Indy 500 moved to August
UNDATED (AP) — The Brickyard will be silent Memorial Day weekend.
The Indianapolis 500 scheduled for May 24 has been postponed until August because of the coronavirus pandemic.
It will be the first time since 1946 that the race won’t be run on Memorial Day weekend.
IndyCar initially said it would resume racing May 9 on the road course at Indianapolis. That race will now be run on July 4, a day before NASCAR races at The Brickyard. The Indy 500 will be moved to Aug. 23.
In other outbreak-related developments:
— The company that manufactures uniforms for Major League Baseball has suspended production on jerseys and is instead using the polyester mesh fabric to make masks and gowns for hospitals in Pennsylvania and nearby states. Fanatics founder and executive chairman was watching TV last week when he was struck by the idea to turn the 360,000-square foot facility in Easton, Pennsylvania, into a factory for the COVID-19 virus fight. St. Luke’s Hospital in nearby Bethlehem reached out to Fanatics late last week about the possibility of the company manufacturing masks.
— Hockey equipment manufacturer Bauer has shifted from making visors for helmets to medical visors for those fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Bauer faced the possibility of closing its manufacturing plant in Blainville, Quebec, when hockey came to a halt amid the global pandemic. But engineers there instead brainstormed the idea of producing medical shields to help protect people on the front lines of the fight against COVID-19.
— A person with knowledge of the details tells The Associated Press that top NBA executives are having their base salaries reduced by 20% for the foreseeable future. The reductions affect the roughly 100 highest-earning executives, as the NBA joins the NHL and NASCAR in cutting salaries while competitions are on hold because of the coronavirus. The cuts are effective immediately and affect NBA employees both inside the league headquarters in New York and in global offices.
— Hall of Fame jockey Javier Castellano says he has tested positive for the coronavirus and will be in quarantine for two weeks. Castellano tested positive as part of a physical that officials at Gulfstream Park mandated as a prerequisite before being cleared to ride in Saturday’s Florida Derby. Castellano says that he has not had “known contact with anyone that has tested positive.” Castellano last rode on March 15, when he had two mounts at Gulfstream.
— New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees says he and his wife, Brittany, are donating $5 million to help Louisiana businesses and communities contend with challenges brought on by the coronavirus outbreak in the state. Brees posted his pledge on a social media account and says the money will help several restaurants in which he has an ownership stake as well as a major hospital chain and charities that deliver meals to people in need.
— The Green Bay Packers have extended the closure of Lambeau Field through at least April 24 to help minimize the spread of the coronavirus after Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers issued a “safer at home” order through that date. Packers officials said the closure would continue until that order expires or until a superseding order is issued. Packers officials say Lambeau Field and Titletown will only have essential personnel in place for non-public operations of the facilities.
— Former President Barack Obama was among more than 50,000 viewers who logged onto a coronavirus discussion between Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. When Curry asked when it might be time to start thinking about sports again, Fauci responded, “when the country as a whole has turned that corner,” and the curve that shows how the virus is still spreading nationally starts coming down.
— The Colorado Avalanche say one of their players has recovered after testing positive for the COVID-19 virus. The player was at home in isolation since the symptoms first appeared. The team says anyone who was known to have had close contact with the player has been notified. The Avs issued a statement saying they continue to work in conjunction with their medical staff and public health officials to do everything they can to help the Avalanche community remain safe and healthy during this time.
— NHL stars Alex Ovechkin (oh-VECH’-kin) and Sidney Crosby think the league should go directly to the playoffs once it resumes play. The two rival Metropolitan Division captains shared their views Thursday. Crosby says he understands the need to try to play as many games as possible. But he says he wouldn’t mind beginning with the playoffs. Ovechkin had the same idea. There is no timetable for when play will resume. It has not been determined whether the league will complete the regular season.
— The WNBA has announced its draft will be a virtual event this season due to the coronavirus pandemic. The draft will be held on April 17 as originally scheduled but will be broadcast without players, fans or media in attendance. WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert says the league is still looking at different scenarios for the start of the regular season but notes it could begin before the NBA resumes play.
— Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says he has fully recovered from the coronavirus, two weeks after testing positive for COVID-19. Arteta told the Arsenal website that he is “completely fine” and that he only felt ill for a few days. He said he had three or four days that were a little bit difficult, with a bit of a temperature, a dry cough and some discomfort in my chest.” Arteta became the first Premier League figure to test positive for the coronavirus on March 12. The league was then suspended the next day.
