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Harper Turned Down Nats 10-Year, $300M Deal

Bryce Harper turned down a massive offer from the Nationals and his future remains uncertain. 

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Bryce Harper is the biggest MLB free agent on the market this off-season. And as much as he’s been the face of the Washington Nationals throughout his career, and as happy as he may seem there, apparently he was in no hurry to commit to them longterm recent. According to multiple sources, the Nationals offered Harper a 10-year deal worth $300 million, which would have been one of the biggest deals in the history of the sport. There’s only one problem… Harper rejected it.

Now, this may come as a massive surprise to many. Who would turn down such an incredible deal?! But many others are easily arguing that Harper was just being smart. Why not test the waters? There are surely other teams that would love to have him. Maybe they can offer him more money. And the Nationals offer is still on the table. If Harper doesn’t like any other team’s offer, he can always take the amazing deal and stay right where he is.

It makes perfect sense, really. Harper is, simply put, one of the best players in all of baseball. Many would put him in the top 5. So far, in his career, he’s already hit 184 home runs, knocked in 521 RBIs, posted an incredible .900 OBS, and has made 6 All-Star teams. All before turning 26 (which he just did last month).

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo talked about their efforts to resign Harper at the MLB general managers meeting that took place on Tuesday. “We’ve had conversations and we utilized our exclusivity to negotiate with him late in the season through when he became eligible to sign with a team. We didn’t get anything done, but he’s a guy that is near and dear to us and we are not closing any doors.”

I’m sure that comes as a great relief to Nationals fans. He is a beloved player there. But it has to sting a little bit that Harper is so willing to explore other options. I can only imagine how the fans would react if he bailed. And how they would treat him every time he came back to DC.

“It’s going to be a challenge to put the best product on the field, and that could include Harper and it could be doing things without Harper,” Rizzo added. “There is a reality that we would love to sign him, but we may not. We have to have a strategy and plan put together to win baseball games, not only for 2019 but beyond. I think we have a good strategy in place, a good plan in place, and we have started to begin that process and we will see where it takes us.”

Best of luck to you, Mike. I for one can’t wait to see where Harper ends up.

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Sports World Today Still Heavily Affected by Covid-19

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The unprecedented outbreak of the novel coronavirus badly impacted the normal sports routine worldwide. Massive suspension and cancellation of various sports events were initiated in a move to curb the rapid transmission of the deadly virus earlier this year. Let’s take a look, however, at the condition of the sports world today.

In the world of basketball, Mississippi coach Kermit Davis unfortunately tests positive for COVID-19. His condition might result to him being placed at the sidelines when the season finally begins. The news was announced earlier on Tuesday, adding that Davis will undergo a second test. If he, however, tests positive again, he will be forced to opt out of the Rebels’ first couple of games as he will be required to go through self-quarantine at home.

To offset his absence, though, Ronnie Hamilton is expected to play as head coach during the upcoming home events on November 25 and 26. The Rebels are scheduled to go against Central Arkansas and Jackson State on the said dates. To soften the blow, Davis will be allowed to watch through the practice sessions and even contact the team via virtual means.

During the scheduled basketball season opening, the Indiana Hoosiers won’t have the usual live audience to cheer them on. According to school authorities, the stands will indefinitely remain empty. Nevertheless, officials plan to work closely with local health authorities and the campus and Big Ten leaders to find out when fans can be permitted to enter the Assembly Hall.

The sports world today is anticipating the time when new normal protocols will provide them easier gameplay. As for the Hoosiers, they are used to having the biggest basketball student fanbase.

To stem the lack of live audience, the university plans to put cutouts for sale. These cutouts will be placed on the empty seats. They will be priced at US$25 a piece with the option of having either women’s coach Teri Moren or men’s coach Archie Miller autograph these cutouts which will, then, be sent to the fans who purchase the tickets. Also, ticket buyers are guaranteed to avail of refunds or simply avail of the different options via the varsity club’s online site.

As for Tennessee Tech, the school is presently undergoing a difficult time with regard to their attempt to begin their women’s basketball season. Vanderbilt cancelled their game and then Chattanooga followed suit.

On Tuesday morning, Vanderbilt announced the necessity of cancelling their game against Tennessee Tech that was scheduled for November 25 due to the sudden occurrence of positive tests among their athletes. Following that announcement, Chattanooga made a similar call, stating the need to halt activities for a two-week quarantine. The said move resulted to the cancellation of their schedule games against Tennessee State and Tennessee Tech.

Indeed, the sports world today is still reeling from the hideous impacts of the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak. At present, it is not only basketball events that are being cancelled and suspended. Several other sports are being halted, as well, as sports authorities struggle to find a way to conduct their events while observing the new normal protocols.

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Sports Personality of the Year to Show on December

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Even when 2020 witnessed various cancellations, suspensions, and modifications of the different sports events due to the unprecedented onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic, there were a few programs that were able to push through including snooker, cricket, football, F1, rugby, golf, tennis, cycling and athletics.

