Tuesday Morning Sports Update

Player’s association rejects MLB schedule

Major League Baseball plans to unilaterally issue a 60-game schedule for its shortest season since 1878 after the players’ association rejected a negotiated deal of the same length, putting the sport on track for a combative and possibly unhappy return to the field amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Six days after baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred and union head Tony Clark negotiated to expand the playoffs from 10 teams to 16, widen use of the designated hitter to National League games and introduce an experiment to start extra innings with a runner on second base, the deal was rejected by the union.

MLB asked the union to respond by 5 p.m. EDT Tuesday as to whether players can report to training by July 1 and whether the players’ association will agree on the operating manual of health and safety protocols. The schedule would be the shortest since the National League’s third season.

Given the need for three days of virus testing and 21 days of workouts, opening day would likely be during the final week of July. MLB already has started to investigate charter flights that could bring players back from Latin America, another person told the AP, also on condition of anonymity because no announcements were made.

White Sox announce deal with 1st-round draft pick Crochet

The Chicago White Sox have signed first-round draft pick Garrett Crochet to a minor league contract that includes a signing bonus worth $4,547,500. Crochet went No. 11 overall in the June 10 amateur draft.

The 20-year-old left-hander made one start before his junior season at Tennessee was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, striking out six in 3 2/3 scoreless innings.

The 6-foot-6 Crochet is known for his blazing fastball. He went 5-3 with a 4.02 ERA in 18 appearances with the Volunteers during his sophomore season, averaging 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings.

In other MLB draft news:

— The Chicago Cubs have signed first-round draft pick Ed Howard to a minor league contract that includes a $3,745,500 bonus. The 18-year-old shortstop was a prep star at Mount Carmel High School on Chicago’s South Side. He also started for the 2014 Jackie Robinson West Little League team that advanced to the finals of the Little League World Series. Howard had committed to the University of Oklahoma. He received a signing bonus equal to his assigned slot value.

NASCAR-TALLADEGA-NOOSE

Blaney wins, race starts with show of solidarity

Ricky Stenhouse Jr. edged Ryan Blaney to win the second stage of a rain-delayed race at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama. The day began with a show of support for driver Bubba Wallace. Fellow drivers lined up and pushed his car to the front of pit road in a show of solidarity. The entire 40-driver field and all their crew members followed. After the car came to a stop, Wallace climbed out, sat on the window ledge and sobbed. Richard Petty, his Hall of Fame team owner, gently placed a hand on Wallace’s shoulder.

The move came one day after a crew member found a noose in his garage stall. Wallace is the only fulltime Black driver in the top NASCAR series. Two weeks ago, he successfully pushed NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag at its facilities.

The move came one day after a crew member found a noose in his garage stall. Wallace is the only fulltime Black driver in the top NASCAR series. Two weeks ago, he successfully pushed NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag at its facilities.

The FBI is investigating the discovery of a noose found in the Talladega Superspeedway garage stall of Bubba Wallace. President Steve Phelps says security has been stepped up for Wallace since the noose was found on Sunday.

NBA – Pistons introduce new GM

The Detroit Pistons introduced Troy Weaver as their new general manager. The former Oklahoma City Thunder executive joins a Detroit team that was interested in him previously — and he takes over a GM spot that was vacant for a couple years. Pistons owner Tom Gores said the team tried to talk to Weaver a couple years ago, but the Thunder weren’t ready to let him go. Detroit has not had an official GM since shaking up its front office in 2018. Ed Stefanski, a senior advisor to Gores, has been running the front office. Gores says Weaver will work with Stefanski and coach Dwane Casey.