— The International Olympic Committee says it is “not aware of any link” between an Olympic boxing tournament it oversaw in London this month and positive coronavirus tests for people who were there. The Turkish boxing federation says a boxer and a trainer now have the virus after attending the Olympic qualifying tournament, which was stopped on March 16 after three of the scheduled 11 days. The Turkish team says the two men are being treated in a hospital and two others with symptoms are awaiting test results.
— Three professional baseball players in Japan have tested positive for the new coronavirus but Japanese baseball officials insist that won’t impact plans to start the season next month. Hanshin Tigers pitcher Shintaro Fujinami and two teammates have become the first professional baseball players in Japan to test positive. Japan professional baseball had earlier postponed the start of its regular season amid the pandemic and was aiming for an April 24 start.
Players, management agree to preserve service time
UNDATED (AP) — Players have agreed to a deal with Major League Baseball that would preserve service time in the event this season is canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the two sides have left open details of what a configured schedule would look like.
As part of the agreement approved by the union Thursday night, players agreed not to challenge giving up their salaries if no games are played, except for $170 million payment management will advance in two stages. Player salary this year is expected to be in the $4 billion range.
Management was given the right to cut the amateur draft in both 2020 and 2021, and to freeze the values of signing bonus money at 2019 levels.
Details were divulged to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the agreement who spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement was made.
Teams are set to approve the roughly 17-page agreement Friday, the person said.
Pandemic fallout: NCAA slashes distribution by $375 million
UNDATED (AP) — The NCAA will distribute $225 million to its Division I members in June. That is $375 million less than had been budgeted this year because the coronavirus outbreak forced the cancellation of the men’s basketball tournament.
The NCAA says $50 million will come from its reserve fund. A $270 million event cancellation insurance policy will help pay the rest.
March Madness is among the biggest revenue producers for the NCAA and its schools. It was canceled March 19, a week before the first round was scheduled to begin.
The NCAA pulled in more than $1 billion in revenue last year, including $867.5 million from the television and marketing rights for the Division I men’s basketball tournament.
The NCAA had been scheduled to distribute $600 million to more than 300 Division I schools from April to June.
Nesmith leaving Commodores
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Vanderbilt guard Aaron Nesmith is forgoing his final two seasons of eligibility to enter the NBA draft.
Nesmith was one of the nation’s most prolific scorers and 3-point shooters before a right foot injury caused him to miss more than half the season. He averaged 23 points, 4.9 rebounds and 1.4 steals for the Commodores this past season.
Toy Cannon dies
UNDATED (AP) — Jimmy Wynn, the diminutive slugger whose monster shots in the 1960s and ’70s earned him the popular nickname “The Toy Cannon,” has died at 78.
The Astros say the three-time All-Star outfielder died Thursday in Houston, but the team did not provide further details.
The 5-foot-9 Wynn hit more than 30 homers twice with Houston, including a career-high 37 in 1967 at the pitcher-friendly Astrodome. Wynn left the team as the franchise leader in hits, home runs, RBIs and walks. Overall, he finished with 291 homers with 964 RBIs and 225 stolen bases in his career.
Bill Bartholomay, who moved Braves to Atlanta, dies at 91
ATLANTA (AP) — Former Braves owner Bill Bartholomay has died at 91.
Bartholomay moved the franchise from Milwaukee to Atlanta in 1966, making it the first Major League Baseball team in the South. He headed the group that sold the Braves to Ted Turner in 1976 but retained a partial interest and remained as the team’s chairman until November 2003, when he assumed an emeritus role.
Braves Hall of Famer Hank Aaron said on his Twitter account that Bartholomay “was the greatest owner I ever had the pleasure to play for.”
Bartholomay died Wednesday at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, according to his daughter, Jamie.
Harlem Globetrotters great Curly Neal dies at 77
UNDATED (AP) — Iconic Harlem Globetrotters player Fred “Curly” Neal has died at 77, according to the team.
The dribbling wizard played for the Globetrotters from 1963-85, appearing in more than 6,000 games in 97 countries for the exhibition team known for its combination of comedy and athleticism. He became one of five Globetrotters to have his jersey retired when his No. 22 was lifted to the rafters during a special ceremony at Madison Square Garden in 2008.
Neal was a crowd favorite with his trademark shaved head, infectious smile and ability to dribble circles around would-be defenders.