This Week in US Sports: Nationals make first World Series, Ramsey has a new home

By Sports Desk October 17, 2019

There will be a World Series game in Washington D.C. for the first time since 1933.

Two quarterbacks are heading to the bench and Jalen Ramsey has finally been dealt.

While all of that has been going on there has been some monetary proposals in the NBA.

All that and more on this week in US Sports.

 

1. Nationals earn first World Series berth

It was a historic week in Washington D.C. after the Nationals swept the St Louis Cardinals in four games to earn the first World Series berth in Nationals/Expos history.

The Nationals were the 29th team to make the Fall Classic, leaving the Seattle Mariners as the only organisation to not have been to one.

While this is a big day for this franchise, it is also one for some very loyal Washington D.C. fans as this will be the first World Series played in D.C. since 1933 when the Senators faced the Giants and lost in five games.

The Senators moved to Minnesota in 1961 and became the Twins.

 

2. Quarterbacks head to the bench

The Marcus Mariota era may be over in Tennessee, while the Josh Rosen era in Miami is at least on hold.

The Tennessee Titans announced this week that Mariota will be replaced under center by Ryan Tannehill going forward. The Miami Dolphins also announced Rosen will once again be on the bench and replaced by veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Rosen is still young having been taken in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft so he has some time to still find his way, but Mariota is bordering on being a veteran at this point, so this very well might be the end of his career as a starter.

 

3. Ramsey on the move

Ramsey finally got his wish this week as he was traded by the Jacksonville Jaguars to the Los Angeles Rams for first-round picks in 2020 and 2021 and a fourth-round pick in 2021.

This came on the heels of the Rams' trade of Pro Bowl cornerback Marcus Peters to the Baltimore Ravens earlier in the day.

Ramsey asked to be traded by the Jaguars after a Week 2 spat with head coach Doug Marrone.

He got his wish and is thrilled to be playing for a NFL Super Bowl contender.

 

4. NBA contracts being weighed and measured

It is that time of year where players and teams figure out what they will be paid or what can be afforded, and Wednesday, several reports came out that players have been given some offers.

Pascal Siakam is weighing an extension with the Toronto Raptors, as is Bogdan Bogdanovic with the Sacramento Kings, but Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown turned down a four-year, $80million extension which came as a surprise to some.

At the same time, the Kings have apparently not offered guard Buddy Hield an extension and he may be open to a trade if they do not give him the money he is looking for.

The NBA season starts next week, but there is still plenty to be decided going forward.

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  • Coronavirus: Nationals reliever Doolittle blasts US over COVID-19 response Coronavirus: Nationals reliever Doolittle blasts US over COVID-19 response

    Washington Nationals left-handed reliever Sean Doolittle has previously called out MLB for its coronavirus precautions and on Sunday he went on a lengthy rant over the United States' response to the pandemic.

    The USA has been hit hard by COVID-19, with nearly three million confirmed cases and a death toll exceeding 132,000.

    "We're trying to bring baseball back during a pandemic that's killed 130,000 people [in the USA]. We're way worse off as a country than we were in March when we shut this thing down," Doolittle said. "Look at where other developed countries are in their response to this. We haven't done any of the things that other countries have done to bring sports back.

    "Sports are like the reward of a functioning society. And we're trying to just bring it back, even though we've taken none of the steps to flatten the curve, whatever you want to say. We did flatten the curve a little bit, but we didn't use that time to do anything productive. We just opened back up for Memorial Day. We decided we're done with it.

    "If there aren't sports, it's going to be because people are not wearing masks, because the response to this has been so politicized. We need help from the general public.

    "If they want to watch baseball, please wear a mask, social distance, keep washing your hands. We can't just have virus fatigue and keep thinking, 'Well, it's been four months, we're over it, this has been enough time, right? We've waited long enough, shouldn't sports come back now?' No, there are things we have to do in order to bring this stuff back. And now you want to bring fans back? Is that safe? I don't know. I'm not a public health expert, but we should probably defer to them on some of these issues.

    "So, I don't know if it's safe or not. I really don't know. But that doesn't seem like something that … I don't know if that feels like a good idea or not. I don't know."

