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Liverpool deserve Premier League title if season cancelled – Ilkay Gundogan

Manchester City midfielder Ilkay Gundogan says it would only be “fair” for rivals Liverpool to be awarded the Premier League trophy if the season cannot be completed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Gundogan told German broadcaster ZDF that Liverpool deserved to be crowned champions given their massive 25-point lead over second-placed City, the current holders, which has left them just two wins away from the title.cheap nike nfl jerseys free shipping

“For me, that would be OK, yes,” Gundogan said, after being asked whether Liverpool should be handed their first top-flight title for 30 years should the season not be completed.7

“You have to be fair as a sportsperson,” he added, while conceding that it was a difficult decision for football authorities given the impact that the cancellation of the season would have at both ends of the table.

“There are different opinions. For clubs who have had a very good season, it obviously wouldn’t be nice if it was cancelled now,” he said.

The Premier League season has been suspended until April 30, but it is looking increasingly likely that the date may have to be pushed back further.nfl nike jerseys for cheap

Germany international Gundogan also said he would be open to taking a pay cut should English clubs follow the likes of Juventus and Borussia Dortmund in asking their players to accept reduced wages so non-playing staff can be paid.

“Of course I think it’s OK, that goes without saying, [but] there’s been no discussion in England yet,” Gundogan said. “Perhaps that’s because the English clubs are a bit financially stronger than the clubs in Germany at the moment.

“I don’t know who has the final say in that decision. On the other hand, if a player says, ‘no, I don’t want that, I worked hard for it, I get my salary,’ then it can go in the opposite direction.

“For me personally, it would be OK, but, to be honest, you have to be tolerant, and if there are players who are against that, then that’s also an acceptable situation.”

FSU freshman Patrick Williams declares for NBA draft

Florida State forward Patrick Williams announced Thursday he will forgo his sophomore season to enter the NBA draft.

Williams made the announcement in a statement posted on Twitter.

“Words can’t describe how blessed I am to be in this position,” Williams wrote as part of his post. “… To my teammates, thank you for being more than just teammates. The love, support, and authenticity we show one another has honestly made this season a dream come true. The entire year has been filled with moments I will truly never forget.”cheap nike nfl jersey

He is the 20th-ranked prospect in ESPN’s draft prospect rankings.8

Williams is the second FSU player to declare his eligibility for the draft. Sophomore guard Devin Vassell, who led the Seminoles with 12.7 points per game this season, also has said he’d enter the draft.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

The NBA draft is scheduled for June 25, but following worldwide suspensions of basketball activities amid the coronavirus outbreak, NBA front-office executives and others in the industry told ESPN they are bracing for the potential impact of a delayed 2020 draft with a heavily reduced pre-draft process.

Mets’ Noah Syndergaard to have Tommy John surgery for torn UCL

New York Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow and will undergo Tommy John surgery this week, the team announced Tuesday.

Dr. David Altchek will perform the surgery Thursday at the Hospital for Special Surgery, according to the Mets.

“After experiencing discomfort in his elbow before spring training was suspended due to the pandemic, Noah and our health and performance department have been in constant contact,” Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen said in a statement. “Based on the persistence of his symptoms, Noah underwent a physical examination and MRI that revealed the ligament tear. A second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache confirmed the diagnosis and the recommendation for surgery.buy nike nfl jerseys cheap

“Noah is an incredibly hard worker and a tremendous talent. While this is unfortunate, we have no doubt that Noah will be able to return to full strength and continue to be an integral part of our championship pursuits in the future.”

Syndergaard, 27, who is one of the hardest-throwing starting pitchers in baseball history and has among the best arsenal of pitches in the game, was expected to anchor the Mets’ rotation alongside ace Jacob deGrom.

