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MLS suspends season, NHL expected to follow suit

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UPDATE: The Big Ten basketball tournament has been cancelleld. The ACC tournament will soon be cancelled as well. And now the SEC. I presume every basketball tournament will follow suit.

Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated is reporting that Major League Soccer is suspending its season immediately until further notice due to coronavirus concerns.

Emily Kaplan of ESPN is reporting that the NHL has advised all teams not to conduct morning skates, practices or team meetings today. It is expected that they, too, will suspend their season shortly. Given how much overlap there is between NBA and NHL arenas, it only makes since given what is going on in the NBA right now. Speaking of which:

This speaks to the possibility of a much wider outbreak in the NBA than first suspected. And speaks to just how poorly athletes have been briefed on sanitation and safety in light of the outbreak. Or how little they listened if they were briefed. Speaking of which, here was Rays pitcher Blake Snell yesterday:

“I think the media kind of hypes up the coronavirus. If they want to look out for our health, that’s cool. But I’m not too worried about it. If I get it, I get it. If I don’t, I don’t. Either way it was meant to be.”

Which is exactly the wrong approach to this. It’s dangerously ignorant. Is that because Snell is uniquely ignorant about all of this or because the Rays and/or Major League Baseball has not communicated the risks to players?

Suspend spring training and delay the regular season now, Rob Manfred.

 

Braves ace Mike Soroka out for year with torn Achilles

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Atlanta Braves ace Mike Soroka is out for the season after tearing his right Achilles tendon Monday night against the New York Mets.

Soroka was hurt in the third inning after delivering a pitch to J.D. Davis, who grounded the ball toward first baseman Freddie Freeman.

Soroka broke toward first to cover the bag, only to go down on his first step off the mound. The right-hander knew right away it was a devastating injury, one that ensures he won’t be back on the mound until 2021.

“It’s a freak thing that happened,” manager Brian Snitker said, delivering the grim news after the Braves lost 7-2 to the Mets. “I’m sorry it did.”

Soroka yelled in obvious pain and tried to walk gingerly for a couple of steps before dropping to his knees. He couldn’t put any weight on the leg as he was helped toward the clubhouse with the assistance of Snitker and a trainer.

It was a major blow to the two-time defending NL East champion Braves, who had won five straight despite struggling to put together an effective rotation.

“Somebody else is going to get an opportunity,” Snitker said. “Things like that happen. These guys will regroup. Somebody is going to get an opportunity to do something really good. Our young guys are going to continue to get better. We’re going to be fine.”

Soroka, who turns 23 on Tuesday, made his first opening day start last month after going 13-4 with a dazzling 2.68 ERA in 2019 to finish second in NL Rookie of the Year balloting and sixth for the Cy Young Award.

Soroka was making his third start of the season. He came in having allowed just two earned runs over 11 1/3 innings but struggled against the Mets, giving up three hits and four walks. He was charged with four earned runs in 2 1/3 innings, the second-shortest outing of his career.

Unfortunately for Soroka, he won’t get a chance to make up for it this season.