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California recommends the suspension of large gatherings

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California governor Gavin Newsom, in conjunction with state health officials, recommended the cancellation of gatherings of 250 or more people across the entire state, including “professional, college and school sporting events.” The recommendation extends through the end of March. This, obviously, comes in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak which, as of last night, had 177 confirmed cases in California, with more certainly to come.

The move puts new pressure on Major League Baseball, whose season begins on March 26. At present, the Dodgers have five home games scheduled in March and the Oakland Athletics and San Diego Padres are scheduled for six home games. The San Francisco Giants begin on the road — but will be in L.A. to face the Dodgers — before going to Arizona to face the Diamondbacks, returning for their home opener on April 3. The Angels are on the road, in the state of Texas, until April 3 and, at the moment, are unaffected by the recommendation.

This announcement comes on the heels of the NBA announcing the indefinite suspension of its season last night and the NCAA announcing that its tournament games will be closed to the public  except for essential staff and limited family attendance. It also comes in the wake of mayors and governors began to issue outright bans on public gatherings, including professional sporting events. The governor of Washington and mayor of San Francisco have already issued such bans.

At present, Major League Baseball believes it can simply react to these bans and recommendations in a piecemeal fashion, relocating games to areas it believes are not affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. While MLB does have the luxury of having two weeks before Opening Day, thereby giving it more time to plan, the underlying assumption that it can proceed with the season as normal seems like wishful thinking at best. Indeed, each day this approach continues, it becomes more and more like denial.

Carl Crawford arrested on domestic violence charge

Carl Crawford
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Former major league outfielder Carl Crawford has been arrested in Texas on a domestic violence charge, TMZ reports. The charge was designated as “assault fam/house mem impede breath circulate,” suggesting that Crawford allegedly choked someone. Crawford surrendered to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday. The alleged incident occurred in May.

Crawford was in the news last week as well when two people — a 25-year-old woman and a five-year-old boy — were found dead at his home in Houston. The boy reportedly had trouble breathing and the woman jumped in to help him.

Crawford, who owns a record label called 1501 Certified Entertainment, posted a message on Instagram about the incident:

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There will likely be more information brought to light about Crawford’s alleged domestic violence incident in the coming days. It is unclear if there are any common factors between the domestic violence incident and the pool incident.