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Placido Polanco agrees to $2.75M deal with Marlins

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Placido Polanco agrees to $2.75M deal with Marlins

MIAMI (AP) Former All-Star third baseman Placido Polanco agreed to a $2.75 million, one-year contract Thursday with the Miami Marlins, plugging the final hole in the team's projected lineup following a payroll purge.

The 37-year-old, who can earn an additional $250,000 in performance bonuses, battled injuries this year and hit .257 with two home runs and 19 RBIs in 90 games with the Philadelphia Phillies. The 15-year veteran is a career .299 hitter with 103 homers.

Other projected starters include Logan Morrison at first base, Donovan Solano at second, Adeiny Hechavarria at shortstop, Jeff Brantly at catcher, Giancarlo Stanton in right field, Justin Ruggiano in center field and Juan Pierre in left field.

Hanley Ramirez played 90 games at third this year for Miami before being traded in July. That was part of the salary purge by the Marlins, who pared $146.5 million in future payroll when they swung a trade last month that sent former NL batting champion Jose Reyes, former NL ERA leader Josh Johnson and left-hander Mark Buehrle to Toronto.

The Marlins have a projected 2013 payroll of about $45.75 million. Their payroll on opening day this year was $112 million, not including money received in the Carlos Zambrano trade, but the team finished last in the NL East and drew smaller crowds than expected in its new ballpark.

Polanco was chosen to start in the All-Star game for the second time in 2011, but went only 10 for 58 (.172) after June 30 this year. The Phillies declined a $5.5 million option on Polanco after the season, and he received a $1 million buyout.

Polanco was the 2006 AL championship series MVP for Detroit, and he also played for St. Louis. He has 2,044 hits, and he has won two Gold Gloves at second base and one at third.

A native of the Dominican Republic, Polanco has a home in Miami and attended Miami-Dade Community College.

He would earn an additional $125,000 each for playing in 100 and 120 games. The deal was negotiated by agents Sam and Seth Levinson.

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Astros and Athletics clear benches, have a very non-socially distant brawl

Astros and Athletics clear benches, have a very non-socially distant brawl

Even amid the coronavirus pandemic, the normalities of a baseball season will continue on. That means players and managers getting heated, arguments with umpires and benches clearing. But because of the risk the virus poses, MLB has asked for those moments to remain socially distant.

The Houston Astros and Oakland Athletics did not follow that rule on Sunday.

After Athletics outfielder Ramon Laureano was hit by a pitch, he appeared to be exchanging words with a Houston bench coach. With no fans, the words can be heard loud and clear by everybody. That led to both benches clearing and not even six inches of separation between players. 

It's understandable for players to get angry and caught up in the moment, but this move by both teams is rather unacceptable given the current climate of the country and the sport. Though players are being tested constantly, this close contact between teams is unnecessary and only creates a larger risk for all involved.

The non-socially distant brawl comes at a bad time for baseball, as the league is dealing with numerous coronavirus-related issues. The St. Louis Cardinals have had at least 15 games postponed due to an outbreak within the organization, and that comes just after the Miami Marlins dealt with the same problem as well. Cleveland Indians pitcher Zach Plesac was reportedly sent home on Sunday after breaking protocol and going out with friends in Chicago on Saturday night.

Despite tightening up regulations for players, MLB still faces daily challenges while trying to operate a season during a global pandemic. Moments like the brawl between the Athletics and Astros don't help.

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Report: Big Ten, other Power 5 conferences leaning towards canceling 2020 season amid pandemic

Report: Big Ten, other Power 5 conferences leaning towards canceling 2020 season amid pandemic

The likelihood that college football is played this fall is looking bleaker by the day.

The commissioners of Power 5 conferences reportedly had an emergency conference call on Sunday evening to discuss the 2020 season, and the large majority of Big Ten presidents want to postpone the season due to concerns amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to ESPN's Adam Rittenberg.

Earlier this week, the Big Ten halted on moving forward with padded practices until more protocols are in place.

Moments later, reports surfaced that the Big Ten is leaning towards moving forward without a fall football season, and a formal decision could be made as soon as early this week, according to Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde and Ross Dellenger.

The cancelation or postponement of the 2020 college football season seems to be inevitable, multiple sources have told ESPN.

The news doesn't come as a surprise considering the current state of the pandemic in the United States. However, the Big Ten just announced a new, conference-only schedule earlier this week, so the timing is a bit odd.

The Mid-American Conference postponed football and all fall sports on Saturday. If the Big Ten becomes the first Power 5 conference to postpone football, and fall sports as a whole, it will be interesting to see how quickly (if at all) the other major conferences (SEC, ACC, Pac-12, Big 12) follow suit.

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