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first_imgArizona’s advantage is 10 spring training ballparks plus the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Chase Field all within about 50 miles. Florida’s spring training ballparks are spread by as much as 220 miles.“It allows for immediacy of a schedule, where you might be able to begin it and televise it, provide Major League Baseball to America,” said Scott Boras, baseball’s most prominent agent. “I think players are willing to do what’s necessary because I think they understand the importance of baseball for their own livelihoods and for the interest of our country and providing a necessary product that gives all the people that are isolated enjoyment.”“It gives them a sense of a return to some normalcy,” Boras added. “You talk to a psychologist about it and they say it’s it’s really good for a culture to have to have sport and to have a focus like that, where for a few hours a day they can take their minds off the difficult reality of the virus.”Baseball’s season had been set to start March 26 but spring training was halted on March 12. After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended restricting events of more than 50 people for eight weeks, MLB said it would not open until mid-May at the earliest.Texas Rangers president of baseball operations Jon Daniels said MLB is examining different options and he didn’t want to speculate.Related Articles Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield Harvard-Westlake alum Lucas Giolito throws no-hitter for White Sox NEW YORK (AP) — Putting all 30 teams in the Phoenix area and playing in empty ballparks was among the ideas discussed Monday by Major League Baseball and the players’ association.The sides held a telephone call to talk about paths forward for a season delayed by the new coronavirus pandemic, people familiar with the discussion told The Associated Press. They spoke on condition of anonymity because no details were announced.Ideas are still in the early stage, and the Arizona option would have many obstacles to overcome, the people said.Half of the MLB clubs hold spring training in Arizona, the other half in Florida. Dodgers’ Will Smith: ‘I feel like it’s been five years’ since his 2019 debut “But, obviously, we’d all love to find a way to play, provided we could do safely, and that would be the priority,” he said.The players’ association would want to survey its members to determine whether they would support such a plan, one of the people said.“You’re going to be largely separated from your families and you’re going to have to function in a very contained way. It’s not it’s not a normal life, this idea,” Boras said. “You’re going to have an identified group of people. You’re going to have a constantly tested group of people. And you’re going to have a very limited access of those people to the outside world so that you can assure a very uncontaminated league, if you will, to produce a product that is inspirational to our country.”Chase Field, with artificial turf and a retractable roof, could be the site of daily tripleheaders, Boras said.MLB and the union reached a deal March 26 to advance $170 million in salary to players for the first 60 days of the season. As part of the deal, players would get only prorated portions of their salaries if the regular season is cut from its usual 162 games and would receive no additional salary if the season is scrapped.Both sides have agreed to attempt to play as full a season as is possible, and this plan would enable to season to start while waiting for health and government officials determine whether it is safe to resume play in regular-season ballparks, with the travel that would entail. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros last_img read more

first_imgGus KouwenhovenTHE HAGUE (Reuters) – A Dutch businessman convicted in April of selling weapons to ex-Liberian president and warlord Charles Taylor, was arrested in South Africa on a Dutch warrant, South African officials said last Friday.“Blood timber” trader Gus Kouwenhoven was sentenced as an accessory to war crimes for providing arms to Taylor’s government in violation of a U.N. embargo.Kouwenhoven, 75, has been living in Cape Town and had refused to return to the Netherlands for trial, citing health problems. He was not present at the trial.Dutch prosecution spokesman Bart Vis said Kouwenhoven would appear before a judge in South Africa on Friday and a court there would rule later on the Dutch extradition request.Known in Liberia as “Mister Gus,” Kouwenhoven ran two timber companies in the country from 2000 to 2003 and used them as cover to smuggle arms, according to the Dutch court that sentenced him to 19 years in prison.At the time, Liberia was in the grip of a civil war between then-President Taylor’s government and several rebel factions.Liberia’s string of conflicts since the 1990s left an estimated 250,000 people dead. Thousands more were mutilated and raped and all sides in the conflict used child soldiers.Taylor stepped down in 2003. He was arrested in 2006 and in 2012 sentenced to 50 years in prison for aiding and abetting war crimes in neighboring Sierra Leone by the Special Court for Sierra Leone.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more