JUDE

Bren­don Todd shot a 5-un­der 65 and grabbed a two-stroke lead through 36 holes of the FedEx St. Jude In­vi­ta­tional in Mem­phis, Ten­nessee. Todd trailed de­fend­ing cham­pion Brooks Koepka af­ter the first round by two strokes. He quickly erased that deficit and took the lead with a bo­geyfree, five-birdie round for a 129 to­tal at the World Golf Cham­pi­onships event. Rickie Fowler closed with birdies on his fi­nal two holes for a 67 and 131 to­tal.

Danielle Kang played bo­gey-free for a 6-un­der 66 and a one-shot lead in the LPGA Drive On Cham­pi­onship in Toledo, Ohio. In the tour’s re­turn from the COVID-19 pan­demic, Jodi Ewart Shad­off also played bo­gey-free for a 67.

GIAN­NIS LIFTS BUCKS OVER CELTICS

Gian­nis An­te­tok­oun­mpo con­verted a tiebreak­ing three-point play with 1:28 left on an over­turned call that kept him in the game and helped the Bucks beat the Celtics 119-112 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

Drag rac­ing great John Force and his four-car NHRA team will be parked for the rest of the 2020 sea­son. The team won’t com­pete in any of the fi­nal 12 events this year, cit­ing spon­sor­ship is­sues. ✶

AN­DREW HARNIK/AP (ABOVE), JIM MONE/AP

MLB com­mis­sioner Rob Man­fred (above) hud­dled with play­ers union leader Tony Clark about mea­sures that might need to be taken to fin­ish the sea­son, in­clud­ing the im­por­tance of fol­low­ing pro­to­cols. The Cardinals (left) had two play­ers test pos­i­tive for COVID-19, and their game Fri­day against the Brew­ers in Mil­wau­kee was post­poned hours be­fore the first pitch. Six teams did not play Fri­day be­cause of the virus.

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