Daily Noontime: Tuesday, June 30, 2020

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By NoontimeSports.com 

Welcome to the final day of June – we made it!

Tomorrow – Wednesday, July 1, to be exact – marks the beginning of the second half of 2020. Crazy, right?

Let’s end the month of June on a high note, as well as a brand new ‘Daily Noontime,’ too!


Noontime’s Headlines for Tuesday, June 30

  • Yesterday – Monday, June 29, to be exact – we learned that Williams College would not be playing football this fall. In fact, all fall sports have been canceled, and that every team (and program) will not “travel and compete during the fall semester,” according to Williams president Maud S. Mandel.

    Williams joins a small, but growing list of schools that have announced they will not play games this fall due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

  • Just a short time ago, we learned that Bates College plans to welcome its students back to campus this fall but no decision has been made about athletic events, including football contests.

    The Bobcats could play some games this fall, but safety will be the main focus. Additionally, it is possible some fall sports teams could play games in the spring.

  • The University of Massachusetts Amherst will be offering a majority of its classes remotely this fall while students will be allowed to return to campus. But like most schools, life on a college campus will be so much different than it was one year ago at this time.

    Incoming UMass students, including first-years, would have to abide by the school’s plans to keep everyone safe with mask-wearing to social distancing to limiting contact with others.

  • Switching gears to professional football, if Cam Newton is healthy and ready to play in week one, then the New England Patriots could be a Super Bowl contender again, according to the good folks in Las Vegas.
  • Are you planning to attend a college football game this fall? If so, do you worry about your health and safety while cheering on your favorite program?

    As noted in the Wall Street Journal, big-time college football programs know that welcoming 100,000 fans won’t be feasible due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

MIBL Eager To Begin Its Inaugural Season On Tuesday, July 7

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The MIBL, a new league in Massachusetts, plans to begin its season on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. (PHOTO COURTESY: MIBL)

By Matt Noonan 

Cam Fox was hopeful for an American Legion baseball season to take place back in March, despite the state of Massachusetts shutting down due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

But when Fox learned that there would not be a season this summer, he decided to start his own league with Steve Maze, who is the senior manager of Morrisette Legion Post 294 in Quincy. 

“To put a league together in two months is pretty chaotic,” said Fox, who is the senior manager for the Braintree Post 86 squad and co-founder of the Massachusetts Independent Baseball League (MIBL). “But what we’ve done for these kids to get a chance to just have an opportunity to get back on the field (was important to us.).

“A lot of these kids didn’t play high school baseball (this spring) due to the pandemic, (including) a lot of seniors that didn’t get to play, as well, so it is basically a U19 team (for every town that will be competing in our league this summer).” 

The MIBL currently has 16 teams slated to compete in its senior division, along with eight squads that will make up its junior division. The league will follow the same rules both coaches and players are accustomed to playing every summer.  

But in addition to adhering to the American Legion rules, Maze stressed health and safety as the league’s main priority. 

“This (league) is not free for all,” Maze explained. “We can’t just go in and play. (We will be following) the local board of health in each community, along with the CDC’s (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines.” 

All MIBL coaches and players will be required to wear a mask when both entering and leaving the field, as well as in the dugout. Players will have the option to wear a mask in the field, but face coverings will be essential for all coaches when conversing with umpires and assignors. 

Fans will be allowed to attend games with social distancing and mask-wearing strongly encouraged. 

“As long as they follow the guidelines, they are more than welcome to come (to games this summer),” said Fox. 

According to the league’s website, each team in both divisions will compete in a minimum of 15 contests – some may play 16 or 17 contests – and if for some reason games are canceled due to the state’s reopening, they will be made up at the end of the season. 

As of today, the MIBL’s inaugural season will commence next Tuesday, July 7, and conclude Monday, August 3. 

Starting a league is certainly no easy task especially during such unprecedented times. But both Fox and Maze seem hopeful, as well as excited for the opportunity they have created for not just their own teams, but every player that has signed up and is eager to play their favorite sport. 

“When the first pitch is thrown it will be the most gratifying feeling,” said Maze. 

“It’s nice to know we have the support of local towns, teams, and news coverage, but the ultimate goal is to get out there and play baseball.”

Added Fox, “It sounds weird, but (this league) is something different even though it would be the norm of every year (and summer for our players), so it is really cool and definitely a blessing for these kids. But like Steve said, once that first pitch (is recorded) and that first week of games is over then it will feel normal as usual.” 


Massachusetts Independent Baseball League (MIBL) Links

Daily Noontime: Monday, June 29, 2020

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By Matt Noonan 

It’s Monday – yay!

Yet, what just happened to the weekend? Can we get some more sleep?

Luckily, this won’t be a bad week because we will be celebrating the Fourth of July, beginning Friday, July 3.

Let’s kick-off the week with a brand new ‘Daily Noontime’ – as always, make sure to smile, laugh, and be kind to others!