Syndergaard threw a career-high 197⅔ innings last season, and while his ERA was a career-worst 4.28, the combination of good health and stuff foretold good things.nfl jerseys nike cheap

The health end did not hold up, and Syndergaard will be sidelined until April 2021 at the earliest — and more likely until the early summer. He is the second high-profile pitcher to need Tommy John surgery in recent days, with Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale also confirming he would undergo the elbow reconstruction surgery.

Syndergaard, acquired by the Mets in 2012 when they traded Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey to Toronto, was an instant phenom. His fastball consistently hit 100 mph, he ripped off sliders as fast as 93 mph, and he struck out 166 batters in 150 innings as a 22-year-old rookie in 2015. His best year came in 2016, when he was an All-Star and posted a 2.60 ERA in 183⅔ innings.

Injuries wiped out most of Syndergaard’s 2017 season and shortened his 2018. He planned to join deGrom and Marcus Stroman atop the Mets’ rotation, with Steven Matz, Rick Porcello and Michael Wacha filling out the last two spots.

With baseball sidelined until at least May because of the coronavirus outbreak, the Mets now won’t have to choose among the final three for a rotation spot. Their prospects for 2020, which were bright during a strong spring, got that much more difficult in a National League East with the defending World Series champion Washington Nationals, defending division winner Atlanta Braves and a Philadelphia Phillies team with playoff aspirations.7

Rockies’ Bud Black open to doubleheaders when MLB returns

Let’s play two? Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black would be down for doubleheaders.

Maybe even a couple a week.

That might be a necessity to make up games once a baseball season delayed by the new coronavirus gets under way.

“In theory, yeah, I think all of us would be up for some sort of doubleheader situation,” Black said during a conference call Thursday. “The thing that’s going to be in front of all of us is it’s going to be the same for everybody. It’s got to make sense for the clubs and the players.”

Opening Day has been pushed back from March 26 to mid-May at the earliest, and both sides are committed to playing as many games as possible.

Translation: Doubleheaders could be on the docket.7

“I know that when we’re able to safely play, we’re going to have to think of creative ways to get in as many games as possible given all the time that’s going to be lost,” said Farhan Zaidi, the president of baseball operations for the San Francisco Giants. “I don’t really have any specific thoughts on that, but I know everybody’s going to be thinking through ways to do that.”cheap nfl nike jerseys from china

More than anything, Black wants his players to treat this time away like it’s December and the season is still in the distance.

Don’t ramp up.

Black said when a timetable is known, the teams will be given approximately three weeks to get back in shape as part of a second spring training. That’s plenty of time for a starting pitcher to work his way into form.

“There’s no need to throw bullpens. We’re a ways away from that,” Black said.

Hit in a cage — if one’s available. Work out at their gym at home. Or play catch — with social distancing in mind.

“They get together and go to a local park, they go to a high school, they go somewhere where there’s a stretch of grass and they play catch,” Black said. “They’re not going to play closer than six feet together, right? You can play catch.

“Guys are on the down low. They’re probably not doing much baseball activity right now. There’s a sense this is going to be much longer than first anticipated by baseball.”nfl cheap jerseys nike

Opening Day would have been next week. That’s hard for Black to fathom in light of what’s happening around the world.

“I miss the build-up to opening day. I miss what that’s all about. I love our sport. I love the people in it,” Black said. “I’m probably as practical as they come and a realist, and aware of what’s going on and that takes a precedence over our sport and our jobs.”

Lakers players undergo coronavirus testing; were Nets’ last opponent

The Los Angeles Lakers underwent testing for coronavirus Wednesday, sources confirmed to ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, following the Brooklyn Nets’ announcement Tuesday that four players had tested positive for the virus.

The testing was administered to Lakers players only — not the coaching staff or support staff — sources told McMenamin. Players arrived at the test site and never left their vehicles during the procedure, which involved a Q-tip being placed up their nostril to secure a culture, according to sources.nfl cheap jerseys nike

Each test took a matter of minutes, according to sources. A Lakers spokesperson would not comment on the testing, citing medical privacy rules. The Lakers played the Nets in their last game before the NBA suspended play last Wednesday following a positive test by Utah’s Rudy Gobert.7

The Lakers will self-quarantine for 14 days. Most of the Lakers are still in town, so testing should not be a logistical issue, sources told ESPN.

