David Bote had another walk-off hit to give the Cubs a series win against the Diamondbacks while the White Sox lost two out of three in Detroit. Here are some of the Chicago sports stories you may have missed from the weekend.
After beating the Diamondbacks in the series opener on Friday, the Cubs were shut out on Saturday. With the game not really being worth talking about, plenty of other news came out that day. For one, Kris Bryant's bat will play a big role on how well the Cubs do in 2019. Is he pointed in the right direction? Similarly, Yu Darvish is still searching for his best, although he says he's still on the cusp.
Brandon Morrow got shut down after suffering a set back as works his way back from injury. The news is better regarding Jon Lester. Lester is part of a number of reinforcements coming back to the Cubs pitching staff.
As for Sunday's game, David Bote did it again. Another walk-off hit for the third baseman. It was also a rare good start from Tyler Chatwood.
The baseball world is still reacting to Tim Anderson's bat flip and the ensuing suspensions, but the team went out to Detroit for a series. The White Sox evened the series on Friday, with Yoan Moncada again playing a starring role.
After Saturday's game was rained out, the Tigers took the rubber game on Sunday.
In the minors, prospects Zack Burdi and Luis Alexander Basabe are set to start rehab stints on Monday while the hot-hitting Luis Robert is day-to-day.
The U.K. has put forth a plan for the Premier League to return this summer, but fans will have to stay home and watch on TV.
The British government detailed the steps in a report called “Our Plan to Rebuild: The UK Government's COVID-19 Recovery Strategy.”
Inside the 51-page document it says the U.K. can begin “permitting cultural and sporting events to take place behind closed-doors for broadcast, while avoiding the risk of large-scale social contact,” in Step 2 of the plan, starting June 1.
Before moving on to Step 2, however, the report states the U.K. must pass five benchmarks, including: seeing a declining COVID-19 infection rate, a declining death rate (due to COVID-19), being confident that they will be able to provide intensive care across the U.K., and being confident that the healthcare system will still have plenty of access to PPE materials.
According to ESPN, the Premier League will also have to present a plan to the U.K.’s Department of Culture, Media & Sport before they’re cleared to play.
As for fans in seats, the report says “while reopening outdoor spaces and activities… comes earlier in the roadmap because the risk of transmission outdoors is significantly lower, it is likely that reopening… venues that attract large crowds (like sports stadia)... may only be fully possible significantly later depending on the reduction in numbers of infections.”
Soccer fans looking to watch games no matter who’s playing will have another option soon. Bundesliga, Germany’s top soccer league, will restart play on Saturday.
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Last night, live sports returned in the United States at UFC 249. Held in an empty arena without fans, with a load of coronavirus prevention guidelines and testing, some normalcy returned to the sports world.
President Donald Trump addressed UFC fans during the broadcast in a video from the White House.
"I'm standing in a very important spot, right outside the Oval Office, and you're looking at the White House behind me," Trump said. "It's an honor to be here and an honor to salute you. I want to congratulate Dana White and the UFC. They're going to have a big match.
"We love it. We think it's important. Get the sports league back. Let's play. Do the social distancing and whatever else you have to do, but we need sports. We want our sports back."
It's worth noting that UFC light heavyweight Jacare Souza tested positive for COVID-19 and his bout with Uriah Hall was pulled from the event, but the card continued otherwise. It's also worth noting that Trump and UFC president Dana White have a close personal relationship, with White speaking at the Republican National Convention in 2016.
Trump has reportedly held calls with the commissioners of the major sports leagues about how to get sports going again. As of now, the NBA, NHL and MLB seasons are suspended, and there isn't a clear return date or plan in mind. Reports of options have crept out, but nothing concrete is in place.
The NFL released its schedule in early May and is planning on starting in early September, as usual. However, there are contingency plans in place if the season needs to be delayed.