Cubs

NFL star runner signs a brand new contract

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NFL star runner signs a brand new contract

From Comcast SportsNet
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- LeSean McCoy ran his way onto the short list of the best running backs in the NFL. He can now stamp his name among the highest paid. McCoy and the Philadelphia Eagles agreed to a five-year contract extension that runs through 2017. The deal is for a reported 45 million, with 20.765 million guaranteed. McCoy set franchise records in 2011 with 17 touchdowns rushing, and 20 total scores, while earning All-Pro and Pro Bowl honors. He also led the NFL with 102 first downs and 48 runs of 10-plus yards, while finishing as the league's fourth-leading rusher with 1,309 yards. "I love this team, and I'm kind of a hometown kid from Harrisburg which is like an hour and a half away," McCoy said Thursday night. "Nothing could be better than being here for the long term. Once you kind of realize the feeling of wanting to be here for the long term, we contacted the team and it was a mutual feeling. So, it kicked off from there." In 2010, McCoy ranked fourth in the NFL with 1,672 yards from scrimmage while leading all running backs with a career-high 78 catches. Philadelphia had a disappointing 4-8 start last season, before rallying with four straight wins to end the year. The Eagles did not make the playoffs. Usually called by childhood nickname, Shady, McCoy was Philadelphia's 2009 second-round draft pick out of Pittsburgh. He has played in 46 games, with 32 starts, and has registered 4,241 yards from scrimmage. "He does it all, so this isn't a one-dimensional running back," coach Andy Reid said. "This is a running back that can not only carry the football for you but can catch the football as well as the wide receivers and he can block and loves playing the game. That brings great energy to this football team." He had one year left on his original four-year rookie contract. The Eagles already this offseason signed wide receiver DeSean Jackson to a five-year contract that runs through 2016 and acquired two-time Pro Bowl linebacker DeMeco Ryans from the Houston Texans. They signed defensive end Trent Cole to a four-year extension through 2017 and tackle Todd Herremans to a three-year extension through 2016. The Eagles believe they have the pieces in place to again become contenders in the NFC. McCoy doesn't turn 24 until July, giving the Eagles hope they can get a full five years of use out of McCoy, even at a rugged position like running back. "It's exciting because we are trying to build for the long term," Eagles general manager Howie Roseman said. "We're trying to bring a championship to the city of Philadelphia and we're going to do whatever we can to do that, but on the same token, we're going to try and keep building it and sustain some success. Keeping him here is a big piece of that." McCoy now his name up there with Adrian Peterson, Chris Johnson, Steven Jackson and DeAngelo Williams as one of the highest-paid running backs. Minnesota's Peterson signed a 100 million, seven-year contract before last season. Johnson signed a 53.5 million contract extension worth 30 million guaranteed with Tennessee before last season. "I'm just honored to be in the range financially with those guys," McCoy said. McCoy ran for 2,731 yards in his two seasons, and posted 38 total touchdowns at Pitt.

Why Theo Epstein says MLB is better positioned to play now than it was in March

Why Theo Epstein says MLB is better positioned to play now than it was in March

The statistics on new daily COVID-19 cases paint a bleak picture, and Theo Epstein is known for being analytical. But the Cubs president of baseball operations isn’t just looking at the over 54,000 new cases in the U.S. over the past day, believed to be a new record.

“I think we’re better positioned now than we were in March or April to try to pull off a baseball season,” Epstein said on a video conference with local media Thursday. “Are we in control? Do we have a guarantee of success? Of course not, no. The pandemic is in control.”

Why does he think MLB is better positioned now than when the novel coronavirus shut down Spring Training? Testing capabilities and understanding of COVID-19.

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Major League Baseball converted a lab in Utah, which the minor leagues had previously used for drug testing, into a COVID-19 testing center.

“We’re able to provide the type of testing that’s the volume and turnaround and accuracy of testing that is necessary to even consider this type of endeavor,” Epstein said. “And, they’re able to do it in a way that doesn’t take resources away from any essential workers in the country.”

When MLB suspended the season in March, it certainly wasn’t ready for the volume of testing that it has now committed to. The 2020 Operations Manual requires all Tier 1 individuals – players, manager, coaches, team physicians, athletic trainers, etc. – to take a diagnostic COVID-19 test every other day. Each team can designate up to 87 Tier 1 individuals.

Tier 2 individuals – clubhouse staff, remaining coaches and medical staff, traveling staff, front office employees, communication staff, head grounds keeper, security personnel assigned to restricted areas, etc. – must be tested multiple times a week.

MLB also committed to offering free COVID-19 testing to those who live with Tier 1 and Tier 2 individuals, and healthcare workers or first responders in MLB cities.

“There’s some increased understanding of how the virus operates,” Epstein added, “and best practices to attempt to mitigate the spread.”

MLB consulted health experts in developing its health and safety protocols.  This week, Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer, pitching coach Tommy Hottovy and most recently Epstein expressed their confidence in the process that produced those protocols.

“Now, no protocols are fool-proof,” Epstein said. “…This is merely an exercise to see if we can put on a baseball season safely. So, it deserves all of our best efforts and full attention. It’s a responsibility to take very seriously, and we know that if it turns out that we can’t put on a baseball season safely, then we won’t proceed.”

Hottovy, who said he tested positive for COVID-19 despite diligently taking precautions, can attest to the fallibility of even the strictest protocols. He battled the virus for a month, and two weeks later he still hasn’t regained full strength or lung capacity.

“Tommy’s story illustrates that nobody is immune from coronavirus,” Epstein said, “and that while people who are young and healthy may do better on a percentage basis overall, it’s still quite dangerous, even potentially deadly for people of all ages and people in perfect health.

“Tommy is 38 years old, a former big-league player in great health, and there were times talking to him through the course of this struggle that he sounded like an elderly person fighting for breath.”

MLB’s testing capacity and understanding of COVID-19 may have improved since March, but not everything has changed for the better. Florida set a new daily record Thursday, with over 10,000 new cases of COVID-19. Texas, Arizona and California are also seeing a rise in new cases.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced an emergency travel order on Thursday, which will require travelers coming from several states with COVID-19 surges (including Florida, Texas, Arizona and California) to quarantine for 14 days. The order will go into effect on Monday.

As Epstein said, COVID-19 has control.

“Every single person in the organization,” Epstein said, “every player, ever staff member, everyone in uniform, out of uniform, we all have to make great decisions, exercise great discipline, hold each other accountable, collaborate, go into it with an open mind and exercise real personal and collective responsibility.”

Yes, for the sake of baseball. But more importantly, for the sake of the people risking their health to put on a season.

 

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Photos: First look at NBA Orlando bubble facilities, courts

Photos: First look at NBA Orlando bubble facilities, courts

The NBA hopes to complete its 2019-20 season and crown a champion by way of a 22-team restart in a bubble environment at Walt DIsney World Resort in Orlando, Fla.

In pursuit of that goal, the league has enumerated 113 pages of health and safety guidelines for the bubble, and various adapted transactional and competitive rule amendments to accommodate the 22 teams making the trip.

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Now, we have our first peek into what the bubble will actually look like. Enclosed, find imagery distributed by the league, which depicts the facilities the 22 teams convening in July will be working with.

Photos: First look at NBA Orlando bubble facilities, courts

 

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