Nationals

Auburn names Ellis Johnson defensive coordinator

Auburn names Ellis Johnson defensive coordinator

AUBURN, Ala. (AP) Auburn has hired former Southern Miss coach Ellis Johnson as defensive coordinator.

New Tigers coach Gus Malzahn announced the hiring of the veteran Southeastern Conference assistant Thursday two days after getting the job.

Johnson was fired after Southern Miss went 0-12 in his lone season, but has an impressive track record running SEC defenses.

``Ellis is one of the top defensive minds in all of college football. He is very experienced and has tremendous success coaching in the Southeastern Conference,'' Malzahn said. ``He is a man of integrity who will be a great ambassador for Auburn. We're very pleased to have him join our staff and bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our program.''

Johnson has been defensive coordinator at South Carolina, Clemson, Alabama and Mississippi State and spent 16 seasons at the various SEC stops.

His final Gamecocks defense ranked third nationally in yards allowed and second-best against the pass in 2011, his fourth season.

The Tigers had a frequently shuffling lineup on defense last season. They finished 80th nationally in total defense, giving up 420.5 yards a game.

Malzahn told Gene Chizik's assistants on Wednesday that they wouldn't be retained.

Johnson was also head coach of The Citadel from 2001-03. He called his new job ``truly a home run for me.''

``I'm very fortunate for the opportunity to coach at Auburn and return to the Southeastern Conference, where there is so much tradition and history,'' Johnson said. ``I have a tremendous amount of respect for Gus Malzahn, both as a man and a coach, and I really look forward to working for him.''

Johnson has had two stops at Alabama. He was the defensive coordinator and outside linebackers coach from 1997-2000, and his 1999 defense was second nationally against the run and ninth overall.

He coached outside linebackers for the Crimson Tide's 1992 national championship team.

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Intake testing complete, MLB reports 28 teams have had positive COVID-19 test

Intake testing complete, MLB reports 28 teams have had positive COVID-19 test

Major League Baseball has completed its intake screening process and begun switching its testing procedure to the “Monitoring Testing” phase of its health plan for the 2020 season, the league announced Friday in a joint statement with the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Of the 3,748 samples collected during intake screening, 66 tests turned back positive—a rate of 1.8 percent. Fifty-eight of those positives were players while the other eight were staff members, with 27 of the league’s 30 teams seeing at least one individual test positive.

With monitoring testing—a protocol that requires “Tier 1” individuals like players and on-field personnel to be tested every other day and “Tier 2” employees such as front office staff to be tested multiple times a week—already underway, MLB has collected 7,401 samples with 17 new positives (0.2 percent). Thirteen of those positives were players and four were staff members.

RELATED: 6 NATIONALS REPORTEDLY AMONG PLAYERS MLB DIDN'T TEST FOR COVID-19 BEFORE FLIGHT FROM D.R.

Between the two phases, 28 MLB teams have had a player or staff member test positive for the coronavirus. MLB and the MLBPA agreed to an extensive set of health protocols designed to stymie the spread of the disease, but the league’s latest report indicates one team has added at least one new case since the start of camp despite all of its players arriving to its facilities without the disease.

The league’s testing protocol and Utah-based lab were under fire Monday, when the Nationals were joined by several teams in cancelling practice as a result of a delay in receiving the rests from tests conducted the previous Friday.

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“We cannot have our players and staff work at risk,” Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo wrote in a statement. “We will not sacrifice the health and safety of our players, staff and their families.  Without accurate and timely testing it is simply not safe for us to continue with Summer Camp.  Major League Baseball needs to work quickly to resolve issues with their process and their lab.  Otherwise, Summer Camp and the 2020 Season are at risk.”

A 60-game season is scheduled to begin July 23, when the Nationals host the New York Yankees on Opening Night.

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Blue Jays players could face hefty punishment for leaving quarantine due to Canadian regulations

Blue Jays players could face hefty punishment for leaving quarantine due to Canadian regulations

As Major League Baseball slowly inches closer to the beginning of the regular season, an important procedure for all players involved is remaining safe and smart when they are not at the ballpark. With the coronavirus pandemic still a major threat to the sport and the public, teams are stressing the importance of remaining in safe environments.

While staying healthy for their teammates and family is enough for every player to make the right decisions, the Toronto Blue Jays may have another reason to not break away from the designated safe areas.

According to TSN's Scott Mitchell, players could face a fine up to $750,000 and jail time as a maximum punishment if they are outside places they are allowed to be.

To be clear, this report does not mean that the players will definitively face this punishment if they break quarantine. The consequences above are the maximum sentence a person could face. Additionally, this is not a regulation that was created by the Blue Jays. It is part of a Canadian Federal Government Act known as the Quarantine Act.

The Act relates to personnel who have re-entered the country, as they are then required to complete a 14-day quarantine. Because the Blue Jays will be consistently traveling to the United States for games, they fall into this category every time they travel back to Toronto.

REPORT: 6 NATIONALS AMONG DR PLAYERS MLB DID NOT TEST

The Nationals travel to Toronto for their first road series of the season on July 29-30, immediately after playing the Blue Jays in Washington D.C. The Baltimore Orioles travel to Toronto twice, playing the Blue Jays at the end of August and then again to close out the season in September. 

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