Gov. Baker Paves The Way For Pro Sports To Return To Massachusetts

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Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker provided a glimmer of hope for live sports to return in the coming weeks. (PHOTO COURTESY: Matt Noonan/NoontimeSports.com)

By Matt Noonan 

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker clearly misses sports – we all know he is a proud supporter of our state’s hometown teams.

So on Friday, Baker announced that the state’s professional teams would be allowed to begin practicing as soon as Saturday, June 6. That is also the same date Massachusetts residents should learn more about the second phase of the state’s reopening plan, which would begin Monday, June 8.

“I know we still aren’t to the point where we’ll have our pro sports teams back playing anything yet,” Baker said during Friday’s press briefing. “The leagues are obviously working hard to host games again. And I think we all hope that at some point, opening practice facilities will help make that happen a little sooner.”

Professional sports have been idle since mid-March when the National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Hockey League (NHL) paused their respective seasons due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. Since then, both leagues have been working diligently to find a way to restart their seasons safely in “hub cities.”

Major League Baseball (MLB) delayed the start of its 2020 season but continues to be stuck in neutral due to ongoing contract discussions between the players and owners.

Both Major League Soccer (MLS) and the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) have announced plans to return to the pitch in the coming weeks, which should excited local New England Revolution fans.

Baker believes live sports would certainly help all of us during this unprecedented time. Additionally, it would be a great outlet for many, who have been consuming older contests these past few weeks, including a 2007 playoff run by the Boston Red Sox on NESN.

“I think for all of us live sports, and especially pro sports would be a great thing to see again because not only will it be a significant milestone for those of us who are fans but it will also send a big signal that we’ve continued to do all the things that we need to do to contain and control the virus,” said Baker.

2020 Boston Marathon Canceled, Runners To Compete Virtually

440px-Boston_Marathon_logo.svgBy NoontimeSports.com  

The 2020 Boston Marathon will not be held in September. Instead, runners will be able to complete the 26.2-mile course virtually, according to the Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.).

The news of the marathon being canceled was announced earlier today by Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. It was then followed by a press release from the BAA, which announced the 124th running of the Boston Marathon would be held virtually.

“The Boston Athletic Association, with our input and support, has determined that the traditional one-day running of the 124th Boston Marathon is not feasible this year for public health reasons,” Walsh said during today’s press briefing.

Walsh noted the city is not ready to host an event like the Boston Marathon, which attracts not just runners, but fans that are standing in “close proximity” along the course.

Boston currently has 12,634 cases of the coronavirus (Covid-19) but has seen 6,272 recovered.

Tom Grilk, who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Boston Athletic Association, expressed the organization’s top priority is protecting the safety of everyone, including the volunteers, spectators, and supporters.

“While we cannot bring the world to Boston in September, we plan to bring Boston to the world for an historic 124th Boston Marathon,” Grilk said in today’s release.

Those who were scheduled to run the race will be offered a full refund of their entry fee, according to today’s announcement from the BAA. They will also be invited to participate in the virtual marathon, which will take place from September 7-14.

Today’s announcement marks the first time the Boston Marathon has been canceled.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh Doesn’t Think Its Safe To Welcome Back Sports

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Boston Mayor Marty Walsh doesn’t believe it is safe to welcome back pro sports to the city. (PHOTO COURTESY: Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

By Matt Noonan

There’s no doubt that Boston Mayor Marty Walsh would like to welcome back sports – he even said he would be willing to reopen Fenway Park and the TD Garden earlier this month with no fans. But as of this afternoon, Walsh believes its best to keep teams on the sidelines as the state and city slowly begin to reopen.

“As much as I would love to watch our pro teams play right now, we really have to put the health and safety of (the) Boston residents first,” Walsh said during his daily press briefing. “As I have said before, if pro teams (and) sports come back, it will be very different than what we’re used to.

“I don’t think right now we’re where in a place where we’ll have fans watching and cheering from the stands, (but) we also have to think about the health of the players and the players traveling from other places. Teams could look into things like temperature checks and testing to limit the spread amongst players and staff. Any proposals of teams will have to be matched with the proper health and safety protocol to make both staff and players feel comfortable with their plans.”