Noontime’s Headlines for Monday, June 29, 2020

  • News broke around 7 or 8 p.m. (eastern time) last night about the New England Patriots signing quarterback Cam Newton to a one-year deal.

    Newton joins a Patriots team that is transitioning from Tom Brady, who departed the area to quarterback the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    But will the signing of Newton help the Patriots save its ongoing dynasty, which began during the first decade of the new millennium? Let’s hope so!

  • Mike Reiss of ESPN.com believes the Cam Newton signing is “a no-lose situation” for the Patriots, who currently have two quarterbacks on their roster, including Jarrett Stidham, who some believed would be the starting signal-caller this season.
  • So, with Cam Newton joining the Patriots, what does this mean for Jarrett Stidham? Will he be the starter or back-up to the veteran signal-caller? Only time will tell, right?
  • In addition to welcoming Cam Newton to Massachusetts on Sunday evening, the Patriots also made headlines for violating league rules last season for filming the Cincinnati Bengals‘ sidelines when they played the Cleveland Browns.

    As noted on ProFootballTalk.com, the Patriots have been fined $1.1 million dollars and have lost a third-round draft pick.

  • According to Colin Cowherd, who can be heard (and seen) on FS1, there are only four “top college football programs” in the good ole United States of America. Which ones are they?
  • And finally, Brooklyn Nets forward Wilson Chandler announced he will not be headed to Orlando, Florida once his team’s season resumes next month.

    Chandler cited “health concerns” for his decision to not join his team, which has won 30 games this season.

Remember to stay connected with Noontime Sports on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube

There Will Be Baseball In Massachusetts in July

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Baseball will be returning to Fenway Park in July without any fans. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

For those craving some baseball in Massachusetts, you are in luck.

As of next month, fans of America’s pastime will be treated to a slew of local games, including some Boston Red Sox contests, which will begin at the end of July.

As of now, the 2020 Major League Baseball (MLB) season – a 60 game season, to be exact – will commence for some teams on Thursday, July 23 while others will begin their quest for a World Series crown on Friday, July 24.

In addition to the Red Sox, we learned earlier this week that the Futures Collegiate Baseball League (FCBL) will play an abbreviated season, beginning Thursday, July 2. Four of the league’s six teams play home games in Massachusetts. 

The four FCBL teams – Brockton RoxNorth Shore NavigatorsWestfield Starfires, and Worcester Bravehearts – are currently scheduled to host a few games this summer with some fans in the stands. However, those current home dates could be canceled or pushed back due to the state’s ongoing reopening with the coronavirus. Games and scrimmages are not permitted in Massachusetts until the third phase, which is tentatively scheduled to begin Monday, July 6.

In addition to the Red Sox and FCBL, a few adult men’s leagues, including the Boston Men’s Baseball League (BMBL) and Intercity Baseball League (ICL) hope to begin one week after the start of the third phase. The BMBL hopes to start its season on Friday, July 12 while the ICL is planning to allow its nine-team league to begin to play one day later on Saturday, July 13.

Of course, plans for both leagues, along with others could be pushed back pending the state’s plan for allowing games and scrimmages to begin. Currently, the state’s second phase, which is what we are in now, only allows adult, amateur, and youth sports leagues to practice, not play games or scrimmages. And social distancing, along with good hygiene is certainly encouraged for all participants.

TCNJ Cancels Football, ‘High-In Person Contact’ Activities For The Fall

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TCNJ Lions Logo (TCNJAthletics.com)

By NoontimeSports.com 

The College of New Jersey (TCNJ) will not be playing football this fall. In fact, TCNJ will not be competing in any ‘high in-person contact‘ activities throughout the fall semester, according to President Kathryn A. Foster, who shared the news through the school’s website.

Friday’s announcement follows a few other schools, including Bowdoin College and UMass Boston, that announced earlier this week that they would not be playing sports this fall either. Additionally, Morehouse College, a member of NCAA D-II, canceled its upcoming cross country and football season earlier today while Pratt Institute (N.Y.) announced yesterday that none of their fall athletic programs would be competing for an American Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) crown.

Foster expressed sympathy toward the school’s student-athletes that won’t have a chance to compete for the Lions this fall, including those that partake in intramural and club sports. But Foster did say that coaches and trainers can “arrange workouts and other individual fitness activities” while the Student Affairs staff will organize “low-contact recreational and cultural offerings.”

“I know how unfortunate and deeply disappointing this is for the many performers and athletes, coaches, and supporters who were looking forward to a fall season,” Foster said in today’s announcement. “I look forward to it, too. Yet the science on COVID-19 finds that activities with high in-person contact or proximity have the greatest likelihood of broad and rapid virus spread, a circumstance that at TCNJ could mean (a) shutdown of the campus.”

COVID-19 hasn’t been kind to the Garden State, which currently has recorded 172,000 confirmed cases and 14,872 deaths. But like most states in the northeast, including New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts, the numbers and data are trending in the right direction, which could mean sports could return to TCNJ this winter.

Said Foster, “If all goes well in fall, we may be able to allow some performance and winter sports preparation.”