Sun Sentinel Palm Beach Edition

World Baseball Classic will still feature masks


Fans of the upcoming World Baseball Classic are going to see two versions, depending whether the games are in the United States or Taiwan, or in Japan.

In the United States and Taiwan, fans can cheer and need not wear masks. Taiwan dropped most of its mask mandates this week.

For Japan, it’s slightly more complicate­d as COVID-pandemic rules are changing more slowly. Cheering will be allowed, but masks will be worn at the Tokyo Dome.

The first three days of play in the WBC are March 8-10 in Taiwan and Japan. Play begins on March 11 at the two U.S. sites in Miami and Phoenix.

„ ■ Baseball’s new timing device made its big league debut on Friday during a limited schedule of spring training openers. Padres’ All-Star slugger Manny Machado was called for the first violation. Machado found out the hard way that the pitch clock works both ways. He wasn’t fully in the batter’s box and alert to the Mariners lefty Robbie Ray as the 15-second clock wound under 8 seconds in the bottom of the first inning. Umpire Ryan Blakney called time and signaled strike one against Machado.

Golf: A federal judge declined Friday to postpone the trial date in LIV Golf’s antitrust lawsuit against the PGA Tour, even while conceding that might be inevitable if LIV owner Saudi Arabia appeals a ruling that officials with its sovereign wealth fund be required to testify . ... There have been about 7,200 rounds played at the Honda Classic since it moved to PGA National 17 years ago. Only two of those were better than the one turned in Friday by Chris Kirk. Kirk shot an 8-under 62 in the second round, moving him to 9 under for the week and one shot behind Justin Suh (64) at the midway point.

NHL: Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak was suspended for two games for elbowing Sabres captain Kyle Okposo in the head.

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