    Doolittle also said he is still debating about playing this season amid health and safety concerns. Earlier on Sunday, Atlanta Braves pitcher Felix Hernandez announced he is going to sit out this season after Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher David Price decided he would sit out on Saturday. 

    Another point of frustration for the 33-year-old Doolittle is that he still has not received his COVID-19 results from Friday even though MLB claimed testing would have a 24-hour turnaround time. He also said National players have not been given respirator masks they were told they would receive. 

    In mid-May, Doolittle posted a long Twitter thread presenting a number of questions about health protections for players, families, staff and stadium workers. He also provided links to articles that further examined the topics he was addressing. 

    The eight-year major-league veteran has appeared in 390 games for the Nationals and Oakland Athletics, striking out 457 batters over 388 innings. He was instrumental to the Nationals' World Series championship run last season, posting a 1.74 ERA over nine playoff appearances.

  • Cleveland Indians manager favours changing nickname Cleveland Indians manager favours changing nickname

    Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona is in favour of changing the team's nickname.

    Francona expressed his view at the end of a week in which the MLB side announced they would consider changing their nickname, which is considered to be racially insensitive. 

    The franchise dropped their Chief Wahoo logo from their game jerseys and caps two years ago because it was deemed offensive.  

    "I think it's time to move forward and not just say 'it's a very difficult subject'," said Francona.

    "I've been thinking about it and been thinking about it before we put out that statement.

    "I know in the past, when I've been asked about [it], whether it's our name or the Chief Wahoo, I think I would usually answer and say I know that we're never trying to be disrespectful.

    "I still feel that way but I don't think that's a good enough answer today.” 

    The 61-year-old Francona also said it is important for people his age to adapt and be open-minded during these changing times. 

    "Even at my age, you don't want to be too old to learn or to realise that, maybe I've been ignorant of some things, and to be ashamed of it, and to try to be better," he said.

    "I'm glad that we're going to be open to listening, because I think that's probably the most important thing right now, is being willing to listen, not necessarily just talk." 

    Francona has led the Indians to four playoff appearances – including the 2016 World Series – in his first seven seasons in Cleveland after guiding the Boston Red Sox to a pair of World Series titles. 

    Cleveland's major-league team has been known as the Indians since 1915 after previously being called the Blues, the Broncos and the Naps. 

  • Coronavirus: Braves pitcher Hernandez opts out of 2020 MLB season Coronavirus: Braves pitcher Hernandez opts out of 2020 MLB season

    Atlanta Braves pitcher Felix Hernandez has become the latest player to opt out of the 2020 season amid coronavirus concerns.

    The former Cy Young Award winner participated in team workouts on Friday and Saturday at the Braves' Truist Park before deciding on Sunday not to play. 

    "Everybody told him it would be (different), but until you live it, I don't think you know it," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. 

    "As tests come in and outbreaks and things like that, I think it's just human nature to process these things as you have family members involved and children and things like that. 

    "Things like that aren't a reality until we get here and live it."

    Hernandez's decision comes a day after four Braves tested positive for coronavirus – including four-time All-Star first baseman Freddie Freeman and 2019 All-Star reliever Will Smith – and Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher David Price decided not to play this year because of COVID-19. 

    Also on Sunday, both the Chicago White Sox and Washington Nationals announced that two players tested positive for the virus.

    The 34-year-old Hernandez was attempting to revive his career with the Braves after signing a one-year minor league contract with the club in January, his last few seasons with the Seattle Mariners blighted by injuries.  

    A six-time All-Star and the 2010 AL Cy Young Award winner, Hernandez endured the worst season of his 15-year career in 2019, going 1-8 with a 6.40 ERA in 15 starts and ultimately lost a spot in the rotation. 

    He has gone 169-136 with a 3.42 ERA and 2,524 strikeouts in his career, but has gone just 15-27 with a 5.42 ERA in his last three seasons while making four trips to the injured list. He had just three stints on the injured list in the first 12 seasons of his career. 

    Hernandez, however, was looking like he might earn a spot in Atlanta's starting rotation during spring training, yielding three runs over 13 2/3 innings before MLB halted play. 

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