Daily Noontime (Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020)

By Matt Noonan

Welcome to Thursday, everyone!

Hopefully everyone is doing well and thinking optimistically as we anxiously await the outcome of the election. Can it please end today?

Alright, let’s get to some news, beginning with the National Football League (NFL) as part two of the 2020 season begins tonight in Santa Clara, California with the San Francisco 49ers hosting the Green Bay Packers at 8:20 p.m. (eastern).

Here are some pregame reads to get you excited for tonight’s matchup:

Let’s switch gears to basketball – I prefer to call it hoops (ūüėČ)! – as we may know later today if the 2020-21 National Basketball Association (NBA) will tip-off next month or perhaps in mid-January.

As we all know, the 2019-20 season concluded last month in the Orlando, Florida, so the turnaround time would be much shorter than a typical offseason, but according to a few reports, the league is planning to play 72-game season instead of the typical 82-game season.

And finally, here are some additional news and links from the world wide web – have a great day, everyone!

  • According to Sportico‘s Anthony Crupi, ESPN is eliminating 500 jobs.
  • Apparently the first Mid-American Conference (MAC) football game of the 2020 season took place last night and featured a power outage – yikes!
  • While we anxiously await the outcome of the 2020 election, we did learn recently that three more states – Louisiana, Maryland, and Soith Dakota – will allow wagers “on sporting events,” which is good news for DraftKings and FanDuel.
  • Could Alex Cora become the next manager of the Boston Red Sox? It seems like a second stint is possible, according to multiple reports over the past few days, including MLBTradeRumors.com.

Enjoy a BRAND new Noontime Sports Podcast this morning (or afternoon) – today, we welcomed Darryl Konicki, who is the associate commissioner of the Little East Conference (LEC), to discuss the content he and his the league have produced over these past few weeks and months without games being played.

You can listen to today’s podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Anchor and wherever you get your podcasts!

Daily Noontime (Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020)

By Matt Noonan

Welcome to Wednesday, everyone!

As usual, hope everyone is doing well, staying safe, and having a great week thus far.

Let’s begin today’s ‘Daily Noontime’ with a tip of the cap – no pun intended, of course! – to the Los Angeles Dodgers, who captured their first World Series crown in 22 seasons last night with a 3-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Prior to the Dodgers celebrating their city’s second championship this month – the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Miami Heat in the 2020 National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals a few weeks earlier – Justin Turner tested positive for the coronavirus. Had the Rays beaten the Dodgers last night, then the seventh game of the Fall Classic, which was scheduled for this evening, may have been postponed to Thursday or Friday. Maybe Saturday?

And just for those keeping track at home, Mookie Betts, who helped the Boston Red Sox win the 2018 World Series, capped the best-of-seven game series by smacking a home run last night. Can someone please call Bob Lobel and ask him the following: why can’t we get players like Mookie Betts?

According to Scott Soshnick of Sportico, the final-out ball from last night’s sixth game of the World Series is worth $250.000. Anyone interested in purchasing it?

While the Dodgers will certainly receive a great deal of attention, both today and over the next few days for ending one of the craziest seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) history, one storyline that may not disappear for quite some time will be Kevin Cash‘s decision to yank Blake Snell off the mound in the sixth inning. Was it the right decision?

Perhaps this move will haunt the Rays for weeks and months – maybe years? – but I guess the only way the Tampa Bay fans can forgive Kevin Cash is by having the team capture the World Series next October. Maybe Tom Brady could help the Rays win some games?

One last baseball story – sorry, I know this is a very heavy-duty World Series post! – but one more tip of the cap to the home of the Texas Rangers, which I will always consider the finish line for the weirdest and strangest baseball season in my lifetime.

Alright, that will do it for today’s ‘Daily Noontime’ – remember, you can stay connected with us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube by searching “Noontime Sports” and follow us on Instagram at @NoontimeNation!

Daily Noontime (Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020)

By Matt Noonan

Hello Tuesday – how are you?

From a quick look outside our window, Tuesday look rather gloomy and cloudy – that is in the Boston area, to be exact!

Let’s get to some news (and links), beginning with Major League Baseball (MLB) where the 30-team league “amassed an unprecedented $8.3 billion of debt from their various lender” this summer and fall. The league will also lose between $2.8-3 billion in operational losses, according to Rob Manfred, who conveyed the not-so-great news to Sportico yesterday.

A big reason for the debt was due to no fans in the stands, which is because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. And if Manfred and the league does not have fans in the stands next season, which is certainly a possibility, especially in California and New York, then MLB could be face some additional challenges.

The 2020 MLB season could conclude either this evening or tomorrow in Texas – as of now, the Los Angeles Dodgers are one game away from winning their first Fall Classic since 1988. The Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 4-2, on Sunday in the fifth game of the World Series.