“Given the exposure risks from our game against the Nets on March 10th, we are following the next steps of our COVID-19 procedures and protocol that are established in consultation with various health officials, the NBA and our UCLA Health doctors,” the Lakers said. “The health and well-being of our players, staff, fans, and society in general, is of paramount importance to us, and will continue to be our focus.“china nike nfl jerseys cheap

On Tuesday, the Nets announced that four players had tested positive for the virus, and Kevin Durant told the Athletic that he was one of the players. The Nets said they had reached out to anyone known to have had contact with the players.

Two NBA players in addition to Gobert are known to have tested positive for the virus: Utah’s Donovan Mitchell and the Detroit Pistons’ Christian Wood.

Jazz’s Rudy Gobert donates $500K to part-time worker fund, virus relief

The Utah Jazz announced Saturday afternoon that All-Star center Rudy Gobert is donating $500,000 to support both the employee relief fund at Vivint Smart Home Arena and coronavirus-related social services relief in Utah, Oklahoma City and within the health care system in his native France.

Gobert, 27, became the first NBA player to test positive for the coronavirus shortly before tipoff of Wednesday’s game in Oklahoma City against the Thunder. A short time later, the game was postponed, and within hours the NBA had suspended its season for a minimum of 30 days.nike nfl cheap jerseys

“I know there are countless ways that people have been impacted. These donations are a small token that reflect my appreciation and support for all those impacted and are the first of many steps I will take to try and make a positive difference, while continuing to learn more about COVID-19 and educate others.”

Gobert and teammate Donovan Mitchell were the first two players who were publicly known to have tested positive for the virus; Christian Wood, whose Detroit Pistons team hosted Utah on March 7, has since also tested positive, a league source told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski on Saturday.8

Teams that played the Jazz recently — also including the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics — were expected to self-isolate through at least this weekend, while the Toronto Raptors — the last team to play Utah Monday in Salt Lake City — had their entire travel party tested Wednesday night and into the early hours of Thursday morning, with all of the tests coming back negative.

Gobert’s donation will be split in the following ways: $200,000 going to part-time employees at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah’s home arena; $100,000 each to families in Utah and Oklahoma City affected by the coronavirus; and €100,000 to the health care system in France.cheap nike nfl jerseys paypal

Mitchell, 23, spoke out publicly from self-isolation for the first time earlier Saturday, and said he continues to feel all right.

“What’s up everybody? Donovan Mitchell here. Just wanted to say thank you to everybody for your continued support, man. It means a lot to me,” Mitchell said in a video released on the NBA’s Twitter account.

“I feel fine. Things are going well. I’m just taking the proper precautions, as told to me by the health authorities. I have to stay in isolation. So I’m solo in here, playing video games all day. I can’t wait to get back out on the floor in front of the best fans in the world. I really miss playing in front of you guys, and I’ll see you guys soon.”

Show me the money? Ex-stars say cash isn’t always king in NFL free agency

The first time he entered free agency, former NFL linebacker Bart Scott wasn’t afraid to make a tough call. He had survived a rough Detroit neighborhood. He prided himself on playing through pain, having endured Michigan winters and playing on dirt fields. And he arrived in the NFL as an undrafted free agent — from a school that flew a chartered UPS plane to games.

“It had no windows,” Scott said, “We landed and I was asleep and I thought we were f—ing crashing.”

