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NFL Draft Opens Tonight

NFL

The National Football League amateur draft begins with the first round tonight. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, general managers will take part via computer links from their homes, as will league commissioner Roger Goodell. The Detroit Lions say they will have an IT specialist camped out in GM Bob Quinn’s driveway, just in case there’s a problem.

Cincinnati holds the first pick, with Washington second, and Detroit third, though rumors continue to swirl that Detroit is a prime candidate to trade down. The Green Bay Packers have the 30th selection in the first round.

NHL

National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman has confirmed reports that the league could conclude its season at four neutral sites. Bettman told Sportsnet’s Ron MacLean that the plan they’re considering would involve three games per day. A three-week conditioning period would be needed to get players who haven’t skated since the season was suspended back into playing shape. The rinks would likely be in existing NHL arenas, because of the need for multiple locker rooms and broadcast facilities. Locations selected would need not to be in COVID-19 hotspots.

MLB

If and when the 2020 Major League Baseball season begins, former Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora won’t be part of it. MLB has suspended Cora for a year for his part in the Houston Astros’ sign-stealing scandal. Cora was Houston’s bench coach through 2017. He was hired as Boston’s manager in 2018, and led the Sox to the World Series title. As details of his role in the Houston scandal unfolded, he was fired by the Red Sox early this year. Boston will also lose a second-round pick in this year’s amateur draft because of a second incident, in which replay system operator J.T. Watkins relayed sign-stealing information to players. Watkins has also been suspended for this season. Officials say Cora was not involved in the Boston situation.

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