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Mets’ Pete Alonso destroys MLB over substance scandal

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BALTIMORE – Pete Alonso to opposing pitchers: Keep doing what you do with these foreign matter.

The Mets first baseman on Wednesday defended the pitchers – who were recently scrutinized for putting substances on the ball, potentially adding to their advantage over the batter. Alonso instead turned his poison towards MLB to change baseball this season.

“Jugs have been using substances since the start of the game,” Alonso said before the Mets took on the Orioles at Camden Yards. “There’s a rosin pouch behind the mound that helps the boys dry their hands and grab them. For me, whether they want pine tar, rosin, bullfrog or sunscreen and rosin or whatever they want to use to control the ball, let them use it.

“I go into the pits every day and see throwing harder and harder every day and I don’t want a 99” [mph] slip out of someone’s hand because they didn’t have enough feeling for it. “

Pete AlonsoPete AlonsoAP

Alonso ripped MLB for the rally this season with the idea of ​​containing the offensive explosion of recent seasons. Alonso said it was a calculated move to match the superstar class of positional players who will hit the free agent market this off-season. It’s a shortstop class alone that includes players like Corey Seager, Trevor Story, and Carlos Correa. Another All-Star was withdrawn from the market in March when Francisco Lindor agreed to a 10-year contract extension with the Mets valued at $ 341 million.

“I think the biggest concern is that Major League Baseball is manipulating baseball year after year, depending on the free agency class, or that the boys are in an advanced part of their arbitration,” Alonso said. “I think that’s the big problem because the ball is different every year. In other sports, like basketball, soccer, tennis, golf, the ball is the same, the ball is the same.

“I think that’s the real problem with changing baseballs, and if the league didn’t change the baseballs, the pitchers might not have to use as much sticky stuff as for guys catching the ball and throwing the ball.” Tag and for every single year that it changes, it’s not fair to the people who use and throw it away every day. “

Alonso cited Kevin Pillars Bohne last month – the Mets outfielder was hit in the face by a 95 mph fastball from Atlanta’s Jacob Webb and suffered a broken nose – as an example of why it would be wise for MLB to be less concerned with foreign substances to care.

Kevin PillarKevin Pillar shot a ball in the face earlier this season.AP, Mets / Zoom

“During these hotter months the guys start to sweat and when they lose a fastball arm we all saw what happened to Kevin Pillar,” said Alonso. “And that’s scary and we’re lucky he just had a broken nose and it could be a lot worse depending where it hits a guy. I mean a 100 mph fastball even though you’re wearing a scary helmet.

“I want the guys to have as many clubs as possible and focus on throwing the ball into the box instead of taking it away from them.”

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Montreal Canadiens coach Dominique Ducharme symptom-free, hopes to return in days

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MONTREAL – Canadien’s interim coach Dominique Ducharme said on Sunday that he had remained symptom-free two days after testing positive for COVID-19 and that he hopes to be back behind the bench during the Stanley Cup semi-final series in Montreal against Vegas.

Ducharme wore a dark blue collared Canadiens shirt, white hair and a familiar short stubble on his chin and spoke to reporters from an unknown location during a 12-minute video conference, his first comments since his mandatory isolation.

“I wish I could be on the rink now. I don’t feel any different than I did a week ago,” said Ducharme as the Canadiens prepared to host Vegas in Game 4 on Sunday night.

Montreal has a 2-1 lead in the series, Game 5 in Vegas is scheduled for Tuesday. If necessary, Game 6 will be played in Montreal on Thursday and Game 7 in Vegas on Saturday.

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Ducharme was asked if he would have to spend 14 days in isolation.

“I’m confident I’ll be back before that,” he said.

Ducharme said he was fully vaccinated against the coronavirus and would end the two-week waiting period after his second vaccination on Wednesday.

It is unclear whether 48-year-old Ducharme will be able to return at this point.

“Until then, nothing has been confirmed. The organization is in contact with the authorities. It is a unique situation. We have been isolated since December,” said Ducharme in French.

Ducharme said no one he had contact with, including his girlfriend, tested positive. He said he was following NHL COVID-19 protocols when the Canadiens traveled to Vegas last week to open the series.

The Canadiens were restricted to certain areas of their Vegas hotel and had to take the bus to and from the ice rink.