I am thinking the Dodgers will clinch the World Series this evening – just a gut feeling – but I could also see the Rays winning tonight to force a game seven tomorrow evening.

Let’s switch gears to college basketball where we learned yesterday that some early season contests and events that were initially scheduled to occur in Orlando, Florida next month, as well as in the beginning of December, will not happen. The main reason ESPN, which was scheduled to host these tournaments, pulled the plug was so everyone could stay safe and healthy.

ESPN’s public relations team released a statement on Twitter about the tournaments they were planning to host with the following message to their college basketball fans: “ESPN Events set out to create a protected environment for teams to participate in early-season events in Orlando. Based on certain challenges surrounding testing protocols, we opted to resume these tournaments during the 2021-22 season.”

Alright, that will conclude a short and to-the-point version of the ‘Daily Noontime,’ but we will be back with another blog post (or two) later today!

Daily Noontime (Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020)

By NoontimeSports.com 

Welcome to Tuesday, everyone! 

As usual, we hope everyone is doing well, staying safe Рand healthy, too! Рand having a great week thus far. 

Let’s get to the news, beginning with last night’s Monday Night Football (MNF) double-header, which kicked-off with the¬†Kansas City Chiefs¬†defeating the¬†New England Patriots, 26-10.¬†

With the win, Kansas City improves to 4-0 overall while New England dips to 2-2. Kansas City is one of six teams that remains unbeaten through the first quarter of the season – can they continue their winning ways later this week against the¬†Las Vegas Raiders? We’ll have to wait and see!¬†

Staying with the¬†National Football League (NFL), the league announced yesterday in a memo that if teams continue to not adhere to the current protocols in place to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, then they could lose a draft choice or even be forced to forfeit a game. The pandemic certainly through a wrench into the league’s plans last week with postponing a game to moving the Kansas City-New England contest from Sunday to Monday.¬†

Let’s switch gears to hockey where it appears the¬†National Hockey League (NHL)¬†and NHL Players’ Association is targeting a January 1, 2021 start date for the upcoming season.¬†

The NHL wrapped up its 2019-20 season last week with the¬†Tampa Bay Lightning¬†beating the¬†Dallas Stars¬†in the Stanley Cup. The game was played in a “bubble environment” in Canada.¬†

Apparently, the NHL would like to play an 82-game season, but we’ll have to wait and see if that actually happens.¬†

Are you watching playoff baseball? If not, maybe you should? 

According to¬†AwfulAnnouncing.com, viewership for baseball this year has gone up, which is a good thing for America’s pastime.

And of course, here are some more news and links to share from the world wide web: 

  • Barstool Sports CEO¬†Erika Nardini¬†has been named to the¬†WWE¬†board. This is super-exciting news and perhaps this means we could see the wrestling league and Barstool Sports work together down the road for future shows and new content.¬†
  • Amazon¬†will unveil some new features for its “Thursday Night Football” streaming package with upcoming games available on Prime Video and Twitch.¬†
  • Finally, the¬†Sports Business Journal¬†does not want you to worry about the NFL’s ratings – everything will be OK!¬†

Should MLB Pause Or Stop The 2020 Season?

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Should Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Rob Manfred consider ending the 2020 season? (PHOTO COURTESY: Lynne Sladky/Associated Press)

By Matt Noonan

Rob Manfred might want to consider pressing the pause button or perhaps shutting down the 2020 Major League Baseball (MLB) season.

With today’s news of 14 members of the Miami Marlins¬†testing positive for the coronavirus (Covid-19), perhaps this is a sign that maybe, just maybe, traveling to play baseball during a pandemic this summer is not something we should do.

The 2020 season – a short, 60-game sprint – began last week with some bad news when¬† Juan Soto, an outfielder for the¬†Washington Nationals, tested positive prior to his team’s initial contest against the¬†New York Yankees. Soto recently tested negative but needs an additional negative result before returning to the diamond.

Let’s hope Soto does test negative (again), so we can see him back on the field either later this week or next month.

But while we anxiously await word of Soto’s next test, it just seems likely that we will learn of more players, along with coaches and staff members that will test positive for the virus as the season progresses. The United State of America has recorded more than four million cases of Covid-19, while 1.3 million individuals have recovered

Baseball, unlike other sports that have restarted, is not playing in a “bubble,” so the chances of players, coaches, and staff members testing positive for the virus seems more likely from staying in hotels to traveling to various ballparks on planes and busses.

No matter what happens, Manfred, along with the owners, coaches, and players knew they were taking a risk with playing games during a pandemic, but is it worth the risk continuing to play with cases on the rise in various states across the country, including here in Massachusetts?