Good morning all! Hope you are having a terrific week!
Major League baseball spring training camps open today, after the owners’ attempt to delay the start of camp by one month, because of the virus, failed. The players wanted to start on time and now they will face a myriad of protocols, including a mandate that the toilet lid be closed before flushing. I am not making this up.
MLB has issued a 108-page “2021 Operations Manual” to be followed throughout the regular season and playoffs. For the most part, except for going to the ballpark to play games, the players are in quarantine. Any chance of having a family member join a player on road trips – not an uncommon occurrence – will require strict regulations. And players have been ordered, while traveling on a plane or train, to wait a few minutes after a lavatory has been vacated, before entering it. Also, close toilet lids, before flushing. My guess is there will be many players seated with crossed legs.
Incidentally, players have also been ordered not to converse on said plane and train, while eating or drinking. And no switching of seats on a plane, either.
Under the best of circumstances, an 8 1/2 month season can be long. After this season, players may have second thoughts about not agreeing to a shortened spring training and fewer games, both offers put on the table by owners.
World’s largest bank bets on sports
JPMorgan is bullish about wagering on sporting events. In 2020, sports betting garnered about $1.5 billion in revenue. It sees revenue growing to $9.2B by 2025. The world’s largest bank also predicts the legalization of betting on games will be a boon to the media companies in the U.S. This could be why networks are tripping over each other for broadcast rights to the NFL, even though the league has experienced a recent ratings dip.
Currently legally betting on sporting events has been approved in 25 states, but California, Florida and Texas are not among them. With a combined population of 90 million people and proposals to approve betting in those states, it is understandable why JPMorgan sees major industry growth.
Boston Celtics are reeling
The Boston Celtics, who advanced to the NBA conference finals last season, are in a freefall. At 13-13, the Celts have lost seven of 10 and 10 of 15 games. Who is to blame? Celtics GM Danny Ainge says place the blame on him.
There is still time for Boston to turn around its NBA season, however, you have to wonder how much the short break between seasons - due to Covid-19 - has impacted not only the Celtics but all NBA and NHL teams?
Meanwhile, if I am Celtics’ coach Brad Stevens, I am framing Ainge’s quote in the event the team’s losing ways continue.
Well, that is it for today. Enjoy your midweek and thank you for your support!