Nationals

Calderon leads Raptors past Cavaliers 113-99

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Calderon leads Raptors past Cavaliers 113-99

CLEVELAND (AP) Jose Calderon scored a season-high 23 points, and the Toronto Raptors won on the road for the second time this season by beating the Cleveland Cavaliers 113-99 on Tuesday night.

The Raptors snapped an 11-game skid on the road, winning away from home for the first time since Nov. 13 when they beat Indiana. Toronto, which is 2-14 on the road, has also won three in a row for the first time this season.

Alan Anderson hit three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and finished with 18 points. Amir Johnson scored 17 points and DeMar DeRozan added 16.

Kyrie Irving, coming off a career-high 41 points Saturday, scored 23 points for Cleveland. The reigning rookie of the year, currently playing with a broken bone in his jaw, is wearing a protective mask.

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Report: 6 Nationals among players MLB didn't test for COVID-19 before flight from Dominican Republic

Report: 6 Nationals among players MLB didn't test for COVID-19 before flight from Dominican Republic

One of two flights chartered by Major League Baseball from the Dominican Republic to Miami carried multiple players that tested positive for the coronavirus after arriving in the U.S., The Washington Post reported Thursday evening. None of the more than 160 players and staff members were tested by MLB for the disease prior to flying.

Among the passengers on those flights—which flew out of Santo Domingo on July 1—were Nationals players Juan Soto, Victor Robles, Wander Suero and Fernando Abad as well as two of their prospects in Luis Garcia and Joan Adon. All six players are isolating in D.C. and one of them, The Post reported, tested positive for the coronavirus during intake screening July 2.

The Nationals announced Sunday that two players had tested positive upon arriving to D.C. and were in isolation. In addition to the six players who flew from the D.R., Howie Kendrick, Starlin Castro and Roenis Elías were absent from practice at Nationals Park this week. Although Castro returned to the field Thursday, Washington has yet to give any updates on the remaining players not cleared for play.

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“We’re still waiting to hear about those other guys,” manager Davey Martinez said in a Zoom press conference Thursday. “But they’re working diligently, MLB and our medical staff, to get those guys cleared. Hopefully, we’ll get them soon.”

The lack of testing prior to those flights was a result of insufficient resources in the D.R. to accommodate the number of people who were to board, The Post reported. The news comes three days after the Nationals opted to cancel practice due to test results taking over 72 hours to come in. General manager Mike Rizzo issued a strong statement that afternoon stressing the importance of quick testing.

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“We cannot have our players and staff work at risk,” Rizzo wrote. “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.”

MLB’s 2020 season is scheduled to begin July 23, when the Nationals are set to host the New York Yankees on Opening Night.

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Could more Nationals opt-out of 2020 season as Opening Day draws near?

Could more Nationals opt-out of 2020 season as Opening Day draws near?

The Nationals begin defending their World Series title on July 23 against the New York Yankees. Ryan Zimmerman and Joe Ross have both opted out of the 2020 season. Could there be more? The crew from the Nationals Talk podcast believes it’s likely. 

“I do wonder once they get into this routine if some players will say ‘Nope, this isn’t for me,’” Nick Ashooh asked. “I have a feeling we’ll probably see some players bow out in the first couple weeks of the season.” 

Nationals closer Sean Doolittle has continued to voice his concerns about the 60-game season. Doolittle told reporters on July 5 that "I think I'm planning on playing. But at any point, if I start to feel unsafe, if it starts to take a toll on my mental health, with all the things we have to think about and this cloud of uncertainty hanging over everything, then I'll opt-out."

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Doolittle’s wife, Eireann Dolan, has a chronic lung condition and as NBC Sports Washington Nats reporter Todd Dybas pointed out on the podcast, when at home, Doolittle will not be living with his wife during the season. 

Chase Hughes noted that road games could be a cause for concern for players. Hughes said they could be “feeling that anxiety when you’re at home and on the road,” especially if you have young children in your house.  

RELATED: DAVEY MARTINEZ SAYS WORLD SERIES RINGS WERE ‘DEFINITELY WORTH THE WAIT’

Opening Day for the Nationals is only two weeks away and many unknowns still remain. Could more players opt-out in 2020? It’s possible and definitely worth keeping an eye on as Opening Day approaches. 

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