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.

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.

On This Date In History: Tuesday, April 14th, 2020

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeNation

Happy Tuesday, everyone – we can say “happy” every day, right?

The sun is shining. The weather is decent – it is pretty nice out (to be blunt!) – and we have a feeling that it will be another good day (fingers crossed, of course!).

As usual, continue to be well and stay safe while enjoying a brand new ‘On This Date in History.’


On This Date in History: April 14th, 2020 

  • 1962: Elgin Baylor paced the Los Angeles Lakers with a game-high 61 points on 22 of 46 shooting which helped the visitors win the fifth game of the 1962 NBA Finals against the Boston Celtics.

    Boston would rebound, however, winning the next two games, including a game six on the west coast, to clinch the series in seven games.

  • 1967: Boston Red Sox rookie pitcher Billy Rohome came close to recording a no-hitter against the New York Yankees in the Bronx. New York’s Elston Howard broke up the “no-no” with a single to right field in the bottom of the ninth. The hit, however, would be followed by a flyball by Charley Smith.

    Rohome concluded the 3-0 victory with five walks and two strikeouts.

  • 1969: The Montreal Expos won their first-ever home game by defeating the St. Louis Cardinals, 8-7.

    The April 14th affair between the Cardinals and Expos marked the first time an MLB game had been played in Canada.

    Montreal would conclude its initial season in sixth place in the National League East with a record of 52-110.

  • 1996: The Detroit Red Wings win their 62nd (and final) regular season contest with a 5-1 victory over the Dallas Stars.

    Detroit, which finished first in the NHL‘s Central Division with 131 points, would go onto win two playoff series before falling to the Colorado Avalanche in the Western Conference Finals.

  • 2002: Tiger Woods wins his third-straight Masters Tournament with a score of 276 (-12). Woods edged Retief Goosen for the victory by three strokes.

Noontime Commentary: It Is Time To Pull The Plug On All Spring Sports

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Is it time to officially pull the plug on all spring sports, including high school games? (PHOTO COURTESY: Visualhunt.com)

By Matt Noonan | @NoontimeNation 

It may be time to pull the plug on spring sports, including all high school games, along with any other leagues or tournaments that were scheduled to start, both this month or over the next few weeks.

Sports will return – I know they will – but playing games to convening along the sidelines to cheer on our hometown student-athletes to storming the gates at Fenway Park just doesn’t seem like the right thing to do during this time of uncertainty. 

We are expecting a “surge” here in Massachusetts, which could have started yesterday or today – who knows? – and it will certainly challenge all of us, as well as our communities, hospitals, health professionals, and everyone else that has bravely stepped up to help combat the spread of COVID-19. And this so-called “surge” – may be the first of many to come? – is certainly a sign that future games and contests will either be canceled or postponed.

Games, which were scheduled for today and yesterday, have already been canceled. Professional leagues like the NBA and NHL are staying optimistic about finishing their respective seasons while the MLB is pondering the thought of playing games in both Arizona and Florida next month.

Meanwhile, there is a slew of college athletes sitting idle – sadly, they will not return to the ice, hardwood, track, baseball or softball diamonds, volleyball courts or lacrosse fields later this spring. Their respective seasons are caputs.

And then there are the high school student-athletes, who are eagerly awaiting an announcement from their state’s Governor to say schools will re-open and spring sports will happen. But sadly, I don’t think high school spring sports will occur, along with any professional or minor league events for quite some time.

The thought of watching our friends and neighbors compete in crowded gymnasiums or local parks just doesn’t seem like a logical plan to me, especially during a time where many, including myself, are seeking some signs of hope, as well as a light at the end of the tunnel. I am an optimist – I always look at the glass half full, not half empty – but from everything I have read, heard or discussed with friends and colleagues within the sports world makes me think (and believe) that games will not be played either next month or in early June. And the thought of games being canceled or postponed weeks from now – i.e. fall sports like football, soccer, field hockey, and others – is also a possibility.

We need to be patient. We need to adhere to the advice of our local (and national) medical workers and scientists. We need to listen to our local Governors, mayors, and town representatives, who are working hard to keep us safe and provide some sense of normalcy to all of us in the coming weeks and months.

Spring sports will return to our lives one day, along with future dinner plans at our favorite neighborhood restaurants to movies, picnics and so much more. But for now, I think it is best to pull the plug and play it safe.

On This Date In History: Sunday, April 12th, 2020

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By NoontimeSports.com | @NoontimeSports 

Happy Sunday, everyone!

We hope everyone is doing well, staying positive and optimistic, as well as enjoying the sun, which seems to be fading outside our window.

As usual, we are here every day to provide some relief, a smile and yes, a walk down memory lane with ‘On This Date in History.’


On This Date in History: Sunday, April 12th, 2020 

  • 1909: Eric McNair, who played shortstop, second and third base for the Philadelphia AthleticsBoston Red SoxChicago White Sox, and Detroit Tigers was born today. McNair, who recorded 1,240 hits and 82 home runs, finished first in the American League in doubles (47) in 1932 and first in putouts (305) in 1934.
  • 1941: The Boston Bruins clinched the 1941 NHL Stanley Cup with a game four victory over the Detroit Red Wings. The win occurred on the road after Boston won the first two games of the series on their home ice by a combined score of 5-3.
  • 1958: The St. Louis Hawks clinched the 1958 NBA Championship with a game six win over the Boston Celtics with a 110-109 victory. The Celtics would avenge the loss the following year by beating the Minneapolis Lakers in four-straight contests.
  • 1961: Gen. Douglas MacArthur was offered the position of Baseball Commissioner, but declined.
  • 1981: The Milwaukee Brewers pulverized the Boston Red Sox by a score of 18-1Cecil Cooper concluded the game with five RBI, three runs, and two hits while Ben Oglivie recorded two RBI, two hits, and three runs.