Wednesday was one of the strangest days in the history of sports, beginning in the morning hours when rumors of crowdless NCAA Tournament games were growing, and into the night as the NBA suspended its season.
The coronavirus has been rapidly spreading its impact throughout the sports world, with new developments taking place seemingly every half hour. The Ivy League canceled their men’s and women’s college basketball tournaments on Tuesday. Various cities within the United States began banning gatherings of large groups of people, subsequently causing some NHL and NBA teams to announce fans would be barred from arenas.
Wednesday afternoon, the NCAA Tournament announced the decision to limit attendance for the 2020 NCAA Tournament to essential staff and family members. Most conference tournaments followed suit and effects of the coronavirus began to become a reality.
Rumors of the NBA planning to announce the barring of fans from future games swirled Wednesday until Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the virus, causing the league to immediately suspend play for the foreseeable future.
No one really knows how serious or severe the coronavirus impact will ultimately be on the sports world, the United States or globally, but it’s difficult to make an argument against precaution. Here are some Twitter reactions from sports media members after the NBA suspended its season.
Pedro Martinez: Umps ‘Don’t Know S***’
“D-Backs pitcher Luke Weaver had the bases loaded, and his delivery wasn’t sitting right with Martinez or fellow analyst Harold Reynolds.”
Pedro Martinez pitched with a flare at the MLB level, and he’s brought that flare, for better or worse, to his MLB Network analyst role. Martinez and the rest of the MLB Tonight crew did a live look-in during the San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks game on Tuesday night when Martinez couldn’t hold back his frustration with the umpire.
D-Backs pitcher Luke Weaver had the bases loaded, and his delivery wasn’t sitting right with Martinez or fellow analyst Harold Reynolds. The pair thought Weaver was committing uncalled balks. A balk is when a player refuses to pause their pitching motion after they set up on the mound. Every runner advances one base when an umpire calls a balk.
Ramirez and Reynolds were about ready to jump through the monitor and officiate the contest themselves.
“That’s gotta be a balk!” Reynolds excitingly said.
Martinez responded, “But the umpire does not understand the kind of movement he’s making.”
“So, we meet with umpires before the season starts,” said host Greg Amsinger. “And they talk to all the broadcasters. We bring this up every year, and what we hear from the umpiring side of the argument is, as long as the motion is consistent for that pitcher – he doesn’t alter it – if it’s consistent with base runners on, then it’s not a balk.”
Reynolds retorted, “He is consistently balking.”
“He’s never been called for a balk in his career,” replied Amsinger.
“Well, the umpires don’t know sh*t about what they’re doing,” Martinez declared, inciting laughter.
“I think we’re on a delay,” said Amsinger.
The broadcast was not on any type of delay.
“Pedro, four minutes in?”
“I’m sorry, I apologize about that. What can I say?”
“Nothing, nothing else,” Reynolds responded. “This is gonna be good. We’re only on for three more hours.”
Watch a clip of the hot mic exchange above.
Dave McMenamin Gets New Deal At ESPN
“McMenamin first started at ESPN in 2009, where he was the Lakers beat writer during their championship runs with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol.”
ESPN has signed NBA reporter Dave McMenamin to a new multi-year extension. McMenamin is currently focusing his coverage on the Los Angeles Lakers for the second time in his ESPN career.
The Syracuse grad began working in media at NBA.com in 2005.
McMenamin first started at ESPN in 2009, where he was the Lakers beat writer during their championship runs with Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol. The reporter lived through those ups and the subsequent downs in La La Land before leaving the Laker beat to cover LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers when the superstar returned home in 2014.
McMenamin was there every step of the way as the 2016 NBA Champion Cavaliers brought Cleveland its first team sports title in 50 years. The scribe even expanded his coverage to a full book. McMenamin and his Cleveland colleague, Brian Windhorst, co-wrote Return of the King: LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Greatest Comeback in NBA History.
The book appeared on the New York Times bestseller’s list upon its release and cemented McMenamin as a trusted go-to voice for all things LeBron James. McMenamin returned to his Lakers coverage nearly ten years after his first day on ESPN when James announced he was leaving Cleveland to play in Tinseltown.
McMenamin is no stranger to post-ups and free throws himself, having played basketball at the University of Limerick in Ireland before attending Syracuse. It’s truly full circle with this Lakers roster and McMenamin.
The odds-on favorites to win the Western Conference have the oldest average age of any NBA team in the league. A certain 37-year old forward isn’t bringing that mark down. The Lakers added Carmelo Anthony to their squad this season, 18 years after Anthony led Syracuse to a national title. Syracuse student manager Dave McMenamin watched Anthony, and his teammates celebrate that accomplishment from the bench.
Avalanche Analyst Peter McNab Diagnosed With Cancer
“McNab has been there every step of the way as fans cheered on the Joe Sakic-Era up to today’s fast-paced Stanley Cup Title contending squad led by Nathan McKinnon.”
The Colorado Avalanche announced that their color analyst, Peter McNab, has been diagnosed with cancer. The 26-year Avalanche broadcast veteran confirmed that he is staying on the TV call of Colorado’s games on Altitude Sports as he begins treatment.
“Like so many others who have received news of this nature, this is a very personal battle. I’m fortunate that I received an early diagnosis and have great medical care,” said McNab in a press release. “I will return on-air in the coming days while undergoing treatment. Over the next several weeks, I may need to miss a few games, but I look forward to covering the Colorado Avalanche through another exciting season.”
Avalanche Radio listeners have only known one analyst’s voice since the team’s first season in 1995. McNab has been there every step of the way as fans cheered on the Joe Sakic-Era up to today’s fast-paced Stanley Cup Title contending squad led by Nathan McKinnon.
“Peter made it clear to us that he wanted to share his diagnosis with our fans, and we want to support that decision,” said Matt Hutchings KSE COO. “He believes that in doing so, he might be able to help those in similar battles, who might otherwise feel alone.”
McNab brought a ton of hockey experience to the booth when he joined the team in 1995. The center played professional hockey from 1973 to 1987 appearing with the Boston Bruins, Vancouver Canucks, Buffalo Sabres, and New Jersey Devils. McNab suited up in 954 NHL games and went to the 1975 Stanley Cup Finals with the Bruins.
The broadcaster got his start in the industry immediately following his playing career. McNab began as a Devils commentator in 1987 before moving to Colorado for the Avalanche’s inaugural season in 1995.
Colorado starts preparing for the 2021-22 NHL season on Oct. 5 in a preseason game between the Avalanche and the Vegas Golden Knights.
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