Montreal, a member of the NHL’s Canadian North Division, is the only Canadian team to cross the line this season after teams were restricted to play within the division in the second round of the playoffs.

“It’s frustrating because I did everything you asked us to. I never exposed myself. I was so unlucky,” said Ducharme, who is in daily contact with his team and employees by phone and video call.

This is the second straight postseason that Montreal assistant Luke Richardson has had to step in in an emergency. Last summer, Richardson and former assistant coach Kirk Muller shared coaching duties after Claude Julien was hospitalized with chest pain after the first game of the Montreal-Philadelphia first-round series.

Julien missed the rest of the playoffs and resumed coaching that season before being sacked and replaced by Ducharme on February 24th.

It was difficult for Ducharme to watch out of isolation as the Canadiens recovered in Game 3 on Friday with a 3-2 win in extra time after two one-goal deficits.

“You feel helpless to watch and hope for the best. It’s a strange situation,” said Ducharme. “A special situation, but it was a special year. We’ve been through a lot. And we’ll get through that.”

The Canadiens had the worst record of the NHL’s 16 playoff qualifiers before upsetting Toronto and Winnipeg in the first two rounds.

The Golden Knights have already seen this scenario this postseason. Colorado Avalanche coach Jared Bednar missed a morning skate due to a COVID-19 test irregularity and was released in time to coach in Game 6 of the second round series against Vegas.

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Brooklyn Nets Guardian Spencer Dinwiddie wants to turn down the $ 12.3 million player option

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Brooklyn Nets Guardian Spencer Dinwiddie plans to turn down the $ 12.3 million player option on his 2021-22 contract and become an unrestricted free agent before the deadline on Monday, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Dinwiddie missed most of the season with a cruciate ligament injury in his right knee and appeared in just three games. He tried to possibly get back to the NBA final, but the Nets were eliminated by the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference semifinals on Saturday.

Dinwiddie, 28, has had a history of ACL injuries. During his junior year in Colorado, Dinwiddie tore his left ACL in one game and missed the rest of the season.

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Dinwiddie was a key player for Brooklyn last season, starting in 49 games when Kyrie Irving and Caris LeVert were out injured. He averaged 20.6 points and 6.8 assists in the 2019-20 season but was diagnosed with COVID-19 in late June and did not travel to Orlando with the Nets to restart the season.

The 6-foot-5 Dinwiddie has averaged 12.9 points and 5.0 assists over portions of seven seasons with the Nets and Detroit Pistons.

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The Uganda Olympic trainer tests positive for Covid after arriving in Japan

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Uganda Olympic Committee President Donald Rukare said the unnamed trainer had no symptoms. It is not yet clear whether the trainer, who is in a government facility, will be banned from participating or sent home.

The entire Ugandan Olympic delegation, which includes 26 athletes and 30 staff, has been fully vaccinated with two syringes of AstraZeneca, Rukare said.

Many received their second dose of the vaccine this month, about three months after receiving their first dose, Rukare said.

The eight others who arrived with the Covid-positive trainer have traveled to Izumisano City in Osaka Prefecture, where they will be housed, according to Izumisano City official Hideo Takagaki. Rukare said the octet is in a bubble and is being tested daily.

Japan's leading Covid-19 advisor says holding the Olympics without spectators is "he wishes"

More athletes and employees of the Ugandan Olympic team are expected to arrive in Japan in the coming days.

Ugandans are among the first to arrive in Japan ahead of the Tokyo Olympics amid security concerns as the country battles a fourth wave of Covid-19. The Asian host nation has fully vaccinated less than 7% of its population, and doctors are warning that an Olympic super-spreader event could bring Japan’s overburdened medical system to the brink. At least 10,000 of the 80,000 people who have signed up for help with the Games have already stopped, and Japan’s top coronavirus advisor said Friday that hosting the Olympics with no spectators would be “desirable”. Uganda’s Olympic athletes are some of the first people in the African nation to receive the vaccine – Uganda has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the world, with only 2 doses per 100 people. The country of 45 million people is currently battling a second wave with reported cases up 130% in the first two weeks of June. Uganda also has a relatively high test positive rate, with 19% of tests being positive according to Johns Hopkins University, suggesting that authorities are not covering all Covid-19 cases. This week has the Uganda Rugby Union tweeted that the Sevens national team withdrew from an Olympic qualifier in Monaco after reporting Covid-19 cases within the team.

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