Nationals

Saint Mary's defeats San Francisco 78-72

Saint Mary's defeats San Francisco 78-72

MORAGA, Calif. (AP) Matthew Dellavedova scored 19 points and Stephen Holt added 16 to lead Saint Mary's to a 78-72 victory against San Francisco on Saturday night.

Beau Levesque had 15 points and Mitchell Young 14 for the Gaels (13-4, 2-1 West Coast)

Cody Doolin had 16 points and De'End Parker 15 for the Dons (7-10, 0-4).

San Francisco had a chance to cut a 68-62 deficit to three in the final minute, but Parker's 3-point attempt from the top of the key glanced off the side of the rim. Young secured the rebound, was fouled, and made two free throws to put Saint Mary's up 70-62.

The Gaels held on, thanks to their going 8 for 8 from the free-throw line in the final 45 seconds. They were 24 for 27 for the game.

Both teams shot well, with San Francisco hitting 26 of 51 (51 percent) from the floor and Saint Mary's 25 of 50 (50 percent).

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If teams start 19-31 like the Nationals, it really is over in a 50-game season

If teams start 19-31 like the Nationals, it really is over in a 50-game season

To put 50 games in context, just flashback to last season. It’s easy enough. Say it: 19-31. If the Nationals could, they would trademark those numbers together.

Fifty games is a flash. Almost a death knell to the eventual 2019 World Series champions. That’s a season over in late May. Think of it this way: Teams play around 30 games in a normal spring training alone.

The owners have pushed this number into the public with their non-counter-counter to the players’ suggestion of 114 games. Commissioner Rob Manfred is trying to use the March agreement between players and owners as a cudgel. Players are refusing to take a further pay cut on top of the one already negotiated. Manfred in turn is saying, “Fine. Then we will schedule the amount of games that are in line with what you are being paid.”

In play now is the 48-game season, according to ESPN. A smidge under 50. A full blitz that would be looked back at as a farce if it’s attempted to be played in the regular way. Playing half a season in the traditional manner is probably the minimum for any legitimacy. Even then, 2020 will be awash in caveats.

The Nationals’ 2020 recovery came against restrictive odds. The manager was supposed to be fired. Some suggested trading the best players, and to do it sooner than later. Season simulations said the Nationals were done. Or as close to it as possible.

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A 50- or 48-game season would cook anyone who has a bad two weeks. Lose a frontline starter? It’s over. Have your shortstop and leadoff hitter hit on the finger by a pitch and miss three weeks? It’s over. Half a season feels like a baseball sprint. Fifty games or less defines the league’s desperation to put some pennies back in its pocket in 2020.

There is one fun idea around a 50-game season. It was hatched at Fangraphs. The premise is one big 50-game tournament. Not the usual three-game series in this town, and four-game series in that city.
Fangraphs makes the on-point mathematical argument that 50 games determines next to nothing when comparing the best in the league to the mediocre. It’s just games for the sake of games.

Since baseball is trying to wade through extraordinary times, why not attempt something extraordinary, such as the tournament?

The model used at Fangraphs included 32 teams, all 30 major-league clubs plus two futures teams, one from each league. Let’s use that premise.

Stage the whole thing in the Texas Rangers’ new park -- Texas is already saying it will allow fans. Have a loser’s bracket. Make the final a five-game series. Pay the players what was already negotiated. Pin more money to the outcome. Run it from early July to the end of September. That way, you still play through much of the summer but duck under a possible fall coronavirus spike the owners are so wary of.

No caveats about if the season was long enough for an authentic champion. This is a complete outlier. The tournament year. Players wore microphones. Some kid from Double-A struck out Bryce Harper in a big at-bat. No leagues. Everyone in the same pot. Have some fun amid an historically troubling time.

What’s not working is the public whining from both sides. The inability to make a deal. The lack of common ground. Both groups are working toward one idea: loss mitigation. A 50-game season does little of that and carries even less validity. Just ask a team that opened last year 19-31.

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Maryland announces plan for football players to return to campus, resume workouts

Maryland announces plan for football players to return to campus, resume workouts

Maryland football players will be allowed to report back to the team’s facilities as soon as Monday, the athletics department announced in a press release Friday.

After the players each undergo a complete physical exam, mental health screening and COVID-19 education session, the team will hold voluntary individual workouts starting June 15 to begin preparing for the 2020 season.

“Our gradual, phased approach prioritizes the health and well-being of our student-athletes, coaches and staff,” Athletics Director Damon Evans said in a statement. “We remain optimistic about the return of fall sports, and this plan will serve as our cautious and considered roadmap to the resumption of athletic competition.”

The state of Maryland and Prince George’s County have each begun loosening the health protocols they were forced to enact in order to combat the spread of the coronavirus. As a result, Maryland officials decided they could begin “Phase 1” of reopening the school’s athletics department.

Workouts will be held outdoors with players subject to daily wellness checks, which include a “symptom questionnaire” and temperature checks. All players, coaches and staff will be required to wear facemasks with the team providing them if needed. None of the players will be required to attend the workouts and opting out would not have any affect on a player’s scholarship status.

The press release noted that “the plan is subject to change as health conditions and guidance from health officials continues to evolve” but there is no timetable in place for when the school would take the next step in further reopening the athletics department.

There was no mention of any plan for when fall student-athletes outside the football program would be able to resume team activities as well.

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