While Walsh’s announcement shouldn’t impact the Boston Celtics – if basketball were to resume, games would be held in Orlando, Florida at the ESPN Wide World of Sports – it could be an issue for the Boston Bruins and Boston Red Sox.

The NHL is planning to provide its fans with an update this afternoon about restarting games while the MLB is trying to get a deal done between its players and owners. And if a deal is reached, it’s likely the Red Sox would play home games in Fort Myers, not Boston.

“We’ll keep fans posted as soon as decisions are made,” said Walsh.

The Bruins and Celtics last played in Boston in early March while the Red Sox’s last home game occurred against the Baltimore Orioles on September 29, 2019.

Sports History: Detroit Sweeps Boston In The 1943 NHL Stanley Cup

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Boston’s Bill Cowley recorded a career-high 72 points during the Bruins’ 1942-43 season. (PHOTO COURTESY: Boston Bruins Alumni)

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation

For many of us, the thought of hearing about the Stanley Cup Finals in April may seem strange or unusual – normally, the title round is played in late May or early June these days – but on April 8, 1943, the Boston Bruins competed for a championship, but wound up losing to the Detroit Red Wings in the fourth and final game of the series.

Boston, which beat Detroit in the 1941 Stanley Cup in four games, was looking to erase memories of the 1942 postseason, which saw the Red Wings outlast the Bruins in a three-game semifinal series.

The Bruins had won four regular-season contests against the Red Wings during the 1942-43 season, including an early March affair by two goals, but that particular victory didn’t seem to help the Black and Gold identify a winning formula to beat Detroit weeks later in the Stanley Cup Finals.

Detroit won all four contests against the Bruins, including the April 8th meeting at the Boston Garden to clinch the series with a 2-0 victory. Boston was held scoreless during the final two contests after producing two goals in game one and three in game two.

Prior to facing the Red Wings, the Bruins beat the Montreal Canadiens in a five-game semifinal series. Ab DeMarco Sr. clinched the series and secured the Bruins a spot in the title round with an overtime goal at 18:44.

Boston was awarded the O’Brien Trophy, which was presented to the league’s runner-up from 1939 to 1950 while Bill Cowley earned the Hart Trophy (most valuable player). Cowley, who recorded. career-high 72 points during the 1942-43 season, was named a first-team league all-star, while Frank Brimsek, Jack Crawford, and Flash Hollett represented the Bruins on the second-team. Additionally, coach Art Ross was named the second team’s coach.

The 1942-43 season also marked the debut of Bep Guidolin, who was the youngest rookie in NHL history. Guidolin played four seasons with the Bruins before returning to Boston to coach the team during the 1972-73 and 1973-74 seasons.

Daily Noontime: Friday, April 3rd, 2020

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By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

We have made it to Friday – yay!

I hope you are somewhat excited for the weekend – sure, Saturdays feel like Mondays and Sundays feel like Wednesdays, but at least we can take a break from our home offices and enjoy time with our family, right?

Let’s kick off a new weekend with the ‘Daily Noontime.’ As usual, be well and stay safe, everyone, and we’ll chat with you again next week – I promise!


Noontime’s Daily Headlines for Friday, April 3rd, 2020 


On this Date in History:

  • Birthday: Today is actor and comedian Eddie Murphy‘s birthday.
  • 1991: Bo Jackson signed a one-year deal with the Chicago White Sox after the Kansas City Royals released the 28-year-old outfielder.
  • 2000: Ken Griffey Jr. made his debut with his hometown Cincinnati Reds. The game was unfortunately postponed to the following day due to rain in the sixth inning.
  • 2006: Billy Donovan led the Florida men’s basketball team to its first-ever NCAA Championship with a 73-57 win over UCLA.
  • 2007: Candace Parker was named the Most Outstanding Player after leading the Tennessee women’s basketball team past Rutgers in the 26th NCAA Championship. The win against Rutgers provided the Volunteers with their seventh national title in program history.