Not much fazed him. He, and other former NFL players, understand the decisions many current players must make once free agency begins Wednesday. Money is a motivator, but there are other factors players consider as well.china nike nfl jerseys cheap

Here’s a look at different perspectives from three prominent former players as they were about to hit free agency for the first time: Scott, running back Fred Taylor — both were Pro Bowlers — and defensive lineman Ziggy Hood — the Pittsburgh Steelers’ first-round pick in 2009.6

“If I’m able to garner this amount [on an offer] at that time, what happens if I get a full year and an opportunity to show what I can do?” he said. “It was me betting on myself and taking a shorter deal to show what I could do.

“Why lock myself down until I’m 30 and sign a deal under market [value] when I know it will change?”

Baltimore’s deal would allow Scott to hit free agency again as he entered his prime. His first season as a full-time starter in Baltimore (this time next to Lewis) worked out perfectly: Scott finished with a career-high 135 tackles, 9.5 sacks, two interceptions and nine passes defensed.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Two years later, he wanted to cash in on free agency but also consider life after football. When his defensive coordinator in Baltimore, Rex Ryan, became New York Jets coach, Scott knew where he wanted to go. He signed a six-year deal worth $48 million; Scott said Baltimore made him an identical offer.

“I wanted to be in a place I could make a transition off the field,” he said. “I knew New York had never seen such brash bravado from the Jets. I knew they’d be attracted to the in-your-face, unapologetic, tough, physical, braggadocio mentality me and Rex would bring.”

Scott said that sort of attitude helped him post-NFL. After he retired from the Jets following the 2012 season, he spent five years working for CBS Sports and currently has a radio show on ESPN New York with Alan Hahn.

How Thierry Henry is trying to resurrect his coaching career in MLS

Thierry Henry is annoyed. He grimaces. He extends his hands for emphasis, palms to the sky. It is a look the world has seen before.

Since the start of a 20-year playing career that included spells at some of the world’s most important football clubs, Henry has held his teammates, the journalists who covered him, and even his managers to the highest standards. He has been quick to express frustration with anyone who wasn’t good enough, didn’t try hard enough or, once, who didn’t push in his chair after a news conference.cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Whether he responded with a word or a gesture, it was never hard to tell what he was thinking. He packed an entire narrative into a turn of the hands, a roll of the eyes. “He could score an amazing goal,” says Dennis Bergkamp, who played alongside Henry at Arsenal, “and then a moment later he’d be angry with someone for not passing the ball correctly. That’s the way he was.”

Henry experienced exactly that disappointment with the New York Red Bulls, where he spent the final 4½ seasons of his career. In 2013, the Red Bulls amassed the best regular-season record in MLS. Then they immediately lost their home-and-home conference semifinal to bottom-seed Houston. It wasn’t fair, but it was the system. “Those are the rules,” he says.nfl nike jersey cheap

So too is the structure that allows teams to sleepwalk through the regular season and flip a switch when the playoffs start. Or worse, lose every game and show up the next year ready to play again, rather than getting relegated as in nearly every other league in the world.3

“What happens if you lose?” he asks. “Nothing! Nothing happens. You’re still in MLS, or the NBA, or NFL, or whatever. The rules allow you to just let it go. You shouldn’t let anything go. In Europe, it’s unacceptable. It would never happen. It shouldn’t happen.”

He sighs. “But you have to know where you are,” he says.

A little more than a year ago, Henry was in Monaco, ending a managerial stint that was as short — three months — as it was disappointing. He’s back in MLS now, trying to rehabilitate his reputation while managing with a distinctly different frame of reference. Henry won nearly everything a player can win, but the Impact have been the model of a mediocre franchise, with only three trips to the playoffs in eight MLS seasons, and seven head coaches during that time.

Henry’s task is clear. If he can do a credible job for a couple of years, he’ll put distance between Monaco and his next job. “It could take him back on the managerial ladder in Europe,” says Craig Burley, the former Scotland international and current ESPN commentator.

Christian Yelich stakes future to Brewers with $215M, 9-year deal

Making sure Christian Yelich was a Brewer for life while allowing the team some payroll flexibility were two factors in negotiations as Milwaukee officially announced its new nine-year deal for the former MVP on Friday.