The awaited Sports Personality of the Year event will showcase the different teams that pushed through with their games despite the looming threat of the pandemic, sports celebrities who pushed through with playing despite their sudden, chaotic schedules, and stalwart coaches who made it all happen. The said show will also pay tribute to the different heroes who helped contribute to the said success.

“As we know, it has been a strange and unprecedented year, but we have still been fortunate enough to see plenty of sporting highlights which we look forward to honoring on the night. The 67th BBC Sports Personality of the Year award promises to be another exciting and tough choice for audiences,” shares Barbara Slater, BBC’s Director of Sports.

December’s ceremony will serve as a commemoration of the various heroes, not only in sports, but all over the UK—ordinary citizens who used the gift of sports to help make the situation safe and bearable for all. In a way, the show will be a celebration of health and well-being—the powerful contributions that sports can provide as it keeps people inspired as highlights of this year’s games will be shown during the event, as well.

The present COVID-19 pandemic caused major disruptions in the world of sports. Most scheduled tournaments including the Olympics, the Wimbledon, and the Euro 2020 were severely disrupted as necessary lockdowns and social distancing protocols were put in place to control the abrupt spread of the nefarious disease. At present, many sports programs are attempting to revive the usual flow of things as they grapple with the current social distancing limitations imposed.

The need to wear masks, for instance, makes it difficult for players to move comfortably especially for group games like football, cricket, rugby, and snooker. Experts recommend the need to limit the audience allowed to attend the games, as COVID-19 transmission is highly linked to massive crowd gatherings.

COVID-19 has changed the entire landscape of everyday life. Yet, the slow, but steady, revival of the different games provide athletes and avid sports fans with something to look forward to even when the whole world is still trying to find the best way of handling this ‘new normal’ of living.

The question, however, is: “Will BBC allow a live audience to attend the Sports Personality of the Year event that’s scheduled in December? Or will fans resort to watching the show unfold via live digital streaming, instead? The answer remains to be seen. With the world attempting to slowly find ways to begin life once more, a viable vaccine might be available by then. Nonetheless, everyone is looking forward to the show which will serve as a year’s end consolidation of sorts, as well.

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Sports World Mourns the Loss of 29-Year-Old Australian Athlete, Jacinda Barclay

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The world of sports pays tribute to Jacinda Barclay, an Australian athlete who died too young. The 29-year-old star was discovered unresponsive when police were called to a residence located in Chidlow, mentions a spokesperson for Western Australia Police Force. At around 4:35 in the afternoon on Monday, St John Ambulance attendants and police arrived in the area and discovered pronounced Barclay to be dead. “The woman’s death is not being treated as suspicious and a report will be prepared for the coroner,” adds the spokesperson.

Barclay, a player for the Greater Western Sydney Giants, helped the team dominate the AFLW. She joined the giants for 23 games in a total of 4 seasons. She represented Australia in the Women’s Baseball World Cup, playing for the country as a pitcher for 5 seasons, as well. During her US debut, Barclay also won the championship for the Chicago Bliss during the Legends Football League.

As the 65th pick, the star athlete joined the Greater Western Sydney Giants in 2016, leaving her former team, the UNSW-ES Bulldogs. The Giants’ club chief executive, David Matthews, posits that the team Is “devastated by her passing.” He says, “As an inaugural Giants AFLW player, Jacinda was a vital part of our club. More than that though, Jacinda’s spirit and infectious personality made her a popular and unforgettable member of the Giants family. She will always be a part of our club. Our thoughts and condolences are with Jacinda’s family and friends during this extremely tough time.”

An athlete in the making

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 08: Cora Staunton (left) and Jacinda Barclay pose during the GWS Giants AFLW 2020 official team photo day at the WestConnex Centre on January 08, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/AFL Photos)

A native of Western Australia, Barclay joined the World Cup when she was only 17 years old. In 2008 until 2016, she was able to bag 1 silver and 2 bronze medals. Baseball Australia chief executive, Cam Vale shares, “It’s truly tragic news and we extend our thoughts to those close to Jacinda. Jacinda made a significant contribution not only to our sport over a long period of time but a number of other sports, on and off the field.”

“We are deeply shocked and saddened by Jacinda’s passing and the loss of a member of our tight-knit baseball community,” he adds.

Widely recognized as a highly respected athlete who played both football and American baseball, Barclay also worked as an assistant life-support technician. For 2021, she was listed as an inactive player. This meant that she was still part of the Giants, although she was to be unavailable for the upcoming player selection.

Gone too soon

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 23: Jacinda Barclay of the Giants kicks a goal as she is tackled during the round three AFLW match between the Greater Western Sydney Giants and the West Coast Eagles at Blacktown International Sportspark on February 23, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Team mates and co-players from the AFLW all share their heartfelt condolences, saddened by her untimely passing. “Rest easy, Jacinda,” Stephanie Chiocci of Collingwood says.

Former captain of Matildas, Melissa Barbieri, has this to say: “Female football is very widespread and intertwined…chances are you know someone who is grieving today. Reach out. Stay with them even if you didn’t know Jacinda Barclay personally, chances are her death is impacting your friends. Strength to all today.” Barbieri’s message resonates with the heavy grief that is brought about by Barclay’s sudden death.

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