The extension will almost assuredly keep Yelich, 28, from ever reaching free agency in his career.

“I made two decisions in my life that I felt were right at the time,” Yelich said at a news conference Friday announcing the deal. “Chances are I’m probably never going to see free agency. That’s just how my career went.”

Previously, Yelich had signed a long-term extension with the Miami Marlins before being traded to Milwaukee before the 2018 season. With the Brewers, he won the NL MVP in 2018 and finished second in the 2019 voting despite missing the final month of the season with an injury.buy nike nfl jerseys cheap

Yelich’s new deal will encompass the final two seasons of his previous contract and tack on seven more seasons. The total package is for $215 million and includes a no-trade clause and no opt-outs.

“This is what you call an ‘opt-in,'” Yelich’s agent Joe Longo quipped.6

The structure of the deal includes $4 million a year in deferrals in the seasons when his contract is maxed out at $26 million. In other words, the Brewers will never pay more than $22 million to Yelich in a season, allowing them the flexibility to build around him. The deferrals begin the year after the contract runs out.

“That was part of our discussions, internally,” Brewers general manager David Stearns said. “How can we make that happen? Knowing Christian is going to be here for the better part of a decade helps us plan and map out how we’re going to remain competitive for that time period. That was a priority of Christian’s.”

In signing the deal, which averages just less than $24 million, it’s possible Yelich left some money on the table. Several other elite stars, including Bryce Harper, Mike Trout and Nolan Arenado, have signed for more annually.nike nfl jerseys cheap paypal

“This is the place I wanted to play and to be,” Yelich said. “I realize I had three years before free agency, but above all else, I meant it when I said I wanted to finish my career as a Milwaukee Brewer. Not only that, but be part of winning teams as a Brewer.”

The sides began talking last Halloween when Longo and owner Mark Attanasio met for lunch. Yelich even attended two face-to-face sessions, including one during spring training as the sides closed in on a deal.

“With today’s agreement, Christian has the opportunity to further cement his legacy as one of the best players in Milwaukee baseball history,” Stearns said. “It’s very rare a player and his team’s identity become so intertwined in such a short period of time. It’s happened here.”

An email changed NFL draft prospect James Morgan, and city of Green Bay’s bleak QB history

In a city that enjoyed more elite quarterback play than any other in the NFL over the past three decades, guys like James Morgan should be more than a once-every-32-years occurrence.

It’s been that long, however, since a quarterback who played high school football in Green Bay, Wisconsin, heard his name called in the NFL draft.cheap nfl jerseys china nike

Morgan, who is draft-eligible this year, couldn’t name the most recent one picked. He had never heard of Bud Keyes from the University of Wisconsin via Green Bay West High School, who was a 10th-round pick (No. 256 overall) of the hometown Packers in 1988.

Morgan could see a statue of Bart Starr every day if he wanted, and had quarterbacks such as Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers playing down the street to idolize.8

“I was [Favre’s No.] 4 up until eighth grade and then in high school I switched to [Rodgers’] 12,” Morgan said last week at the NFL scouting combine. “I’ll let you connect the dots on that one.”

For Morgan, it’s less about dots on a map and more about the path to the NFL.nike nfl jerseys cheap china

But one thing made Renner finally read Morgan’s message: the need for a quarterback. FIU had just completed the 2017 season with Alex McGough under center. McGough led the Panthers to an eight-win season and their first bowl game in six years. McGough, who is now on the Houston Texans, was drafted by the Seattle Seahawks in the seventh round.

It was the morning of Jan. 3, 2018. At 7 a.m., Renner and the rest of the FIU staff had a scheduled meeting with coach Butch Davis to talk about returning players for next season and recruits.

“It’s about 6:30 in the morning, and I’ve got to come up with something,” Renner said. “I literally typed in ‘quarterback’ into the search bar of my email, and sure enough it was James’ email. I read the email.”